Clare… err… Tayshia Adams Episode… One? Five? Let’s Say Episode 1 – The Game Is The Game

We did it, folks! It didn’t really feel real, and in some ways it still doesn’t. But faced with a challenge to everything we believe about justice and the way the world should work, we pulled it out. Though it felt the odds were always in our favor, there were tough moments and, in the end, we were fighting to overcome our own doubts and our own ghosts. But the object of our support never wavered. After years that felt like decades, we came together and we – buoyed by a diverse group of supporting cast from all over the country – resoundingly… resoundingly… resoundingly… helped Clare Crawley get engaged. 

She has a ring and everything! It took four episodes. And because the show must go on, well, we are immediately moving on to intra-party conflicts Tayshia!

Tayshia Adams

Tayshia Adams was a contestant on Colton’s season, and if memory serves, she was the only member of that cast who was divorced. If not, well, she was married before she got involved with the show. They introduced her on Colton’s season as a “phlebotomist,” though it sounds like she is now working as an interior designer and also as an influencer. On Colton’s season, Tayshia was in the final three, and the only one of those three to have the fantasy-suite date before Colton jumped a fence in an effort to run away from his problems and possibly toward Cassie Randolph. This was the rare BachelorThis American Life crossover moment, and also not one we should dwell on because Colton ended up with Cassie and then they broke up and then Colton ended up in court for what appear to be troubling allegations of stalking leveled by Cassie. 

Tayshia was on the beach for the most recent Paradise season where she went on a date with Blake Horstmann before being involved with Derek Peth (recently engaged to someone named Saffron Vadher and formerly of JoJo’s season and Paradise where he got engaged to Taylor Nolan of Nick Viall’s season) and John Paul Jones (of Hannah B’s season). John Paul Jones and Tayshia dated briefly, which I guess means Derek lost out in that love triangle.

If you haven’t blogged about this franchise and your brain space is currently being occupied by the names of random counties in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona, nothing in the prior paragraph made sense to you – and that’s okay. You can go back to monitoring the returns from Maricopa County after reading this blog. John King says Maricopa county is Arizona, electorally. Steve Kornacki says it too. But like, sexy. And with calculators. 

Also, Tayshia is… not a white. Is that the right way to say it? She is the second Black woman to be the lead on the show after Rachel Lindsay, just narrowly edging Mike James, who will be the first Black Bachelor when his season finishes filming and airs early next year. 

Cocktail Party and Rose Ceremony

The men have a totally-not-awkward-and-artificial group convo about what they are looking for. They make some generally-positive comments about hoping it is someone who is looking for a real relationship or whatever. Then, in walks Tayshia, and they all turn into Liz Lemon around a doctor that smells like frosting:

Several of the guys go out of their way to tell the cameras how excited they are. Tayshia says “I couldn’t have imagined being here a week ago.” So… she didn’t have to quarantine for the full period? I mean, the math doesn’t add up! The cast was supposed to quarantine for fourteen days, your bubble has popped, Bachelorette.

Tayshia does a good job acknowledging the situation and then says she wants to “have a bomb summer.” Rest assured, I can’t pull off that toast. But somehow it works for Tayshia, and with that, she starts meeting these dudes. 

Tayshia sits down with chess-guy Ivan and Tayshia says he looks “good.” Ivan thinks Tayshia is “stunning.” Ivan tells Tayshia that “love can come from anyone… doesn’t matter race or age.” Weird thing to bring up, Ivan! Ivan tells Tayshia honestly that he probably would have been sent home soon by Clare, so he is quite excited about this change and also refreshingly honest about his prospects with her predecessor. 

Tayshia tells lawyer Riley that he looks “good” also. Riley says Tayshia “looks better.” I think Tayshia tells guys they “look good” the way I get pad thai the first time I go to a Thai restaurant. You can get a good baseline and I guess quickly weed out anyone who says “yeah, I do a lot of crossfit.” Also, Riley says he is a medical malpractice defense attorney who also does sports law and personal injury. That seems like an odd mix, but at least Riley can take months off without even access to his work email, so that’s cool.

In my notes for Riley, I wrote down here “Avon Barksdale is now an attorney, must’ve learned some tricks of the trade from Levy.” If you got that joke, you may be co-writing this blog. When asked what she’s doing now, Tayshia tells Avon that she’s in the beauty and lifestyle space. I guess for IG influencers, you can just talk about your social-media content in describing what you do. From now on, I will tell new people I meet that I’m in the political dad jokes space. Fortunately, it will be awhile before I meet anyone new. 

Jordan C tells Tayshia he was thinking of leaving on his own when Clare was there. Beardy Canada Blake expresses a lot of excitement and seems to downplay how into Clare he claimed to be, that will be awkward after he and Tayshia get engaged and watch the season together. Jason the football player is very excited about Tayshia but tells her that he had real feelings for Clare. That seems true! Brendan tells Tayshia that he is “the weirdo in the turtleneck” and makes a Steve Jobs reference. I would have also accepted an Elizabeth Holmes reference, since Brendan is also a fraud who is just copying Steve Jobs. 

Oh great, now I have TSwift stuck in my head for the next hour. 

I get it! Because the book is called Bad Blood. The movie about it is called Avengers: Infinity War.

Chris Harrison interrupts Brendan to tell Tayshia that she has Covid, shoulda done the full quarantine! No, that isn’t true. He is bringing her a present. And it is a limo full of more dudes who either weren’t good enough for Clare (and how long were they quarantining, Chris?). Nice that Tayshia gets the limo experience (albeit with only four guys). Also, the original sixteen Clare guys are unreasonably put off by these arrivals.

New Dudes

Spencer

Spencer’s bio says that he played some lacrosse. Of course he did! Also, it says he would like to run with the bulls in Spain. True story, I did that. Do not let high-school boys read Hemingway! 

Montel

Montel’s bio says nothing about lacrosse, but does say that he dreams of going to the Staples Center where the LA Lakers play to pay tribute to his favorite athlete. Was that now-deceased athlete credibly accused of rape? If you have read this blog, you already know the answer.

Peter

Peter is apparently quite Greek according to his bio, which refers to him as “a Greek Adonis,” notes he has a Greek family, says that he does Greek dancing, and has a dog named Hercules. Oddly his bio says he likes to “seize the day” but not “carpe diem” because Latin is for jerks.

Noah

Noah has a weird quarantine mustache, and the Clare guys said “oh, I’m not worried about him at all” when he stepped out of the limo. Funny. Noah seems like he’s a character in the Dean Unglert mold, or, as Tayshia says, “he’s gonna be trouble, I just know it.” Noah’s gimmick was to pull out a stethoscope to make Tayshia listen to his heart. Uh… she’s heard heartbeats before. Noah said “now you know where my heart is.” Cool, most people’s hearts are there on the left side of their chests. Oddly enough, former Timberwolves draft pick and all around moderately competent NBA player Randy Foye’s heart is on the other side of his body due to situs inversus. After he threw a ball out of bounds trying to make an outlet pass, you could say “well… his heart’s in the right place… figuratively.” Randy Foye jokes, that’s why you tune in!

You’ll be surprised to know that this wasn’t the first time I heard George making a Randy Foye joke. 

Zac C tells the camera that there is beef with the new dudes because the sixteen guys have a “sense of pride.” What is that pride for, exactly? Their shared unwillingness to have their girlfriend dump them all for someone outside the group? They have been together for a couple of weeks, during which time they were all dumped by the same girl for their now-departed roommate. But who am I to judge? I mean, once you’ve nude dodgeballed together, you have a bond…

Zac C gets some time with Tayshia, and he does a weird coin-tossing fountain-wish thing. Zac C kisses Tayshia’s coin, which is not good Covid protocol. Tayshia plays cornhole with Chasen (something she did with Colton on her first night), she talks to DeMar who is still on the show, and finds out that mustachioed Noah is one of eleven kids and one of two twins. Tayshia grabs Spencer and gives him the Dale Moss memorial first-impression rose. Tayshia says “you’re a person I want to keep around” which is not the strongest endorsement ever. Then she grabs Spencer’s head and kisses him and Spencer looks legitimately excited. So ends the cocktail party!

Tayshia says “I believe this is where the rose ceremony starts…” and then she up and cancels the rose ceremony so hard that JK Rowling and Steven Pinker signed an open letter protesting it. Everyone stays!

Clare and Dale

Before Tayshia can start dating all of these dudes, it looks like we are going to take a break for some Clare-and-Dale content. The question for them will be “did they talk before the show?” Since we know Clare talked to Beardy Canada Blake and since she and Dale are already engaged, I think we should say the stakes are quite low.

Chris Harrison asks Clare why she was nervous about the proposal. Clare does not say “because I had only known him for twelve days” but that is the answer. She says she was worried Dale wouldn’t “show up” because other guys have failed to “show up.” In fact, if you are playing some sort of drinking game involving the phrase “show up” you are dead now. Because Clare says it hundreds of times in a very earnest tone. Apparently Dale has already moved to Sacramento, and that is a pretty big ask! He “showed up” in Sacramento! Though I’m about to shovel snow, so maybe I can’t complain about California’s temperate capital and 143rd-best city. 

Chris Harrison says “Bachelor Nation doesn’t believe” that she found love so quickly, and many prefer the alternative theory that “they communicated beforehand.” Clare swears on her father’s grave again that no communication happened. She seems really concerned about people not believing her, which is odd. I think I might want people to think that I had more to go on than twelve days in a resort before I got engaged. But I guess that is the one difference between me and Clare. 

I’ll stick up for Clare here and say that if I were in her position, I would’ve had full Christopher Steele dossiers on every person that’s on my season. She had a four-month layoff and full access to these guys’ IG and social media handles thanks to Reality Steve. If she took the process seriously – and every sign suggests that she did – she should have absolutely created a ghost account, maybe named it Reinhold Niebuhr or something similar (Carlos Danger? Ron Mexico?) and followed everyone on her season. It’s entirely reasonable to think that, by the limo entrances, she would have narrowed it down to a handful of guys. Do I think she could have handled the other guys better – 100% – but I don’t think her zeroing on Dale was entirely unreasonable. Putting it in a way that you guys might understand, Clare spent the 4 months calibrating her needle, and when Dale stepped out of the limo, the needle flipped to 92% Dale and then steadily moved toward 100%. 

Pool Sports Group Date

We rejoin Tayshia, and find her in her suite journaling. I hope production had some time to clear the suite of Dale’s pants and gave Tayshia a journal that didn’t have 500 different versions of “Clare Moss” written on its pages. 

Chris Harrison brings the guys the card for the first group date of the season, because Let’s be honest, the Clare part of the season is the warm-up act (a good one to be sure, kinda like when I saw Kelly Clarkson open up for Maroon 5 once). The card summons Blake, Avon (Riley), Zac C, Jordan C, Noah, Peter, Kenny, Jay and Eazy for the date. The guys stroll over to the pool and see Yasmine Bleeth Tayshia emerge from the pool with the full Baywatch hair flip. After some basic shenanigans in the pool, Chris Harrison tells the guys they’re kicking it up a notch and playing some pool basketball in speedos. I guess the show isn’t quite done objectifying people after jockstrap dodgeball. Yosef smugly celebrates at home, then probably sends another dick pic to an unsuspecting victim

Spencer thinks he’s Bill Laimbeer in the pool and gets an advertent elbow from Riley/Avon for his antics (and the predictable attention from Tayshia when he starts bleeding). There’s not much to say about this game, except it ended with Kenny having a chance to tie the game from point blank range and Eazy somehow recovering from nowhere and blocking the shot – kinda like this:

First of all, I have a lot to say about this game. The final score was 3-2 but unless the game lasted a minute, I don’t understand how this many athletic guys couldn’t generate more offense (this was also my critique of the Randy-Foye-era Timberwolves). On the other hand, and I don’t say this to try to make you feel bad Victor, I went to a school somewhat known for its basketball prowess. Anyway, I think Riley’s foul was a flagrant 2 or a straight red card, not sure which disciplinary system they follow in water basketball. I mean, my understanding of water polo is that it can get pretty brutal, as supported by this wikipedia article and I guess that the bullies on the OC were water polo players. 

It didn’t really matter which team won because, as it turns out, all the winning team got was an extra burger and some hot dogs. Both teams joined Tayshia for the evening portion. Tayshia makes out with everyone, which includes Eazy, who thinks that this could be the start of a crazy love story, and Zac C, who gives Tayshia the impression that he’s a “real man.” 

Meanwhile, the other guys on the date are getting into it with each other. Kenny tells Spencer that he’s coming off like a dick, which Zac C and Riley quickly affirm. Spencer vaguely threatens Riley/Avon by telling Avon to let him know if Avon wants more. Avon stares straight forward and says “Spencer, if you want some with me, then let’s go.” And if Spencer is a reasonably smart guy, this is where he shuts up because you don’t want to be staring at the business end of a Brother Mouzone operation. 

Spencer went from active participant in smack talk to clamming up and trying to fade into the background like a dude walking out of an adult bookstore with an armload of porn realizing that he blundered into a nationally-televised press conference held at the landscaping business next door

In delivering the group date rose, Tayshia says something nice about half the guys there and then gives the group date rose to Eazy. 

Back at the house, Jason (former offensive lineman) is going through it. He got the first one-on-one date with Clare and is still deep in his feelings about the departed warm-up act. Deep down, he’s hoping for the transition to the second Clare Crawley season. Unlike Mike Pompeo, Lindsay Graham, Ted Cruz, and others, however, Jason realizes that Tayshia is the Bachelorette-elect and if he’s not on board, he’ll need to leave the 120-degree paradise that is Palm Springs in July. Jason tells the guys it’s not fair to Tayshia or the guys for him to still be here, and then delivers the same message to Tayshia. The message stirs up Tayshia’s fears that she could be some of the guys’ second choice, but Jason assures her that the 19 other guys in the house could not be more excited for her. We see Jason leave the premises, carrying the ashes from Clare’s burnt Juan Pablo dress. And if you have no idea what I just said – you’re a better person for it. 

Brandon One-on-one Date

The next day, Tayshia arrives on horseback, holding the reins of another horse, for her one-on-one with Brendan, someone I didn’t know was still on the show. Production decided the gag was that Brendan’s time with Tayshia on the first night was interrupted by Chris Harrison, so Brendan and Tayshia’s entirely unromantic horseback ride around the hotel grounds will be constantly interrupted by Chris Harrison, offering coconuts, ice cream, and frozen margaritas. We get it guys, Chris Harrison is here with nothing else to do, so we’re apparently getting 30 minutes of Chris Harrison every episode. The pair finally ditch Chris and get some good makeout time in the pool. 

At dinner, Brendan nervously tells Tayshia that he’s a divorcee from a high school relationship where they eventually fell out of love, punctuated by when his ex-wife decided that she didn’t want kids. This only deepens their connection as Tayshia shares her divorce, which resulted from infidelity (BUT NOT ON HER PART, Tayshia emphasizes). Brendan then asks Tayshia whether she wants kids, and Tayshia tells him that she wants five. When Brendan didn’t faint, it was good enough for Tayshia to give him the date rose.

Tayshia tells Brendan that she has a surprise for him. And I get my only disappointment this episode – when we find out that the surprise is some lame fireworks show and not Chris and Bri. 

Bring back Chris and Bri! Bring back Matt & Rudi! Bring back Julia and Sheridan! Bring Bachelor LTYH Back! Build it Back Better!!!

 

 

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