One more episode of The Bachelorette, and we’re getting closer to the end! It just doesn’t feel like it, because we’ve had two leading ladies, and it’s all going so fast …or slow? I’m not even sure anymore.
But we’re here to talk about it!
Joining me this week for the roundtable are Fangirlish writers Jade, Jessica and Grace. Here we go!
For a moment there we wondered what show we were watching in this week’s The Bachelorette, which featured both an honest discussion of addiction and eating disorders, AND a female host. Did this week’s episode feel different to you – and if so, in a good way?
Lizzie: Yes, I wondered what show I was watching, I’m not gonna lie. JoJo by herself wouldn’t have made me wonder this, though it was smart of the show to pick one of the few women who is STILL in a relationship with the man she met on this show to bring as a replacement, especially considering how few of those there are. But the whole honesty thing? Honesty? On The Bachelorette? About real, important issues? I’m shook. I didn’t know we could have an episode that focused on that instead of gimmicks!
Jade: Reading comments from my fellow roundtablers (roundtablists?) gives me the feeling that deep, meaningful conversations really isn’t the norm for the series. And I guess that makes a certain amount of sense. It is dramatized television, after all. But I’m a little surprised, because those moments of honest conversation have been my favorites of the season. Did COVID do such a number on their ability to do interesting dates that they had to resort to actual human connection? The horror.
Jessica: I liked this episode minus all the drama between Noah and Bennett. The discussions about addiction and eating disorders were different than the past few seasons, and it’s so refreshing. I’m glad the show picked real men for this season (well, mostly). Hopefully the show will keep this up.
Grace: Can JoJo just always fill in for a couple of episodes? She’s my favorite Bachelorette so it was like a breath of fresh air seeing her. I have just been a huge fan of some of the serious conversations being had this season. Last week’s conversation about Black Lives Matter, followed by Zac opening up about his addiction struggles — it truly feels like a different show.
Let’s talk about Zac, because Zac was the MVP this week. Before the photo shoot, during, after ..he was there for Tayshia, he asked her how she was doing, he reminded her that she didn’t have to do anything she didn’t want to do. And that’s without going into the conversation they had at dinner! Can we just …pick Zac already and get it over with?
Lizzie: This is probably my first time watching this show live, I typically watch after, when I already mostly know the outcome, so I’m not familiar with this feeling of just …wanting one guy to win …but yeah, can Zac win? Like, win Tayshia’s heart if she’s going to treat him right, but if not, can he win at life …get someone to love him, and just be happy? Because dude I just saw in that episode absolutely deserves that. And if he does not win, that guy I just saw deserves a chance to try his own luck, if that’s what he wants.
Jade: Zac hadn’t really registered on my radar too much until this episode, but he was incredibly endearing and made me hope he finds all the good things when this is over. If he doesn’t end up with Tayshia in the end, what are the odds he becomes a future Bachelor?
Jessica: I do really like Zac especially after this week, but Ben’s still my favorite. They’re both great, though. Tayshia does have some really great guys this season.
Grace: There are so many great guys this season and Zac is one of them. Not only was he super vulnerable in this episode, but he also managed to also be there for Tayshia. He is really a gentleman.
The group date was arts and crafts, which is like my very own version of hell. Except this is even worse, as it’s about emotionally exploiting them so the one who is “the most vulnerable” or can fake it better gets a prize. What did you think of this date idea?
Lizzie: It’s one thing to be emotionally vulnerable as a conscious decision to connect with someone, it’s another to put a prize to …finding, or making up emotions. I mean, I know they’re running out of options, and this pandemic-season has suffered from the lack of travel, but come on. Like, I realized this show is basically about emotional manipulation in general, but most of it is at least more subtle than this.
Jade: As a date idea, I think it’s fun, but I agree that it seemed a little emotionally exploitative. I think they could have stuck to using it as a means to get to know the guys better in general and I would have appreciated it more. Which isn’t to say that I didn’t appreciate what each guy shared. I did. I just feel like there are better ways to get Tayshia (and the audience) to connect to the guys than through Group Performative Vulnerability.
Jessica: I mean… I liked that we got to know the guys better, but it also felt like it was a competition to see who could share the saddest story or get the most emotional. And while I’m glad we had Ben explain his issues later, him stripping out of robe was a little much.
Grace: Well, these kind of dates are expected in this show so I’m not really phased by this date. This show also makes contestants share their deepest darkest secrets, why should this season be any different?
Bennett and Noah. Pick a side. Or, like ….pick who goes first? Your call.
Lizzie: A side? Blasphemy. I’d get rid of both. And it’s not even a hard call, if we’re being honest. Bennett has been annoying for a while, but boy, has Noah picked up the pace.
Jade: I’ve wanted to eject Noah from the show basically from his first episode, and he did nothing to make me reassess my opinion of him this week. So I would have thought this would be an easy call. But, man…Bennett this week took whatever shards of sympathy or credibility or whatever that he had with me and set them on fire. True, I haven’t really been on Bennett’s side, so the bar was already pretty low. But between him focusing more on getting digs in at Noah than on the point of the group date with Tayshia, going on about all his money like he’s looking for a trophy wife, and him kissing her when she wasn’t expecting it when she was blindfolded…he creeps me out and I want him GONE. Jettison both of them, please. Yeah, it’s drama, but it’s not even the fun kind anymore. All I know is, whoever gets sent home next week, I’m gonna be pissed. Not because they went home but because they didn’t take the other one with them.
Jessica: Can they both just go home? Bennett was fun at first, but now he’s really annoying, and Noah’s been a jerk from the very beginning. Tayshia has so many good guys left, why would she want to waste her time with these two? If I have to listen to Noah argue or Bennett say “Young Noah” one more time, I may lose it.
Grace: At first, I was all team Bennett. He was funny, and really made some of these episodes worth watching. But after this episode, I have to say that Bennett needs to go home. He’s an entitled bully. Sure, Noah has done some questionable things, but he didn’t deserve Bennett constantly piling on him.
Other than Zac, who should absolutely win, what’s your top 3 at this point?
Lizzie: I’ll add Ivan to Zac, and then …I guess Brendan? Ben? I mean, I think those are Tayshia’s top choices, which I guess is all that matters.
Jade: I found Ivan really endearing last week, so he’s still easily in my top 3. Other than that, I guess I’d add Ben to the list to round out the list. He also shared more of himself than we’d discovered before this week, and while his stripping naked at the arts and crafts date had me initially rolling my eyes a little, the gesture did take on a greater significance when he later divulged his history with eating disorders and body issues. Ben is sweet, and I’m worried this show is going to crush him.
Jessica: I wrote earlier, Ben’s my favorite. Ivan would round out my top 3. But Brendan seems sweet, too, and he does have a connection with Tayshia. I definitely think those will be the last 4 standing.
Grace: Zac, Ivan and Ben are my top three, hands down. I’ve been stalking Ben’s Instagram lately, and he is just such a dreamboat.