Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Katie has to make some tough choices as The Bachelorette race heats up

And the campaign to make Andrew S. the next Bachelor starts… now

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Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC

We’ve been saying for weeks now that Katie Thurston has done a great job of keeping the usual dramatic shenanigans to a minimum this season; consequently, that also means that she has wound up with a really wonderful group of guys. As she says in this week’s episode (paraphrasing), all she’s ever wanted is a great guy, but what is she supposed to do now with about a half-dozen of them?

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Some of these choices, fortunately, are easier than others. Here’s my theory about why Brendan was still there this episode. Last week Katie had to let James, Tre, and Aaron go (after Connor) so that they could announce the very next day that The Bachelor was keeping the band together by drafting all four for Bachelor In Paradise. Not sure why they didn’t just let her cut down to the final six guys, but maybe they felt that that was too many gone in a single episode. So, Brendan got to stay another week, even though he seemed as hilariously confused about that as the rest of us: “Biggest question: Why am I still here?” We all have that question, Brendan! At least at this point Katie appeared ready to cut to the chase when she needs to, and so off Brendan went, having still never really made much of an impression (honestly, he got very little time in front of the camera).

Mike P. was also an easy decision. He seems like a very sweet guy, and far be it from us to judge anyone’s sexual proclivities (or lack of them). BUT dude, you can not mention your mom so much on a first date! Especially when comparing physical affection! That was extremely painful and awkward, and the cuddle expert lady and the white guru outfits weren’t helping matters. That did help Katie cut her crop of suitors down to an easy five, but man, whenever a guy on this show says, “I am so excited to see Katie tonight and talk about our future,” you can just visualize all the storm clouds looming.

Even in the remaining five, there are frontrunners: I would have set my sights on Greg, Michael A., and Andrew S. for the top three (can we just call him Andrew now since the other Andrew is gone? Going to go ahead and do that). Blake just bugs, with all his big talk at the beginning to Brendan and Mike A. about how they “need to get that” one-on-date: It’s not up to you guys, that’s the whole point! And yes, he was being honest by telling Katie he wasn’t in love with her yet, but is that really what she wanted to hear?

Unlike Andrew, who straight-up told Katie he was falling for her in a sweet ceremony that called back to their first date. When he proudly said, “She’s got so much faith in me” in his interview after the group date, it was just the sweetest thing in the world. I feel like Katie has had a few mild head-scratching eliminations this season, nothing major, but sending Andrew home tonight was just heart-wrenching. What was even worse is that we saw how hard it was for her as well. Sometimes real emotion manages to claw its way through this show’s incredible artifice, and this was one of those times. (Another time this episode: Michael A. talking to his son on the phone! Just the cutest.) Katie was so anguished it was clear that she thought she’d made a horrible mistake, which Andrew’s return (refreshingly breaking the usual series structure) only solidified. What kind of guy comes back just to make sure that everyone is still smiling for their final farewell? And brings a love letter?

But Andrew straight-up cemented his king status with his refusal to come back on the show: “I want my future wife to choose me, and I wasn’t chosen.” He also (rightly, probably) predicted that he would just have to go through this all with Katie again if/when she picked someone else, in another rose ceremony. Which obviously would just be excruciating for all of us. Andrew is a strong, sensitive man who is confident in his own worth: a perfect candidate to become the next Bachelor. Hope the producers are paying attention.

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Stray observations

  • I may actually have to watch Bachelor In Paradise now this season. Dangit.
  • “Blake, there’s a reason you’re still here.” Unlike Brendan, say…
  • Lord, Michael A. is nice. The affection across all the guys this season is a joy to witness and a breathtaking breath of fresh air for the Bachelor franchise.
  • But when he told Katie, “I can assure you that no one can love you like I can,” I must admit I got a little weak in the knees.
  • “I’m not an art guy at all”: No kidding, Blake.
  • I thought it was nice of Justin not to show up the other guys with his art skills, and then just give Katie the butterfly painting later.
  • Next week: Men Tell All! Look for Thomas and Hunter to be there to break up what would otherwise be a total love fest.
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