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‘Bachelorette’ recap: The men compete for the Mr. America title, Des gives up date for Sandy victims

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    Desiree Hartsock is seen during an episode of "The Bachelorette." (© 2013 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.)

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     (Courtesy ABC)

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     (Courtesy ABC)

This week, “Bachelorette” Desiree Hartsock took the remaining 13 men to Atlantic City, N.J., for the week, and in a standout, touching moment, gave up one of her dates to a couple whose home was completely destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. 

Des took James Case on a helicopter ride with a representative from the Red Cross down the New Jersey coast to witness the devastation from the superstorm. 

The helicopter dropped them off in Seaside Heights so they could explore on foot.  There, Des and James met up with Manny and Jan, who recounted their terrifying experience during Sandy and allowed the two to tour their damaged home.  

Des and James’ date was slated to continue with a limo ride back to Atlantic City, where they would have a luxurious dinner and private concert by Darius Rucker.  Instead, they decided to give it to Manny and Jan, after discovering the couple spent their 38th wedding anniversary last November in a Red Cross shelter.

Manny, who had never even been in a limo before, was overcome with emotion, choking back tears when Des and James filled them in on what their night was going to entail. 

Des and James decided to go out for a casual pizza dinner instead.  Although James confessed that he cheated on his girlfriend of five and a half years, the admission is overshadowed by cut-ins to Manny and Jan’s date, who gave adorable testimonials as though they themselves were contestants on “The Bachelorette.”

This week’s group date was a live “Mr. America” competition, where the men completed  interview, talent and swimsuit portions of a mock pageant modeled after the “Miss America” pageant, which began in Atlantic City.

Des took a judging post, along with Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan and Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford.  Highlights included several amusing singing and dancing routines—Ben Scott twirled ribbons and Brooks Forester played the ukulele.  Oh, and Chris Siegfried strutted around in high heels and spun hulu hoops on his arms as his “talent.”  Right. 

Kasey Stewart took the crown after wowing the judges with a tap routine and enthusiastic swimsuit modeling.

Des let two rather meh guys go home this week—one being Brad McKinzie on a one-on-one date on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

“I think that something was missing and unfortunately I didn’t see it being forever,” Des said. “Brad, I cannot give you the rose tonight. You are going to find someone amazing who can complete your family.”

Des doesn’t give a rose to Zack Kalter (wait, who?) at the ceremony, but nobody seemed too sad to see him go—including Des.  In fact, we don’t think we saw him once this whole time. 

Per usual, Ben caused some waves—literally—at the Mr. America after party by spending some of his one-on-one time with Des in the pool right in view of the other guys, and then bragged about it, causing Brooks to get up and leave the couch. 

Annoying, yes, but Ben is a pretty weak “villain” this season. 

Another highlight of the episode was the growing romance between Des and Zak Waddell, who serenaded Des by singing and playing a song he wrote on the guitar for his Mr. America talent. (Probably the only guy who took it seriously, which is ironic, because he is Shirtless Dude.)

Because Zak was only allowed to play a portion of the song during the pageant, he broke out his guitar later and played the full version for a rather impressed Des.  

Next week, Des and the remaining 11 are off to Munich, Germany.

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