This week on The Bachelorette, the guys compete for Tayshia's attention in a 'grown-ass man challenge,' and things get messy during a wrestling match.

By Kristen Baldwin
November 17, 2020 at 10:00 PM EST
Credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin
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In 2020, we need to take our victories when we can however small. This week, rose lovers, new Bachelorette star Tayshia rid the world of a hideous scourge.

That’s right — she not only convinced Noah to ditch his mustache, she actually shaved the damn thing off his face herself! Not all heroes wear capes, folks.

Other stuff happened, too. Let’s recap!

The first group date goes to Montel, Ivan, Demar, Ben, Chasen, Ed, Joe, and Bennett. They head over to… I don’t know, some other part of the resort, where two of Tayshia’s “friends” are waiting for them.

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Awww, it’s Ashley and Jared, Bachelor Nation’s most successful romantic disasters! (Also, if you’re wondering why Jared looks so scruffy, it’s not quarantine — that’s his regular lewk.) Anyhow, the smug marrieds are here to host a Grown Man Challenge: The winner will be crowned a “grown-ass man,” while the loser will be dubbed a “man-child.”

Apparently, the bar for being labeled an adult male is pretty low because the first part of the competition is basic math. Like, “can you tell time” basic. Naturally, Bennett Who Went to Harvard thinks he’s going to crush this portion of the challenge… but he doesn’t. I’m not sure how many questions the guys actually had to answer, but of the three we see (two math and one spelling), Bennett gets them all wrong.

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“Harvard might have to drop their tuition prices after seeing Bennett’s performance today,” notes Ed. “Mr. Harvard had more wrong answers than I did for sure, and I went to Arizona State,” adds Demar gleefully. Perhaps Bennett will do better in the feats of strength? Nope, because he’s sitting those out due to “an old football knee injury.” Wait, that dude played football? Huh.

One of the things that’s wonderful about having a new Bachelorette is that we’re finally getting to hear more from some of the other guys, like Joe the adorable anesthesiologist. I mean, just look at him!

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Unfortunately for Joe, his ass is not grown enough to beat Ivan in the “grab the bouquet” challenge. He’s still cute though. Can’t wait to see him in Paradise (someday, sigh).

The “breakfast in bed” portion of the Grown Man Challenge really brings out the cheeseball in these guys. Ed makes Tayshia get out of bed so he can do push-ups while she sits on his back (um, why?), but then he has the audacity to roll his eyes at Chasen when he strips off his shirt and declares himself the “main course for breakfast.”

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Is anyone here a fan of morning sex? (Don’t answer that.) Bennett, meanwhile, changes into a terrycloth robe before bringing Tayshia some pastries and coffee. The Bachelorette doesn’t exactly LOVE it, but she doesn’t hate it, either. “Bennett’s bougie,” she says. “And I’m bougie, so I appreciate it.” Not appreciated by anyone? The moment when Ashley I. sneezed without covering her mouth and nose, and spread potentially-infectious droplets all over the Bachelorette bubble.

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“I’m sorry, I was tested!” she exclaims. Not an excuse, lady! The competition ends, and Ashley and Jared give Ed the “man-child” award, which is one of those creepy-looking Reborn doll things. The doll immediately starts crying the second Ed puts it in his clumsy arms. (Wouldn’t you?) “I’m gonna own it!” Ed tells us. “This is a good look. Boom!” He even gives his fake baby a name: Carlos. (Speaking of creepy-ass babies, have you guys watched Servant? It’s worth checking out.)

Somehow — SOMEHOW! — Bennett wins the “Grown-Ass Man Award.” I guess Tayshia really does love bougie guys. The other guys are NOT pleased, especially when Bennett does this:

“When Bennett kissed her, the whole room cringed,” says Chasen. “That just shows that he’s classless.” Now, now, Chasen — people in reality show houses shouldn’t throw stones.

At the afterparty, Mr. Harvard is still wearing his bathrobe and flaunting his Grown-Ass Man diploma in front of the other guys. He tries to steal Tayshia as soon as she sits down, but the Bachelorette puts him off so she can recite the necessary “today was fun, I’m excited to get to know you guys more” opener. Chasen uses the opportunity to pull Tayshia away for the first chat of the night, during which he does the whole Opening Up™ thing: His little sister is expecting her first child, which makes him realize how ready he is for a family; he’s never been in love, etc.

So, is this beefy IT account executive for real, or is he a “fraud and a phony,” an “actor” spinning a “web of deceit,” as Ed insists? We’re going to have to put a pin in this, rose lovers, because right now Ben the Army veteran is making his move.

Credit: ABC

(And yes, I do have to keep looking up everyone’s name — still! — which is why I keep linking to the guys’ profile pages.) Oh no, Ivan… what are you doing? Why are you putting that blindfold on Tayshia? Wait, what? You’re going to blindfold her so you can… feed her strawberries? How is that supposed to be romantic? Oh, I see — it’s a bait and switch. You just put the blindfold on her so you could go in for the kiss without any pressure. Blech. Come on, Ivan — you’re better than that, man.

Back in the holding pen, Bennett has decided that it’s time to let Chasen know that he and Ed hate him and think he’s lame. Uh-oh, now Chasen is insulting Ed’s “chicken legs.” Earmuffs, Carlos!

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Ed does not do himself any favors, though, by using his time with Tayshia to complain about Chasen. (“I just want to make sure that whoever you choose out of the guys here is someone who’s genuinely here for the right reasons and not for the Instagram followers.”) WILL THESE CONTESTANTS NEVER LEARN? Snitches get sent home!

You know how the rest of this goes, rose lovers. Tayshia confronts Chasen with these vague accusations; Chasen swears up and down that he is 100 percent here for the Right Reasons™; Ed insults Chasen by saying he wears a “medium-size” shirt. (Wait, that last part is new. Sorry.) The two meatheads are still yelling at each other as Tayshia approaches the holding pen. Once again, the Bachelorette does a little fake-out before handing out the rose: She compliments Ben for paying attention “to all the little details,” and then awards the rose to… Ivan. “I really enjoyed the romantic connection we made this evening,” she says. So the weird blindfold thing worked? I will never understand women, tbh.

The Ed-Chasen beef carries over into the next night. “I was very close to bringing my inner Wolverine out last night because of what happened with Ed,” says Chasen. “I’m going to address it tonight in front of all the gentlemen and squash it.”

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“I did use one adjective to describe [both] Clare and Tayshia,” says Chasen. “And my new word: She’s a smokeshow. Tayshia’s a smokeshow.” Oh honey, no. Chasen’s new vocabulary word is greeted with chuckles from some, stunned silence from others. The look on Kenny the boy band manager’s face says it all.

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“What woman wants to be called a ‘smokeshow’?” scoffs Bennett. “Gimme a break, dude.” (He later points out, correctly, that “smokeshow” is a noun, not an adjective.) I really wish poor Carlos wasn’t being exposed to all of this toxic masculinity.

At the cocktail party, the guys come armed with some cute gestures: Joe and Tayshia share a yummy-looking noodle dish; Spencer brings her some popsicles; Bennett sets up a cardboard cutout of the Eiffel Tower so he and the Bachelorette can have a “European vacation;” and Demar reads a poem that may or may not be called “What Love Means to Me.” She LOVES it. “So far, I’m having a great night!”

That’s because you haven’t talked to Ed yet! When he sits down with Tayshia, Ed goes into tattle mode yet again. Chasen stood over me in an intimidating fashion! Chasen yelled at me! This means poor Tayshia has to pull Chasen aside again, but this time she’s more about the scolding than the listening. “It’s not a good look, Chasen!” she says of his intimidation tactics. “This stuff is so petty to me.” The Bachelorette makes it clear to Chasen that she finds his behavior “concerning,” so he’d better shape up. (Cuz she needs a man — she needs a man! — who will keep her satisfied…)

And lo, Chasen swallows his pride and apologizes to Ed for being “overly aggressive” with him. Ed remains obstinate, but the other guys keep them from coming to blows. Finally, on the last-minute romance front: Zac informs Tayshia that in “the last couple of days” he’s realized that he wants to be a husband and a father. (Way to do the bare minimum, buddy!)

Rose ceremony roll-call! Zac, Riley, Kenny, Ben, Demar, Bennett, Spencer, Jordan, Noah, Joe, Blake, Ed, and Chasen (!) join Ivan and Brendan in the Safe Space. And so, we must say goodbye to Jay, and two men we basically never met: Montel and Peter (get well soon, sir).

You know what this episode could use? Men being basted with oil like the big dumb turkeys that they are.

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Sorry, sorry, let me back up. Group date number two pits Eazy, Brendan, Joe, Jordan, Spencer, Ben, Ed, and (of course) Chasen against each other in a series of makeshift cage matches. Helping oversee the beatings is WWE hall-of-famer Amy Dumas and UFC fighter Tatiana Suarez. They run the guys through some basic moves, and then have them practice some trash-talking. Joe the anesthesiologist is really terrible at smack talk, and it’s freaking adorable. Just look at him!

Credit: ABC

The poor guy has to face off against Eazy, a former NFL player, in the first match of the night. “I know I should say something like, ‘I was born for this,’ or ‘Hell yeah,’ but I’m also a little scared,” Joe confesses. “I’m a lover, I’m not a fighter.” Joe is also a gracious loser. The matches continue apace, and the guys put their all into it.

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“His balls are in his face!” cries Tayshia, watching Jordan and Brendan grapple. Jordan suffers a pretty nasty case of mat burn, and then Ben gets a cut on his foot after fighting to a draw with Spencer. Ed watches all of the carnage with increasing unease. He’s not stupid (according to Bennett, he got a perfect score on his math SATs): Ed knows producers are going to make him go up against Chasen, and Ed does not like that idea one bit. (Maybe Spencer is right — perhaps Ed’s physique is all about “glamour muscles.”)

When it’s time for Ed to fight Chasen, he flags down Chris Harrison rather than stepping into the ring.

Credit: ABC

Ed says he can’t fight because he has shoulders that “chronically dislocate,” and he “doesn’t want to end up in the hospital.” Is that why Team Bachelorette showed us footage of Ed lifting weights earlier in the episode? Were they preemptively calling bulls--- on his shoulder excuse? (To be fair, Ed says he has to be “very careful” when he pumps iron.)

So Ed is deemed “unfit to wrestle,” which leaves Chasen without an opponent. But then Noah, who’s watching as part of the “live audience” (LOL), hops into the ring and declares himself ready to “fight for Tayshia.” Can you guess who won?

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Correct me if I’m wrong, rose lovers, but I believe that belt says “Champion of Tayshia’s Heart.” Kinda sweet, but it was more romantic when they did it on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Though Noah lost the match with Chasen, Tayshia invites him to the afterparty. Grumble, grumble, grumble, say the other guys. Grumble, grumble, grumble. But what the guys don’t know is that it’s all part of the Bachelorette’s plan to lure Noah away from his mirror and convince him to ditch the pornstache. And that’s exactly what Tayshia does! After they share a smooch, Noah guesses correctly that Tayshia is not a fan of whatever the hell is growing on his face. “It’s not that I don’t like it,” she says diplomatically. “But I wonder what you look like without that thing?” The Bachelorette goes on to suggest that she wouldn’t totally hate it if Noah went back to his room and shaved that lip caterpillar off right now.

The party continues. Tayshia smooches Brendan (“I feel like I have major heart-eyes for Brendan”); she smooches Spencer; she listens politely to Ed, Chasen, and Jordan. Ben, whose whole strategy for the night is to be the last one to chat with her so he’ll be fresh in her mind when she hands out the date rose, waits patiently as the night wears on. He’ll get his time, right? Right? Oh dear, here comes Noah — and he comes bearing a grooming tool!

That’s right, Tayshia, kill it! Kill it with battery-operated fire! “You look really good!” giggles the Bachelorette. “I like this Noah.”

And wouldn’t you know it? There’s no time left for poor Ben to share his pre-planned “nightcap” with Tayshia. He makes a desperate, last-ditch plea to get some alone time with her — “Before you give out the rose, do you mind if we go talk?” — but the Bachelorette is tired, and dammit, the crew already set up the “giving out the date rose” shot. “Ben,” she says with a sigh, “the night’s over. I’m kind of disappointed you didn’t come find me earlier, to be honest.”

Ooof! That’s gotta hurt. And now for the second blow: Noah gets the date rose. “You look really good without the ‘stache!” says Tayshia. “Do you guys agree?” We’ll let Eazy answer that, rose lovers:

Rather than taking a moment to ask themselves, What could I have done better to earn the group date rose?, the men all channel their frustration and disappointment at Noah. “I’m really pissed with Noah,” grumbles Ben. “I’m not gonna let this go unresolved.” Chasen complains that Noah “double-dipped” by crashing the group date. A (seemingly) very drunk Ed bellows, “I will call him out in front of the whole house tomorrow, man to man, and tell him, ‘Noah from Oklahoma, your rose means f---ing nothing!’”

But… but… I thought Spencer was the villain? Not this week, I guess. Before you go, rose lovers, I’ve got some questions for you: Is it me, or is Brendan the obvious front-runner? Who else are you rooting for? And should Harvard be worried about its reputation? Post your thoughts below!

The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC

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Chris Harrison hosts the romantic reality competition series in which one single woman searches for her future husband amid a sea of studs. Will you accept this rose?

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