It’s a week before the finale and the men have officially told all! Our faves and least faves returned to the stage last night for a serious airing of grievances, now with 100% more racial tension! Chris Harrison introduced each man individually, which is always fun because some of them get booed and some get Beatlemania-level screams.
NOW. Let’s get one thing out of the way. Best dressed of the night was Dean. That camo suit jacket was straight-up delicious and the black-and-white pattern mixing was impeccably executed. Love you bb. Worst dressed of the night, and I swear this has nothing to do with my hatred of him, is Lee. BOY, you’re wearing a navy suit with a grey vest and a bright teal shirt underneath a black tie. WHO DRESS YOU? This outfit was an atrocity. Also, his hair continues to be stupid af. Also, ……….. ……… ……… fuck him.
The supercut of the season is always fun to watch, but this particular one allowed me to reflect on just how poorly-paced this season was. For weeks, the show was just a joke filled with 15-person group dates and very shallow relationships until all of a sudden we were down to the final six guys and everyone was like “holy shit the show is almost over and Matt and Adam are still here?” I still cannot fathom how Alex and Diggy went home so early. The pacing was soooooooo uneven and I think the season really faltered for it. Rachel is an exceptional lead and there were some really high quality men this season, but most of them didn’t get the screentime they deserved, while a couple of warm bodies were carried along until a truly ridiculous point.
But once they really got into the substance of the season, Chris Harrison tackled a few of the major conflicts:
Blake and Lucas
I’m glad this didn’t get too much time, but the guys ultimately came to the right conclusion: Whaboom was stupid and only there to profit off his novelty catchphrase merchandise, but Blake was way too worried about Whaboom and should have just let him burn out on his own stupidity. They both suck and I have no interest in seeing either of them on my television screen any time soon.
Demario and his corny ass side chick
Demario admits to having hooked up with this girl a few times, but yells about no one having “ocular evidence” of them dating and then uses The Weeknd lyrics to justify it. Sorry bud, but this does not end with you dating Selena Gomez. This ends with you fending off rape allegations in a sit-down interview with whoever is hosting Entertainment Tonight these days.
*Side note* As we all know, there is always one totally irrelevant man who comes out of nowhere during MTA to give some unsolicited opinion. This season, that man is Jamey, who I swear I have never seen before in my life. He emerged from obscurity to call Demario “one of the worst people in the house,” to which Demario responds appropriately, “Who are you?” Tbh, in an ever-chaotic world, this show is the only thing that makes sense to me anymore.
Kenny and Lee
The big kahuna of the night. Overall, I have to say the guys did a surprisingly good job of pushing Lee until he gave the response they wanted. I thought for sure that one of two things would go down: either Lee would show up in a fucking MAGA hat and be totally unapologetic, or he would give some lame ass excuse/apology and everyone would just give up on him. But they really did keep pushing him more and more and totally refused to accept his weak explanations.
Chris Harrison called Kenny up first to set the scene and explain his side of things. He summed it up well, saying “We all agreed early on to play a gentleman’s game. Obviously, it’s a competition, but there is a way to do this.” Kenny did a great job on his end and the vast majority of the guys seemed to have Kenny’s back. Apparently the producers could tell how disgusted we all were by their race-baiting and tried their darndest to make up for it last night. They brought out Kenny’s VERY sweet daughter, which was super cute but also concerning because she’s a child and should not be exposed to this many drunk men… She told Kenny she was proud of him for cracking the top ten, which was unintentionally hilarious. And as an apology for using Kenny and his sweet baby girl as pawns in their race war, ABC gave them a free trip to Disney! That makes everything better, right? RIGHT?
Back to the conflict, Adam totally debunked the story about Kenny pulling Lee out of the van, which we all knew was bullshit, and Lee flat-out admitted that it was fake news. Kenny replies “Yeah, no shit!” and I cheered out loud. The only person who came to Lee’s defense at all was Demario who basically said “when I was accused of rape, Lee was the first person to support me!” Now, I do not know if Demario did what he is accused of doing and I will not take sides on the whole Paradise issue, but it’s pretty funny and typical that Lee rushed to Demario’s side – women are worthless to him, after all! Get a dog instead, fellas!
Lee gets his chance to speak, but Kenny is still doing his patented snake hand motion and one of the guys does a classic *cough* RACIST! *cough* and I was LOVING IT. At first, he tried to apologize lightly for “not being a good friend” and claimed that he wanted to “learn” more about the offensive shit he spewed. The men were NOT HAVING IT.
Dean was a wonderful baby angel throughout this whole fight, being outspoken about Lee’s racist ass and full-throatedly defending Kenny. He kept the pressure up on Lee the whole night and called bullshit on his non-apology. He made the valid point that Lee did not immediately apologize for what he said, and instead continued to promote himself on the show week after week. Now that it’s convenient and he has a huge audience, he’s suddenly so humble and apologetic. Dean is fucking piiiiiiiiissed.
Chris Harrison proceeds to troll Lee for shaking in his fucking boots and even pulls the offending tweets up on the big screen for maximum calling-your-ass-out capacity. The audience is ready with their torches and pitchforks. Josiah rushes the stage. Things are heating up!
Josiah goes OFF on Lee, asking “Why did you come on the show where the bachelorette was an African-American woman if you had these feelings?” and educates Lee reeeeeeal quick on the obvious differences between the KKK, who literally lynched his ancestors, and the NAACP, whose members fought and died so that he could go to good schools and drink from the same water fountains as Lee’s trash ass.
All Lee can really muster is “I don’t like racism” and these men are just not having it. Anthony will not allow him to leave this stage until he admits that he is either overtly racist or has implicit biases.
“Are you ready to admit that you have racism embedded in your mentality?” – Anthony
“I am learning…” – Lee
“RECLAIMING MY TIME.” – Anthony
They press and press and press until they finally get Lee to say “that tweet was racist and I denounce it.” They all give up and group hug, which was unnecessary but what-the-fuck-ever. Lee will not be featured in any Buzzfeed listicles of “Fave Woke Baes” any time soon, but I guess this was an improvement.
Dean is our designated contestant who gets to confront the lead about why she sent him packing. He approaches the stage to raucous applause because BITCHES. LOVE. DEAN. Honestly, it took me a while to warm up to him because his sandbox stunt and “going black” jokes were lame, but my god, he is fucking adorable. He shows his remarkably diplomatic personality time and time again, even being gracious enough to thank his father for going through this experience and opening his home to them, even after his dad was a complete turd to him on the hometown date. He will do great on Paradise and I look forward to watching every female contestant slip in their own puddles when he shows up.
Rachel is here in an amazing Marchesa dress, y’all. She comes out for just enough time to roast Demario and make Lee wish he was never born. I fucking love this woman. When she said “you can exit stage left and meet me backstage and I’ll be more than happy to give you a lesson on black history,” a single tear fell from my eye. Is she running for president? Honestly I feel like she’s laying the groundwork to be the hero we need right now.
The men get an opportunity to have some of their questions answered, which Dean and Kenny handle relatively well. She hardly acknowledges Fred’s lame-ass over-rehearsed speech because it was lame-ass and over-rehearsed. He looked real stupid.
As usual, the bloopers were simultaneously hilarious and depressing, because they make you wonder where all this personality was during the season. You really mean to tell me these motherfuckers flipped a golf cart and you chose not to air that? Dean put gum behind his ear and then BACK INTO HIS MOUTH and you didn’t wanna include that? There is no reason for the show to be as boring as it always is when this footage is floating around in some production office somewhere, not being used!
We end the show with Josiah comparing Rachel to OJ Simpson, because 2017 is fucking bananas.