'The Bachelorette': Desiree Picks Michael Over Ben

We've been building to this since the first episode, right? From day one Ben has found himself the "outcast" of the house, ruffling guys' feathers left and right. "He's not here for the right reasons," they'd say, echoing the famous Soulja Boy track. "He's just here for the publicity." (Sometimes followed by "...and we're here because of integrity, it's important we tell you that.") Leading the opposition right from the beginning was lawyer/tanning aficionado Michael, who just. Couldn't. Take. The LIES. At various points Michael has described wanting to "convict" Ben for his "crimes." Last night he changed that verb to "murder." Make sure you've got your Valiums at the ready for this date recap!

Event: Two-on-one hot tub/dinner date featuring Michael and Ben, dedicated enemies and primo douchenozzles each in their own special way

The play(s): For Ben, try as hard as he can to be a Good Christian while deflecting any conversation about his ability to get along with other human men; for Michael, make sure his chunky watch is visible and Desiree doesn't notice that his personality was long ago replaced by annotated GQ articles and a worn-out VHS of The Firm

Des' prediction: "This is going to be a very uncomfortable date"

Is she right?: YEAH, SHE DEFINITELY NAILED IT

The two-on-one started innocently enough, with Michael and Ben greeting Des on a park bench near a beautiful Munich lake. They sipped coffee. Spoke of the beauty surrounding them. "You're beautiful," Michael said in German, his hours of careful language preparation finally paying off. Everyone and everything was beautiful.

Until it wasn't.

Sensing the best elements for this date were heat, alcohol, and isolation, Bachelorette producers sent the threesome out into the aforementioned German lake in a "hot tug." It's precisely what you think it is* — a hot tub dinghy — and minus the company, would have made for an awesome date! But Michael, having decided well in advance that "enjoy ourselves" was a STUPID goal for a date, got into attack position immediately.

*on second thought it is precisely the second thing you think it is

"Have you been able to talk to your son lately?" he asked Ben, who danced around a response. "Why don't you get along with the other guys in the house?" More dancing. "This guy's the ultimate politician!" Michael cried into the camera, no doubt very aware of the fact that he's in a heavily political field himself and totally playing up the irony. Dude's smart. After all, he is an attorney.

Running Tally: 0/0 for everyone, in all score categories. And an apology shout-out to the cameramen it's easy to forget were crammed into the hot tug. I hope you guys are feeling better now!

Fast forward 20 minutes, or 20 hours, or who knows to the dinner portion of our date, where things finally stopped being obviously impolite and started getting unwatchably real. How to know things are awful? When a simple question like "what kind of traditions would you want to start with your spouse?" leads to the denigration of someone's religious conviction and the words "you didn't need to do that." Fun!

(At this point I should acknowledge that of course Ben is full of shit, a self-anointed charmer whose whole playbook seems constructed from the movie Hitch. Does he love his son? I don't care. But on the spectrum of doucheitude — a long, expansive spectrum — his brand offers nowhere near the power of Michael's. I'll take "deluded moron" over "self-righteous man-baby" any day of the week. And I'm not even considering them to date! That much!)

Ben excused himself. Des shot Michael a look. Those of you keeping tally at home wondered if Michael's plans of "murder" had now upgraded to "murder-suicide." Des acknowledged as much, wondering aloud if she wanted to keep either of them tonight. (Or actually murder them, which has to be an option buried deep in those ABC contracts. I mean they account for everything, right?)

Was someone actually murdered?: No, unfortunately

Sensing their communal date had ended probably an hour or two ago — and utilizing some of the clear-headed legal thinking Michael can't STFU about — Des finally decided to talk to each guy separately. Ben defended his lack of male friendships by reiterating that he was "there for her" and "nothing else mattered." Michael in turn defended his attack of Ben (or "passion," as Des lawyerly suggested) on the grounds that the Bachelorette "needed to know." Overwhelmed by such great guys to choose from, what's a girl to do?

....Well, boot the liar and keep the tattle-tale around for another week, at which point he's hopefully found some other guy whose "motives" he can question (otherwise what's the point?). Yes, you could have sent both guys home, Des. That would have been the sane thing to do. But considering you still need to at least pretend Juan Pablo isn't the winner for another few weeks, it makes sense you keeping up appearances. Go with God! BEN SURE WOULDN'T.

Kiss Score: N/A (Are you kidding me? I'm pretty sure Michael shook Desiree's hand, and he was the one who got a rose.)

Image: Boston Herald