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 3 of ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 18

A recap of the third episode of the latest season.

November 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.

Burn the witch(es)! As I explained last week, our “instigator” this season is Jamie, who planted the false rumor that Michelle and Joe met before the show and lied about it, and our “fragile male ego” is Pizzapreneur Peter, who can’t seem to let a minute go by without starting a fight. As a fifth grade teacher, Michelle has dealt with her fair share of class clowns and bullies, and her Miss Young radar is working overtime this episode. Every rose has its thorn, and every villain must ultimately meet their demise… 

 

“Top Gun” group date

The first group date is serving major Pilot Pete vibes, if Pilot Pete had a pair of balls. Right off the bat, it was pretty obvious that the date would involve aviation, because Michelle’s khaki romper screams, “I’m repurposing my sexy pilot costume from last Halloween.” She invites Martin, LT, Olu, Spencer, Clayton, Nayte, Joe, Rick, Will and Peter on a “Top Gun”-themed date, because she wants “a man who isn’t afraid of the danger zone.” There to help her put the men to the test are Glen Powell and Jay Ellis, two actors from the upcoming movie “Top Gun: Maverick.” They give some of the guys call signs, dubbing Will “Little Willy,” Martin “Frosty” because of his frosted tips and Peter “Dough Boy,” since he is a Pizzapreneur, after all.

After doing some push ups, the guys are put through a G4 simulator, a scene that I do not recommend watching on a full stomach. As they’re spun around, they’re asked to figuratively spill their guts—by telling Michelle how they feel about her—without literally spilling their guts. They’re all successful, but per the hot-headed villain trope, our resident pizza guy Peter finds cause to start beef with Will. He claims that Will—who poured his heart out for Michelle in Spanish—copied what he had said in Italian. While I don’t speak Italian, I have enough of a read on these two to tell you that there’s no way Will copied whatever corny remarks Peter translated from a Hallmark card. 

Next, it’s time for the guys to “dogfight,” or whack each other with big foam bats. Missouri Clayton—who, spoiler alert, is rumored to be the next Bachelor—makes his first splash, adeptly whacking Nayte off the platform. Naturally, Peter and Will also have a go at each other, with Will knocking Peter off not one, not two, not three, but four times. I’d be mortified for Peter if he weren’t so obnoxious. This wins Will the championship bomber jacket, which turns out to be one of the episode’s main characters.

 

Party theme: Little Willy versus Dough Boy

At the afterparty, the rivalry heats up again. Peter, giving off “grown man who’s still a mama’s boy” vibes in a white t-shirt with a pink sweater tied around his shoulders, levies a barrage of insults at Will. These linguistic feats include “Bro, you hate my mouth because you wish you had it,” “I change lives one slice at a time” and an invitation to “see the checks that I cash” because they bring him “class.” Not one of these statements is true, and everyone but Peter knows it.

Elsewhere, Michelle is getting to know some of her guys better. Clayton spins her around, which is cute; Nayte says that she makes him feel as giddy as “a little boy” and Joe checks in on how she’s doing. Earlier in the day, Martin had also checked in on Michelle, so she thanks him and tells him how she appreciates his maturity and depth, even though he’s a 29-year-old personal trainer with frosted tips. 

Back to the drama: Peter takes Will’s well-earned bomber jacket and throws it in the pool. So much for that “class,” Dough Boy. In a shocking display of emotional maturity, the other guys discuss their disappointment in Peter’s juvenile behavior, with Rick putting it most aptly: “I’m tired of going on dates with Peter.” (And I’m tired of watching the dates with Peter.) Will is visibly upset, tearing up and telling a producer, “This man is pressing my buttons, man!” but he takes the high road and doesn’t escalate the fight, nor does he tattle to Michelle because he doesn’t want to ruin her night. See, Peter? This is what class looks like.

The group date rose goes to Martin because he listened and pulled her aside during the date, “which meant a lot,” because the bar is in hell. The pair then slow-dances to violin music as the camera pans to Will tragically fishing his jacket out of the pool.

 

One-on-one with Rodney

Rodney gets invited on the one-on-one, surprising some of the other guys. In an interview, Mollique confidently tells the camera that Michelle will keep Rodney in the friend zone. He giggles in a way that tells me Rodney is the butt of the house’s jokes and that Mollique would be better off gossiping with Michelle’s fifth graders. 

Rodney brings the “biggest heart, biggest smile” to the table, he says, although he admits that he sees himself as an underdog. He definitely isn’t the most confident guy there, which is refreshing compared to the massive egos of Peter, Jamie and the like.

Michelle and Rodney go on a “Truth or Dare” date, starting off with a blindfolded taste test that features apples, whipped cream—hi, Maurissa and Riley!—and french fries. Next, the two are handcuffed together and have to search through several boxes to find the key.

Things get more serious during the truth portion of the date as they share their biggest fears. Rodney’s is “passing away before I become a husband and a father” and Michelle’s is “being complacent.” The pair also has a powerful discussion about being people of color, dating white people and being called the “N-word,” proving that this show is occasionally capable of having depth. Michelle gives Rodney a rose and makes a terrible apple pun (I am so over this apple thing), and then they go on a rowboat and have a cute little “Tangled” moment.

 

Poetry group date

The next date card reads, “I want a man who can express himself,” meaning that Jamie, Leroy, Chris G., Casey, Mollique, Chris S., Brandon and Romeo are in for a day of spoken word. Jamie, who has only been on a one-on-one, says, “I wanna go on one of these group dates so I can compete with the guys” like the class act he is. 

Some dude named Rudy Francisco (which can’t be a real name) comes out on stage, and Chris. G. promptly loses it because he’s the guy who “got him stuck” on spoken word, which we know to be true because he snaps while everyone else claps after Rudy’s poem. The guys are challenged to write their own spoken word pieces, and they’re actually pretty good. Well, with the exception of Jamie, who did not understand the assignment and tells a parable instead of a poem. Next up is Michelle, who delivers a poem about growing up as the “token black girl” and her difficulties dating in the past. 

At the afterparty, Jamie—the rat in our midst—tells the camera that no one else is worthy of Michelle’s attention and that he’s got this in the bag, while he tells Michelle that “my mentality is that every day you’re earning a rose, and it’s not like, ‘I have one, I’m safe.’” Jamie must be a Gemini, because he is so f*cking two-faced. In a conversation with a producer, he says, “I’m like, really competing with Brandon for a woman’s attention? You’re telling me that we’re in the same league and I’m like, we’re not even [bleep] close.” He also engages in some thinly-veiled slut-shaming, saying that Michelle must be on “spring break mode” since she has the audacity to talk to guys that aren’t him, chuckling maliciously all the way. While I figured he’d go far because the producers love drama, I think even those cold-blooded folks are sick of him at this point. If he gets a redemption arc on “Bachelor in Paradise,” I’m going to be firing off some strongly-worded tweets about it.

Brandon gushes that “It’s just literally the best feeling I’ve ever had in my entire life” and that he’s “never felt this way before.” Sir, it is the third episode. Get a grip. However, premature emotion gets you far in this franchise and earns him the group date rose.

 

Rose ceremony theme: trap the rat 

Going into the rose ceremony, Martin, Brandon and Rodney already have roses, but the rest of the guys have to prove to Michelle that they’re worth staying for another week. Nayte jokes about running away together, so they race, which feels like a lackluster version of Colton’s iconic fence jump. He thinks they “vibe for each other”—Miss Young the teacher should not approve of this poor grammar—and asks if she feels like she can trust him. When she says yes, he says “Really?” in a surprised way, which is a bit disconcerting.

The guys still haven’t figured out about Jamie’s manipulative little scheme, so Rick takes one for the team and tells Michelle that no one was questioning her character. Surprised, she tells him that it was Jamie who told her that and reflects that there are a lot of red flags with him, which is an understatement. Personally, I’m having trouble believing that the guys have let this fester until now, but the producers will be producers. 

The guys confront Jamie and ask what he told Michelle, eliciting nothing but stuttering while he tries to come up with his next lie. He mentions “episodes” and “viewers,” clear proof that he is not here for the right reasons, further angering his fellow contestants.

“Jamie is doing a lot of obfuscating and deflecting and just slithering out of every direct question that we ask him,” Romeo says. I was shocked that someone on this show knows the word “obfuscating,” but then I remembered he went to Harvard. He’s definitely using his degree well.

Jamie clings to his lie that it was “open conversation” in the house that Michelle might have been spotted with Joe before the show, and Michelle isn’t having any of it. She tells him off in an impressively level-headed way, before taking him outside to chat privately. Not even a master manipulator gets by Miss Young, so she sends him to out-of-school suspension packing. See ya later, instigator.

 

As it turns out, Michelle has a knack for smelling the rats. In addition to Mollique, LT and Spencer, she says goodbye to Pizzapreneur Peter during the rose ceremony. Though this is a relief for Will and viewers alike, I’m shocked—villains rarely fall as quickly as Peter and Jamie, so I’m unsure what’s coming next. We’re either in for the chillest season ever or there’s some serious sh*t about to be stirred. Tune in next Tuesday to find out, Bachelor Nation.

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