When the Men Tell All, they also go hungry

The Food That Didn’t Get Eaten On The Bachelorette, week 8: Future apple slices, piping hot bullshit, a plant-based diet, and imaginary blue cheese

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The men of The Bachelorette cheer Connor on above the caption "You're not a cat! You're a tiger!"
Screenshot: ABC

Welcome back to The Takeout’s weird column about the food, or absence thereof, in the many corners of the Bachelor cinematic universe! I’m your host, Allison Shoemaker, and I, too, am not a cat! I’m a tiger! A tiger! In the eighth week of Katie Thurston’s Journey To Find Love, our heroine gets dumped for a really good reason and then swiftly becomes like the ninth most important person at her own Men Tell All taping. This is going to be a short column—there’s a reason they don’t call this episode the Men Eat All—but there are still some important issues on which to touch, so let’s not dilly-dally. If I could have your attention, please?

Gif: ABC

Let’s go.

Did The Bachelorette actually eat food this week?

Hahahahahahahhahahahaha, no.

What didn’t The Bachelorette eat this week?

Animal crackers and Fruit Roll-Ups with James, plentiful bullshit, a plant-based diet, bromantic cheese, and in the best random over-credits goof sequence ever, some imaginary blue cheese.

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Kid-friendly snacks with Michael’s small child

Michael gives Katie a pocket-watch as as breaking-up present
Screenshot: ABC
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In the episode’s only story development, Michael A. self-eliminates because “a beautiful boy needs his dad.” There’s no food, and Katie will never, ever* cut up some orange slices or put animal crackers in a little bowl shaped like a monkey or some shit for James, Michael’s four-year-old son. Honestly, I admit it, this scene played me like a fiddle. There were some feeeeeeeee-lings!

Michael A. is getting the best make-this-guy-the-Bachelor edit of all time. For those who don’t watch the show and won’t watch that clip, the tl;dr is that during a FaceTime call, James said something to the effect of, “Maybe you’re not here because Daddy doesn’t want to see me anymore,” which is 1,000 times more brutal than anything a Bachelor Nation villain could dream up. So Michael self-eliminates. It’s decisive and swift, and both he and Katie come off looking great while still having very reasonable emotional reactions.

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Things are considerably less emotional at the MTA. Once Katie finally emerges on stage, hosts Kaitlyn and Tayshia (good job, ladies) tell her something they’d pried out of Michael a segment or two earlier: that if Katie told him today that she wanted to give it another shot, he’d be all for it. She uncomfortably responds that she thinks things happen for a reason and her “journey” ended the way it was meant to end. I would say it’s brutal, but this is an episode in which a child says, “Daddy doesn’t want to see me anymore,” so. Nah.

* — Unless Katie breaks it off with whoever she’s with now because she wants to be with Michael and James, in which case this will instantly become the best season of any reality show, ever, including RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season two.

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Bullshit

Karl being a jackass
Screenshot: ABC
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This fuckin’ guy. I will say this for Karl: his very bad lying is extremely entertaining. As soon as he says stuff like, “Of course it was fucking Thomas,” he makes it abundantly clear that it definitely was not Thomas. It’s like he’s walking around with a Ron-Howard-in-Arrested-Development embedded in his face. He says, “Of course it was fucking Thomas,” then his face says, “NARRATOR: It was not fucking Thomas.” He’s so transparent that he almost single-handedly gives both Hunter and Thomas abbreviated redemption arcs. And he’s going to show up in Paradise, so that sucks. Thanks a lot, Karl.

A plant-based diet and bromantic cheese

Connor kisses an audience plant
Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC
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So, Connor makes out with an audience plant. That’s why it’s a PLANT-BASED DIET. Jokes! We need ’em, because this sequence would have been painful even if it didn’t also take place during a fucking pandemic:

Uggggggggggggggh I don’t actually need to point out that she’s wearing a microphone and that people from the audience aren’t allowed to just randomly interrupt, right? Anyway, don’t be shocked if Connor the Cat making out with a stranger’s mouth on TV in July 2021 ultimately winds up in the history books as a visual representation of society’s bungled response to Recent Events.

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And that probably marks the end of the “Connor 4 Bachelor” campaign. Luckily, he still comes out of the season looking great, thanks in no small part to the thoroughly charming song he wrote about how he came out of this with 30 new friends and a renewed belief in the power of bromance. They all sang along and swayed, it was wonderful and perfect. Oh, and during the kissing, Andrew shouts, “You’re not a cat! You’re a tiger! You’re a tiger!” and that is an undeniably good thing. So, let’s call it a win, even if it’s a really cringey one.

Imaginary blue cheese

Andrew and Hunter laughing
Andrew and Hunter laughing
Screenshot: ABC
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This is just a clip of a bunch of guys who work out a lot going stir-crazy in the deserts of New Mexico and talking to each other about nonsense while using bad accents, but I swear to god, it is a delight. If you need some cheap serotonin, the episode’s right here, jump straight to 1:43:00, and enjoy. At one point Hunter says “blue cheese,” and that’s the closest we come to actual food in this episode, save for a second viewing of Andrew’s Taco Bell feast. Enjoy.

Who most deserves a plate full of macaroni and cheese or a huge piece of cake or something?

Tayshia and Kaitlyn, "surprised"
Photo: ABC
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Kaitlyn and Tayshia, for having to work this hard to sell that stupid kiss. See you next week for Hometowns, for real this time.