Emotional Intelligence and The Most Sob Stories You've Ever Heard

Just like it does in so many other seasons of The Bachelorette, the petty drama between two of the men comes to a head. In Tayshia’s season, these two men are Noah and Bennett. We also see the men open up, which feels almost like a rite of passage at this point, though their stories and intimacy somehow feel less forced than they do in casual conversation. Jojo makes her entrance as Chris Harrison’s temporary replacement and Chris’ absence is less stark than was anticipated. 

We see it in, dare I say it, every season. The drama will always be there. We knew it wouldn’t end with Chasen and Ed because the season was still too young. With so much road ahead, there had to be another feud brewing. Something about this pairing is a bit confusing, though. We were set up, in a way, to love Bennett and enjoy his bougie-ness rather than take him seriously. In the outro of one of the first episodes, he gave a small room tour and showed off his shoe collection. He was pictured doing a face mask and quite literally looking like he was on vacation. That’s the Bennett we fell in love with (even though he did give off a bit of a murder-y, has a body in the shed out back kind of vibe.) I liked vacation Bennett. He was fun and light-hearted and here to have a good time. Noah was the one that we all expected to be the villain. Despite a few missteps, Noah isn’t actually the villain. Sure, he tried to speak for the group (which, after Yosef, was absolutely not what anyone in that group needed,) and told Tayshia that the guys were questioning her decisions, but that seemed to be a sign of immaturity rather than actual malice. 

That immaturity is the basis of Bennett’s gripes with Noah. While he may claim he’s unaware of any tension between them, he continually uses Noah’s age against him with little quips and offensive remarks that don’t ever convince anyone, least of all Tayshia, that Noah is lacking in maturity. Rather, we see through his attacks that Bennett is actually the one lacking in maturity. In the most condescending way, he gives Noah a gift: a bandana, symbolizing his “hope” to put bad blood to rest, a pair of mustache socks because “the only place you should wear a mustache is on your feet (*cue eye roll,*) and the real kicker, a book on emotional intelligence. Bennett condescends Noah even further, attributing his immaturity to a lack of emotional intelligence in three of the four categories. At this point, the tension between them is palpable. If Bennett isn’t aware of it, maybe it’s because he’s subpar in the social awareness and self-management areas of emotional intelligence. Unfortunately, their drama becomes so tiresome that even Tayshia is annoyed while listening to them. As you’d expect, Bennett feigns confusion and remains condescending, and Noah explains his grievances. In true Bachelor fashion, we won’t find out who stays and who is sent home until next week, so all we have to think about until then is this ridiculous drama.  

10 things I hate about you gif Giphy Another hallmark of the Bachelor franchise that has a heavy presence in this episode is the sob story. We usually hear a few of these stories at various points in the season from a few of the contestants, though this episode kicked it into high gear. Tayshia takes her group date to get creative with art. They draw models in the studio (which they are all terrible at in the best way) and sculpt blindfolded. The challenge came when Tayshia asked them to create a self-portrait, which the guys all appropriately stripped themselves down for emotionally, and in Ben’s case, stripped all of his clothes. Riley brings up a lack of familial connection, Blake gets into a rough childhood, Ivan gets into his father’s battles with cancer, and Ben later opens up about his long struggle with an eating disorder. Earlier in the episode, Zac tells Tayshia about his past battles with addiction and how his life has been impacted by it. There have never been so many sad stories in a single episode. Oddly, they felt much more appropriate than sob stories usually do. They tend to come up suddenly in conversation and neither the audience nor the bachelor/bachelorette are equipped to handle them. They also feel like a path to earn a rose, since most of the time they are rewarded with one. Here, though, none of the guys were expecting to reveal this information in the way it happened, so it felt more natural and less contrived by producers and contestants wanting to get the rose.  

As another week goes by in Bachelor Nation, we’re all waiting to see the outcome of Bennett and Noah’s sitdown and who Tayshia will bring with her into the coming week. The hard thing about making predictions this season is the fact that Tayshia is forming genuine connections with multiple men and every episode seems to highlight different ones. They make us fall in love with a different contestant every week and unlike Jimmy Kimmel’s wife, we may not be able to predict her final choice so easily.