We've reached a relatively non-dramatic phase of the season on The Bachelorette, as least as it relates to who might be going home each week. It would be a big surprise if Roberto, Frank, Kirk, and Chris L. are not Ali Fedotowsky's final four, so the order that the also-rans are eliminated doesn't make much difference.
And the truly sad thing is that we're now running out of people that are fun to see humiliated. Ali is taking this process much too seriously.
The last nine bachelors met Ali this week in Iceland, which freaked everyone out with its remoteness and, er, iciness. The men received the news that they would be competing against each other for the solo date this week, but it was frightening to discover that their task was to write a romantic poem for Ali -- one that would ideally incorporate some Icelandic words. What, most of these guys can't even express themselves well in their native tongue, and we're asking them to write poetry in a foreign language now?
Several guys knew they were terrible but at least tried to have some fun with the assignment. Two of them, Chris N. and Kasey, were awkwardly serious. Kasey's usual enunciation issues weren't helped at all by the fact that he was standing in the cold and reciting some of his poem in Icelandic, but at least he didn't say "guard and protect your heart" this one time. That left the two real contenders, from Kirk and from aspiring writer Frank. Not surprisingly, Ali resolved the tie in favor of Kirk because she had yet to see him on a solo date, leaving Frank to act all weird and possessive again.
Kasey and Justin found out that their rivalry would end, one way or the other, on a two-on-one date with Ali, where one would get the rose and the other would be left to the mercy of the descendants of the Vikings. Weird as Kasey is, the other guys seemed to regard the Rated R situation as the more pressing concern, and were openly pulling for Kasey to somehow hold it together long enough to get Justin eliminated. You know, get rid of the wrestler first, THEN mention that you lost your mind and got a tattoo in Ali's honor.
After the Barenaked Ladies and The Lion King, this week's group date was more prosaic: a pony ride across a glacier; a cave that was just there to look scary (no bats or skeletons or anything); and the real highlight, a naturally heated lake that seriously looked like one of the most gorgeous places on earth. Ali had worn a bikini under her coat for just this occasion, and everyone stripped down to soak, drink champagne, and slip away for some liplock time with the bachelorette. The big beneficiary of this date was Ty, who was able to use his country-boy ways to look authoritative around the possum-sized horses, and this impressed Ali enough that he got the night's rose.
Justin prepared for the two-on-one by getting his cast removed, which was fortunate since it's not easy to stroll on a glacier while carrying crutches. He, Ali, and Kasey hovered in a chopper in the vicinity of a sparking volcano (the same one that would soon erupt for real and keep all of Europe's air traffic grounded for several days) before landing on the nearby glacier.
Kasey told Ali that he had carefully thought over everything she had said to him on their Manhattan solo date, realized she still didn't think he was being totally sincere, and had decided to get a tattoo of a rose and a shield on his wrist in response. Ali could do nothing but sit there agape and go "What! When?" before managing to put her shock aside and joke about how Kasey's mom was going to kill him now. But with any doubts about Kasey's sanity now vanished, the winner of the date was an easy call for Ali, though that didn't mean she wasn't a little sorry about having to leave him on the side of a glacier while she and Justin flew back to civilization.
Since Ty and Justin had already received roses, the only drama in the rose ceremony was whether churchmouse Chris N. could somehow win Ali's favor in place of the glib lawyer Craig. It was not to be. Craig had made Ali laugh by unveiling a gag tattoo of his own, while Chris proved to America that he was kept out of the first four episodes because he has literally nothing to say. Practically begged by Ali to tell her something interesting about himself, he revealed that his guilty pleasure is ... Mexican food. Even after being given the bad news, Chris seemed unable to conjure up the expected emotional reaction. "I'm at a loss for words, I'm shattered ... it's the worst pain that anybody can experience," he droned with all the anguish of a man reading the ingredients off a cereal box.
Next week, the final seven and Ali travel to Istanbul, where we're going to find out that someone really is not "there for the right reasons" after all.