Hello Bachelorette Bracket!

I must start off with a confession: I am having a rocky start to this season. And I am failing you guys as commissioner. Not only did I forget to send a reminder email on Tuesday to those participating in the bracket, but I MYSELF forgot to fill out my bracket.

I am ashamed.

IN MY DEFENSE though I was too busy having an extensional crisis where I pondered the age ol’ question: do I love Bachelor Nation, or do I just love having Monday night plans? Because let me tell you, I had incredible ABC related plans this Monday. I watched my favorite Dancing with the Star contestant Iman ABSOLUTELY KILL IT during his creepy horror-themed contemporary AND managed to put together a decent cheeseboard (thank you Trader Joe’s).

But on Tuesday? I – I am ashamed to admit – didn’t even watch the Bachelorette live. I watched it on Hulu on Wednesday. WEDNESDAY. This whole Tuesday thing is becoming a real struggle. Apparently, I actually tend to have Tuesday plans? Who knew?

And while I’ve been doing a decent job of slowly but surely moving all of my Tuesday plans to Wed-Sun, this Tuesday I met my best friend’s parents for the first time which was definitely more nerve-wracking than any Hometowns these contestants will go on.

BUT I WILL GET IT TOGETHER FOLKS. I am the dark horse of this season. Put your money on me, I shall be the final rose recipient.

Let’s get onto the show.

We start off the night with 23 guys already way too invested in Michelle. Don’t get me wrong, she’s basically perfect, but it’s been 2-3 days. They’re acting like it’s 2-3 weeks in. The full Stockholm Syndrome shouldn’t have even kicked in yet.

But to accelerate it in case not *everyone* is obsessed yet, we move on to our first group date of the season! It’s a school date in case anyone forgot Michelle was a teacher. She has three fifth-grade students help her out as she tests the men on things like multiplication, spelling, and science. Things that are essential to falling in love.

The best part of this date by far is one of the little girls. She is not here for any of the men and constantly pulls faces at them. At one point Peter, the obnoxious “pizza entrepreneur” whose fun fact is he hates libraries keeps trying to talk to Michelle during a challenge and the little girl full-on tells him to leave her alone. Plus she and the other two children heckle the guys at every opportunity for being unable to get questions right. Considering I myself am at home doing the exact same thing, a kinship was built.

Speaking of Peter, he is a consistent obnoxious hum throughout the date. He already thinks he has a magical connection with Michelle even though he’s clearly just here to stir up some drama. He talks about himself constantly (once in the third person) and won’t shut up about pizza, something I can relate to but apparently even have my limits. At one point in the date they are asked during spelling to spell narcissist, so Will puts Peter’s name down instead.

This concludes the day date as we move onto the evening portion. Michelle here starts to sit down with the men one on one and we finally get to start learning the names of some of these people. To be totally honest I feel like I only know maybe four names at this point which feels low even though it is only episode two.

We first get Brandon, who Michelle makes fun of for having absolutely no ability to spell anything. He gives her a cheesy line and Michelle, proving ONCE AGAIN she’s the best of the best asks him if he looked that one up on the Internet because it was so cheesy. She also has a sit down with Rick, head in table man, who makes her a cute Mad Libs they fill out together.

Other than that though we don’t really see any interactions with the men – we need to check in on Peter and Will fighting! Peter asks to talk to Will and lays into him for saying he is a narcissist, and Will pushes back saying that he is and anyways was just joking around. There is no resolution, at least that we can see, although Michelle when talking to Peter later tells him that at times they are going to have disagreements in their relationship and handling it by screaming will not be acceptable.

Now that we’ve talked to the apparently only interesting guys, Michelle hands out her date rose. It goes to Brandon, probably because she finds him the most attractive, and we move on back to the house.

Next on the docket is a one-on-one date. Jamie gets the date card and starts immediately puffing his chest. Rather than being excited that he got the first date of the season, he starts being like oh yeah this is good I’ll get time to really see if she’s a perfect fit for me, this is her chance to prove that she’s worth my time.

Which, to be fair, is technically how normal dating works. Like you should approach a date looking not only to see if they like you, but if you like them. BUT! This is the Bachelorette! That’s not how this works! Michelle has literally all the power. You already know you like her – you signed up for her season. You know the ins and outs of her life. She has 22 other dudes right now to choose from. You gotta show her why you’re a good fit.

Also he just sounds obnoxious when doing this and it’s really not the look, which the guys seem to agree with.

He also starts talking about his life and how FUN and ADVENTUROUS he is. Sometimes he just wakes up and travels to third-world countries at a moment’s notice. He’s so SPONTANEOUS and EXCITING. He wants a Cool Girl™ to get on his level.

Unfortunately for Jamie, Michelle is an actual adult with a job who can’t just wake up on a Tuesday and be like I’m feeling an international flight, so TBD how he thinks that’s going to work out.

They meet up and head out to the date though, which is rock climbing at Joshua Tree. Frankly, this is an awesome date if you are athletic and one I would likely die while doing. But props to Michelle for being athletic and securing to inevitable athleisure influencer contract post-show.

After the picnic at the top of a tall rock, they go to dinner where Jamie opens up about his past. I want to preface this by including a trigger warning for suicide, something that ABC should be doing but consistently neglects to. If you or anyone else is ever struggling with suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255.

During Jamie’s evening date he talks about how he was so good at school as a young boy, but his mom started having suicidal thoughts and tendencies, so he and his sister would take turns skipping class to go and make sure she was constantly with someone, which resulted in him almost being unable to graduate. Unfortunately, when he was 24, his mother took his life.

As always, props to Jamie and all the men for being open and vulnerable about serious issues in their lives and the world. And this season we can also give props to Michelle for her beautiful response in which she thanks him for sharing his story and talks about how while she has only known him for a short period of time she is incredibly proud of how he has dealt with his life and she can see how he has overcome so much to become the man he is today.

Jamie gets the date rose and they go to their weird little private country concert, something no one wants but ABC is obsessed with giving us. One day I can only hope we can get a real singer (no offense) or just cut to the end of the date without needing an awkward endcap.

And yet the night isn’t over! We have to see our A Team go on the second group date. It’s a basketball date – in case you forgot Michelle is athletic / was a D1 basketball player – hosted by her and two WNBA players.

The date starts with some drills before the competition game for screen time time with Michelle. It turns out that Joe, Mr. I Ghosted Michelle Months Before This Show, is actually an insanely good basketball player. Like won an award for being the best in the state at one point good. He and Michelle have great chemistry and naturally start having some cute banter while they go up against each other and ignore the fact there are many other dudes on this date.

The basketball game for time then begins with all of Michelle’s favorites on one side and all of the guys least athletic plus Joe on the other. Some local announcer is out here narrating the game (Wells should sue for being replaced so dirty like this) and it’s very clear that the favorites team is dominating. Somehow Joe makes it so that it’s not a total blowout for his team (or he was the editor cutting everything together and making him look like a star). Because Joe is one of Michelle’s favorites we make up an MVP award and allow him to crash the evening portion of the date as well because WHAT ARE RULES.

Nothing really interesting happens during the evening date worth talking about, although Joe gets the rose because obviously.

The cocktail party comes next! We get to spend some more time with the guys and see more 1on1 time. Michelle takes Rodney (dressed up as a red apple and called himself a Granny Smith night one) aside and they do a blindfold taste test of foods where he manages to get every single food item wrong – including pizza, which he mistakes for lasagna. Two foods you could argue that taste dramatically different, but what do I know.

Even though he has a rose, Jamie decides that he wants to choose violence. He starts talking to the guys about how he heard that Joe and Michelle were actually dating before the show and that maybe she’s being shady. All of the guys seem relatively chill about it – very much team ‘that feels fake’ or even ‘well she’s here now and seems invested so that’s not my problem.’ And a handful of guys call out to Jamie that bringing up this fun fact seems super weird. It’s ALMOST as if a producer told him this info instead of his ‘friends’ and he just forgot about it until this moment.

Because the guys aren’t melting down, Jamie decides to do the next best thing: make Michelle break down!

He tells her that there is a lot of chatter in the house (there is not) from a lot of the guys (nope) that she has been out and about with a “light-skinned baller” (won’t even touch how weird that sounds) and they are starting to doubt her. But not him. Totally not him. He trusts her. In fact he is only bringing it up because he is sooo secure he just wants her to know others might not be.

Michelle needs to take a few minutes to compose herself because obviously being accused of something on your own show is very jarring and draining and goes to have a chat with Tayshia (Chris Harrison could never) where they talk about her being insecure that the guys are already not trusting her. Tayshia tells her to go out there and defend herself to the guys and basically tell them that if they don’t want to trust her then they can leave.

So Michelle goes out and tells the guys, almost all of who are confused, that she did not date Joe before the show and she is being her authentic self with them. She also talks about how being a black woman in predominantly white Minnesota means that when she’s out with a black man everyone assumes they are dating, yet when she is on a date with a white man everyone thinks they are just friends. She explains how hurtful rumors like this are, how they play into harmful perceptions, and how she doesn’t have time to waste on men that won’t trust her at her word.

She walks off and decides to ultimately cancel the remainder of the cocktail party.

Naturally the men all go around trying to figure out who said something. Considering more than half of them hadn’t even heard of such rumors about her and Joe (and Joe is trying to melt into the ground) they are upset that someone went to her with lies. Because producers love drama, we get a montage of guys talking to Jamie about how frustrating it is someone lied to her and Jamie agreeing adamantly how inappropriate and wrong it was for some stranger – totally not him – to do that.

Finally we move on to our rose ceremony! With very little fanfare we get roses for: Nayte, Rodney, Martin, Rick, Leroy, Spencer, Casey, Chris G, Mollique, Olu, Chris S, Will, Romeo, LT, Clayton, and Peter. This rounds out Brandon, Jamie, and Joe who received roses earlier in the night.

Had Jamie not stolen the secret villain spotlight, I can only imagine how this would have been edited to be dramatic with Peter receiving the last rose as though we actually care if he sticks around or not.

And that’s our show! Here’s to hoping we learn a little bit about the men we know nothing about now (so nearly half) and that I GET IT TOGETHER AND FILL OUT MY BRACKET.

Until next week!


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