I’m very sorry to have to start this week’s blog by talking about Chris and Whitney’s breakup. I was saddened to hear the news that they chose to end their engagement and go their separate ways. I have been asked the typical “What happened?” questions, and the honest answer is, I don’t truly know. Of course I’ve reached out to both of them to give my support, but all I wanted them to know is I’m here for them as a friend and I wish them the best as they go through this tough time. I know some people will mock the show, and yes, you can say, “It’s The Bachelor, it’s a TV show — come on.” But the bottom line is, TV show or not, these are two good people who were very much in love and they are now going through something very difficult and very public. So feel free to be cynical, but please also try to also be a compassionate, decent person and let’s wish Chris and Whitney the very best.
Now for The Bachelorette. This week’s show started off right where we left off last week, the Great Kupah Meltdown. When we last saw Kupah he was in the midst of some sort of temper tantrum on the driveway. Kaitlyn (and probably the neighbors) had heard enough and she was ready to send this guy home, once and for all. After Kupah was dismissed, it was time to say goodbye to a couple other guys. I had no idea Ed Norton was on the show but by the time I realized it, it was too late. (I think in this case his name was Daniel.) We also said so long to single parent Cory, who was a great guy but just never really built a solid connection with Kaitlyn.
Daniel aka Ed Norton’s doppelgänger
And so we began a new week with the arrival of two not-so-small friends of mine: World champion Sumo wrestlers Biamba and Yama. These guys were great, and I enjoyed getting to know them. They were good sports and had fun with all of us as we butchered their time-honored tradition of Sumo. By far the biggest obstacle in waking up the guys was getting these two massive humans up the stairs. As for the gentleman having to wear the traditional mawashi, well, that was just cruel and unusual punishment… but mostly for the spectators. We were going to use Jillian’s black bar to cover up all the inappropriate stuff, but it would’ve covered almost your entire screen.
Yama getting his stretch on
I have to give it up to the guys for being brave enough to let it all hang out and really go for it on this date. The only one that really had a problem with this was Tony. So yes, Tony is an interesting cat. My favorite Tony moments this week were when he told Kaitlyn he views the world through the eyes of a child, has the heart of a warrior, and the spirit of a gypsy. I’m not real sure what most of that means, but that’s OK. This just wasn’t Tony’s cup of tea, so he packed his bags and left. That was just the beginning of a very interesting evening. Kaitlyn and Shawn had some great alone time that night and he got the rose. There is definitely something easy and strong between the two.
The next date was something new we thought we’d try this season: I set Kaitlyn up on a surprise date with one of the guys. The reason I picked Ben Z. was because I knew she was really intrigued by him after their last conversation, and I thought they needed some one-on-one time together. The date I set up for them in the Escape Room put their young relationship to the test. In a very short time I knew Ben was either going to rise to the occasion and take care of Kaitlyn, or this would be their demise. I had faith in Ben and he absolutely knocked it out of the park. You can tell a lot about a person in an intense scenario like this, and Kaitlyn loved everything she saw. Now the only thing I can’t explain is Kaitlyn’s crippling fear of birds. Kaitlyn and I have had many conversations about this fear, and she’ll be the first to admit it makes absolutely no sense. She’s never been attacked by a bird nor does she think she will suddenly be attacked by birds. But when I tell you this woman is freaked out by our feathered friends, that’s a gross understatement. (So much for having doves at her wedding.) Ben Z. was fantastic on this date, and this surprise relationship just keeps getting better and better.
This child actor on the “sex ed” date looks legitimately traumatized
Finally, we get to possibly the most awkward yet hysterical prank any of our Bachelorettes have ever pulled. I have a feeling our resident prankster Sean Lowe appreciated this elaborate joke the most. After riding the bus to a middle school, our guys thought they were really teaching sex education to a real class of students. They had no idea this was a set-up and that the class was filled with young actors we had hired. Watching these guys try to talk about an uncomfortable subject with kids and field the kids’ inappropriate questions was classic. Kaitlyn definitely got one over on them. Beyond scarring these children for the rest of their lives, the big winners on this date were Ben H. and Jared. Both really impressed Kaitlyn with how they handled the children, and strengthened both relationships. If you’re scoring at home, this was definitely a solid week to be named Ben.
(By the way, because many of you ask about the music on dates, the song that was playing while Jared and Kaitlyn danced at the post-date cocktail party was “Satellites” by Wil Seabrook.)
OK, I’ve waited as long as I can — we have to talk about JJ and Clint. These two seemed to have sparked quite a strong relationship. I’ll let all of you debate what this relationship truly is and how deep it goes, but I do know it’s certainly affected Clint’s reasons for being on the show. These two were inseparable, doing literally everything together from showers to eating to soaking in the hot tub. My only issue with it is that in an effort to stay on the show with JJ, Clint began to mess with Kaitlyn. He started to mislead her so he could get a rose and stay around. Kaitlyn quickly caught wind of this and confronted Clint — you’ll see how that confrontation plays out next week, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more to this story that you’ll see play out next Monday night, you won’t believe it. There are a lot of layers to this relationship — and I’m not even sure which relationship I’m talking about at this point. Just know that next week there is a meltdown and a betrayal like we’ve rarely seen on this show. As I said, I’ll let all of you debate what you saw and what’s really going on.
I wanted to say thank you this week for all of you who have not only bought my romance novel The Perfect Letter but those who have reached out via Twitter and Instagram (@chrisbharrison) and let me know how much you’ve enjoyed it. I wrote this novel with Bachelor Nation in mind and it makes me so happy to know that so many of you are enjoying the story. I’m already excited to get started on the next novel.
I can’t wait for you to see next Monday. The tension in the house reaches new heights and we have one of the most explosive confrontations I can remember on The Bachelorette. See you then.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.