Welcome back, Bachelor fans, to another Tuesday where we get to watch men who have at one point in their lives most definitely measured their penises with a ruler argue about who has more emotional maturity. I’m going to skip all the bullsh*t and just jump right into this week’s recap because, and I say this begrudgingly, this week was actually pretty dramatic. I’ll give you this one,
Chris Harrison JoJo Fletcher! Just the one!
When we last left off, Bennett and Noah were facing off on the two-on-one date. Bennett had just gifted Noah with the equivalent of a humble pie straight out of The Help and was in the process of explaining to Tayshia how this elaborate insult wrapped in Anthropologie wrapping paper was actually a sign of his emotional maturity. *turns up volume*
Look, all I’m going to say is this: If Tayshia sends Noah home I will riot. Then again, I would like for her to send SOMEONE home at this point since that rose ceremony looks more crowded than an American Idol audition auditorium.
BENNETT: I’m not a mean guy, it’s so easy to be misunderstood in this house.
TAYSHIA: So, what’s in the box?
HAHA. Yes, Bennett, I would love to hear you explain how just because you were the mastermind behind this grand gesture of pettiness, it doesn’t actually make you petty. Tayshia asks Bennett if he’s ever questioned her integrity on this show and he says he hasn’t, he just doesn’t trust Tayshia’s judgment when it comes to Noah. Ummm, that’s kind of the same thing, bro!
Throughout this whole conversation I can’t stop staring at Bennett’s shoes. He’s wearing white sneaks with this suit. Is that emotionally mature? Because it sure ain’t age mature. Once you hit 35, the milky white skin of your ankles is officially something I never want to see on my television screen again.
Noah is up next. If Bennett took the offensive route, Noah takes the defensive. He launches into an attack on Bennett’s character, which will probably be the kiss of death for him. She just said she didn’t want her time dominated by sh*t talking and drama. He says that Bennett is condescending and speaks to people like they’re less than him. All valid points, and something I think they all should have foreseen after the 10th time Bennett name-dropped Harvard into casual conversation.
Honestly, send them both home. I do not care about this fight. Send them both home and take me to some footage of Chris Harrison dropping his son off at college. Did he get the right Twin XL sheets at Bed Bath & Beyond? Tell me!!
It’s time for Tayshia to make her choice, and she’s still torn. On the one hand, she’s really falling for Bennett and the bougie aesthetic he’ll bring to her Instagram feed. On the other hand, she did already force Noah to shave his mustache and can that really be for naught?
WHAT. SHE SENDS BENNETT HOME?! I was hoping for that, but still. Wow wow wow. I can’t wait to hear how he spins this at the next alumni Zoom happy hour.
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Even though Bennett is sent home, she still won’t give Noah a rose. He’ll have to wait for his dumping at the next rose ceremony just like everyone else. Well, I think she said something like, “I guess I’ll see you later” which is the equivalent of “if you f*ck up this rose ceremony for me, you’ll wish your mustache was the only thing I took from you.” Good luck with that, Noah!
The Rose Ceremony
Noah explains to the men that, like my sanity this season, he is hanging on to Tayshia’s good graces by a thread. You can tell the guys are suppressing their disgust with Tayshia’s decision one passive-aggressive sip of their whiskey at a time.
Tayshia tells us that Hometowns are around the corner and that’s why she’s done with all of this drama. Hold up, what? HOMETOWNS ARE AROUND THE CORNER?! She has 30 men left!! Is she massacring 15 of them tonight at the rose ceremony or something? Is this going to turn into The Purge?
Okay, wow. The men are pulling out ALL the stops tonight. They’re lavishing Tayshia with
cutesy gifts straight-up bribes to up their chances for Hometowns: Riley bakes her a cake, Zac hands her a framed picture, Ben gives her a tour of the back of his throat. It’s really sweet.
Wait, there are only five roses up for grabs?! Damn, I was joking before but this really is turning into The Purge now.
Here’s who goes home: Ed, Damar, and Spencer, which means Noah somehow survived another rose ceremony by the budding hairs on his chinny chin chin. I swear this guy is like a cockroach. I wouldn’t be surprised if at the final rose ceremony he walks out from stage left to propose and Tayshia is like “damn, I knew I meant to send him home before this.”
Ben’s One-On-One Date
Tayshia chooses Ben for the first one-on-one date of the week, and in theory I have nothing against this choice. He does touch his hair far too much for my liking, but fine.
Okay, I would be pissed if JoJo was hosting my date. Chris Harrison is like the botoxed drunk uncle at Christmas who eviscerates your outfit and your life choices in between bottles of wine, but ultimately means well. JoJo is the competition. You don’t see Chris Harrison running around in hot little crop tops with perfectly curled hair. What’s your angle, JoJo??
JoJo sends them on an elaborate scavenger hunt that’s not so elaborate because they’re confined to the square footage of the La Quinta Inn. There are a confusing amount of piñatas that hold a singular clue and that concludes the date “activity.” I think Ed might have searched harder to find Tayshia’s rooms than the production team did in making this date.
TAYSHIA: You seem too perfect
Okay, Ben. I’d take you more seriously if you didn’t look like a freaking Ralph Lauren model.
During the cocktail portion of the evening, Ben elaborates more on his past. He gives a harrowing account of failed suicide attempts in the past few years and his emotional struggles after leaving the military. I’m glad he’s still here and is willing to tell his story on national television. That takes guts, and I know the audience back home appreciated his candidness. Tayshia seems to agree and gives Ben the date rose.
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Sidenote: I think it’s interesting that ABC keeps giving us these “real” moments from the contestants. ABC came under fire in recent years for being tone-deaf and glossing over traumatic backstories in favor of meaningless drama that upped ratings. I was actually one of those critics, but now I’m not sure I like this new format.
For a while now I’ve wanted to see more realness in my reality TV: more diverse cast members, more bodies that aren’t size two, more people with Instagram followings below 1k. And ABC has made great steps, don’t get me wrong, but the heaviness of these contestants’ stories feels strange and a little unsettling when juxtaposed with dates that involve the men fake orgasming over a microphone. I think for me it takes away from the authenticity of these guys and their stories. I know you can be both silly and have had traumatic things happen to you in your life, people are multifaceted after all, but the way ABC flip-flops between the two makes their pain seem gimmicky when I know it’s not. If ABC is going to shake the show’s foundation by bringing in more diverse contestants, then they need to change up the formatting too to match this new tone. IDK, maybe this is just a transition season and Matt James’ season will feel more ironed out, but right now it’s not working for me.
The Group Date
This week, the guys are going to participate in a fun game of truth or dare, but minus the dare and with a lie detector test where their answers may or may not be presented in a court of law. See? Fun!!
Okay, they definitely got this lie detector at the clown store. Like, someone is for sure behind a curtain pressing red or green. Maybe not even a person, just ABC’s least favorite intern. Or a monkey throwing feces at a color. Who can say!!
We learn some valuable intel from the Costco brand lie detector test. Things like Noah really misses his mustache and Brendan doesn’t want to be within 10 feet of Tayshia’s family and—this is just so casual—Riley’s name isn’t actually his name! I’m loving how shocked and upset Tayshia looks over what is obviously a fake lie detector test. Anyone who has listened to, like, one episode of any true crime podcast can tell you that lie detectors mean nothing. Especially not ones that ABC bought at the mall.
Dear god, what is Tayshia wearing? Whatever it is, I think they sell it as a duvet cover at Anthropologie.
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If there’s one thing this fake lie detector test has done, it’s forced the men into being honest about their pasts with Tayshia. Ladies, take note. This is the dating version of Scared Straight. All of the men seem to be opening up about their past relationships. Zac talks about his promiscuous days at the Bowl-A-Rama, Riley admits that he changed his name because of its ties to some painful family history, and Noah gets to the bottom of his facial hair issues. Yeah, that seems like an even playing field for sure.
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Like the ulcer I’ve been living with since the start of this pandemic, who should pop up when you least expect it but Bennett!! He’s like “wow… that dress” and I can already tell he’s regretting coming here.
Bennett tells Tayshia he loves her and it’s like, ooooh, buddy, this was a bad idea. Whichever producer convinced you to do this is a sadist. I love it. And on that note, I’m outtie! We’ll have to wait until next week to see if Bennett can con his way back into Tayshia’s heart the same way his parents conned his spot onto Harvard’s “rowing team.” Until then!
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Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; ABC; Giphy; @its_thesnatchelor, tvgoldtweets ,ginamodicamakeup / Instagram
I remember it like it was yesterday. Back in March, when life still had meaning and we all still had plans, ABC gave us the first sneak peek of Clare Crawley’s Bachelorette contestants. That day (which happened to be my first day of coronavirus WFH), I roasted these men for their ages, their outfits, and in Matt James’ case, for being Bachelor Nation’s equivalent of a nepotism hire. I eagerly anticipated the start of filming and the spoilers that would inevitably begin rolling in before long.
I don’t think I need to explain what happened to the world after that, but obviously Clare’s season did not start filming in March. But
84 years four months later, even as the universe continues to crumble around us, it’s finally Clare’s time. Filming will commence this month, with the entirety of production happening in a bubble at the La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs. The resort, which is still closed to the public, boasts a confusingly large number of swimming pools (41), so they could literally have every single date by a different pool. Worry not, this season will be fine.
Today, we got our long-awaited first (second?) look at Clare’s actual, final batch of contestants, and so once again, we must unpack. First of all, there are a lot of dudes—42, to be exact. This is obviously way too many (they can’t even all have their own swimming pool!), but production actually cast extra guys for the season in case anyone tests positive for coronavirus before filming starts. Usually, prospective cast members just have to worry about testing positive for STDs. So many fun things to think about in 2020. Also, I imagine at least one of these guys will get cut before night one when his shady past resurfaces.
Some of the guys have stuck around since the first round of casting, which must mean they really like Clare, or they REALLY want more Instagram followers. Either way, I appreciate the dedication. But obviously, a lot has changed in the last four months, and there are many new faces competing for Clare’s heart. Most importantly, it looks like ABC actually tried to fix the age issue. In Clare’s OG group of contestants, more than 70 percent of the men were in their 20s, which seemed like an odd strategy for a 39-year-old Bachelorette. In the new group, only 16 out of 42 guys are in their 20s, which is less than 40 percent. Clare can still go for a younger guy if she wants to, but she won’t have to default to guys she could have babysat growing up.
The age shift means that our previous youngest contestant, 23-year-old finance bro in training James C, is no longer in the mix. Too bad, maybe he can try again in a year (or five). Now, Clare’s youngest option is 25-year-old Noah from Tulsa. While Noah is perhaps a bit young, and his watch is perhaps a bit big, he is VERY cute. I could see him doing well, but it all depends if Clare likes her guys on the younger side.
And on the opposite end of the spectrum, Clare’s oldest contestant is 40-year-old Jeremy. He’s the only contestant in his 40s, which still seems like a weird choice, but whatever. Jeremy is from Virginia Beach, so I’m curious if he’s had any encounters with the infamous Virginia Beach Husband Stealer, Victoria F. If there’s any hope left for 2020, I really need Jeremy to address this on night one. Also, does he sort of look like Arie, or do I need to get outside more?
My favorite thing about this cast announcement is that, likely due to quarantine, the DMV photo vibe is GONE. Instead, we have gorg headshots, most of which were taken outside or in front of actual walls that don’t look like Walmart photo studio backdrops. Sure, some of them should’ve found better lighting (Karl and Chris, looking at you), but overall these pictures are soooo much better.
Still, I have to give an award for Worst Photo, and it’s really not even close. Kenny from Illinois, this one is all you.
Kenny, what is this photo?? It looks like he just got done with an at-home CrossFit class and remembered he had to send the Bachelorette producers a headshot, and then he took that headshot at his local dive bar. The tank top, the shiny face, the wood paneling in the background… nothing about this is good.
My award for Boldest Name goes to none other than… Tyler C.
Yes, that’s really what he’s going with. Like, yes, I know this is his real name, but if I were him, I might have chosen to go with a middle name or something. No matter how hard this poor guy tries, he will always be Tyler C number two in the Bachelor universe. He’s doing himself a disservice!
In terms of my current frontrunner, I have to go with Dale, a holdover from the initial round of contestants. This is SUCH a good photo, if Clare doesn’t want him, I will gladly accept any DMs from him.
Who knows how this season will turn out, but at least it’s actually happening. The season will most likely start airing in September, but I’ll be interested to see if we still get the usual spoilers with production happening in a closed bubble. I hope so, because I desperately need something to get me through the rest of the summer. Best of luck Clare, hope all your dreams come true!
Images: ABC/John Fleenor; The Bachelorette / Facebook