The way the Bachelor edit cookie crumbles isn’t always fair, and sometimes it isn’t even remotely representative of reality. As viewers, we can only chalk a connection up to the interactions we’re shown; with no intro video, no limo exit, and no interactions or conversations, how can we not assume it’s because there was nothing to see? This is why watching both Adam and Matt stick around through two Rose Ceremonies over guys whose names I didn’t have to double-check is frustrating. Obviously the show isn’t meant to be analyzed in the sport-like way that I —and many of my lovely readers!—treat it, but it’s like betting on a horse when you only know the stats for a couple of them. Alex has gotten his fair share of airtime, and Anthony is one of the few to have received a 1-on-1 (although at the time I did call it a bit of a throwaway)—I can’t have been the only one to feel duped.
I also can’t be the only one to feel a bit bad for Will. He clearly didn’t make the moves necessary, especially with a Bachelorette who has been very upfront (and, in my opinion, justified) about wanting to be pursued, made to feel wanted, even “wooed.” But what I feel bad about is how the focal point of Will’s 1-on-1 became his history with mainly dating white women. Had we gotten a complete picture of Will as a person, this might’ve been less of a shame. And it’s not like he hasn’t dated Black women, just not as seriously. I thought it was interesting—not right or wrong—how this was such a point of interest among the men in the house. Eric’s insistence that it mattered because Will was also Black was fascinating to me; I don’t disagree, but I also don’t think I have a place to.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve almost never dated someone my exact “race.” I’ve dated men of all ethnicities, but because half-Asian is pretty rare, I’ve only ever come across one “Hapa“—or “halfie” as I like to call us—who I viewed romantically. (For the record, he is now married to a white woman.) Granted, in a city full of tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed women, when I’ve found out that a guy I’m interested in has dated Asian women in the past, I have to admit that it made me feel like I could be a contender based on that information alone. And, I have to admit that if I found myself attracted to an Asian man who had only ever been interested in white women, I’d feel a little weird about it. In the early stages at least, perhaps I’d worry I wasn’t his type. Obviously there are so many subtle ins and outs leading to that “X-factor”—to use Rachel’s perfect expression—but it’s a simple truth that not everyone is going to be everyone’s cup of tea. And for the sake of Will’s real-life aftermath to this experience, I wish that hadn’t been the major takeaway of his otherwise spotless time from the show (the way he dealt with Lee was ace). Because, at the end of the day, it was Will’s lack of action that did him in (this early, anyway), not his dating history.
My Top 4 based on last night’s episode are…
1. Bryan, 37: Notice how we’re always shown Rachel’s 1-on-1 time with Bryan, no matter how brief or non-developmental it is? Monday night’s 1-on-1 showed their connection is about as convincing as they come on this show. Most importantly, the fact that Rachel’s both skeptical and, to use her word, pessimistic, and she’s still this into Bryan means she’s really excited about him. Best of all, I feel it’s 100 percent reciprocated. I’m gung-ho about this pair.
2. Peter, 31: Yes, Peter’s time is always shown as well, and he did receive this week’s Group Date rose. But speaking of reciprocation, I’m sorry to say I felt it less from Peter last night. Yes, he’s an obvious frontrunner, but I reeeeally disliked that Rachel had to ask him to kiss her, and then he didn’t even lean down to her—she’s the one who sat up to kiss HIM. This short, seemingly inconsequential moment made me frown and worry for the first time that maybe those of you who’ve been tweeting and writing me are right: maybe Peter isn’t as into her. Or maybe he’s just not as proactive about showing it. I can still be convinced of the latter.
3. Dean, 26: Nothing to say here that I didn’t say last week. No developments, but Dean’s still doing as well as anyone. For a 12-year-old, anyway 🙂
4. Eric, 29: I said two weeks ago that I felt I’d underestimated Eric and Rachel’s connection, and I definitely feel that way more than ever now. A few weeks ago I started to clue in to how comfortable she is with him and how there’s always a touchy-feely-ness that there isn’t with many other guys. However, this was the first time I really noticed how much Rachel laughs with Eric. Like, it’s a constant (and adorable) laugh track. They are a couple of cute goofballs together and their Copenhagen 1-on-1 really highlighted that (especially the amusement park part). As Caila and I agreed in today’s The Morning After video, however, I still feel like I’m getting a tad more fun friendship than romantic passion. That said, it’s hard to see Eric not getting a Hometown at this point. He’s officially the underdog for me this season.