The pageant is finally over and the judges tally the scores. The guys line up across the stage and hold hands while they wait for the results. Please stop -- there is something very wrong with 11 allegedly straight, half-naked men holding hands. The results are in: 2nd runner up is Brooks, 1st runner up is Zak W. and the winner is Kasey, who gets a sash and a fuzzy crown.

Back at the Revel, the post-pageant party continues at the pool. Chris wants to show Des that he has a serious side and reads her some poetry he wrote for her.  Des loves it and they make out in the pool.  

Meanwhile, over on the couches, the guys start with their favorite pastime: hating on Ben. Ben has the nerve to go over to Des, sit on the side of the pool and have a conversation with her.  Can you believe it! He actually sat down and talked to her. Bryden, the newest member of the “I hate Ben” club, muses that Ben is not a nice person, and “I don’t even want to look at him.”  Brooks whines that Ben and Des sat too close to him. Bryden and Brooks need to go outside for a little while and have a good cry in private. 

Zak W. wants to finish singing the song he wrote at the pageant, which sounds more like a stolen Black Crows song than a Zak W. original. Des looks bored and annoyed through the whole thing. Des smells the desperation coming from Zak W. and he gets the group-date rose.   

James’ One-on-One

While the 10 guys on the group date are making fools of themselves, James is prepping for his date with Des by taking a bubble bath and eating chocolate-covered strawberries in the tub.  After taking a nice soak, he wraps himself in a fluffy white robe. Just as he is about to curl up on the couch and read the latest Danielle Steel story, there is a knock at the door. James opens the door to find a random coffee table in the hallway with a note that reads “Can Our Love Weather The Storm.” 

In the most unromantic date in the history of "The Bachelorette," James and Des are swept away in a Red Cross helicopter to view the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. They fly over Seaside Heights and look horrified as they see the destruction. James says he feels a bond with Des after sharing that experience. My recollection of living through Hurricane Sandy didn’t involve bonding- I remember losing power, transformers exploding like blue-green fireworks across the sky, power wires down for weeks, trees crashing through my friend’s houses and long gas lines at 2 a.m. There was nothing romantic or bonding about Hurricane Sandy.

While Des and James are walking through Seaside Heights, they are introduced to Jan and Manny, a sweet couple who lost their home during the storm. Jan cries while she recalls spending their 38th anniversary in a Red Cross shelter. Dry those tears, Jan, because Des is about to rock your world with an offer you can’t refuse! Des tells Jan and Manny that they can take her and James’s date in Atlantic City, and she and James will hang in Seaside and eat pizza. It’s not going to help rebuild their house, but at least Des and James feel good about themselves. I’m sure Jan and Manny were bummed that they weren’t going to jump off the side of a yacht in Anguilla, but they make the best of dinner at the Revel. Hopefully, Jan and Manny will head to the fantasy suite, while in Seaside Heights, Ronnie and Sammie Sweetheart will go to the smush room.

While Jan and Manny eat dinner and thumb through their restored wedding album in Atlantic City, James is spilling his guts to Des about cheating on his girlfriend in college. Dude, it was 10 years ago; we don’t care. He promises he won’t do it again. That’s enough for Des, and Ronnie...I mean James, gets the rose. But not before Jan and Manny and Des and James are treated to a private concert by Darius Rucker (and just where are the Blowfish?) 

Cocktail Party

This episode can’t end fast enough for me, but Michael G. doesn’t feel the same way. Michael, who is sporting a thumb injury from all the crocheting he did last week, wrote Des an acrostic poem. Des says “You are so funny,” which means, “you will be going home soon.”  Michael gets a kiss and a false sense of confidence.  I hope his thumb heals soon because Ben could use some mittens. 

Bryden is having some doubts and tells the guys he might not accept a rose if he is offered one. The guys offer a lot of support and basically say, “See ya -- don’t let the Revel door hit you on the butt on the way out.” 

Finally, the longest, most boring episode of "The Bachelorette" to date is over, and roses go to Chris, Brooks, Juan Pablo, Drew, Michael, Ben, Kasey, Bryden and Mikey T. 

Zack is sent down the long Revel escalator of shame, squeezes out a few tears and goes home.

Next week: sausages and Germany. Or sausages in Germany. Or maybe both!