Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Let's chat about The Bachelorette (Week 10 + Men Tell All)

This week's double-episode recap is brought to you by Tayshia wearing the same dress I wore to Homecoming senior year of high school.

The only difference is this probably isn't from a store in Okinawa called "Vanilla Essence" that primarily specializes in silky club dresses and also the fact that Tayshia's makeup, hair and face are all better than mine. BUT THAT'S IT.

We're starting this week with 8 guys and need to get down to 4 for hometowns then 3 by the end of the episode, so like my AT&T internet service, Tayshia has a lot of breaking up to do. Let's get to it!

(As a heads up, like Ben's buns, this week's writeup is extra meaty, so brace yourselves.)

"Nothing up until this point really matters"

This is actually a really accurate statement by Blake ahead of his one-on-one with Tayshia. I remain surprised that he stuck around for this long, considering how Clare'ly obsessed he was and how little he's actually invested in his relationship with Tayshia. But I guess keeping him around was worth it because we get to see him and Tayshia in matching outfits for their date:

Because Blake's persona on this show has so far been centered on being naked and talking about sex, it makes sense that their date features a reiki practitioner and crystal master (aka a white lady who makes people call her a non-white name).

They spend some time softly talking and holding crystals (can someone please explain the crystals phenomenon to me, thanks), before the white lady informs Tayshia and Blake that she needs them to disrobe. Which, even though Blake should be used to this by now, his reaction is still:

For what it's worth, they don't get fully naked, just naked enough for muumuu lady to read their chakras (we later get an entertaining clip from this during the Men Tell All). 

They conclude their session with some tantric breathing and intense mounted eye contact surrounded by what appears to be Christmas ornaments (happy holidays!):

In her interview, Tayshia admits "When I looked into his eyes, I was looking for more confidence and validation about our situation and I didn't see it," aka she's about to send him home.

They hardly make it through five minutes of staged bench sitting time before Tayshia tells Blake he isn't her guy. She tells him that their timing is off and they just haven't progressed before walking him and his very sweaty shirt to his Uber:

After he leaves, she gets super emotional about sending him home, but staring off into the distance also gives her clarity about "something else" she needs to do.

And that something else is....

Sending Riley home

You know when you procrastinate doing something and then when you finally do it, you're super motivated and it ends up taking no time? Okay so that is Tayshia now, realizing she has to dump so many more guys before hometowns. 

After breaking up with Blake, she heads to the guys' suite to talk to Riley and by "talk" I mean break up with.

She tells him she feels so comforted and safe with him, but basically isn't feeling it and doesn't want to keep leading him on especially into a situation that involves meeting his family because she knows how important his family is.

As they're saying goodbye, he FOREHEAD KISSES HER (which as I've pointed out makes me feel human emotions) and tells her "This is your journey and I am happy to have been a part of it." TEARS.

Unfortunately this is the screenshot I happened to get, pure coincidence, I cannot fight my own art.

And then there were four

Tayshia is still on a roll with dumping dudes, so much so that she decides she doesn't need a cocktail party before the Rose Ceremony because she already knows what she wants to do. As a reminder, the guys remaining are Ben (who already has a rose), Zac, Ivan, Brendan and Noah. Oh and Bennett too because remember how he returned last week looking like the Grinch? Tayshia let him stay for the Rose Ceremony for shits and giggles.

In a series of events surprising no one, Noah and Bennett are sent home, leaving us with this top four:

I was sure to capture the best angle of each guy.

When the "all" the men have to "tell" is not much

Before we can get to hometowns, we take an intermission for the Men Tell All, which has about as many couches as it does men and takes place inside a kaleidoscope.

Aside from making the men, especially Blake and Riley who were the most recent dumpees, relive their breakups, I guess the point of this "tell all" is to confirm to Tayshia that she made the right choice in not choosing guys like:

Neck'tarine Ed who was unanimously named Manspreader of the Year:

This laughing hyena whose name I don't remember because we haven't seen him since he left 1000 years ago after he couldn't get over the 15 minutes he spent with Clare (not really sure why they included him anyway??):

And Boyband Man (not sure I've ever known his name) who wore a camo suit???

The only worthwhile moments were when we got to see the return of the black box during this unseen moment (emphasis on unseen) of Blake during his one-on-one with Tayshia when their date.

And also more seriously, when Tayshia and Riley talked for the first time since their breakup and she reassured him he didn't "scare her away" by opening up. 

Want to give kudos to Tayshia for chatting with the guys and not getting distracted by what appears to be a bejeweled pot roast: 

Or maybe it's some sort of Coca-Cola gemstone from a Coke mine? Y'all let me know.

After this momentary distraction, we're onto hometowns! And since they can't travel, each guy is tasked with planning a "hometown" date within the resort that'll later feature members of their family. 

It's like the Bachelorette version of Chopped, so let's see what random things these dudes throw together!

Brendan, the one who doesn't realize how hot he is

Brendan is up first and he plans a "carnival day" for his date with Tayshia because fairs and carnivals "happen often" in the small town he's from. Upon hearing this, no matter what his bio says, I'm just going to assume he's from Stars Hollow. 

His niece, Aliyah, joins them for the day, which gives Tayshia a glimpse into how great of a father Brendan would be.

After playing an assortment of games in Stars Hollow, Brendan then takes us back to The Parent Trap and he and Aliyah show us their "secret handshake." This is quickly followed by random dancing, therefore giving us this moment:


While seeing white men dance generally causes me to have an intense allergic reaction, I found this extremely entertaining, I think because it reminded me of this otter (and ya girl LOVES otters and also LOVES Brendan, so).

Later, along with Aliyah, Tayshia gets to meet Brendan's brother (who he says is the most important person in his life) and sister-in-law. I do not remember Brendan's brother's name but I do remember his sister-in-law's name — Kristi. I'm assuming she spells it like that because it is the only accurate way to spell it, thanks.

All of the family chats go well — Brendan tells his brother that he wants a close family like his; Brendan's brother tells Tayshia that while he didn't think Brendan was ready for marriage a couple years ago, he can see that he's ready now; and Brendan's sister-in-law and Tayshia talk about how both Tayshia and Brendan have been divorced before, but that doesn't have to hang over their relationship now.

Everyone likes everyone and the evening ends with Tayshia and Brendan kissing in front of the (apparently only) fountain at this resort.

I am obsessed with Brendan and his soft spoken voice and also, he is clearly taking this whole engagement ordeal seriously for both his and Tayshia's sake since they've done this before. More importantly, this man is (to steal Chasen's very creative descriptor) a smoke show. As far as I know, that's the number one quality you need in a husband? Feel free to fact check me.

Zac, the one who thinks he's hot, but is very very not

Because it's been a few weeks since I first said it and also because I don't mind reiterating it, I call Zac "Circus Peanut" because Tayshia liking him makes about as much sense as someone picking circus peanuts as their favorite candy. 

For his date with Tayshia, Circus Peanut plans an "NYC day," which is exactly what someone from New Jersey would do. He first brings her to a cart of "New York bagels," aka bagels from the show's craft services tent. And next to the bagels is this ALARMING ASSORTMENT OF BAGEL "TOPPINGS":


Next up, Zac treats Tayshia to "real New York pizza":

The fact check here is that no matter what anyone tells you, there is nothing more "real" than drunkenly eating a slice of 99 cent pizza while walking home. Beyond that, this pizza scene is troubling because of how tiny a bite Tayshia is taking when pizza is made to be eaten in gigantic bites. I don't make the rules.

Because this "NYC day" has been about as New York as Friends filming on a sound stage in Los Angeles, they end the day making out in the resort's fountain???

I know personally, there's nothing I want to do after a day of only eating carbs than get into a public fountain.

Later, Tayshia gets to meet Zac's parents and brother:

During the family conversations, Zac's brother asks Tayshia where Zac "ranks" among her relationships with the other guys. Because Tayshia does not owe shit to nobody, especially this man she just met 15 seconds ago, she skirts the question, which Zac's brother realizes she's doing. Despite that, their conversation goes well, as does Tayshia's chat with Zac's dad who says he can tell Zac's "smitten" and calls Tayshia a "wonderful person."

Zac's conversation with his mom is maybe the only time I've *slightly* liked him.

He tells her how grateful he is for her and that she is the reason he's alive. His mom says she just wants him to be happy and he's like well that's a coincidence because Tayshia makes me happy. Tayshia's conversation with his mom also goes well and everyone likes everyone.

They end the night with Zac's signature bobbing-for-apples looking makeout special, which is just another reminder of how baffled I am at Tayshia's attraction to him. Because of his, I predict he'll be one of the top two.

Ivan, the sweetheart (who is also really really hot)

For his date, Ivan asks Tayshia: "Are ready to get a little taste of what makes me, me?" And to that I say yes please, I'll have one of everything on the menu and the menu itself, thanks. As it turns out, Ivan is referring to actual taste and cooking and food and such.

Ivan talks about how he is half Filipino and food has always been a big part of his heritage and he wants to share some of that with Tayshia. They first watch a video from his "friend" who is "one of the world's most famous Filipino chefs" — and it's his adorable little niece cooking lumpia. 

Love this random assortment of items from the clearance section at Home Goods. They leave this staged setup of tools they do not need to head into the kitchen to make lumpia, which I've never made before, but I have eaten hundreds of at a time many times in the past. 

They end up semi-burning them probably because of the added heat produced by Ivan's hot bod, but he still lets Tayshia feed him one (and immediately makes a face letting us know they didn't turn out so great).

During this segment, we also get entirely too many shots of SHOES IN THE HOUSE????


Later, they continue to wear their shoes inside while meeting Ivan's parents. 

These family chats also go well. Even though Ivan's mom is skeptical of this whole thing (AS SHE SHOULD BE THIS SHOW IS BONKERS), she can see he's happy and that's what matters. Ivan's dad says he's impressed by Tayshia, but just wants them both to be sure about marriage (THE NORMAL PIECE OF ADVICE THAT SHOULD BE GIVEN).

When Ivan is chatting with his mom, she tells him all that matters is how he feels and she asks what comes next, now that they've met Tayshia. Ivan says "Next is meeting her parents and then there's a Fantasy Suites type situation and then...." I'm sorry but my mom would not let me glaze over the words "Fantasy Suites." She would IMMEDIATELY be like "wtf, fantasy, what, what is that" and then I'd do a body roll and say "BODY'ODY TIME" and then she would be exhausted that this is the way I am.

Ultimately, both of his parents are happy about the situation, but Ivan is a little sad that his brother, who's his best friend that knows him best, couldn't be here. As he's saying that, guess who walks in:

Ivan's brother, Gabriel, surprises the group and Ivan cries and it's honestly really sweet. 

Gabriel's talks with Ivan and Tayshia and tells them both he can see this is real and likes them as a couple.
So, much like the other two hometown dates, everyone likes everyone. The night ends well, so well that Ivan gives Tayshia the ol' "good game" butt pat before they say goodnight:

Wait, maybe this isn't the same as the "good game" pat. Anyway, I think Ivan will be the other guy in the top 2, but because he's the whole hot package, Tayshia will not pick him because she has a craving for circus peanuts. 

Ben, the secretly very sensitive one (who is also really really hot)

While Tayshia did this jump and koala-leg-wrap thing to every guy, Ben was the best at receiving it. You can tell how sturdy he is??? Like I bet his kidneys and lungs have abs.

For their date, Ben recreates the place he feels most himself, Venice Beach, and takes Tayshia for some rollerblading and other "Venice Beach" things like drinking juice shots and shopping for souvenirs.

I love this partially because it's fun and partially because it reminds me of my rollerblading glory days when I thought because I could jump a curb, I was surely headed for the X Games. 

They end the day portion of their date by hanging out in the pool and Ben tells Tayshia he's ready for marriage, but tbh the most important thing we get is this shirtless interview:

WHY HAVEN'T ALL OF BEN'S INTERVIEWS BEEN SHIRTLESS?? Also, I don't know how upset I should be that Ben's boobs are bigger than mine. 

Later, unfortunately Ben puts clothes back on so Tayshia can meet his sister and "close family friend, Antonia." AND BY ANTONIA, HE MEANS TOP CHEF AND CELEB CHEF ANTONIA LOFASO:

When Tayshia chats with Ben's sister, she tells her how perfect she thinks Ben is and his sister reassures her that he doesn't hide anything, but it sometimes takes time to break down his walls (which again, this man has already shared two very deeply personal things two weeks in a row, so).

During Ben's chat with CELEBRITY CHEF ANTONIA (I can't get over this), he says he likes how decisive and intelligent Tayshia is and how happy she makes him and he's never felt this way about anyone else. Antonia says "You love her" and at first, Ben waffles (mm waffles) before admitting "Yes, I am in love" and you can literally see the heart-shaped lightbulb go off.

With this realization, it's clear Ben wants to tell Tayshia he's in love with her and that's what we expect to happen before they end the night. However, this mostly ensues: 

You can tell he wants to say it and Tayshia is sort of expecting it, but ultimately, he just ends up saying he loves the way things are going. But I'm sure he'll get another chance to tell her, right?

Of course not, because....

This is very stupid

We made it through hometowns and now one guy has to go. Here's a visual refresher of our top four heading into the Rose Ceremony:


You can tell Ben is shocked and not really able to process what's happening because when Tayshia is walking him out, they stop to talk and it's a lot of awkward silence while Ben tries to eat his lips.

He keeps telling Tayshia that he'll "be alright" and Tayshia is upset that he's being so emotionless until eventually they both just get up and he gives her the ol' one-arm friend hug and leaves. In the car, he admits he loves her and is still in love with her (which makes sense, I mean she just dumped him 2.5 seconds ago). 

Meanwhile, Tayshia reports to the designated cry spot as marked by an orange sticker.

Based on how unsettled this all felt, I'm *pretty* sure Ben will come back either before Fantasy Suites or maybe on proposal day. What a weird sentence to say.

And that's it! It's Brendan, Ivan and Circus Peanut heading into the final two episodes. I have a feeling Tayshia will end up picking Zac because it makes the least sense, but on the flipside, that means we'll collectively be able to date Brendan and Ivan. Gotta look on the bright side.

See you next week for Fantasy Suites and the finale! Til then, find me lurking on Twitter (@cocoakristis) and Instagram (@kristimac9).

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