The Bachelor recap: Doing it for the 'gram?
Clout chasers, beware! Zach is not about to let you use him to boost your following on the 'gram. This week on The Bachelor, everyone traveled to the Bahamas, where one woman got the boot because she (allegedly) was not there for the Right Reasons™.
It's morning at Casa Bachelor, and everyone's pretty happy that Christina's gone. Jesse Palmer arrives with some good news. "Get ready for your own slice of Paradise, ladies — because you're going to the Bahamas!" The squeals are deafening. When the host informs the women that their flight leaves in an hour, he is almost trampled to death as they rush to pack.
Somebody get that man a helmet!
Flash forward to their arrival at the (promotional consideration provided by) Baha Mar resort, where luxurious accommodations await. "Being in the Bahamas feels like a nice, fresh restart," notes Zach. "I want to take it up a notch."
Cue the knock at the door: It's time for the first date card. Congrats, Kat — you get the first one-on-one date! Everyone is soooo happy for her.
Greer takes it especially hard. "I'm just sad," she says, wiping away tears. "We didn't get to spend any time last week, and I was just hoping, like, maybe he would, like, really want to see me." The other women understand, and even Kat gives her a comforting hug. It's quite a different scene from last week, when Christina complained about not getting the rose on the group date. I think that's because people actually like Greer; her emotions seem genuine — and she expressed her disappointment in a less obnoxious way.
On to the date! Zach and Kat board a catamaran that sets out onto the beautiful turquoise waters. They break the ice by smearing sunscreen all over each other, because as we know, the sun's rays are lethal. Who knew SPF was such an aphrodisiac?
Blech. Keep it in your mouths, guys. Zach can't believe how lucky he is. "She looks like a model, and I've never dated a model," he says of Kat. "It's like, 'Are you really dating me? Me?'" Love that self-awareness, buddy.
As Kat and Zach spend some time snorkeling and smooching, the women back at the hotel are soaking in the pool and commiserating. "To me, it's like very obvious, like, that he's chosen kind of like his favorite girls out the group," says Anastasia. "And I'm not one of them. So, it's like, kind of sometimes I'm like, what am I doing here?" Um, you're enjoying a free vacation in the Bahamas, lady! Quit your griping!
Meanwhile, Zach is having a great time with Kat. "It felt like it wasn't our first date," he gushes. "I'm really happy with how it feels with you." That night at dinner, things get serious as Kat makes her obligatory Opening Up™ confessions. You see, Kat says Zach comes from a very "traditional" background, and she doesn't — and she worries he'll judge her for it. "My mom and I struggled in our relationship," she explains. "There as a point where, like, I didn't even live at home because the relationship got so bad."
Because of that turmoil, Kat says she's keen to have a "traditional" and stable family life when she settles down. "It just makes me worry," she continues, starting to cry, "that someone like you who had such a healthy upbringing… might not love somebody like me. In the past it's just made me feel really unlovable."
Ah, there's that word again, "unlovable." How many times have we heard someone on this franchise express a similar fear, rose lovers? It's almost as if people who sign up to date on a reality TV show share a similar desperation for positive attention and approval!
But I digress. Zach is moved by Kat's admissions. "I don't want you to have that fear," he says. "I want to love my person for who they are, not for what they came from." Awww, that's actually very sweet. Nice work, Zach. Now give that woman the date rose!
Cue the fireworks! And cue the women back at the hotel watching said fireworks with jealousy and dismay. "Sometimes, too good to be true is actually true," marvels Zach, as he and Kat smooch under the stars.
Good luck following that on your group date, ladies! Aly, Kaity, Ariel, Davia, Genevie, Anastasia, Kylee, Mercedes, Charity, Gabi, Jess, and Greer head down to the beach for a fish fry. Mmmm… fried foods.
Rice and beans, fried fish, conch fritters, bundt cake — this date is making me very hungry. Gabi's probably hungry, too, because she's allergic to shellfish and can't eat a lot of what's on the menu. "I'm kind of in the background," she laments, as she watches Zach toss conch fritters into his dates' mouths. "I, like, want to cry. I literally can't kiss Zach because he had shellfish." Yes, it's a little rude that producers chose this activity knowing that Gabi can't eat shellfish. On the other hand, they're in the freaking Bahamas — you've gotta have the shellfish!
Prior to the date, "we all agreed that we're going to share time with Zach," says Jess. "I'm interested to see how it's going to play out." When it comes time to do the limbo, Anastasia asks the Bachelor to give her a smooch first, "for courage." Courage? It's limbo, not swimming with sharks! The Bachelor, perhaps sensing danger, demurs, instead offering Anastasia his cheek. The other women are annoyed by Anastasia's bravado, especially after she pulls Zach away for some one-on-one time. "That was completely inappropriate," huffs Kylee. Girl, it's a group date — this is what happens! Maybe next time you should watch the show before signing up.
Anastasia and Zach sit on the beach, laughing about how sweaty they are, while the other women stand by the nearby bar, glaring in their direction. Eventually, Kylee works up the courage to interrupt Zach and Anastasia. "Zach, may I steal you for a second?" she asks. But Anastasia isn't ready to relinquish the Bachelor. "Can we have a couple more minutes?" she asks with a smile. Feeling awkward and embarrassed, Kylee pushes back. "Stasi, babe, please, just let me. Just let it happen," she says. "I don't like to fight, but…"
What's Zach doing during all this, you ask? NOTHING. Like so many Bachelors before him, Zach just sits there awkwardly while the women argue over who gets to talk to him.
Dude, say something! You have the power to diffuse this situation with a simple, "I'll come get you in a minute" or "We'll talk again later, okay?" Instead, you're doing nothing. Is it because you like having girls "fight" over you? It's only after Anastasia concedes — "I'm definitely not going to fight you," she tells Kylee with a sigh — that Zach opens his stupid mouth. "I'll see you tonight," he mumbles.
Of course, Anastasia is happy to head straight into a confessional to vent about what just went down. "That was honestly just, like, unfair," she complains. Again, I must ask: Have you ever seen this show? After bitching in her confessional, Anastasia begins recounting the story of this grave injustice to all the other women on the date. "The fight comment was a little bit much," she says. But Kylee is also feeling aggrieved, because she thinks Anastasia intentionally tried to make her "I don't like to fight" comment sound more aggressive than it really was. "She, like, tried to embarrass me in front of him, and that s--- doesn't fly," she says, filling Greer, Charity, and Davia in on the situation. "I never said I was going to fight her! She's trying to start s---."
Most of the women are Team Kylee. "Stas made a big thing saying that Kylee was trying to fight her — and then she proceeds to go and tell everyone on the group date!" says Charity. Gabi, too, thinks "most people" would interpret Kylee's "I don't like to fight" comment as a benign effort to diffuse tension, "but Anastasia's reaction was essentially insinuating that Kylee was trying to physically fight her."
Naturally, this little drama squall blossoms into a full-fledged typhoon at the after party. The evening starts off calmly enough. Zach and Kaity reconnect after their one-on-one with a makeout session; he counsels Jess to "stay strong and trust in what we have"; he makes a toast to Charity "for just being an awesome woman"; and he tells Gabi how "excited" he is about their relationship. Then they smooch… so here's hoping someone has an epi pen around?
Back in the holding pen, Anastasia tries to call Kylee out in front of the other women. "I was just taken aback by that comment. You said, like, 'I don't want to fight you for this.'" Kylee is having none of it. "You had to know deep down inside that I wasn't trying to come at you," she says. "You know what I meant."
Freshly irritated by her rival, Kylee decides to give Zach the full rundown of the tensions between her and Anastasia. "She took it as I was trying to [have a] physical altercation," she tells him. "I don't know if she was trying to embarrass me, but it felt a little embarrassing." From there, Kylee goes on to report some admitted "hearsay" from Charity, who told her that Anastasia likes to talk about how many Instagram followers she's going to accrue from being on the show. As you can see, Zach does NOT love it.
"That freaks me the f--- out," he admits. "I am terrified that I would end up with someone who is here for the Wrong Reasons™." Having done the intended damage, Kylee reiterates that this was not something she heard firsthand, "so I hate that I even spoke on it." Girl, knock it off. You got exactly what you wanted out of this.
Naturally, Zach goes straight to Charity to get the lowdown, and she confirms Kylee's story. "I was one of the girls who did overhear it," she says. "It's like, we shouldn't even be talking about, like, followers and things like that." Charity is one of the most (if not the most) normal-slash-trustworthy women in the house, so Zach is now fully convinced that he has a real problem on his hands. He heads back to the holding pen and makes a grim announcement. "There may be someone here for the wrong intention," he says, before pulling Anastasia for a chat. Actually, it's more like an interrogation.
Anastasia is shocked — shocked! — at Zach's implied accusation. "Yes, I'm here for you!" she exclaims. "Yeah, I'm here to connect with you and get to know you." Zach is not convinced. He informs Anastasia that the word on the street is she's just there for the followers, and he is not pleased about it. Anastasia continues to assert her innocence, saying she's ready to "build a life" with a partner who's also her "best friend." She does not deny talking to the women about Instagram in general, saying she's chatted with them about specific brands she's worked with in the past. "They all were asking me about it," she continues, "so I told them I would share my contacts with them. That's literally the extent of our conversations."
Hmmmm… okay. Anastasia's bio does list her job as "content marketing manager," which could just be a fancy way of saying "influencer." Is it possible that she had a purely innocent conversation with the women about how they might make some extra money with some sponcon gigs in the future? Sure. After all, most male and female Bachelor franchise contestants end up doing some kind of "influencer" work after they appear on the show. But as this situation shows, it's probably best to avoid any and all talk about social media — because it can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion.
Anyhow, Zach tells Anastasia he needs some time to think about the whole situation. He walks off, and she heads back to the holding pen. Seeing how dejected Anastasia looks — and perhaps feeling a little guilty about ratting her out with "hearsay" — Kylee defends her actions. "There's an elephant in the room, and I wanted to address it," she tells the group. "When I did speak to him about the situation today, I did mention other things, just because he was asking me about Anastasia and the vibe she was giving off in the house." (Was he, though? Not based on what we saw, but we may not have seen everything.)
Either way, Kylee goes on to inform Anastasia that she told Zach about the alleged Instagram comments. Stasi doesn't deny it, though she does say the "at least the remaining 14 girls will get 50,000 followers" statement was "taken out of context." Charity jumps in at that point, asking Anastasia why she would ever say something like that in any context — but the content marketing manager simply reiterates that she was answering the other contestants' questions about her Instagram gigs, or something.
It's all very stupid and exhausted. At least Zach is having fun with Ariel.
The women look one hundred percent over it by the time Zach finally sits down to hand out the date rose, which goes to… Ariel! Guess "blowing conch" truly is a bonding activity. But the evening ends in tears for Anastasia, who feels like she was "completely manipulated" and "sabotaged" by Kylee.
The next morning, Brooklyn greets Zach for their one-on-one date with a classic Bachelor huju (hug jump).
This is a totally normal thing that people do in real life. Do not question me.
Zach and Brooklyn kick off their date by exploring the island on ATVs, and then settling down on a secluded beach for a romantic chat next to some puffy beanbag looking ottomans. The Bachelor reveals that he first knew he liked her when she taught him to use a lasso in the mansion's driveway. Then they smooch. It's so romantic, Brooklyn goes in for… a fist bump? "The knucks after a kiss," moans Zach jokingly. "Ooof!" The rodeo racer assures him that said "knucks" are a sign of affection, and then they head into the ocean to make out some more.
If you were wondering if Brooklyn was going to Open Up™ during the dinner portion of the date, here's your answer:
Oh boy. Deep breaths, everybody. Here goes: Growing up, Brooklyn hoped that one day she'd have a loving relationship like the one her grandma and grandpa shared. She never wanted to marry someone who was anything like her dad. But as these things often happen, eventually she found herself in a relationship with a man who was, in fact, a lot like her father. "It got very out of hand, very emotionally abusive," she says. "I got to the point where I didn't speak. I mean, I was a shell of the person I was. It got to the point where it was physical, so for six whole years I was not myself."
Through tears, Brooklyn goes on to explain that one morning, she woke up and just decided that enough was enough. She summoned the strength to get out, she says, "and I never looked back." Did I pump my fist and yell "HELL YEAH, BROOKLYN!" when she said this? Yes, rose lovers, I did. Props to Brooklyn for not only getting herself out of an abusive relationship, but also having the courage to talk about it on national television. There's a good chance that someone out there watching really, really needed to hear that leaving is possible.
Zach listens intently, and he's bowled over by Brooklyn's strength. "You are so f---ing tough," he says. "It makes me sick to my stomach that you had to go through something like that." (And she didn't even tell him about the time she woke up to the cops shaking her awake, because she'd been knocked out by her abuser. Ugh. Toxic masculinity can f--- allllll the way off.)
Does Brooklyn get the date rose? You better believe it, folks. And before we move on…
Heading into the cocktail party and rose ceremony the next night, Davia is feeling anxious. She didn't get any alone time with Zach on the group date, so she's hoping for an evening with "no drama." Oh girl, why'd you have to go and jinx it like that?
Zach starts the cocktail party by pulling Anastasia aside for a one-on-one chat. In other words: Drama! After sleeping on it, the Bachelor has apparently decided that he needs to give Anastasia another chance to explain her side of the story. "My character is everything to me," she tells him. "It was really upsetting that you had any doubt in that … I did not come here for anything other than to see if there's a connection, and to see if you could potentially be a partner for me."
But Zach simply can't get past the fact that Anastasia was talking about Instagram followers, period. To that end…
Yep, Antastasia's earned herself a one-way ticket back to the States. As Zach walks her to the Reject SUV, Kylee bursts into tears. "I never want to be the cause of someone having to go home," she whines. The other women assure her that she did "the right thing." But I'm not buying Kylee's guilt or her tears — she knew exactly what might happen if she gave Zach the Instagram intel, and she made the choice to do it anyway. Now she's just worried that she'll fall victim to the "snitches get stitches" rule. As for Anastasia, she'll just have to wait until Paradise to get that influx of followers.
With that ugliness out of the way, Zach is now free to begin pulling women for chats-slash-make out sessions. He starts with Charity and then moves on to Kat, who already has a rose. Uh-oh, Davia's crying! "I saw him pull Kat for a chat," she sobs to Kaity. "We made eye contact as he, like, grabbed her hand and, like, told her that he was excited to see her. It just felt defeating to see that."
But Davia is still trying to "hold on to hope." When it's finally her time to talk to the Bachelor, she does her best not to complain — until Zach references how they "had such a fast, hot connection" from night one. "Well, the thing that scares me is the word 'had,'" she says sadly. "I just want you to know that I really want to grow this, and, like, I want to be here with you." Zach gives her a compliment ("you are awesome") and a smooch… but I'm not convinced that he's really feeling it.
Tink! Tink! Tink! Here comes Palmer with his Butter Knife of Bad News! The cocktail party is over, ladies. Sorry, Kylee, but you're not going to have a chance to talk to Zach before he hands out the roses. "I think you're all going to be moving on without me," she tells the women with a shaky voice. "I did it to myself, so I can't be mad at anyone but myself." Kylee is so convinced that Zach is going to send her home that she wants to skip the rose ceremony, but Mercedes — or the producers — talk her into going.
Side note: That rose podium "buoy" looks like a rejected prop from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World.
Rose ceremony roll call: Charity, Kaity, Gabi, Jess, Mercedes, Aly, Greer, and Kylee (phew!) join Kat and Brooklyn in the Circle of Safety. So sorry, Davia and Genevie — it's time for you to head home. As for the rest of you, it's off to London you go! The women all squeal in delight, which poor Davia hears as she stands outside giving her tearful exit interview. Hang in there, lady.
If the preview is any indication, things don't go very smoothly in London. We see Palmer giving the women some "really bad news," and then there's lots of crying. Also… what's going on here?
Is that Zach… on Zoom? This can't be good. (There are some spoilers out there, rose lovers, so if you've read them, please don't talk about it in the comments. Not everyone likes to get the dirt in advance.)
Before you go, a few questions: Did Anastasia get a raw deal, or was Zach right to send her home? Which of the frontrunners are you rooting for? (It's Charity and Kaity for me.) And have you ever had a gossip session with a baby flamingo? Post your thoughts below!
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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