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STEAMING HOT CUP OF AWKWARD Des soaks in the tension between Michael and Ben on the two-on-one date
Who's ready for some soft pretzels and igloo drinks? Fortunately this igloo comes complete with secret, fur-draped hideaways, and that's where Brooks brings the Bachelorette for some one-on-one time. "There have been plenty of moments in my life when you're in something amazing... and I've taken them for granted. Today I really tried to stop and soak it all in," Brooks confesses, before stopping to soak in Desiree's face with his mouth. As the mini-dates-within-the-group-date go on -- Mikey builds a pitiful snow family with Des, Zak reveals a surprisingly religious past -- the rest of the guys decide that since Ben's not around, they'll kill time by badmouthing James. "She likes him," marvels Drew. "I just don't understand it." Brooks is more blunt: "He's one way around her and another way with the guys. With us he can be very cutting and short with people, and vulgar, and with Desiree he's very nice and caring and charming." Even though Des seems to fall for James' (false?) charms again in the igloo -- they spend a lot of time making out -- it's Brooks who gets the date rose.
Now, for the main event: In this corner, with his weird torso tattoo and mushy-mouthed Texas drawl, it's Ben "I'm not here to make friends" Scott! And in this corner, with his semi-crazy eyes and penchant for hyperbole, it's Michael "Armageddon" Garofola! Gentleman, let's keep it clean, and remember, protect yourselves at all times. After a long, silent limo ride -- during which lawyer Michael crafts a mental strategy to find Ben guilty of fraud and impersonation of a Southern gentleman -- the guys arrive at Lake Tegernsee, where Des greets them with thermoses of coffee. Michael scores the first point with by complimenting the Bachelorette, in German: "Du siehst schon aus" (translation: "you look beautiful"). Even though Des knows there's lots of "tension" between Michael and Ben, she plans to throw some cold water on the problem... by throwing both of her dates in cold water. It's polar bear plunge time, y'all!
Ben is not thrilled about this turn of events, but he's damned if he's going to lose the date rose to that greasy-haired New York shyster. "When it comes to women, I'm especially competitive," he tells Team Bachelorette. "So if she really wants us to jump in this lake, I'm jumping in." Though it seems pretty clear that Desiree is pranking her dates -- "hopefully you won't get hypothermia," she warns them nonchalantly -- neither Michael nor Ben wants to call her on it and risk looking like a wuss. Still, it takes them a minute to realize what's going on when Des playfully stops her countdown: "One... two... actually, I have a better idea... We will be in the lake, and we will be using a hot tug." Best invention ever!
It sure is. A normal hot tub is too easy to escape, and Team Bachelorette wants to make sure Des is a captive audience as Michael takes shot after shot at Ben:
"What happened with the mother of your son?"
"Have you been able to talk to your son since you've been here in Germany?"
"The Ben situation rings a bell with me in the sense that my father left my mother and I when I was young..."
While this is extremely entertaining to watch, I don't think Michael is doing himself any favors. "I feel so uncomfortable," moans Des. "I don't know what to do." And even though Ben is red as a beet (blame the cold or suppressed rage), he manages to "be a good Christian" and not tell Michael to shut the eff up.
NEXT: "Intimate settings"