Hey friend(s), welcome to a special Thursday edition of the blog. George will be distractedly blogging in black and Victor will be writing in blue, the color (knock on wood!) of the bulk of those Alleghany County mail-in votes.
At the end of last week’s recap post, we told you that, “By the time the show airs next Thursday, we will have elected a new President and, just maybe, welcome a new Bachelorette lead.” Unlike that obese turtle currently flailing against certain eviction, we at the Right Reasons Roundtable don’t lie. By the time the show aired last night, we had elected a new President (and engaged in the process of counting all of the votes). If you would have taken our advice and bet on it around 9 PM on election night, you would have been quite a bit richer. Of course, I didn’t take my own advice and bet our entire 401Ks on Biden. At that time, I was curled up in a fetal position on the floor, having soiled my pajamas, mechanically scrolling through the Nates’ Twitter feeds for any signs of hope.
But 48 hours later, I feel much better – the only thing I’m worried about is whether I’ll be able to crank out this recap by tomorrow morning. Unlike the vote-counters in Gwinnett County, you are willing to work nights. Like most of you, I’m refreshing my Twitter feed every 30 seconds while trying to keep straight all of these random journalists that I’m following from Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Arizona. This is similar to how I felt watching the Bachelor tonight. Apart from the main cast (Clare, Dale, and Chris Harrison), I recognize about six dudes on the show: narrator Eazy, Harvard douche Bennett, Asian doctor
John Joe, Boy-Band Manager Kenny, Gun-Show Arms Riley, and Beardy Canada Blake. My notes are full of notations like “dude with glasses,” “chess guy,” “white guy with hair,” “c’mon Dekalb County,” and other random crap. I’d be worried about giving you guys something coherent and entertaining to read, but then I remembered that our audience numbers in the dozens and I have the best friend and editor to make my drivel read halfway decently. You’re too kind. We all know the best editor is John Ralston of the Nevada Independent.
Instead of starting at the base of the Clark-County firewall, we start back at the house, where the guys from the group date where Clare gave the rose to herself are chopping it up. Boy-band manager Kenny is especially despondent – he says that Clare isn’t giving anyone other than Dale an opportunity and he has no idea why he’s here. Well, Kenny, let me answer that question for you – I’m pretty sure you’re here to get the Instagram followers, just like everyone else.
We cut to Clare’s room. She is in the “El Presidente” suite at the resort, a name that probably inspired a lot more respect when it was chosen than it does now. In her suite, Clare is writing about 50 pages into her journal – the first 49 pages having been filled with her “Clare Moss” signatures. She tells us that she and Dale share an incredible chemistry and an intangible connection that she cannot describe. I know exactly what you’re talking about Clare, I felt the same thing the first time I watched Steve Kornacki and that touchscreen “big board” showing swing-state results. Clare says that she believes in respecting the process, but also in going after what she wants. Translation: F the other guys.
The producers then go to wake up Chris Harrison from his nap. Chris is pissed – he’s never had to work so hard for his quarter-million-per-episode paycheck. He demands to see his contract to determine whether he has to show up for things other than the limo entrance and the rose ceremonies. The producers tell him yes, and start listing all the things that he’s contractually-obligated to do – like talking to the lead on occasion. Chris screams “STOP THE COUNTING!!” The producers shake their heads – “We cannot stop.” Chris begrudgingly heads over to Clare’s suite.
Chris tells Clare that he wants to have a talk just between “You and Me.” “Then get all these cameras outta here” Clare does not say. Chris tells her the guys see what’s going on and “the path we’re on right now, we can’t continue.” Also a good description of the thinking of a majority of voters. Clare basically tells Chris that she’s been stalking Dale’s social media the entire time after the initial filming was postponed. This, of course, is PERFECTLY REASONABLE – every lead should get a chance to do this. Clare reveals that she saw so many parallels between her and Dale. Like Clare, Dale has lost a parent, as she learned through a Dale post commemorating his mother on Mother’s Day. Like Clare, Dale is dealing with having a family member (his sister) in an assisted-living facility. Through this social media stalking, Clare tells Chris that she’s built an emotional connection with Dale. I mean, I get it Clare. I kind of felt the same way watching Jennifer Love Hewitt on Party of Five – but, to be fair, I was not 39 years old when that happened.
Chris asks Clare when she talked with Dale before the show, and Clare swears “on my dad’s grave” that she did not. Chris asks her whether Dale reminds her of her dad, and Clare says yes – Dale is the one. Mind you readers, by this point, Clare has not had a one-on-date with Dale. By all accounts this is less than two weeks into filming. She’s rolled around on the sack with him for about an hour during a group date, but that’s about it. When Chris asks her what she wants to do, Clare is clear: she wants to spend more time with Dale. Chris asks whether this process is over, and Clare affirms that it is – and that’s when Chris drops the line that we’ve seen all season in the trailers “You’ve just blown up the Bachelorette.”
Of course, none of the guys know this. They’re standing around waiting for the cocktail party, and Eazy is thinking about “maximizing his opportunity” with Clare. Uhh, Nope. Chris Harrison walks in and tells the guys that there will be no cocktail party and no rose ceremony, and asks Dale to come outside. “Ooooh, you’re in trouble,” the guys do not say. Instead, they discuss what’s happening. Beardy Canada Blake tells everyone, “There’s no way she’s made up her mind about Dale, it’s way too early!! Get it out of your heads” He then adds, “There’s no way FoxNews can project Arizona already, it’s way too early!!”
Chris tells Dale that Clare cancelled the proceedings because she wants to spend more time with him – and Dale happily obliges. Clare greets Dale and leads him to a table in the courtyard. She tells him that she’s been doing the season “her way” and that she cannot focus on the other guys because all she does is think about him. She’s prayed for someone like her dad, and she thinks she found him in Dale. They trade stories about how their fathers both hitchhiked to visit their mothers while they were dating, and they bond over the loss of parents. We find out that Clare’s father “James” immediately fell for her mother “Lily.” “Thank goodness the sorting hat put them both in Gryffindor!” she did not add. Clare compliments Dale’s emotional intelligence and wonders how he developed it. She continues listing Dale’s positive qualities to Dale, and Dale cannot take it anymore. He screams “STOP THE COUNTING!!” but Clare shakes her head: “I cannot stop.” She tells Dale that she’s trying to be present for the other guys, but she cannot – she’s falling in love with him through this process. Dale reciprocates that sentiment, and within seconds, these two are exploring each other’s tonsils.
They stroll over to a couple of musicians and, for the first time since those votes from Milwaukee got uploaded to the official totals at 3AM Wednesday morning, I screamed with joy, “IT”S BRI AND CHRIS!!!!” Yep, our favorite couple from the greatest singing dating competition show ever – Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart – are here to serenade Clare and Dale. Stephanie alerts me that we have two bi-racial Bachelor couples being featured on screen at the same time. I paused the screen to capture a screenshot, I’m sure this will be just as historic as the first Black, woman, and Asian-American Vice President.
Chris and Bri performed a song that, on my first listen, seemed to include the line “like a manatee to a new song.” I think it was “melody” in retrospect, but also my version would be the hook for a banger.
The next thing we see is Clare and Dale lying in bed together the next morning. Somehow, Dale managed to sneak into Clare’s room again without even getting a fantasy-suite key from Chris Harrison. The two are in post-coital bliss, confirming (unnecessarily) to the cameras that they did not talk prior to the limo entrance and volunteering to take lie detector tests. No one asked you to do that!
Production then wakes up Chris Harrison again and drags him to another meeting with Clare. She tells Chris that everything was even better than she expected after the cameras left. I’m sure Clare is talking about Dale’s emotional intelligence again. Clare says Dale did not run away and that he’s in love with her as well. She again starts down the list of reasons why Dale is so great when Chris jams his hands into his ears and screams “STOP THE COUNTING!!” Clare shakes her head and says “I cannot stop When you know, you know. I think I found what I’m looking for in Dale.”
The guys back at the house have figured out that Dale’s been gone for the entire day and night, but Blake still doesn’t think that Clare is the type of woman who would invite Dale over for the night. And I bet he also thinks that those votes from Clark county will cut into that Biden lead in Nevada.
Clare stops by the house to dump the rest of her boyfriends, basically accomplishing what normally takes six weeks in about 45 seconds. She tells the assembled bros that they’re “amazing” but that their roommate is more amazing. Clare says she came on the show to find the love of her life, and she found him. And it’s Tagalog-speaking chess-loving Ivan! No. No, it’s Dale. The guy she just spent the night with instead of doing a cocktail party and a rose ceremony with these also-rans. Clare says she didn’t want to lead any of them on. To her credit, she didn’t spend much time with most of these guys so it would have been hard to lead them on, and with minor exceptions she gave no indication that she had any interest in them beyond wanting them to stop making fun of Dale.
This is an opportunity for the men to show that they are happy for Clare and Dale. So… who will ruin this moment? First crack goes to Zach C (the addiction counselor), but he manages to say nice things, though he says them angrily, if that makes sense. Beardy Canada Blake kind of does too, but he wants to say “DON’T STOP THE COUNTING!!” Since BCB is one of the guys who seems to have invested in Clare, I guess we appreciate the effort. But it is boy-band manager Kenny that “demands” an apology from Clare to him and to the rest of the group. I guess for not admitting she was in love with Dale from the beginning, though you would also get full credit for guessing “because he’s an entitled shithead.” Clare gets support from Ben (the army ranger) Ivan (the chess guy) and Jason (the former O-lineman). Jason also seems to have developed feelings for Clare, so kudos to Jason for putting her happiness ahead of his own. The protective instinct of an offensive lineman is on display here, something that has been rendered on film in such iconic roles as Michael Oher in The Blind Side and Billy Bob in Varsity Blues.
Pour one out for the guy who scored the greatest fat-guy touchdown in football history.
Clare gets some hugs from some of the guys and this is a decent enough mass breakup, only slightly ruined by the guys immediately devolving into predicting the demise of her relationship with Dale the second she leaves the room. While wrestling with this development, Beardy Canada Blake tells some of the guys that he is devastated in part because he “bought a book about dementia,” to better understand Clare’s situation with her mother. This seems nice. But then BCB says “why did I invest so much and not get anything in return?” Um… because buying a book does not entitle you to the woman of your choice? Beardy Canada Blake’s mistake was that the book he bought to understand Clare was the Daughter Owner’s Manual published by the Kazakhstan Ministry of Agriculture and Wildlife.
In keeping with cramming the entire back half of the season into an hour, we see Chris Harrison facetiming Neil Lane on the phone to procure a ring. Unsurprising discovery of the episode: Neil Lane answers the phone by saying “Whasssssup?” As we all know, in the Bachelorverse an engagement doesn’t count if there aren’t at least three total carats of diamonds involved. So Neil Lane better find a way to get a ring to the La Quinta Resort. The show is kind of leaning in to Chris Harrison as Clare’s father figure. He even shows up to strongarm Dale into proposing by reminding Dale that he and Clare love each other, and also informing Dale that all of his roommates got dumped earlier that day.
We get a short interlude of Clare working through some of her fear of rejection with her surrogate-father Chris Harrison. The show tried to create some suspense over whether Dale was going to get cold feet, but his reciprocation of Clare’s feelings was never really in doubt. It seems this is the same day that started in bed with Dale Moss and included dumping sixteen dudes, and apparently it will end with a proposal. Dale arrives to meet Clare, and we get a version of the final-rose ceremony that we know from previous seasons. Clare recaps her and Dale’s history, which is awkward because they’ve known each other for two weeks. She says “I am so in love with the
instagram account man that you are” and “you’ve shown me that you’ll never run away and you won’t leave me.” Dale’s answer is “yeah, it’s wild, right?” We learned in his brief tenure on the season that Dale is not a wordsmith. But he comes up with a passable proposal despite comically referencing “every phase of this” as if all relationships take place inside a resort bubble and involve “the phases” of two group dates and three cocktail parties and then a sleepover and a proposal. Dale tells Clare: “I thought a lot about my mother and what she would think about you. And she would absolutely love you. And all she wanted for me was someone who just loves me unconditionally and who would be there for me no matter what.”
They kiss, and Dale says “the best is yet to come and I’m not going anywhere.” Then he says “I’m gonna do it” before dropping to one knee to pop the question. You have to be happy for Clare and her gorgeous dummy of a fiancé. Clare approaches Dale hungrily the way I approach updates about the number of uncounted Bucks County mail-in ballots. Clare says “I waited a lotta years for this” as Dale puts the ring on her finger. It’s entirely possible that even Clare has forgotten that she got engaged on television to Benoit after Winter Games. Dale says “let’s do the damn thing” and presumably pays a royalty to Becca K. Then he carries a very pleased Clare away, having won the show in a record four episodes.
Weren’t there… some other dudes? Oh, right, we see some footage of the guys complaining about the free vacation and Covid tests that ABC gave them and I think the gist is “DON’T STOP THE COUNTING!!” Chris Harrison gives the guys the news that Clare accepted a proposal from Dale. This seems to hit Jason and Beardy Canada Blake pretty hard. To be fair to Beardy Canada Blake, he did already have a DM conversation with Clare before the season and spent at least 20 minutes with Clare during filming. So it’s entirely understandable how he’d fallen so hard.
The surprise to the guys (but presumably not to you, dear reader(s)), is that “the journey is not over.” They can all choose between going home and sticking around for a new lead (and another chance at
fame love). Jason asks about a timetable because he actually kind of had an emotional connection to Clare during their one-on-one therapy/date, and Chris Harrison said it was all going down that night. “Be dressed up tonight if you want to stay” is basically the ultimatum. Luckily these guys kind of like hanging out with each other and they are mostly here for the followers and/or something to do in quarantine, so no one immediately runs for the exits.
Also, they need to ready to go that night? Does this mean they had a replacement quarantining already? Pretty impressive, producers. The only guy who seems to consider bailing is Jason, who had a fairly emotional date with Clare where they wrote letters to themselves and broke some plates and burned a dress. Jason opened up to Clare and now he isn’t sure if he’s ready to move on to a second televised relationship. Well, after a little bit of a delay, Jason is still in. All sixteen of the guys chose being on TV over pretending to be sad about the TV girl that dumped them the day before.
Chris Harrison tells the guys that they will be meeting the new Bachelorette soon. Then he goes to retrieve the Backup–chelorette. Outside a limo pulls up and Tayshia Adams steps out. I think it is important to say that Victor and I don’t like to objectify people (Steve “snack-y” Kornacki being a notable exception) on this blog. Amy, on the other hand? She is not bound by that restriction and she said “Wow! Tayshia looks beautiful.”
Tune in next week for I guess the fourth episode of the season (Clayshia’s season?) and the first helmed by our girl Tayshia.