Well, friends, we did the impossible. After 11 weeks, two Bachelorettes, and one global pandemic, we’ve made it to the finale! Tayshia is down to her final
two three men. As per usual, Chris Harrison is doing the most in his intro voice-over:
Chris Harrison: Will she get engaged to her soulmate, or will she DIE A LONELY OLD SPINSTER?!
Damn, Chris. I know we’re living in the time of COVID, but there are other men on this planet if she decides she’s not into these guys!
We pick up where we left off, with Tayshia having a sidebar with a producer. She’s being filmed behind some blinds after being blindsided by Ben. You gotta love the producers’ commitment to imagery and metaphors on this show. They had to get them where they could, because lord knows Ivan wasn’t going to liken love to his testicles morphing into icicles on his fantasy suite date. Ben is sitting awkwardly on Tayshia’s couch. He says that by looking at Tayshia’s eyes, he sees there’s more under there. Kind of a strange way to point out under-eye bags, but Ben’s never really had a way with words. I guess it beats the alternative I’m used to getting:
Who can relate?
Ben’s talking a lot about his “love” for Tayshia, but isn’t really saying much. When Tayshia pushes back and asks him if he’s always going to run when things get hard, his response is, “I blew it”. Accurate, but not promising! Instead of sticking with her gut and sending him home for a second time, SHE INVITES HIM TO THE ROSE CEREMONY! They then walk out together, hug, and Tayshia initiates a very passionate kiss. Who knew she was a sucker for a moose knuckle?! While I definitely don’t agree with her decision, I can’t wait to see Zac and Ivan’s reactions when Ben rolls up to the rose ceremony.
The Rose Ceremony
Ivan walks into the rose ceremony with the pre-elimination confidence that has become a hallmark of this show. Feeling the pressure from the producers for not delivering the required love similes on the ice bucket date, he offers the consolation prize of saying it feels awesome to be “open” and “vulnerable” (or “vonurble”, as Tayshia would say). Not for long, buddy. Zac says he’s ready for a proposal. Ben walks in with a goofy grin on his face, as if he expects Ivan and Zac will be happy to see him. I think Bennett gave the book about emotional intelligence to the wrong guy.
Ivan & Zac:
Like many people who’ve gotten dumped, Tayshia proceeds to explain Brendan’s absence by saying “it just didn’t work out.” Control that narrative, girl! She’s about to start handing out roses but then stops and asks Ivan if they can go talk. Ivan’s face says he knows what’s coming next. They then have a cryptic talk about religious differences, but give no specifics about said differences. Is Ivan a Scientologist? That’s the only legitimate theory I can come up with for this abrupt dismissal.
All kidding aside, it may be that Ivan is atheist or agnostic. Tayshia has always been open about her devout Christian beliefs, so it’s possible this is the reason she sent Ivan home. It’d be a shame if that were the only reason she eliminated him, but, let’s face it, she’s been favoring Brendan and Zac for weeks. Given the honest conversations Tayshia and Ivan had about race, it seems strange, and frankly frustrating, that ABC isn’t allowing an unfiltered exchange about religion. Then again, this is ABC we’re talking about, so maybe that’s asking for too much. Ivan takes the elimination in stride like the angel he is. Love you, Ivan! See you in Paradise.
Ben Meets The Family
The next day we catch up with Tayshia writing in her
burn book journal. She meets up with her family and I remember how much I enjoyed Tayshia’s dad, Desmond, eviscerating Colton when Tayshia was competing on his season. Like most viewers, Desmond doesn’t have time for BS. Tayshia tells her family that they’ll be meeting Ben, whom she had previously sent home. Desmond is understandably skeptical and wants some answers. This is gonna be good.
Ben meets with Tayshia’s mom, Rosario, first and keeps talking about how he’s never felt this way before, and the way Tayshia makes him feel, yet he can’t seem to identify the feeling(s) in question. Everything he says is surface-level and there’s no real substance to any of it. It seems like Ben is in love with the idea of love, more so than Tayshia specifically. It doesn’t go much better with Desmond.
Desmond: What do you see in Tayshia?
Ben also tells Desmond about how he and Tayshia talked about “showing up” for Tayshia. Does he think that physically coming back after being sent home is what showing up means? She meant showing up for her emotionally, Ben!
Zac Meets The Family
The tone of Zac’s meeting with the family is completely different. Instead of making his answers all about him and his feelings, he expresses his love for Tayshia by showing love to her family. He even seems to win over Desmond, who says he’s going to be tough on Zac. Instead of saying the things he thinks Desmond wants to hear, Zac is honest about his failed marriage and is able to reflect on his past mistakes, even weaving in a reference to the standards Desmond has set and how Zac wants to live up to them.
I gotta give it to Zac; he is incredibly authentic and eloquent. He talks about marriage with Tayshia like it’s a real thing that’s going to happen, not some abstract idea like Ben does when he broaches the subject. Zac is making my job as snarky recapper very difficult, but he totally won me over — until he started pretending he was an authentic New Yorker with that whole pizza charade. Zac, you’re from South Jersey! Rep some hoagies like the Philly boy you are and cool it with the tired NYC cliches.
The next day Tayshia hears a knock at her door. Fearing that Bennett has gone full American Psycho, she reluctantly answers. It turns out to be her dad, which isn’t a much better sign. He tells her that the family doesn’t want her to make the biggest mistake of her life by rushing into another marriage. Tayshia starts to break down recounting how her dad was there for her in the throes of her divorce. It was raw and one of her realest moments thus far. She’s starting to have doubts.
Zac & Tayshia’s Date
On their date, Zac reassures Tayshia that he’s ready to take the next step, but Tayshia seems skeptical. Damn, Desmond really got to her! They find out that their date is to learn a wedding dance routine and Tayshia looks about as excited as Brendan did when he met Neil Lane to try on wedding jewelry. Gotta love karma. She keeps getting in her own head and is struggling to relax into the dance moves. Zac is patient with her and they actually pull off a sweet little routine. I’m honestly impressed they learned that in one lesson. It took me and my husband about two months to put together a solid first dance. Respect.
Later that evening they have a casual night in, and Tayshia is honest about her fears that Zac’s feelings will change. He tells her that he is nine years sober today and that his sobriety allows him to not run away and that he’ll love her no matter what she decides to do with her life. Ok, why am I crying in the club right now? And by “in the club” I mean “on my couch”.
Tayshia seems convinced, and frankly, so am I. It’s one of the most authentic exchanges we’ve ever seen on this show and it’s nice to see a couple talk about real-life issues for a change. “I think she believes in me,” Zac says, and I start to tear up. WTF is happening? Is this show…actually making me feel genuine human emotion?
Me watching this season of The Bachelorette:
Ben & Tayshia’s
When Ben meets up with Tayshia “the next day”, she is wearing the same tragic denim number she was wearing when her dad came to talk to her. So she’s either running out of wardrobe options in quarantine or there’s a bit of a continuity issue here and she went to dump Ben after talking to Desmond. She tells Ben that her heart is with Zac and, as usual, Ben looks like a deer in headlights. He takes it pretty well, albeit with way too many “umm”s, and says he’s happy for her. I do feel bad for Ben. He’s a sweet guy and he deserves to find love, but he needs to work through some of his issues with self-worth before jumping into a serious relationship, let alone a marriage. We’re rooting for you, Ben!
The Big Day
It’s engagement day! Tayshia and Zac are getting ready and Neil Lane is back to shill his gaudy rings. Zac looks handsome in his blue suit. Tayshia meets up with Chris Harrison and the exchange is kind of odd. She says she questions if she’s ever been in love until now and then bursts into tears that don’t really look happy. Even Chris seems confused.
Chris: What is going on?
The proposal set-up is kind of a hot mess. The area rug from the Airstream trailer fantasy suite isn’t helping. Tayshia tells us she feels stressed, overwhelmed, and scared. So basically all of the things one should be feeling right before getting engaged after knowing someone for 30 seconds. She says she doesn’t know if she’s doing the right thing. I’m a little concerned. Is she feeling the pressure of not wanting to disappoint ABC and the fans given the whole Clare debacle?
Things improve when Zac arrives. His engagement speech is really personal and from the heart. It’s undoubtedly the best one I’ve ever heard on this show or The Bachelor. Tayshia starts her speech and after telling Zac that she knows she told him she loved him, takes an extremely long, producer-suggested pause. I admit they got me for a second and I was scared she was bolting. But she continues and tells Zac she wants to jump in fountains all over the world with him
and star in endless FabFitFun endorsement deals together. He gets down on one knee and she says yes! Like the true New Yawkah he is, he yells “TAXI!” and the two ride off Flintstone-style into the desert sunset in a cardboard cab the way god and Chris Harrison intended.
And there we have it! Unfortunately (or fortunately, given the endless hours of our lives ABC takes each year) we have no After the Final Rose to catch up with Tayshia and Zac, but it looks like they’re still going strong. This was an excellent season with some of the most mature and authentic men we’ve ever had. Keep it up, ABC! Thanks for joining me this week, guys, and congratulations to the happy couple!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin (2); Giphy (6)
Well, everybody, we’ve made it to the final week of The Bachelorette. In keeping with the “unprecedented times”, ABC is breaking protocol and giving us fantasy suites and the finale in the same week. I’d like to think this is a gift to us for having to put up with Clare’s therapy sessions masquerading as dates, but we know better: they have to keep things moving in time for the premiere of Matt’s season. I’ll be filling in for my esteemed colleague Ryanne this week, so please be gentle in the comments. Let’s get to it!
We begin with Tayshia discussing the importance of the fantasy suite dates and her confidence in the final three. We then cut to Ivan, Brendan, and Zac being forced to sit together and allude to their potential future as eskimo brothers. It’s awkward AF and will be a running theme throughout the episode. Meanwhile, Tayshia has a
forced Bachelorette synergy “girl chat” with JoJo. They’re really trying to make JoJo happen, huh? Despite Ed’s notes, Chris Harrison continues his practice of barging in on the men without even a courtesy knock. This time he tells them that they better be prepared to get down on one knee and propose.
Chris: If you’re not ready for an engagement, GTFO!
And so begins Brendan’s mental spiral.
To my surprise, Ivan gets the first fantasy suite date. I personally love Ivan. He’s far and away my favorite of the three men, but he’s too pure for Tayshia and, arguably, this world. However, he tells us he did The Secret and manifested the first date. You go,
Glen Coco Ivan! Zac is visibly pissed and Brendan looks like someone told him that it’s now a federal offense to wear turtlenecks. Zac reminds us that regardless of the men’s feelings about the other men, this is about Tayshia. Finally, a man who understands the concept of The Bachelorette!
Just watching the way that Tayshia interacts with Ivan, it’s clear that he’s not the frontrunner in her mind. As if the lukewarm peck she gave him weren’t proof enough, we find out that their date is a f*cking ice bath. Now if that’s not a metaphor for her feelings for Ivan, I don’t know what is. “Are you excited?” she asks, with that pseudo British inflection she adopts when asking questions. Ivan smiles through the pain. This is the most unromantic concept for a date that I can possibly think of, especially one that’s designed to precede sex. The shrinkage alone! Rude, Tayshia. Rude. Even Big Paulie, who according to Chris Harrison is a “Bachelor Nation favorite” (sure, Jan), deems the effects of this date on Ivan’s prospects later on “devastating”. Slapping a potential “world record” on this turd of a date isn’t fooling anyone, Tayshia! You may as well have had an intern spray paint a football field on some cardboard with “Friend Zone” at either end.
Meanwhile, back at the house:
Zac seems to be handling things a little better. He gets the second date card and gives us his best Matthew McConaughey.
During the evening portion of Ivan’s date, he tells Tayshia he’s falling in love with her. She says she’s been falling for him too, but I’m just not feeling the sparks between these two. Their conversation doesn’t have much substance and basically consists of them parroting things back to each other. “I cried in front of you!” “I cried in front of you!” Apparently this is enough to take things to the fantasy suite, which in this case is an Airstream trailer that inside looks like it was designed by 2009 me after winning an Urban Outfitters shopping spree. I love a boho-chic moment, but this is not the mood for fantasy suites. This looks like it would be better for a Real Housewives girls’ trip (OC, obv). Apparently it had the desired effect, though, because they stayed up all night talking, according to Ivan. I don’t get the feeling they had sex. Maybe a little over-the-pants action, but nothing more.
Ivan returns to the house and recaps the date. Unsurprisingly, Zac and Brendan look pissed. Brendan, clearly a masochist, asks if they got any sleep. Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to, Brendan! Ivan is apparently an emotional cutter as well because
a producer told him to ask he asks what Zac’s date card said. Yikes.
The vibe on this date is completely different than the date with Ivan. Tayshia is straight-up giddy. The feeling is mutual for Zac and he tells us no less than 14 times that he can’t wait to EXPLORE Tayshia. Vom. That’s exactly what the guy you go on one Hinge date with tells you right before he never calls you again. Their date is body painting, which may as well be the polar (see what I did there) opposite of Ivan’s date. This date is essentially foreplay with colors. They slap on some paint and proceed to aggressively make out in front of the camera crew. Do they have no shame??
During the evening portion, they get into deeper topics, specifically, Zac’s stance on having kids. Zac says he realizes now that he does want to be a dad and he then proceeds to tell Tayshia that he loves her. The moment was really genuine, so much so that it moves Tayshia to tears and she says she loves him back. I can’t even be snarky, it was a lovely moment. This is what happens when you put age-appropriate men on this show!
They move on to the fantasy suite, and the set-up alone is another personal affront to Ivan. Zac and Tayshia get a whole-ass suite that looks much nicer than the “El Presidente” suite Tayshia’s been living in all season. The unmitigated gall of these producers to do Ivan so dirty!
Ivan watching this back:
The next morning, Tayshia and Zac are jumping on the bed like two toddlers hopped up on pixie sticks. Interestingly, Tayshia says in a confessional that Brendan has had her heart since day one. This should be interesting given Brendan’s sheer terror all episode. Zac returns to the house with a sh*t-eating grin on his face. Ivan remains mostly calm. Brendan looks…constipated.
Brendan tells us that he’s worried about the prospect of getting engaged again so quickly after getting divorced. Brendan clearly didn’t get the memo on not telling producers about your biggest fears, lest they be exploited to the high heavens, and so his fate is sealed. The date is hosted by F*CKING NEIL LANE! Neil, apparently pissed he had to cobble together a ring for Clare with barely 24 hours’ notice, negotiated some more airtime for his tacky wares and so we need to endure this product placement we’re calling a “date”. A date like this would be torture for just about any straight male who’s been dating a woman for a matter of weeks, but for Brendan, it is hell on earth, and it shows.
Neil keeps telling Brendan not to get nervous, then proceeds to talk endlessly about engagements and weddings. As if this wasn’t anxiety-producing enough, they then FORCE BRENDAN TO TRY ON WEDDING BANDS! I swear his hands were shaking. These producers are laying it on thick. They’ve even got Neil Lane waxing poetic about how rings are circular (no sh*t) and that marriage is FOREVER, as if Brendan, who has been married before, doesn’t already know this. Is Robert De Niro going to pop out and tell Brendan he’s been admitted into Tayshia’s circle of trust, too?
This date is messy AF. I guess this is one way to test his appetite for a proposal at the end.
The night portion of the date doesn’t get any better. Unfortunately, Tayshia saved her best dress for this date. Brendan is…wearing a black T-shirt. Not a good sign. Tayshia brings up Brendan’s distance and he admits he’s been struggling with the idea of an engagement. He confesses that he’s still broken. It was raw and honestly heartbreaking. Tayshia doesn’t put up a fight and sends him home. She says he’s the one she pictured herself with at the end. I’m sure whoever she chooses will be thrilled to watch that back.
Tayshia and Rachel
We get a surprise appearance from Rachel, who looks stunning. As happy as I was to see Rachel again, I didn’t really understand why she was there. The conversation was pretty superficial at the beginning, until Rachel asks Tayshia about any regrets she might have. Then it became very clear why she was invited: to create an opening to talk about Ben, who is obviously going to pull a Bennett and come back to ask for another chance. To which I say:
The Rose Ceremony Ben’s Mea Culpa
The men are getting ready for the rose ceremony and Ivan’s look here was giving me major Drake vibes. I’m not mad about it. We then see a shot from the waist down of some bulging thighs in capri pants making their way up the path of the La Quinta, and it’s immediately clear that Ben has returned. He tells Chris Harrison that he shuts down when things are tough and he wants to resolve things with Tayshia.
Tayshia, meanwhile, has two roses left, and to symbolize this she has brought the girls out for the night. She looks gorgeous and is feeling good about her final two, so of course Ben has to swoop in and f*ck it all up! He knocks on Tayshia’s door and she looks THRILLED to see him. He confesses his love for her, admits that he blew it in the moment, and tells her he sees a life with her. Tayshia’s immediate response is to freak the f*ck out and run to her producer. Not a great sign, buddy! All I know is if she cuts Ivan for this clown I will
have ABC’s head continue to loyally watch this train wreck. See you tomorrow!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (3)
Welcome back, friends, to another riveting week of watching Instagram’s thirstiest talent gallivant around a La Quinta Inn & Suites! Serious question, guys: is this season ever going to end? We’re now eight weeks into this hellscape built from Mike Fleiss’s dark quarantine imagination, and Tayshia still has a small football field full of guys left. I worry that Chris Harrison’s son will have graduated from college before this godforsaken season ends. *Heavy, dramatic sigh* I suppose that’s why there’s boxed wine.
This week, Tayshia seems a little down, which is understandable, because at the end of all this she’s supposed to choose one of these losers as a life companion. Lol. Good luck, girl! ABC decides to put some pep in Tayshia’s step by setting up the world’s saddest brunch and a visit from former Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher. Woooow, pulling out the big guns here. I guess they can’t afford to have one more Bachelorette quit on them this season.
I love that ABC is trying to pass off JoJo as a success story. Sure, she met a man through this show, but that man was also Jordan Rodgers and she’s been engaged to him for longer than some of Gen-Z has been alive. So, should we really be taking her advice on love?
We learn that JoJo is not just here to sip on off-brand OJ and the Eggo waffles production stole from the hotel breakfast bar—she’ll be playing Bachelorette host while Chris Harrison is moving his kid into college. This explains so much about Chris’s sudden work ethic on this show. Mainly that he has one at all these days. He needs to earn that Christmas bonus if he wants to pay for college and keep his kid on the the “rowing team.”
JOJO WALKING ONTO SET LIKE:
Zac’s One-On-One Date
Zac gets the first one-on-one date of the week, and I wish I could be excited for this. It’s not that I don’t like Zac per se, but he’s just so… delicate looking. It’s off-putting for me. During their date, Tayshia and Zac must participate in a wedding photoshoot, which is fun because I only have to scroll through 1,000 of these on my IG feed daily. I can barely muster up some semblance of human emotion when it’s my closest friends posting their third #tbt of the week of them nuzzling noses with their husbands. Must the insanity continue on my television screen??
Okay, this just feels cruel. Tayshia just said she’s having PTSD flashbacks from her first marriage, and ABC does this to her! What’s next? Are they going to make them sit through a faux divorce hearing for funsies?
Zac says that Tayshia is “acting weird.” Oh really? What threw you off, Zac? That she looks like she’d like rather chew off her own arm than be in this room right now? Your observational skills are astounding, buddy.
Okay, who is the creative director behind these outfits? Because they should be burned at the stake. If this is some sort of comeback for my arch nemesis and Bachelorette stylist Cary Fetmen, then I should go ahead and just blind myself now.
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TAYSHIA: You were married for less than two years? I was married for less than two years!
ZAC: I love that we can share things like that!
Yes, because nothing says budding romantic future like “I know how to get the dog and the house in a divorce.” Also, there are A LOT of divorcees in this group. I know ABC was looking for older, “more mature” men this season, but I didn’t realize that every single guy over 30 is also divorced. The future is bleak, ladies.
Later on in the date, Zac dives into some deep sh*t. He talks about how he had a brain tumor and how that experience messed him up, which led him to substance abuse, getting arrested, and eventually breaking up his first marriage. Once again, ABC is presenting us with fully formed people and their real-life struggles, not manufactured sob stories that are mostly aired to drum up ratings. I mean this is very dark, and ABC could have easily cut this stuff out or whittled it down to just the juiciest sound bites, but instead gave us the full thing. Again, is this progress?
Also, while I’m glad Zac feels brave enough to tell his story on national television, Tayshia did ask him why he was single earlier in the season and I think he gave some variation of a shrug, when actually THIS is why he’s still single. The man has seen some sh*t.
After a night full of soul baring, the two go on a romantic ferris wheel ride, a ride that I’m sure wasn’t at all cobbled together by Chris Harrison before taking his leave earlier that day. Their date ends with Zac getting the date rose and (probably) Tayshia giving him an over-the-pants handie for his efforts.
The Group Date
The boys walk into the next group date and the first thing they see is an aging couple embracing in the nude. So… the group date is porn? Because that feels like the natural trajectory of this season.
We learn that the boys are going to be participating in a nude art class, which should be interesting because I’m pretty sure half these guys still openly giggle when they hear the word “penis.” *cough* Blake *cough, cough*
THE GUYS RN DRAWING THEIR FAMILY TRAUMAS:
Next up on the art class agenda: the men have to create something out of clay that represents “their time with Tayshia.” Oh, and they have to do it blindfolded. Considering the only creative bone in these guys’ bodies is the linguistic gymnastics they perform when they get caught by a girlfriend for liking a Fashion Nova model’s bikini pic on Instagram and need to avoid her wrath, this clay business should be fun.
I see that I’m proven right. Blake just sculpts a massive dick. Bennett uses his clay creation as a thinly veiled excuse to talk about his extravagant number of houses. Speaking of which, did y’all just hear that? I think at the mention of “Hamptons” you could almost hear the sound of his DMs exploding.
Finally, the men are to create a self portrait. Ah, I see they’re going to use the term “self portrait” here loosely. One guy just holds up an empty picture frame, Blake paints a turtledove, and Ivan crafts a makeshift puzzle. Meanwhile, Ben’s face every time one of them bares their soul is absolutely priceless. Ben definitely just drew a stick figure and that’s it.
He’s watching these guys pull out these high-concept art pieces (seemingly out of their asses!!) based on their various childhood traumas, and I have a feeling that the worst thing that’s ever happened to Ben was that one time he got turned away from Raya. I wonder how he’ll translate “not famous-adjacent enough” into picture form?
Oh my god. What is he doing. OH MY GOD. WHAT IS HE DOING!!! Ben decides to take the self portrait thing literally by presenting himself! In the nude!!!! MY GOD, SHE SAID EXPRESS YOUR EMOTIONS, NOT TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF.
BEN: This is only a small part of me.
Is that his trauma? That he has average dick?!
Even though Tayshia looks like she’d rather spend an evening in a padded cell than listen to one more second of this soul baring, there’s still more to this date! We learn that Ben’s getting naked was about more than just swinging his dick around. It’s a symbolic gesture of body positivity since he’s struggled with bulimia. I’m glad he’s sharing his story since male eating disorders are hardly ever publicized, I’m just not used to The Bachelorette being so, like, real.
Eazy’s One-On-One Date
Eazy gets the second one-on-one date of the week, and I’m interested to see more of him. All I know is that he’s beautiful and an alleged predator and that ABC has declined to comment about it. For the date, the two of them are going ghost hunting for everything but apparently the ghosts in Eazy’s past. So, let me get this straight. In addition to being a Fear Factor set, an underground cage fighting ring, and the birth place of the esteemed Grown-Ass Man awards, La Quinta is also the grounds for supernatural energy? Wow, the branding here is all over the place.
We learn that somewhere on hotel property, a lunatic billionaire died of mysterious circumstances. I’m pretty sure the only historic character this hotel actually has is those two aging nudists on their vacation, but sure, tell me more about this supposed ghost story.
They go explore all of the “haunted” attractions, and I simply cannot take this date seriously. I think at one point Tayshia turns off a light and an ABC intern throws a doll on a chair. Oooh, scary. Tayshia, of course, lets out a horrific scream and it’s like, please. I’ve seen scarier sh*t in my DMs. What’s next? Juan Pablo popping out in a bedsheet as a ghost of Bachelors past?
The ghost storyline proves to be the least shocking part of this entire date, because Tayshia actually sends Eazy home after dinner. To be fair, Eazy did come out of left f*cking field with that love talk. He says that he’s falling for Tayshia and that sometimes you can just feel these things in your bones. At the use of the “L” word, Tayshia sends Eazy home on the spot. So, somehow Ed is still on this show but Eazy is gone? Make it make sense.
The La Quinta ghosts watching Tayshia’s choice to send Eazy home #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/kAv69SiHxp
— Niki Bell (@nicoletteholly) December 2, 2020
The Two-On-One Date
Noah and Bennett are sent on the dreaded two-on-one date before tonight’s rose ceremony. It’s interesting that these two are the guys going head-to-head. On the one hand we have Bennett, who has multiple estates in tropical locales. On the other hand, we have Noah, a man who will at one point tonight try and give someone a wet willy. I can see how this choice could be debilitating for Tayshia.
While waiting for Tayshia, you know, the whole reason these two are even allowed to breathe on our television screens, they exchange barbs that are surely making Harvard reevaluate its admission process. Bennett, being the egotistical dick that he is, decides to gift Noah with a little going away present:
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God, I can’t wait for Taysha to find out what’s in that box. Until next week, kids!
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Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; @bachelorettewindmill /Instagram (1); @nicoletteholly /Twitter (1); ABC (3); Giphy (2); @bacheloretteabc /Instagram (1); @brettsvergara /Twitter (1)
Welcome back to your regularly scheduled Bachelorette recap! As weird as it’s been watching Chris Harrison on my screen on Tuesday nights instead of Monday nights, it’s even weirder that we’ll be watching grown men throw temper tantrums before being ejected from a hotel lobby during a week that’s traditionally been reserved for humbleness and gratefulness. But I suppose since Thanksgiving is cancelled and I’ll be spared from drunk relatives making passive aggressive comments about how many crop top pictures I have on Instagram, watching The Bachelorette is the closest I’ll get to experiencing that particular holiday spirit. Carry on.
Last week, my world was rocked when a man whose entire personality is a mustache somehow managed to steal
my heart a group date rose on a group date he was not even invited on! Look, I’ve spent the last week trying to understand the power of the ‘stache and I think for me there’s a nostalgic factor to it. It reminds me of high school when I crushed on a member of the Young Republicans (back in those days all it took was a frocket and Vineyard Vines croakies to get ya girl going). We were star-crossed because I was (and he used to whisper this part) a liberal and he told me it could never work (he was right). Anyways, now he lives with his parents and works at his daddy’s dealership and that feels like the appropriate life cycle for someone who used to show up to Algebra II with the facial hair of a 1970s porn star.
Moving on. Chris Harrison declares that “Tayshia likes bold,” which is an interesting sentiment to say about a woman who continues to choose bland white guys.
CHRIS HARRISON: I know you all have a lot of strong feelings for Tayshia, now put it in a song!
Well, now I know what I’ll say I’m not grateful for at the virtual Thanksgiving dinner table.
Chris tells the guys that they will be competing in a songwriting competition even though literally nobody asked for this. It’s unclear as to if this is an official group date or if the men now have to compete to be on a date in general. The winner of this “date” will get to spend the rest of the evening with Tayshia.
The men go off to write their sonnets and it’s… not going well. I have a feeling the last time these guys wrote anything it was a DM to a Russian bot disguised as a Fashion Nova Instagram model.
BENNETT: I’ve spit some flow in my time.
Dear god, Bennett is rapping about brie. OF COURSE he’s rapping about the contents of the cheeseboard at his last alumni get together.
The rest of the guys’ performances range from “slightly cringe” to “I wish I was dead I’m so uncomfortable.” Honestly, Ivan and Demar put on decent performances and by “decent” I mean my ears didn’t completely bleed. In the end, Ivan wins the one-on-one time with Tayshia.
Back at the hotel, the other guys question Tayshia’s choice for the one-on-one date. Noah is acting far too confident for a man who is a walking punchline, and I love it. Say what you want, but the man makes for good TV! I also love that he’s now decided to brand himself as “bold.” Chris Harrison used that word one time and looked in Noah’s general direction while he said it, and now Noah is about to change his Instagram bio to “the BOLD guy from The Bachelorette.” I swear, you give these contestants an inch, and they turn it into a marketing ploy for a FabFitFun deal.
Meanwhile, on Ivan and Tayshia’s date, their alone time starts off rocky at best. Tayshia comes up with a “game” to pass the time which involves walking on furniture and an uncomfortable amount of giggling. Oh, Tayshia. This is not a game, this is a psychotic break!! How bored are you?? A sh*tty sober version of True American is actually the saddest date I can think of.
Even though I just mercilessly mocked this date, know that it’s only because I’m 100% dead inside. But if I did have a heart that wasn’t a charred, shriveled tumor of a thing, I would admit that actually Ivan is a real treat. It’s funny because if this were a normal season of The Bachelorette and the cast wasn’t shackled to the property line of La Quinta, I don’t think he would have gone as far on this show. He’s quiet and thoughtful and just a little bit awkward, which usually makes for a three-episode character arc MAX. He’s honestly too good for this show, but I’m glad he’s still here. Congratulations kids, you have my blessing!
In a rare show of authenticity, ABC doesn’t cut the part of the episode where Tayshia and Ivan discuss the Black Lives Matter movement and their feelings about growing up biracial in America (Tayshia is part Mexican and Ivan is part Filipino). Normally, this is the part where I’d make a snarky comment about ABC capitalizing off of genuine human pain, but honestly I’m just glad they’re giving this issue the time and attention it deserves. I’m used to them producing content that involves a soundbite of something real sandwiched between shots of contestants engaging in activities that would likely bring dishonor to their family names. Is this what progress looks like?
Unsurprisingly, Ivan gets the date rose and probably every single woman in America (myself included) will be sending him nudes in his DMs. I still think he’s way too good for this show. He’s attractive, emotionally available, and has a job that doesn’t require a swipe up code. Tayshia, I beg of you, don’t f*ck this one up!
The ‘Fear Factor’ Group Date
The losers of the song writing contest get to go on a second group date, and ABC doesn’t even try to explain the reasoning behind this. This isn’t the live audience on Ellen where everyone gets to be a winner!
I love that even when the contestants are allowed a second chance to impress Tayshia, they’re still on a date where the sole purpose is to humiliate them. It appears that watching Blake struggle with an accordion just scratches the surface for what ABC has in store for them. Now, the guys are tasked with participating in an elaborate version of “truth or dare.” The dare portion will take place during broad daylight (all the better to watch the monkeys dance), while the truth portion will take place at night during the cocktail hour. I’m sure plying the guys with alcohol from the hotel’s bottom-shelf liquor supply will play no role in dispensing these “truths.” Carry on.
It turns out by “truth or dare,” ABC was really going for a demented version of Fear Factor. The guys are tasked with a number of zany dares, like exposing themselves to Chris Harrison, pretending to cum over a loudspeaker, and downing ghost peppers before delivering a fake proposal. Classic.
Hot takes from the dare date:
1. I love that the guys manage to catch Chris Harrison between bites of lobster on his casual lunch break. My breaks from work usually involve me crying softly on the floor of my living room while my dog looks on uninterestedly, but different strokes and all that.
2. These “cum cries” are crimes against humanity and should be prosecuted as such. Have these guys never watched porn before? Where are these sounds coming from?? No one’s has a more unsettling performative orgasm than Blake, who decides to hump the podium and jizz a little bit—but only for authenticity’s sake!! I think at one point Eazy says that Blake needs Jesus, and I would add maybe an exorcist as well.
Nothing of real interest happens during the truth portion of the game. I was ready for one of the guys to admit his first sexual experience was with a random cousin, or he has a finsta, or literally anything that could be defined as “interesting” or “shocking” but alas here we are. Bennett reveals he was engaged once before but broke it off for reasons that are mumbled under his breath, and are so garbled that not even production could decipher it for the subtitles. He admits that he feels strongly for Tayshia and I love how shocked he is at having genuine human emotions for another person. He usually reserves those kinds of sentiments for occasions where he gets to name drop his alma mater.
Zac and Tayshia also have a moment in the hot tub that feels weirdly intimate for two strangers hanging out on public hotel grounds. They cap off their time together by testing how chlorinated that hot tub truly is. For the hotel’s sake, I hope there are toxic levels in there, judging by all the groin rubbing happening on my screen. This display of
slap and tickle adoration wins Zac the group date rose (and probably a staph infection).
The One-On-One Dates No One Asked For
Ben and Ed are the only guys feeling uneasy about their time with Tayshia this week. If you’ll recall, last week Ben was scolded on the group date for not making time to talk to Tayshia during the cocktail hour, and Ed… well he just has a lot of ground to make up for having a neck like his.
They both have the grand idea to sneak off to Tayshia’s room because nothing says thoughtful, romantic grand gesture like knocking on a woman’s door on her goddamn day off. I can’t wait to see how this strategy plays out for them.
HAHAHAHA. I guess Ed’s producer hates him, because he ends up at Chris Harrison’s door instead of Tayshia’s. I love that even though this is clearly the wrong room, Ed still thinks Tayshia must be in the room somewhere. The budget isn’t that tapped, Ed! They are allowed separate rooms!
Also, let’s all take a moment to process that it’s 2:30 in the morning and not only is Chris Harrison awake, but he’s got a fresh bottle of white on ice.
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Okay, is it just me or does Chris Harrison look fuuuucked up tonight? Like, Ed caught him right as the chardonnay hit the sweet spot with his Xanax?
Meanwhile, Ben does find the correct room, proving that his producer has an ounce of human kindness. He apologizes to Tayshia for not speaking to her during the group date and because it’s 2am and she’s sleep deprived she accepts his apology.
The Rose Ceremony
Going into the rose ceremony tonight, patience is stretched thin: the men’s with Noah and mine with this plot line. As if sensing he’s not been given nearly enough screen time to warrant him having to shave off his mustache, he rolls up his sleeves and gets to stirring the f*cking pot.
NOAH: I thought what we had was electric, Tayshia.
ME: Please never use the word electric again.
His first move is to bring up his grievances to Tayshia. Normally, I’d say this is the kiss of death for any contestant but Noah is masterful in his manipulation. He doesn’t say “mommy the other guys are picking on me.” No, instead he says “mommy the other guys don’t respect your integrity” and all but lights a match to their reputations. *slow clasps* You gotta admire his ingenuity!
After this conversation, Tayshia hauls ass back to the rose ceremony to give the guys a verbal spanking they don’t really deserve. Honestly, I think this is the most I’ve lived this entire pandemic. *turns up volume*
Okay, Taysha is actually a very tame angry. Booooooo. Where are the tears? The huge, hiccuping sobs and mascara-running money shots? If I wanted to hear someone say “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” I would pick up my mom’s FaceTimes.
TAYSHIA: If any of you have an issue with my judgement then there’s the door, bitches.
Tayshia decides she’s heard enough from these losers and wants to start the rose ceremony immediately. I don’t blame her, I’ve had enough of their sh*t and I only have to spend two hours a week with them. Tayshia sends Chasen, Kenny, Jordan, and precious angel Joe home because I guess we aren’t allowed nice things. Joe, buddy, call me!
And that’s a wrap, y’all! See you hoes next week!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (2); ABC (3); @tvgoldtweets /Instagram (1); @tenor (1)
Well, Bachelor Nation, I’ve got four words for you: WE. ARE. BACK. BABY!!! It’s been a wild ride since Peter’s season of The Bachelor ended last March. So wild, in fact, that it feels like we could be living in a nightmare hellscape plucked directly out of one of Barb’s revenge fantasies. You know, the ones she reserved for anyone who wouldn’t f*ck her son in the fantasy suites. And don’t get me wrong, the hiatus has been nice! I’ve truly enjoyed spending 12-15 hours of my day binging on my second favorite reality TV show, 90 Day Fiancé, in its entirety. But there’s just something to be said for the soothing voice of Chris Harrison as he passive-aggressively eviscerates the lead’s attraction to a grown man wearing microscopic skinny jeans. God, I’ve missed that man and his thinly veiled disdain that’s fueled by Skinny Girl Margaritas and no-carb diets.
On that note, I’ll be your resident recapper for the season! If you’re wondering what makes me qualified for such an esteemed position, then let’s just say I’ve earned that title through blood, sweat, and
tears the deterioration of my liver. I’ve been recapping all things Bachelor for the last three years, and not only has that experience left a permanent stain on my soul (I still break out into a cold sweat anytime I hear a strumming guitar for fear that Jed will manifest out of the aether and try to serenade us with a dog food jingle again), but it’s also left me with a permanently low tolerance for bullsh*t. So, if you have any issues with the recaps, feel free to take it up in your group chat because the comments section is strictly for praise and adoration only. It says so in my contract.
Moving on. We’re told right away that tonight’s episode will only be two soul-sucking hours long, of which I’m sure Clare puns will make up approximately one hour and fifty-eight minutes of the episode. Cheers!
Speaking of our heroine, Clare enters from stage right and I am immediately shocked that she has not aged at least 10 years since her Bachelorette announcement at the start of the pandemic. Like, have they been harvesting her in a cryogenic chamber these last seven months?? Was she being kept in the same facility as Austin Powers before being reanimated to take on Dr. Evil?? That lady is pushing 40 and it appears a global pandemic, the deterioration of our democracy, and a summer of 11pm alcohol sale curfews have had literally no effect on her skin care regimen.
ME AFTER ONE WEEK IN QUARANTINE:
Someone make it make sense!!
Clare starts things off by taking us on a journey down memory lane and I actually did forgot just how extensive Clare’s Bachelor resume truly is. She’s like: “my journey ended so horribly wrong every time and yet somehow exactly as the producers intended.” Yes, it is curious, isn’t it Clare?
WHAT. SHE IS SO OLD HER MOTHER IS IN A CARE FACILITY?! Look, I know ABC is trying to spin her as the “mature” Bachelorette, but this is getting a little out of hand. What’s next? Will she let it slip that a former lover once gave her the hope diamond in her youth?
Things are looking dire for Clare. Production has shut down, the world is in quarantine, and she looks about moments away from starting a TikTok account for her dog when Chris Harrison saves us all from this painful vision of Christmas future by telling us that the men are currently waiting in quarantine and are on their way to meet her. Our hero!
First Impressions Of The Men
Usually, this is the part of every season where we’re treated to little snippets of the men’s lives before coming on the show. You know, the real who’s who of the season. (And by “who’s who” I mean, who is here to get some free publicity for the CrossFit they just opened and who is here to wear Clare’s skin as a suit.) But not so in 2020! Instead, we see less childhood homes and painful sob stories, and more of where all the n95s went in the shortage. Seriously, this summer, I was out here making hand sanitizer in my bathtub like it’s f*cking moonshine in prohibition, and ABC is over here flaunting that they have more Purell than lube this season.
Also, I know it feels like I’ve been glossing over the whole “production shut down because of a deadly pandemic” thing, but that is truly because ABC is giving it about as much air time as Grocery Store Joe’s first appearance on The Bachelorette. They briefly discuss their health and safety measures for the season (lots of testing and a strict quarantine) and no one seems the least bit traumatized about having to interact with 30+ strangers in close quarters where swapping bodily fluids is heavily encouraged. I guess I’ll just hyperventilate into a paper bag for them.
Speaking of the COVID tests, I am DEAD at watching these men get swabbed. They’re acting like production forced them to be waterboarded before going on national television. It’s just a little nose swab, guys! People are dying, Kim!!
Meeting The Men
After months of quarantine and weeks of COVID tests, Clare finally gets to meet her men. She steps out of the limo and it’s like, I’m sorry, but not even a global pandemic is a good enough excuse for that dress. Her stylist should be burned at the stake for that fashion atrocity. Look, I know early 2000s style is all the rage now, but literally, nobody asked you to refashion Hilary Duff’s purse from the 2004 Teen Choice Awards and make into a goddamn evening gown.
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What do you guys think of the show so far? Is it the mess you expected? Are you excited to finally see Clare? FOLLOW @inthebach 👈 FOLLOW @inthebach 👈 FOLLOW @inthebach 👈 FOLLOW @inthebach 👈 . . . #thebachelor #thebachelorette #bachelor #bachelornation #bachelornation🌹 #clarecrawley #mostdramaticseasonever #chrisharrison #abc #abcnetwork #dalemoss #bachelorinparadise #bip #tayshiaadams #tayshia #hannahbrown #bachelorgoat #greatestofalltime #nba
Dear GOD, my eyes!!
And would night one be complete without at least 15 minutes of filler bullsh*t? I think not! Chris sits Clare down to have a little heart-to-heart before the evening starts. He asks her what kind of man she’s looking for this season and Clare holds up a stock image of a human male. Seriously. She could have described a stick figure for all the detail she gave!
Moving on to the limo entrances. Let’s talk highlights:
-The first guy walks out of the limo, and I love that his big bold stunt is to breathe air near her face. The audacity!
-Jason’s schtick with the fake pregnant belly makes me want to take up witchcraft and place a gruesome curse on his future lineage. He says it’s to prove he’s “willing to hold the weight of the relationship and the labor of love” (sure, Jan), but I get the feeling Jason is the kind of guy who, whenever he gets into an altercation with a female coworker, makes a joke about her “being on the rag.”
-AJ tells us that he is horrible at first impressions and then follows that statement up by cumming in those very tight maroon pants after Clare accidentally touches his hand. He’s like, “that’s the first time I’ve touched a woman in months!” And if by “months” he means “ever,” then I believe it.
You certainly blew something, AJ.
-This is less of a highlight and more of an observation, but MY GOD there are a lot of “former athletes” this season. I feel like The Bachelorette has become a graveyard for failed NFL players. This is insane.
At one point Clare gushes that all the men “are just so sincere” which would go a little farther with me if the woman hadn’t been single for the last seven years. Yeah, I’m just really not going to take your word for it, Clare.
And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: DALEEEEEE. Dale walks out of the limo and I’m… underwhelmed. This is the man who brings The Bachelor franchise to its knees? Who supposedly causes production to shut down 4 weeks early—a feat that not even Colton and his fence jump could properly execute? Yeah, I’m not seeing it. I mean, he’s hot and all, but he acts like a Dale from South Dakota. I’m not impressed.
After exchanging five words with a man who has the personality of a blade of grass, Clare makes the bold proclamation that she’s found her husband. This causes Chris Harrison to immediately spit out the last sip of his Skinny Girl marg and dash out on camera to remind Clare, in a way that only feels mildly threatening, that she did in fact just meet Dale and he is a virtual stranger and so help him, you better not even THINK about mentioning DMs on camera, Clare.
The Cocktail Party
Fast forward to the cocktail party, and I’ve never seen such a hedonistic display of social interaction in all my life. 30 people! Maskless! Indoors! Speaking directly to each other’s faces! I have PTSD just watching this.
By far the most interesting part of the evening is when Clare’s dog breaks free of ABC’s least favorite intern, the one whom they’ve entrusted to watch the poor guy, and crashes the cocktail hour. I think my dog would have rather walked herself to the local Humane Society than subject herself to this, but at least someone’s enjoying themselves tonight!
Also, a plot twist I’d be very much down for: have the dog pick the winner! I’m sure it would be just as accurate as Clare “following her heart.”
The guy from Long Island who joked about dragging Clare to his cabin in the woods and then followed that up with a very strange statement about her being just as beautiful as his mother is the first guy she says has “great energy.” K. See THIS is why she’s been single for 40 years.
Sidenote: never has anyone said “I love your energy” about me. I mean, I’ve gotten a few “your personality ages like a cheap wine” or “you eventually wore me down.” But “love”? Not so much. That is a RED FLAG, CLARE! Nobody likes personalities anymore, let alone comments on them!
Ah, and just when I thought production was done trying to instigate petty fights on the first night. Tyler C, the man who showed up with only a few bags and a station wagon to his name, is upset that Yosef has used Instagram at some point in his life to interact with women. Oh, for god’s sake, GROW UP, man. This is the world we live in! Sliding into attractive people’s DMs is the equivalent of learning to ride a bike: it’s a coming of age moment that all people
TYLER C: *sniffles* But his Instagrams!!
“I’m not here for high school drama,” Tyler says as he begins the high school drama.
I wonder if this is what Clare’s father envisioned when he made her that DVD: a relationship that spawned out of his only daughter having to break down an Instagram DM at two in the morning with two men whose weekly grooming bill costs more than Clare’s entire outfit.
Wow, I love that Yosef has no qualms about using his daughter as a prop to qualify his being a “good guy.” Ted Bundy had a daughter too, Yosef! What’s your point?
Clare, to her credit, does not seem phased at all by this turn of events. After all, she did meet the boyfriend that she is most definitely dating on this show currently at this exact moment in time, through Instagram DMs.
Dale scores the First Impression Rose and I’m confused because it’s blatantly obvious that these two are dating. Like… they’re dating right?? Their conversations have been awkward at best and have mainly consisted of Clare profusely sweating and nervously giggling as Dale stares blankly in her face. I’ve had more chemistry with a TJ Maxx candle. You’re not fooling anyone, ABC!!
Yosef is still up in arms that anyone would think him here for the wrong reasons. I mean, he said he was a single father! According to Hallmark that and his rugged good looks is all he needs to validate his good intentions.
YOSEF: How dare you besmirch by character! I’m here for one reason and one reason only.
ALSO YOSEF ONE MINUTE AFTER THE ROSE CEREMONY:
#EverythingIsComingUpRoses, amiright Yosef?
Alright, let’s get to the good stuff. I don’t think anyone is really surprised by how the rose ceremony went, except maybe that the boy band manager was allowed to pollute our television screens for one more week.
Rejects Of The Night
Page, Chris, AJ, Jeremy, Jordan M., Mike, Robby, and Tyler C.
I guess Page, the tatted up chef from Austin, is the only one the producers could manipulate into giving an interview and I’m surprised no one offered him a tiny violin to go along with his lamenting. Do we think that Page knows that just because he flashed the heart tattooed on his cleavage, that doesn’t literally mean he’s showing anyone his heart? I feel like this is a line he frequently delivers to online dating prospects in the Austin area, and he must be stopped at all costs.
And that’s all she wrote, kids! Man, this was fun. These last few months I’ve been channeling all of my inner rage and angst into meaningful discussions with my therapist, and I forgot how much more satisfying it is to verbally skewer people on the internet instead. Can’t wait to do it again next week!
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Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; @montgomerycollins /Tumblr (1); Giphy (4); @tvgoldtweets /Instagram (1); @inthebach /Instagram (1)
The Bachelorette is back! After months of waiting, about a million spoilers, and one very heinous stand-in called Listen to your Heart that could only be punishment for something I did in a past life, our heroine Clare Crawley has finally embarked on her journey. And it was a bit familiar, no? I was hopeful that this season was going to be different.
After Peter’s season of The Bachelor, it was obvious the franchise had to change. The women were immature, Peter let his conscience penis be his guide, and the whole thing felt like an audition for an Instagram sponsored ad. And so naturally it led to a broken engagement and then a 30-hour relationship with the runner-up. Penises make bad choices! So I was heartened when production did not choose a 22-year-old influencer with more filler than a Real Housewife as our Bachelorette, but instead chose Clare, a 39-year-old who seemed to be serious about finding a husband. And look, guys, I know this show is mostly fake. Like Clare, I was not born yesterday. But I do appreciate the show at least attempting to put on a better charade. But unfortunately, as last night showed, the charade was the same. We’ve all been through a lot leading up to this premiere. And it seems that not even a global pandemic and the oldest Bachelorette in history can make The Bachelorette into something a little less absurd. Let me elaborate.
Of course we began with Chris Harrison giving the obligatory “unprecedented times” speech. I mean, the last thing I need during these unprecedented times is a rich dude that probably spent these unprecedented times on the golf course sipping scotch reminding me about it, but okay. And we see our contestants gallantly suffering through COVID tests just so that they can swallow Clare’s face whole in a hot tub somewhere.
Me when the guys are shrieking through their COVID tests:
And then after that, the show was off and up to its old tricks.
First, we had the drama between Yosef and the dude from West Virginia. It is too early in this season for me to remember everyone’s name so you get what you get, okay? Mr. West Virginia knew that Yosef was DM’ing girls before coming on this show. My god, my generation is embarrassing. Like 90% of our TV drama is based on DM’ing; history will look back on us with disgust. This virus would be cured if only we would stop wasting time DM’ing! Imagine what our brains could do!
The drama was brought immediately to Clare, and at first I was impressed that she shut them down to go talk to the other men. But of course, at the rose ceremony, she ended up picking Yosef anyway. What are you doing, Clare? He looks like a Batman villain! This is going to end badly! If I know how this storyline plays out on a Bachelor franchise show (I do) there will be more drama to come with Yosef.
Me too. It’s that you get kicked off after starting drama.
Then we also, of course, have the men who complain they didn’t get time to talk to the Bachelorette. There were a few that complained throughout the night, but Tattooed Chef really takes the whining to the next level. He says that she “could have met her husband tonight” and he wanted to show her his heart but not literally, and then points to the tattoo of a heart on his chest. That’s still not literally showing her your heart, pal. Just a little free grammar lesson for ya right there. I just can’t believe it’s 2020 and men are still complaining about not getting time to talk to the lead. C’mon guys! Take that confidence you all have to apply for jobs you’re not remotely qualified for, and bring it to this show! If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that time may be stagnant but we’re all still getting older, so if you have the opportunity to actually meet someone, just f*cking talk to them. I have no sympathy.
The men also have the same old ridiculous entrances. I’m sorry, but when I get out of quarantine after not seeing a man for the last seven months, the one that opens a ring box that farts at me will be immediately executed. I’m bringing King Henry VIII energy to post-pandemic dating, and I really wish Clare had channeled more homicidal maniacs herself. We also have the guy that wore a straitjacket the entire night, which fine, respect, and the guys that drove up in different cars. This parade of men could have been any other year. Even the guy in the bubble could have happened in the before times, because people seem to think those things are fun, and not vomit-inducing. Where are the guys that are going to impress me instead of make me want to watch the rest of the show through my hands while shrieking? Clare has waited this long, can’t we at least give her some men that didn’t first appear on America’s Funniest Home Videos?
I know that this season is going to be the “most dramatic ever” yada yada yada Chris Harrison’s bullsh*t, but even in the previews it felt familiar. Clare’s season is short and unconventional, but they’ve still managed to cram in some of their favorite overplayed things. Like Colton’s virginity and Peter’s pilot status before her, Clare’s age seems to be the subject destined to be harped on all season. If I had taken a shot every time I heard “oldest Bachelorette in history” in the five-minute season preview, I would actually be dead right now. Or at least so incapacitated my dog would have to write this article and then the whole thing would be about how I never brought her to a resort filled with men who would pet her and do I have to be such an anti-social troll? In that preview I also saw men who are not there for the right reasons and dramatic yelling. So nothing new to see here.
Look, I’m not saying that because we’ve had a global pandemic and Clare is 39, The Bachelorette had to do a 180 and no longer be fun. But this is a reality show. And reality has changed. I know mine has changed! In February I had a job, an apartment, and a daily workout class. I no longer have those things, so the way I approach things is different, and the things I talk about are totally different. But if ABC hadn’t given us Chris Harrison’s dramatic intro, it would honestly have been like nothing happened. Like all things, The Bachelor/ette must adapt or die. My tolerance now for petty bullsh*t is a little bit lower, and my desire to hear about the banana bread someone baked is a little bit higher. Were there chocolate chips in it? Did they add pumpkin? Just give me a little something!
In all seriousness, I hope that as we move on in the season that we do see a little perspective from the contestants and a little more authenticity throughout the whole process. This year is already bonkers! No need to manufacture all the same old drama as before. I’m giving you another episode (okay fine, the whole season), so show me what you got, Bachelorette.
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I remember it like it was yesterday. Back in March, when life still had meaning and we all still had plans, ABC gave us the first sneak peek of Clare Crawley’s Bachelorette contestants. That day (which happened to be my first day of coronavirus WFH), I roasted these men for their ages, their outfits, and in Matt James’ case, for being Bachelor Nation’s equivalent of a nepotism hire. I eagerly anticipated the start of filming and the spoilers that would inevitably begin rolling in before long.
I don’t think I need to explain what happened to the world after that, but obviously Clare’s season did not start filming in March. But
84 years four months later, even as the universe continues to crumble around us, it’s finally Clare’s time. Filming will commence this month, with the entirety of production happening in a bubble at the La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs. The resort, which is still closed to the public, boasts a confusingly large number of swimming pools (41), so they could literally have every single date by a different pool. Worry not, this season will be fine.
Today, we got our long-awaited first (second?) look at Clare’s actual, final batch of contestants, and so once again, we must unpack. First of all, there are a lot of dudes—42, to be exact. This is obviously way too many (they can’t even all have their own swimming pool!), but production actually cast extra guys for the season in case anyone tests positive for coronavirus before filming starts. Usually, prospective cast members just have to worry about testing positive for STDs. So many fun things to think about in 2020. Also, I imagine at least one of these guys will get cut before night one when his shady past resurfaces.
Some of the guys have stuck around since the first round of casting, which must mean they really like Clare, or they REALLY want more Instagram followers. Either way, I appreciate the dedication. But obviously, a lot has changed in the last four months, and there are many new faces competing for Clare’s heart. Most importantly, it looks like ABC actually tried to fix the age issue. In Clare’s OG group of contestants, more than 70 percent of the men were in their 20s, which seemed like an odd strategy for a 39-year-old Bachelorette. In the new group, only 16 out of 42 guys are in their 20s, which is less than 40 percent. Clare can still go for a younger guy if she wants to, but she won’t have to default to guys she could have babysat growing up.
The age shift means that our previous youngest contestant, 23-year-old finance bro in training James C, is no longer in the mix. Too bad, maybe he can try again in a year (or five). Now, Clare’s youngest option is 25-year-old Noah from Tulsa. While Noah is perhaps a bit young, and his watch is perhaps a bit big, he is VERY cute. I could see him doing well, but it all depends if Clare likes her guys on the younger side.
And on the opposite end of the spectrum, Clare’s oldest contestant is 40-year-old Jeremy. He’s the only contestant in his 40s, which still seems like a weird choice, but whatever. Jeremy is from Virginia Beach, so I’m curious if he’s had any encounters with the infamous Virginia Beach Husband Stealer, Victoria F. If there’s any hope left for 2020, I really need Jeremy to address this on night one. Also, does he sort of look like Arie, or do I need to get outside more?
My favorite thing about this cast announcement is that, likely due to quarantine, the DMV photo vibe is GONE. Instead, we have gorg headshots, most of which were taken outside or in front of actual walls that don’t look like Walmart photo studio backdrops. Sure, some of them should’ve found better lighting (Karl and Chris, looking at you), but overall these pictures are soooo much better.
Still, I have to give an award for Worst Photo, and it’s really not even close. Kenny from Illinois, this one is all you.
Kenny, what is this photo?? It looks like he just got done with an at-home CrossFit class and remembered he had to send the Bachelorette producers a headshot, and then he took that headshot at his local dive bar. The tank top, the shiny face, the wood paneling in the background… nothing about this is good.
My award for Boldest Name goes to none other than… Tyler C.
Yes, that’s really what he’s going with. Like, yes, I know this is his real name, but if I were him, I might have chosen to go with a middle name or something. No matter how hard this poor guy tries, he will always be Tyler C number two in the Bachelor universe. He’s doing himself a disservice!
In terms of my current frontrunner, I have to go with Dale, a holdover from the initial round of contestants. This is SUCH a good photo, if Clare doesn’t want him, I will gladly accept any DMs from him.
Who knows how this season will turn out, but at least it’s actually happening. The season will most likely start airing in September, but I’ll be interested to see if we still get the usual spoilers with production happening in a closed bubble. I hope so, because I desperately need something to get me through the rest of the summer. Best of luck Clare, hope all your dreams come true!
Images: ABC/John Fleenor; The Bachelorette / Facebook