Michelle Young is the newest Bachelorette. (Hustler Multimedia/Emery Little) (Emery Little)
Michelle Young is the newest Bachelorette. (Hustler Multimedia/Emery Little)

Emery Little

Here for the Wrong Reasons: Episode 8 of ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 18

A recap of the eighth episode of the latest season.

December 7, 2021

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 18th 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 Michelle Young’s journey to become an Instagram influencer find love. Make your picks in Vanderbilt’s (very un)official Bachelorette Fantasy League.

If there are four things I know about Men Tell All, it’s this: past drama will be rehashed in the pursuit of 15 more minutes of fame, some hearts will still be broken, the producers will do a bunch of random sh*t to fill airtime and there will be some half-assed apologies. Here to follow this scientific script are misogynistic Martin, Chris “in the bag” S., Harvard grad Romeo, underdog Rodney, firefighter Daniel, firefighter PJ, cutie Pardeep, Olu with the abs, creepy eyes Rick, Pizzapreneur Peter and his sworn enemy Will, silver fox Casey, some dude named Spencer, Jamie the snake and Ryan, the guy who got sent home on night one because he had a literal how-to manual for winning the show in his hotel room. This script is simple, really: pile a bunch of fame-hungry, testosterone-riddled guys into a room with cameras and a live audience, and let the drama unfold. Let’s just say that ABC’s bleeper was working overtime this episode.

 

The season’s drama, revisited

Michelle has done such a great job of promptly weeding out the bad seeds from her season that I honestly forgot most of them existed. I could never forget Pizzapreneur Peter, though, because his braggadocio was so exasperating I once threw popcorn at my TV. Naturally, he and Will (whose legal name, we learn, is “Willy”) rehash their feud, with Will calling Peter out for throwing his jacket into the pool and Peter claiming that Will left bad reviews of Peter’s pizzeria. Some of these alleged reviews are shown on-screen, and my personal favorite is, “I actually disputed the charge with my bank because it was so bad.” I’m certain these reviews were submitted by fervent members of Bachelor Nation, but Peter is so desperate to remain relevant that he has a lawyer serve Will with a subpoena for defamation of character. I’d be more concerned for Will, but the lawyer looked like he was hired from one of those billboards on the side of the interstate. 

Next, Ryan, the guy with the sus documents, tries to say that his girlfriend and friends wrote the notes and that he had never looked at them. No one buys this and we move on.

My favorite part of the episode is when Romeo calls Martin out for his “triple-whammy of misogyny,” which is a phrase I’m incorporating into my own vocabulary ASAP. This “triple-whammy” consists of Martin calling Miami women “high maintenance,” saying that Michelle is “not like other girls” and referring to women as “females.” Martin insists that it was all just “miscommunication and misunderstanding,” but we all know damn well you meant what you said, Mr. Frosted Tips. Stay classy. 

Then, Tayshia and Kaitlyn steer us towards Chris S., the short guy who insisted that guys were bragging about having the competition “in the bag.” He tries to apologize, but Rick, his roommate while in Minneapolis, tells us that Chris had said he’s had “better looking women” than Michelle, immediately revoking any chance he had at redemption. The Pizzapreneur comes to his defense, but Rick tells him to “shut the f*ck up.” I’m liking Rick more and more, even with his unfortunate eyeliner. Olu (dressed in a dope salmon suit) also calls out Chris S. for saying that he has a low IQ and starts moving towards him, but Rodney steps in between them to calm them down.

Jamie only emerges from backstage when it’s time to address his mess, kind of like when a prison puts an extremely heinous criminal in solitary confinement so the other prisoners don’t jump him. He attempts to apologize for being a two-faced little b*tch, but the audience, hosts and the other guys are not having it. If he does a stint on “Bachelor in Paradise” (BIP), at least we know that his castmates will go Lord of the Flies on him.

 

The Broken Hearts Club

Men Tell All isn’t all about who can flex their abs and stir the pot most, though. We catch up with some of the more wholesome contestants, including Rick, who says that he really saw a future with Michelle and was glad he could open up to her about his dad’s passing. As a reward, Kaitlyn and Tayshia give him a room service tray—in a nod to his limo exit—with a cake shaped like his face underneath it. Pretty on-brand for creepy but sweet Rick.

It’s not only the former contestants that are brokenhearted—Tayshia addresses her recent split from Zac Clark, whom she got engaged to about a year ago on her season of “The Bachelorette.”

“All I have to say is that I’m heartbroken, but we tried really hard,” she says. “I still love him very much and I’m not sure what the future holds.” Kaitlyn is a good person to ask her about it, as she also ended her engagement with her season’s finalist back in 2018.

Next, it’s time for Rodney to be put in the hot seat, but as he begins to speak, Tayshia dashes offstage, presumably to cry (or make us think she’s crying). Kaitlyn asks Rodney what it was like introducing Michelle to his overbearing mom, a question he evades by saying she wasn’t pleased that he streaked on national television. Rodney says that his “pace was a little bit slower than it should’ve been, maybe,” proving that he’s more normal than most people on this show. There is no way that he’s not going on BIP.

 

Random sh*t the producers did

Every season, there’s some dumb producer plant in the audience. On Katie’s Men Tell All, it was a woman in the audience who came on stage to help Connor B. prove he’s not a terrible kisser. This season, it’s an older guy screaming “I love you, Rodney!” and then stripping down and streaking like Rodney did during the truth or dare date. He’s escorted out by security, and my eyes are scarred. Also, all of the handmade signs that audience members are holding are written in the same (producer) handwriting … I love how dumb they think we are.

The producers also love to tease deleted scenes and bloopers. We watch the guys making butter sculptures on the farm date and Kaitlyn and Tayshia inspecting Will’s hotel room with a bluelight (and not finding anything). There’s a reason these scenes were deleted.

Next, it’s time to plug the franchise’s next hustles. Former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin is in the audience to promote “The Bachelor Live On Stage” interactive tour, where you pay money to watch former contestants f*ck around on stage. I say save your money and frequent The Gulch—you’re bound to run into Victoria Fuller or Jason and Kaitlyn one of these days. 

The guys also share what they think about Clayton being the Bachelor, mentioning how he wants to be a dad, he’s genuine and they can’t wait for his “personality to shine through” now that he has more airtime (and an acting coach). Conveniently, all of these remarks fit neatly into the family-oriented narrative that the producers are pushing! You can’t say that ABC is bad at marketing. In the trailer for his season, Clayton breaks down, saying that he’s in love with all three of his final women. He strikes me as the type to cry after sex.

The final trick up the producers’ sleeves is to fly in pizza from Peter’s pizzeria in Florida. Personally, I wouldn’t touch anything he makes with a 10-foot pole, but to everyone’s surprise, Will gives it a decent review. The two make peace, with Peter asking him, “Do you wanna bury the hat and be bygones?” He may be a Pizzapreneur, but intelligent, he is not.

 

Michelle gets the last word

Throughout the season, Michelle has made adequate to fantastic wardrobe choices, but her Men Tell All ‘fit fell flat. No dress should be high-neck, velvet and mustard yellow. However, Michelle is still a queen, which she proves during this episode. She praises Rodney for his “unrelenting kindness,” ignores Jamie’s contrariness, admits she sent Olu home too soon and calls out Martin for belittling her even though he tells her, “Thanks to this whole process, I did find my soulmate, and I do treat her like a queen.” I wonder what this girl did to deserve this cosmic punishment. Chris S. apologizes to Michelle, but it seems that he forgot the phrase “going off of,” because he says, “Pegging off Martin …” I could make a lot of jokes here, but my editor wouldn’t approve.

 

If you’re sad to say goodbye to any of Michelle’s contestants, don’t worry—you’ll see most of them on the beaches of Mexico next summer. For now, you can follow them on Instagram and watch their riveting #ads for Casper mattresses and teeth-whitening kits. Tune in next week for Fantasy Suites, aka my favorite episode of each season … there’s nothing like watching attractive, horny people talk about sex without actually, you know, saying the word “sex.” 

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