The Bachelorette recap: What a drag it is getting told
A pair of RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars help Katie narrow down her husband choices, while the Bachelorette sends a former frontrunner packing.
It's week 6, and things are getting real, rose lovers! On the latest installment of The Bachelorette, a former frontrunner was sent packing, the men got dragged on a group date, and the Right Reasons™ drama got so intense, Katie puked!
It's morning in New Mexico, and Katie's having another coffee klatch with Tayshia and Kaitlyn — minus the coffee. "Tayshia, thank you for introducing me to Blake," Katie says. "Our one-on-one date was so good."
Our Bachelorette is also excited about Greg ("it just feels so natural and easy"), Michael A., and Andrew S. This leads into an obviously producer-prompted discussion about how "hot and sexy" all the remaining men are. "They look good," she coos over footage of the dudes working out and otherwise being "hot and sexy." God bless Aaron for agreeing to this silliness:
Who needs dignity when you've got screen time?
And this nonsense sparks an idea for Katie: What if "the guys in the house all have to agree to withhold their self-care as long as possible… if you know what I mean?" Kaitlyn and Tayshia are apparently not fans of a certain Seinfeld ep because they do not know what Katie means. "So, like not do their skin-care routine?" asks Kaitlyn. "Like no shaving?" asks Tayshia.
Good lord, women — does Katie have to spell it out for you? "We're going a little deeper than that," explains the Bachelorette. "Friendly handshake with themselves are off-limits."
Ohhhhhhhh! Apparently, the men have been, uh, shucking their own corn all over the place — and they've told Katie about it! "I've heard some things," she notes with a grin. Kaitlyn agrees to bring this challenge to the men, and she loves it.
Welcome to "Operation WOWO," boys! "Stay off the lotion. Stop running the shower," Kaitlyn commands. "Because Katie wants to see which one of you can hold out and be the master of your domain." Don't they look excited?
"This is going to change our journey forever," says Connor B. (I'll admit, that's funny.) Mike P., though, isn't worried: "I've been mastering this my whole life!" The scene ends with Connor B. listing a bunch of different euphemisms for masturbation, none of which really work ("Friday Night Lights"? "Feeding the wild stallion"? "How you like them apples"?). Anyhow, dudes, good luck with all that.
On to the dates! Justin gets the first one-on-one of the week. As he goes to get ready, Hunter admits that he thought Greg might get a second solo date with Katie. "Does that happen?" Greg asks him. "It's happened," says Hunter. "It's happened especially to the guy who gets the first one. It doesn't happen often, I will say that."
Hmmm… anyone else thinking that Hunter knows a little too much Bachelorette history? Like he's been watching for years and studying strategies and behaviors that result in a lot of screen time? To me, any previous knowledge of the show is a red flag. On Big Brother, it's no big deal when "superfans" get cast. On The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, though, it screams Wrong Reasons™.
"I wouldn't be surprised if she already had the top four picked," Hunter continues. "And my opinion is that me, you, and Connor are already in the top four." The whole conversation makes Greg uncomfortable. "Hunter seems to me, like, a little calculated," he says. "But I'm not trying to get into any drama."
Hey everybody, look who's here!
Yep, it's "Bachelor Nation legend" Franco, who will be art directing Katie and Justin's "wedding photos" date. He hands them notebooks so they can write their vows. And hey, the show even loaned Katie a diamond ring to help get her in the wedding mood.
Is that a Neil Lane? I'm guessing not, because I don't hate it.
Back at Potential Husband HQ, word has spread about Hunter the "Bachelorette historian." James says that he heard Hunter "was in the forums and s---." That may be an r/rumor, but I believe it. "He's a f---ing little sneakster," gripes Aaron.
Oh crap, we're missing the wedding!
After exchanging some sweet, hypothetical vows ("Our marriage is a canvas, so let's paint something beautiful"), Katie and Justin share a non-legally binding kiss under the wooden arch. What a fun, essentially meaningless exercise! "We have this connection that is so strong," gushes Katie.
At dinner, the Bachelorette tears up talking about how sad she is that her dad won't be there to walk her down the aisle when the time comes. "Even when it comes down to a proposal, he's not around to give his blessing," she says. And then things get really real: "Before my dad passed away, I found out he was not my biological father. My mom kept that a secret," says Katie. "This biological father wants to be in my life as a dad, but how do I build a relationship with this man I knew nothing about?"
Dang, Katie! You have really gone through it in this life. I do wonder if Justin is the first guy she's talked to about this part of her past, or if she shared it with other men on one-on-ones and producers just chose to hold off showing it until now. I'll admit, I'd be a little surprised if she actually shared this with Justin before, say, Greg, but who knows?
Either way, Justin handles it well. "You continue to amaze me with the strength that you have," he says. "I want to know how I can support you and affect you in a positive way."
Guys, do I suddenly really like Justin? I think I might! Katie does, too, and she gives him the date rose.
Then they dance to a singer-songwriter-slash-belated Bachelor superfan who calls himself MAX.
It's group date time, henny! Blake, Andrew, Michael A., Greg, Aaron, Mike P., Brendan, James, Tre, and Hunter, please meet your hostesses!
Today's group date activity? Throwing shade, drag-queen style. Pay attention, class — Shea Couleé is about to show Hunter how it's done.
For "The Great Royal Debate," the men will have to drag each other while convincing Katie that they are the best potential husband of the bunch. Grab a beer and your burn book, boys, and start drafting those roasts!
"Hunter is definitely the most nervous," gloats Aaron. "He knows he's the easiest target by far, and he's about to get it." Especially since Tre just overheard Hunter tell Shea Couleé that he's not ready to say that he's in love with Katie. "I think it would cheapen what we have," he explains.
When the "Debate" starts, though, the men do not bring the heat. James is like, "All these guys are just competing for second place," and Greg reads Katie a poem. A poem! The queens are not amused.
Shea Couleé demands the tea, dammit! She orders the men to reveal who is the least compatible with Katie… and that's when the Hunter pile-on begins. "It's cute that you have a top four list already," says Brendan. "It's funny that you're in my bottom four." Hunter immediately denies having a top four list, and then blatantly lies again when Monét X Change asks him to share how he feels about Katie: "I'm falling in love with her, no question."
Tre immediately calls bulls---. "When people are dishonest, I've gotta speak up." Only Mike P. and Andrew S. will "vouch" for Hunter being an honest guy, but that doesn't count for much when James openly accuses him of being a "superfan" who comments "on the blogs and forums."
The only thing Hunter can do is take the high road when the queens offer him a chance to let the other men have it. "I don't have any insults to character for any of you guys," he announces, before professing his totally-not-at-all-fake feelings for Katie. "When I find the woman that I'm going to spend the rest of my life with, I will never take it for granted. And I think that woman's you."
Cool, cool, cool.
Kind of bummed we didn't get to see Michael A.'s roasts… but I'm guessing they would have been about as adorable as Dr. Joe's "trash talk" on Tayshia's season of The Bachelorette. On to the cocktail party!
"I heard some things that were are a little concerning today," says Katie during her toast. Then she throws down a relationship gauntlet: "For some of you, the connection we have really isn't enough, and tonight is your chance to prove me otherwise." Oh, snap, the Bachelorette ain't playin', rose lovers.
Andrew S. is all, "Challenge accepted!"
"I'm definitely, like, starting to really feel this," he tells Katie. "When we kiss, there's no way anyone kisses the way we kiss.
Hmmm… really? Looks pretty standard to me.
Greg spends his one-on-one time talking about how "hard" and "scary" this whole process is for him. "I just feel like I can't read you sometimes," he mumbles. "How are you feeling, like, with us?" Katie's answer will come as a surprise to no one (except maybe Greg): "I am falling for you, and it's exciting and it's scary, and there's my truth." Got it, Greg? Can you stop fritzing now?
If you thought that was annoying, wait until it's Blake's turn to complain. "I'm really built up," he informs the Bachelorette. (He also isn't clear on what "WOWO" stands for: Week Off Wacking Off.) Apparently, Blake likes to hoist his own petard every day, with some bonus rounds on the weekend. As the weeks go on and his "connection" with Katie grows, Blake says "it's going to get harder." This makes them both giggle, and then they make out a little bit.
Everyone else, it seems, is annoyed about Hunter and his devious ways — and James is the first to bring the issue up with Katie. "Between you and I, I'm just noticing a lack of consistency with Hunter," he says. "I see his behavior as almost calculated." Tre follows that up by telling the Bachelorette about what he overheard before the roast, and Aaron follows that up by insisting Hunter says things that "really don't match up."
Well then. Hunter, what do you have to say for yourself?
"You've seen people get ganged up on," Hunter reminds Katie. "I can only handle my side of the street… I don't want drama for you. I'm sorry."
The Bachelorette doesn't know what to believe. Are the guys just out to get Hunter? (No.) Does she even really know Hunter? (Obviously not.) The pressure is too much for her to handle. "I need to, like, throw up," she whispers, rushing into the ladies' room. We hear retching sounds through the door.
Eventually, Katie makes it back to the holding pen. Though Michael A. and Brendan still haven't spent time with her, Katie says the party is over. On top of that, no one is getting a rose! Nice job, potential husbands. Even though the Bachelorette just left, you need to sit here and think about what you've done. Producers will tell you when you're allowed to leave.
The final one-on-one date of the week goes to Connor B., so let's celebrate with a math joke. Q: What did the 0 say to the 8? A: Nice belt!
Welp, that was more fun than anything we were about to watch. Katie asked Connor on the date because she's worried that they're in "the friend zone," and she's hoping that spending an afternoon together will somehow, miraculously help them develop some chemistry. "When we kiss, I don't feel that spark or that passion," she admits. "My hope is that we can get beyond that." And hey, look who's here to help!
That's right: Katie is so uninterested in spending alone time with Connor, she's invited Kaitlyn and her fiancé, Jason Tartick, along for the afternoon! And thus a one-on-one date becomes a three-on-good-luck-buddy.
That said, the date itself resembles something you might do in real life. There's grilling, backyard volleyball, dad jokes, and some kind of weird game involving a coconut. Jason and Kaitlyn both think Connor seems like a nice guy, and they encourage Katie to give him a chance. "There's something to be said about starting off as a friendship and growing into a romance," notes Kaitlyn. "I never thought that was a thing until Jason."
The Bachelorette is willing to keep trying. "Maybe when we just have some alone time, that magic moment, that magic kiss, it's going to be there," she says, but it doesn't really sound like she believes it. Before heading off to get ready for dinner, Katie sits down with Connor for a chat — and perhaps a "magic" kiss? Meanwhile, Kaitlyn and Jason are literally watching them from afar. "We are so creepy," admits the former Bachelorette.
Then comes the moment of truth.
So, was the smooch magic or mundane? Connor, of course, thinks it's the former. "Today was just incredible," he gushes. "We're just really, really connected and close." As for Katie?
Yep, our Bachelorette, dressed down in jeans and a sweatshirt, just showed up at Connor's hotel room to give him the boot. And she feels so bad about it, she started crying before she even arrived! "It's okay," murmurs Connor. "I know where this is going." As do we all, sir.
"You've done nothing wrong," says Katie through her tears. "When we kiss, there was something missing in that kiss." What else is there to say? Connor is crushed. "God, how bad of a kisser am I?" he wonders aloud. Sorry, buddy. Perhaps we'll see you on the latter half of Paradise.
Oh, this is interesting. Rather than having the Suitcase Ninja slip into the guys' place to remove Connor's bag, producers send Connor back to say goodbye to the men in person. Awwww, Michael A. even gives him a kiss on the cheek, like the den father he is.
The men are all in tears. "I admire you, and I do want to be more like you," says Aaron, before wrapping Connor in a hug. "I'm shook right now," sighs Tre.
You know who's not shook? Blake M. While the rest of the guys are focused on this sad goodbye, Blake decides to use this opportunity to get some alone time with Katie.
And yes, he is playing "Memorize You" by Laine Hardy, which is the song he and Katie danced to on their first date. (Producers already paid for the rights — they may as well get as much use out of them as possible.) Anyhow, Katie loves it.
"I was not expecting to see you tonight," she tells him between smooches. Blake says he just wanted to make sure she was okay after kicking Connor to the curb. I repeat, she really loves it.
"I had no idea how romantic he could be," she swoons. "With Blake and I, there's just overflowing passion." Finally, they pry themselves apart and Blake heads back to his room. He puts the "Do not disturb" sign on his door before shutting the cameras out for the night. "Now I'm just ready to enjoy my happy ending," says Blake in voiceover as we watch the lights go out in his room... and then a sprinkler jet pops out of the grass and sprays a stream of water. Excellent troll by producers. No notes.
There isn't much time left in the episode when the men arrive for the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party. And if you were hoping to see Michael A. speak to Katie tonight… well, you're outta luck.
Sorry to these men, but Katie has decided to cancel the cocktail party. "I'm at the point where time really isn't going to make a difference tonight," she explains. "I owe it to myself to just be very intentional with… what I want to do with my time going forward."
Welp, that's that, then. Take your spots on the risers, gentlemen. It's time for the rose ceremony roll call! Or is it?
Oh, come on! First, Katie gives us all a coronary by calling Hunter's name first at the rose ceremony, and then she pulls him aside — not to give him the boot, but to give him yet another chance! The Bachelorette is looking for "clarity," and Hunter is tap-dancing as fast as he can. "I didn't get up and write you a love letter the morning after I met you because I wanted to make it another week," he says. "I did that because I was on fire with emotions."
Ugh. Meanwhile, the men are all fidgeting and fretting, wondering what in the hell Katie and Hunter could be talking about. "I'm surprised because she said she made up her mind," says Aaron. "But this seems like a game-time decision." Sure does, buddy. (Did I mention that production on this season wrapped two weeks early? Perhaps that played a role in this run-out-the-clock maneuver.)
Finally, finally, finally, Hunter returns to the rose ceremony… without a boutonniere on his chest. Let's try this again. Here are the six men joining Justin in the Circle of Safety™: Blake, Andrew, Greg, Michael A., Mike P., and Brendan. And that means it's so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodnight for Hunter, James, Aaron, and Tre. Goodbye, gents — we'll miss most of you.
"I met a great woman, and yeah, I was me from start to finish," says Tre, choking up. "It's been a beautiful journey." Awww… get this guy on Paradise!
Gah, only two more weeks until hometowns, rose lovers! How are you feeling about the final seven men? Am I the only one who's surprised that Justin got a rose? And would Greg and Monét X Change make a good couple? Post your thoughts below!
One single woman searches for her future husband amid a sea of studs in this romantic reality series. Will you accept this rose?