In which the men tell some.
This week’s episode of The Bachelorette was allegedly the Men Tell All special; however, it was mostly men just arguing with each other about things they’ve already argued about. That’s fair enough, since the Women Tell All special from Chris Soules’ season was equally as illuminating on the side of the contestants, which is to say not very much at all.
However, we did hear some pretty candid thoughts from Kaitlyn, who revealed that she got “death threats” after having sex with Nick, because of course she did. Because of course a woman was threatened for expressing her sexuality on national television in a way that doesn’t fit with some perfect, societal expectation of how women “should” behave around men. Of course!
Shut Up, Ian
Ah, Ian. King Dillhole. The suitors were as unhappy with Ian’s exit as I was, which I was pleased to see. Tanner told him that “Princeton needs to teach a class on how not to be an assh—,” and that what Ian said to Kaitlyn was “disrespectful. The fact that she didn’t like you doesn’t mean that you need to act butthurt and call her out.” Those sound like my exact words. Tanner – are you reading this? Can you tell me which member of boy band One Direction is Shawn’s favorite? Is he a Liam girl? Tweet me.
Ian – being Princeton-educated and all, as he’d be happy to tell you until you’re dead – knew that he only had one play if he wanted to continue living his life not being universally hated: He got down on his knees to apologize. The sentiment was fine, but it got real weird when he stayed on his knees for an uncomfortably long time.
“I’m sorry to Kaitlyn,” he said. “I’m sorry to her family, and I’m sorry, very importantly, to her mother.” Wha? “My mother is the only family that I have,” he continued, adding that he felt the need to “give her an apology as well.” It was unclear whether he was still talking about his own mother or whether he was back to Kaitlyn’s mother. It was a huge relief to see that Ian was still a huge jerk who decided to make even falling on his sword about himself. Change is hard, and I wasn’t willing to let my world be rocked by a suddenly humble Ian.
Even Chris Harrison could barely hide his contempt.
You Too, Kupah
Kupah – who, if you’ll recall, also got real salty when he decided Kaitlyn didn’t like him enough – had a lot to say about Nick joining the competition and how that was unfair to the suitors. By the time Nick joined, Kupah had gone. What’s your deal, Kupah? This isn’t about you. Mind your business.
Okay, Clint, You May Speak
Clint has had a roller coaster of a season, personality-wise. He started off great, and then his weird, codependent friendship with JJ turned him into an egotistical monster.
At the taping, Clint told Josh that his insistence on trying to convince Kaitlyn of Nick and Clint’s nefarious natures was not his place. “You’re saying that you know better than her, and [The Bachelorette isn’t] Josh Finds a [Husband] for Kaitlyn. It’s about her deciding who’s right for her.” So good. A cookie for you, Clint!
Also, there was some talk of Clint and JJ’s friendship which I have no interest in exploring again. When a man can’t be friends with another man without them feeling the need to joke about being “gay for each other,” you know there’s a problem. (Should I go on about the patriarchy and how straight male masculinity is a fragile, limiting narrative? Nah, not the venue.)
Mean Tweets Featuring Kaitlyn Bristowe
Kaitlyn has done a lot of press talking about her decision to have sex with Nick and why she regretted it. (Again, she regretted not the act but the circumstances surrounding it.) I was worried it would be more of the same, but instead she opened up about her experience with Internet trolls.
“I’m so fine with people disagreeing with me or having their opinions,” she said. “That’s okay. But spreading the hate people have been is not okay. The hardest part is it affects my family. I can handle it. It doesn’t feel good, but I can handle it. But it’s my family that’s they call me to see if I’m okay. It’s hard. It’s really hard. It’s hurtful. I like to think that it doesn’t matter what people think about me but when it’s thousands and thousands [of comments] just pouring in of people hating I get death threats. That hurts.”
To illustrate, Harrison opted to read a few of the Tweets and e-mails that Kaitlyn had received. It was uncomfortable to watch, and it would have been better for Kaitlyn to have been backstage for this segment. Of course, it upped the drama and the stakes to have her sitting right there as Harrison read the awful things people have said to her. One woman – a mother – called Kaitlyn a “selfish whore” who should “crawl in a hole and die.” Seriously? Over The Bachelorette? Even though I see it every week – on Twitter and even on the comments thread – it’s always disappointing to see women dragging other women through the dirt for defying societal expectations. You’re just hurting yourself. (Should I go on about internalized misogyny? Nah, not the venue.)
Anyway, Kaitlyn received a standing ovation from the suitors, and she was overwhelmed by the support. At least some of them began to understand the ramifications of their own words. Later, Ian apologized directly to Kaitlyn: “I want to apologize about any backlash you received as a result of the comments I made. I’m really sorry about that, and it wasn’t representative of who I am as a human being and I’m sorry.” (Again, he’s pretty much just saving face, but it’s good enough.)
RELATED VIDEO: Kaitlyn Bristowe Says She Was Sex-Shamed ‘Because I’m a Woman’
Odds and Ends
• The blooper reel was mostly just Kaitlyn being terrified by birds. After it aired, she said that everyone always asks her why she has tattoos of birds on her arms if she’s so terrified of them – “Well, I can’t see them!” she said, as if they were the idiots for asking. Bless her.
• Ben H. asked Kaitlyn why she felt the need to tell Shawn about her tryst with Nick, and she basically said it was because Shawn was obviously the one most obsessed with Nick and because she “compartmentalized” all of her relationships, and she felt that was the best move for her relationship with Shawn. It wasn’t the best answer, but none of this is ideal. I want everybody to be happy, I really do, but nobody will be.
• Harrison congratulated Jared on shaving his facial hair. Looks like they read my night one recap, in which I wrote that my original notes for the episode read: “Hair v. stupid, face v. handsome.” Also, Jared continued to be as gentlemanly as ever. What a good egg! I wish him happiness and a clean-shaven face for all eternity.
• Corey sucked. He talked way too much given he was a non-entity for most of the season and spent a lot of time judging Kaitlyn for allowing Nick to join her “journey.” Corey left the same episode Nick joined, but there was no way that had anything to do with anything.
• What if Nick and Shawn are the real “Brokeback Bachelors”? What a twist! As I’ve written before, if this were scripted television, there would be slash fanfiction written about those two. #Shick #Nawn #ShickBiall #NawnVooth
RELATED VIDEO: Kaitlyn Bristowe Reveals on The Bachelorette: Men Tell All That She Was Cyberbullied After Having Sex with Nick Viall
Kaitlyn finally makes her choice on next week’s finale of The Bachelorette at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.