‘The Bachelorette’ Season 16, Episode 5 Recap: Ah, and We Have Our Villain!

Because she’s been there and done that, literally, former Bachelor contestant/tear fountain Ashley Iaconetti is recapping this season of The Bachelorette for Cosmopolitan. With insider insight as well as a clear eye for what’s going down both in front of and behind the cameras, she’s got a whole lot to say…and you’re gonna wanna hear it.

This post contains spoilers for last night’s (11/10/20) episode of The Bachelorette.

I was so happy to see the men’s excited reactions when Tayshia walked in the room as their new Bachelorette. Tayshia has a magical power: She’s simultaneously gorgeous, confident, and approachable. I know the men will feel pressure to impress her, but her essence is welcoming, not intimidating. Tayshia’s the friend you can go a year without seeing and then sit on the couch with and feel like no time has passed.

I’m not surprised the men feel like they’re connecting with her quickly. I would say they deserve this feeling, but I’m in the camp that believes no one is owed anything when they sign up for this show. I will say I’m happy it looks like they’re about to experience a more typical season.

That being said, the guys were being so lame when they complained about another limo showing up. The Bachelorette is about the lead finding a husband, not about doing what seems “fair” to the contestants. It would have been screwed up if they just had her choose from 16 men who were all Clare’s leftovers. Honestly, I would have preferred more than four additional guys coming out of that limo, but I know given the amount of filming time left, that number was probably the best compromise. They can’t just tell the resort and the 200+ workers on the show that they’re going to extend the shoot time.

One of those four men who walked out of the limo, Spencer, got the first impression rose. I’m going to make an assumption here and guess that because he got a proper, traditional entrance, he had a little more sparkle around him for him for Tayshia. The fact that they were both “new here” probably added to their bond. Maybe there was something subconscious for Tayshia in thinking that Spencer was there for her, and only her, that added to his allure.

Other than that, though, he seemed like a conceited tool. We couldn’t go the rest of this season villain free, so they had to add a charming, handsome jerk to the bunch to latch on the nerves of the other men. I don’t think he’s going to be one of the many first impression rose recipients that end up being the Bachelorette’s husband.

I don’t know what it is, but I’m not feeling this group of guys yet. Maybe it’s because so much of the focus was on Dale and Clare the first four weeks of the season. This is totally self-indulgent, but to put it in perspective, the two-on-one date I was eliminated during on Chris Soules season was in episode six. There was so much more character development leading up to that moment for me and Kelsey in the Badlands than we’ve gotten from any of these guys so far. It could be intentional, though, so that we feel like we’re getting a fresh start with Tayshia. The lack of personality we’ve seen is just making it hard for me to play matchmaker for Tayshia. I don’t know who I see her with as of now, but I guess that’s the way it’s supposed to be during a lead’s first week. I’m expecting to have certain feelings formed at this point in the season and I’ve got to realize this season is unconventional and my expectations need to adapt.

The fact that we’ve seen only two one-on-one dates obviously contributes to not feeling connected to the men. The two men whom I sense the most heart and soul from are the two who have had one-on-ones, Jason and Brendon, and that’s not a coincidence. Duh. I had no idea who Brendon was before this episode and now I think he’s my favorite. He has such a gentle presence. He seems sweet and humble and the way he describes his previous marriage makes me feel like he’s a family-oriented, hopeless romantic. It’s clear he’s not the kind of guy hungry for screen time or drama. I found Brendon’s slight nervousness during his one-on-one with Tayshia endearing. I think his subdued, not-so-smooth personality is a refreshing change to the bolder men we often see on the show.

I was sad to see Jason leave in this episode, but I wasn’t surprised by it at all. It was being teased enough. I think he might regret this decision down the road. I get having a hard time getting over someone, but when the person your heart desired is now engaged, you’re no longer in the running. There’s no holding on to hope, and you’ve got to move on. That being said, it was very respectful and mature of him to say he wasn’t in the right place mentally to continue with the show. So of course, that gesture made Tayshia (and me, and probably most of Bachelor Nation) want him to stick around even more. He’s like a man with baggage who sheds his protective layers in a Lifetime movie. Jason will be missed.

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