We’re back, Bachelor Nation. On Monday night, The Bachelorette returned after a two-week hiatus — and it’s safe to say the men wasted no time getting right back into their messy drama.
Things picked up right where we left off at the last cocktail party: in the middle of a big fat confrontation between Eric and Lee — you know, this Lee. All you need to know about Lee for the purpose of this recap is that he is a master manipulator and openly relishes winding up the other men in the house.
Swiftly following his fight with Eric, Lee — who had already had his time with Rachel that night — strolled over to interrupt Rachel and Kenny’s one-on-one time. At this point, the other guys were starting to pick up on Lee’s relentless dedication to stirring the pot, and they weren’t pleased about it. In particular, Dean brought up the fact that Lee only seemed to be instigating drama with some of the other guys in the house — namely, Eric and Kenny, who are both African-American.
“The only people that I’ve seen Lee pick fights with have been not the people that he’s used to seeing on a daily basis, from a cultural perspective. You know exactly what I mean when I say that,” said Dean. “The longer Lee sticks around, the more everyone will become aware of his intolerance.”
Shortly afterwards, Kenny took Lee aside to confront him about having interrupted him, claiming that Lee took advantage of their “friendship” to “snake” him for more time with Rachel. Lee, being the highly skilled puppet master that he is, knew just what to say (or not say) to frustrate Kenny even more, and Kenny took the bait.
The confrontation escalated as Kenny began raising his voice, and Rachel, who was just steps away mid-conversation with another contestant, ended up overhearing some of it. As for Lee? Well, he couldn’t have been more pleased with himself.
Lee: “I get tickled when I smile at an angry man and he gets angrier.”
Dean: “I just hope Kenny punches Lee in the face.”
Same, Dean. Same.
Eventually, the tension of the evening became too much for Rachel to handle, and she broke down during one of her interviews.
“The pressures that I feel being a black woman and what that is … I don’t want to talk about it,” she said, crying. “I get pressured from so many different ways being in this position, and I did not want to get into all of this tonight.”
“I already know what people are going to say about me and judge me for the decisions that I’m making,” she added. “I’m going to be the one that has to deal with that, and nobody else. And that’s a lot.”
Ultimately, she decided to cut the cocktail party short and headed straight into the rose ceremony, sending Bryce, Brady and Diggy home — but keeping both Kenny and Lee around.
ONE-ON-ONE WITH DEAN
The next day, the group flew to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, and if you didn’t catch that, don’t worry, because they proceeded to remind us that they were in HILTON HEAD ISLAND approximately every three minutes. That’s HILTON HEAD ISLAND, folks, check it out sometime.
The first one-on-one in HILTON HEAD ISLAND went to Dean, who started off this season with a very questionable (though Rachel-approved) “I’m ready to go black and I’m never gonna go back” joke but has since made tremendous strides.
Dean is petrified of heights, so naturally ABC stuck him on a blimp with Rachel for the day. Despite his fears, things seemed to go really well on the date, and that night Rachel decided she wanted to dig a little deeper into their relationship. (As she pointed out, she’s 32 and he’s 25, so she wanted to make sure they were on the same page about what they were looking for.)
Adorable Dean, as he shall henceforth be called, made a very good case for his emotional maturity by broaching the topic of his family life and upbringing, including a very open and tearful discussion about his mother, who passed away from cancer when he was 15. When Adorable Dean cries, we all cry.
And duh, he got the one-on-one rose.
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This week’s group date went to Alex, Anthony, Peter, Bryan, Jonathan, Adam, Matt, Kenny, Lee, Iggy, Eric, Will and Josiah.
After spending the morning drinking heavily on a boat with their shirts off, the guys were put to the test with — wait for it — a spelling bee. The words ranged from incredibly simple (stunning, passion) to fairly challenging (boutonniere), and unsurprisingly, there were some seriously concerning blunders along the way. IN WHAT WORLD DOES COITUS START WITH A Q, PETER?
By the time the evening portion of the group date rolled around, things, overall, seemed to be going incredibly well — until resident snitch Iggy sat down for some one-on-one time with Rachel and proceeded to stir up drama for absolutely no reason by throwing shade at Josiah. (Has Iggy ever not brought up one of the other guys’ names during his conversations with Rachel under the pretense of “being protective”? Just wondering.)
Iggy then returned to the rest of the group and casually announced to Josiah that he had just been bad-mouthing him to Rachel. It’s hilarious the way Iggy confesses to his shady behavior almost immediately, with absolutely no remorse or awareness that it was shady.
Obviously, Josiah wasn’t pleased and promptly bashed Iggy as hard as he could, calling him “the lamest dude in the house” and alleging that Iggy “does drugs and shoots steroids in his nuts.”
YOU CAN’T JUST DROP THAT KIND OF A BOMB ON US AND NOT FOLLOW UP, ABC. But alas, that’s exactly what happened, because before the Josiah/Iggy drama was even over, Lee swooped right in to reclaim his title as the most conniving contestant. During his conversation with Rachel, Lee ended up telling her an embellished version of his confrontation with Kenny at the cocktail party, alleging that Kenny was aggressive towards him, gave him the finger and berated him for 30 minutes.
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Ugh, Lee is the worst. He’s about as stereotypical a reality show villain as it gets and literally says things like: “I’m going to find joy in crumbling his miserable world.”
Unfortunately for poor Kenny, Lee is very good at being bad. Rachel then confronted Kenny about Lee’s claims, and while Kenny did his best to defend himself — and fully admitted he regretted the way he handled things with Lee — their conversation was sadly cut short.
Up next? Kenny is about to confront Lee, again. Stay tuned for the dreaded two-on-one.
The Bachelorette returns on Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.