The Best ‘Bachelorette’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Hard Up For Content

Welcome back to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! Some of you informed me that you did not actually watch last week’s episode, as it aired the day after July 4th and you were instead otherwise engaged still in your star-spangled bikini, cursing White Claw’s good name. To that I say:

I guess some of us take our patriotic duties a little more seriously than others, mmkay?

Moving on. We’re now midway into Katie’s season, and I have to ask myself: what’s next? Usually this is the point where ABC would haul the contestants off to some remote corner of the world to watch them deeply offend another culture or, at the very least, behave in ways that lands them on TSAs no fly list (see: Connor in that cat suit). But alas, we live in a broken world where to travel in anything less than a hazmat suit would require production to shut down for a small amount of time—and we certainly can’t have that! Can you imagine the anarchy it would cause if mid-season they gave these guys a smidgen of their independence back? That’s the first rule of a hostage situation!

So, with travel out of the question, how is ABC going to keep up momentum? Oh, what’s that you say? They’re going to put the men through a no masturbation challenge for absolutely no reason at all? Damn, they must be hard up for content. (I know, I hate myself for that one too). 

Katie tells Tayshia and Kaitlyn that a little birdie told her that the men can’t stop diddling themselves between rose ceremonies. I’m sorry, but who is this little birdie?? I’m less alarmed that the men are jerking off (seriously, what did she expect? She left them alone with nothing to talk about but manscaping and pumping iron—of course they’re horny!) and more concerned that there’s a Peeping Tom in their midst. Chris Harrison, be honest, was it you? Are you the “little birdie”?

CHRIS HARRISON AND HIS PUBLICIST, TWO MILES OUTSIDE THE HYATT:

Katie says she wants to make the men’s experience ~harder~ on the show. And then she snickers into her hands like the 14-year-old boy she actually is. She would like for the men to hold off on masturbating for the foreseeable future. Why? Lol you don’t need reasons on this show! Katie dubs the challenge: WOWO (Week Off Whacking Off) but The Horny Games feels like a missed opportunity on ABC’s part. For shame. 

When Katie gives the guys their challenge they act like she just asked them to give up air for a week. The Virgin is like, “I’ve been doing this for years!” and it’s like, you said you were celibate, not clinically insane! You’re telling me you’ve never touched your peen before? I’m genuinely worried for his mental health. Then there’s Greg who looks like he’s wondering if wet dreams count as self-care. That’s a question only you can answer for yourself, buddy!

 

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Connor’s reaction is perhaps the most outrageous. He’s like, “no more feeding the wild stallion.” FEEDING THE WILD STALLION. Okay, my libido just shriveled up and died. Can you imagine if that was your math teacher talking about the torment of not being able to “get jiggy” with himself on national television? I would have to transfer schools. 

The men spend the rest of the episode policing each other’s showers and jumping out from around corners yelling “gotcha!” if a guy spends more than 90 seconds unsupervised. What’s worse is that during the group date, the men feel obligated to give Katie a status update on their progress. 

THE MEN: I haven’t touched myself, I swear!!

ALSO THE MEN:

Look, you don’t get a gold star for keeping your hands to yourself for 24 hours! Do you even understand the meaning of self-restraint?

The drama comes to a head (again, I hate myself for these puns) when Blake sneaks into Katie’s hotel room at the end of the episode. He spent the group date telling Katie about his extensive masturbation habits (he uses his right hand on Saturdays, but his left hand on Sundays!), and Katie almost seemed enamored with this declaration. He’s like, “I’m just really built up.” Would you like a medal for your sacrifice, sir? You’ve been on this show for five days. Please. 

After his makeout session with Katie he says he’s ready for his “happy ending” and then the cameras promptly pan to sprinklers going off on the front lawn. So, yeah. That happened. Excuse me while I go bleach my eyeballs and pray that a  sinkhole opens up beneath my feet lest I be subjected to any more of this travesty. Mom? Can you pick me up? I hate it here. 

Hunter Gets Roasted

Aside from Katie’s gag order on masturbation, the other drama in the house this week revolves around Hunter daring to breathe air in the same space as the other contestants. Apparently the guys don’t like Hunter because he *checks notes* has watched this show before? Sorry, didn’t realize there was a kill order out there for any person with working eyes and ears. My bad!

As if sensing things might be amiss, Katie uses the group date to get to the bottom of things. She introduces them to drag queen royalty and then announces that they must participate in a roast. She and the queens will judge their ability to creatively fillet the characters of the other men in the room. 

So, let me get this straight. Katie wants to put a bunch of men, who haven’t orgasmed in days, into one room and then expects them to be able to string together sentences… humorously? Look, these guys have questionable communication skills on good days. Brendan doesn’t even look like he could type an email before his morning ritual of pre-workout and jerking one out to his reflection. It seems like she’s asking a lot of them… 

As I suspected, the roast is abominable. They’re not so much roasting each other as they are giving each other what my boss likes to call “compliment sandwiches.” So, it’s not “I hate you because you’re fat” it’s “you’re fat because I hate you.” See the difference?

Also, as someone who takes great pains in roasting these people every Monday, I’m disappointed. Where are the jokes! Michael looks like every word out of his mouth is about to be an apology. Meanwhile, Greg has the audacity to read a poem straight from his dream journal. I’ve attended middle school sleepovers that are more vicious than this roasting. 

GREG: To the guys in this house: you’re more beautiful than Cinderella, you smell like pine needles, and your face is like sunshine. 

ALSO GREG:

Christ. 

Hunter is the only one who gets consistent insults lobbed his way, but even those are subpar at best. Later, during drinks, the guys individually voice their complaints about Hunter to Katie. Aaron’s like, “I want to protect you” which would mean a lot more if the guy this was coming from didn’t have a whole-ass burn book devoted to the guys in this house. Despite the men’s reservations about Hunter, he manages to make it through the group date relatively unscathed. 

Katie Takes Out The Trash

This week was a doozy in terms of eliminations. We started out with 11 contestants, but by the end of the episode Katie had whittled her count down to six. Aside from the group date, there were two one-on-one dates this week: Justin and Connor. Justin managed to snag a rose after their date but if you’re looking for more details than that, I can’t help you. The only notes I wrote down about their date was “Justin is cute but he looks like a cartoon character” and “I would make a deal with a bridge troll to never have to sit through one of these fake wedding dates ever again.”

Like, why do they do this to the contestants? This feels like they’re asking for a witch’s curse to be placed on their love lives. You can’t just don a wedding gown and write fake wedding vows and not expect a supernatural being that looks suspiciously like an Olsen twin to curse your happiness until the end of your days! So, yeah. Justin gets a rose… but at what cost??

But while sparks flew during Justin’s date, the only thing flammable about Connor’s date was my cheeks listening to every cringeworthy thing he said. They go on a double date with Kaitlyn and her fiancé, Jason, where they engage in typical couple-y activities. I guess Katie wanted to see if under all of that cat makeup and troublesome ukulele playing, there was a guy who was less embarrassing to be seen in public with. It’s a fair concern. Honestly, the more screen time Connor gets, the more I feel like it’s probable he gets bullied by the kids at his school. He’s giving me serious Summer Heights High Mr. G vibes. 

The resemblance! is! uncanny!

And sure enough, after one kiss with Connor, Katie is reevaluating her feelings for him. She shows up to his hotel room crying and he’s like, “it’s okay, I know where this is going, just breathe.” I KNOW WHERE THIS IS GOING, JUST BREATHE. Ooof I felt that in the depths of my cold, dead heart. I know I give this guy a lot of sh*t but even for me this feels like an especially harsh dumping.

Katie even says kissing him is like kissing her cousin (I paraphrase). She’s like, “I know I can be honest with you, which is why I’m telling you that it’s not you, it’s your kissing.” Wowwwww. Like did she really have to go there? Couldn’t she have just left it at “there’s no spark”?? You know he’s about to go home and never a kiss another human being for the rest of his natural born life. 

But that’s not even the worst part of this dumping! The worst part is they make Connor walk of shame back to the men. Normally, a producer or ABC’s least favorite intern, will quietly pick up their suitcases so the men aren’t humiliated for a second time. Not so for Connor. They can’t even let him have the last shred of his dignity.

To be fair though, the  guys are acting more hysterical about saying goodbye to him than Katie was. Let’s hope these tears are over friendship and not because they guys are worried that with their teacher/SoulCycle instructor gone they wont have a physical outlet to get rid of their energy and are panicked about accidentally masturbating all over the place. I can picture it now: the entire resort just covered in seminal fluid as the manager of the Hyatt weeps quietly in the corner. 

And the carnage doesn’t end with Connor. No, it’s a blood bath this evening. During the rose ceremony, Katie lets go of four more guys. She takes the men’s advice and dismisses Hunter from the house… but also sends all his haters packing too. Tre, Aaron, and Box Guy all get sent home, which leaves Michael, The Virgin, Greg, Andrew, Justin, and Brendan (the Canadian firefighter with not one distinguishable quality to his name) to duke it out for Hometown spots next week. Until then!

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (4); @adrianfuntimes /Twitter (1); @bitchelorette_ /Instagram (1)

The Best ‘Bachelorette’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Back On Their BullSh*t

Welcome back, friends, to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! Last week, Katie kicked off her season with a bang–and, unlike ABC, I’m not going to giggle like an 11-year-old boy after making that pun. Big front-runners from that first night included Greg Grippo, a guy who single-handedly raised real estate prices for the entire state of New Jersey just by being a gem of a human during his TV debut; and a grown man who displays his sexual arousal by wearing cat ears and licking his paws. Can’t wait to see what sort of chaotic energy we’re in store for tonight!

Mike Makes It Into The Producer’s Burn Book

Every season there’s at least one person who makes it into the producer’s burn book. Last season it was Sarah, who was somehow convinced multiple times to commandeer Matt James’ attention by stealing other women’s alone time. Have you seen the end of The Lion King? Sarah’s time on the show ended much like Scar’s reign over Pride Rock: in a blaze of metaphorical fire with hyenas (Queen Victoria and her minions) eating her carcass alive on national television. 

^^Sarah, last season

This year, it appears their new target is Mike, the 31-year-old virgin from San Diego. Look, going after the virgin seems like low-hanging fruit to me but whatever you need to do for ratings, amiright ABC?

My suspicions are only reinforced during the first group date when the men are led to an undisclosed location where Katie tells them things are about to get “raw and real.” Those are the exact words my mother used to describe chafing to me after I hit puberty early and experienced a huge weight gain, but I’m sure the producers were going for more sexual undertones when they added that line to Katie’s script. Cut to the men entering a dark room with nothing but a discarded bra on the floor. While some of the men are already sporting chubbies at the thought of a clothing-optional date, poor Jesus Boy looks like he’s seconds away from calling his pastor for an emergency prayer session. 

It only gets worse from there. As you might have guessed, this date is all about sex! ABC has enlisted comedian Heather McDonald to help Katie host a competition to see which of these men will make the best lover. If that’s the end goal, then it’s troubling that I don’t see her vibrator in the crowd. 

The first half of the date consists of Heather quizzing the men on their basic understanding of female sexuality. Spoiler alert: they don’t have one. Boys, boys, boys. She’s not asking you to solve a wizard’s riddle, she’s asking you about a woman’s climax!

HEATHER: What’s the best tool needed for a female orgasm?
THE MEN:

Christ.

Though it might seem this date was intended for comedic relief (and possibly to help Katie weed out the men who understand female pleasure from the men who have just had sex with a woman), really this date was crafted with the sole intent of getting Jesus Boy to cry. When the quizzing veers into the guys’ own sexual history (How much do they masturbate? When was the last time they had sex?) and Mike answers entirely in question marks, I have never felt more secondhand embarrassment in my life. At one point I was hoping a portal would open up and take us both to a kinder world. At the very least, I was hoping he wouldn’t pee himself on stage, which felt like a very real possibility the longer that inquisition went on. 

Eventually the men are tasked with one final humiliation: prove to Katie ON STAGE how they’ll be the perfect lover. I worry that ABC did not set enough parameters for what these “acts” should consist of when Tre performed his erotic sock puppet show and Karl dragged a spoiled banana down the body of a cardboard cut-out of Katie. 

A talent show gone wrong #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/sESYPFWiuS

— ♡ (@tvgoldtweets) June 15, 2021

Eventually Mike makes it to the stage and I’m worried the only way production got him up there was by holding his bible hostage off-screen. While most of the men take this as an opportunity to use various props to describe their penis size, Mike decides to turn his virginity into spoken word poetry. It’s a bold move and one I didn’t expect from a man who could have just walked on stage, pointed to the gigantic cross around his neck, and been like, “you get it.” For his honesty, Katie rewards him with the Best Lover trophy. That seems a stretch to me. I’m not sure honesty equates to “has any idea where the clit is on your body” but I suppose it’s the thought that counts. 

Honestly, while I’m glad this guy survived productions’ attempt to send him walking into the nearest oncoming traffic, I don’t think he’ll last long here. Katie probably doesn’t care about his virgin status, but if a red lacy bra makes him break out into hives, he’s probably not her match. She’s looking for a partner who is comfortable with their sexuality, whatever that may be. Later in the evening, Mike reveals that he feels bad for his future wife because of “all of that pent-up energy” and Katie and I both can barely contain our shudders just thinking about the three minutes of vigorous dry humping that woman will experience on their honeymoon. 

And what do you know! Mike doesn’t even receive the group date rose. While Mike might have been “raw and real” with his words, Thomas was “raw and real” with his tongue on that couch and receives Katie’s coveted group date rose. Honestly, I have working eyes, so I get it, Katie. Carry on. 

Greg Is Still A Winner

Greg had another outstanding performance tonight. He managed to score both the first one-on-one date of the season and the first spot on every man’s hit list. Should he mysteriously go missing next week, our number one suspect should be any of the guys who snagged the number of the van-owning skin salesman from night one. I can read between the lines and right now I’m reading that bio as “has definitely disposed of a body through a Craigslist ad before.”

But back to Greg and Katie! I would just like to have it on record that every time I see these two together I seethe with jealousy. They are so freaking cute, I can’t stand it. Logically, I know it’s only been a few days since they first met, but somehow they seem to be operating on the same wavelength. Case in point: They both show up to their date wearing matching flannel outfits. This is something grandparents do in their old age so they don’t lose each other in crowds. I should be disgusted! But when these two do it, it’s just romantic and quirky. I hate them already.

still thinking about this #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/bPw67hYIQ8

— ♡ (@tvgoldtweets) June 15, 2021

More than that, they both have shared trauma that further cements their bond. Katie picked camping for their date activity because it’s something she used to do with her dad before he passed away. Later, Greg reveals that his dad passed away suddenly from cancer. They both seem genuinely shocked that they were willing to share this deeply personal information so early on in their relationship. Normally, this is where I would break out into a monologue about how ABC likes to pimp out people’s pain for viewership, but this is just such a touching moment that I can’t even chide ABC for orchestrating it about. Greg is going to go far in this game, just mark my words. 

All The Wrong Reasons

Most of tonight’s episode was dominated by a tried and true Bachelor/ette storyline: who’s here for the right reasons? Similar to the theme of the first group date, the second group date is all about getting Katie off—I just didn’t realize that getting Katie off involved man-on-man mud wrestling. While some of the men engage in actual feats of strength, others are just doing a glorified slap and tickle. It becomes evident mid-mud wrestle that this date is actually not about Katie at all, but is rather a half-baked date idea to remind us of the fight that wasn’t on night one between Cody and Aaron. It’s almost as if ABC won’t allow us to get through one episode without forcing unwanted drama upon the masses. 

Aaron reveals that he knows Cody from home and doesn’t think he’s here for the right reasons. I mean… the man did show up to the house with a blow-up doll so, like, are we surprised? But if Katie’s truly conflicted over this revelation then she should have utilized her hosts, Tayshia and Kaitlyn, the way god and the girl code intended. Why aren’t they out there canvasing Cody’s Venmo receipts for her? Creating finstas to see whose pictures he likes on IG? I’m sure they could find an incriminating DM in five seconds flat. Put the sisterhood to good use, Katie! 

In the end, Katie also remembers the blow-up doll incident (I’m sure it was seared into her brain as it was in mine) and sends Cody home almost immediately. Though Katie comes off calm and collected when she gives Cody the boot, she still seems pretty rattled from the whole experience. Look, Katie, this is not the crowd you want smelling your fear. There’s nothing more terrifying than a large group of straight men who sense your deepest insecurity. Have you seen Jaws? Well, Katie, there’s blood in the water now. Swim, bitch, swim! 

Karl is the first shark to capitalize off her fragile mindset when he takes it upon himself to start sh*t at the rose ceremony. If you’ll recall, Karl is the motivational speaker who so eloquently said in the first group date that being the perfect lover means “17 hours of f*ck action.” So, you could say his energy is just a constant state of mercury being in retrograde.

Karl is a very good motivational speaker. He’s motivating me to mute the tvs when he speaks #TheBachelorette #bachelorette pic.twitter.com/2JY2Oo4jr9

— Lily Pink (@lilypink156) June 15, 2021

He spins a tale for Katie of a mysterious “not here for the right reasons” boogeyman. Does he have a concrete example he can elaborate on? Absolutely not. Will he reveal his source? Only if he loses control over one of his other personalities. He might as well have a flashlight held up underneath his face for all the dramatic effect he’s going for. Buddy, this isn’t Are You Afraid of the Dark? Save your ghost stories for the campfire. 

And while we know this is bullsh*t, Katie starts to spiral. She gives an impassioned speech to the men telling them to GTFO of the house if they aren’t there to be her husband. 

KATIE: I just learned that there are still people here who aren’t here for the right f*cking reason.
KARL RN:

Karl tries to save his ass by asking that the “person” who isn’t there for the right reasons come forward. As if this “person” will just appear out of thin air simply because he manifests a villain to save his time on the show. That’s not how manifestation works! You need at least three Pratt Daddy crystals while you chant the lyrics to a Taylor Swift song. Duh. 

While Katie and the men fan out to find the Not Here For The Right Reasons Bandit, might I suggest they take a closer look at Katie’s stylist? Because I’m less worried that one of these men will pull a fast one on her and more worried that she’s being sabotaged by her stylist. Her look for the cowboy themed group date was… a choice. Look, I know Stagecoach has become, like, an entire personality trait at this point, but did they have to model her outfit off of an Olsen twin’s How The West Was Fun costume? And dear god, don’t even get me started on that rose ceremony getup. Katie is a gorgeous girl and they have her dressed like a Slytherin at her first Yule Ball. Is that metallic… green?? Katie, you’re too pretty for what they’re doing to you!

KATIE’S STYLIST:

 

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ME ALONE IN MY LIVING ROOM:

And that’s all she wrote for this episode, kids! The rose ceremony ends before we’re allowed any real resolution. The only people for sure moving are rose winners from this week’s dates: Greg, Andrew S., and Thomas. Until then, friends!

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (3); Quora (1); @spencerpratt /Instagram (1); @lilypink156 /Twitter (1); @tvgoldtweets /Twitter (2); @the_style_spotter /Instagram (1)

The Best ‘Bachelorette’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Blink Twice If You Need Help, Brendan

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!
Brendan: 

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!

Ivan’s Date

Tayshia 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:

Brendan:

 

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.

Zac’s Date

Tayshia and Zac

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’s Date

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.

Brendan:

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:

Michael Scott No

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!

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The Best ‘Bachelorette’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Quarantowns Week

Welcome back to night two of The Bachelorette! Well, it’s not so much a “welcome back” as it is an intense feeling of being held in a hostage situation by ABC producers and their sick talent for manipulating plot lines out of literally nothing. But at least Hometown dates are finally here! That means the end is in sight. Praise be. 

This is usually one of my favorite episodes of every season, because by meeting their families the psychopaths who raised them it allows me to really get to know the guys on a more intimate level. On Monday night Tayshia narrowed her hunt for a husband down to the final four: Ivan, Ben, Brendan, and Zac. Normally, if we were living in a world that didn’t double as some nightmarish hellscape, this would mean that Tayshia would be traveling to each of their respective hometowns to get an up close and personal look at the origin of each of their deep-seated emotional issues, or at least the start of their steroid addictions. But in quarantine times obviously that format has to change. So, I have a lot of questions. 

For one, are they going to travel to said hometowns in full-on hazmat suits? Or is ABC truly expecting all of their families to quarantine before filming this? Like, they are fully expecting parents in their 60s to just hop on a plane and risk their safety during a public health crisis… for this? I already learned back in March that my mother wouldn’t even share her Costco bulk orders of toilet paper with me, let alone fly across the country and potentially expose herself to droplets and small talk with any of these idiots. That said, I suppose they must quarantine because it would be terrible press if The Bachelorette was a super-spreader event. Super-spreading of venereal diseases is always cool with them, but not COVID, that’s for sure. 

And indeed they are quarantining! Within the first few minutes of the show Chris Harrison tells us that there will be no traveling to hometowns. Instead, ABC is bringing the hometowns to the La Quinta Inn. I for one cannot wait to see how these guys decide to cobble together their own hometown dates with whatever spare objects they packed and loose trash they can find around the hotel’s premises. This should be interesting.

 

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Brendan’s Hometown

Brendan has the first hometown date of the week and I’m truly interested in seeing more of Brendan’s connection with Tayshia. I felt like they had a moment at the beginning and then we never saw him onscreen with her again. Case in point: I didn’t even know how to properly spell his name until this episode. That’s a problem. 

As it turns out, Brendan was unable to secure any adult members of his family for the hometown date. Instead, they pulled up curbside and deposited their district’s tribute—in this case a small child named Aliyah. “Aliyah” is supposedly Brendan’s niece but until I see A) a birth certificate or B) a legal guardian or parent, I will remain suspicious that this is even a member of Brendan’s family at all and is not actually just a random kid ABC found walking around the hotel’s property line and paid $20 to be on this date. 

Brendan sets up a carnival date for himself, Tayshia, and “Aliyah,” which is cute but represents his home state of Massachusetts… not at all. I guess Brendan was thinking if they could handle a totally unsupervised day (minus the film crew, ABC producers, and probably a CPS caseworker) of watching “Aliyah”, then the two of them are ready to get married and start a family. I’m not 100% sure I agree with that logic, but I will say Tayshia handled “Aliyah’s” withering stares like a f*cking champ. 

Despite all of this, I don’t see any chemistry between the two of them. I think at one point one of them says something like “listening to music is something I can see us doing outside this” and it’s like, I SHOULD HOPE SO. Were they planning on sitting in silence the rest of their lives? Is that what they imagined marriage to be? I’m seriously questioning how they’d describe their ideal person. Apparently it’s something like “likes music as a concept and does not immediately spit in a small child’s face.” The foundation of all great love stories, people!

Eventually we learn that “Aliyah” does have parents and in fact those parents are related to Brendan. What a relief. I know this to be true because Brendan’s brother looks exactly like him. Except his brother looks like he drank all of the whole milk growing up. 

Brendan’s brother seems to think Brendan is mature enough for marriage and approves of Tayshia. It’s weird that he phrased it like that because Brendan is 30 f*cking years old and has definitely been married before. Whatever. I’m sure Brendan’s brother really meant that and isn’t just saying that as a precautionary CPS measure, since he did leave his child with these two all day. 

Zac’s Hometown

Zac’s hometown is up next, and again there seems to be a bit of a stretch when defining one’s “hometown.” He says he’s going to bring New York City to La Quinta, and he says that with all of the confidence of someone who most definitely spent his formative years in suburban New Jersey. This feeling is reinforced when Zac hails a cab like he’s an extra on the set of Mad Men instead of calling an Uber like a normal person.

He takes Tayshia to a “true New York” bagel stand that has more fresh fruit than a Dole farm, and not one single browning banana or apple covered in a fine layer of dust like the New York bagel stands I’m accustomed to. Then there’s the New York-style pizza he offers her, which was most definitely cooked in California, if not the CiCi’s down the street. Quick question, Zac: have you ever actually been to the city before? Because I’m not convinced, buddy!

ZAC ON THIS DATE RN:

It’s clear Zac knows absolutely nothing about New York culture when the final stop on his city tour is to hop into the hotel’s fountain and dry hump Tayshia to completion. If this was a true NYC date there would be a homeless person mumbling vague threats under their breath right next to them, and they would be moments away from getting a citation from a disgruntled police officer.

Eventually, Tayshia gets to meet Zac’s actual family, and it’s fun watching her explain this date to his parents who are also supposedly from the New York area. “How did he show you New York?” “Well, we walked around in a cardboard box and made out in a fountain.” Actually, you know, that might be a more accurate New York experience when described that way.

 

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Even though Zac’s brother is just as skeptical of this relationship a as I am of Zac ever having spent an actual day in NYC, the rest of his family seems to be on board with Tayshia. His mother especially looked grateful that she might actually get some grandkids out of this, or at the very least spend an afternoon in the same general vicinity as Chris Harrison. 

Ivan’s Hometown

Let’s all just take a moment to feel grateful that we finally get to have some uninterrupted Ivan time on our screens this week. Truly, watching his adorable, normal face on my screen is putting years back on my life. *takes deep peaceful sigh* Okay, moving on. 

Their date is very cute and down to earth. They cook a meal picked out by his little niece, whose cuteness is no doubt being closely monitored by Aliyah. If she rushes their date with a piñata and some sassy one-liners we’ll know she’s feeling upstaged. Honestly, the whole thing feels very normal. At one point Tayshia even says that this date feels like something that they’d do in the real world, and it does. I actually feel like I’m watching a real, fully-formed romantic relationship on my screen, and not just some gimmicky sideshow that makes me feel better about my personal life but worse about the human condition.

Ivan lets it slip that Tayshia is only the second girl he’s ever brought home to meet his family. This is good intel to have so that after I slide into his DMs and charm him with my nudes sparkling personality I won’t be surprised to learn that I’m the third girl he’s bringing home to mom. 

I have a very real connection with this face oh my goddddd.

As far as meeting the family goes, Tayshia shows up in the exact same dress as his mother and Ivan’s dad brings up Tayshia’s divorce. So, like, it could have gone better. The real heartwarming moment from this date is when ABC brings out Ivan’s brother who’d recently been incarcerated. It’s unclear whether ABC commandeered his freedom specifically for ratings this purpose or if he’d been released prior to this episode, but either way it’s a moment. It even made me tear up a bit. Honest! My dog looked so alarmed she started barking and knocked over my wine, and I wasn’t even mad. 

Ben’s Hometown

Though Ben is from Indiana, he decides to make his hometown where he feels at home most: Venice Beach. Okay, that’s not how this works, Ben. I feel most at home on a rooftop in Miami drinking rosé by the bottle dancing my face off in a crop top, but that doesn’t mean I can claim it as my hometown! 

 

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You’re right, Ben. This feels just like Indiana!

Honestly, what’s more shocking is that Ben’s idea of an authentic good time is something straight out of any romantic comedy montage reel. Like, I would not be surprised if he presented ABC producers with the storyboard from Billboard Dad and was like “no, this is how I grew up, honest!!” They go rollerblading, take wellness shots at a juice bar (shudders), stumble upon their couple caricature, and spend the day at the “beach.” By “beach” I mean another pool date that’s masquerading as something exciting. Is anyone surprised? 

Ben doesn’t have a great turnout with his family for this date, but he does bring his sister and a famous-adjacent friend who just seem excited to get sh*t faced on The Bachelorette. Relatable. 

They both seem over the moon that a human woman is willing to put up with Ben’s sh*t, and that feels like a giant red flag to me. Perhaps what’s most disheartening is that despite all of the chemistry Ben and Tayshia definitely have, Ben’s friends have to coax an “I love you” out of him like I have to coax my blackout friend to drink water after 1am. It doesn’t go great. In the end, he isn’t able to admit his feelings for Tayshia. He resolves to be honest with her after he makes it through the next rose ceremony, and he says this with all of the confidence of an emotionally unavailable f*ckboy who girls have picked time and again at the loss of their own sanity. 

 

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Sure enough, Ben’s downfall is that he never said “I l love you.” Tayshia sends him home at the rose ceremony and, honestly, she doesn’t even seem sad about it. At one point Ben says “Don’t worry about me, I’m always alright”, which is definitely something I’ve said before eating three gallons of ice cream and sending a “do u ever miss us?” text to my ex. I do actually feel really bad for Ben. Even though he is absolutely stone faced during this conversation, I think that’s a defense mechanism more than anything else. That’s something I do when I’m upset or, like, read through any of the comments section of these recaps.  

And on that note, fantasy suite dates and the finale (??) are next week! I’d say it’s a holiday miracle but I know no one would every willingly ask to spend their holiday season with the vultures at ABC. Until next week!

If you’re someone who gets emotionally invested in the journey of The Bachelorette, you may also be sensitive to all the #hairbreak moments happening this season. We get it, it’s stressful watching the lead get more split ends each week. But it’s not as painful as your own hair suffering from heat damage, stress, and other causes of #hairbreak. Pantene’s Daily Moisture Renewal, Repair & Protect, and Sheer Volume Collections will bring softness, hydration, body, strength, and overall health to your hair. So even though you can’t keep Tayshia from giving the Final Rose to the wrong guy, you can stop #hairbreak. Click here to get the Pantene core collection and prevent up to 90% of future damage.

Images: ABC/Craig SjodinGiphy (2); ABC (3); @thesnatchelor, @thebetchelor, @bacheloretteabc, @bachelor.jpg (1)

The Best ‘Bachelorette’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: It’s A Bloodbath

Welcome back to another riveting night of The Bachelorette! Obviously, I’m using the term “riveting” loosely here, as the only riveting things I’ve seen this season are the hoops ABC has made Chris Harrison jump through to secure his holiday bonus. Speaking of which, after two very lackluster episodes with JoJo playing host where she was the epitome of “sit here and look pretty” (come on, we all know it’s true!), Chris Harrison is back on set. He’s looking remarkably fresh-faced for a man who spent three days making trips back and forth to Target for random dorm things his son didn’t think he would need in college, like more than a single towel or one of those space-saving bins that rolls under your bed, and then another 14 days in ABC’s basement bunker as a “quarantine precaution.” Chris, you’re really doing amazing, sweetie!

This week is a big one for Tayshia because she’s somehow got to narrow down her crop of men from a number the CDC feels very uncomfortable about hanging out together indoors to four for Hometowns. And by “Hometowns”, I mean the clip art collage of popular things in said hometown that will make up the background of the patchy Zoom call with these dudes’ parents. 

CHRIS HARRISON TALKING ABOUT HUMAN MEN ON THIS SHOW: Wow, Tayshia, you’ve really cleaned house.
ALL THE MEN STILL LEFT ON TAYSHIA’S SEASON: 

Seriously, I’ve seen less men at a 2019 Houston Hall happy hour. This is about to be a bloodbath. *turns up the volume on the carnage*

Before I jump into the rest of this recap I wanted to give a bit of a disclaimer: hold onto your hats boys and girls, because I’m shaking things up. Normally, I like to keep a meticulous record of each episode and transcribe every minute detail for your personal enjoyment (and so that my therapist can have a better understanding of where my trust issues lie). This week I’m not going to do that. Last night’s episode felt super weird and rushed through, so I’m going to give you a highlights reel. I figure if ABC has the audacity to air this season through the entire fall/winter holiday season, thereby forcing me to humiliate myself in front of my immediate family as I quietly make my case for why I should have ownership of the remote and try to convince my mother that The Bachelorette is somehow better TV than rerun episodes of Jeopardy, then I’m allowed a little leeway with the format of my recaps. Onward!

Things I Wish I Could Unsee: Blake’s Boner Date

Blake’s date is perhaps the most shocking of the season because they are allowed to somehow leave the hotel’s premise for a date that is straight out of one of Spencer Pratt’s wet dreams. For this date, Tayshia and Blake are sent to the desert where a spiritual guide, who was most definitely not an actress, and super definitely not the actress who played the ghost in the haunted house episode, waved some crystals at them in an attempt to open their chakras. 

Clearly this date was ABC giving Tayshia an easy out to dump Blake. Let’s be real: Blake has big group date energy but he was never going to make it to the end of the show, when the settings get more serious and intimate. Case in point: he gets a massive boner when an elderly lady tells him to concentrate on her crystal. 

I think Tayshia was open to seeing if there was anything more to her connection with Blake, as she did come dressed for this date wearing approximately seven crystal rings on her fingers, one for every chakra. Alas, she looked deeply into his eyes and realized that he’s the kind of guy who is going to draw little cartoon dicks on every receipt, napkin, and loose piece of trash he can find. Look on the bright side, Tayshia! At least you know about his phallic obsession now before his mom let you peruse his middle school notebooks and you realized you were dating the self-proclaimed Picasso of dicks.

BLAKE AS A CHILD, I’M SURE: 

Tayshia Is The New Human Fountain Formerly Known As Ashley I.

Going into this episode, I was pumped to see Tayshia slash and burn through her remaining men. The Romans had their gladiatorial games, I have my Bachelorette rose ceremonies. We all get our kicks somewhere. So, you can imagine my disappointment when instead I was treated to two hours of watching Tayshia’s emotional breakdowns, the likes of which have not been seen since Ashley I. cried over the Arby’s Manager she now calls her husband. 

After sending Blake home, Tayshia realizes that she also needs to send Riley home. She does the compliment sandwich thing that I do when I’m trying to tell the 21-year-old intern that, while she did massively f*ck up the client’s copy, she also looks super cute today, girl! This goes over with Riley about how you’d expect. He seems upset and disappointed and honestly so am I. It seems like he should have gone further.

After sending him home, Tayshia wails “I’m sorry!!” at the fading headlights of the cab. It’s just melodramatic enough that I know she’ll be using this clip to show her “range” to future brands she wants to work with on IG.  I mean, it’s unclear what she’s sorry for exactly: wasting Riley’s time or forcing him out of the house in his slippers and jammies. I guess ABC will be FedExing him his luggage??

 

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Tayshia’s reign of terror doesn’t end there. At the next rose ceremony she sends home both Bennett and Noah. This means Zac, Ben, Brendan, and Ivan will all be sharing their Hometowns with Tayshia via a Google Earth search. 

The Men Tell Nothing And Yosef Is Still A Jerk

It’s interesting watching Chris Harrison host the Men Tell All in an empty hotel lobby. Half of what makes the Men Tell All so compelling is watching the men be skewered on stage by the withering stares of a studio audience full of wronged women. I suppose we’ll just have to hope the guys can feel our derisive stares through the television screen. Carry on.

The best one-liner of the evening comes from Noah, who screams at Kenny for apparently no reason at all: YOU ARE A ONE DIRECTION PARTY BOY MANAGER WEARING CAMO. Full disclosure: when he said that I screamed and threw my panties at the screen. Well, at least metaphorically. That’s the stuff that legends are made of. 

 

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Nothing else really happens during the Tell All—even the bloopers are boring as hell! The producers must have foreseen how much of a snooze fest this after show would be without a crowd full of bloodthirsty women hyped up on house chardonnay and the prospect of booing a room full of fancily dressed men. It’s the only reason for why they’d bring Yosef out when they’ve been trying so desperately to brush Clare’s season under the rug. 

Chris offers Yosef a chance to apologize for his behavior and he takes the rope ABC lends him to metaphorically hang himself. He wants us all to know that he’s not sorry for his actions, he’s just trying to set an example for his daughter. How else is she ever going to know how sh*tty men are if she doesn’t watch her daddy verbally abuse a woman on national television?? He said what he said, okay!! Meanwhile, the other men double down on their stance that they were willing to humiliate themselves on national television for love. In fact, that was a part of the contract they all signed. Yosef, what did you sign exactly? Honestly, the real winner of this fight was Riley and his eye rolls. 

And that’s all she wrote! Let’s hope Hometowns are more entertaining than whatever the hell I just watched on my television screen. Until then!

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Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; ABC (2); @thebetchelor, @bacheloretteabc /Instagram (2); Giphy (2)

The Best ‘Bachelorette’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Don’t Listen To The Bargain Bin Lie Detector Test

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?
BENNETT: Um

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
BEN: 

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!

If you’re someone who gets emotionally invested in the journey of The Bachelorette, you may also be sensitive to all the #hairbreak moments happening this season. We get it, it’s stressful watching the lead get more split ends each week. But it’s not as painful as your own hair suffering from heat damage, stress, and other causes of #hairbreak. Pantene’s Daily Moisture, Repair & Protect, and Sheer Volume Collections will bring softness, hydration, body, strength, and overall health to your hair. So even though you can’t keep Tayshia from giving the Final Rose to the wrong guy, you can stop #hairbreak. Click here to get the Pantene core collection and prevent up to 90% of future damage.

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The Best ‘Bachelorette’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Why Is It Always Nudity With These People?

Welcome back, friends, to another riveting week of watching Instagram’s thirstiest talent gallivant around a La Quinta Inn & Suites! Serious question, guys: is this season ever going to end? We’re now eight weeks into this hellscape built from Mike Fleiss’s dark quarantine imagination, and Tayshia still has a small football field full of guys left. I worry that Chris Harrison’s son will have graduated from college before this godforsaken season ends. *Heavy, dramatic sigh* I suppose that’s why there’s boxed wine. 

This week, Tayshia seems a little down, which is understandable, because at the end of all this she’s supposed to choose one of these losers as a life companion. Lol. Good luck, girl! ABC decides to put some pep in Tayshia’s step by setting up the world’s saddest brunch and a visit from former Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher. Woooow, pulling out the big guns here. I guess they can’t afford to have one more Bachelorette quit on them this season. 

I love that ABC is trying to pass off JoJo as a success story. Sure, she met a man through this show, but that man was also Jordan Rodgers and she’s been engaged to him for longer than some of Gen-Z has been alive. So, should we really be taking her advice on love?

We learn that JoJo is not just here to sip on off-brand OJ and the Eggo waffles production stole from the hotel breakfast bar—she’ll be playing Bachelorette host while Chris Harrison is moving his kid into college. This explains so much about Chris’s sudden work ethic on this show. Mainly that he has one at all these days. He needs to earn that Christmas bonus if he wants to pay for college and keep his kid on the the “rowing team.” 

JOJO WALKING ONTO SET LIKE: 

Zac’s One-On-One Date

Zac gets the first one-on-one date of the week, and I wish I could be excited for this. It’s not that I don’t like Zac per se, but he’s just so… delicate looking. It’s off-putting for me. During their date, Tayshia and Zac must participate in a wedding photoshoot, which is fun because I only have to scroll through 1,000 of these on my IG feed daily. I can barely muster up some semblance of human emotion when it’s my closest friends posting their third #tbt of the week of them nuzzling noses with their husbands. Must the insanity continue on my television screen??   

Okay, this just feels cruel. Tayshia just said she’s having PTSD flashbacks from her first marriage, and ABC does this to her! What’s next? Are they going to make them sit through a faux divorce hearing for funsies?

Zac says that Tayshia is “acting weird.” Oh really? What threw you off, Zac? That she looks like she’d like rather chew off her own arm than be in this room right now? Your observational skills are astounding, buddy.

Okay, who is the creative director behind these outfits? Because they should be burned at the stake. If this is some sort of comeback for my arch nemesis and Bachelorette stylist Cary Fetmen, then I should go ahead and just blind myself now. 

 

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TAYSHIA: You were married for less than two years? I was married for less than two years!
ZAC: I love that we can share things like that!

Yes, because nothing says budding romantic future like “I know how to get the dog and the house in a divorce.” Also, there are A LOT of divorcees in this group. I know ABC was looking for older, “more mature” men this season, but I didn’t realize that every single guy over 30 is also divorced. The future is bleak, ladies. 

Later on in the date, Zac dives into some deep sh*t. He talks about how he had a brain tumor and how that experience messed him up, which led him to substance abuse, getting arrested, and eventually breaking up his first marriage. Once again, ABC is presenting us with fully formed people and their real-life struggles, not manufactured sob stories that are mostly aired to drum up ratings. I mean this is very dark, and ABC could have easily cut this stuff out or whittled it down to just the juiciest sound bites, but instead gave us the full thing. Again, is this progress?

Also, while I’m glad Zac feels brave enough to tell his story on national television, Tayshia did ask him why he was single earlier in the season and I think he gave some variation of a shrug, when actually THIS is why he’s still single. The man has seen some sh*t. 

After a night full of soul baring, the two go on a romantic ferris wheel ride, a ride that I’m sure wasn’t at all cobbled together by Chris Harrison before taking his leave earlier that day. Their date ends with Zac getting the date rose and (probably) Tayshia giving him an over-the-pants handie for his efforts.

The Group Date

The boys walk into the next group date and the first thing they see is an aging couple embracing in the nude. So… the group date is porn? Because that feels like the natural trajectory of this season.

We learn that the boys are going to be participating in a nude art class, which should be interesting because I’m pretty sure half these guys still openly giggle when they hear the word “penis.” *cough* Blake *cough, cough* 

THE GUYS RN DRAWING THEIR FAMILY TRAUMAS: 

Christ. 

Next up on the art class agenda: the men have to create something out of clay that represents “their time with Tayshia.” Oh, and they have to do it blindfolded. Considering the only creative bone in these guys’ bodies is the linguistic gymnastics they perform when they get caught by a girlfriend for liking a Fashion Nova model’s bikini pic on Instagram and need to avoid her wrath, this clay business should be fun.

I see that I’m proven right. Blake just sculpts a massive dick. Bennett uses his clay creation as a thinly veiled excuse to talk about his extravagant number of houses. Speaking of which, did y’all just hear that? I think at the mention of “Hamptons” you could almost hear the sound of his DMs exploding. 

Finally, the men are to create a self portrait. Ah, I see they’re going to use the term “self portrait” here loosely. One guy just holds up an empty picture frame, Blake paints a turtledove, and Ivan crafts a makeshift puzzle. Meanwhile, Ben’s face every time one of them bares their soul is absolutely priceless. Ben definitely just drew a stick figure and that’s it.

He’s watching these guys pull out these high-concept art pieces (seemingly out of their asses!!) based on their various childhood traumas, and I have a feeling that the worst thing that’s ever happened to Ben was that one time he got turned away from Raya. I wonder how he’ll translate “not famous-adjacent enough” into picture form?

Oh my god. What is he doing. OH MY GOD. WHAT IS HE DOING!!! Ben decides to take the self portrait thing literally by presenting himself! In the nude!!!! MY GOD, SHE SAID EXPRESS YOUR EMOTIONS, NOT TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF. 

BEN: This is only a small part of me.

Is that his trauma? That he has average dick?!

Ben-naked-screenshot

Even though Tayshia looks like she’d rather spend an evening in a padded cell than listen to one more second of this soul baring, there’s still more to this date! We learn that Ben’s getting naked was about more than just swinging his dick around. It’s a symbolic gesture of body positivity since he’s struggled with bulimia. I’m glad he’s sharing his story since male eating disorders are hardly ever publicized, I’m just not used to The Bachelorette being so, like, real. 

Eazy’s One-On-One Date

Eazy gets the second one-on-one date of the week, and I’m interested to see more of him. All I know is that he’s beautiful and an alleged predator and that ABC has declined to comment about it. For the date, the two of them are going ghost hunting for everything but apparently the ghosts in Eazy’s past. So, let me get this straight. In addition to being a Fear Factor set, an underground cage fighting ring, and the birth place of the esteemed Grown-Ass Man awards, La Quinta is also the grounds for supernatural energy? Wow, the branding here is all over the place. 

We learn that somewhere on hotel property, a lunatic billionaire died of mysterious circumstances. I’m pretty sure the only historic character this hotel actually has is those two aging nudists on their vacation, but sure, tell me more about this supposed ghost story. 

They go explore all of the “haunted” attractions, and I simply cannot take this date seriously. I think at one point Tayshia turns off a light and an ABC intern throws a doll on a chair. Oooh, scary. Tayshia, of course, lets out a horrific scream and it’s like, please. I’ve seen scarier sh*t in my DMs. What’s next? Juan Pablo popping out in a bedsheet as a ghost of Bachelors past?

The ghost storyline proves to be the least shocking part of this entire date, because Tayshia actually sends Eazy home after dinner. To be fair, Eazy did come out of left f*cking field with that love talk. He says that he’s falling for Tayshia and that sometimes you can just feel these things in your bones. At the use of the “L” word, Tayshia sends Eazy home on the spot. So, somehow Ed is still on this show but Eazy is gone? Make it make sense. 

The La Quinta ghosts watching Tayshia’s choice to send Eazy home #TheBachelorette pic.twitter.com/kAv69SiHxp

— Niki Bell (@nicoletteholly) December 2, 2020

The Two-On-One Date

Noah and Bennett are sent on the dreaded two-on-one date before tonight’s rose ceremony. It’s interesting that these two are the guys going head-to-head. On the one hand we have Bennett, who has multiple estates in tropical locales. On the other hand, we have Noah, a man who will at one point tonight try and give someone a wet willy. I can see how this choice could be debilitating for Tayshia. 

While waiting for Tayshia, you know, the whole reason these two are even allowed to breathe on our television screens, they exchange barbs that are surely making Harvard reevaluate its admission process. Bennett, being the egotistical dick that he is, decides to gift Noah with a little going away present:

 

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God, I can’t wait for Taysha to find out what’s in that box. Until next week, kids!

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The Best ‘Bachelorette’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Let’s Get Ready To Rumble

Hello and welcome back to your regularly scheduled Bachelorette recap! Last week Tayshia took over as Bachelorette, and so far her reign has had a lot of highs and lows for me. The highs being a grown man whispering, straight-faced at the camera, “I’m hanging on by a piece of floss” and the lows being ABC trying to pass off basic activities any person can do on a hotel’s property as romantic, once-in-a-lifetime dates. But, you know, I ran out of high hopes for Tayshia the minute she described John Paul Jones as “serious” and “emotionally mature.” 

The Grown-Ass Man Group Date

Moving on! This week there is absolutely no preliminary bullsh*t as we dive headfirst into the first group date. I, for one, cannot wait to see how far the producers have strained their creative muscles to contort one menial hotel guest activity into some sort of extravagant date. Perhaps a romantic one-on-one during the hotel’s continental breakfast hour? A fun-filled group date of walking to the ice machine? The world 190,000 sq. feet of property is truly their oyster. 

For this group date the men are going to compete in a Grown-Ass Man competition, because apparently that is the only way to tell if a grown man has actually reached maturity. Ladies, take note. The competition will contain three components: brains, brawn, and chivalry, and will be judged by human tear duct Ashley I and her former Arby’s manager husband, Jared. Yeah, that feels legit. While we’re at it, why not bring the men’s mothers over to judge which one of their special snowflakes is the specialest out of all the snowflakes?

Well you certainly won’t find one here, Tayshia!

Now, that we’ve established the rules of the game, let’s take a moment to fully process where such an esteemed competition is taking place: the basement of this resort. That’s right, in order for Tayshia to find herself the elusive and very rare “grown-ass man”, she needs to be sequestered in a bunker listening to a bunch of dudes try and answer 2nd grade math questions. *looks skyward* You’re right, God, we did deserve 2020. 

Okay, Bennett went to Harvard like Olivia Jade went to USC. Why doesn’t he know basic math and spelling??

The brains portion of the competition will absolutely haunt my nightmares. I know there are a lot of former pro athletes this season but MY GOD how did this many children get left behind in their education? The brawn portion is not much better. Each guy is paired with another guy to face off in some weird feats of strength thing that involves dragging the weaker man’s body over a finish line where… flowers are waiting? Yeah, that doesn’t scream toxic masculinity AT ALL. 

Finally, we arrive at the chivalry portion, where the men are instructed to wine and dine Tayshia with breakfast in bed. I have a feeling most of these guys consider “breakfast in bed” to be providing a woman with water and Advil before sending her off in an Uber, so this should be interesting.  

CHASEN: I am the main course.
ALSO CHASEN: 

I’m glad my bar was set exactly where it was supposed to be!

Ed wins the Man Child award and is forced to carry around a fake baby for the remainder of the date. Tayshia says she’s proud of him for being such a “good sport” and I’m glad that this is where the bar is at in 2020 for men: hoping he won’t cause a scene after losing at something trivial and meaningless. Got it. 

Meanwhile, Bennett, who butchered more of the English language than any of my 7th grade MySpace posts ever did, somehow wins the Grown-Ass Man award. I guess Ashley I confused “intimacy” with willing to breathe the same air as a woman? Well, she did marry Jared, a man who tried and failed to date literally anyone else in Bachelor Nation before marrying her, so that tracks. 

As we move into the cocktail hour the word “grown-ass man” has been thrown around no less than 25 times in the last five minutes. If this were a drinking game I would be in a hospital somewhere getting my stomach pumped.

Mr. Man Child and Mr. Grown-Ass Man are showing real growth and maturity this evening as they sit in a corner and pettily talk sh*t about everyone else on the date. I just think it’s rich that Ed and Bennett are going to talk smack about Chasen not knowing very many adjectives when the below spelling atrocity happened mere hours before:

Tayshia seems to be having a good conversation with Ben. She says that she’s looking for someone to build an empire with her, and I’m worried she doesn’t know the meaning of “empire.” Selling his and hers FabFitFun boxes is not an empire, Tayshia!!

Tensions are HIGH between Ed, Bennett, and Chasen. It’s unclear how the beef started exactly, but Ed wants to bring up his “concerns” with Tayshia. His biggest issue with Chasen? That he’s here for the Instagram followers. Oh my god, SO IS TAYSHIA! She needs that kind of ambition for her empire!! 

CHASEN: I don’t like that you’re getting in the way of my relationship with Tayshia.
ED: Why don’t you and your medium sized shirt sit down. 

WHY DON’T YOU AND YOUR MEDIUM SIZED SHIRT SIT DOWN. I just spit out my wine all over my poor, unassuming dog. I’m dead. 

As Chasen and Ed continue to exchange barbs that would embarrass even a kindergartener, the rest of the men watch from afar with the smuggest of expressions on their faces. Too smug, in my opinion. I hate to break it to you, kids, but you’re not better than those losers. You’re all losers! Ivan, I suppose, is the least loser-y of them all because he wins himself the group date rose. Amazing. 

The Rose Ceremony

Because this is 2020 and nothing makes sense, ABC has decided to immediately transition into a rose ceremony. I would say I have emotional whiplash but that would suggest that 2020 has left me anything else to care about. 

Ed and Chasen’s beef continues into the rose ceremony. Chasen says that, yeah, he did use the word smoke show to describe both Clare and Tayshia, but how else is he supposed to compliment a lady? Take the time to learn about her life and personality in ways that feel genuine and meaningful? Don’t be crazy!! Also, I love how Chasen announced his adjective to them all like he was proud of himself for coming up with one at all. Oh, sweetie. It was a good try!

Okay, Ed needs to stop bringing up his Chasen drama with Tayshia. Doesn’t Carlos’s dad know that the lead never keeps the guy that rats on the other guys? Ed says that Chasen “got physical” with him and that feels like an extreme exaggeration of what actually happened, but fine. And you know what? Chasen actually attempts to apologize! I mean, I’m sure this apology comes from the most sincere places in his heart and has absolutely nothing to do with the sponcon deals he’s worried he’ll lose if he’s branded the villain this season… right?

In typical Man Child fashion, Ed will not accept Chasen’s apology and proceeds to make a scene. Now, I ask you, what kind of example is that to set for Carlos, Eddie? Hmm?

As the fight escalates, Zach C lets us all know that he couldn’t give a flying f*ck about this drama. I believe his exact words were something like: “I couldn’t care less, let’s just party” and then he pulled out some molly. I paraphrase. 

The rest of the rose ceremony goes on uneventfully. In the end Montel, Peter, and Jay get sent home, which tracks because before I wrote those names down I had never heard them before in my life. I’m sure you were great though, boys!

The Wrestling Group Date

Ah, yes, another group date that will take place in the hotel basement. It looks like ABC is really going to embrace the whole “finding love in a hopeless place” thing. For the second group date of the week, the men will be participating in a live wrestling match. I say “live” as if the audience will consist of more than just the hotel cleaning staff and whatever guys production was able to scrounge up who weren’t too sloshed off their hotel mini bars. 

Chris Harrison asks Tayshia if she thinks the men are any good at wrestling, and she answers with the most half-hearted “yeah” that has ever been uttered in history of yeahs. It’s less like a “yeah, we’re going to see some real examples of athletic prowess” and more like a “yeah, does this hotel have a first aid kit?”  

 

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Christ.

I can’t believe they’re oiled up. I feel like we’re watching Old School. Also, are you f*cking kidding me? They put Joe against Eazy in the line up? Joe is going to get destroyed! How are these two in the same weight class?!

What was marketed as a day of friendly competition and wholesome fun has quickly turned into an all-out bloodbath. I love that they encouraged people to fight to the death in this cage match and then are surprised that these people actually bleed. 

Ed must see the bloodlust in Chasen’s eyes, because he quickly comes up with some half-hearted reason for him to get out of their match. He says something about his knees, but I’ve had more concrete excuses to get out of my high school gym class. Maybe next time say “it’s a lady thing” and pair it with an embarrassed shrug? That always worked for me!!

CHRIS HARRISON: What do you mean you can’t fight? You’re built like a brick outhouse. 

Chris, WHERE are you getting these phrases from, bro?

With Ed out of the picture, Chasen has no one to challenge him. This prompts Noah, who wasn’t even on the group date, to volunteer as tribute for the fight. Side note: I didn’t write the recap last week so I didn’t get to give my first impression of Noah when he strolled into this season. I know you’ve all been on the edge of your seats,  so here it is: that boy is FINE. I’m not sure if it’s the porn ‘stache or the entitled way he walks into a room like he’s got his daddy’s lawyers on speed dial, but it is all working for me. 

But back to the fight: Noah decides to whip off his shirt and lube himself up in oil before bouncing over that fence with all the youthful energy of a guy who has literally never been turned down for anything a day in his life. Though he doesn’t actually win the fight, Tayshia lets him finish out the group date with the rest of the guys. She says it’s because Noah was willing to “jump a fence” for her and I would just like to point out that the last man who jumped a fence on this franchise turned out to be a legitimate stalker. So. 

Not only does Noah get to go on this group date, but he monopolizes most of Tayshia’s time. She seems transfixed by his mustache and I’m telling y’all, that thing has power. It’s unexplainable. 

 

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The rest of the men are naturally livid at this turn of events. I think it’s interesting that they think Tayshia couldn’t possibly be interested in Noah because he’s a little younger than her. Honestly, I think Tayshia’s type is blonde idiots. I mean let’s take a look at her dating history: First, she dated Colton whose fence jump was a national punchline, and then she professed her love to John Paul Jones, who is the human equivalent of a golden retriever. The history speaks for itself!

OH MY GOD IS SHE MAKING HIM SHAVE HIS MUSTACHE?! The ‘stache is his entire personality! The whole source of his charm and power! Why is she making him do this?And why is she waving that razor around like this is some weird, erotic form of foreplay?

 

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Just as Tayshia is about to hand out the group date rose, Ben asks to steal some time with her. She shoots him down, and now I’m starting to remember why I hate Tayshia. She kind of sucks. There aren’t strict rules about when the night has to end, so nice try sweetie!! Instead Noah, a man who wasn’t even on the group date, wins the group date rose and a nude from me in his DMs

Before I end this recap I just wanted to give an honorable shout-out to Joe. I know I barely mentioned him here, but don’t you worry, he is definitely on my radar. Joe, if you’re reading this, you are a rare gem and a national treasure. Here’s hoping ABC doesn’t do you dirty. And on that note, I’m outtie. Until next week, hoes!

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