Welcome to The Bachelor’s Women Tell All episode! The set was, as usual, decorated with more candles and red roses than a funeral parlor. I don’t understand what these women saw in Zach Shallcross, but they clearly came ready to fight over him.
When host Jesse Palmer entered the room, the crowd screamed like they were seeing a rock star. Somebody thought it would be cute to put a graphic on the screen next to Jesse like he was a contestant: “Jesse Palmer, Age: 44, Host.” Clever. Is this new? I don’t remember ever seeing this before, and it made me giggle.
As Jesse reminded us, Zach “had to break a few hearts” and was now down to only three women left: Ariel Frenkel, Gabi Elnicki, and Kaity Biggar. The three were about to head into Fantasy Suite Week, or “As Zach likes to call it, Sex Week.” Eww. Thanks for that descriptive tidbit, Jesse.
Jesse told us that we would see a “sneak peek” later in the show, because “what transpires during the week of overnights is so shocking, so explosive and so emotional that it will have all of America talking.” Sounds like we’re going to get a repeat of the Clayton Echard fiasco when he confessed to contestant Susie Evans that he had slept with both of the other two women (Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia). Susie, who had previously warned him that any intimacy with the other women would be a deal breaker for her, abruptly left the show. Gabby and Rachel almost did, too. We all remember how ugly that was.
Jesse also told us that later in the show, someone’s life would “change forever.” Hmmmm. What could that be about? But first, he and Zach visited some Bachelor viewing parties to give the fans a thrill. The teachers’ group proclaimed themselves “the most dramatic viewing party ever.”
Christina Called Out For Making It All About Herself
Next up were all the women (or most of them) who didn’t make the cut: Olivia, Victoria, Cat, Madison, Anastasia, Genevie, Mercedes, Kylee, Greer, Aly, Christina, Katherine, Jess, Brooklyn, and Charity Lawson. Cue the catfights!
After showing clips of the various disagreements and squabbles among the women, Jesse decided to bring the ladies themselves into the conversation to give each of them a chance to tell their side of the story. First up was Brooklyn, who we all know is not shy. One of her big points of contention was when Charity received Zach’s rose on the group date and Christina “made it about herself.” Brooklyn felt that Christina was “calculated, manipulative, and trying to intimidate” the rest of them.
Fortunately for Christina, Olivia (who?) came to her rescue. She said that Christina just has a “bold” personality and says “what everyone else is thinking, but doesn’t have the courage to speak up about.”
Katherine challenged Olivia, “What do you know? You literally went home night one!” Oh, low blow.
But Olivia was ready for Kat, and fired back, “And Zach got to learn about your personality, and then sent you home. So what does that say about you?” Touché!
After several women claimed that “Christina sucked the energy out of the room” and “made the other women uncomfortable,” Jesse gave Christina a chance to respond. While the Tennessee native admitted that she could have “shut the f*** up a little bit more,” she really wanted people to understand her intentions and felt like “everything I did was just the wrong thing. It was hard.” But she thanked the others for telling her all of that and said she would try to be better in the future. She took the others’ ganging up on her better than I would have.
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Anastasia Claimed Kylee Was “Aggressive” With Her
Next on the hot seat was Anastasia. Not only did the women accuse her of being there for the “wrong reasons” (social media clout), but some of them believed she actually had a boyfriend while she was on the show. Anastasia flatly denied this, but the women refused to believe her and called her a liar. Harsh.
In order to reinforce what a “terrible” person Anastasia is, Kylee was called upon to reiterate the day in the Bahamas when Anastasia had been monopolizing Zach’s time and Kylee wanted to talk to him. When Kylee finally told her “I don’t want to fight with you,” Stassi finally backed down. But later she made a big deal that Kylee had said she was going to “fight” her, calling Kylee “aggressive.”
Kylee ended by telling Anastasia, “If you want to call me aggressive, fine. Call me aggressive for love, because, at the end of the day, I was just trying to further my relationship with [Zach]. Period. And unlike you, I was there for the right reasons.” Boom!
At that point, Genevie spoke up to defend Kylee and all the women of color. “Black women in general, every day we deal with the stereotype of being aggressive people. And we deal with very harsh micro-aggressions, which for anybody that doesn’t know, are extremely subtle. Very everyday interactions and behaviors that communicate bias towards historically marginalized groups of people.” She called out Anastasia for perpetuating that stereotype, rather than just letting it go. Instead, she had gone to everyone on the group date and “made it a thing that it wasn’t.” Very well-spoken, Genevie. She’s not wrong.
Katherine’s “Zach-Stealing” Before Charity’s One-On-One Date
Jesse then brought up Katherine’s “stealing” of Zach when he arrived to pick up Charity for their date. She had pulled him out into the hallway for a quick kiss, but when he returned with lip gloss on his lips, it raised a few eyebrows — mainly Brooklyn’s, who called Katherine “selfish, classless, and disrespectful.” Jesse asked Kat if she was surprised at the reaction she got from the other women. Here we go.
Kat answered that she just didn’t realize at the time that the other women would “take offense,” but she did apologize (at a later time, which Charity clarified), but she didn’t appreciate the way Brooklyn had spoken about her and her “character.”
But Brooklyn, being the mature and respectful adult person that she is, repeated, “And I will say it again. If the shoe fits, lace that bitch right on up.” I’m sure Zach is not regretting her elimination right now.
When Jesse finally put a stop to all of them talking at once, he thanked them for coming and being so “open and honest.” And if any of their issues remained unresolved, “There’s always next summer . . . [on] the beaches of Paradise. I’m just saying.” I’ve been saying that, too. I’m sure we’ll see at least a few of them in Sayulita.
Jesse Revisits Jess’s Obsession With Getting A One-On-One Date
After the commercial break, Jesse invited Jess to the sofa to talk about why she got so in her head about being the last one to have a one-on-one date with Zach that he finally sent her home out of frustration. She just seemed so young to me, like someone who’s in high school rather than someone looking for her husband (she’s 23 years old.)
Watching the video of Zach and Jess’s breakup just reminded me of how painful it was to watch her beg for attention, when he just didn’t get how much she needed to have time with him. The word “gaslit” came to mind.
Ironically, Jess said, “I just wanted [his] time. And it didn’t feel like what I was trying to say was coming across to him, and he wasn’t understanding.” Hmmmm, sounds like “Mr. Communication is so important to me” was lacking in his communication skills. Wasn’t that the reason he broke up with Rachel on The Bachelorette?
Jess felt like she grew during the process of filming the show and with the support of the other women. She said, “I think I truly did fall in love with myself. And I know what I deserve, and it was way more than that.” Good for her!
“I just love the fact that you’re talking about learning to love yourself,” Jesse Palmer told her, “and understanding and knowing that you are worthy of love, because, Jess, you absolutely are. And you light up every room that you’re in.” Awwww. What a nice thing for him to say!
Greer (And The Show) Address A Blackface Controversy
Next up was Greer, who “received Zach’s First Impression Rose.” He sent her home in Budapest. They started out strong, but first Zach had Covid and then she had it, so they just lost too much valuable time together. By the time she was released from quarantine, Zach’s relationships with the other women had just grown stronger, and he let Greer go.
Greer shed some tears while watching her story playback. Greer needs to buy some waterproof mascara ASAP.
Even though she had such high hopes at the start, watching the entire season so far, Greer realized, “We’re not each other’s person. And I just really hope he’s found his person, and I’m excited to meet mine.” That’s a very mature outlook, Greer. Could Greer be chosen to be the next Bachelorette? Time will tell.
Uh-oh. I spoke too soon. Jesse mentioned a controversy that arose since Greer’s elimination, in which she had defended a friend who posed in blackface. I hadn’t heard about that! Apparently, she had posted some comments on social media, which she later deleted, but someone made screenshots and reposted them. This is not good.
Jesse then said, “As a franchise, we’ve done a very poor job in the past of addressing serious topics head-on, and we’re not gonna miss that opportunity here tonight.” Wow. That was unexpected. Not only was this same topic the reason Chris Harrison lost his job, but the show has been called out in the past for ignoring similar situations.
Even though Greer apologized online, Jesse offered her the opportunity to say anything she wanted to add. “I’ve been wanting to address this. I don’t want to sweep it under the rug,” she said. “What I failed to mention in my apology was that what happened was racist. It’s not about the intent. It’s about the impact. [My friend] performing blackface was racist. Me defending it was racist. My ignorance was racist. I’m so ashamed. I’m just deeply sorry that I hurt the Black community . . . All I can do is to try to do better in my future.” Wow. Good job, show. It might sound scripted, but baby steps.
Greer spent some time talking with Dr. Kira Banks, a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant. Dr. Banks brought to Greer’s attention “that it’s so important to be open-minded . . . before you speak, think. Before you say something that could hurt someone.” Greer did a deep dive into the history of blackface, why it was wrong, and why it was offensive. She realized it was a way of “dehumanizing” the Black community.
As Dr. Banks was in the audience, Jesse offered her the opportunity to add to the conversation. The most important thing she said was that when racism comes up, we need to be willing to name it and face it. “We can’t ‘nice’ our way out of racism.” She emphasized how important it is “to educate ourselves and to be willing to understand the history behind actions, and then be willing to do something different.”
Wow. I know there are people who be will be waving the “woke” flag (what’s wrong with being awake and aware anyway?), but I love that they are taking the steps to educate themselves and their audience. We can all use more education. It’s a process. Once again, good job, Bachelor producers!
Katherine Has A Mother/Daughter Relationship Again Due To The Bachelor
Next on the hot seat was Katherine, who Jesse thought would be the winner of both Zach’s Final Rose and the engagement. But going into Hometown Week, Zach let her go because he “just couldn’t see a confident future” with her. Katherine really needs some waterproof mascara, too. I’ll bet she was mortified when she saw those raccoon eyes on TV.
Katherine told Jesse that because she discussed on-camera her problems with her mom while she was growing up, they’ve re-established their connection, and she has a relationship with her mom again due to the show. She said her whole family came together through watching her journey on the show.
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Charity Has Her Turn
Jesse next asked Charity to join him on stage. Watching her story back, Charity started sniffling and wiping away tears. Why don’t the producers just put a box of Kleenex on the table next to that couch? We’ve seen all the women cry, and Jesse even gave someone his handkerchief. How many hankies is he expected to carry?
Charity talked about how hard it was to bring Zach home to meet her family, only to have him let her go afterward. She claimed it was the first time in a long time that she’d trusted someone enough to fall in love. But even though she had her heart broken, she now felt more ready and even eager to find her person.
Zach Faces All His Ex-Girlfriends
When Zach sat down to face all the women he’s broken up with, he admitted to being “terrified.” Jesse said he looked very stoic, but Zach insisted he was full of “pure panic.”
Kat thought their relationship was wonderful, but it ended so abruptly that she wanted to know if there was “any tangible moment or time . . . that there was, like, a shift in our relationship?”
Zach answered, “We both know it.” But do you, Zach? Why would she ask, if she already knew? He continued, “[We had] a very fast, intense connection . . . Our date in the Bahamas, like, that was unreal. Our connection never faltered. But when it was getting to that point right before Hometowns, I had to make that very difficult decision. There was nothing, not one moment . . . that made me look at you any different. It was just a very difficult decision, of like, I have to make one. And I took it really hard.” Huh? He just kind of went “eeny, meeny, minee” and decided that Kat would go home? And it was hard on him? Nick Viall was right. Zach really does lack empathy.
While acknowledging that Zach had to make a lot of hard decisions, Jesse told him that “hearts were breaking all over America” when he said goodbye to Charity. Really, Jesse? That’s a little over the top. Charity wanted to know why he let her go.
Once again, Zach more or less told Charity that it had to be someone. He knew he had to make a decision, and I guess he just didn’t see her as being his wife.
Next Jesse told Jess that she and Zach had seemed to have a strong connection, until things just seemed to fall apart. Sweet Jess told Zach, “I just want to say I respect you. I care about you, and I hope you’re happy and well.” She felt misunderstood in their last conversation but realized he also felt that way. But she was also surprised to see how hurt he was at letting her go, and she wondered why he couldn’t express his feelings to her while she was still there.
Zach told her, “I did not expect that night to go that way at all. I was frustrated.” When she left, he realized how much he really liked her and wondered why he hadn’t been able to convey that to her. That’s why he got emotional.
Mercedes and Kylee, who were eliminated via Zoom during Zach’s Covid quarantine, asked Zach if they could have a goodbye hug since they didn’t get one when they left. He gladly obliged them with a “group hug.”
Bloopers were next. My favorite was Zach offering Brooklyn a nice cup of “mold wine.” D’oh! A producer had to explain to him that it was actually “mulled wine,” which is wine warmed with spices and sometimes citrus or raisins. Seriously? Sometimes Zach is just embarrassing.
Jesse Previewed Fantasy Suites, aka “Sex Week”
After teasing all night about Zach referring to the Fantasy Week dates as “Sex Week,” we finally saw previews of what looked like Thailand (it’s gorgeous!) and Zach’s voice-over saying, “It’s not conventional, but I decided that there would be no sex of any kind for Fantasy Suites.” Will he be able to keep that resolution? Sometime later we saw Zack telling Jesse that he woke up that morning with a “pit in my stomach” (Zach seems to get a lot of pits). “I feel like I let myself down, and I feel like I let the women down by saying one thing and doing another.” Ruh-roh. Looks like Zach didn’t keep his promise to himself. Of course, much drama (tears) ensued. Everybody was crying, and Zach claimed he’d been “robbed” of his “beautiful moment.” Looks like fun!
Oh, and Jesse promised us a “life-changing” moment was ahead. What could it be? Okay, apparently they’re going to announce the next Bachelorette. Who will it be? It’s Charity! Okay then. Honestly, not my favorite, but I’ll give her a chance. I did love her family.
As Jesse said, her life is never going to be the same. Congratulations, Charity!
TELL US – WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT CHARITY IS THE NEW BACHELORETTE? WHICH OF THE WOMEN DO YOU THINK ZACH SLEPT WITH DURING “SEX WEEK?”
[Photo Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC ]