Week five of the thirteenth season of ABC’s The Bachelorette presented viewers with a pair of 2-hour episodes, which saw the elimination of six men and the conclusion of the ongoing friction between Kenny and Lee.
After four hours spent navigating the peaks and valleys of Bachelor Nation this week, here’s a recount of five moments that still have us talking:
As Lee misguidedly attempted to vent to Will about his frustrations with Kenny, Will took it upon himself (as people of color are too often burdened to do) to educate Lee about why adjectives such as “aggressive” and “violent” strike a nerve with Kenny. “When you call him aggressive, there is a longstanding history in this country of regarding black men in America as aggressive to justify a lot of other things.” Unfortunately (and expectedly), this is beyond the so-called country singer’s realm of comprehension and his mind lands on a problematic conclusion. “So he’s the guy that gets mad and plays the race card and tries to get away with everything he does.” Considering that Kenny has never verbally insinuated that Lee is racist (even though he’d be correct) or even denied that he yelled at Lee, this accusation holds no merit and only serves to further reveal the Nashville native’s clouded, xenophobic point of view.
Bamboozled By A Reality TV Cliché
The two-on-one date between Kenny, Lee and Rachel received so much hype and fanfare that I feel bad for being surprised by how substantially it under-delivered. Nothing occurred on the Norwegian hillside that was more dramatic than what we’ve already seen. Lee lied to Rachel about Kenny, Lee lied to Kenny about lying to Rachel, Rachel sent Lee home, Kenny and Lee exchanged harsh words. That’s it. That’s all. The two foes never physically fought. The clip of Kenny with a bloody eyebrow is cut from a Viking match during a group date, which occurs later on.
The story line of the Kenny/Lee rivalry was predictable and lazy to begin with (large, “scary” black man and racist white man butt heads. Very original. Never been done before), but the fact that the climax of their interaction was misleadingly portrayed to viewers by producers makes the whole ordeal feel like a waste of airtime.
Josiah’s Ego Takes A Hit
During a rose ceremony, Josiah’s arrogance hit an all-time high. “If she doesn’t give me a rose, there is something wrong with her brain,” he says during an aside interview. The 28-year-old also raved about how amazing he is and how he can’t wait for Rachel to “experience every layer” of him. Rachel, who had previously expressed suspicions of Josiah’s disingenuous nature, was obviously unimpressed with the layers she had experienced. He was left without a rose, which he attributed to the bachelorette’s “poor judgment.”
There is a fine line between cocky and confidence…blurred lines for others. #thebachelorette
— Rachel Lindsay (@TheRachLindsay) June 28, 2017
Why Sis, Why?!
After an adorable one-on-one date and hardly any screen-time to follow, Rachel forced viewers to break-up with Anthony when she neglected to give him a rose during the traditional ceremony. I felt personally victimized by this elimination. Rachel prefaced the ceremony by saying that she can’t see the men she’ll be sending home as a future husband, but I’m 100 percent sure that if she was to look up the word husband in a dictionary, Anthony would be perched on the page with a wink and a smile. I will carry this devastation in my heart for many episodes to come. R.I.C (Rest In Chicago), Anthony. I’ll meet you there.
And Then, There Was One
Despite surviving two-on-one torture with Lee, Kenny and Rachel mutually agree that there is too much uncertainty in their relationship to warrant keeping him away from his 10-year-old daughter any longer. The two part ways in the most amicable goodbye I’ve ever seen on the show, but Kenny’s departure left me to face a devastating truth: Eric is the last black man left among Rachel’s suitors. This has forced me to accept that black love will not reign this season because there is no way Rachel is going to agree to an engagement with Eric after she realizes how immature and insecure he is.