The Bachelorette Ep. 2: JoJo Fletcher Lands A Firefighter, Experiences The Chad

Since JoJo Fletcher had the temerity (or is it the decency?) to give Santa Claus (I refuse to call this bachelor by his real name!) a rose on the first episode of The Bachelorette, it’s safe to assume this season is bound to go sideways sooner than later. But who knew the insanity would start to  boil as early as episode two?

THE BACHELORETTE - Twenty anxious men look to get their love story with JoJo off to a good start. The the first group date give ten lucky bachelors a chance to see sparks fly when they head for a firefighting training facility, where one of the guys might need saving himself. JoJo and Derek get to pick their own adventure, and they choose a romantic picnic by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Six bachelors get a dream date to ESPN's popular "SportsNation" with hosts Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley. They are sure they will be able to help JoJo find a perfect match, but Chad seems determined to "shock and awe" all the way up to the rose ceremony, on "The Bachelorette," (ABC/Rick Rowell) JAMES F., ROBBY, JOJO FLETCHER, LUKE
THE BACHELORETTE –  (ABC/Rick Rowell)

The worst way to bond with dudes honor goes to Chad for this horrible morning toast: “To a beautiful girl, a beautiful life, f**k you guys I’m gonna make her my wife.” Truth be told, I’d love to see a show that solely pits an outnumbered Chad against his fellow bachelors (Tentative Show title: The D-Bag, The Dudes, And The Uglies!), but let’s push forth with The Bachelorette…

A burning limo in front of the mansion is followed by JoJo in a fire truck, holding a water house and putting out the limo fire. After spraying down the car in front of her adoring bachelors, JoJo asks “Are you guys ready for a hot date?” Ten of Jojo’s chosen dudes accompany her on the fire truck for the much anticipated group date. Chad compares the first batch of bachelors as the “B team.” He continues his insults by quickly adding that, during his auto dealer days (he’s currently a luxury real estate agent), he’d have customers look at the “worst” cars before having them check out the best ones on the lot. As far as all-time heels in the Bachelor/Bachelorette universe goes, will Chad be an even more manipulative bad boy than Bentley, and will JoJo’s heart get broken just like Ashley’s? After witnessing Chad do pull-ups at the house with a suitcase as his pair of weights, the guys agree he’s the “meathead” of the house.

During the firemen competition, where the guys have to perform various tasks (pulling a hose, using an axe to chop wood), Wells (who slightly resembles “The Expanse” and “Magic City” actor Steven Strait) succumbed to the heat and had pretty much most of the color drained out of his face. Thankfully, his dizzy spell didn’t stop him from throwing a cute line at JoJo (“this is all just a ploy to have you talk to me”).

Luke, Grant, and Wells are the three men picked to save JoJo atop a tower by going through the drills they practiced, and Grant, who’s a real-life firefighter, won the competition (Luke came in second and look totally pissed (“My time with JoJo completely went up in flames,” he reflected).

THE BACHELORETTE - (ABC/Rick Rowell) GRANT, JOJO FLETCHER
THE BACHELORETTE – (ABC/Rick Rowell)
GRANT, JOJO FLETCHER

Grant’s extra time with JoJo enables him to talk about his job, and credit goes to him for telling her that whenever he steps out that door, there’s a chance he’s not coming back. “It’s that selfless attitude that I find really attractive,” says JoJo, whose kiss with Grant, along with being tender, shows a mutual chemistry.

Wells, with a megawatt smile and self-deprecating humor, is definitely a good communicator (he’s a radio DJ). That being said, showing the possible girl of your dreams a picture of your bloodhound (that’s not a euphemism) is a bit too chummy for a potentially romantic evening.

After briefly discussing his life in the military and a past relationship that ended in 2013, Luke takes JoJo to the balcony (I believe it’s Level in Downtown Los Angeles) and the two share an intimate kiss. Luke seems to be in this “competition” for the right reasons, and his frustration at watching Wells get the rose proved was palpable. Choosing Wells was the right move for JoJo, as she didn’t play her hand on which bachelor she was leaning towards, and Wells looks more like a BFF than a romantic interest.

Derek, a 29-year-old commercial banker from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has an easygoing and unassuming charm about him, so it’s a no-brainer that he’ll get a rose by the end of his first date.  

After a series of choices (Sea vs. Sky, North Vs. South, Lombard St. vs. Golden Gate Bridge), the two share a glass of wine overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. “When JoJo and I lock eyes, there are fireworks, and that doesn’t happen with everybody,” says Derek. 

Back at the house, a bunch of the guys are practicing an annoying song they’re going to sing for JoJo while Chad and Daniel (aka the drunk guy almost bared it all last week) have a bonding session away from the fray, as Chad explains why nice guys are really the ones women should be wary of. Chad then adds he’d be more alluring and potent than a protein shake that blended all the guys together. One disgusting thought came to mind, and since Chad did a horrible job explaining his protein shake reference, that nightmarish image is embedded in my memory. Thanks bro!! 

THE BACHELORETTE -(ABC/Craig Sjodin) DEREK
THE BACHELORETTE -(ABC/Craig Sjodin)
DEREK

Derek and JoJo’s dinner date was back at the Bunker Hill section of Los Angeles, a part of Downtown Los Angeles I called home for almost 10 years. Their intimate dinner  took place at the John Ferraro Building (aka the DWP building), one of the city’s most beautiful structures (it was prominently featured in director Christopher Nolan’s film Inception). Huge credit goes to Derek for admitting that a past relationship that went sour led to his hesitation of really opening up. Obviously, it’s a feeling that JoJo has experienced and their bond deepened from that exchange. With early season favorites Jordan and Luke my personal choice to take it all the way, Derek is a guy who I wrote off from the get go, believing the chemistry just wasn’t there. I suppose I’m wrong (fyi I don’t read Reality Steve because I’m not into spoilers!), but hey, it’s a long season!! But thanks to their Bunker Hill date, I’m pulling for Derek to go far or at least be up in the running as the next “Bachelor” (fyi Bunker Hill makes for a totally romantic stroll in the evening!). 

Several guys, including Jordan, Alex (the Marine),and Chad, step into the Sportsnation studio to meet Max and Marcellus. The co-hosts have the guys perform two games to impress Jojo (“Strike A Rose” has them attempting a victory dance of their creation and “Eye on the Prize” has them twirling around with a bat in their hand and immediately proposing to JoJo). While the other men are on their knees offering their dizzy induced proposals to Jojo (Christian starts off with the syrupy “My love, my queen”), Chad goes an entirely different direction by saying “You’re starting off a little naggy here.”  

THE BACHELORETTE - " (ABC/Rick Rowell) CHAD, JOJO FLETCHER
THE BACHELORETTE – ” (ABC/Rick Rowell)
CHAD, JOJO FLETCHER

The final task of the day has the guys under fire with a series of questions from Max and Marcellus. “I want her to be loyal, I want her to be spontaneous, strong and independent” says Jordan. Chad doubles down on his “naggy” approach by telling JoJo he doesn’t know what he loves about her yet. “I know you’re beautiful and you’re ready for a relationship,” said Chad who, though he’s this year’s a**hole, actually does have a point. “And I’m happy about that.”

And then…he triples down on that and calls the guys out for falling immediately falling head over heels for JoJo, adding that he doesn’t think any of them are in it for the right reasons! By not sucking up to the Bachelorette and bravely turning the tables on the competition, Chad may have won JoJo over with his uncomfortably candid, Alpha Male behavior.

THE BACHELORETTE - (ABC/Rick Rowell) JOJO FLETCHER, MAX KELLERMAN, MARCELLUS WILEY
THE BACHELORETTE – (ABC/Rick Rowell)
JOJO FLETCHER, MAX KELLERMAN, MARCELLUS WILEY

Max and Marcellus’ “BachelorNation” rankings had James T. ranking #1, Chad coming in at #2, and Alex clocking in at #3.

James Taylor has zero shot of getting the final rose from JoJo, but I’m also hoping this Texas singer-songwriter goes deep into the competition. Reading out his feelings in front of her may be way too sappy an undertaking for the average guy, but since it definitely came from the heart, James’ oversharing drew a tear from JoJo’s eye. “I want something real, and I really think that something is you” is a line I wish I made up, and props to James T. for writing those words. Their exchange ends with a kiss. 

THE BACHELORETTE - (ABC/Craig Sjodin) JAMES T.
THE BACHELORETTE – (ABC/Craig Sjodin)
JAMES T.

Biggest surprise of the episode came from Chad, who told JoJo that his mom had recently passed away. “My mom was my best friend, but you can’t dwell on it you know,” said Chad, who is taking care of his mother’s Maltese Yorkie. Their kiss over a wishing well was, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, the most passionate smooch of the episode.  

James Taylor is genuinely thrilled when he gets the rose from JoJo, and since he and Wells are two of the most amiable dudes in the mix, both were solid tactical choices for Jojo (so she can figure out how frontrunners Luke, Jordan, and Chad handle the pressure).

Chad’s decision to grab JoJo for a few minutes before she enters the house for the evening’s rose ceremony rubs the guys the wrong way, and Alex leads the charge in criticizing his actions.

Chase’s lack of any date with JoJo didn’t leave him sulking at the house, and instead he used that quality time to prepare fake snow and give her a quick peak into what he’s all about (he loves to ski and snowboard and is from Colorado).

Whatever goodwill was generated from Chad’s personal confession to JoJo evaporated by the end of the evening, as his aggressive behavior towards Alex (in a confrontation that could have lead to fisticuffs!) proves that he’s a ticking time bomb who could completely ruin JoJo’s romantic mojo.

To further ramp up The Bachelorette’s dramatic tension, Chad gets the final rose, much to the disappointment of his colleagues. We’re just two episodes in, and Chad is this season’s “bad guy” who has captured JoJo’s attention with his no-holds barred honesty. When she finds out the true chinks behind his armor, will it be too late? My bet is on JoJo toughing things out and eventually finding her man, and my current pick (though he wasn’t prominently featured in this episode) is former quarterback Jordan Rodgers.

So which guy should JoJo end up with and does it line up with your own predictions for who she’ll pick? Did you enjoy’s Christian’s romantic bubble bath with a surprised JoJo during the end credits? Are you loving this season? Feel free to comment below!!

THE BACHELORETTE - (ABC/Craig Sjodin)
THE BACHELORETTE – (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Is love better the second time around? For some entertaining insight, check out her interview with Live With Kelly (which features some good questions from Kelly Ripa and guest co-host Fred Savage) below!!

The Bachelorette airs Monday nights on ABC.

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