Hey friends! It is us, your weekly reminder that time is still marching on. Last week ended on a group date where there was wrestling and the loser was Ben, a guy who developed a dumb plan to be the last one to talk to Tayshia. Turns out he waited too long and didn’t get to talk to Tayshia at all. Also mustache-guy shaved his mustache and got the rose.
Listen To Your Heart Cross-promotion Music Group Date
Chris Harrison shows up to tell all of the guys who were not on the wrestling date that they will be writing an original love song to perform for Tayshia. These guys, in case you are not updating your scorecards at home, are Bennett (Harvard Fuck), Ivan (Tagalog Speaker), Beardy Canada Blake, Riley (Avon Barksdale), DeMar (Spin Instructor), Kenny (Boy-Band Manager), and Zac C (Addiction Counselor/McConnaughey). If you are thinking, “hey, was there a Bachelor show about music or something?” you are correct, it was called The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart and Chris Harrison remembers it too because he says “whoever speaks to her heart the most is going to get that truly intimate one-on-one time with her.” Seems like he is over-promising there.
He is indeed overpromising – I fully expected another appearance from Chris and Bri to help the guys write the songs. Please do not tell me that you had them quarantine a week just to serenade Clare and Dale for five minutes. Say it ain’t so, Chris!
The guys are presented with some notepads and a selection of instruments and no coaching from anyone in the extended Bachelor-verse. I’m not a musician myself, but I saw a ukelele, a fiddle, some sort of woodwind, a tambourine, an accordion, a trumpet, a mini xylophone, a bunch of reeds tied together, and a box with a hole in it. Oh, I think there were bongos. We see Beardy Canada Blake say “I don’t know where to start,” followed by Zac C trading his self respect for screen time by answering “listen to your heart.”
JoJo and Becca K both had group dates designed to show off the prowess of a football player (Jordan Rodgers for JoJo and Clay Harbor for Becca K). On Hannah Brown’s season, future winner and then-secret scumbag Jed was billed as a musician (though “exotic dancer” or dog food jingle singer was also accurate) and dominated a talent show. I promise you will not regret the 16 seconds you spend watching this clip – his music genius puts Adele to shame – I’ll be your Mr. Riiiight girl! It seems this date is not designed to make anyone look good, unless Kenny picked up some skills managing boy bands.
Zac C performs first and it sets a low bar. His instrument was banging on a box, but Kenny admitted to the camera that he was impressed because Zac C “rhymed the words.”
Kenny probably failed to clear this low bar with what appears to have been a pretty mediocre acrostic for “Tayshia” that he halfheartedly sang. We only heard the first two lines, but they were: “You put the ‘T’ in my heart; you put the ‘A’ in let’s start something.” Technically there is “T” in “my heart” and an “A” in “let’s start something” but those are common letters and Kenny had a lot of time to write this song.
Beardy Canada Blake went for the accordion and the ukelele and he doesn’t play either of them well at all.
Riley kinda-sorta spoke his song. It is a genre I would describe as “sexy closing argument.” I’m very familiar with this brand of argument – it’s why I take my shirt off before all of my arguments in court.
Bennett warned us that he was not a musician but that he “spit some flow with his high-school friends on some retreats.” Do high-school kids go on retreats? Did he go to high school at McKinsey? Bennett rapping was an experience. He opened with a line about Tayshia not needing a Harvard degree, and I think that might not be the way to go. I assume the un-shown verses were about him not knowing how to spell or do simple math last week.
Ivan also rapped, and also was not very good. But Ivan was earnest and he brought Tayshia over to him so he could rap while close to her. You could tell he was quite uncomfortable but trying his best.
DeMar is the answer to the question “which of these dudes is the least-bad at this?” He played the guitar like a guy who has played the guitar at least once before. He sang a song he wrote called “Mocha Latte” and that’s a bit on the nose with biracial Tayshia, and a bit uncomfortable in the way that the Dairy Queen moo-latte was uncomfortable. It was an overall solid performance, my own oversensitivity notwithstanding, and included the lines “I was put here to brighten up your day; grown man no J-P-J.” Apparently Demar has watched the show before because he referenced Tayshia’s Paradise fling with John Paul Jones, though how can you say this is not a grown man?
Tayshia gives the date rose and one-on-one time to Ivan, and this was very disappointing to DeMar. Don’t worry Demar – you not getting the date does not reflect on your musical prowess – Tayshia just likes Ivan more. Though, if I were you, I wouldn’t be wasting my time sending my audition tape to The Voice either.
Ivan One-on-one Time
This prize is, uh, hanging out in Tayshia’s suite. Tayshia tells Ivan that they will “order room service and play some games” and you can see that Ivan would spend the rest of his life on this date if he could. He loves games and presumably needs food to live. Tayshia tells Ivan that to order room service she needs the phone, and the phone is in her room. “Oh!” she says playfully, “the floor is lava!” Tayshia and Ivan manage to get to the bedroom without touching the floor. While there, Tayshia hits Ivan with a suspiciously pre-cut pillow, dumping feathers all over everything. They also play some Twister and Tayshia demonstrates a real acumen for bocce ball before they settle in to eat a gigantic melting sundae. Tayshia would definitely be the best babysitter of all time.
At this point, Ivan is hoping that his parents never come home.
Over dinner, Ivan and Tayshia compare skin tones and talk a bit about race. Tayshia says she has quite a few Filipino friends but that none of them are… “half black?” Ivan correctly guesses. Ivan and Tayshia seem to disagree about how common this mix is in California, but it’s fair to say that Ivan has probably been noticing it more than she has leading up to this date.
They talk a bit about their families and discover that Ivan’s father was 45 when Ivan was born and Tayshia’s father is not yet 50. Also they both like their moms. What are the odds?!? Ivan also opens up about his younger brother. Growing up, Ivan avoided drugs and alcohol to try to set a good example for his brother, but when Ivan left for college Ivan’s younger brother got into all of those things and presumably worse things too. Ivan’s brother went to prison for four years, and right before Ivan’s brother went to prison he had a baby, and Ivan’s niece was not able to physically touch her father for the first two years of her life. Ivan and Tayshia and possibly me cry a little bit about this.
Ivan also says the name “George Floyd” in the context of his brother’s prison experience. Ivan admits that his first thought when his brother mentioned being beaten by the guards in prison was to question what his brother had done to deserve it, but after the George Floyd video Ivan realized that it didn’t matter what his brother did. Ivan says “No matter what George Floyd did, or what my brother did, these people have a job to do and they need to do it right.”
I can already tell that I will be very interested in our resident Bachelor-historian Victor’s take on this. I’m more interested in what MAGArrett Kushner’s reaction is to this. This has been my hill to die on for this show since we started blogging – people need to talk about REAL SH!T on this show before they get engaged, and the show needs to give these conversations room to breathe.
Tonight, they did both.
Ivan asks Tayshia about her response to 2020 with Covid and George Floyd and Tayshia says it is “a lot… and it is just overwhelming” before starting to cry. I don’t want to read too much into the televised conversation of people I don’t know, but it seems as if Tayshia is struggling not just with how she feels, but about what she can say about it on a TV show when her income is now derived from sponsored posts on the socials. She told Ivan: “Being in Orange County surrounded by a lot of people that don’t look like me…. I’m realizing that I’ve been trying so hard my whole life to blend in… and hearing people yell ‘Black Lives Matter’ hit me so hard because those are people who I’ve been trying to prove I’m like them.” Ivan was very supportive of Tayshia during this difficult conversation and said that he was also really inspired by how many people came together to call for justice.
On the one hand, this is probably the version of this conversation that we are going to get when the people having it are on ABC and see their financial futures tied up in their viability as sponsors of content. On the other hand, this conversation wouldn’t have happened at all before this year. Unless I am forgetting something, we never heard the names Michael Brown, Philando Castile, or Eric Garner on this show.
Forget the names of Black men that were killed by police, this show has avoided substantive discussion of systemic racism, or sexism, or any remotely political issues like the plague since its creation. For a show whose larger context is a metaphor for systemic racism and sexism, this dialogue between Ivan and Tayshia is, in no uncertain terms, a giant leap into something remotely “controversial.”
Even if these two people didn’t engage in (or ABC chose not to show) a more in-depth conversation about how systemic racism has impacted their lives, what we saw and heard was that these two conventionally attractive people from apparently middle-class families finally felt somewhat humanized by the Black Lives Matter conversations this summer. Think about it. Even at the most superficial level of discussion, the ABC audience learned that, for many, the Black existence in the US never felt fully human. Even though the conversations didn’t get into the “Whys” (I have several book recommendations on this score), that almost doesn’t matter. The heaviness of that message, drawn out through a lengthy unedited sequence, will hopefully strike a chord with those still hanging out with the “All Lives Matter” crowd – cough, MAGArrett, cough, Victoria F.
Ivan confides his experience being called the N-word in walking around his college. Stephanie thinks he probably went to a college in the South; I responded that it could literally be any college in America. I looked it up – and Ivan went to Texas Tech. Stephanie is right again. And no, I’m not surprised.
Tayshia and Ivan are both totally basking in this experience, I suspect that Ivan will probably show this clip to his grandkids even if he doesn’t marry Tayshia. Tayshia gives Ivan the rose and they end the night watching a slideshow of Tayshia’s baby pictures. I mean, I guess that’s better than watching Juan Pablo’s soccer highlights?
Truth-or-dare Group Date
Sydney Lotuaco (Bachelor [Colton] and BIP) and former Bachelorette lead Becca Kufrin are here to help Tayshia plan the next group date. And since they’re both single, I’m sure that they have motives other than planning the best date for Tayshia.
Zac C, Kenny, DeMar, Bennett, Riley, and Beardy Canada Blake are on this date, promoted on the date card as “how far are you willing to go for love?” And apparently, it’s a truth-or-dare date, but not really, because it’s Truth AND Dare. The guys will be doing all the dares in the day portion, and all the truths in the night time portion. Given how sweaty the guys got during the dares, I bet they’d have been okay switching that up. It is super duper hot at this resort.
Becca and Sydney split up the guys into teams of two (Bennett & DeMar, Riley & Zac, and Beardy Blake and Kenny). There are three total dares that all the teams have to do, involving drinking smoothies of questionable origin, getting Chris Harrison to interrupt his poolside lunch of crab legs and champagne to autograph your butt, and, the most entertaining of all, simulating an orgasm for a minute into a phone that will be broadcast around the entire resort. And that’s when I’m certain that there’s no one on this resort other than Bachelor production – because those TripAdvisor reviews would be quite the read!
While most of the guys put some passable effort into the When Harry Met Sally reenactments, it’s Beardy Blake that really gets his entire body into it, literally. He straddles the phone and pantomimes the entire act. Though I have very little idea of what girls like, it seems that Becca K and Sydney both share my assessment that I would not want to have sex with Blake.
To close out the dares, Sydney and Becca invite the men to eat habanero peppers and then profess their feelings to Tayshia. In addition to feeding the men the pepper, both girls will protect Tayshia from involuntary vomiting. I’m just glad that none of the men actually upchucked because between this, MAGArrett, and the Arie split screen breakup, this series hasn’t done Becca too many favors. Though, for someone whose Twitter background was “Biden My Time” three years ago, I’m glad that Becca’s time has finally arrived.
The only memorable profession of feelings came from Bennett, who I think actually proposed to Tayshia while on bended knee. I almost rewound my recording to see if it would count as an actual proposal, but then I realized that Bennett’s entire appearance on this show is an elaborate joke so nothing actually counts.
The evening portion of the truth-or-dare date is about truths. As Victor noted, this is not really how the game works. Take it from me, a guy who was never invited to play the game. Bennett gets some time with Tayshia, and talks about how good he felt about the habanero proposal. We also find out that Bennett had proposed before, though he did not get married. Bennett struggles to talk about it, and it is not made entirely clear what happened in his first engagement.
Beardy Canada Blake and Riley have good conversations with Tayshia. Kenny has a less-good conversation but not a bad one. DeMar says his “worst fear” is getting divorced, because his mother was divorced twice. Uh… Tayshia was divorced too, ya dummy.
It wouldn’t be a season of the Bachelorette if there was no hot tubbing, and Zac C and Tayshia get into a hot tub together. Zac C says he is looking for a rock in his relationship and he seems to think Tayshia will be that rock. They also make out a lot in the hot tub.
After they dry off and I guess Zac C puts his shirt back on, Tayshia picks up the group-date rose and gives some affirmation to Zac C and Bennett and Beardy Canada Blake before giving Zac C the date rose. I don’t hate the new thing where the lead declares a top three for each group date before selecting a winner. Well, the guys who didn’t even get named in the nomination speech probably hate this new thing.
The local station’s weather update on the thunderstorm rolling through the area interrupted my viewing until after the group date. I will link separately my blog about how “Pete from home” reviewed the weather maps at the station and told the camera that he couldn’t tell whether a band of weather is a tornado or a “debris cluster.” Spoiler alert, his tornado warning did not do much for us watching this weather update on a 45-minute delay.
Thankful that no tornado came by the house, no thanks to the delayed warning from “Pete from home,” my breathing calmed in time to see Ivan and Brandon sitting around talking about what Ben might be doing. Since the guys have nothing to do except to over-analyze their interactions with Tayshia, Ben has convinced himself that he will need to go see Tayshia since he missed his opportunity at the last group date. For some reason, Ed, the “star” of the last episode, is thinking the same thing – but Ed is confusing Tayshia being nice enough to hear his complaints about Chasen with Tayshia actually being interested in him.
We get back-and-forth clips of both Ben and Ed getting ready to stop by Tayshia’s room for a heart to heart. Ed knocks on the door first, and the door opens … and it’s Chris Harrison. I spat out my sake at the marvelous troll job of Ed. Chris wonders why Ed is at his door at 2:30 in the morning – and Ed ACTUALLY ASKS TO SEE TAYSHIA! Ed, why would Chris Harrison be in Tayshia’s room at 2:30 in the morning!! What would Lauren Zima think of that! Chris tells Ed that Tayshia’s room is at the other end of the resort and invites Ed for a drink. I mean, if I were Ed, I would be thrilled to get some drinks with Chris – it’s not like you’re going to get to do SponCon with Tayshia after the show. Chop it up with Chris! Talk some sports; pick his brain on the show; get some gossip. Don’t waste your time.
Ben, of course, was directed to Tayshia’s actual room by the producers. Ben tells Tayshia that he’s there to make up for his mistake from the last group date. It’s a long conversation that can be recapped as follows:
Ben: sorry I wasn’t more bold with asking for your time.
Tayshia: Thanks for showing up.
Ben reaffirms to Tayshia that he will always show up. I guess Tayshia and Clare checked out the same books from the Bachelorette library about what they want from a guy. I suspect, however, that Dale and Ben’s looks have something to do with how they are received after showing up. I can tell you from my college experience that just showing up carrying a boombox over my head wasn’t quite enough.
Cocktail Party and Rose Ceremony
The drama heading into the cocktail party seems to revolve around Noah feeling attacked or singled out by the other men over his crashing of the wrestling date and receipt of the group-date rose. Going into the party it doesn’t seem like Noah has quite earned this ire, but he does seem kind of annoying. Also, a bunch of dudes quarantined in a resort with nothing to do but date the same girl and occasionally wrestle might start to overreact to things.
But then Noah sits down with Tayshia and tells her that he knew he was going to get heat when he jumped the fence to wrestle, but that “it’s been implied that you give me the rose just to shake things up.” Noah attributed some statements “to the guys” that we haven’t seen, and the implication was that they were criticizing Tayshia and not Noah. It isn’t clear what Noah was trying to accomplish, but it seems to have worked too well.
I’m just glad that Noah didn’t tell Tayshia that Hugo Chavez also questioned her integrity.
Tayshia called all of the guys together and told them that she is not giving out roses to spark drama. Since the guys weren’t privy to her conversation with Noah, they seemed mostly confused. Tayshia said she was very intentional and also that the guys need to grow up and if they are going to question her she will walk them outside. I assume she meant to send them home, but if she was going to give them a thrashing that would be pretty badass. Then Tayshia walked out of the room saying “I’ll see you guys at the rose ceremony.” What followed was a very protracted investigation of who murdered the cocktail party that took about 30 seconds before Noah admitted that Tayshia’s warning was based on what he told her. While Noah tried to justify his decision to undermine the rest of the guys based upon statements none of them remember making or hearing, Bennett cuts him off with “can you imagine having an argument with a fourteen-year-old? Because that is how I feel.” Tune in next week for Noah kissing Tayshia and then saying “Bennett thinks you are a pedophile for kissing a fourteen-year-old.”
Already with roses are:
1. mustache-less Noah
2. Tagalog-speaking Ivan, and
3. addiction counselor Zac C
In order, the rest of the roses go to:
4. Ben (army guy who found Tayshia’s room)
5. Eazy (former WR and current narrator)
6. Riley (corny lawyer)
7. Brendan (divorcee)
8. Bennett (Harvard fuck)
9. Beardy Canada Blake (bearded Canadian)
10. DeMar (performer of the hit single Mocha Latte)
11. Spencer (the new guy who hasn’t spoken since he got the first-impression rose)
12. and the last rose goes to Ed (the guy who proves that Tayshia is giving a few roses to spark drama in the house despite her assertion to the contrary)
Going home are boy-band manager Kenny, Korean doctor Joe, Jordan C, and Chasen (our villain-of-the-week last week who is no longer needed now that Noah has stepped into the role). Noah tells the camera that he doesn’t think he did anything wrong and doesn’t want to be the villain, but that he isn’t going to change and he plans to take it up a notch. That is how a villain would react! That’s like saying you don’t want to be the villain and then cackling maniacally while trying to kill James Bond with a laser.