One contestant opens up about an abusive past relationship, another is afraid she'll be judged for her home life.
Zach Shallcross had a lot to process as he and the remaining 14 women headed to the Bahamas on "The Bachelor."
It was an evening of heightened emotions and yet again just the first inklings of drama nipped immediately in the bud and escorted out of the building. Producers are probably hating how efficiently Zach cleans house!
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There is certainly something refreshing in how grounded he is on this insane journey, and how committed he is to finding his best friend and just not putting up with any nonsense along the way. We don't mean goofy behavior, either, as he seems to enjoy that.
Zach being so down to earth himself is really helping these women to relax themselves as well. We're not sure if we've seen so many gloriously awkward women just be their endearing, authentic selves on this show before. It's refreshing and definitely makes for some unpredictable interactions.
Of course, it wouldn't be "The Bachelor" without some drama. But kind of like when Christina Mandrell was marked the early season villain, it wasn't all black-and-white, nor was the drama so blatantly concerning.
Don't get us wrong, Zach had reason to be cautious about the news he heard, and we can't fauit his reaction, but lord knows we've seen bigger bombshells dropped in this franchise -- every other week or so in most seasons!
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"Why Is It Scary?"
Kat scored the night's first One-on-One in the Bahamas, which proved to be a chance for her to really let loose and show just how silly she can be. We loved the unexpected juxtaposition Zach being intimidated by her supermodel looks and her just being this weird, awkward girl.
She was weird in an endearing way, and it's a testament to Zach's authenticity in this journey that she's already comfortable enough around him to be goofy and really let loose in a way most of us are hesitant to do around some of our closest friends.
They went out on a boat and went snorkeling with undersea sculptures for a relaxing day before the evening portion of the date. It was here that Kat revealed one of her fears about this journey.
Zach has spoken many times about how his parents are this beautiful and committed love story he aspires to emulate in his own relationship and eventual marriage. With that model to look at, Kat was intimidated and concerned.
She shared with him that her parents were anything but that, and that her own relationship with her mother was so strained at one point when she was younger she didn't even live with her.
Zach, of course, was very attentive and supportive of her vulnerability -- and dropped a lot of curse words. And for her willingness to go deep and be real, she landed a rose.
Kat does seem to be one of the stronger connections Zach has. Certainly, he's extremely physically attracted to her, as he went on and on about her beauty. He was impressed with her strength of character and sense of fun, so she's in the mix, for sure.
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"I'm Definitely Not Going to Fight You"
There were two layers to this week's micro-dramas, and they both involved the same woman. The group date was a big, sprawling mess with a dozen women converging on a beach with Zach, so he kept it a lowkey beach party.
What the other women didn't care for so much was how aggressive -- in her insecure desperation to be seen -- Anastasia started being with Zach almost right away.
Everyone was hoping for a lowkey date with little to no drama and everyone sharing time equally, so they didn't like it when she asked for a good luck kiss during their limbo game. No one else had tried to make that experience about getting one-on-one time.
Then, almost immediately after, she snagged him for actual one-on-one time. But it was when Kylee decided to step out of her comfort zone and "steal" Zach -- as per the rules of the show, such as they are -- that things got weird.
Kylee admitted that she was awkward in that moment, and she made a poor choice of phrases after Anastasia tried to fight for a few more minutes. "Stasi, babe, just, please, just let me have him. I don't like to fight, but this--" she started, but Anastasia picked it up right there.
"I'm definitely not going to fight you," she replied, looking put out.
Thus began the big debate of the whole night. Would anyone read that situation and that conversation to mean Kylee was looking to physically fight Anastasia over Zach ... right in front of Zach?
As Kylee took her time, that's the narrative Anastasia was spinning, saying she was actually scared and felt attacked by Kylee threatening to fight her.
Now, Kylee chose her phrasing poorly, and her recollection was much more clear as to her intent. But it still seems unlikely anyone would believe that she was really threatening a physical altercation. It put Anastasia's motives in that moment to question, which recalled a bigger question.
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Apparently, at the airport on their way to the Bahamas, Anastasia said that all of the remaining women would get at least 50,000 Instagram followers for making it this far on the show. Kylee shared a version of this story (heard secondhand), suggesting that Anastasia was there for the followers more than Zach.
To his credit, Zach immediately started attacking this thing head on. Kylee had said that Charity heard it first-hand, so he pulled her and got her side of the story. Then he grabbed Anastasia and asked her, point blank, "Are you here for me?"
Now, Anastasia seems to be an aspiring influencer of some sort -- her bio job is content marketing manager, after all -- so she's fully aware of Instagram and followers and clout and all that. She said, though, that she was there for Zach. Both of those things can be true.
She also said that the others were asking questions and she was answering them. What she never quite did, though, was detail her side of that conversation and the context of that particular comment.
What it meant, though, was that despite all her efforts to get the group date rose, she instead got a big cloud of doubt to hang over hear head. That left Ariel to swoop in and snag that rose.
Ariel is another contestant we have our eyes on. We're still thinking very strongly about Kaity and Charity based on all their interactions --with Kaity our favorite -- but he and Ariel have been showing a lot of chemistry in their moments together.
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"No, This Cannot Define Me"
The rodeo girl who was showing Zach the ropes (literally) during Night One was the perfect choice for a date involving riding around on ATVs and getting filthy in the mud. Brooklyn had an absolute blast and had no problem keeping up with Zach on this one.
She also proved her own awkwardness after they made their way to a private beach for a picnic. They kissed and she became the latest of basically all the women to say that Zach is a great kisser -- at least he closes his eyes! But after they kissed, she fist-bumped him, which left him a little confused.
Look, we get it. In these early dating things, sometimes exiting a moment can be awkward and uncomfortable and we find our bodies doing weird things like fist-bumping someone to say good job for a good kiss. It happens.
It's also the kind of thing Zach finds endearing. Unique quirks are part of what makes people so individual and special. When they're open enough to share those things with you, you can believe there's something special there.
Later that evening, Brooklyn opened up about something even heavier and more emotional for her. Just about a year before coming on this show, she walked out of a long relationship that had become both mentally and physically abusive.
Once again, Zach proved very present and gave her the space to open up, which was very emotional for her. He was talking about how confident she carried herself, and she revealed that she was "a shell of the person I was" in that relationship.
She said that she woke up one day and decided this relationship was not going to define her and found the strength to leave. Further, she said she truly believes that had she not done so, she might not be here.
Zach was not only moved by her willingness to share something so vulnerable and personal, he was impressed by her strength in reclaiming her autonomy and standing before him as this strong, confident woman after all she'd endured.
He did give her the rose for her vulnerability, but we have to say that we didn't feel as much of a romantic chemistry between them. They had fun together and enjoyed kissing, but the vibe was almost feeling more like it was becoming intimate in a friends way more than a potential spouses way.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse or violence, get help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in need.
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"I Think I'm Going to Vomit"
True to form Zach wasted no time at the Cocktail Party dancing around the elephant in the room. He came in, said his hellos, and immediately grabbed Anastasia to talk.
Once again, she said that it was all misinterpreted and misconstrued and misinformed, but she did not offer a clear narrative of what did happen from her perspective. At the same time, Zach found it hard to discredit the women who'd told him what they heard.
We didn't get to witness the final moments of their conversation, but we did see the moment when Zach walked her out, and she whispered goodbye to the other women.
It was all a bit too much for Kylee, who immediately got paranoid that Zach was just going to eliminate anyone who brought drama into his world, whether by their own actions or by telling on someone else.
In fact, by the time the Rose Ceremony was upon them, Kylee was convinced she was going to be the one going home. Look, we're as sure as she is that she's not going to be Zach's choice at the end of this, but he'd at least respect her honesty with him for now.
In the end, Kylee did get a rose (the last rose, of course) as Zach revealed his Top 11 women heading to London with him. Falling just short were Davia and Genevie. If you've not heard those names before in this write-up that's because this is the first time we're mentioning them -- which kind of says it all, doesn't it.
As for that trip to London, it looks like all hell breaks loose. Based on our experiences with lockdowns and Covid, we'd wager that those video shots of Zach in a hotel room would indicate he might have tested positive while in London, destroying almost all of the fun.
We did see him enjoy what looked like a One-on-One date while there, but that was all. Was that really all that happened? We'll have to tune in to find out. Could it be the most dramatic episode yet?
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- "Zack the snack, Zach, Zach the snack!" --women (waiting for Zach in Bahamas)
- "I'm just sad, you know, like, we didn't get to spend any time last week. I was just hoping, like, maybe he would, like, really want to see me and spend that time with me. But you're gonna have so much fun!" --Greer (upset she didn't land one-on-one)
- "I'm just a Bahama papa looking for his Bahama mama." --Zach (to Kat)
- "That is such a dad joke, it's good." --Kat
- "Kat does make me a little nervous. Have you seen her? Oof!" --Zach
- "To me it's fairly obvious he's chosen his favorite girls out of the group, and I'm not one of them. It's, like, what am I doing here?" --Anastasia
- "Why is it scary?" --Zach (to Kat, who said it about him coming from a family of stability)
- "Because of the fear of being judged or, um--" --Kat
- "Judged on, like your family?" --Zach
- "Just the difference in upbringings." --Kat
- "I want to have what I didn't have as a kid. … I see where you come from and I admire it so much. It just makes me worried that someone like you who has such a healthy upbringing and what it means to feel love might not love somebody like me." --Kat
- "Dammit, she got fireworks." --Genevie (seeing them during Kat's one-on-one date)
- "I want to cry. I literally can't kiss Zach because he had shellfish." --Gabi (allergic)
- "A kiss for courage?" --Anastasia (shooting her shot before limbo)
- "Zach, can I steal you for a second?" --Kylee
- "Can we have a couple more minutes?" --Anastasia (the only one who's had time so far on the group date)
- "I'm sorry, I'm awkward at this … Stasi, babe, just, please, just let me have him. I don't like to fight, but this--" --Kylee
- "I'm definitely not going to fight you." --Anastasia
- "I was like … I'm not gonna sit here and fight and bicker back and forth." --Kylee (telling other women what she said)
- "The comment that kind of scared me was, 'I don't want to fight you.' Like, none of the other girls that have pulled him away have said anything like that … I felt like I was attacked, to be honest." --Anastasia (telling women her version)
- "As for today, I was just taken aback by that comment. You said, 'I don't want to fight you for this.'" --Anastasia (to Kylee during evening portion)
- "You have to know deep down inside I wasn't trying to come at you. You know what I meant. It was like, 'I don't want to fight you on this.'" --Kylee
- "Even though I don't want to make [tonight] about Anastasia, I feel like I need to say something. At the end of the day, it's not going to go her way." --Kylee (going to talk to Zach)
- "Charity was just expressing to me, Anastasia, her head is in so many different directions. She's constantly always talking about the amount of Instagram followers she's going to get while being here, it's literally like--" --Kylee
- "That freaks me the f--- out. That is something I don't stand for and I am terrified that I would end up with someone that's here for the wrong reasons." --Zach
- "I was one of the girls who did overhear it. Like, we shouldn't even be talking about followers." --Charity (to Zach)
- "I have a question for you. Are you really here for me?" --Zach (to Anastasia)
- "Maybe you can clarify, why would you say 14 girls would get 50k [Instagram followers] at this point?" --Charity (to Anastasia)
- "I was talking about that. I was very transparent. People were asking questions. I was answering them. So I don't know how that got twisted." --Anastasia
- "The knucks after a kiss?" --Zach (to Brooklyn during one-on-one)
- "That's a good thing!" --Brooklyn
- "Didn't want to marry someone like my dad or be involved with anyone like my dad, and I did find myself in a relationship where I was with someone just like my dad. I started out saying how I felt and what I thought, and it got very out of hand, very emotionally abusive. I got to the point where I didn't speak. I mean, I was a shell of the person I was. And it got to a point where it got physical. So for six whole years, I was not my whole self. So I woke up one day and I was like, no, this cannot define me. I truly believe if I hadn't just woke up and got out, I can literally guarantee I would not be sitting here right now. Whether that was my choice or not, I just literally had to pull strength that I didn't even know I had and just get out. And I did and never looked back." --Brooklyn
- "Bye, guys." --Anastasia (as Zach walks her out)
- "I think I'm going to vomit." --Kylee
- "It feels really defeating." --Davia (seeing Zach pull Kat, who already has a rose, at cocktail party)
- "I think y'all will be moving on without me." --Kylee (convinced she's going home before Rose Ceremony)
"The Bachelor" continues Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.