Can We Stop Acting Like The Bachelor World’s Right Reasons Are Real?

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Spoilers are ahead. Katie Thurston's playing drama whack-a-mole on The Bachelorette; every time she sends home one pot-stirrer another pops up in his place. The newest Bachelorette promo expanded on the Thomas Jacobs drama that began in the June 21 episode, and it doesn't seem as though she extinguishes this drama fire as quickly. The promos showed one contestant lamenting that "he's still here," presumably talking about Jacobs, who showed some of his true colors on Monday night. Cue the old Right Reasons versus Wrong Reasons storyline.
During an intense group therapy sharing session with Nick Viall (sure, okay), amidst contestants opening up about substance abuse and sexual assault, Jacobs shared a story of his own. It was a tale as old as time: he didn't necessarily come on the show to find love. He knew the series would present him with a great platform filled with opportunity, and he considered maybe he'd end up being picked as the Bachelor. Tell me something I don't know, because I defy you to find a contestant who hasn't had a similar thought process before joining. The idea of actually finding love on a reality show is often too abstract to grasp until confronted by it and it's human nature to run through all of the possible outcomes of a situation as risky as joining this series. The prospect of gaining more followers or potentially being chosen for another Bachelor Nation series is basically collateral.
And yet, this argument about whether or not you're allowed to think about those things persists. On Colton Underwood's season, Cassie Randolph and Caelynn Miller-Keyes were similarly called out for supposedly talking about their Bachelorette chances off camera. But again, that is completely and totally normal. You don't have a whole lot to do on this show if you're not on a date. There are no cellphones or books. You can talk about your love story or the drama in the house or you can think about what may come next for you. And everyone knows that getting your heart broken could very well come with the healing gift that is a ticket to Paradise or The Bachelor/ette. The Right Reasons is a not a real storyline.
But two things can be true. So while it's valid that the other guys are picking up bad vibes from Jacobs and their suspicions that he may not truly be interested in Thurston may prove to be correct, the simple act of thinking about what life would look like on the other side of the show isn't likely to be the determining factor. There are a few other things that could push that needle forward though.
Jacobs admitted, during a circle in which the men and Thurston shared deep and extremely personal stories, that he didn't walk into the process taking it the most seriously. At that very inappropriate moment, he admitted that he went on a date with someone else the week before coming to the resort to film — uh, during a pandemic? (This season was filmed before vaccination rates were up and COVID-safe mandates started lifting.) He also told Thurston that he's got a whole list of red flags for women he's looking to date, which is a red flag in and of itself. And when she asked him to share more on that topic, he got kind of cagey; thankfully, Thurston did seem concerned about his lack of answers. And although the duo did share a moment later where she said she was glad he was on the show and felt a connection to him, that giant red flag is going to keep waving in the background.
No one can blame the rest of the men for preferring that Thurston just ends the whole Thomas thing now, and focusing on him foolishly airing his Bachelor dreams is just the easiest, most tried and true method of casting doubt. The weird thing is, there is plenty of ammo for the men to bring up to Thurston without harping on very normal reality contestant behavior. This is the woman who kicked a dude off last week because someone she trusted said she should. This week, the men unionized against Karl Smith and she heeded their cries, no questions asked. She seems to care deeply about whether or not someone is just generally a jerk.
But in the meantime, we're going to hear the overused Bachelor Nation phrase to describe every time Jacobs fights for Thurston's attention (i.e. screen time), something every man on the show is also doing. Now Thurston just needs to, as the TikTok trend says, pick up on these really sketch vibes.

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