Okay, I would like to go back to two weeks ago when I said these men mostly seemed boring and that their ABC photos made them look only moderately attractive. Because this week, these motherfuckers annoyed me. Two things we need to do after this episode: First, we need to get Katie better clothes, then we need to get rid of Karl.
First we get Katie walking through a dusty field in Old Navy’s finest cropped hoodie. Cary Fetman normally does not miss, but he and team are doing Katie so dirty this season. None of her outfits are very flattering and she doesn’t seem confident in them, which doesn’t help.
Anyway, we’re reminded again that Katie is here to find a husband and she is really not interested in men who are here “for the wrong reasons.” But can we unpack that for a second? What is considered “for the wrong reasons”? Every single person cast on this show willingly spoke to casting producers, and jumped through a lot of hoops to be on a television show. Isn’t it fair to say that no one is going on this show with completely pure intentions? At the very least, all the men and Katie willingly said yes to being on national TV and potentially falling in love. Kinda seems like paying for super likes on Tinder would be easier, but I haven’t dated in half a decade, so what do I know🤷🏾♀️.
First Group Date
A date card arrives at the hotel with 10 names listed. Going on the first group date of the season are Christian, Garett, Tre, Quartney, Mike P, James, Justin, Thomas, Connor B, and Karl. The card reads “I’m looking for a great love.”
The men great Katie and enter a dark room with couches and a stage. One by one, stage lights come one revealing what’s on the stage: a bed with rose petals shaped in a heart, a bra thrown on the floor, handcuffs and of course a vibrator.
It’s only week two and the sex positivity thing is being over played. Also, the journalist in me, really needs the show to define sex positivity. Because last I checked, sex positivity isn’t just making weird sex puns constantly, or being incredibly horny. I love the idea of openly talking about sex on the show, especially well before the fantasy suites, but when it’s only reduced to a punchline, it gets old fast.
So, like we see every Bachelorette season, the men are asked a series of questions about the female body and most of them show us they probably aren’t that great at making a woman cum because they barely know what is what.
After the guys fumble through a few questions, we begin to focus in on Mike P., the 31 year old virgin baseball star who is saving himself for marriage. Heather McDonald, who is guest hosting this date asks the men their favorite sex position and the last time these men have had sex and to that, our resident virign Mike puts a simple question mark on his white board. We’re slowly being led to believe that Mike’s virginity is going to be outed in some terrible way. He looks nervous on the date and you can tell he’s on the verge of crying in his ITMs. Then McDonald announces that the men are going to show Katie what makes them the greatest lover. Mike kind of breaks the fourth all and tells us he knew he was going to be put in a situation like this, but he didn’t think it would happen so fast (we didn’t either).
After some time to think through their presentations, the men begin making their case for why they’d be the best lover for Katie. Connor B performs a song, which gives me Jed vibes , Tre gave us a NSFW muppet show, there are blindfolds, a dick in a box joke and Karl, who is just so incredibly annoying because he doesn’t even try to hide the fact that he loves the sound of his own voice.
Then, it’s Mike’s turn. He’s calmed down and he takes Katie’s hand, leads her to the bed on the stage and begins to read a letter he’s written to his future wife about his choice to remain celibate until he is married. I really loved how Mike shared this with Katie. I feel like he took his story into his own hands, owned his decision and didn’t let the producers use it as a cheap punchline or storyline. I also feel like he was able to state his decision without judging Katie for her decision or being overly preachy about it. Which I also appreciated. We don’t need anymore sexually unavailable adults running around confused and closed off becuase they were taught sex outside of a marriage was a shameful thing.
I know a lot of people are probably side-eyeing Mike for coming on Katie’s season when we’ve known she’s comfortable talking about sex since we first saw her on our TVs. But waiting for marriage is not synonymous with not being sex positive. I’m more annoyed that producers keep using sexuality and virginity as a plot device. I feel no type of way about a Christian man doing what he feels is right for him when it comes to sex. I think fans will try to make this into the show being too conservative, when it’s really a textbook example of producers trying to manufacture some mess and it backfiring.
I’m glad we got to see Mike share his choice kind of on his terms (he was obviously put on this date this early in the season for a reason) and if that choice doesn’t work for Katie, she can send him home. At least now she knows, well before fantasy suites.
For the night time portion of the date, we finally get Katie in a dress that actually looks great on her! This is also where the men started to get on my nerves. Karl is still talking about what, I do not know, nor care. What I do know is, he probably hasn’t had much luck dating because he treats it like its something to conquer, rather than something that is connection based.
Anyway, Thomas is still fine and gets the group date rose, but not before Katie gives her “nominations” and thanks the men who were in the running for the rose as well. I love this approach. Tayshia did it on her season and I was a big fan of it then as well. It shows what stuck out from her conversations with the men and that even if they didn’t get the group date rose, a piece of their time together stayed with her.
One on One Date with Greg
Greg receiving the first impression rose and the first one on one date officially put a target on his back. Did anyone catch what Andrew M. said when the date card arrived? He said “Time is money and the rich just got richer.” Meaning, Greg has already had some significant one-on-one time and attention from Katie in a game where more than 20 other guys want the same thing. So, him getting more of that thing that is hard to come by, but that they all desire very much makes him richer.
Katie pulls up in a red pick up truck, which feels a tad racist (please don’t ask me to explain this), grabs Greg and their off for a day of camping and fishing. Right away it seems like the extreme shyness and nerves Greg was exhibiting on night one are gone, which feels convenient…
She tells Greg that they’re going to be fishing and its the first time we’re reminded that Katie’s father passed away in 2012 and fishing and camping is something they used to do together. Greg struggles to set up the tent, which is incredibly relatable because I too have never set up a tent in my life and I don’t plan to learn.
Katie reiterates how excited she is about Greg and they share their first kiss, they are both giving off vibes that make it seems like they’d been dating for a while and were comfortable with one another.
Then, Katie shares that this date reminds her of her dad, and we see Greg’s demeanor shift. To me he became cold and nervous and didn’t even try to comfort her, which watching live felt like a red flag. He tries to make himself available to Katie with words, but he doesn’t try to physical comfort her, which felt weird.
During the night time portion of the date, Katie shares that she struggles opening up about the loss of her dad and says she hesitated to be open with Greg during their date earlier during the day. Greg validates her feelings (which we love to see!) and then empathizes with Katie by sharing that he too lost his dad recently to cancer. This helps explain why Greg appeared so quiet and standoffish earlier in the day as Katie shared stories about her dad. He was probably processing and thinking of how to share the story of his dad with her as well.
They share a tear-filled conversation about struggling to open up, share those parts of themselves with other people, and being happy about being able to participate in a date that reminded them of their dads. It was honestly a crazy beautiful moment and I found myself fighting the intrusive thoughts about whether this was all producer manipulated or not. Of course the feelings about losing their dads were very real, but did they force both Katie and Greg to share about it so soon for a storyline? Maybe. Still, it was great to see them connect in a way that at least came off as genuine.
Of course, Greg gets offered the rose and their night ends with a makeout and fireworks.
Second Group Date
Like clockwork, we go from a sweet moment to a hyper-masculine mud brawl. Gross. The men are woken up by cowbells and yells and marched outside, most half naked with sleep still in their eyes.
The guys on this date: John, Andrew S., Kyle, Josh, Aaron, Brendan, Hunter, and Cody are competing for some one on one time with Katie. The men are “randomly” paired off and we watch them roll around in mud with no real understanding of who is determining the winner and how. There’s a moment when John announces he’s really nervous, which is hilarious because he literally jumps out of hot air balloons FOR FUN.
John and all the other men survive and the final pairing is Aaron vs. Cody, the same men who were randomly arguing at last weeks cocktail party. How shocking, the two men from the same city who have pre-show beef with one another will be fighting against one another. Katie, Kaitlyn and Tayshia all comment on the tension between them before they begin fighting. While I did notice they didn’t make eye contact and weren’t being as playful as the other dudes, the actual fighting portion didn’t give me pause. It didn’t look any more or less violent than the other fights from the date.
Of course, Aaron won Katie’s Golden Cowboy Belt, which really just means that he was picked to win so that all the drama between him and Cody could be aired out. During the one and one time with Aaron, Katie ain’t even pretend to try and get to know him. She brings up Cody almost immediately to get an understanding of the issues. Aaron asserts that Cody handles situations in a malicious way and that he acts in disturbing ways. He also asserts that Cody is here “for the wrong reasons,” which again they all are. They all agreed to find love on TV, which off rip would bring them some sort of attention or fame, regardless of if they actually found love. So I always hate that we spend so much time on these accusations, especially on Bachelorette seasons.
Fast forward to the night time portion of the group date and Katie doesn’t waste any time trying to suss out the truth. I’m not surprised by this, I said this is how she would be. And I don’t blame her. If allegations were brought to me, I’d want to get to the bottom of it quickly. The only thing I didn’t like is that she only spoke to Aaron and Cody one on one. My favorite moments have been when the lead have forced two contestants to talk they shit to one another’s faces. I wish Katie would have done this. But in some ways it wouldn’t have mattered, Cody did not come prepared. My guy was confused, stammering and didn’t even try to deny what Aaron was accusing him of. Who cares if you don’t know the context dude, deny deny deny. Someone attacks your character and says you’re malicious and your response is “bitch I might be,” wrong answer bro.
Anyway, Cody gets sent home. His silence and lack of effort to defend himself made him look weak and like a liar. Katie said she couldn’t trust him, so she sent him home. Good choice.
After that, Katie takes some time to herself and the men question if they’ll even get time with her. After a while, my man Andrew S. goes and finds her and brings her a drink. He validates her feelings, makes sure she’s okay and reiterates why he is there and that’s to be with her. Bravo Andrew, bravo! I hope the men watching this show are taking notes, validating your partners feelings while also naming and affirming your feelings for them really goes a long way. Andrew took a shitty moment and made it work to his advantage with a lot of class and a genuine connection. They bond over growing up poor and reflect on how despite what they lacked growing up, their parents really tried their best to never make them feel like they were down or out. Obviously, Andrew S. got the group date rose. Well deserved!
It’s time for the cocktail party and Katie starts it off by letting the men know she sent Cody home. Then, she essentially threatens to keep making moves like that for anyone who isn’t there for the right reasons. Immediately the wheels in Karl’s head start turning as he brainstorms how he can cause a shit storm with little to no effort.
But first, we get a cute moment with Michael, the dad and Katie. Katie apologizes for not giving him a date this week, but assures him it is not becuase she isn’t in to him, but becuase she feels confident in how they started off and she needed an opportunity to get to know the other men better. They share a kiss, where Michael asks for permission, which I loved. This blog is very much team Michael, I hate I overlooked him in the beginning, but now I’m all in!
Back at the cocktail party Quartney, Karl and some of the other guys begin to ask about who else could be there for the wrong reasons. John, being the voice of reason essentially tells Karl he should mind his business, but does Karl listen? Absolutely not.
He uses his time with Katie to reiterate that he is there for her briefly and then begins to plant seeds of doubt in other men. He says “I know there are people who don’t have the best intentions.” 🙄
As Katie presses him for specifics of any kind, he talks around what he just said. He asks Katie to trust him and his judgement and thus ensues Katie’s spiral. She becomes concerned about which men could be there for the wrong reasons and also questions if Karl is leading her astray.
She addresses the men again, tears in her eyes and says she’s been told there are multiple people she should be looking out for. She tells the men if they aren’t there for the right reasons, then they can leave. She grabs Aaron, which at first seemed like a bad sign, but after they begin to talk it seems like she trusts Aaron’s judgement after the Cody situation. This isn’t good news for Aaron, it feels like a friend zone. She trusts him, but she didn’t grab him to be the guy she could have a stressed make out session with (is that a thing?) she grabbed him as a friend, looking for guidance. In a sped up process being trusted quickly is a gift. But there’s a difference between how she trusted Greg with her story about her dad and the way she’s trusting Aaron in this moment.
Karl admits to telling Katie that people weren’t there for the right reasons and the guys are pissed. Rightfully so. Again, Karl talks around what he knows, which is nothing. Aaron comes back to the room of guys and calls Karl out for his reckless speculation. Arguing ensues and it’s clear we are not getting a resolution or a rose ceremony tonight. Katie is left crying alone on a couch.
Next week, it looks like we get more accusations of men being there for the wrong reasons, seems like Michael gets a one one one date, more drama with Karl and maybe some drama with Connor B. as well. Will Katie actually uncover who is there for the wrong reasons? Will these men know who Nick Viall is? Will Karl go home (probably not)? I can’t wait to find out!
See you next Tuesday! ✌🏾