It’s difficult to come to The Bachelorette as someone who was a fan of UnReal years before they ever saw Rachel Lindsay or Becca Kufrin attempt to find love. While watching contestants toss photos into pools, bicker over glasses of whiskey, and reveal drama-inciting former love affairs, it feels as though Quinn King (Constance Zimmer) has taken up space in my brain, reminding me everything on screen is a well-produced illusion. Yes, all of the hijinks and infighting and “shocking twists” did technically occur, but no one is watching a documentary here — storylines and behaviors are massaged, prodded, and edited for maximum viewer impact. To quote Bruno Mars, The Bachelorette, and its many ABC sibling shows, are “dripping in finesse.”
This is what brings us to Monday night’s heavily promoted medical emergency, which was filmed in all its melodramatic detail. “Week 3” spent tons of energy hyping up the “feud” between venture capitalist-slash-chicken David Ravitz and pensive gentleman of utmost model professionalism Jordan Kimball so we would all assume the duo had come to the kinds of blows that would send one of them, broken and bloody, to the hospital. But, we should have all known the supposed drama was all a smoke screen.
Let’s say this all together: David fell out of his bed. David. Fell. Out. Of. His. Bed.
Due to the baffling fact Bachelorette contestants sleep in bunk beds — like actual 5-year-olds — the Buffalo native rolled out of bed and onto the ground, “busting” his face and nose, as host Chris Harrison explains to Becca. Then, David was quickly rushed to the hospital and entered in intensive care, where he would stay for some time.
As countless fans on Twitter pointed out, this kind of bait-and-switch doesn’t make viewers love The Bachelorette season 14 any more. Rather, pumping up a possible suitor battle royale, only to end the entire commotion with a very clumsy man in REM sleep, only alienates them. Especially since the pre-episode tease during “Week 3” is fully built around exponentially increasing animosity between David and Jordan. During the tease, Jordan, whom viewers are immediately made to dislike and discount with his silly, self-important antics, says of his TV rival, “I would be worried if I was [sic] him. People that [sic] go against me end up hurt sometimes.”
Then, cue the ambulance wails as an EMT truck pulls up to the mansion, which, in itself, is one of Quinn's favorite scandal-upping tactic on UnReal. In the next scene, we see an unconscious David, complete with a full neck and head brace, being carted away, seconds after hearing Jordan’s threats. “This dude just looked like he got attacked by a bear,” Colton says in voiceover, accompanied by images of a bloodied hardwood floor.
The true trick of the tease is Becca’s supposed “reaction,” as she asks, also in voiceover, “Who did that?” That question was factually in response to the news of David’s hospitalization. But, the next thing Becca says in the “Week 3” promo, isn’t. As we watch the Bachelorette announce, “Honestly, I’m just done,” in a talking head interview, it has absolutely nothing to do with poor, injured David, as it is framed. Instead, as we find out at the close of the episode, Becca is “done” because breakout suitor Clay Harbor decides to leave the show at the exact moment the Bachelorette has started falling for him. In fact, David couldn’t be further from Becca’s mind as wipes away tears.
Yet, we all should have never let The Bachelorette trick us into believing anything Jordan had done would have sent David to the emergency room. The ABC summer romance romp is a cornerstone of a reality TV umbrella that has been besieged by behind-the-scenes catastrophes for a full year. The 2017 Bachelorette was hit with allegations of racism due to the casting of Lee Garrett. Bachelor In Paradise was all-but-sunken by now-dismissed accusations of sexual misconduct. The Bachelor gave us its most-hated suitor in history, Arie Luyendyk Jr. And, to boot, they aired his upsetting breakup with Becca. Even the current The Bachelorette has found itself in a firestorm for front-runner Garret Yrigoyen’s sexist, xenophobic, transphobic, David Hoggs-attacking social media likes.
Does anyone truly believe that news of one Bachelorette contestant beating another contestant bloody — on-set and in the mansion, no less — would somehow avoid the reality TV (and Reality Steve) rumor mill? Of course not. That kind of actual calamity would have immediately leaked and dominated headlines for days, possibly derailing the season all together. It would not have been saved for a short little piece of drama for the middle of a slow-going episode.
While we should all be annoyed The Bachelorette went and pulled the wool over our eyes, at least we can be thankful David is actually okay and on the mend. The VC will return to trade barbs with his mortal enemy Jordan with next Monday’s “Week 4,” as promos confirm. And, unsurprisingly, David's face is pixelated in the trailer to — again — blow up drama factor. But, if you don’t want to let The Bachelorette play with your heart for a second time in a matter of days, just look at David’s Instagram to see what producers are hiding (spoiler alert: he seems to look happy and healthy at this point).
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