Jordan Is The Bachelorette’s Surprise Tragic Figure

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Jordan Kimball is ridiculous. Jordan Kimball thinks “having a look,” “speaking,” and “walking,” make someone husband material. Jordan Kimball once said all of these words at once. But, no matter how eye roll-worthy the now-eliminated Bachelorette villain was, Monday night’s “Week 5” proved to us there is also a tragic backstory hiding behind Jordan’s silly, gold short-wearing ways. Jordan isn’t some evil reality TV monster, he’s just a sad, heavily-coiffed man stumbling through his journey for love.
If you managed to actually listen through Becca Kufrin’s “Week 5” two-on-one date with Jordan and David Ravitz — instead of throwing your television through the window due to frustration — you would have noticed Jordan shared some surprisingly personal information. The male model announced to Becca that his mother has battled “multiple” mental illnesses for his entire life. Yet, the rest of Jordan’s story doesn’t reinforce the harmful stereotype that people with mental illness lead love-less, lonely lives (the same stereotype Pete Davidson recently had to push back against). Instead, Jordan said he has watched his father continue to love and support his wife through her mental health struggles. Because of this, Jordan claimed he too can be “a very loyal partner” who “loves unconditionally.”
Usually, this kind of deeply personal admission would garner sympathy, and affection, from both the Bachelorette and the audience. Just think back to how Dean Unglert immediately rose to fan-favorite status last year the moment he told Rachel Lindsay about his mother’s death and its effect on his family. The difference between that 2017 Bachelorette moment and Jordan’s is simple: Jordan is legitimately awkward in his retelling, which is totally understandable. Revealing something so intimate about your family is scary, and you can see that on Jordan’s face. He doesn’t look at Becca while explaining his story, take her hands, or anything that would be construed as romantic or fostering a personal connection. Instead, he stared into the middle distance, took multiple gulps — the kind usually necessary to keep from crying — and flatly laid everything out.
“As a little kid, it was always the best times that were the worst times. The times that were supposed to mean a lot that got crushed,” he explained. “I come from nothing. There were times I didn’t even have electricity.”
This is the kind of emotional honesty The Bachelorette demands, even if it lacks the romance such a revelation almost always creates. That is why it’s almost easy t feel bad for Jordan when it comes to David’s relentless war against him, which culminates in the fellow contestant claiming Jordan said he was interested in pursuing women he saw on the casino floor and is “settling” for Becca. Jordan denies all of it.
This supposed outing of Jordan’s bad behavior is suspect. The Bachelorette crew films everything; every single thing. By the time producers got to filming “Week 5,” they likely already knew Jordan would be the first half of the season’s villain. The bonkers underwear walkabout in “Week 2” sealed the deal for that one.
So, if Jordan was actually being the kind of creep who would talk about cruising for hot models while on a dating show, someone would have captured it. That’s the kind of soundbite you can both build an episode around and throw into any teaser trailer. If Jordan truly said all of that, why wouldn’t producers show viewers that kind of damning evidence? These lingering questions are what propel Jordan to the second half of the two-on-one date while David, who probably would have been a great suitor if it weren’t for his Jordan fixation, is sent home.
While there is clearly more to Jordan than his faux inspiration poster-ready blathering, no one can say he’s a perfect guy or prospective partner. Jordan is obsessed with himself to the point where it is startling. Rather than building on the connection he forged with Becca with his family bombshell, Jordan spends dinner talking about himself. A clearly uncomfortable Jordan rehashes the David drama, speaks at length about all the ways he can move his eyebrows (“I could probably, like, move every part of my face”), and calls for his actual modeling portfolio. It does not arrive.
As with most things involving Jordan, the moment will make your eyes flip straight to the back of your head, but also seems like the male model truly believes his fashionable profession is the sole thing anyone likes about him. And, his exit interview proves Jordan desperately wants to be liked. After Becca finally asks Jordan to leave, his response is, “For some reason, she felt like I just wasn’t enough … I wish I knew what she didn’t like about me.” The only thing Jordan really appreciates about Becca? “The fact she stated that she never met anyone like me,” he said. There is no malice in any of this, just a simple, unblinking desperation to be viewed as the popular pensive gentleman Jordan sees himself as.
That honest desire leads us to Jordan’s very sad final words on The Bachelorette: “Um, tomorrow I’ll wake up alone, just like I always do.” Becca Kufrin didn’t deserve to hear about one more second of Jordan’s allegedly Zoolander-like life, but there’s definitely someone out there who be completely charmed by his Blue Steel and surprise bursts of raw emotional pathos.
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