Perhaps it’s the fact that I spent last week binge-watching UnREAL, the new show that’s a fictionalized version of The Bachelor, but it was difficult to watch Monday night’s episode of The Bachelorette without being more overwhelmed than usual by how stunningly contrived the entire thing was.

Let’s begin at the beginning: As we saw at the end of last week, Kupah was sent home by Kaitlyn, though before he exited he gave a long rant to the camera about how fucked up it all was, which she heard, confronted him about a second time, and then confirmed that she was definitely sending him home.

After Kupah, Tony the Healer left of his own volition, because he didn’t like how violent the group dates have been so far this season—boxing in the last episode, then sumo wrestling this week. Before he departed, he shared a number of great quotes, describing himself as a man with “the heart of a warrior and the spirit of a gypsy” more than once, suggesting that they go on a date to the zoo instead, arguing that the sumo wrestling was just a glorified biggest-dick contest, and saying “I look at the world through the eyes of a child.”

“I can’t find happiness by reverting back to my primal instincts,” Tony the Healer said. An excellent casting choice on the part of the Bachelorette producers. Well done.

By far, the most idiotic plotline was a contrived, poorly edited set-up that implied that, as previously reported, contestants Clint and JJ were in a romantic relationship together. Yes, Clint did say things like, “We’ve grown very close—almost too close, I think, at times, in the room and stuff like that, in the shower,” and “The possibility of coming onto The Bachelorette and falling in love with a man never crossed my mind, but I believe in the process and at this point I am a success story,” and straight up, “I love JJ. He has made my time in the house insanely enjoyable.” And yes, he and JJ created a new catchphrase (“Villains gotta vil”) together.

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But, as we saw with Brad’s second season and castmember Michelle Money (who was painted as the villain the whole season when the case afterwards seemed to be that she was just really dry and that most of the women liked her a lot), jokes—however weak—are often presented as fact on this show. To complicate Clint’s situation, he somehow went from being a favorite of Kaitlyn’s to being on the chopping block when another contestant painted him as disingenuous, a development that was hard to follow.

It’s something when so much happens in an episode that a coerced “bromance” between Clint and JJ takes up so much space we don’t even have time to discuss the lengthy scene where Kaitlyn and Ben Z. went through a bizarre haunted house or how a bunch of the other dudes taught sex ed to child actors. If we’re praising the work of producers, last night was truly the best of Bachelorette times.


Contact the author at dries@jezebel.com.

Image via ABC.