Ahh, the Tell All episode. Men Tell All is to a season of The Bachelorette as a cold beer is to a hot day. The hot day alone is perfectly pleasant, but something about an ice cold beer makes that hot day that. much. better. Did anyone else notice how dignified and generally Canadian this episode felt? Sure, there was a bit of semi-forced conflict (they were really milking the remaining shreds of that Drew versus Chris saga) but on the whole there was a refreshing lack of Bachelor In Paradise auditions from contestants whose names you can’t remember.
It’s now tradition that my Tell All recap singles out my top three most memorable people and/or moments, and since it ain’t broke…
3. We Hardly Knew Thee
Possibly my favourite thing about Men Tell All is the guys’ opportunity—and how they choose to use that opportunity—to show their true, less-edited selves. My one true LOL of the episode came after the discussion of whether or not David had gone on the show to promote his music, and Kyle said, “So here’s a song he wrote as an apology.” That one line spoke so much about Kyle’s sense of humour and made me a bit sad that this was the first and last glimpse we got of it.
Another great moment was Seth’s opportunity to explain his and Jasmine’s terrible first kiss: “I was nervous, honestly I didn’t feel like I had that kind of relationship with her at that point, normally I would wait longer to kiss someone but I felt pressure to do it, and that’s just kinda what you saw on TV.” These words are almost verbatim what I would have said had I been given the chance to defend my (awful) first TV kiss. Though Seth may have left a sour taste in my mouth when he departed in Episode 2, he seized this MTA opportunity like a pro and defended himself swiftly and concisely, showing his good sense.
2. The Inventor versus The Salesman
Based on the audience’s regular “aww”s and sympathetic hand-to-heart gestures, I gather the popular opinion is that Chris is a gallant gentleman who will be remembered for protecting Jasmine (“when nobody else did”). He was the alleged hero in the behind-the-scenes story about Drew eating the crew’s food. But while I generally agree with his sentiments, I can’t fully get on board with the way Chris goes about righting wrongs. There’s a difference between being someone’s brave defender and being a bit of a righteous goody-two-shoes, and I can’t help but find Chris hovering somewhere between the two categories.
There are tons of inconveniences and uncomfortable situations for contestants during filming, including but not limited to being very hungry and not yet allowed to eat, having to pee REAL BAD but not being allowed to because there’s no handler to take you, being abruptly awoken with a camera in your face after being kept up late for an ITM, and my personal least favourite, being cold for hours on end and not allowed to wear a jacket. I’m the first to admit that these are all very first world problems, but trust me when I say that day in and day out, they can become very trying. I’m not defending Drew’s reaction to the crew’s food situation because it sounds like it was way out of line, and in general Drew has proven to be a total arrogant prick with anger management issues. But my point is it’s possible for one moment in a long list of shituations (yes, shituations) to be the straw to break the camel’s back.
I recall being a miserable bitch towards the end of one very long Rose Ceremony night; it was a seemingly never-ending cocktail party, wrought with tension between two other girls in the house and the entire evening revolved around capturing said tension on camera. We were freezing cold but not allowed to wear our jackets, and though we were given blankets, we weren’t allowed to huddle in them or wrap them around ourselves. I already had a rose, so though I didn’t have the usual Rose Ceremony stress to grapple with, I also didn’t get 1-on-1 time with the Bachelor to focus on as a distraction. This went on for several hours, and combined with weeks of similar circumstances, by the end of the night my face was pretty much a “Don’t Even Think About Talking To Me” sign. I was beyond over it. And I can say with sincerity that if another woman in the house—a peer in this bizarre world—decided to get on her high horse and tell me how to behave, I likely would have lost my shit on her. Now, the obvious major difference is that I wasn’t mistreating anyone, but my point is that, as Drew’s peer, in the case of Drew & The Crew’s Food, it wasn’t Chris’ battle to pick. A crew member or a producer could step in and tell Drew to stop being a dick, but sometimes a finger wag from your hierarchical equal is the worst, most irritating thing in the world. It wasn’t Chris’ battle to pick in “warning” Jasmine about Drew either; I firmly believe that tattling to the lead about a villain in the house is a no-no, and if your own connection is rock solid, unnecessary.
Now, I love Chris’ different-ness and the fact that representing the quirky folks is his MO (as a fellow different, quirky person, I appreciate this). But that is a separate thing from his being a holier-than-thou do-gooder. Chris also, in his complaints about being bullied for being different, showed signs of perhaps why he wasn’t popular. He mentioned more than once that he had never heard protein shakes discussed so much in his life, which unto itself is funny, but it also speaks volumes about his obviously judgmental opinion about the guys who discussed said protein shakes. This reminds me of Ben’s season, when Olivia, in defending herself to Ben, said that the girls only talked about their nails and hair. Sometimes one’s defense shows precisely why they were on the receiving end of such vitriol in the first place.
1. Mike, In Retrospect
I genu-winely enjoyed Mike’s entire MTA showing. It was a bit like the pot of gold at the end of his Bachelorette rainbow. The headline reads: Seemingly perfect match for Jasmine has insanely strong start, loses his way when he proves incapable of expressing feelings, learns from watching himself on TV, becomes able to tell Jasmine that though he was in love with her, he still loves her.
I was a tad surprised that, when pressed by host Noah Cappe, Mike seemed to believe that if he’d done and said things differently, things might have gone differently. You’ve heard me on my soapbox here, saying the lead will choose whom the lead chooses. I’m certain whether or not Mike had been more expressive, the results would have remained the same (Jasmine confirmed this herself). That said, the Mike-Jasmine story culminating in a truly beautiful friendship was a satisfying and justice-done TV arc.
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