Death by cringe on ‘The Bachelorette’

Sure hope ABC had medics on hand for last night’s “Bachelorette.”

Because there was a slow oncamera death, and it was suicide by stupidity.

Brandon tells the camera how he’s terrible at first impressions, and he’s counting on some alone time with our single gal Clare Crowley to fire up the romance.

He might as well have set himself on fire.

It’s one of the most awkward conversations on any of these ABC harem-scarem shows ever.

“When I found out you were the Bachelorette, I had to be here,” he tells her.

Clare is interested. Gal loves a good compliment. “What made you want to be on here for me?”

He says he knows nothing about her and asks about her upbringing in Sacramento.

“You don’t know anything about me?” Clare asks sharply.

What now again?

This not a good thing for Brandon.

Other than her beauty, he says, “I don’t have a specific answer for you.”

How do you go on one of these shows and not know anything about the woman you are allegedly there to court?

Clare is unimpressed.

What else? The other guys have followed her journey across the franchise and praise her drive and assertiveness.

Brandon half-speaks, half-mouths, “Can we not talk about that?”

You can almost see his soul leave his body.

Clare repeats his question right back at him, for anyone at home who isn’t good at lip reading.

Brandon makes a last-ditch effort to save himself.

“I’m here to find love, and you know, I’m here to find someone to start a family of my own. I know there’s moments between you and I where I know you feel it, too.”

Oh, Clare is so not here for the manipulative mind-reader trick.

“I actually don’t feel that way,” she said, praising the other men. “Is it OK if I walk you out?”

Farewell, Brandon. Good luck with those third impressions. (Photo: ABC)
Farewell, Brandon. Good luck with those third impressions. (Photo: ABC)

Thorns in the roses:

Dale continues to underwhelm. He says the right things, but seems low energy. He also has an appalling verbal tic, inserting “like” into every sentence several times over. “Like, I had to, like, walk my dog, but I was, like, too late, and he, like, pooped all over the rug, like, gross.” (Disclaimer: Not an actual Dale sentence. If I had to transcribe his speech, I might have to throw my Mac in the trash.) When Clare spends time with him, she mimics him. He’s a bad influence, is, like, what I’m saying.

Yosef gets angrier by the minute about a date he wasn’t even on. Yes, the strip dodgeball game was deeply dumb and crass, and gave viewers nothing but blacked-out naughty bits to look at, but his outrage is stupid. He says he worries what his daughter would think if she saw him in such a competition. Dude, you’re on ‘The Bachelorette.’ You’ve already given her a lifetime of reasons to be embarrassed.

Riley is just so smooth, encouraging Clare to think back to the high school prom that never was and slow-dancing with her to an imaginary soundtrack of Boys II Men. Whew! Riley, will you accept my rose?

Next week: One bachelor gets nasty with the age-shaming. Where’s my baseball bat?