SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not watched the Nov. 16 episode of “The Bachelorette.”
For the first time since COVID-19, the Bachelorette franchise went on the move. Michelle Young and her 11 contestants left their Palm Spring isolation bubble and headed to her hometown in Minneapolis, Minn. in the Nov. 16 episode of the ABC dating competition.
Young first reunited with her parents and caught them up on her journey. She then met up with her men and immediately invited fellow Minneapolis native Joe Coleman on a date.
The two took a tour of their hometown, starting by throwing out the first pitch at the Minnesota Twins game. Then, she took him to her high school before she challenged him to a one-on-one game in her gym.
Afterward, Michelle told Joe that he reminded her of her dad and brother, and he credited his calm temperament to his own father. The two continued spending time together later that night and Joe shared that sports were the foundation of his life. His career was plagued by injuries and several surgeries. The recovery process affected him mentally, leading to struggles with depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. His inability to maintain the standard that he wanted, while juggling physical therapy and rehab, forced him to reevaluate his identity without basketball. His vulnerability brought Michelle to tears, and she thanked him for his honesty.
Michelle expressed her excitement about Joe — commenting that it felt as if the two had been living life side by side in the same city and she was excited about the possibility of them connecting. They ended a date on a ferris wheel with a rose.
The second date was for nine of the other men, where they headed to the Minnesota Viking’s stadium. The third date was reserved for front-runner Nayte Olukoya, which angered villain Chris Sutton, who called Nayte “cocky” the week prior.
Michelle introduced the group date by telling the men they were going to meet the “Vikings,” before three burly Norsemen entered. They hosted challenges where they threw, yelled ate and arm-wrestled. Future Bachelor Clayton Echard was named the “Ultimate Viking.”
Throughout the date the men expressed their distaste for Chris, while also making intentional moments with Michelle. That sentiment carried over into the evening portion when Chris complained about not getting the one-on-one date. He took no initiative to talk to her during the cocktail party, though, and then expressed frustration that she didn’t approach him, despite his insight from last week. At the end of the night, she gave Clayton the date rose, and Chris continued to complain.
The next day, Nayte went on the one-on-one date. She picked him up on a pontoon boat, and the two spent the day on the water. She teased him that was going to turn into a group date, then invited her two best friends to join their afternoon.
During the evening, they both talked about how they operated as partners. While they were sharing their experiences, they were interrupted by Chris, who crashed their dinner.
Chris pulled Michelle aside and said that he was disappointed he didn’t get to talk to her on the group date. He felt “played” when he confided in her about Nayte, only for Nayte to be rewarded with the next one-on-one. He then accused her of being “fake” and she countered by addressing his “bad attitude.” While she appreciated him “looking out for her,” she was capable of speaking for herself.
His interruption didn’t leave the impression he hoped for, as she sent him home. However, Michelle was confident with Nayte and gave him his own rose. The two capped off the night with fireworks.
Nayte, Clayton and Joe went into the cocktail party with a rose, and the remaining men fought for time. During Martin Gelbspan’s time, he stuck his foot in his mouth by calling women “high-maintenance.” Despite that, though, Michelle gave him a rose during the ceremony and instead sent home Casey Woods and LeRoy Arthur.
“The Bachelorette” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.