Katie reveals her Top 7 by trimming all the drama -- but not before coming up with a challenge ripped straight from the sitcom "Seinfeld."
Katie proved once again that she is not wasting any time during her season on "The Bachelorette," and in the process proved Hunter wasn't altogether wrong when he hinted that he thinks she already has her front-runners in mind.
The last few One-on-One Dates have not been about getting to spend more time with those people she's already feeling a strong connection with, but rather a chance to find out if there's that extra spark she needs to feel with whoever she's chosen.
It's a dynamic we've seen before on this show, but Katie is really using these dates more to test these guys than they may realize. They get so excited to get a One-on-One but if they knew this was actually putting them in the hot seat, they might sweat it out a little more.
Perhaps future seasons -- after people have seen this one -- will have more of the contestants seeing the double-edged sword of that coveted One-on-One. It is great to have all that time, but there is also a tremendous amount of pressure.
Master of Their Domains
Speaking of pressure, what was up with this WOWO (Week Off W------ Off) Challenge. Let's just say, if you've seen a certain infamous episode of "Seinfeld" you'll know exactly what this means the guys have to do -- or not do, as the case may be.
And while ABC is a pretty conservative show, they certainly leaned hard (ahem) into the innuendos and even used a lawn sprinkler at one point to suggest that one of the guys failed at this particular challenge.
There was no explanation given as to why Katie decided to throw this challenge out there, but it was definitely a topic of conversation in the house that came up throughout the week as Katie talked to the guys.
Kaitlyn Bristowe announced the challenge to the guys, giggling like a junior high kid saying a naughty word for the first time, and they had plenty of awkward giggles of their own. She also suggested, which Katie echoed, that it's actually a compliment to Katie if the guys failed.
Yeah, it was weird and it didn't really serve any purpose for the show, other than to create more opportunities to hear all the creative ways the guys could come up with to talk about it. What we got out of it is that absolutely anything and everything can mean that.
As we mentioned above, Katie has been using these One-on-Ones to weed out the guys she just doesn't have that extra magic with, and poor Connor was the one who fell victim to that euphoric high only to be dashed by reality moments later.
The producers certainly got all the footage they could of him talking about how confident he was after their double-date backyard barbecue with Kaitlyn and Jason Tartick. Everyone agreed he was great, but Katie said there was something missing in that kiss. And the kiss means a lot to her (it's a big reason Blake is doing so well).
When they kissed again today, she still wasn't feeling it. And so, Connor went from confident going into the night portion of their date to greeting a teary Katie at his door. He quickly knew what was coming, and actually comforted her through the breakup.
It's just a testament to what an absolutely sweetheart of a man he is. Another testament is that he took the time to go back and say goodbye to all the other guys, and actually left most of them in tears.
The bonds forged on this show, even as they're competing with one another, are real. And it says a lot to get that kind of a reaction from the very guys he was competing against. He may not be a typical kind of "Bachelor" lead, but the guy has a lot of fans out there that would root for him.
Once again, the guys went on the warpath to supposedly protect Katie from what they saw as another rat in their pack. Hunter is aggressive and he's cocky and he definitely knows how the game is played, but we didn't get the sense that he was disingenuous in his intentions.
He's just also hyper-aware that this is a game, and he's playing to win. He simultaneously has that competitive drive that makes him want to beat everyone and seems to have genuine feelings for Katie. It's very aggressive and can be off-putting, for sure.
And yet, when given the chance to really let it all out, they offered up one of the most pathetic excuses for a roast we've ever seen -- in front of drag queens! You don't fail to roast in front of drag queens. They're -- well, they're the queens of this, and Shea Couleé and Monét X proved they're at the top of their game. The guys were just lame.
Had they been harsher, it might have gone even worse for the guys. Katie was clearly done with all of the drama, as evidenced by the bloodbath at the end of the night.
She threw the Rose Ceremony for another loop by first canceling the Cocktail Party altogether, saying it wouldn't change a thing for any of these guys, and then took Hunter outside with the first rose in her hand. It wasn't too boot him or award him, though, but rather a chance for him to again plead his case.
Apparently, she didn't like what she heard, because Hunter was one of the four guys she sent packing this week. Joining him were all three guys who used their time on the Group Date to trash-talk Hunter in James, Aaron and Tré.
If that didn't send a clear message that she's done with all the drama, we're not sure what would. If you talk shit about someone in the house, it could well cost them their shot at Katie, but it might cost you yours, too. Tonight, it definitely did and we both applaud her for it, and kind of wish she'd done it sooner.
We could talk about her One-on-One with Justin, but it was boring. She was again testing him, but he apparently passed with his vows and their fake wedding and photo shoot.
She did share with him that the father she talked about who passed away was actually not her biological father, a fact she appears to have only recently discovered. She now has a complicated situation with her biological father, who wants to forge a relationship with her, leaving her conflicted in her feelings.
That's a lot to lay on someone, and it felt to us like Justin dropped some nice platitudes on her, but he at least was there for her and supportive of her in that vulnerability. Still, we weren't nearly as impressed as she clearly was.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Blake went out of his way to make sure Katie was okay after Connor's departure. Seeing how broken up Connor was, and knowing what a genuine dude he was, Blake pulled a "Say Anything" and played "their song" -- or at least the song Laine Hardy sang during their One-on-One last week -- outside her window.
It got him an invite up and a pretty heavy make-out session, which seemed to do the work of cheering Katie up. As she said, it's nothing Connor did wrong or even she did wrong, the spark just wasn't there.
At this point, the physical chemistry between Blake and Katie may be the strongest in the house, but we're not sure the emotional one is. Blake is newer to the game, but teasers for upcoming episodes suggest he may not be catching enough feelings beyond knowing what feels good.
Did we mention the heavy-handed lawn sprinkler imagery? Yeah, that was saved for after Blake made it back to his room following this late-nght visit.
"I kind of had this idea I thought would be fun where the guys in the house all have to agree to withhold their self-care as long as possible, if you know what I mean." --Katie
"So, like, not do their skin care routine?" --Kaitlyn
"Like no shaving?" --Tayshia
"No, we're going a little deeper than that. Like little friendly handshakes with themselves are off limits. I have low hopes. I don't think they're going to last more than 24 hours, but I think it's a fun challenge." --Katie
"Katie wants to see which one of you can hold out and be the master of your domain." --Kaitlyn (to guys)
"These guys are screwed. I've been mastering this my whole life." --Mike P
"I wouldn't be surprised if she already has the Top 4 picked. And my opinion is you, me and Connor are already in the Top 4." --Hunter (to Greg)
"If your lovemaking skills are like your debating skills, I don't know what our girl Katie here is going to do, because it is lame." --Shea Couleé
"Hunter, it's cute that you have a Top 4 list already. It's funny that you're in my Bottom 4." --Brendan
"How do you feel about Katie?" --Monét X
"I'm falling in love. Absolutely. No question. This feels ... real." --Hunter
"I just want to make sure we're up here being 100. We were preparing for this and I heard that same question asked to Hunter and the answer was a little different." --Tre
"Well, you didn't hear it right." --Hunter
"Uh, I heard the question, I was standing right there." --Tré
"We know you're a leprechaun, dude. Katie's a pot of gold, but you can't add her to your pot." --Aaron (to Hunter)
"There's a couple of weeks, obviously, 'til that point potentially comes (s---). As that connection forms, like, it's gonna get harder." --Blake (talking about WOWO challenge)
"Real hard." --Blake
"So does this mean we should or should not kiss?" -- Katie (to Blake)
"We are so creepy." --Katilyn (watching to see if Katie & Connor kiss)
"I know. This is creepy." --Jason
"I can't even look at you right now." --Katie (dismissing Connor)
"It's okay. I know where this is going. Just breathe. It's okay. It is." --Connor (a great guy to the end)
"It's worth it to have met you." --Connor
"He knew walking in there I was about to break his heart, I was about to say goodbye. He still put me first. He put me first." --Katie (about Connor)
"God, how bad of a kisser am I?" --Connor
"Hunter ... Can we actually go outside to talk?" --Katie (throwing off the Rose Ceremony from the start)
"I said everything I needed to. I trust her. We're gonna see if she trusts me." --Hunter (after Rose Ceremony chat)
"Looking back, I could have talked about me instead of Hunter." --Tré (realizing too late his fatal error)
"I was trying to help Katie, but I think maybe she thinks I'm part of drama." --Aaron (realizing too late his fatal error)
"The Bachelorette" continues Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.