Okay. It’s been a while. As you may know, Chris Harrison finally gave his iconic line: “Clare you’ve officially blown-up the bachelorette”; there’s a lot to unpack here.
We left off with one round of group dates and the Yosef drama. Honestly, the following rose ceremony was dull knowing what is going to happen next. I’ll save your time and completely omit what happened. All you need to know is that unsurprisingly, Dale got a rose.
Former bachelorette Deanna came to talk to Clare about her journey on the show. This is a Bachelorette trope. I was surprised that the producers chose Deanna for come onto the show. Deanna was the season 4 bachelorette. We’re on season 16 for reference. Not only did she not share a Bachelorette season Clare, but she also isn’t one of the bachelorettes still in a relationship with the winner of her season. Clare couldn’t stop raving about Dale. Clare was clearly in love with him. My romantic side was swooning and gushing at the idea of a true romance. My dramatic side that lives for the hellscape of Champagne-gate-esque drama was disappointed. It was boring.
I’m not exactly sure if this visit was filmed the same day as the group date. I’d like to think that it was because Clare showed up so late. If it was on the same day, shame on the producers for not thinking this through. If the group date was later, I demand an explanation as to where Clare was. For this first group date, the guys were waiting on the couches for literal hours, anticipating an activity where they can grow their connection with Clare. When Clare finally did arrive, she announced that she had decided to cancel the daytime portion of the date to get a longer evening cocktail portions with the guys. The rationale for this decision was so she get more quality time with the guys but some of the guys were upset that they lost the opportunity to show off in front of Clare in a competition-style activity.
So, we’re at the night portion of the date. After the Clare’s toast, Dale makes an announcement. He says that he wants everyone to get an opportunity to connect with Clare, fairness, and blah, blah, blah. Frankly, it was pretty dull, but the clear message was fairness in the competition. Then, Dale steals her away for a little bit, promising to return soon.
They sneak away into Clare’s hotel suite and get intimate. I know what you’re thinking. it wasn’t fantasy suite level but more scandalous-for-the-1960s level intimacy. Forty-five minutes later, there’s no sight of Dale and Clare. For reference, former bachelorette contestant, Jordan Kimball on his podcast Unfiltered said that the guys usually get ten minutes with the bachelorette if they’re lucky.
After someone practically pries Clare away it’s a showdown between all the other guys to get some time with Clare. This was a hot mess. Then, Dale has the audacity to steal Clare away from one of the other guys.
The date finishes with Clare giving the date rose to Dale. Who would’ve thought that this would be the last time that Clare gave out a rose this episode, despite the fact that’s there’s two more dates!
The guys later confront Dale about how he treated the guys. His speech was hypocritical. Understandably, they were frustrated. Dale defended himself because “he was best suited” for Clare. The guys were immediately frustrated by this comment. More on this later, but first a quick one on one date recap.
The one on one date was with Zac J. If you don’t remember him, he’s fart-ring-guy from night one. So, this date is unlikely to go well.
It’s a spa date. Zac J is incredibly uncomfortable with the pedicure. This is not that unusual, but you could tell that this rubbed Clare the wrong way. Then, there was a pool portion. It was going fine. Then all hell broke loose. Clare leaned for a kiss. Zac leaned in for a kiss. Clare said she felt Zac pull away, so she pulled away. I didn’t see anything but it’s hard to tell. Zac, desperate to recover the kiss pulled at her neck to bring her back. I think this was well-intentioned, but Clare’s understandably quick movements made this action seem aggressive. Clare quickly pulled away. Zac tried to explain himself. It was too late. he said he didn’t pull away. To make matters worse, Zac trued the same move again. Clare freaked out and left. I’m upset at what happened but as a woman, I completely understand what Clare did. This was a big red flag and it felt wrong. She didn’t owe him anything. At the dinner portion of the date, Clare never showed, and Chris Harrison told Zac to go home.
Back to the group.
The next group date arrives, and all the guys are relieved because Dale’s not on it. If Dale’s not on the date, there’s an opportunity to really connect with Clare. This was wrong.
The date was a stand-up comedy/roast date. Naturally, the guys picked on the front runner, Dale. Some of the jokes were mean. Personally, I blame the guys’ poor joke writing more than their supposed cruel intentions. Dale, being best suited to the job came up a lot.
Also, quick shoutout to Bennett for putting together the best Dale roast. It was hilarious. I’m a huge Bennett stan, if you haven’t noticed.
Clare did not take these jokes very well. In the nighttime portion of the date, she confronted each guy about the jokes. She seemed interested in the “best-suited” line that the guys were mocking. The guys wanted to talk about anything but Dale, but they kept getting sucked into Dale, Dale, Dale. Bennett completely deserved this because his set was brutal (but I think he knew that). On the other side of the spectrum, Ben had pages and pages of jokes and only one of them was about Dale. He made fun of nearly all of the guys.
So, Clare concluded the night by giving herself the rose. For those new to Bachelor Nation, this is unheard of. It is also this moment that we get the infamous “they’re talking about that about my fiancée” line. There’s some speculation here. Did Clare really call Dale her fiancée or was this some producer magic cutting audio from Clare talking about her former fiancée Benoit.
The next episode, Chris Harrison talks to Clare. He says that they can’t continue this way. Clare decides to pursue her relationship with Dale, blowing up the bachelorette. Clare and Dale have a hopelessly romantic dinner date. I don’t like to be shallow, but Clare’s dress was gorgeous. They bond over similar family experiences. I actually think this relationship just might work.
In an overly hyped scene, Dale proposes to Clare and she accepts. Although, I do have to give Chris Harrison some credit. When he walked up to Clare instead of Dale was supposed to show up for the proposal, I definitely thought it was over.
Chris Harrison tells the guys. They are not happy. They seem like they feel cheated. Then, Chris slides in with great news. They’re going to provide an opportunity for the guys to find love. He gives no further details other than to decide whether or not they’re going home by that night.
Most of the guys are being nonchalant about the whole thing. They never connected with Clare in the first place. Blake Moynes, the guy who messaged Clare before the show, and Jason, the guys subjected to the intense personal therapy date during week one were skeptical ended up staying.
It’s a lot to catch up and we’re still behind but stay tuned this weekend for the installment of I can See Clarely Now. Tayshia is finally here.