I accepted/demanded the challenge of guest blogging for Gossip Squirrel because we couldn't be more night and day about this season of The Bachelorette. He doesn't know this, but this season almost destroyed our friendship. Gossip Squirrel is #TeamKaitlyn, and I am a ride-or-die member of #TeamBritt.
In addition to our relative amounts of taste (by which I mean that he and the rest of Team Kaitlyn should probably acquire some), my approach to watching the Bachelor/ette is a little more hands on than Gossip Squirrel’s. While I applaud his commitment to this blog, his total commitment to the lifestyle is more than a little lacking. Unlike Gossip Squirrel, I follow all past and present contestants on social media. I also follow the contestants in real life. I will maintain that "stalker" is too strong a word for what I am, but I have found everyone I've looked for. (Except for Nick Viall. That gorgeous man still eludes me...for now.) So I am joining this blog not only because I jumped at the chance to tell everyone how wrong Gossip Squirrel is about everything, but also because no one should have to miss out on good Bachelor Nation gossip just because he's a little too sane (and/or sober) to sink to my level.
Before we get into this week's episode, I want to make sure that everyone is at least minimally aware that last week, Chris Soules and Whitney Bischoff finally admitted to everyone that they're broken up. Was it because Chris slept with his DWTS Partner as everyone suspects? I wish he were that interesting. Let's just agree to never think of him again and move on.
"We are totally comfortable talking about this relationship."
I actually didn't hate everything Gossip Squirrel said this week, although he did quite conveniently forget to mention that his girl Kaitlyn, who we learned has a deathly fear of birds, who, nay, fell veritably to pieces at the very suggestion of flapping wings on this week's episode...has a bird tattooed on the back of each arm. You're really backing a smart horse there, Team Kaitlyn. But before I jump to conclusions about anyone's intelligence, let's tune in to our Bachelorette's Twitter for what I'm sure is a reasonable explanation for this. In her own defense, Kaitlyn tweets, and I quote, "I can't see the ones on the back of my arms!"
Thank god she cleared that up for us.
In all seriousness though, my real issue with Kaitlyn is her lack of issues. Kaitlyn's Cool. Kaitlyn's Fun. Kaitlyn's a Drama-Free Chick who can get away with wearing leather pants to a date. These are all nice enough qualities if you're looking for the kind of low-maintenance girlfriend who can hang with your boys, but in case anyone forgot, that is not what The Bachelor/ette is for. Precisely NO ONE watches this show to watch nice people be chill about dating.
Most of us are ashamed to watch this show, but at some point, it sold us on a fantasy, in which men in suits and women in heavily bedazzled ball gowns fall in love and fall to pieces in sweepingly exotic locales. The relationships are more intense, more improbable, and more insane than anything we're like to encounter in real life, and whether you love that or just love to laugh at it, you can't deny that there is just altogether, MORE there. Kaitlyn is too real to sell such an inflated fantasy.
Britt, on the other hand, easily inhabits such extremes. The very argument that most Team Kaitlyn members throw out as criticism is exactly where Britt's rarity and value lies: She can't possibly be for real. No one is that magnetically beautiful in real life. No one else falls so believably in love on a first date. No one else, as Brady Toops put it so sickeningly in one of his daily Instagram monuments to their love: "has hair like a lion's mane, cascading down the slopes of Hollywood..."
But I have to give Kaitlyn credit where credit is due. Kaitlyn may never be believable as the princess who gets swept off her feet at the end of this whole thing, but she does make one hell of a Knight in Shining Armor (or leather pants). While she can't sell the emotional intensity necessary for anyone on this show to actually fall in love or have their heart broken, she is fast selling us (or at least people like me who hate everyone) a very different kind of fantasy: a world in which the very worst kinds of people are exposed, shamed, and sent packing on national television.
Bachelor villains are nothing new, but somehow, they usually manage to stick around long enough to have their fun. Love her or hate her, we were all a little secretly thrilled that Chris Soules harbored the nefariously fabulous Kelsey Poe in his mansion for at least a month too long. But whereas Chris bumbled around the mansion missing all of the red flags and his upper lip, Kaitlyn, is a bullshit-spotting machine with absolutely no fucks to give.
Consider what Chris Harrison has gleefully been referring to as "The Great Kupah Meltdown." When Kupah finally revealed that he's kind of an asshole (Which is what we really should have all expected from a man who owns an "Entertainment Conglomerate" entitled "Klass Entertainment") Kaitlyn sent him home immediately, denying him even the dignity of an unremarkable rose ceremony exit. When he proceeded to throw a tantrum at the camera crew, Kaitlyn shut it down, and she hasn't stopped shutting him down since. This past week, she called him out on his last-ditch misogynistic attempt to stick around in her people.com blog, writing, "Let me start off with a tip, if I may, for any guys out there reading my blog: When a woman says the connection is gone, don't tell her how hot she is. A connection is more than someone's appearance." Slayed and well played, Kaitlyn.
Who could have foreseen this guy turning out to be a douche?
Unfortunately, it took less than half of a date for the next variety of villain to sprout his un-showered head. As Gossip Squirrel pointed out in his weekly recap, the irony of Tony "The Healer" becoming violently aggressive in an attempt to show how deeply his peaceful nature opposes violent aggression only reveals the kind of logic that should be wearing a Fedora and screeching about how nice of a guy he is. While Kaitlyn may have been too accommodating of this attitude on air, her Twitter bristled with sarcastic derision this week:
"My apologies go out to tony for making him be away from his bonsai tree. I feel awful." "Peace, love, and anger." "The zoo! Damn it!! Why didn't I think of that" "#Tonyforbachelor"
Because he actually felt entitled to an apology from Kaitlyn, Tony didn't catch on to the fact that Kaitlyn was kidding. He has now begun actively campaigning to become the next Bachelor, and making much of having Kaitlyn's "endorsement." I would laugh off the idea of Tony becoming the next Bachelor if he hadn't just been removed from the Bachelor in Paradise roster, which begins filming this week. If they pulled Tony from BIP, they might actually be considering him. I'd still say it's unlikely, but if he's not at least running some kind of cult within six months, I think we'll all be surprised. While we wait to find out, we can all enjoy watching him trying to make the hashtag "#loverevolution" happen as hard as Clint tried to make "Villains gonna Vil" happen this week. (Okay, okay...if we're being honest, this is now a part of my regular vocabulary.)
Speaking of Clint. When after his one-on-one, words like "boring," "safe," and "kill me now" sprung to mind, I never imagined that Clint might be capable of killing someone with methods aside from boredom. Maybe it really is the quiet ones you have to look out for. Maybe Clint is a sociopath, or maybe he was just exhausted from the Sisyphean task of having to behave like a gentleman for an ENTIRE date. Either way, literally sitting back and waiting to claim his prize obviously backfired.
Needing to salvage his spot on the show for the free booze and bromance, Clint fed Kaitlyn a few strategic lines, including, "I felt like [our relationship] was 100% real, and that's what scared me, because I felt like I put myself out there." Read: I behaved badly because I like you. I can promise you that every girl out there right now has heard a variant of this line, because for some reason, it almost always works. It worked on our Bachelorette, who confessed to the cameras, "It seemed genuine!" before rewarding Clint with an "I forgive you" make-out session. As Kaitlyn enjoyed this romantic step forward in their relationship, the rest of us heard Clint chime in with a sinister voiceover, saying, "I felt like I had the power, and I just had to abuse it."
I think we can all agree that people like Clint are the worst, and in real life, too many of them get away with it. If this hadn't been the Bachelorette and Kaitlyn hadn't the decided advantage of having thirteen other sexy suitors along on this date to pull her aside and tell her in a sweet southern drawl that she's been played, Clint would have gotten a rose this week. Thankfully, this reality show has nothing but fantasies to offer. I don't see Kaitlyn being led down the aisle anytime soon, but I'm more than happy to watch her lead a confused Clint towards the glowing fireplace, saying in a voice laced with anger and ice, "Clint is one of the biggest douches in Bachelor history....he has no idea what's in store for him. He is going to go down in flames."
With love from the internet,