Watching “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” is always an odd experience. The show is heavily edited, so viewers are never getting the full story. And before footage even enters the editing stage, producers influence what contestants do and say — and how the leads approach their journey (it’s always a journey!) for love.
But this season of “The Bachelorette” is especially disorienting to watch because Bachelor Nation’s real drama and love connections are not appearing on ABC’s Monday night broadcasts. Instead, it’s unfolding on social media and in the news that’s surfacing about Bachelorette Becca Kufrin’s contestants.
Having trouble keeping up? We’ve got you covered.
Garrett Yrigoyen’s Instagram problems
Garrett Yrigoyen, a 29-year-old medical sales rep from Reno, Nev., seems to be capturing Becca’s heart on this season of “The Bachelorette.” During the premiere, Garrett got the first-impression rose. (The person who gets this honor often goes on to be the season’s winner.) And last week, Becca seemed smitten on a one-on-one date, saying that she’s really drawn to Garrett’s “energy” and that he reminds her of her father, who died when she was a teenager.
But there’s a completely different story about Garrett that’s blossoming online. A few days before “The Bachelorette” premiered on May 28, Ashley Spivey (who competed on Brad Womack’s 2011 season of “The Bachelor”) devoted a Twitter thread to highlighting Instagram posts that Garrett had liked. The posts include images mocking feminists, trans people and boys who wear makeup; a joke about throwing an immigrant child back over the border; and claims that Parkland, Fla., student David Hogg is a crisis actor. Garrett has deleted the Instagram account from which he liked these posts and now has a new, private account. He has also apologized for his social media trail, saying that he “takes full responsibility for my ‘likes’ on Instagram that were hurtful and offensive.” Becca has asked viewers to keep an open mind.
Meanwhile, Becca’s Instagram account paints a different picture: It includes images in support of Hillary Clinton and of participating at a women’s march in Minnesota. She’s been vocal about the fact that she’s looking for a relationship that’s “50-50” — though she hasn’t spelled out what that might look like to her.
It’s hard to know whether Instagram likes translate into deeply held views. During Becca and Garrett’s one-on-one date last week, Becca said they “share the same values.” But viewers who’ve been reading up on Garrett’s social media history aren’t so sure.
Lincoln Adim’s criminal record
Lincoln Adim, a 26-year-old sales executive from Los Angeles who grew up in Nigeria, met Becca before “The Bachelorette” officially started. He got an intro on the “After the Final Rose” episode in March when it was announced that Becca would be the next Bachelorette. In the first few episodes, he’s won a group-date challenge and revealed that he’s a flat-earther.
But the key detail, again, has unfolded off-screen: In 2016, Lincoln was charged with indecent assault and battery and accused of groping a woman on a harbor cruise in Boston, according to a statement from Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. Warner Bros., which produces “The Bachelorette,” said in an emailed statement that Lincoln denied that he had been charged with sexual misconduct. Warner Bros. added that the “well-respected and highly experienced” third-party company that does their background checks “did not reference any incident or charge relating to the recent conviction — or any other charges relating to sexual misconduct.” Warner Bros. is investigating why the report did not contain this information.
Lincoln’s arrest and indictment occurred two years before Becca’s season was filmed. A week before the premiere, on May 21, Lincoln was found guilty of indecent assault and battery, according to Wark. If Lincoln complies with the judge’s orders that he stay away from the victim and attend three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week for two years, he will not be incarcerated, Wark wrote in an email. Lincoln is also expected to register as a sex offender.
Once again, Ashley Spivey played a role in making Lincoln’s past public. Spivey helped Reality Steve, a blogger who covers Bachelor Nation, confirm Lincoln’s conviction. Screening for “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” includes an STD test, but somehow they missed Lincoln’s criminal record?
Bekah Martinez’s Twitter feud with Raven Gates
Remember Baby Bekah from Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season? She’s known for her upbeat and quirky personality — and for her mother reporting her missing when she was not missing. Add another trait to the list: Twitter provocateur. On June 15, Bekah called out Tia Booth and Colton Underwood for reportedly getting cozy during “Bachelor in Paradise,” ABC’s summer spin-off that premieres in August. (ABC hasn’t confirmed the cast list for “Paradise,” but filming has begun.)
Early in Bachelorette Becca’s season, Colton told her that he and Tia had briefly dated after “The Bachelor” wrapped, but that they were done. Becca freaked out — worrying that there might still be feelings between the two — but so far has kept Colton around.
After Bekah’s tweet, Raven (an alum from Nick Viall’s season of “The Bachelor” who is friends with Tia), came to Tia’s defense. It got tense quickly, with Raven subtweeting Bekah and then blocking her.
It was the kind of name-calling this show likes to inspire among women, pitting them against each other to compete for a man’s affection. On the show, Bekah seemed to be mostly above the petty infighting that happens every season, but of course no one is immune to getting dragged in.
A few days later, Bekah apologized.
Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon’s engagement
Ashley Iaconetti has never been the Bachelorette, but her love story is among one of the more believable and interesting to come out of Bachelor Nation. Last month, Ashley I., as she’s known on the franchise, and Jared Haibon told the story of how they went from meeting on “Bachelor in Paradise” in 2015 to dating and breaking up to becoming best friends and dating other people to finally becoming a couple. It took them three years to get there. Last week, Ashley I. and Jared got engaged while in Mexico for the fifth season of “Bachelor in Paradise.”
The contestants on these shows are generally expected to date for 10 weeks before getting engaged. (Or, in “Paradise” and “Winter Games,” for just a few weeks before deciding whether to leave as a couple.) Unless you’re Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, that’s an unusually accelerated courtship. However, Ashley I. and Jared’s story of twists and turns — and lots of tears! — has stood out as more realistic, and perhaps more lasting, than what usually comes from these shows.