Welcome back, Bachelorette fans, to another week in
paradise Minnesota…? This week, Michelle and her men are off to the Midwest to learn what kind of corn-fed, homestead folk Michelle hails from. This is rich. Can you imagine waking up in beautiful, sunny Palm Springs only to have to try and feign excitement about vacationing to a city that’s covered in snow and rock salt nine months out of the year? But the men do try their best. You can tell they’re all racking their brains for any factoids about this place off of which they can build a sufficient knowledge base. I fear they got as far as watching the opening credits of The Mighty Ducks before calling it a day.
While the men look indifferent at best about having to fly coach to the crockpot capital of the world, Michelle seems absolutely jazzed about dragging 11 dudes in skinny jeans to her hometown. You can tell this is a real gag for her. The last guy she wanted to bring home to mom ghosted her on the apps, only to reappear randomly when he ran into her while she was vacationing in Palm Spring—oh wait…
MICHELLE: This is the perfect place to show these guys what I stand for
Ah, yes. Outlet malls and movie theaters. You can practically smell the Auntie Anne’s and Axe body spray. I wasn’t aware that her values so closely aligned with the clientele at a Chili’s happy hour, but it’s good that we’re finally getting to meet the real Michelle.
I’ll start with some of the highlights from this episode, which include Minnesota Joe scoring the first one-on-one date of the week. This pick was confusing for me. She chose him so she can show him around the town he’s actually from? What sights could he possibly be introduced to? The view from her cousin’s basement where he plays 18 hours of Call of Duty every day?
I see my intuition was not far off. Michelle spends most of their date giving Joe a tour of her old high school. Again I ask… why? The only way I would willingly set foot in my high school again is if I was bound to some sort of centuries-old witch’s curse that required it of me—and even then I might take my chances. What would I even say to a suitor about high school? “Here’s where my crush asked out another girl right in front of my face because he didn’t know I existed, and over there is where I almost failed remedial math!”
But Michelle is definitely living out some sort of high school horn dog fantasy. While I don’t think she was dating Joe pre-filming, I do think she knew of him (perhaps from his Mr. Basketball days) and had a massive crush on him. It’s the only explanation for how gaga she is when he’s given us nothing but soft-spoken, single-word answers for weeks. For example, I’ve seen them reenact this Love & Basketball-esque pickup game at least once an episode, but I’ve yet to see them actually have a meaningful conversation that wasn’t about him ghosting her.
Eventually Joe does open up to Michelle. During the evening portion of the date, he reveals how harmful the title “Mr. Basketball” was to his psyche, especially when he left his high school glory days behind to play college ball. He says that the transition left him feeling anxious and depressed and (trigger warning) even alludes to being suicidal. I think before this date Michelle was thinking he was just a hot jock, but this conversation cements Joe as a Real Person with Actual Feelings and Human Emotions that exist outside of her Love & Basketball fantasies. You never know, it might just work for these two crazy kids!
Nayte The Great
Despite being at the center of the drama last week, Nayte redeemed himself during his one-on-one date this week with Michelle. I’m not surprised Michelle chose Nayte, one of her favorite boyfriends, to take on a date to one of her favorite places: Lake Minnetonka.
Look, I know that little hobgoblin Chris S. complained about Nayte thinking he “has this in the bag” but that’s because he absolutely does. Nayte has been my one to watch since week one. He became the frontrunner after scoring both the first impression rose and the first kiss. The next step for Michelle? Introducing him to the gals!
After a day of boating, Michelle wants Nayte to meet her two best friends, both of whom look like a walking ad for a Francesca’s jewelry sale. I will say that I’m living for Michelle’s bitchy friend, because I am this friend. While Michelle and Nayte are draped in white linen (appropriate attire for a lake day) the friend is sitting there in her slinkiest black bodysuit ready to wreak absolute havoc. The first words out of her mouth to her bestie’s new BF? “Do you have enemies?” I may have screamed. Cut to Nayte, who looks like he would rather not answer that question until his lawyer is present. I don’t blame him! This crowd is tough.
But eventually Nayte wins them over the way he won Michelle over—and probably every other woman on planet Earth—by
being charmingly authentic whispering into the shell of her ear, “I’m 6’8.”
The Rest of the Men Still Ain’t Shit
Since this is a recap of the episode and not my personal diary, I suppose I must mention the other men competing for Michelle’s attention—or whatever scraps are left of it after those one-on-one dates.
Going into the group date, Michelle tells us that she wants the guys to create “more small moments” with her, to which I say, then she shouldn’t have taken them to a football stadium. First of all, MY GOD, MORE SPORTS?? If I wanted to watch this much athletic prowess I’d rewatch Friday Night Lights. Secondly, the real problem isn’t with the men’s behavior. It’s that Michelle keeps taking them to do things they actually want to do. That’s not how dating works, honey! I don’t take my dog to the dog park and expect her to spend the entire time looking soulfully into my eyes. I take her there so she can start shit with the labradoodle and mark her territory on every other bush. Why Michelle expects her men to act any differently is beyond me.
The group date functions less like usable footage ABC actually thought we would want to watch and more like a propaganda reel to convince us that Clayton deserves to be the next Bachelor. And even that fails in its endeavor when Chris S. takes center stage in the drama (more on that later).
During the date, the guys compete for yet another totally made-up, hyper-masculine title: Ultimate Viking. So, let me get this straight. So far the guys have competed for the title of Maverick, Bella Twin and now… Viking? A competition, mind you, that’s being judged by two guys who definitely stormed the capital on January 6th. What kind of chaotic thematic messaging is happening on these group dates??
While Clayton ends up winning the title of Ultimate Viking (for no apparent reason other than that he’s really good at yelling loudly), it’s Chris S. who ultimately ends up stealing the date storyline—and the show. He spends the majority of the group date pouting over the fact that Michelle gave Nayte the second one-on-one date and just generally overcompensating for his tiny hands. He wonders why Michelle isn’t seeking him out after he so kindly hijacked her rose ceremony last week. Where are her manners!
There’s something about Chris S. that I can’t put my finger on, but I think it’s that he might be a secret incel. Like, he definitely has a little manifesto of all the pretty women who have wronged him in his life. There’s an entitlement to him that feels both laughable and dangerous at the same time. Like the office buffoon who you joke about always hitting on you to your work wives only to find out that he circulated a Photoshopped image of your head on a nude woman’s body to the guys in accounting. He paints himself as a nice guy, as a victim, and then psychologically tries to manipulate women into buying into his narrative. It’s disgusting.
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While Nayte is on his date with Michelle, the camera constantly cuts back to Chris S. at the hotel, quietly seething like the bridge troll he is. It’s clear Chris S. knows he’s going home and is trying to milk his five minutes of drama for all it’s worth. I don’t respect it, but I understand it.
Case in point: Chris S. decides that he needs to confront Michelle DURING HER ONE-ON-ONE DATE WITH NAYTE to grill her about why she isn’t showing him enough attention. Chris says he feels “played” by Michelle and she visibly recoils. Lol I can’t wait for her to verbally stone him on national television. GO OFF, SIS.
MICHELLE: You spoke for me and I can speak for myself.
She politely tells Chris that their journey together has ended, which is the nicest banishment I’ve ever seen. I would have liked more fire and brimstone myself, but I suppose we can’t always have nice things.
Something I’ll note is Nayte’s reaction. It was, after all, his date that was crashed by Lord Farquaad. Instead of starting a fight or calling Chris a little “bitch baby” (*cough* Aaron *cough, cough*) he says that he doesn’t need to know about Michelle’s relationship with Chris or her reasons for sending him home. He wants to focus on their relationship and the rest of their date. See, this is the way you handle insecurities and jealousy: by trusting the person you’re with. Take note, boys.
The last thing I’ll mention is that Martin—and I cannot emphasize this enough—still sucks. He has a conversation with Michelle during the rose ceremony in which he tells her that she doesn’t give him enough unique compliments and that also he hates high-maintenance women.
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I think his exact words were he hates high-maintenance women and all the women in Miami are “verrrry high maintenance.” What’s fun is watching Michelle’s face during this interaction, which says she’s immediately siding with every woman in Miami over Martin. I mean, this is coming from a man with bleach blonde roots and enough layered necklaces to fuel an Uncommon James Instagram ad. You can’t spell high-maintenance without the letters M, A, and N. I’m just saying…
And that’s a wrap for this week! Michelle doesn’t send Martin home just yet (for shame), so I guess my retinas will have to survive another week of the visual assault that is his general appearance. Greaaaat.
Images: Craig Sjodin / ABC; Giphy (4); @bitchelorette_ /Instagram (1); @bachelorettewindmill /Instagram (1)
Welcome back to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! Last week’s episode was certainly in keeping with the Halloween theme, as I’ve never been more scared for the public school systems than after watching grown adults butcher basic trivia questions. Spooky. What’s scarier? Learning that Jamie, a man whose under-eye bags you can see from space, is only one year older than me. I’m already haunted by my bad decisions from last weekend, don’t further traumatize me, ABC, by showing me this ghost of Christmas future! Excuse me while I go drown myself and my burgeoning fine lines in the leftover Halloween candy…
And it looks like I’m not the only one being haunted by Jamie! Michelle continues to struggle after last week’s rose ceremony when Jamie revealed that the men were questioning her “character” after she decided to keep Joe around for another week. To those of us in the audience, we know this to be a lie. None of the men were actually talking about this. But he tells Michelle that he heard from a
producer friend back home that she was “boo’d up” with a “light-skinned baller” before even coming on the show, insinuating that she and Joe were already an item and just wasting everyone’s time. Honestly, I think the real crime is that Jamie continues to use the term “boo’d up” with a straight face as he barrels right into his mid-30s.
As Michelle preps for the week she says that she doesn’t know who to trust anymore. She just wants to know who still believes in her. Believes in you? Oh, honey. Look around you! I have a feeling the only “strong beliefs” they have in this world are in Bitcoin and their hair gel. I have more trust in my astrological sign than I do in these guys giving a shit about your character.
The Adventures Of Dough Boy & Little Willie
Let’s talk about the first group date of the week, which was Top Gun themed. Why Top Gun? Because ABC practically foams at the mouth at any opportunity to collab and increase their capital. Also, I just think they wanted to watch people throw up on that spinny thing.
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Michelle says that she wants to find her maverick and thus will be hosting a maverick-themed competition judged by actors in the new remake of Top Gun: Jay Ellis and Glen Powell. This date boggles my mind. She’s making them compete for a fake pilot title and have the competition be judged by fake pilots with no actual pilot experience. WHAT IS THIS DATE?! These men aren’t mavericks! They read lines off a piece of paper and have a personal assistants hold their Juuls to their lips when they need a hit. My god, Pilot Pete has more credibility in judging this date—and he would have to run his ruling by Barb first!
So what makes you a “maverick”? How good your fake pilot nickname is. Will and Pizza Peter (who got into some beef during last week’s episode) manage to come up with names that a fifth grade bully would use to belittle you behind the swing set: Little Willie and Dough Boy.
In addition to heinous nicknames, the guys will also have to compete in flight-themed drills and survive a g-force simulator as they profess their love to Michelle. The men act as if conquering the g-force simulator is on the same level as a Middle Earth quest to return the ring to Mordor. You guys, they literally had that apparatus at my playground growing up. I’m not impressed.
Little Willie ends up scoring the Maverick title, but the real competition occurs during the cocktail after-party when Little Willie and Dough Boy face off for round two. Dough Boy is pissed that Little Willie called him a narcissist last week and bested him with a stick in the maverick games. Yes, there’s more to their feud. No, I can’t go into any more details than that as my brain cells are literally flaking into dust with every word I type.
MICHELLE: I just love what a mature group of men I have here
I honestly find nothing more tragic than the fact that the guy who owns a pizzeria and brought cannolis and red wine on the first night is actually a blight on the human race instead of being Jesus Christ himself.
Dough Boy and Little Willie spend the entirety of the cocktail party verbally sparring—that is, if comments like “bro you hate my mouth because you wish you had it” count as “sparring.” The stakes get even higher when Dough Boy throws Little Willie’s bomber jacket into the pool and Little Willie cries about it in the corner. Wait, what’s the sound? Oh right. Just my Masters’ degree physically quaking at having to type that sentence.
In the end, it’s neither Dough Boy nor Little Willie who gets the group date rose. Instead, Martin gets that honor. I’m shocked by this development. Martin seems cool and all but Michelle can’t be serious about this guy… right?? She’s like “he has so many sides to him!” Yes, and is one of those sides is James Franco’s character in Spring Breakers.
Tell me this isn’t the same energy!! Is this really the father of your future kids, Michelle? Is it??
Best Boyfriend Material: Rodney & Nayte
And now for a scheduled break in your programming to rave about my two favorite men this season: Rodney and Nayte. Am I wrong or are these the only two men worth Michelle’s time and attention? (I’m not wrong). Rodney scored the only one-on-one date of the week and proved that he is an Earth angel that deserves to be protected at all costs. For some reason the guys in the house don’t think of Rodney as a threat and that’s to their detriment. Not only did Rodney literally never stop smiling during their date (even when Michelle forced him to run naked around the hotel complex for ABC’s sick enjoyment), but he also had the audacity to ask Michelle personal questions about herself. Imagine! What a guy!
Michelle reveals some pretty personal stories about herself, including delving into an old wound with a past relationship. She describes a moment when a stranger called her the N word to her face and her boyfriend at the time wasn’t supportive of her hurt feelings. Even with how heavy and personal the story is the two of them—who are virtual strangers, mind you—-handle this with easy, open communication. Is this what a healthy relationship looks like? I absolutely must stan.
And then there’s Nayte. I don’t mention him much in my recaps because I tend to focus on the absurd and unhinged (like calls to like and all of that). Nayte has consistently been a shining star this season. Every episode he finds a moment to sweep Michelle completely off her feet and, when possible, removes himself from any house drama. He’s so cute I’ll even forgive him for his excessive accessorizing. Watch out for these ones, y’all, I think we have some front runners on our hands…
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Jamie Digs His Own Grave
Jamie, Jamie, Jamie. What is there to even say? I never should have trusted a man with a good first impression. Last week Jamie and Michelle hit it off during their one-on-one date, but by the end of the episode Jamie had revealed his true form: a chaos demon who was summoned in the bowels of ABC studios by an overly ambitious producer. Seriously, where do they find these monsters?
Jamie spent most of the episode acting like a smug asshole and just generally digging his own grave in the confessionals. He wound up on the second group date which involved the men performing spoken word poetry. While the rest of the men showed surprising depth for a group who show that much ankle on a regular basis, Jamie’s poetry was almost word-for-word a Vanessa Carleton song. The assignment was to be vulnerable not to talk about making your way downtown, walking fast, faces pass and you’re homebound.
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Later, Jamie took personal offense when Michelle offered Brendan the group date rose. By “personal offense” I mean he openly talked shit about Michelle to a producer after the group date ended. He’s like, “you’re telling me that Brendan and I are in the same league? Is this a fucking joke?” and then proceeds to laugh maniacally directly into the cameras. God, he’s a fucking moron. How does he this footage won’t air? THOSE THINGS WITH RED LIGHTS ON ARE CAMERAS, BUDDY.
If that scene made your blood boil then just wait until the rose ceremony. I’ve seen gladiatorial rings handle their differences with more decorum than what happened here tonight. With the men still on edge from the last rose ceremony, Rick takes it upon himself to ask Michelle who confronted her with these supposed house rumors.
MICHELLE: Jamie told me you guys think I’m a piece of shit
ME ALONE IN MY LIVING ROOM:
Once again I say, Nayte is a SAINT. While the rest of the guys are ready to tear Jamie limb from limb and bake his remains into one of Pizza Pete’s pies, Nayte would like all of us to just calm down, take it easy. Let’s hear it from the source first. Boo, you whore.
Once confronted, it all starts to fall apart for Jamie. As it turns out, his spoken word poetry has more of a narrative arc than the story he fed Michelle about mysterious “men” passing judgement on her character. At one point Jamie says something about episodes and how things would look once the season aired and Nayte’s like “why are we talking about episodes!” WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT EPISODES. I screamed. See, this is what I watch this show for.
Jamie tries to save face by actively hashing it out with Michelle IN FRONT OF THE OTHER MEN. My favorite is when Michelle starts parroting back his questions. You know when a teacher starts asking rhetorical questions you’re about to get your ass handed to you. She takes Jamie out back to finish the verbal skewering started at the rose ceremony and ultimately sends him home. You love to see it.
We end things with a rose ceremony elimination: Spencer, Mollique, LT, and Pizza Peter all get sent home. Until next week!
Images: Craig Sjodin / ABC; Giphy (2); The Ringer (1); @bacheloretteabc /Instagram (1); @bitchelorette_ /Instagram (2)
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)
Welcome back to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! This week we’re off to Hometowns, if you can call a Hyatt conference room papier-mâchéd within an inch of its life to vaguely resemble whatever podunk towns these dudes crawled out of a “hometown.” Gone are the days when contestants would have to sully their family name by allowing ABC entrance into their childhood homes. It’s sad, really. How are we to know which of these guys still masturbates to their high school yearbook quote or lets his mommy cut his meat for him if we don’t get a decent look at the house that built them? Hmm?
At least Katie’s in high spirits! She seems far too excited about the first hometown of the week: Blake’s. If it feels like we’ve watched this date before, that’s because we absolutely have. This was the exact “authentic Canadian experience” that production cobbled together for Serena P’s hometown last season, right down to the maple syrup shots and pickup game of hockey. Like, I know Canada has a diverse and rich culture, and yet, production’s attempt at showcasing said culture was to google “Canada” once and follow the first pop-up ad on its Wikipedia page.
And the contestants go right along with it! They make it out like the entire country of Canada is their hometown. Meanwhile, in America, if you even suggest that living in Greenwich Village is synonymous with living in the West Village, you get called uncultured swine and booed off the subway platform (or so I would assume).
THE BACHELORETTE: What did you do for fun growing up?
CANADIANS ON THIS SHOW:
I love how Blake turns everything into sex. Like, hometowns is a time to connect on a deeper level, to share stories from childhood and bask in adolescent nostalgia. Meanwhile, Blake is like, “have you ever used syrup as lube before?” Blake! She asked you what your favorite sport was growing up, not to launch into your favorite way to incorporate food into the bedroom. Come on, read the room!
After Blake and Katie get done desecrating Canadian culture, it’s off to meet Blake’s family! So, who did Blake bring to hometowns anyway? His mother, sister, and a random man with a ponytail. Don’t ask me for more details. That’s all I can divulge at this time.
I will say, I have a loooot of questions for Blake’s mother, but those leather pants are already telling me everything I need to know. She’s giving me major Stifler’s mom vibes. Does she or does she not look like the kind of mom who caught him masturbating and instead of leaving the room, sat down with him to give him better tips for reaching completion?
The resemblance is uncanny.
My favorite thing about meeting Blake’s family is that they clearly think he ain’t sh*t. His sister is like, “sooo this is the one you’re in love with now” and I may have spit out my wine at the audacity of such savagery. Later, his mom practically calls him a pussy for not telling Katie he loves her. There’s nothing I love more than watching strong women verbally emasculate a man on live television. Please do carry on, ladies.
Blake’s date ends on a meh note. He never actually professes any deeper feelings for Katie, though he does allude off-camera to being ready to propose. If that sounds half-hearted to you, that’s because it is. He’s like, “when I know, I know and this is the most I’ve known.” Hmmm, doesn’t sound promising. It sounds like he’s convincing himself of this. Exactly the solid foundation on which you’d want to build a life-long commitment!
How Is Justin Still Here?
The most dramatic thing to come out of Justin’s hometown date was learning that he could not convince one single family member to show up for his date. He gets both of his parents on the phone and they’re like, “sorry we couldn’t be there, we just didn’t want to. You get it right?” Wowwwww. They seriously said “nah, I’ll pass.” I have so much respect for that family.
Even though Justin was unable to lure any blood related family to New Mexico, he is able to procure two friends. Or at least, two hired actors portraying the role of friends. He’s like, “they’re the brothers I never had! Mostly because my actual brothers said they’re too embarrassed to be related to anyone willing to associate with this franchise.” Again, I say: I have so much respect for this family.
There are actually other major red flags on this date aside from his parents refusal to bend the knee for ABC. For one, his “friends” are suspiciously hype about the intimacy of his and Katie’s relationship. They’re like, “we’ve never seen this much PDA from him!” PDA?? He touched her pinky once! They’re acting shocked that he would breathe in the same direction as the girl he likes. Red flag. RED. FLAG.
JUSTIN BEING “INTIMATE” WITH KATIE:
But the real deal breaker happens during Justin’s tour of “the best of Baltimore.” I’m not saying production gave him a lot to work with here (I’m sure they gave him nothing) but MY GOD what a sad excuse for a date. The tour consisted of two papier-mâchéd signs (I told you there’d be at least one!) and a large suspense of reality. Apparently the best that Baltimore has to offer is a single 8 ft. piece of cardboard with doodles spray painted on it that’s supposed to represent “graffiti”.
And then—AND THEN!—Justin has the audacity to feed her crabs whilst in landlocked Albuquerque. Look, my family also hails from Baltimore, so I get that blue crabs are, like, the glue that holds that culture together, but those ain’t no blue crabs and you know it, Justin. I’ve seen fresher looking seafood in the Costco frozen aisle. You’re sick, Justin! Just sick!
Pork Roll, Egg, & Emotional Breakdown
It’s hard to reflect on the other hometown dates when Greg’s dominated much of the episode. Their date starts off strong with Greg wanting to show Katie “a taste of my beach town.” I’m sorry, but I thought he said he was from Edison, NJ? Show me where the beach is in Edison, Greg, I dare you. Also, let’s be honest about the authenticity of this New Jersey experience. I think we all know the real New Jersey experience is less tandem bike riding and more giving someone the finger on the parkway. Be honest, Greggie!
And, look, it’s all so very cute up to this point. They’re making out in fake rain again and giggling through random activities that do not represent the state of New Jersey in any way, shape or form. Then Katie meets his family and the mood shifts. Things get very emotional very quickly. Greg tells Katie that she fills the void in his life that his dead dad left. She tells Greg that she loves… looking at him. Ooof.
ME WATCHING THAT SCENE IN REAL TIME:
Katie has said time and again that she won’t say the “L” word until the very end, even if it kills Greg in the process. It’s very clear from this date that Greg would like to skip to the end and propose to Katie. When Katie doesn’t immediately offer to ditch the show, Greg spirals. Like, reallyyy spirals. Like, I’ve seen less melodrama in an Aéropostale fitting room.
And this isn’t some new side of Greg we haven’t seen before. Greg’s jealousy and insecurity have been a recurring theme over the last few weeks. Though he’s been a frontrunner since night one, he’s struggled with the idea of Katie having relationships with other men. I’m not even talking about the physical aspects of dating multiple men at once. No, Greg seems most upset that Katie might be emotionally invested in a relationship outside of theirs. It’s like he doesn’t understand the foundation on which their relationship was built. This is a reality dating show, after all.
I love that he’s like, “ditch the show! Who gives a f*ck!” Sir, she signed a contract. Also, Greg is an idiot. Even though Katie didn’t explicitly say “you’re the one, Greg” she does say over and over again that their relationship is the most important to her and she outright tells him he’s advancing to Fantasy Suites. I mean, she did everything but wink at him and he STILL didn’t get it.
KATIE: I can’t tell you what the future holds for us, I can’t tell you if we’ll end up together.
Their date ends on shaky ground. Greg is still in his feels. I think for him, getting the green light from his family meant he was ready to take this relationship to the real world. He’s ready to commit right now and cannot fathom that she might need a little more time to sort out her feelings.
The next day things get worse for the couple. Greg goes to Katie’s hotel room to tell her he’s leaving the show. Chaos ensues. He keeps bringing up that Katie dismissed his feelings from the night before and I honestly don’t think Katie could do anything to get him to stay, short of breaking the space/time continuum to travel back in time and say “I love you” at the exact moment he wanted her to.
Greg keeps emphasizing that this isn’t about roses, that this is real life and she’s still thinking of people in a point system. Though he has a point, he’s not being very fair to her. She’s the Bachelorette, for Christ’s sake! That’s kind of the whole point! It’s a shame because even though he’s overreacting, there’s a real connection there that’s being lost in hurt feelings and miscommunications. Do I think Katie could have handled that conversation better? Sure. She did seem a little cold and standoffish. But I think that’s because she doesn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up—including her own.
So how does their fight end? Well, Greg has left the Hyatt and is probably halfway to the closest CVS to Bridget Jones the sh*t out of his night with chocolate and drugstore wine before leaving that godforsaken town. Meanwhile, Katie is where any woman rapidly approaching 30 ends up after breaking up with a guy she’s known for barely three weeks: crying on a bathroom floor. Ah, yes. I know that scenario well.
And that’s all she wrote, kids! Next week sets us up for the dramatic season finale. We’ll have to wait until then to see if Katie is able to recover from her breakup with Greg by letting some sexed-up Canadian pour maple syrup on her in the Fantasy Suites. Until then!
Images: Craig Sjodin / ABC; Giphy (4)
This week, I’m taking a break from writing your regularly scheduled Bachelorette recap in favor of providing you with a rare glimpse into my ABC burn book. That’s right, ABC, welcome to your tape. Now, you might be thinking to yourself: “but Ryanne, aren’t all your recaps just entries from a burn book?” Lol, you’re cute. Usually (for legal purposes) I try to contain my wrath as (legally) it’s a personal growth goal of mine to be less of a garbage monster and more of an emotionally functioning human being. But ABC, you have BURNED ME FOR THE LAST TIME. All bets are off now!
Here I was thinking this week we’d get to see
a Hometown date Katie test out her dick jokes on unsuspecting family members in the Hyatt’s best conference room. BUT NO. Instead, we are gifted with about 25 minutes of usable, interesting footage and the rest of the time we’re forced to endure The Men Tell All. Here’s the thing about these “tell alls”: they tell nothing. It’s not like I was expecting Tayshia and Kaitlyn to spill state secrets or anything, but MY GOD the most interesting thing to happen this evening involved an audience member going rogue. Where was the drama? The intrigue? The big reveals? If I wanted to watch a bunch of straight dudes compliment each other, I’d go hang out around a beer pong table at a frat party. But I digress. Let’s dive into it.
ABC Goes In For The Kill Shot
Before we jump into the Men Tell All, ABC gives us one final twist in the Hometowns line-up. For weeks now, Michael A. has been winning over Katie—and casually all of America—with his blushing, sad dad act. Even if he didn’t have the background story of a Nicholas Sparks character, there’s just something about his affable personality that feels genuine in ways we definitely don’t often see on this show. Naturally, ABC’s first instinct is to obliterate that goodness.
The episode opens with a conflicted Michael. He tells us that being so far away from his son has really been weighing on him emotionally. The producers, like the dementors they truly are, arrange for Michael to FaceTime his kid. Don’t be fooled for one second into thinking they did this out of the goodness of their hearts. No, this FaceTime was a strategic maneuver designed to inflict maximum pain.
Case in point: Michael tells his son that he loves him and misses him and the kid shrieks “daddy left because he doesn’t want to see me” and then rushes off camera. DADDY LEFT BECAUSE HE DOESN’T WANT TO SEE ME. Are you kidding me with this, ABC?! While you’re at it, why don’t you take him out back and shoot him? It would finish the job and be kinder than putting him through this!
MICHAEL: *wavers emotionally*
Michael ends up self-eliminating almost immediately after that call. He tells Katie that he can’t focus on Hometowns and their relationship when he’s this worried about his son. Look, guys, I love Michael. I do. He’s a scruffy angel without wings. But he’s acting like his leaving The Bachelorette early is on par with the sacrifice Harry Potter’s parents made to shield him from Lord Voldemort. Honestly, I just feel like he’s already done the damage to his child’s psyche. What’s the harm in staying a little longer? At least he’ll have a fun story for his future therapist!
Katie takes the news HARD. Her reaction feels a little over dramatic for someone she was probably going to dump later that day anyway. Be honest, Katie, are you really that upset over Michael leaving? I mean, yes he’s cute and sweet and has the soul of a Christmas elf but were you actually attracted to this guy? He’s just so… soft. He looks like the kind of guy whose idea of foreplay involves softly crying to Hallmark movies.
Also, if they really wanted to, they could have worked this out. If she actually saw herself ending up with Michael, as she so tearfully proclaimed to him, then her reaction wouldn’t be “I need to let you go” it would be “that’s fine, go home and I’ll dump everyone else and meet up with you.” If there’s anything I’ve learned living in this post-Claire Bachelorette universe, it’s that there’s no rules on this franchise.
Later, during the Tell All, we get to catch up with Michael and Katie. They both seem at peace with their decisions and Katie even says she has “no regrets” about her journey. If I were her, I’d be a little regretful. Especially when Michael walked out on that stage and his stylist had taken him from daddy to zaddyyyy. Damn, he looked good. I always thought he had the sex appeal of fuzzy socks, but that grown-in beard is making me rethink my entire worldview.
In fact, I’m just gonna leave this here:
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Cat People, Am I Right?
Perhaps Michael had to sacrifice himself so that out of his ashes a phoenix could rise. And by “phoenix” I mean a grown man with a fondness for kitten costumes. As is typical for the Tell All specials, the host picks various men from the season to humiliate just a little bit extra. Their sacrificial lamb this evening? Connor. Seems like low hanging fruit to me, but by all means, carry on with your carnage, ABC.
Tayshia and Kaitlyn ask Connor to join them in the hot seat, and they proceed to replay his trauma from the season like it’s a submission from America’s Funniest Home Videos. Was it really necessary that they re-air that footage of Katie calling him a shitty kisser? Kaitlyn’s like “is that the usual feedback you get from women after being intimate with them?” Kaitlyn!! Jesus Christ. I didn’t know that in addition to drinking wine and podcasting, your hobbies also include emotionally castrating men for the fun of it! Noted.
Connor tells us that after filming ended, he reached out to a few of his exes to ask if he was a truly “trash kisser.” A TRASH KISSER. ABC, you are going to hell for this.
Connor must look so pathetic that it upends the natural order of the universe, because all of a sudden, something happens the likes of which I have never seen on this franchise: a balcony monster gets her moment in the sun. First of all, I wasn’t aware that audience members were allowed to do anything other than laugh, cry, or cringe dramatically. In fact, I’m pretty sure ABC places some sort of witch’s curse upon them that binds them to those automatic settings, lest they act on their own free will and go off script. And yet, somehow, a random audience hoe has managed to break free from the mystical energy constraining her to her seat. Not only does she have the audacity to interrupt Connor’s interview, but then she demands a kiss from. AND HE ACTUALLY DOES IT!!
And it doesn’t stop at one kiss! They’re going to town on each other while the rest of the men openly gawk at them from behind. What am I watching here? This isn’t a foam party in Miami! This is a Tell All, goddamn it. Have some respect!
I’ll tell you one thing, this would not have happened on Chris Harrison’s watch. When he was running the show, he barely acknowledged the feral crowd that made up the live audience at these things. Meanwhile, Tayshia and Kaitlyn are all but handing out condoms on stage. Ladies! Save that for the commercial breaks!
Less Romance More Bromance
The majority of The Men Tell All focused on the men who were “here for the wrong reasons,” but even that half-hearted attempt at manifesting hostile energy didn’t take. Despite ABC’s best intentions, these guys seem to genuinely care for one another. Yes, there were the Aarons and the Tres and the Karls of the group, the guys who spent the majority of this season acting out a Scooby-Doo plot line instead of focusing on building relationships. But there were also guys like Greg, who would openly weep when Michael talked about his dead wife, and guys like Andrew who ignored the drama entirely and focused on Katie.
That bromance energy carried on into the Tell All special. There were minimal squabbles, and Thomas, the main source of their anger, didn’t even show up until the last ten minutes of the special, when he literally phoned it in via Zoom. Later, when Aaron and Tre started ripping into Hunter, Connor—Connor!!—stood up for him. I guess that little kitty grew some claws after all. Meow.
Look, was this an absolute waste of 120 minutes of my life? You bet. But I will begrudgingly admit that this is actually a good group of guys who deserve nice things. *waits to be struck by lightning* I can’t wait to see how ABC decimates those tenuous relationships in Paradise!
And that’s a wrap for this episode! Seriously. That’s it. Until next week!
Images: ABC / Craig Sjodin; Giphy (1); @bitchelorette_ / Instagram (1); ABC (1)
Welcome back to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! Some of you informed me that you did not actually watch last week’s episode, as it aired the day after July 4th and you were instead
otherwise engaged still in your star-spangled bikini, cursing White Claw’s good name. To that I say:
I guess some of us take our patriotic duties a little more seriously than others, mmkay?
Moving on. We’re now midway into Katie’s season, and I have to ask myself: what’s next? Usually this is the point where ABC would haul the contestants off to some remote corner of the world to watch them deeply offend another culture or, at the very least, behave in ways that lands them on TSAs no fly list (see: Connor in that cat suit). But alas, we live in a broken world where to travel in anything less than a hazmat suit would require production to shut down for a small amount of time—and we certainly can’t have that! Can you imagine the anarchy it would cause if mid-season they gave these guys a smidgen of their independence back? That’s the first rule of a hostage situation!
So, with travel out of the question, how is ABC going to keep up momentum? Oh, what’s that you say? They’re going to put the men through a no masturbation challenge for absolutely no reason at all? Damn, they must be hard up for content. (I know, I hate myself for that one too).
Katie tells Tayshia and Kaitlyn that a little birdie told her that the men can’t stop diddling themselves between rose ceremonies. I’m sorry, but who is this little birdie?? I’m less alarmed that the men are jerking off (seriously, what did she expect? She left them alone with nothing to talk about but manscaping and pumping iron—of course they’re horny!) and more concerned that there’s a Peeping Tom in their midst. Chris Harrison, be honest, was it you? Are you the “little birdie”?
CHRIS HARRISON AND HIS PUBLICIST, TWO MILES OUTSIDE THE HYATT:
Katie says she wants to make the men’s experience ~harder~ on the show. And then she snickers into her hands like the 14-year-old boy she actually is. She would like for the men to hold off on masturbating for the foreseeable future. Why? Lol you don’t need reasons on this show! Katie dubs the challenge: WOWO (Week Off Whacking Off) but The Horny Games feels like a missed opportunity on ABC’s part. For shame.
When Katie gives the guys their challenge they act like she just asked them to give up air for a week. The Virgin is like, “I’ve been doing this for years!” and it’s like, you said you were celibate, not clinically insane! You’re telling me you’ve never touched your peen before? I’m genuinely worried for his mental health. Then there’s Greg who looks like he’s wondering if wet dreams count as self-care. That’s a question only you can answer for yourself, buddy!
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Connor’s reaction is perhaps the most outrageous. He’s like, “no more feeding the wild stallion.” FEEDING THE WILD STALLION. Okay, my libido just shriveled up and died. Can you imagine if that was your math teacher talking about the torment of not being able to “get jiggy” with himself on national television? I would have to transfer schools.
The men spend the rest of the episode policing each other’s showers and jumping out from around corners yelling “gotcha!” if a guy spends more than 90 seconds unsupervised. What’s worse is that during the group date, the men feel obligated to give Katie a status update on their progress.
THE MEN: I haven’t touched myself, I swear!!
ALSO THE MEN:
Look, you don’t get a gold star for keeping your hands to yourself for 24 hours! Do you even understand the meaning of self-restraint?
The drama comes to a head (again, I hate myself for these puns) when Blake sneaks into Katie’s hotel room at the end of the episode. He spent the group date telling Katie about his extensive masturbation habits (he uses his right hand on Saturdays, but his left hand on Sundays!), and Katie almost seemed enamored with this declaration. He’s like, “I’m just really built up.” Would you like a medal for your sacrifice, sir? You’ve been on this show for five days. Please.
After his makeout session with Katie he says he’s ready for his “happy ending” and then the cameras promptly pan to sprinklers going off on the front lawn. So, yeah. That happened. Excuse me while I go bleach my eyeballs and pray that a sinkhole opens up beneath my feet lest I be subjected to any more of this travesty. Mom? Can you pick me up? I hate it here.
Hunter Gets Roasted
Aside from Katie’s gag order on masturbation, the other drama in the house this week revolves around Hunter daring to breathe air in the same space as the other contestants. Apparently the guys don’t like Hunter because he *checks notes* has watched this show before? Sorry, didn’t realize there was a kill order out there for any person with working eyes and ears. My bad!
As if sensing things might be amiss, Katie uses the group date to get to the bottom of things. She introduces them to drag queen royalty and then announces that they must participate in a roast. She and the queens will judge their ability to creatively fillet the characters of the other men in the room.
So, let me get this straight. Katie wants to put a bunch of men, who haven’t orgasmed in days, into one room and then expects them to be able to string together sentences… humorously? Look, these guys have questionable communication skills on good days. Brendan doesn’t even look like he could type an email before his morning ritual of pre-workout and jerking one out to his reflection. It seems like she’s asking a lot of them…
As I suspected, the roast is abominable. They’re not so much roasting each other as they are giving each other what my boss likes to call “compliment sandwiches.” So, it’s not “I hate you because you’re fat” it’s “you’re fat because I hate you.” See the difference?
Also, as someone who takes great pains in roasting these people every Monday, I’m disappointed. Where are the jokes! Michael looks like every word out of his mouth is about to be an apology. Meanwhile, Greg has the audacity to read a poem straight from his dream journal. I’ve attended middle school sleepovers that are more vicious than this roasting.
GREG: To the guys in this house: you’re more beautiful than Cinderella, you smell like pine needles, and your face is like sunshine.
Hunter is the only one who gets consistent insults lobbed his way, but even those are subpar at best. Later, during drinks, the guys individually voice their complaints about Hunter to Katie. Aaron’s like, “I want to protect you” which would mean a lot more if the guy this was coming from didn’t have a whole-ass burn book devoted to the guys in this house. Despite the men’s reservations about Hunter, he manages to make it through the group date relatively unscathed.
Katie Takes Out The Trash
This week was a doozy in terms of eliminations. We started out with 11 contestants, but by the end of the episode Katie had whittled her count down to six. Aside from the group date, there were two one-on-one dates this week: Justin and Connor. Justin managed to snag a rose after their date but if you’re looking for more details than that, I can’t help you. The only notes I wrote down about their date was “Justin is cute but he looks like a cartoon character” and “I would make a deal with a bridge troll to never have to sit through one of these fake wedding dates ever again.”
Like, why do they do this to the contestants? This feels like they’re asking for a witch’s curse to be placed on their love lives. You can’t just don a wedding gown and write fake wedding vows and not expect a supernatural being that looks suspiciously like an Olsen twin to curse your happiness until the end of your days! So, yeah. Justin gets a rose… but at what cost??
But while sparks flew during Justin’s date, the only thing flammable about Connor’s date was my cheeks listening to every cringeworthy thing he said. They go on a double date with Kaitlyn and her fiancé, Jason, where they engage in typical couple-y activities. I guess Katie wanted to see if under all of that cat makeup and troublesome ukulele playing, there was a guy who was less embarrassing to be seen in public with. It’s a fair concern. Honestly, the more screen time Connor gets, the more I feel like it’s probable he gets bullied by the kids at his school. He’s giving me serious Summer Heights High Mr. G vibes.
The resemblance! is! uncanny!
And sure enough, after one kiss with Connor, Katie is reevaluating her feelings for him. She shows up to his hotel room crying and he’s like, “it’s okay, I know where this is going, just breathe.” I KNOW WHERE THIS IS GOING, JUST BREATHE. Ooof I felt that in the depths of my cold, dead heart. I know I give this guy a lot of sh*t but even for me this feels like an especially harsh dumping.
Katie even says kissing him is like kissing her cousin (I paraphrase). She’s like, “I know I can be honest with you, which is why I’m telling you that it’s not you, it’s your kissing.” Wowwwww. Like did she really have to go there? Couldn’t she have just left it at “there’s no spark”?? You know he’s about to go home and never a kiss another human being for the rest of his natural born life.
But that’s not even the worst part of this dumping! The worst part is they make Connor walk of shame back to the men. Normally, a producer or ABC’s least favorite intern, will quietly pick up their suitcases so the men aren’t humiliated for a second time. Not so for Connor. They can’t even let him have the last shred of his dignity.
To be fair though, the guys are acting more hysterical about saying goodbye to him than Katie was. Let’s hope these tears are over friendship and not because they guys are worried that with their teacher/SoulCycle instructor gone they wont have a physical outlet to get rid of their energy and are panicked about accidentally masturbating all over the place. I can picture it now: the entire resort just covered in seminal fluid as the manager of the Hyatt weeps quietly in the corner.
At least SOMEONE thought he was a good kisser 😘 #thebachelorette #BachelorNation pic.twitter.com/57Cn7M4cuy
— Adrian Funtimes (@AdrianFunTimes) July 13, 2021
And the carnage doesn’t end with Connor. No, it’s a blood bath this evening. During the rose ceremony, Katie lets go of four more guys. She takes the men’s advice and dismisses Hunter from the house… but also sends all his haters packing too. Tre, Aaron, and Box Guy all get sent home, which leaves Michael, The Virgin, Greg, Andrew, Justin, and Brendan (the Canadian firefighter with not one distinguishable quality to his name) to duke it out for Hometown spots next week. Until then!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (4); @adrianfuntimes /Twitter (1); @bitchelorette_ /Instagram (1)
Welcome back, friends, to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! When last we left off, Katie, dressed like the bestselling author of some Draco Malfoy fanfic, was in the process of telling the men to f*ck all the way off. All hail the queen. But why stop there? Look, I think it’s cute that she thinks staring a man dead in the eye while clearly enunciating her wants and needs is actually going to effect any change in behavior. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be so many warrants out for my arrest. If there’s anything I know about cis straight men who think they’re feminists because they liked a Cheryl Strayed tweet once in their lives, it’s that a message only sinks in once it’s been keyed onto their car. I don’t make the rules, people, I just abide by them!!
Karl Continues To Dig His Own Grave
And let’s take a look at the men in question. In true Bachelor form, last week ABC left us hanging at the rose ceremony after Karl revealed to Katie that there were some traitors in her midst. Did he have any evidence to back up his claim up? Absolutely not. Was he reading word-for-word from a script production gave him at the start of the rose ceremony? He’d tell you, but then production would have to kill him. Meanwhile, the rest of the men are one offhanded comment away from turning into Gaston’s crowd of peasants ready to slay the beast. In this case, that beast is Karl.
To be fair, the man did say he was a motivational speaker. Sure, his speeches usually consist of a few memes cobbled together in a slideshow, but it’s clear he’s stirred up some kind of emotion in this crowd tonight (even if that emotion is homicidal rage). The men continue to ask Karl basic questions about who this “wrong reasons” monster is, and he continues to answer with noncommittal shrugs and anxious looks towards the camera. Don’t look at them, Karl. They can’t help you now, buddy!
Where are the hosts during all of this, you might be asking? Getting wasted at the hotel bar. Ladies! I know you want to give Katie her space, but MY GOD, put the shot glasses down and check in on this rose ceremony. It’s anarchy out there! Katie, after rounding up her errant hosts, voices her concerns over the rose ceremony and reveals she was planning to keep Karl until tonight’s events. Tayshia and Kaitlyn tell her to just “go with her gut” which is not so much actual helpful advice as it is words you might find written on a tchotchke in a Cracker Barrel gift store, but fine.
Honestly, their presence on this show continues to baffle me. What is the point of them hosting at all if this is the kind of advice they’re willing to offer up? You’d think since both ladies were Bachelorette leads themselves, they might offer some sage wisdom like “the guy who points the finger usually has three pointing back at himself” but instead they deliver vague platitudes and weak smiles. Where is that sisterhood realness Katie keeps mentioning in all of her post-season interviews? I’m a little disappointed is all I’m saying…
But back to Karl! In the end, Karl’s ploy for drama backfires and he gets sent home. It’s not so much the hosts’ advice to Katie, or even Katie’s own feelings on the matter, that gets him the boot. In the end, it’s the motivation he inspired in the crowd, the motivation that caused the rest of the men to assemble and campaign to Katie to kick his ass out. Honestly, I’d put that on your resume, Karl. Don’t ever doubt your skills, buddy!
Too Much Reality In This Reality TV
Going into week three Katie warned us via an Instagram post that there would be triggering content on tonight’s episode. At first, I thought she must be talking about the fact that Nick Viall makes a guest appearance on one of the group dates. I’m pretty sure his presence on my television screen always warrants a warning. Please watch with loved ones? I’m picking up what you’re putting down, Katie. Thank you for that. I’ll mute my TV.
nick viall coming back for his 947436th appearance in the bachelor franchise like#TheBachelorette #bachelorette pic.twitter.com/jv8yFOh2qn
— The Bitchelorette (@Bitchelorette_) June 22, 2021
But as we dive more into the group date it’s clear that the trigger warning is actually warranted and not a joking matter at all. Nick helps Katie lead an honesty-first retreat of sorts where the men reveal the darkest parts of themselves. What’s crazy is that the men actually do own up to their worst actions. Hunter talks about his messy divorce and the effect it’s had on his children. The guy on night one who showed up in a cat onesie, grooming his paws and all, launches into a story about how his alcohol dependency led him to cheat on his girlfriend.
I’m just so floored that they’re all taking this seriously. I mean, at the mention of “confessions” I thought at least one of them would start off his monologue with: “just when I thought I said all I can say, my chick on the side said she got one on the way.” A missed opportunity, if you will.
As each of them engage in their confessions, it’s then I realize that seeing grown men cry on national television is actually good for my health. My skin is clearing up, my hair is shinier, my acid reflux is practically nonexistent. The healing properties of male tears should be studied in a lab, is all I’m saying.
And, look, I’ll admit, I’ve been hurt by a lot of men in my life. Small hurts, mostly, that have built up until I’ve become the kind of person who doesn’t trust easily, who’s a little cynical and a lot prone to setting fires to the things my exes know and love (lol, kidding! My lawyer says I have to clarify that last bit was a joke!!). And I’m sure I’m not alone in those feelings. I’m sure a lot of women feel that way too. But watching these men acknowledge all of their red flags and the ways they’ve hurt women in the past is… therapeutic in a way? It shows growth. I’m not sure the show is always good at capturing moments like this or even evoking feelings of growth within the cast in ways that don’t feel cheesy or outright forced. Moments like these are few and far between. Honestly, who knew male accountability could be so good for the skin?
But the real heart-wrenching moment comes from Katie herself. She ends the sharing circle with her own story—a story she’s never even told her mother about—that involves a moment from her youth where she was “involved in a situation where there wasn’t consent.” She discusses how afterwards she tried to date her attacker rather than come to terms with the fact that she was a victim. Because of her past, she’s struggled sexually in relationships and reveals that she hasn’t always been so “sex positive” and that’s been an issue with some of the men she’s dated. Honestly, my heart hurts for her. The thing about Katie that shocks me every week is how deeply relatable she is. Here she is on a date that is basically ABC’s version of trauma porn (there’s nothing this franchise loves more than to pimp peoples’ pain out for viewership). And yet, Katie is able to turn this date into a thoughtful discussion on trauma. She takes control of the narrative in a way that feels real and honest. It’s impressive.
Later in the episode, Katie navigates more realness when she invites Michael on the one-on-one date. The majority of their date focuses on Michael’s past. He reveals that he is a single dad, widowed after his wife died of breast cancer two years ago. Katie tells him that she will always understand his love for his wife and would never feel intimidated by that relationship. Again, so mature! So much growth!
Now, does that mean I think they’ll end up together? Ehhhh. Look, I love Michael and he warms my heart with his little smile, but a zaddy he is not. Let’s be real, he has all of the sex appeal of a cardigan. At one point Katie even tells him that he has pen pal energy, and doesn’t that just say it all? I’m not sure there’s any chemistry here, but if she’s looking for a genuine guy who is here for the right reason, then that alone should win him a rose.
The House Has A New Villain
With Karl’s spectacular demise at the last rose ceremony, we thought evil had been vanquished once and for all. Later in the episode, we learn that evil hadn’t been defeated so much as transferred to its next unwilling host: Thomas. Damnit. I knew Katie should have saged that hotel.
Last week, Thomas came off as suave and attractive. I think I even wrote in my recap that “I have working eyes so I understand his appeal.” This week he’s coming off like a guy whose hobbies include tripping old people in the street and emotionally hobbling women.
It starts with his group date confession. While the rest of the men are making amends with their past cheating and failed marriages, Thomas takes the whole honesty thing one step too far: He tells Katie that he only came on this show for Instagram likes. Thomas! That might be the song in your heart, but that’s not to be expressed on camera! Save that for your confessional, at least.
Thomas: yeah I thought I could be the next bachelor…
Karl sitting at home: #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/pU7TgdWryM
— 𝐤𝐚𝐲𝐲𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐜𝐢𝐭𝐲 (@kayyorkcity) June 22, 2021
It gets worse. He admits that though he has real feelings for Katie now, before coming on the show two weeks ago he went on a date, that’s how much he didn’t give a sh*t about Katie at first. Very bold to go with the truth like that. While Katie applauds him for his bravery (seriously, Katie? I know he’s nice to look at, but COME ON) the men have a harder time accepting his confession.
And who’s leading the angry mob? Aaron. Boy, does that guy love to be at the center of all the drama. Last week it was Cody, now it’s his sole mission in life to bring down Thomas. I think Aaron has said “sociopath” more times in the last three minutes than Olivia Rodrigo did on her entire album. And that’s saying something!
I mean, do I think Thomas is emotionally manipulating Katie for his own personal gain? 100%. He spends the majority of the group date cocktail hour trying to backtrack his earlier statements. He tells Katie that he’s falling in love with her but in classic f*ckboy fashion tells the men the opposite. Oh well, I didn’t tell her that I loved her per se, I just told her I loved things about her. But here’s the thing: I can already tell Thomas has all the working brain cells as a piece of bologna. He might be an emotional terrorist, but he’s also not a very smart one.
Case in point? The following interaction:
THE MEN: Just tell us, are you here for followers?
Christ. Look, I’m not worried for Katie in the slightest. It’s clear there’s something about his
tongue energy that she’s vibing with, but she’s a smart girl. If he was dumb enough to admit his true intentions to her face then he’s dumb enough to self-implode in other ways eventually. Until then!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin (2); Giphy (3); @bacheloretteabc /Instagram (1); @bitchelorette_ /Twitter (1); @kayyorkcity /Twitter (1)
Welcome back, friends, to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! Last week, Katie kicked off her season with a bang–and, unlike ABC, I’m not going to giggle like an 11-year-old boy after making that pun. Big front-runners from that first night included Greg Grippo, a guy who single-handedly raised real estate prices for the entire state of New Jersey just by being a gem of a human during his TV debut; and a grown man who displays his sexual arousal by wearing cat ears and licking his paws. Can’t wait to see what sort of chaotic energy we’re in store for tonight!
Mike Makes It Into The Producer’s Burn Book
Every season there’s at least one person who makes it into the producer’s burn book. Last season it was Sarah, who was somehow convinced multiple times to commandeer Matt James’ attention by stealing other women’s alone time. Have you seen the end of The Lion King? Sarah’s time on the show ended much like Scar’s reign over Pride Rock: in a blaze of metaphorical fire with hyenas (Queen Victoria and her minions) eating her carcass alive on national television.
^^Sarah, last season
This year, it appears their new target is Mike, the 31-year-old virgin from San Diego. Look, going after the virgin seems like low-hanging fruit to me but whatever you need to do for ratings, amiright ABC?
My suspicions are only reinforced during the first group date when the men are led to an undisclosed location where Katie tells them things are about to get “raw and real.” Those are the exact words my mother used to describe chafing to me after I hit puberty early and experienced a huge weight gain, but I’m sure the producers were going for more sexual undertones when they added that line to Katie’s script. Cut to the men entering a dark room with nothing but a discarded bra on the floor. While some of the men are already sporting chubbies at the thought of a clothing-optional date, poor Jesus Boy looks like he’s seconds away from calling his pastor for an emergency prayer session.
It only gets worse from there. As you might have guessed, this date is all about sex! ABC has enlisted comedian Heather McDonald to help Katie host a competition to see which of these men will make the best lover. If that’s the end goal, then it’s troubling that I don’t see her vibrator in the crowd.
The first half of the date consists of Heather quizzing the men on their basic understanding of female sexuality. Spoiler alert: they don’t have one. Boys, boys, boys. She’s not asking you to solve a wizard’s riddle, she’s asking you about a woman’s climax!
HEATHER: What’s the best tool needed for a female orgasm?
Though it might seem this date was intended for comedic relief (and possibly to help Katie weed out the men who understand female pleasure from the men who have just had sex with a woman), really this date was crafted with the sole intent of getting Jesus Boy to cry. When the quizzing veers into the guys’ own sexual history (How much do they masturbate? When was the last time they had sex?) and Mike answers entirely in question marks, I have never felt more secondhand embarrassment in my life. At one point I was hoping a portal would open up and take us both to a kinder world. At the very least, I was hoping he wouldn’t pee himself on stage, which felt like a very real possibility the longer that inquisition went on.
Eventually the men are tasked with one final humiliation: prove to Katie ON STAGE how they’ll be the perfect lover. I worry that ABC did not set enough parameters for what these “acts” should consist of when Tre performed his erotic sock puppet show and Karl dragged a spoiled banana down the body of a cardboard cut-out of Katie.
A talent show gone wrong #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/sESYPFWiuS
— ♡ (@tvgoldtweets) June 15, 2021
Eventually Mike makes it to the stage and I’m worried the only way production got him up there was by holding his bible hostage off-screen. While most of the men take this as an opportunity to use various props to describe their penis size, Mike decides to turn his virginity into spoken word poetry. It’s a bold move and one I didn’t expect from a man who could have just walked on stage, pointed to the gigantic cross around his neck, and been like, “you get it.” For his honesty, Katie rewards him with the Best Lover trophy. That seems a stretch to me. I’m not sure honesty equates to “has any idea where the clit is on your body” but I suppose it’s the thought that counts.
Honestly, while I’m glad this guy survived productions’ attempt to send him walking into the nearest oncoming traffic, I don’t think he’ll last long here. Katie probably doesn’t care about his virgin status, but if a red lacy bra makes him break out into hives, he’s probably not her match. She’s looking for a partner who is comfortable with their sexuality, whatever that may be. Later in the evening, Mike reveals that he feels bad for his future wife because of “all of that pent-up energy” and Katie and I both can barely contain our shudders just thinking about the three minutes of vigorous dry humping that woman will experience on their honeymoon.
And what do you know! Mike doesn’t even receive the group date rose. While Mike might have been “raw and real” with his words, Thomas was “raw and real” with his tongue on that couch and receives Katie’s coveted group date rose. Honestly, I have working eyes, so I get it, Katie. Carry on.
Greg Is Still A Winner
Greg had another outstanding performance tonight. He managed to score both the first one-on-one date of the season and the first spot on every man’s hit list. Should he mysteriously go missing next week, our number one suspect should be any of the guys who snagged the number of the van-owning skin salesman from night one. I can read between the lines and right now I’m reading that bio as “has definitely disposed of a body through a Craigslist ad before.”
But back to Greg and Katie! I would just like to have it on record that every time I see these two together I seethe with jealousy. They are so freaking cute, I can’t stand it. Logically, I know it’s only been a few days since they first met, but somehow they seem to be operating on the same wavelength. Case in point: They both show up to their date wearing matching flannel outfits. This is something grandparents do in their old age so they don’t lose each other in crowds. I should be disgusted! But when these two do it, it’s just romantic and quirky. I hate them already.
still thinking about this #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/bPw67hYIQ8
— ♡ (@tvgoldtweets) June 15, 2021
More than that, they both have shared trauma that further cements their bond. Katie picked camping for their date activity because it’s something she used to do with her dad before he passed away. Later, Greg reveals that his dad passed away suddenly from cancer. They both seem genuinely shocked that they were willing to share this deeply personal information so early on in their relationship. Normally, this is where I would break out into a monologue about how ABC likes to pimp out people’s pain for viewership, but this is just such a touching moment that I can’t even chide ABC for orchestrating it about. Greg is going to go far in this game, just mark my words.
All The Wrong Reasons
Most of tonight’s episode was dominated by a tried and true Bachelor/ette storyline: who’s here for the right reasons? Similar to the theme of the first group date, the second group date is all about getting Katie off—I just didn’t realize that getting Katie off involved man-on-man mud wrestling. While some of the men engage in actual feats of strength, others are just doing a glorified slap and tickle. It becomes evident mid-mud wrestle that this date is actually not about Katie at all, but is rather a half-baked date idea to remind us of the fight that wasn’t on night one between Cody and Aaron. It’s almost as if ABC won’t allow us to get through one episode without forcing unwanted drama upon the masses.
Aaron reveals that he knows Cody from home and doesn’t think he’s here for the right reasons. I mean… the man did show up to the house with a blow-up doll so, like, are we surprised? But if Katie’s truly conflicted over this revelation then she should have utilized her hosts, Tayshia and Kaitlyn, the way god and the girl code intended. Why aren’t they out there canvasing Cody’s Venmo receipts for her? Creating finstas to see whose pictures he likes on IG? I’m sure they could find an incriminating DM in five seconds flat. Put the sisterhood to good use, Katie!
In the end, Katie also remembers the blow-up doll incident (I’m sure it was seared into her brain as it was in mine) and sends Cody home almost immediately. Though Katie comes off calm and collected when she gives Cody the boot, she still seems pretty rattled from the whole experience. Look, Katie, this is not the crowd you want smelling your fear. There’s nothing more terrifying than a large group of straight men who sense your deepest insecurity. Have you seen Jaws? Well, Katie, there’s blood in the water now. Swim, bitch, swim!
Karl is the first shark to capitalize off her fragile mindset when he takes it upon himself to start sh*t at the rose ceremony. If you’ll recall, Karl is the motivational speaker who so eloquently said in the first group date that being the perfect lover means “17 hours of f*ck action.” So, you could say his energy is just a constant state of mercury being in retrograde.
Karl is a very good motivational speaker. He’s motivating me to mute the tvs when he speaks #TheBachelorette #bachelorette pic.twitter.com/2JY2Oo4jr9
— Lily Pink (@lilypink156) June 15, 2021
He spins a tale for Katie of a mysterious “not here for the right reasons” boogeyman. Does he have a concrete example he can elaborate on? Absolutely not. Will he reveal his source? Only if he loses control over one of his other personalities. He might as well have a flashlight held up underneath his face for all the dramatic effect he’s going for. Buddy, this isn’t Are You Afraid of the Dark? Save your ghost stories for the campfire.
And while we know this is bullsh*t, Katie starts to spiral. She gives an impassioned speech to the men telling them to GTFO of the house if they aren’t there to be her husband.
KATIE: I just learned that there are still people here who aren’t here for the right f*cking reason.
Karl tries to save his ass by asking that the “person” who isn’t there for the right reasons come forward. As if this “person” will just appear out of thin air simply because he manifests a villain to save his time on the show. That’s not how manifestation works! You need at least three Pratt Daddy crystals while you chant the lyrics to a Taylor Swift song. Duh.
While Katie and the men fan out to find the Not Here For The Right Reasons Bandit, might I suggest they take a closer look at Katie’s stylist? Because I’m less worried that one of these men will pull a fast one on her and more worried that she’s being sabotaged by her stylist. Her look for the cowboy themed group date was… a choice. Look, I know Stagecoach has become, like, an entire personality trait at this point, but did they have to model her outfit off of an Olsen twin’s How The West Was Fun costume? And dear god, don’t even get me started on that rose ceremony getup. Katie is a gorgeous girl and they have her dressed like a Slytherin at her first Yule Ball. Is that metallic… green?? Katie, you’re too pretty for what they’re doing to you!
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ME ALONE IN MY LIVING ROOM:
And that’s all she wrote for this episode, kids! The rose ceremony ends before we’re allowed any real resolution. The only people for sure moving are rose winners from this week’s dates: Greg, Andrew S., and Thomas. Until then, friends!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (3); Quora (1); @spencerpratt /Instagram (1); @lilypink156 /Twitter (1); @tvgoldtweets /Twitter (2); @the_style_spotter /Instagram (1)