Welcome back to your favorite Bachelorette recap! If you were hoping to see happy endings for our gals Gabby and Rachel—or at least some sliver of healing after the trauma of having to fake being into Clayton’s foreplay only to be dumped 24 hours later—well, it’s not that kind of program, kids! What kind of program is it? Apparently the kind that slow-smokes the emotional sanity of two previously perfectly normal women like it’s a rack of ribs at the family reunion barbecue. You gotta love ABC’s consistency.
For most of this season, I sat in my humble abode, guzzling wine in quantities that would not be approved by a medical professional, steadily chanting “men are garbage, men are garbage, men are GARBAGE,” in the hopes that if I chanted it enough it would manifest itself into existence. Imagine the sounds of Gabby and Rachel’s sobs triggering some sort of biological reaction in which the men transformed, Animorphs-style, into the saddest, least desirable item at a yard sale.
That is the bright future that I wanted for them!! But alas, we will get no such reprieve.
Part one of the season finale aired last Tuesday, and I have seen more optimism in a History Channel special about plagues. Both Gabby and Rachel had started to realize that the happy ending ABC promised them, the ending that involved engagement and marriage and an onslaught of new Instagram followers, might never even happen because the men just couldn’t seem to get on board. This is what happens when you make deals with bridge trolls calling themselves Neil Lane! I tried to warn you, ladies.
Which brings us to tonight. We are back in the pits of hell, where the audience sits in angry silence. This is juxtaposed with the white noise machine ABC brought out to subtly impose “calming wave” sounds upon the crowd. I guess they’re worried that this live audience, fueled on complimentary champagne and a collective feminine rage that could crumble cities with its force, might go all Pride Rock on the men and rip them limb-from-limb for America’s viewing pleasure. A girl can dream.
And then there’s Jesse Palmer who is back to using “After the Final Rose” as his own personal audition tape for Juilliard. “It feels like there’s been more scandal and betrayal than true love,” Jesse says, and yes, he has been practicing his “serious” monologue.
It’s giving me this:
Before we even start with the proposals, Jesse threatens that we will need to consume more wine to get through the next 2.5 hours of programming. The Pavlovian response I have to this man… he says “jump,” I say “how many glasses??”
The episode starts, and already the energy is giving “the call is coming from inside the house.” To enhance this vibe, ABC makes a point to include footage of Gabby and Rachel gushing over what great guys they have left. “Our literal dream guys,” Gabby swoons about a man who has the haircut of an Animal House extra. “DREAM,” Rachel emphasizes as Tino practices dissociating from his body in the next room.
“Dream” feels like a strong word to use here. “Total body hallucination as the result of surviving a six-week hostage situation” is perhaps more accurate. But whatever makes you happy, ladies!
Tino Did WHAT Now?!
Now we get into the real drama. The finale is split into thirds: part one is Rachel’s journey, part two is Gabby’s journey, and part three is ABC’s half-hearted attempt at gassing up the crowd for the new season of The Bachelor (more on that later). We kick things off with Rachel’s proposal. All I can say is that watching her engagement is a wild exercise in cognitive dissonance. On screen, we see Rachel practically bursting with joy. She shows up to the proposal spot already plotting their farmhouse-style wedding, down to the monogrammed mason jars. I have never seen a woman look so sure about a man who sweats that much. This is juxtaposed with shots of Rachel in real-time, looking like she would rather go back to sniffing contestants’ armpits than relive this moment.
It gets cringier when Tino starts in on his speech and says that this love is “never going away.” Turns out the “never” part lasted about 3-5 business days.
ABC doesn’t even have any footage of them as a happy couple. Instead, they pan back to Jesse’s hell realm, where he asks Rachel what the hell happened post-filming. “Catch me up!” Jesse says, but what he really means is “where did you bury Tino’s body?” Jesse! That’s one secret she’ll never tell.
Rachel says that post-filming, she and Tino struggled in their relationship. There were long-distance growing pains and trust issues with watching Rachel date other guys. By the time the season was aired, Rachel and Tino were in a bad place. I would argue that entire season was a bad place, but fine. Carry on.
It’s at this point that Tino apparently sheds his human skin to reveal his true nature. He’s not Rachel’s forever guy, but actually Axe body spray taken human form. Rachel says that during this “bad time” in their relationship, he cheated.
ME ON MY COUCH, ALREADY TWO GLASSES OF WINE DEEP:
EXCUSE ME?! You’re telling me this man couldn’t even keep it in his pants for the 90 days it takes ABC to edit and air this show? Not only did Tino cheat, but he apparently called Rachel and begged her not to tell anyone so they could fake it through ATFR. THE AUDACITY OF THIS MAN.
“He only cares about his image,” Rachel says, “he doesn’t care about me.” And isn’t that the crux of it? Look, in the grand scheme of things is a kiss that big of a deal? No. Especially when you’ve only known your fiancé for a short period of time, a period of time in which she was very transparently dating other people. Yes, he promised her unwavering commitment and (lol) honesty. Yes, he lied to her. But I think Rachel would have probably forgiven him for the kiss had he not asked her to fake it for the show. She already faked a few things in the Fantasy Suites for him. She can only fake so much.
Jesse Palmer is a messy bitch. He tells us that he has footage of a confrontation between Tino and Rachel post-cheating reveal. He almost cackles in excitement at the news. You may want to tone down that unrestrained glee at watching Rachel’s life implode, Jesse. It’s tacky.
The footage shows the two meeting at an undisclosed location. Rachel looks calm, cool, collected; Tino looks like that kid who put a book down his pants to avoid getting spanked. This doesn’t mean that Tino came to the confrontation empty-handed. Oh no! He came armed with a dream journal, the pages filled, I’m sure, with his serial killer scrawl. While the purpose of the dream journal has yet to be revealed, I’m worried that he’s about to do something absolutely unhinged like put his feelings into a song.
TINO: Would you like to go first?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO FIRST. Do you have a brain injury, Tino?? My god! What is wrong with you?
It turns out that the purpose of the dream journal is not to assault our eardrums with a song or reveal the secrets of Tom Riddle (my second guess). Instead, Tino used it to secretly record their conversations, supposedly verbatim, so he could read from it here today like he’s giving the last rites at his own execution. Rachel should take that journal from his hand and smack him with it.
Tino tries to clarify the cheating thing by saying it wasn’t with some random girl, but rather with a girl he had a flirtation with before the show. And that makes it… better? Oh, Tino. That little reveal is not doing what you think it’s doing for your credibility.
Incredibly, Tino tries to turn the whole thing on Rachel. It’s her fault he kissed that girl. She drove him to it by saying she wouldn’t wear her engagement ring at ATFR and accusing him of trying to be the next Bachelor.
I seriously can’t wait for him to face this live viewing party. The carnage these people are about to unleash. They didn’t get their day in court with Hayden “These Bachelorettes Are A Bunch of Bitches” Markowitz at the Men Tell All. They’ve been whetting their rage appetites ever since.
JESSE PALMER: Alright, everybody, let’s all welcome Tino to the stage!
THE AUDIENCE WELCOMING TINO TO THE STAGE:
Tino says that he finally wants to take responsibility for his actions. He’s the one that cheated; his actions are on him. And then he looks anxiously to stage left, where a producer is holding his dream journal over a fire off-screen.
I still think we aren’t getting the full story. They keep alluding to “hard times” in their relationship. These hard times are allegedly the catalyst for Tino’s cheating, but they refuse to divulge the specifics on camera.
“There were things that production didn’t air, that we both don’t want to air, but do you want me to talk about it?” Rachel threatens Tino. All the while her eyes are saying she will spill national secrets if it helps to destroy this man on national television. But what is the “it” that they don’t want talked about?! I worry they’re two consenting adults who like to have sex in front of their beanie baby collection. I wouldn’t put it past them.
But all hope is not lost for Rachel. Tino may have broken her trust in men, but Aven is here, and he is ready to pick up the pieces. Maybe Aven’s showing up unannounced at the finale was because he truly wants another shot with Rachel. Or, maybe ABC just hired him to humiliate Tino one final time, just in case his manhood wasn’t shriveled up enough. We’ll never know! Rachel and Aven ride off into the sunset together, where I hope they can build a strong romantic relationship off stabbing the ill-wish doll Rachel made out of the skins of Tino’s journals.
Good luck kids!
Erich Bends The Knee
Last time we checked in with Gabby and Erich’s love story, Erich was just telling Gabby that he only wants to date her. You better be joking, bitch. Gabby is 31! Her reproductive organs are rotting like a banana one day after purchase. She doesn’t have time for you to sort out your commitment issues.
Nevertheless, on proposal day Erich shows up. Gabby tells him that she loves him and she trusts him despite the fact that every bird in Mexico is currently telling her to do the opposite. Dear god, you can barely hear her speech over those squawks. It’s like something out of Pet Sematary. These birds must be trying to warn her. They’re yelling “check the yearbook!”
It seems no one is going to acknowledge the bird apocalypse hijacking this proposal. After Gabby gets done laying her heart on the line, Erich starts in on his speech.
ERICH: It’s you and me until the wheels fall off.
Well, he certainly follows through on his promises!
Despite Erich’s original hesitations, he proposes and Gabby accepts. Look, I know Erich is problematic and all, but I still believe in them! Call me crazy! There’s just something about their chemistry that you can’t deny. It may not be shiny and Instagram-perfect, but it’s there and I’m rooting for it.
Am I broken? They’re so cute! I, mean, if dragging each other on social media isn’t love then I don’t know what is!!
Back in Jesse Palmer’s hell realm, we find out that Gabby and Erich are still together. But that doesn’t mean Erich is completely off the hook. Jesse does interrogate him about his recent run of bad PR. Specifically, he asks about the leaked text messages from Erich’s ex that indicate he was only on the show to advance his career. (What career does he have again?? Funemployed seems like the only professional space that would consider a fauxhawk business casual).
Erich, having seen Tino limp off stage earlier like a maimed gazelle, immediately takes accountability for his actions. He admits to leading this girl on and being too cowardly to tell her the real reason he wanted to stop seeing her. This is all his fault and he wishes he was more direct with her. A man admitting he was wrong? And meaning it? It couldn’t be. I think the foundation beneath my feet just shook. On a less positive note, we get exactly zero discussion of the blackface yearbook photo. Like I said before, ABC is nothing if not consistent.
We Asked For A Bachelor, Not A Blowup Doll
And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for: who will be our next Bachelor? Will it be Nate the single dad? Will it be Ethan of “baby back bitch” fame? (Btw, you were right about that, Ethan). No, on both counts. Our next Bachelor is Rachel’s third runner-up: Zach.
They might as well have made Earl Grey tea the next Bachelor for all of the excitement this announcement ignites. We asked for a real leading man, not a dude with less substance than a blowup doll.
And that’s all she wrote, kids! I will not be talking about the absolute farce that was ABC polluting Gabby’s happy ending by parading Zach’s girls out during the last 45 minutes of the show. Not only did Gabby and Rachel have to share their season, but now they have to share their finale? No, I’m sorry. I simply won’t stand for it. You may have made Erich bend the knee, but you won’t make me!
See everyone next week for Bachelor in Paradise!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (5); @ryanneprobst (2); @erich_schwer /Instagram (1)
Welcome back to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! As we move into week one of the two-week season finale, I only have two questions for you, readers: have you been getting yourself ready? And have you been taking the time to “prepare” yourself for the most dramatic ending yet? I know I have (and not just because on Monday I had an almost Pavlovian urge to douse myself in rosé and self-soothe to Gabby’s vocal fry). Whenever a white dude with the personality of a banana tells you to SHUT UP AND SHAPE UP in any context that isn’t CrossFit, that should send a swift chill down your spine.
Last week, Jesse Palmer sat us all down in his doomsday bunker to threaten us with a particularly upsetting season finale. The mood he created suggested that Gabby and Rachel would have to face off against live tigers before accepting marriage proposals. Or at the very least, they would have to whisper “bloody Mary” three times in front of a mirror and if Chris Harrison appeared, drink in hand and slurring about the “woke police,” then they must spend another six weeks on the USS Fuckboy.
The thing is, Jesse Palmer didn’t have to suggest that some sort of sinister oracular vision was at play in predicting a bleak future for Gabby and Rachel. The numbers speak for themselves. While Rachel still has two men and a bitch baby in play, Gabby is down to her last remaining guy–and that guy has a faux hawk!!! (And a problematic history of other fashion, um, choices.) Out of Rachel’s three guys, Zach would sooner fling himself off a cliff than verbalize what happened between him and Rachel in the fantasy suite, Aven just looks confused, and Tino is still choosing to live in the alternate reality where his family wouldn’t show up to a Thanksgiving with Rachel brandishing garlic and holy water. We have working eyes and ears, Jesse. It’s clear the odds are not really in their favor!
Which brings us to tonight. The showrunners want to emphasize that this footage is BREAKING NEWS. They even got special permission from ABC to extend the episode by 15 minutes, despite no one asking them to do so and, in fact, begging them to do the opposite.
What on earth could be left to watch next week that we couldn’t cover tonight #TheBachelorette
— The Betchelor🥀 (@betchelorpod) September 14, 2022
Tonight’s episode will alternate between the finale moments in Mexico and Jesse Palmer’s live viewing party. The viewing party appears to take place in the pits of Hell, where he has summoned his denizens of flying monkeys (the crowd of sad single people and unfulfilled wives) to feed off of Gabby and Rachel’s anguish like it’s half-price wine night.
For once in her life, our favorite coastal grandma (Rachel) looks absolutely stunning. No notes. Gabby looks fine, too. This is all offset by their haunted facial expressions. These women are about to relive special moments with their supposed dream men, and they look like they’re the last two standing in a Final Destination movie. It’s at this point in the evening, as Rachel stares dead-eyed into the crowd and Gabby tries to disappear into her hair, that Jesse Palmer decides we’re ready to watch the
fourth wave of feminism crumble final moments of the season. Let’s get into it!
WTF Happened In That Fantasy Suite
As I’ve mentioned, Jesse Palmer is working overtime for his Christmas bonus. He tells us that tonight we will be shocked, disgusted, and thankful that we never blacked out so thoroughly as to actually hit send on our Bachelor applications. And all of that starts with Zach’s abrupt exit from the rose ceremony.
Up until this point, Zach was convinced Rachel was the Skipper to his Barbie. The two of them were the perfect matching set, complete with some assembly required. But after what happened in the fantasy suite, the two of them can’t even make eye contact with each other.
Y’all. This is WEIRD. They’re speaking words, but those words aren’t adding up to the visceral reactions they’re having to each other’s bodily presence. We are definitely missing something. Zach keeps saying that Rachel wasn’t acting like herself, and Rachel keeps pretending she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I would still like to know what in the actual fuck went down in that fantasy suite. Like, what could be so bad that the two made a secret blood pact to never speak of it on screen? The meaningful eye contact they keep making has me wondering if one of them proposed eating ass and it gave the other one the ick. I can read between the lines!
Zach sees himself out, but again, there’s no formal dumping. It’s like that Spider-man meme where all the Spider-men are holding guns at each other and slowly backing away. Zach and Rachel are those Spider-men.
Since this is The Bachelorette and the contestants are not living, breathing people, but rather the producer’s personal silly putty, Rachel and Zach must answer for their vagueness. Jesse Palmer invites Zach to the stage, where he and Rachel continue to exchange half-hearted apologies.
RACHEL: I’m really sorry
ZACH: No, I’m really sorry
THANK YOU, JESSE. Finally you’re asking the hard-hitting questions!
Zach confirms what we were all thinking:
the butt stuff got weird Rachel was trying to quiet quit their relationship. She thought she could muster up the energy for one last over-the-clothes fondling, but in the end realized she should have dumped him when he tried to impress her by ordering “uno más” tequila while dressed in head-t0-toe khaki.
Big Tony Is In The House
It’s time for the guys to meet Rachel’s fam or, as I like to call them, the Florida Mafia. You can’t tell me Big Tony has a day job that doesn’t involve blackmail or making cement shoes. I won’t believe it.
Tino’s meet-and-greet is absolutely delusional, but it takes up all of seven minutes of tonight’s 2+ hour programming. Instead, ABC focuses almost entirely on Aven’s date. The signs for all of this going terribly are immediately obvious. First, Rachel shows up for this very important date dressed like she’s about to start her shift at the White Lotus. Seriously, what was her thought process in packing for Mexico?
^^Rachel on this date rn
Then, she tries to tell her family what she loves about Aven, and all she can come up with is that he’s so hot it’s upsetting. Where is the lie though?
She got one thing right at least. Aven is so hot and Big Tony is upset. Big Tony isn’t vibing with Aven AT ALL. I’m not exactly sure what Big Tony wants from him. Perhaps a big declaration of love? Weirdly, I think he expects that declaration to involve Aven challenging a camera operator to a fight for looking at Rachel too much. I mean, his lexicon is very hostile. He keeps saying things like, “No one is going to take my daughter away from me!” Sir, this isn’t that kind of program.
Things go from bad to worse when Aven decides to speak words. Oh, sweetie. Why wouldn’t you let that face and those abs do the talking for you? It’s been working for you your whole life! Why switch things up now? While Rachel is singing his praises to her mom, gushing about how she’s had sooo many conversations about marriage and she 100% trusts him to propose in five days, Aven is telling her friends that he, um, actually would be fine with just leaving here girlfriend/boyfriend. Grab the lighter fluid, ladies; it’s time to hunt the witch.
The thing is, I get what Aven’s saying. He’s 100% serious about Rachel, but the timing of the engagement is negotiable. All very reasonable, normal requests in real life, but this isn’t real life, buddy. This is ABC’s chocolate factory, and Rachel is the Veruca Salt demanding a golden goose of an engagement ring. She doesn’t care how, she wants it right now!
Honestly, I think I would be fine with Aven not proposing to me. I would take that man’s breadcrumbs. But to each their own!
Rachel goes to confront him in the hotel room, and she is so tunnel-visioned on the engagement that she won’t listen to anything he has to say. I get the sense that Aven would propose in five days, even if his heart wasn’t fully into it, because his feelings are that strong for Rachel. And also, ABC is likely holding his loved ones at gunpoint off screen… but I’m sure that has nothing to do with it!
Rachel’s tunnel-vision isn’t totally her fault, either. Traditionally, the franchise has emphasized engagements as clear measures of success. What has the Bachelorette been doing for the last six months without her family, friends, phone, or work, if she doesn’t get engaged? But this is not a normal season. These Bachelorettes have had half as much time as as other leads to get to know their men. For almost a quarter of the journey, these guys were dating both women. Maybe an engagement shouldn’t be the measure for success this season. Maybe it should never be again.
But don’t tell Rachel that—she’s still going on and on about how hurt her feelings are and how embarrassed she was in front of her family. Oh, sweetie. You’re on The Bachelorette. I think they were already embarrassed for you.
They go back and forth for a while before Rachel eventually sends Aven home. This would be a good time to mention that I would like Aven to be the next Bachelor. He’s hot, he’s age appropriate, he’s hot… need I say more? Of course, this is something that I want and ABC has done nothing but take steaming piles of shit on my personal desires. While I, and any living creature with a heartbeat, can see that casting Aven as the Bachelor is a no-brainer, I’m sure ABC will gift it to some loser from five seasons ago. We can never have a nice thing.
“He’s a Little Shit, But I Like Him!”
Gabby gets a whopping 20 minutes of the episode, 15 of which are just ABC fan-girling over Grandpa John. Look, I get it. The man is adorable. The reason why he’s sitting down right now is because he’s been carrying the franchise on his back for the last year of Gabby’s Bachelor/Bachelorette reign. But the fanfare over this grandfather is getting to be a little much. At this point, ABC is all but asking him to sign their tits. It’s embarrassing. At least pretend to have a narrative arc in mind for Gabby’s segment of the show.
Speaking of Gabby, Erich absolutely kills it with her family. It goes so well that Gabby’s aunt even encourages her to be her full, vulnerable self with him. She’s like, “Don’t be afraid to show him how much of an emotional hurricane you really are!” I don’t know, Gabs, you want to save something for the honeymoon. I’m not introducing my forever guy to the internal FEMA that takes place every time I’m mildly inconvenienced unless he’s legally bound to me. That’s just good business.
Gabby is on cloud nine. She’s ready to get engaged, and Erich is ready to propose… right? RIGHT?! Just to double check (the foundation of the hotel has been shaking all day after Rachel’s uncontrollable sobbing registered more seismic activity than a magnitude 8 earthquake), she heads to Erich’s hotel room. She wants to make sure that the blood oath Erich took with ABC still stands, and he is READY for an engagement.
GABBY: I don’t want to put pressure on me or you or this relationship
And boy, is Erich ready to propose. Ready to propose… that they just date after the finale. What the fuck is going on this season? Did the men make a secret pact off-camera to refuse an engagement? Is the work of an anti-engagement union? Is Nick Viall the union rep?
This is unprecedented behavior. Sure, every few seasons we get a singular guy who isn’t ready to get engaged to a total stranger after six weeks. But this season, we’re five days away from a proposal and not one, not two, not three, but FOUR GUYS are refusing to get married at the end of this thing. The audacity of these men. Go on Love Island if you want to fuck around! I don’t have time for it.
Thank you, ABC, for extending the show eight extra minutes so we could bear witness to that footage! Now, instead of going to bed mildly depressed, I can spend the evening lying awake, staring into the dark abyss that is our life and dating culture. Truly, I needed that.
Until next week!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; @thebetchelor /Twitter (1); Giphy (4)
Well, well, well, kids, it looks like we’ve made it to the finale episode of Bachelor/ette content for the year 2021. After one season of The Bachelor, two seasons of The Bachelorette, and a season of Bachelor in Paradise that had such a long episode count it should have been illegal, ABC finally ran out of days in the year to ruin our lives with more content. I think I need a cigarette. But before I can dip my brain in bleach and pretend for a few blissful days that I’ve never heard the words “bachelor” and “nation”, we have to find out how Michelle’s story ends! That’s right, tonight it all comes down to Michelle’s final two men: Brandon, a man whose devotion runs so deep he would allow Michelle to wear his skin as a suit if only she asked, and Nayte, a man who is… *checks notes*… 6’8. Hmmm… whomever will she choose?
Meet The Parents
But before Michelle can choose anyone, the guys have to meet Michelle’s parents. I mean, technically, Brandon has already met Michelle’s parents, though I’m guessing he would like to meet his maybe future in-laws again under different circumstances. And by “different circumstances” I mean without having to use pool furniture to hide his water-logged chubby.
Brandon’s second impression does, in fact, win over the in-laws. Brandon says all the right things: he loves Michelle, he wants to move to Minnesota for Michelle, he would work from home for Michelle, he’s been slowly siphoning off his own blood for Michelle in case she would ever like to wear it in a vial around her neck like he’s been wanting to do hers (it’s just a suggestion, take your time to think about it, baby!). Is anyone really shocked by Brandon’s stellar performance? Meeting families is his goddamn Super Bowl.
While Brandon already has Michelle’s parents penciling in a family cruise for 2022, Nayte’s date with the in-laws goes less smoothly. Right off the bat, Michelle’s dad hates him. No notes. Iconic.
NAYTE: *says literally anything*
I love that her family is just like, immediately no. When Nayte evades their questions about relationship logistics by talking about the “awesome vibes” he gets from their daughter (I paraphrase) they’re right there to poke holes in his story and call him out for his vagueness. It’s like every time Nayte tries to make bold proclamations about their relationship, the parents are looking for JSTOR articles to back up his claims. Amazing.
Things only get worse when Michelle asks her mother if she thinks Nayte is ready for a relationship and she straight-up says no. Her mom was like, “how do I put this gently? Um, he sucks.” LaVonne! At least sugarcoat it a little bit. Michelle is naturally devastated. She keeps saying that she’s got to rethink her relationship with Nayte and by that she means rethinking how is she going to tell her parents that she doesn’t care what they think, she’s picking him anyway. I’m reading you loud and clear, Michelle!
At this point in the season, it’s definitely Nayte’s game to lose. Brandon is less a realistic romantic suitor and more the guy friend you send pictures of your outfit to, to ask if it looks slutty enough for your real date. There is a reality where Michelle would choose Brandon, of course she would choose Brandon, but that reality can only exist in a dystopian world where tributes from each district fight for the death for food and resources.
Of course, Michelle does get one last day with each of the guys before the proposal to finalize her decision. First up is Brandon and jet-skiing. If Michelle was looking to bring out more of Brandon’s sex appeal then, boy, did this date blow up in her face. If anything, their date reads very “mommy-son fun outing” to me. At one point, Michelle even tightens his life jacket in such a way that suggests this might be the start of Brandon’s new kink in the bedroom. Oh, mommy, safety first pleaseeeee.
The one thing that comes out of this date is that Michelle does give a half-hearted “I love you” to Brandon. Previously, when Brandon had dropped the “L” word, Michelle had only said she was falling for him, not that she was actually in love with him. I’m not sure if she’s even conscious of how hard she’s trying to make it work with Brandon but, from the comfort of my own home where I can make snap judgements about complete strangers 3.5 glasses of red deep, I can confidently say that she doesn’t make their love look easy.
MICHELLE: Brandon loves so hard
BRANDON “LOVING HARD”:
When Nayte’s date rolls around, it’s almost a relief to watch Michelle stop faking it. Say what you want about Nayte being a seven-foot, human-shaped red flag, but their chemistry is undeniable. Unlike her relationship with Brandon, where the chemistry is maybe less tangible but he is at least able to articulate his feelings by using his big boy words, Nayte is all about the vibes. Enter Raul: a Mexican shaman ABC hired to both contribute to cultural appropriation and sage Nayte’s aura to get him proposal-ready. K.
Raul would like for them to sage each other and whisper their relationship wishes into the smoke. Look, no shade to Raul, but if he thinks literally blowing smoke up their asses is going to shake a man who has 28 years worth of commitment issues stored up inside, then he better think again.
Speaking of Nayte, he is having a hard time speaking and waving smoke at Michelle at the same time. The only thing he’s good at multitasking is the girls in his DMs. Nayte’s like, “this is tough for me because normally my height sort of does all the talking.” Yeahhhh, I’m getting that. Say no more, buddy.
Later, Nayte admits that he only came on the show with two suits because he didn’t think that he would make it farther than two rose ceremonies. And yet, here he is, falling in love when he definitely didn’t plan to. This admission does two things: 1) it clears up why his rose ceremony attire is more appropriate for spring break in Daytona Beach and 2) makes me tingle in places that are simply not appropriate to mention in my recaps.
I will say that all of Nayte’s “red flags” are only red flags in a world that’s been ABC produced within an inch of its life. What exactly are Nayte’s bad qualities? That he loves Michelle but doesn’t have a concrete answer for every single logistical thing about their relationship given that he has known her less time than it takes me to answer a DM? And the problem is… what exactly?
Who Will She Choose??
Nayte. Aggressively, obviously, Nayte, though she does put on a big show of even considering her other dude, Brandon. The morning of engagements she seems nervous, which outwardly she tells us is because she “hasn’t made up her mind yet” though I think it’s less about her making up her mind and more about her making up her mind about how she will squash Brandon like a bug.
Speaking of Brandon, guess who’s up first for proposals? Notoriously, the man who shows up first is the losing man and when the camera pans in on Brandon no one is surprised to see him there. The one reprieve we get is that most of his proposal/rejection is drowned out by the sound of waves aggressively crashing on the beach. Wow, this is bad. Seriously, did one of the crew members get high during the sound check portion of the show? Like, production has to be regretting this location choice. I can barely hear what they’re saying!
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While I can’t quite make out the extent of their conversation (perhaps Mother Nature took pity on Brandon and caused this aquatic catastrophe to drown out his tears), I am able to hear Michelle when she clearly tells him she loves him as she dumps him. Brutal. She’s like “it’s not that I don’t love you, it’s that Nayte gives the better dick. You get it, right??” Not only does he get it, Michelle, but he’ll be talking about this moment for the rest of his days in therapy. Nice work.
BRANDON: I truly wish you nothing but happiness, giving you my heart was worth it.
ME, TO MY DOG, ALONE IN MY LIVING ROOM:
Speaking of next, Nayte looks absolutely delicious. He’s wearing his one of two suits and he’s ready to give Michelle the rest of his life. Probably. We’ll see. Only if the vibes are immaculate. Michelle, shocked that she conned this 6’8″ god into shackling himself to her in almost-matrimony, gives a tearful “yes.” It would have been a beautiful moment if Michelle hadn’t tarnished her “yes” by following it up with the words “you’re my soulNayte!!” I could have gone my whole life without hearing that pun. My. whole. life.
After The Final Rose
In deciding how to spend the last hour of programming to wrap up the season, ABC took the route that most employers take at the end of the year: to eek the life out of their devoted subjects for as long as they possibly can, regardless of holidays or familial obligations. Seriously, this is 60 minutes of my life I will never get back. ABC, you’re lucky I don’t sue.
Honestly, the most dramatic part of ATFR was watching production get dragged on Twitter for not making the audience wear masks during a COVID surge. After that, everything else was a goddamn snooze fest. They bring Brandon out as if he is a slug and we, the viewer, are about to collectively pour salt on him and watch him disintegrate for our personal amusement. It gets worse when Michelle joins him in the hot seat and the two of them are MATCHING. They are literally a match made in heaven. I can’t.
After spending the appropriate amount of time flinging the remnants of Brandon’s heart into the audience like they’re free T-shirts being launched into the crowd at a sporting event, they bring out Michelle’s soulNayte. (Again, gag). They seem happy and cute together and we learn that post-filming, the two are house hunting in Minnesota. If there’s any cold feet happening in the relationship, ABC tries to circumvent that by gifting Michelle and Nayte with a down payment for their house. Bribery, much?
I will say these two look like they’re in it for the long haul, if only because they’re moms are now adorably BFF and there’s nothing that keeps people together quite like familial guilt. Ever happiness to you both!
And that’s all she wrote, girlies! See you in two weeks when my New Years resolution of pretending to care about Clayton will immediately be put to the test. Until then!
Images: Craig Sjodin (3), Christopher Willard (2) / ABC; Giphy (3); @thebitchelorette_ /Instagram (1); @nayteandmichelle /Instagram (1)
Welcome back to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! Can you believe we’ve actually made it to the season finale? That’s right, Katie has narrowed down her list of eligible bachelors to her final two men: Blake and Justin. If those names sound surprising to you, that’s because her selection process was done much like the way I used to select a partner during college at last call: by blindly reaching for whoever was left standing and hoping he wouldn’t puke in the cab ride home. But, you know, I’m sure this will work out great for you, girl!
Last week during Hometowns we watched Katie’s relationship with Greg—arguably the strongest relationship of the season—deteriorate faster than a New Years resolution. Ultimately, I think Greg needed more emotional validation (read: an “I love you”) from Katie and she wasn’t willing to give him that at this stage in the process. This resulted in Greg fleeing the Hyatt in a whirl of flannel and angst, an exit that would have given 13-year-old me a run for my money when I made a similar dramatic departure from a Dillard’s after my first bra fitting, and Katie questioning if she even wanted to finish out the rest of the season with the losers she had left. (I paraphrase.)
Which brings us to tonight! I think it’s safe to say that the finale felt… anticlimactic? In the sense that no one f*cking cared who actually won Katie’s heart and everyone just wanted to know what the deal was between her and Greg. The first 45 minutes included ABC replaying old footage from the season on loop for the sake of a “recap.” It’s as if ABC expects us all to have the short-term memory of my grandmother, because there’s literally no excuse for them to insist on replaying something we just watched SEVEN DAYS AGO with this much fervor. We just want to see who she chose as her consolation prize and move on with our lives, okay!!
Speaking of the consolation prizes, Tayshia and Kaitlyn tell the men that Greg has left the show and that, congratulations, we’re moving directly into a Fantasy Suites/Proposal Day hybrid situation! I will say the horror on Justin’s face at realizing he somehow made it to the final two and will have to propose to a woman his parents couldn’t even be bothered to FaceTime is actually priceless. Don’t worry, buddy! You’ll only have to propose if Blake decides to slide into Claire’s DMs after all! On second thought, maybe you should start Googling “heartfelt proposals” now…
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Pretty quickly it’s established that this game is Blake’s to lose. For a moment there I thought Katie might take Justin to the Fantasy Suites because he’s hot and hasn’t self-eliminated yet and his cum face is probably outrageous, but Katie sends him home before there’s time for him to waggle those eyebrows at her and change her mind. This means that Blake is her first and only Fantasy Suites date and she puts it all on the line. And by “all” I mean the one thing she swore up and down she would not do until a guy got down on his knee and proposed.
During the dinner portion of the evening Blake fumbles out an “I love you” and Katie, realizing it’s either compromise her morals or have to re-download Hinge, says she loves him too. Excuse me, WHAT. Okay, so let me get this straight. Exactly 24 hours ago, she would not say the “L” word to Greg after he handed her his ravaged heart on a bloody platter AND YET Blake mentions soft kisses once and she relents?!
I’m sorry, but that “I love you” felt strategic AF. Like, that was a giant F*ck You to Greg. Not only did that feel petty and insincere, but if I were Blake watching this back, I’d feel a little used.
Speaking of Blake, is it just me or does he seem especially out of sorts this episode? It’s like now that Katie has set fire to the entire foundation of this show by combining the fantasy suites with proposal day, his last two brain cells are malfunctioning and refusing to process it.
TAYSHIA AND KAITLYN: How are you feeling about your proposal?
BLAKE: I feel like scrambled eggs.
Wow. So beautiful. Is that a direct quote from Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy?
Like, Blake looks positively ill at the thought of proposing and having her accept it by default. But you know what? They go through with it! They grin and bear it and get engaged! A love story for the ages!
Aunt Lindsey Is A National Treasure
One of my favorite parts of last night’s episode was Blake meeting Katie’s family. I love when ABC brings out family members just in general because there’s nothing that feeds my soul quite like watching large amounts of disdain and skepticism. And I knew we’d be in for a real treat when Katie’s mom entered stage right with the Charmed logo tattooed on her cleavage. I hope they make Blake swear his intentions on the Book of Shadows.
But no one—and I mean NO ONE—stole the show quite like Katie’s Aunt Lindsey did. She was wholly unimpressed with this entire production. A total Phoebe, if you will. And look, Blake’s presence on this show is a hard pill to swallow for most people. For one, it’s not just that he’s trying to find love on reality TV, but that he’s tried to find love on reality TV multiple times. Then there’s the total suspension of disbelief you need to engage in when he discusses his “job” but supplies about as many details about it as a blank MadLib. So, you know, I understand the brazen lack of respect she showed to him.
I will say, though, Lindsey was the only one really asking the hard questions. My favorites being, “so why do you want the beard” and, “what do you two have in common aside from both owning vibrators?” LINDSEY. YOU SAVAGE. The vibes I’m getting from this family is that they would definitely require a blood oath upon asking for someone’s hand in marriage. How else will they be able to vanquish their enemies?
An icon for the ages
Also, can I just say, it’s probably for the best that Greg self-ejected before this little meet-and-greet with Katie’s family? There is no scenario in which that boy wouldn’t have crumbled beneath the unrelenting gaze of Katie’s aunt.
Greg’s Final Stand
And now for the real show. Yeah, it was nice to see Katie get engaged and all that, but let’s get to the good stuff: Greg’s return to the stage. During “After the Final Rose,” Kaitlyn and Tayshia brought Greg out to have one final confrontation with Katie. Before I get into this section of the recap, I’m just going to make my stance known: I’m #TeamGreg AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT.
Here’s the thing, I’ve been a long-time fan of Katie’s and, despite what I’m about to say, truly do hope she’s happy with her choice and got the love story she wanted from this franchise. BUT her behavior over the whole Greg thing was outrageous to me. I know a lot of people have been throwing the term “gaslighting” out there and calling for Greg to be drawn and quartered in the town square, but I’m gonna be real with you guys: I just don’t see it. And this is coming from a woman who has a bottomless pit within her specifically reserved for the unending, blistering rage she has toward the male gender!
Look, do I think Greg overreacted last week? Absolutely. But fundamentally, I think they couldn’t effectively communicate their feelings to each other and because of that a very real connection was severed in the most dramatic of circumstances. Like, I think Greg was contextualizing their relationship as an entity beyond the show. He saw their connection as the real deal and something that went beyond rose ceremonies and cocktail parties. Meanwhile, Katie was wholly invested in this “process” and wanted to see it through to the end. That’s totally fair, by the way, but because of that I don’t think she was looking at their relationship as a thing beyond the show, but rather, as a thing within the show that she was still trying to figure out. The situation sucked, but I don’t think either of them should be vilified for the way they handled it.
Flash forward to ATFR, and Katie is out for blood. During Greg’s one-on-one interview with Tayshia and Kaitlyn he seems sad but ultimately accepting of Katie’s engagement with Blake—despite her throwing out an “I love you” before proposal day. He could have been super petty and snide, but the only person who acted that way last night was Katie. I mean, their confrontation was literally nuts. Katie had so much hostility and anger for someone who is supposedly very happily engaged to the love of her life.
First, she accuses Greg of never loving her and only being on the show to progress his acting career, to which he replies, “I’m no Meryl Streep.” Look guys, I’m pretty sure Meryl would like to be excluded from this narrative, one she never asked to be a part of since summer of 2021. Also, I love that Katie just believes something that she read on the internet. She’s screaming at him about something she read about on Deux Moi for goodness sake! I’ll say it again, but if she’s soooo happy in her current relationship then shouldn’t this sh*t with Greg not matter?
Then starts in on how she thinks he gaslit her which… agree to disagree I guess. Personally, that was not my take on the situation, though I’ll concede that I’m an outsider looking in and ultimately don’t know the reality of their situation. But he seemed genuine and heartfelt in his feelings for Katie. Again, he could have been extremely petty in how he handled himself on ATFR and he was nothing but respectful to her. Plus, he’s apologized like a million times. What more does she want from him? For him to sacrifice his pinky finger as penance?
The crowd seemed equally confused about who to root for. Though they gave Katie some half-hearted claps when she called him a gaslighter, the crowd also cheered for Greg after he declared, “I emptied my heart out to you on the couch and all you gave me was a pat on the back.” The thing about Greg is he seems authentic and maybe that’s the acting classes he took in undergrad, but MY GOD, if he were that good of an actor he wouldn’t be on this freaking franchise. Can’t we just leave it at they weren’t right for each other and be done with it?
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I think her behavior was so off-putting to me because she made her bones on the franchise by advocating against petty squabbles and bullying behavior, and here she was taking petty jab after petty jab. I know she’s upset and hurt, but I guess I was just expecting her to be kinder about the whole situation? Especially considering she was always the peace maker on Matt James’ season.
Throughout the interview she kept saying this was about MY journey and MY time on the show and it’s like, there are two people in a relationship. It’s not just about you. And poor Blake! He had to go toe-to-toe with Aunt Lindsey like he was facing off a starved lion in a gladiator ring. And for what? If I was Blake and saw this blatant display of rage and unresolved feelings I would have hightailed it off that stage. But, you know, ever happiness to you both!
On that note, I’m out! I would like to never hear or speak of any of these people again unless that person is Andrew S and he would like to finally respond to my DM. *manifests a response through the harnessed power of the Halliwell/Thurston sisters*
See you hoes on Paradise! Xoxo
Images: Craig Sjodin / ABC (3) @tvgoldtweets /Instagram (1); @thebetchelor /Instagram (1); Giphy (4)
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)
Sponsored by SkinnyPop
Welcome to night two of
my personal hell The Bachelorette season finale! Last night, Hannah’s final two men, Tyler and a guy who really should have just gone on The Voice, met her parents and had their last one-on-one dates before proposal day. I think the high points for me was watching Tyler restore health and vitality to Hannah’s mother with one flash of his dimples, and then, in contrast, watching Hannah become physically ill at the thought of her forever with Jed. The low point was having to listen to Jed defend his dog food jingle as a strategic career move that all the “real artists” have to do at least once before making it big. SURE, JAN.
Tonight, we open with Hannah reflecting on her big decision. In a voiceover, she says: “I showed everything and I felt truly free.” Jesus. Is she STILL talking about that windmill?
Next she lists the pros and cons of each man, and the differences are… staggering. On the one hand, she’s got Tyler. He’s attractive, rich, sweet to his dad, never got involved in the house drama, and has always defended her choices no matter how hair-brained they seemed. But—and this is a huge but—he’s from Florida. Yikes. Sure, it’s Jupiter, which I hear is not a complete cesspool, but it’s still Florida, America’s longest-running joke.
Then there’s Jed, a flaming pile of garbage masquerading as a human man. Jed, who admitted to Hannah very early on that he was only on the show for fame and then continued to self-promote the f*ck out of his music with mediocre singing every chance he got. Jed, who her parents hated, who ALWAYS questioned her decisions, and who frequently used manipulative language to get what he wanted. Also, there’s that girlfriend he has in Nashville waiting for him to come back home (and hopefully castrate him). Yes, I see how this could be a real Sophie’s Choice for her.
Okay, actually I’m really loving this dress she’s wearing. Perhaps my arch nemesis, Cary Fetman, took my criticisms to heart? And they say peer pressure doesn’t work!!
Hannah heads off to the final rose ceremony, and she doesn’t look confident at all about this decision. Case in point:
This is not the face of someone who is 100% sure about the man she wants to marry. This is the face of a person who just got asked to do a Fireball shot by a guy who still wears polos with his frat logo on it.
At one point on her way to the proposals Hannah asks the driver to pull over, at which time she starts to FLEE from production. I mean, sure, it’s more of a drunken stagger than an all-out run, but I understand her intent. I’m picking up what you’re putting down, Hans!
As she’s fleeing, she takes a tumble down the hill and this just reinforces the argument I’ve been making all season about how Hannah likes to pregrame the rose ceremonies. Finally, a Bachelorette I can get behind! She’s just sitting on the ground in that white dress with bloody elbows and what she really needs is a friend to suggest they just
order pizza not go get herself a husband. Where are your real friends when you need them, Hannah?
She’s like, “I don’t know how to tell someone they’re not good enough when it’s not true” and it’s, like, honey you have been on Twitter before haven’t you? She eventually gets up and dusts off the only Cary Fetman dress I’ve ever barely liked and carries on to the rose ceremony. So, I guess it’s a no for that pizza then?
The first limo arrives AND OH MY GOD IT’S TYLER. WHY. Why would you do this to me, Hannah? She does have the foresight to look mildly ashamed as he exits the limo full of hope and some damn good genes. Hannah you are a fool.
Tyler goes into his speech and he is saying all the right things. He’s like, “I know our love is a light that will burn on forever” and I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING. Also, why is she letting him say this entire speech if she’s just going to dump him? This is so painful.
Hannah stops him before he actually gets down on one knee and just has nothing to say. She keeps opening her mouth and no sound comes out. You can tell he knows it’s over. He’s like “so that’s a no?” SO THAT’S A NO. Oh my god, I’m not well. I AM NOT WELL.
Watching as Tyler walks dumbstruck back to the limo, I still just don’t understand how Hannah could do this to me personally. She had the perfect man right in front of her and gave it up for some guy whose dad still pays his rent. I was rooting for you, Hannah, we were all rooting for you!
HANNAH: I’m sorry. I’m just in love with someone else. ME:
Jed rolls up next, and of f*cking course he brings his guitar. He’s like “I don’t have words to express our love, but I do have a song!” You always do, don’t you Jed? Do we think he’ll live tweet the link to it on Spotify?
Hannah starts crying and I hope it’s of embarrassment. Seriously, unless you are the next Harry Styles, no woman wants you to sing to her! Hannah launches into some speech about how she’s been praying for a husband her whole life and how grateful she is for Jesus bringing Jed into her life. Yes, well, if Jesus took the wheel on this one, Hannah, then I think he took it and drove it straight off a cliff.
Jed Faces The Music
Fast forward to a few days post-engagement, and we’re treated to a truly painful montage of Hannah and Jed and their dance parties by the pool. Tbh this was not what I was hoping to see when Chris Harrison promised us that Jed would be emotionally drawn and quartered for our viewing pleasure after the commercial break. Where. Is. the. Bloodshed. WHERE.
It appears production was only able to catch a solid three minutes of happy couple footage before Hannah finds out about the whole Jed having another girlfriend thing and OH SH*T, IT’S GOING DOWN.
Hannah says that right after Jed proposed, he let it slip that he was with this girl before coming on the show but assures her, as all f*ckboys do, that “it was nothing.” A few days after that Hannah gets notified about the People article where Jed’s girlfriend, Haley, describes in great detail the expanse of their relationship, and it sounds way more in-depth than Jed’s hit-it-and-quit-it description of it. Also, Hannah is still wearing the ring though?? WHAT DOES IT MEAN.
Hannah says she doesn’t know the man she fell in love with, but I feel like the warning signs were there. I mean she’s heard him sing before.
Jed goes over to Hannah’s safe house to clear the air with her and it’s like, what? No guitar today, Jed? There’s not a song in your heart to describe being a disgusting philanderer? Also, that he has the audacity to do a sing-song friendly knock. THIS IS A SOMBER KNOCK OCCASION, JED.
All I have to say is waiting for Hannah to f*cking obliterate Jed is my thunderdome. Hannah starts things off by wanting to know about literally every chick who’s ever breathed on him. She’s just covering all her bases!
JED: There are two very different views of what actually went down. HANNAH: So let me get this straight. She called you her boyfriend, you went on lavish vacations with her like a boyfriend, and told her you loved her as boyfriends sometimes do, but you weren’t her boyfriend? JED: So you do get it!
Jed launches into his versions of events and, guys, it’s so much worse than we thought. We find out that he met Haley in October when he was “very single still” and “dating around.” They slept together, there was some sort of romantic cabin weekend (but he didn’t pay for the cabin so he’s not her boyfriend, just a giant piece of sh*t, okay!!), birthdays were shared, her parents thought they were dating enough that they bought them a lavish vacation as a couple, and he even told her “I love you” (but he was drunk so it doesn’t count, okay!!).
HANNAH: But you weren’t dating. JED: We weren’t dating. Absolutely not. We did go on several trips together as a couple and an “I love you” was exchanged but I have NO idea where the wires got crossed here. Girls are crazy!!
Meanwhile, the audience is visibly sharpening their pitchforks. Tbh watching their reaction right now is adding years back to my life. My skin is getting clearer, my metabolism is speeding up, I AM ALIVE Y’ALL.
Jed continues to half-heartedly defend himself but for the most part he looks like he could not give one single sh*t about this conversation. Case in point:
I mean that expression all but screams “can’t we just push this under the rug now, babe!”
Here’s my biggest issue with Jed, though: he doesn’t seem the slightest bit remorseful. In fact, the only emotion we see from him comes when he’s defending his own character. This happened to him, (not to the two of them because, as Hannah clarifies at one point, THEY ARE ENGAGED and his actions impact her), he’s an innocent bystander in all of this and his actions had no direct result here. What’s more is he doesn’t seem to think his words or actions with Haley meant anything because “in his heart he broke up with her, just not verbally.”
Listening to this conversation play out is triggering, to say the least. I’ve dated Jed’s before, men who say and do one thing, but (apparently) mean the opposite and then blame the woman for getting his signals confused. It’s disgusting and borderline sociopathic. I fully believe Jed thought he could get away with all of this. He never thought Haley would come forward because he thought he’d manipulated her enough to keep silent. He probably figured that if he did win he would stay engaged just long enough for people to start downloading his music off Spotify and then amicably break things off with Hannah when the time was right. The only reason he seems even the slightest bit remorseful is because he got caught and wants to salvage his public image. Again, it’s all about Jed. What he wants and needs.
It’s clear that after tonight Jed is going to need witness protection for his safety because every woman who has ever been wronged (so, every woman) will start popping out of bushes and ambushing him with grenades. And you know what? I’m here for this revolution.
After The Final Rose
Cut to the present, and we find out that Hannah is not engaged anymore. She says that “this isn’t what she said yes to” and that “this experience was taken from her.” I’m actually VERY proud of Hannah. You can tell she really wanted to be married and I kind of thought it didn’t matter to whom, but I’m glad she’s standing her ground.
And what fortuitous timing for Hannah to make such an announcement, because Chris Harrison brings Jed out next to test if Hannah was actually serious about that. He walks out onto the stage and the crowd is absolutely silent. I’m sure he hasn’t witnessed silence like this since his last gig.
JED: I’m sorry, I’ve said I’m sorry. I will own up to that all day now that I’ve been publically dragged and nobody is liking my YouTube videos anymore.
Yeah, that sounds sincere.
Despite the fact that Jed only seems mildly apologetic and did let out one limp “I still love you,” Hannah says that it’s over for good between them. Again, I’m super proud of Hannah. Let’s remember she’s 24 and I did not know someone who cannot even legally rent a car could have this much emotional maturity. When I was her age I was still sleeping with guys who said things like “let’s not exchange numbers, but here’s my Snapchat handle!”
HANNAH: I’ve learned a lot from this experience but mostly I’ve learned that I want a husband, I don’t need a husband. ME:
Damn. I think Hannah just won the Democratic debate this evening because I’m voting for her for 2020 after that comment. They grow up so fast!!
And there’s more fortuitous timing because Chris brings Tyler out unto the stage next! In contrast to Jed’s entrance, Tyler gets a standing ovation. You know Jed has to be watching this from backstage and mentally jumping off a bridge. I would prefer he be burned at the stake, but I’ll settle for some bridge jumping.
Guys, there is so much sexual tension happening on stage. I’m sweating. I can’t. Though, if we’re being completely honest, I don’t think Tyler will take her back. I think he’s a very nice guy and will flirt with her and not outright reject her on national television, but I don’t think this will go anywhere.
OMG. DID HANNAH JUST ASK HIM OUT FOR DRINKS. DID SHE?! So let me get this straight: she had an entire show dedicated to finding her a husband, the country was scoured for men, and in the end she’s right back to using pickup lines from Bumble?
Great. I don’t feel like I wasted 8 weeks of my life and one family vacation streaming this garbage they call a television show! Nope! Not at all!!
Images: Giphy (7); @tylercameron23 /Instagram (1);
Sponsored By SkinnyPop
Well, people, we’ve made it. After watching what felt like an extremely long season sponsored by Jesus and steroids, Hannah is down to her final three men: Tyler, Jed, and the pilot she’s 1,000% about to send home with some pity tears and a nice HAGS comment. How we’re at the finale and she still has yet to
JUST CHOOSE TYLER MY GOD whittle it down to her final two suitors, I’m not sure, but it’s starting to feel like a real punishment, let me just tell you.
The Rose Ceremony Continued
Speaking of punishments, what did America do to deserve this dress two weeks in a row? I’m sorry, but Hannah is the freaking lead this season and she’s dressed like she’s about to lose her virginity in a Holiday Inn after her junior prom. I’m starting to feel like this is a personal attack against me from stylist to
the stars ABC’s social experiments, Cary Fetman, for all the times I dragged him last season over Becca’s outfits. Well you know what, Cary? I’M CRYING UNCLE. I give. Now will you please just stop? My eyes are starting to bleed.
Me screaming at my TV drunk in my living room:
But I’m a good f*cking person!
Back at the rose ceremony, Hannah has just sent Luke back to the shower from whence he crawled out of but still needs to dump another guy whilst dressed like a 2007 Pinterest mood board. Rough.
Hannah starts things off by saying her heart is about to be broken by this decision, and I don’t love the way she keeps looking at Tyler. Her eyes look like they are full of regret, like she’s sad she’ll never get a chance to sample that dick or something, and it’s like YES YOU CAN, HANNAH. JUST KEEP HIM.
Oh thank god. Tyler is safe which means it’s sayonara to our favorite Delta pilot.
Peter: But the windmill!!
Wow Hannah is struggling with this goodbye rn. She’s like, “my Barbie played with your Barbie and that’s what love is!” I don’t know what they’re teaching in Alabama, but I’m scared. Thanks to my friend Aubrey who grew up in Alabama—and, until two years ago, didn’t realize dinosaurs were not mythical creatures lumped in with the Loch Ness monster and the tooth fairy, but rather, actually existed—I know all about the “science” they’re teaching in those public schools. But now I’m starting to think their sex ed classes involve dolls with strategic parts of their anatomy missing and a lot of prayer. Aubrey, please confirm!
After The Final Rose AKA Peter’s Mom Is A Hype Girl
After Peter gets dumped, ABC cuts to live coverage from After The Final Rose with Chris Harrison. It appears we will be flashing back and forth from the finale to ATFR because ABC
is a sadist loves nothing better than to hold us hostage for as long as possible in the name of “good television.” ABC, you’re on my list.
He brings Peter out to the hot seat, and I love that Chris Harrison gets genuine joy out of rubbing salt in other people’s wounds. He’s like “I see you’re having trouble watching this. I see you crying. Do you want to kill yourself?” CHRIS. You can’t just ask these things on live television!
Meanwhile, Peter’s mom is in the audience and is acting like a national tragedy just happened. I’m sorry but, ma’am, your son has definitely f*cked his way through every Delta flight attendant. I think he’ll survive.
Once Chris gets done doing a pulse check on Peter’s emotional instability, he brings out Hannah to finish off skewering Peter’s love life. Weirdly, this reunion has the opposite effect. Is it just me or is Hannah, like, flirting with Peter? This is not the interaction I was expecting AN ENGAGED WOMAN to have with her ex-boyfriend in front of all of America and Peter’s mom. That is way too much thigh touching for an engaged woman!!
Jesus Christ. Hannah, stop saying hi to his parents! They hate your guts. They offered you their home and their Cuban prayers and you sh*t on it! Plus his mother was just sobbing so have a little tact, Hannah.
Hannah: In the Fantasy Suite I thought it was real.
Peter: I know, I really believed those orgasms were real too.
Okay, Peter’s mom is the ultimate hype girl. Every time they bring up Peter’s sexual prowess, she claps. Like, a lot. Like, more than is socially acceptable to clap for your grown son’s penis.
Peter’s mom rn:
Chris is like “well on a lighter note, you’ll always have the windmill!” Yes, Chris, as if the poor people of Crete could ever forget how they desecrated one of their fanciest tourist attractions. But thank you for bringing it up once more!!
WHY ARE THEY WHISPERING TO EACH OTHER. They’re giggling over that “four times” comment in a way that makes me think maybe there’s been a fifth or sixth time post-filming?
I mean, TELL me this doesn’t look like they’ve snuck away to the Delta Sky Lounge recently? There is more tea to be spilled here…
Tyler’s Last One-On-One
I’m going to break the rest of this recap up into two parts with Tyler and Jed’s dates, respectively. I mean, if I were ABC that’s how I would have done it in the first place, but I’ve heard this is also a tactic they use to torture prisoners of war to disorient them and make them lose track of all sense of time, and I know that’s the vibe they go for with these finales.
Tyler gets to meet Hannah’s family first, and my immediate thought upon seeing them is “wow that’s a lot of crosses happening there.” The whole family is giving me Christian rock band vibes HARD, and the dad in particular looks like a youth pastor who wants to tell me all about how bitchin’ Jesus was.
Wow, okay, it looks like Hannah’s mom might be more into Tyler than Hannah is. He walks into the house and her eyes light the f*ck up. She’s breathing heavy and giggling and BLUSHING.
Hannah: I didn’t know if I liked you, Tyler, or if you were just tall.
Ah, yes. Isn’t that all our cross to bear?
After impressing her dad and bringing her mother to orgasm by merely breathing, Tyler gets one more chance to prove to Hannah that he’s more than just an extremely good-looking man with lots of money and respect for women. What more she could want in a guy, I’m not sure. I believe my list goes something like “hot, tall, rich, and has seen every Veronica Mars episode ever made” but to each their own, I guess.
Tyler’s like “I’m a pusher,
Cady Hannah. I push people.” Does he think if he says the word “push” enough she’ll get the subliminal message that he wants to bang in that field?
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WAIT. ARE THEY GOING TO DO IT TONIGHT?? I think it might happen! Damn, that subliminal messaging really works. Hannah shows up to Tyler’s hotel room post-date with the sole intent of
solidifying their relationship screwing his brains out, it seems. Though you wouldn’t be able to tell based off that hoodie sweater thing she’s wearing. It’s giving me some serious middle school field day vibes rather than the “come hither” ones I’m sure she intended.
The camera pans out just as Hannah screams “we would have the sweetest family” and then straddles Tyler on the bed. Just when we were getting to the good stuff!
Jed’s Last One-On-One
Moving on to Jed’s date. Tyler is a tough act to follow and I’m not just saying that because the pheromones he puts into the world brought Hannah’s mom out of menopause. That said, Hannah does look amazing today. I’m digging this Grecian goddess look, but I don’t like that she’s wasted it on a man who most definitely makes fake YouTube accounts to comment glowing praise on his own music videos.
Predictably, Jed’s burgeoning music career does not go over well with her family. Hannah’s dad asks how he intends to support a family and Jed is just like “um with this?” JED. You can’t just say these things! I’m pretty sure her father wants you to have a more solid (albeit untruthful) plan for his daughter’s security other than just open mic nights and Flat Tummy Tea deals.
Hannah’s dad: And how is your music career going?
Jed: It’s really taking off, sir. I just signed a deal with a dog food company for a jingle.
I SIGNED A DEAL WITH A DOG FOOD COMPANY. Where has this gem been all season?? And how did that jingle go, Jed? Hmm? I’m imagining something like: “Haley, you know where my heart will be. But if I don’t come back, feed the dog for me.”
I love how her mom is just like, “so you’ve been failing as a songwriter for a while now, huh, honey?” Shadeeeeee, Barbara. I can’t wait to get her take on the Magic Mike act that actually pays his bills.
Hannah: Well what do you think of him?
Hannah’s mom: Well he has… qualities.
HE HAS QUALITIES!! HAHA. She can’t even force herself to say good qualities. Even serial killers have “qualities”, Barbara!
I don’t know why Hannah is acting shocked by all of this. Jed literally said his five year plan involved making it big off of kibble. I think that’s how it worked out for The Beatles too, Jed!
Jed describing his five year plan:
Moving on. They spend their last one-on-one date on a boat in Greece. For all intents and purposes this should be the perfect date, but it quickly turns into the stuff of my nightmares when Hannah starts projectile vomiting for no apparent reason.
She’s like “I think it’s the boat and maybe the uncertainty that goes along with wanting a future with a guy who thinks dog food jingles are okay to lead with on his LinkedIn.” In between blowing chunks over the side of the boat, Jed complains about how her dad just doesn’t understand his music. I feel like my friend from high school who now sells Mary Kay products on Facebook has a more lucrative career than you, but please tell me more, Jed.
Jed: I would love you no matter what, even if I met you off the show.
His girlfriend back at home:
And that concludes night one of the Bachelorette finale! We’ll have to wait until tomorrow night to see if Hannah will get her happily ever after or just a future pulling singles out of Jed’s G-string.
Images: Giphy (6); @bachelorinsider /Instagram (2)
If you didn’t read our Part 1 Bachelorette finale recap, stop what you’re doing and read it here!
Now that the Rose Ceremony we all knew the ending to is over, it’s time to finally get into the meat of this finale. Will she pick Bryan, or will she pick Peter? You think this will be like, your normal run-of-the-mill finale with a no-proposal fake-out wherein the person who wasn’t going to propose has a change of heart, but shit gets off the rails pretty fast.
Date With Bryan
A hot air balloon. Of course.
Bryan: I think it would be a mistake if you didn’t choose me.
Me: Wow I think the opposite but I guess that’s what makes this country of ours so great.
Okay the Spanish language book is actually kind of cute, but kissing Bryan literally looks like the seventh circle of hell to me. IDK if this assessment makes sense, but he just uses too much mouth. Wayyyy too much mouth.
At this point, I’m still team Peter, but all of that is about to change…
Date With Peter
Peter and Rachel have this green camo thing going on. I’ve never seen a couple that matches better in my life. Their faces match. Their clothes match. Their stubborn unwillingness to compromise on matters of the heart match. It all matches.
Rachel has ditched the vampire look and is better for it. Maybe she’s feeling less murderous?
The two are literally at a church with a priest. Hmmm…seems like The Bachelorette producers are trying to tell Peter something, but…I can’t put my finger on what.
First clue that Peter is not on the up-and-up: He uses the phrase “feelings of love” too much and sounds like a fucking alien.
Spanish Priest They Paid To Tell Peter To Marry Rachel: It is very important to remember not to give importance to things that are not important.
Bach Producers: WE DID NOT PAY YOU FOR RIDDLES, PADRE!
Okay, so, the life that Peter describes living with Rachel sounds like an elderly gay couple’s dream. Wine night with painting? How old is Peter, actually? Y’all are in your thirties, you’re not fucking dead.
Peter: I need to figure out if I love you.
Rachel: Um yeah that would be great.
This is the moment where we all come to a stunning realization: Peter is fuckboy-ing Rachel. Rachel, our beautiful, sassy, attorney Rachel, is being fuckboy-ed on her own season of The Bachelorette.
Rachel: One minute he tells me he wants to plan this future with me, and the next he says he can’t commit. I don’t know what’s going on.
Me: **eyes roll back in my head and images all the fuckboys I’ve known in my life flash before me** Oh no…
Peter and Rachel are matching for a second day in a row. How is this happening? I guess they both look good in green?
Peter: I’m still not ready.
Rachel: Then by the power vested in me as the First Black Bachelorette, I hereby banish you to fuckboy hell, to live out your days in
a CrossFit gym Hades.
Me: Wait…did they just break up? Before the Rose Ceremony? What is happening? Does this mean Bryan wins? DOES BRYAN FUCKING WIN!?!?
Accurate representation of me realizing that Rachel and Peter legit just broke up before the final Rose Ceremony and that means Bryan is going to win:
After The Final Rose With Peter
You know, after watching Lee literally turn inside-out with awkwardness while being called a racist in the Men Tell All, I thought there is simply no way The Bachelorette could make me any more uncomfortable. Then Peter and Rachel happened.
Rachel is so obviously furious that Peter didn’t just propose so she doesn’t have to be with Bryan. Her anger literally made my Chromecast overheat.
“I’m not angry.” — Rachel, literally seething with rage.
Rachel finally gets to the point: If you feel this way about marriage, you should not be on The fucking Bachelorette. She’s not wrong.
“I’m living my best life.” — Rachel, trying to choke down vomit while thinking about her future answering 100 phone calls a day from Bryan’s mom and paying for cheek maintenance with her lawyer’s salary.
THIS IS SO UNCOMFORTABLE.
THIS WHOLE SEASON HAS BEEN SO UNCOMFORTABLE, WHY???
Peter: I feel attacked.
If we, the audience, got anything out of this interaction, it’s that the new power move is leaving your eyelashes behind at a fuckboy’s apartment as a reminder of who the damn boss is around here.
“I walked past your eyelashes on the floor for two days.” — Peter, a 31 year-old man who leaves nasty eye trash on the floor of his bedroom for days on end.
At this point I’m just like, this could go anywhere. Is Kevin Durant gonna show up and steal her at the last minute? I would not be surprised.
The Final Rose Ceremony
They’re trying to make it seem like Rachel might not accept Bryan’s proposal, but we all know the truth: Rachel wants a ring so bad she’ll marry Alvin the chipmunk to get one. It’s her fatal flaw.
All of this craziness reminds me that Rachel was, at one point, in love with Nick Viall. Homegirl does not have the best judgment. You know, come to think of it, Rachel never seemed as into any of these dudes as she was into Nick, and Nick never really seemed to like Vanessa as much as he liked Rachel. WAS NICK VIALL THE ONE ALL ALONG?!? Once again:
Bryan has no clue any of this was gonna happen. He literally has no idea that he already won, or that he didn’t really win because everyone knows who Rachel really wanted.
Of course, Rachel accepts Bryan’s proposal.
Rachel: Will you accept this rose?
Me: **deep, earth-shattering, sadness overtakes me and I take a long sip of wine to balance it out**
Well I hope you’re happy Rachel, you got your ring.
Rachel: I’m your what?
Rachel: Good. Now never speak to me again.
I can’t help but think: How is Bryan going to feel now that he’s seen the episode?!? She literally did everything but grab Peter by the face and scream, “I DON’T WANT TO MARRY BRYAN” until he agreed to propose.
SIGN UP: Our Bachelor emails are the only thing more scandalous than the Fantasy Suite.
After The Final Rose With Bryan
If Bryan has any inclination that his new fiancée is literally still furious over losing Peter, he gives no indication.
I feel like that second proposal was his way of being like, “Wait, you still want to marry me after seeing Peter again, right?”
Bryan: **gets down on one knee**
Rachel: Oh sweet Jesus don’t make me have to do this shit again.
“We’re not putting any pressure on it. We’re just trying to build a normal relationship.” — Bachelorette code for, “We will quietly breakup in about a year once we’ve secured all of our Fit Tea endorsements.”
Lol Rachel had better get used to talking to Bryan’s mom on the phone because I have a feeling she’s one of those “call every day with suggestions about how to be a better housewife” type of ladies.
Wow, you know, I honestly think the most worthwhile thing out of that entire three hours was getting to see sweet Dean again in the BiP preview. Honestly, if I wanted to feel this level of shock and deep national shame, I’d rewatch the poll returns from the 2016 election. If Dean wasn’t going to be in BiP, I’d boycott, but he is soooo….
See you guys in Paradise!