OFFSTAGE: Dolly Parton, Luke Bryan Inspire Kisses on The Bachelorette

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Oh, Bachelorette. What irony you have brought us this week. In a reality show about finding love in the most unrealistic way, you bring on the one celebrity whose marriage seems to have the most real love of all: Dolly Parton. Sunday night’s episode of The Bachelorette featured a trip to Dollywood for bachelorette Emily Maynard and Arie Luyendyk Jr. (the racecar driver). They did all sorts of Dollywood things, then ending up sitting on the stage where Parton usually plays. And then, voila! Parton herself came out and sang a couple of true love songs to the would-be lovers while they danced and Maynard repeated this refrain: “I could die, I could die, I could die.” After Parton asked Luyendyk to “make himself scarce,” the two blondes sit down for some girl talk. Parton tells her, “I just know true love can last. I’ve been with my husband for 47 years. We’ve been happy. So what are you really looking for in a guy?” Maynard responds, “I think it’s that feeling you get when you know you just know,” adding she hopes to find “somebody I like just as much as I love.” Parton ended the date by saying she knows there’s such a thing as love everlasting and hopes Maynard finds it. Later in the show, Maynard and Luyendyk made out on a Dollywood merry-go-round, so I think Parton may be on to something. But earlier in the show, country music inspired a kiss between Maynard and another contestant, Chris Bukowski. It was a private Luke Bryan concert in downtown Charlotte, N.C. (Maynard’s hometown) that did it that time. Bryan sang “Drunk on You” and “Do I” before Bukowski made his move on Maynard. I would really start to love this show if all the remaining contestants were able to hook up with Maynard after some kind of country music inspiration.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.