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 4 of ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 18

A recap of the fourth episode of the latest season.

November 11, 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.

The theme of this week is sad girl hours. While Michelle has one-and-a-half lovely one-on-ones, she spends most of the week ruminating on the guys’ too-strong bromance. True, the guys are “supposed to be there for her,” but come on, Michelle! You know they’re just there to get Instagram ads. This week, Michelle continues to narrow down her selection of guys, which is looking more pitiful by the day. 

 

One-on-one with Martin

After the chaos of last week, it’s time to “get love back on track,” according to the date card. The literal “track” in question is a racetrack, on which Michelle and Martin will be drifting 505 horsepower BMW M3s. (Translation: these cars are fast.) Martin seems to be going for a “middle America” look with his plaid button-down, which is appropriate for a car-racing date, but the frosted tips, shaved eyebrow slit and lack of sleeves give off more of a lumberjack stripper vibe. Obviously, Michelle kicks Martin’s ass like the badass she is.

The date has a more serious purpose than flirtatious racing, though. Martin was close with Jamie, so Michelle is testing him to see if he’s really there for her, or if it’s going to be another awkward Dr. Joe defending Brendan moment. Turns out, it’s a mix of both. 

“Well, I don’t think he’s a bad person,” Martin stupidly says. “I still think he’s a hell of a man.” He talks himself into a corner then caresses Michelle’s shoulder as she’s explaining her decision to send Jamie home. Read the room, dude. 

At dinner, Michelle tells Martin that she felt shut down by him during their conversation earlier. He gives a bunch of classic f*ckboy excuses, such as “Sometimes I’m very blunt” and “When I give my opinion, it’s not just a ‘Well, this guy’s just trying to make me feel inferior,’ or like it’s condescending.” Oddly enough, “condescending” is the exact word I wrote about him in my notes during the car racing portion of the date. He then goes on a spiel about how he’s never been a good communicator—he never cries, because he’s such a manly man—but that he’s working on it now. Michelle somehow eats this fake vulnerability right up and gives Martin a rose, then they stargaze in a planetarium.   

 

Slumber party group date

Michelle invites Will, Chris S., Casey, Chris G., Leroy, Rodney, Olumide, Brandon, Clayton, Joe, Romeo and Nayte on the only group date of the week. It’s a slumber party-themed date, and the guys are gifted pajamas and slippers in preparation. Most of them get silky sets, while Rodney gets a onesie with hearts on it and short king Chris S. gets a button-down and tighty whities, “Risky Business”-style. Just like your average slumber party, there’s a cotton candy machine, sundae station and giant teddy bears. The guys get really into it … a little too into it that they straight up ignore Michelle. In order to get any attention, she has to call guys over to her, which is incredibly uncomfortable.

Olu takes this a step further, leading an “Abs of Steel” challenge to show off how ripped he is. He invites the other guys to punch his abs (a classic slumber party activity), telling Michelle that she doesn’t need to participate. She’s visibly upset, both because the guys are excluding her and because she doesn’t get to touch Olu’s jacked abdomen. Next, it’s time for “The Ultimate Teddy Bear Takedown” with WWE champions The Bella Twins. Michelle’s sad girl hours continue as she tells the camera, “I’m upset. Now the guys are going to be competing with each other instead of making small moments with me.” The phrase “small moments” is kind of cringey, but her point is incredibly valid—the entire point of these group dates is for her to get to know the guys and for them to prove themselves to her, not to engage in homoerotic activities. Girl’s girls Kaitlyn and Tayshia can tell that Michelle’s upset and check in on her. Chris Harrison could never.

At the afterparty, she calls them out in classic Michelle fashion—by calmly and rationally explaining how she doesn’t feel seen. The guys quickly backtrack and tell her that they do, in fact, see her. Olu wins the apologies, getting emotional while telling Michelle that he’s seen his four sisters go through similar experiences. As always, tears get roses, so the group date rose goes to Olu.

 

One-on-one with Rick

While the guys on the group date might not “see” Michelle, she tells us that “Rick has always told me that he sees me.” (I am so over that phrase.) The next date card platitude is “Sky is the limit,” meaning that Michelle and sad boy Rick are riding a shaky gondola to the top of a mountain. Their first activity is stopping to smell a tree, which seems like an appropriate activity for a guy who showed up in the first episode inside a room service cart and made food puns all night. 

Then, they wander through the woods until they happen to stumble upon a (definitely planted) Wish Box. Inside the box are various wishes that people have written down onto slips of paper, which Michelle and Rick read out loud because there’s no such thing as privacy. I’ve got to say, the producers were especially ingenious and ruthless with this one—one of the slips reads, “I wish my dad could see the man I’ve become.” News flash: Rick’s dad is dead, and he immediately becomes emotional. They really do have a knack for eliciting contestants’ deepest traumas! And while I understand that everyone has different coping mechanisms, Rick smiles right after telling Michelle about his dad’s passing, which is giving me “American Psycho” vibes.

At dinner, it’s time to unpack more trauma. We learn that when Rick was 17, he discovered a text on his dad’s phone that proved his dad had been cheating on his mom, leading his parents to get a divorce. Years later, Rick missed a call from his dad—who had been struggling with depression—while at work, and when he called him back, he had passed away. To top it all off, Rick thinks that his dad died blaming him for the dissolution of his marriage. Michelle, not being a licensed therapist, doesn’t quite know how to handle these revelations and basically recites the lyrics of “Stronger,” because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Inexplicably, this gets the convo back onto a note that’s positive enough for Rick to say that he could see himself falling in love with her. I don’t know what it is with trauma dumping being a turn-on for people on this show, but damn. 

To close out the night, the two slow-dance to a live performance by Andy Grammer, who is the first musician I’ve ever recognized on this show.

 

The reign of the short king

Michelle can’t seem to catch a break at these rose ceremonies. With Jamie and Peter both gone, someone’s got to take on the sh*t-stirrer mantle, right? The producers are in luck: our short king Chris S. is more than up for the task. He decides that some of the guys—Nayte, especially—are acting a little too cocky for his liking and pounces on the opportunity to inform Michelle at the cocktail party. He tells her that several guys are “acting like they have it in the bag,” all the while talking to her as if she’s a fragile little thing that needs his protection, despite his five-foot-seven-and-a-half-inch stature.

For those who watched Hannah Brown’s season of “The Bachelorette,” Chris S. is basically Luke P. reincarnated, minus the virginity talk. They’re both short, known by their last initials and constantly angry for no apparent reason. I don’t remember his bio details, but Chris S. has to be a finance bro living in Murray Hill. To have that much braggadocio as such a diminutive man screams “I don’t pay for girls’ 3 a.m. Ubers home.”

Michelle confronts Nayte to tell him that he should never feel like he has it “in the bag”—another phrase that needs to be retired ASAP—and he is downright confused by the conversation. He confronts Chris S., who claims that Michelle “probed and probed and probed” him and that he didn’t eagerly volunteer Nayte’s name, which is a straight-up lie. Naturally, the fight escalates. Important quotes include, “I don’t do homework” (shocker), “dweeb” and, most egregiously, “I came in on my white horse and I saved her from the castle she’s been stuck in.” What in the savior complex? It’s honestly impressive that Lord Farquaad has taken on both of the villain roles—the instigator and the one that has to prove his masculinity—but this is a whole ‘nother level of not being able to read the room.

All of the other guys take Nayte’s side, with Romeo declaring that the “S” in “Chris S.” stands for “snake.” Olu also slights him, prompting Chris S. to decide that he will wink at Olu if he gets a rose. I think the “S” stands for “sus.”

Michelle sends Chris G., Will and Romeo home, shattering my heart, because Romeo’s quotes were recapper gold. Romeo, oh Romeo … please call me now that you’re single. Chris S. gets to stay, because the producers have sent too many of the villains home already and need to milk him for all he’s worth. Personally, I’m looking forward to when the other guys give him “Lord of the Flies” treatment.

 

Since the guys tortured her so much this week, it’s time for Michelle to torture them back. 

“Starting tomorrow, I’m no longer going to be in Indian Wells. I’m going to head back to Minneapolis, Minnesota,” she says in a funeral tone. Turns out, this is just a catfishing moment, because, “y’all are coming with me!” So, prepare your casseroles and rehearse using the word “ope,” because we’re headed to the Midwest next Tuesday!

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