The men want an apology from Lee (and they sort of get one)

By Samantha Highfill
July 31, 2017 at 10:00 PM EDT
Paul Hebert/ABC
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If I’m being completely honest with you all, I’m not the biggest fan of the “Tell All” episodes of this franchise, mostly because I think they should be called “The Men Tell Nothing.” However, tonight’s episode is an exception, because these guys were not going to let Lee off the hook, and I was living for it.

After some uncomfortable opening jokes from our beloved Chris Harrison — and an even more uncomfortable video filled with “Tell All” moments we all hoped we could forget — Chris welcomes the guys to the stage. Here tonight are: Jamey, Diggy, Blake, Iggy, Anthony, Lucas, Fred, DeMario, Alex, Jonathan, Lee, Jack Stone, Josiah, Will, Matt, Kenny, Adam, and Dean (whom the men clearly want to be the next Bachelor). Also, did Alex pick out Dean’s blazer tonight?

Chris opens with Lucas, hoping to get Whaboom out of the way early, but little does Chris know that Whaboom is going to continually insert himself into conversations that have nothing to do with him! First up, Lucas claims Blake was “obsessing” over him all season, to which Adam tries to throw in a line about how Lucas should’ve said “wha-bye,” but we’re way over plays on that, dude. Stop trying to make Adam happen, Adam!

Harrison then pivots to the basketball date and DeMario’s girlfriend. What, did you think they were going to ask DeMario about the Bachelor in Paradise drama? NOPE. We’re still stuck on Lexi, that woman no one has thought about since she showed up and got DeMario booted.

DeMario claims that, by the show’s logic, he’s “Beyoncé’s boyfriend.” His back-up defense? “I text everybody.” (Let me kill two birds with one stone here: You definitely don’t text Beyoncé.) And last but not least, DeMario claims that Lexi was nothing more than a “side chick” before he asks for “ocular facts” that they dated, which I guess means he wants something he can see? Well, if that’s the case, Harrison’s got the greatest “ocular fact” of them all: He has DeMario on tape admitting that he dated Lexi.

And here’s where Lucas unnecessarily chimes in: He’d like the world to know that he has DeMario’s back, a fact that only serves to make DeMario look worse in the eyes of pretty much everyone. As Jamey — who? — puts it, it’s the two worst people on the show “combining together.” However, DeMario’s retort wins the day: “Who are you? You’re irrelevant.” In the end, both guys have a point.

Dean chimes in to end the DeMario debate: “DeMo” is not a bad person. “He’s no Whaboom; he’s no Lee…” He’s just an idiot.

Then, just because he can, Lucas goes after Iggy and calls the guy a joke. Thankfully, Will is there to state the obvious to Lucas: “You literally cannot call anyone else on this stage a joke.” For the record, Will is still one of my faves.

And now, we can finally shift away from Lucas’ pathetic attempts to grab some screen time and focus on the real drama of the season: Kenny and Lee. And trust me, we’re going to focus on it for a WHILE.
(Next: Kenny’s in the hot seat)

Taking us back to the beginning of their disagreement, Kenny says all the men in the house agreed to play a “gentleman’s game,” so when Lee broke that rule, he had to say something.

But once again, it’s Dean who chimes in with the definitive statement of what was going on — it’s like his snazzy suit jacket is giving him newfound confidence. As Dean explains, Kenny “might’ve been the most well-liked guy in the house,” and it’s “hard to say the same about Lee.” With that in mind, it’s clear which person was in the right. “I will forever have Kenny’s back in that situation,” he says.

And with that, Dean has spoken.

Unfortunately, DeMario also wants to speak. DeMario, having left the show early because he had a girlfriend, says the Lee he knew was a great guy, but that’s exactly why the guys claim they were so caught off guard when Lee took a turn for the worse, morally speaking. As Will explains, Lee only turned into a horrible human being after South Carolina. (A statement that probably applies to a lot of people who spend any significant amount of time in South Carolina, if we’re being honest.)

But Kenny does want to be clear about something: To him, it never felt like racism; it simply felt like someone who was out of his league, surrounded by superior men, and knew it. Lee just simply didn’t belong.

With that, Kenny joins Chris Harrison in the hot seat, where he sets the record straight on being labeled “aggressive.” Or rather, Will does when he claims the guys never saw an “aggressive” side to Kenny. If they saw anything, it was a “frustrated” man.

After all of this, Lee finally speaks. First, he admits that Kenny never pulled him out of a van. Then, he admits that Kenny took the high road a lot and he should’ve done the same: “I should’ve been a better friend…For that I apologize.”

As much as Kenny thinks Lee’s apology is “admirable,” he’s calling “bulls—” because Kenny has now watched the season back and, in doing so, watched as Lee bragged in his interviews about getting under people’s skin. That being said, Kenny carries no ill will toward Lee. And he has bigger things to focus on considering Harrison has his daughter backstage. Wait, did they really continue to keep them apart even after Kenny was sent home?! That’s messed up. And Harrison clearly knows it because he gives them tickets to Disneyland to make sure Kenny doesn’t press kidnapping charges celebrate Kenny’s birthday.

Lee then heads to the hot seat, where his No. 1 defense for everything he did is: “I’m facetious.” Dude, you can’t even spell facetious! Lee tries to claim that everything he said was a joke that was taken the wrong way, but the guys are NOT having it. Yes, Lee should’ve been a better friend, but when he tries to talk about the things he has to “fix,” Anthony tells him he has to actually speak the words. Or as Kenny puts it, claim ownership for the words that came out of his mouth…or his fingers, seeing as how we’re talking about Lee’s unearthed tweets.
(Next: All about the tweets)

In case you were wondering, here’s what his old tweets said:

Tweet 1: “Women were meant to hang around for a few seconds these days, dogs are meant to stick around. Get a dog boys. Get a dog.”

Tweet 2: “Guys… When is the last time YOU actually saw a pretty Feminist? There is a reason for this.”

Tweet 3: “What’s the difference between the NAACP and the KKK? One has a sense of shame to cover their racist ass faces.”

Lee’s response? “I feel like I have a lot to learn in that area.” Furthermore, he admits he “said things I should not have said.” But the guys still aren’t letting him off the hook, and I am LOVING THIS.

Josiah joins Lee on the couch to ask him why he came on a show where the Bachelorette was an African-American woman if he felt that way. Lee, now literally backed into the corner of the couch, explains: “I don’t like racism at all. It bothers me morally. It bothers me inside. I don’t like it.” Lee denounces his tweets, but the guys quickly call him on the fact that it took him a year to do that, though Lee claims that was “half a tweet” from whatever he posted on his Facebook (and what do you want to bet the other half would make it worse?).

At this point, even DeMario, who defended Lee some 15 minute ago, is done. “I was being irresponsible in what I put out,” Lee admits just before Harrison calls him out on the fact that he’s literally shaking in his boots (in case you were wondering what team Chris is on). In the end, Lee admits, “There are things that I can learn. If I hurt anybody in any kind of way with a bad joke, I apologize.” BUT THE MEN STILL AREN’T DONE. This is officially my favorite “Men Tell All” ever.

Anthony stands up to address Lee because he feels Lee hasn’t acknowledged what they’re trying to forgive him for. He’s admitting to being a bad person without acknowledging any racism, whether intentional or not. As the men give Anthony a standing ovation, Lee tells Anthony he’s always been “well spoken,” which by the way, is racist. Lee says he wants to continue to learn and admits that he “did things that were wrong.” BUT HOW WERE THEY WRONG. SAY THE WORDS.

Harrison tries to help Lee along with a very direct question: Do you recognize that sexism, racism, etc. was a part of you, regardless of whether it’s there now? Lee’s response: “I am grateful that I have people in my life now that make me not like I was when I made a racist comment. I completely denounce that and I denounce that Lee. I wanna learn.”

Iggy asks why Lee is sorry, and he says, “I’m sorry for saying things when I was not educated and ignorant in those subjects.” At that point, Anthony is pleased, but Will wants him to use the word “racist,” which, to be fair, he did, but someone talked over him. Again, Lee says, “That tweet was racist and I denounce it.” Finally, we’re getting somewhere.
(Next: Rachel joins the fun)

Anthony accepts Lee’s statement, and the men agree they want to help Lee move forward. Kenny even takes another step and gives Lee a hug.

But for some reason, Harrison decides not to leave it on the hug but instead give Lee another opportunity to talk, which is never a good idea. All Lee manages to say is that he made mistakes and hopes to be a better friend and person, and he wants to apologize to Rachel. Great, let’s get to that, shall we?

But first, Harrison invites Dean to the hot seat to talk about getting his heart broken by Rachel and that oh-so-dramatic hometown. And guess what? The most exciting thing about this sit-down is Dean’s blazer, because all he says is that he’s moving on from Rachel and he’ll be in Paradise this summer, which most of us already knew. Cool. Is it time for Rachel yet?

Spoiler: It is! After she rehashes things with Dean — she really was falling in love with him, she swears! — she moves on to DeMario and the girlfriend drama. As she puts it, “I’ve dated a number of DeMarios before. I’ve met you before.” And guess what? She’s never looked back.

When asked about the Kenny-Lee situation, Rachel admits that the was disappointed in how Kenny handled it. She wishes he could’ve set it aside and focused more on her — translation: not left her in the helicopter to say one final thing to Lee. But when it comes to Lee, she saw a different person when she watched the show back. As she tells him, “You had such an amazing opportunity to be surrounded by different people and different cultures and you didn’t take advantage of that. I hope that in watching it back, you realize that you were a part of something so great. But in case you didn’t, please know that you could exit stage left and meet me backstage and I’d be more than happy to give you a black history lesson, a lesson on women’s rights.” YESSSSSS RACHEL.

Lee apologizes for messing with a situation that was very important to her and admits today has helped him realize how great these guys really are, but Rachel is not just going to let that go. She lets him know that the men were always that great; he just didn’t realize it. “I hope it expanded your horizon,” she says of his experience on the show, which officially ends our Lee conversation for the evening.

Then Adam poses a question, but literally no one cares.

Then there’s Fred, who gets a standing ovation from the men when he tells her that his situation went horribly wrong but he’s happy to see her happy, a speech he rehearsed no fewer than 10 times in the mirror.

And leave it to Kenny to give us our kicker: “If Bryan, Eric, or Peter don’t work out, you already know my number.” KENNY FOR THE WIN.

With that, I leave you all for another week. While we ponder which man Rachel will choose, I already know which one I choose: After that speech, I’m finding out everything there is to know about Anthony. If you’ll excuse me…

Chris Harrison hosts the romance reality contest series. Will you accept this rose?
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