Season 16 episode 8 of The Bachelorette had me feeling some type of way. Emotions were running high and not from any sort of tension in the house—although the episode wasn’t void of tension by any means, but we’ll get to that later.
On last night’s episode, we learned a few of the guys’ backstories, and damn, some of these men have been through a lot. The Bachelorette doesn’t usually get this deep, but Tayshia is the perfect lead for them to go there with. Her calming presence, her own life experience and the good head she’s got on her shoulders made this episode feel *real* rather than cheesy. So let’s get into it, shall we?
We open with Jojo Fletcher just popping by for a visit to give Tayshia some advice, Bachelorette to Bachelorette. But we all know she’s really just there to fill in for Chris while he moves his son into college. When will this show stop trying to pull one over on us? We all know this isn’t some spontaneous gesture, especially given that she had to quarantine for two weeks before coming onto the set.
After the two women talk out their feelings, Chris gives the guys a visit to let them know Jojo will be there for them while he’s gone. I definitely think Jojo was the right choice to come in as a temporary host. She’s bubbly, warm and occasionally funny. She was always one of my favorite Bachelorettes and I’m excited to see her on my screen again.
The first one-on-one goes to Zac and I’m excited to see how this goes. He seems like a niceboy, cute but not intimidatingly so and definitely not one to start shilling out flat tummy tea after this is all over.
This wedding photoshoot idea always works out better on The Bachelor group dates when we have 10 women in wedding dresses competing to see who looks best as the Bachelor’s bride. This time around, Tayshia is clearly extremely nervous, having actually been married before, and understands the meaning behind putting on that white gown.
I do love this photographer and his Princess Diana blue eyeliner. Great find, ABC.
It was sweet to see Tayshia loosen up after smooching with Zac. Their photoshoot is cute and my personal favorite look was the pink cream puff dress and silver suit on the trampoline. Perfectly kitschy and cute.
In their chat post photoshoot, Zac blames his nervousness on Tayshia’s ability to “take his breath away.” Not buying it, he’s just really nervous and clearly has something to open up about, which brings us to his extremely heavy backstory.
Addiction, divorce, stealing, this guy’s got it all and the way he owns it is… really sexy? And the fact that he’s now on the board of his rehab is actually inspiring and I can see Tayshia is pretty in awe of him.
Let’s imagine for a second that Clare was still our Bachelorette. What would these conversations look like? I have a feeling it wouldn’t be great. I have a feeling she’s too immature to not have been scared off by a story like Zac’s. Tayshia is truly the perfect Bachelorette for these men. She’s calm and collected, she’s had some major life experiences too and her head doesn’t live in the clouds the way Clare’s does—hello engaged after 2 dates.
The self-awareness this season is unparalleled and I love it. If there was ever a season to feel this real, it’s the pandemic season.
Moving on to the group date, the guys walk into this room terrified they have to get naked again, but nope, they just have to draw naked people. The look of relief across the room is no joke.
Bennett weasels his way next to Tayshia and his every move has me rolling my eyes. His comment about “drama always going around,” his secret blindfolded kiss, his clay art about the many homes he’ll be sharing with Tayshia. Ew. Get this guy out of here.
But aside from Bennett’s gross commentary, this date was actually pretty amazing. The guys opened up to Tayshia about their lives, shed some tears and Ben pulled a move that I didn’t think Tayshia would be into but she found his naked man move a sign of vulnerability.
My personal favorite was Brendan turning his self-portrait frame sideways to make room for Tayshia. Creative and sweet.
The men’s display of vulnerability and openness has literally moved Tayshia to tears. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like this go down in Bachelor Nation. “This is what happens when you start dating real men,” says Tayshia and I could not agree more. Where did they find these amazing guys?? I am truly floored and clearly, so is Tayshia.
Instead of giving a rose to one guy for a mini one-on-one Tayshia invites them all to the after-party. How is she going to be able to eliminate any of these guys now after they’ve opened up so much?? There are going to be many tears at the rose ceremony this week.
Usually, at this point, there are still plenty of guys I don’t care about and names I can’t remember. But I’m loving all of these guys! Except for Bennett. He can go.
Tayshia senses the tension between Noah and Bennett and calls them out. I feel bad for Noah, he didn’t really *do* anything, Bennett just likes to pick on him and Noah sticks up for himself in a less-than-mature way. We’ll see how this goes.
Next up we have a cute one-on-one with Eazy. These dates are getting wackier and wackier. Apparently, there’s a ghost named William Morgan that haunts the resort and they’re going to try and find him. But wait, William Morgan…. Of THE Morgans? Does Sonja know?? Ok I’ll stop.
Tayshia and Eazy have some laughs and at dinner, she drops the bomb that he’s not getting a rose. The poor guy looked so shocked and upset. When he asked her, “Tayshia, is this real” my heart just about broke. We’ll miss you, Eazy, hope to see you in Paradise!
After Eazy leaves, Jojo comes in to check on the boys and asks Noah, “are you checking yourself? How’s your hair look,” and reader, I CACKLED.
She lets them know the cocktail party and rose ceremony have been postponed to Tayshia can have a sit down with Noah and Bennett and send one of them home. The showdown we’ve all been waiting for.
Bennett tells us this two-on-one is “fantastic news” and I literally want to punch him in his perfect jawline. Bennett brings Noah a bunch of “gifts,” i.e. props he can use to help him talk down to him.
Noah needs to learn a better defense mechanism than just talking back and trying to one-up. Bennett is clearly the asshole in this situation and Noah needs to know how to better leverage that.
The episode ends with Tayshia coming to the two-on-one and asking what the gift box is sitting on the table. DUN, DUN, DUNNNNN. Until next week!
The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays on ABC at 8 p.m.