Hark! Is that the warm glow of the Tealight Candle Thunderdome I see before me? You know what that means, rose lovers: This season is almost over! More immediately, that means it’s time for The Bachelor: The Women Tell All. Let’s recap!
Part 1: The Penultimate Rose Ceremony
After a brief greeting from our Bachelor Nation overlord, Chris Harrison, we’re transported back to the Gold Coast in Australia. It’s rose ceremony day, and both Victoria and Hannah Ann are, like, totally in love with Pilot Pete and can’t wait to marry him.
Side note: Why is this image of Hannah Ann applying bright pink lip gloss while wearing a fluffy white bathrobe so funny to me?
The third “lady” in this equation, Madison, is nowhere to be seen. Peter tells Harrison (rocking no tie, looking studly) that his date with Madison last night “went horribly.” He begins to cry, worried that Madison won’t want to continue this “journey” with him. “This could be it right now.”
Hannah Ann and Victoria stand on the Rose Ceremony Platform, shivering. “Where’s Madi?” one of them asks. “Let’s get this show on the road,” says Hannah Ann, her teeth chattering. (Good Lord, can someone get these women a pashmina?)
Well, look who just decided to make an entrance.
“I was falling in love with him,” sighs Madison. “And then last night happened, and now I don’t really know.” Yeah, that really sucks that Fantasy Suite dates happened ON THE BACHELOR! Okay, okay, I’ll let it go. Rose ceremony roll-call!
“I am so grateful for our relationship,” says Peter through tears. “You all have a little piece of my heart… This right now is absolutely, like, destroying me.” Rose number one goes to Hannah Ann and her carefully applied lip gloss. Then comes the hard part. “Madison,” says the Bachelor, his voice shaking, “will you accept this rose?”
Jeeze, try not to sound too excited about it, honey. Honestly, this is the least excited a woman has been about saying yes to a guy since Mary accepted Massimo’s proposal in The Wedding Planner. Peter is beyond relieved, and he embraces Madison tightly. (Whose heart do you think we heard beating so fast — his or Madi’s?) Oh, and before I forget…
Take a moment and get the eff out, toots. Save your tears for the Tell All.
Having packed Victoria into the Reject Limo, Peter returns to his final two “ladies” for an awkward champagne toast. “Here’s to… seeing if love can conquer all,” says Madison. If you’re wondering what Hannah Ann thinks of that subtext-laden toast, look no further:
Harrison promises that “there is not a single person who knows how Peter’s journey will end — not even Peter.” Somehow that’s not very surprising, seeing as the guy tends to change his mind every few minutes. We’ll just have to wait and see how he’s feeling next week.
Part 2: Rehashing the Drama (a.k.a. “Come at me — I don’t f---ing care!”)
It is not a lie nor an exaggeration to say that I did not recognize three of the first five women introduced. Seriously, are we sure this woman was really on the show?
Both Kelley and Natasha were missing (Natasha said on Twitter she “unfortunately couldn’t make it,” while Kelley apparently did not get an invite for some reason). Harrison kicks things off with some targeted humor: “I hope everybody wore their most comfortable lin-ger-ee,” he says. “It could be a finasco tonight.” Though the massacre of the English language is no laughing matter, I’ll admit it was a pretty good joke.
The telling of all begins with another episode of Everybody Hates Alayah. Lexi and Sydney chide her for spreading spoilers when she returned to the show, and Alayah says that instance of “word vomit” is her “biggest regret.” She also insists that she’s “just as obnoxious” when there are no cameras around. The Alayah supporters fire back, first with Savannah yelling at Victoria P., telling her she was “the fakest person in the house!” Suddenly, everyone’s raising their voices: Savannah and Alayah are yelling at Victoria P., Alexa and Maurissa are yelling at Sydney… and this poor woman in the audience is getting a migraine from all the squawking.
Harrison calls the room back to order — “Everybody take a deep breath!” — and sends us on a much-needed commercial break. I’ll let you guess what topic we tackle next.
Correct, it’s #champagnegate! “I overreacted,” admits Kelsey, which earns her a round of applause. “I’m not going to say I was justified in my reaction, but I was justified in my emotions.” Of course, Harrison then brings Tammy into the conversation, and she’s immediately on the defensive for implying that Kelsey was a pill-popping alcoholic. “I’m sorry, but we are all swapping saliva with the same guy,” says Tammy. “It is my business.” Savannah, who seems to be angling for a spot on Paradise, shoots back: “You were shaming her for having emotions!” Man, millennials really love to accuse people of “shaming,” don’t they? Now Kelsey’s crying, because she says Tammy “belittled” people who actually have addiction issues related to pills and alcohol. “I’m not okay with that!”
A few people come to Tammy’s aid when it’s time to discuss her rivalry with Mykenna. “I thought Mykenna was annoying, because she was so emotional and crying all the time,” says Kiarra. “I’m a nanny, I know childish behavior, and that’s exactly how she was acting.” A tearful Mykenna (is there any other kind?) tells Tammy that she made her feel “horrible” and not “worthy of being there.” As she goes on and on (“you taught me, like, on how I don’t want to treat people”), Tammy the reaction GIF interrupts.
“Every time there was a camera around, you’d always spread your legs!” bellows Tammy, waving her legs in the air. Mykenna takes it in stride, naturally.
On a scale of 1 to Kelly Kapoor, I’d rate that “how dare you” about a 5.
Part 3: Hot Takes in the Hot Seat
Kelsey’s up first, and Harrison starts by asking her about her “relationship” with Peter and what she misses about it. “With Peter, he makes you feel so important and so loved and so special,” she says tearfully. “I learned a lot from Peter.” For the #champagnegate portion of the chat, the host wants to know if Kelsey thinks it’s “fair” that people criticize her for being too “emotional.” Of course not, says Kelsey. “I am an emotional person,” she says. “And I’m proud of that!”
To reward Kelsey for her excessive crying, producers treat her to a visit from professional on-camera crier Ashley Iaconetti. But more importantly, here comes Big Paulie with an even bigger bottle of champagne for Kelsey.
Love that guy.
We interrupt this Women Tell All to bring you an extended promo for The Bachelor presents: Listen to Your Heart. “I’m here to have music bring me together with someone,” says a female contestant. “It’s just like a real-life A Star Is Born,” adds a male contestant. Wait, so it ends in suicide? That’s pretty grim, even for this franchise. Also grim: The “judges” on this show apparently include former Bachelor and Bachelorette couples… and Jason Mraz. It looks painful, but God help me, I’m going to watch every minute.
At last, rose lovers, it’s time for the main event.
Victoria gets teary watching her highlight reel, and says she’s mad at herself for pushing Peter away so many times. Yeah, I don’t care. Not here for her regrets, not here for her broken heart, not here for the lessons she says she’s learned. This is the only thing that I (and I’m guessing most viewers) care about:
“Absolutely not,” says Victoria F. Those accusations from Merissa were “extremely frustrating” to watch, she says. As for her reaction during hometowns, “I obviously could’ve handled that better,” says Victoria. “I could’ve handled the whole f---ing season better, but you can’t go back in time!” True. If we could, I'd go back to 2002 and stop myself from ever getting hooked on this damn show.
Part 4: Peter and His Parents Crash Viewing Parties
Dammit, I really used to like Peter’s parents. Why did they have to turn out to be attention whores like their son? Sigh.
Part 5: Pilot Pete Takes the Stage
Once Peter sits down, it takes less than a minute for him to use a word that doesn’t actually exist. “You hear things from around the house and other women, and you want to tune that out and just be focused and not have, um, anything kind of like, suade you — it’s tough.” Here’s my question to you, rose lovers: Did Peter mean to say “sway” and just misspoke, or does he actually think “suade” is a word, perhaps related to “persuade?" Let me know what you think in the comments.
Oh great, Victoria F. is back.
Well, that was pointless. Now it’s time for the other “ladies” to air their grievances with Peter. Mykenna chides him for saving her from the two-on-one date only to send her home at the rose ceremony. (He’s sorry.) Savannah wants to know if he regrets spending so much time on the women who caused drama. (He doesn’t.) Peter praises the “ladies” for being brave enough to look for a husband on TV. (They LOVE it.)
Part 6: Bloopers
Some decent outtakes here, including Peter soaking the seat of his pants in chilled champagne and Janice Dickinson referring to STDs and “HSNs,” but I think my favorite had to be the Bachelor being startled by a nosy homeless person.
Seeing that guy jump out of his skin never gets old.
Part 7: Hey Bachelor Nation, Stop with the Online Bullying
After the commercial break, we see Harrison seated on stage next to former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. “I’d like to talk about something that’s been going on for the last several seasons,” says the host. “Something that is not okay.”
That something is toxic online harassment and hate. “People have become so comfortable being mean, meaner than ever, on social media,” says Rachel, who, as the first black Bachelorette, experienced her fair share of online abuse. “If we’re ever going to fix this problem, we have to acknowledge the problem.”
There’s a saying that sunlight is the best disinfectant. To that end, Rachel reads aloud several disgusting and hateful messages that some of the women this season have received via social media. They range from the garden-variety cruel (“kill yourself;” “you’re useless”) to the explicitly racist:
“I know it’s uncomfortable for you to see,” says Rachel, with tears streaming down her face. “Just imagine how uncomfortable it is to get this in your comments and your DMs every day, every week, every month.”
Shiann says she had to set her DMs to filter out certain words and phrases so she doesn’t see all the hate mail she’s getting from trolls. “I was getting death threats at my work email,” adds Tammy tearfully. Alexa got hate from viewers about her natural hair. “It sucks and it hurts,” she says. “But also I had so much love come in and it meant so much.”
Guys, this show, and the majority of people on it, are ridiculous. Obviously, I’ve been making fun of Bachelor contestants for years in my recaps. Part of the reason so many of us love this franchise is because it’s so fun to watch and react to all of the craziness on screen. But there is a clear distinction between humor and toxicity. Human decency still has to prevail — even in Bachelor Nation. So if you see trolls making racist or otherwise hateful comments about contestants, speak up and shut it down. Speaking as someone who received multiple messages of “kill yourself” because I didn’t like a particular TV show, I can assure you that support will be appreciated.
Part 8: Next Week, on The Bachelor…
We’re just one week away from the two-night, live finale, and Harrison promises that it is “one of the most unexpected and complicated endings we have ever seen.” If only this kangaroo could spill the tea:
Significant highlights from the highlight reel include: Peter’s mom, Barbara, telling Hannah Ann that she’s “concerned;” Hannah Ann subsequently reaching a “breaking point;” Madison asking Peter how they can “get through this;” Peter getting some very bad news on Proposal Day; the Bachelor making a tearful apology to one of the women, and of course:
Love ya, Babs, but you’ve got to get it together.
One week left, rose lovers! Before you go, please let me know how you're feeling about tonight's Tell All-tacular. Did any of the "ladies" impress you? Are there any women you wish they'd chosen as the Bachelorette over Clare Crawley? And who do you want to see in Paradise? Post your thoughts below!