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A New Bachelorette, New Men, and a New Normal

The time has finally come: Tayshia made her official entrance in this week’s episode of The Bachelorette and it was everything we wanted and more. She was beautiful and light and her energy transmitted through my screen. It was a refreshing change from Clare’s fiasco (or should I say, “finasco”) of a season. For once it felt like we were watching a normal episode, without a pandemic or COVID test in sight. With the balance finally restored, we can see just how toxic the producers made Clare and her season appear.  

I couldn’t help but notice all of the little things that got edited into the show that under normal circumstances that would never have been done before. The shot of Clare asking producers if they could “speed things up” during a cocktail party, her “fiancé” slip (in which she was actually talking about her ex-fiancé and good friend, Benoit, whom the men also roasted during their group date), and everything that turned viewers off her did exactly what they wanted; they wanted us to hate Clare and Dale. I mean, do we really think Dale just randomly walked in on Clare’s conversation with another guy, or do we sense producer involvement? In pitting the guys against Dale and putting him in such unfavorable situations, they turned viewers against him too. Ordinarily, this would make absolutely no sense. They always want us to like the leads, especially the bachelor/bachelorette. The only way to justify their treatment of Clare and Dale is to assume that they had plans for Clare to leave from the beginning, hence why Tayshia was on-site quarantining so early on. There’s also the matter of the four new men brought in for Tayshia, which as we all know is not a simple phone call type of thing. These men were screened and chosen specifically for Tayshia, and this would not have been done last minute. Even though the show is already so much better with Tayshia as the bachelorette, looking back at how Clare’s episodes went down shows how prepared they were for Tayshia to enter the scene and steal the show.  

None of us were as surprised as the men were when the limo of additions showed up, four to be exact: Montel, Noah, Peter, and Spencer. Tayshia admits that her heart skipped a beat when Spencer got out of the limo, though she seems to be the only one impressed by him. He quickly alienates himself as the jerky new guy from the moment he enters the group. Like the guys, we caught the ick for him immediately. Noah, another addition, appears to be cast in a similar light in previews. We hear that he starts crashing dates, which is not a good look for him. Neither is his mustache, which Bennett makes fun of in the closing credits. So far, the other two are unremarkable in a group of men we’ve been watching for four episodes.  

Sweet Brendan snags a one on one with Tayshia on every horse girl’s dream date. Tayshia, looking fantastic as ever, rides in on a horse to pick him up for their date, during which Chris Harrison unwittingly acts as a third wheel. This comes after he interrupted an earlier conversation between the two to introduce Tayshia to the new men. And now, Chris Harrison is quite literally around every corner they turn. After a dreamy horse ride, the two confide in each other about their own experiences with marriage and divorce at a young age, exploring common ground they didn’t know they had. I think I can speak for everyone watching when I say that Brendan has moved up in the ranks and will likely be a fan favorite after this episode.  

Much like the guys, I feel rejuvenated after watching this episode and I like Tayshia much more than Clare. Obviously, there was significantly more negative light cast on Clare by the producers and that shouldn’t be ignored, but it’s refreshing to watch an episode that doesn’t feel like I’m watching Tucker Carlson speak nonsense on TV.  

Junior studying Journalism and International Studies
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