On Monday night, the true first shot in Coltongate, a Bachelor Nation feud that culminated in Twitter fingers between Raven Gates and Bekah Martinez, was fired on The Bachelorette. Fresh from a slew of delightful hometown dates in “Week 7,” Bachelorette Becca Kufrin has a powwow with her favorite Bachelor gals. What seems like a cool, chill mimosa brunch soon reveals itself for what it truly is: an emotional ambush. Soon enough, Tia Booth is telling Becca she is “sick to her stomach” over the fact that Colton Underwood, a Bachelorette contestant Tia dated for a weekend prior to filming, is a member of Becca’s final four.
Considering that Becca has literally just left a supposedly successful meeting with Colton’s family — in reality, it was bizarrely obsessed with virginity, but, hey, delusions — Tia’s reveal is the verbal equivalent of of a rapidly deflating balloon. Becca looks visibly upset by this rain drowning her love parade.
But, this isn’t the first time The Bachelor(ette) has thrown Becca, its alleged heroine, under the feelings bus. In fact, it’s the third time the series has maximized the Minnesota native’s emotional turmoil for television tension. At this point, it’s starting to feel like Becca is the franchise’s sacrificial lamb.
This disturbing trend began in earnest during Becca’s stint on The Bachelor. Yet, lead Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s brutal breakup wasn’t the first domino to fall. Instead, that demonic honor goes to season 22’s fantasy suite episode, when Becca’s ex-boyfriend Ross Jirgl appeared, unrequested and announced, at her door immediately after she had her first evening with Arie. It soon became clear that someone had shared Becca’s location with Ross without her knowledge, despite the fact that she had gone through the entire Bachelor process to put some distance between herself and that relationship.
The uncomfortable reality that Ross appeared immediately after Becca’s evening with Arie, which was filled with “I love you’s” and desert romance, only made the blow worse. As with Tia, this unwanted, unexpected revelation followed one of Becca’s highest highs on reality TV. The phrase “walking on air” could be deployed to define the publicist’s outlook following her trip to the fantasy suite. Then Ross comes in, right on time, to bring her crashing down to Earth. The timing couldn’t be more cruel.
Yet, The Bachelor did somehow find a way to put Becca into an even meaner situation. That situation is the lengthy, visceral, tear-stained Arie breakup, which the former Bachelor has gone on to defend by saying it was meant to help Becca. But, the specifics will never not be creepily dark, no matter how much Arie side-steps the truth. Arie and the Bachelor filming crew lured Becca to what she believed was a romantic weekend with her kissing bandit fiancé, knowing full well an oblivious Becca was about to get her heart shattered, and they were going to film it. Then, they went and did the heart shattering. It’s emotional torture porn filled with Becca crying in hallways, on couches, and hidden in bathrooms.
Again, the key to this reality TV trap working is that Becca was on an emotional high (the idea of cozy couple days with the supposed love of her life) before The Bachelor took a wrecking ball to that happiness.
This conspiratorial air continues in The Bachelorette. First, “Week 3’s” group date to a spa was simply an elaborate scheme to get Becca, Tia, and Colton all in a room together and wait for fireworks to explode. Surprisingly, the entire would-be catastrophe is handled responsibly, with honest conversations all around.
But all that emotional maturity is torpedoed with “Week 7,” which follows the same exact template as Becca’s previous sucker punches to the feels. First, she is in one of her best moods in a while (this time, after a quartet of lovely hometown dates), invited to a new location she believes is neutral ground (a random lounge or Airbnb or something in Los Angeles filled with her friends), and then smacked in the face with some terrible news even a seer couldn’t have predicted (Tia’s remaining, and apparently very strong, “feelings” for Colton).
Considering that all of Becca's friends inside know what Tia is revealing outside to the Bachelorette, once again, it seems as though the producers orchestrated this little hangout to reveal a new shock to their star right on camera. You'll remember, 2017 Bachelorette lead Rachel Lindsay had no such get together last year.
“It makes me frustrated, it makes me angry, it hurts to hear,” Becca says in a talking head interview about Tia’s bombshell, although the statement could easily apply to Ross’s pop-up after the fantasy suites or Arie’s surprise breakup.
As usual, Becca still keeps sauntering towards the end of her love journey; simply accepting blindsiding admissions are merely a part of her of experience on these shows. She does let go of Colton, though. At least Becca only (hopefully) has a few more weeks of dealing with this upsetting nonsense.
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