The Bachelorette’s Katie Thurston has narrowed down her herd of average-looking men to a slim top four, all of whom will be participating in the much-anticipated Hometowns episode. On Monday night, Katie sent home Andrew, one of the last remaining men of color and the only one who attempted to have an honest conversation with her about race and potentially having interracial children. This was surprising considering Andrew was in the bottom two with Justin, a man who is largely forgettable because his time with Katie has been so incredibly meaningless, but he painted her some roses so I guess he gets to stay.
While I was convinced that Katie would pick Andrew in the end, my husband mansplained to me that Andrew got too real with Katie when he asked her about his career and if she would want him to give it up if they ended up together. Andrew is a football player in Vienna (which means he wasn’t good enough to make the NFL or CFL) and Katie lives in Seattle and she once again chose to not answer a serious question with any level of seriousness, despite spending the entire season stating that she’s there to be “real” and find a husband. Instead of actually thinking about what her life as a WAG could look like and giving Andrew an honest answer, she brushed off the question and told him to pursue his dream. Then she dumped him.
But the real concern with Katie’s interaction with Andrew is not how it affected him per se, because he is young, hot, and will certainly find himself on TV again. Instead, her inability to answer a basic question about living arrangements is of concern because of how this could harm one of the remaining men, Michael A.
Michael A., aka Dead Wife Guy, has grown on me in recent weeks and while I don’t think he should be wasting any more of his time on Katie, I have come to care for him as a human being, something that rarely happens with Bachelor contestants. Michael A. lost his wife to cancer two years ago, has a young son waiting for him at home, and as viewers discovered Monday night, is still taking care of his in-laws. This man has a whole entire life; he’s not just some one-dimensional guy who had a few weeks to spare to try dating some girl on national television.
Katie is fully aware of Michael A.’s son, James, and has told him repeatedly that every time she gives him a rose, she is extending that rose to James because he is “part of the package.” When Michael A. mentioned his nerves over the future to Katie, she watered down step-parenthood to, “I can see myself getting the juice boxes,” which seemed to please Michael A. for the moment. But instead of pushing forward with that conversation, she steered it to her usual platform of blanket statements on making things work.
Similar to her non-conversations with Andrew, it feels like Katie is brushing off the reality of these men’s lives. Perhaps she’s doing it because she doesn’t see a future with these two men in particular but if that’s the case then why continue to keep Michael A. around? Maybe she doesn’t want to be the girl that dumped the Dead Wife Guy but dumping him after you meet his family and after the ghost of his wife has haunted you is worse than if she’d cut him before Hometowns. Let this man go home to his son and find a nice single mom to date who understands what it is to be responsible for a whole human being.