Believe it or not, the weirdest moment of the season 17 premiere of The Bachelorette was not the creepy RV tour or guy in the box. Nor was it even when star Katie Thurston said she was on the fence about having kids to the guy with a kid and he was like, "Cool, ok!" No, the strangest exchange was when the cameras suddenly cut to 26-year-old Aaron Clancy and 27-year-old Cody Menk in the middle of a random fight without a single bit of context.
Members of Bachelor Nation are even calling it “the most random fight in Bachelor franchise history.”
Clancy and Menk, who audiences barely met (how you might recall them: one has good teeth and the other carries around a blow-up doll), dramatically step aside to air out their unexplained beef. “I don’t like you bro. Like, I’ve never liked you," Clancy says. "And that’s fine. We don’t have to talk at all. And it’s not my fault I don’t like you."
Menk looks vaguely surprised. “Well, you don’t like me, so that is your fault,” he replies. It cuts to his confessional, where Menk says: “I’m like, ‘What are you talking about dude?'” Then it cuts back to the fight. “I’m literally just telling you exactly what’s up,” Clancy says before walking away. Menk calls after him, “All right, I don’t agree with anything you said. I don’t think there was a need for that at all.”
Even Thurston is confused:
The two could have gone from 0 to 100 while just at the cocktail party, but it seems more likely that the two know each other from their shared hometown of San Diego. After all, this has been a Bachelor franchise Thing now: having people on the show who know each other before it airs to stir drama. Remember the pageant queen beef between Hannah Brown and Caelynn Miller-Keyes on Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor? Or worse, during the last season of The Bachelor when Anna Redman spread the rumour that fellow Chicagoan Brittany Galvin was an escort in their city?
The two are not only both from San Diego, but also both work in the workout world, so we might have witnessed some niche fitness bro drama. The two do not follow each other on Instagram, but they do have a handful of mutual friends.
However, one particular coincidence stands out. In a picture from January 2020, Menk is seen canoodling with a woman. The caption reads: "When you know you know 💛." She and Menk no longer follow each other so we can assume they're no longer a thing, but she does follow Clancy. Maybe when Clancy said "it’s not my fault I don’t like you" to Menk, he was referencing some romantic lady drama? (Bachelor — look what you made me do!)
Whatever is going on between them, it doesn't seem like it was resolved as quickly as it started. Behind the scenes rumours suggest the drama will continue throughout the season. Hopefully, though, they'll give us more information on what's actually going on? Maybe?