Gooooood morning Bachelorette Bracket contestants (and friendly lurkers!)
Welcome to your first recap email for Michelle’s season of the Bachelorette! I will be your Bachelor Nation obsessed writer and host this season, where we will break down how the season is going, roast some contestants, and gain some unnecessary insight into the inner workings of my life.
But moving away from things that will likely scare you – it is spooky season after all – and onto our first episode! Because the first episode shows us different conversations with men, intro packages, and limo entrances in random order, we are going to structure this less chronically and more by theme. The theme of course being how insane the men this season are and my judgments of them.
Buckle up for another season (even though the last one JUST ENDED IN AUGUST AND WE JUUUUUST HAD BACHELOR IN PARADISE) of shenanigans!
The night kicks off with a cute intro package for Michelle. Unlike Katie’s season where zero dollars were spent because producers clearly hated her, production is doing everything in their power to make America fall in love with her. Which, to be fair, shouldn’t take long. She’s a stunning teacher from Minneapolis who didn’t get an Instagram until April 2020. APRIL TWENTY-TWENTY! And you know ABC made her do it before Matt’s season too, they couldn’t have a runner-up not promote the show in their free time! But most importantly, this shows that Michelle is here for the right reasons, something any of us that have watched before know alllll of the men are likely going to be here for too…
To break up the lovey-dovey intro of how amazing Michelle (and her arm muscles) are, we enter some intros for the men. The overarching takeaway here is that Michelle played D1 basketball and apparently every man on the season is convinced that if they could just show Michelle how great they are at free throws that is a stand-in for showing her what a good partner they are. And those that don’t focus on basketball fetishize teachers, although half also have “my mom is a teacher and so is Michelle so we’re obviously meant to be” which is a giant ????? from me, but alas. Apparently I have been going wrong in my dating career by not specifically swiping on men whose mothers are SEO experts. I’d even settle for a marketing mom!
The camera then pans over the resort Indian Wells (which obviously needs a name change but I will try to refrain from being too annoyed at it too soon) which is again, a dramatic step up from the La Quinta. It’s night one and I haven’t seen every single man sweat through his dress shirt, so I’m calling that a win for everyone.
To get more intimately familiar with the hotel (it’s gotta get its advertising in!) production sends Kaitlyn and Tayshia to run around introducing themselves to the men, kicking them out of their hotel rooms, and judging them based on what they brought and the messiness of their hotel room.
As someone who is ~shockingly~ a neat freak, I fully support this level of judgment. I have friends who I love to death that I would have to murder if I shared even a hotel room with them let alone an apartment they’re that messy. Let’s figure out early on who doesn’t have respect for their belongings and then let ‘em go early.
Even more fun though, is that during this process when Tayshia and Kaitlyn are looking around things, they find that one of the men, Ryan, has decided to cut out a cheat sheet for how to win the Bachelorette! Or, as this man spells it, the Bachlorette.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that any of these men are here for the right reasons. But there is a level of dumb-assery that is overwhelming here. First of all, if you’re going to have notes, have them be on Michelle. Don’t have them be on how to win the game. In your contract there is a clause that SPECIFICALLY STATES that you should have absolutely no expectations of privacy. Absolutely none. So why are you out here thinking your little folder isn’t going to be found? And to reiterate, the notes inside are absurd. We’ve got spelling errors, we have common phrases said on the show, we have “contestants to emulate.” Which! For the record! Includes my favorite contestant Jason Tartick, with notes that include “wasn’t a standout.” SIR. RYAN. MY MAN. I didn’t even watch Becca’s season and I love Jason. He’s one of the only Bachelor Nation contestants I follow. AND he’s the fiancé of Kaitlyn, one half of the new hosts. This slander alone is worth an immediate send off.
But alas we decide to sit on this douchery and instead cut to the opening night, where Michelle is standing waiting to meet her men, looking SPECTACULAR. I’m not normally one for celebrity workout routines, but this is 100% the type of influencer content I need from her.
Anyways, she gets a pep talk from the dynamic duo of hosts, and begins to meet the men! In the past I’ve normally broken down the men into three categories: good, gimmick, and get the eff out. But this season, according to @bachelordata, which is an incredibly fun data x Bachelor Nation account to follow, 70% of entrances were gimmicks. So I’m just going to shove some gimmicks into other categories because needs must be met and I don’t want to discredit some good dudes for a gimmick and give some creeps the benefit of the doubt. Please note that this list isn’t inclusive because while you’ll soon find I don’t know much about all the men, I simultaneously did not care to know all the men.
We have Nayte, who is first out of the limo. Nayte received an intro package where we learn he’s incredibly attractive and has a dog. Maybe there were other fun facts in there, but that’s all I really took away. Also, the Internet tells me that Nayte is 6’8” so think of the gigantic basketball babies he and Michelle could make. Nayte is nervous and says “better Nayte than never” which probably would have worked better if he was the last out of the limo but we’ll allow it.
Next up we get Romeo, a mathematician from New York. I don’t know if Romeo is actually French or not, but he speaks to Michelle in French about how he could be the Romeo to her Juliet and then immediately clarifies that their love story doesn’t need to end in tragedy which I find weirdly hysterical. Like “hey I gotta run with the name pun but I need you to know I’m educated enough to recognize that this is NOT a happy story.”
We then have a bunch of likable but simultaneously forgettable men. But likable enough that I didn’t mark them down as randos on my rose ceremony list. In this category we have:
· Jack Russell, the man who decides comparing himself to a dog is a great idea. Then immediately realizes calling yourself a “dog” in the context of dating isn’t great, so clarifies that he is loyal and attentive and is down to play tug of war for Michelle’s heart. Tragic.
· We have Jamie, who my notes include “smooth” and “fabric to life” which means nothing to me the day later but I feel like has something to do with the quality of his suit? I don’t really remember but I was impressed at the time
· And final, “Canadian Man” who is “also weirdly smooth” and “cute” according to Tuesday me. He might have been named Christopher? Which would explain why I immediately blacked out the name, as that is my brother’s name and immediately disqualifies this Canadian man as a suitable candidate. Although to be fair, much like Katie has now learned, marrying a Canadian can get you TF out of here if necessary, just saying.
We’re now back to names of men I know. We get Daniel, who is a fireman. He shows up in full uniform reminding us all why firefighters are everyone’s favorite branch of the emergency service. He is on a toy firetruck that he is dutifully pushing along, before getting to Michelle and calling her a smokeshow (Chasen from Tayshia’s season better be getting royalties on that one). Nothing about Daniel is really memorable, except IMMEDIATELY AFTER we get an actual firetruck pulling up, all bells and whistles, and our second firefighter PJ gets out and introduces himself. And let’s be clear – it’s hilarious how dirty they did Daniel. The men also get to see the other men as they roll up, so Daniel has to stand and watch someone do his bit, but better. This is the television gold I’m here for.
And finally, we get Joe Coleman, who I would like to put in another category but Michelle really liked him so I guess I have to put him here. He shows up and Michelle recognizes him. She can’t immediately place him and he goes with the whole “oh we are both from Minnesota I guess that’s how you know me” line, but she isn’t letting that stand. She asks him if he is Joe Coleman, the man she slid into the DMs of and chatted with briefly before her season. He confirms this is the case, and while we will later learn more information about this situation (TL:DR he ghosted her, the actual audacity) I already love how this is set up for disaster. I’m excited for men finding out, men rebelling, and Joe coming across as shady. Who needs manufactured drama when it can happen pre-show in real life and bleed over into the show.
First up in the “meh I didn’t really need to see that” category we have Clayton who is rumored to be our next Bachelor by basically every major media outlet. ABC has also all but confirmed it minus the GMA introduction so this news will not be treated as a spoiler here, sorry to say. If it’s a US Weekly story, it’s legit. Just ask Pieper from Bachelor in Paradise.
Anyways, Clayton comes up and hands Michelle a yardstick (or, as Kaitlyn calls it, a “teacher stick”) and tells her to feel free to use it to keep him in line and essentially asks her to smack his ass with it. What makes this wonderful is Michelle is soooo not about it, probably because she’s not about the sexualization of her chosen career path, so she like lightly if at all taps him with it. And there is something about her so obviously not being into it that makes the moment that much more awkward that inspires the level of cringe I expect, nay, demand, from this show.
The funniest of the weirdos is Rick, who has his head on top of a plate horror movie style and says some line about how he’s a meal or something. I didn’t really catch the pun since I was too busy laughing at the absurdity of this, but he seems endearing. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, later when all the guys are standing together and Michelle enters, it turns out that Rick committed to the bit and has maintained his status as table man. He needs to literally be rolled to and from locations. It’s so stupid. And yet. If you’re going to do a gimmick nothing is more fun than doubling down on it. In fact, if you do a gimmick and don’t it’s just a little pathetic. Rick being head on table man for multiple hours? That’s the type of commitment I’m looking for in a life partner for Michelle.
Also he kinda looks like one of my exes at certain moments so naturally he’s my problematic fave.
Moving on then Rodney, who shows up in an apple costume. And like not a nice one. One that I most definitely could find at a Spirit Halloween for a disgustingly priced $68.00. As an aside, if anyone has suggestions for a Halloween costume based on nothing more than things I likely own in my closet, shoot me a ping after you finish this email. I will not be taking “an apple” as a serious suggestion. But alas, Rodney is an apple given to Michelle the teacher.
AND THE BEST PART? When she asks him what type of apple he is, rather than saying Red Delicious, the obvious and most flirty answer, my man goes with Granny Smith. GRANNY SMITH. Also known as the most notoriously not red apple. Rodney, Rodney, Rodney. What are you doing. I get your bio says you’re from California and apple picking is a basic white girl activity if you live in New England (I’ve gone twice the past two weekends) but you have bought an apple at the grocery store before, right? Right??
Other than those standouts, we get Peter, my nemesis, who hates libraries. He is a “pizzapreneur” and says he “changes lives one slice at a time.” I knew I was correct for hating him based on the library hatred alone, but c’mon, at this point he’s just doubling down on that title. Only highlight from him for the night was when he fed Michelle her first cannoli leading to a rather heated debate between me and some friends about where the best cannoli in Boston is from, sparking the Mike’s vs. Modern vs. Bova’s debate. I am Team Bova’s for anyone not from the area who would like to subscribe to the correct opinion.
MOVING ON TO OUR FINAL CATEGORY: THE CREEPS
We get Ryan, our creepy note taker from before. Again, we will get more into the Ryan debacle later, but he starts out looking good. He shows up with an ice cream truck and his shirt buttoned down to his navel being Mr. Suave. Plus these rose ceremonies go on for multiple hours and he feeds Michelle ice cream, giving her potentially her only substance of the night, which normally is a win. But please refer to his sketchy playbook to see why despite all this he is our number one creep of the night.
Ryan is our creepiest creep of the night, but we also get Chris S., who I likely irrationally hate. He has an intro package that talks about how he’s so cool, he likes to get his eyebrows down, and he LOOOOOVES sports which then cuts to an scene of him golfing. Which like, yes, I get is technically a sport, but he has wannabe California surfer energy and it crushes my soul. Everything about him annoys me, down to his profession (commodities banker) and fun facts (“gives a mean Blue Steel face” and “burnt pizza makes Chris S. mad”). To be fair this is all judgement based on him before he even opened his mouth. But then he decides that the best opener is to make a joke about getting an A by giving Michelle a D (“lol diamond what did you think I was going to say”) so he’s on my shit list.
And then there are a few others that I don’t even remember the names of that I’m not about. Someone shows up and hands Michelle Mardi Gras beads and implies she must now show him her breast. Some dude shows up without pants on. Clearly some of them got lost on their way to Katie’s season where half the openers were sexual, but I just want to send them all back.
In addition to these men we have a bunch of randos who either didn’t get screen time or who made absolutely no impact on me! Super helpful when casting your bracket but alas, you too can actually watch the show.
With all the men introduced, Michelle goes and makes a speech about AUTHENTICITY and HONESTY and BEING OPEN. Get excited to hear those words parroted back all season. We move on to glimpses of conversations with some of the men, all of which aren’t particularly riveting. Michelle however is a stunner and I can’t get over how natural she is at being the lead, we are not worthy.
After a bit, Michelle decides that she wants to take Joe aside, where they talk about the fact that they were chatting a bit when back in Minnesota and he ghosted her, yet magically managed to show an interest again when she was going to be finding love on national television. He apologies and talks a bit about how it wasn’t a good point in his life because of the stress around the George Floyd protests and how that was affecting his mental health, which Michelle affirms she completely understands as a black woman also living in Minnesota. She emphasizes that the issue was the lack of communication, to which he apologizes and says that he’s working on that kind of stuff in therapy (which is such a green flag to hear from someone). She’s still a little wary about Joe and unsure what the next move is, but appreciates being able to have a conversation with him. Again, this emphasizes why it’s so important to showcase diversity on this show because we can actually have some genuine conversations about actual issues.
Not that Michelle asked me, but I too am conflicted. On one hand, he sounds super sincere. But on the other hand who ghosts someone as stunning and smart and perfect as Michelle but magically finds it in themselves to try again on national television? Seem fishy.
Finally though we move onto Joe and go to the highlight of the night: Michelle taking Ryan to task for his binder of notes. ‘Twas not the school supplies Michelle required for the first day of this competition. Ryan immediately beings to spiral when Michelle asks him about it. He didn’t write it, his friend’s wife wrote it. But he did write it. No no, he just annotated some of it. Wait no, she just doesn’t understand, it shows his passion. And we watch him circle and circle and circle.
Michelle, being much more mature than me, asks if they can go see his notes together. Ryan desperately doesn’t want to, but agrees because he has no choice. They go to his hotel room, where he puts his suitcase on his bed, germs be damned, and pulls out his DISSERTATION of notes. This wasn’t a couple of pages here and there. This isn’t a cheat sheet on what to expect. This is a book. He has multiple stacks stapled together. We got notes on teachers, notes on former contestants, notes on things to say when. We have notes to remind him to “pretend to be interested in stuff” and notes on what he lacks in relationships that are a fun little self-roast. Michelle is understandably not impressed so sends Ryan home on his merry way, spreadsheets and all. If I were “his friend’s wife” who “totally wrote all of this instead of Ryan” and it turns out I actually did write all of this and this idiot didn’t memorize it before the show and got sent home night one, I would, for the record, be absolutely livid.
The final moment of the night worth calling out is the one on one time between Michelle and Nayte. He’s adorably nervous in the way Greg was pretending to be with Katie last season, but Greg was no Meryl Streep and Nayte is for sure vibing with Michelle. They’re cute so she gives him the First Impression Rose, plus he is the first (and only) kiss of the night.
In an unbelievable twist of fate, we manage to actually get to a rose ceremony. Bachelorette producers, you’ve really won me over. Sure Katie’s season become a lot, and I enjoyed watching Matt James on this season of Dancing with the Stars (however brief) significantly more than any moment of his during his actual season, but this is where you have won my loyalty. Just give me basic drama and an episode ending on a rose ceremony. That was all I asked for and you delivered.
In the rose ceremony, we give roses to: Jamie, Leroy, Martin, Spencer, Rick, Clayton, Peter, PJ, Mollique, Romeo, Daniel, Brandon J, Will, Chris S, Rodney, Alec, Pardeep (the first Indian American man to get a rose on The Bachelorette!), Christopher G, Casey, Olumide, and LT. But with one rose left on the table, Michelle runs off! Will she give the rose to Joe Coleman the ghoster, or will she give the rose to one of the men we have spent approximately zero screen time with? Hmm. Hmm. Hmmmmmmmmmm. But after careful deliberation, tough decisions had to be made and – you guessed it – Joe Coleman gets the last rose.
A bunch of men I don’t know the names of are eliminated and we are treated to a toast and a preview for the season. Basically there are going to be a lot of declarations of love, a lot of drama, and a lot of tears. THE IDEAL SEASON IF YOU WILL.
Looking forward to spending it with all of you! Reminder as always to fill out your Bach Bracket for next week.