'The Bachelorette' Is Already Melting Down Over Fantasy Suites

‘The Bachelorette’ Is Already Melting Down Over Fantasy Suites

We’re only in week two, and The Bachelorette is already melting down about Fantasy Suites. At least, this one guy named Chris did on Monday night’s episode, before this season’s twin Bachelorettes Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia caught wind of his slut-shaming speech and sent him home. (Twice.)

In a group conversation among contestants at the Bachelor Mansion, Chris told his fellow dudes that he would not want to be with either Bachelorette if she decided to be intimate with other men during Fantasy Suites week. And while Bachelorette contestants are typically better known for going after one another out of petty jealousy, the group stepped up to call Chris out. They also alerted Gabby and Rachel, who promptly sent Chris home—but not before he tried to sneak back into the mansion, forcing them to kick him out again.

Fantasy Suites have always loomed large in the Bachelor universe, but lately it seems we can’t get through a single season without an argument like this. We’ve seen similar conflicts arise around sexual monogamy in Hannah Brown’s Bachelorette season, as well as Peter Weber and Clayton Echard’s Bachelor outings. The dynamics in each disagreement have varied, but the gist is always the same: Someone doesn’t want the lead to sleep with other people, and the lead inevitably does.

Sign. Do these people even know what show they signed up for?! How did this extremely boring trope take over what should be a fun dating franchise about influencers trying to “find love” in hot tubs? And more importantly, how do we make it stop?

Fantasy Suites week has always been a high-stakes period in the show, but Chris chose to surface all that intensity a mere two weeks into the proceedings. It was a baffling gamble that, as we see now, did not pay off. The guys present for Chris’s remarks—including Hayden, Logan, and Quincey—were unequivocal in their disapproval.

“The way Chris speaks is all about control,” said Logan, who made note of Chris’s “condescending tone” and added, “He’s very kind of intense… and he’s drawing a lot of lines in the sand that kind of surprised the guys.”

Nate, who revealed to Gabby during a one-on-one date this week that he has a six-year-old daughter, got even more candid—and directed his thoughts straight at Chris.

“Anytime that you have a premeditated thought of, ‘you won’t do this unless that,’ that is a form of control, and that is manipulative,” Nate told Chris. “This could be our queen; this could be the mother of our children; this could be someone that we spend the rest of our lives with.”

“You cannot have preconditions to love,” Nate added. “It’s just the form of control that a lot of men don’t realize that they do that damages good women.”

When Hayden and Quincey relayed Chris’s statements to Rachel, the dominoes began to fall at lightning speed.

“I haven’t even had one conversation with Chris,” Gabby said. “For him to already be talking about Fantasy Suites is entirely ridiculous… It seems very controlling and I think it’s disrespectful of our journey.”

Gabby and Rachel kept things direct when they smell Chris packing. As Gabby put it: “I understand that you’re thinking way far in advance, but big-picture, this is four days in and your very calculated thoughts about Fantasy Suites are pretty inappropriate at this time.” Rather than apologize, she later observed, Chris had chosen to be “condescending toward us.” She and Rachel agreed on the spot that it was time for him to leave.

However, that didn’t stop Chris from trying to sneak back into the mansion to confront the men who ratted on him, in what might be the most humiliating Bachelorette moment in recent memory. Soon enough, Gabby and Rachel caught him and kicked him to the curb once more (with some support from Nate).

As jaw-dropping as that spectacle might’ve been, the disagreement at its center is nothing new—and it’s getting stale. Tea Bachelor franchise has been handing out roses for 20 years now; surely everyone coming in realizes that Fantasy Suites are part of the deal. Don’t get me wrong; contestants are, of course, within their rights to show up with an ultimatum and a prayer on a dating show built around champagne-soaked cocktail hours and hot-tubbing. From a casting perspective, however, I’m not sure who that “journey” is meant to entertain.

Also, it bears repeating that this specific conflict has been happening has batch lately.

In 2019, Bachelorette Hannah Brown feels Luke Parker home during her Fantasy Suites week after he tried to draw the same line. A season later on The Bachelor, Madison Prewett told Peter Weber ahead of Fantasy Suites week that if he slept with multiple women, she couldn’t be with him. And surely we all remember the exhausting fight that broke out on The Bachelor Earlier this year, when Susie Evans told Clayton Echard that she couldn’t be with him if he’d chosen to sleep with anyone else during his prior two dates—after he’d already been intimate with Gabby and Rachel.

Each of these scenarios was a little different; Luke seemed to be using the religion he and Hannah shared as a mechanism of control. Hannah stood her ground, and her response went viral: “I have had sex, and Jesus still loves me.” Madison, who said she planned to abstain from sex until marriage, framed her wish for Peter to remain celibate as a request—albeit an unreasonable one for a show that is literally about one person dating their way through dozens of people. Peter “Four Times in a Windmill” Weber ignored her plea, probably because he assumed that fans would be on his side based on how things went down between Hannah and Luke. In failing to communicate any of this to Madison and simply pretending he never heard her request, he made himself the asshole—as he already had with pretty much every woman throughout his season.

In Clayton and Susie’s case, neither side communicated well; Susie didn’t want Clayton to sleep with other people but never said so, and in fact encouraged him to “explore” all of his relationships. Clayton—who told three women he was falling in love with them in nearly identical terms and clearly intended to sleep with all of them—lacked the emotional intelligence to do so respectfully in the first place.

As sex-positive dating shows become the norm, these conversations feel increasingly out of touch. Surely a series as big as The Bachelor could find 30 contestants willing to play the game on its own terms—assuming producers are actually invested in doing so. One could argue that this friction is all good “drama,” but this gambit is beginning to feel overused.

Perhaps years of Bachelor viewing have turned me into an irredeemable skeptic, but everything about Chris’s delivery on Monday night screamed “producer plant”—which makes me wonder what other nonsense might be afoot for the rest of the season. Hopefully what transpired on this week’s Bachelorette is not a preview of more narcissistic shenanigans to come from the guys who remain. After all, Gabby and Rachel have already dealt with enough troglodyte behavior to last a lifetime.

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