As The Bachelor ebbs and flows through a season filled with contestants in pursuit of shower enthusiast Colton Underwood, so do its supposed villains. Remember Catherine, the DJ from Fort Lauderdale who looked like Jennifer Coolidge and kept interrupting everyone in the season premiere? She and her dog are gone, with nary a whimper! Or Demi, who had the nerve to wear a robe over her dress during the second episode’s cocktail party? She’s as harmless as your average Corinne. Yet one contestant has emerged as someone destined to bear the franchise’s Bad Edit, thanks to her unflappable commitment to supposed Bachelor “etiquette.” We’re, of course, talking about Tracy Shapoff.
For the uninitiated Bachelor Nation folk, Tracy is a 31-year-old stylist from Los Angeles whose questionable social-media history was unearthed last month by Us Weekly. It’s a scandal similar to the one involving Garrett Yrigoyen from The Bachelorette: In tweets written about a decade ago, Tracy mocked fat people, disabled people, non-Americans, and, in a juicy twist, contestants on reality-dating shows. “Do people really think they’re finding love on reality TV … or am I just the idiot that watches it?” she wrote in one offending tweet. “Liposuction is retarded,” she wrote in another.
Tracy has since apologized for her “extremely hurtful words” and says she is “beyond mortified” she wrote the tweets, with Colton also chiming in to reflect on the franchise’s iffy track record of vetting contestants’ social media. “While that is a gift and a curse at times, and while I don’t believe in whatever Tracy liked and tweeted at the time, I think that it’s a growing thing,” he recently told People. “As far as the process goes, social media is making it a challenge for every workplace.”
But back to the almighty Bad Edit. As someone who once expressed skepticism over the idea of genuinely landing a fiancé in front of a camera, Tracy emerged in the season’s second episode as the calculated sacrificial lamb who’s willing to test one of The Bachelor’s cardinal rules of likability to get her man: in-fighting with another contestant about age. That fellow contestant is 23-year-old Demi, whose youth was enough for Tracy to determine she’s there for the infamous “wrong reasons.”
In no particular order, and in an increasingly petty state, Tracy complains about Demi in the following ways:
1) During a group date, Demi picks up the rose, waves it around, and puts it back on its Anthropologie-esque tray to playfully tease the other women. Tracy vents her feelings to another contestant, believing it was a grossly inappropriate gesture. “It means a lot, so to even touch it is actually very rude to everyone and to Colton … it’s bizarre that she thought that was okay,” she says. “I can’t imagine any other girl thinking it was okay to pick up that rose.” She later confronts Demi about the proverbial “meaning” of what the rose “stands for.” Demi, confused, apologizes to alleviate tension.
2) At a cocktail party, Demi interrupts Tracy and Colton’s conversation while wearing a robe. Upset at what transpired — and with dramatic music looming in the background — Tracy retreats in her bedroom to cry. “I’m trying to be vulnerable and authentic for the last couple of days,” she says when Demi comes to see her. “It seems rude and mean.” Demi doesn’t see what the problem is, and calls Tracy one of the “most amazing women” she’s ever met, and then she apologizes again.
3) In numerous talking-head interviews, Tracy likens Demi’s behavior and subsequent excuses to “literal bullshit.”
4) During another group date, Tracy tells Demi that she isn’t old enough to know what she truly wants in a fiancé. This causes Demi to call her out in front of a few contestants for her “passive-aggressive comments.”
Obviously, the memes soon followed.
God, so many memes.
Neither woman, mercifully, has mentioned this bubbling feud to Colton during their precious one-on-one dates. (Don’t break the other cardinal rule: pointless contestant gossip while canoodling!) The fate of someone with a Bad Edit is pretty inevitable — we’ll put our money down for Tracy getting the boot in two episodes, right before filming begins at an enviable tropical island — but until that happens, we’ll leave you with an amusing tidbit. Demi is 23 years old, and, to quote a certain contestant at that age, is earnestly “finding love on reality TV,” however unorthodox her methods might be. Can the same be said for Tracy?