The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All recap: Sorry seems to be the hardest word
Bickering, breakdowns, butter sculpting, bloopers, and a very bad idea for a cake — this episode of The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All had it all.
Part 1: Introductions, and the Season's C-List Villains
As Tayshia and Kaitlyn introduce the guys, the audience in the Tealight Candle Thunderdome cheers loudest for Rodney. Because he's the best! Look at this cutie pie:
From there, we go to the Beefs of the Bachelorette highlight reel, covering the season's low-rent drama: Will vs. Peter, Martin vs. His Own Words, Chris S. vs. Everybody. Will gets in the first premeditated zinger in of the night, to his "pizzapreneur" rival, Will: "This is the show to find love. If you really wanted to promote your business, you should have went on Shark Tank!"
Even if Peter wanted to apologize for throwing Will's prized bomber jacket into the pool, he doesn't get a chance. As soon as he starts explaining his side of the situation, the other guys jump in and call him a liar, etc. Casey, making the most of this time to earn a slot on Bachelor in Paradise, announces that Peter was "awful all day long," and then proceeds to imitate one of Peter's annoying catchphrases:
Peter fires back, saying that his pizza business helps him provide for his mother and sister, and he's proud of that. Sadly, by bringing his sister into the conversation, poor Peter walks right into another one of Will's pre-planned zingers: "Tell your sister to stay out of my DMs!" The crowd cannot BELIEVE it.
Yelling, yelling, more yelling. Kaitlyn and Tayshia have to scream above the cacophony and bang on the table to regain order in the Thunderdome. "I'm not sure what turn I took in life to be sitting here watching grown men argue about pizza," Kaitlyn quips. Peter complains that Will continues to harass him off-camera and says his pizza parlor has been the target of several bad reviews, which he suspects are from Will and/or his friends. And wouldn't you know it — producers have an example!
"The dates of these reviews are exactly the same date that he posted my pizzeria on social media!" huffs Peter. And to be fair, Peter's restaurant does mostly receive decent reviews.
Just as the segment is about to wrap up, Tayshia offers to give Peter the last word. And Peter, in turn, offers that last word to this guy:
Oh, snap! William Urena just got served "for defamation of character" by a man who is almost certainly an actor playing a process server! "That's a little taste of what's going to happen in real life," smirks Peter, as Will tosses the folder onto the floor.
Part 2: Liars, Liars, Pants on Fires
First up: Ryan. You remember Ryan, right rose lovers? The guy who got sent home night one after Tayshia and Kaitlyn found all those Bachelorette "strategy" notes in his hotel room? The one who claimed he knew nothing about the Bachelor franchise even though he was literally cast as the local Bachelor for The Bachelor: Live on Stage show in San Jose? Yeah, he still claims he came on the show for the Right Reasons™.
That said, he's savvy enough to know that everyone on the stage thinks he's trash. "I formally apologize to all the guys for taking that time that first night," he says. "A lot of guys got sent home that never even got an opportunity to talk to her, and that's on me, guys." Pardeep, for one, isn't having it. "All you wanted to do was go viral, dude," he scoffs. "Go away, man. You have zero integrity, dude."
Speaking of zero integrity… it's time to talk to Martin! "I did lie at the end," he admits. "I felt like I wasn't respected in the moment, and that's why I said I wouldn't give her a shot." Will interjects himself to say that the "rumor on the street" is that Martin had a girlfriend during filming. Casey corroborates this rumor, saying he heard it from Peter, who heard it from Captain Frosted Tips himself. Martin denies it, because of course he does.
Okay Chris S., don't think you're getting out of this segment without feeling a little heat. (In case you forgot, Chris S. is the one who accused the other men of thinking they "had it in the bag.") He starts off with a non-apology — "What I said may have come off a little strong, but my intentions were genuine" — and then tries to close the discussion. "I'll leave it at that," he says. Rick, who was Chris S.'s roommate in Minneapolis, responds with justifiable skepticism. "I would just say, I don't believe him right now. The reason why is at one point he told me, he said, better-looking women had [bleeped] his [bleep]." Once again, these women in the audience are SHOOK.
When Kaitlyn asks Olu to comment on Chris S., the crowd erupts in cheers. Everybody loves Olu, and how could you blame them? He's foine.
Olu has some choice words for his former rival. "Don't you ever in your life say I have a low IQ," he says, turning to face Chris S. "You're looking at Black excellence right here." He's not wrong, rose lovers. The audience bursts into applause once again. And this lady absolutely LOVES it.
Perhaps encouraged by the crowd's rapturous reception, Olu gets up and starts walking over to Chris. "Look me in the eye!" he yells over the noise. "A low IQ?" Rodney and Peter form a kind of human shield and encourage Olu to go back to his seat, which he ultimately does. Crisis averted!
Part 3: Jamie Still Sucks
Last and very definitely least is Jamie, who's been waiting backstage for his time in the hotseat. Here's a fun picture-in-picture moment for you.
Tayshia comes in hot with the questions: "What did you mean when you said it felt like Michelle was on 'Spring Break mode'?" she asks Jamie. "That's actually a good question," he replies — clearly not realizing how condescending he sounds. "What's missing from that moment is context of what happened," he says, explaining that his comment came after he accidentally walked in on Michelle having an "intimate moment" with another guy. "The 'Spring Break' comment was moreso about me being one of 20 guys."
Sure, Jan. The guys aren't buying it either. All they want, Rodney tells him, is a simple apology for the rumor-mongering and lying. "This is about redemption," Rodney says. "We're trying to help you build yourself back up." Oh Rodney, you are too pure for this show. Of course Jamie isn't going to apologize! Instead, he's going to talk in circles all about the "two levels of understanding" when it comes to his BS comments about Michelle and Joe, and on and on and on. Never mind that he intentionally introduced the "light-skinned baller" story to the group and then told Michelle that "everybody" was talking about it. He will never own up to any of it!
When PJ (remember him? cute firefighter?) scolds Jamie for not 'fessing up to being the guy who started the rumor when they were talking at the bar, Jamie has the nerve to respond, "You never asked, 'Who was it?'" Ugh, this guy. Suddenly, Jamie pivots and starts claiming that he was going to confess to his sins the night of the cocktail party, but he decided that it would be a distraction… or something. Boy, bye.
Part 4: His Head on a Platter, His Heart on His Sleeve
Awww, look how sad Rick is after watching the highlight reel of his "journey":
"It's tough," he admits. "It's tough because there were moments that I shared with Michelle that made me feel like I had found my person." Rick says he was able to share the tough story about his dad with Michelle because "she listens to understand, she doesn't listen just to respond, and that's not a skill everyone has." Awww, we love a man who appreciates emotional intelligence.
Oh Lord, what is happening? Why are two crew members wheeling out a room service tray with a domed silver platter on it? What fresh hell is this??
To quote Phoebe Buffay: "Oh, my eyes! My eyes!" I regret to inform you, rose lovers, that it gets worse.
Part 5: We Interrupt This Men Tell All to Inform You of Another Bachelor Nation Break-Up
In case you missed the news that broke about two weeks ago, former Bachelorette Tayshia Adams and her fiancé, Zac Clark, have called it quits. Not sure why producers decided to address this news on the show (which taped around the same time), but here we are.
"Tayshia, I want to talk to you about something," says Kaitlyn, who knows a thing or two about breaking up with her Bachelorette fiancé. "So, can you tell us what's going on in your relationship with Zac?" Though she never says the words "we broke up," Tayshia tells the audience that she's "heartbroken," and that she and Zac "tried really hard. I still love him very much," she continues, her voice breaking. "I'm not sure what the future holds." Another stint as the Bachelorette perhaps? (I'm just joking! Or am I?)
Part 6: Rodney is Still Adorable
The Bachelor Interns sure do a nice job on those signs. Because Rodney is a king, he begins his segment by offering his sincere apologies to Tayshia for her breakup. She's so overcome, however, that she gets up and walks off stage before Rodney's highlight reel even rolls (Dang, producers — you couldn't take a five-minute break before starting Rodney's interview?).
Oh no, not sad picture-in-picture Rodney watching his beloved Mom cry during the hometown date!
Even though he's still heartbroken, Rodney says he'll always be Team Michelle — and during their goodbyes, Michelle promised him that she'll always be Team Rodney. "We all are," says Kaitlyn, speaking for Bachelor Nation. When he got sent home and "was going through it," Rodney's parents helped him get back on his feet, emotionally speaking. "They said everything happens for a reason, and God has a plan for you," he recalls. Something tells me that His plan involves Bachelor in Paradise, especially after Kaitlyn makes a side comment about Rodney finding love "on the beaches of Mexico." Dear Reality TV Jesus, please answer our prayers!
Part 7: From the Cutting Room Floor
Welp, we've reached the portion of the evening where producers pad out the reunion with some deleted scenes. First up, a cast-off from the farm date, when the men were asked to carve "a sculpture that represents your feelings and relationships with Michelle" out of a giant hunk of butter.
"Yo, what did Olu do?" Nayte marvels. "It looked like he was stabbing his butter!"
On to the basketball date. Somehow, Michelle sent Rodney home even after he managed to do this:
I will not acknowledge the actor hired to "streak" through the Thunderdome. I simply will not do it, rose lovers.
Part 8: Producers Try to Convince Us Clayton Will Make a Great Bachelor
Look, what's done is done. Clayton is the next Bachelor. They could have given us Olu, or Rodney, or Leroy, or a half a dozen other guys, but they gave us Clayton. Some of you have said you won't be watching, and that's entirely your prerogative. (I'll be watching, because it's my job, and because I've got a raging case of Stockholm Syndrome with this franchise.)
Anyhow, it's time for the big Bachelor supertease! But first, producers have asked the men to say nice things about Clayton, which they do, nicely. "I think he'll be a hell of a father one day," says Rick. "All of us are very excited to see Clayton in this position," adds Rodney. Cool, cool, cool.
As for the trailer itself? Well, there's a lot of smooching, some lovely international locales (the season was filmed pre-Omicron, of course), and a sequence where Clayton says some version of "I'm in love with you" to three different women. (Though to be clear, there is definitely some creative editing happening, so who knows what he really said and when.) Then comes the real Shocking Moment™:
What the actual f--- is right, random lady! See you January 3, 2022.
Part 9: Nope
Nothing against Becca, of course. A paycheck's a paycheck, after all.
Part 10: Michelle in the Hot Seat
She looks lovely, as per usual.
The Bachelorette's time in the hot seat begins as a love fest. She praises Rodney for being kind, and thanks Rick for how "all-in" he was the entire time. Then Tayshia grabs the wheel and takes a hard right: "Jamie, is there anything you would like to say to Michelle?" Even he looks surprised.
"I would say, I think the number one thing that stuck out with me is that this is a person who I could take on life's scariest challenges with," he says, after a significant pause. Jamie also lauds Michelle for the way she tries to "build people up" and "coach" them to be their best self, which is, of course, something he likes to do as well. "I would just really like to applaud you for just being fabulous across the board," he concludes.
Jamie was probably hoping for applause and a thank you from Michelle. Instead, he gets dissatisfied silence. The Bachelorette, for one, has some things on her mind. "As I watch back, and I see those things you have said on camera about me going through a 'Spring Break' mode, about how you felt the men in the house were below you, and for me, that's not what a coach does… I don't understand how you can be so quick to preach positivity when that's not what you're showcasing 100 percent of the time." Now the audience is ready to applaud.
Wanna try again, Jamie? He gives a half-assed "apology" to "anybody" who felt hurt by something he said — but he definitely does not take any responsibility for his trash-talk. Michelle isn't having it. "You can't sit there and tell me that it's just a mistake and you've learned from it, because I don't think that you have," she replies. "I believe in being respectful at all times… I choose to be either by myself or be with somebody who respects me even when they are upset with me."
Now would have been the perfect moment for someone to pull Jamie off stage with a giant hook. Instead, he tries one more time to clean up his mess, because he's someone who believes in "taking accountability," LOL. Finally, he apologizes for what he said, and for disrespecting Michelle and his fellow contestants. See, that wasn't so hard, was it?
After a commercial break, the Mea Culpa train keeps on chugging: Martin apologizes to Michelle next for what he said about her to the other guys and during his Reject SUV interview. Chris S. says he's sorry for "taking her voice" during his cocktail party outburst.
And then it's Michelle's turn to apologize — to Olu, for sending him home too early. Damn right it was too early. Also, can you imagine this man as the Bachelor?
Dang. If only.
Part 11: Bloopers!
Ranked, from Kinda Funny to Actually Funny: "That's my line, bitch"; Rick destroys the wish journal; Jamie's rose ceremony sneeze; Michelle's ring gets stuck in her hair; bug montage (shout-out to Brandon and the bee: "What do I do???"); "Ranchero Cucamungo," and then this very relatable food fail:
The night ends on a happy-ish note, as Peter treats everyone to pizza — I find it hard to believe it was flown in from Florida, that would be old-ass pizza, and everyone seems to enjoy eating it — and then he and Will officially make amends.
Call off that defamation suit, Peter's lawyer!
And with that, rose lovers, it's all over but the crying — Michelle crying, that is, in the finale supertease. Before you go, a few questions: Did you believe any of tonight's apologies? Which of these men do you absolutely have to see on Paradise? And will you be watching Clayton's season of The Bachelor? 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?