After being savagely disrespected by one contestant, Clare returns the favor to almost everyone else in the house -- plus, the show finally teases the arrival of Tayshia Adams, her ... replacement?
Clare Crawley spent the week raising eyebrows by liking tweets that would suggest that she may not have quit "The Bachelorette," but was perhaps replaced. After what we saw tonight, she should have been.
We've seen contestants disrespect the lead, one another and even the process, but we're not sure we've seen a lead disrespect everyone in the house quite so aggressively as Clare was by the end of this two hour mess.
We started off sympathizing with her as Yosef classlessly and needlessly blasted her for her strip dodgeball game. If he wants to have an issue with it, that's fine (and he's not alone, as the controversial move drew plenty of online ire), but to start savaging her.
He spoke often of his daughter and how Clare was setting a terrible example for her, but is he proud of his own example? He basically yelled at her uninterrupted, getting more and more belligerent and disrespectful as he went until he was almost shouting.
Finally, she'd had enough and needed him to leave. It was at this point, he started shouting across the grounds at her, as seen in previews before the season began, reducing her to tears. It was painful to watch because she was right in that no woman -- actually, no one -- deserves to be yelled at and demeaned like that.
Unfortunately, Clare then proceeded to demean and diminish every guy there other than the guy whose arms she fell into after Yosef laid into. The guy she felt she was going to marry from the moment she saw him. The guy she referred to as her "fiance" to a producer.
Let's call these like we see them. They might technically be Group Dates, but they're actually all about Dale -- even when he's not there, as we'll see later. But Dale was all over this one, and it turns out he's being as disrespectful of the other guys' time as Clare is.
This was after Clare had cost them all already half the day, ultimately canceling the day portion of the date so she could talk about falling for Dale with Season 4 Bachelorette DeAnna Pappas. Seriously, these guys are getting no time with her so far!
First, he spoke of wanting to make sure everyone gets equal time while requesting five minutes first with her. He then made out with her in her suite for nearly an hour until Eazy showed up an interrupted.
But even that wasn't enough, as he later crashed Jay's one-on-one time with her to start making out again! Now, Clare is just as complicit in this behavior, and there is nothing wrong with finding a connection with someone, but both of them are disrespecting the process.
After Yosef derailed the first two cocktail parties to the point several guys had still had zero time with Clare by the time of those Rose Ceremonies, here comes Dale to disrupt this one. We even got another behind-the-scenes glimpse of Clare asking a producer if they can just "hurry" up the rest of the one-on-ones.
The problem is that Clare is going through the motions, but her mind is already made up. If she was open-minded about really giving these other guys a chance, that would be one thing, but as they've already picked up on, she's got tunnel vision.
And Dale is no better, declaring him the "best suited" to console her or be there for her. His arrogance is palpable in the house because he knows he's got this in the bag. But is that just cockiness in this game, or indicative of a deeper narcissism? Plus, his talking in circles to lie and try to cover up what he's doing is beyond frustrating. As Eazy said, just own it. The guys can respect the hustle if you just own that's what you're doing.
Stepping aside from Dale briefly, we were actually surprised Clare agreed to a one-on-one with Zach J, considering he's not Dale. Maybe she was still in her heart and mind trying to believe she would give these guys a chance.
We were even more surprised that she went in for a kiss. But that's where things get very, very strange very, very fast.
From the vantage point we got, it looked like she abruptly stopped moving forward to kiss him, and then suddenly she was hurt and angry and, ultimately, afraid of his aggression as he tried to fix whatever had gone wrong.
According to Zach, he was going in for the kiss but didn't know why she had stopped. According to her, she was going in for it and he pulled back. She immediately refused to talk about it or give him a second chance, leading him to get way too grabby and aggressive.
No matter how it went down, no still means no. You don't have to like it and sometimes you don't even understand it. But it doesn't matter, you just have to accept it. Instead, Zach grabbed her several times and even tried to go in again for a kiss.
Those were lines he shouldn't have crossed. It was clear that he was confused and trying desperately to salvage a situation, seeing the inevitable, but he only made it worse. He'd already lost at that point.
And now that awkward missed connection now had her seeing him as some sort of potential predator, triggering past trauma for her, who had to be shown the door by Chris Harrison.
The whole date was hard to watch, and we could tell that Zach was uncomfortable through the spa portion. But we really don't know how to read what happened with the actual kiss miss moment itself.
Even though he wasn't technically a part of this group date, everyone helped to ensure he was part of it. For one, he was brought in as part of the audience for what turned out to be a roast session. Then, he became the favorite topic.
Now, one of the guys pointed out later that he had 43 different jokes (a possible exaggeration) and only one about Dale. So the content was probably less Dale-centric than the edit made it look, but there were definitely enough barbs thrown his way that he appeared to be the target hit the most.
And none of that flew by Clare, who looked disturbed and perturbed the longer it went on. Then, disaster struck when she got to the "cocktail party" portion of the date. Dale wasn't there, and all the guys got their one-on-ones with her.
But they were more like interrogations about what they said about Dale, and what the guys think about Dale and if Dale ever actually said he was a frontrunner, or "best suited" for her -- he definitely did say the latter.
By the time they were comparing notes, it was evident that Clare was only interested in one guy that night, and it was none of them. And then, for the final insult to all of them she forced to talk about Dale all night (from what we saw), she offered none of them a rose for this date.
Dale, of course, snagged the one from the first "Group Dale."
By this point, the guys are starting to wonder why they're even on the show if she's already made up her mind. And it looks like that tension will rise to a boil next week when Chris Harrison and Clare finally sit down and talk about what she's doing to the show -- it's not a great showing right now -- and what happens next.
What happens next appears to be, as revealed in the press already, the arrival of Tayshia Adams as the new Bachelorette. So does that mean Dale and Clare just skip town next week? After seeing how little respect they both have for the other guys or this process this week, we'd have to say good riddance.
It also makes us wonder if these shows should have an exit strategy in place for situations like this. Clearly, Clare made up her mind right away that she wanted to date Dale. She then was effectively stuck in this process she has also clearly shown she's not fully invested in with a bunch of guys she's growing less and less interested in getting to know.
And yet, she's probably contractually obligated to go through the motions, which could be why she's been suggesting it wasn't her idea for her to quit the show. Perhaps she can't quit. All she could do was make an absolute farce of it until producers had no choice but to step in. We'll see if that's what happens next week.
And we'll see if it's salvaged into some semblance of a new season, or if Tayshia will just pick things up where Clare left off, with only 16 eligible bachelors remaining. Perhaps some of those sent home will get the chance to return (not Yosef). Perhaps she'll get some new guys closer to her age, the way Clare did.
We all had some idea where this was going, though we didn't expect it to get this ugly along the way. Finally, it looks like we're about to see how it all goes down next week -- and then what comes next.
“It’s completely unacceptable and completely classless.” --Yosef (about naked dodgeball)
“I don’t care what these guys say, I really don’t. I’m not gonna back down from anyone, including The Bachelorette.” --Yosef
“I hope he’s not gonna make it seem like she’s the most evil person in the world for just wanting to have some fun last night.” --Ivan (about Yosef)
“I get it, my mom is dying.” --Claire
“Let me continue.” --Yosef
“I was so appalled. A completely classless display. I expected more from the oldest Bachelorette that’s ever been.” --Yosef
“I’m ashamed to be associated with you.” --Yosef
“Never in a million years did I ever think that I would have to utter these words again. Do not ever talk to me like that.” --Clare
“You’re not fit to be a mother to my child.” --Yosef
“Don’t do that. Don’t be that guy.” --Eazy (as Yosef shouts at Clare)
“This is exactly what I was talking about the other day. Disrespectful as hell. This is what he does.” --Riley
“I’m the oldest Bachelorette that’s 39 that’s single because I didn’t settle for men like that!” --Clare
“Yosef just called me so many names. And was so mean.” --Clare (sobbing in Dale’s arms)
“He said everybody here’s just appeasing me.” --Clare
“I’m here to please you.” --Dale
“I just want so much more time with you.” --Clare
“We’ll figure it out.” --Dale
“It’s not even the second Rose Ceremony yet and I’m so falling in love with Dale.” --Clare
“These are Dale’s pants, they smell like him.” --Clare (showing them to Season 4 Bachelorette, DeAnna)
“When you know, you know.” --DeAnna
“This might be the shortest season ever.” --Clare
“I don’t want to sound arrogant or overly confident, but when I get quality time with her, like it’s a wrap.” --Dale
“Why are you so perfect?” --Clare (to Dale)
“Should we send out a search party for Dale?” --Ed
“Dale, starting off, said he wanted five minutes. They’ve been gone for an hour.” --Jay
“Can we kind of hurry the rest along.” --Clare (to a producer during the group date)
“I didn’t know somebody was in here. I was just kind of roaming.” --Dale (crashing Jay’s one-on-one time to make out more with Clare)
“Yeah? Do you want to come on over?” --Clare (letting him)
“I’ll interrupt Dale.” --Chasen
“You should. That man just gave the ultimate ‘oh, respect the brothers’ talk and then just went back in there for the second time midway.” --Riley
“Dale, it would be better if you just own it. Just own it.” --Eazy (annoyed with Dale talking in circles)
“It’s truly unfair to go through what we’re doing when she already has her eyes on one set person.” --Chasen
“If [Dale] gets a rose tonight, I feel like it’s disrespectful. It’s just kind of frustrating all around.” --Ed (of course Dale got the rose)
“I was the best guy suited … to be there for her.” --Dale
“Yeah, none of the guys were f--king there for her. Nah, it’s all good.” --Jason
“Looking at Dale’s face, god, he looked so hot in that hat. I mean, I’m not gonna lie, I was ready to ‘Game On’ in the bedroom with Dale last night.” --Clare (picking up Zach J for their date)
“In moments like this, I wish Dale was here.” --Clare (during spa date with Zach J)
“If some of these guys are picking up on Dale and I’s relationship and the connection him and I have, guess what? It’s because I like him. That’s why. And that’s what I’m here for. That’s the whole point. Are you new here?’ --Clare
“Hate on. Hate on.” --Clare
“It literally feels like right now she’s only interested in Dale in this whole house. Like, to the point where I feel like I’m wasting my time being here.” --Kenny
“I really don’t think I can sit there and go, ‘You dished on my fiancé so hard,’ like I can’t be doing that shit, you know? It doesn’t feel right.” --Clare (to a producer after keeping the rose for herself at the second group date)
“This process is supposed to be for Clare to find a husband. Well, if she’s already done it, then what are we doing?” --Kenny
Clare Crawley blows up "The Bachelorette" next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, as Tayshia Adams slides in to look at the wreckage.