All Day, The Bachelorette -

The worst-case scenario has developed on ‘The Bachelorette’ It’s clear the producers knew one of the contestants was a bigot because it’s a storyline

All Day, The Bachelorette -

The worst-case scenario has developed on ‘The Bachelorette’ It’s clear the producers knew one of the contestants was a bigot because it’s a storyline

Nobody wanted this to happen. Everyone wanted to live in their own fun world of wine, petty beefs, past relationships coming back to haunt them, drunken outbursts in attempts at love and maybe some embarrassing physical challenges that in the end build character for everyone. Sure, it’s not REAL in the sense of Rachel ever going to have to, say, cover for a guy if his debit card doesn’t work on a date, but the emotion is at least feigned enough to get by.

What you don’t want is a situation where an outed bigot is clearly being given a platform to spew his nonsense and practice his weird fetishes of making others suffer via his manipulation. But once it was revealed through social media posts from not long ago that Lee was very much a jerk, the air was already out of the sails a tad. With Monday’s episode, you have no choice but to think that his sole purpose on the show was to effectively ruin the first season with a black woman as The Bachelorette.

We wanted Rachel Lindsay to be good enough for them to consider being able to get through this without some racist stunt just because. And even if it does turn out to be some long story arc of redemption for him, the slime factor is already there and it just feels like another black woman’s chance got mocked, just because they could.

Eric, who doesn’t deserve the vitriol the other guys are dishing out, was spot-on when he said that Lee had snake in his DNA. This kind of sneaky “not-racist-because-I’m-dating-a-black-girl” type of guy has been around since interracial dating became cool, and black girls have been dealing with it since. I’m sure the reason Rachel was crying at the end of this episode was because she realized that she let one of them into her midst.

Many black women have firsthand experience of this. It’s incredibly defeating to think the best of someone and be proven so dangerously wrong. It’s not an exaggeration — Lee is a dangerous guy. He’s the kind of guy who calls the cops on black kids playing outside because they might be a little too loud. The kind who disparages the “thugs” hustling on the corner while telling you how sexy your chocolate skin is, you Nubian queen. Lee is here to prove something to himself. This accusation is a cliché at this point, but for Lee it holds true: He’s not here for the right reasons, and the sooner Rachel figures that out the better, because it’s not fun to watch while he’s still in the running.

During scenes from the next show, this reared its ugly head. It became clear that Lee had turned his sights on Eric for reasons that had more to do with competition. In one clip, a contestant even had to pull him aside and say that calling black people “angry” has a very specific history in this nation, one that is split along racial lines. At one point Lee says that nothing makes him happier than “when I smile and an angry man gets angrier.” Gross.

It’s really a shame, too, because it happened right at the end, soiling the best episode of the season yet.


DeMario came back to beg for Rachel’s forgiveness. It didn’t go well.

Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images

You might recall that at the end of the last episode, DeMario had decided to return to the house to ask for forgiveness and get back in. Rachel, out of curiosity, decided to hear him out. The guys of the house sort of gathered around to watch, and it felt superhokey even for this show.

Then something amazing happened. Rachel listened to him and heard his spiel, which really wasn’t much more than him trying to tweet through it after messing everything up with his girlfriend for blowing up his spot. Then, she told him in a firm but not mean manner that she appreciated his effort but if he’d come with this kind of honesty the first time he might still be there. Alas, he had to go.

DeMario CLEARLY did not expect to take that kind of L for the second time, never mind get dunked on. It was a great moment for fans across America who got to see The Bachelorette dismiss someone who obviously didn’t deserve to be there.

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After that was taken care of, we got to settle into a couple of dates that took us straight to the show’s sweet spot: the dates. Both group dates and the solo date were fun while being a tad ridiculous, which is why we’re all here. On the first one, they went to visit The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It started with Ellen and Rachel watching on a side screen while the lads went through security and Rachel gave her information about each of them. It was perfect.

Alex was the clear winner of the Ellen date, showing off the most moves and comfort with the crowd while showing off his twerk game, then being honest enough to admit he urinated in the pool at the mansion. Don’t worry, fam, we all do it. We just don’t talk about it. Then he talked nerdy to Rachel about eye contact science and ended up getting a well-deserved group-date rose.

https://twitter.com/_ayolauren/status/871941996050620417

The next date was a personal favorite. Rachel rode horses in Beverly Hills, California, with Anthony. Like just walking down the sidewalk. People were gawking and taking pictures, and students were screaming Rachel’s name out of school buses. It was the most ballerific thing we’ve ever seen on the show. They even rode the animals into actual stores, where one proceeded to defecate on the floor. It was an incredible scene.

We also got to learn a few things about Anthony, who came off as a genuinely serious dude when it comes to relationships. He didn’t try to play any sort of wounded fawn angle. He said straight up that he loves his family and looks to continue that tradition as a father, and it’s extremely important to him. She gave him a rose on the spot, and he even afterward was humble enough to admit that he was nervous about putting himself out there from an emotional standpoint, but he was rewarded for it. So much more refreshing than some “I had it in the bag the whole time” reply, which many dudes are wont to do.

The second group date was the best we’d seen on any iteration of this program in a while. With a group that included Kenny, an actual professional wrestler, they added a nice twist: more women. As we saw in the opening episode, Rachel brought along some friends from the Bachelor house where she competed. They all rode a party bus together and got to know each other better. She then fielded their advice when it came to analyzing the guys, which was smart.

You have to get dirty, you’ve got to win, and there’s a showmanship element. Nobody was too cool for school, and no one took it TOO seriously and decided to get crazy and mess up the bit. We can’t even recall who even won the rose, which tells you how entertaining the actual bit was.

Three good dates, three feel-good experiences.


But there were lowlights.

The first was Fred. In the Ellen date, during the “Never Have I Ever” portion, he revealed that he’d once slept with a woman twice his age. Not a smart thing to let loose when you’re already in a weird spot by trying to win the heart of your childhood camp counselor crush. Nobody wants to feel fetishized on national television, never mind till death do them part.

Secondly, he got in his feelings about the fact that he had yet to kiss Rachel after quite a few others had. “I’ve been waiting like 20 years to kiss her, man,” Fred said at one point. Which, coupled with the whole older woman thing, was just really creepy. After that, when he finally did get to sit down with her, he actually asked permission to kiss her, which was just weird in the context of a dating program. So when it finally happened, we were just grossed out by the clunky approach and execution. Fred, get your game together.

Then, we got to experience Rachel shining again. Instead of stringing him along after that shameful performance, she just let him go, telling him openly and honestly that she just didn’t feel the same way about him and there was nothing wrong with that. It was earnest and straightforward, and because they had an actual life connection beforehand she didn’t string him along or lead him on. In short, her classy breakup game is very on point. Bravo.

Lastly and mercifully, the story of Lucas (aka Whaboom) and Blake came to a glorious close. For as much as Whaboom made me laugh, it was clear he was just there to sell shirts, which was fine, except for the fact that Blake took exception to it. Why? Because he actually knows Lucas from real life, which is like showing up to college in the fall only to find out that the ONE person you couldn’t stand from high school is there too, and you’re pledging the same Greek organization.

They got into a spat that ended up going all the way up to Rachel, with Blake making the first move and focusing entirely too much on Lucas. When Whaboom was asked about it, he dropped some off-topic, offensive remarks about something Blake might have done while they were sleeping, and it was clear what Rachel was thinking: Y’all both gotta go. They did.

And in classic Bachelor drama, the two filmed their goodbye interviews with producers across the driveway from each other. Like Cam Newton walking away from his interview after the Super Bowl because he could hear an opponent boasting nearby, Blake got so agitated that he walked over to Whaboom’s stand-up shot and started to curse him out. They then began a rather childlike level of bickering. The sexual tension was off the charts. Clearly these two will be rooming together on the next Bachelor In Paradise. It has to happen.


We had fun this week, but we’re dreading the next episode. With a bigot looming in the mix, and clearly by design of the show, it’s shaping up to be the slimiest episode the franchise has ever seen.


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