Welcome to this week's recap of The Bachelorette! This season of the Bachelorette is starting out slowly – I hope it picks up. I suspect a big part of the slowness at this point is that, with 15 bachelors still left, we didn't get more than a glimpse of most of the bachelors, and a couple of the bachelors were given no air time at all. And, as usual, the incident of the police being called to the bachelor house that was hyped in the previews turned out to be a ho-hum segment of a minute or so on the show.

But, I'll recap what we did see, along with lots of comments and thoughts. I've also included a spoiler section at the end of the recap, summarizing what Internet preview screen cap analyzers have figured out so far about which men are likely to make it to the end. I'm even going to go out on a limb, and include my own prediction of the final man chosen by Jen. Heck, I have nothing to lose. If it turns out my prediction is right, I can claim I'm brilliant. If I turn out to be wrong, I can blame the producers for misleading editing.

One initial note: Thank-you to the anonymous commenter for the good catch of an error in my recap of the premiere show. Mary, who Byron proposed to at the end of the last Bachelor, is of Cuban descent, not Puerto Rican. Duh—I knew that. I've fixed the error in the premiere recap. And heck, now I know that at least one person actually read my last recap—always a comfort.

Before we get to this week's show, I want to make some comments about things we happened after The Bachelorette premiere last week.

Aftermath of Bachelorette Premiere

Despite its low TV ratings, last week's Bachelorette premiere generated more than its share of Internet postings. Most controversial was the revelation that Fabrice, one of the 15 remaining bachelors, is allegedly/probably/almost certainly gay. Under most circumstances, Fabrice's sexual preference would be irrelevant, and not even really our business. But, if Fabrice is gay, what the hell is he doing on a heterosexual dating show? The whisperings that Fabrice is gay started with some secondhand information from someone (male) who said that he'd recently dated Fabrice. Other secondhand information included (among other things) a posting allegedly from Fabrice on a Chicago gay dating site. I think the only hard evidence (so to speak) that we have is a photo of Fabrice taken at a recent Chicago Gay Pride parade. Now, that in itself wouldn't say anything about Fabrice's sexual preferences. Lots of straight people in Chicago attend the annual Gay Pride parade because it's a hell of a lot of more entertaining than the city's more famous St. Patrick's Day parade, which is primarily geared toward children and politicians (assuming you can tell the difference). However, in the Gay Pride photo, Fabrice is shirtless and buffed, which suggests that he was more likely among the participants than the spectators.

We also found out that Fabrice is actually an actor (or would-be actor) who among other gigs, appeared on a French TV show where he was part of a panel of men picking out the most attractive woman on a Caribbean cruise. So, with all this evidence piling up, why is Fabrice on The Bachelorette? And, if all this Internet evidence was unearthed in a matter of days, how did Fabrice make it past the screening process? I'd like to believe that Fabrice is a "plant"—someone that Jen knows from Chicago, who is there to provide her inside info on the men. But, if that's the case, neither the producers nor Jen has given us any indication that that is the case. More likely, the producers knew full well before the show that Fabrice is gay, and included him among the bachelors to stir up controversy among the men and create some false drama. After all, previews of future shows include a scene of Fabrice standing in front of the men saying that he has something to tell him.

In any case, I was far too kind in last week's recap when I decided not to make fun of Fabrice's name. No more. From now, I'm calling him "Fabreeze" because, like the household product with the similar name that you spray on the armpits of your T-shirts to mask the smell, Fabreeze may smell nice on the outside, but he's just covering up something that isn't quite what it seems.

In comparison to Fabreeze, the other revelations were relatively minor. Internet sleuths found a photo of Jerry, the supposed "Artist/Art Gallery Director" working as a doorman at a New York jewelry store in a shot from "Real World New York." Also, according the New York Post, Jerry has dated Lori Trespicio from The Real World: 10, as well as Lisa Donahue, the winner of "Big Brother 3....Hmmm, is Jerry interested in Jen for "the right reasons" or is he just interested in getting exposure by dating reality show celebs?...Initial opinion of Internet posters about Jerry is very positive, but, personally, I don't see it. The new information about Jerry, combined with his snarky remarks to the other bachelors on last week's show, is a turnoff for me. I'll try to keep an open mind, but I didn't see anything on tonight's show to make me feel any more excited about Jerry.

As for Kentucky Chris, who (not surprisingly) was sent home by Jen last week, was quoted after the show as saying that he might have overindulged (in alcohol), but that editing made it look worse than it was. He said that everyone likes to pick on people from Kentucky "a little bit." Uh, note to Kentucky Chris: Wake up and smell the Jack Daniels on your breath. Unless the producers used a body double for your drunk scenes, you acted like such a jackass that Jen would have sent you home even if you had an accent like Colin Firth. Remember, if you didn't do or say it, the producers couldn't have shown it. And, don't forget that Eric from New York got sent home last week because he acted like a butthead when he tried to pick up Jen's best friend disguised as a waitress, and Eric was from the largest city in the U.S., and had no noticeable accent.

Other things also happened after last week's show, such as Jen doing a stint as a guest host on "The View," with Star Jones giving Jen grief that there weren't more minorities represented among the bachelors. But, I want to get onto the recap of this week's show, so log in to the Bachelorette forum on JokersUpdates.com if you want more of the scoop.

Previously on The Bachelorette and Coming Up on Tonight's Show

Tonight's show begins with the usual Chris Harrison narration of what happened on the previous Bachelorette...Nothing new here. However, just in case you missed last week's premiere, here's a short taste..."We were reacquainted with Jen Schefft, one of America's most beloved bachelorettes, who came to New York city"..."She met 25 eligible bachelors from all across the country, all competing to win her heart."..."Before the first rose ceremony began, Jen's friends offered Keith the first-impression rose."..."And at her first rose ceremony as the bachelorette, Jen handed out the rest of the roses to 14 lucky bachelors."

"Tonight the competition heats up"..."They're about to embark on a series of romantic fantasy dates. And when tensions rise at the house, things get out of control."..."And after the biggest rose ceremony cut ever, almost half of the men will be going home"...."Who will she send home empty-handed?"...Empty handed? Huh? Do the bachelors expect parting gifts?

First Group Date—Sightseeing in New York

As all the men just happen to be gathered in the living room, Chris appears from nowhere to tell them about their first group date. Chris has been allowed to change out of his black funeral outfit, but only into a plain brown crew neck sweater that is so dull it probably has been in his closet for years unworn...Chris tells the men that, from now on, the only time they'll see Jen is on the dates and at the rose ceremony. (I guess the producers learned their lesson last season when Byron moved into the mansion with the women and found himself besieged morning and night.).....Chris: This week, there'll be two group dates and a romantic one-on-one date. Now, before each date, Jen will send you a video invitation.

In the first video, Jen invites Fabrice, Jerry, Ben, Michael, Jason, Ryan from New York, and A.W. on a group sightseeing trip...Ben tells the cameras that he is a little bummed about going on a group date versus a one-on-one date. But, unlike some later men, Ben doesn't whine about going on a group date. I still like Ben...A.W. isn't quite so mature about it. He says, "I think it sucks going on a group date versus a one-on-one date. It's ridiculous. Going on a date with seven guys--it's weird."

In a voiceover, Jen tells us she has never dated more than one person at a time and is freaking out about the prospect of her first group date....Jen: What if I like all of them? What if I hate all of them? What if they don't like me? Everything about it was so scary....Josh (who isn't going on the date) greets Jen at the door without his shirt on, and Jen isn't as impressed as Josh apparently hoped she'd be...Jen: He (Josh) looked really good, but I was just like, 'Can you have just put a shirt on?'...Ryan from New York tells the camera that he hopes that the fact that he is from New York is going to set him apart from the other guys...Outside the men's house, a double-decker sightseeing bus is waiting, and Jen and the men crowd together on the upper deck. New York really does look awesome—it's a beautiful clear day. But, mostly Jen and the bachelors look awkward and cold.

The bus pulls up to a pier where a large sightseeing boat is docked...At first, Jen and all the men huddle together on the top deck to look at the New York skyline as the sun sets--the view is spectacular....Jen is still feeling awkward and trying to figure out the best way to get to know as much as she can about each of the guys before the rose ceremony.

As they sit in a group, one of the men asks Jen why she wanted to do the show again. Jen admits that, at first, she didn't want to do the show, because she wasn't sure she wanted to get herself into all the craziness that surrounds the show....Jason asks Jen what happened with Andrew...Jen answers, " I felt like I moved and gave up my job, my career, and all that and (I) just really didn't appreciate it or think that it would be hard or difficult. Then we traveled all the time. I never felt at home. We'd go back to his home. And I was just never comfortable lifestyle-wise."....Then Jen is asked, "You know what you don't want. Do you feel that you know what you do want?"...Jen seems overwhelmed by being questioned by the men as a group....Jen says to them, "This is very intense. I thought we'd build up to these things."....Then Jen answers the question with the same answer she has given before, " Someone who laughs at the same jokes that I laugh at and someone who's down to earth, somebody that gets me, someone who's ambitious but yet still has personal time for family, friends, me."

Fabreeze tells the camera, "I think that being French sets me apart and gives me an advantage. I will never be afraid to show my feelings"....Note to Fabreeze: Oh puhleeze. When are you planning to show Jen your feelings about other men?....When Jen tells Fabreeze that she's only dated American men, he tells her, "We Europeans, we're used to showing very quickly our emotions and our feelings."...After talking briefly with Fabreeze, Jen says, "I'm really excited to see Fabrice. I can't quite figure him out yet. (Note: Hmm, wonder why?) But, he cracks me up. On one hand, he's really confident and cocky. And then on the other hand, he seemed a bit insecure. So I can't wait to see what sides he comes up with today."

As we come back from commercials, we are still on the sightseeing boat, and Jen feels uncomfortable with how the date is going, and how to best get to know the guys....Jen: I just want to see if it's an easy conversation. I just want to see who can be normal and who, is gonna go over the top....Jen has some short one-on-one conversations with several of the guys...Mike (the teacher from Michigan) tells Jen: "I like to cuddle, so I'm the guy that when I go to bed at night, I've got my dog -- I'm spooning my dog".....Jason (?) tells Jen that he's a Mama's boy....Ben (?) says he could eventually see himself running for public office someday....On a question from Ryan from New York, Jen tells him that she has no problem with dating outside her race...A.W. tells Jen that he's been told he looks like Andrew Firestone...Jen replies, "Uh, no."....Outside at the top of the boat, Jerry asks Jen if this is a bad time for her to show him how to dance....Jen doesn't seem wildly enthusiastic, but replies, "Yes, we could do it for two seconds"....Jerry thanks Jen for the first dance, but she seems glad to get back inside (if only because it's warmer).

Back at the mansion, another video arrives....Stu hopes the video is for him, because he says that he has spent every second since he met Jen thinking about her....The video is for Keith, the winner of the first impression rose....In the video, Jen says to Keith, "My friends chose you for this special date. They know me well, so I know we'll have a great time. Put on your best suit and I'll see you tomorrow. Romance is in the air."....When Meredith was on The Bachelorette 2, she said that one of the things she disliked most was making the tacky videos used as invitations for dates. I suspect that Jen may feel the same way, too, after she has done a few more of them.

Keith is very excited about his upcoming date, but, predictably, the other men are less enthusiastic...Stu is very resentful that he didn't get the date....Stu: When Keith got the personal date invite tonight, I wanted it to be me. And the thoughts just start running through my head, and I just find myself wanting to spend more time with her.

Back on the boat, Fabreeze is speaking French to Jen...He then translates what he said, "Jen, your father's a thief. He took the stars in the sky to put them in your eyes."...Jen says in a voiceover: Fabrice gave me a line in French that sounded so great, and in American, it was the cheesiest line ever. I thought that was really sweet and cute and a little lame.....As Jen says good-bye to the men at the end of the date she says that the process was harder and more exhausting than she thought it would be....Jen: A lot of the men have really stood out in ways they hadn't before, but a lot of them have sort of changed in my eyes, as well.

Jen's One-on-One Date with Keith

Jen finally starts to show her more human side as she talks about her upcoming date with Keith...Jen: My friends chose Keith, the one guy that I didn't really spend any time with. I hope that we have something to talk about. What if we sit there for hours and have nothing to say to one another?....Keith also tells the camera that he is very nervous about this date....Keith and Jen get in a horse-drawn carriage....Keith talks about what he does for a living, and we find out that he is not just a welder....Keith: I've done every kind of art. Growing up, I drew a lot. I still draw a lot. I write poetry. I paint. I sculpt. You just sort of do everything.

Then the carriage pulls up to the Plaza Hotel, where dinner is waiting in an empty room, and a piano player is playing for them...Jen: I was hoping to sit down with Keith and actually have a real conversation with him. Up until this point, it's been a lot of small talk. I don't know if that's because we haven't had a lot of time together, or maybe it's because there's just not really a spark there.....They continue to talk during dinner, but conversation is still a little awkward. Personally, I think part of the reason is that I think it would be awkward to be in an empty restaurant with cameras on you, and having a piano player playing just for you. You wouldn't know whether it would be rude to talk over the music....Jen asks Keith, " What did you think of my friends? They gave you the rose."...Keith: Well, I was pumped about it. I wish you gave me a rose. But I'm excited to have this chance, this time with you now. Just the little bit of time we've spent together already, you're so much more beautiful now. The more I learn about you, it's like, 'All right, it's all coming together.'...Jen politely replies, "I'm glad that you're having a good time, because I'm having a good time, too." But, Jen's heart doesn't seem to be in it.

Back at the men's house, the last video tape arrives. It is addressed to Wendell, Matt, Ryan from California, Mark, Stu, Josh, and John Paul...In the video, Jen is wearing only a long, sleeveless New York Knicks jersey (no shorts or pants). She says,"Hi, guys. Join me in a very special garden for a game of hoops. Can't wait to see you there.".....The guys are very excited about going to a New York Knicks game...They also keep pausing the video tape to admire Jen in her Knicks jersey....Jerry puts his head next to the video image of Jen and tells the others how good the two of them look together. But, Ryan from New York kiddingly tells Jerry he looks ugly, and puts his own head next to Jen's image to show how much better he looks with Jen.

Back at the Plaza Hotel, Jen takes Keith up to a suite, where they sit on the couch and talk. Jen says in a voiceover, "It was painfully apparent to me that I wasn't being myself throughout this entire date. I'm playing the role of the bachelorette. I'm not feeling that I'm giving him a true impression of who I am....Jen admits to Keith, "I guess I'm sort of freaking out right now. I just want you to know that I'm taking this all very seriously. And I am just very nervous about everything because I want to continue to make the right decisions. I feel like we're having this great date. I guess it's so hard for me to know how to act in this situation....I'm not saying I'm not feeling you. I'm just very out of my element. And, this is supposed to be romantic, and it's supposed to be fun, and I'm just more nervous and feeling awkward than anything else."...Keith tells the camera that he was touched by Jen's admission, and says how cute and vulnerable she was, that it made Jen more beautiful...Then Keith says what I think was exactly the right thing to say. I think a lot of guys would have jumped in and said something like "Why are you being nervous? You don't need to be nervous with me."....But, Keith took her feelings seriously and replied, "What can I do to make you more comfortable? What can I do to fix it?"...Yeah, Keith!....Jen replies, "I don't know. You're sweet for asking."...Keith goes on, and I thought he might have undone his first remarks by gushing too much, but apparently he didn't...Keith: I want to do whatever I can to make you feel comfortable. And I hope you and I have another date. I want to spend more time with you. I want to know more about you. But it's a hard situation. I understand. You're beautiful, and then on top of it, your personality and everything....Keith's answer seems to have been what Jen needed. She tells the camera: Tonight has proved a couple of things to me. It's proved that I can be myself. I can be open. I can show my true colors and not worry about what the other person's going to say...There must have been some more conversation between Keith and Jen that we didn't see, because next, Keith asks Jen, "Feel better?"....Jen: I do. Thank you for talking to me. I appreciate it....Keith tells the camera that there was an emotional bond between he and Jen tonight and it feels incredible.

Second Group Date—New York Knicks Game

Jen seems less nervous about her second group date. She tells the camera, "After last night, I've really let my guard down. And I now know that that's what I have to do at all times. I just have to make sure that I'm always myself."...At the Knicks game, Jen and the guys have a box, and they sit together to cheer and watch the game.....However, Jen does take time for short one-on-one talks with several of the guys...Stu and Jen go off to talk alone, and, in a voiceover, Stu repeats many of the things we've heard before about how much he wants to get to know Jen and how much he wants a rose...Stu says some similar things to Jen, "You're the kind of person that I want to get to know. What your favorite color is. What's a good day and what's a bad day for you? But I know the kind of person you are from just meeting you for five minutes. Every second of this entire thing has literally been the most amazing experience, honestly, of my entire life, and I will remember it forever. I want to be here, and I want to know so much more about you."....During Stu's speech, Jen is polite, but she can't completely hide that she finds his comments a little overwhelming....Jen tells the camera: At this point, there's a lot of guys that kind of creep me out. They are really intense about the situation and really want to tell me how much they want to get married and how they're in it for the right reasons. I just want to get to know them, and I want them to be normal. I don't want them to be pouring it on as thick as they are.

Back at the men's house, the men are talking about the competition...Jason is asked who he sees as his biggest competition. He replies, "Josh. He's got a heart of gold. And if you don't see that now, you'll see it in the next couple rounds if he's still here."...The men try to guess who is not getting a rose, and one guess is Stu, "because of the stalker factor."....Fabreeze says about Stu, "You can't worship a woman after meeting her for 10 minutes. That's not normal. He's not a guy for her. She needs somebody who's on an equal level with her, not somebody who's, like, totally after her, like, 'She's the woman of my dreams. I've never met a woman like this one.'...One of the other men chimes in after Fabreeze's remarks, "She needs a good American guy."....By the way, like several other commenters, I think The Bachelorette promotions depicting Stu as a stalker went too far. Certainly Stu comes across as over the top in how much he adores Jen on such short acquaintance. But, I never saw anything in what Stu said or did on the show to indicate that he could be a potential stalker.

Back at the Knicks game, Matt, the firefighter from New York has taken Jen aside to talk alone with her, and he is very nervous...Jen: I was really surprised at how rattled Matt was by this whole situation. He is this big, burly fireman, and he just seemed like kind of a teddy bear tonight....Matt: It's just, uh, I'm trying, I want you to understand why I'm here and everything. I'm kind of shy. And I'm looking at you, and you're having a good time, and you're talking to everybody, and everybody's so talkative. I'm sitting here, and I'm saying, 'I'm dropping the ball here, you know?' I don't know who's going home and who's staying, but I hope that I stay. As of now, as far as physical attraction would go, I'm very attracted to you. And you seem like a very nice person....Jen reassures him, "Just have fun. Relax. It's all good."

Then Jen talks with Wendell and the conversation is more relaxed, but not particularly articulate by my standards, although Jen seems to respond positively ...Wendell: I want to have a family. I want to go up to the lake on Thursdays. I love that. I want to be in a situation where the girl I'm with is just, like, kick-ass, you know? Like, just awesome. I'm getting to know you now, and, Jen, I like you a lot. I got a crush. You know what I mean? It's a little bit strange I had to come all the way here to have that spark with someone, but I'd rather have it be here than not at all."...I wasn't that impressed, but if Jen liked the conversation, that's what's important.

After the conversation with Wendell, Jen tells the camera that she truly believes her future husband is here....Wait a minute! When did that happen?....Then she says, " I know that there are perfect guys out there. But that doesn't mean they're all perfect for me. And I don't want to mislead anyone. And I don't want to waste anyone's time."

Back at the house, the men left behind are getting a little out of control outside....One of the men (Jerry?) is outside with a megaphone shouting, "Attention, bachelors. Please return to your bedrooms."...One of the neighbors gets very angry and comes running over to the house yelling at the guys to be quiet...After some shouting between the neighbor and the bachelors, a police car pulls up with its lights flashing...Michael says to the camera: When I saw the cops at the front door, I freaked out. One minute, I've got a ham sandwich in my hand, and the next minute, I'm surrounded by cops....The police warn the bachelors that if they have to come back here, they're all getting arrested.

Soon after that, the guys at the Knicks game come back to the house, and are surprised to hear that the cops came while they were gone....Then, the guys sit on the coach and start talking about what happened that night, and arguing about which one of the men is best for Jen....Michael says in a voiceover: The tension was at an all-time high. Fabrice said, 'I do not think Josh will get a rose. It's just a gut feeling. That is all I have to say.' And, the next thing you know, Josh was relentless on Fabrice. 'Why do you think that I'm not gonna get a rose?'....Josh tells the camera, "I had heard from Jason that Fabrice had said that I was not gonna get a rose. I just think he's player-hating a little bit."...Josh says to Fabreeze: If you say something, stand behind it. Say, 'Josh, I said you weren't gonna get a rose. And this is why I think that.'. Go ahead. You cannot even begin to understand the depths of me. You can't even begin to grasp it....Josh tells the camera: I was given a warrior's heart, and I'm gonna live from that heart. She doesn't need a nice guy. That's not what she needs. She needs a lover, and she needs a warrior and someone who's gonna fight for her. Do I know if Jen's that person that I'm gonna fight for? Absolutely. My life is my legacy......Huh? What's this "warrior" business? Frankly, Jen has never struck me as a helpless girl who needs or wants to be protected. I think Josh is letting his testosterone get carried away. Since Josh is one of the "virgins" I think he'd better go for a very long run to work off some of his excess sexual, uh, I mean "warrior" energy.

The Cocktail Party

When we next see Jen, she is in the limo driving to the men's house for the cocktail party before the rose ceremony. She looks gorgeous. Her hair is up, and she is wear a very simple, strapless, long red dress...For the camera, Jen repeats the mantra of how nervous she is and how important tonight's rose ceremony will be since she is sending half of the men home....The men kid Jen that she must be bored all alone without them...Jen tells them, "I am. It's so hard to not see all of you at all times."....Jason and Jen go off for a short one-on-one conversation. Jason tells Jen that he's been "saving himself for marriage."...Jason: I think the level of intimacy needs to match with the level of commitment. And I don't want to share that deep personal intimacy until I've got somebody that's willing to commit to it....Jen gives Jason a very diplomatic response: I can't say that a lot of men do that.....But, to the camera, Jen is more blunt, "Jason threw me a curve ball tonight when he told me he was a virgin. I respect that, but it's not about whether he's had sex or not. That's fine. It just reflects on his belief system, and that might be a little bit too stringent for me."....Personally, I respect Jason for being open with Jen at this point, even knowing it might cost him the rose. I wish "Warrior" Josh had been just as open and honest.

Jen sits down with Matt the firefighter, who still looks nervous....Note: One of the things the Internet folks found this week was a picture of Matt in the 2005 New York Firefighters calendar. I wish Jen could have seen the picture. Yow! With a body that great, I would have expected more self-confidence from Matt...Matt tells Jen that as soon as he saw his ticket to the New York Knicks game, he realized he wanted Jen to sign it and to kiss it. He thought, "This way, I'll have something to always remember her by, no Matter what happens"....Jen is a little concerned by this...Jen: So do you view me as sort of, like, a celebrity?...Matt: No, no. This is an experience in my life that not too many other people can say that they experienced this...Despite Matt's answer, Jen is still a little concerned, and says in a voiceover, "Matt asked me for an autograph, which I think is sweet, but that sort of makes me question him. How does he view me? I'm not looking for a fan. I'm looking for someone to fall in love with"....With Matt and Stu in particular, I think we are starting to see one of the downsides of Jen being part of the recruiting effort for The Bachelorette. On The Bachelorette 2, even though Meredith had been on a previous bachelor, most of the bachelors hadn't seen her on the show, and didn't seem as much in awe of her as many of these men seem to be in awe of Jen.

Jen then sits down with John Paul....JP tells the camera: I really do have a feeling about Jen. There's something about that girl that just kind of touches me in a different way. I wanted to make sure that I got across the fact that I was serious about it....JP asks Jen if she knows that he is taking this seriously...Jen replies: I can't say that I know that for sure, but I wouldn't blame you at 25 for not wanting to settle down....JP assures her, giving the same speech we heard on the last show: The reason I work so hard (is) that I want to take care of my wife, and I want to take care of my kids, and I want to enjoy things with my wife when we're young. I think that kind of shows that I really take this serious....Jen says in a voiceover, "John Paul's definitely cute, and he's only 25, which blows me away, because he certainly does not act his age. He's really very mature. But I still question whether or not a 25-year-old is ready to settle down and get married"...Jen tells JP: I've got to tell you, though, so far, I'm very impressed.

Mark is the last to get a chance to sit down alone with Jen.....Mark gives Jen a guardian angel necklace, and says he wears a similar one around his neck. He tells her that there were only a couple of them made. Mark says that he buried his mother with his guardian angel, and he wears his mother's. And, now Jen has one....Mark goes on: When I said to you I'd be proud to bring you home to my mother, god willing, she was alive, I really mean that. From the heart, I really mean that. Hopefully, you'll find some solace in that. It means a lot to me.....Jen thanks Mark sincerely, but expresses some concerns to the camera, "I think it's really sweet that Mark gave me something that his mother had, but it also makes me feel really uncomfortable. That's a lot of pressure, and it's a lot to say to me and do for me so quickly and so soon."

Chris interrupts the party by clinking his glass, and asking Jen to come and join him....Jen repeats how nervous she is and how much pressure she feels going into the rose ceremony. (Think how much more the producers could show us if they didn't feel we needed everything repeated several times.)

The Rose Ceremony

When we return from commercials, the men are lined up around the perimeter of the living room, and Chris and Jen are walking up the stairs to stand to face them...Chris doesn't get to say much tonight, so I'll let you hear his few lines: Gentlemen, this is your second rose ceremony. You've now had a week to get to know Jen, get closer to her. But the fact is, she only has eight roses to hand out tonight, which means almost half of you will be going home. I wish you all the best....Jen then makes her speech: We all keep talking about why we're here and if it's for the right reasons, and my reason for being here is to find someone. And for those of you who I'm letting go, I hope that you find someone, as well, and it's been really great getting to know all of you.....As suspenseful music plays, Jen hands out the roses:

--Ryan from California
--John Paul

After a reminder from Chris that there is only one rose left:


Chris: Gentlemen, if you did not receive a rose tonight, take a moment, say goodbye....Not surprisingly, Stu is very disappointed not to get a rose.....Stu tells the camera: I'm incredibly bummed about tonight. Jen made a mistake. I thought that there was a connection between us, you know, but I was wrong....Michael is disappointed, too: I don't think Jen really got to see the real me, 'cause I think if she did, I'd probably still be there. She can keep the teddy bear. That's fine. But I think she is going to miss the teddy bear that gave her the teddy bear...Jason says: I don't know whether or not my lifestyle choices--saving myself for marriage--weighed in in any way, but that is part of who I am, and I wanted to put my cards on the table, so that if she didn't want to keep me, she had good reason not to....Matt says: I will not be going home empty-handed, because I will have that ticket with Jen's signature and Jen's lip marks. The feelings that I'm having now -- I want those feelings when I look at that ticket for the rest of my life....You know, I'm feeling bad for Matt, but I'm not still not sure whether it was Jen or getting to go to his first New York Knicks game that made this experience so memorable for him.

Jen toasts the remaining men, "Here's to all of you and thank you just so much for staying."

I can't say that I'm surprised at Jen's choices. However, I strongly suspect that it was probably the producers' choice to keep Fabreeze and Warrior Josh, to help keep tensions high among the men...And, the producers seemed to be following a different strategy this time in deciding which men to highlight on the show. On previous shows, when bachelors and bachelorettes have been sent home, we've often complained that we never saw them on the show at all. This time, the producers seemed to feature the men who were due to be sent home, figuring, I guess, that we'll see more of the remaining men in the next shows.

As a reminder, here are the eight men remaining, and the seven who were sent home this week. The eight men remaining are:

--Ben, 26, Ski Instructor, Aspen, CO
--Fabrice, 28, Real Estate Investor, Paris, France
--Jerry, 29, Art Gallery Director, Los Angeles
--John Paul, 25, Entrepreneur, Oklahoma City
--Josh, 28, Pro Marathoner, Murietta, CA
--Keith, 28, Welder, Las Encinitas, CA
--Ryan, 28, Teacher, Manhattan Beach, CA
--Wendell, 32, Entrepreneur, Chicago

The seven men sent home were:

--A.W., 27, Mortgage Consultant, Newport Beach, CA
--Jason, 29, Motivational Speaker, Fort Worth, TX
--Mark, 30, Commercial Finance, Carlsbad, CA
--Matt, 32, Firefighter, New York
--Michael, 31, Teacher, Monroe, MI
--Ryan, 34, Attorney, New York
--Stu, 27, Attorney, New York

Next week on The Bachelorette

"It's game time as the competition hits the court."...Chris: You guys will be playing 4-on-4 basketball. At stake, the next round of dates...."And with a date on the line, things get physical."...We see a lot of pushing and shoving on the basketball court...."Jen gets serious with a few of the men"..."There are eight men and only six roses. Who will she choose, and who will go home brokenhearted?"

The outtakes over the credits show some funny scenes of Michael (who has an incredible body that has been hidden behind his clothes so far) making jokes by moving various muscles. (It's hard to describe—it was pretty funny.)....For example, "I was out on my wave runner and I ran out of gas. And I'm standing there thinking to myself, 'My god. At least there's wind, 'cause I brought the 'sails.'" Then Michael puffs out his chest to represent the sails.

Comments and Predictions (Caution—Spoilers)

My comments and predictions below are at least partly based on analysis of the preview caps at the end of the premiere show, as well as other previews, which gave some clues as to the possible identities of the final four men. If you don't want to be spoiled, don't read any further.

Among the preview screencaps, we've seen a number of brief shots of what appear to be the fantasy dates. Based on the screencaps, Internet addicts seem to have pinned down the locations of three of the fantasy dates, along with the identities of the bachelors accompanying Jen on each of the dates.

Caveat: The information isn't complete and is still speculation. For example, we're guessing that there are three fantasy dates, because that is the typical formula. However, on the last Bachelor, Byron had four fantasy dates. And, the preview caps have given us far fewer clues about other dates, such as visits to the bachelors' and Jen's hometowns.

With that caveat in mind, this is what we seem to know so far about the fantasy dates:

-- Daufuskie Island Resort in South Carolina with Jerry
-- Bermuda with John Paul
-- Cape Cod with Ryan

The early favorite among Internet posters seems to be Jerry. However, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that the final guy is Ryan, the teacher from California. I can't pin down exactly why I think Ryan is "the one." It may just be that, at this point, I like him the best of the three and find him attractive. (He reminds me a little of a guy I dated a long time ago.) Also, Ryan seems intelligent, is a teacher--like Jen's mom and brother, and doesn't seem to be a publicity hound or reality show groupie.

I did find it interesting that we had almost no glimpses of Ryan on the show tonight. We've heard rumors that it was "love at first sight" for Jen, so the producers had to try extra hard to cover up her final pick. Maybe they couldn't show any shots of Ryan on tonight's show because the chemistry is so obvious. The only preview screencap that makes me doubt my pick of Ryan is one that appears to be Jen and Ryan making out on a couch, but with a small pillow between them. As you know from last season, the infamous "pillow" was my clue that Tanya and Byron perhaps weren't as close as the producers wanted us to believe. Still, there is another preview screencap of Ryan and Jen in a bathtub kissing, and there is definitely no pillow in that shot. (But, yes, you dirty-minded folks, they are wearing bathing suits.)

Good arguments could also be made that the final guy is John Paul. There are a couple of screencaps that show JP and Jen looking pretty romantic together. And, the theme we've already heard twice on the show, namely that Jen is worried that JP may be too young, is similar to the theme that Meredith repeated on Bachelor 2 to throw us off that Ian was the one, namely that she wasn't sure that Ian was ready to settle down.

Still, even though the evidence isn't conclusive, I'm going to stick with my guess of Ryan as the final guy. And, if I'm wrong, I will eat humble pie (not for the first or last time).

Until next week!