Whenever a Bachelor contestant says, “I have a really good feeling I’ll be down on one knee at the end of this,” it might as well be a dog whistle to Bachelor nation; a Ron Burgundy conch blast; a sighting of lit beacons across the mountains from Minas Tirith to prepare yourself for an impending shitstorm that makes Boris Johnson’s current party-gate onslaught actually seem just like a “work event…” What unfolded at the outset of the most recent episode was as shocking as it was predictable under the circumstances. The long and the short is that Shanae is chiseling her spot onto the Mount Rushmore of all time Bachelor franchise villains, and Clayton is sitting idly by soaking up the South Dakota sun just letting it happen.
Trying to describe exactly what happened would fail to do justice to the ridiculousness of the entire charade. What it boiled down to was Shanae made a rival garlic butter shrimp dish, tried to give it to some girls in the hot tub, the hot tub ladies weren’t hungry, and now Shanae is accusing people of bullying her because they all ate Elizabeth’s shrimp and not hers. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m similarly obsessed with frivolous attention-seeking after I cook something that crosses even the lowest difficulty threshold imaginable, but Shanae was on a mission to drag every sorry soul into this cluster. I literally cannot find a more appropriate example of the old adage “don’t wrestle with a pig, because you just get dirty and the pig enjoys it” than the ladies trying to reason with Shanae in this instance. Elizabeth took the moral high ground again (she must be requiring oxygen at this point), but Genevieve couldn’t resist getting down and dirty. She is scrappy and when aggravated howls like some kind of prehistoric banshee. While her dress was no doubt modelled after Princess Elsa’s finest, Genevieve would not Let It Go, and really stuck it to Shanae before realizing she was arguing with a 4-year old incapable of coherent thoughts and sentences.
Shanae got the rose over Elizabeth at the rose ceremony and her rubbing it in was simultaneously pathetic but also really aggravating. I never want to hear “ding dong the witch is dead!” unless the lullaby league and the lollipop guild are cutting it up over some wicked witch’s bejeweled feet, or Demi Burnett is saying it in response to vanquishing one of her foes. Shanae is certainly echelons below that esteemed company!
Elizabeth is ultimately the real winner in this entire thing. She consistently showed class and grace in the face of adversity, won the battle of hearts and minds by the biggest margin since the fucking miracle on ice, and now gets to walk away with a small, freshly-rejected posse of eligible bachelorettes, move to New York, and eat expensive food in a pencil dress until Revolve decides that they’ve found someone better. Conversely, she could literally waltz into the role of the Bachelorette, riding a wave of national sympathy to even greater e-marketing opportunities.
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Perhaps more fascinating is how Shanae goes out into the real world and accomplishes anything in her life now? Queen Victoria was insufferably annoying and stirred the pot like Gordon Ramsay had just chewed her out for an under-seasoned lamb sauce, but she was nothing even close to Shanae’s level. No amount of legislative criminal justice reform, unearned second-chances or even Jesus’s full-hearted forgiveness could atone Shanae for her deadly sins.
Anyway, enough Shanae drama… Jesse Palmer strutted in and promised the ladies “a worldwide, international journey to find love with Clayton” that starts in… drumroll please… Houston, Texas? If I was looking to watch some underwhelming football, or maybe grab a slice of brisket en route to see Alison in Galveston then maybe this would be a good destination, other than that, I don’t know. Clayton caught up with one of his buddies and asked the question that every hopelessly optimistic man would ask in this situation: “is the drama over?” Clayton, the drama ain’t over until the fat lady sings, and given that the average size of the remaining girls is about a one-and-a-half, you better be hoping Shanae can muscle down a few more pounds of shrimp and another dead comes along to loosen up her vocal cords!
Rachel the pilot received the first one-on-one date, and fortunately she’s not kiss-averse because Clayton’s lack of a good makeout in about 48 hours was evident and he wasted no time is slurping up Rachel’s 14 gallons of lip gloss upon her arrival. They went on a horse ride, which must have been disappointing because horse-riding was literally the only thing that happened during the quarantine dates, and ended up at some poor family’s barbeque? WHO IS THIS FAMILY?? AND WHY ARE THEY FEEDING REALITY TV STRANGERS ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON? If it wasn’t uncomfortable enough already, Clayton and Rachel started aggressively making out in front of everyone as well. Now I’m all in on body positivity, but if I was a Texan man cooking lunch for my family and this absolute man mountain showed up asking if he could join? Let’s just say Clayton looks like he wouldn’t back down from the Bubba Gump crispy shrimp challenge and might perform the same rites on my family BBQ.
They dined and dashed to a rustic waterfront setting, and while sitting on a dock is technically on, not Under wood, Clayton wasted absolutely no time in quoting Carrie, telling Rachel “I don’t even know your last name.” I don’t if their mamas are ashamed right now, but even a slightly prudish maternal figure would be quite perturbed by the amount of lip-smacking that followed between these two meet cutes.
The two then had dinner were treated to a concert by Restless Road, which I honestly can’t really remember too well because I was so perturbed by how similar their haircuts were to Clayton’s.
The football date is always hilarious, although in this iteration, the ladies were stuffed full of burgers and dogs beforehand, and did look a little sluggish on the field. Clayton was doing a full-blown Hyundai electric car commercial in the corner while the ladies tossed bags, grilled meats and stuffed their faces before they trotted out onto the field for game that can only be described as poor. Under bettors would have been pulling out their hair at the 7-0 half time score, but football purists were likely decrying the fundamental lack of understanding of even the most basic principles (passing, blocking, double cross flea-flicker check-downs on third and long etc.). While the NFL and NCAA have placed a big emphasis on concussion safety, The Bachelor franchise clearly has not… Shanae got her clock absolutely cleaned, or should I say her brain deveined? And the Purple Punishers were just that, punishing, and Shanae in particular is going to have some purple limbs after some of the punishment she was subjected to.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, and the contestants having to go back to their house in full gear is always fun. What happened next wasn’t altogether surprising. Shanae wasn’t about that losing team life, and so dolled up, hopped in an Uber (perhaps? No waaay that the producers would have driven her there devil face emoji) and hijacked the group date. Clayton barely backed an eyelid, and is in danger of falling down the Peter Weber hole of allowing and even condoning bad behavior (bar makeout duh!)
How Clayton deals with this situation will make or break his credibility going into the rest of the season. We’ve been promised a Genevieve Shanae two-on-one date next week which will be ELECTRIC – until then folks!