My expectations for the Men Tell All episode were about as high as Kaitlyn’s standards have been this season, and somehow I still ended up disappointed. ABC always builds this episode up to be a night of shocking revelations; the only thing that was shocking was how little anyone actually said.
Chris Harrison comes out and greets the crowd, which is comprised entirely of women. As the camera pans over those in attendance, it becomes apparent that the audience has a sharply bimodal age distribution. On one end we’ve got the women who are a little past their prime but still try to pour themselves into a tight little number to go out with their friends, sip white wine spritzers, and feign offense when anyone calls them cougars; on the other is the younger crowd, who although religiously devoted to the Bachelor franchise, aren’t quite attractive enough to be contestants, so instead settle for being members of the studio audience.
The first fifteen minutes of the show are devoted to promoting Bachelor in Paradise, and it looks like it’s going to be a hell of a ride. Instead of fast forwarding through commercials, I wish I could fast forward through the rest of Kaitlyn’s season to get to BIP. Harrison introduces all of the dudes, saying that “they’ve got a lot to talk about.” Let’s break it down.
Ian’s smarmy grin and balding head are two things I could (and after tonight, hopefully will) go the rest of my life without seeing again. He’s the first of the dudes to get called out about his behavior on the show. Once a few clips highlighting his criticism of the other dudes and his less than respectful goodbye to Kaitlyn are played, Tanner took the opportunity to tear into Ian like a fat kid ripping apart a piñata. He said that Ian’s disparaging comments about the other dudes were unfounded, and while there was a good bit of locker room humor in the Bachelor Mansion, many of the guys developed deeper friendships as well; however, Ian spent most of his time alone in his room, avoiding everyone else. He went on to say, “The fact that she didn’t like you doesn’t mean you needed to act butthurt. It looks like Princeton needs to teach a class on how not to be an asshole.” Drop the mic, Tanner’s spitting fire.
Instead of realizing he was fighting a losing battle, Ian stands up, takes off his jacket, and makes one last-ditch effort to capture the heart of America and be considered as the next Bachelor. He walks in front of the rest of the dudes and gets down on his knees. At this point, I’m not sure if he’s about to start praying or doling out blowjobs. Chris Harrison looks more bewildered than anyone, desperately regretting leaving his whiskey backstage. Ian starts in on some long-winded, yet half-assed apology, saying he regretted his words and was sorry if they caused any pain to Kaitlyn or her family. For some reason, he feels the need to proceed to apologize to all of America for his actions. At this point, I’m so uncomfortable I think I’d rather spend eternity listening to Pubehead McGee say the word “moist” than endure one more second of this egomaniac’s bullshit. He stands up and says that this is just one example of his humility, since apparently humility is the same thing as acknowledging you made a spectacle of yourself on national television, while on national television. A few of the dudes come up and shake his hand; he interprets this as forgiveness when in reality I’m fairly certain they were trying to physically remove him from the spotlight.
Brokeback Mountain 2: Clint and JJ
Clint is the next dude to come under fire and Cocaine Corey leads the charge against him. For someone who’s had less screen time than Britt or Brady this season, he’s being incredibly vocal. Corey tells everyone he felt that he and Clint got along well the first night, but after that Clint stopped acknowledging anyone besides JJ. Clint defended himself, saying that JJ reminded him of a friend from home and they developed a strong friendship. He asserted that from the moment “he stepped out of the limo until he stepped into the ‘depression mobile’,” he was only there for Kaitlyn.
JJ chimes in to say that his and Clint’s “villain” bit was all tongue-in-cheek, leaving us all to wonder whose tongue was in whose cheek. Once the camera zooms in on JJ, I come to a horrifying realization that I own the exact shirt he is wearing. I spent the next few moments debating whether I should light that shirt or myself on fire first. When I zoned back in, JJ was in the middle of describing how he was “intellectually curious” about Clint and that their conversations “had a lot of meat in it for him.” I said it before and I’ll say it again: JJ knows exactly how to play the game – considering Harrison uses this opportunity to let the audience know that JJ got a golden ticket and will be on the upcoming season of BIP, I’d say his act paid off. Looks like we haven’t seen the last of him yet.
Ben Z and Jared
We’re starting to get to the dudes that actually had a shot at spending forever, or the next six months, with Kaitlyn. Both Ben Z and Jared were prominent throughout the season and both departed fairly abruptly. Ben Z talks to Chris Harrison first and does another good job at making a pitch to be the next Bachelor, saying after this experience, he knows that “It’s okay to open up to someone and I hope I can again in the future.” Someone really needs to let these guys know that the job has already been filled so they can go ahead and fire up Tinder like the rest of us peasants. Regardless, Harrison ends the conversation by telling Ben Z that he “doesn’t think he’s going to have any trouble finding
pussy love soon.” Judging by the catcalls coming from the audience, I would agree.
Once Jared hits the hot seat, Harrison gets the audience to applaud him for shaving his dirt stache. Well played. First, he asks Jared how it felt to watch Kaitlyn question her decision to send him home once the show aired, and he responded that it wasn’t nearly as weird as watching her bang three other dudes. He didn’t actually say that, but I’m sure it crossed his mind. He didn’t have too much else to say, but we do learn that he’s going to be on BIP as well, so at least we know his love story has a “To Be Continued…”
The Ben H Show
As soon as Ben H takes the hot seat, the women in the audience lose their goddamn minds. It’s like they’re at the midnight premiere of Magic Mike XXL or something. I hope the studio cleaning crew has invested in some industrial strength mops for the aftermath of all this excitement. Ben H throws out a few lines about how watching his relationship with Kaitlyn play out on screen “opens up all the old feelings” and how he’s had “no closure,” but he manages to hold things together pretty well. He thinks ultimately it wasn’t that Kaitlyn didn’t care about him; she just had stronger feelings for Princess and Pubes. Either that, or his performance in the Fantasy Suite was less than satisfactory. He gives us his perspective on the infamous night in San Antonio when Kaitlyn snuck down to see Princess Gosling and him, saying that although they’d all been hanging out together that night, when he got out of the shower he could tell he was the outsider in the room, causing him to pull back a bit out of fear of getting hurt. I’m not sure I would call that fear as much as “reading the writing on the walls.” Her attraction to Princess was pretty obvious throughout the season, and I can’t imagine it was any less apparent to the people in the same room as them.
After 90 minutes of watching a bunch of dudes in the prime of their lives pretending they’re on The View, Kaitlyn finally emerges from backstage. This has to be the stuff of nightmares – 23 of your most recent exes in one room in front of a studio audience on a national television broadcast is some heavy shit. Harrison first asks her what this process has been like for her and she reveals that since filming ended, the public’s reaction has been difficult for her and her family. She reveals she’s been getting death threats; however, she leaves out the part that they’re actually just from Pubes McGee. That’s probably how he does foreplay. Harrison tries to channel his inner Kimmel and do a version of “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” and fails miserably; instead he just reads Kaitlyn a list of all the different ways people have called her a whore on social media this season. It seems like there are more than a few audience members trying to appear calm as they furiously pray that their Twitter feed is set to private.
After the painstaking Bachelor PSA about cyberbullying, Chris Harrison decides it’s time to move on to a more pleasant topic: letting the dudes ask Kaitlyn why she dumped them. Jared tells Kaitlyn he would never ask if she regrets her decision but wishes he had gotten more time with her during his final week. She said that in her mind, he was getting a hometown date, but once the format of the show changed, she had to cut him loose. I would imagine finding out that your ex-girlfriend was 100 percent on board with meeting your family but 0 percent down to bang you is less than therapeutic.
Ben H brings the heat and asks Kaitlyn why she told the Princess she slept with Pubes, but never felt inclined to bring it up to him. For the second time this season, I’m fairly certain Kaitlyn just shit her dress. These poor janitors really have their work cut out for them tonight. She starts to explain that since trust is such a big issue for the Princess, she was concerned that once he found out, he would leave the show. Her voice trails off here, but we can connect the dots – she didn’t tell Ben H because the only way he’d have made it far enough for her night with Pubes to be relevant would be if the Princess had thrown a fit and gone back to his palace on his own accord. Ben H was her consolation prize – the Chris to her Desiree – and she was keeping him around for security. Once she realized that the conversation was headed in that direction, she cut her losses, apologized to Ben H for being less than forthcoming, and changed the topic to an even more comfortable conversation: Pubehead McGee.
The show cuts to a commercial, presumably so the dudes can throw in a fresh tampon for this bloodbath. Kaitlyn tells Chris Harrison that her and Nick struck up a friendship prior to the show and claimed that although she did joke with him that if he wanted to meet her he should climb out of one of the limos, she put the idea of romance out of her head because she knew there was a chance she would be the Bachelorette. Jonathan is the first to begin to vocalize his opinion on the situation, saying that bringing another dude in wasn’t fair everyone else, but Kaitlyn cuts him off real quick, asking “Didn’t you vote for Britt? That wasn’t very fair to me.” From there, we’re treated to a replay of literally every conversation these dudes had from episode four through seven regarding Pubes. If there’s one thing besides using hair gel these dudes are good at, it’s holding a grudge.
Once the dead horse that is the conversation about Pubes was beaten to death yet again, given a nice funeral and buried, then dug up and kicked a few more times before being left to rot and be picked apart by wild animals, we finally get a chance to see some of the humor that made us like Kaitlyn in the first place. She asks Ryan M, the sloptart from the first night, if he’s still “all horned up” and if he wants to slap her ass again, “just for old time’s sake.” Ian takes yet another opportunity to get down on his knees and apologize to Kaitlyn, not only for what he said, but “for any backlash you or your family got as a result of my comments.” Ian needs to see a psychiatrist for his delusions of grandeur; Kaitlyn may not have been the most well liked Bachelorette, but if he thinks that his words had any effect besides making him look like a fucking douche, he is wildly mistaken. When Kaitlyn sees JJ, she asks where Clint is, and then laughs and says, “Oh, right behind you.” She asks if things on Facebook are “just complicated” or if they’re official at this point. When they don’t respond, Kaitlyn tells Clint she only has one question for him – “Why didn’t you treat me like you treated JJ?” I guess in Bachelor Nation cyberbullying is bad, but gay jokes are still kosher. Good to know.
The episode finishes off with a blooper reel, which was mostly just the footage of encounters Kaitlyn had with birds that the producer’s haven’t aired yet. Other highlights include one of the sumo wrestlers doing the world’s largest cannonball into the pool at the Bachelor Mansion as well as Kentucky Joe stopping in the middle of a romantic monologue, presumably moments before getting sent home, to announce to Kaitlyn that he was about to piss himself before sprinting off to some nearby bushes and dropping trou.
We’ve only got one more week of this bullshit, and Chris Harrison promises us a dramatic conclusion to the classic tale of the Princess and the Pubes. Since it’s such a special occasion, I’ll be live tweeting the finale and After The Final Rose from @CrickWatsonMD. See you then. .
Image via Shutterstock