I’d like to thank Chris, the worst contestant on this season of The Bachelorette. His tenure on the show sucked from beginning to end, but on Monday night’s episode, Chris finally did everyone a favor and eliminated himself—taking the two worst remaining contestants along with him.
Chris’s unnecessary penchant for drama has been following him since the first episode, when he got fellow contestant Chase kicked off for, if I remember correctly, having previously dated a human being. But it kept going—you may remember last week, when Chris (1) decided he was the show’s front-runner, (2) got mad and threatened to leave when Becca didn’t think he was the front-runner, (3) demanded additional access to Becca to prove that he really wanted to stay, and (4) got mad at Becca for getting mad that he had earlier decided to leave. (Sorry, it’s hard to keep up with.) Monday night, Chris once again felt unsatisfied by receiving the typical amount of time with Becca. After another contestant, Leo, returned from a date without getting eliminated, Chris stormed out of the room, leaving the hotel where the male contestants were staying to walk through the empty streets of Richmond, Virginia, to the hotel where Becca was staying.
There, Becca basically told him that she was fed up with his garbage continually stressing her out, and that their relationship was over. She offered to walk him out but Chris, in a final act of Not Doing The Stuff Every Other Bachelor Contestant Happily Does, refused the courtesy, choosing instead to storm out while cursing Becca. Some Bachelorette villains are fun; Chris just kinda sucked.
But Chris’s exit also hastened a couple of additional exits. Because she spent the entire week fretting over Chris’s various controversies, Becca basically failed to engage in meaningful conversation with anybody, and so she decided to eliminate everybody else she was so-so about. One of the casualties was Lincoln, who was convicted of indecent assault and battery and happened to be beefing with Chris. (Side note: It was tremendously unentertaining to watch a guy convicted of assault threaten people on television.) The other was Connor, who had previously beefed with Lincoln, and hadn’t really spoken to Becca since. In one fell swoop, the show’s most annoying competitor (Chris), the show’s least consequential competitor (Connor), and the competitor who never should’ve been allowed on the show in the first place (Lincoln) were all knocked out. Chris might have been brutally unenjoyable to watch, but I tip my cap to him for igniting this much-needed round of layoffs.
Biggest Loser: Eggs
Chris has beef with Lincoln (the contestant, not the fake ex-president), and part of that beef is about eggs. “The man eats 12 eggs every day!” Chris complains. “His cholesterol has to be 6,000!” Stunningly, this is the second example of a contestant complaining about a romantic rival’s egg-consumption habits. In the third episode of the season, Jordan opened his criticism of David by pointing out that David was “walking around, cooking scrambled eggs all day.” If true, both of these claims are impressive—I particularly like imagining that David spent 24 hours a day scrambling eggs, even in rooms other than the kitchen. And both claims turned out to be indicators of underlying drama that doomed all parties involved: David and Jordan were both eliminated on a two-on-one date last week, and on Monday night’s episode, Chris and Lincoln were both eliminated.
So, two lessons to learn: Bachelorette contestants should cut down on their egg consumption; but also, even if you do notice that one of your fellow contestants is eating a truly stupefying amount of eggs, just let it be. Harboring resentment for your rival’s egg habits leads to a festering tension that will ruin you.
Boldest Rebrand: Richmond, Virginia
Monday’s episode takes place in Richmond, which, as we’re told multiple times, is a very historic city. In fact, two of the episode’s three dates are historical-themed. Becca takes Jason to an “unhappy hour” at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum. Later, the episode’s group date is led by Abraham Lincoln and George Washington impersonators, who prompt the men to partake in a presidential-style debate entitled “Beccalection 2018” on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol.
Clearly, somebody on the Richmond tourism board wants us all to know that there’s a lot of history-related stuff in Richmond, and that it is fascinating to go there and look at it. At one point, Becca shows Jason the place where Poe’s mother is buried, and Jason gives her a legit “NO WAY!,” as if he genuinely could not handle how exciting it was to approach the grave of a dead poet’s equally dead mom.
But as Becca repeatedly mentioned how historic Richmond is, and how Richmond is really historic, and how there’s so much history in Richmond, and how Richmond really has a lot of history, she never mentioned the most important factor in why Richmond is an important part of our nation’s history—the fact it was the capital of the Confederacy. The producers showed Confederate-related things—the building where the debate was filmed was literally the Confederate capitol building, and the Abraham Lincoln impersonator could probably tell you the most notable time Lincoln visited Richmond was to tour the city after it was captured—but that was glossed over. All we got was the Lincoln impersonator congratulating Becca on “emancipating herself from that Arie.”
Every time a city has the common sense to tear down a statue glorifying a Confederate general, people pop up to argue that we can’t ignore history. But people who want to remove monuments of Confederate heroes don’t want to ignore the Civil War. In fact, generally, people who want to get rid of Confederate monuments really, really, really want to talk about the Civil War. (Please, talk to me about the Civil War. Please! I have opinions about every Commander of the Army of the Potomac.) We just want to do it in a way that does not celebrate the people who cost hundreds of thousands of American lives for the express purpose of preserving the legal enslavement of black people, the worst institution in American history. This transition is happening in Richmond: Last year, The Ringer’s Victor Luckerson visited the city in the midst of its attempts to become “the epicenter for the study and understanding of the war” by reframing museums and monuments to not exclusively glorify the bad guys.
Now, I know this is a dating show, and doesn’t have any obligation to spend significant amounts of time discussing slavery. But you’ve got to make a conscious choice to make a two-hour infomercial about the history of Richmond without mentioning the Confederacy. The show has kinda done this before: Last year, on Nick’s season of The Bachelor, there was a group date at the largest slave plantation in Louisiana, which primarily focused on how pretty and “historic” the house was without really mentioning why—instead there was a prolonged search for the ghost of some little white girl. People trying to tear down Civil War monuments don’t want to ignore history, but apparently The Bachelorette does?
Worst Date Activity: Leo
Every once in a while, The Bachelor is, for some reason, forced to say a particular phrase about a filming location over and over again. Last season, we found out that there’s more to Peru than Machu Picchu. This season, we were repeatedly reminded of Virginia’s state tourism motto, Virginia Is for Lovers. But the show didn’t really do an effective job of proving this—in fact, the three dates on this episode might have been the least enjoyable three dates I can remember in any one episode of the show. Again, the first two were history-themed, and the third wasn’t much better: Leo, the stuntman with better hair than Becca, got to go on an airplane tour of Chesapeake Bay on a cloudy day, and then got to go oyster-hunting with Becca.
Do you guys like eating oysters? My biggest problem with oysters is that they taste like I’m eating a thing that just lived in the ocean. (This is probably because oysters live in the ocean.) Leo and Becca took this to the next level by literally plucking oysters from the floor of the bay and then eating them fresh out of the water. She hated it, which I get. Oysters are supposed to be aphrodisiacs, but there’s nothing romantic about chugging saltwater with a dash of mollusk.
Worst Performance: The Lincoln Impersonator
In a post-credits scene, Fake Lincoln informs Becca that his daughter, Alison, had watched Becca on The Bachelor, and had told him all about the rough time she had with Arie. That’s odd, I thought. Is this Lincoln impersonator implying that Lincoln’s daughter somehow watched a race car driver on a dating show on a television?
But then I remembered: Lincoln didn’t have any daughters. He had four sons, most of whom died from extremely 1800s diseases, and none of whom were named Allison. This Lincoln Impersonator is breaking character to tell us about his actual daughter. Dude, you’re a professional Lincoln impersonator. Your one job is to pretend that you’re actually Lincoln. Pro wrestlers have been fired for less.
Anyway, it’s a real bummer Lincoln couldn’t watch The Bachelor back in the day—if my guy had a TV, he wouldn’t have had to go to the damn Ford’s Theater.