Well, we made it to hometowns y’all! Oh wait, no we didn’t, we just thought we were getting a hometowns episode, but really we got two hours of men bickering about nothing, some bloopers and of course, our hearts ripped out of our chests as we said goodbye to Michael A.
We start with Katie and Tayshia talking, which we haven’t gotten much of this season. I’ve enjoyed these moments of real talk and reflection with Kaitlyn and Tayshia, while I’m not sure they are true hosts, the mentorship aspect they’ve provided, I’ve loved.
Katie talks about how important it has been for her to not say I love you to any of the men, she wants to reserve that for her fiancé. I get the sentiment, but I also liked Tayshia’s point of view. Tayshia suggested that sharing what you feel as you feel it can really take relationships to the next level. Especially in a process like this, not saying what you feel as you’re feeling it could be the difference of you going home or not.
The guys chat about what it means for Katie to meet their families and Michael A. breaks away for his daily chat with his son. I forget exactly how old his son James is, but he’s young enough to not fully grasp the weight of what his dad is doing. I’m sure he understands that his mom is no long with them and now all he knows is that he only sees his dad through a screen a few minutes a day. That’s tough for a kid, especially a young kid. James says something about his dad not wanting to spend time with him and we see Michael crumble. Immediately we know, he’s about to self eliminate.
Michael heads to Katie’s room and says he feels at war with himself, he’s conflicted and upset. Katie doesn’t expect him and at first it seems like she think he’s there for good news, or something randomly romantic, but pretty quickly she realizes it’s not good news. Michael says he’s going home because he’s got a kid at home that needs him. I respect that so much. I also love that his kid wasn’t going to be part of hometowns. If it were going to be him and Katie at the end of this, her meeting James is something the cameras don’t deserve. Similar to how we did not deserve to see that conversation between Matt James and his dad last season.
Once Katie realizes that she’s getting dumped, she begins to cry and says that she really thought he was going to make it to the end. Does this mean she thought it’d be the two of them at the end? Or that she’d take him to the final two? Regardless, I feel like if it was that real between the two of them and she was all in like that, then she should’ve pulled a Colton and said fuck the cameras.
Katie also says she had so many things she was going to tell him and I can’t help, but roll my eyes becuase the name of the game is time, why hold back? What do you win? As someone who is so super guarded, especially with my heart, I’ve learned, without going on a show like this that staying quiet and keeping those “I love yous” to yourself is a waste of time. You always regret not telling them. Always.
I’m just saying, why not run after him? Give us a romcom moment! I just feel like if we’re really looking for life partners, someone leaving early to be a good dad ain’t gone stop me from chasing MY husband. Get me a flight to middle America and bring them damn cameras, COVID be damned (I’m kidding about that last part)!
Men Tell All
I wasn’t going to spend time recapping this part of the episode, but since it was most of the episode, I’ll talk through some of the highlights.
First off, Michael A. and Andrew S. look fine as fuck. The post show glow up is real and I would personally love either one of them for Bachelor.
I was shocked that we got Tayshia and Kaitlyn as hosts of this, but I think they did an okay job. They both have podcast hosting experience, so some of that came through here. They let the guys fight a bit too much, but it makes for good TV, so we’ll take it.
We start with the random beef between Aaron and Cody and what we learn is absolutely nothing. Apparently there were some questionable social posts on instagram about fame that Aaron remembered. Honestly, if there aren’t receipts then I don’t really care. As I’ve said throughout this entire season, all of these men are here ‘for the wrong reasons.’ You’re an idiot if you get on this show and don’t think about at least one thing you can promote in an obvious or not so obvious way. I mean, c’mon 3-5 million weekly viewers, you do the math.
Next, Karl is in the hot seat. Hopefully none of you thought we were actually going to get an answer to who was there with ulterior motives because we got nothing. Brendan and Karl spend a lot of time going back and forth, talking over one another, Karl stands up, so Tre and Brendan stand up, they’re in each others faces like COVID isn’t still a thing, it’s all a mess.
We also get some back and forth with Hunter and the men. I still don’t get the Hunter hate. Did he lie and lay it on thick, yes. But when has it ever been a crime to be a fan of the show? I’m actually really disappointed in production for giving us this half baked villain storyline rather than more of his background. He’s a father, been sober for a decade and has Tourette Syndrome, all of that could have served as amazing representation for this show, but instead we got upset twenty year olds making fun of his height and the fact that he knows shit about the franchise. So lame.
Connor the cat man is up in the hot seat and is cringing through his playback. He event admits to asking a few of his exes if he was a bad kisser and out of nowhere pops this random girl who literally comes on stage and kisses him, twice! It was wild. I need to know what happens next because I am now invested in this storyline. But also, can we acknowledge that we are very much still in the midst of COVID and even if everyone in the audience was vaccinated/got a PCR test, it doesn’t mean they’re COVID free. I mean, the Delta variant was definitely running wild in that studio audience, you can’t convince me otherwise. Anyway, Connor’s beard is looking good and I’m pretty sure he got to go to Paradise, but I’m wondering if that didn’t go too hot for him, since he was more than willing to lean into this little meet cute production set up for him.
Our next Bachelor (at least in my head) is up in the hot seat and THIS is how you show up to a tell all. That suite, the haircut, his cute ass smile, all perfect. Andrew says that he’s familiar with heartbreak and I found myself being cynical and saying he wouldn’t have that problem is he dated Black girls. Obviously, I’m projecting a bit. I don’t know all of Andrew’s exes. I do get the vibe he’s probably mostly dating white women, like his cousin Clay, especially since he’s based in Austria half of the year. But who really knows.
Tayshia tees up the question he asked about interracial relationships and while it was cool to see something like that mentioned on this show and at the tell all, I already mentioned how that conversation fell flat to me. For it to come up again and us still not get much was kind of lame. Andrew says Katie answered the question perfectly for him and I guess that’s all that matters. But if production is going to pat themselves on the back for having these tough conversations, they could at least give us as much context as possible. Before Andrew takes his seat, Tayshia says he deserves to find love and will, which hopefully is a nod to a potential Bachelor appearance.
Next, we get Michael A. and his healthy beard. He still looks pretty sad and hurt by how it ended, which lets me know he’s still into her. He actually admits it when asked, saying that there was so much unsaid between the two of them and that love always find a way. Kaitlyn asks if Michael would give it another shot with Katie if she was willing to and he says yes. I thought this was a weird question to ask. I think we’ve seen Chris Harrison ask this in the past, but it’s only been when we knew the lead was single (my memory could be off). Maybe something could happen between them in the future. I honestly don’t believe Katie is with anyone. Not only was it reported that her seasoned ended early, but she just doesn’t give me happily engaged vibes on her social media.
Then we get a moment with Kaitlyn in Jason getting engaged which was very cute.
Katie Takes the Stage
Katie comes out looking cute and summery in a bright green dress. It was basic, but also cute enough, much like most of what she’s worn this season.
This entire segment I got defensive vibes from Katie. In general, it seems like Katie has been a bit defensive on social media lately as well. I won’t pretend to know what it feels like to have millions of people commenting on your appearance, the way you handle things, the men you send home, etc. I’m sure that is very tough, but sometimes it feels like her energy and answers don’t match the questions she’s asked.
Kaitlyn Bristowe shares with Katie that Michael was open to another chance with her and Katie just grins and moves past it quickly. She repeats that she has nothing, but love and respect for several men we saw her have a connection with. It seemed a bit cold, but that could’ve also been her trying to protect her current relationship, if she’s in one. Who knows.
Katie and Thomas get a moment as well where he delivers a legitimate apology to the guys and Katie. Katie apologizes for how she let him go. She made it an unnecessary moment for television and if she knew she wanted him gone when they were talking before the ceremony, he should’ve just sent him home then.
To end the night (before the bloopers) Kaitlyn asks if Katie has any regrets and she says no. Katie strikes me as someone who truly believes that everything happens for a reason, so even if it didn’t end well, which I sort of suspect, it seems like she’s at peace with it.
Of course before the tell all ends we get bloopers and it honestly seems like these guys had a lot of fun and enjoyed one another. They might have almost enjoyed each other more than they enjoyed Katie, which was surprising to me because there was so much over produced drama happening. I wish the friendships could have lead the narrative instead.
Next week, we are actually getting hometowns. Looks like its Justin’s friends are along for the ride rather than family, Katie is telling someones mama everyone gets hurts in this process, but one man, and Blake’s mom (?) tells him to man up and say he’s in love with Katie. Katie also threatens to leave, which we know is never really how this show works, they’re getting their ending, whether the lead likes it or not.
We’re almost to the end fam, see you next Tuesday ✌🏾!