When co-host Tayshia Adams pronounced on Monday’s “The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All” special that this has been the “most dramatic season ever,” she was following the tradition of former franchise host Chris Harrison, who said the same thing every year. To be honest, this season, starring Renton’s Katie Thurston, hasn’t technically been the most thrilling, for a good reason — almost everyone got along and behaved themselves. Almost.
For the uninitiated, each season features one of these specials, where previously dismissed suitors reunite, rehash and relive their rejection in front of a studio audience. And this one, like the entire season, had almost as much bromance as romance, as cat costume-wearing math teacher Connor Brennan sang on his ukulele toward the end of the special. There were a few moments of testosterone-laden testiness, but even Katie’s long-awaited confrontation with fame-seeking life-size Ken doll Thomas Jacobs ended with polite well-wishes, like she was gently explaining why he didn’t get the big promotion at the office.
Here were some of the more exciting moments, along with our usual wild flailing guess as to who Katie might give her final rose to:
(Single, Widowed) Father Knows Best: Katie’s suitor pool got smaller even before the special started, when sweet dad Michael Allio, who’d accepted a rose, decided to go home to be with his young son James. (James, who’s too little to get the whole reality dating show thing, asked his dad on the phone why his dad didn’t want to see him anymore. OUCH OUCH RIGHT IN THE HEART REGION.) While Katie was disappointed, she decided that it would be selfish to ask Michael to stay. And if he had, he wouldn’t be the great guy we’d thought he was.
Way harsh, Tayshia: When Chris Harrison interviewed each rejected suitor about their dumping, he did so like a concerned dad, albeit one who’s trying to get you to cry. The dynamic with new co-hosts and former “Bachelorette” stars Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe was similar, except this time, it came off like your ex-girlfriend’s besties sitting across from you saying, “So here is the exact moment where your heart broke. Like, I think your chest was literally bleeding. How do you feel?” It was a little more brutal, and we can’t say it wasn’t fascinating. We’re disappointed in ourselves, too.
The thing about Thomas: Too much of the season focused on the aforementioned Thomas, whom Katie memorably dumped with a rose fake-out after hearing he was more interested in being the next “The Bachelor” than he was in wooing her. But besides Katie’s apology for possibly hurting him with the way she dumped him, the best part was equally dumped Tre Cooper’s realization that his obsession with ferreting out Thomas’ true intentions may have cost him Katie. “I’m not gonna lie. I talked about Thomas a lot,” he said. Yeah, you did!
Connor kissed a (random) girl, and he liked it: One of the more heartbreaking moments this season was Katie asking Connor for a kiss, and deciding right after to send him home, which he admitted on the special had him calling his exes to ask if he’d always been a subpar smoocher. Fortunately, a completely random woman in the audience named Tara who is apparently a musician and who was totally not planted by production walked up and made out with him. Weird. Funny.
Wild Flailing Guess: Now that we know we’re down to just Greg Grippo, Justin Glaze and Blake Moynes, we still think that Greg’s going to win. The show didn’t show enough of Katie’s chemistry with Justin to justify her picking him, and honestly we don’t know if Blake, a returnee from Tayshia’s season, is here for the right reason. We might watch this show too much.