After two full episodes without any mention of Anthony Battle, the former Northwestern football player, he burst onto the scene with an enormous role in Episode 3 of the Bachelorette.
At first, there was some doubt on whether he would survive the initial rose ceremony. He hadn’t been seen since some random background moments in Episode 1. He might have been too boring to succeed. But he got a rose very early on. Then, he was invited on a one-on-one date with Rachel, a major step forward, even though he hadn’t gotten any exposure.
Let’s break down this date.
First, we didn’t even see Anthony get his date card. That’s okay, he doesn’t even need one, he knows what the score is. Rather than use Anthony’s considerable athletic and intellectual talents, the producers sent him on date to Rodeo Drive. But they were riding horses. Get it? It was an impressive display of the power of the show. People were taking photos of the horse walk and treating it as a totally normal event, despite the fact they were riding horses on a California street.
I don’t think this date would have worked at all with any other contestant. Anthony is a really pleasant guy, at least on camera. Through all the petty chaos of this episode (Eric vs. Lee/Iggy, WHABOOM vs. Blake, etc.), Anthony was just polite and let other people make a fool of themselves. Despite the pettiness of the other guys, multiple people testified on camera that Anthony was just a super good dude. These are the life lessons you learn after years under Pat Fitzgerald! CHARACTER COMES FIRST!
He’s also way too nice to be looking for love on The Bachelorette.
Yeah, the date itself was rather awkward, mostly because of the setting. Rachel and Anthony made the best of it. They trotted into random Beverly Hills boutiques. The horses pooped on the floor of these boutiques. Anthony had a short monologue. They bought “horse cupcakes”, wandered around L.A., and had a good time. At the end of the night, Rachel and Anthony shared drinks overlooking the skyline.
Anthony talked about his family, and other things (sadly no mention of his alma mater). Unlike most contestants, he didn’t seem to want to impose some ridiculous life story or absurd joke (Tickle Monster man, why?). He just was content to be himself, and Rachel respected that. He got a kiss, and a rose. He’s safe for the next episode.
This is why we are here, right? This is why I’m being forced to watch this sometimes repulsive, occasionally hilarious reality television show? WE’RE DOING IT FOR THE ‘CATS!
I think Anthony has a legitimate shot to win now. Even Sippin’ on Purple founder Rodger Sherman couldn’t hide his excitement on the Ringer. Northwestern football! Catch the fever!
INSIDE THE PLAY: ANTHONY BATTLE’S HORSEMANSHIP
For someone from Chicago who has never ridden a horse before, he did a good job. He’s got good control, and he mounted the horse without any trouble at all. That’s the athleticism, right there. That’s that years of practice, moving laterally and climbing over defenders. It’s muscle memory for Anthony. You can throw anything at him. Would WHABOOM dude or Iggy been able to mount a horse as smoothly as Anthony Battle? I don’t think so.
In the meantime, Anthony’s competitors were busy completely imploding over the tiniest details.
NOTE: Yeah, this show is trashy. It makes no sense. There is no direction. It’s a perfect example of the postmodern conceptions of love and entertainment that we have forced on our society. But whatever, college football has its own problems, right? Go Northwestern.
Lucas, the WHABOOM guy, and the most annoying character on the show, got into a huge spat with Blake, who is the second-most annoying character on the show. Somehow, Rachel managed to convince the producers to let her axe these two idiots. They had a massive fight, with some priceless lines.
I’M A CLOWN?! I’M A CLOWN!?!?!?!?!?!
Also, there was a “very serious” dispute involving Eric, who liked yelling at people, and a bunch of other folks. Eric got very mad about other people telling Rachel that he questioned her authenticity, despite going on camera and wondering about Rachel’s authenticity (and our man Anthony, who was very present, by extension). How you gonna go off on Anthony like that?
Then Lee, the country singer, blew it way out of proportion and portrayed Eric as a very angry guy to Rachel, which she didn’t totally buy. He wasn’t alone. Iggy and others helped in this portrayal, leaking the information to her friends. Now, yes, Eric was angry and did have some opinions, but it was pretty clear that Lee was taking it a bit too far. He was condescending to Eric. He was also condescending to basically everyone who disagreed with him, which may be just a “Lee” thing. Regardless, Lee’s a jerk, and the next episode has more drama on that front. On the other hand, Eric should probably just let it all go, like he tries to do, despite also yelling at everyone while trying to let it go.
Please stop me from analyzing the byzantine beefs on this show before I go insane.
There were a few positives. Six contestants went on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and danced shirtless in the audience. For some reason, I don’t think our quiet, Northwestern-backed champion would be into that sort of thing. It was fun, and Alex got the rose. He will join Anthony in the next round. There was also a mud wrestling challenge, which was inexplicably not won by Kenny, the professional wrestler.
Also, Fred continued to not get over knowing Rachel from elementary school. In fact, Rachel didn’t really get over it either. She booted him off the show without a rose ceremony. It was just game over for Fred.
Whatever the case, the Bachelorette recaps are not going to stop at Inside NU. Our man is moving on to through the next rose ceremony at the very least, and he could be a darkhorse candidate to win Rachel’s hand. Will there be one Northwestern reference on this show? Only time will tell. Go ‘Cats!
Fantasy League Update:
This was a very difficult week for the fantasy prognosticators. Lucas and Blake racked up points in their wild feud, but they both got knocked out, which means the teams who own them will have to find new members.
Right now, jt12305 is leading all comers with a dominant lineup of Eric, Bryan and Kenny. Eric’s huge rants throughout the show earned him 38 points across the two hours of television. That was huge. People with Lee also got a huge boost, as did those who stayed faithful with Anthony on their roster since Week 1 (that’s me!). The best Inside NU staffer is currently co-EIC Will Ragatz, who rolled with a Will/Bryan/Lee combo to second place in the standings after three weeks.