SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “The Women Tell All” episode of “The Bachelor” Season 24.
As the competition gets down to the wire with only one episode left, ABC gathered some of titular Bachelor Peter Weber’s former love interests for the “The Bachelor: Women Tell All.”
Only 17 women out of the complete 30-woman roster were seen on stage: Katrina Badowski, Maurissa Gunn, Alexa Caves, Kylie Ramos, Sarah Coffin, Kiarra Norman, Deandra Kanu, Savannah Mullins, Alayah Benavidez, Tammy Ly, Shiann Lewis, Lexi Buchanan, Sydney Hightower, Victoria Paul, Mykenna Dorn, Kelsey Weier and Victoria Fuller.
To begin, host Chris Harrison played a brief clip of the rose ceremony from Episode 9, where Weber surprisingly chose Hannah Ann Sluss and Madison Prewett — sending Fuller back to the U.S. As previously mentioned in last week’s recap, Prewett, a virgin, told Weber she didn’t think she would be able to say yes to a proposal if she knew he was sleeping with any of the other women — which he was, and which he admitted.
Everyone seemed unsure of his decision — even Weber, who asked Prewett if she was sure as she accepted the rose. The women on stage had finally received their opportunity to impart their two cents.
On Prewett’s untimely declaration of chastity, many of the girls seemed to be in agreement that the finalist should’ve shared the information with Weber much earlier in the competition. Buchanan made her stance on the situation clear, saying, “We all know what happens in Fantasy Suites. That’s what you sign up for. … That should’ve been said upfront.”
Not aired during the episode but witnessed by Variety during the taping of “The Women Tell All,” Benavidez and Paul had their moment to clear the air. The former pageant girls had a small fight when Benavidez returned to the house and shared what she found back in the real world. In the time that they were on the show together, her former “friend” Paul had denied their friendship and went as far as to tell Weber that she and Benavidez didn’t know each other very well, even though they’d had their experiences on the pageant circuit together. Benavidez certainly hopped on the opportunity to clear the air with Weber when she made her way back to the house, telling him the two of them were certainly friendly toward each other and had taken photos together to prove her point.
Mullins seemed to disagree with Paul’s statement and revealed that she had a moment not seen on TV with Paul where she attempted to slander Benavidez. “I’m sorry, I just can’t sit here and listen to anymore lies,” she said. “You wanted everyone to be against her.” Again, Paul denied having any involvement in the situation.
Though, that wasn’t the last of the Benavidez drama. Other women in the cast shared their disapproval of her attitude and how she began spilling sensitive information once she rejoined the house. Buchanan made a point to call out her behavior during the show, saying, “I felt like she was treating it like a pageant. … We’re here to find love, not win.” Benavidez did eventually apologize to Fuller and the other women for speaking on her social media findings from her time in the outside world.
Harrison switched gears by taking the conversation to Weier’s now-infamous “Champagne-gate” moment. Very early in the season (Episode 2), Sluss ignited the pop that was heard round the house when she opened a “surprise” bottle of champagne for her and Weber that actually belonged to Weier. The Iowa native immediately became emotional in response to what she felt like was a clear betrayal. Once she approached Weber about the incident afterward, she was able to move past it, but not before some of the fizzy beverage squirted into her nose as she took a swig out of the bottle.
Weier cleared up her side of the story, telling the crowd about how she incorrectly believed she told everyone about the bottle she saved for her and Weber. She also said she had a conversation with Weber, which wasn’t seen on TV, where she hinted at the surprise bottle.
“I’m not going to say I was justified in my reaction, but I was justified in my emotion,” she said of the way she acted toward the other girls.
The girls then held an unanticipated but needed conversation on the loaded accusations that were thrown around this season involving addiction, alcoholism and mental health. Due to a series of confrontations which involved Ly, both Dorn and Weier found themselves at the center of the conversation. Ly and Weier had a couple tense moments on the show after Ly claimed she was attempting to comfort Weier through her emotions, but she later told Weber that she felt Weier may have had a problem with her emotional stability, a penchant for over-drinking and possibly abusing pills.
“By you claiming that I am emotionally unstable, mental breakdown, alcoholic tendencies, it is a strong accusation to make against somebody,” Weier said. “By you putting that out there, now I am labeled as something that I’m not.”
Ly and Dorn had a separate altercation in Chile when they seemed to have a few conversations about the fashion blogger’s emotions and her meme-inspiring personality. The entire ordeal ended with a confrontation between the two women, with Dorn finally taking a stand against Ly. “You’ve taught me on how I don’t want to treat people and who I don’t want to be,” she said.
Kanu came to Ly’s defense, but the other women jumped in on the squabble, pointing out that Ly has quite a strong personality. This is something she’d didn’t deny and actually felt was part of the reason why she didn’t get along with many of the other women in the house.
Ly apologized for her comments to Weier, but refused Dorn’s requests for an apology because she said she felt Dorn didn’t deserve an apology from her.
“I have nothing against you and I don’t think you’re a bad person. I knew you didn’t like me,” Dorn told her as she requested some sort of closure from the interaction. Ly abruptly interrupted her sentence as she exhaustedly asked, “How long did she rehearse this?”
As one of the women in the final four, Weier was the first woman to step into the hot seat with Harrison to discuss her experience. While she did admit that she is certainly an emotional person in her every day life, she also said that when on-camera, things became amplified.
“I’m an emotional person, but I’m not as emotional as I was on the show,” she shared.
In a surprise appearance, former contestant Ashley Iaconetti left Weier with a huge bottle of champagne and a message on emotion-shaming: “There’s no place for emotion-shaming in the world, and especially not on ‘The Bachelor,'” she said.
Harrison made another small joke regarding champagne-gate, which prompted a snippy response from Weier saying, “Don’t judge me for champagne-gate because I made ABC and you a lot of money.”
Fuller was the second person in the hot seat, as she eloquently owned up to her shortcomings from the season. She addressed the Chase Rice incident and acknowledged that she could’ve handled it better, and she also cleared the air about her hometown visit, shutting down the rumors that she would date or attach herself to anyone who was already in a relationship.
The last thing Fuller mentioned was that she believed she owed the pilot an apology for all that he put up with throughout the season, which she delivered as he was brought on stage next.
“There’s so many things I would’ve done differently,” she said. “I just feel like I put you through so much.”
Weber commented on their relationship calling it “one of the realest” he’d ever had. On Weier’s elimination, he said: “Kelsey and I had an amazing relationship. … That was not easy for me at all.”
None of the girls seemed bitter toward their collective ex. In fact, many of them shared how they wished the best for him and his future relationships. Dorn, however, voiced that she wished she wasn’t put through the rose ceremony if he knew she wouldn’t get one.
Many fans, as well as Harrison, have expressed their thoughts and beliefs on how indecisive Weber had been throughout the season. But, Paul defended her now-ex saying, “Everyone needs to give him a little grace.”
To close, former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsey joined the group of diverse women on stage for a special segment highlighting online harassment. “The Bachelor” cast attempted to take a stand against hate by calling attention to it and saying that it was unacceptable. But, to make people truly feel the gravity of the messages the girls received she read some of them to the crowd, which caused quite a few women to shed some tears.
Because the idea was formed by Hightower’s insistence, Lindsey asked for her thoughts first.
“When it comes to attacking someone because of who their mother and father are, that’s where it has to stop,” she said. “None of us are perfect, but none of us deserve this. ”
Before leaving, Lindsey left a message on the importance of treating others kindly.
“As someone who’s been in your shoes, I know how much courage it takes to put yourself out there and tell your story,” she said. “These people who hide behind their phones, they don’t have a fraction of the guts that you have to stand up here today and face these people.”
“The Bachelor” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. The Season 24 finale airs March 9.