The latest instalment of the Bachelorette began by dangling a nice juicy piece of red meat in front of Bachelor nation. I am of course talking about the island of immaturity that was Chasen and Noah’s little outdoor bed powwow. This throwaway conversation at the top of the episode may have seemed inconsequential on the surface, but it served to drive a clear stake between Noah and the rest of the men, and solidified both Noah and Chasen’s statuses as third grade wordsmiths of the highest order. Chasen is still trying to make “smokeshow” stick in the house (much to the chagrin of Bennett in particular), and by referring to the rest of the men as “a bunch of weens,” Noah added his name to the list of guys who desperately need to diversify their interlocutory portfolio. The season is very finely poised at this point, with several men having made incisive inroads into Tayshia’s defenses, however, as this episode bore out, that could all change; let’s jump in
The first group date required a handful of the gentlemen to write a song, and with the help of an eclectic mix of random instruments that none of them knew how to play, perform said song to earn a 1-on-1 date with Tayshia. Of course, Bennett approached the task by clarifying that he “did not take any music classes at Harvard, but I did spit some bars for some of my high school friends on various retreats.” Music classes or not, he clearly listened to a little too much Sara Bareilles in college because he didn’t write Tayshia a love song, but produced a rap that can only be described as a fateful mix of Cupcakke meets slam poetry meets white kids trying to emulate 8-Mile rap battles in their en-suite before their Latin tutor arrives. He did manage to rhyme “Harvard degree” with “Brie” which deserves some brief recognition.
You would’ve thought that Kenny should’ve been able to put together something a little more impressive given his occupation as a “boy band manager,” however, in contravention to his namesake, Mr. Loggins, Kenny’s song gave the Danger Zone a wide berth and instead wound him up right in Tayshia’s friend zone. Nothing was as desperate as Blake’s attempt at the accordion, and Demar’s rendition of “Mocha Latte” was altogether uncomfortable. Ivan ultimately emerged with the date, largely because he invited Tayshia on stage – that was the bar we were dealing with.
Before we get to Ivan’s date, since when was the Bachelorette allowed to just have guys over to her room?!?! I thought the entire premise of the show was a pure and innocent love-seeking lady has to endure relentless male flattery and solo date sexual tension before fantasy suites, and now she can just booty call these guys after a couple of glasses of vino whenever she wants?
Ivan was invited over for a night of food and games. The food was a smorgasbord of different cuisines including tacos, sushi, chicken tendies, fries, and an ice cream dish the size of Saturn, and the games were similarly diverse, with “the floor is lava,” Twister, bocce and Netflix all making the cut. Tayshia was certainly lucky Bennett wasn’t on the 1-on-1 date, because I hear Twister was one of the games he used to play a lot on his “high school retreats,” in between quizzing his friends on their SAT scores and ruthlessly exposing the friend-groups’ economic inequalities during his freestyle raps!
The episode took an interesting, and amazingly refreshing turn towards actually acknowledging some of the socio-political and racial equality movements that have swept across the country over the past several months. The candor, the openness, and the unapologetic uncomfortability of these two people talking about issues that have impacted them their whole lives but are now, finally, in the mainstream public consciousness was a hell of a lot more compelling than Tayshia trashing her ex-husband and Brandon talking about the intricacies of commercial roofing on their date! The Bachelor franchises are often panned (and rightly so) for producing shows that are more whitewashed than Trump’s 2020 campaign commemorative calendar, but Ivan and Tayshia’s conversation was allowed to run its full course, with Ivan talking extensively about his family and their interactions with the criminal justice system, and Tayshia talking more broadly about growing up as a minority and how the BLM movement impacted her. Ivan was previously somewhat of an unknown quantity, but the date solidified his position as one of the genuine frontrunners. So much for aeronautical engineers being boring robots, step aside Peter Salovey, we’ve got a new king of emotional intelligence!
The truth or dare group date was yet another Covid-inspired event that probably had previous Bachelor franchise contestants, still tanned from prior seasons’ equatorial escapades, howling tears of irreverent mirth. We did get to see Bionic-boy Bennet running around in his knee brace which was pretty pathetic, but other than that, the date really had very little intrinsic value. The guys drank some cow intestine smoothies, faked orgasms over the hotel PA system, and then had to propose to Tayshia after taking down a Habanero pepper. Zac ended up getting the rose at the end of a cocktail party that seemed to me like a bit of a seed change in the season. Tayshia has a unique allure amongst these men to the extent that I think that many of them are genuinely falling for her. Ridicule me all you want, but Ed aside (that guy is just absurd despite his pretty solid performance in the SAT 18 years ago), the stakes appear higher this season than I’ve seen in my short Bachelor-watching career. I get the sense that some hearts are set to be broken.
Then there were the simultaneous secret missions that both Ben and Ed took to try and co-opt Tayshia under cover of night. Ben hasn’t shut the fuck up about how he mistimed his approach to taking Tayshia aside, and so thank goodness he went over there and stopped complaining to the other guys about how sure he is that he blew it! Little did Ben know, he wasn’t the only one breaking curfew looking to meet up with Tayshia…
Ed showing up at Chris’s room by mistake (despite obviously being a producer-contrived gimmick) was a classic Ed move, that could only have been made more classic by Ed actually accepting the drink that Chris offered him and then shooting the shit for a little while. Ed is a guy’s guy through and through, which is why he objects so forcefully to other guys like Chasen and Noah acting churlishly towards his boys in the house. He shouldn’t be on this show, but might I suggest his own show where he travels the globe with some buddies and compares the girth of his neck to random objects perhaps? I think it would hit.
I was gonna talk about Noah’s conversation with Tayshia and the aftermath, during which he got called a 14-year old and Bennet proclaimed that “I’m here for love, not breastfeeding Noah,” but I think we just have to appreciate the simmering pot that is the Noah, Bennett fued for the time being.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Ed got a rose HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH he might be the only guy in Bachelorette history to have not kissed the Bachelorette 7-weeks in HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA God I love Ed. To reiterate, there is no conscionable way that Ed should have progressed this far… I guess the big question that his rose begs, is whether he just drank wine in Chris Harrison’s room that night?
Til next week folks