The show opens with a river shot of Minneapolis. There are eight dudes left. The guys are feeling the competition. It’s crunch time, for love.
“It’s like the room is getting smaller and smaller,” says Olu, clearly confused as to what exactly is happening with time and space.
“A child’s opinion can be very very powerful,” says Michelle in an interview. “I am giving these kids an important assignment.” Yes, let the youth get a glimpse into the romantic hellscape you have entered.
Four adorable and well-spoken fifth graders head to the hotel to grill the guys. Frosty the Dude narrates that drunk people and children are the most honest people around. Drunk people? Really?
“I’m kinda shook but at the same time these kids are her passion,” one dude says.
“We’re trying to figure out who the bad guys are and who the good guys are,” one kid explains.
The kids start scoping out the dudes, and asking them tough Qs. Frosty explains to them that he and Michelle have had many “intimate” moments. Dear god. He goes into way too much detail. One kid voiceovers that they don’t like Frosty and he wears too much cologne. We also learn that Rodney shaves his nipples. Props and no shame for owning it, Rodney. Clayton builds a pillow fort, where the kids ask him if he’s ever farted in front of Michelle. He admits that he probably has.
“Nayte is tall and will be easy to play basketball with,” one kid concludes.
The children leave the dudes with a note. It explains that they have designed all the dates this week. Hell, yes.
Minnesota Factor: We’re in Minneapolis, but there’s not a lot of local to spot here since it’s all shot in a hotel. 1 / 10,000 lakes
Clayton gets the Bachelor edit
Single-date time! It’s the football dude, Clayton, the winner of last week’s Vikings challenge. He and Michelle get into a limo to find pizza, Twizzlers, and gummi bears in champagne flutes. Classy! The children are coming through.
They talk in the limo, and the camera lingers weirdly on a zoomed in close up of Clayton’s hand on Michelle butt.
The date is at the Bell Museum! Yes! Great choice, honestly. There’s a shot of the woolly mammoth, our favorite majestic buddy.
The show runners have planted paper butterflies throughout the museum with questions Clayton and Michelle are supposed to answer. One asks them about their favorite holiday. Both love Thanksgiving. Another asks what superpower they want. Clayton wants to fly. Michelle wants to heal people.
They enter the planetarium. The kids narrate the sky for them via a pre-recorded track. It’s kinda cute, it’s kinda scripted. “Saturn has rings, like the one a boyfriend will give you soon.” Eye roll.
“This could be something I can get used to for the rest of my life,” says Clayton of his first date.
They “dine” outside in the garden. He says nice things and they have a nice conversation, but Michelle sends him home. Rough, man, but next week is family dates. Meaning, half the dudes have to go this week.
“Michelle opened me up, and now I’m going back into that shell to protect myself from being hurt,” says Clayton in a limo interview. He’s saying what every person says or thinks when they get dumped by someone they really like.
They take him back to the hotel where he reads two letters from two of Michelle’s students. It ends with him bawling. He tells the camera that this has made him realize how much he wants love and kids. Dude is totally getting the next Bachelor edit.
Minnesota Factor: The Bell Museum! Our Mammoth buddy! 8,000 / 10,000 lakes
Time for a teet!
It’s time for the final group date! They’re on a dairy farm, and Michelle is going to have them milk a cow, competitively.
“We’re going to get our hands dirty, Minneota-style,” says Michelle.
Rodney admits that he’s more of an almond milk or oat milk guy. “Oh, that’s unnatural!” he exclaims while watching a few guys start milking.
Minnesota Joe really shines during this challenge.
“Clearly Joe knows how to handle teets,” says Michelle in a line she clearly said spontaneously of her own volition.
Next they make some butter.
“Churning butter is a lot like relationships,” says Michelle. “You have to put in work and time, and in the end you get something beautiful: butter.”
I’m pretty sure that next the guys made butter sculptures. At least, there are pics of this on ABC’s media site. That segment was probably cut for time, but I’m bummed! Butter sculpture making could have been kinda hilarious. Instead, we get to watch the guys shovel poop. Michelle says something about shoveling baby poop. They end the farm part of the date with a hayride.
Back at the hotel, they have the cocktail hour.
Frosty the Dude tells the guys that he thinks Michelle is immature for not being over childhood insecurities. I don’t know about that, Frosty. High school fucks a lot of people up.
Olu takes the bait and lets Michelle know that Frosty called Michelle immature. Michelle pulls Frosty to the side, and he denies it. He talks over her. He’s kind of a dick. “My red flags are up. My walls are up,” Michelle admits. Flags and walls, man. She walks him out so he can journey elsewhere.
“I’m not upset that I am going home, I’m upset that she handled it that way,” he brats. “At this point, I wouldn’t even care to give her a shot. A woman like that doesn’t even deserve my time.” Whatever, dude. But he is my vote for the next Bachelor. Imagine how amazing the trainwreck would be!
“I still feel like my soulmate is in this group of men,” Michelle voiceovers from somewhere.
Minnesota Factor: It’s… a Minnesota dairy farm, but there’s not a lot of local stuff to spot here. 1,000 / 10,000 lakes
Hot tub awkward time machine
Next is Michelle’s single date with Brandon. They stop by Nelson’s ice cream truck in Stillwater.
They drive to her parents’ home. She tells him this is where she grew up. “This is like, your house?” he asks. After she confirms, they make out in the car. She explains that her parents aren’t here.
They wander through her empty house. He looks at pictures of her from high school. They make out again in her bedroom, then they hop in the hot tub. They make out in the hot tub. Then her parents come home and interrupt them. Totally not planned!
“I just hope they accept me for me, because I just want to spend the rest of my days with their daughter,” narrates Brandon, who has known Michelle for about five weeks and is on his first date with her.
He asks Michelle to let him talk to her parents alone, and he asks them for their blessing when he proposes. They kinda half-answer that that is up to Michelle.
Brandon voiceovers that he wants to share his “core” with Michelle. No Brandon! Abs are important for day-to-day living! You need them.
Time to pretend to have dinner! I think they are somewhere inside of the Mill City building? Let me know in the comments if you know for sure where they are.
Brandon gives her a bracelet that apparently is a signal to his family that he actually likes Michelle and is not a hostage on a reality dating show. She accepts the bracelet, and tells him that that is one of the nicest gifts anyone has ever given her.
They end the date kind of slow-dancing on the grass near the Stone Arch Bridge.
Minnesota Factor: Local ice cream and a suburban hot tub. That’s Minnesota. 5,000 / 10,000 lakes
Elimination of love ceremony!
Michelle doesn’t want free cocktails. She has the two hosts tell the guys that she won’t be meeting with the dudes. It’s straight to the rose ceremony.
Brandan and Nayte have already made it in. Minnesota Joe and Rodney get the other two roses. That means Olu and the guy who spent the first episode with his head on a table are out.
Olu thanks her for the journey and helping him grow up as a man.
“It hurts, but it’s part of life and I gotta accept this fact,” says Olu. Damn, that is a very grown up outlook. Stay classy, Olu.
“I haven’t met many people like Michelle in my life,” says head on a platter guy.
Next week: Michelle is heading to the last four guys’ hometowns for what are usually the most awkward-as-fuck dates of the season. And, at least one of them will be in Minnesota, thanks to Minnesota Joe making it through. Go Joe!