The Bachelorette Recap: The Bachelorette’s Gaze

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Rachel. Photo: Paul Hebert/ABC
The Bachelorette

The Bachelorette

Week 3 Season 13 Episode 3
Editor's Rating 3 stars

After the season premiere, I said that this season of The Bachelorette has given me something different, something new: watching an accomplished, fun, interesting black woman be celebrated for everything she is. This week, the show gave me something else. I love two things: seeing beautiful black women flourish and aggressively objectifying men. Let me see them butts. I wanna see all them juicy booties. (Bootys? What’s the plural of booty?) Besides the revelation that Pretty Boy Pitbull Kenny “Too Many Nicknames” King was a male entertainer, this week’s episode is a little thin on plot, but them booties were THICK.

Oh, that’s right. We have to finish up this DeMario nonsense. The contesticles are all filing out of the mansion like they’re in an old-timey saloon and Whistlin’ Pete was down from the mountains and he was settlin’ scores. Rachel decides to hear DeMario out. If Rachel wasn’t on The Bachelorette, she’d be sending screenshots of DeMario’s texts to the Slack channel she’s on with her girlfriends and work besties. DeMario apparently rehearsed what he was gonna say with his Uber driver who told him he couldn’t take no for an answer. Hey, men, if anyone gives you romantic advice that involves the phrase, “Don’t take no for an answer,” that’s not advice, that’s just recounting the plotline to an episode of Law & Order: SVU.

The best DeMario’s got is an alleged quote — “In order to experience joy, you need pain” — and Rachel isn’t buying it. Rachel shuts him down again in spectacular fashion by telling him, “Forward isn’t that way, it’s that way, outside of this house.” If she had another margarita, she would have added “… and take your lil’ scrunchie-wearing friend with you.” The contesticles ask if DeMario is coming back to the house and Rachel just says, “Fuck no.” I don’t think I could love this bitch more.

GANDREW ARFIELD HAS SOME BIG-ASS PUPPET HANDS AND HE’S STROKING HER FACE WITH THEM. I’M ANGRY AND SCARED AND I NEED THIS TO STOP.

Blake decides to continue his campaign against Whack-a-Mole and I’ll be damned, I almost completely forgot this rivalry happened by the end of the episode. The two of them were clearly reality-TV cannon fodder and I’m not here for that! I’m not here to watch someone who is hired to impersonate Ace Ventura at bat mitzvahs engage in a battle of wits with an aspiring drummer. Blake E. is trying to make himself happen just as much as Whack-a-Mole is. Blake can’t even muster a good defense to Whack-a-Mole’s charge that Blake E. stands over his bed eating a banana. It’s impossible, you see, because Blake E. doesn’t eat carbs. I weirdly found myself seeing Lucas’s side in this situation and I hate that. Blake strangely affirms his life when he says, “If someone says what Lucas does, I’d say, ‘Whaboom.’” Yeah, dude. That’s kinda his whole thing. Let’s move on and you can discuss it among yourselves if you truly must.

It’s FINALLY time for the Rose Ceremony. Bryan, Bryce, Brady (WHO?), Eric, Anthony, Jack, Jonathan, Matt, Alex, Adam, Kenny, noted racist and alleged country singer Lee, Fred, Diggy, and Iggy. Why is JACK STONE crying as he’s watching the other contesticles go home?

After a rough night, it’s time for the dates! Bryan, Gandrew, Peter, Alex, Will, and Fred head to the set of Ellen where Rachel and Ellen watch them go through the metal detector and gossip about them. Ellen says she doesn’t like that Gandrew tickled her on the first night. Ellen continues to be the voice of our generation. When the contesticles arrive on set, they’re informed that they have to strip their shirts off and dance in the crowd for tips.

Let’s rank their bodies:

1) Bryan
2) Alex
3) Will
4) Peter
5) Fred
6) Gandrew … IF I HAVE TO.

After they rub their asses on a grandma in the front row and she’s rolled out of the studio after getting a concussion from Alex’s abs, they sit down for a game of Never Have I Ever. The contesticles are surprised that some of them have kissed Rachel. What do you think is happening here, guys? Rachel is a 31-year-old human woman and it’s been three days. I’ve literally walked up to men in nightclubs, kissed them, and said, “You should kiss me more.” It’s not the 1900s. Kiss her already. Unfortunately, Bryan and Peter get into a pissing match because Bryan kissed her first. Bryan literally calls Rachel “my sloppy seconds” in front of Peter. Fred is determined to get Rachel to see him as a man and asks to kiss her.

Unfortunately, Fred is trying to prove he isn’t a little boy anymore and that’s not exactly a turn-on. Rachel puts him out of his misery and sends him home at the end of the group-date cocktail party. I was just starting to like Fred and I just came up with a nickname for him: Sadibal Burress. Alex gets the group-date rose.

Next, she goes on a date with Anthony. They ride horses down Rodeo Drive and take them into some shops. I scoured the internet for any evidence that this was actually a thing. A parade from the ’20s maybe, or a century-old statute that allowed “hearses” but it was spelled “horses” when it was transcribed. Nothing. I have a bit of a thing for men in cowboy outfits, so I definitely enjoyed this date, but there weren’t any huge revelations or moments of drama.

Let’s rank Anthony’s face:

1) Jaw

They end up on a hilltop, dancing to a jazz quartet in some sort of black La La Land fantasy. It would still be called La La Land, but it would star La La Anthony. He gets a rose.

The next group date rolls around and Eric is falling into that classic trap for contesticles where he believes that Rachel should show him affection and lavish him with attention when he’s literally a contestant on a game show trying to win her over. There are actual challenges for you to win time with her. On any other season of The Bachelorette, anyone demanding the Bachelorette say how she feels about him would be cast as the villain, ESPECIALLY if he were a man of color. I wondered exactly how the season would pick its villains since exploiting the discomfort and insecurities of contestants of color was just so goddamn easy. Well, thankfully, noted racist and alleged country singer Lee is here to be the villain.

Let’s be clear, though: Lee is a gaslighting racist asshole who should have never been cast on the season. His presence is a danger to a black Bachelorette and the black men in the house. If the producers were able to track down DeMario’s girlfriend, they should have been able to find these posts on Lee’s social media. I fully believe that he was a holdover from some alternate universe where Raven was the Bachelorette. Then he would have made it to the top three, obviously.

But first, Rachel’s coven descends on the house, blocking out the sun with their boho-inspired kimono jackets. Corrine, Jasmine, That Shark-Ass Bitch, and Raven are taking control of the date. Raven stares with dead shark eyes at what could have been hers. They’re taking the guys to go mud wrestling. On the way, they demand that the guys climb on the pole in the party bus and shake their crotch at whoever isn’t there for the right reasons. Bryce and Lee shake their crotches at Eric. Why? For what reason? Also, Bryce, who the hell even are you? You’re a glorified Brady.

It’s time to mud-wrestle and Bryce thinks he’s the most athletic guy in the house. Kenny is literally a professional wrestler. Kenny lifts a man over his head and slams him into the mud. Then he straddles him and blows a kiss at Rachel. Let’s get Bryan in here and have them wrestle it out. I would … like to see that, please, and I think it would be … effective. Somehow, Bryce wins the wrestling challenge and I’ve never been more upset. Rachel asks the girls what they thought of all the guys and Raven’s eyes go black and she tells Rachel that Eric isn’t there for the right reasons. Rachel tells Eric that Bryce and Lee are behind the accusation. The accusation of nothing, to be more precise. Bryce and Lee deny and tell Eric that they love him, but they don’t think he’s a good person and he’s so scary for getting into an argument with Iggy earlier. Despite their best efforts, Eric gets the group -date rose.

At the cocktail party before the rose ceremony, Iggy and Lee use their time to accuse Eric of being scary, duplicitous, and dishonest. Rachel asks Eric to explain himself because now she’s questioning her decision. Eric was just here to have a good time and he’s feeling really judged. He’s totally right to tell Lee and Iggy to mind their own business. They’re talking about him behind his back, pretending it’s honorable because they told him after the fact.

The preview for next week’s episode includes someone telling Lee that he’s playing on a dark history of portraying black men as angry so white people can get what they want. Open up your Bibles, we’re about to go to church.

The Bachelorette Recap: The Bachelorette’s Gaze