The Bachelorette: Clare Crawley Questions the Men's Intentions After 'Awkward' Group Date
This post contains spoilers from Tuesday's episode of The Bachelorette.
It's week two of Clare Crawley's quest to find love, and the drama is just getting started on The Bachelorette.
Maybe it's a lingering effect of the pandemic, or perhaps this season really is just the most dramatic one yet, but it seems everyone is already in deep their feelings.
In the words of Zac. C, "Rose hunting season is officially open." Let's dive in.
The episode kicked off with the first group date, which included Riley, Jordan, Yosef, Ivan, Ben, Bennett, Zac C., Zach J., and Dale. The goal was to teach the men about the importance of love languages, so they meet Clare, 39, at a Romeo and Juliet-inspired location to practice acting out the different ways to express love.
After the men professed their love in a words-of-affirmation exercise, the date was taken to the next level when it came time to demonstrate physical touch. Both Clare and the men were blindfolded as they began to explore each other by hugging and rubbing each other's bodies.
Clare, who was convinced that she could already tell each man apart by touch and smell, thoroughly enjoyed the activity. "Obviously, we all are deprived of physical touch during quarantine, so this was a love language I was ready for," she said.
"The hardest part about this group date is seeing other guys hug her and stuff," Ivan admitted. "That's completely brand new."
Things took a turn when they moved to the cocktail portion of the date. After Clare sat down and made a toast, she was surprised when no one immediately tried to steal her away for a chat.
"Does anybody want to step up to the plate?" she said after an awkward silence. "Don't everyone jump at once."
Bennett pulled her away, but the men's lack of initiative rubbed Clare the wrong way, and she eventually decided to go back to the group and confront the guys.
"I'm a little bit taken aback. I'm sitting here, I made a toast, and then there was the longest awkward silence," she said. "Does anybody want to spend time with me?"
When Yosef offered to "speak for the group," Clare quickly shut him down. "If you guys all want to hang out with each other, you can do that and I can go home and go to bed. At the end of the day, I'm a woman and I want my man to show me he cares. The truth of the matter is, it just hurt me."
With that, the men began to stand up and reassure her that they wanted to prioritize spending time with her.
"You shouldn't feel like that," Dale said. "I feel like s--- knowing you felt like that. I never want you to feel like that when you're around. Never again will I restrict how I feel."
Clearly feeling like he might have dug himself into a hole, Yosef interjected to call Clare "crazy to think we didn't all come here for you."
"I don't know that," she replied. "I need to figure that out for myself."
Eventually, the moment blew over and Clare went about her night, spending individual time with each of the men. She ultimately decided to give Riley, 30, the group date rose.
It's always telling who gets chosen for the first one-on-one date of the season. This time, it was Jason. Staying true to this episode's theme of getting in one's ~feelings~, Clare asked him to write a letter to his younger self.
"To open up and share your deepest darkest secrets, that's when I get scared," he admitted. "I don't like that."
They sat down by a fire for an intimate conversation, where they discussed their innermost vulnerabilities and released their demons. How, exactly? By breaking things, burning mementos and, of course, screaming into the void.
At one point, Jason opened up about his past, revealing he has a tendency to run from commitment after watching his parents fight while growing up. Clare, who was proud of him for being so honest, offered him the rose.
SECOND GROUP DATE
Clare kept things playful for the second group date, meeting the men at an outdoor court for a game of dodgeball. The only catch? She decided it was going to be strip dodgeball. Oh, and only the winning team got to move on to the cocktail portion of the night.
Suffice it to say that balls were flying everywhere. "She might see my man goodies tonight," Demar joked. "If that happens, that's the Lord's will, right?"
The red team took home the win, leaving the blue team to head back to the house with their heads down and their hands covering their privates. While most of the guys were good sports about it, Blake Moynes was especially upset about losing time with Clare. He decided to make a bold move and crash the other group's cocktail party.
"I wanted to come in here and really show balls," he said. "I'm here for you and I'm going to these uncomfortable places internally to show you that. I know I'm going to take a bunch of heat for this, but I just don't really care that much."
Naturally, the other men weren't thrilled, so they confronted him and asked him to leave. After he was gone, Brandon seized the opportunity to talk to Clare — but it didn't go quite as planned. When she asked him what he likes about her, Brandon froze up.
"I don't really know anything about you," he said. "I don't obviously know you on a personal level. You're just so beautiful, and I wanted to get to know you."
"I don't think people have to know me on a personal level, but there's a lot of guys here who say they like my drive, they like what I have to offer," Clare replied. "I have a really great group of guys here and I think I'm going to have to focus more on them. I don't think I want to pursue this anymore."
Not feeling a connection, Clare made the decision to send Brandon home. Chasen got the group date rose.
Back at the house, Yosef was upset about the dodgeball date — the dodgeball date he wasn't actually a part of.
"My number one value is, have respect for myself and my daughter," he told the other guys. "I don't want her turning on the TV and seeing her dad's ass. It just seemed classless. There have been a couple of red flags and it definitely left a bad taste in my mouth."
Yosef planned to talk to Clare about his issues at the cocktail party, but she immediately pulled Blake aside.
"I wanted to pull you aside because I truthfully didn't expect you to show up last night," she told him. "It was something that, again, I thought was amazing of you to do. I don't want you to worry. I don't want you to question anything."
And much to Blake's surprise and delight, the move earned him a rose.
"Everything you are doing is so right," Clare said. "I want you here."
The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.