Will You Accept this Recap?: The Bachelorette Season 16 Episode 8

Another episode, another recap!

 

JoJo: The New Chris Harrison

Rebecca: Poor Tayshia feels anxious after Noah’s awful comment claiming the men don’t respect her choices. Enter the incredible JoJo—a former Bachelorette who found love on the show and remains with her fiance, Jordan. JoJo will definitely understand how Tayshia is feeling. I love Chris Harrison, but a woman is needed at this moment.

Tayshia doesn’t spill any names about who’s in her top, but she does claim that she’s falling for multiple men. I wanted those names! 

Simultaneously, we see Chris Harrison to the 12 (yes, 12) remaining men that he’s leaving for a few personal days to take his son to college. Fans knew during the summer when the show was filming that Chris left, so I’m excited to finally see JoJo in action!

JoJo drops off the coveted date card, and we learn that Zac C. is the lucky guy. While Zac is “pumped,” I’m not. He hasn’t been my favorite, but I guess I’ll see if he grows on me during the date.

Jess: Instead of an ominous shot of La Quinta this time, we get a sad piano rift playing in the background as a flamingo pool float serenely floats by. Riveting television. 

Tayshia carries out a plate of pastries as if she made them herself or like she was stress baking and we all know that producers handed this tray to her while whispering “go!” Her stresses, however, are understandable. She’s been married, she doesn’t want to make the same mistakes, it’s a long process and you don’t want to make a mistake. 

Cue the arrival of bachelorette royalty, JoJo Fletcher

Pretty sure JoJo and Tayshia have never interacted before, but it’s whatever. They’re also sitting in front of one of the most delicious looking brunches I’ve seen and they’re not touching it! A crime! They need to let people eat more on this show. 

 

Zac C.’s Awkward Wedding Photos and Heartbreaking Past

Rebecca: I hate the dates that make the couple take wedding photos. It was awkward (but kind of comical) when Nick Viall did it on his season for a group date, but a one-on-one is just pushing it for me. I know Tayshia has been married before, but I feel like wedding photos should be saved for people you know are the one. Even Tayshia began to doubt the date.

As much as I didn’t like this date, she looked absolutely stunning in every dress change. Plus, Tayshia seemed to love it. And Zac calmed her down a lot. They had a lot of fun. Zac was also married before (don’t steal that from Brendan!), so Tayshia liked that they had that in common.

Holy crap. Zac had a brain tumor? And he got addicted to drugs as a result? I feel bad for how much I talked about how I didn’t like him now. I applaud him for getting his life together. It’s even scarier that he shared this on national TV, but that’s usually what happens on The Bachelor franchise. 

He gets the rose, as expected. I can kind of understand his vibes now. He’s really not a bad guy. Yet, he’s still not my favorite. Considering Tayshia’s lifestyle based on her Instagram and what former Bachelor contestants do with their lives after the show ends, I wonder how they would fit. I guess we’ll see.

Jess: Now, I love JoJo, but I just want to say that anytime an episode begins with Chris Harrison announcing that he’s leaving, it’s never a good sign. Chris is the audience’s ultimate sense of calm and comedy. Not having him there as a silent reminder that he’s the one constant of this weird but compelling process is borderline devastating. 

Now, onto Zac’s one on one. 

I personally am not a fan of Zac. I don’t mind him, but I just don’t really see him and Tayshia together. I feel like their chemistry isn’t as strong as Tayshia’s with Brendan’s or Ben’s, per se. Plus, talk about the most awkward first date ever. I don’t even know your middle name yet but let’s pretend that we’re getting married. That sounds like fun. 

Best part of it? Franco Lacosta. Literally living for him and would prefer if he made a cameo every episode; however, when he asked Tayshia and Zac what this date meant to them, I just felt like their answers were duds. Maybe they were nervous or not sure what to say. But I didn’t feel that spark. Maybe it’s because the producers put Tayshia in a situation intended to stress her out, but still. I wasn’t a fan of this whole thing. 

The suits? Heinous. The dresses, somewhat better but they probably only looked good because Tayshia was wearing them and she literally makes anything look absolutely gorgeous. 

When Zac says, “seeing her walk up beautiful I don’t think is an accurate word in this circumstance. There’s another word that will be created to describe her,” I burst out laughing. I just felt like the energy of this date was so weird and undefined and this quote summed that energy I was feeling up perfectly. 

Franco, of course, serves even more drama by forcing Tayshia to wear a veil and he’s really stepping up for Chris Harrison’s absent role. Only complaint? The producers needed to not have them pose near the loudest waterfall in the entire resort.

The best part of this date hands down was when Zac opened up about his incredibly touching story about addiction. I give him so much props for being vulnerable to open up, on national television no less. It speaks to a season where the producers are finally highlighting such important issues ranging from Black Lives Matter, to addiction, to eating disorders. They are issues and conversations that matter and Zac’s story is one that I’m sure millions across of America could relate to, whether they themselves struggle(d) with addiction or know someone who has, it was a real, raw, honest story and representation. 

He gets the rose, and I definitely think he is a frontrunner this season. 

Plus, that ferris wheel? I absolutely loved that. 

 

Getting Crafty and Vulnerable

Rebecca: Seriously. “Express yourself” is what they put on this date card? The men look uncomfortable with the two naked art models. I really hope they don’t make the men get naked again.

Bennett and Noah are getting a little fiesty, especially since Bennett kicked Noah out of the seat next to Tayshia. First, they have them draw the naked couple, and it’s pretty obvious none of them have art skills. Next, they put on blindfolds and mold clay to represent their time with Tayshia. 

Bennett takes this as his opportunity to kiss Tayshia. Even though this is The Bachelorette and there are always people kissing, that is still yuck and not consensual at all. However, then Bennett made a comment about how he’s glad Noah didn’t get this chance. That’s childish, and if he wants to stick around and make it to the end with Tayshia, he needs to cut this sh*t out fast. I don’t even want to spend time on all of the dumb jabs Bennett and Noah make.

For the final exercise, they are tasked to do a self-portrait. Brendan creates a picture frame and gives a beautiful speech about how it’s incomplete without the love of his life by his side. Can he get any more amazing? Ivan makes a puzzle, talks about how he’s scared his dad won’t see the man he is today and leaves a blank piece for Tayshia to add to it. They’re all really being vulnerable and honest. It’s incredible. 

Poor Ben is so anxious. I want to just cuddle him. He’s about to present, but he walks out of the shot and comes back in a robe. He “lets his guard down” and drops the robe after explaining how hard it is for him to talk about his emotions. Ben says he’s going to give Tayshia all of him: his body, his insides, everything. I think he would make Tayshia very happy, but I want him for  myself. He’s on-par with my love for Brendan.

Tayshia breaks down, but in the best possible way. She’s so appreciative of the men. They are all real men who showed themselves to Tayshia (and the world). I love that. Society needs to be more accepting of men showing their feelings and emotions.

The men continue to be vulnerable at the after party. Riley is starting to grow on me. Until this episode, he hasn’t even been on my radar, but he’s such a gentleman. He openly talks about his relationship with his mother, and it’s beautiful. Brendan and Ivan both get sweet moments with her. It’s super sweet.

Ben’s conversation. That’s it. I started crying. If Zac’s addiction is heartbreaking, Ben’s eating disorder is soul-crushing. As a teen, he knew that girls wouldn’t like him as the fat kid, so he stopped eating. He had bulimia for 10 years, and his sister is the only one who knew. He says she’s the one who saved him. That’s why he went into fitness and nutrition. Oh gosh I really cried.

This season, there have been so many hard conversations, Ivan spoke about Black Lives Matter last week. Zac talked about his addiction. Riley spoke about his mom. Ben opened up about his eating disorder. It’s really incredible that this season, we’re actually seeing real conversations about topics people need to hear. Sure, in the past, there have been tough conversations, but these men are breaking the mold. And Bachelor nation is really loving it.

I’m super happy that Tayshia gave the rose to Ben; however, in the backdrop of all the sweetness, Bennett snips at Noah for stealing their time at the previous rose ceremony. This is building up, and I’m not feeling it. Even Tayshia notices it, and she says she’s going to figure it out. Bennett is slowly getting the villain edit, but he’s kind of making himself the villain with his actions.

Jess: The group immediately walks into the sight of two nude models who look like a knockoff Woodstock couple. Plus, Natalia, who looks like some random girl the producers found and were like “hey, do you want to make some extra money by pretending to be an artist?” 

Bennett was absolutely ridiculous this entire date. He’s 36? He constantly gaslights Noah by telling him he’s like a 14-year-old when Bennett himself is acting childish. Not the move. However, I enjoyed watching the men trying to draw because it was honestly the representation I needed as someone who cannot draw in the slightest. 

To add on to what Rebecca has said, the blindfolded kiss was so uncomfortable to watch. Bennett literally just walked around the table, grabbed Tayshia and started kissing her. It wasn’t a cute look and lacked boundaries and consent. 

The men really tried for the clay portion, however. I give Ben and Brendan props for their ideas of infinity symbols and brownies. Blake, on the other hand, crumbled in front of my eyes. Also, I liked Noah’s idea! He definitely is growing on me. 

Bennett, on brand, was so over the top about bragging about his money that I just was immediately repulsed. I’m not saying if you have money you can’t talk about it, but the way in which he did it just seemed condescending and, like a lot of the other guys say later in the episode, he seemed to be talking down to everyone to such a degree that it’s almost comical. Especially when he said, “the chateau in Paris.” 

Noah calling Bennett out for his privilege, I was LIVING. YES. Call people out on their s***  I’m living for it. 

All the men really came for the next part of the date. I felt like they were all so vulnerable and I don’t blame Tayshia for not being able to pick just one person to get one on one time. Brendan’s empty frame, Ivan talking about his father, Blake talking about domestic issues, Riley opening up about his mother, and (this may be an unpopular opinion, but in the context of what he reveals later) Ben’s move. 

The only one that came short was Bennett. He does the ultimate gaslighting when he tells everyone that he’s not privileged just because his life was hard. While his life may be hard, he irrefutably has white, male and (as he claims and touts) class privilege. He certainly is not subject to the oppression that so many other people face. 

I really admire their vulnerability, and only missed Chris Harrison’s pettiness to top it all off. I really just give all these men props for being able to be so vulnerable. 

Ben’s confession, however, is absolutely unprecedented on this show. It was real, raw and shined a light on something so many people are reluctant to talk about. Men have eating disorders, they struggle with body image, they struggle with a lot of things that society doesn’t talk about. This conversation was monumental in bringing attention to that and I just absolutely praise Ben for his honesty and being able to share that. 

Plus, I give Tayshia props for calling Bennett and Noah out unapologetically even though it was entirely Bennett’s fault. She’s a confident queen, we stan. 

 

Eazy’s Scaray One-on-One 

Rebecca: I have to admit, I wasn’t looking forward to this date, but I’ll get to that later. Honestly, I hate scary things. I hate horror movies. I get scared if someone yells “Boo” in my ear. I skipped the whole scary part of the date, so check out another recap if you want to read about it.

Anyway, now that the scary part is over, I can talk about their dinner date. Something feels off between them. I just don’t see the spark in Tayshia’s eyes. Then, Eazy says he’s falling in love with her. He’s the first man to say it. It’s probably too soon considering we’ve barely seen them spend time together (perhaps for the reason I mentioned earlier? I’m getting there, I promise.), but maybe they did connect off-camera. The other men in the house seem to think that they connect. Yet, here’s where it ends.

Tayshia sends him home. She appreciates that Eazy has always been himself, but she doesn’t give him the rose because she doesn’t think that she could see herself with him. I’m glad Tayshia doesn’t lead him on. She knows what she wants, and Eazy isn’t it. And I’m happy he’s gone, because now I’m going to talk about it.

There’s not nearly enough coverage of this, but Eazy has been accused of sexual assault. ABC apparently couldn’t find anything, and I’m sure it’s a he said/she said situation. Reality Steve spoke with the woman who said she had to speak out in case something happened in the future. That could be a reason Eazy wasn’t seen very much. Either way, I hope he’s never seen on any Bachelor show again. I believe any survivor who says they’ve been sexually assaulted. If that allegation turns out to be false, then I’d rather believe a liar than a rapist. Honestly, I don’t want to get into this too much since this isn’t the point of the article; however, I did believe it is important to mention for anyone who didn’t know. Eazy is gone, so that’s all I have to say on the matter.

Jess: I don’t really have a lot to say about this one on one. 

Like Rebecca said, Eazy has multiple sexual assault allegations against him, and I am personally glad he was sent home. The show has struggled with this in the past, and I think they need to step up their process in making sure that they find this out before they place contestants on the show. 

 

“Teenage Boy Drama”

Rebecca: JoJo enters (she needed to be in this episode more) and tells the men she has to talk. Tayshia decided that there’s going to be an impromptu two-on-one before the cocktail party. Sh*t is going to hit the fan. 

Bennett is painted as the total villain. I don’t like Noah at all, but Bennett’s comments to producers are really bugging me. Noah was an a*s the last episode, but he seemed ready to put the week behind him. He certainly didn’t want to engage in Bennett’s pettiness. The men think that Bennett is condescending, and I’m starting to see it. Interestingly, another former Bachelor villain claims that producers pushed him to act this way. Even if the producers did tell Bennett to confront Noah, his actions are his own. His comments are his own. 

Bennett claims he didn’t realize that there was tension and then gives a gift to Noah. Bennett gives him a red bandana to remind them of their first conversation when it sounds like they bonded, but things go downhill fast. The mustache socks are a no. The book about emotional intelligence is a HUGE no. Bennett took things way too far.

Just as they’re beginning to raise their voices, Tayshia enters. The tension is still through the roof. Now, they’re going back and forth as Tayshia sits there in disbelief. After Noah’s comment about how Bennett questioned Tayshia’s actions, she tells Bennett that it feels like he is questioning her integrity. He claims that he doesn’t think he is. That’s where he’s wrong. The way he’s been going about this issue clearly disregards her feelings. Bennett, you’ve landed yourself in the doghouse. As someone who wasn’t sure about Bennett then loved him, I guess I should have stuck with my original gut feeling.

After that horrific comment, Tayshia sees the present. As expected, the episode ends on a cliffhanger, so we’ll have to see what happens next.

Jess: I felt like I was watching a montage of horror moving while seeing Bennett detail every single gift to Noah. It was somehow childish yet terrifying all at once? On brand for Bennett.

 

So, it seems like next week there’s some sort of lie detector test next week that blows everything up. Next week will be more drama, but at least JoJo is still in the preview.