(Hustler Multimedia/Emery Little)
(Hustler Multimedia/Emery Little)

Here for the Wrong Reasons: Episode 8 of ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 16

A recap of the eighth episode of the latest season

December 2, 2020

Welcome to “Here for the Wrong Reasons,” where each week I’ll be recapping all of the champagne-guzzling and petty “Can I steal you for a second?”s of the 16th season of “The Bachelorette.” Nothing boosts your confidence about your own love life like watching a bunch of desperate 20-somethings competing for a stranger’s affection! Check in every Wednesday for episode recaps and updates on Tayshia Adams’s journey to become an Instagram influencer find love. Make your picks in Vanderbilt’s (very un)official Bachelorette Fantasy League.

 

After the initial drama with Clare and Dale at the start of the season, “The Bachelorette” has settled into its old, familiar patterns under Tayshia’s guidance. Contestants are feuding; the guys are opening up about their pasts, and there’s yet another date with a nudity component. Can you feel the clichés love tonight?

 

One-on-one with Zac

A lot of people accuse “The Bachelorette” of being staged, and, at this moment, they’re definitely right. For the daytime portion of their date, Tayshia and Zac get glammed up and pose for fake wedding photos. Most guys run at the first mention of being exclusive, let alone at marriage talk. Is this “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days?” Anyway, Zac sticks around and seems to be a comfort to Tayshia, who is nervous as hell. I mean, she’s divorced and is being forced into a wedding dress, so that checks out. The tuxedo Zac selects is at least two sizes too big. The saying is “dress for the job you want,” Zac, not “dress for the body you want.” After the wedding garb, Tayshia and Zac try on sparkly outfits and pop a bottle of champagne, then bounce on a trampoline because why not?

At dinner, Tayshia announces that she just knows there’s more to Zac than he’s letting on, and turns out, she’s right. Zac reveals that years ago, he had a brain tumor and that he got hooked on pain meds and other substances—and got married—during his recovery. Eventually, he went to rehab, and in a very full-circle moment, he is now on the board of the very rehab center that he went to. Tayshia loves that he opened up and gives him a rose, then they take a ride on their own personal ferris wheel.

 

Group date

On behalf of all of Bachelor Nation, I need to ask: why are the producers subjecting us to so many dates that involve nudity this season? By my count, this is the third (after strip dodgeball and speedo water polo). I guess they’re trying to make this date more tasteful because it starts off with the guys sketching nude models as if they were artists in Italy. They move on to blindfolded sculpting, Blake sculpts a phallus like the 8-year-old boy that he is, and Bennett—for whatever reason—decides to kiss Tayshia while both are blindfolded. Needless to say, she is not into it. Next are self-portraits. Brendan, who never graduated from first grade arts and crafts, finds a random picture frame to put around his face. He redeems himself by turning it horizontally and spitting out a cheesy line about having room for someone else. In the spirit of nude dates, Ben decides that the best way to reveal his true self is by pulling a Magic Mike. Tayshia appears unfazed and hugs him (okay, that was a questionable move), but then runs away in a panic. Not sure what was under that censored black box, but the signs aren’t looking great for Ben.

During the night portion of the date, the guys reveal even more about themselves. I’m talking emotions, everyone, get your head out of the gutter. We learn that Ben, who works as a personal trainer, suffered from an eating disorder for 15 years. Though I’ve never been a huge Ben fan, all I want is to give him a big hug. Just one week after addressing the Black Lives Matter movement, “The Bachelorette” is normalizing male eating disorders. This is unchartered territory, and I am so here for it.

At some point in this episode, Spencer calls out Blake for being a sex maniac. That’s it, that’s the tweet. 

 

One-on-one with Eazy

In the second one-on-one date of the episode, Tayshia and Eazy go to a haunted mansion. Unless all COVID-19 protocol was broken, this means that the producers literally made their own haunted house at the La Quinta Resort. The devil works hard, and apparently, the “Bachelorette” producers work directly for him. Eazy lets us know that he’s feeling super confident moments before Tayshia sneaks up on him and scares the daylights out of him.

Not much else is particularly scary—or interesting—on this date except for the full glasses of wine Eazy and Tayshia are carrying around. With all the jump scares going on, those are going to be some frightening stains to get out of their clothes. At dinner, Tayshia tells Eazy that she can’t give him the rose because she doesn’t know if she “can get there” with him. A lady who knows what she wants. Love to see it.

 

Bennett and Noah

Yes, this feud is still going on. Bennett harps on Noah for not having enough emotional intelligence and gifts him a book on the subject (Taylor Nolan and Corinne Olympios vibes, anyone?). Mustache-less Noah is surprisingly a lot less annoying than mustached Noah, but still, not a fan. This beef is obnoxious because no one remembers why it even started in the first place. Like the boss she is, Tayshia declares: “Noah and Bennett, there’s something going on between you two, and I’m going to get to the bottom of it one way or another.” If I were either of those guys, I’d be pissing my pants. 

JoJo Fletcher, the lead of season 12 of “The Bachelorette” who is part of one of the few franchise couples still together (with former Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers), steps in unannounced. She’s allegedly here to cover for Chris Harrison while he moves his son into college, but I’m willing to bet that Chris just needed to get away after his awkward 2 a.m. drink with Ed last week. Anyway, JoJo comes in to announce that the cocktail party is pushed back, then asks Bennett and Noah to explain their conflict, which neither of them does coherently. She informs them that they’ll be going on a two-on-one with Tayshia, meaning that one of them will be sent home at the end of the date. $20 says Tayshia gets fed up with their teenage boy nonsense and sends them both packing. She’s still hung up on the “my guys are questioning my integrity” thing, but you’ve got, like, a dozen decent guys vying for your heart during a global pandemic, Tayshia. Let’s not be too picky, mkay?

 

Overall, there was less Ed air time, more almost believable conversations, and JoJo is here, so this episode passes the test. A quick note to the producers, though: we do not want any more full nudity, we swear. At least stick to normal swimsuits, please. The episode ends on a cliffhanger (at least it’s not right before a rose ceremony this time). Bennett and Noah arrive on their two-on-one with Tayshia, she calls them high school boys again—totally warranted—and the camera zooms in on a gift box from Bennett on the table. What is it? Another book on emotional intelligence? A Tiffany watch? A stink bomb? Rotten eggs? Some other teenage boy prank material? We’ll have to tune in next week to find out. Ugh.

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