There is officially a front-runner in the race to claim Emily Maynard’s heart, and his name is Arie Luyendyk Jr.
The 30-year-old auto racing driver scored both a one-on-one date and a rose from Emily during Monday night’s episode of “The Bachelorette,” and also shared what appeared to be the first truly passionate kiss with her on the tail end of their date at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Then he sealed his early-favorite status with another kiss back at the mansion in Charlotte before the rose ceremony, much to the chagrin of Ryan – who says he never thought he would be competing against a guy like Arie. (Although is Arie that weird? I mean, it’s not like he brought an ostrich egg named “Shelly” onto the show.)
“He’s more of a dainty man,” Ryan explains, “and I’m more of a physical guy.” Which is a little surprising considering I’d bet Ryan spends four times as much time on his hair as Arie in the morning. “I know how to compete, so Arie’s in trouble.” Arie, meanwhile, knows nothing about competing. He’s only a PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE.
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Yes, Ryan seems primed to implode sometime soon. As does Kalon, aka helicopter boy, who gets a precious moment with Emily before the rose ceremony and then squanders it by scolding her for interrupting something pointless he’s saying about his goals in life: “I love it when you talk, but I wish you’d let me finish.” (Privately, Emily tells us, “I do like tall, skinny and funny, but I don’t like tall, skinny and condescending.”)
Yet his buffoonish behavior can’t hold a candle to Brazilian Alessandro, who tells Emily he’s willing to make the “compromise” of being a father to her 6-year-old daughter, Ricki.
A stunned Emily tells him: “Me having a daughter isn’t a compromise, and anybody I’m gonna spend the rest of my life with, they’re gonna see it as the biggest bonus ever.”
Alessandro says he doesn’t see it that way, Emily’s jaw hits the floor, he misses a golden opportunity to take it all back and blame it on a language barrier, and next thing you know he’s on the first flight back to Brasília.
Also on a plane leaving Charlotte is Tony, the single dad from Beaverton, Ore., an apparently nice guy who couldn’t stand being separated from his own 5-year-old son. She urges him to go back home, and he does.
So going into the rose ceremony, two other guys already have roses besides Arie: Chris, who scored the first one-on-one date, which involved the pair scaling the Mint Museum Uptown (it sounded cool going in, it came off as pretty lame); and Sean, whose claim to fame so far appears to be chest muscles that get Emily’s girlfriends hot and bothered.
Ten more roses are distributed, to Jef, Charlie, Doug, Michael, Travis, Alejandro, Ryan (!), John, Kalon (!) and Nate. Stevie gets sent packing. He says “it sucks and it hurts,” but refrains from calling anyone dainty and doesn’t make his exit via helicopter.