"If the dude keeps running his mouth, I got something for that and I’m gonna have to take him out."
It seems to happen every season on "The Bachelorette," as some guys just can't seem to handle cohabitating peacefully with a couple dozen other guys while they all date the same woman.
It manifests in different ways, but the worst is when it brings out some petty, toxic behavior. Tonight, we got a double-dose of that as Michelle's two emerging villains both made their plays for most despicable of the night.
Honestly, it's such a toss-up, we wish we could crown them both!
At least there were a lot of sweet moments sprinkled around the toxic masculinity and insecurity show that we were all subjected to.
We got to witness our worst nightmare, trying to talk while spinning around on a G-force simulator -- we would have definitely needed the bucket! Then, there was an impressive string of spoken word poetry as another group date challenged the guys to open up a bit.
That was definitely on the menu for Rodney, who cracked Michelle up with his food ignorance on that first night. This is another thing we've seen before, where the lead needs to know if a contestant they really enjoy can bust out of the friend zone and cross that divide before it's a chasm. It usually doesn't work. Could Rodney break through and connect?
Half the guys in the house were treated to a chance to meet "Top Gun: Maverick" stars Jay Ellis and Glen Powell. They were also treated to a chance to blow chunks all over their leading lady if they couldn't keep it together.
And, as Rick pointed out, they were treated to another date with Peter, who has proven the most insecure guy on this show. Always a showboat, looking for attention, acting obnoxious and then under-performing in every possible way -- well, at least he was true to form.
We're not going to say that Peter was wrong in noting that Will copied his strategy of speaking love in another language during that G-force challenge, but he really let the whole thing get under his skin.
Michelle was probably a little more impressed that Will was able to keep his lunch down, as it looked like a struggle for a bit. Later, he then quickly took down Peter when producers inevitably matched them up in ritual combat for the affection of the fair maiden.
Peter, of course, went into it totally cocky -- and then when he inevitably got it handed to him he became petty and petulant saying he's better than someone who takes other people down to get ahead. Honestly, he acted like a toddler much of the night.
Problematically, with Peter in full sulky mode, Will actually wasn't much better during the evening portion, creating a back and forth that poor Nayte just stared at like a ping-pong match of petty commentary.
Peter, though, found that the way he can come out on top is by out-pettying everyone else For winning the "Maverick" round earlier in the night, Will got a cool "Top Gun" jacket. So when Will was away, Peter (who had decided the jacket was given to him out of pity) decided to teach Will what it was like to be "disrespected" by tossing the jacket in the pool.
Michelle never got wind of these shenanigans, so this was actually a pleasant date for her -- a sad rarity thus far on the show. But it was a tense and ugly mess for the rest of the guys.
When you're in the friend zone, it's paramount you break on through to the other side, as the song goes, quickly before it's too late. Michelle wanted to see if Rodney had the depth to bust through and he wanted to show her that he does.
It was heartbreaking hearing how candidly and honestly Rodney talks about feeling as if he's always the underdog, not as tall or good-looking as the other guys. It genuinely touched his heart when Michelle told him he was handsome, which just shows how deep-rooted his perception of himself was.
Their date was a lot of fun, with Rodney daring to bare it all at one point and streak the lobby of the hotel -- with a bigger audience than he anticipated -- but it was in the quiet moments that he was finally able to prove himself.
Not only did he open up, but he engaged with Michelle sincerely, asking her about a previous relationship. As we've seen on this franchise since Matt James, they are trying to be more conscious about race issues, and especially when it is such an important part of someone's story.
In this case, Michelle opened up about her experience having the n-word thrown at her. Not so much the moment itself, but the aftermath and the response she got from her boyfriend at the time, who told her that her feelings about it empowered the woman more -- as if invalidating Michelle's right to feel how she did.
It was a candid moment, and the kind of conversation that needs to be seen more on television because so many people remain blind to the realities of living as a person of color in this country. Michelle is 28 years old, so this is not something that happened generations ago; this is happening now. This is how we're treating people.
In the end, for creating a vulnerable experience for both of them to share, while also being able to laugh with her, Rodney definitely earned the rose, officially shattering past the friend zone. Turns out all it takes is being genuine, fellas!
Michelle opened up again with a powerful piece during the second group date of the night, which brought the guys face-to-face with their own truths and spoken word poet Rudy Francisco. They were challenged to create their own spoken word poetry.
It was here that we learned Chris G is a huge fan of Francsisco, and of spoken word in general. He knew to snap his appreciation, and his piece was the one that felt the most like a true spoken word experience.
That said, most of the guys did a great job of really opening up, though some were a little too heavy into the rhyme and sing-song approach. Michelle opened up about her experience growing up as the "token Black girl" in her community.
With her mixed-race group of guys, Leroy immediately related to the vulnerability in her opening up to that, while Rick acknowledged that he can't relate at all, but he's willing to listen and to learn. That's what allyship is.
After blowing up the show last week with his allegations that the whole house was questioning Michelle's character because they believed she might have a pre-existing relationship with Joe and not owning up to it, Jamie went rogue again.
He was getting the full cocky edit tonight, filled with talking head moments about how he's so far ahead of the other guys, he's really only competing against himself and his own machismo and greatness. It was obnoxious -- and a little obvious.
Jamie didn't even bring his book up to the stage, pretending that he'd "lost" it, and instead told some weird story about a woman in the woods and a guardian angel. You know, nothing about himself or opening up or showing invulnerability at all.
He's definitely on his own show right now, because no one had any idea what he was talking about. And later that night, he pulled a Peter and had a little temper tantrum after Michelle dared to give Brandon the Group Date rose instead of him. Didn't Brandon know that Jamie had already won? How dare he!
It was just as petty and immature and insecure and sad as everything Peter did, only Jamie pulled aside a producer on the show to rant and rave to them about how ridiculous it was that he has to compete with Brandon -- that person deserves a raise for having to listen to him disparate Jamie, and even Michelle.
Jamie strategically stayed quiet when Michelle confronted the guys last week about the Joe rumor that he started, and stayed quiet when the guys were speculating about it. So when Rick decided to assure Michelle that he was pretty confident none of the guys were doubting her and she let slip that it was Jamie who told her...
Well, all hell broke loose!
It was a slow break, with a small group of guys questioning him first to try and get his side of the story. When he started talking about episodes and home viewers, Nayte was losing his mind. Was Jamie really more worried about what was going to air than Michelle and what he was supposed there for?
Considering what did air, maybe he should have been more worried about it. Or maybe he thinks this has all been great. Spoiler: It has not.
Michelle came into the room and sensing the weird, Jamie went ahead and spilled out some version of their conversation to see if she would confirm it. Instead, she added the detail he'd been leaving out (save in some private conversations last week) that he had the additional story of a friend having seen her out "dating" a light-skinned dude.
Every time he was back in the corner, he hemmed and hawed and shifted the subject. He was even told he should go into politics, because he was very deft at not answering any direct questions, and then getting offended when it got too close.
Michelle, though, had had enough. He had her questioning guy in the house except him. It was a deft strategy, but with just a little more information, she realized he was gaslighting and manipulating her to gain that trust under false pretenses, giving himself a leg up.
And so, Jamie had the honor of being the second creep walked out outside of a Rose ceremony. He was followed by LT, Mollique, Spencer and the aforementioned Peter.
We're not sure if she ever learned about the jacket, but she had to be picking up on his immature vibes. Either way, while we were sad he left without an explosive confrontation -- instead actually being classy -- we're happy to see him go.
Unfortunately, based on the teaser for next week, despite taking out two of the biggest bags of trash so far this season, it looks like some of the other guys are going to start stinking. It's as if there always has to be drama on a Bachelor Nation show!
“I’m trying to look at you, but I see three of you right now -- and that’s not a bad thing.” --Rick (to Michelle during G-force simulator)
“He’s copying my f------ s---.” --Peter (after Will speaks Spanish following him speaking Italian)
“I feel like I should back up a bit. You need a bucket?” --Michelle (to Will)
“I need you.” --Will (and maybe a bucket)
“If the dude keeps running his mouth, I got something for that and I’m gonna have to take him out Maverick style.” --Peter (about Will)
“Enjoy your five minutes. Enjoy your little bomber jacket. The kid’s a bum. I’m more of a self-made man and not a man that needs to knock somebody else down metaphorically and physically in order for them to try to shine.” --Peter (salty about losing to Will)
“You continue to surprise me.” --Michelle (to Martin, appreciating he checked in on her)
“So when are we gonna get that one-on-one date?” --Martin (smooth, man)
“What do you guys think? I think it looks better on me.” --Peter (snagging Will’s jacket while Will is away)
“The jacket’s a symbol of the disrespect that I continue to get. So, the dude’s gonna get a little taste of his own medicine, and I had to put him in his place.” --Peter (throwing jacket in pool)
“I’m tired of going on dates with Peter.” --Rick
“Will, as long as you just sit there, kick it, you will forever be regarded as the bigger man.” --Nayte (after guys tell him about his jacket)
“You threw Will’s jacket in the pool?” --Clayton (to Peter)
“I got a lot of love for you, bro, but it’s-- don’t get involved.” --Peter
“Don’t you think it’s gonna get back to Michelle, though? --Clayon
“Are you dating me, or are you dating Michelle?” --Peter
“Rodney, just remember who gives out the roses, okay?” --Michelle (blindfolded, before Rodney feeds her foods)
“My mom’s gonna kill me, man. Oh, s---!” --Rodney (stripping down naked for challenge)
“Jamie might be preparing to be a motivational speaker or a cult leader and tells us a parable. It was odd.” --Casey (during spoken-word poetry date)
“Jamie had some weird TED talk that wasn’t to Michelle.” --Brandon
“I’m, like, really competing with Brandon for a woman’s attention? You’re really telling me we’re in the same league, and I’m like, We’re not even f------ close.’” --Jamie (to a producer after Brandon gets rose)
“I think that the challenging part with Michelle right now is that she’s basically just in f------ spring break mode. It’s a little bit of a turnoff. If you genuinely thought that your husband was in the room, like, do you go spring break mode? I mean, I’m not gonna judge it, doesn’t mean I can’t make fun of it.” --Jamie (to producer)
“Whoever came to you about that information about, like, people were questioning your character that couldn’t have been anything farther from the truth, ‘cause I’ve gotten close to all of the guys here. None of them was ever questioning your character. I feel like that person could have done it for a few reasons, like trying to earn your trust and also trying to up themselves and put other people under the bus.” --Rick
“I guess I’m surprised because it was Jamie who brought the situation to me. He said that this conversation, it was completely taking on a life of its own.” --Michelle (cat’s out of the bag)
“It’s sick, it is absolutely sick.” --Rick (about Jamie)
“If that question doesn’t get resolved, now it’s open for anybody sitting at home to speculate on it.” --Jamie
“Who’s sitting at home? Are you talking about the viewers? F-- the viewers, I’m talking about what did you say to Michelle.” --Nayte
“Flip on the outside, guys. Why don’t you just, like, think about it. If someone airs an episode and everyone is sitting her talking--” --Jamie
“Dude, why are we talking about episodes? Why the f--- are we talking about episodes?” --Nayte
“I don’t think you get it, bro.” --Jamie
“Are you threatened by Joe?” --Nayte (we think he might)