During Monday night’s episode, the time crunch to eliminate the remaining men became very real, very fast. Tayshia Adams had no problem going Kill Bill mode and sent a majority of them packing before going into hometowns.
Whereas Hannah Brown (season 15) was given eight episodes to eliminate 20 men down to four, Adams was only given four. Blake was sent home after a one-on-one, Riley was blind-sided, the most important cocktail party was canceled and Bennett got absolutely clowned.
All in all, seven men went home during one episode, and Adams decided her final four: Ben Smith, Ivan Hall, Zac Clark and Brendan Morias.
On Tuesday, we met the ’rents as families flew to the La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, California, to meet Tayshia. In lieu of the cross-country tour, having the families stay at the resort was the production's best shot at doing a mock hometowns, but it honestly felt like anything but that.
Things only got more cut-throat as the families began voicing their concerns, and the only thing the men could seem to do was break a sweat. Nonetheless, this is the best final four we’ve ever, ever, ever had in Bachelorette history. And I will die on that hill. Let’s recap:
Worst performance: The Palm Springs Heat
The only villains of this episode were the Palm Springs heat and the producers who let every contestant sweat through their shirts on national television. If you didn’t know, Palm Springs in late August is apparently hell on earth with how profusely these guys were sweating.
With temperatures reaching 110 degrees and a low of 90 degrees each day, the resort was basically a blast furnace on steroids. Zac’s sweating throughout the episode had to be the worst. as he looked like he either just jumped in a pool or just walked out of a crowded rave at Coachella. Seriously, a producer or intern should’ve been on call for sweat dabbing because it was embarrassing.
The only person who seemed unbothered by the heat and remained dry was Tayshia. She either isn’t human or was getting touched up by the makeup team every 30 seconds. During Zac’s New York City-themed date when the two jumped in the fountain, he read it as a sign that she’s up for anything and is all in for their relationship. No, bro. It’s 1,000 degrees outside, and her skin is probably melting.
If you caught any bad vibes or chemistry during the hometown dates, don’t blame the guys. Blame the lack of air conditioning on this sauna of a “resort” and the producers for doing absolutely nothing about it.
Best performance: Ivan
Ivan’s hometown: chef’s kiss (literally). He invites Tayshia over to spend some time in the kitchen making an authentic Filipino dish. Honestly, he really gets the most points out of all the contestants because he was the only one to choose an indoor date that was actually air-conditioned. King.
We’re really making some important steps this season with discussions about race, addiction, mental health, recovery — to now portraying convicts with face tats. It was arguably the most beautiful moment to ever bless Bachelor Nation’s screen when Ivan’s brother, Gabriel, surprised him during his hometown date.
They have a classic brotherhood story: one gone good and one gone bad. Ivan became an aeronautical engineer, whereas Gabe spent four years in prison. Despite the differences, it’s clear they both still love and care for each other. It’s not every day that shows portray a person with face tattoos in a positive light, but it’s clear to see how they made each other's lives better.
Ivan is a gem. And I will also die on that hill, too.
Most out-of-pocket questions: Ivan’s mom
All right, this is a toss-up between Zac’s brother or Ivan’s mom. Both had no problem putting Tayshia in the hot seat. Zac’s brother Matthew gets right to the point with Tayshia asking, “Where are you at in comparison to where you’re at with the other three?” She dances around the question without giving a straightforward answer. Yes, he calls her out for it.
However, Ivan’s mom is the one who brings the teeth. Tayshia is the second woman he’s ever let meet his parents, so of course, Mama Hall gets protective.
“I’m a big skeptic. It’s just so fast,” mom frets. “Everything is happening so fast.”
Tayshia tries her best to tell her how possible it is to find love through this journey, but she seems anything but convinced. His mom even shows relief when Ivan tells her that he doesn’t see himself proposing at the end. After he expresses that he sees a path forward with Tayshia, she cautions, “If she keeps you around …” It’s hard to watch this conversation and not say “yikes” a few times.
Most misunderstood: Ben
Apparently, Tayshia is not a firm believer in actions speaking louder than words. When Ben couldn’t tell her how he truly felt about her, it led to the chopping block in the end. Clearly, the feeling was mutual, but nothing was more painful than watching Ben twiddle his thumbs at the end of his hometown and not tell Tayshia how much he actually loves her.
“Ben has been someone I have had my eye on, but him being so closed off has made me hesitant,” Tayshia tells Ben’s sister. She tries to explain how guarded her brother is and how his wall hasn’t broken down yet because he’s so sensitive. Ben can admit to Antonia that he loves Tayshia but can’t close in the end.
“In true Ben fashion, I just blew it. I’m in love with her, and I should have told her,” he explains after she walks away.
To be fair, Tayshia is aware of Ben’s past struggles. Just a week before, he opened up about his very recent past two attempts at suicide. To then want him to be expressing love very quickly thereafter, it seems like Tayshia is really asking for a lot out of him.
After sending him home during the rose ceremony, it was clearly mutual between the two and an instant regret on both sides. If she would’ve been more understanding of the situation and patient, it would’ve probably would’ve resulted in a final rose.