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I’m going to start with the good. I’ve got to say, aside from the obvious bad apple in the bunch, I actually really like the guys this season. Oftentimes, it’s easy to be indifferent to the many of the Bachelorette contestants, but a number of Hannah’s men seem reasonable, cool and normal. Many of them break the typical personal trainer mould. I’m not knocking the profession, but there is an inordinate number of personal trainers on Bachelorette seasons—all of whom look like they could be brothers.
The men this season openly admit to and embrace being friends with each other, are ultra respectful of each other when it comes to Hannah, even defending each other (several of them, especially Garrett, jumped to Luke S.’ defense in the Battle Of The Lukes). Even Jed, the season’s requisite musician who performed for Hannah during his first conversation with her (something normally eye-roll inducing for its predictability and Wrong Reasons stench), admitted last night to having first come for the exposure, only to have developed real feelings for Hannah. This type of frankness (whether or not producer-suggested) is unprecedented for this show and only makes me take him 10 times more seriously than the guy who vehemently denies any and all accusations. (In fact, I’d argue it was a brilliant move because it nips his impending criticism in the bud; he has beat all his naysayers to the punch.) Best of all, as I touched on last week, Hannah’s crop of men all seem to being “catching feels” (Hannah’s apt expression) for her, making me think the final few episodes of this season will be very intense and therefore very good television. I even have a TV crush on one guy (Tyler), which is something I very rarely say, but which I think is notable because the cast should be relatable—and relatable means you can see the appeal of the candidates. After all, it’s hard to get fully invested when I don’t see what a Bachelorette sees in any of her final few men. I don’t often take much notice of casting but this is a particularly well-cast season.
As for Luke P., things were taken to a whole new level last night when they got physical, something I always have to give side-eye. Let’s be real: Bachelor contracts are hyper stringent when it comes to physical violence. The gist is, you touch anyone, you’re gone. Therefore, it’s ironic to me that the show repeatedly puts its contestants in violent (and sometimes dangerous) situations season after season. There’s faux concern over injuries, but don’t be fooled: encounters like Luke P.’s (scary) takedown of Luke S. are a goal, not a side effect.
It’s difficult to talk about Luke P. without repeating myself. The guy is a textbook narcissist: In the short weeks we’ve known him, he’s shown a distinct pattern of lacking empathy or consideration for others, of needing admiration and attention, of being incapable of admitting fault or taking responsibility. In some ways—though I know the filming experience hardy reflects real life—it seems incredible that he made it this far in life lacking this much self-awareness. He’s one of those people you’re happy to watch but aren’t interested in knowing personally. The word “psychopath” is pretty serious and it’s not something I think anyone should go around casually calling others. However, when Luke P. held up the definition for the camera and declared it to be the opposite of him, I confess I found myself disagreeing…
What a fall from grace. The guy got the First Impression Rose and making it very far this season was his opportunity to lose. All he had to do was be normal and he’d have been the one to beat. Though Hannah said last night that her feelings for Luke P. are still strong, this relationship is over. All of his time these past two weeks has been spent with Hannah needing to speak to him like a child, slowly and deliberately, demanding explanations from him or telling him how to behave. The romance and chemistry—the only things he had in his corner—are gone.
My frontrunners this week are as follows:
1. Peter, 27
Peter is the only guy last night who had both his Group Date and Rose Ceremony time shown, complete with zoomed-in makeout sessions. It’s at the point where Peter is such an obvious frontrunner that I almost feel like he may not win because of it. While what we’re being shown certainly does a great love story justice, it almost feels too obvious, making me wonder if a dark horse ends up swooping in. At any rate, with the airtime we’ve been getting, it’s safe to assume Peter is at the very least in final two (maaaybe three). A 1-on-1 is coming any day now for him…
2. Jed, 25
It takes balls to admit what Jed admitted last night, and while it was a risk (and I know some won’t agree with me), I personally think it paid off. I’ve always said anyone would be crazy to come on this show 100% for “love,” and as weird as it sounds, I would argue that it’s more noble to seek exposure as a singer/songwriter than as a wannabe Sugar Bear Hair-touting influencer. At any rate, by admitting this truth, it only further legitimized his intentions and relationship with Hannah; if he felt nothing for her and was there solely for his career, he would never have made this confession. Jed got the third 1-on-1 date of the season and the theme of the day was how natural and effortless things are together. The main thing keeping Jed in second here is the fact that no conversation from their Night One 1-on-1 time was shown, but other than that, he is a MAJOR frontrunner.
3. Tyler C., 25
Gosh, I just love Tyler C. He is a chameleon, able to deftly transition from flirtatious banter to playing the role of supportive boyfriend and good listener. I really enjoy watching Tyler C. watch Hannah; as they said on Episode 2, he is “locked in.” Beyond listening to her, you feel like he’s seeing her. I liked that Hannah admitted to initially seeing him as the playboy type; I saw that as well and love that it was addressed because it gave him the opportunity to show more facets of himself and his reasons for being there. Tyler C. is my personal favourite, but like Jed, we didn’t get much Night One time with him and Hannah, which has me doubting he’ll be the last man standing. I’d love to be proven wrong.
4. Connor S., 24
Not much development on the Connor S. front. While Peter had both his Group Date and Rose Ceremony 1-on-1 time shown, Connor S. had none this week, dropping him a bit down my list. It’s typical for someone to fall back in the airtime shadows after their 1-on-1, but to have none shown makes me slightly less confident he’ll make it to the very end. His 1-on-1 from last week is still fresh on my mind, however, and he’s definitely one to watch.