SPOILERS ahead from The Bachelor 2020, aka Bachelor Peter Weber's Season 24.
The Bachelor 2020 has been nothing but drama so far as Bachelor Peter Weber makes his final cuts before hometown dates, the very dramatic overnight dates, and his mysterious abnormal finale. There's no one girl to pick out as stirring the pot the most. However, Sydney Hightower managed to get involved in just about every drama before Bachelor Peter sent her home this week and now she's speaking out about it.
Sydney Hightower launched the drama with Alayah Benavidez and was called out by Tammy Ly. Sydney was later called out off-screen by high school classmates who claimed she wasn't honest in her comments to Bachelor Peter Weber. (Fun fact: Sydney was in the same Alabama high school class as Bachelorette Hannah Brown, who is just connected to everything.)
Sydney defended herself against the high school controversy on Twitter and took to Instagram -- with comments shut off -- to find a more positive spin on what she learned from The Bachelor experience:
So incredibly thankful for this crazy journey I have been so honored to be a part of. Never in a million years did i think I would embark on a journey to find love. And even though I did not find love with sweet little Pete, I did find love for myself, and have learned so much in this process. I’m walking out of this with my head held high, with a new found appreciation for my strength, and with the most amazing new family, and group of best friends that I will have for the rest of my life. And to me, that is success beyond measures. I am overwhelmed with love.
That's what she wrote on Instagram, but her Twitter posts have not been so positive, and have included sparring with an old high schol classmate.
During Sydney's one-on-one date with Bachelor Peter, she said the later years of middle school and high school were the worst years of her life. She didn't go to senior prom or homecoming. "I ate my lunch literally in the bathroom stall my whole senior year."
That was called into question by Sydney's high school classmates, who broke out the yearbook photos to show Sydney as a "Top Beauty" and one of the "Sweethearts":
She definitely doesn't appear to be unpopular, but Sydney defended herself on Twitter:
Feels ridiculous I even have to address this. But correct I did win a beauty pageant my senior year of high school. That was voted for by 5 judges. Not by my peers. Winning a pageant based off of outer beauty does not take away the racial bullying, and isolation I’ve been through. I was also on the cheer team in middle school and in many clubs in high school. You’ll do anything you can to fit in, and I tried. I won pageants because of my “looks” and I was in clubs because I wanted a scholarship to get into college. Not because I was accepted by my peers. Any one from my high school want to pull out the videos of girls stuffing my locker with Oreo cookies, vandalizing my home, shoving me in the hall ways? Teachers literally referring to me as a halfbreed? Calling my mother the worst names I’ve ever heard in my life? I doubt that.
Sydney also got into a spat with a former high school classmate who called her a bully:
What does Bachelor Peter Weber think of all of this? He told ET he believes Sydney when she talks about not going to high school dances or whatnot. However, he did feel a little bit deceived by some of the actions he saw from Sydney:
She never came off to me the way that I was seeing how she acted with some of the women when I wasn't there. I guess she was hiding a personality that I didn't necessarily know very well, to be honest.
And that's exactly what Sydney accused Alayah of doing. Bachelor Peter said he didn't know the extent of how dramatic and "catty" some of the women were.
There's a lot of stuff that I didn't know. I knew as I was filming that I only had my interactions with each of the women. That's all I could go off of, but it's tough.
The Bachelor usually only has one or two catty or dramatic women like that, but on Bachelor Peter's season it's almost everyone. (Almost -- but not Kelley Flanagan and Madison Prewett, which is one reason why I wonder if Madison wins the whole season by default.) I do blame the pageant world for this, since Bachelor Colton Underwood's season -- including future Bachelorette Hannah Brown, of course -- opened the door to the catty pageant circuit and doubled down on it for Bachelor Peter's season.
Now that Bachelor Peter has watched the show back, it sounds like he has some questions for Sydney for "The Women Tell All" special -- in terms of Sydney calling out Alayah and then denying to Tammy that she said anyone was there for the wrong reasons.
When is "The Women Tell All" special? Good question. More spoilers ahead!
Next up we have the pre-hometowns episode. Bachelor Peter has a dramatic 3-on-1 date that will not end well and two of the most normal sane women of the season will be sent home. Then we have the dramatic hometown dates -- including Madison's dad not giving his blessing to marry Peter, we're told -- and the dramatic overnight dates. I suspect hometowns and overnights will be dragged out because the Victoria F. drama is going to be too juicy for The Bachelor to ignore. They even have her telling the cameras to back off, which they have to milk. Victoria F. reportedly returns after leaving too, which will need to be dragged out before Bachelor Peter finally lets her go.
The Bachelor's "The Women Tell All" traditionally airs the week before the finale, so it's possible that will be the case this year too. This will almost certainly be the most dramatic one yet, because the women will all be fighting with each other and want to make a big showcase before Bachelor in Paradise 2020. Let's be honest, half this cast probably wanted to skip Peter and go straight to Paradise anyway. I won't be shocked if we see Sydney in Paradise, along with Alayah, Tammy, Mykenna, and many more.
Reality Steve has spoiled Bachelor Peter's final two as Hannah Ann Sluss and Madison Prewett but Steve has yet to confirm what happens from there. However, Bachelor Peter reportedly does not get engaged during the final rose ceremony itself. We're still waiting to hear why not and who he's with right now. Who he is NOT with will also give us a better hint on who might be the next Bachelorette.
Expect to hear about all of that on the finale and "After the Final Rose" special, which will probably air across two nights again. Because drama.
The Bachelor 2020 continues Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. The strange new spinoff will follow, and then The Bachelorette 2020 and Bachelor in Paradise 2020.