“The Men Tell All”
July 22, 2019
It’s the Men Tell All time once again, and honestly, this is one of my least favorite episodes to recap because it’s basically 20 men yelling at and talking over one another and it’s as exhausting to write about as any Real Housewives reunion — which is to say EXHAUSTING.
But this year, this year is different thanks to one Shower Jesus, who manages to suck all of the oxygen out of the episode and make himself the center of attention, the same way he has the entire season.
A little personal aside: my husband, he hates all of these shows, and for the most part, he refuses to watch them with me. He will sometimes sit in the same room and read a book or play on the internet, or go into a different room to watch something, anything else. But for whatever reason, he watched both the previous Fantasy Suite episode and this Men Tell All special, and was appalled, APPALLED! that this episode spent – and I’m not exaggerating — all but maybe 20 minutes talking about Shower Jesus and his shenanigans.
Now, as I said, my husband hadn’t watched the entire season, so he didn’t fully appreciate how much Shower Jesus insinuated himself into the forefront of the storyline, and occupied the minds of EVERYONE on the show. But I also don’t disagree with his assessment that giving Shower Jesus so much time, attention and a platform to try to frame his story is exactly what this gaslighting narcissist wants. While he dominated the season, the worst punishment would have been to make him sit amongst the rest of the men, and give him the exact same amount of “hot seat” time as Mike Johnson or John Paul Jones received. Sure, it might not have been as cathartic for the audience — we all really wanted and needed to see Shower Jesus be grilled by Chris Harrison and yelled at by the other men for a solid hour — but it also would have reduced him down to size, which God knows he needs.
And speaking of God, as for the faith issue which is the root of the Shower Jesus problem, I simultaneously both desperately want to talk about it and I don’t want to talk about it AT. ALL. since I know just enough about religion and fundamentalist Christianity to get myself in trouble. But it is an unavoidable topic, since Shower Jesus came onto the show describing himself as a Christian, wielded his faith as his defense against any criticism leveled at him by the other men — he couldn’t possibly be the villain they all described since he is a humble man of God! — and using it as a means to try to control Hannah’s behavior through guilt and manipulation.
Shower Jesus’ purported faith is what initially attracted Hannah to him, and he said all of the right things in just the right tone to convince her that they were on the same page in regards to their Christian beliefs. It was only when she discovered that he ascribed to a very sexually repressive and punitive vision of Christianity that she was able to see him for who he really was: a hypocritical, manipulative misogynist.
(And this is where I am probably going to get myself in trouble. Here goes nothing.) We learn in this episode that Shower Jesus is not just one of those Christians who believe you must save yourself for marriage (a concept that, by the way, Christ himself never discusses in the New Testament, is not part of Judaic law, and in fact has no actual Biblical origins so far as I can tell), he’s one of those Christians who believe the natural order is for the man to be the head of the household and for wives to be submissive to their husbands. There is a whole arm of fundamentalist Christianity that clings to this Paulian notion of female submission, an arm made up of weak insecure men and women who have internalized negative messages about their gender and sexuality. And it is of exactly ZERO SURPRISE that this asshole counts himself amongst them. His is at root an understanding of gender relations that is absolutely incompatible with notions of equality, much less feminist principles. And so someone as judgmental of a woman’s sexuality and of her ability and freedom to choose for herself what she does with her body would understandably be attracted to such a world view. It also explains his refusal to accept when she tried to send him home MULTIPLE TIMES: if you don’t see a woman as being inherently equal to you as a man, you can be dismissive of her feelings and choices as being beneath your much more important man feelings and choices. Seeing women as inferior and not as human as men is the fuel of toxic masculinity and people like Shower Jesus justify washing themselves in it because “God.”
(And there is an entire essay I could write about how this particular understanding of Christianity, sexuality and gender roles informed Shower Jesus’ “come to Jesus in the shower” moment when he was struggling with his own promiscuity, and how it allowed him to forgive himself for his own sins while judging and casting down the women with whom he supposedly sinned with, BUT. HE. IS. NOT. WORTH. IT.)
And so while I understand the people who question why someone who believes in saving one’s self for marriage would go on a show that has Fantasy Suites, at the same time, the show peddles in reactionary tropes — women are framed as princesses who are waiting for their prince charming to come along and give them the greatest gift a woman could ever receive: a marriage proposal. When you ascribe to a belief system that says women are to be controlled and contained within the bounds of marriage, I can see how a show that is ostensibly all about getting a woman to an engagement might be appealing to you.
Alright, enough of the religion-bashing and angry feminist ranting. Let me go shave my armpits, pull my bra off of the fire pit, go put on a skirt and get to what you came for: a recap of this shit show of a Men Tell All special:
Chris Harrison greets us in the Bachelor studio, but instead of beginning the episode with a tedious recap of the season so far, he explains we are actually going to pick up where the last episode left off — in Greece — because SHIT WENT DOWN, and we need to see it before we begin the Screaming at Shower Jesus portion of the show.
Back in Crete, Hannah, wearing what appears to be a bikinidress, if that’s a thing (it is not a thing and she needs to go change — and not because it shows too much skin, but because it is SO UGLY), muses about the three remaining men and how difficult her choice at this rose ceremony will be.
Windmill Pilot Peter and Footloose and Guitar Guy,” she narrates as the men arrive for the rose ceremony, “and they all have great hair and not one of them is Shower Jesus.” In fact, she has no regrets about sending Shower Jesus home “because FUCK THAT GUY.”
Nothing. Not. A. Thing.
So the three men, they stand around waiting for Shower Jesus to arrive, not knowing that she sent him home, except! joke’s on everyone because Shower Jesus is actually hurtling in a van towards the rose ceremony WITH A WEDDING RING, mansplaining that Hannah thought he wouldn’t want to be with her anymore, but she doesn’t realize that he is still in love with her. So he’s not going to leave until she talks to him again. The entire Bachelor studio audience groans in unison.
Shower Jesus continues to mansplain that while Hannah has not told him that she loves him, he knows that she does and she’s making a mistake, but it’s OK because he’s going to fix it.
ALRIGHT, JOE FROM YOU, SLOW YOUR ROLL.
Just as Hannah is about to go into her rose ceremony believing that she had shed the toxic shower vibe once and for all, in waltzes Shower Jesus, taking a spot in the lineup as if he were expected. Backstage, Chris Harrison wishes Hannah good luck and sends her out with a hug, BUT DOES NOT WARN HER ABOUT WHAT SHE IS ABOUT TO WALK OUT TO. And I know, it makes for better TV this way, but UNCOOL, HARRISON.
So Hannah walks out and sees Shower Jesus standing there as if NOTHING HAPPENED, and has the only reaction one could possibly expect:
Shower Jesus rushes up to her, demanding to talk because he
just can’t take no for an answer his fragile manhood will not allow it can’t go home until he gets “a few things off of [his] mind,” but Hannah is all, “OH FUCK NO.” He threatens to stand there all day, but she’s like, “NOPE. GET AWAY FROM ME, YOU DANGEROUS STALKER.”
Shower Jesus insists that he needs clarity, but Hannah is like, “LISTEN UP, BITCH, I HAD MY CLARITY AND I SENT YOU HOME” (insert other men gaping in disbelief) “AND I HAVE PUT EVERYONE THROUGH TOO MUCH WITH YOU IN SEARCH OF THAT CLARITY, SO I AM NOT GOING TO LET YOU COME BACK IN HERE AND REWRITE WHAT YOU SAID THE OTHER NIGHT.”
Shower Jesus counters that he’s not there to rewrite anything, that relationships work through communication. When Hannah tries to reply to this, he snaps at her, “LISTEN.”
Shower Jesus continues that this is HIS HEART they are talking about but Hannah is all, “NO SIR, THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOUR HEART. THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU. I’M SORRY YOU ARE HEARTBROKEN, BUT YOU HAVE BROKEN MY HEART 15 TIMES OVER THIS PROCESS SO YOU CAN SEE YOURSELF OUT.”
She then, God bless her, picks up the rose pedestal and scoots it closer to the other men, but this asshole, he just keeps yapping, trying to compare his situation to hers with Colton.
And that’s when the other men step forward to tell him to leave her alone. Shower Jesus begins to threaten Guitar Guy and Footloose that if they lay their hands on him one more time … but Footloose is all, “AND WHAT?”
The men order him to get. the. fuck. out. But Shower Jesus insists he’s not going until he has a chance to talk to her again. At this point, Chris Harrison comes over, just as Shower Jesus mansplains that he knows she was leading with her emotions the other night, and that it “wasn’t [her] true character,” prompting Footloose to ask him, “Why are you telling her who she is, bro?”
Hannah then explains to the other men that Shower Jesus here asked her if she had sex with any of them, and told her that if she had gone to any of the Fantasy Suites with any of them that he would “remove himself” from the show. Shower Jesus protests that 1. it’s not what he said (it was) and that 2. he knows that she has feelings for him (she does not). Hannah admits that she did have feelings for him — way longer than she wanted to, in fact. But she had her moment of clarity and finally realized he was a sociopath so goodbye, please.
Shower Jesus continues to insist that she is misunderstanding him: he never judged her! He would NEVER! But Hannah knows what she heard, and insists that she knows exactly how she feels. At this point, Chris Harrison steps forward and asks Hannah what she wants, and she refrains from screaming, “SECURITY!” but she is certainly thinking it. Shower Jesus insists that she look him in the eyes and tell him that she has no feelings for him, and she’s like “YEP,” at which point he declares that’s all he needed to hear (some 516 times) and he FINALLY leaves.
That’s when Chris Harrison reveals to Hannah that Shower Jesus had a ring in his pocket for her and that he kept insisting to everyone that no one appreciated the depth of their feelings for one another.
Meanwhile, the other guys:
But no one is done with Shower Jesus, not just yet. We are back in the Bachelor studio, where Chris Harrison explains that we are going to continue to upend the Men Tell All format, and instead of bringing all of the eliminated men out together, the only man that will come out at this point is Shower Jesus to sit and EXPLAIN HIMSELF TO AMERICA.
Shower Jesus comes out and maybe four people clap for him, because even in this contentious time, even as we as Americans have never been so divided in the modern era, we can all agree on this one thing: Shower Jesus is THE FUCKING WORST.
Chris Harrison begins by asking him what he was thinking, coming back to the rose ceremony after Hannah had, in no uncertain terms, sent his ass home. Shower Jesus explains that he did it because he needed clarity and closure and that Hannah had made a huge mistake by not letting him “speak [his] heart.” He realized that she thought he was judging her, and he needed to fight for her.
Chris Harrison points out that Shower Jesus’ ship sailed the minute he said that if she had sex with someone else, he would recuse himself, and, also, too, he had ALL THE CHANCES IN THE WORLD to explain himself, so why did he think he deserved yet another?
Shower Jesus wants everyone to understand that when he said the part about recusing himself he was just checking to make sure they were on the same page about sex before marriage, you see, so it’s not as awful as it was. But then Hannah, she said, “I’m not saying I have had sex or haven’t, but let’s say I have. How would that change how you feel?” And he said — and they cut this part out apparently — that he didn’t know how he would approach it, before adding that his initial reaction would be to remove himself from the relationship and go home.
See the difference? BECAUSE I DON’T.
Shower Jesus then begins digging the hole in earnest when he explains that he wasn’t thinking about their relationship as being as unorthodox as it was because he wasn’t seeing her on the other dates, “straddling or mounting or swapping saliva with the other guys” while he was going out and being fitted for the suit he was going to wear when he proposed. And finding out that the night before his one-on-one she had sex with someone else? Well, that’s not what he wants from his future wife.
Chris Harrison is all, “Fair enough, but then WHY NOT JUST LEAVE?”
There is a painfully long silence as Shower Jesus’s tiny brain rainbow spirals of death for a while, before saying, “I’m just trying to think how to make this as offensive to Hannah as I possibly can …” He then explains that he mistakenly made Hannah out to be the perfect woman with all the qualities in a future wife that he wanted.
And it’s not the fact that she had sex that made him want to leave (yes, it was), as evidenced by the fact that he went to the rose ceremony because he believed she was making a mistake. She was in love with him! She said it herself — it was love at first sight!
Chris Harrison agrees that they had a connection, but the bottom line is it came down to this issue of faith, and how they apply it differently in their lives — a conversation that they don’t really have on this show. BUT SHOULD. EVERY SEASON. BECAUSE IT’S FUCKING IMPORTANT.
Shower Jesus goes silent, again, for a long ass time …
… before repeating for the one-millionth time that he was willing to fight for her and it’s so frustrating to be misunderstood. He was shocked and confused by her words. And Hannah, she brought up his pride and how he has too much and he’s working on it right now …
Chris Harrison points out that she called him a narcissist, but Shower Jesus thinks that calling him a narcissist is going TOO FAR.
This doesn’t go over well with the audience. But it goes over better than the moment when Chris Harrison asks Shower Jesus if in looking back, did he make any mistakes?
And this narcissistic, unreflective, misogynistic motherfucker, this man right here says:
Chris Harrison gives Shower Jesus a commercial break to think over what he just said, and when they return, Shower Jesus makes some bullshit comment about what he had meant was he doesn’t regret going through what he did because it meant getting to the place he’s at now or something, BUT WE ALL KNOW WHAT HE MEANT.
Shower Jesus does cop to being shitty with the other men and outright lying about Nick Viall Jr., but what REALLY hurt was that the woman of his dreams questioning his integrity, just because all these other men were telling her that he was being shitty and lying about them. SO WHO’S THE REAL VICTIM HERE, CHRIS HARRISON?
Shower Jesus then explains that he felt that he was on a “rescue mission” for Hannah, to which Chris Harrison asks, “A RESCUE MISSION FROM WHAT?”
At this point, Not A Virgin, who has been standing off-stage with the other men, is like, “I CAN NOT TAKE ANOTHER MOMENT OF THIS, SO I AM GOING TO COME OVER TO THIS COUCH AND CALL OUT YOUR BULLSHIT.” Not A Virgin explains to Shower Jesus that there are two types of men in the world, men who want an independent woman and men who want a woman they can control. Shower Jesus is the latter. He wants a woman he can control to feel better about himself — and a man who does that is no kind of man. The only person Hannah needed rescuing from was Shower Jesus.
Chris Harrison sends Not A Virgin back and asks Shower Jesus if he wants a woman that he can keep on a shelf, but Shower Jesus, he doesn’t answer because he’s SO FURIOUS that Not A Virgin came out and interrupted and questioned his entire narrative.
When Shower Jesus is finally able to contain his rage, he explains that he DOES want an independent woman, obviously, of course. But, as we all know, men are supposed to guide and lead women in a relationship.
OH IS THAT SO. IS THAT SO.
Chris Harrison, realizing that the audience is gathering their pitchforks and soaking their torches in lighter fluid, cuts to commercial, promising that when they return, the other men will come out.
But not all the men, only: Roller Boy; Guitar Hero; The Math Teacher Who Couldn’t Find His Words; Matt Donald; Johnny Appleseed; Vanilla Ice; Not A Virgin; The Tony Robbins Fan; The Dude; Pizza Heart; John Paul Jones; Nick Viall, Jr.; Humphrey Bogart; Vocal Fry; Arnold Palmer and Mike Johnson.
Missing: Fumbles; Parlez-Vous Français; Other Pilot; Former Basketball Player; Surfer Who Brought a Tie for Some Reason; Champagne Baby; Maru; The Car Auctioneer/Winemaker; This Piece of Shit Right Here; and Dr. Freud.
So I suppose we will never get an official explanation for why Dr. Freud had to be removed from the show so suddenly, even after receiving the first one-on-one date. OK.
Chris Harrison begins by wondering why Shower Jesus didn’t try to make nice with the other men, and his excuse is that they were just soooooo jealous of him since he received the First Impression Rose.
But Mike Johnson, Future Bachelor (TV Gods willing), explains that no, that’s not it at all. They gave him multiple chances to make things right with the other men but he just kept doing stupid shit and never learned a damn thing. Mike Johnson calls Shower Jesus a “narcissistic, cantankerous misogynist,” and worries that Shower Jesus’ future wife will be his prisoner.
Vocal Fry begins with a compliment: it took HUGE COJONES to appear here because he’s about to walk into a shit storm. That said, Shower Jesus constantly created situations he would have to apologize for, only to do the same damn thing the next week, and honestly, Vocal Fry only has one thing to say: “Fuck you, man.” Well, two things: he also thinks Shower Jesus is a “manipulative, controlling psychopath.”
Shower Jesus does what he always does when he’s cornered: apologize and deflect. He claims that when he watched the season back, he wasn’t happy with his own behavior and hopes that the men can forgive him and will support him as he tries to better himself.
But Mike Johnson isn’t having it.
Arnold Palmer notes that Shower Jesus’ apology rings hollow and adds that Shower Jesus’ behavior towards Hannah was what is most disturbing to him — and that he tried to tell her what to do. IT’S NOT ABOUT SHOWER JESUS, IT’S ABOUT HANNAH.
The Dude adds that Shower Jesus also owes Pilot Peter, Guitar Guy, and Footloose an apology for crashing the rose ceremony and that his behavior was not in his character. Shower Jesus demands to know what about his behavior was “not in his character,” prompting The Dude to yell, “NO MEANS NO.”
Humphrey Bogart adds that it’s 2019 AND YOU CAN’T TALK TO WOMEN THAT WAY ANYMORE, JESUS BOY.
Is it possible to be in love with 20 men at the same time? Asking for a person who is not me.
Vanilla Ice thanks Shower Jesus for making him look better, and Nick Viall Jr. wonders again why he lied to Hannah about him, before Johnny Appleseed calls off the dogs, noting that he could see that Shower Jesus was distressed by his social isolation and that he’s suffered enough.
This allows Chris Harrison to circle back around to the sex question, wondering if neither Hannah nor Shower Jesus was a virgin going into the season, why did it matter to him so much at that moment? Is there hypocrisy there?
“NOPE,” says Shower Jesus before insisting he had conversations with Hannah about being a “secondary virgin” (not a thing) and he just wanted to make sure they were on the same page about the whole abstaining thing.
Pizza Heart, he’s not having it, claiming that he initially connected with Shower Jesus on their shared faith, but watching the season back, Shower Jesus’ behavior was not Christian-like and that projecting your own faith onto someone else is UNCOOL.
Shower Jesus apologizes to the men one last time, and Chris Harrison is like, alright, you’ve been a punching bag for a solid hour now, you are dismissed.
When they return from the commercial break, Chris Harrison tries to talk to the other men, only to have this MOTHERFUCKER interrupt AGAIN to claim that the other men only see him in this “Bachelorette Bubble” and that he hopes they will see the man he really is after this.
The first man Chris Harrison brings up is John Paul Jones and his hair? for some reason? And after a dumb montage of the five minutes JPJ was on the show, Chris Harrison allows a crazy woman with scissors to come on stage to cut a lock of John Paul Jones’ hair. WHAT IS THIS MADNESS? SHE HAD SCISSORS AND Y’ALL ARE ALL, “Oh sure, come on up to the stage and wave scissors around. What could possibly go wrong?” HOW DID SHE EVEN GET THROUGH SECURITY?
Anyway, John Paul Jones is obviously going to Paradise.
Next, Chris Harrison brings up Mike Johnson and after the montage, people are crying in the audience.
I mean, I like Mike Johnson, too but WHY ARE YOU CRYING? WHY? WHY THOUGH?
Mike Johnson tells Chris Harrison that it’s painful to watch being dumped again, that he was ready to take Hannah home and meet the women in his life — something that he takes VERY SERIOUSLY — and he just needs to know what about him wasn’t good enough. And while he doesn’t say or do anything that makes him the obvious next Bachelor, it’s telling that he’s the only serious candidate that the Men Tell All pays any attention to. (And while the two men who are going to be eliminated still have a strong chance of being the Bachelor, it’s also worth noting that two of the three men remaining had girlfriends they left to be on the show — which might not endear them to “Bachelor Nation” which I insist is still not a thing.)
Hannah is brought out and after she thanks the men for supporting her, Chris Harrison asks while watching back, which moments stood out to her as warning shots that she missed at the time.
Hannah explains that she needs to explain Shower Jesus: she DID have a real connection with him, and will never deny that, but a lot of that stemmed from her insecurity over being the Bachelorette in the first place. In a bit of very thoughtful self-reflection, Hannah explains that on the first night she was worried about the men being disappointed that she was the Bachelorette, and she was worried about their intentions. Shower Jesus made her feel like he was genuinely there for her, and gave her hope for the entire process. As a result, she let him stay a lot longer than she should have and put up with some NONSENSE she never should have tolerated.
Chris Harrison directs her to Shower Jesus who apologizes for making the “process” so difficult for her, and thanks her for teaching him “about [himself].” OK.
Hannah thinks it’s bullshit, too, and is like, “whatever, dude.”
Chris Harrison brings up the issue of faith and Hannah explains that while faith was one of the ways she first connected with Shower Jesus, he weaponized her faith against her. She believes Christianity is about love and loving one another, but some hypocritical bitches seem to think it’s about shame and judgment. And the bottom line was the love Shower Jesus was offering was never unconditional, but based instead on what he believes a wife should be.
Chris Harrison asks her about the Fantasy Suite situation and Hannah is like, “WELL SINCE IT’S EVERYONE’S BUSINESS NOW, I did not plan to have sex with anyone in the Fantasy Suites. But it was never anyone else’s business nor was it Shower Jesus’s business to ask me about it.”
Shower Jesus huffs, “are you going to tell me that you said, ‘don’t judge me about the Fantast Suites, because I’m not using them for sex’?” And Hannah clarifies that the Fantasy Suites aren’t “used for sex” but maybe he doesn’t know that because he never had one.
Hannah then explains to the other men that it’s not that she didn’t hear them about Shower Jesus, she did, but she needed to come to a conclusion about him on her own, or she’d always have “what ifs.”
And by the way, Shower Jesus? Hannah is over being slut-shamed and made to feel like she’s not a woman of faith. They all make mistakes every day and that’s what grace is for. So no, she’s not going to accept a scarlet letter for having sex in a windmill. The Fantasy Suites weren’t about sex, you dolt, they were about getting to know the men and getting to know their hearts.
Mike Johnson, sensing an opening to score some Bachelor points, expresses that he and the other men support her, they know that she needed her own time to make this decision and they always have her back. SO SUCK IT, SHOWER JESUS.
And with that, Shower Jesus stomps off the set. ADIOS, MOFO. GOOD LUCK IN YOUR SUBMISSIVE WIFE CULT, ASSHOLE.
Chris Harrison invites Hannah to talk to Mike Johnson, and she thanks him for being supportive and her cheerleader and promises that she will be his biggest fan
when he’s the first black Bachelor.
Arnold Palmer then tells Hannah that he was pretty angry at her for choosing Shower Jesus over him, but having seen the season, he now sees that she was deeply misled, and he wonders if there was anything any of them could have done to help her see what was really going on.
Hannah agrees that there will always be a lot of “what ifs” but the truth of the matter is, she’s glad she went through what she did with Shower Jesus because there are a lot of women out there in similar situations. Maybe seeing what she went through will help them realize that they are in toxic relationships and find the strength to get out.
Then after joking around with JPJ and the inevitable blooper roll, Hannah apologizes to “Bachelor Nation” for keeping Shower Jesus on our TV screens for so long. But, Hannah assures us, the Shower Jesus Show is canceled and they won’t talk about him again. Roll Tide.
ROLL TIDE INDEED, GIRL.
Say goodbye to the men who have been eliminated:
Here are the men along with their dumb nicknames who are still “dating” The Beast. All nicknames subject to change when I — or one of you — think of something better:
The Bachelorette airs Mondays on ABC at 7/8 p.m.