Ah, The Men Tell All. An opportunity for the guys to apologize for their misdeeds and show how they’ve grown and learned from the experience. A spectacle where few, if any, of the men choose to do so, opting instead to throw blame and take desperate measures to save face. If it weren’t for the bloopers and the reveal of the next Bachelor, I’d skip the show entirely.
In tune with the rest of this overly manipulated and “artfully” edited season, the episode begins with Chad appearing to arrive and enter his own trailer. Here’s the problem with the way the show has treated, and continues to treat, Chad. While exposing his unchecked temper and tendency towards violence, and giving lip service to how inappropriate both are, the show also capitalizes on the possibility of Chad erupting and throwing fists at any moment. In doing so they are not only condoning his behavior, but actually encouraging it. Chad has no reason to change his ways, or even consider that what he’s doing is wrong, because he’s getting so much attention for it.
That said, back to business. As usual, Chris Harrison says, “All of your favorite bachelors are here…”
Who is in attendance: James S., Grant, Ali, Brandon, Christian, Nick B., Derek, James F., Daniel, Jonathan, Vinny, Evan, Wells, James Taylor, Alex, Chase, Luke and Chad.
Who is missing: Coley, Jake, Nick S., Peter, Sal and Will (Fun Fact: I had to refer to the original cast list to figure out who was missing.)
Chris tries to play up the drama of the upcoming finale by claiming that JoJo’s two remaining suitors are “total opposites.” They’re both tall white former athletes. Their hair is the same color and of a very similar style (although Jordan’s hair actually moves like hair is supposed to and Robby’s might be plastic). They both come from (apparently) well-to-do families with still-married parents, have both had to defend things JoJo’s heard from previous ex-girlfriends (or their roommates), have siblings and an affinity for paints*. Yes, they do have differences, but to say they’re “total opposites” is just crazy talk.
The first fifteen minutes of the two-hour presentation is composed entirely of previews for the actual content of the episode, previews for Bachelor in Paradise, and a recap of what’s happened so far on this season of The Bachelorette. Wasting my time, ABC.
When Chris introduces the attending bachelors, we see that Brandon and James F. have updated their hairstyles. Neither is an improvement, which makes me sad because they were two of my favorites.
The rest of the show is brief moments of moderation by Chris Harrison, but mostly chaos. And mostly about Chad. I’ve broken it down to save you some of the gratuitous whining and blame-throwing.
What I said: US Marine, short and angry, SMS, Slayer of The Dragon, The New Chad, angry little man
What he says:
- During the initial season recap he’s already yelling. He calls several people bitches.
- To JoJo – he says he doesn’t know how to deal with instant rejection (like when she gave him the boot right after he said “I love you”. Thanks her for the way she taught him to open up and share with her.
What I said: Saint Nick, Santa
What he says:
- About Alex – he’s manipulative, an instigator and has a Napoleon complex.
- About Chad – he’s an egotistical f*k, he’s a coward that sits behind empty threats, Nick offers to bring it down to Chad’s level by demanding Chad own up to the shit he created or settle this (by fighting).
- To JoJo – she looks great and he’s happy to see her smiling.
What I said: Brought All 4 One, the one who nearly passed out, Logic, non-meathead, keeping the peace
What he says:
- About Alex – he’s most comfortable in conflict (as a way of explaining Alex’s morphing into the second Chad).
- About Chad – he feels bad for the ghost following him (general public perception of Chad based upon the show) but also feels bad for the other guys whose great personalities were overshadowed (overlooked) by such constant focus on Chad. Admits they went after Chad, but it was justified by things Chad said. He hopes Chad takes his inclusion in Bachelor in Paradise as opportunity to redeem himself and change America’s perception of him.
What I said: Erectile Dysfunction Specialist with bad hair, bad hair and no self-confidence, Anti-Chad Crusader when in a crowd, whiny
What he says:
- About Chad – repeats the allegations that Chad uses steroids.
- About Shirtgate – maintains he did not push Chad until video of the altercation is played repeatedly, in slow motion, which shows Evan likely did attempt to push Chad. Says the fact that Chad didn’t move much means he didn’t push him. (Or, you know, that Evan didn’t have the strength to move the hulk that is Chad).
What I said: Harry Potter, he got the one-on-one date, standing up but staying cool, quiet threat, is he as bad as they think?
What he says:
- About Alex – they’re totally different people and the chips fell where they did. (Previously unseen video showed that Derek was likely as sneaky as the other guys had been alleging, and Derek is unable to formulate sentences that provide any explanation or defense for his actions.)
- To JoJo – suggests she should have used a word other than “reassurance” when explaining why he received one of the group date roses (she declines to amend her choice of words).
What I said: Texan, drawl, Cowboy, slow talker, slow and steady could win the race, shmoopy overload, every woman’s sensitive cowboy fantasy
What he says:
- About Alex – Alex’s marine training taught him in fight or flight to always choose fight and that it can be difficult to mature and opt not to be the clown and fight everyone (I’d argue he’s saying Alex is still the clown, but that he’s providing explanation for that behavior.)
- About being sent home – he felt confusion and pain. He was truly shocked. He had anxiety attacks for some time after leaving the show. He waited to say “I love you” until after he knew she was comfortable with his family, which felt right, but wonders whether it would have made a difference to say it sooner.
- About loss – losing friends in the military gave him appreciation for life. He knows tomorrow is not a given and so he tries to make the best of today, although he feels he didn’t take that philosophy to heart when revealing his feelings to JoJo.
- About love – he’s single, optimistic and ready to fall in love.
- About JoJo – she taught him to love again and opened his heart up. He’s nervous to see her.
- To JoJo – he just wants her to be happy. Thanks her for allowing him to love her and getting him to love again.
What I said: Looks a lot like Chad, bubble snow, Yab Yum Yoga, gaining ground, starting to turn into a Mean Boy, needs to keep opening up, scared but sincere, so good you know she won’t choose him
What he says:
- About being sent home – he was blindsided. Although saying “I love you” carries a lot of burden and expectation, it felt perfect to open up and say that. Still can’t understand why would she offer the fantasy suite card to him if she wasn’t in love. Still heartbroken.
- To JoJo – thanks her for showing him how to cross hurdles and teaching him how to express his feelings.
What I said: Slimy Asshat, Meathead, loose cannon
What he says:
- About the guys, generally – it was like a frat. Everyone was talking about him. He was the only honest guy.
- About Alex – “super annoying.”
- About Evan – claims he told Evan he was a good guy, he went after Evan because Evan pushed him first (which the video does seem to back up).
- About James Taylor – he has dirt on James Taylor.
- About Grant – calls Grant “Daryl” and threatens to talk about “[his] girl.”
- About Robby – Robby threatened ex-girlfriend Hope.
- About Jordan – Jordan isn’t sincere.
- About things he said – he doesn’t regret 99% of what he said.
- About threatening to find Jordan after the show – it wasn’t a real threat because he didn’t say what he would do when he found Jordan.
- About hitting a metal door – it was better than saying bad words.
- About being sent home – JoJo had to send him home because the other guys had painted him as “the bad guy.”
- What his mother would say about his behavior – she would have thought it was hilarious and loved everything (except what he said to Jordan).
- About dating three of the guys’ ex-girlfriends – they’re beautiful girls that got screwed over. He’s showing them that there are nice guys. He is still talking to at least two of them. “Believe me, they didn’t go after me. No, wait…”
- To JoJo – he wishes she hadn’t listened to everyone else. He wishes her the best. Tells her that Robby broke up with girlfriend Hope to go on the show and that Jordan is a liar and a cheater.
What she says:
- About her plan for the show – do her best to be fair and not lead anyone on.
- To Luke – something on the last date didn’t feel like she thought it should feel (see explanations for dismissing Alex and Chase immediately after they said “I love you”). She doesn’t know whether it would have made a difference if he’d said “I love you” sooner, but she didn’t feel safe without hearing the words.
- To Chase – she didn’t realize she didn’t love him until after he’d told her he loved her, so she didn’t know not to invite him to the fantasy suite.
- About Chad – she’d like to go off on him, but he thrives on that kind of attention and he’s not worth her breath (cue standing ovation from every other bachelor).
- On how the show ends – “I am very happy. I’m just really happy with how things ended and where I’m at right now.”
There were bloopers and more previews for the finale (airing Monday, August 1 at 8:00 pm EDT). But I said I watch this episode for two reasons. Bloopers (check) and the reveal of the new Bachelor. No reveal. I suppose we can assume the reveal will occur during the After the Final Rose episode (airing directly after the finale).
My money is still on either Luke or Chase – more so Luke based on the pointed questions Chris Harrison asked him about being open to love. However, by waiting until next week, there’s also the option of choosing either Robby or Jordan, whoever doesn’t receive the final rose. While there’s no way it’ll be Robby, Jordan is absolutely a possibility. That said, I chose Jordan as “The One” in my bracket and I’m still confident in my selection.
Speaking of… how’s YOUR bracket? Are you still in it?
* paints /peɪnt/ noun 1. mens trousers, or pants, that are so tight they appear to be painted on: ‘Robby and Jordan really love wearing paints’