Sorry Vibrator Katie, Serena P. Made The Best Bachelorette Case This Season

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
“I think that it just comes down to the fact that I don’t think that you’re my person.” With those very Grey’s Anatomy words in Monday night’s “Week 8,” Bachelor 2021 contestant Serena Pitt breaks up with season 25 lead Matt James. It’s a Hometowns episode moment that is shocking for both the Bachelor and the audience in its clarity and honesty. It’s also the exact sentence that allows 22-year-old Toronto resident Serena to perfectly set a course for a future Bachelorette season, whether she was trying to or not (her visibly shaken state suggests the latter aim). 2018 Bachelorette Becca Kufrin was “doing the damn thing;” it’s easy to imagine Serena “searching for her person” later on The Bachelorette
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A few weeks ago, such fantasizing seemed unnecessary. Bachelor Nation gossip communities were abuzz with the rumor that Katie Thurston — the Bachelor 2021 contestant who broke out for bringing a vibrator to night one of the season — would be the Bachelorette. Yet, the Bachelor-verse is irreversibly changed after the racist catastrophe that is the Chris Harrison/Rachael Kirkconnell debacle. The excitement around Katie feels like a distant memory. Serena, on the other hand, now comes off as a breath of fresh air in a suffocating woodsy chalet.  In a season where queasy drama overrode any attempt to get to know contestants, Serena — who would be the first-ever Bachelor Nation lead with Indian heritage — has found herself with the best (and most charming) case to lead the crisis-ridden franchise forward. 
It has been difficult this season to get any intimate information about Bachelor contestants beyond the broad strokes. Going into Hometowns, we knew that Bri Springs is the daughter of a single mom and that Michelle Young is a teacher — and that’s about it. Damning outside information leaks about Rachael far outweigh any in-show insights we’ve received over seven previous weeks of television. Serena has benefited from the simple fact that audiences have spent more solo time with her than any other contestant — unlike any other woman this season, she received two one-on-one dates. 
Serena did not waste this time. In her first solo date, during “Week 3,” Serena easily describes what kind of dater she is. “Usually for me, I take things a little bit slower. But that’s not really a luxury we have in this situation, so I’m just going to challenge myself to take advantage of all the time that I have today,” she admits during a confessional. Later, Serena tells Matt she is “falling into like” with him, effortlessly creating one of the most memorable quotes of the season. Serena even shows her quirky side, playfully asking Matt if he was “a weird kid” for having a pet turtle as a child. 
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In her second one-on-one date, Serena reveals the kind of mettle we’ve come to expect from modern Bachelorettes after the stints of Rachel Lindsay, Hannah Brown, and Clare Crawley. None of these women were afraid to tell contestants when they were unhappy with behaviour or shut down an entire situation. Serena displays a similar straightforward attitude during “Week 7’s” tantric yoga date. Serena dodges an unwanted kiss from Matt and later explains to him, in detail, why the overtly sexual experience “wasn’t for her.” No one tells Serena to be this candid, she is clearly just compelled to share her perspective without apology. This is the kind of natural introspection and communication required of a Bachelor Nation lead. 
These exchanges bring Serena to the emotional height of her time on The Bachelor: her Hometowns episode exit. At this point in the installment, we know that Serena’s previous relationship “messed with her head” and “she got so hurt” in the process (her first solo date confirmed this relationship was her one big romance). We’ve watched Serena’s mom Rasna Pitt, who is Indian-Canadian, hold her daughter while she cries about that heartbreak. When Matt goes to ask Serena — who is fairly bare-faced and sporting loose curls — about her “struggles” to commit to him, she is equally open. 
“When I talked to my mom, I was able to sit there and say, ‘Matt has everything that I would want in a husband and he makes me feel so special' … But when it came time to being able to actually talk about my feelings for you and how I felt about you, I really struggled.” Serena admits to Matt. While she originally thought she was experiencing “fear” over the enormity of the relationship, Serena realized she was wrong. It’s that Matt, as previously mentioned, “isn’t her person.” The dynamics of this situation feel like Serena is the series lead and Matt is her devastated suitor. “I’ve thought about it so much and I’ve just been emotionally torn up about it,” she says as a means of explanation. Then Serena walks Matt out — and not vice versa, as is traditional here — as though she’s already Bachelorette. 
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All of a sudden, you remember those (now-denied) rumours about the 2021 Bachelorette season filming in Serena's home country of Canada, and the puzzle pieces start to come together.
It doesn’t hurt that Serena already has the stamp of Bachelorette approval from the most influential woman to ever hold the title. “She would be a fun Bachelorette,” Rachael Lindsay said during the February 22 episode of Ringer podcast Bachelor Party, which serves as a "Week 8" recap. “A woman of colour. You know she’s got the dance background. There’s so much that they could do with that. She could carry the show with her personality. She’s very matter of fact: ‘You’re not my person — goodbye.’ She would be so much fun to watch!”

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