And Garrett Yrigoyen, an early front-runner who’s also still in the game, has a controversial social media past that appears to include liking posts that mock transgender people, undocumented immigrants, left-wing women and a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a mass shooting occurred. The outcry prompted him to apologize. Becca has come to his defense, asking viewers to be open-minded.
Watching the show, it’s hard to tell whether Becca’s and Garrett’s views and values really are a mismatch; “The Bachelorette” isn’t known for airing deep political discussions among its contestants. And on Monday night’s episode, Becca and Garrett had what looked like a fantastic one-on-one date in Park City, Utah. She mentions being “so drawn to his energy”; she likes his goofiness and says that he reminds her of her father, who passed away when Becca was a teenager. “I see something in you that gives me so much hope,” Becca says as she gives Garrett a rose on their date.
In a normal season, if there weren’t such a strong off-screen distrust of Garrett, their date might have been this episode’s high point. Instead, their budding connection feels like a climbing roller coaster heading for a deep, fast descent. Will Becca still care this much for Garrett if their values really are opposed?
We’ll stay tuned.
The rest of Monday’s episode features a group date where 14 guys competed in lumberjack challenges such as splitting logs, then hoisting and climbing them. John wins the log climb, taking home a golden ax stuck in a piece of wood, and becoming a Twitter favorite. As for the rest of the episode …
The worst moment: Jean Blanc confesses his feelings, then takes them back
In Bachelor Nation, contestants are expected to come right out and say that they have strong feelings for the Bachelor or the Bachelorette, but not too soon as to seem insincere. It’s a difficult balance to strike, and unfortunately, Jean Blanc, a 31-year-old colognoisseur, misjudges it completely. After the lumberjack group date, in a few private moments with Becca he gives her a perfume named after her, which is sweet. But then he follows it up with an “I’m truly falling for you,” and Becca isn’t feeling it. As she tells him that she’s not quite where he seems to be and is about to bid him farewell, Jean Blanc tries to backtrack and makes everything worse. “It’s not necessarily where I’m at,” he says, digging himself deeper. “I just thought it was what you wanted to hear.”
Oh, buddy. You can’t pull an “I’m truly falling for you” and then, when it’s not reciprocated, take it back. That’s not how this show works. Yes, you are expected to confess strong feelings. But if it comes off as insincere, too soon or unreciprocated, you’re toast. It doesn’t matter how sweet that custom perfume might smell. You can’t start spritzing those words around and then stuff the scent back in the bottle.
Becca takes Jean Blanc’s flip-flopping as a severe betrayal, and with good reason. It triggers memories of that other more intense emotional 180: Arie Luyendyk’s proposal, followed by their abrupt breakup.
J.P. Rosenbaum, a former contestant who went on to marry Bachelorette Ashley Hebert, nailed it in his commentary. Perhaps Jean Blanc would feel more comfortable on ABC’s show “The Proposal,” where contestants get engaged in a single episode.
The weirdest moment: Jordan’s gold booty shorts
Jordan, our entertaining villain, has a habit of taking his clothes off to get attention. A few episodes ago, he stripped down to his underwear and draped a towel over his shoulder. (Ostensibly to show off his body, but it only showcased his ego.) This time, he pulled a similar trick but with gold hot pants, stripped down real quick after kissing Becca. It was all stunt, no foreplay. And this gag is getting old.
The other weirdest moment: Lincoln declares the Earth is flat
Uh, this one was settled thousands of years ago, dude.
The best moment: Wills gets his time to shine
After Jordan’s unsolicited strip show and Jean Blanc’s confession, Becca declares she’s emotionally exhausted. And still has to put on a smile and go on a one-on-one! Welcome to the emotional whiplash that is “The Bachelorette,” and yet, Wills is up for the task.
As Becca notes, Wills has been one of the more “reserved” guys. The fact that he doesn’t have a showy or dramatic personality appears to be just what Becca needs for this snowmobiling date. His quiet nature allows both of them to open up, to the point where Becca says she really does “trust him.” Wills is candid about how he also has been devastated by a disastrous relationship, telling Becca that he’s attracted to how strong and resilient she is.
Note to Jean Blanc: This is how you connect, appropriately, with someone you’re just getting to know.