‘The Bachelorette’: Purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka

The Bachelorette
November 16, 2021

It’s a new week and the remaining men pack their shit and leave Palm Springs for glamorous Minneapolis, hometown to Michelle Young but more importantly The Purple One. AND THEY HAD BETTER HAVE A DATE AT PAISLEY PARK OR I WILL HAVE A MELTDOWN.

Michelle meets them in downtown Minneapolis where she announces that the first one-on-one date begins now, before inviting Ghost to join her. The rest of the men have a pout, knowing that as a fellow Minnesotan, she and Ghost are about to have a very special date.

And as far as dates in Minnesota go, it is pretty special: they throw out the opening pitch at a Twins game before going to her high school where they make out at her locker (she still remembers where her locker was? God bless.) and then play a little one-on-one in her old gym.

That night over dinner, Ghost opens up to Michelle, revealing that sports have shaped who he is — and a part of that is the injuries he endured. He first broke his foot in the seventh grade, leaving his foot susceptible to further injury. Over time he had multiple surgeries and eventually had to have seven screws and a plate implanted to hold his foot together, effectively ending his basketball career. Having to quit basketball led to a battle with anxiety and depression and even suicidal thoughts.* For him, basketball was life, and life was gone. Ghost becomes openly emotional talking about this painful time and how he made the decision to return home to Minnesota. As a fellow athlete, Michelle understands and thanks him for opening up so much, before offering the date rose.

And up to this point, I didn’t have feelings one way or another about Ghost — he’s very very pretty, but there’s not much personality showing through. If anything, the way he ghosted her before the show is a huge red flag. And I’m not saying having a sob story about having suicidal ideations is the same thing as a personality. But what I am saying is that this conversation on national television demonstrates a great deal of vulnerability and strength. Because our broken culture demands that men be “strong” at all costs, open discussion of mental health struggles is difficult for most men. What Ghost did here was important and brave.

But also:

Back at the hotel, the other men receive the group date card: “Hand-Slappy; Granny Smith; Backflip; Selfie Stick; Moveable Feast; Clay-Doh; NBA Draft; Schoolboy; and The Bed Guy: Meet me at the stadium. ♥ Michelle.”

Schoolboy upon realizing Doggy Daddy just landed the last one-on-one date of the week:

The group date takes place at the Minnesota Vikings’ stadium where Michelle asks the men if they’re ready to meet “the Vikings.” However, the men are not introduced to NFL players, but instead three beefy Viking cosplayers on break from the Renaissance Festival.

The Vikings first invite the men to demonstrate their war cries, and there is a lot of shouting, and bad Haka attempts, and one backflip from Backflip who needs to get a new schtick. The guys are then challenged to hurl a stump in “feats of strength” and Schoolboy manages to throw it … the furthest? somehow? while bitching in an interview that Michelle gave Doggy Daddy a one-on-one even after he strongly suggested she shouldn’t! How DARE she!

The men are then instructed to go put on Viking costumes — except for Schoolboy, who is given an inflatable centaur costume because he’s a horse’s ass. Once becostumed, the men are challenged to eat traditional Viking food like fermented herring and “head hash” before competing in an arm-wrestling contest. And the entire time the men are competing, they are also touching base with Michelle, making sure she knows they have learned their lesson from the last group date, all except for Schoolboy who continues to pout because he’s a stupid little bitch.

Oh, and Clay-Doh wins “Ultimate Viking.”

That night at the cocktail party, Clay-Doh is the first to talk to Michelle where he tells her he was making a conscious effort to show Michelle that he’s into her, and he tells her about his parents. That’s it. That’s all that happens with this talking lump of protein powder.

Michelle also has equally generic conversations with the other men, all but Schoolboy, who seems to think Michelle needs to come to him? As the men interrupt each other one after another to get whatever time they can to talk to Michelle, Schoolboy stands around the lobby huffing that she hasn’t come to talk to him yet.

Finally, Michelle, assuming she’s had all the conversations with everyone who wants to speak to her, returns to the group, and offers the group rose to Clay-Doh. And Schoolboy has the audacity to be SHOCKED and STUNNED that she DIDN’T CHECK IN ON HIM AT ALL! Even after he DID HIS BEST TO TALK SHIT ABOUT THE FRONTRUNNER AND EVERYTHING!

At the hotel, Doggy Daddy receives his date card: “I’m looking for a man who is not afraid to test the waters. ♥ Michelle.”



Right, so they ride around the lake on a giant pontoon boat for a while before swinging by some dock to pick up Michelle’s two best friends, Tia and Allie. The ladies join Michelle and Doggy Daddy on the pontoon and ask hard questions like, “Are some of the men on the show there for the wrong reasons?” and “Do you have any friends or enemies in the house?”

The women approve of Doggy Daddy and Michelle’s chemistry and relationship and are returned to shore.

Alone on the boat again, Michelle announces that it’s a tradition in Minnesota to get “purified in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.”

They jump into the lake — the correct lake — and make out a bit.

That night they go to dinner at what appears to be an empty mall or maybe movie theater, where Michelle and Doggy Daddy talk about what a great time they had on the date. Michelle then opens up about a previous relationship that was toxic and one-sided and left her emotionally and physically wrecked. After they broke up, she moved back in with her parents and vowed to never be in a relationship that made her feel unseen again.

Back at the hotel, Schoolboy is STILL whinging about Michelle ignoring his warnings about Doggy Daddy, that she didn’t give him the one-on-one date, and the fact that she didn’t seek him out during the group date. This entitled twerp then decides that the thing to do is interrupt her date with Doggy Daddy to tell her why it was wrong for her to not allow him to make her decisions for her.

So, the producers are like “You should totally get into one of our cars which will drive you over to where the date is happening because you wouldn’t have that information without us explicitly giving it to you and you should absolutely give her a piece of your mind,” Schoolboy drives to Michelle and Doggy Daddy’s dinner, and interrupts it, demanding to speak to her.

Doggy Daddy’s response?


And nothing else. He doesn’t protest when Michelle agrees to talk to him, and instead, he just hangs out without being threatened or too worried. And that, my friends, is what makes him a Daddy.

Michelle and Schoolboy go outside where he expresses his disappointment that he didn’t talk to her the night before (BY HIS OWN CHOICE) and adds that he feels “played” by the whole situation. He adds that he feels like what he told her fell on “deaf ears,” that he was trying to warn her about Doggy Daddy and he doesn’t want her to make the “wrong” decisions.

Michelle is like, “First of all, you caught me off-guard by speaking over me at the cocktail party. You then walked into the group date with a shit attitude, acting like you wanted to be anywhere but there. Here’s the thing, you entitled little asshole who has never in your life been called out on your bullshit: I don’t need a man to speak for me. As a woman of color, I am in a lot of situations where people presume to speak for me, and my voice isn’t heard. What I want is a man who will support me and not try to make decisions for me. And I have decided that you are going home, right now.”

With that, she walks his privileged behind out the front door.

She then returns to Doggy Daddy, and they’re both like, “WHAT A FUCKING CLOWN.” She then offers him the date rose because he kept his cool and did not act like a lunatic in a situation where so many men would become completely unhinged.

Calling it now: Doggy Daddy is gonna win this thing, y’all.

Finally, rose ceremony and cocktail party time:

Moveable Feast takes her outside where some random dude is playing a random piano on the streets of Minneapolis; Granny Smith continues to worry that he’s not the most handsome or tallest before going on to be completely adorable and charming with Michelle.

And then there’s Backflip.

Alone with Michelle, Backflip begins showing more of his ass: first, he complains to her that he’s feeling insecure because she’s saying the same things to him that she’s saying to other men. When Michelle assures him that she’s being sincere, that she’s not high-maintenance, he begins complaining that the “females” in Miami are “too high-maintenance.”

Michelle asks him to clarify, and he tries to explain that “females” in Miami expect men to “do everything for them.”

Later, Backflip tells the other men about his conversation with Michelle, and how she “misunderstood” him when he was trying to tell her about his philosophy that “females” in Miami are “high-maintenance.”

Granny Smith gets it:

But lo and behold, when it’s rose time:

Rose #1: Moveable Feast
Rose #2: NBA Draft
Rose #3: The Bed Guy
Rose #4: Backflip
Rose #5: Granny Smith

Which means the men who must go away now are Hand-Slappy and Selfie Stick, both of whom seem like better choices than Backflip. (Still, the truth of the matter is she’s eliminating men she doesn’t see a future with. It doesn’t mean she sees a future with Backflip, just that the producers have convinced her to keep him around another week for dramaz.) (That said, if she eliminates Granny Smith before Backflip, we’re going to have to have words.)

Still! Justice for Selfie Stick!

The Men Who Have Been Dumped by Michelle:

The Men Who Are Going to Soon Be Dumped by Michelle:

*If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally, help is available. Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

The Bachelorette airs on ABC on Tuesdays at 7/8 p.m.

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