It’s week six of The Bachelorette and week two of The Bachelorette being normal again, and the show is really settling back into its old ways. Love at first sight, contestants being ignored, and producers uncharacteristically breaking the fourth wall have been replaced with drama, drama, and more unnecessary drama.
The episode begins with the last group date of the previous “week” — remember, we didn’t get a rose ceremony last episode. It’s a “grown ass man challenge” hosted by Bachelor in Paradise success story Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon. This date is all about Bennett. First, there’s a math and spelling challenge. Bennett brags about being the smartest guy there and going to Harvard, but he does terribly. The second part is a tug of war that involves two guys being attached to an end of a bungee cord. Bennett doesn’t participate due to “an old football injury." For the third part, Tayshia sits in a bed and the men have to bring her breakfast with their own twist. Demar brings her flowers. Chasen shows up shirtless and says he’s the meal. Bennett wears a robe and gets cozy under the covers. Tayshia says, “Bennett’s bougie and I’m bougie, so I appreciate it.”
Thanks to... wearing a robe (I think?), Bennett wins the challenge. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Ed, who loses the competition and is given the title “man child." This means he has to carry around a baby doll for the rest of the date. Just as a reminder: This season is taking place is a quarantine bubble within the confines of a hotel resort. The show is really working with what it’s got.
At the nighttime portion of the date, the guys firmly separate themselves into two groups: guys who could actually end up with Tayshia and guys who will provide drama until being kicked off the show. In the promising suitors category, there's Ben and Ivan. Ben and Tayshia’s chemistry is undeniable. Ivan seems nice and I predict he’ll make it far without actually winning.
As for the drama dudes, there’s Chasen, Bennett, and Ed. Chasen is mad that Bennett won the grown ass man challenge, that he kissed Tayshia in front of everyone upon winning, and that wore his robe to the cocktail party. “It’s called a cocktail party for a reason, you don’t wear a robe,” says Chasen, who is wearing a T-shirt while everyone else has on button-ups.
Ed jumps into the mix, saying that Chasen is “phony” and that he has been using the same adjectives to describe Tayshia as he did previous Bachelorette Clare Crawley. One of the words is “beautiful," so that seems normal, right? They are both beautiful. In response, Chasen tells Ed he has “chicken legs."
But, while Bennett agrees to move on and gives Chasen a truce toast with his drink, Ed immediately goes to Tayshia and tells her that Chasen is there for Instagram followers. This just makes it seem like Bennett actually is the grown ass man while Ed is the "man child."
Tayshia confronts Chasen. Chasen defends himself. There’s really not much to it. He might be there for the wrong reasons, he might not be. Mostly he just seems boring and annoying.
Chasen then confronts Ed and tells him he needs to stop interfering. And that’s legit! I don’t know Chasen’s intentions, but he’s well within his rights to be annoyed at Ed for gossiping to Tayshia. Ed says, “Take your smedium shirt and sit down.” Chasen replies, “My smedium shirt? It’s actually a large.” These guys are ridiculous. Neither of them are going to be proposing to anyone on this show. Let’s move on. Please.
Tayshia gives the group date rose to drame-free Ivan.
The next night is the rose ceremony. Before Tayshia arrives, Chasen tells the group he doesn’t want any drama tonight and refers to himself as “Wolverine” for one of many times in this episode. He also tells the group he has a new adjective for Tayshia: “smokeshow." Bennett asks in his confessional, “What woman wants to be called a smokeshow?” I haven’t quite known how to feel about Bennett, but he does make some good points.
After a series of nice chats with Ben (they kiss!), Joe (he gives her Korean food!), and Demar (he writes her a poem!), Tayshia has to deal with Ed and Chasen again. Ed reports to Tayshia that Chasen got in his face, which means Tayshia has to talk to Chasen again. She should send them both home just for bothering her so much.
Chasen and Ed continue bickering. Zac, a grown ass man as far as we can tell, is so over it. I appreciate that, as does Tayshia. They have a chat about maturity and the fact that at 36 he’s one of the older contestants. It’s clear he’s a front-runner.
At the rose ceremony, Tayshia sends home Jay, Peter, and Montel, because she doesn’t feel a connection with them. Ed and Chasen stay, because Tayshia says she has to trust her intuition. Normally, I would be enraged that she kept these two pot stirrers, but since I also had no connection with Jay, Peter, or Montel, I sort of get it.
The next day, it’s time for a fresh “week” and another group date. This time it’s a wrestling match and Ed and Chasen are both on it. I can’t. The thing I miss about Clare is that we didn’t have much contestant drama. It can really wear on a person.
After receiving not nearly enough training from a professional wrestler and UFC fighter, it’s time for the guys to wrestle each other. Joe is intimidated because there are a lot of athletic guys on the date, including former NFL player Eazy. “I don’t mean to brag here, but I was all conference in volleyball in high school,” Joe says. I like Joe! More screen time for Joe!
The match is hosted by Chris Harrison and Bachelorette alum Wells Adams. It begins with Tayshia painting the men with oil, so that their muscles are extra shiny and so this date is extra slippery and dangerous. I hate this. Why can’t they just do that thing from American Gladiators where they knock each other off a beam with a padded stick?
Of course, Ed and Chasen are matched up. But, in a surprising turn, Ed announces that he has chronically dislocated shoulders and can’t participate. Way to protect your bodies after previous injuries, guys. Didn't see that becoming a theme of the episode, but here we are. Chris asks if anyone one in the audience (the audience is just the guys not on the group date) wants to fight for Tayshia’s heart. At this, Noah jumps into the ring to fight Chasen. Chasen wins and is also announced as the champion. Unclear how that was determined, but okay. Noah is rewarded for his enthusiasm by being invited to the cocktail party. This annoys the original group date guys even though it shouldn’t matter.
That night, Tayshia has a flirty chat with Noah and not so subtly suggests that he shave his mustache. “What if we, like, shaved it off or something? Let’s get that done.” More on this later.
Tayshia also has a good time with Brendan, who had the one-on-one date on the previous episode. He is another major front-runner. I think he’s the front-runner.
We get a lot of footage of Ben talking about his “plan” to be the last person Tayshia talks to that night, because he wants to end the night on the good note and be fresh on her mind when she gives out the rose. It’s obvious that something is going to go wrong.
That something is Noah. He returns with a razor and lets Tayshia shave his mustache. “You look really good! Like, you’re kind of hot!” she says. She’s not wrong, and I say that knowing that he is going to be a villain.
After all that mustache shaving, Tayshia returns to the group, and Ben asks if he can still talk to her. She’s like, uh, dude, you took too long, the date is over, but she’s sad that he didn’t pull her aside earlier. Noah gets the group date rose. The guys are annoyed that he took over their group date. Ben “won’t let this go unresolved." Ben, you came up with a clearly flawed plan. That’s all that happened. There's nothing to resolve.
Next week: The guys have to figure out how to talk shit on Noah without making fun of his mustache, more Bachelor alums show up, and Ben gets to actually talk to Tayshia.
Winners of the episode: Brendan, Zac, Ben, and Ivan. Tayshia makes it clear when she likes someone and these are her front-runners.
Losers of the episode: Chasen and Ed. There’s no coming back from this. (Except maybe on Paradise.)