Spoilers ahead for the Women Tell All special of The Bachelor Season 25.
The time came for the traditional tell-all episode of the latest season of Bachelor Nation, and the eliminated ladies from Matt James' season of The Bachelor came together to hash out their issues with each other and with Matt on camera, moderated by Chris Harrison. The night got off to an unusual start when the episode included a disclaimer that the Women Tell All special was recorded back on February 4, presumably due to the current controversy surrounding the longtime host. The night just got stranger, to the point that the Tell All special may have already ruined The Bachelorette Season 17 for me.
And surprisingly, it wasn't any of the Bachelorette candidates that left me more or less dreading the next season of The Bachelorette. There was squabbling between them, but there's always squabbling in the Tell All specials, whether it's a group of men or women. It's when the drama comes to a head, and what would Bachelor Nation be without the drama? No, it was the sense that The Bachelor was milking petty drama at the expense of actual fun content from Season 25 that soured me on The Bachelorette season coming up next.
I was left with the impression that The Bachelor was actually fanning the flames of the drama more than necessary even for this franchise and hiding the actual fun of the season, and that leaves me less than enthusiastic about how The Bachelorette is going to go down. Not only did The Bachelor devote plenty of time to the damaging and unfounded rumor that Brittany Galvin is an escort, but The Bachelor cut more than one date that would have been much more entertaining than things getting ugly in the house, at least for me.
On one date, the women had to stick their hands into boxes of bugs blindly to pull out rings, and I honestly give them credit for not one of them walking away at the prospect of a box for of bugs. I certainly would have been out at that point. Other dates involved the women having to chow down on a giant stack of pancakes and drink a huge glass of beer, and not in ways that they enjoyed. Finally, there was a hide-and-seek date that saw everybody wind up at the hot tub, although it took Kit Keenan longer than the others to make it there. Plus, chugging raw eggs.
On the one hand, some of those dates struck me as kind of mean-spirited and downright unhealthy, like how I didn't love the controversial strip dodgeball date of Clare Crawley's season of The Bachelorette and Tayshia Adams and Ivan Hall sitting in ice baths. But the dates showed shenanigans and interactions that weren't loaded with drama, and I know that I could have gotten some vicarious entertainment out of watching from my safe space with no glasses of raw eggs, boxes of bugs, or aimless wanderings through the forest.
That The Bachelor cut actual dates from Season 25 but milked the interpersonal drama for all it's worth just completely turned me off Bachelor Nation, partly due to the women coming on and sharing stories of the threats and mockery that they're receiving online due to their portrayals on the show that left a lot out. This season of The Bachelor just hasn't been fun for me, or especially interesting, and I finished the Tell All Special completely discouraged about The Bachelorette.
Of course, the controversy surrounding Bachelor Nation means that not even spoilers can confirm the identity of the next Bachelorette leading lady. Katie Thurston was originally said to be the next woman distributing roses, but the plans evidently changed in light of the photos that hit the web of Rachael Kirkconnell, Chris Harrison stepping away from his longtime hosting duties after defending Rachael, and Rachel Lindsay announcing her intention to leave the franchise. Basically, Bachelor Nation is a mess, and not one that I'm especially invested in anymore.
Still, the success or failure of seasons of Bachelor Nation can depend entirely on the people in the cast looking for love with the lead, so maybe the next season of The Bachelorette will find an engaging group of people to try and woo the Bachelorette and actually show the interesting parts rather than just drama. For now, you can find more Bachelor on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.