The Recap: Things Get Really Uncomfortable And Increasingly Racist On ABC's 'The Bachelorette'
After The NBA Finals Championship robbed fans of their Bachelorette fix for a week, Rachel Lindsay, the 31-year-old Bachelorette from Dallas, is once again gracing ABC's Monday night primetime slot with her beauty and no-nonsense approach to finding a husband.
Rachel sends home three guys this week, but those rejections are overwhelmingly overshadowed by the drama that occurs between the men and the stress Rachel is battling in her position as Bachelorette. The puzzle pieces of Lee's reportedly racist personality start to fall into place this week. The other men are definitely blowing the whistle on his questionable behavior, but it's unclear of when Rachel will catch wise.
Next week is set up to be a two night special (Monday June 26 and Tuesday June 27) and promises to feature a two-on-one date with Rachel, Kenny and Lee. While we await that disaster, here are the top five moments that stuck with me after the show this week:
We Feel You, Rach.
After the third episode, I predicted that Eric’s rose would be revoked and he’d be sent home. While Eric is still whiney and hot tempered, his foolishness became a distant memory as tensions between Kenny and Lee took center stage. While Kenny and Rachel were having a private conversation, Lee emerged insisting on speaking with Rachel even though he had already had his time with her that night. Later, Kenny, feeling slighted by the interruption, asks Lee to speak with him away from the other men. It’s clear that Kenny is trying to keep his composure, but Lee’s consistent jabbing with snide comments and condescending guffaws leads to the professional wrestlers anger to bubble over and his voice raise, so much so that Rachel can hear him while talking to Bryce in another part of the house.
“Ridiculously annoyed” by all of the drama in the house, Rachel is brought to tears during her interview as she reflects on the weight of the decisions she makes as the first black Bachelorette. “You have no idea what it’s like to be in this position,” she tells a producer as she wipes away tears and refuses to say anymore. I get pressure from so many ways being in this position. I already know what people are going to say about me, and judge me for the decisions I'm making. I'm going to have to be the one who has to deal with that and nobody else, and that's a lot."
She’s right. We have no idea what it’s like to be in her position. Bachelor Nation has always been a messy, petty place. I can only imagine how overwhelming it feels to blend that stress with the stress of having every decision you make analyzed simply because you’re the person of your ethnicity to do so.
Suspicions of Lee’s bigotry began to circulate early in the season after Internet detectives unearthed tweets he posted in 2016, which unveiled his support of Donald Trump, disdain for the NAACP and hatred of Islam. This week, as Lee went from arguing with Eric to openly baiting Kenny into a screaming match, Dean remarked during one of his interviews that, “these aren’t the people he’s used to seeing on a daily basis from a cultural perspective.” When a producer tried to press him about what he meant, he simply flashed a sly smile and replied, “You know what the f**k I mean.” He also went on to call Lee a “b***h” and “full of sh*t.” Two snaps for Dean! Lee’s antics have definitely secured everyone’s vote for house a**hole, but his racist beliefs have yet to make their prime time debut, so Dean is a real one for his foresight.
Later, the start-up recruiter shares a one-on-one date with Rachel, during he shared how losing his mother to breast cancer as a teen and the subsequent estrangement of his family influences his desires to be a father and have a close-knit family dynamic. Even though he is only 25 years old, the youngest man in the house, Dean is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Apparently Rachel is sweet on him as well because at the end of the date she admits that she could definitely see a future with this California boy.
Josiah Doing The Most
After uprooting the group from their California mansion home to Hilton Head Island of North Carolina, Rachel rounded up 13 of her boyfriends for a group date on the high seas. This yacht party featured dancing, amateur rap game and testosterone driven attempts at impressing their lady. Specifically, Josiah proclaimed himself to be the sexiest guy on the boat, flexed his pecks for the camera and boasted that he could do 30 push-ups with Rachel sitting on his back (Spoiler Alert: He only made it to 20). Even after the boat came ashore and the men were thrown into an impromptu Spelling Bee, Josiah’s cocky attitude was still in full force. The 28-year-old turned up his Smooth Operator voice every time his turn came around. Even Chris Harrison thought he sounded like a “late-night DJ.” After winning the competition, Josiah showered his trophy in kisses and love proclamations. He even drank alcohol from it during the cocktail hour that night. There wasn’t much intimacy between Josiah and Rachel this week, but his ego definitely got a good stroke.
When Iggy confronted Eric about his concerns about the way Eric was speaking about Rachel, there seemed to be mutual agreement that he was validated in his actions. This week, when Iggy turned his judgmental eye on Josiah, accusations that Iggy is a sh*t-stirrer emerged, and I couldn’t help but agree. The 30-year-old was so frustrated by Josiah’s cocky behavior (which we all were, but still), that he chose to spend most of the time he had with Rachel to “warn” her about how disingenuous he believes Josiah is. After, as if to clear his conscience, Iggy found Josiah and told him all of trash he had just talked about him to Rachel and is surprised when Josiah becomes defensive. Eric, watching the conversation from aside, compared the current incident to his past run-in with Iggy and dubbed the Chicago-native a “gossip queen.” Although I spent most of the episode wishing Josiah would stop speaking, he did make a very good point: You don’t get an award for telling the person that you just talked sh*t about what you said; That’s not a redeeming action.
Entering The Ring: Lee v. Kenny
Fully recovered from her earlier emotional frustrations, Rachel is ready to confront Lee and Kenny about the argument she overheard. She speaks to Lee first, and he immediately pinpoints Kenny as an aggressor who yelled at him for no reason for nearly half an hour, conveniently leaving out all of his own snide actions and comments. Rachel is not convinced that Lee's side of the story is true, but can't deny that Kenny was the only one she heard yelling. When it's Kenny's turn to give his account of the incident, he's now in the position of having to defend his character. As he continuously insists that he wasn't violent with Lee, Rachel asks why Lee would say that he was. "Because maybe Lee doesn't always tell the truth," Kenny says, which is extremely tame compared to later calling the so-called country singer an "alternative facts piece of garbage" in his interview.
Kenny leaves the conversation with Rachel feeling extremely frustrated that Lee's two-faced nature has possibly affected his relationship with Rachel. The dreaded "To Be Continued" cliff-hanger appears as Kenny pulls Lee aside once again for a private conversation that will no doubt lead to a public discussion.