‘The Bachelorette’: Milking it

The Bachelorette
November 23, 2021

It is the final dates before The Dreaded Hometowns, and Granny Smith helps us do some basic math: there are 8 men remaining, which means half of them must go home this week. And, he adds, it’s going to be a hard decision because she has “8 amazing guys” vying for her heart.

Does she? Does she have 8 amazing guys, Granny Smith?

“Backflip”= Martin

This week, Michelle is supposedly putting the dates in the hands of four of her former students, Luke, Kelsey, Ahmed, and Jayleen, tasking them both with deciding where the dates will be and which men will go on which dates. The kids are sent in to meet the eight men, and ask them questions like, “have you ever been grounded?”; “who has the worst breath?”; and “do you shave your nipples?” All of which, we can agree, are very good questions.

The children determine that NBA Draft is “like a warm chocolate chip cookie,” and that Backflip is a “show-off” and “wears too much cologne.” These children have more sense than all the people producing this show, and are now in charge of casting, I will hear no debate.

But it’s Clay-Doh and his “fort-building skills” and “big muscles” who eventually wins the kids over and receives the first one-on-one date of the week. He and Michelle meet at a limo which is stuffed with pizza and trays of candy and cookies because fifth graders. They are then driven to a natural history museum which they have run of for the night.

They run around and look at wooly mammoths and ask each other dumb questions like “what is your favorite holiday?” (they agree on Thanksgiving because they get to eat) and “what superpower would you want?” (his: to fly; hers: to heal) and they visit the planetarium where in a video, the kids greet “Miss Young and the Future Mr. Young,” and yammer about the best things in life, like “pizza and dogs.” Can’t argue.

Over dinner, Clay-Doh admits that he had been holding back earlier in the competition for fear of embarrassing himself, but that he’s finally feeling like he can open up and be more vulnerable with her. “Cool,” Michelle says, “because you’re going home tonight. It’s been fun, but I don’t want to meet your family. Byeeeeeee.”

Clay-Doh leaves like a gentleman, thanking her for the opportunity to get to know her and telling her that she’s an amazing person.

And that’s … it? This is our next Bachelor? OK BUT WHY?

But wait, somehow there’s more. In a completely unprecedented coda for this show, instead of driving his ass to the airport and leaving him there, Clay-Doh wakes up the next morning to “letters” from the “children” and definitely not the “production assistants.” The letters say that they’re sad that Miss Young didn’t choose him, one kid asks to come to his wedding one day, and another assures him that he will be a good dad and husband. Clay-Doh breaks down in tears reading the letters and … is this it? Are these fake-ass letters really why we’re supposed to be excited that he is the next Bachelor? FOR REAL?

I mean, I guess.

In any event, goodbye for now.

Back at the hotel, the men receive the group date card: “Moveable Feast, Granny Smith, Doggy Daddy, Ghost, Backflip and NBA Draft: Love is messy. ♥ Michelle.” This means, to NBA Draft’s deep disappointment, The Bed Guy will be receiving the last one-on-one before The Dreaded Hometowns.

As for the group date, the men meet Michelle at a farm — because even though she grew up in a city, the Los Angeles producers heard “Minnesota” and immediately assumed “farm girl.” There, the men they milk cows, feed calves, churn butter, and shovel shit.

Ghost turns out to be surprisingly good at all of these tasks; Granny Smith has no idea what he’s doing but he tries his very best; and Doggy Daddy whines that his back hurts. To be fair to Doggy Daddy, he is eleven feet tall, so there’s a lot of back to hurt.

At the cocktail party, Michelle talks to Doggy Daddy first about the potential of a Dreaded Hometown Date, and he reveals that one of his father’s few rules was that he not talk about girls with him: don’t bring any girls around, because Dad don’t care. As a result, Doggy Daddy has never brought anyone home to meet his parents, and honestly, he never wanted to until now. Doggy Daddy then confesses that he’s falling for her, and she admits that she feels strongly for him, too.

Ghost reveals that his grandparents owned a dairy farm, which is why he was so comfortable around all those cow teats. And Granny Smith tells Michelle that he wants her to meet his family so that he can truly understand who he is.

As for Backflip, this man is out here telling the others that his last exchange with Michelle ended with a miscommunication — on her part — that she hasn’t been paying attention and is perceiving things he’s said “incorrectly.”

This man goes on to say that there are things about Michelle that have made him question “what she stands for,” and adds that the poem she wrote demonstrates that she has some childhood trauma that she hasn’t worked past, suggesting that she is “immature.”

Fortunately, NBA Draft is sitting right there, listening to all of this. And as soon as Backflip has spent his time lying to Michelle about how much he wants her to meet his friends, NBA Draft is there to hand Michelle a box of receipts, starting with Backflip’s comments about her “immaturity.” Michelle thanks him and asks to speak to Backflip again.

Michelle confronts Backflip about what NBA Draft just said, and this man just lies to her face AS IF CAMERAS WERE NOT THERE CAPTURING EVERY WORD HE SAID.

He then replies, “Can I tell you what I said? Is that allowed?”

He tries to blah blah something about how there’s a difference between “being insecure and having insecurities,” and when Michelle attempts to respond, he talks over her and tries to: “my love, now you’re putting words in my mouth.”

“NO NOT ‘MY LOVE,'” replies Michelle, THANK GOD, and she points out that when he’s talking to her, he’s saying that she is a “strong woman,” but when she’s not around, he’s calling her “immature.” So which is it? Michelle points out that he talks over her, he isn’t being respectful, he is not honest, and he isn’t listening to why she’s been hurting. And that’s why she’s walking him out now.


But he’s not leaving this show without digging his grave a little deeper, ranting in his exit interview that he doesn’t respect the way Michelle handled this, she’s making a mistake, but at this point, HE doesn’t want to give HER a shot, and it’s just sad, really. He feels sad for her. But the bottom line is a woman like Michelle does not deserve his time.

And it would seem as though someone has had a minute to think about how shitty he came across on his way out based on his unintentionally hilarious Instagram post from the day after this episode aired:


Michelle returns to the group, offers the date rose to Doggy Daddy, and on her way out, hugs NBA Draft thanking him for having her back.

On the final one-on-one date, Michelle takes The Bed Guy on a tour of her childhood. First, Michelle takes him to get ice cream at her favorite spot, and then she brings him to her parents’ house. When The Bed Guy is understandably nervous about meeting Mom and Dad, she assures him that they aren’t home.

(Technically, she’s telling the truth in the moment … but …)

Michelle gives him a tour of the house and her childhood bedroom, before suggesting he borrow one of her father’s bathing suit so they can take a dip in the hot tub. And honestly, that should have tipped The Bed Guy off that this date wasn’t going to go how he expected, but it does not. And as soon as they are in the hot tub, and he is in HER FATHER’S BATHING SUIT, obviously Mom and Dad come home and “surprise” them.

The Bed Guy is mortified, but hops out of the hot tub and returns to his own clothes to meet the parents.

After making small talk about how many children he wants to have, and asking them for advice to a long happy marriage, The Bed Guy asks to speak to them alone which ohmygodNO, DON’T DO THIS, YOU JUST MET THEM FIVE MINUTES AGO WHILE WEARING THIS MAN’S UNDERTHINGS. But The Bed Guy can’t hear me and proceeds to ask these people for their blessing to marry their daughter. SON, YOU ARE ONE OF SIX MEN LEFT. SIT DOWN. (Also, asking a woman’s parents for their permission to marry their daughter is archaic and dismissive of her self-determination but I repeat myself for the forty-seventh time.) Anyway, her parents are like, “We’ll support any decision Michelle makes,” which is the only correct answer to this particularly patriarchal bullshit question.

That night at dinner which appears to be in a Medieval Times? The Bed Guy tells her how great it was to meet her parents, and that he hopes he made a good impression. He then tells her that if she comes home with him, she’ll meet his parents and brother, but the one person he wishes he could introduce her to the most, his grandpa, unfortunately, has passed away. The Bed Guy explains that his grandpa taught him what love is, and he really wanted to be able to introduce him to his wife one day. Michelle assures him that his grandpa shines through him.

The Bed Guy then offers her a bracelet that his mother gave him to bring with him on the show, explaining that if they saw her wear it, they would give Michelle the same love they give him, and I hate to admit it, but that’s a sweet gesture on Mom’s part?

Michelle calls it one of the most special gifts she’s received from someone, and The Bed Guy responds that she is “taking a walk through [his] heart,” before telling her that he’s falling in love with her.

Michelle offers him the date rose, obviously.

When it’s Rose Ceremony time, the hosts come in and inform the men there will be no cocktail party because obviously there won’t be: there are fewer than 10 minutes left in the episode.

Rose #1: Ghost
Rose #2: Granny Smith

Which means the men who must go away now are: NBA Draft and Moveable Feast, both of whom were genuinely nice guys and both of whom would have made far more interesting Bachelors than that talking slab of beef, Clay-Doh.

But am I happy Granny Smith is hanging around another week? Yes. Yes, I am. He’s wonderful. He’s not going to win and it’s going to be very sad when she breaks his heart next week, but I am happy he’s made it this far.

Also? Congratulations to the first all men of color final four on The Bachelorette:

As for why Ghost is the only one who didn’t post on Instagram about it, you’d have to ask him.

The Men Who Have Been Dumped by Michelle:

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

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

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