Tensions are high between the men this week on “The Bachelorette.”
For the first group date, Tayshia invites the men to meet up with Bachelor Nation alumni Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon. They’ve set up a series of challenges to determine who among the group is the “Grown Ass Man” and who’s the “Man Child.”
The first challenge is a math and spelling exam. Bennett once again drops the H-bomb — that is, mentioning his Harvard background for the umpteenth time — yet he manages to fail every question. Spelling the word “limousine” is especially hard for the Ivy League grad.
Next up is the physical challenge, which proves difficult for Ed when he’s paired with Ben in a tug-of-war style competition. Finally, the men must cook Tayshia breakfast in bed. Conflict arises when Chasen takes his shirt off and climbs in bed with Tayshia, and Bennett changes into a bathrobe to serve her beignets from “Chateau Bennett.”
Despite objections from the other men, Tayshia appreciates Bennett’s “bougie” demeanor, and he’s awarded the title of “Grown Ass Man,” while Ed’s failure in the physical challenge deems him the “Man Child.” If his newly minted title weren’t embarrassing enough, he’s forced to carry around a baby doll — named Carlos — for the rest of the night.
At the post-date cocktail party, Bennett continues to stir the pot by arriving in his bathrobe. Chasen takes some jabs at him throughout the night, but the real feud of the night begins when Ed says he believes Chasen is a “fraud.”
However, Tayshia is off sharing a meaningful conversation with Ben. Sparks fly as the two reveal their mutual attraction, but Ivan’s also established as a possible frontrunner when Tayshia calls him a “dark horse.”
Meanwhile, Bennett also voices concerns about Chasen’s authenticity as Ed confronts Tayshia, saying that Chasen tells Tayshia the exact same things he told Clare. He says Chasen’s only there to gain social media followers and doesn’t truly care about finding love.
Tayshia addresses Ed’s claims to the group, which Chasen denies, and the men throw some truly childish insults at each other. Chasen says Ed has chicken legs. Ed rebuts with a comment about Chasen’s “smedium” shirt, to which Chasen cleverly responds, “It’s actually a large.”
Ben and Ivan stay out of the senseless drama, and Ivan is awarded the rose.
At the cocktail party before the rose ceremony, Chasen apologizes for the way he handled the situation with Ed, but Ed doesn’t seem to back down. Zac tries to de-escalate the situation, and Chasen then comes up with a new word to describe his view of Tayshia — “smokeshow,” or extremely attractive — which he adopts as his catchphrase for the rest of the episode.
Jay, Peter and Montel get the boot — men with whom Tayshia says she doesn’t feel that “spark.” However, problematic rivals Ed and Chasen manage to scrape by.
For the second group date, Tayshia’s looking for her “perfect match,” and the men quickly determine the date to be a wrestling match. Bachelor Nation alumnus Wells Adams announces the match with Chris Harrison as the men are stripped down to spandex and awkwardly oiled up with paint brushes.
WWE Hall-of-Famer Lita and UFC fighter Tatiana Suarez give the men some pointers, and they get to fighting.
Twitter fan favorite Joe gives it his best shot but is quickly eliminated, and others are minorly injured as the date takes an aggressive turn. When it comes down to the anticipated showdown between Ed and Chasen, Ed suddenly backs out of the match, citing “chronic shoulder dislocations.”
Tayshia, looking for a replacement, invites any of the other men spectating the match to take his place. Noah quite literally jumps at the opportunity, scaling the fence to face Chasen in the ring.
Chasen wins the match and is declared the winner of the entire competition, earning a gaudy belt that he parades around throughout the post-date cocktail party. And to the rest of the men’s disdain, Tayshia invites Noah to join the festivities.
The two sneak off for some alone time, and Tayshia pushes Noah to shave his mustache. He must excuse himself to consider such a serious lifestyle change, eventually returning to have her do the job.
Ben decides to wait until the last minute to speak with Tayshia and ultimately misses his opportunity when she rejoins the group to end the night. Trying to salvage his chances, he asks Tayshia for a second alone before she gives out the rose. She rejects his request, leading to an awkward moment and ultimately a rose for a mustache-free Noah to end the episode.
This week’s blooper is the Brendan content the episode was lacking. To recreate his “best date ever,” Brendan brings Tayshia out to the parking lot to ride miniature horse scooters.
As Tayshia’s relationships progress, it’s difficult to pinpoint just one man as the frontrunner. But based on the dates, it looks like Brendan, Ivan, Ben and Zac have the strongest connections so far.
But Tayshia’s season is far from over because on “The Bachelorette,” anything can happen.
Contact Amy Needham at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter and Instagram @Breeze_Culture.