Matt reveals his Top 10 -- before Heather Martin (from Colton Underwood's season) crashes the party!
Will Matt James ever stop having new girls show up on "The Bachelor"? We all saw how well it went over last time when five new ladies joined the festivities. Many of the "OG" women were absolutely awful.
Matt has since removed most of them, but he by no means got most of them. In fact, last week's episode left us on a cliffhanger with one of the worst offenders, as it was Jessenia vs "Mean Girl" MJ in a dramatic two-on-one.
Don't you just wish sometimes they could show Matt the footage that we've all seen from home? That would eliminate any question as to whether or not MJ was one of the early ringleaders for the bullying of the new girls -- as well as some of the old ones.
Ultimately, though, despite her continuing to deny everything, Matt made the right call and sent MJ packing ahead of the Rose Ceremony. And clearly exhausted having to clean up the mess of all these messy ladies, he even canceled the Cocktail Party before botting three more.
And so, we said goodbye as well to Magi and newcomers Brittany and Ryan, the latter who seemed to have the strongest connection of the three. That leaves only Michelle -- who scored a one-on-one right away -- from that batch of women in the house.
She's no longer the newcomer anymore, though, thanks to the arrival of Heather Martin, who competed on Colton Underwood's season and later befriended former "Bachelorette" Hannah Brown. Hannah is friends with Tyler Cameron (from her season), who also happens to be Matt's best friend.
Tyler showed up this week, too, for a hilarious one-on-one date we'll get to in a minute, but we're still a little perplexed how Heather went from hearing Hannah say she should get in there and date Matt to actually walking into the show when there were only ten ladies left.
It's as if the producers are trying to create as much drama as possible (duh!). But we'd like to reiterate, these ladies were awful to the last batch of five ladies who entered the resort. How do you think they're going to treat one more coming in even later ... and one who's already experienced this journey.
The answer is about like you'd expect, and we only saw the first glimpses of it tonight. Teasers for next week's episode show familiar refrains coming from Heather, talking about how incredibly mean the other ladies have been to her.
While we expected to see nastiness from the likes of Serena C (who has emerged as the new head "Mean Girl"), it was more of a surprise to see such a venomous reaction from the likes of Jessenia (who just fought against this behavior with MJ) and Serena P.
We'll give them this initial frustration, as Heather literally crashed the Cocktail Party, inevitably costing them even more precious time, and we know all about producer manipulation in teasers, so we'll have to wait for more context. But we're concerned.
It was heartbreaking hearing Pieper open up about the expressions of love she doesn't get at home and how much she clearly needs and craves that affirmation and support. She said her family believes more in showing their love through actions than saying the words, but she so badly wants to hear things like "I love you" and "I'm proud of you."
We can't help but wonder how her family will react to seeing this episode. Clearly, their way of expressing their feelings is the way they operate and they've not seen anything wrong with it. We also suspect Pieper has never told them how she feels about it, so this could be eye-opening.
Hopefully, they take it as not an attack on them, but rather a cry from their daughter that she needs something from them. It's also sad to see how it's impacted her ability to let people into her heart, though that actually is something she and Matt were able to bond on.
This was a remarkable honesty from her, opening up in a very real and painful way, so we totally agree and applaud Matt giving her that rose. Plus, she's adorable and we like her, so we're happy to have her stick around a little longer.
On a fun side note, we have to acknowledge a great performance by Temecula Road, premiering their new song "Everything I Love" in a very awkward setting. If you've ever wondered how weird it is for a band to perform for just two people on one of these reality shows, well it's as weird as you thought it was.
Not only did the group have to play the same quarantine and testing game that Heather had to before crashing the show, but they had to endure the awkwardness of performing to just two people -- who were definitely not focused on them.
"It gave us a good laugh to see them making out like two feet in front of you," Maddie Salute told People. Even better, we loved hearing from Emma Salute that production actually warned them about it.
"They told us, 'If you look at them, you might laugh so don't do that,'" she recalled. "Obviously, it was a sweet moment for them, but [it was] so awkward. It was just the three of us on stage and the two of them and we were just like, 'We can't look.'"
Another kudos to Matt, if this was his decision, comes after the group date when Chris once again pitted the women against one another in a bowling match. The winning team gets the evening portion of the date, the others go home in shame.
We're too far along in this process, as the women lamented, to be denying people time like that based on how well they can bowl. Also, props to the ladies for what was apparently an incredibly close matchup.
So, we applaud Matt for inviting the losing team to the evening portion as well, after letting them stew and cry for a bit, as it was the right thing to do. Especially this season, as there have been countless interruptions to the flow of the show, costing women time with him over and over and over again.
In what has to be a very good sign for her future on this show, Michelle scored the group date rose, We say this because she's a newcomer to the show and has been on exactly three dates (a one-on-one and two group dates). In that time, she's picked up two roses. Clearly she's making a huge impression.
We would like to take a moment to note that prior to the losing team arriving, something rather magical and remarkable was happening. While Matt and the four from the winning tea were sitting around, we couldn't help but notice and appreciate that every single one of them was a person of color.
The diversity of this season has already been refreshing to see from the beginning, but scenes like this would have been unheard of even just a year ago, so it was definitely exciting to see -- and about time!
One of the most remarkable women in the house, from the perspective of those of us watching at home, finally got her one-on-one chance with Matt. We kind of love that he leaned into her playful side -- evidenced by her Night 1 dildo -- and had her help him prank Tyler during a fake massage.
The fear, though, is that we've seen this before. On the latest "Bachelorette," in fact, we witnessed this with Uzoma "Eazy" Nwachukwu. Like Katie, he was one of the most likable contestants, and so a fun date was planned for him and Tayshia.
Unfortunately, it didn't end well for Eazy, as Tayshia just didn't see past that fun pal side of him to something more serious. We've been saying almost since the beginning, that we've been seeing hints of that with Matt and Katie as well, like he sees her as this great person and good friend, but with no hints of romantic interest.
That made the evening portion crucial. Alas, Katie follows Eazy right out of the show and into the friend zone. And we're not gonna lie, it's heartbreaking to think that some of those girls who've been pretty awful (*ahem* Serena C *ahem*) are outlasting her, but we weren't seeing that romantic spark, either.
Not only was she unapologetically herself and sex positive in a way that was refreshing, but she was the only one in the house fighting on behalf of the other women in the house. She advocated for them with Matt and was fearless in confronting bullying behavior directly.
This woman has character for days, and we suspect that character is going to be severely missed when the other ladies get their hands on Heather. It at least looks like Heather's gonna be around for a minute, and that's plenty long enough for the ugly side of some of these women to emerge.
It's as if they learned nothing from Matt saying over and over again that having to put someone else done to elevate yourself isn't going to impress him. There's a reason Anna and Victoria and MJ were eliminated, and it's for the kind of behavior it looks like we're in for again.
It might seem a little early to start speculating about the identity of the next "Bachelorette," but it looks like the fans and producers might be on the same page this time. It is, of course, very early in the process and last-minute changes are always possible, but Variety and Reality Steve (who's usually pretty spot-on) are both very confident that producers feel they have their leading lady.
Multiple sources are confirming to Variety that our girl Katie impressed producers as much as she did Bachelor Nation and they're ready to hand the reigns of the franchise to her, even after finishing outside of the Top 10.
We can't even emphasize how exciting this would be, as Katie has been one of the most genuine and real people on this show in a long time. She also has a huge heart and a fearless way of fighting for what she believes in and for everyone's right to basic human decency.
Seriously, is there a better advocate for this franchise right now? And yes, when the rumors first surfaced over the weekend, Katie took to her Instagram Stories with a shrugging pic captioned, "Reading my texts this morning like News to me." But that doesn't mean anything.
It could be that nothing has been confirmed yet -- that's almost certainly the case -- or she could just be lying. It wouldn't be the first time someone's done that in her situation. So, there's still a chance it may not be her -- but it really should be.
"MJ's the last of the 'mean girl' tribe. I just hope Matt can see MJ for who she really is and it's a short conversation, then MJ goes home" --Katie
"You can act like I'm the only one who has seen and heard this, but I'm not, MJ." --Jessenia
"She shouldn't have said my f------ name. I just can't stand her. She's kind of such a little bitch. She's not gonna get away with this. I can't f------ do this right now." --MJ (that's not ownership)
"I never lied. And at the end of the day, I know you need a wife who preaches for harmony and peace and not tearing each other down. Like, I would never do that. I don't believe in that. That's not who I am." --MJ (lying again to Matt)
"So how'd it go? What happened?" --Serena C (after Matt walked MJ out; should be nervous)
"I feel like all of this could have been avoided if the topic of bullying and toxicity wouldn't have been brought in the first place of [sic] last Rose Ceremony. I"m sorry, Katie, but you did bring it up. Pretty much every scenario where there has been drama, you have been part of." --Serena C (after Matt cancels Cocktail Party)
"Okay, I don't know where this is coming from, and I'm sorry you're upset, but why are you concerned about me? What's your concern? What the hell?" --Katie
"You're lighting all these little fires everywhere. You're the arsonist. How is telling Matt about bullying and toxicity and mean girls, that doesn't help your relationship at all." --Serena C (to Katie)
"I'm not gonna sit here and let mean girls be mean girls in this house. So guess what? I told him yeah, there's some shit going on in this house. Not my story to tell, so if the girls, whoever, want to tell their story, they're going to tell their story." --Katie (to Serena C)
"As I said last night, thank you for your feedback." --Katie (dismissing Serena C)
"I cannot reason with crazy. I just don't know why she's so hung up on me." -- Katie (about Serena C)
"I"m really not sure why Serena is so upset with Katie ... At this point, it's, like, ridiculous to me. I'm like, okay, when does this shit end." --Kit
"What's something you would do in the woods?" --Matt (to Pieper)
"At night? Get mauled by a bear." --Pieper (to Matt)
"I hope that Katie goes on her one-on-one and Matt realizes that she is not the one for him and that they are not compatible at all and that it is so weird that she's stayed here so long and that he will ultimately decide that they're not meant to be together and send her ass home." --Serena C
"I don't regret being myself. It just sucks that it wasn't enough." --Katie (after Matt walked her out)
"What the f---? Who is that?" --Pieper (after Heather interrupts her time with Matt)