The Bachelorette is something on the television in my house Tuesday nights after the kids go to bed and summoning any energy to change the status quo feels like a Herculean feat. And that's not a complaint because it's a fascinating, artificial world that changes the people stuck in it more than the people could ever change it, early departures and guys named Dale notwithstanding.
But every now and again, something new under the sun makes its way to the Bachelor Mansion — or extended stay La Quinta. This guy named Noah, who showed up after the original muse Clare departed after the top of the third inning, certainly qualifies as a unicorn.
Last night, a clearly telegraphed yet no less brilliant masterplan quickened.
It is at this point that I must bequeath this essential information. Noah disembarked from the backup limo, several days late and a welcome short, with a truly atrocious mustache growing on his lip. The type of fuzz that, if you listen closely enough, you can hear pleading for merciful death. The type of growth you could pay some shifty guy downtown in quarters so his trained rats could gnaw it away.
He still had it as The Fellas on the Group Date got all lubed up like the horny old guy from Striptease and did some basement wrestling. Though he wasn't scheduled to participate in any Greco-Roman behavior, he boldly jumped into action when a different hunk's trick shoulders started acting up.
Noah hopped over the cage and popped his shirt off a volleyball game was breaking out and Goose needed a high-five. He put up a valiant effort against a man named Chasen, who is, somehow the most Barstool Sports contestant in show history. Like, if you had the under 14.5 on how many times Chasen would call an adult woman and potential future wife a "smokeshow," then your ticket went up in flames.
Because fortune and Zac Posen favor the bold, Tayshia was impressed, and offered him inclusion on the night's activities, which were getting drunk with one woman and the other guys instead of getting drunk with the other guys. Subtle difference, but an important one. Noah made the best of his opening, showcasing spontaneity and doing something that, while technically peacocking, wasn't a classic dick move.
He then continued to D.E.N.N.I.S. by parlaying his stupid lip sweater into more content and closeness. Tayshia, obviously and understandably repulsed by the whole motif, handed him a razor and told him to get to business, which is coincidentally what happened to me once when I showed up to work concessions at the now-razed Palace of Auburn Hills.
Only Noah had a much better and sexier experience than being shepherded into a basement bathroom by a security guard named Gary.
Lo and behold, Noah is, as they say, a snack. Like so many booksmart girls with a ponytail and glasses in cinema before, there was a conventional beauty hidden underneath the whole time. And this is the calculated brilliance, the global brain difference.
This guy knew that he could forge a positive connection early, 1987 California Angels first baseman look and all, then really impress when he slid the gameplay sliders down to 0. Lead with personality then go full Ugly Duckling in episode two.
The other contestants were probably mad at him in real time, though with the benefit of hindsight, even they must marvel at the adroit 1-2 punch. Noah may not end up with the final rose or even be a serious contender. Candidly, I don't know if he's truly likable. I just know he used to have a mustache, now he doesn't, and it's an improvement.
Somewhere Keyser Soze, Bill Belichick and Sun Tzu are sharing a laugh and a shave. Because seeing a simple reality television man execute such a strategy was truly a beautiful homage to the trio and any other conniving mind that's fired synapses before.