We did it. Against all odds. We somehow survived THREE MONTHS OF THIS NONSENSE.

Bachelor Bracket, I’m proud of us. We survived mean girls, exploited childhood trauma, and an exuberant amount of names that somehow all still felt like they were Victorias and Jessicas. Despite everyone thinking we were trash-talking reality TV, we were going on a ~journey~ together even the Bachelor producers would be proud of.

Now onto our final recap (for now…)

Starting our evening is a dramatic preview that highlights the stakes for Matt – either he’s going to find a wife or he’s going to be so emotionally damaged he’s going to need therapy for the rest of his life according to ABC. I am disappointed they don’t give themselves credit for occasionally delivering both.


Matt’s mother and brother are here to meet the women who are vying for the illustrious title of daughter-in-law. Michelle is up first. She says all the right things and makes Matt’s mom cry when she talks about how her family loved Matt and how he would be such a great person to build a life with.


Michelle, as we all expected, is the woman we all wish our brothers and sons bring home. I want my brother to bring Michelle home to be my sister-in-law. Don’t get me wrong, I like his current girlfriend, and she’s a WHOLE LOT OF STEPS UP from the girl who basically told my dog she hated him within the first twelve seconds of entering the house before introducing herself to the family, but she’s no Michelle.

Look at this dog. I dare you to look me in the eye and tell me this dog is anything but perfect.

I’m still angry in case you couldn’t tell.

But whatever, she’s dead to the Hayes clan, so we can move on to Rachael who truthfully I expected to bomb but does a decent job. Matt’s brother deserves to get props for asking each of the women hard questions that, let’s be real, even Matt couldn’t answer. Rachael keeps referencing how her high school relationship taught her a lot and I just can’t with this nonsense. Why are these women so young?? Granted I don’t believe Matt is ready for marriage either considering he’s never dated someone for longer than three months but jeeeeeeeeez.


The family then gives some feedback. They’re like so who do you like best and Matt is all ‘well I don’t have a favorite but Michelle is obviously perfect but I love Rachael.’


His mom does a classic Bachelor disapproval face and says ‘she’s……cute’ the way that Hannah Brown’s mom said that her loser of a first pick Jed ‘had qualities.’

But unlike other families, Matt’s brother and mom haven’t had to go through this process on their end! Matt’s NEVER BEEN A CONTESTANT and it’s very clear why this is a necessary prerequisite: they don’t even pretend to think this is a good idea. Matt’s mom basically tells him feelings aren’t forever and love fades and his older brother is all but ready to bail him out of this Pennsylvania hellhole (not to be confused with the high school I went to growing up).


Matt looks visibly shaken, either from his family’s less than supportiveness at the dumb idea of him getting engaged at the end of this, or because he had thoughts of trying to quit and production reminded him how they essentially own him for the next two years.

So Matt pretends to rally and he and Michelle have their Last Chance Date which involves them repelling down the side of the Nemacolin because Michelle might be the only woman he’s gone out with this season he hasn’t almost killed.


They then sit on a couch surrounded by LITERAL RED FLAGS MICHELLE OPEN YOUR EYES and Matt proves that if being an influencer doesn’t work out he has absolutely no future in acting.

We then move onto the evening portion of the date. Matt has put on his breakup (and emotional breakdown) jacket and heads to Michelle’s room to tell her that it’s over.

Buuuuut in true Matt fashion it’s an absolute shitshow. He’s too slow off the line – rather than jumping to the breakup, Michelle pulls out a gift for him, and we can all see the life drain out of Matt. He opens the gift and it’s a jersey with the team name ‘World Changers’ and the back ‘Mr. James’ because Matt and Michelle had talked about how much they loved making an impact in their communities and by helping children achieve their dreams and it’s so heartwarming to hear about the beautiful connection about to be smashed into bits. Michelle then pulls out a second gift bag that’s for her, and it’s a matching jersey for her with ‘Mrs. James’ on the back because she can’t imagine being on anyone else’s team AND I JUST FEEL SO BAD FOR MICHELLE.


Matt, looking like he’s two seconds away from vomiting, manages to put his breakup face on and tells Michelle that when he pictures the end of this he doesn’t see her. Michelle looks like she’s been slapped and asks him what happened since it feels like a switch has been flipped and Matt assures her it hasn’t just been a new feeling AS THOUGH THAT MAKES IT ANY BETTER and Michelle is barely holding it together.

She, having more composure than any human ever, asks him if she’s supposed to fight for him or if she’s not supposed to fight for him because she loves him and is feeling so lost and like the pathetic human he is he all but shouts sorry and runs out of the room.

Still shell-shocked, Michelle finally crumbles into herself and cries in a corner and I’m so sad. This is not a fun episode. ALSO CAN WE MAYBE START GIVING THE WOMEN TISSUES WHEN THEY CRY??? It just seems cruel not to on production’s end.


For context this means that the only person left is Rachael. I can’t accept this. Did I know it was going to happen? Obviously. Did I come to the realization I had held out hope for NO REASON? Also yes. Can we get Tyler here? Hell, call up Heather and have her drive back with her minivan please.

Matt manages to get to the lobby before also breaking down, giving a voiceover about how because his parent’s relationship failed he doesn’t believe in love anymore and I’m like…this isn’t new? Like it’s been 20 years since that Matt, maybe don’t go on a show where you need to get engaged at the end then.

Chris Harrison is summoned from whatever lair he lives in and pretends like he’s going to comfort Matt when in fact he’s just here to make sure he follows his contract. Matt talks about his parents’ relationship, how he’s worried about not being a good partner, and Chris brushed alllll of that off with essentially ‘what are you going to do, listen to your MOM???’ to which I’m like…yes. That’s probably a very sound idea.

MAYBE if the show didn’t find it necessary to bring in Matt’s dad fourteen seconds ago and have them begin working through all of their issues for entertainment this would have been easier for Matt. All I’m saying, maybe ABC should be careful with who they point fingers at.

Matt decides that he needs to take some time to figure out his feelings, which ultimately means canceling Rachael’s final date. Because why only have one person spiral when we can have two?

While it’s obvious I don’t like Rachael by now, I will say if I got all dressed up in my hot pants that I had been saving all season only to be told my date was canceled someone would be dead. This is COVID times. If I put on real pants (or God forbid a real bra) you know it’s a big day and I would be LIVID.


To have Matt work through his relationship issues they fly in Neil Lane(?) because apparently he also has a contract that says he can have a native ad every season and it doesn’t matter if Matt is looking to get engaged or not, he’s going to look at the fucking rings.


Matt decides to confide in Neil Lane about his doubts because apparently Neil can do it all, make multi-million rings AND play soundboard. Nothing he says is remotely helpful and Matt looks afraid to touch the rings as though they might be Horcruxes, but somehow we go from Matt hating his life to talking about how he picked out a great ring.

I will say the ring he picked though is a no from me. Sure it’s worth more than the combined salaries of every single person on this email chain, but come on Matt. If you didn’t want the ring you should have just said so, not picked the ugliest one of the crew.

The big day arrives! Rachael is spiraling out of control, no more so than when she receives a note asking her to meet Matt at the lake which sounds like the beginning of a horror movie, but alas is just the beginning of their non-proposal proposal (which in a way also ended up being a horror movie).

Rachael shows up at the final proposal site which is very much Pennsylvania. Surprised that out of the places we’ve seen at the Nemacolin this is the best they’ve got, but maybe they also weren’t ready to sign off on this shit.


Matt romantically starts the proposal by stating that “this is going to be the most difficult decision I have ever made” which inspires only confidence in Rachael, who has the look of someone who knows she is about to be dumped. I do give her props for not crying on the spot when it seems like it goes south, especially when Matt does a total switcheroo and tells her that she is wonderful and he sees his life with her but just isn’t going to propose.

Rachael looks confused but is nonetheless excited, even though I can’t believe she thought she was ever going to win this thing. When they have their romantic post-engagement Rachael throws shade to Matt about how he cancelled their date the day before and I can’t help but feel confident this is the perfect foot for this relationship to get started on.

And that wraps up our show! OR DOES IT BECAUSE THERE WAS ONE MORE HOUR OF AFTER THE FINAL ROSE. Just when you think we’ve escaped them they drag you right back.

ATFR starts with Emmanuel Acho instead of Chris Harrison because Chris Harrison can’t be trusted (period, but especially to lead a thoughtful discussion on race).

For those that don’t know who Emmanuel Acho is – he’s wonderful. He was in the NFL and now is on Fox doing sports reporting. Obviously, as the last-place finisher of Digitas Fantasy Football 2020, that’s not how I know him, but I have watched his INCREDIBLE YouTube series ‘Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man’ where he has – you guessed it, uncomfortable conversations with everyone from former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay on interracial relationships to Roger Goodell about National Anthem protests. I can’t recommend a watch enough. Anyways he’s great, I love him, and he actually knows how to have a conversation and ask probing questions about delicate issues.

Emmanuel starts out by bringing out Michelle. Michelle talks about how she felt blindsided and just wants closure with Matt. She mentions that she asked if she could speak to Matt for just two minutes post-breakup, not to change his mind but understand why he was dumping her and he refused to see her, and while I’m not sure if I believe that was a Matt and not a producers driven decision, I am appropriately angry on her behalf.


Emmanuel brings out Matt to talk and he and Michelle say a whole lot of nothing to one another. Matt apologies for hurting her but also stands by the fact that she wasn’t the person for him and apologies for not giving her the time to talk to him right then and there. Emmanuel asks Michelle if she has any final things to say to Matt and Michelle takes the classy route and instead of telling him he’s the worst, she makes a joke about how she hopes he learns to kiss with his eyes closed and learn another phrase other than ‘thanks for sharing that with me.’


We get Matt alone for a bit where Emmanuel asks him to talk about his relationship status with Rachael where Matt reveals they are not together, obviously, because Rachael as we *all* know by now has a racist past and while Matt might have been a disaster on the show, jokes aside he’s a good dude and he doesn’t deserve that nonsense.

Matt also mentions that he had to tell Rachael as rumors came out why some of the things she had done in the past were racist and he didn’t sign up to have to educate his partner on a basic understanding of racism in America. Matt highlights that it’s not his job to educate his white counterparts and I’m so happy that ABC is handling this well and showcasing the importance of white people actively being anti-racist and committing to unlearning the racist ideals they hold. Matt and Emmanuel also talk about the burden on Black men feeling the need to appear non-threatening constantly in society and while I personally wish they dove deeper I understand this is not that type of show and we must return to the petty relationship drama.


Before we get Rachael and Matt together Emmanuel asks Matt to step aside so that he can speak to Rachael directly. Emmanuel directly addresses some (of the many) racist activities she had engaged in the past (and ABC brings up and displays the receipts) and asks her thoughtful questions about her activities.

I will give some credit to Rachael that she owns the fact that she fucked up. She admits to never even realizing those photos were bad and rather than pointing at her upbringing or the fact she was in the South she admits that she was old enough to know better and actively decided to not question why parties like the one she attended existed and why they would be celebrated.


The credit ends when Emmanuel asks Rachael what she’s doing to educate herself and she’s like ‘I could sit here and tell you what books I’ve been reading, what podcasts I’ve been listening to, what movies I’ve been watching but what matters is that I do the work’ and it’s like girl you haven’t done any work? so like…the very least you could do is share some resources? or at THE VERY VERY LEAST plug Emmanuel’s book on race…?


We’ve apparently hit our soul searching max for one hour though so we need to bring out some relationship drama. Rachael is clearly thrilled by the idea of having Matt on stage with her after he called her to break it off.


The two of them together is painful to watch. They talk around some of their previous conversations which makes me wonder what else she had to apologize for that we don’t know about, but she does it again on camera and Emmanuel asks Matt what he has to say in response and we have maybe 10 seconds of dead air before we cut to a commercial, only to return to more dead air.


If the beard wasn’t indication enough, Matt has essentially been broken down by ABC/The Bachelor and I hope that while they have decided to replace Chris Harrison with Tayshia and Kaitlyn as co-hosts of the Bachelorette moving forward we also get some serious overhauls of producers and have serious discussions of how they can do better. Because this is not fun. Jessenia calling MJ by her full name? That’s fun. Serena P making fun of Matt for having a turtle? That’s fun. Watching the girls’ spiral during Fantasy Suite week? That’s also fun. Seeing CLEAR AS DAY how poorly this show supported their first Black Bachelor? Not fun at all.

What is fun though is Emmanuel’s savage bluntness. When Matt manages to give some half-assed answer to how Rachael made him feel, Emmanuel asks Rachael for any last words.


She cries a bit and tells him he’s the love of her life or whatever (you’re 24, you’ll be fine Rachael) and then Emmanuel says to have one final embrace before we move on and Matt full stop DOES NOT and this is my favorite Matt. Matt has seen some shit these last few months and I have the utmost respect for him being like no actually I’m going to say my piece about how much this relationship ending hurt me because you didn’t respect me inherently as a person so no, screw your hug.


We cut to a commercial break with the promise that we are putting this trainwreck of a season behind us and moving onto our Bachelorette season when we get back. And it turns out we will be getting not one, but TWO Bachelorettes! Katie and Michelle are going to be our future Bachelorettes – Katie will begin filming in the next few weeks and Michelle’s season will begin once school is out for the summer so she doesn’t have to take more time away from her students.


I for one am thrilled. Bachelorettes are consistently superior to Bachelors (who only has Sean Lowe still with his final pick, if we don’t count Jason and Arie who made switches back to their second pick and married them) and the drama is less mean and more entertaining. You also know for Katie’s season we are going to be beaten over the head with vibrator jokes and I for one am prepared to find memes for the upcoming season that are simultaneously hilarious while also not getting me a one-way ticket to a meeting with HR.

Excuse me while I begin listening to the songs Katie’s promos will no doubt have:

·       Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys (also the first band I saw in concert fun fact)

·       Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe – Kendrick Lamar

·       Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) – ABBA

While I’m at it, my Michelle playlist:

·       ABC – Jackson Five

·       Teach Me Tonight – Stevie Wonder

·       Hot for Teacher – Van Halen

·       When I Kissed the Teacher – ABBA (what can I say I was REALLY into Mamma Mia as a kid)

AND THAT’S A WRAP! Thanks for joining me on this crazy journey – it’s been a wonderful time being your self-appointed emcee and I look forward to harassing all of you into signing up for our Bachelorette Bracket later this spring.

I will leave you with some final search inspiration from our Bachelor himself:



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