Though The Bachelor has aired for 20 seasons, the show has never received an Emmy nomination for any of its iterations (The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad) in any category. They’d like to change that; last week, it was reported that its production company, Warner Brothers, had rolled out a star-studded For Your Consideration ad campaign. But Monday night’s episode of The Bachelorette, which featured a goodbye to this season’s villain Chad, some significant drama about JoJo’s ex-boyfriend (also confusingly named Chad) and talk about whether her suitor Jordan cheated on his ex-girlfriend, proved to any skeptics or novices out there that this show is indeed worthy of the nod, if not the full-on win.
First off, Chad. Much of Chad’s brilliance as a character was his willingness to go hard, and how easily the men responded to him. But as Chad said on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, he wasn’t watching this season of the show until last week, so he didn’t realize why the audience was responding so vehemently against him. Some of this seems to be due to the fact that he’s forgotten his time in the house, but let’s assume that most of it is because he’s seeing his edit—the villain edit—and, as others have before, been surprised at how the show is portraying him. He’s clearly playing into it; he told Kimmel he’s getting more work in real estate because of it, even as he does things like troll fellow contestant Robby.
But the meat of the episode was devoted to drama that came from tabloid stories, stories the show’s producer even admitted on Twitter contestants do not usually have access to.
In March, InTouch magazine published a “tell-all” with JoJo’s ex-boyfriend Chad, in which he alleged that JoJo didn’t really love Ben Higgins, came back to Dallas after last season of The Bachelor and started hooking up with him again. Chad also claimed she went on the show because it “would help branch out her career.” Sounds fair.
That issue of the magazine was released on March 23, which means it came out while the show was taping in Pennsylvania. Soon after, the cast traveled to Uruguay, where we see a few of the men sitting around as Vinny the barber cuts Alex’s hair.
“Obviously Jordan had two football dates geared around him, so there’s a little twinkle in JoJo’s eye,” Vinny says smartly, suggesting that he knows that Jordan’s being pushed as a frontrunner by the producers. The conversation then turns to the issue of InTouch.
“Hey, why you keepin’ these rumor mags in your shop?” “What’s going on Vin?” the men said to Vinny the barber through laughs. “Guys love gossip,” he responded. Or, the producers gave them to him and thought while he cut their hair they should talk about them.
That didn’t stop them from prompting the men to suggest these magazines were not plants, despite the fact that it’s commonly known that Bachelor contestants are not allowed reading material. “Vinny had a couple of magazines that had stories about JoJo and her ex-boyfriend Chad,” is how Alex presents this wealth of information.
Later on, JoJo is seen at dinner with Jordan, where she tells him she met a girl in Dallas he used to date and that girl had suggested there was “some trust stuff”—aka Jordan cheated on her. As JoJo explains to the camera, “I met a girl who used to date Jordan. And I was told he wasn’t the best boyfriend as far as relationships.” As she explains to Jordan, this meeting with Jordan’s ex was an accident, and her bringing it up on this date was just something that sprung up in her mind: “...we know some of the same people, and I didn’t even think of it then...” Neither of these are likely; JoJo did not accidentally meet Jordan’s ex girlfriend, and she did not accidentally bring up their drama at this episode.
Jordan denies he cheated (at least “physically”), but says he was “in an environment enjoying talking to girls when I probably shouldn’t have been.” He then namedrops his pastor and easily slides out of the conversation.
JoJo comes back to the hotel and is on cloud nine. “I just feel so happy. I don’t think anything could take away this feeling.”
But then, the hammer drops. Just as JoJo is feeling good, the Chad InTouch magazine is handed to her. “Why are you showing me this?” she asks. “So, I think we need to address this,” the unnamed, unseen male producer responds. “Guys have seen it.”
JoJo then freaks out and starts to cry. “I hate him,” she says through tears. “It’s not fair.” Not fair, but what you signed up for.
She then goes to the men, who all reassure her that they trust her, and seem apologetic for even bringing it up—even though, again, it’s not their fault. (Jordan even relates it back to his situation, saying, “That was tough, because we had just gone through something similar like this, someone spreading lies and saying things that aren’t true.”)
Later on, with Chad gone, there’s minimal drama, with the men turning on Derek for reasons that are slightly unclear. Derek says he’s jealous, essentially, of the other men, and JoJo ends up giving him a rose to comfort him. The men then turn on him for this, accusing him of... manipulating her into giving him a rose? The entire exchange reeks of producer involvement—that Derek is talking about his jealousy, that JoJo gave him the rose, that the men (specifically Alex, who also had issues with Chad) are annoyed with him and talking about it, that Derek felt the need to “pull them aside” to hash it out and that further annoyed the other men.
“Last night was maybe one of the worst nights of my life,” JoJo said to the men after finding out about the tabloid gossip about her. For their part, InTouch is naturally very pleased they were featured so prominently, publishing a brief recap of the episode last night that mostly serves as a brag: “JoJo Fletcher’s Ex Causes Drama with ‘In Touch’ Article.”
Somehow, JoJo’s remaining guys got ahold of the mag and didn’t take too kindly to Chad’s claims that she immediately got back together with him after getting dumped by Ben — or that she allegedly left him the second Bachelorette producers came calling!
It was a great night for InTouch, but the Rose Ceremony following it was a bad night for Vinny, who had fulfilled his role as a pawn of the producers in facilitating. Farewell.
Images via ABC.