SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the July 12 episode of “The Bachelorette.”
“The Bachelorette’s” Katie Thurston kicked off the week’s episode of the ABC reality dating competition with a challenge for her men: “W.O.W.O” — a week off whacking off. The challenge was born out of a conversation with hosts Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe, during which Katie came up with the idea to ban the men from masturbating. Kaitlyn delivered the news to the contestants, which kicked off a sexual-innuendo-filled episode.
After Katie’s challenge, Justin Glaze received the week’s first date. He and Katie spent the day participating in a fake wedding, where the two dressed up in formal wear and exchanged vows. Later in the night, Katie admitted she was overcome with emotion at the visuals of a wedding ceremony, as it reminded her of her late father’s inability to attend her own future wedding. In addition to missing her father, she confided in Justin about her family dynamic, revealing that the man she considered her father is not her biological parent.
Her biological father is a new addition to her life, who recently asked to establish a relationship. However, she admitted to struggling with how to navigate the dynamic, while simultaneously struggling with grief over the man who raised her.
The two bonded over her honesty, and they ended the night with a private concert and Justin receiving the rose.
The group date was hosted by two drag queens and former “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestants Monét X Change and Shea Couleé. Their goal was to teach the “art of throwing shade,” but the day pivoted to a roast. After the men began with niceties about their peers, the queens started asking pointed questions to provoke the contestants. In almost all instances, the men turned to Hunter Montgomery as their scapegoat and accused him of lying and being manipulative — and called him the “Bachelor Historian” of the house.
Hunter’s familiarity with the franchise was criticized across the board, and the men claimed he was using the “Bachelor Handbook” to advance in the competition. They cited instances of Hunter previously predicting that Katie had already decided on her “Top Four.” (He claimed it was Hunter, Greg Grippo, Connor Brennan and another.)
Despite the accusations thrown at him, Hunter refused to retaliate or speak poorly about the other men. Instead, he used his platform to compliment Katie and share his feelings for her.
The animosity toward Hunter carried into the evening portion, when the men pled their cases against him to Katie. Tré Cooper, James Bonsall and Aaron Clancy used their one-on-one conversations with Katie to insult Hunter. Despite the tender moments with Andrew Spencer and Greg, Katie became ill over the turmoil with Hunter. After getting sick offscreen, she returned to the men to cancel the remainder of the cocktail party. She did not give out a rose.
The final date was reserved for Connor Brennan. The date was intended to elevate the frontrunner out of the friend zone but was unsuccessful. Despite a fun double date day of games with Kaitlyn and her fiancé (and former “Bachelorette” contestant) Jason Tartick, Katie didn’t feel a spark with Connor. Jason, Kaitlyn and Katie all spent the afternoon complimenting him, but their awkward kiss sealed the deal and sent him home in an emotional goodbye.
Katie was distraught after excusing Connor from the competition, but frontrunner Blake Moynes made a surprise arrival at her balcony and lifted her spirits. He arrived a la “Say Anything” with a boombox over his head, blaring the song they danced to together the week prior. The interaction instantly boosted Katie’s mood, and she showed her appreciation with a makeout in their hotel hallway.
They joked and discussed Katie’s W.O.W.O. challenge earlier in the week, and Katie reiterated how his appearance was the “greatest surprise” before they parted ways.
With Connor’s exit and Blake’s grand gesture, Katie prepared for the rose ceremony by reiterating her intentions: She focused on wanting to find a husband and said that she wanted to move on from the drama of the house. Her solution was to cancel the cocktail party, as she didn’t think any interactions would sway her decision-making.
Despite that, almost immediately stopped the rose ceremony to ask Hunter for a one-on-one conversation. She confronted him about the accusations from the other men before allowing him back into the ceremony. She did end up bringing him back in — only to eliminate him alongside Aaron, James and Tré.
“The Bachelorette” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.