Since last week’s episode, ABC and The Bachelor franchise have taken some big blows regarding the production process, bullying and body shaming. The scandals are piling up so much that it might finally be appropriate to ask, “Why the hell am I still watching this show?”
It feels like a toxic relationship at this point. We can acknowledge the amount of toxicity all we want, but there’s always that one thing that keeps us hooked. For season 25, it’s the drama that has us crawling back. However, it’s no surprise this season is the lowest rated one yet. Let’s spill the tea.
It all began with the slander lawsuit just waiting to happen: Brittany being slut shamed on national television. Not only did Anna feel the need to accuse Brittany of being a sex-worker, but ABC has now come under fire for airing the rumors to millions of people on national television. The network knowingly aired the accusations for a promotional advantage -- using the situation to get viewers to tune in.
On Thursday, a video surfaced online of Matt James’ friend body-shaming Victoria Larson during a round of golf. The viral video shows his friend Jerry trying to distract him from his putt by speaking poorly about Victoria's body. “Now how was Victoria’s body? Cause when I look at her, it doesn’t look very nice,” Jerry says. James does not respond in the video but gave some not-so-convincing excuses during interviews in response to the scandal. Wasn’t convincing, wasn’t a good look.
Over the weekend, Dylan Barbour decided to spice things up on Twitter by majorly exposing Bachelor Nation. “Cancel ABC and The Bachelor … Kinda want to air out their dirty laundry mom got me riled up,” Barbour tweeted. It quickly turned into a Twitter thread of Barbour responding to a slew of questions about production. He confirmed a few things: producers force the lead to give the villain a rose even if they don’t want to, couples must be engaged for a minimum of two years in order to keep the ring and that producers have almost all control over which contestants stay and go.
Clearly, the process just doesn’t work after all. At what point are we going to hold someone accountable for this absolute wrecking ball of a season? You could blame the contestants for being downright evil to each other; you could blame Matt James for allowing the bullying and rumors to run rampant throughout the house; you could even blame ABC for even airing the footage that has supposedly been “professionally edited.” But most importantly, at what point do we finally stop watching this show? I’m about there. Here’s some highlights from episode five of The Bachelor:
What goes around, comes around. Anna finally got her karma the moment Matt finally realized the damage being caused by the rumors she was spreading. Before the cocktail party, Matt finally addresses the group about the bullying stating, “I wanted to address something that was brought to my attention... about the environment in the house, how toxic it is, that there's a mob mentality... really a culture of bullying.”
Anna immediately knows she’s in trouble and starts breaking a sweat. After getting to the bottom of things with Brittany, Matt pulls Anna aside.
"I am so sad and upset with myself. That's the first thing you should know. Before even coming here, I received messages about another girl who would also be here, Brittany, and then when she did show up, the worst thing I could say was said," she tells Matt. "Immediately I felt horrible about it, and I was like, 'This is on me. This is me being a shallow person in the worst moment ever.'"
She scrambles to try and find all the right words to say to him. After the tears start flowing, Matt still stands strong. “I have a responsibility to the women that are here, to Brittany, to myself, to follow my heart. And unfortunately, I can't see you being a part of that journey anymore,” he tells her before escorting her out.
The Queen is dead
This is not a drill: the Queen is dead (AKA Victoria is finally gone). After Matt sent Anna packing, Victoria knew it was a matter of time before she also met her fate. The “kissassery” begins when she starts apologizing and sucking up to all those in the house who she has wronged. No one believed her disingenuous, delayed apologies.
When the girls start voicing their concerns about Victoria, she begins spiraling fast. The two sit down and Matt confronts her about calling Ryan a “hoe” for having a career in dancing. "I'm just curious, what context would calling someone a hoe be acceptable to be taken in?" Matt asks, to Victoria's silence. Yes, King.
She starts crying and having a meltdown before the rose ceremony. Thankfully, she doesn't get a rose.
"I honestly feel so sorry for you that you would listen to hearsay and not all of the facts behind a situation," she hisses before leaving. "So, goodbye."
Maybe, just maybe, this show will finally turn around.
Protect Rachael at all cost
Rachael was never a clear front-runner, until this week. Matt put it best as he tells her, “You’ve never been the loudest, you’ve never been the first one to run up, you’re so subtle.” If we’ve learned anything, it’s always the quiet, unproblematic ones that end up sticking around.
Rach gets the first one-on-one of the week, and Matt spends the day spoiling her by taking her on a shopping spree. The chemistry is clearly burning between the two and is by far the strongest connection. Matt’s time with Rachael was the first time during the entire episode that he was finally at ease. However, the highlight of the night was definitely the dinner portion of the date.
She showed up in a beautiful cobalt blue dress that perfectly matched his blue velvet suit. "I really am already completely falling in love with you. And I want to walk out of here with you, and I want to start my life with you,” she tells him. “And I hope that will happen. But the scary part about it is I just don't know if that's going to be the outcome."
Surprisingly, Matt starts tearing up. “Can I share something with you?" he asks. "You're not crazy, because I feel the same way."
For the first time this season, Matt finally admitted he was falling in love.
Here’s how fans reacted on Twitter: