On Monday night’s Women Tell All episode of The Bachelor, Peter and the women worked their way through much of the drama that’s gone down this season. Kelsey was applauded for being in touch with her emotions (lol ok), Victoria denied one more time that she’s the most prolific home wrecker in Virginia Beach history, and Rachel Lindsay reminded us all that racism is never okay. But there was one notable thing that wasn’t addressed at all on the show: where the f*ck was Kelley?
As we all know, Kelley finished fifth on this season of The Bachelor, and despite her refusal to take the drama too seriously, she was an important player in some of the most interesting storylines. I mean, she met Peter before the season ever started, and we STILL never got to the bottom of whether or not they hooked up! But by all accounts, Kelley wasn’t even invited to the Women Tell All taping, despite the fact that she was in LA at the time. (Natasha, who finished sixth, was invited, but wasn’t able to make it.) So what gives? She should’ve had her own hot seat segment, or some kind of featured moment, or even been invited, at the very least! Why would ABC just pretend that one of the season’s central figures doesn’t exist?
Chris Harrison actually addressed the Kelley controversy last week on the Almost Famous podcast with Ashley Iaconetti, saying that the producers “felt Kelley didn’t play an integral part to the storyline.” I’m sorry, what? I don’t pretend to know everything that goes on behind the scenes of The Bachelor (just some of it), but anyone who’s even generally aware of this season would call bullsh*t on this explanation. Chris, if you’re gonna go on these podcasts and answer questions about this stuff, you have to come up with excuses that sound like they could at least be a little true… this really was a weak one.
In Ashley I’s most recent Bachelor recap for Cosmopolitan, it’s clear that she’s not buying Chris’ reasoning, either. She echoes the popular internet theory—started by Reality Steve—that Kelley did something to piss off the producers, so her lack of a WTA invitation could be some kind of retaliation. On a season full of women who seemed eager to buy into drama and acted like their lives depended on it, Kelley seemed more than happy to just have a good time and see what happened. While she still ended up being great TV, I’m sure the producers didn’t love that she wasn’t buying into all their manipulation. Last month, she liked this tweet saying that she “clearly hates Peter and this process”, and that kind of says it all. Hannah Ann would NEVER.
I respect Kelly so much more than I thought I would because she clearly hates Peter and this process and she’s not hiding it #TheBachelor
— alaina antonelli (@alainpennylaine) February 4, 2020
In her recap, Ashley I also suggested that ABC might have been worried that, had she been invited to Women Tell All, Kelley would have complained about how she was edited on her last date on the show. If you’ll recall, that was the date where it basically looked like Kelley was sh*tting on the other women for their lack of real careers, and she got a lot of backlash for judging her fellow contestants. Maybe it was the edit, maybe it wasn’t, but this would still be a lame reason for not inviting her. People blame their behavior on the edit all the time on reality TV, and all Chris Harrison would have had to say is “the cameras don’t lie” or something like that. Andy Cohen has pulled this move dozens of times, and it literally always works.
I’m still frustrated that Kelley wasn’t there on Monday night, but at least there was plenty of other stuff to talk about on this season’s Women Tell All. Say what you will about this season, but it has not been lacking in drama. But in the future, I’m gonna need Chris Harrison to miss me with these weak excuses, and give us the real tea about decisions like this. Also, Kelley better f*cking get an invite to Paradise this summer, because that’s the only thing that can make this right. It’s what we deserve!
Images: ABC; Giphy; alainpennylaine / Twitter