These are dark days for Bachelor Nation. Starved for our weekly dose of masochism, approximately 23 of us swallowed our pride and tuned into Listen to Your Heart. But it’s not all bad. What LTYH lacks in production value and any semblance of logic, it makes up for in questionable sartorial choices. Specifically, the endless array of accessories dripping off every male contestant. So in case you’d rather skip the earnest acoustic riffraff, here’s the TL;DR on an entire season worth of the bros who untangled their amulets, slid on their thumb rings, and came to play.
12. Michael Todd
While I will concede that it was wise for MT to keep it minimal in order to not overpower a leather suit, that is the only modicum of credit he’s getting here. When Coco Chanel said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off,” she was not referring to decorum, the concept of consent, or any ability to read social cues.
This guy is bald and can do a push-up, so we are told repeatedly that he has earned the distinction of a “sexy Mr. Clean” vibe. I’m not buying it. Mr. Clean wears a gold hoop earring; Josh wears an occasional snapback, which is no match in the accessory gauntlet. Being hot is just not enough here.
Are teeth an accessory? I guess Danny can have a few extra points for consistency, but when that consistency is just “two silver bands worn on consecutive fingers and a perpetual shit-eating grin,” it’s not saying much. A bit of a bummer too, since he seems like the kind of person with the capacity to pull off paisley.
Somewhere in the bowels of the Bachelor mansion, as producers stirred their trauma potions and made plans for which throat-soothing tea would be part of craft service, an experiment took place and this human Henley was given consciousness. Trevor joins the competition with nothing but a collection of jean jackets, a 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee that got a second life as a watch, and a literal rusty key on a string. What does it open? Nobody knows. But it’s definitely not any kind of emotional vault. (He’s a sentient desert boot, remember?)
Ry guy’s glasses are a choice that basically says, “Why, yes, I have listened to every single episode of The Daily.” So while wearing the physical manifestation of a chore jacket on your face may be a standout look in the real world, in this race, your bric-a-brac has to put in the work. But unfortunately for John Mayer II, the literal work one does at an ophthalmologist’s office where they are an assistant does not count. It may even be a bit of a cop-out.
At first look, yeehaw man seems like a strong contender, with his hat and bold patterns drunkenly shouting “favorite meat is definitely bison.” But the neck tattoo is a perplexing addition, and when it comes time for rose-ceremony garb, everything quickly falls apart. This is a contest of personal brands and Jack’s is confusing. It doesn’t help that my dude got in zero on-camera words before hitting the bricks. There was so much potential for a higher ranking if only he had time to exhibit a bolo tie or two.
A decent showing, but I’m left wanting more from Gabe. While the necklace politely says “regularly attends faith-based open-mic nights at the local vegan coffee shop,” the bootleg Livestrong bracelet is just waiting for an opportunity to recruit new members to the CrossFit gym. I’m sure it’s all for a good cause, but that cause is nowhere near “competently perform a B-plus pop-country cover on TV.”
Ugh. Brandon is a piece of work, but he doesn’t completely fail when it comes to accessories. From his trademark look of a drill bit on a leather cord to a ring collection that contains at least four different materials, this knucklehead shows range, but ultimately lacks focus. It’s just too much! There are spoon rings, prayer bracelets, beaded necklaces, and signets all happening at the same time. We have no idea who this guy actually is. I empathize with the awkward visible ankle situation, but men’s pants come in varied inseams! There is no reason to give off the aura of an overgrown teen boy running late to his 17th-century blacksmith apprenticeship because he got caught up calling the women in his life “sweetie” in a really patronizing tone. Also, plus 100 points for toting around reading material, but minus 1,000,000 points for wrapping the cover around the back of his paperback, the spine pushed to its limits, just like our collective brains watching Brandon attempt to communicate. No, thank you.
If Listen to Your Heart has taught us nothing else, it’s that there are two schools of chain-wearers: under the shirt and over the shirt. Matt is strictly under, and while I appreciate that level of mystery, I do not appreciate the hours of my life lost to hoping I’ll catch a glimpse of whatever gilded dingleberry is caught in that chest hair. His black leather rope bracelets would normally feel contrived, but they seem to be actually worn in and not just copped from Zumiez the week before this mess began. Also, I’m definitely being generous because my dude was seen multiple times with a hefty paperback book that he appeared to actually be reading. My biases are nothing if not predictable.
Now this is what I call a personal brand. Is it a good one? Who’s to say! But I appreciate Russell’s point of view even if he was completely forgettable in the context of the actual competition. Maybe Adderall eyes, that scarf Lindsay Lohan wore every day of 2006, and enough sterling-silver statement rings to serve as a weapon aren’t your thing, but you can’t knock this man for bringing it all together. I fully acknowledge that my Culkin fandom is coming out here: Say what you will about my gaunt ghouls, but they know the power of accouterments.
If you’d have told me two months ago that my future self would be out here rewarding a guy for “taking risks” in embroidered fair-trade scarves, I would have doubled down on my therapy sessions. But here we are, and Chris is wielding his World Market rewards card with the kind of panache and fearless individualism that is completely unmatched among his fellow crooner bros. I truly don’t know how he does it, but somehow the glasses, little gold medallion, and bottomless shawl collection add up to far more than the sum of their retirement-community parts. Solid work, my man.
I know, I know. This is the obvious choice. But it turns out this show does indeed abide by Occam’s razor. Who cares if he didn’t actually win the “prize” and got booted before making it to the semifinals? Sheridan is the only contestant that matters in the accessories gauntlet. His signature look includes no less than five sterling-silver rings sprinkled with turquoise hunks, a cartoonishly large gold watch, a full watercolor sleeve, a belt buckle that could stop a bullet, gauges with bonus feather danglers, and a full forest of forearm conifers. My dude even has a separate lounging look compromised of a few minimal bracelets and a beaded necklace with a sassy red tassel to better accompany scrawling with angst in his lil’ music diary. While it’d be natural to dock a few points for his inability to convince producers to allow him to trot out the three dozen hats he packed past episode one, I just don’t have the heart to do it. Although every piece in Sher Bear’s cache of bijouterie suggests he probably also has a sword collection at home, I’m genuinely rooting for him to charge his crystal pendants under the new moon and summon himself some love back home in Austin. Or at least milk a few Spotify streams from his final, fleeting moments of Bachelor Nation fame.