Greetings, Bachelor Nation!
This was truly one of the most telling, most revealing, and most interesting reunion shows we’ve had in a long time. It was funny, it was emotional, and it was really raw, and that’s a direct result of the kind of season we had and the kind of Bachelorette that Kaitlyn has been. Controversial, surely, but above all else, people are really invested in this season and that includes the panel of men.
There were some surprises. It was good to see Ryan M. upright, and I was glad he maintained his composure even though he was clearly a bit “horned up.” It was also good to see the spirited debate about Kaitlyn’s choices this season — and there was a clearly defined line between the men who really knew Kaitlyn the best and those who didn’t. When Nick came up, as it has many times this season, it seems like the men who left early couldn’t understand Kaitlyn’s decisions, but those who were there nearly all the way to the end seemed to defend her decision to turn every stone.
Ian was obviously someone I was looking forward to hearing from and I was glad to see he had decided to apologize. When he first got up and took his jacket off I wasn’t sure what his intention was. In my many years of hosting I’ve never seen anything quite like that. It was comical, sure, but I think the intention was right. He didn’t make excuses and he didn’t make it someone else’s fault. He knew he had crossed the line in how he had spoken to and about Kaitlyn, and he gave a heartfelt apology that she accepted. Moving on!
Clint and JJ spoke their minds and tried their best to explain the real heart of the issue, which is that the other guys in the house felt like they were condescending and only wanted to talk to each other. I actually don’t feel like we got any clear answers, but it’s good to see that JJ and Clint have restored their deep friendship. Unfortunately, Clint won’t be in Paradise with JJ, but hopefully they can resume their friendship when JJ returns.
Ben Z. really is a mountain of a man with a big heart, as I said. He is clearly going to make a great husband and father someday and be the rock that someone needs. Sometimes life really does put you through the paces, and when you dedicate yourself to it you can really come out the other side better than ever. Jared had perhaps one of the hardest breakups this season and it’s clear that his feelings for Kaitlyn didn’t just go away when he got into the car to leave. He’s one of the nicest guys we’ve ever had on our show, and thankfully you’ll get to see a lot more of him when he joins the rest of the cast in Paradise less than two weeks from now.
And then there’s Ben H., a clear favorite among the ladies and a solid guy all around. You can tell that he had a slower time opening up to Kaitlyn and he explained some of that in the hot seat. But he is consistent and sure of himself and that goes a long way when it comes to eventually finding the person for you. I wish him luck.
I really did feel it was important that we address some of the social media bullying that goes on with people in the public eye and especially someone like Kaitlyn. I don’t want to go down the road again and get into what was said. You’ve all seen it and I read some of those things on the show, but let me say this now: When you say something hateful and hurtful to someone you don’t know on the Internet, you may think there is no impact. But you’re not talking to a character on a TV show — there are real human people on the receiving end of your hate. Even on the Internet, you should treat people the way you want to be treated. If you wouldn’t say it to your mother, you shouldn’t say it to anyone. I respect Kaitlyn’s strength and decisions and we, as a show, stand behind her as a strong, independent woman capable of making her own choices.
Well, I maybe don’t stand behind her laugh, but she knows that — and she understands.
Next week is one of the most dramatic finales of all time. Nick, Shawn, and Kaitlyn. Two men that dislike each other more than any other two men in Bachelorette history and a woman who has very strong feelings for them both. What could possibly go wrong?
Don’t miss the live finale and After the Final Rose next Monday night. And the fun doesn’t stop there. Paradise is coming, along with our new show After Paradise, which you’ll hear more about this coming week.
It’s going to be a great summer. See you Monday.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.