Hello there, friends! I know it’s been a while, but Clayton and Clayton, I’m sorry, Jesse and Jesse, wait that’s still not right, CLAYTON AND JESSE have broken Ryanne’s brain beyond repair, so I’m stepping in. That, or she has school, I can never remember! Thankfully I’ve faithfully watched this season, paying extra close attention to the nuances of Clayton’s character and wardrobe, and I am ready to dissect this absolutely bonkers ending. Shall we begin?
We pick up where we left off, with a live audience that no one asked for and Clayton determined to go after one of his three true loves, Susie. Jesse heads to Susie’s room to go procure her for Clayton, like he’s a member of Leo DiCaprio’s pussy posse talking a 19-year-old blonde model at Coachella into going to his room. Wait, why is Susie even still in Iceland?! And which poor producer had to hold the gun to her head off camera? This seems like a toxic work environment.
Clayton is still at his parents’ Airbnb, explaining that he forced them to go on national TV and meet two women he very much did sleep with, but very much did not intend on marrying, and that he has to pursue Susie.
CLAYTON: Chances are slim to none that Susie will show up
SUSIE: *shows up*
I’m sorry, is this a man in love? Or is this a man who is absolutely in over his head, doesn’t want to face the vast emptiness of being alone, and is begging for death to come get him before he has to have a hard conversation?
They go outside and Clayton apologizes for treating Susie like absolute shit, says he didn’t mean the things that he said, that if she walks away from him he will lose everything, and he knows they have a love that will last a lifetime. What an offer! A lifetime with a man who can’t quite figure out what to wear under a sport coat and will verbally abuse you when he doesn’t get his way! Where do I sign up? Naturally, Susie leaves.
The Group Break Up
Clayton heads back to the hotel to break up with the two girls that he just convinced to stay with him, after confessing he had slept with both of them and told them both he loved them. What is WRONG with this man? He says he “owes it to them” to break up with them. No Clayton, you owe them a time machine to travel back to last night’s rose ceremony and let them leave LIKE THEY WANTED TO. And also maybe so they can slap you, just a small tap, on the face. Because I only condone light violence. That’s what you owe them, Clayton!
OH MY GOD, he is going to break up with them at the same time! Friends, have we ever seen a bigger asshole on TV? Don’t answer that.
CLAYTON, TO GABBY AND RACHEL: So is the rule no-takebacks with ‘I love you’? Because I take it back! Best of luck to you both!
Gabby walks out, and Rachel hangs her head in despair.
Let’s talk about Gabby for a second. I thought she was getting a lot of hype for just being a girl with a modicum of personality amongst a sea of personality-less, extension-laden fembots, but now I know I got it wrong. This girl is a hero. Never have I seen someone on this show articulate so well how they are feeling, be so correct about the situation, and really stick it to a jerk. She tells him that he asked her to stay because his pride was hurt by Susie (correct!), and that she wanted to leave and he wouldn’t let leaving be her decision and now it’s his decision so it’s easier (also correct!), and that he won’t admit that he fought for her to stay for a wrong reason (SO MUCH CORRECT HERE!). I am now, and forever will be, team Gabby.
CLAYTON: Can I walk you out?
I screamed. Truthfully.
Clayton’s Apology Tour, Part 1
Gabby is now on stage in front of the live audience, and she looks gorgeous! Gabby, you are rocking that side part! Does this mean side parts are cool again? This millennial woman and her round face are begging of you, please let side parts be cool again. I promise to get on board with all your off the shoulder shrugs if you will just give me this.
Jesse asks Gabby to relive the moment Clayton dumped her, and Gabby tells him that despite what happened, she doesn’t regret anything, that’s not who she is as a person. Oh wow, Gabby, can I have some of that? Because I let regret eat me alive all day, every day until it seeps into every part of my body, I feel physically ill, and can’t sleep. I thought that was normal?
Gabby confronts Clayton and tells him she gave him every opportunity to tell her the truth. Clayton hangs his head in shame. As it is and always shall be.
Clayton and Rachel’s Goodbye
Now we’re back in Iceland so Clayton can face his second firing squad. And he thought he’d be able to get away with just the one conversation! Rachel is more visibly upset than Gabby, thinking that she would be the one at the end and (rightfully) reminding him that she was the only one that chose to stand there with him at the last rose ceremony. Even as Clayton is walking her to the car, Rachel still thinks that they can make it work. Honey! He’s not worth it! His dad will tell you!
With this conversation and her exit, Rachel is just shedding everywhere. She’s losing nails, she’s shedding eyelashes, her snot is all over the place, and I can only imagine the amount of skin cells all over that hotel room. That girl’s DNA is going to be found in Iceland 2000 years from now. The aliens that eventually colonize us will study it. And then they will discard it because they will just sense that it’s too sad.
Clayton’s Apology Tour, Part 2
Rachel is sobbing in front of the live audience, but would like us to know that it’s not because she still has feelings for Clayton. Sure, Jan! She confronts him and tells him that he claimed he wanted to be transparent with them, but he left out the part where he told Susie he loved her the most. In Clayton’s defense, I don’t really believe he knows what the word transparent means. I believe he was placed in a very secret Bachelor boot camp at a CIA black site before this whole thing started, where the producers wouldn’t let him drink protein shakes, and made him read aloud from classic literature until he was finally broken, and then they conditioned him to say words like “transparent,” “vulnerable,” and “connection” every time he saw a woman he wanted to have sex with. Right?
And then OH MY GOD SHE ASKED HIM IF HE ONLY TOLD HER HE LOVED HER BECAUSE HE WANTED TO HAVE SEX WITH HER!!
CLAYTON: Absolutely not, I would never do that, sex is sacred and for people in love.
Rachel, girl, you went there. And you just restored your dignity.
Clayton’s Sad, Handwritten Proposal
I think it’s time to ask the important question: is Clayton the stupidest Bachelor of all time? He is in literally the worst place with Susie. She basically told him she found his entire demeanor disgusting, and his monkey brain thinks “I should propose!” WHAT? This reminds me of the very first episode when he tried to give a rose to the girl that told him she was leaving before the show even started! A rose (or proposal), does not fix something that would never work. Clayton is clearly the kind of person that would suggest having a baby to save a shitty marriage.
Let’s also discuss another fool: Neil Lane. This cannot be a sound business decision, Neil! At this point, I imagine he is only losing money giving out rings to these people who are clearly going to last about as long as my attention span during my fifth Zoom call of the day. I assume that’s why he’s in the live audience? He’s come to collect?
Shockingly, Susie shows up to this pathetic proposal after reading the note that Clayton bribed the students from last season to write for him. Clayton tells her he loves her and wields the ring box like a threat. I never thought a small velvet box could look like a pair of handcuffs, but that one sure does.
AND THEN. Susie dumps him! She has made the decision to leave Iceland alone!! Does anyone else feel like Clayton just completely did The Bachelor all wrong? He had women leaving night one, he had to convince every single one of his final three to stay with him, and then his number one decides that she doesn’t want to get engaged. That’s supposed to be his line! This is no longer Clayton’s show. At this point, she should have offered to walk him out. The end.
After The Final Rose… Was Not Given Out
“That was hard to watch,” Jesse tells us and the audience. Excuse me? For who? His parents? Nope, even they think he deserved it. For Gabby and Rachel? Nope, I’m pretty sure I heard them cheering in New Jersey. For the audience? Absolutely not, I have not laughed this hard since before the world started burning down around us. The news is hard to watch, Jesse! This was a delight.
Unfortunately, Jesse also tells us that Clayton’s story did not end there, and that one of the women reached out to him after the show. And that’s when they tease a big reveal and it’s…
Susie! My god, Susie, have some respect for yourself! This is 2022.
— Katlynn Hauber (@hauber_katlynn) March 16, 2022
This season of The Bachelor was clearly Susie’s Final Destination film, and death, I’m sorry, Clayton, got her in the end. Best of luck to you Susie, but even your hair, which is not nearly as bouncy as it was on the show, is feeling deflated about this decision.
And finally! We get our Bachelorette announcement. And it’s Gabby & Rachel! While I love them both, let’s just say Jesse did not inspire confidence when he said “I have no idea how this will work”. Yes, we know Jesse, you just show up and repeat the words they say to you in that little earpiece, all the while not-so-secretly wishing this was Monday Night Football.
At least we can end this horrendous trainwreck of a season on a high note, though. Gabby and Rachel clutching hands on the couch makes me feel like, in the end, we got the final couple that we deserve. On to the next!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (2); wifflegif; Twitter/hauber_Katlynn
This week’s episode of The Bachelor cursed us with another classic trauma dump date. You know, the kind of “date” where everyone sits in a circle and talks about their insecurities and past traumas, and—if they are doing it right—cries, while a past franchise lead nods in support with absolutely no trained professional in sight. It’s the kind of date that forces women to share their stories of sexual assault and emotional abuse while the men share the stories of when they cheated on their exes. How romantic! But this season’s sharing circle was triggering for a different reason: because we got to witness a bunch of thin, conventionally beautiful people talk about body image issues.
Before I continue on my rant, let me preface the rest of the piece with this: of course thin, fit people can have body image issues, and of course they can be traumatic. In no way do I want to detract from that, and in no way do I want to undermine the experiences that these women (and Clayton) shared this week. That shit was real. But I do want to talk about why a TV show that, for over a decade, has refused to give us any representation of body diversity thinks they have the right to dedicate half an episode to a discussion on body image? Like, excuse me Bachelor producers—you are a cause of our body image issues, not the solution to them. I had no idea the Bachelor Mansion was home to such audacity.
I’ve been watching this show for (insert a number that is far too large) years, and I can count the number of women the franchise has cast that might not fit into size 2-4 jeans on… two fingers? Maybe two fingers and a pinky if I’m being generous. And, those women (Victoria from Matt’s season and Claire from this season come to mind) have almost always been given early season villain edits accompanied by early season eliminations. That’s some pretty serious “you can sit with us but only so we can make fun of you” kind of energy if you ask me. And even those women are tiny compared to the average woman in the U.S.—who is a size 14, btw.
Earlier this month, a TikTok went viral in which a woman claimed she was ghosted by Bachelor producers after she showed off her (hot as hell) size 6/8 body, and while we can’t verify that this is the reason they didn’t call her back, it does seem plausible given the size women they do cast on the show. So please, spare me your “we are creating a safe space for women to talk about their bodies” dates when your space is only open to women with a very specific, very thin, body type. And again (not to diminish the very real pain the women spoke about this week), what the fuck kind of message is it supposed to send to us larger women to have very thin women talk about how their bodies weren’t good enough? And don’t even get me started on the NUMEROUS “I used to be fat so nobody loved me” storylines The Bachelor has run with in the past. Oh, so now that they’ve lost all that weight they are worthy of love and being cast on your show? Okay. Cool.
To give credit where (a very small amount of) credit is due, The Bachelor has made progress lately when it comes to diversity. The casts of the past few seasons of the franchise have been more racially diverse than ever before. Michelle’s season left us with the first all Black final four and the first Black winner of the show. Which tbh, deserves less credit and more “fucking finally” energy, but fine. But body diversity? Absolutely not. You don’t get credit for different shades of fit and skinny.
Sure, it’s cute that all of the contestants can share their tiny-waisted sparkly cocktail party dresses, but the message that sends to viewers is ugly as hell. If your answer is “well the lead wouldn’t pick a curvier woman anyway” then why don’t we start there: cast a lead that is open to dating women with different body types. Not that I’m his biggest fan, but may I direct your attention to Clay Harbor from Becca Kufrin’s seasons’ Twitter account?
Am I expecting too much from an outdated, superficial, backwards, and kinda gross franchise? Probably. Are they ever going to give us a cast of women that more than the aspiring Fabletics partners of the world can see themselves reflected in? Unlikely. But will that stop me from watching, complaining, and demanding more from a show that claims to be about regular people looking for love? Nope, absolutely not. At least not until I see some regular people on my screen.
Image: ABC/John Fleenor
Hi, I’m Jared Freid. I’m a 36-year-old comedian who loves The Bachelor. I love it so much, I yell at every episode on my Instagram stories. As you can imagine, my parents are very proud. V.
This is my preview for the season. I’ve been doing this preview for both shows since before your favorite TikToker got their first dangly earring. I make massive assumptions about every contestant based on very little information. It’s like sitting with me while wearing sweats and screaming “Yuck” at what people wore on the red carpet. Please enjoy and follow me on Instagram where I’ll be making fun of these crazies every Monday night (past seasons are in my highlights).
Clayton Echard was chosen as the Bachelor before Michelle’s season even started, and nobody was happy. And by “nobody,” I mean “the internet.” The internet wasn’t happy because you’re only rewarded on the internet for extremes. So they have to go one way or the other. And which way were they going on the white guy who looks like he invented privilege? You guessed it, they hated him.
Personally, I’m excited to have Clayton as the Bachelor, because I watch this show for entertainment purposes, and you know what’s really entertaining? Watching a bunch of women fight over a guy. That sounds bad. I know. But I have a feeling you watch it for that reason too. And look at this line from Clayton’s bio:
“You can often find him there tubing out on the boat, fishing off the dock or getting competitive over some cornhole with his friends.”
That line is everything that would make a woman at a Toby Keith concert wet. And have you ever seen the women at a Toby Keith concert?!? They’re the type to say, “I just want a man who can sink a bean bag into my cornhole” and then wink at you, chug a Coors from their koozie, and turn to burp on a cop. Clayton’s musk could turn one of these put-together ladies into that Toby Keith cigarette woman, and I’m kind of excited for that.
Jesse Palmer is our new host. Jesse looks like he trains young men working in finance how to mansplain. I’m happy to have Jesse. Kaitlyn and Tayshia were there to find their next job, and I felt Chris Harrison was too old to host the show five years ago. He went from wingman to dad who takes too much interest in your friend’s dating lives VERY quickly. Jesse is old enough to be a big brother type but young enough to look cool giving a high five (high fives made Chris look like he should be put into a nursing home). He was also the Bachelor way back in 2004, when most of these contestants were babies. Back when their parents would pray for them to one day compete with 29 other women to marry a middle-class guy from Missouri. I’m excited to watch Jesse react to the differences on the show now that a woman could be there for love or to legitimately start their own multimedia empire.
Cassidy is a 26-year-old executive assistant from Los Angeles who looks like the older sister from a CW high school drama. Her profile starts by saying she’s a “blunt woman who isn’t afraid to say how she feels or do what she wants.” which vaguely translates to, “I’m mean to service workers on a regular basis and I consistently tell people that they don’t get my sarcasm but enough mediocre dudes in fleece vests think I’m attractive to never realize this is an issue.”
Claire is a 28-year-old spray tanner from Virginia Beach who looks like she married a guy whose daughters are her age. Claire is a single mother whose bio says, “People who don’t wear deodorant make Claire angry.” Something about that makes me feel like Claire participates in many Facebook comments sections by stating, “AS A MOTHER…” and then she goes on some long-winded, racially driven rant about how “THESE PEOPLE” don’t wear deodorant.
Daria is a 24-year-old law student from New York who got admitted to seven Ivy League schools, is a graduate of Harvard, and is now in her third year of law school at Yale. Daria is kind of patient zero for the racial problems on this show. She’s on this show after being admitted to SEVEN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS!!! I think that’s all of them, but I’m too dumb to know and too lazy to find out. The white people cast on this show are like, “I spray tan.” And the casting people are like, “Right this way!” Daria should be running the network instead of competing against someone who’s been admitted into seven nightclubs in Montauk because their dad knows the owner.
Eliza is a 25-year-old from Berlin who looks like a former Disney Channel star whose new pop song makes me look 1000 years old when I lip sync it. Eliza’s profile says that she “was a late bloomer when it came to dating and spent her adult years prioritizing work over love.” Can people under the age of 30 stop talking about themselves like they’re a 60-year-old CEO who never leaves the office?! Because there’s a 36-year-old out there who is on multiple apps who has made love a priority for almost a decade who just had someone they were having a nice conversation with ask for their Snapchat handle.
Elizabeth is a 32-year-old Real Estate Advisor from Colorado who looks like an ESPN sideline reporter your boyfriend follows a little too closely on Instagram. Her profile says she “has a taste for the finer things in life.” You can’t be over 30 and have a taste for the finer things and compete on this show. Elizabeth will have to be “on” and energetic while living with a roommate in a mansion full of women in their twenties and not a lot of bathrooms. And those women won’t be phased. They just spent a weekend in Vegas sharing a room with six friends while sleeping on a pile of clothes like a cat. The Bachelor will eat you up if you’ve ever stayed at a hotel with a turn-down service.
Ency is a 26-year-old sales manager from Burbank who loves the ocean. Her bio says, “nothing makes Ency happier than spending a day by the sea, splashing around and enjoying the sun.” This is actually helpful information. I’ve splashed enough women I’ve been involved with to know that there are “hair wet” women and “Don’t you fucking get my hair wet! I came into the ocean to gently squat while peeing and this joke isn’t funny at all” women. So, this might be a good addition to any dating app bio for anyone out there listening.
Gabby is a 30-year-old ICU Nurse whose bio says it’s a “nonnegotiable” that her and her goldendoodle Leonardo are a package deal. Dog people are out of their minds. In what world is someone turning down the love of their life because of their dog? He’s like, “I’m sorry Gabby! But your furry friend who gives me love for no reason CANNOT STAY!!” And cue your friend who’s like, “Well my ex left because he couldn’t handle the dog” whose ex now probably has a dog with their fiancé.
Genevieve is a 26-year-old bartender from LA who looks like a Genevieve. Her bio says she “wants someone who won’t be afraid to admit that they are wrong or change their personality when they are “bro-ing out” with the guys.” That sounds like she’s talking specifically about the last guy she dated. Like, I bet that ex is reading that while wearing a lacrosse pinnie as a guy he calls “Doodie” tosses him a High Noon and they collectively agree, “She was always crazy.” And then they arm wrestle.
Hailey is a 26-year-old pediatric nurse from Orlando who looks like she has a Bible verse in her Instagram bio. Hailey says that she’s Taylor Swift’s biggest fan. So I guess I’m right about her Instagram and we can assume we pretty much know everything about this person who definitely loves putting her hair in a French braid.
Hunter is a 28-year-old human resources specialist who looks like she loves bringing up high school memories you’d rather forget. Hunter used to work at Disney World as a princess, and that has to be the worst job in the world. Imagine it’s YOUR JOB to play along with an adult who loves Disney. They’re like, “Cinderella!! Put them together and what have you got!?!?!” and you have to look at a woman in her 30s wearing mouse ears, who traveled to Orlando alone, and sing, “Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo.” I’d walk directly into the teacups.
Ivana is a 31-year-old Bar Mitzvah dancer from Queens. I’ve never been more embarrassed by a Bachelor contestant’s job. As a Jew who had dancers at his own Bar Mitzvah, there is nothing that makes me cringe more than having to explain the Bar Mitzvah dancers. Like, I’m sure someone reading this is thinking, “What’s a Bar Mitzvah dancer?!?!” Well, when a Jewish boy or girl becomes an adult, their parents throw them a party. Now, us Jews aren’t known for our “moves.” So to get the party going, some people hire men and women in their 20s to dance like they’re at the Knicks game. So now it’s older Jews dancing badly surrounding young hot people dancing seductively while 13-year-old boys and girls realize their dads look kind of creepy. It’s the part of the Torah I never understood. And if you had an issue with my people before reading my explanation, then this didn’t help.
Jane is a 33-year-old social media director from LA who says she’s “done dating F boys.” This is the declaration of someone who will definitely date more “F boys.” Like, a person who learns from the past will be like, “I need to make these changes to put myself in a better position to meet the right type of person for me.” The person who doesn’t learn screams “NO FUCKBOYS” as they respond with a blushing emoji to a fire emoji they received at 3am.
Jill is an architectural historian from Rhode Island. I would LOVE to hear an architectural historian talk about the Bachelor mansion 30 years from now: “On this ground stands the Bachelor mansion! Back in the early part of the century, truckloads of hair extensions and fake nails passed through these doors. 24-year-old men and women said they were ready for marriage even though they didn’t seem to have real jobs. And a record amount of semen got released here while both parties wore a cross.”
Kate is a 32-year-old real estate agent from Lake Hollywood, California whose bio says, “Kate’s moon/rising sign is Leo, which she says speaks for itself.” I’m not here to hate on people who enjoy astrology. I’m a fan of a show where you have to believe that someone can get engaged to someone whom they’ve never seen use their phone. We all have our fantasies. But Kate can say “it speaks for itself” because nobody has ever disagreed with someone’s self-description based on astrology. We all just kind of nod and wait for the conversation to be interesting. She could say “You know us Leos! We love farting and then smelling it and guessing which meal it came from.” And I wouldn’t ask more questions. I’d just nod and think, “Wow, Kate and I have a ton in common!”
Kira is a 32-year-old physician from Philly who is so good looking that if she were my doctor I’d lie about my weight and general health to try and get her to like me. Her bio says “taught herself to write hieroglyphics as a child.” That would be the scariest thing I can think of happening as a parent. Your kid is playing with crayons and they’re like “Daddy look!” And you’re like “Good job!! Ummm what is this?! Why are these good?! Have you been possessed?! Why do you know how to summon King Tutankhamun?! Please don’t murder me!! Let’s get ice cream! Whatever you want!”
Lindsay D is a 27-year-old neonatal nurse from Jacksonville who won Miss Teen America at age 17. Having a former Miss Teen America as your nurse when you’re giving birth feels like a mean prank. Like, “Hey! I know you’re stressed and you don’t feel very beautiful today and the wall between your anus and vagina is about to break so meet your nurse Lindsay who is not only hot but is going to explain how we can fix global poverty.”
Also, I truly can’t imagine being told I’m the hottest teen in America and then trying ever again. I’d get to college and the teacher would be like, “Do you have the homework?” And I’d be like, “Hey baby girl, you know this face ain’t doing math.” Then I’d show my abs and walk out. I guess that’s the reason there aren’t male beauty pageants. I mean, look how we act on dating apps just because our moms said we looked handsome when we wore a suit.
Lyndsey W is a 28-year-old industrial sales representative from Houston who looks like a human embodiment of “Bless your heart.” Lyndsey’s bio says “she is much more of a Baby Spice than a Sporty Spice.” Nothing makes me happier than knowing there are still adults describing themselves in Spice Girls. Also, thank GOD I wasn’t in the Spice Girls. Someone had to go around the room and look at a person and be like “Oh you’re scary!” And then they just had to deal with it. I’d be sitting there like “What’s mine?!” And the manager would be like “Chubby Spice” and I’d be like “No, wait! What about..” and they’d be like “Nope! Sorry. We already made the posters!”
Mara is a 31-year-old entrepreneur from New Jersey who looks like she plays a lawyer in a CBS drama. Mara’s bio says that “snoring is a deal breaker.” I honestly don’t buy many dealbreakers I hear from people. They’ll be like “If you clap when the plane lands then I AM OUT,” and five years later they’re engaged to a guy who dresses for dates like he’s about to play golf and actively tells people he’s “not about that going down on women stuff.” Listen, if you’re going down on me, give a standing O when the plane lands! I’ll be right next to you clapping for a whole different reason 😉.
Marlena is a 30-year-old from Virginia Beach who competed for Haiti during the 2012 summer Olympics. I’d love to date an Olympian. I don’t think they’d like dating me. Whenever they did something great I’d play their national anthem. I’d ask people we meet to guess which one is the Olympian and then start flexing. I’d make myself a medal for being the best climaxer and wear it after sex. Maybe I’ll make this my new dating app bio and never meet someone again.
Melina is a 27-year-old personal trainer from West Hollywood who created a shock absorbing workout shoe that she’ll definitely be wearing when she comes out of the limo. I’m ok with that! I’d rather someone come on the show with their honest to god invention than be like, “I’m looking for love for now and eternity!” And then a week after they’re booted they’re on Instagram stories pushing “For now and eternity” t-shirts that accompany their “For now and eternity” podcast that precedes the post saying, “Big news coming from the for now and eternity team! Stay tuned!”
Rachel is a 25-year-old flight instructor from Clermont, Florida who says she could live off of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, which is actually important to know in a dating situation. You have to be a stomach match with your partner. Like, Rachel and I are not a match. She seems nice, but if I even smell a Flamin’ Hot Cheeto then I’ll be on the toilet for a week and I’ll be moaning like an orca from the pain my stomach is in. This should be on all dating apps. Just a pepper emoji followed by a whale emoji to signify your life could be ruined by a Cheeto.
Rianna is a 26-year-old registered nurse from Dallas who looks like she gets hired to appear at parties as a Chrissy Teigen lookalike. Rianna’s profile says she’s looking for a man who “loves to travel and bonus points for a man who loves hiking as much as she does.” It is so much easier to find someone when you enjoy healthy activities. Like, “Let’s go on a hike” sounds so much better than, “Bonus points to anyone who doesn’t change their clothes for a week and can’t remember the last time they went outside!”
Salley is 26 and her job says, “Previously Engaged.” The bio goes on to say that she’s a spine surgery robot operator. How is that the order of how she’s described?! I’m sure having an engagement broken off is a horrible process, but does it become your scarlet A? “Previously Engaged” makes it sound like she walks around wearing a black hooded cloak and a candle and when you say hi to her she’s like, “I used to know love… I used to know about being registered at Bloomingdales… but all of that is lost.” I bet you her former fiancé is like, “Hey! I’m Rick! I work in finance. I’ve dated around but nothing has ever gotten too serious!” And Salley is out here introducing herself as “SALLEY PREVIOUSLY ENGAGED AND NOW UNLOVED AND BACK ON THE DATING APPS MAIDEN NAME.”
Samantha is a 26-year-old occupational therapist from San Diego whose picture looks like you’d sign it on the way into her Bat Mitzvah. Samantha’s bio says she has gone skydiving 12 times. If you’re not a skydiving instructor then I have to wonder what’s wrong with you after the third time. First time? Sure. Something new. I get it. Second time? Maybe it’s a new group to enjoy it with. Third time? You’re feeling out a career change that involves skydiving. On number four? I’m asking you if everything is ok at home. Are you running from something? Is this what’s keeping you off of hard drugs? I hope Samantha finds happiness without jumping from a plane one day.
Sarah is a 23-year-old wealth management advisor from NYC who loves taking trips to the spa, growing her nonprofit, and hosting dinner parties. This all means Sarah grew up rich. Show me a 23-year-old with the ability to host a dinner party at their NYC apartment and I’ll show you their parents who pay the rent. If I had a dinner party at my NYC apartment it would be three people huddled around the toilet with the seat down and two candles on it.
Serene is a 26-year-old elementary school teacher from Oklahoma City who says she “loves to spend time relaxing with close friends or planning her next big adventure.” If I’ve learned anything from the dating apps it’s that the least adventurous people use the word “Adventure.” They’ll be like “I’m planning my next adventure!” And you’ll be like “Oh really?” And they’ll be like “I’m staying at an Airbnb in Charlotte to visit my grandma.” And you’ll be mad at yourself for not realizing this when their profile still talked about study abroad even though they’re 30.
Shanae is a 29-year-old recruiter from Sycamore, Ohio who “loves Christmas so much that she keeps her tree up all year round.” Nope. That’s not someone I’m dating. I love Christmas. It has its place. I’m not walking into the living room hungover in the dead of summer and getting pricked in the foot by some loose pine needles. Do the lights come off?! Does she water a tree?!? Is there an actual date where she’s with a guy and she stops everything to be like, “Oh my god! I forgot to water the tree!” And the guy is like “What tree?!” And she’s like “My Christmas tree!” And he’s like “Isn’t it June?!”
Sierra is a 26-year-old recruiting coordinator from Dallas whose bio says, “please be clean because Sierra has no time for anyone with bad hygiene.” I think “bad hygiene” would be the most embarrassing reason for someone to leave the show. The phrase is scientific enough for us to believe it and vague enough for us to make our own assumptions. Like if Sierra got sent home and they did an exit interview and she said, “It would’ve never worked out. Clayton has some bad hygiene” then we’d all assume Clayton has dirty fingernails and we’d never be able to watch the show without thinking about it. In fact, I now need to see Clayton’s fingernails due to this hypothetical.
Susie is a 28-year-old wedding videographer from Virginia Beach who is a Jiu-Jitsu champion and also won Miss Virginia in 2020. That sentence is why the whole pageant world is insane. They not only have to be beautiful but they also have to become experts in some random hobby. Susie was like “I gotta stand out!” And then she opted for learning how to rip out someone’s jugular with her pinky. If I entered a pageant my special talent would be looking at Instagram, then Facebook, then TikTok, then email, then Twitter, then Instagram again while sitting in front of my laptop with Instagram opened on the browser.
Teddi is a 24-year-old surgical unit nurse from Highland, California who looks like she calls everyone she’s ever met her best friend. Teddi’s bio says that she “grew up in a strict Christian household” but “she lives by her own rules” which is the scariest thing a strict Christian father can hear in their daughter’s Bachelor profile. But honestly, nobody is less rebellious than a person who grew up in a strict house and thinks they’re being rebellious. They’ll be like, “Let’s get wild” and you’ll be like, “YES!” And they’ll be like, “Let’s cuss and makeout!” And you’ll be like “Oh” as you re-buckle your belt.
Tessa is a 26-year-old human resources specialist from Stamford, Connecticut who loves grand romantic gestures and has a fear of red fruits (I’m not making this up). I thought of how annoying that combo would be for a guy who is really trying to impress Tessa. Imagine he’s like, “Ok, I’ve got the reservations! I’ve got the flowers! I’ve got the hotel!!” And then they have this amazing night. They’re making out after dinner as they head to the suite. They open the door. They make their way to the bed. It’s then when they see the concierge left them complimentary champagne and… oh no… strawberries. Tessa starts freaking out. She’s like “You know I’m afraid of red fruits!! You never listen!! I let it go when you ordered the caprese salad because some people forget that a tomato is a fruit! BUT I NEVER FORGET WHEN THOSE RED FRUITS HAUNT MY DREAMS!!” Then Tessa leaves and this guy has to explain to his parents why they broke up.
Images: ABC/John Fleenor; ABC/Pamela Littky; ABC/Ricky Middlesworth (31)
Let me start by saying: I love love. Love can open new doors, help you see things in a different light, and completely change your world. I believe that everyone deserves a shot at experiencing true love, and finding the partner that makes them feel like the best possible version of themselves. And I’m all in—my entire career is built on helping others find their person.
So yes, I’m a romantic. But when it comes to Asian dating in the U.S., I’m a frustrated romantic (though, not a hopeless one). As a longtime fan of The Bachelor franchise, I’ve tuned in every Monday (now, Tuesday) to watch live love in action. I love the romantic gestures, the fantastic dates, the proposals, and even the friendships that develop between contestants. But after nearly 20 years of watching the show, I’ve got to ask, where are the Asians at?!
Even though Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, Asian contestants are rarely seen on dating shows. And when they are, they’re disqualified early on or made out to be drama-seeking villains. Tammy Ly, perhaps the best-known Asian franchise contestant, was continuously framed as a pot-stirrer by the editors and producers, despite being there for the same reasons as everyone else—to look for love.
The phrase “reality TV” in and of itself is an oxymoron. We all know that what we see on screen is not a true reflection of life. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes and in the editing room that turns normal interactions into the dramatic, tension-filled scenes we love to watch. It’s easy to brush it off like it’s completely unimportant, but what we see on TV and in movies matters, even if it’s not completely true to life.
In a period of time when Asian hate crimes are at an all-time high, we cannot stand by and ignore how the things we see on the screen perpetuate the real and terrible things happening to Asian people in the United States—on the street, in office buildings, and yes, on dating apps.
How many Asian women have been reached out to on Tinder with fetishizing, dehumanizing pick-up lines? How many Asian men have been told, “sorry, I’m just not into Asian guys”?
The true, lived experience of Asian people in the United States cannot be viewed as separate from the storylines we see on TV. Positive media representation alone cannot solve every problem, but it’s a critical first step in ensuring that Asian people are seen as human beings, who are deserving of respect, empowerment, and love, just like everyone else.
It’s why I founded my company. I know what it’s like to be a member of the diaspora: I am so proud of my Japanese heritage and the beautiful culture that comes along with it, but it can be a challenge not to feel othered when living in the United States. I believe so strongly in the power of love, and am empowered by the amazing community of other diasporic Asians that I have been able to connect with.
I am proud that the community I have been able to cultivate runs counter to so much of what we see on television. My friends and colleagues are not the side characters we are relegated to on television, nor are we the self-hating characters who turn their backs on our culture and resent their parents’ accents and upbringing. We bring together the best parts of our cultures while remaining whole and proud.
So this is what I ask: Let’s think critically about the media we consume. Are the Asian characters on your favorite show playing into harmful, dangerous stereotypes? Are they purposefully villainizing female Asian characters, or emasculating their male Asian characters? We’re no longer settling for crumbs when it comes to Asian representation.
And to my Asian community: Don’t give up hope on finding your person. Find ways to build your community and find friendships. Not only will that make you feel more fulfilled, but opening up your network can help grow relationships with people who value your culture, and have morals that align with yours. We’re fortunate to have such a strong community here. Use that to your advantage when dating and seeking out relationships.
Bachelor Nation, if you want to talk about casting, I’m happy to help find your next Bachelorette. And Tammy, if you’re reading this: We’re in your corner, don’t let the haters (or the Bachelor editors) get you down.
Image: ABC/Craig Sjodin
Well, fam, after 10 grueling weeks we’re about to find out which woman won Matt’s heart. We’ve come to know the best and the worst of these ladies. The best being a girl who carries a dildo around in her purse like it’s a pack of gum and speaks entirely in email jargon (no, thank you for your feedback, Katie) and the worst being a Gangs of New York-style living situation where absolutely not one person has heard of concealer before. But at least I do know these ladies. I can’t say the same for our pal Matt. In fact, his entire personality can be condensed into “guy who wears turtlenecks.” He’s really given us so much to root for.
Last week, Matt whittled his search for love down to two final women: a sexy, long-limbed school teacher and a girl who dressed as a sexy school girl for last year’s Halloween party. I paraphrase.
MATT: There’s Michelle—beautiful, smart, kind Michelle. And then there’s Rachael…
MATT TRYING TO EXPLAIN HIS CONNECTION TO RACHAEL:
Hmmm… whomever will he choose?
Michelle Meets The Parents
Okay, is anybody else just tired? I know we need to go through the whole song and dance of Matt introducing the girls to the parents and having one last great date with them, but must we really? Like, just freaking pick one already, I don’t need to watch you sit in a hot tub one more time. *takes one deep, calming breath* I suppose the show must go on, which means Michelle is up first!
Michelle walks into the room and Matt’s mom is already weeping. She heard “school teacher” and saw she was wearing a woolen force field that covered all skin from the chin down and knew this girl would be absolutely perfect for her son. Matt’s brother is also a huge Michelle fan. He’s asking her all these deep questions about her family and past relationships and she’s delivering clear, sincere answers without one single “like” or reference to TikTok.
Okay, yikes. Red flag that Matt’s brother has never seen him in a relationship. Michelle asks him about Matt’s last long-term relationship and his brother is like, “by long-term do you mean more than one date after slipping into a girl’s DMs?” Christ. The man is almost 30! This is just further proof that he’s not ready for an engagement at the end of all of this. If his last real relationship involved him checking “yes, I like you” on the back of some looseleaf math homework in grade school, then Matt has no business proposing in 90 minutes.
By the end of this date, it’s so clear that Michelle is absolutely the right pick here. Matt himself seems shocked that a girl like this is here and interested in him. He actually asks her in stunned disbelief how she’s still single after she absolutely kills it with his family. Hmmm, I don’t know, Mattie. Maybe it’s because men see that her TikToks involve less nudity and more fun multiplication hacks for her students and run for the hills from all that healthy, wholesome energy.
Rachael Meets The Parents
I already have a feeling Matt’s family is going to hate Rachael. For one, she’s daring to show her clavicle before noon. BOLD. For another, she’s wearing a look of barely contained disgust at all that rouge on Patty’s cheekbones. You can tell she’s itching to get that woman a makeup wipe and some subtle highlighter before this date goes any further.
Rachael, of course, shows up to meet Matt’s family wearing her standard muted palette of whites and blacks, and sporting that trademark middle part. Wow. Rachael is seemingly more committed to this middle part than Matt is to any relationship on this show.
Matt’s brother gives Rachael the same brotherly interview he gave Michelle, but it just hits different. For one, Michelle is just so much more poised than Rachael. She’s also a few years older and it shows. At one point, Matt’s brother asks Rachael how many serious relationships she’s been in and it’s like, five years ago she was still in SAT prep courses! How many do you think she’s been in??
MATT: So, mom, what do you think?
MATT’S MOM: She’s… cute.
HAHA. That is something my mother says right before she verbally fillets them in the car ride home from Applebee’s. In all fairness, Matt’s mom seems skeptical that Matt is going to end up with either of these girls. She’s like “so… you’re actually going to go through with this?” He better, Patty! If I don’t see an engagement at the end of this I will riot. MY GOD, THIS ISN’T A DATING SHOW. If Demi Lovato can give engagement the ol’ college try, then so can Matt!
Matt’s mom is like, “feelings aren’t forever!” and, boy, what a pep talk to give your son a mere 24 hours before a proposal. It’s cute that they think Matt has any choice here. Don’t they realize his Bachelor contract was signed in blood, as are all deals with the devil?
Matt’s Quarter-Life Crisis
I have never in my life seen a man spiral faster after a conversation about commitment than what I’m witnessing on my screen rn. Kidding! I have asked a guy “what are we?” before and watched the look of abject terror take hold of his face as he grabbed his pants, keys, and wallet, and backed away slowly toward the door.
MATT: My mom said feelings come and go… do you think that’s true Chris?
Chris is genuinely stunned by this conversation. You can tell he’s yearning for the day when contestants were jumping fences they were so in love, instead of having to placate these lukewarm feelings emanating from Matt.
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God, this is depressing. Matt’s trying to moonwalk out of his engagement obligations and I’m not having it. THIS IS THE BACHELOR. You signed up to make the biggest mistake of your life for our collective enjoyment. You can’t just go back on that sacred agreement because you don’t feel like it!
After that bleak conversation with Chris, Matt resolves to soldier on through the rest of his Bachelor duties. I’m sure it has everything to do with his feelings for Michelle and Rachael and nothing at all to do with the fact that ABC producers have his entire family sequestered at an undisclosed location. Carry on.
Similar to how I drag out menial tasks like emptying the dishwasher or answering my boss’ emails, Matt is going to drag out his Bachelor experience by taking the women on one last one-on-one date. For Matt’s date with Michelle, he makes her rappel off the roof of a building to wine and dine on what appears to be an abandoned airplane tarmac. Seriously, how come Matt only offers romance if your life is challenged in the process? Did he forget what franchise he’s on? This isn’t Final Destination, Matthew! Why does he keep trying to kill these women? So he doesn’t have to choose? “Whichever one doesn’t break her neck gets to be my wife!!”
Michelle calls Matt her “teammate” and okay, yes, I am crying in the club. She is way too good for this clown. She gifts him with (probably) hand-sewn jerseys and Matt is, like, eyeing all possible exits, he’s so freaked out. The more jerseys she hands him, the more massive his panic attack gets.
MATT: Michelle, I think I want a girlfriend, not a wife…
I love that Matt flees the scene crying. I’m sorry, but what did you expect from her? You just spent six weeks saying “my wife is in this room” only to take it back when it really counts. If she wanted a boyfriend she would have gone on that Zoom date with her coworker’s weird cousin Alan.
In the end, the jerseys are Matt’s undoing. His idea of commitment is watching your Instagram stories daily, but cropping you out of his profile picture for his Raya account. He can’t keep leading Michelle on like this, so he gives her the axe.
At least Michelle got to go on a date, though. Rachael put on these hot leather pants for absolutely no reason. Matt is too distraught over his breakup with Michelle to go on a date with Rachael. Instead, he sends his errand boy Chris Harrison to deliver the blow. Chris tells Rachael Matt needs “some space.” What’s left unsaid is that Matt’s “space” is in the Delta lounge as he books the next flight back to New York.
While Rachael falls into an abyss of despair, Matt has his own demon to face: Neil Lane. At this point, it’s clear that Matt would rather singe his own eyebrows off than embark on a lifelong commitment with a human woman, but he humors Neil Lane with this ring appointment all the same. Neil hands Matt one of his bottom-shelf rings, and Matt acts like he just touched one of Voldemort’s horcruxes, but instead of brushing the scraps of the soul of a genocidal sadist, he’s just visibly recoiling at the feeling of all of that commitment. Perfectly normal behavior for a man in love.
Matt tells Rachael to “meet him at the lake for answers” and that is how every episode of My Favorite Murder starts, not the beginning of an eternal partnership between two people. But good luck with that, girl!
Also, lol at ABC trying to make us think that Matt will actually use that ring. I think Matt knows he could get away with not proposing to Rachael. Like, she’s still buying gel pens to doodle in her Lilly Pulitzer planner. She would definitely be chill with just dating.
Speaking of Rachael, she shows up to the final rose ceremony dressed like the dragon Shrek fought to rescue Fiona. For someone who has dressed exactly the same for the last nine episodes, I’m shocked that this is the lewk she chose to be bold with.
Matt says rushing into marriage is what ruined his family, and it’s like WELL WHY ARE YOU ON THIS MF SHOW THEN?! This is what ABC gets for signing a TikTok star to be their lead. I’m so angry I would like to take an entire jug of kerosene to his most beloved turtlenecks.
Matt’s like, “I want to commit to you, but not in like any real, lasting way, you feel me?” And she does!! She signs up to be his girlfriend! This is insane! I bet she’s super glad she survived that skydiving accident for this happy ending!
After The Final Rose
Even though I am full of unending rage at just having wasted the last 10 weeks of my life watching—in real time!—a man sift through his roster until he got bored, I supposed I will tolerate one more hour of this worthless f*cking show. That said, I’m not going to recap minute by minute because, frankly, I don’t have it in me. So, here are the highlights:
Michelle Is Doing Just Fine
If you kids thought I was angry before, let me tell you, my rage boiled to cataclysmic levels when Michelle revealed that Matt refused to see her after dumping her. Before she left the Bachelor hotel, she asked production to ask Matt if she could have a few minutes with him to get some closure and, in classic f*ckboy fashion, he chose to ghost her instead. Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m just going to take a page out of Beastly and place a witch’s curse on Matt’s unblemished body until he learns how to properly treat a lady.
ABC Isn’t Racist, They Just Cast Racists, Okay!!
After a chill 120 minutes of finale footage and 15 minutes of Michelle updates, ABC finally, finally addresses the racism scandal. I still can’t believe the first Black Bachelor picked a woman who probably doesn’t understand how harmful the phrase “all lives matter” is, but here we are. Emmanuel takes over the hosting gig for the evening since Chris Harrison is currently in timeout. He gets into it with Matt about being the first Black Bachelor, and I cannot express enough how relieved I am that Matt is having this conversation with an actual person of color and not Chris’ milky white ass fumbling over production’s pre-written interview cards that start with: “so, my brother, how are you?”
Matt seemed genuinely hurt and upset by the Rachael scandal. One thing that stood out in particular to me was when he said his goal was to seem approachable to audiences. He wanted to normalize seeing Black bodies on TV and he was constantly aware of trying to seem nonthreatening. I’m glad he said that because, honestly, I’ve been pretty disappointed with Matt this season. Week after week he failed to show any emotion or personality. He seemed to gloss over any particularly heavy or dynamic conversations by pasting on a bland smile and giving the women vague, generic praise for their honesty. Now I’m wondering if that was a calculated move to seem, as he said, “less threatening.” If that’s the case, then I’m genuinely sad. It feels like we missed out on seeing some real, authentic conversations from people of color for the sake of placating The Bachelor’s white audience.
I thought Rachael did an okay job at sitting in the hot seat. She stuck to script and took accountability for her actions, even with her entire body breaking out into stress hives. I can only imagine she hired the Olivia Pope of PR teams to get her through this only mildly unscathed.
Rachael And Matt Are No Longer Together
Matt revealed that after finding out about Rachael’s past, he couldn’t in good conscience continue to date her. He said she needs to do some “work” on her own. I think that’s probably for the best. Though Rachael gave us some actionable items for how she’ll be putting in the work to better understand racism, she thought that after three weeks she’d learned enough for Matt to take her back. That doesn’t really feel like putting the work in, more like putting on a show so your S.O. will be less mad. At one point Matt says he doesn’t want to be “emotionally responsible for her tears” and that’s the most real thing that he’s ever said on this show. It sucks that she’s hurting, but it’s not on him to accept her guilt and pain.
That said, I would also like Matt to work on himself. The man had no business getting engaged on this show. I don’t want to see him on another Bachelor franchise until he’s stopped using those turtlenecks as security blankets. If I start seeing some neck, I’ll know he’s emotionally ready for an actual relationship.
And The Next Bachelorette Is…
Katie and Michelle! That’s right, double trouble, people! We will get not one, but TWO Bachelorettes. Katie’s season will start filming immediately and will air during early summer. Michelle’s season will film over the summer and air sometime in the fall. No matter that with the vaccine rollout we might actually be able to enjoy a summer spent amongst people—Mike Fleiss is having none of that. Chained to our living rooms we shall continue to be! Until then!
My my my, Bachelor Nation is crumbling right before our eyes, no? Between Rachael Kirkconnell’s racism scandal, Chris Harrison’s racism scandal, Taylor Nolan’s racism scandal, and Rachel Lindsay being bullied off Instagram because psychos are blaming her for other people’s racism scandals, I just can’t keep track anymore. Thankfully, I’m not here to talk about that today. I’m here to tackle what really matters: sex. Because tonight is fantasy suites, aka the episode where the microphone operators have to creep outside a bedroom until they hear a woman half-heartedly fake an orgasm. Make it quick for their sake, ladies!
Wait, what is that you tell me? They’ve switched up the order and tonight is The Women Tell All? I should have known that your regularly scheduled recapper Ryanne would only give up this week for one reason. Thanks pal! I’ll kill you later! Looks like I will be writing about 30 (almost) adult women screaming at each other about nothing for two hours. Shall we walk the plank together?
We jump right in, and the show makes a point of letting us know that this episode was pre-recorded before Chris’s disastrous interview with Rachel Lindsay. We get it, producers! Aside from the fact that you hired Chris, never once did a deep dive on any contestants’ social media before casting them, and barely included people of color until 2017, this is totally not your fault!!
Right off the bat, I feel like the women are sitting way too close to each other. It’s almost like ABC wants to wipe out this entire group of tattletales and bullies with a deadly virus. Hey, I hated this season too but you don’t have to kill them! Though I guess that might make ratings go up…
Chris starts out by reminding the women that he blindsided them with new arrivals weeks after the season had already begun: “One of the interesting things that happened this season: five new people arrived.” I love how he’s acting like these women just wandered out of the forest in tacky ball gowns, walked up to the Nemacolin, and knocked on the door because they just HAD to meet a man who’s addicted to turtlenecks and embarrassing TikTok dances.
Ryan tells Chris that she was offended when she arrived because she was called a hoe. Victoria was, of course, offended that Ryan was offended.
VICTORIA: “People made fun of my bra straps and I just laughed it off”
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So this whole interaction was to get us to look at your bra, wasn’t it? I’ll admit I fell for it. And I don’t hate it.
Katie vs. The Girls
As it turns out, people hate a rat more than they hate a bully. Duh. Snitches get stitches. Ever heard of Fredo Corleone? Some of you didn’t grow up in an Italian-American family in New Jersey, and it shows. Pretty much all the women blamed Katie for creating the toxic situation in the house, because it got worse once she told Matt.
MARI: Katie started the fire
If you know, you know.
They also came at her for being the hardest on Sarah, and only saying that everyone should be nice to Sarah after finding out about her dad. Katie says to them, “It’s called learning, it’s called growing.” Wow, she’s already honed that standard Bachelor Nation non-apology. I dare them to find any old damning tweets of yours, girl! Did you go to any distasteful events recently? No worries! You know what you’ll say!
This is not the way I was expecting this to go. The internet loves Katie! But, the internet is not 25 women that Katie called a bully, circling her and baring their brand-new veneers at her menacingly. The better to eat you with, my dear!
Don’t worry Katie, the internet still loves you!
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Brittany In The Hot Seat
Chris Harrison calls up Brittany to the hot seat. He reminds us that she was called a “high-end escort”. TBH I think it’s nice of everyone to add high-end in there. Look, rumors aren’t cool, but at least Anna made her sound fancy in the process of being terrible. Brittany talks about her trauma from the rumor and Chris nods along solemnly as if he didn’t throw a suggestive wink every time he previewed the “most salacious accusation we’ve ever heard on this show.”
Anna apologizes, but does still claim she had heard that Brittany was entertaining men for money. This is a classic Real Housewives move, and I’m low-key impressed. Like, “I’m sorry I said your husband was cheating, but it’s not my fault that I heard your husband is cheating.” Anna also continues to claim that she got so many messages about Brittany because “Chicago’s a small town.” Anna! Chicago has nearly three million people in it! Just because you and your best friend once spotted someone you’re pretty sure was Michelle Obama getting out of a limo at The Bean does not make it a small town! And I can tell you it wasn’t her!
Even with all those caveats, Brittany accepts Anna’s apology. You’re a better woman than me, Brittany. Apologies are nice and all, but if I were her I’d make Anna pay to scrub those damaging Google results. Just an idea for you, Brit!
We are 35 minutes into this episode and they are already airing unseen footage. This does not bode well for the content of the rest of the episode. It seems that all the group dates that went straight to cocktail hour on the show were actually Fear Factor-esque. Touching bugs, stuffing their faces with food, wandering around the great outdoors—idk what the editors were doing this season, but I promise those episodes were not so jam-packed that we couldn’t have kept 30 seconds of Kit getting lost in the wilderness.
kit lost in the woods #thebachelor pic.twitter.com/JHDJmBY8Np
— saint sagittarius (@HoleScandal) March 2, 2021
I swear the theme of all these dates was, “watch these girls vomit and then feel them up!!” Like, I get that you have limited options this year, but I feel like attempting to cause grievous bodily harm to the women every episode wasn’t totally necessary.
Katie In The Hot Seat
Chris brings up Katie and legit says “YOU SHOWED UP WITH A MAGIC WAND.” That is a vibrator, sir. And I would really not like to find out that the reason he called it a “magic wand” is because that’s the name of the brand-new line of vibrators he’s created to go along with his romance novels. God, I beg of you, please spare us.
We, of course, get a 10-minute clip of Katie’s story with Matt, and as they pan back to her she’s crying. Do we think it’s because she’s sad about Matt or because she’s sad she wore that parka on national TV? You’re trying to get someone to want to bang you Katie, you’re not going out to walk your dog at 6am when no one can see you.
Katie wonders, “is there anyone out there for me?” I’m sure we’ll see that pasted all over her Bachelorette ads soon. At least it’s better than “Let’s do the damn thing!”
Abigail In The Hot Seat
The second this sweet creature sits down in the hot seat I’m reminded how Matt did her dirty.
CHRIS: What happened? You guys were so into each other, had so much chemistry, and then he dumped you. Why couldn’t he love you?
Chris says that Abigail being on the show has had a massive impact on the deaf community. Oh good! Another community he can offend in an interview! You know behind the scenes the producers are just wetting themselves saying “our ratings with the deaf community have skyrocketed! Which underrepresented group can we target next!” Actually though, Abigail is an angel, and this broken franchise doesn’t deserve her.
Pieper In The Hot Seat
Okay, is everyone going to get a one-on-one sit down with Chris tonight? Will our misery never end? They’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel at this point. Maybe next we can get the masseuse who worked on Tyler’s back up there. Or the skydiver responsible for Rachael’s head contusion. Or Katie’s vibrator! Just dress it up in an LBD from Revolve and prop it up on the couch. It will fit right in and I’m sure the conversation will be very stimulating.
There’s really no point to this interview. Every single person that comes up to the hot seat is forced to rewatch their “love story”, and then Chris says “tell daddy how much it hurts,” and then he dismisses them because daddy doesn’t actually care. It. Is. Boring.
Serena P In The Hot Seat
The word “hot seat” is already giving me PTSD. If this recap ends abruptly, please look for me shaking in a corner somewhere on the west coast of Florida.
Chris is disappointed in Serena. He thought she was the one.
ME, SNORTING INTO MY WINE: Didn’t he see that awkward sex yoga date?
And now Serena is crying. Come on Serena!! You don’t have to do what the other girls did! We know you didn’t like him! Put that Visine back in your sleeve.
Chris tells Serena he thinks she might regret her decision and that she might still love him.
Wow. I’m starting to think Chris really never could read a room and it took Rachel Lindsay to point it all out to us.
Matt In The Hot Seat
Matt finally shows up to his party, and it is a disappointment to say the least. WHAT IS ON HIS FACE?
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Chris and the women say they like it and sweetie, they are lying to you. That thing is like making out with a shag rug.
Victoria immediately turns on the waterworks and tells Matt she was offended by the fact he told her she needed to “self-reflect” when she left. Who’s sensitive now, Queen V? Matt tells her, “when people ask me about you I only have good things to say.” I guess laughing when his friends mock her body is technically a loophole to that statement. But with all the apologizing going on tonight, he couldn’t muster one up? I guess he was a wimp this whole season, why stop now?
I really don’t understand the purpose of the women airing their grievances. Who cares? It’s over, and it was fake. If Chris asked me if I had any last words for Matt I’d shout “wear less turtlenecks!” And then GTFO.
Can we get real for a sec? Does anyone seriously think we need these tell all episodes anymore? They reveal nothing new—contestants have already explained their terrible actions to the point of exhaustion on social media, and half the people there barely even appeared on the season. They should be more like Bravo reunions or not exist at all. Let’s accuse each other of f*cking a married ex-MLB player! Who has a drug problem?! Make it exciting! These moments may be messy, but at least they are real(ish). I feel like The Women Tell All was basically everyone reading a press release their publicist wrote for them. In the words of anyone who’s ever had a job, this could have been an email.
Chris ends the episode by saying, “trust me, you have no idea what’s coming.” No, Chris of February 4th, 2021, YOU have no idea what’s coming. And we’re out!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (4); bachelorettewindmill, tvgoldtweets, victorialarson_/Instagram; holescandal/Twitter
Well, well, well what a week it has been for Bachelor Nation. It was already hard enough that we had to say goodbye to Dildo Girl, our favorite camp counselor and sex positive queen, BUT now we gotta deal with Chris Harrison and the rest of the Bachelor franchise acting like racist trash? I’m not going to rehash the entire problematic exchange (you can read all about it here), but I will say it’s almost like the franchise only chooses to support diversity when it’s convenient and/or popular for them to do so, and not because they genuinely have a desire to share Black and Brown stories. But I’m sure ABC and Chris Harrison are taking all of our feedback and are using this time as an opportunity to grow. And by “time” I mean the one to two episodes Chris Harrison will be sidelined from hosting to focus on “accountability.” To be fair, I’m pretty sure that’s how long cancel culture works for middle-aged white dudes in the country anyway.
Moving on to this week’s episode, and to drama that doesn’t make me want to set fire to everything on this earth: Heather is in the houseeeee! Last week, Heather Martin of Colton’s season (and Hannah Brown’s TikTok videos) decided she was so bored in quarantine that she would literally do anything for human interaction, including willingly walking into this hostage situation in progress. Of course, Matt is the hostage in this scenario. The women have completely descended into a mob rule/Lost Boys type situation here. I would not be surprised if that bloodcurdling scream Pieper let out after Heather interrupted her alone time with Matt was some sort of code for her people on the outside to call in a ransom on one of Matt’s
turtlenecks loved ones.
We definitely think the producers had to feed Matt Heather’s name, right? Heather says that Hannah shared with her some “stories about his heart” and it’s like, I don’t want to hear one more story about Matt praying before he eats a Costco free sample. Give me the dirt. Why don’t these people ever share stories about their friends having one too many at half-priced wine night and throwing up in their purse in the Uber ride home. Paint a realistic picture of their future partner, I beg of you!
I’m still just so shocked that Heather had the audacity to roll up here in her minivan halfway through the process. The logic is just not there. If Matt really wanted Hannah B to pick out a girl for him, he would not have gone on The Bachelor, he would have responded to the group chat.
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I love that Heather thinks there’s any chance in hell those girls are going to let her sit on that couch with them. Before she can even get out her name, the girls immediately start coming for her throat and it is BRUTAL. They’re freaking vultures. *turns the volume all the way tf up*
PIEPER: Sounds like you’re Bachelor hopping.
Okay, Pieper. Like you aren’t going to swap fluids in Mexico with half of Bachelor Nation once this is all over. Please. Also, PIEper is clearly taking out all her lifelong anger over having to spell her name like that into this 20-second interaction with Heather. That’s the only cause for this much hostility.
Matt also cannot believe that Heather had the audacity to roll up here in her minivan halfway through the process. He must have said the word “minivan” at least three times in the last 30 seconds. Yes, it was a real sacrifice, Matt. Her Instagram brand will definitely suffer.
Heather keeps saying how serious she is about this process, but Matt doesn’t seem to be buying it. I’m sorry, but did no one show him her quarantine footage? She Rapunzel-ed her hair out a window for him! She practiced making out on her hand for him! How is that not commitment?
Matt must sense that if he entertains this Heather thing for any longer, he might find that Pieper’s people have destroyed the necklines to all of his favorite turtlenecks. He’s got to put an end to this ASAP before anyone else gets hurt. He tells Heather goodbye and she seems way too upset about this. It’s okay, sweetie. I’m sure he’ll catch you on Raya in a few months when he’s single again!
Going into the rose ceremony, Matt makes a speech commending the ladies for how they handled Heather’s presence this evening. I’m sorry, but what exactly is there for him to commend? They made her cry! Middle school girls locker rooms are less toxic than what just took place on my screen.
Speaking of toxic, at the rose ceremony, we say goodbye to Chelsea and Serena C.
Matt just lost about 10 pounds of negative energy now that Serena and her eyelash extensions are gone. I could not be more thrilled. Justice for Dildo Girl has been served!!
Serena’s One-On-One Date
Even though Abigail and Jessenia are the only girls who haven’t received a one-on-one with Matt, he invites Serena P on the first one-on-one date of the week. Yikes. He says that he chose Serena because it’s the perfect date for them as a couple. First of all, tantric yoga? Seriously? This might have been the perfect date for Dildo Girl, but not for the girl who just visibly cringed at the sight of you in cropped leggings. Second of all, who would ask for this?? Just because you say things like you believe in “chakras” doesn’t mean I’m buying that a girl doing splits on your face has anything to do with your emotional growth as a couple. I’m already wishing I could pour bleach on my eyeballs.
Ooof, Serena is not into this. She says this was way outside of her comfort zone. I love that this girl says she’s not into public affection but signed up for a show where the camera man is contractually obligated to zoom in on a man’s fingers inches from her labia. Matthew, HANDS!!
Matt is visibly upset that Serena isn’t enjoying his date, and I have a feeling Serena could be going home for this. All because she didn’t like having to avoid eye contact with his chubby for the last 90 minutes. Shame.
Well, it appears true love can conquer all, even a grown-ass man wearing Lululemon. The evening portion of the date goes way better for the two of them. Matt realizes that just because a woman doesn’t want to poorly reenact the kama sutra in front of God and Ashli the tantric yoga instructor, that doesn’t mean they aren’t compatible as a couple. Serena gets the date rose, securing the first spot in the hometowns lineup.
The Group Date
The group date this week is strange because there appears to be no actual activity tied to it. Instead we’re dropped straight into footage from the cocktail hour, making it less of an actual date and more of just Matt making out with girls in different corners of a hotel lobby. So, basically, what he was doing before he became the Bachelor. It’s sweet that he’s going back to his roots this week.
The most shocking revelations during the date come from Bri and Kit. Bri confesses that she had to quit her job in order to continue on Matt’s season. I may or may not have let out a strangled gasp at that proclamation. We aren’t told what exactly her job entails, but the internet is speculating that it’s a big f*cking deal. I can’t believe she resigned from her job during a global pandemic, when unemployment is at a historic high, for a man wearing a turtleneck and a ladies leather jacket. Bri, honey, whyyyyyyyyyy?
Kit is also full of confessions this week. She lays down some ground rules for Matt and one of those is that if he wants to get engaged then she needs to… finish school?? Okay, she is too young for this show. She just said that having kids by 25 is a long-term investment for her!! Those are words that came out of her mouth!! MY GOD, the Disney Channel has older talent on their roster! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!
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Kit ends up self-eliminating after the group date. She says it’s because she still has doubts about their relationship, but I have a feeling her famous mother would disinherit her if she allowed an ABC production crew into their home. Not for COVID safety purposes, but just like, primetime television? In this house? Ew.
Next up on the chopping block: Abigail. If I’m being honest, Abigail has been struggling for weeks now. She hasn’t had very much alone time with Matt and even admits that they’ve only ever had “a few good conversations.” Yikes. That’s practically Bachelor code for “friend-zoned.”
She asks Matt straight up how he’s feeling about her and he all but jumps at the excuse to send her home. Trash. TRASHHHHH.
ABIGAIL: I’m the kind of girl who makes men realize they want someone else.
ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME WITH THIS, MATTHEW? I WOULD GO TO WAR FOR THIS GIRL. Abigail is truly too pure for this Earth and she’s got me in my feels with this exit interview. He keeps sidelining these down-to-earth, authentic women, in favor of girls whose resumes include things like “has swipe up capabilities on IG” and it’s making me sick. That said, Abigail, I know this hurts, but you just dodged a bullet, girlfriend. His jacket literally squeaked when he hugged you goodbye.
Rachael ends up getting the group date rose, but the real winner is the camera work being done here. The losers look completely crestfallen, like the producers just asked them to choose between deleting their Instagram accounts and staying on the show for one more week. They keep panning between the losers, sitting dejectedly on the sofas, and Rachael and Matt trying to swallow each other’s faces in the next room. It’s just so…
Jessenia’s One-On-One Date
It’s crazy that Jessenia is an actual contender for hometown dates because all I know about her is that MJ once gave her two for flinching. Like, I just learned the proper spelling of her name this week. This is a problem.
Okay, I would hate dating Matt. He says “I’m an adrenaline junkie” with far too much chaotic energy for my liking. I’m not even on this date and I’m already about to update my life insurance policy just in case. Jessenia, on the other hand, is thrilled. She’s like, “this is what life with Matt could be like!!” Yeah, a series of near-death experiences and premature aging.
Also, does this feel like the kind of date they should be on right before hometowns? How does watching a girl wreck the sh*t out of a fancy car tell you anything about if you’re ready to meet her family? It just feels super shallow and superficial to be having before such an important week. Case in point: Jessenia starts talking about her family, and you can tell Matt is super uncomfortable. He’d like to go back to the part where he had her spread over the front of that car.
God, he loves to dangle those roses in front of their faces right before actively not giving them out. It’s sick. He’s like, all but caressing Jessenia’s face with it and then he’s like PSYCH!! YOU’RE OUTTA HERE!! Look, I’m not saying these are indicators for sociopathic behaviors but I’m not not saying that either…
Honestly, we should have known he was going to send Jessenia home when he showed up to dinner wearing a sweatshirt and not a turtleneck. Really, he couldn’t have been more obvious.
The Rose Ceremony
Going into the rose ceremony, there are only three girls up on the chopping block: Michelle, Bri, and Pieper. Personally, I would love to meet the woman who thought it would be cool to mutilate the spelling of “Piper” for an entire person’s lifetime, and so, would selfishly would like Matt to choose her if only for my own entertainment. It’s really what he’s here for anyway.
I guess I’m not meant to have nice things because Pieper is going home, making our final four: Michelle, Bri, Serena, and Rachael. Okay, I LOVE that Pieper says nothing to Matt on her way out, just barrels right into that limo. He’s lucky this girl doesn’t have access to his home address because I have a feeling he would come home to find his belongings ablaze if she did.
And that’s all she wrote, kids! Hometowns are next week, and I can’t wait to see what the ABC interns are able to craft up as a representation of a hometown since traveling is still out. Here’s hoping we get more “New York-style pizza” from the Sbarro’s down the street and another papier-mâché carnival cobbled together with rubber cement and the crayons they found at the hotel’s lost and found. Until then!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (4); @bachelornationspoilers /Instagram (1); @thebetchelor /Instagram (1)
Can you believe that just a week ago I was over here thinking that this season of The Bachelor’s biggest racism problem was a few fragile white girls bullying the other contestants? I mean wow, things sure did escalate quickly, because now we have a frontrunner with a social media rap sheet of behavior that ranges from “should have known better” to “overtly racist”. And if that wasn’t enough, we also have a host (Chris Harrison) who went on television to defend her, in response to which there is now a change.org petition with over 10,000 signatures calling for him to be fired. Harrison has since apologized, but there is a lot to unpack here, so for those of you that don’t follow Bachelor Franchise controversy like it’s a toxic ex that you still have feelings for, let me break it down for you.
Rachael Kirkconnell’s Problematic Social Media History Emerges
Piecing together a Bachelor contestant’s personality, political beliefs, and any problematic skeletons based on their social media history is today’s version of the game Clue, and I’m ready to open the envelope on Rachael displaying a history of racism. TikToker feministmama has summarized all of the evidence that’s out there on the internet that ABC couldn’t seem to find (or just didn’t care to). I encourage you to watch the videos, but here’s the TL;DR version. Among other things, Rachael:
– Liked insensitive photos on social media (such as one with a Confederate flag displayed, and people wearing culturally insensitive costumes)
– Culturally appropriated indigenous culture at multiple costume parties
– Re-shared QAnon conspiracy theories, and most notably:
– Attended an “Old South” plantation-themed ball in 2018
Look, much to my parents’ disappointment, I am not a lawyer. But I think we can all agree that the evidence points to this being a very bad and pretty racist look. And these stories have been circulating for a few weeks now, so if any of it was false you’d think that Rachael would have said so by now. I know ABC has a lot of control over when contestants can speak publicly and what they can say, but if Rachael could confidently say “those pictures are Photoshopped,” then I think they would have let her.
What Does Matt James Think?
I’ve been watching Matt as the Bachelor for over six weeks now, and I still couldn’t tell you anything about him other than: he’s tall, he likes to work out, and he’s really into Jesus. So as a lead who hasn’t had much to say all season, it’s not surprising that he hasn’t had much to say about this. Especially since it seems pretty likely he chooses her and maybe they’re engaged?
In response to questions about the allegations against Rachael during an interview with Entertainment Tonight on February 2, he said, “Rumors are dark and nasty and can ruin people’s lives. So I would give people the benefit of the doubt, and hopefully she will have her time to speak on that.”
First of all, an actual photo of her at an Old South themed event is not a rumor, second of all, this statement has “vetted and approved by Bachelor production” written all over it, and third of all, this response has big “Garrett getting exposed for liking problematic memes” energy. Judging by this response alone, it seems like Rachael goes pretty far in the show, if she doesn’t end up winning.
And Now A Word From Chris Harrison
Unlike Matt, Chris Harrison (unfortunately) had a lot to say on the matter, sharing close to 15 minutes of his thoughts on Rachael, what he likes to call the “woke police” and for some reason, a bonus mention of racist games he played as a kid growing up in Texas (literally, why?), during an interview with Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first Black lead, on ExtraTV. Although he later apologized (more on this later), his words were pretty on-brand for Harrison and Bachelor production, and by “on-brand” I mean, he made excuses for racist behavior and instead put the blame on those calling for accountability aka the aforementioned “woke police’’.
During the chat, Chris Harrison basically claimed that back in 2018 (three years ago, for those of you counting) when Rachael attended the Old South ball, she couldn’t possibly have known that romanticizing slavery was bad, that she deserves “grace, understanding, and compassion”, and that we should give her time to reflect and wait patiently for when she is ready to speak. To me it felt like Harrison was defending Rachael like he has his own Antebellum plantation-themed wedding planned for the spring and he doesn’t want to get sh*t for it. And if you, like Chris and Matt, still want to give Rachael the benefit of the doubt, here are a few things that happened prior to Rachael attending that racist-ass ball in 2018:
– The Kappa Alpha national office (the fraternity that hosted the ball) had officially banned these events for being “culturally insensitive” in 2016
– Rachel Lindsay’s 2017 season of The Bachelorette aired, where a contestant’s racist tweets were kinda a big deal
– The BLM Movement was founded (2013) in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer and gained traction from countless other similar situations
Bachelor Nation (Sort Of) Entered The Chat
It looks like I am not alone in being infuriated by what comes out of Chris Harrison’s mouth when you let him say more than “ladies, this is the final rose tonight”. A petition calling for him to be fired has thousands of signatures. Bachelor alumni were also incensed, and took to social media to share their thoughts.
Former Bachelor contestant and outspoken critic of the franchise, Ashley Spivey, was vocal on her Instagram stories and shared a number of tweets criticizing the interview:
We can leave grace and space for learning while still demanding accountability. I feel like @chrisbharrison expresses more empathy for people who romanticize the confederacy than people who are harmed by white supremacy in this clip. So disappointing. https://t.co/Lw2BabkLpb
— Emma Gray (@emmaladyrose) February 10, 2021
Rachel Lindsay responded to the same thread with, “my days are numbered,” perhaps alluding to the fact that this may be the final straw in her relationship with the franchise (she hosts the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast with Becca Kufrin).
My days are numbered
— Rachel Lindsay (@TheRachLindsay) February 10, 2021
And Taylor Nolan, a contestant on Nick Vial’s season of The Bachelor and season four of Bachelor in Paradise, called Harrison out on Instagram:
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Since Chris Harrison’s interview, some others in the franchise have spoken out about the controversy, but thus far, we’re still waiting on any comment from Rachael or the franchise as a whole.
Followed By, An Apology From Chris Harrison
Approximately 24 hours and a million Twitter call-outs later, Chris issued an apology:
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Look, I’m glad he said something—I have to admit, I did not expect it. But is it just me, or did this apology somehow manage to sidestep any actual condemnation of racism? He ends his apology with a “promise to do better”, and I can’t wait to see what “better” means.
In the 24 hours since we first published this article, many more members of Bachelor Nation shared their concern and criticism of Chris Harrison’s words and support for Rachel Linsday, who has often been a lonely voice when it comes to holding the franchise to account. The women from the current season issued a joint statement:
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ABC finally let Rachael Kirkconnell finally said something, posting this apology on her social media accounts:
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As Rachael herself mentioned in her Instagram story, this apology is not for me or anyone who isn’t a person of color to accept.
This does feel like a pretty big moment for the franchise, one where a majority of its “nation” is taking a stand against racism and anyone making excuses for it. Here’s to hoping this is the moment production finally decides to make a change.
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; emmaladyrose, therachlindsay / Twitter; taymocha, chrisbharrison / Instagram