Usually the “Tell All” specials on The Bachelor/Bachelorette are there to stoke some simmering resentments, revisit some popular flirtations, and heighten anticipation as the show nears its inevitable, hopefully romantic finale. With Katie’s season, where the main message of the show has been how much the guys actually like each other, the producers were obviously going to have to bring back the drama fuelers, like Karl, Cody, Hunter, etc.—even dragging Thomas back in via Zoom. In their first run as “Tell All” hosts, Kaitlyn and Tayshia were a bit ineffectual in trying to restrain the flagrant hostility that was all over the place early on—which is unfortunate, because I would rather watch all the guys hang out and speak in fake British accents for hours. Instead, we got Karl and Aaron and Brendan peacocking and strutting around and Karl even stood up, in case you were wondering whether or not he must be the worst motivational speaker in the whole wide world (he probably is). Hunter regained a few points in my book for coming clean about lying, getting defended by Connor, and being able to hang with the fake Brits.
Michael’s departure that kicked off the episode was inevitable, but still heartbreaking. Also, the timing seemed odd—why would he leave right before hometowns if all he wanted was to see his son at home? Surely he could have worked out some extra time to stay at home with his son, especially since Katie would have three other families to visit. I’m guessing that bringing Katie home was a reality he was not ready to open his kid up to—it would be one thing for Michael to be disappointed if Katie didn’t pick him in the end, but getting his small child involved is an entirely different story. It was genuinely a sad ending for Katie and Michael, but I think we can be hopeful about Michael’s next romantic chapter, as the relationship with Katie seemed to help him prepare for future romantic entanglements after the loss of his wife.
Andrew and Connor’s retold romances were also kind of piercing, but Connor’s was salvaged by the girl in the audience offering to kiss him, in an attempt to prove to the world that he was not, in fact, a horrible kisser. Again, the best part was the enthusiasm of all the guys: Tre’s visible glee, Andrew yelling, “Be a tiger!” For someone who had kind of an embarrassing Bachelorette ending, it was a nice validation. Connor proved himself to be a gem by composing an ode to the guys’ bromance, cementing this as the season that has now created the friendship high bar that all other Bachelor/Bachelorette seasons will have to be measured against. Really looking forward to seeing so many of them together again on Bachelor In Paradise in a few weeks (Not you, Karl.) And when Tayshia told Andrew he was sure to find love, I thought she was actually going to announce him as the next Bachelor: which, after all, would be amazing.
This special also showed what a great Bachelorette Katie is, and how it’s important to have a lead who is strong in and of themselves: Someone who is ready to go out on the journey to find romance, but has confidence in their own decision-making capabilities and judgements about people. Hannah B., Peter, and Colton all failed in this regard, but Katie was even able to face Thomas again and tell him calmly exactly why she ousted him as brutally as she did. Because Katie holds herself to such high standards, she did the same for the guys, which is why we wound up with such an impressive bunch at the end. At the “Tell All,” she was still kind to everyone (a little too nice to Karl, if you ask me), and even drew compliments from some of the men on how she showed them how to be better in relationships. She really deserves every happiness, and despite next week’s drama-filled preview (“Book my flight home!”), I hope she gets it. Guess we’ll find out over the next two weeks.
- I am usually anti-facial hair, but I liked Michael’s post-breakup beard.
- If Kaitlyn and Jason broke up I would be legitimately sad, they are just so cute together. And their proposal was really adorable; Kaitlyn’s right, she wasn’t making words at all. You would think that Zac would at least make a single appearance this season with Tayshia?
- There didn’t seem to be that many guys there at the special (much less than 30). But even with the small number, what was the point of having men there who didn’t talk at all, like Quartney? And I am drawing a complete blank on who Kyle even was on this show, did he make it past the first week?
- Next week: How do we get through hometowns, fantasy suites and the finale all in two weeks? That must be why there’s a three-hour finale. Finale prediction: Because the leads on this show always end up with the person I would least like to see them with (it’s tradition!), that means even with all the great guys to choose from this season, Katie will wind up with Blake. Ugh.