A note: This week’s recap is somewhat delayed because A. I’ve been traveling but mostly B. I, like many, am having a hard time coming to terms with the news that one of Becca’s suitors was convicted of sexual assault. You can read my more complicated thoughts on that below (or skip it!) but apologies in advance if this humble power ranking takes a more somber tone than any of us wanted. Anyway:
This week on The Bachelorette, Becca’s friends are forced to get manicures from a bunch of personal trainers because whatever actual date was planned got rained out. David takes a booze snooze and somehow ends up breaking his nose. Tia says that Becca can have Colton, but only if she can wear Becca’s voice in a seashell locket around her neck. Jordan announces that he didn’t come here to make friends, he came here to be America’s Next Top Model.
How many more episodes will it be before we hear Ryan speak? Why was Seinne drinking straight champagne while everyone else drank orange juice? Would David have been shielded from his fall had he been wearing his chicken suit for padding? Why aren’t I seeing more internet conspiracy theories about David being pushed off the bunk like a Parent Trap prank gone wrong? Did Pete Davidson cheat on Cazzie David with Ariana Grande?
Grab your bathrobes and let’s get started.
DOESN'T EVEN DESERVE A RANKING: LINCOLN (LAST WEEK: 8)
If you’re someone who reads these recaps solely for the lols (no judgment), you can go ahead and just skip this entire section. There are no laughs to be had here, sadly. I’ve been stewing on this for days and I still don’t even know where to begin. This week, it came to light that Lincoln was convicted of indecent assault and battery for a sexual assault that occurred in 2016. In case you forgot, it’s currently 2018. This wasn’t something that happened post-filming. This has been on the record for two years. He was found guilty on May 21st - a week before the season even premiered - and it’s not like the show has given him an unfavorable edit in light of this information. ABC claims that Lincoln lied about having been accused of sexual assault (fucking duh) and that the third-party background check company they used should be found at fault. Sure, fine. Blame the company if you want - and I do think that something this huge being left out of a background check warrants a thorough investigation - but I refuse to absolve ABC and The Bachelor of any guilt. Let’s not forget that this is the same show that has had its own producers sued for sexual harassment, the same show that sparked a national controversy and conversation about the very nature of consent, the same show that casts racists and abusive assholes and markets them as, at best, amusing dramatic “villains” and, at worst, suitable and even desirable life partners for women. Remember when they brought Becca’s terrifying ex on the show to surprise her and pretended like it was some kind of romantic gesture? I can’t begin to imagine how Lincoln’s victim (and, let’s be realistic, “victims” is likely a more apt descriptor, as this kind of behavior is often indicative of a larger pattern) feels watching him on TV, being celebrated as this handsome dude with a cool accent (which is how I thought of him after the first episode! Why wouldn’t I have?) who deserves a shot at love like anyone else. I can’t imagine how it feels to be Becca, watching yourself gush about and be kissed and touched by someone whom you now know is capable of assault. As a human woman who lives in America and has been alive for more than ten minutes, I know all too well how it feels to see a guy you know has been abusive to yourself or others be not only not rejected by your peer group, but actively embraced and praised. Allowing someone like Lincoln on this show is so enormously hurtful to so many people. The Bachelorette can be the super most fun, but I’ll be the first person to say that its problems are beginning to far outweigh the entertainment it provides. I feel sickened and slapped in the face, honestly. It makes me not want to watch this show anymore. It's a classic “guilty pleasure," but just how far is that guilt supposed to go? How much further will they push? How many more people will they endanger? Having someone who’s (now) a registered sex offender on the show is dangerous. What if Lincoln made it to the Fantasy Suites and spent the night alone with Becca? What if they got engaged? What if he had assaulted Becca, or, more realistically, gone on Bachelor in Paradise and assaulted someone there? (I say “more realistically” purely in a statistical sense - there are far more opportunities for assault when there are A. More potential victims strolling around and B. When the environment and opportunity for exposure is far less controlled than that of The Bachelorette proper.) Who should be held responsible? Obviously, Lincoln is the criminal here. He’s the one at fault. But I believe it’s ABC’s responsibility - morally speaking, if not strictly legally - to not expose their cast and crew to abusers and, equally importantly, not to expose America to abusive men and market them as acceptable life partners for women. It’s wrong. It’s so wrong. I’m thinking long and hard about whether it’s responsible for me to keep making lighthearted jokes about a show that so deeply troubles me. Do I have to stop watching altogether? I really don’t know. I’d love to hear any thoughts on this because mine are so muddled I barely know which way’s up anymore. Anyway, let’s make some more jokes about Ariana Grande.
18. DAVID (LAST WEEK: 12)
DAVID FELL OUT OF A BUNK BED AND BROKE HIS ENTIRE FACE OFF, WHICH IS A REALLY GREAT THING FOR SOMEONE WHO’S ABOUT TO SPEND THE NEXT EIGHT WEEKS SLEEPING IN A BUNK BED TO HEAR!
17. LEO (LAST WEEK: 15)
Leo, a walking DevaCurl commercial, is like, not that funny and not that nice. What’s he doing here? Does Becca have a thing for long hair? Manbun Mike is still around too. Is this show sponsored by Pantene?
16. RYAN (LAST WEEK: 19)
IS RYAN ON THIS SHOW? Every single week it’s IMPOSSIBLE to make a decent GIF of him because not only is he never shown speaking, he’s never shown at all. Not talking to Becca, not joking with the guys. Not in a house, not with a mouse. Is he going to pull a Lauren B(oring) and win it all in the end? Is he a sneak attack dark horse or just socially invisible like Mia Thermopolis before she gets a perm?
15. MIKE (LAST WEEK: 18)
Manbun Mike: still here!
14. CONNOR (LAST WEEK: 23)
What’s this dude’s deal? Do we like him or not? I feel like he’s bad but maybe he’s good? Can he both? Must it all be either less or more, either plain or grand? Is it always “or;” is it never “and?”
13. JOHN (LAST WEEK: 16)
Did I not even watch this episode? Why can’t I remember anything about any of these guys? Was John on the spa date? The football date? Neither? Could I answer these questions myself by taking five seconds to scroll through the footage again? Does that sound like an appropriate use of my time and considerable talents?
12. NICK (LAST WEEK: 13)
Am I crazy or was Nick on neither date this episode?? I looked and I looked and I couldn’t find ANY clips of him except this brief but beautiful moment of him downing a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I hope he doesn’t get eliminated before I figure out who he looks like!!
11. CHRISTON (LAST WEEK: 11)
Christon looks like a male model and is also a professional athlete, neither of which is really “my thing” (if you’re wondering, “my thing” is looking and behaving exactly like Josh Groban) but I feel like he should be getting more attention? Is he maybe going to win this show? He’s like the hottest guy there, I think. He’s also kind of Instagram famous? What’s going on with him?
10. JEAN BLANC (LAST WEEK: 9)
When are we getting the date where Jean Blanc takes Becca to a perfume factory (an olfactory, if you will)? When?
9. GARRETT (LAST WEEK: 14)
Problematic meme-liking (what a time to be alive) aside, Garrett just seems kinda… dumb? He seems sweet and eager to please but a little “lights are on but no one’s home,” like a friendly Labrador retriever. Based on Becca’s track record (Ross, Arie) this seems to be her type, so it makes sense that she seems totally charmed by Garrett. Do you, girl. Just make sure he’s housebroken before you take him to meet Uncle Gary.
8. BECCA (LAST WEEK: 6)
I’m still sort of looking for a defining personality trait from Becca. Is she particularly funny? Does she have a hobby? Can she sing? Should we care? If she could push a button and five people would die but she would get a lifetime of free delivery on Postmates, would she do it? (Would I?) I maintain that Becca is handling herself well and isn’t letting any of the ~drama~ get her down. She always seems far more amused - by someone like Jordan, for example - than offended, which tells me she’s not an idiot. I hope she’s doing okay in this post-season blitz of bad information about her guys coming to light. Mustn’t be nice!
7. WILLS (LAST WEEK: 4)
Wills isn’t featured a lot this week, and I actually don’t think he’s going to go very far, but he seems really funny. All of his reaction shots to Jordan and David’s chest-pounding were incredible. He should be in the background of every show on TV just reacting to stuff. He’s my most GIF-able contestant! A cool award I secretly award to someone each season (on Arie’s season it was Baby Bekah)!
6. BLAKE (LAST WEEK: 1)
I have to imagine it’d be super weird to get the first date on a show like this, think you have this special connection with the lead, and then go on a group date and watch them make out with like six of your friends. Blake is not happy with watching Becca form connections with the other guys, but he doesn’t get possessive or tantrum-y. He’s just a lil sad and I find that endearing! Also, the polarizing question amongst my friend group has been whether Blake is insanely hot or insanely weird-looking. Vote NOW!
5. JASON (LAST WEEK: 17)
I wish it translated better over GIF but the moment where Becca forgot Jason’s name made me want to stand up and cheer. It was so funny and he handled it so well. When Becca talked to him about it, he wasn’t overly sweet about it - he wasn’t like “OMG, Bex, it’s not ur fault, u can call me anything u want lol” but he also wasn’t a brat, as I suspect many of these dudes would have been. I really like Jason. So much so that it’s making me think about lifting my personal ban on dudes who wear hair gel.
4. COLTON (LAST WEEK: 5)
Here’s the thing with the Colton/Tia situation. Any other week, I’d have gone full Spencer Hastings on their asses and done some serious in-depth investigation. I would have written transcripts of their exact words, conjured up interviews and articles to support my points, found their personal Facebook pages for any suspicious “like”ing activities, maybe driven by Colton’s house. Unfortunately (or, probably fortunately) for Colton and Tia, this week became what will go down in history as The Week Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Got Engaged After Five Minutes, so most of my stalking energy was spent on things like this. (If anyone was wondering: I’m Team Cazzie Deserved Better.) Here’s a good Reddit discussion about Tia if you care to peruse. It sounds like there was some real Shady Shit™ going on here. Seems like Tia slid into Colton’s DM’s (not the other way around as I originally reported, SORRY) because she… thought he was hot? Knew he was going to be on the show? Sounds like Tia thought she had the Bachelorette gig wrapped up (I think she would have gotten it had Becca and Arie stayed engaged) and Colton wanted to get a leg up on the competition. There are rumors of Jordan and Jojo having done the same thing before Jojo’s season, and I mean, it makes sense. Tia gets extra time with one of her guys, meaning they’ll have a more believable love story and she’ll feel more comfortable getting engaged to him, and Colton gets a huge advantage over the other guys. Sounds like a guaranteed way to get Colton at least to the final four so he’d have a shot of becoming the next Bachelor. The bad news bears is that this isn’t how the gosh darn show works, Tia. Colton makes it clear he’d much rather be on TV than be with Tia, and Becca makes it clear she’d much rather bang Colton than give more than ten seconds of thought to this mess. I mean, more power to Colton, honestly. Becca seems smitten with him and she’s willing to overlook a whole lot of weirdness to keep his swirly face around so clearly he’s doing something right.
3. CLAY (LAST WEEK: 10)
Clay’s emotional exit from the show honestly felt like more of a loss than any real-life breakup I’ve gone through. First of all: it was so messed up for the producers to even PUT him on this date! He’s a professional athlete! His body is his career! Football is the most insanely dangerous sport and these fools were playing without proper padding or training. Of course someone got hurt. Some people are afraid their sons will grow up to be gay; I am afraid that my son will grow up to be a football player. I’m just completely uninterested in it. It’s SO DANGEROUS! I want sons who maybe do musical theatre and like, aren’t quite the stars of the high school’s program so they don’t get an ego but are good enough that they get supporting roles. I don’t want Mariuses, I want Enjolrases, know what I’m saying? Anyway, Clay gets hurt and has to leave the show because his actual NFL career is way more important than sticking around to keep getting injured at the hands of a bunch of software salesmen. I will miss him so much. I believe he genuinely liked Becca! Meanwhile, Lincoln and Garrett are still around. This is America’s loss.
2. CHRIS (LAST WEEK: 7)
I think Chris is really sweet. I kind of daydreamed through his date but I think he said something about his dad abandoning him? I’m fuzzy on the details but I'm pretty sure it was a very sad story. He and Becca look really natural together and the “song” he wrote for her wasn’t half bad! I’m team Chris now! It’s sort of like being Team Clay but not as good, but fine.
1. JORDAN (LAST WEEK: 2)
I’m not really going to comment on Jordan, I’m just going to transcribe his incredible eleven-o-clock number of a monologue for you here:
“I’m a Wilhelmina model. I don’t think you know what that means. I have an image, and if you’re trying to tear down my image, and my three-year contract with them, that’s actually pretty serious. That’s something some people consider “the top.” So if you’re trying to do that, you’re failing at it because, guess what? Attached to me is professionality. It’s my face. It’s in everything I do. It’s in the walk, and it’s the way I talk, okay? So if you want to try to wreck my image, you’ll never succeed, you know why? Because my image is me.”
I love him.
See you next Monday!