A new frontrunner emerges as the previous frontrunner implodes all over the other women, destroying their pool party in the process.
Zach Shallcross is not messing around on this season of "The Bachelor," and he is not shy to speak his mind and be blunt and direct when talking to these women.
We don't mean this in a negative way at all. He's being extremely respectful of them and is very concerned about their well-being in a nigh-impossible situation. But he's also going to be very direct.
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This week, he said goodbye to three women -- but only one of them at the actual Rose Ceremony. That's all part of this incredibly direct and blunt approach he has to this whole process. He's clearly taking it very seriously and will tolerate no nonsense.
We had a feeling he was going to be that way when he slashed ten women on the very first night. That's the work of a man on a mission who's not going to play around. There are a lot of women here, so if he's feeling more for this one, that one better watch out!
This week's adventures stayed around the mansion, but they also remained somewhat unorthodox. Zach's first one-on-one date with Christina saw her meeting his family. The second one tonight saw him offering someone to stay the night with him.
Isn't it too early for Fantasy Suites and the "walk of shame"? Mayhap not.
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Night at the Museum
Maybe this is going to happen with every one-on-one. After his date with Christina last week, she really did feel like she was emerging as a front-runner for the season. Tonight, he invited Kaity on a one-on-one and now we think she might be the frontrunner.
There was something so natural in the way they interacted with one another, it felt easy and playful and honest. That's not easy to find so early in the process -- and we don't feel that Zach has closed himself off to the process the way Clare Crawley did -- but there was an undeniable chemistry on display.
In a twist to the usual format, their date was rather impromptu, starting "tonight" rather than the usual tomorrow. It was also a very interesting and unique experience as he took her to the Natural History Museum at night with the two of them the only ones there (and none of the exhibits came to life, dangit!).
They did the usual wandering around and having fun and the requisite romantic dinner where Kaity revealed her heartbreaking truth that all she really wants in a relationship is for a good man to treat her right.
Zach was rightly crushed by this, telling her that she deserves so much more than that and it's sad that her previous relationships have brought her to this point. It was no surprise that Kaity picked up the rose to pursue things further.
We just didn't think it was going to happen right away. Rather than a fireworks display or awkward kissing in front of an act trying to promote their music (that came later), Zach asked if she wanted to spend the night with him.
They had cute silky PJs, ran around the museum and it was Kaity's idea to scooch the 1950s TV side-by-side beds together! She did not return to the Mansion until the next morning, and said she hadn't slept at all. She offered no details, but the other women were coming up with plenty of their own!
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Bachelor Bowl V
The group date was the latest installment of the Bachelor Bowl, with only the winning team making their way to the evening portion of the date.
Christina was the obvious MVP of the game, playing incredibly aggressive, though she definitely wasn't the only one giving her all. She was part of the winning team, though, which led to an eventful evening.
You see, in case we hadn't mentioned it enough yet, Christina went on a one-on-one with Zach last week. We want to bring it up again because she brought it up so much the other women finally called her out on it, like she was trying to intimidate or put them down.
The tension between Christina and the other women hit a new high after Bailey had an earnest conversation with Zach, seeking validation for their relationship. As we said, Zach is not playing this season, and he flat-out told her he didn't have the validation to give at this point.
When she pulled him aside a second time to try and talk more about it -- they got interrupted the first time -- he just decided it was time to cut that tie and sent her home. This rarely happens in a Group Date unless there's been some major drama.
The other women were upset she was gone, but Christina was pretty dismissive about the whole thing. It's an attitude she's had the whole time. Her eye is on the prize, she knows the other women will all have to fall to the wayside for her to win, so it's just part of the process. No reason to get all worked up about it, right?
That might have been understandable as just the way she operations, but pairing her going on about the one-on-one to her reaction to Charity getting the group date rose and you've got someone who's truth might be too problematic.
She wound up reducing Charity to tears with her anger that it wasn't her who got the rose. The arrogance and audacity to say that in a group of women where only one of them got that validation is beyond rude, but Christina seemed oblivious to any criticism or advice to maybe just stop talking. Just stop.
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Top Gun: Bachelor Style
For the night's second one-on-one, Aly and Zach got to get their adrenaline pumping by jumping out of an airplane. He thought she was an adventurous type, and to her credit, she was pretty fearless in taking the jump.
She then took another plunge, opening up to him during dinner while admitting that she'd clearly "fooled" Zach into think she had her s--- together.
It was a vulnerable conversation about how she puts on this brave face and doesn't always feel that she can be her authentic self in relationships because she always puts her wants, needs and feelings behind her partner's.
For her vulnerability and their good and real conversation, where Zach gave her a safe space to express herself, Aly got the rose and the first awkward dancing and kissing in front of a musician just trying to sell some records, man. In this case, it was Griffen Palmer.
While it was a sweet date, it also wasn't something that was dynamic or fireworks from even our point of view, as evidenced by our less to say about it. That tells us that while he's still intrigued by Aly, it remains to be seen how much further it will go.
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"I'm Planning to Leave"
The fallout from Christina hit Zach for the first time when America's first frontrunner of the season dropped the bombshell on him that she was planning to leave the Mansion.
Brianna was America's Choice all the way during the last "After the Final Rose," but she never felt like she and Zach were experiencing the same sort of connection. It was actually in her head the whole time that she might have been America's Choice, but she wasn't necessarily feeling like Zach's.
In this case, she'd toughed it out as long as she could and decided on her own that the connection wasn't there. She was remarkably cool, calm and collected as she shared with him that she was exiting the show.
But because she was leaving, she also felt empowered to go ahead and tell him about Christina making the other women in the House feel intimidated and even reducing some of them to tears, like Charity after she got that group date rose and Brianna herself several times.
It was one of the classiest exits we've seen. It's too bad she's leaving so early, because with her poise and America already loving her, we'd totally back her for a future Bachelorette. Come on, producers, she's already America's First Impression pick!
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Miss Villain or Misunderstood?
It's been hard to get a good read on Christina this season. In most seasons, the villain is so clearly the villain, and it's also clear Christina was cast in that role as the early villain.
But she also seems perhaps a little arrogant and clueless over being necessarily malicious and cruel. She absolutely fell apart when Zach called her out for how she was making the other women feel.
As we said, he was blunt and direct about it, which we totally respect. But Christina was surprisingly understanding that he had to do what he felt was right, even if it meant giving her the boot.
She insisted she never intended to hurt anyone's feelings, and she didn't necessarily fight with them, either. It was one of the most lowkey villain performances that might just be someone totally lacking self-awareness or able to follow social cues and mores.
Zach didn't cut her right away, but rather cut her at the Rose Ceremony -- alone. She was the only person cut, which had to be even more brutal than had he walked her out and just canceled the ceremony. This way was more like torture.
And still, when it came to it, she said she completely understood and praised him for how he's handling his journey so far. We had to agree with her in that moment. We hope this was a bit of a learning experience for her and she can self-reflect a bit.
As we said, one of our more complex "villains" so far. But it looks like there is at least one more looming on the horizon, as teasers show more drama ahead and the required accusations that someone "is here for the wrong reasons."
- "Zach sat down on the couch next to Kaity and kind of put his hand on her leg. It definitely stung a little bit because, yeah, I do want it to be me in the end." --Bailey (you and every other woman, sis!)
- "I've never done anything romantic in my life and so to go 0 to 100 like this is unreal. I feel so special and so grateful." --Kaity (in the Natural History Museum)
- "I just honestly just -- I know it sounds kind of s----y to say this, but I just want the basics. I want a good man to treat me right." --Katy (when asked what she's looking for in a partner.
- "I want you to know, you deserve way more than just the basics. You deserve so much more. I, like, kind of find it baffling that no one has treated you better than that. And I think, like, any guy, they are the biggest idiots in the world for not treating like you deserve like five star dates." --Zach
- "A date like this, there was no question in my mind, Kaity." --Zach (do we have a front-runner?)
- "It feels good. I like where this is heading." --Kaity (to Zach)
- "I don't really want this night to end yet, so I have a question for you. Would you like to spend the night here with me?" --Zach (to Kaity in museum)
- "I don't think she's coming back soon." --Gabi (to other girls)
- "I think the hardest part is knowing how awesome she us because I could truly see them together, and that's a tough pill to swallow." --Gabi
- "I think we should move the beds together." --Kaity (in tent)
- "Is she not here? Okay, well, that's scary." --Christina (the next morning)
- "Kaity walks in half asleep in pajamas. It definitely looks like a walk of shame. But I don't want to think about that." --Brooklyn
- "Did you get any sleep?" --Gabi
- "Nope." --Kaitlyn
- "Oh wow." --Gabi
- "Anastasia, I knew she wasn't hurt. She's fine. She's just milking this injury." --Brooklyn (after Anastasia took a hard hit in the game)
- "Speaking of strategy, I think Anastasia is the winner so far. She gets to spend some time with Zach on the sidelines." --Hannah Storm
- "Oh my god, I just peed my pants a little bit." --Gabi (after taking a hit)
- "We don't need to feel guilty. Like, the thing is, we decided to come here, I think for the most part-- like me, I came for myself. And honestly, you guys, for me, I had that first one-on-one and then, for real, I feel like it's more chill, more real. But regardless, it was fun to be on a team with y'all." --Christina
- "I just need to pick out my colors, because what will you all wear … as my bridesmaids?" --Aly (after Zach presents her a bridal pantsuit for their one-on-one)
- "I haven't been on a group date yet." --Christina
- "We're aware." --Brooklyn (because she won't stop talking about being on the first one-on-one)
- "We've heard about your one-one-one-- honestly, I feel like it's almost malicious." --Brooklyn (to Christina
- "I do get in my head and when I don't get that validation I just start thinking and thinking and thinking and spiraling. I feel like I need a validation that Zach sees something with me." --Bailey
- "I have just been feeling super weird about this whole situation. Like, right off the bat it was crazy. When I stepped out of the limo and we had that very first connection, I felt so excited. And then from there, it felt like we were just kind of, like, regressing a little bit, in a sense. It just feels weird." --Bailey
- "It is very weird, and I do notice when things feel off. And yeah, it doesn't feel like the same spark, and I don't want to lie to you. Maybe I thought, like, with time it would maybe change. And I don't know, with time being so limited--" --Zach (and then they're interrupted)
- "This literally feels like literally a roller coaster of emotions." --Bailey (spiraling after Zach did not validate her)
- "Like it feels now in my heart, in my gut, Bailey I don't know. I just think from what we started from to where we are now, I'm just not confident that there is a future between us." --Zach (when Bailey asked for validation)
- "Although it's sad and she's our roommate, that's inevitable." --Christina (not sad about Bailey leaving)
- "Um, I'm just confused, honestly. Maybe I missed something." --Christina (after Charity gets the group date rose)
- "Did I say something wrong?" --Charity
- "You did not. I'm just mad it wasn't me. Duh." --Christina
- "Okay, I'm gonna just be honest. I'm gonna shoot straight yet again. I feel like in a lot of settings so far you make a lot of things about you." --Brooklyn
- "I am trying to be 100 and say everything." --Christina
- "Every situation you turn it around on you." --Brooklyn
- "Yeah." --Christina
- "Have you ever considered just literally shutting the f--- up." --Brooklyn (as Christina goes on and on and on)
- "Will you jump out of this really scary plane with me?" --Zach (to Aly on their one-on-one)
- "I do." --Aly
- "You seem actually really calm." --Zach
- "I am not calm at all, please don't get that confused. I am losing my mind right now." --Aly
- "I'm looking for someone who has their s--- together." --Zach (to Aly)
- "We'll break that down later." --Aly
- "Well, you fooled me." --Zach
- "I fool a lot of people." --Aly
- "The weather's almost as hot as me." --Greer (prepping for pool party)
- "I feel lucky to have any time at all with Zach, even if he's not looking at my eyes." --Ariel (in a bikini)
- "Did you touch my butt?" --Ariel (teasing Zach)
- "What made you feel like you couldn't be comfortable with me?" --Brianna
- "I think when talking to you it just feels off … It just seems guarded and put together, like, it just didn't seem real." --Zach
- "I really am trying so hard to open up and share things with you. I am being genuine with you, and honestly, today I've been so sad because I'm planning to leave. And it just sucks because I think you're so handsome, you're so amazing and I want to get to know you so badly." --Brianna
- "A lot of the girls, I think, are struggling to be authentic because a lot of the girls in the house have had intimidation and really hard times with this person. Honestly, the only reason I even feel comfortable sharing this with you right now is because I'm planning to leave. And that person is Christina." --Brianna
- "This would be a mistake to believe this." --Christina (to Zach)
- "I'm a lot. And I didn't hurt anybody intentionally at all. I don't know how to offer him any more clarity because I'm just not good at that." --Christina (crying on the stairwell)
- "I understand … You're doing this good. You're gonna find it." --Christina (to Zach after she was eliminated)
"The Bachelor" continues Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.