‘The Bachelorette’ & the Leftovers: Free At Last

Have you ever talked yourself into something? Like you aren’t sold on something and instead of dipping out, you really give it a shot? Or at least you pretend you do. You really do. But you know it’s not great and eventually, the charade ends and you move on.

That’s how I felt about the Clare portion of The Bachelorette. I wasn’t sold but because it was The Bachelorette and because everything in the world is a mess right now, I was on board with Clare’s run on the show. Why the hell not, am I right?

Now I do think part of my willingness to embrace this season was knowing that it would be short-lived. She was going to bail and because of that, I didn’t necessarily need to. I could wait it out.

Last night proved that the wait was worth it. Clare is gone, off to frolic, and get photographed getting coffee with her beau Dale. In her place is Tayshia. Thank, God. Tayshia is literally everything Clare wasn’t as The Bachelorette. Tayshia is personable, genuinely interested in the dudes, and her energy is infectious. She kind of lights up the screen and I don’t use that phrase lightly. She reminds me of Hannah Brown in that you could give both of them a morning show and they’d kill it. I was also reminded of Hannah when Tayshia walked in and all the dudes’ jaws dropped. They were legitimately taken aback by her, which is something that happened when Hannah’s guys were meeting her. We know these people are good looking but there’s a difference between TV good-looking and real-life good-looking. It quickly became clear that Tayshia is both TV gorgeous and real-life gorgeous.

So now it’s all systems go for this season of The Bachelorette. The Clare & Dale show is a thing of the past. And hey, so is that dude, I think his name is Jason. You know, the fella who was an offensive lineman in the NFL and the CFL and because he shared a lot with Clare, he apparently fell in love with her and because of that, wasn’t ready to move on to Tayshia. This doesn’t make a lot of sense but we should remember that very little makes sense in Bachelor Nation so let’s not dwell on it. Happy trails, sir.

Out goes Jason but in comes four news dudes, three of which were instantly forgettable but one of whom became public enemy number one: Spencer from So Cal. I know one Spencer who is a good dude but by in large, that Spencer is a rarity in the Spencer community. For the most part, Spencers are tough hangs and New Spencer seems to fall in this category.

Or maybe he doesn’t. I don’t know. His main crime seems to be that Tayshia is smitten like a kitten with him from the jump, thus putting the proverbial target on his back. He also makes a few comments to the Leftovers that don’t sit well with them, but in all fairness to Spencer, there is very little he could have said that would have sat well with them. He could have said something that everyone pretty much agrees on like “The Astros are dirty cheaters” or “Breaking Bad is amazing” and the Leftovers would have had an issue with it. It was a lose/lose situation for dear Spencer.

He’s not blameless, though. During the group date, where they fellas play basketball in the pool (Chris Harrison kept calling it Splashball but THAT’S NOT A THING, CHRIS HARRISON,) Spencer was bringing a little too much intensity to the game and when he got popped in the kisser by Riley, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

Tayshia felt bad, but she might be in the minority on that one. And even Tayshia pointed out that he was really bringing the heat to the game.

Again, Tayshia is really good at this.

Later on, at the cocktail party, the highlight of the episode happened. The fellas were sitting around and Spencer might have been running his mouth a bit; I don’t remember, but Kenny, the boy band manager who I hadn’t thought much of because of the whole boy band manager thing, totally redeemed himself by saying the following:

“Let me just speak freely, to try to put it in layman’s terms, and please don’t take this the wrong way: You kind of come off like a BLEEP.”

He called him a dick. You know, I know it, everyone knows it. Our dog was half paying attention and even she knew what Kenny said.

It’s not just that he called him a dick, but it’s how he called him a dick. He nailed it. He said it matter-of-factly, which statistically is the best way to call someone a dick.

Kenny, I’m sorry. I doubted you. I made fun of you. I may have tweeted a snide comment or two about you. But I take it all back. All of it. I don’t think you’ll win but damn it, man, I hope you stick around for a while. And again, I’m sorry.

Also, props to Riley. Calling Spencer “lunchmeat” was fantastic and I’m now rooting for Riley as well.

I am not rooting for Spencer but I’m all but certain that homeboy will go pretty far in this thing.

After the pool business and the dick-calling business, the quiet fella from Milford, Mass got a one-on-one. Why him? It may have had something to do with a turtleneck. Tayshia rides up on a horse and the two of them proceed to ride the horses around the friendly confines of the La Quinta Resort. This was fine. Riding horses is fine. Given the circumstances, this was a solid date. Or it was a solid date until they decided to have Chris Harrison keep showing up with drinks and ice cream and coconuts, all good things but what the hell. Give the quiet fella from Milford, Mass a chance, The Bachelorette.

Distractions and interruptions be damned though because the quiet fella from Milford, Mass powers through and I have to say, I don’t remember what his name is but I’m putting him in the top five. I don’t think he’ll win, but I think he could come close. If he were to win, it’d be because things getting nuts this season, and his calm demeanor wins out, drawing Tayshia in as a form of solace and calm during the storm.

Good start to the season, everybody. Really good. You should all be proud of yourself.

Except for Chris Harrison. No one calls it Splashball, Chris Harrison. No one.

Who Left This Week: Clare, Dale, Jason

Who Stayed This Week: Everyone else



Categories: Bachelor Nation, Television

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