Should Rachel Be Team Eric On The Bachelorette?

Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin.
Rachel Lindsay does not have any time for nonsense. The Bachelorette star told DeMario Jackson to kick rocks and bounce the moment it started seeming like he was playing games other than basketball. Both Lucas "Whaboom" Yancey and Blake "I’m A 31-Year-Old Aspiring Drummer" Elarbee were eliminated when they were more interested in feuding with each other than dating Rachel. She even gently let Fred Johnson go when the feelings simply weren’t there. And, yet, our Bachelorette’s trademark self-sufficiency is nowhere to be seen when it comes to human lightning rod Eric Bigger in "Week 3."
The Eric drama picks up after Whaboom and Blake leave the Bachelorette, so a brand new set of guys need to start fighting in order to please the TV gods. Enter Eric, who’s becoming increasingly, um, emotional, over his time in the mansion. The personal trainer wasn’t invited to the Ellen Show group date and wasn’t able to hang out with Rachel at the last rose ceremony. "I’m kind of in my head about why," he admits in a confessional. Soon Eric gets out of his head on the topic when Anthony Battle returns home from his one-on-one date.
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Eric vents about how he’s "nobody’s fool," and is "emotionally available" while Rachel may have a "facade." The entire scene is a bit immature, but it’s clear the fitness expert cares deeply about getting Rachel to notice him — so much so, he’s getting wildly insecure. Competitor Iggy Rodriguez takes this opportunity to insert himself into a discussion no one asked him to join. The ensuing argument makes no sense, and, of course, Gary Oldman in The Fifth Element impersonator Lee Garrett throws himself into the fray as well.
All of this tension follows the guys into the second group date of the episode, which both Eric and Lee are invited to. While everyone’s getting to know each other, special guest Raven Gates asks Bryce Power and Lee to identify the guy who’s "not here for the right reasons." Both guys say Eric. Raven then relays this information to Rachel, meaning the Bachelorette, a 32-year-old successful lawyer, is getting relationship advice in the same way most high school sophomore do: gossip. The speculation that Eric isn’t here for the "the journey" is literally coming from a third party source at this point.
Thankfully, Rachel has a heart-to-heart with Eric after the group date where he actually gets to speak for himself. Everyone puts their cards on the table and it goes so well Rachel decides to give him the date rose, effectively making up her mind on her most controversial suitor. But, the Rose Ceremony the next day ruins her composure. Iggy gets some private time with Rachel and spends his time dragging Eric, rather than talking about himself. Lee takes the same route with his own one-on-one chat with the Bachelorette. It’s all unabashedly petty and self-serving.
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After three weeks of seeing Rachel make the best choices for herself, she finally lets all the scrubs around her mess with her mind. It’s sad to watch her admit to Eric, "It’s making me question my decision," since her instincts haven't led her wrong yet. It's true Eric might not be the perfect guy for a powerful, intelligent, no-nonsense woman like Rachel, but it's her job to figure that out — not some so-called consultant's.
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