SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the Dec. 8 episode of “The Bachelorette.”
Tuesday’s episode of “The Bachelorette” picked up with the continued feud between contestants Noah Erb and Bennett Jordan. The two were scheduled for an impromptu two-on-one date with Bachelorette Tayshia Adams, where at least one constant would be sent home.
“Is this what goes on between you two? ‘Cause this sounds honestly like teenage boy drama and the fact that I have to sit here and listen to you guys talking about this is ridiculous,” she told them.
She took turns interrogating each man — questioning them about their intentions, their motivations, and their participation in the drama. With Bennett, Tayshia expressed frustration that he said there was “zero chance” that Noah and Tayshia would end up together, which she interpreted as questioning her judgment and her integrity.
“You’re saying that I’m not capable of making decisions… making decisions of someone good suited for me in the future,” she told him.
After Bennett apologized, Tayshia turned her attention to Noah, who she saw as the “common denominator” between all of the in-house drama. Noah accused Bennett of being condescending and said their conflict was rooted in Bennett talking down to him.
While Tayshia gave a passionate speech to both contestants, she ultimately sided with Noah and sent Bennett home. Bennett — visibly blindsided — left the resort. Shortly after, the rose ceremony sent Spencer Robertson (who received Tayshia’s first impression rose), Demar Jackson and Ed Waisbrot home behind him.
Tayshia did not give Noah the rose immediately after the date, but instead during the rose ceremony with the other contestants), making it clear that his safety was “not a victory.”
The remaining seven men were informed that there was only a week of dates in between then and hometowns — a week where their families would join them at the resort to meet the Bachelorette. The week would consist of a group date and two one-on-ones, after which only four would continue on.
The idea of hometowns sparked an intense emotional reaction from Zac Clark, who revealed his struggle with addiction during last week’s episode.
“My family is everything. So when you bring that into the equation, everything gets real,” he said through tears. “My mom and my dad are my heroes. … What just happened is that it went from ‘OK we’re here, we’re dating’ to my future wife meeting my family. I’m literally sitting here because they believed in me.”
In the pursuit of a hometown date, Ben Smith’s one-on-one led the week. The morning of their date consisted of a playful scooter scavenger hunt, where the two traveled around the resort following clues for different locations. As each hint led them along, they ended their day with a conversation about feeling performative and trying to act “perfect.” The night portion of the date proved to be even more emotionally charged, as Ben revealed two failed suicide attempts in 2018 and 2019.
“2018 was a rough year for me. I left a career that I thought I was going to be in forever. The army didn’t end up working out for me for a number of reasons, but I ended up breaking my back pretty bad. I’m 26 years old and I can barely walk up the steps. I was living in a city that was too expensive for me and completely lost. My life was very dark and I didn’t know how to say that I needed things.
“I didn’t want to be here anymore,” he continued. “And for the same reasons, I don’t like to share, because I didn’t want to burden anyone with my problems. I thought the easiest way was to just not be around. Luckily, it didn’t work. The only thing that got me through that was [my sister]. And she has no idea. She saved my life and so I owe her everything.”
The confession seemingly brought the two closer together, and he was given a rose and a guarantee for hometowns. “I truly love Ben,” Tayshia revealed in a voiceover.
The next date was for Noah, Zac, Riley Christian, Ivan Hall and Brendan Morais. (Blake Moynes received the second one-on-one.) The group date was an honesty challenge, where each of the men was questioned under a polygraph test. The question ranged from silly (“Do you miss your mustache?”) to serious (“Have you ever cheated on someone?”), and Tayshia spent the night questioning the men’s answers and results.
For Zac, the questions spurred from his admission that he had cheated, only to later admit that it was his first middle school girlfriend. Ivan and Noah gained points for securing their relationships. Brendan expressed concerns about meeting each other’s families, after already putting his family through his previous divorce. And lastly, Riley faced questions after getting the question “What is your name?” wrong during the polygraph.
He provided a tearful admission that he has legally changed his birth name to distance himself from being named after his father. After being raised independently by his dad, his mother recently returned into his life.
Despite feeling closer to all of the men after their evening, Tayshia decided not to hand out the group date rose and instead returned to her suite. Upon her return, she found Bennett waiting for her. Although he was eliminated earlier in the week, he returned to try and pursued Tayshia for a second chance.
“Our goodbye was so bizarre, so surreal,” he said. “I couldn’t even fathom what just happened. And I was thinking of all these things that I hadn’t been able to share with you. Sometimes you don’t realize things until they’re gone. And I realized in that moment that I love you.”
Tayshia responded by sharing that she wasn’t planning on sending him home originally, and was shocked by his return. And although she was so flattered that someone would show up for her, she needed the night to evaluate things.
While her response appeared open-ended, the trailer for next week showed Bennett returning for what appeared to be a rose ceremony.
Next week, “The Bachelorette” airs Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC.