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

What a messed-up Bachelor season this is turning out to be

Illustration for article titled What a messed-up Bachelor season this is turning out to be
Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Yes, The Bachelor was ridiculously overdue in selecting a Black Bachelor, but we all had high hopes for this season, right? And then… Not only did the producers select one of the most toxic contestants this show has ever seen in Queen Victoria, but someone didn’t vet all the contestants properly enough so that problematic social media posts from current contestant Rachael’s past have now popped up. In this age where pretty much everyone’s past is online, it’s hard to fathom just how this could have happened, especially in this particular season.

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If you’re reading this, you more than likely know all this already, including the fact that Chris Harrison has now stepped away from the franchise that made him famous. This was after a painful Extra interview he did with the first Black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, during which he says the word “woke” way too much and seems perplexed at why everyone is upset that Rachael attended an Antebellum party only three years ago. Gotta give Lindsay credit for keeping her cool through the whole thing, although hopefully she knocked some sense into his thick head when she asked, “What would I be at that party?” Harrison has since apologized and has said that he will not be back for the After The Final Rose special. The women of this Bachelor season have put out a statement in support of Rachel Lindsay, as have many other former contestants.

Obviously, these episodes were prerecorded, but it still seems kind of odd to have Harrison pop up this episode to trot out his trademark lines like, “This is the final rose of the evening,” or “Ladies, please say your goodbyes.” I would have bet cash money that he would have taped some kind of a statement for the show this week, as the Bachelor behind-the-scenes drama is all over the news (well, at least where I work) but I guess not. Instead, we have the reeeeallllly pointless Heather drama.

What was the whole point of the Heather incident in the first place? A cautionary tale that you shouldn’t just show up on a reality show and expect to be let in? Something fun to put in the season promos? All Heather’s appearance did was prove that MJ’s departure did not actually mean that all the mean girls were gone, with Kit in particular showing her true bitchy colors. So instead of having Hannah B set up her with another one of Tyler C’s undoubtedly countless cute friends, Heather hightails it to Pennsylvania to crash Matt’s season. Just… unwise? Rude? Speaking of rude, you’d think these women could learn to just be polite, my god. I guess “Go talk about it in an interview” is about the harshest rebuke you could receive on the Bachelor set. So long, Serena C. Suspect you will have a ton to say on the Women Tell All special.

This feels horrible to say after all the ridiculous drama, but the rest of the episode then just seemed rather… dull? The one-on-ones were rather snoozy, although the tribal drums kicking in as soon as Matt and Jessenia sat down for dinner were a strong indicator that she was going home. And, if I was as good at tantric yoga as Serena P. was, I would feel differently about it, but good for her for being honest. Honestly my favorite moment of the entire episode was the back-cracking as the credits rolled, along with Michelle doing pushups before the hometowns toast. I would have rather had 15 minutes of the women having fun hanging out than yet another session of them fretting on the couch over what Matt is thinking right this very second. Obviously this footage exists, and could help your show go a long way from being depicted as a toxic cesspool, Bachelor producers! Just throwing that out there.

Next week, we move on to hometowns. Anyone else getting a terrible sinking feeling that Matt’s just going to end up with Rachael regardless? And if so, what happens when he sees those social media posts?

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Stray observations

  • Leave it to Hannah Brown to mess stuff up from miles away by suggesting Heather go after Matt. What a waste of time, especially since the footage of the group date was practically cut in half tonight.
  • Matt has literally no poker face. It’s so obvious which women he’s really into.
  • I was so comfortable in our relationship, I explored other relationships.” Ouch. So sorry, Abigail. You deserved much better.
  • Not a big fan of Kit, but I liked how she realized that her timetable and Matt’s weren’t really going to line up. It was the right call to leave.
  • Matt, don’t pick up the rose if you’re not going to give the rose! Dang!
  • Hey, remember Sarah?
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Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.