After its short hiatus, ABC’s The Bachelorette returned this week for its 7th episode of the season. In it, Jojo invites two of the remaining finalists on separate – but equally romantic – horseback riding dates. In addition, she finally decides who the 4 men to take her to their hometowns will be.
Jojo, Chris Harrison and the remaining 6 men pack their things and head to the countryside of Argentina. Here, they are informed that there will no longer be date roses on the one-on-one dates. However, there will still be a rose to try and win during this week’s group date.
The first date of the week goes to Alex, who is overjoyed to finally get a one-on-one with the bachelorette. The duo heads off on a long (at times, awkward) car ride to a ranch. Alex and Jojo go for a romantic horseback ride in a field and also learn what it means to be a gaucho. One of the owners of the ranch demonstrates his incredible connection with his horse, as he gets it to pretty much roll over and lay with him like a puppy. Subsequently, both Alex and Jojo get the opportunity to cuddle up to the horse and even share some kisses while their heads are snuggled up to the massive and majestic animal.
During the evening portion of their date, Jojo tried to focus on talking about more serious things with Alex. Since Jojo has had notably more time with the other 5 guys, she felt it was necessary to see if she can truly envision a future with Alex. While dining, Alex gushes to Jojo that he is already falling in love with her (despite this being their first one-on-one date). Unfortunately, he didn’t get the response he was hoping for, as Jojo responds, “I don’t feel as excited as I should feel, and that kills me.” Shortly after, Jojo winds up sending Alex home. Heartbroken, Alex barely turns his head as he gives Jojo his [insincere] well wishes and drives away. Jojo is pretty shocked when she realizes her final memory with Alex is of him not even being able to look her in the eye.
The next date of the week is given to former NFL player Jordan Rodger. Jojo and him head off in a private jet to a vineyard in Mendoza. Like many do while visiting a vineyard, Jojo and Jordan go grape stomping and indulge in plenty of wine. Later in the evening, Jordan opens up to Jojo about his relationship with his family. Jordan confesses that while he is tight with most of his family members, he isn’t too close with his brother, NFL star Aaron Rodgers. Jordan claims that it is the way his brother has “chosen to live,” in that he has distanced himself from all of his family members. Just like Alex before him, Jordan proceeds to gush to Jojo about how in love he is with her. Fortunately, Jojo actually seems excited to hear Jordan declaration of love and tells him that he makes her “so happy.” Inevitably, they spent basically the remainder of their date kissing and gazing into each other’s eyes. Jordan, being arguably the frontrunner from the very beginning, only seems to be getting more ahead of his competition as the season nears its finale.
After, Jojo joins Chase, James and Robby for a group date. Unfortunately, they get rained in, but that doesn’t stop them from having a playful date indoors. The four of them play various games, including Truth or Dare and Charades, as well as indulge in lots of food and alcohol. While her previous dates were all fairly serious and lovey-dovey, Jojo cuts loose as she watches Robby strip down to his underwear and run around the hotel hallways as a dare.
The rain finally lets up, and Robby takes Jojo for a chat outside. Robby talks candidly about his previous long-term relationship, which ended just four months before he came on the show. Jojo expresses her concern over the fact that Robby’s father never really approved of his previous girlfriend. However, Robby comforts her and explains that there were a lot of other negative “variables that came into play” with his ex. Of course, Robby tries to seal the deal by also professing his love to the bachelorette.
Secondly, Chase gets some quality time with Jojo and tries to convince her to take him into the final 4. He states that he is “100 percent ready” to take her to meet his family and explore his hometown. Chase reveals that he has also fallen in love with Jojo.
Lastly, Jojo rounds up the group date by talking with James. He tells her that she will feel completely welcomed and “loved” if she chooses to meet his family. He goes on to add that anyone that he loves, his family will love too. Jojo admits that James makes her feel very comfortable. However, there continues to be a lack of spark between James and Jojo.
In the end, Jojo decides to award Robby with the group date rose – securing his spot in the final 4.
The last date of the week is between Jojo and Luke, who go to a local farm and hang out with an adorable pony named “Snowflake.” They then go for a romantic horseback ride through a grassy forest, which reminds Luke of his childhood growing up on a ranch in Texas. They end off their date with some skeet shooting, where Luke shows off some of the skills he acquired while serving in the military. Just like the other contestants, Luke ensures to tell Jojo just how in love he is with her – evidently trying to grab one of the 3 remaining spots in the final 4.
The episode ends off with the weekly rose ceremony. With Alex gone and Robby already holding a rose, Jojo has 3 roses to give out to the 4 remaining men: Jordan, Chase, Luke and James. This is one of the bachelorette’s biggest decisions yet, as the final 4 are the ones who will be taking her back to their hometowns and introducing her to their families.
The final four of The Bachelorette Season 12 is:
Robby, Jordan, Luke and Chase.
Thus, James is sent packing. Fortunately for Jojo, James took it quite well and at least gave her a proper goodbye (unlike the last guy she sent home, Alex).
You can catch more of The Bachelorette next Monday, July 18 on ABC.
Next Week on The Bachelorette:
Jojo travels around the US to meet the remaining 4 contenders’ family and explore their hometowns. In addition, she ends up cutting one finalist out of the competition.
Now for the most awkward moments of The Bachelorette Season 12 Episode 12:
Yes Alex took the cake this week, and then he didn’t even get the prize.
7. James Taylor, stealth bully
James Taylor, Jr. (how funny would it be if his father was the real James Taylor?) may present himself as a cuddly good ol’ boy, but he has some snakey tendencies. He knew he wasn’t going to get the group date rose, so he tried to sabotage Robby’s chance of getting it by repeatedly talking about how Robby was checking out hot girls when the boys were walking around Buenos Aires without JoJo, which made JoJo jealous. This was the second time James has done something underminey like this. Robby got mad, too. But Robby was also drunk. They all got blitzed on that date where they were just hanging out in the hotel. Perhaps not coincidentally, the low-key hangout sesh seemed way more fun than most of the elaborate, planned dates. It’s easier to connect when there’s less pressure to perform.
6. James Taylor shoving 25 french fries into his mouth
James is insecure about his body, since he doesn’t have the superhero physique of the rest of the guys. But his lack of six-pack abs allows him to do at least one thing the other guys can’t do: eat so many french fries. Jordan’s not going to eat fried starch. It’ll mess up his fussy lil meal plan. But James doesn’t care. He’ll stuff his mouth so full he almost gets sick. “Not the way I would have gone about opening up the day,” says Robby. Robby meant that he wouldn’t have embarrassed himself in a misguided attempt to impress JoJo, but he also inadvertently means that he doesn’t eat french fries. And who is really living their best life?
5. Alex and JoJo’s excruciating car ride to nowhere
The Bachelorette executed a skillful bit of filmmaking in this episode by making the audience feel like Alex and JoJo’s ride to the gaucho ranch took as long to watch on TV as it actually took Alex and JoJo. It bent space and time like a Borges story. A Borges story that involved a man making duck lips with Pringles, trying to kiss a woman and getting rebuffed. JoJo broke a long moment of silence by going “UUUUGGGGGHHHH” and saying what we were all thinking.
4. Alex tells JoJo that he’s falling in love with her and she’s like “feeling’s not mutual sorry bye!”
I almost felt bad for Alex, since his dismissal came on what had been to that point one of the best days of his life. He was finally on a one-on-one with JoJo and he got to snuggle a horse. Then he finally professed his love, and she said “I don’t like you in that way.” That’s a rough moment for anyone and I sympathized. But then I remembered that Alex is a weird goon and I didn’t feel as bad.
3. Alex won’t look JoJo in the eye
I think Alex must have been so mad he was silent in the car to the airport, since he didn’t get a taxicab confession. It seems like it should have been a meltdown, considering Alex’s temper and high regard for himself. But he was so upset in his elimination that he barely spoke. He was giving JoJo monosyllabic answers and not making eye contact. He was never the most articulate contestant, but he outdid himself here.
2. Alex’s gaucho outfit
Honestly, though, poor Alex. Our last image of him on this show will be dressed like a clown. He literally looked like a clown when they put him in the gaucho (Argentine cowboy) outfit to go horseback riding. I couldn’t stop picturing him with his face painted white and a red nose. JoJo said “he actually looks really good,” but she was just being polite. She also said “you are a cute little gaucho,” and that was the moment I knew for certain Alex was toast.
1. Jordan’s family secret
Jordan Rodgers’ most desirable quality was his fraternal connection to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, an A-list athlete. But during his one-on-one with JoJo, he dropped a bombshell: he barely has a relationship with his famous brother. They don’t speak. In fact, Aaron might not even know that Jordan is on The Bachelorette. Aaron is distant from the whole Rodgers family, so when Jordan brings JoJo home next week, Aaron won’t be there (I was looking really closely to see how disappointed JoJo was at this news, but she played it pretty cool). This disclosure brought some issues for me that I hope get resolved next week. Did Jordan really keep his strained relationship with his brother a secret until right now, the last possible moment? Jordan’s story up until now was “Aaron Rodgers is my brother.” He conveniently left off “but I don’t speak to him.” Thus, he’s been reaping the social benefits of a connection to a hugely famous, wealthy and successful person without actually having a meaningful connection. He’s dishonestly exploiting that connection for personal gain. On the other hand, the real benefits of having a star athlete brother may elude him. If Jordan doesn’t speak to his brother, he may not get those Super Bowl box seats. And Jordan definitely must feel the pressure of constantly being compared to his more successful older brother. No matter how good Jordan was — and make no mistake, he was good enough to almost reach the pinnacle — he was never as good as his brother, who was literally the best. Jordan Rodgers got a lot more interesting this episode. And he aired out some stuff I’m sure the whole Rodgers family would rather he didn’t, which is super awkward.