Here for the Wrong Reasons: Episode 12 of ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 16
A recap of the 12th episode of the latest season
December 22, 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.
Let’s talk about sex, baby. Actually, scratch that, let’s chat about majorly cringey innuendos. You guessed it, I’m talking about fantasy suites! On this episode, Tayshia and her finalists play a linguistic obstacle course, rope-swinging and hurdle-jumping around saying the word “sex.” Tayshia is down to Ivan, Zac and Brendan, and it’s up to her whether she wants to “forgo her individual room” and spend a night with each of them. Cameras are off (once they enter their hotel rooms), tensions (of multiple kinds) are high and the drama is tangible. Let’s discuss whether Tayshia’s final ~connections~ are sweet or if the relationships are pure fantasy.
Lucky duck Ivan gets the first fantasy suite date with Tayshia. Following in the footsteps of franchise favorites Evan and Carly—who set the Guinness World Record for the longest habanero pepper kiss on “Bachelor in Paradise”—Ivan and Tayshia are challenged to set the record for the world’s longest, coldest kiss. The two put on their bathing suits and each hop into an ice bath. They’re wearing swim trunks and a one-piece, which are bold choices considering the freezing temperatures. Personally, I would have opted for a long-sleeved wetsuit. Chris Harrison and Big Paulie, the franchise’s stage manager, are the judges. Shivering Ivan and Tayshia manage to surpass the five minutes and 16 seconds record, instead kissing for six minutes and 35 seconds, successfully setting a new record and probably successfully catching hypothermia. Talk about blue balls.
The night portion of their date is full of franchise clichés. Tayshia and Ivan agree that they can do whatever they set their minds to, then Ivan declares that he doesn’t take the word “love” lightly. He then tells Tayshia that he is “undoubtedly falling in love with you right now,” and so she gives him a highly-prized fantasy suite invitation. Even though this entire season is being filmed at a resort, the producers are evil as per usual and give Ivan and Tayshia an airstream trailer for their fantasy suite date. How romantic? Tayshia closes the airstream door on the cameras and, presumably, she and Ivan get down to business. In the morning, Tayshia sports some cute clear glasses and a matching pajama set while she and Ivan share a bowl of fruit. Ivan is smitten and says that he feels ready to propose to Tayshia. Damn.
Zac gets the second fantasy suite date. Tayshia shows up rocking canary yellow, and it’s straight-up rude she can pull that color off. Zac jogs awkwardly over to her, which turns out to be an omen of a lot of cringe-worthy moments on their date. For instance, Zac tells Tayshia that he is “ready to explore,” because I assume that they’re contractually obligated to exclusively use sexual innuendos on this date. This couple, too, pulls an Evan and Carly from “Bachelor in Paradise,” though this time mimicking their body painting date. Zac and Tayshia strip down, cover themselves in paint and roll around on top of a white sheet. Zac says, “I’ve never been happier in my entire life,” which is highly concerning, and Tayshia says that Zac is tall, which is highly incorrect. Obviously, by the end of the date, Zac has Tayshia’s handprints on his butt in neon orange paint.
For the night portion of their date, Tayshia serves major Elle Woods vibes in a strapless pink number. Zac eloquently announces that it’s “time to stop being a jackass and tell the girl how you really feel.” He tells Tayshia that he thinks, no wait, knows, that he loves her, and shockingly, she tells him that she loves him back. What the hell? This man does not deserve her. Anyway, they giggle and kiss some more until Tayshia proffers an invitation to the fantasy suite, which Zac enthusiastically accepts. For some reason, the producers have decided that these two are not only worthy of an actual hotel room, but of a whole townhouse? Ivan and his dinky airstream could never. In the morning, we get some camera shots of Zac and Tayshia dancing on the bed (another innuendo, maybe?), with Zac even wearing her robe at one point. Ew. Just…ew. Tayshia is off in la-la land and says that she’s trying to find things wrong with their relationship and can’t. I could name a few, but I won’t be a Grinch.
Last up is Brendan, whose biceps look unreal in his white short-sleeved collared shirt. I think I speak for most of Bachelor Nation when I say I wouldn’t mind doing a Freaky Friday switch with Tayshia right now. The stakes are high for Brendan on this date. He’s the first contestant Tayshia felt a real connection with; she said she was falling in love with him and apparently thinks he’s husband material. Deep breaths, Brendan. The big question is: what activity do you do with your boyfriend of just a few weeks? You take him to meet an engagement ring designer, of course! Tayshia brings Brendan to meet Neil Lane, the infamous designer of every “Bachelor” franchise engagement ring. Every season, Neil looks like he’s gotten even more plastic surgery done, which I guess you can afford when you charge $100,000 dollars for tacky jewelry. He’s also wearing a god-awful polka dot suit, but I won’t get into that. When Brendan learns that Tayshia has taken him to see “the diamond guy,” the sheer panic in his eyes is visible. Like, this guy is sweating. Tayshia puts on so much jewelry that I’m afraid she might fall over, and Brendan continues to freak. the. eff. out. As we know, he’s been married before, and he wants the next woman he proposes to to be his wife for the rest of his life. I mean, valid.
Brendan shows up to the night part of the date looking like a member of the stage crew in an all-black outfit, while Tayshia is dressed for a Roaring 20’s flapper-themed party in a fringed silver getup. Their table is surrounded by strings of lights, presumably to hide the fact that they are still at the La Quinta resort.
From the second Brendan sits down, there are very bad vibes. He has the same panicked look from earlier in the day, and it sounds like he’s gasping for air when he speaks. Uh oh. Brendan’s definitely been practicing this break-up in the mirror, because he spits out a line worthy of a scripted ‘90s teen drama: “There’s a big part of me that’s still broken, still needs time to heal, needs time to grow, because I still think there are pieces of myself that I need to pick up.” Allegedly, he still wants to be a husband and a father, but he’s realized that he’s not emotionally there yet because of his divorce. He says that he wants to give Tayshia his whole heart, but his heart isn’t whole (Brendan, if you’re reading this, can I give you a hug?), and Tayshia is so, so sad. Holding back tears, she tells him that she can relate to what he’s gone through with his divorce: “I’ve already fought for someone to try and love me once. I’m not gonna do it again.” At this point, they’re both tearing up, but neither of them have anything to say. She walks him out, and after the longest goodbye hug ever, Brendan gets into the limo and blows a kiss to Tayshia. They are SO not over each other. In an interview, Tayshia tells the camera that every single day, she thought she was going to end up with Brendan. Brendan tells the camera that tonight was the first time Tayshia had expressed just how serious she was about him. Both of them turn on the waterworks. Heartbreak emoji.
It looks like it’s down to the final two, so the producers need something to take up the rest of this episode’s airtime. They bring in former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay—a franchise success story, considering how she’s married to her season’s winner—to talk to Tayshia. Tayshia acts like she’s relatively unbothered about Brendan going home, since she’s glad it didn’t happen during the proposal, but we know she’s crushed on the inside. She also keeps bringing up Ben to Rachel, which is the perfect segue, because surprise, surprise…Ben is back. I guess the rumors were true. He shows up at Chris Harrison’s room, and thankfully for him, this visit goes a lot more smoothly than Ed’s. Ben admits that he’s in love with Tayshia. Chris Harrison gives Ben his blessing. Ben knocks on Tayshia’s door, and it looks like she might swoon out of shock. She removes herself to talk through her feelings with a producer, but honestly, this girl has no clue what she wants to do.
There’s a rose ceremony coming up, and she now has three guys there instead of two. And this isn’t just any rose ceremony, it’s the rose ceremony, a.k.a proposal time. There’s no telling what will happen during the finale, but lucky for us, we don’t have to wait long. Tune in tonight, Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. CDT to see who stays, who goes and if Tayshia actually gives anyone her rose.