Well, everybody, we’ve made it to the final week of The Bachelorette. In keeping with the “unprecedented times”, ABC is breaking protocol and giving us fantasy suites and the finale in the same week. I’d like to think this is a gift to us for having to put up with Clare’s therapy sessions masquerading as dates, but we know better: they have to keep things moving in time for the premiere of Matt’s season. I’ll be filling in for my esteemed colleague Ryanne this week, so please be gentle in the comments. Let’s get to it!
We begin with Tayshia discussing the importance of the fantasy suite dates and her confidence in the final three. We then cut to Ivan, Brendan, and Zac being forced to sit together and allude to their potential future as eskimo brothers. It’s awkward AF and will be a running theme throughout the episode. Meanwhile, Tayshia has a
forced Bachelorette synergy “girl chat” with JoJo. They’re really trying to make JoJo happen, huh? Despite Ed’s notes, Chris Harrison continues his practice of barging in on the men without even a courtesy knock. This time he tells them that they better be prepared to get down on one knee and propose.
Chris: If you’re not ready for an engagement, GTFO!
And so begins Brendan’s mental spiral.
To my surprise, Ivan gets the first fantasy suite date. I personally love Ivan. He’s far and away my favorite of the three men, but he’s too pure for Tayshia and, arguably, this world. However, he tells us he did The Secret and manifested the first date. You go,
Glen Coco Ivan! Zac is visibly pissed and Brendan looks like someone told him that it’s now a federal offense to wear turtlenecks. Zac reminds us that regardless of the men’s feelings about the other men, this is about Tayshia. Finally, a man who understands the concept of The Bachelorette!
Just watching the way that Tayshia interacts with Ivan, it’s clear that he’s not the frontrunner in her mind. As if the lukewarm peck she gave him weren’t proof enough, we find out that their date is a f*cking ice bath. Now if that’s not a metaphor for her feelings for Ivan, I don’t know what is. “Are you excited?” she asks, with that pseudo British inflection she adopts when asking questions. Ivan smiles through the pain. This is the most unromantic concept for a date that I can possibly think of, especially one that’s designed to precede sex. The shrinkage alone! Rude, Tayshia. Rude. Even Big Paulie, who according to Chris Harrison is a “Bachelor Nation favorite” (sure, Jan), deems the effects of this date on Ivan’s prospects later on “devastating”. Slapping a potential “world record” on this turd of a date isn’t fooling anyone, Tayshia! You may as well have had an intern spray paint a football field on some cardboard with “Friend Zone” at either end.
Meanwhile, back at the house:
Zac seems to be handling things a little better. He gets the second date card and gives us his best Matthew McConaughey.
During the evening portion of Ivan’s date, he tells Tayshia he’s falling in love with her. She says she’s been falling for him too, but I’m just not feeling the sparks between these two. Their conversation doesn’t have much substance and basically consists of them parroting things back to each other. “I cried in front of you!” “I cried in front of you!” Apparently this is enough to take things to the fantasy suite, which in this case is an Airstream trailer that inside looks like it was designed by 2009 me after winning an Urban Outfitters shopping spree. I love a boho-chic moment, but this is not the mood for fantasy suites. This looks like it would be better for a Real Housewives girls’ trip (OC, obv). Apparently it had the desired effect, though, because they stayed up all night talking, according to Ivan. I don’t get the feeling they had sex. Maybe a little over-the-pants action, but nothing more.
Ivan returns to the house and recaps the date. Unsurprisingly, Zac and Brendan look pissed. Brendan, clearly a masochist, asks if they got any sleep. Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to, Brendan! Ivan is apparently an emotional cutter as well because
a producer told him to ask he asks what Zac’s date card said. Yikes.
The vibe on this date is completely different than the date with Ivan. Tayshia is straight-up giddy. The feeling is mutual for Zac and he tells us no less than 14 times that he can’t wait to EXPLORE Tayshia. Vom. That’s exactly what the guy you go on one Hinge date with tells you right before he never calls you again. Their date is body painting, which may as well be the polar (see what I did there) opposite of Ivan’s date. This date is essentially foreplay with colors. They slap on some paint and proceed to aggressively make out in front of the camera crew. Do they have no shame??
During the evening portion, they get into deeper topics, specifically, Zac’s stance on having kids. Zac says he realizes now that he does want to be a dad and he then proceeds to tell Tayshia that he loves her. The moment was really genuine, so much so that it moves Tayshia to tears and she says she loves him back. I can’t even be snarky, it was a lovely moment. This is what happens when you put age-appropriate men on this show!
They move on to the fantasy suite, and the set-up alone is another personal affront to Ivan. Zac and Tayshia get a whole-ass suite that looks much nicer than the “El Presidente” suite Tayshia’s been living in all season. The unmitigated gall of these producers to do Ivan so dirty!
Ivan watching this back:
The next morning, Tayshia and Zac are jumping on the bed like two toddlers hopped up on pixie sticks. Interestingly, Tayshia says in a confessional that Brendan has had her heart since day one. This should be interesting given Brendan’s sheer terror all episode. Zac returns to the house with a sh*t-eating grin on his face. Ivan remains mostly calm. Brendan looks…constipated.
Brendan tells us that he’s worried about the prospect of getting engaged again so quickly after getting divorced. Brendan clearly didn’t get the memo on not telling producers about your biggest fears, lest they be exploited to the high heavens, and so his fate is sealed. The date is hosted by F*CKING NEIL LANE! Neil, apparently pissed he had to cobble together a ring for Clare with barely 24 hours’ notice, negotiated some more airtime for his tacky wares and so we need to endure this product placement we’re calling a “date”. A date like this would be torture for just about any straight male who’s been dating a woman for a matter of weeks, but for Brendan, it is hell on earth, and it shows.
Neil keeps telling Brendan not to get nervous, then proceeds to talk endlessly about engagements and weddings. As if this wasn’t anxiety-producing enough, they then FORCE BRENDAN TO TRY ON WEDDING BANDS! I swear his hands were shaking. These producers are laying it on thick. They’ve even got Neil Lane waxing poetic about how rings are circular (no sh*t) and that marriage is FOREVER, as if Brendan, who has been married before, doesn’t already know this. Is Robert De Niro going to pop out and tell Brendan he’s been admitted into Tayshia’s circle of trust, too?
This date is messy AF. I guess this is one way to test his appetite for a proposal at the end.
The night portion of the date doesn’t get any better. Unfortunately, Tayshia saved her best dress for this date. Brendan is…wearing a black T-shirt. Not a good sign. Tayshia brings up Brendan’s distance and he admits he’s been struggling with the idea of an engagement. He confesses that he’s still broken. It was raw and honestly heartbreaking. Tayshia doesn’t put up a fight and sends him home. She says he’s the one she pictured herself with at the end. I’m sure whoever she chooses will be thrilled to watch that back.
Tayshia and Rachel
We get a surprise appearance from Rachel, who looks stunning. As happy as I was to see Rachel again, I didn’t really understand why she was there. The conversation was pretty superficial at the beginning, until Rachel asks Tayshia about any regrets she might have. Then it became very clear why she was invited: to create an opening to talk about Ben, who is obviously going to pull a Bennett and come back to ask for another chance. To which I say:
The Rose Ceremony Ben’s Mea Culpa
The men are getting ready for the rose ceremony and Ivan’s look here was giving me major Drake vibes. I’m not mad about it. We then see a shot from the waist down of some bulging thighs in capri pants making their way up the path of the La Quinta, and it’s immediately clear that Ben has returned. He tells Chris Harrison that he shuts down when things are tough and he wants to resolve things with Tayshia.
Tayshia, meanwhile, has two roses left, and to symbolize this she has brought the girls out for the night. She looks gorgeous and is feeling good about her final two, so of course Ben has to swoop in and f*ck it all up! He knocks on Tayshia’s door and she looks THRILLED to see him. He confesses his love for her, admits that he blew it in the moment, and tells her he sees a life with her. Tayshia’s immediate response is to freak the f*ck out and run to her producer. Not a great sign, buddy! All I know is if she cuts Ivan for this clown I will
have ABC’s head continue to loyally watch this train wreck. See you tomorrow!
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (3)
Hello, friends! And welcome to the first recap of Tayshia’s season of The Bachelorette. We’ve ditched Clare and now we finally have a lead who’s willing to lead on 25 men for our entertainment and their humiliation. You love to see it. You may notice I’m not your regularly scheduled recapper, but Ryanne has a rich and busy personal life with things to do and people to see, and I have a full wine glass and a blank Google doc. But don’t worry! We have but one mind when it comes to The Bachelor franchise. Well, except for her opinion about Clare which I thought was absolute, well-articulated trash. It’s okay to disagree, I still love you, Ry! Anyway, shall we dive right in?
We begin with the men continuing to be sore losers while they wait for “the new girl” to show up. Blake looks like he’s wondering if he can get all $5.95 back for the Alzheimer’s book he bought.
Tayshia walks in with some fresh new highlights and the guys seem excited that she’s the new Bachelorette. They don’t immediately jump up and ask to steal her for a sec and she doesn’t immediately bite their heads off for no reason, so I’m already feeling like this is an improvement. Tayshia gives a breathy speech, talking about how she just wants to have a “bomb-ass summer.” Tayshia! This is not Paradise, you’re here to find love. Also, I hope that by “bomb-ass summer” you mean enjoying a generic brand popsicle on a partially deflated unicorn float, because otherwise I thinkkkkkk you’re going to be a bit disappointed in the service La Quinta has been providing.
The men finally begin to pull her aside so they can get to know each other. How embarrassing for Tayshia that Riley tells her he has a real job as an attorney after she just used every euphemism she could come up with to tell him that she gets paid to post about tea that makes you sh*t your pants.
Tayshia also talks to a guy that refers to himself as “the weirdo in the turtleneck” which makes my job easier because he just came up with his nickname for me. Just as they’re starting to chat, Chris Harrison shows up and says, “I know you’re having a great time, but I have to tell you everything is about to change.”
And just like that, I bet the men who were so happy to talk about how amazing Tayshia is 10 minutes ago are now whispering to themselves “that b*tch thinks she’s too good for us.”
The weirdo in the turtleneck runs in to report that there’s a “big-ass limo looking like it’s full of men.” How does a limo look like it’s full of men? Is it waving a flag covered in dicks? There is no way to actually tell that this limo is full of dudes. For all Turtleneck knows, it could be filled with puppies wearing berets.
Okay fine, it was men. The first guy that steps out is Spencer, who walks right into the group of guys and says, “Which one of you scared away Clare?” Wow, shots fired. Blake looks like he wants to throw his Alzheimer’s book at Spencer’s head.
Another guy named Noah brings a stethoscope and makes Tayshia listen to his heart. “It’s beating!!” Yes, Tayshia if it wasn’t beating this would be Weekend at Bernie’s, not The Bachelorette. I’m actually wondering where this guy got the stethoscope. That mustache makes me think he’s not really a doctor, so did he rip it off the producer who did his COVID test or steal it from his niece’s doctor kit before he left home?
After meeting all the new guys, Tayshia comes back into the house and Spencer immediately steals her away. The guys look like they are ready for their second mutiny in as many weeks.
Kenny, the boy band manager, pulls her aside to chat and tells her that he books bands at a music venue. Ohhhhh okay. So the producers were just trying to humiliate him with that job title then. That tracks.
The guy in sneakers tells Tayshia, “You had me at bomb-ass summer.” Have you ever heard anything so romantic in your whole life?! I think he stole that line from the first draft of Jerry Maguire. They were thisssss close to making it that instead of “You had me at hello.”
I can’t stop staring at Tayshia’s teeth. They are SO white. I wonder if she got them as a part of her job in “the lifestyle space.”
The night is coming to a close and the producers Tayshia decides to give her first impression rose to Spencer. Tayshia then tells the men that she knows the love of her life is in the room, and instead of having a rose ceremony she would like to “continue all their journeys.”
My dog and I looking at Chris Harrison when she says this:
And CHRIS SAYS NOTHING. The inmates are officially running the asylum.
Interview With Clare And Dale
Friends, if you thought you were going to get through tonight without hearing about the low standards Clare has in a mate, you were dead wrong.
Clare sits down and flashes that giant CZ ring at us (what? You thought it was real? Like Neil Lane is just lying in a bathtub of diamonds to FedEx at Clare’s every whim?). Chris tells us that Clare’s engagement is “all everyone is talking about” during the most dramatic election of all time.
Chris says “we’re going to get answers tonight.” Chris! You are not an investigative journalist and this is not Spotlight. Stop acting like you’re not going to just lob them a softball question with absolutely no follow-up or even a quick Google search that I’m sure would expose their lies. It’s fine. We all know you sold your soul to Mike Fleiss and we’ve accepted it. No need to pretend any longer.
We have to listen to Clare continue to tell us that she never had a man show up.
You mean like this, Clare?
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She says that Dale has continued to show up for her every single day since they got engaged. Of course he has, Clare! It’s only been 60 days! I once showed up for my coffee cart guy 60 days in a row. It’s not that hard. But then you know what happened? They opened up a Starbucks and I ditched him. For your sake I pray they don’t open up a Starbucks near Dale!
Clare and Dale swear they did not talk before the show (sure, Jan) and then she says that she knows her dad would be proud of this relationship. Oh, RIGHT. Where’s that DVD he left you, Clare Bear?! I would bet all my leftover Halloween candy on the fact that The Bachelorette is not above exploiting a dead man’s last words. You heard it here first—we WILL see this tape before the season ends.
Before we leave this all-too-awkward interview, Clare just has to tell Chris that babies are next! I think we can all assume that Clare takes her “birth control” out of a Tic Tac box every single night, no?
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Tayshia’s Group Date
Tayshia actually shows up to her group date, which is already an immediate improvement over Clare’s group dates. She tells the men to strip because they are going to be playing a fun little game of water basketball.
What I imagined Kenny taking off his shirt would look like:
What it actually looked like:
Tayshia makes the men get into Speedos and somewhere at home Yosef is composing a note to the network where he calls Tayshia a tramp and an unfit mother. I will say, there’s something about the milky white upper thigh of a grown man that I find very unsettling. I’m not quite sure why we need to keep seeing them, but if that’s what does it for these women, then who am I to judge?
At some point during this sad display of athletic prowess Spencer takes an elbow to the mouth. Tayshia goes over to take a look and exclaims, “that’s a lot of blood!” about an injury that produced less blood than a pimple I popped last week. Maskne is real, people.
Back at the house, Jason is a mess. When the very thoughtful anesthesiologist asks him how he’s doing, he tells him he’s hanging on by a piece of floss. Wow. Profound. That’s going right into tonight’s diary entry.
On the night portion of the group date the men sit around a giant trophy, and I feel sad for whatever low-level producer had to risk catching COVID to go to the Dollar General and pick that up for it to go immediately in the trash in 30 minutes.
Spencer takes Tayshia aside and shows her his lip again, as if it’s a serious injury. And this right here, friends, is why women are the ones who have to give birth.
Jason decides he has to leave because he still has feelings for Clare. He goes to Tayshia’s door and tells her that she deserves someone amazing but he’s gotta skedaddle. Man, for someone who just two weeks ago said his exes would describe him as cruel and unfeeling, he really comes out of this smelling like roses, am I right?
Tayshia picked the weird guy in the turtleneck for her first one-on-one date of the season, and this is when I learned his name was Brendan. Tayshia shows up with two horses and looking like she wants to cosplay that scene in The Parent Trap where Dennis Quaid tries to tell Lindsay Lohan that he’s going to marry a 26-year-old. I’m into it, honestly.
They start trotting their horses around the little resort pool and then they roll up on Chris Harrison making some margs. He offers them some and then full-on sprints to the next location. It looks like someone at ABC finally realized that Chris gets paid way too much for 30 seconds of airtime a season and is making him earn his paycheck. I fully support this.
It’s cute, but Brendan would really just like Chris to f*ck off.
At the night portion of the date Brendan tells Tayshia that he’s been divorced. She tells him that she has also been divorced and they feel connected. Well, I guess it’s a less tenuous connection than “both our parents hitchhiked!” so maybe they’ll at least make it longer than Dale and Clare.
Tayshia is clearly very into Brendan and gives him the rose. They go outside for fireworks which, on the scale of Bachelor dates, I would say falls above “performance by the winners of Listen to Your Heart” but below “line dancing at a bar”.
And that’s all for this week. Ryanne’s back with the recap next week so if you hated me, no need to say so in the comments. My mental health is already hanging on by a piece of floss, thanks!!
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Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (5); Tayshia, thebachwintergames, bachelorettewindmill/ Instagram