On The Bachelor, The Women Tell All But Only Say 'Sorry'

Illustration for article titled On The Bachelor, The Women Tell All But Only Say 'Sorry'
Screenshot: ABC/The Bachelor (Fair Use)

Does anyone else feel entitled to an hour-and-a-half of their life back? I sure do! Monday night on The Bachelor was the infamous “Women Tell All” episode—the glorified mid-season clip show plus contestant commentary—and oh my god, I’m so bored, even finishing this sentence is arduous.

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The bulk of the episode was dedicated to all the bullying and in-house drama that has defined this season, each woman taking their turn saying sorry. Queen Victoria Larson apologized. Anna Redman, the tormentor behind the “Brittany Galvin is an escort” rumor, apologized. Galvin accepted it and tried her best not to dismiss sex work in the process. MJ Synder and Jessica Cruz apologized. Katie Thurston also sort of apologized, probably because she’s still angling to become the next Bachelorette. If I had to guess, I’d say these women mostly offered “my bads” to try and cease some of the harassment they’ve received online, but reality TV fans are vicious and unforgiving. I hope some good comes from this because it was very uninteresting to watch.

At one point, there was so much apologizing, I sincerely questioned if it was anti-feminist. Joke’s on me! I’m dumb now, and watching this show is partially responsible.

Worst yet: Chris Harrison moderated the sorry session. According to The New York Post, the episode was filmed in early February, prior to the racism “controversy currently plaguing Bachelor Nation—the very same that will prohibit Harrison from hosting “After the Final Rose” in a few weeks. (Race wasn’t mentioned, nor were Rachel Kickconnell’s antebellum pictures.) Instead, Harrison let the women sing their chorus of “I’m sorry”s and then cut before commercial with “I want to nip this in the bud,” as if he did anything to guide the conversation beyond naming which women should talk next. Is this dystopia?

At one point, Harrison pointed out that it was “very 2021" that the women snapped instead of clapped for Abigail Heringer, which leads me to believe that he has no idea what is going on anymore or who this show is for. (Harrison, if you’re reading this—snapping has been a trend for, like, decades now—it is a quieter, gentler symbol of appreciation and gratitude than the performative clap, but I guess if your job for the last two decades has been “host of the most formulaic fairytale fantasy show on TV,” it can be challenging to determine what is genuine or not.)

Besides all the apologizing with little redemption, a portion of the episode was made up of gross-out Fear Factor-like dates that didn’t go to air. Touching bugs for engagement rings is a cheap laugh, sure, but that was somehow Monday night’s highlight?

At least next week is Fantasy Suites, right? Or as I like to call it, Boner Time. Let’s get physical before two strangers get engaged.

URL: Senior Writer, Jezebel. IRL: Author of the very good book 'LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands from NKOTB to BTS,' out now.

DISCUSSION

Katie Thurston also sort of apologized, probably because she’s still angling to become the next Bachelorette.

I hope she gets it. I think she was a probably a little cringe/too thirsty early on with running around with the sex toy (okay, we get it, you masturbate, and that’s healthy and wonderful,) but she ultimately did what no one else would when she brought to Matt’s attention that there was a bunch of emotionally abusive, bullying behavior going on in the house—and she did it without actually putting anyone on blast by name. Frankly, that got points from me. It’s not like she was capriciously against anyone, because she didn’t name names, but the behavior was clearly bad enough that all she needed to do was tell Matt something was going on, and he almost immediately ferreted out the culprits.

#TeamKatie.