Grantland Reality TV Fantasy League: Y.O.P.O.


Even with two love triangles, a talking turtle, and a vandy handy, Bachelor in Paradise felt a little flat this week. But fear not! I ventured off BiP’s coitus coast on the glorious Ohana yacht with the Below Deck crew, then settled in Beverly Hills to marvel at the most promising young reality TV talent since Stassi from Vanderpump Rules. Also, seriously, where the fuck is Stassi? If she isn’t on my TV yelling at someone in the next three months, I’m going to lose faith in the capitalistic, democratic foundation of this great nation. We’re clearly not allocating our resources properly if Stassi isn’t starring on a reality show.

But for now, let’s focus on the people who are yelling at each other on our TVs, starting with the most interesting part of BiP this week: the vandy handy.

Jesse, Lucy, and “The Vandy Handy” (Bachelor in Paradise): 57 points

Sarah opened this week’s episode with a simple, yet extremely accurate assessment of Jesse’s motivations for being on this show: “I think Jesse is here for free booze and to hook up with chicks; good luck with that.” Christy also shared her own assessment of Jesse’s goals: “The fact that Jesse gave me a rose last week makes me think that he really is here to find a girlfriend. He has all the qualities that any girl would be so lucky to have in a future boyfriend. He is such a good guy.” This might shock you, but Christy was wrong.

When Jesse first showed up on BiP’s secluded beach/prison, he went on a date with Lucy and got sexual; later, he ended his evening with Christy, and got sexual. After test-driving his options, he gave Christy his rose, which led her to believe he was “here to find a girlfriend” and “such a good guy.” Enter Carlos Boozer’s former fling, Michelle Money:





THE VANDY HANDY! Christy was all mad after learning that Jesse had given her a rose shortly after being on the receiving end of THE VANDY HANDY, so she went to confront him. She dressed for the occasion in a beautiful, patterned wrap jumper-thing; Jesse dressed for the confrontation like a drunken Popeye stumbling home at 8:30 a.m.:


Christy told Jesse he wasn’t getting her rose, and he was all, “Cool, who cares? I’m outta here,” and then left. Christy told Lacy and Michelle Money what had happened, and they felt Jesse had gotten off too easy, so they decided on behalf of women everywhere who’ve been mistreated to make him face the music. And then they did this:


After YOPOing, they rolled up on Jesse’s car as it was about to pull off, told him he was a jerk, told him THEY KNEW ABOUT THE VANDY HANDY, and told him they knew how he’d been running his mouth all over the secluded beach/prison:


Here’s the problem: Trying to guilt Jesse into adjusting his morals is like trying to get the ocean to sit still. His argument basically boiled down to this: “You’re mad at me for what? Hooking up with two women? THE SHOW IS CALLED BACHELOR IN PARADISE.” After they’d said their piece and felt that they’d properly shamed Jesse, they returned to their hut at the secluded beach/prison and did what they do best:


Jesse brushed the whole episode off with this: “I guarantee that when I get home, I’m going to have, I don’t know, whatever, 16 emails with names and numbers and email addresses and invitations to parties and invitations to festivals.” Emails with names? AND email addresses? Crazy. Then Jesse did what he does best:


I’m going to miss this show when it ends.

EJ (Rich Kids of Beverly Hills): ALL THE POINTS

Prepare for EJ to be the next Oprah. Watching him on this silly E! concoction is like watching Ray Lewis play Pop Warner football. EJ shouldn’t be sharing the screen with this cast. If you don’t watch Rich Kids, here’s what you need to know: It makes Bachelor in Paradise look like Meet the Press. The cast members use the word “hashtag” in every other sentence, flaunt their wealth like comic-book villains, and bumble their way through the inauthentic story lines the producers have mapped out. If not for Future Oprah EJ Johnson, this would be a show to watch once and drop. But the guy is born for TV, and he’s one of those people you just know will be on the screen in your living room for decades. I mean, look at this glorious man:


EJ was first introduced last season as a sort of second-string cast member who would pop up every other episode and steal scenes. Course-correcting, this season the producers have injected him into every story line and seemingly every scene, and the dude even sits next to everyone during their interviews. He deserves it, too. He’s smart but not condescending, witty but good-natured, bitchy but caring, over the top but not too … oh, wait, he IS too over the top, but he’s actually SO over the top that there’s backlash to the initial backlash, and he ends up being charming as fuck. You want to be EJ’s friend, you want to be able to text him about your love life, you want him to put funny emoticons under your IG pictures. You just want to spend time with him. Remember where you read this first, because he will get his own show, it will be a hit, everyone will watch it. Everyone will love him, and EJ Johnson will be a TV mainstay for decades to come. It’s happening. Even his father agrees with me:

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Oh, did I mention his father is MAGIC FUCKING JOHNSON? Oprah, just pass the torch gracefully now, before EJ takes it by force.

Talking Turtle (Bachelor in Paradise): 100 points

After Christy was done with Jesse, she was down about her chances of finding love on the secluded beach/prison, declaring: “At this point I want to leave, I want to go home, because there is no one here for me. But, I will leave that in God’s hands.” It was at that moment that a turtle swam by and whispered, “Tasos.” For real, here is the talking turtle:


Tasos arrived with a date card, which he used to take Christy on THE BEST FUCKING DATE:


Inner tubing is not a big enough part of my life. I’ve never inner tubed. I wish I could commute like this. Look at Tasos. Look at how happy he is. Just floating down the river all chill next to a beautiful woman; it’s the perfect afternoon. I have to go now, I’m going to investigate the best inner tubing spots in the world and start booking vacations.

Dean Slover (Below Deck): one million points

The best part of the sneaky excellent show Below Deck is the “upstairs/downstairs” tension between the nouveaux riches charter guests and the catty service staff. There’s the usual smile in your face and then talk shit about you in the interview afterward stuff, and that tension shines through most forcefully when the captain, chef Ben, and chief stewardess Kate review the upcoming charter guests’ preferences document. Usually, they just make fun of people for wanting gluten-free pizza or kale juice or Brazil nuts or whatever. This episode, however, they appreciated the primary charter guest’s (read: the guy paying for it) attention to detail and strict instructions. While they were singing his praises, I paused the show and noticed something amazing about his preferences:


When I looked at item no. 1, everything seemed to make sense: The guy wants some grabby breakfast snacks out in the morning, and says that people will request made-to-order stuff if they want it. Cool. Then I read item no. 2:

Espresso – when I order an espresso I always mean an espresso martini. I like them at breakfast. Martini recipe: 2 shots espresso, .75oz of Absolut vanilla vodka, .5oz of Godiva white chocolate liqueur, .75oz of baileys, Shake and strain ingredients into chilled martini glass.

This week’s Top Five is My Top Five Favorite Things About Dean Slover’s Morning Martini Request, listed from “Oh, that’s kind of cool” to “Oh my god, I am immediately Googling Dean Slover, getting his address, knocking on his door, and shaking his hand.”

5. “Shake and strain ingredients into chilled martini glass”: Does the martini glass really have to be chilled, Dean? You think they have room for glasses in the freezer on a fucking boat? Or do you want them to do that thing where they put ice water in the glass for 10 seconds and pretend that chills it? Either way, this is ridiculous and I love it.

4. “I like them at breakfast”: Dean doesn’t like one drink that contains three shots of booze and two shots of espresso; he likes MULTIPLE drinks that contain three shots of booze and two shots of espresso. In the morning. Basically, he likes to be too drunk to stand up, but too wired to pass out by noon.

3. Everyone’s preferences are HIS preferences: EVERY other page of the document reads “Please see Dean Slover’s Preferences,” as if the other guests aren’t real people with the ability to think or speak:


2. “I always mean an espresso martini”: If Dean asked for an “espresso martini,” his companions would know he was ordering a cocktail at 9 a.m. This request creates a code. While Dean and his guests are sitting around the breakfast table, he can calmly ask for an “espresso,” judgment-free. I’m starting to really like Dean Slover’s style.

1. Watching him drink one espresso martini and knowing he’s getting stealth morning slammered: I see you, Deano. I know what you’re up to. Only I and all the other people crazy enough to pause the show and read the fine print know this isn’t an iced latte. This is slammer juice:


Cheers to you, Deano! You hold it together remarkably well for a man who starts every day with a couple of glasses of slammer juice.

Look forward to next week, when we’ll get more Dean, more Future Oprah, and the Bachelor in Paradise finale. Until then, enjoy the weekend.

Filed Under: Reality TV, TV, Recaps, Grantland Reality TV Fantasy League, GRTFL, Bachelor in Paradise, Below Deck, Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, EJ Johnson, The Decline of American Civilization, David Jacoby

David Jacoby is an ESPN producer who somehow became a writer and editor for Grantland.

Archive @ djacoby

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