Welcome back, friends, to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! Last week, Katie kicked off her season with a bang–and, unlike ABC, I’m not going to giggle like an 11-year-old boy after making that pun. Big front-runners from that first night included Greg Grippo, a guy who single-handedly raised real estate prices for the entire state of New Jersey just by being a gem of a human during his TV debut; and a grown man who displays his sexual arousal by wearing cat ears and licking his paws. Can’t wait to see what sort of chaotic energy we’re in store for tonight!
Mike Makes It Into The Producer’s Burn Book
Every season there’s at least one person who makes it into the producer’s burn book. Last season it was Sarah, who was somehow convinced multiple times to commandeer Matt James’ attention by stealing other women’s alone time. Have you seen the end of The Lion King? Sarah’s time on the show ended much like Scar’s reign over Pride Rock: in a blaze of metaphorical fire with hyenas (Queen Victoria and her minions) eating her carcass alive on national television.
^^Sarah, last season
This year, it appears their new target is Mike, the 31-year-old virgin from San Diego. Look, going after the virgin seems like low-hanging fruit to me but whatever you need to do for ratings, amiright ABC?
My suspicions are only reinforced during the first group date when the men are led to an undisclosed location where Katie tells them things are about to get “raw and real.” Those are the exact words my mother used to describe chafing to me after I hit puberty early and experienced a huge weight gain, but I’m sure the producers were going for more sexual undertones when they added that line to Katie’s script. Cut to the men entering a dark room with nothing but a discarded bra on the floor. While some of the men are already sporting chubbies at the thought of a clothing-optional date, poor Jesus Boy looks like he’s seconds away from calling his pastor for an emergency prayer session.
It only gets worse from there. As you might have guessed, this date is all about sex! ABC has enlisted comedian Heather McDonald to help Katie host a competition to see which of these men will make the best lover. If that’s the end goal, then it’s troubling that I don’t see her vibrator in the crowd.
The first half of the date consists of Heather quizzing the men on their basic understanding of female sexuality. Spoiler alert: they don’t have one. Boys, boys, boys. She’s not asking you to solve a wizard’s riddle, she’s asking you about a woman’s climax!
HEATHER: What’s the best tool needed for a female orgasm?
Though it might seem this date was intended for comedic relief (and possibly to help Katie weed out the men who understand female pleasure from the men who have just had sex with a woman), really this date was crafted with the sole intent of getting Jesus Boy to cry. When the quizzing veers into the guys’ own sexual history (How much do they masturbate? When was the last time they had sex?) and Mike answers entirely in question marks, I have never felt more secondhand embarrassment in my life. At one point I was hoping a portal would open up and take us both to a kinder world. At the very least, I was hoping he wouldn’t pee himself on stage, which felt like a very real possibility the longer that inquisition went on.
Eventually the men are tasked with one final humiliation: prove to Katie ON STAGE how they’ll be the perfect lover. I worry that ABC did not set enough parameters for what these “acts” should consist of when Tre performed his erotic sock puppet show and Karl dragged a spoiled banana down the body of a cardboard cut-out of Katie.
Eventually Mike makes it to the stage and I’m worried the only way production got him up there was by holding his bible hostage off-screen. While most of the men take this as an opportunity to use various props to describe their penis size, Mike decides to turn his virginity into spoken word poetry. It’s a bold move and one I didn’t expect from a man who could have just walked on stage, pointed to the gigantic cross around his neck, and been like, “you get it.” For his honesty, Katie rewards him with the Best Lover trophy. That seems a stretch to me. I’m not sure honesty equates to “has any idea where the clit is on your body” but I suppose it’s the thought that counts.
Honestly, while I’m glad this guy survived productions’ attempt to send him walking into the nearest oncoming traffic, I don’t think he’ll last long here. Katie probably doesn’t care about his virgin status, but if a red lacy bra makes him break out into hives, he’s probably not her match. She’s looking for a partner who is comfortable with their sexuality, whatever that may be. Later in the evening, Mike reveals that he feels bad for his future wife because of “all of that pent-up energy” and Katie and I both can barely contain our shudders just thinking about the three minutes of vigorous dry humping that woman will experience on their honeymoon.
And what do you know! Mike doesn’t even receive the group date rose. While Mike might have been “raw and real” with his words, Thomas was “raw and real” with his tongue on that couch and receives Katie’s coveted group date rose. Honestly, I have working eyes, so I get it, Katie. Carry on.
Greg Is Still A Winner
Greg had another outstanding performance tonight. He managed to score both the first one-on-one date of the season and the first spot on every man’s hit list. Should he mysteriously go missing next week, our number one suspect should be any of the guys who snagged the number of the van-owning skin salesman from night one. I can read between the lines and right now I’m reading that bio as “has definitely disposed of a body through a Craigslist ad before.”
But back to Greg and Katie! I would just like to have it on record that every time I see these two together I seethe with jealousy. They are so freaking cute, I can’t stand it. Logically, I know it’s only been a few days since they first met, but somehow they seem to be operating on the same wavelength. Case in point: They both show up to their date wearing matching flannel outfits. This is something grandparents do in their old age so they don’t lose each other in crowds. I should be disgusted! But when these two do it, it’s just romantic and quirky. I hate them already.
More than that, they both have shared trauma that further cements their bond. Katie picked camping for their date activity because it’s something she used to do with her dad before he passed away. Later, Greg reveals that his dad passed away suddenly from cancer. They both seem genuinely shocked that they were willing to share this deeply personal information so early on in their relationship. Normally, this is where I would break out into a monologue about how ABC likes to pimp out people’s pain for viewership, but this is just such a touching moment that I can’t even chide ABC for orchestrating it about. Greg is going to go far in this game, just mark my words.
All The Wrong Reasons
Most of tonight’s episode was dominated by a tried and true Bachelor/ette storyline: who’s here for the right reasons? Similar to the theme of the first group date, the second group date is all about getting Katie off—I just didn’t realize that getting Katie off involved man-on-man mud wrestling. While some of the men engage in actual feats of strength, others are just doing a glorified slap and tickle. It becomes evident mid-mud wrestle that this date is actually not about Katie at all, but is rather a half-baked date idea to remind us of the fight that wasn’t on night one between Cody and Aaron. It’s almost as if ABC won’t allow us to get through one episode without forcing unwanted drama upon the masses.
Aaron reveals that he knows Cody from home and doesn’t think he’s here for the right reasons. I mean… the man did show up to the house with a blow-up doll so, like, are we surprised? But if Katie’s truly conflicted over this revelation then she should have utilized her hosts, Tayshia and Kaitlyn, the way god and the girl code intended. Why aren’t they out there canvasing Cody’s Venmo receipts for her? Creating finstas to see whose pictures he likes on IG? I’m sure they could find an incriminating DM in five seconds flat. Put the sisterhood to good use, Katie!
In the end, Katie also remembers the blow-up doll incident (I’m sure it was seared into her brain as it was in mine) and sends Cody home almost immediately. Though Katie comes off calm and collected when she gives Cody the boot, she still seems pretty rattled from the whole experience. Look, Katie, this is not the crowd you want smelling your fear. There’s nothing more terrifying than a large group of straight men who sense your deepest insecurity. Have you seen Jaws? Well, Katie, there’s blood in the water now. Swim, bitch, swim!
Karl is the first shark to capitalize off her fragile mindset when he takes it upon himself to start sh*t at the rose ceremony. If you’ll recall, Karl is the motivational speaker who so eloquently said in the first group date that being the perfect lover means “17 hours of f*ck action.” So, you could say his energy is just a constant state of mercury being in retrograde.
He spins a tale for Katie of a mysterious “not here for the right reasons” boogeyman. Does he have a concrete example he can elaborate on? Absolutely not. Will he reveal his source? Only if he loses control over one of his other personalities. He might as well have a flashlight held up underneath his face for all the dramatic effect he’s going for. Buddy, this isn’t Are You Afraid of the Dark? Save your ghost stories for the campfire.
And while we know this is bullsh*t, Katie starts to spiral. She gives an impassioned speech to the men telling them to GTFO of the house if they aren’t there to be her husband.
KATIE: I just learned that there are still people here who aren’t here for the right f*cking reason.
Karl tries to save his ass by asking that the “person” who isn’t there for the right reasons come forward. As if this “person” will just appear out of thin air simply because he manifests a villain to save his time on the show. That’s not how manifestation works! You need at least three Pratt Daddy crystals while you chant the lyrics to a Taylor Swift song. Duh.
While Katie and the men fan out to find the Not Here For The Right Reasons Bandit, might I suggest they take a closer look at Katie’s stylist? Because I’m less worried that one of these men will pull a fast one on her and more worried that she’s being sabotaged by her stylist. Her look for the cowboy themed group date was… a choice. Look, I know Stagecoach has become, like, an entire personality trait at this point, but did they have to model her outfit off of an Olsen twin’s How The West Was Fun costume? And dear god, don’t even get me started on that rose ceremony getup. Katie is a gorgeous girl and they have her dressed like a Slytherin at her first Yule Ball. Is that metallic… green?? Katie, you’re too pretty for what they’re doing to you!
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ME ALONE IN MY LIVING ROOM:
And that’s all she wrote for this episode, kids! The rose ceremony ends before we’re allowed any real resolution. The only people for sure moving are rose winners from this week’s dates: Greg, Andrew S., and Thomas. Until then, friends!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (3); Quora (1); @spencerpratt /Instagram (1); @lilypink156 /Twitter (1); @tvgoldtweets /Twitter (2); @the_style_spotter /Instagram (1)