“The Men Tell All”
December 6, 2021
Before we begin, I just want to bitch about something: First of all, the “Men/Women Tell All” specials are dumb and hard to recap because there’s so much yelling and nothing really gets resolved here anyway — it’s not like Michelle really has anything left unresolved with the Pizzapreneur that we should spend time worrying about it, you know?
But if we are going to do these stupid filler episodes, there is exactly zero reason why any of these specials should be longer than one hour. None of these people have anything interesting to say that takes more than 40 minutes of screen time, as evidenced by the amount of nonsense filler these specials employ. Never before scenes and bloopers that aren’t even funny and three-hour long previews of The Bachelor, and actors pretending to be process servers and streakers … you cut all that crap out, and you’ve got yourself a nice tight one-hour show. Maybe an hour and a half if we really want these guys to drone on with their self-serving nonsense one last time. And why are we getting actors involved at all? It was dumb and obvious when that one actress demanded to kiss Cat Man last season, and it’s even dumber in this episode when the gimmick is used twice. TWICE! I don’t know who’s producing these specials but I would like to talk to them.
Alright, so. The completely unnecessary “Men Tell All” special begins with an introduction of the men who will be joining us tonight (with one notable exception who comes out later for obvious reasons):
Backflip, Schoolboy, Le Romeo, Steal Dossier, Hand Slappy, Little Fireman, Big Fireman, Double Dribble, Dr. Brain, NBA Draft, Swaggy, Moveable Feast, Pizzapreneur, and Granny Smith.
Our hosts, Tayshia and Kaitlyn invite the men to go back to the beginning and give their first impressions of Michelle on that first night. The men uniformly describe her as “confident” and “stunning,” and “magnetic” and “extraordinary.”
Then it’s off to the montage of the men bickering in the first half of the season, including some footage we haven’t seen, notably Schoolboy saying that NBA Draft has a “small IQ.”
Tayshia and Kaitlyn begin with Swaggy, asking about his contentious relationship with Pizzapreneur: was he joking when he called Pizzapreneur a “narcissist?” Swaggy says he was not, and explains that all Pizzapreneur wanted to do was promote his business — every word out of his mouth was about pizza, never Michelle. Swaggy goes on to tell Pizzapreneur that he joined the wrong show: he should have gone on Shark Tank. It’s a decent burn, but I do wonder how long it took Swaggy to come up with it because my guess is it occurred to him the moment he got on the plane to leave the show.
The ladies ask Pizzapreneur why he threw Swaggy’s jacket in the pool, and he claims it was just “in good fun.” He begins yelling at Swaggy for calling him a narcissist when he knew nothing about him. That’s when Hand Slappy speaks up for the first time all season, explaining that the viewers have no idea just how insufferable Pizzapreneur really is, constantly talking about pizza and throwing out irritating catchphrases:
— Bachelor Total Landscaping (@FinalRose2night) December 7, 2021
WHERE WAS THIS GUY ALL SEASON LONG?
Pizzapreneur counters that he IS a pizza guy, that pizza provides for his mother and sister, and his entire family. Swaggy interrupts and asks Pizzapreneur to tell his sister to stay out of his DMs.
This is a nice segue to events that supposedly happened outside of the show: namely, Pizzapreneur essentially accuses Swaggy of manufacturing a bunch of bad reviews of his pizzeria. They read some of the reviews on air, and while, yes, they certainly sound like fake reviews, Bachelorette fans who were disgusted with Pizzapreneur’s behavior have just as much access to the internet as Swaggy. So unless Pizzapreneur is planning on doing some sort of data forensics, I’m not sure how he plans to prove that it was Swaggy who wrote them. But that doesn’t stop Pizzapreneur from pulling a dumb stunt in which some dude comes out from backstage and presents Swaggy with a subpoena and announces that he’s been “served.” Ok.
— Bachelor Tea Spill (@bachteaspill) December 7, 2021
The next man Tayshia and Kaitlyn confront is Steal Dossier, and they have questions about those notes. Steal Dossier insists he wasn’t being disingenuous, he just wanted to be successful with Michelle. Kaitlyn tries to confront him about the section on his “Dream Girls” and how none of them look anything like Michelle, but somehow we move on from that without further clarification. The other men, including Big Fireman and Dr. Brain, chastise Steal Dossier for wasting time that they could have had with Michelle, and hiss at him that he has no integrity.
Then there’s Backflip: the ladies ask NBA Draft why he said he “rubbed him the wrong way,” and NBA Draft is like, “I mean, you watched the same thing I did, right? He’s two-faced and the wrong person for Michelle.”
Le Romeo admits that he was fooled by Backflip, and tells him that he was disappointed in his “triple whammy of misogyny”: calling Miami women “high-maintenance,” calling women “females,” and saying that Michelle is “not like other girls.”
Backflip insists he meant it as a compliment but acknowledges that it “came off the wrong way,” which is not at all taking credit for the deeply internalized misogyny that led him to say those things in the first place, but it’s all we’re going to get out of this particular unenlightened dipshit.
Backflip is then confronted with the rumor that throughout the show he had a girlfriend back home. He claims that he is dating a woman whom he dated before he came on The Bachelorette, but insists that he was not with her during the course of the filming.
And what about that little twerp, Schoolboy? Moveable Feast confronts Schoolboy, arguing that Schoolboy was just trying to secure a rose when he spoke over Michelle and accused Doggy Daddy and others of thinking that they “had it in the bag.” Schoolboy apologizes to the men for “coming off too strong,” but insists that his intentions were genuine.
But Moveable Feast, he’s not buying it, revealing that Schoolboy was his roommate, and once bragged to him that he’d dated many women who were better looking than Michelle.
Pizzapreneur tries to come to Schoolboy’s defense, arguing that this is just a “he said, she said” situation, but Moveable Feast suggests that Pizzapreneur just stay in his lane, because “no one cares about your opinion.”
Genuine question: if The Bachelor was determined to go with a white Bachelor, WHY NOT MOVEABLE FEAST? I mean, sure, he’s not a former NFL player, but haven’t we gone down that path a bunch of times already? MOVEABLE FEAST IS RIGHT THERE. (All that said, it obviously should have been Rodney.)
Kaitlyn and Tayshia invite NBA Draft to have his say with Schoolboy, and he is FIRED UP. He yells at Schoolboy for saying that he has a “low IQ,” and informs him that he is looking at “Black excellence.” Standing up to confront Schoolboy, NBA Draft reminds Schoolboy that he has a master’s degree and yells at Schoolboy to look him in the eye. But Schoolboy not only can’t manage to do that but literally has no response to NBA Draft because he’s a dumb coward.
The show wisely saved Reality TV
Virgin Villain for his own segment and only brings him out at that time (otherwise, this first section — the entire episode — would have just been all of the men yelling at him for being human garbage).
After his montage, Reality TV
Virgin Villain joins the couch to audible groans from the audience.
Virgin Villain begins by claiming that he and Michelle had an instant connection and that he genuinely saw a future with her. “OK, but then why did you say Michelle was on ‘spring break mode’ like a week after your one-on-one date?” the ladies ask. Reality TV Virgin Villain claims that his comment was lacking necessary context: basically, he had just walked in on Michelle and another contestant in “an intimate moment” and I guess because he is supposedly a Reality TV Virgin, he didn’t realize she’d be kissing other men on this show? THIS IS WHAT YOU SIGNED UP FOR. MY GOD.
Le Romeo also confronts Reality TV
Virgin Villain, going so far as to say he was under Reality TV Virgin Villain’s “spell” and wanted to be like him. Now he’s just disgusted, between calling Michelle easy and taking shots at Ghost and The Bed Guy, at all of them.
In response, Reality TV
Virgin Villain starts talking in indecipherable circles about working on “different levels” and how “no human is better than another human,” but the men aren’t interested, and are like, “just give us a straight answer for once in your life: why didn’t you admit to the group that you were the one who upset Michelle with the rumor that she had been dating Ghost before the show?”
Again, Reality TV
Virgin Villain starts yammering furiously about there being “two levels” to the rumors he was talking about, frustrating the men even further.
— Shared News (@sharednews) December 7, 2021
Anyway, this pattern of the men demanding to know why he didn’t cop to being the source of the story, and Reality TV
Virgin Villain talking about group dynamics and disrespect and anything but the question at hand continues for way too long, with Le Romeo finally wondering if Reality TV Virgin Villain is like this in real life, just gaslighting everyone he knows. (Yes.)
— carly 👼🏼 (@carlymvandamme) December 7, 2021
We then move on to the nice guys, starting with Moveable Feast. He joins the ladies on the couch and talks about opening up about his father’s death and how Michelle made him feel like she listens to people to understand, not just respond. After admitting that he’s nervous to see her that night, the table and serving platter from the first night is wheeled out onto the stage. Moveable Feast is then ordered to lift the dome revealing a truly terrifying cake of his own head. They then make him eat it.
It’s … weird. Really weird.
— vanessa (@assenavmarie) December 7, 2021
— No Longer Chris Harrison’s Mom (@CanIWalkYou0ut) December 7, 2021
— Lydia (@lydialovestv) December 7, 2021
Next should be Granny Smith, but before we can have that talk, Kaitlyn interrupts the whole show to ask Tayshia why she’s not wearing her engagement ring anymore. Tayshia reports that all she has to say is that she’s “heartbroken,” and that she and Zac tried really hard and she still loves him very much.
OK, YOU DATE GRANNY SMITH NOW, PROBLEM SOLVED.
As Granny Smith is invited to the couch, poor Tayshia leaps up and runs off stage and y’all … maybe this wasn’t the best way to handle this whole situation?
Anyway, Granny Smith joins Kaitlyn and says all the things you’d expect to hear from Granny Smith: he was all in, but maybe it was too little, too late; she told him that she’ll always be Team Granny Smith and he’ll always be Team Michelle; he hopes Michelle finds her one true love because she’s amazing.
To fill the completely unnecessary two hours of this nonsense, we are then shown clips that the editors didn’t think were interesting enough to make it onto the show, including a butter sculpting contest, more scenes of Tayshia and Kaitlyn searching the men’s rooms, and Granny Smith making an amazing shot on the basketball date that ABSOLUTELY should have been in the episode, what were they thinking?
— Brett S. Vergara (@BrettSVergara) December 7, 2021
All of this is to set up the second staged bit of the night in which one of the audience members leaps to his feet yelling, “WE LOVE YOU GRANNY SMITH!” while stripping off all of his clothes. The man then runs down onto the staging area before being “chased out” by “security.”
We then spend an entire segment listening to the men as they read out contractually obligated statements about how much they like Clay-Doh and are rooting for him as the next Bachelor.
Finally, Michelle joins the men and praises the group for being such a “good group of guys.” OK, but are you sure? Because: Steal Dossier, Schoolboy, Backflip, Pizzapreneur, and Reality TV
Virgin Villain. A full 1/6 of the entire cast was just pure trash!
Granny Smith tells Michelle that he’s happy for her and proud of her and that he’ll always be Team Michelle. Michelle then turns her attention to Moveable Feast and thanks him for being all in from day one and applauds his vulnerability.
As for the assholes in the crowd: the ladies ask Reality TV
Virgin Villain if he has anything to say to Michelle, and he goes on this whole positive spiel about how she was a person he could take on life’s scariest challenges with, and how he bonded with her as a coach, helping build people up. He applauds her and it’s been a joy getting to know her!
Apology count: 0.
Michelle is like, “You’re going to bring coaching up to me? For real? Because coaching is lifting people up even when they’re not around. I hear you talking about how much you respect me, but I watched this season, too, and I heard the things you said about me, ya dummy.”
Virgin Villain gives the ol’ “If anyone was hurt by what I said,” non-apology …
… before trying to defend himself calling her a slut by saying he needed to “vent.” He then tries to claim he was never negative about anyone, and Michelle is like, “WE WATCHED THE SHOW. WE SAW YOU. THAT’S HOW TELEVISION WORKS.” Michelle then announces she’s going to close this conversation (instead of allowing it to continue to spiral in meaningless dribble) and tells him that it’s frustrating to see that he has not learned anything. Also, his apologies are bullshit.
Virgin Villain, realizing that everyone sees through him, announces that he apologizes for what he said, and now sees that she and the men all felt disrespected. He was in the wrong and he is sorry. And folks, it is the year 2021, and I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but this is the only way to make a real apology. Any apology that begins with “I am sorry you felt …” is not actually taking responsibility, and instead is blaming the other person’s feelings for the problem you caused.
Some other men want to “apologize,” too: namely Backflip who is sorry for the “miscommunication” between them. AGAIN, NOT AN APOLOGY. Michelle confronts him about saying that she doesn’t deserve someone like him, and why he feels like he can just belittle her. Backflip again blames it on not being a good communicator instead of just being a straight-up asshole who got his fee-fees hurt and lashed out like an emotionally immature 14-year-old.
As for Schoolboy, he apologizes to Michelle for speaking over her and hopes that she found her soul mate. And that, friends, THAT IS ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY. IT’S NOT HARD. “I’m sorry, I hope you’re doing well.”
Before the episode ends, Michelle makes a point to thank NBA Draft for always having her best interests in mind, and being so emotional with her when she felt unseen. Michelle wishes that of all the men, she’d had more time with him. And from a quick look at Twitter, so do the Bachelorette fans.
Finally, Pizzapreneur wheels out samples of his pizza for the entire crowd because he’s going to milk it for as long as he can. Swaggy admits that it’s better than the one he tried in Florida, and these two make nice and hug it out. Don’t get too excited, though, they’ll be fighting down in Mexico over shitty resort pizza in no time.
ALRIGHT. ONTO FANTASY SUITES. THE END IS IN SIGHT. And I’ll get a whole ~checks calendar~ one week off before The Bachelor begins.
The Bachelorette airs on ABC on Tuesdays at 7/8 p.m.