Greer Blitzer faces her blackface defense scandal, Christina Mandrell her behavior, Anastasia Keramidas her truthfulness, and Zach Shallcross all the women he dumped on "The Bachelor: The Women Tell All."
It was a big night for "The Bachelor" franchise as the women of Zach Shallcross' season got to confront him and one another -- and we got the most adorable "Bachelorette" reveal we think we've ever seen!
That's right, it was a first for Bachelor Nation! By the end of "The Women Tell All" special, Jesse Palmer invited the next franchise lead to take the helm through a clever misdirect that left her not Shallcrossed, but definitely shellshocked.
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The special also got serious on two different occasions, addressing a microaggression that happened during the season and confronting head-on the blackface apology scandal that hit one of the ladies after the season finished taping.
We also give credit to Jesse and the show for acknowledging their own failings on these important topics over the years. "The truth is, as a franchise, we've done a very poor job in the past of addressing serious topics head on," Jesse said before getting into it. "We're not gonna miss that opportunity here tonight."
Zach has been a pretty lowkey Bachelor, though he's faced some criticism for how he's allegedly treated some of the women, dismissing them when they start to get to real or show too much emotion. That said, though, it's not been like he's booted every woman who's gotten too raw or vulnerable.
When Zach did come out to answer for his so-called crimes, he said that he was just fallowing his gut -- which was often a pit in his stomach. He didn't really offer any clarity as to why he made the calls he did, suggesting he wasn't being all that calculating in the moment.
The only time that was particularly frustrating, perhaps, was when Jess Girod was trying to get him to understand why from her point of view, as one of a bevy of women he's dating, a One-on-One date is important. With him never getting it, she finally threw her hands up and said she wouldn't fight for him.
During this episode, Zach didn't offer any further clarity as to what happened in that moment, though he at least acknowledged his lack of emotion before she left to being frustrated. What we wanted to know is if he ever came to understand and see her point of view!
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The Christina Show
The early "villain" of the season, there was actually some brief speculation that Christina Mandrell might be the next Bachelorette (she's not). Instead, her focus tonight was on how she seemed to make every moment about her.
The women went in pretty hard on her, with Brooklyn Willie (never one to mince her words) saying that she came across like she was intentionally being manipulative or trying to intimidate the other women.
We suspect it's more that Christina doesn't necessarily see things from perspectives outside her own, so she wouldn't think it weird to snatch Charity Lawson's joy at receiving a Group Date rose by complaining that it wasn't her. Her perspective is Christina, so Charity's feelings don't even really factor in her mind.
Add to that a tendency to just speak whatever pops into her head the moment it arrives there without thought or filter, and that rawness definitely rubbed a lot of the women wrong.
This was a cast that was very keen on doing their best to respect one another -- with Brooklyn being the loudest champion of that, and Charity the recurring victim of a lack of that, oddly enough -- so Christina's me-focused approach was definitely falling afoul of that.
To her credit, she heard their feedback and said that she would take it in and work toward being a better version of herself moving forward. It also did seem by the time she left that she's not this narcissistic horrible person; she's more someone who is perhaps a little immature and self-centered, but open to learning and growing.
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Katherine Izzo took similar heat later for that moment she stole Zach before Charity's One-on-One for a conversation that turned into a kiss. Both of them were at fault for the social rudeness of that moment toward Charity, but the women definitely took umbrage toward Kat for it, and for her refusal to own up to the fact it was selfish and disrespectful to Charity's day.
This was the moment where Brooklyn dropped her classic line, "If the she fits, lace that b---- right up!" She stood firm on that, as Kat was still upset that Brooklyn came at her so aggressively after her selfish move that day, and for several days afterward.
Brooklyn, though, refused to back down from it, believing that the way it went down and how clueless Kat was about the rudeness of it speaks volumes to her character. Truthfully, it did feel like a Christina 2.0 situation, where it was more a matter of Kat not taking other's feelings into account.
She did, though, share that something positive came out of it. During her time with Zach, she'd opened up about strains in her relationship with her mother, but through watching the show back, she shared that they are now building a proper mother-daughter relationship.
But what she got in her home life, she never did get with Zach. Her departure kind of came out of nowhere, with no really good explanation from Zach as to why that was or how it happened.
When he came out he was able to offer her exactly zero clarity as to how it went wrong, suggesting there was really no thing. It just didn't work out. It's basically the same non-closure he was able to offer Jess and Charity -- so at least he was consistent.
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Anastasia Microaggressions, Inc.
While Christina was accused of making moments about herself, Anastasia Keramidas faced criticism of doing it for the followers, to build her brand and improve her business. She is listed as a "content marketing manager," so it's all about social media for her.
She was accused point-blank that she said she was only doing the show as a business opportunity -- there's always at least one! -- with Victoria Jameson saying she had the receipts.
On top of that, Anastasia -- who had a very rough night -- was also accused of having a boyfriend while filming the show. At the very least, Victoria conceded, she had a f-boy waiting in the wings.
Anastasia did her best to deflect all of this, denying that she had any boyfriend. She did waffle though a bit, going from saying her mom was watching her dog to acknowledging the existence of this guy Victoria insisted was the one watching her dog.
She also denied that she was on the show for the follows or to grow her brand, but of course any woman is going to deny that. At the same time, showing up here and taking the hits might help her grow her followers, as so many Bachelor Nation players do become influencers.
She was more respectfully quiet when confronted about her microaggression against Kylee Russell when she laughably accused Kylee of threatening to physically fight her over time with Zach. Obviously, that's not what Kylee meant, but Anastasia made it a narrative.
Genevie Mayo, then, explained to her about the stereotypes of Black women being aggressive and how those types of behavior expose bias and perpetuate those harmful stereotypes.
Anastasia tried to say that she and Kylee had talked it through and said, "I'm always learning," but Kylee wasn't going to let her off the hook that easy. She said not to get it twisted, that they'd talked, but it wasn't Anastasia apologizing for making Kylee feel any kind of way.
"It was moreso, 'Oh god, people are gonna think these things of me, what is it going to do for my life, what is it going to do for my career, it was still Stas playing the victim," Kylee shot back at her.
To this, Anastasia thankfully stayed quiet, suggesting there was truth to Kylee's words -- and possibly Victoria's, as well, about her business ambitions. Can't hurt the brand, right?
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Greer Blitzer took the hot seat to talk about her season's journey effectively getting robbed by Covid, as well as the blackface apology scandal that hit her after filming. What they did not talk about, though, was how rude Zach was when she tried to relate to his Covid week during their Zoom date.
Considering he'd gone through Covid himself, fans were not only unhappy with him snapping at her on that date, but unceremoniously dumping her the moment she came out of Covid quarantine herself.
Yes, they'd missed almost three weeks of time at that point, but she was also his First Impression Rose. Why not sit down for a few hours and really talk it out and see if there was still something there.
Instead, Greer's reaction and the edit made it look like she came to see him and he said it was too late, buh-bye, see ya later!
Greer then faced even more fire when Jesse said that the franchise wasn't going to gloss over racist controversies anymore, giving her a chance to apologize. Greer apologized not only for defending her former friend's (she called her acquaintance, though) blackface picture.
She also apologized for her original apology, which did not go far enough. This time, she acknowledged that not only was the blackface racist, but her defense of it was racist, too. She even added that her ignorance of the history and denigration behind blackface was racist.
It's our job to be actively anti-racist, to call it out when we see it -- as Genevie did about Anastasia's microaggressions toward Kylee -- and to educate ourselves about this country's shameful history of racism in all its forms from its origins to its right now.
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The Next Bachelorette
We have to say, we love this way of revealing the next Bachelorette, and allowing us to see it unfold in real time. Jesse teased all night that he was going to change one woman's life forever. And then he ended the show, and sent all the women back to their dressing rooms.
He told one of them, though, that they were going to play a fun game of "This or That" for their social media accounts. So we got to sit and watch as they went a few rounds before he asked, "'Bachelor in Paradise' or 'The Bachelorette'?"
She responded "Bachelorette," and props to Jesse for the perfect answer. "Are you good with that?" he asked her. It took a couple more back-and-forths for it to really sink in to Charity that she was being asked to be the next lead for the franchise.
It's another step forward for representation, with Charity being the third Black Bachelorette and fourth Black franchise lead. She follows in the footsteps of Rachel Lindsay, Tayshia Adams and Matt James.
We had a feeling this was coming, if you caught our coverage of Monday's episode, because it certainly looked like Charity was getting the "next Bachelorette edit." We didn't know it would be announced so soon.
We're also not sure what kind of personality she'll bring to the show as she's goofy and awkward and sweet and charming, but sometimes faded into the background among the larger personalities on this season. We can at least hope she won't be as boring as Zach.
It's been good for his journey that he's so boring, but it's not been great for the franchise, which is seeing record lows in ratings. At least the women stepped up to create some drama and controversy (for better or worse).
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Women Tell All Chatter
- "What was it about Christina that was rubbing you the wrong way?" --Jesse (to Brooklyn)
- "It came across with some of the comments that were made, her words and actions were kind of calculated and manipulative, like she was trying to intimidate us." --Brooklyn
- "I have a hot take on Christina, and my hot take is, I love you, Christina. I think your personality is so bold and so out there. I feel like you're gonna say what everyone else is thinking but everyone else is gonna be quiet about." --Olivia L
- "You went home Night One." --Katherine
- "You're right, I did go home Night One. And then Zach learned about your personality and sent you home, so what does that say about you?" --Olivia L
- "How surprised were you with the reaction you got from the other women?" --Jesse (to Christina)
- "Being told that you're making people feel uncomfortable when that's something I've never been told before; what that does to my mind is I'm trying to then-- I probably could have shut the f--- up a little bit more, but what my mind wanted to was do more, make sure people understand my intentions and that I am being nice. I didn't know what to do and it felt like everything I did was just the wrong thing and it was hard. Thank you guys for letting me know because I can take all of that and be better in the future." --Christina
- "I was told that you explicitly said that you were only going on this show as a business opportunity. I literally have the receipts." --Victoria J
- "Anastasia, you had a boyfriend on the show. You called him in the Bahamas when you got your phone back." --Cat
- "I was literally this girl's roommate. You think I'd f---ing know if she had a boyfriend." --Genevie
- "Okay, boyfriend, you were f---ing, I don't know." --Cat
- "Okay, keep lying, Anastasia, maybe you'll hit the 50k you wanted so bad." --Victoria J
- "Black women in general, every day we deal with the stereotype of being aggressive people and we deal with these very harsh microaggressions which, for anybody that doesn't know, are extremely subtle, very everyday interactions and behaviors that communicate bias towards historically marginalized groups of people. And it is insane the fact that you would, knowing Kylee, use that and try to propel that stereotype. You could have let that go, but instead you went around to the whole group date and made it a thing that it wasn't." --Genevie
- "I know we've talked about this before, and I am sorry about anything I did that made you uncomfortable, it wasn't my intention and I'm always learning." --Anastasia
- "Yeah, okay, well, let's clear the air because I don't want it to look like we talked about it, we're okay, now. Because, we have talked about it but never did it come to a point like, 'Oh my god, Kylee, I'm really sorry I made you feel this way.' It was moreso, 'Oh god, people are gonna think these things of me, what is it going to do for my life, what is it going to do for my career, it was still Stas playing the victim. So I will say, I hope you are educated from the situation and you grow from it and become a better human because of it. But now I accept your apology and I'm okay." --Kylee
- "Were you surprised at the reaction you got from the rest of the women?" --Jesse (to Katherine about stealing Zach for a conver-kiss before Charity's One-on-One)
- "Kat did apologize later on and we're good, but it kind of circles back to, like, a Christina moment, unfortunately. Like, it's not appropriate timing to do that, which is why I think Brooklyn obviously came to my defense." --Charity
- "My head was just obviously not there, but like you said, we apologized, and we worked it through. We were mature adults in that situation. I think what was not mature and wasn't handled appropriately was just how you spoke to me, how you spoke about my character." --Katherine (to Brooklyn)
- "And I will say it again. If the shoe fits, lace that b---- right on up." --Brooklyn
- "I remember how I felt in that moment and I just felt so misunderstood. At the end of the day, I just wanted a date. I just wanted time. And it didn't feel like what I was trying to say was coming across to him." --Jess (about her One-on-One talk with Zach before leaving)
- "I know what I deserve and it was way more than that." --Jess
- "When I watched him upset [while I was] driving away, my thought was, why didn't you show me that? Why didn't you give me a little bit of that, because that would have made me feel worthy of just-- it would have made me feel like he cared." --Jess
- "I was so insecure and I was so overwhelmed in London because I just kept thinking,' Okay, we're losing time, which means I'm losing him.' So every week that went by, I felt like I was losing our relationship. As much as I love tea, it really wasn't about the tea." --Greer
- "The truth is, as a franchise, we've done a very poor job in the past of addressing serious topics head on. We're not gonna miss that opportunity here tonight." --Jesse (about Greer defending blackface)
- "I've been wanting to address this. I don't want to sweep it under the rug. I will say I am nervous right now to talk about it, but I really do want to address it. What I failed to mention in my apology was that what happened was racist. It's not about the intent, it's about the impact. And this acquaintance of mine that I knew performing blackface was racist. Me defending it was racist. My ignorance was racist. And I'm just so ashamed. I'm just deeply sorry that I hurt the Black community. I can't go back in time. All I can do is try to be better now, and try to do better in my future." --Greer
- "It's remembering how happy I was that's making me emotional like this." --Katherine (watching package back)
- "Even now, watching it, I don't understand … I still don't know what shifted." --Katherine (about why Zach broke up with her)
- "This has impacted my family more than I thought it would. I have a mother-daughter relationship with my mom now because of it." --Katherine (about her honesty about that relationship on the show)
- "Greer, you've really thought this through." --Jesse (about bathroom etiquette)
- "Yeah, I eat a lot of spicy foods." --Greer
- "Was there any tangible moment or time or instance, even, that you can give me to say, like, that there was a shift in our relationship." --Katherine (to Zach)
- "Our connection never faltered. But when it was getting to that point right before Hometowns, I had to make that very difficult decision. There was nothing, not one moment or date or words said or anything like that that made me look at you any different. It was just a very difficult decision." --Zach
- "That morning after meeting four different families, I had the biggest pit in my stomach because I didn't know what to do. I didn't know how I was going to go about this … There was no process or way to go about it." --Zach (to Charity)
- "Watching it back, I was shocked at how sad you were when I was leaving. It hurt because it was, like, why couldn't I see that when we were having that conversation." --Jess (to Zach)
- "I don't know why those emotions didn't come out in the moment, if anything, I was just frustrated." --Zach
- "Watching this back, what's been the most surprising thing." --Jesse (to Zach)
- "The amount of shower scenes. And the amount of times I say, 'like,' and 'hello, hello.'" --Zach
- "'Bachelor in Paradise' or 'The Bachelorette'?" --Jesse (to Charity)
- "Let's say Bachelorette." --Charity
- "Are you good with that?" --Jesse
- "Yeah? What? Is that a wrong answer? Oh my god?" --Charity
- "You think Bachelorette's the one?" --Jesse
- "Yeah." --Charity
- "Well, I'm glad you said that. Because, Charity, I want you to be our next Bachelorette." --Jesse
"The Bachelor" continues Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.