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Why Clayton Echard’s ‘Women Tell All’ Was The Bachelor Franchise At Its Worst

Clayton Echard The Bachelor Women Tell All.
(Image credit: ABC)

Spoiler alert! This story contains spoilers for the “Women Tell All” for Clayton Echard’s season of The Bachelor.

This season of The Bachelor has been a tough one for Clayton Echard. He was manipulated by arguably the franchise’s worst villain ever in Shanae Ankney; he’s dealt with online criticism so seething that he regretted becoming The Bachelor; and at the end of it all, he may wind up alone (at least if one former lead’s prediction is correct). But no one suffered this season as much as the viewers — and the women just proved they are just as much to blame as Echard for this shitshow of a season. Let’s break down why Echard’s “Women Tell All” episode was The Bachelor at its worst.

Shanae Is The Worst, But Everyone Was A Bully

Shanae Ankney spent way too much time on my screen this season, turning the villain dial to 11 as she fake-cried and fake-apologized and mocked other women’s mental health. So don’t get me wrong, she deserved every little bit of what she got. However, a whole lot of her fellow hopefuls completely lost the right to call anyone else a bully with the way they reacted to Ankney during the “Women Tell All.” From cursing her out to laughing at her dress to heckling her when she tried to answer a question, the women — with a few notable exceptions — sank right down to her level, and it was nails across my ears and eyeballs.

Elizabeth Corrigan was one of those exceptions, even though she threw a few zingers, because she was the one who arguably deserved to the most, after Shanae Ankney mocked her multiple times for having ADHD. In fact, one reason fans had been looking forward to the “Women Tell All” was to see Corrigan get to confront Ankney. However, in those two hours, mental health and bullying were not discussed so much as threatened and displayed, respectively. Maybe even The Bachelor producers realized how hypocritical that conversation would have been at that point.

Jesse Palmer Had No Control As Host

It was six whole minutes into the “Women Tell All” when the Twitter memes started, calling out first-time host Jesse Palmer for losing control of the show. Palmer sat calmly on stage as the women all yelled at each other simultaneously, which would have been aces had "sitting calmly" been contagious in that room. Fans couldn’t understand a thing that was being said by anyone at times, and the Season 26 housemates sure didn’t listen to the host when he tried to calm the situation, if they could even hear him. 

I don’t think this was a first-time host problem, either; Kaitlyn Bristowe, Tayshia Adams and even Chris Harrison have struggled to moderate the “Tell All” episodes. This one felt especially egregiously out of his grasp, though, as most of the first hour was just a cacophony of judgmental screaming. (And even if he couldn't control it, couldn't they at least edit more of that incoherence out?) 

The Unabashed Hate Stretched Across Two Whole Hours

The Bachelor is known for dragging out the drama, as those three-hour finales really put viewers’ attention spans to the test. But for all of the reasons discussed above, we did NOT need two hours of this “Women Tell All.” No one did, on screen or off. Obviously we had to rehash the ugliness with Shanae Ankney, and the women all got the chance to skewer Clayton Echard, but why give anyone a massive platform like this just to slut-shame Cassidy Timbrooks and Genevieve Parisi

There were so many situations being rehashed that never mattered. Women were yelling at Claire Hellig for things she said about Echard, and she left before the first rose ceremony. One big time-suck of a discussion centered whether or not the former football player cried on his date with Sarah Hamrick. This matters to literally no one, and the fact that the recently filmed special occurred as long as it did after filming ended just makes it all the more obvious how long everyone has been holding onto the excessively petty baggage. 

Clayton Echard has faced a lot of backlash this season, and sure, a lot of it was deserved. But the contestants are just as much a part of the reason why I’m ready for Season 26 to be over, and this “Women Tell All” just proved why. The Bachelor continues at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 8, on ABC for a special night featuring Echard’s overnight dates. As this season is coming to an end, check out what new and returning shows are premiering soon on our 2022 TV Schedule.

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.