It’s always great when I get to walk into the mansion and let the guys know that it’s time to pack their bags and hit the road. It’s also fun to see how excited they are when they learn where we’re headed. Our first stop on this trip around the world with Des is Atlantic City, New Jersey. We stayed at the beautiful new Revel hotel.
Brad got the first date this week and it didn’t exactly go well. You could quickly see that he and Des had no connection. Des is big on chemistry, and unfortunately they had none. When you add to all this the fact that he’s a caring dad, Des really felt compelled to let him go as soon as she knew there wasn’t anything serious between them. The only sad part was how many stairs Des made him climb to get to the top of that lighthouse just so she could dump him. In all seriousness, it was obviously the right thing to do, because at this point there are guys here that she does see a possible future with.
The group date this week was near and dear to my heart. The last time I was in Atlantic City was back in 2004 when I hosted the Miss America pageant for the first time. I’m extremely excited the pageant is coming back to where it all began when it airs on Sept. 15 on ABC — and I’ll be hosting again, now for the fifth time. I loved that the reigning Miss America, Mallory Hagen, was able to join us and help out with our first ever The Bachelorette‘s Mr. America pageant. Mallory has been a great ambassador for Miss America and she shared her personality and wicked sense of humor with everybody. I always enjoy when we get to do public dates, but to actually get to host an event like this for a live audience in an Atlantic City showroom was awesome. We had a packed house and the crowd was great.
As for the actual competition, well, let’s just say there are things that will never be erased from my brain. Chris walking out in high heels with hula-hoops around his arms was just one of many bad images. And don’t even get me started on the bathing suit competition. I have to admit I was a little surprised Kasey won the crown. I thought Zak W. might have won with his song; it played well with the crowd and it seemed to impress Des. At the after-party Ben continued to draw Des in while he manages to push the guys further away. Zak W. pulled the guitar out again, which is sometimes a sketchy move, but it worked and he got the rose.
James got the final one-on-one date this week. No, I’m not going to even get into the shots of him eating strawberries while in the bath. Like most of high school, let’s just pretend it didn’t happen and move on. This was easily one of my favorite dates this season. I was so happy that while in New Jersey we were able to shed some light on the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. I’m even more proud of the fact that we promote an organization like the Red Cross that does so much for victims of devastating events like Sandy or the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma. I hope all of you will take a minute and go to www.redcross.org/thebachelorette to find out how you can help rebuild the Jersey Shore and Moore, Oklahoma.
It was very cool that not only did we show the destruction, but we also introduced you to an amazing couple, Jan and Manny. Des and James gave them their date and it was beautiful to see how grateful they were for this night. I went over to the Foundation Room at the House of Blues before the date and our art department was so happy to be setting up for a regular couple that would get such a treat out of a fancy night out. There is so much love between these two, and the book of restored pictures from the Red Cross was just priceless. I was also lucky enough to spend some time with the talented Darius Rucker that night. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know Darius over the last few years and I can tell you as talented as he is, it doesn’t compare to what a generous, great guy he is. Manny and Jan’s date was such an emotional date, you almost forget about Des and James — but they had an interesting night, too. I’m curious to know what all of you thought about James admitting to Des that he cheated on his college girlfriend. Do you think honesty was really the best policy here? I know Des ended up giving him the rose, but do you think she’ll ever forget what he told her? It will be interesting to see how that affects their relationship in the weeks to come.
The cocktail party and rose ceremony were held in suites at the Revel Hotel. The view from the rose ceremony was stunning as you could see the entire Atlantic City boardwalk. Zack K. was sent home this week and you know what that means? There’s only one Zak now, so Zak W. can officially drop the W and just be good ol’ Zak. As you saw, Atlantic City was just a jumping off point as we now head over to Europe and Munich, Germany. We’ve talked for years about going to Germany and I’m glad we finally did. It’s a beautiful and historic city — but it turns out it’s also a very dramatic place to visit, too. Or maybe these guys just made it that way. Ben will continue to stir things up, but James is really the one who will step into the crosshairs next week with some ill-advised words. These guys are really falling for Des and are very protective of her, and this is going to lead to some explosive confrontations. We’ll see you next week in Munich, and in the meantime you can always reach me via Twitter and Instagram @chrisbharrison.
More Bachelorette on EW:
Bachelorette recap: Jersey Boys
Plus check out Desiree’s blog on people.com