A graphic of Bachelor Clayton Echard on a salmon background with rose petals
A graphic of Bachelor Clayton Echard (Hustler Multimedia/Alexa White)
Alexa White

Here for the Wrong Reasons: Episodes 4 and 5 of ‘The Bachelor’ Season 26

A recap of the fourth and fifth episodes of the latest season.

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 26th season of “The Bachelor.” 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 week for episode recaps and updates on Clayton Echard’s journey to become an Instagram influencer find love.

Did you think you were watching “The Bachelor”? Think again. Welcome back to “The Shanae Show,” as our resident villain herself declares. Like the rest of the women in the house, I am so done with Shanae’s BS. Unfortunately for those of us with good judgment, Clayton can’t seem to see through her web of deceit. While entertaining, Episodes 4 and 5 proved incredibly frustrating, thanks to our dud of a Bachelor’s utter lack of common sense. 


Episode 4

Shrimp-gate, continued 

The episode starts off strong with the women stressing about how Clayton will deal with the drama in the house. Susie—who received the first one-on-one of the season and is potentially a frontrunner—warbles, “I don’t think Clayton is stupid,” in a tone that can be described as dubious, at best.

Last week, Clayton told the women that he’d deal with the Shanae & Elizabeth situation before the next rose ceremony. Tonight is that night, so he pulls both women aside to figure out what the beef between them is and why, exactly, shrimp are so important. As has happened during the last two episodes, Shanae goes on an unfounded tirade about Elizabeth being two-faced while Elizabeth fails to adequately defend herself. Additionally, the two bicker about the timeline of who was in the hot tub when, which is somehow imperative to Shanae’s accusations of bullying. 

In an interview, Shanae comments, “My shrimp was better; Elizabeth’s was terrible. I think she put poison in it, ‘cause i was sh*tting the next day, like, really bad.” In addition to this being TMI, this merely adds to the heaping pile of evidence that Shanae is here for the wrong reasons: to make a name for herself and grow her social media following. How unoriginal.

The other women in the house are rightfully disgruntled, because the longer Shrimp-gate goes on, the less time they have to make an impression on Clayton. Jill comments, “I lost brain cells because I listened to Shrimp-gate. Shanae walking in with a plate of f*cking shrimp? That’s a joke.“ (Oh, yeah. The producers arranged for shrimp hors d’oeuvres to be served tonight.)

Clayton is so overwhelmed by the Shrimp-gate drama that he decides to cancel the cocktail party and go straight into the rose ceremony. He gives roses to Marlena, Teddi, Rachel, Mara, Sierra, Susie, Serene, Genevieve, Hunter, Lyndsey and…as the producers luck would have it, Shanae. This not only means that Kira and Melina go home, but also that Elizabeth was bullied home by the very woman who falsely accused her of being a bully. Speaking of the real bully, Shanae comments, “Ding dong, the witch is dead! I took her down. Clayton believed me!” At this point, it’s just sad that Shanae is delighting in being manipulative.


One-on-one with Rachel

Ever the tease, Jesse Palmer announces to the remaining women that it’s time for them to begin their “worldwide, international journey to find love with Clayton.” Unfortunately for the women, this journey begins in the exotic destination of Houston, Texas. Despite this being Lyndsey’s hometown, Rachel gets a second one-on-one. Clayton and Rachel embrace Texan culture and go horseback riding—prompting Clayton to ask Rachel, “You ever do something that’s not hot?”—and conveniently run into a super subtly-planted family BBQing in the middle of the woods. The two bond over wanting a family, and Clayton tells her, “I’ll never dim your light.” Rachel finds this touching, while I find it vomit-inducing. They’re kind of boring, but they seem to get along well.


XOXO, Gossip Girl

Back at the hotel, Shanae conveniently happens to overhear Genevieve and Sierra talking about her and gets upset. Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it, girl. Unfortunately for us viewers, this moment is going to come back to haunt us later, as Shanae now has her sights set on Genevieve and Sierra.


Football group date

Sarah, Eliza, Teddi, Marlena, Jill, Susie, Mara, Sierra, Hunter, Lyndsey, Genevieve, Gabby and Shanae join Clayton for a tailgate at the Houston Texans’ stadium. They do some grilling and play cornhole before Texans players Jonathan Greenard and Kamu Grugier-Hill arrive to announce that the women will be playing in “The Bachelor Bowl.” The two teams—Shrimp Stampede and the Purple Punishers—face off for a game of tackle football. With all of the drama in the house, the women really go at each other, and even unobservant Clayton noted: “Shanae and Sierra are getting a little violent.” Marlena, the former Olympian, is on the Purple Punishers, so naturally, they win 21-0.

The winning team gets to move on to the afterparty for a Shanae-free evening. Each conversation follows a similar script: the women bare their hearts to Clayton, he says one half-supportive sentence and then they make out. Teddi tells him that her parents separated often when she was a child, so she tried to be perfect to get her dad’s affection. Clayton—who is pulling a Matt James in an unflattering turtleneck—says that he relates because he also knows what it’s like to be insecure as a straight white athletic male. 

Ever the instigator, Shanae decides to crash the afterparty despite being on the losing team. Clayton expresses his confusion about how so many women have complained to him about Shanae’s behavior because he thought he solved the drama by sending Elizabeth home. Has he ever considered that the woman involved in all of the drama might, perhaps, be the source of all that drama? To critique Susie’s statement at the beginning of the episode, I do think Clayton is that stupid. Actually, I know Clayton is stupid—in a scene that seems pulled directly from a low-budget adult film, he hoists Shanae onto the bar to make out with her instead of confronting her about her manipulative ways.

Shanae flaunts her presence at the rest of the women and tells Genevieve and Shanae to “keep [her] name out of [their] f*cking mouths,” before throwing the Purple Punishers’ trophy into the pond, which is poorly disguised plagiarism of Pizzapreneur Peter’s tossing of Will’s championship bomber jacket into a pool during Michelle’s season.


Episode 5

One-on-one with Serene

The scene opens on a pensive Clayton strolling down the beach, puzzled as to why the other women don’t like Shanae even though he’s had great conversations with her. (Psst, Clayton: it’s called manipulation.) Clayton and Serene have Pleasure Pier all to themselves, riding roller coasters, playing carnival games and eating ice cream (Clayton dons an apron and plays the role of the ice cream man). They kiss, like, a lot, and Clayton comments that he likes her, but wishes that she’d “open up.”

Over full heads of broccoli at dinner (the vegetarian option, maybe?), Serene does open up, telling Clayton that her family has experienced a lot of loss in the past few years, including her grandma, who helped raise her, and her younger cousin who struggled with addiction. After shedding a few tears, Serene tells Clayton that he has “kind eyes,” and he gives her the rose. Is it just me, or is this guy turned on by other people’s struggles?


Cocktail party

At the cocktail party, Shanae smugly tells the camera that the women “don’t like me because they’re threatened.” (Actually, they don’t like her because she’s a nightmare, and she damn well knows that.) However, Shanae does realize that it’s time for an apology tour, even if she’s only apologizing because she’s caught between a rock and a hard place. First, she apologizes to Clayton for interrupting the last afterparty, even though he couldn’t care less—all he wants is for her to smooth things over with the other women so that he can keep her around without getting yelled at. Next, she cries a few crocodile tears and gives the women a hypocritical apology for saying things she “didn’t mean,” which the women hesitantly accept. (The only logical explanation for this is that a producer is aiming a weapon at them from behind the camera.)

In case any viewers thought her apology was sincere, Shanae sets the record straight by comparing her acting skills to Meryl Streep’s and saying that she deserves an Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe. In an interview, she says, “I’m not sorry, hoes. You mean sh*t. I need an Oscar award for that performance. Fake it till you make it. I never thought I could act before, but I’m good.” In the wise words of Taylor Swift, “She’s not a saint and she’s not what you think, she’s an actress. She’s better known for the things that Clayton wants to do to her on she does on the mattress.”

At this point, I don’t care about Shanae. What’s bothering me is how Clayton, who claims to be looking for a wife and mother of his children, keeps excusing Shanae’s immature behavior, even though she’s wronged quite literally every other woman in the house. I’m not sure what’s more infuriating: Clayton’s horniness for Shanae or his blatant disregard for the concerns of every other woman that’s left. Husband material, he is not.


Rose ceremony

In addition to Serene and Rachel, who received date roses, Sarah, Marlena, Genevieve, Mara, Gabby, Susie, Eliza, Hunter and, yes, Shanae score Clayton’s coveted roses this week. This means that Sierra, Lyndsey and Jill are going home, but Sierra’s not going to leave without giving Clayton one final warning: “Choose a girl for the man you’re gonna become and not the man you are today. Don’t be stupid.” Wise words that are sure to be lost on our brickheaded lead.

Sierra going home is just one more notch in Shanae’s belt, which Shanae knows all too well: “I just sent another bitch home. I just sent home two girls back-to-back. Who’s next on my list?” 

And with that, Clayton and his contestants are finally jetting off on the “inter” part of their international adventure: all the way to the exotic land of Toronto, Canada.


One-on-one with Gabby

For their smörgåsbord of a date, Clayton and Gabby gallivant around Toronto, going on a helicopter ride, playing field hockey in a park, petting dogs, spraying graffiti and eating a fried dough pastry called a “beaver tail.”

They show up to dinner at the Hotel Toronto dressed for two entirely different climates: Gabby in a skimpy lime green minidress, and Clayton in a shirt, sweater and jacket. Poor girl has got to be freezing. As we all know, a one-on-one dinner is really an invitation for the contestant to dump all of the trauma that they have yet to work through with a therapist. It’s a classic chicken or the egg dilemma: do the Bachelor casting agents only let unstable people on the show, or do stable people know better than to apply?

Gabby shares that she currently does not have a relationship with her mom, and how, as a result, she can’t receive love, although she can still “give love, no problem.” (This will likely secure her an invitation to the Fantasy Suite in the future.) Clayton, who is not practicing active listening, nods along and occasionally contributes a “Mmmm” to the conversation. The two make out in front of the Toronto skyline and Clayton gives Gabby a rose for “not holding back.”


Roast group date

Rachel, Sarah, Serene, Marlena, Susie, Hunter, Eliza, Teddi and Mara are invited to a roast, hosted by Canadian comedian Russell Peters, whom I immediately like because he calls Clayton “vanilla as f*ck.” 

In addition to some harmless jokes about Clayton being from Missouri and Hunter’s IBS, the roast gets a bit heated. Sarah teases Mara for being old—after all, she is a whopping 33 years old—and Mara responds in kind, mocking Sarah, who is 10 years her junior, for being the youngest in the house. Mara escalates the roast with a mic drop, saying, “Just go home, you desperate b*tch.” On a normal season, this would be the start of an intense rivalry, but instead, the women unite to pile on Shanae instead, even though she’s not there to defend herself. You know what they say about karma … 

“Damn, Shanae, you ain’t here but I’m still gonna get your ass,” Marlena says, before winning my Quote of the Week award: “Shanae is like a herpes outbreak. No matter how hard you try to get rid of her, she keeps coming back and lasting longer than expected.” BOOM. ROASTED. Generally, I don’t condone woman-on-woman violence, but I’ll make an exception if it’s levied against Shanae.

At the afterparty, Clayton compliments Marlena for her killer stand-up set; Susie gets behind a mic again, but only to express her feelings for Clayton; and Eliza takes maple syrup shots with Clayton. Somehow, Rachel gets the group date rose for “making him feel safe.” 


The impending two-on-one

No season of “The Bachelor” is complete without a two-on-one date, during which the Bachelor takes two women on a date, with only one rose to give out at the end. For this two-on-one, the date card reads, “Shanae and Genevieve: into the falls, your journey goes. Only one comes out with a rose. I need to make a decision.” The women notice that this is the first time he has signed a date card “-Clayton,” rather than “Love, Clayton,” a harbinger of drama to come. Cocky as ever, Shanae tells the camera, “I literally have been scripting everything I’m going to say to him. You know, reading out loud, writing it out, practicing over and over so I know what I’m gonna do.” Clayton is going to feel like such a clown watching his season back.

If you ask me, Shanae’s reign of terror has gone on long enough, so I’d like to add a line to the poem on the date card:

Into the falls, your journey goes.

Only one comes out with a rose.

Shanae, you’re about to get deposed.


Tune in next week to see if Genevieve is able to resist the urge to push Shanae into Niagara Falls.

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About the Contributors
Phoebe Sklansky, Former Deputy Life Editor
Phoebe Sklansky ('22) majored in sociology and double-minored in American politics and communication studies. She was The Hustler's resident recapper for all things "Bachelor" and frequently covered television, music and food. In the rare moments she isn’t trying to get John Mayer to respond to her DMs, Phoebe can be found making charcuterie boards or chugging a concerning amount of black coffee. She can be reached at [email protected].
Alexa White, Former Graphics Director
Alexa White ('23) is from Traverse City, Michigan, and is double-majoring in secondary education and English. When she isn't writing for The Hustler, she is probably teaching, reading or creating art. After graduation, Alexa plans to be an English teacher and hopes to inspire kids to love reading, writing and exploring their creativity in all forms. She can be reached at [email protected].
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