It’s me, back again this week. A twofer if you will. Granted earlier this week was more of a ‘jeez you just like, totally skipped this week, huh?’ situation, but whatever you want to call it, here we are!
Do you know who also skipped town? ABC’s The Bachelorette! Rather than staying in Palm Springs, we are going to the glorious city of Minneapolis because a) hotel prices have got to be a steal and b) we reallllly need to hammer home that Michelle is from Minnesota and has zero expectations of moving anywhere else for one of these chumps.
Speaking of the chumps, they all pretend to be excited to be in Minnesota and shout Michelle’s name into the void. And this time the void shouts back! Michelle arrives to tell the lucky men that she’s actually on a 1on1 and it starts right now – but just for Joe, everyone else can go home and pretend the hotel in Minneapolis is any different from the hotel in Palm Springs.
Joe and Michelle’s date is overall pretty cute, especially since he’s also from Minnesota. They spend approximately four seconds at some Minnesota baseball game where Michelle throws the first pitch. But why spend any time at this on paper cool event when we could go somewhere cooler – high school.
Basically Michelle walks Joe around her high school pointing out all of her favorite spots and whatnot as though high school wasn’t a triggering time. And if it wasn’t, mad props to Michelle. If it were me, I’d like ‘this is where I found out I failed my physics midterm’ and ‘here is where I got borderline bullied by some mean girls I thought were my friends while I desperately waited for college to come’ (spoiler: I was right, college was my time to shine). But if Michelle has a more ABC-friendly version of high school then, by all means, let’s pretend this is still relevant by the time you are in your 30s.
They play basketball and are cute and chat a bunch, rounding out our day date before we hit the evening date activities.
I want to take a moment and actually – against all odds – applaud ABC for the way they handled the evening date. I know I’ve railed in the past about it, but Joe is open about some serious topics. But this time ABC, prior to the date, flashes a trigger warning that includes information to the National Suicide Hotline (which, as a reminder, is always available and is 800-273-8255).
In the dinner portion of the date, Joe opens up about his experience dealing with an injury in college. He had an injury and went to get surgery where his doctor botched it, ruining his chances of ever playing professionally. And while he was able to in theory perform, it wasn’t ever the same and resulted in anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. He struggled knowing his place in the world if he wasn’t playing basketball, considering that had been his identity for so long, something Michelle as another D1 athlete could relate to.
While I have never been anywhere near athletic enough to even pretend to understand Joe’s struggle, I do appreciate him opening up about having to find a new sense of self once his ‘thing’ was no longer available. Michelle also appreciates it and, to the surprise of no one, gives Joe a rose.
Next up is the group date, featuring Casey, Rodney, Martin, Leroy, Rick, Clayton, Olu, Chris, and Brandon. Which ultimately means that Nayte is the one getting the second 1on1. This naturally infuriates Chris S. because he assumed being a lying snitch would get him a 1on1 and believes that this is a slap in the face after what he shared with Michelle last week. We shall unpack this later, don’t you worry.
The group date takes place at the Vikings stadium because not only are we all yay #sports, we are apparently showcasing everything wonderful about Minnesota because the tourism board was down to cut a check to ABC to get them to film there.
That being said, rather than any Vikings players (of which I know none) it’s more like a bunch of old guys dressed up as Vikings ready to share what is necessary to win a fake competition.
The date competition is as dumb as they always are. They have to shout war cries, they throw a log in a test of strength, they arm wrestle, and are forced to eat gross food. The only highlight is that they are all supposed to dress up and Chris S is put in a horse/centaur costume because they want to slowly erode his sense of self.
Apparently there was an actual competition element though, and Clayton wins. This is the first time I’ve seen this man shine and let me tell you, even with this it’s not that bright.
During the evening group date he has his opportunity to shine a bit more. He actually seems to be forming a genuine connection with her and I’m confused by the choice they made to pick him as the Bachelor but simultaneously not showcase him almost at all. Don’t get me wrong, they cut to him as much as humanly possible – but as of yet he hasn’t seemed to have an actual personality and I’m wondering why it took so many weeks.
Otherwise the only positive highlight to me was Brandon and Michelle eating Swedish fish and being all cute, as one of the gross foods was some sort of fish earlier in the day.
But the real highlight was watching Chris S, the toad he is, slowly break down. He begins freaking out about not getting time as other guys go ahead of him to talk to Michelle. And then it turns out that he never even asked her for time because he wanted her to come to him. Then this boy has the audacity to hate on Michelle for not thanking him (for what, lying straight to her face??) after he went out of his way for her.
The date rose goes to Clayton.
Next up is Nayte’s 1on1. Michelle takes him on a boating date where he meets two of her best friends. Tell me who your favorite is without telling me who your favorite is Michelle. They ask him about house politics where he explains the Chris S drama much better than he did when Michelle initially asked him about it. And then they just kind of hang out before the girls leave and Michelle and Nayte boat around.
Before we get to the evening portion we cut to Chris freaking out YET AGAIN about how Michelle is not listening to him as though the problem is Michelle and not how he’s the worst.
Back to the date, Michelle and Nayte talk about their previous relationships. In a shocking Bachelorette twist rather than pulling a sob story from Nayte Michelle actually opens up! She talks about how she was in a terrible three-year relationship that caused her so much stress and anxiety it resulted in her being sick. But that she didn’t realize that’s what we causing her to be ill and she and her family were extremely concerned she had some disease. Fortunately though her boyfriend at the time decided it was ‘too much’ for him to deal with so he dumped her, only for her to then start getting better.
She and Nayte talk more about their pasts and Michelle declares at one point that the date with Nayte is the best she’s ever been on. You know what that means! Must be time to ruin it.
Chris S decides that the best course of action is to go and break up the Nayte date.
Michelle graciously agrees to go off and talk with him for a bit because she can tell that it is likely what she is most contractually obligated to do. Chris S tells Michelle that he felt played and what she said clearly fell on deaf ears. Ew. Michelle stands up for herself and tells Chris S that at the last cocktail party he spoke for her and she didn’t need nor want that.
As a result, Chris S doubles down on being a dweeb. He tells Michelle that she was fake with him all day on the group date (probably because she doesn’t like you bro) and Michelle full-on tells him that he had a bad attitude that didn’t make her want to interact with him. She follows up by saying that she can speak for herself and while he respects he wants to look out for her, she needs someone to support her when she speaks for herself.
In a surprise to only Chris S, Michelle walks him out and rejoins the date with Nayte. Nayte continuing to crush it tells her that what just went down is none of his business but he’s glad there are fewer men vying for her attention because he really likes her and hopes he can be the guy at the end.
With an end like that, is it a surprise that Nayte gets not only the rose but a fireworks show?
Flash forward to the cocktail party where everyone tries to get noticed slash we have to remind people like me who else is even here. First up is Rick who goes on a walk with Michelle outside of the hotel they’re staying at. Love Rick being like no one can interrupt me if we are not on the premises. They are super cute too, my favorite parts being where Rick pretends he would be willing to move to Minnesota and where they dance around in the street.
Next up is Rodney, who she takes to the top of the building and shouts into the city with her. I can’t exactly pinpoint what it is about Rodney but he is just so wholesome and kind. Like he seems like he actually is there for Michelle and not just to grow Instagram followers. Which is probably a lie! But let me believe.
And then we have Martin. Dumb, dumb Martin. After such a dismal showing last week where he spent his hot tub time talking about how she might have made an incorrect decision ditching Jamie even though he knew no details about the interaction, he would have to be on his best behavior, right? RIGHT?
Martin basically accuses her of being slightly fake because she compliments him but she also compliments other people and therefore he can’t tell what she means. Which like, I guess you could go with being fine if you spun it in a ‘I’m insecure because I like you so much way.’ Still annoying, but forgivable. But no. What Martin decides to double down on is someone getting on the topic about how women are high maintenance where he is from (Miami) and how annoying that is.
Sir. Gross. Also, I amend my first statement, he doesn’t say ‘women’ he says ‘females’ are so high maintenance. And when Michelle pushes back on him he doubles down, saying that men can’t be high maintenance because they don’t expect to be taken care of in a relationship. Which is truly hilarious because that’s so obviously false and I will bet you anything Martin expects to be taken care of in his relationships. Michelle agrees with the absurdity and breaks out laughing.
And the final nail in the coffin is Martin assuring Michelle that he’s not worried about her being high maintenance. That’s actually why he came on the show – she’s not like other girls. She’s confident and graceful and cool. Things Martin doesn’t believe other women are. All of this is so gross and Michelle is so visibly not about it I can’t wait for her to eventually eviscerate this man.
Cut to the rose ceremony and we have Clayton, Joe and Nayte with roses. Rick, Olu, Brandon, Martin(????) and Rodney get roses to join them.
We also get a mid-season preview which seems to promise the basics: romance, drama, and, best of all, tears. Lots and lots of tears.
That’s all from me this week, but as always, please remember to fill out your brackets! And I’ll catch you next week (even though we will be off so you won’t get a reminder to fill out your bracket so do it now do it now do it now!)