Grantland Reality TV Fantasy League: I (Really Don’t) Love Lamp


HUGE week for reality TV: Andi Dorfman of House Juan Pablo’s Season, Queen of the Scorned, Khaleesi of Greater Atlanta Courtrooms, Bringer of the JuanPablocalypse, and Mother of Roses arrived with an onslaught of ridiculous human beings in tow; Survivor came to the most predictable conclusion possible but still managed to trick me; and The Challenge contestants proved they think Australians speak Dutch, Muhammad Ali’s real name is Mahatma Gandhi, and Canada is the largest country in the world. There’s so much to cover. Let’s start with Andi Dorfman of House Juan Pablo’s Season, Queen of the Scorned, Khaleesi of Greater Atlanta Courtrooms, Bringer of the JuanPablocalypse, and Mother of Roses and her suitors.

The Idiots on The Bachelorette (The Bachelorette), 0 points

Every season these assholes try to make an impression with a silly prop, or some rehearsed joke, or a suit, or armor, or a golf cart or whatever, but no matter what they do, it always comes off like a cheesy pickup line. The lesson here is that whether you’re at a bar or the grocery store or on a wildly popular network television show, the best approach is simply to walk up, smile, introduce yourself, and see where it goes from there. There’s no need to bring a lamp you stole from a hotel as an offering.

As always, here’s my unjustly judgmental, super insulting, detailed breakdown of all the awkward first impressions, in chronological order:

Marcus: All episode, Andi kept talking about how “hot” this guy is. I don’t see it:


Am I wrong? Am I missing something? Am I losing my hot-dar?

Chris: Dating a farmer is like taking a job in Las Vegas: It seems great on paper, but after three months you’ll be tired of being up at five in the morning and surrounded by animals.

JJ: Being super-tall exaggerates personalities. If you’re a badass, neck tattoo type of dude, then being a tall, badass, neck tattoo type of dude only emphasizes that badassness. If you’re a dorky, aw-shucks type of dude like JJ, then being a tall, dorky, aw-shucks type of dude only emphasizes that aw-shucksocity. For some reason, though, it isn’t a bad look on JJ. The bow tie is, though.

Marquel: Something about Marquel makes him different from the other Bachelors:


Before her one-on-one time with Marquel, Andi said: “Maybe my type is going to change.” Afterward, she said: “He had some swag to him.” I can’t imagine why she chose that word.

Tasos: Oh, my, consecutive minorities! Of course, later in the episode, Andi said: “He (Tasos) is very handsome, but he’s very different than what I’m used to dating.” (Read: HE’S. NOT. WHITE.)

Cody: I’ve seen this before. It’s elusive, mythical, rumored but rarely seen. It’s a condition I can only describe as the Intentional Blazer Collar Pop:


Capturing an actual IBCP on camera in the wild like this is a major step for science.

Steven: Andi immediately picked up on Steven’s “stoked to be here” line and called him out as a “Cali boy.” He took it as a compliment. She didn’t mean it as a compliment.

Rudie: Rudie is an attorney (gains points). He gave Andi a legal document entitling her to “search his story” (gain points). He even stapled two pieces of paper together to make it all pretty (gains points). Then he misspelled “limited” (loses all the points). Shout-out to @HeyThisJustin for pointing this out to me on Twitter:


Carl: Carl the firefighter is MY DUDE. Again, landing a spouse whose occupation is “firefighter” is the female equivalent of what landing a spouse whose occupation is “daughter of the Milwaukee Bucks’ owner” is to men.

Jason: When Jason failed to get a rose, this is what he had to say: “You keep thinking, ‘Is there something that you could have did different? Is there something that could have changed her opinion of me?'” I don’t know, Jason. Looking at you, nothing comes to mind:


Nope, nothing at all.

Nick V.: Nick wore a great polka-dot tie, and Andi noticed, saying: “You can wear a suit.” He won the first-impression rose. I’m glad we have a Bachelorette who’s satirical. We’ll, maybe not THAT satirical, since she did wear this dress:


Liberace thinks this dress is too much.

Dylan: Andi said Dylan was standing too far away from her at first, so Dylan freaked out and said: “Obviously, I’m drawing a blank right now because I’m so nervous.”

Patrick: He brought a soccer ball and was all, “Don’t worry, I’m not Juan Pablo, I’m so much more than a soccer player.” Methinks that’s not the last Juany Pabs reference we’ll hear this season.


Emil: “Do you want to know my name? It’s Emil.”

Andi: “Emil?”

Emil: “Yeah, ‘anal’ with an M.”

Everyone watching: “Eeeeeewwwwwwww.”

Brett: This dude gave Andi a lamp because his mother told him not to show up empty-handed. Brett, I’m sure your mom was very proud that you stole a lamp from a hotel room, put it in a limo, and gifted it on national television to a woman who isn’t even living at her own house.

Craig: Craig jumped out of the limo, popped open a bottle of champagne, and went all Dame Dash in the “Big Pimpin'” video:


Ron: Juliet has extremely high hopes for this dude, but I’m concerned that he’ll fail to live up to my pod partner’s expectations. I’m basing this solely on his voice. He has weird diction. Weird diction is a dealbreaker for everyone, right? I hope so.

Bradley: “I just want to let you know I’m an opera singer and I plan on serenading you later.” Fucking please.

Josh B.: Josh B.’s entrance wasn’t nearly as memorable as his exit. Josh B.’s angry, depressed, regretful, roseless soliloquy was a rocket-propelled truth missile launched from his heart right into our living rooms:

“It’s embarrassing is what it is, so, yeah. This was something that a friend put me up to, and I showed up like, ‘Yeah, this is great, let’s give it a try.’ I just embarrassed the fuck out of myself for one night to do absolutely nothing, to accomplish nothing, and I’m going to call my parents tomorrow and be like, ‘Yeah, that sucked, I’m coming home.’ I’m going to face reality that I’m embarrassed as fuck. Cool. It is what it is. I’m going to go home, enjoy myself, take some vacations, and … this is … this is stupid.”

Nick S.: This guy drove up in a golf cart because he’s a professional golfer. Which is basically his way of saying: “If you marry me, I’ll never be home. And when I am home, I’ll be gone for eight hours every day … but at least it will be super easy for us to drift apart and pick up prescription pill habits and have affairs. Cool?”

Brian: He awkwardly asked Andi to fix his tie. It sounds cheesy, but it actually played pretty well. Being vulnerable is sometimes stronger than being strong. I know, let that soak in.

Andrew: I can’t get over the fact his job is “social media marketer.” Why not just say “marketer”? Why downgrade it to “I’m a tweeter”?

Mike: Look at Mike:


When Mike looks at Mike, he sees Brad Pitt in Thelma & Louise. This isn’t Mike’s fault; it’s his perspective. This is, however, Mike’s friends’ fault. What Mike needs is a good friend to tell him: “Mike, get a haircut, right now. For real, your head looks like a llama’s asshole.”

Eric: This season has been dedicated to Eric, who tragically passed away after filming. Even I’m not a big enough dick to make jokes about him. Best wishes to his friends and family.

Josh M.: Folks on Twitter told me this dude is former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray’s brother and played baseball and football for UGA himself. They also tell me Andi’s father is a big UGA fan. If you aren’t from the South, this might not seem like a big deal. If you are from the South, you’re probably considering bailing on the entire season after the first episode, because you know this contest is over.

Woo (Survivor), 540 points

The thing you always have to remember about Survivor is that most of the votes are foregone conclusions before Jeffy P reads them off, but the show is edited it in a manner that makes the viewer feel otherwise. Things are rarely as up in the air at Tribal Council as they seem. Do you really believe Tony voted for Trish because he thought she was a threat? No, he voted for Trish because Woo, Kass, and Spencer were voting for Trish, and Tony didn’t want to write down the name of someone whose vote he’d need at the end. Survivor viewers have to see the chessboard the edit doesn’t want them to see.

That said, I fell for the bullshit in the finale. I totally thought Woo had a shot after the way the final Tribal went down. Sarah, Trish, and Morgan all went after Tony hard. And then Spencer came to Tony’s defense, which made me think there was a reason Spencer thought he had to do that, because even though there was an entire “Brain” tribe this season, Spencer was the only one who ever really knew what was up. Admit it. For a minute you, like me, thought Woo could get the million dollars and finally propose to “Christina Hamilton, my lovely girlfriend … after getting permission from her mom and dad, of course.” If she said yes, you know what Woo would do:

But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Tony Who We All Thought Would Win … won. He deserved it. He played harder than anyone since Russell, and he played smarter than Russell. He isn’t perfect and he couldn’t control his emotions, but he earned his payday thanks to his will, his attention to tribal tides, and, you know, his THREE FUCKING IDOLS.

Still, while Tony won the game, Woo won our hearts. Who else in Survivor history has pulled off a backflip/Michael Jackson 360 spin landing? No one. Just you, Woo, just you:

Johnny Bananas and Jordan (The Challenge), 50 points

We won’t get LeBron vs. KD in the NBA Finals … but we got Bananas vs. Jordan in The Challenge. When Bananas got voted into the elimination, Jordan boasted that he would flip every draw card so he could get rid of him, his nemesis. When Jordan consulted his Khaleesi Laurel about this strategy, he was disappointed in her response: “I wish she would tell me, ‘This is so stupid, don’t do this,’ but she doesn’t.”

Not one to disappoint his Khaleesi, Jordan flipped over every card to put himself into an elimination match against Bananas, because: “100 percent, my pride and character is worth $125,000.” Little does Jordan know, Tony just sold his pride and character for $1 million on Survivor. Regardless, there Jordan was, facing Bananas, facing his Challenge legacy, facing his woman, facing the wall, and doing what he does best: punching.

And then losing.

Bananas descended from the heavens like a Challenge demigod to pronounce himself victorious, and glorious: “I’ve won quite a few eliminations in my time, none more gratifying than that. That pompous little arrogant bitch asked for it, and I brought the thunder.”

Highlights From the “This Season on The Bachelorette” Preview

00:00–00:48: The requisite LOOK HOW MUCH FUN! section. Tons of travel shots, generic bites about how wonderful everything is, the joys of finding love, blah blah blah. Only one shot of Andi in a swimsuit, though. Looks like a cold season, and that’s never good.

00:48–1:13: The WE ALL LOVE ANDI! section. This is the part when all the dudes say things like, “I can totally see myself growing old with her” and tell Andi “I’m falling for you” and “I’m 100 percent crazy about you.” What could go wrong?

1:13–2:04: The BEEF! section. Woah, this actually looks interesting. Normally, the dudes on this show do the whole masculine thing where they barely talk about their problems until they bubble over and then quickly return to a simmer, but this season the beef is boiling. Marquel gets involved a lot, Inevitable Eventual Winner Josh M. gets all jealous, Cody The Blazer Collar Popper mixes it up, and the whole section ends with Andi going all, “What the fuck?”

2:04–2:27: The BACHELOR(ETTE) CAN’T TAKE IT BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE AREN’T HERE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS! section. “I’m exhausted. I’m so exhausted, and I’m trying so hard that people think this is a joke, it’s not right to me. … There is something not right about the way that I feel right now. … If you don’t think this is real, then the door is right there, because this is so real to me, every single day this is real to me.”

2:27–3:10: The BACHELOR(ETTE) MIGHT QUIT! section. “My head is spinning. Honestly, inside I … I just want to leave.” This is the part where they show all the bro tears, and Andi tears, and dreams crashing. “It’s a fairy tale for a reason. Because it doesn’t happen. I’m sorry, it doesn’t happen.” And then later: “I knew it was too good to be true, though. I mean, really, let’s be honest.” And then she takes off her mic.

WAIT, is that the last section? There’s no “This is the toughest decision I have ever made in my life” section? No “I honestly can say that I’m in love with two people” section? No “I’ve met the man I’ll spend the rest of my life with” section? They’re trying to trick us into thinking that Andi is going to call it quits before she mounts the engagement launching pad, but I’m not buying it. Andi Dorfman of House Juan Pablo’s Season, Queen of the Scorned, Khaleesi of Greater Atlanta Courtrooms, Bringer of the JuanPablocalypse, and Mother of Roses will find the love of her life on this television program. The gods won’t have it any other way.

TJ Lavin (The Challenge), ALL THE POINTS

TJ loves the trivia/spelling bee challenge. It lets him pull a rope that makes people awkwardly fall into water below; it lets him do more talking than any other challenge; and it lets him do the Alex Trebek thing where he acts like he knows all the answers to the questions when you know damn well he doesn’t. Even though this challenge aired two weeks ago, it’s this week’s GRTFL Top Five. This week’s GRTFL Top Five is the Top Five Dumbest Answers From the Trivia Challenge, listed from, “I guess they were just nervous and made a mistake” to “We all need to learn Mandarin RIGHT NOW, there is no future for this country”:

5. TJ: “What is the official language spoken in Australia?”

Bananas: “Dutch.”

In Bananas’ defense: They speak Spanish in Spain and English in England, but there’s no language called Austrailianish. That must have tripped him up.

4. TJ: “What is the largest country in the world?”

Theresa: “Canada.”

In Theresa’s defense: Canada is MUCH bigger than you think it is.

3. TJ: “What continent does the USA belong to?”

Cara Maria: “The northern continent.”

In Cara Maria’s defense: North America is north of many continents. If I were Cara, I would have protested that I was technically right. The question was not “What is the exact name of the continent the USA belongs to?”

2. TJ: “What country in the world has the largest population?”

Aneesa: “Asia.”

In Aneesa’s defense: She’s really good at elimination challenges.

1. TJ: “What is Muhammad Ali’s real name?”

Cara Maria: “Mahatma Gandhi.”

In Cara Maria’s defense: She’s cute.

Kass (Survivor), 100 wife points

My wife on Kass:

Wife: “I like her.”

Me: “You were just talking about how annoying she is.”

Wife: “I like her but I hate her. I’m changing it around.”

Zach (The Challenge), 25 points

After Zach got bound in plastic wrap, turned into a human sausage, and rolled his way onto the giant “bun” at the finish line, he freaked out and got all roid-ragey:


When he started to rip his plastic wrap off, Papa Bear TJ stepped in and was all: “Calm down, calm down, calm down, bro.” And Zach was all: “No, man, you’re not in this.”

And with that, Zach distilled the relationship between TJ and the cast down to one sentence. No, TJ is not in this. TJ is laughing at you while you say that Canada is the biggest country in the world. But TJ is there for you. TJ doesn’t want to see you freak out because the producers have used plastic encasing to turn you into a human sausage. TJ wants you to calm down. So fucking calm down, Zach.

Chris B (The Bachelorette), 125 points (for effort)

What do you do when your attempt to stretch your 15 minutes of fame into overtime by showing up at The Bachelorette House unannounced and confessing your desire to be on TV again fall in love gets denied? You go to TMZ and say it was all fake.

Listen to the Right Reasons, root for Lance Stephenson, and enjoy your long weekend.

Filed Under: Reality TV, TV, Recaps, The Bachelorette, Survivor, The Challenge, The Decline of American Civilization, GRTFL, Grantland Reality TV Fantasy League, David Jacoby

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

Archive @ djacoby

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