I’ll be upfront. I don’t like The Bachelor: Women Tell All episodes and think this tradition should die. Anyone else? But, on top of that, there are a couple of factors specific to this season that meant we especially didn’t need two hours of these women rehashing drama. Thankfully, things turned out for the best in one area.
The first issue is that host Chris Harrison has apologized and announced he’s “stepping aside” from the show following his offensive defense of Rachael Kirkconnell’s racist actions (she has since apologized). But, the Women Tell All episode heavily features him. Yes, it was already filmed by the time Harrison screwed up on Feb. 9, but that doesn’t mean the episode couldn’t have been cut from the season. In fact, that idea was rumoured at one point.
Second, the most dramatic contestant of the season, Victoria Larson, is not someone anyone needs to hear more from, especially since she already did an interview on Good Morning America. The toxicity in the house this season was worse than ever before. Did we really need to go over that again?
But, the show went on, and there was one aspect that, I must admit, had me pleasantly surprised. Here’s everything that went down.
MJ & Jessenia
The first drama the episode tackles is MJ versus Jessenia. This lasts for about a minute, because they just aren’t fired up about their situation anymore. Jessenia still thinks MJ was part of the mean girl clique. MJ still thinks she’s not mean.
Things swiftly move on to Victoria, but thankfully she doesn’t get her own hot seat interview. What a relief! The gist with Victoria is that she doesn’t think what she did is that bad, and she thinks some of the other women were maybe too sensitive, because she’s receiving tons of hate online and is handling it fine. “I’m ready to move on from this experience,” she says. Same, and I am so glad the episode let us.
The Katie Backlash
The Victoria talk segues over to Katie, when Katie says that the “backlash” some of the women are getting regarding how they acted in their house is “karma.” Chelsea immediately takes issue with this, which makes Katie amend her statement to say that things like death threats the women are receiving are not acceptable, but their actions in the house are their responsibility. A few of the women are pretty anti-Katie and believe she made the house toxic by telling Matt the house was toxic. I don’t buy this argument. Victoria was being awful starting on night one and Anna spread a false rumour about Brittany being an escort — that’s toxic with or without Katie reporting it.
Brittany Takes The Hot Seat
Speaking of Brittany, she’s the first woman to join Chris for an interview in the hot seat. Chris notes that the rumour about her was “one of the craziest rumours” in all of his time on the show. Watch that phrasing, Chris. Being an escort isn’t “crazy”; someone spreading a false rumour to hurt someone else is what’s messed up here.
Brittany, very reasonably, is upset that this rumour will be forever attached to her, because if you search her online it’s the first thing that comes up. She was also sad to watch herself go from confident to torn down within 24 hours of being on the show.
Anna apologizes, and it seems genuine. She says she spread the rumour that she supposedly heard from people in their shared hometown of Chicago because she was insecure. Brittany ends by saying that she doesn’t want Anna’s life to be destroyed or people to come after her because of this. “I also want to address people that are in the sex work industry: Don’t let somebody tear you down for that,” Brittany adds. “Nobody’s life means more or is worth less because of their occupation.” Well put.
Those Inexplicably Missing Group Dates
We get to see some of those group dates that were cut during the season, but we don’t get an explanation of why they were skipped over in the first place. One of these dates involved the women having a pancake-eating and beer-chugging contest, and there was another where they had to put their arms into boxes full of bugs to find a ring. I have to say, I didn’t need to see more of any of those, so maybe it was for the best.
Katie's Bachelorette Audition
This time, Katie really seems like a Bachelorette option. She talks about how she turned 30 and has spent time during the pandemic getting to know herself. She talks about not wanting to compromise her personality for a man. She’s asked easy questions about what she’s looking for in a partner. The signs are all there.
Abigail's Bachelorette Audition
The second Bachelorette audition comes from Abigail. When she takes the hot seat, she talks about how blindsided she was when Matt sent her home and how she was left with a lot of “what ifs." She also opens up about how she feels about being in the “gray space” between the hearing community and the Deaf community, because she has a cochlear implant and doesn’t use sign language. She says she got positive feedback for providing representation on the show. Abigail’s great. We already knew this. She’s also potentially too chill to be chosen as a lead.
Pieper In The Hot Seat
Pieper pops into the hot seat next. She says she was “definitely” in love with Matt, and when a clip of their breakup is played, she still feels the shock from it. “I feel like I’ve grown as a person. I know what I want. I will never settle again,” Pieper says. This one doesn’t seem quite like a Bachelorette audition, and maybe it’s because there wasn’t that much else to ask her about. She didn’t admit some big fear or insecurity during the season, and was only ever on the fringes of the drama.
Serena P. Explains Herself
There are two takeaways here. First, Serena is very bubbly and chatty, and that comes across even when she has to relive her breakup. Second, she doesn’t regret breaking up with Matt after hometowns. Chris asks if there’s any part of her that is conflicted. She doesn’t straight up say “no.” She just kind of talks around it and says that she felt guilty about hurting him, but “would have been doing him a disservice by staying.” She clearly made the right decision.
Matt (& His Beard) in the Room Temperature Seat
Matt has a beard because he’s “wiser” now. He was only sort of surprised by the amount of drama in the house. Matt doesn’t think any of the women are bad people — including Victoria, who tears up when talking about her rose ceremony goodbye and how he seemed kind of cold toward her. Other than a montage of him kissing with his eyes open, that’s about it. No one has any hard feelings toward the guy.
We get some bloopers about donkeys pooping and Matt getting a boner in a hot tub, and that’s the episode.
Next week: Fantasy Suites and, apparently, a lot of body oil
Winner of the Episode: Brittany. She handled her time in the hot seat very well. I really hope things aren’t as awful for her after this experience as they might seem right now.
Loser of the Episode: Katie. I’m a Katie fan just like many members of Bachelor Nation, but she got off to a rough start in this episode. That was quite a fumble, and it felt like you could see her realizing it.