Welcome back, Bachelorette Nation! After a 2 week break (Congrats to Rachel’s Ex) – it’s time to get back to the action. And before we dive into the recap – I wanted to make it clear that we would not be covering any of the scandal from “Bachelor in Paradise” at this point. It’s way too serious of a situation to joke about and honestly there aren’t enough facts out in the open to form a point-of-view. Out of respect for those involved, we’re going to leave it at that for now – but if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m glad you finally got back from the Fyre Festival.
Rachel gets real about being the first Black Bachelorette
We pick things up at the cocktail party and it takes ABC about 25 seconds to start the drama with Lee. Kenny and Lee get into it over him interrupting Kenny’s 1:1 time with Rachel. It looks like we’re going to get our garden variety drama super-cut but then things sort of just slow down.
We move to a shot of Rachel talking to the camera/producer and the significance of her role is clearly weighing on her. She expresses anxiety about her decisions being judged and feeling the pressure of what it means to be the first black Bachelorette. She is brought to tears, clearly wanting to do her best and just not having time for all of the nonsense. It’s hard not to feel for her here because she deserves so much better than ABC is giving her right now.
Chris Harrison steps in and lets Rachel know that he can “make whatever happen” that she needs. I really wish Rachel would have tested this claim a bit but instead she just opts to go straight to the rose ceremony. At this moment, the entirety of Bachelor Nation is chanting “please no Lee, please no Lee” but in truly disappointing style, ABC makes Rachel, the first black Bachelorette, give Lee, a racist, a rose to continue the manufactured drama. It’s shameful for ABC to keep this going. Even at face value, she ended the cocktail party because of Lee’s bullshit. There is nothing fun about this guy – it’s just gross. If it wasn’t for Rachel and how awesome she is, this season would be seriously unwatchable.
Diggy, Bryce and Brady get sent home and we move on to our first group travel date to Hilton Head Island, SC.
Looked up and saw the Goodyear Blimp
…and it said “Dean’s a pimp!” We get things started at the Sonesta Resort (#ad) where the guys meet on the balcony for the customary “RACHEL!” yell. The first date card arrives and it’s for a 1:1 with Dean. In the background, Eric is busy being pouty about not getting a 1:1. Hey Eric, free advice – this is not sexy.
Rachel and Dean start the date by sharing some champagne in an open field. Before long, we see the Goodyear Blimp approaching and it becomes clear this will be our mode of transportation for the date. Dean starts off a little nervous but before long – he’s having fun “piloting” the blimp. This date is surprisingly fun but things take a turn for Seriousville at dinner.
We forgive you, Dean
Rachel asks Dean about his family and as one does on 1:1 dates, he shares his Tragic Personal Story™. Dean tells Rachel the story of his mom’s battle with cancer which is simply heart wrenching. In short, he lost her when he was 15 and it caused his family to really struggle and fall apart. He is overcome with emotion and tells Rachel he has a hard time talking about his mom. In this moment, I can forgive him for making a weak semi-racist joke during his intro.
Dean gets the date rose and has emerged as a front runner. He’s someone that Rachel seems to always have fun with (like Peter) and is a refreshing break from all the garbage going on with Lee and some of the other guys. Rachel has one last surprise for the evening, an Awkward Private Concert™ with Russell Dickerson. Since I have no idea who Russell Dickerson is, I did the lord’s work for you, Bachelorette Nation, and Googled him. I found out that he can be seen at Jerks at Point Pleasant NJ this August – one of 3 concerts lined up this summer. For context, this is one of the bars that MTV filmed “Jersey Shore” at. Big get, ABC. That being said, as Ice Cube would say, it was a good day.
The balance of the guys (minus Jack Stone who got the 2nd 1:1) head out for the group date. They meet Rachel on a Yacht where she promptly encourages them to lose their shirts. We then see Josiah doing push-ups with Rachel on his back which is the personification of ABC’s race to the bottom on this series. Oh wait, I was wrong – next is the Bachelor Nation Spelling Bee. Let’s see how good these guys look with shirts off and then how dumb they are.
The guys roll up to a makeshift game show set with a live audience and a trio of tweens judging the competition. I would hate being put into a surprise spelling bee after spending the day on the deck of a yacht getting day drunk. Sun + Seasickness + Alcohol = me not at top brain function. I mean, not to the point where I’d spell “facade” “physde” like Eric did, but credit to the guys who were able to string letters together. The words start off easy enough, but after a few softballs, we clear the field pretty quickly. Left standing is Will and Josiah until Will misses his word. In the most Bachelorette moment ever, Josiah wins the spelling bee by correctly spelling “polyamorous”
Can we please send Iggy and Lee home?
We move on to the evening portion of the group date at the Yacht Club which reignites everyone’s ire for both Iggy and Lee. ABC, can we please kick these guys out already? Iggy, being one of the most insecure contestants ever, takes it upon himself to let Rachel know that he thinks Josiah is causing problems. The only thing creating distractions in this scene are Iggy’s terrible distressed jeans – I’m pretty sure Hollister is no longer age-appropriate, brah.
Next, Lee meets with Rachel and spends his 1:1 time to talk about how aggressive Kenny was to him. He fabricates a story about Kenny berating him for 30 minutes which Kenny then has to answer to during his 1:1 time. Rachel seems exhausted from all of this and who could blame her.
Kenny vs Lee is going down
Cut back to the Yacht Club and we see Lee let Alex and Peter know that he could say something that would bother them. He tells them that he’s not going to because he likes them (because they are white…). Kenny is fuming when he comes back from his 1:1 time and pulls Lee aside to have another chat with him. We get hit with the “to be continued” once again with some teased drama in the scenes from next week. We get to see a preview for a 2:1 with Kenny and Lee and Kenny wiping some blood away from his eye. I suspect these are unrelated but who knows.
The middle of a season is typically where you get some of the best episodes. We’ve gotten rid of the clear jokers early on but we still have our share of goofballs. There’s some drama in the house, but it’s not totally serious yet (which usually happens around the final 6 or so). This year is different – the drama isn’t fun and I sort of can’t wait to get to the more serious part of the season. Partly because I really like Rachel and partly because this is getting exhausting. All you need to refer to is the look on Rachel’s face when she had to keep Lee – she looked miserable. Let’s hope she dumps him next week.
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