Elyse Watches The Bachelor–S26: E1 & 2: Clayton’s Season

Tonight you guys get a two episode recap of The Bachelor because my computer died last week and I had to wait for a replacement.

I asked Pudding if she was excited for another season and this was her expression:

My senior siamese cat Pudding lays in her bed, one leg extended, looking unimpressed AF

So it’s Clayton’s season.

He gets to be the Bachelor presumably because he passed COVID protocols and was there. He’s a former college football player and from Missouri.

He also looks like Luther from Umbrella Academy.

Clayton smiles holding a rose
Luther from Umbrella Academy

Replacing Chris Harrison is former Bachelor Jesse Palmer, and I can already tell he’s not up to withstanding the rage of the Rose God.

They are also filming back at the McMansion, probably because science has confirmed those surfaces are so contaminated that COVID can’t live there.

I’m going to kind of blow through the first night because it’s introducing a lot of the women as they come out of limos, and it’s boring. There are 5 nurses on this season though, and it says something about burnout in that profession when being on The Bachelor is preferable.

Right away, one of the women, Salley, starts crying. She was previously engaged and the first night is the day she was supposed to be getting married before she broke up with her fiancé. She says she misses her family and is “an emotional wreck.”

We haven’t even done the parade of limos yet and she goes to talk to Clayton.

I hope this is the tone of the season

She tells Clayton that part of her is “being pulled home.” WE AREN’T EVEN TO THE FIRST NIGHT YET. Then she says, “I feel really weird being here. I’m really struggling.” Then she starts crying.

They haven’t even hosed the driveway down yet, guys.

Clayton thanks her for being vulnerable and says they have chemistry (they’ve talked for 30 seconds) and then he gives her a rose. She asks to take a moment because she’s freaking out. She goes out in the hallway and sobs to someone on the phone.

We are fifteen minutes in and this season is a glorious disaster.

Click for me RN

Marie Kondo says I love mess

So Salley comes back in and says she feels their connection (they have known each other for 30 seconds) but says her heart isn’t in the right place. Clayton walks her out while she continues to cry.


“The first rose I have given out as The Bachelor was rejected,” Clayton reflects.

So then it’s parade of limos time. There’s a lot of sparkly dresses and balayage.

Elizabeth gives Clayton a 100 year old picture of her grandparents together and I’m like DO NOT DO THAT. The first kiss of the night goes to Teddi, a surgical nurse. Then there’s a lot more kissing with more women.

Claire tells everyone she feels awkward and like she doesn’t have chemistry with Clayton, but she’s also completely shitfaced at this point. “I can’t be with fucking America’s sweetheart,” she slurs.

“Did you talk to him?” someone asks.

“Yeah and I hated it,” she replies.

Clayton asks to talk to her. Based on her speech and movements, I’m fairly certain she’s blackout drunk. Someone just needs to put this woman to bed and leave her a bottle of water.

She tells him they have no chemistry, but she’s not making a ton of sense. Clayton walks her out and I hope, for serious, that someone makes sure she’s safe.

Then it’s time for The Dreaded Rose Ceremony.

Clayton sends home Daria, Hailey, Ivana, Jane, Lindsay D, Rianna, and Samantha. Three out of the five nurses are in that group, so Clayton has now done more for staffing ratios in a pandemic than most hospital systems (just kidding! Healthcare systems are completely overwhelmed. Don’t hate me.).

Clayton stands with all of his contestants

On to episode two! I am also officially drunk by now.

It’s time for the first group date. They go to different mansion where there are a bunch of kids going apeshit in a bouncy house in the backyard. Hilary Duff is there too. She tells the women they are throwing a little girl named Maya the birthday party of her dreams. Maya is not Duff’s daughter, BTW.

Clayton and Hilary Duff talk

The women are given different tasks, like setting up games, dressing up like a clown and building a giant dollhouse. Cassidy opts out of everything and says she’s just there to date Clayton.

There was always a Cassidy in every group project I did, and I always picked up her slack, so I officially dislike Cassidy. DO YOUR SHARE, GIRL. She and Clayton go make out by the pool and the other women are understandably annoyed.

Then the kids come out and create chaos. “I spent as little time around you small people as possible,” Cassidy says. Then to top things off, Cassidy comes out with Maya’s birthday cake and drops it in the lawn.

She tells the camera she’s a frontrunner, which we all know is the death knell for any contestant. During the cocktail hour, Cassidy tells the other women she knows she’s getting the date rose.

When they point out she didn’t help at all during the date she replies, “Nobody is paying us.”

Cassidy does get the group date rose.

Click for all the other women

The first one-on-one date goes to Susie and they go on a helicopter ride. The helicopter budget for this show only slightly exceeds the horse budget.

I’m terrified of heights and flying and the only way I’m ever getting in a helicopter is I’m being life-flighted somewhere.

They land on a yacht and of course there’s a hot tub. Gross. She gets the date rose.

Then it’s time for the next group date. Comedian Ziwe is waiting for the women in a classroom. They play Never Have I Ever.

Interestingly, all of the women have faked an orgasm.

Then they do an obstacle course that reminds me a lot of Double Dare.

The women run down a messy obstacle course.

Shanae pushes Elizabeth who gets angry. Shanae’s team still doesn’t win. Then during the cocktail hour, Elizabeth grabs Clayton before Shanae can and you see where this is going.

Click for Elizabeth and Shanae

Shanae goes off to cry in the bushes because she says Elizabeth is fake and two-faced. She tells Clayton this during their alone time and he asks to speak to Elizabeth privately.

Click for me RN

He confronts her with Shanae’s accusation that Elizabeth is two faced and treats her differently in the mansion than she does in front of Clayton. Elizabeth says that’s BS and that Shanae actually pushed her in the obstacle course but she didn’t bring it up because she’s not a petty bitch. Okay she didn’t say the last part but it’s implied.

Then Elizabeth goes up to Shanae and asks to talk in the crying bushes. Shanae says Elizabeth gives off mean girl energy. Elizabeth says if it seems like she was ignoring Shanae, it might be because she has ADHD and she struggles to process when multiple conversations are going on around her at the same time. Somehow Shanae manages to make this about her being a victim and cries some more.

Elizabeth says she hopes Shanae is okay and that they can just move on.

Sarah gets the group date rose. After Clayton leaves, Shanae loudly announces to the group that Elizabeth has ADHD which… WTF. Are you ten? I take that back. My niece is nine and she’s more sensitive and smarter than that.

Click for me

So then it’s the next night at the pre-Dreaded Rose Ceremony cocktail hour. Shanae asks to talk to Elizabeth AGAIN.

Shanae asks Elizabeth if its her ADHD or if she has a problem with her specifically and Elizabeth points out this is really inappropriate. Then Shanae asks if she’s telling everyone in the house she has ADHD because she doesn’t know what the word “inappropriate” means. Then Shanae says, “I have ADHD… Everyone, I mean, little kids have ADHD.”

Elizabeth chooses to walk away.

The other women back Elizabeth up and say Shanae needs to apologize.

“I feel brain dead after that interaction,” Kate says.

Then we get some footage of Cassidy telling Sierra that she has a “little fuckbuddy” back home and that she was Facetiming him while in quarantine at the hotel. Sierra tells Clayton.

This season is a goddamn mess and I love it.

Clayton talks to Jesse and asks if it’s possible to rescind a rose. And then we get a To Be Continued.

Are you watching?


Comments are Closed

  1. Escapeologist says:

    Come for the Pudding picture and the GIFs, stay for the ridiculous drama. I mean, we’re all a bit unhinged after 2 years of *everything*… and still these people are making me feel like such a mature, well adjusted adult.

    Clayton meets all the qualifications for a Bachelor, according to my sources linked below. Dark hair, square head, stubble, the haircut and even the name fits the pattern. https://imgur.com/gallery/Ubch03K

  2. cat_blue says:

    Finally, Blood for the Rose God!

    I thought Salley was playing hardball, just going straight for the throat. Like, it looked like it would’ve worked, right?

    As someone who hates interacting with kids–especially groups of them who are all keyed up on sugar and party games–WOW. That was some grade-A jerk*ssery. Cassidy sounds like a nightmare…which is perfect casting for a reality show. I’d hate to have to interact with her but I’m gonna enjoy watching the slow collapse around her. I can’t wait for the inevitable scene with Clayton(?) where he goes on and on about how important it is for him to have an All-American Nuclear Family with lots of kids and she lies through her teeth about how much she loves kids.

    I hope Maya got her paycheck and then had an actual party with actual people she actually knows & likes. I would hope it’s not really her birthday, I mean, imagine having your single-digit-aged birthday completely taken over by a group of badly-behaved adults you don’t even know.

    I’m not watching, and without alcohol I never will, but as soon as you mentioned Elizabeth saying she has ADHD to the woman who tried to shove her in order to win an obstacle course and then cried about everyone else being mean to her, I knew what the followup would be. “You have Mean Girl energy” I think the proper response to that would’ve been screaming “YOU TRIED TO CHEAT AT A MEANINGLESS GAME ON THE FIRST DAY” or, running with the Mean Girls theme, dropping a mention of the Burn Book & fake-crying and asking the group if anyone else has felt personally victimized by Shanae George, but, hey. The lesson I guess is “Don’t try to be honest about your medical history with people who hurt others and then play the victim, it’s not going to help.”

    I should point out here I’m saying this with heavy irony, not blaming someone for having to deal with an ableist scumbag who seeks the spotlight by putting others down.

    Predictions: Salley reevaluates and comes back in a dramatic reveal; she & Clayton talk about the “spark” they both felt on the first night. Cassidy remains as a villain until the last few episodes despite the entire cast warning the Bachelor about how “fake” she is and how she’s “not there for the right reasons.” Shanae gets Elizabeth thrown out, celebrates her victory, then gets kicked the very next episode. The producers lean into the drama only to then backpedal when the twitter backlash hits. Clayton’s internet history will be revealed to contain offensive memes which he did not create but liked, reblogged, and shared; he will give a pseudoapology with less energy and sincerity than the women competing in the obstacle courses. This will also get backlash but nothing will change. One game will involve jousting with pool noodles. There will be a random encounter with a 90’s-era country singer and they’ll travel to what’s supposed to be a private beach but is clearly a closed-down resort. The winner will be someone who talks to Clayton but doesn’t get involved in the drama & they’ll get engaged and then break up.

  3. EC Spurlock says:

    This season sounds like somebody threw a grenade into a dumpster.

  4. Susanna says:

    ::has flashbacks to Survivor: Guatemala, where we were treated to a wonderful “ARE YOU SAYING I HAVE AY DEE DEE!?!?!?” outburst at tribal council::

  5. Gail says:

    First, cat-blue has it figured out. Keep her comment in mind at the end of the season. Second, I felt kinda like the horse at the end of the post, run in, scope out the situation, turn around and express my opinion of the goings on with a fart as I dart for the exit, lol!

  6. lisa says:

    The comparison to Luther from Umbrella Academy made me lol. That’s too accurate!!

    Also, hello to Pudding, the best reason to read the recaps.

  7. JenM says:

    Just out of curiosity, I checked out the cast for the show on ABC’s website. Normally, it lists each contestant’s occupation but for Salley, the one who left immediately, all it says is “Previously engaged”! IDK, maybe she’s a professional fiancee?

  8. Maureen says:

    I stopped reading at the part he looked like a guy from the Umbrella Academy because I had to check-TOM HOPPER! I had such a crush on him from watching Black Sails, which is an awesome show and if you haven’t seen it and like pirates? Please watch immediately! I haven’t watched Umbrella Academy yet, that’s on my list.

    Back to the recap…

  9. Maureen says:

    Finished the recap, and all I have to say? I’m in the shallow end of the pool when I say the picture of him with the ladies? I do like a tall, substantial looking man. It seems like any romance movies now have heroes that could blow way in a stiff win. Didn’t get a sense of his personality, but that photo? Hell yes!

  10. Maureen says:

    “stiff wind” not win!

  11. LJO says:

    Awwww, man. Does this mean that Jesse Palmer won’t be hosting baking competitions over on the Food Network? Do we call the new gig a step down from that?

    Hi Pudding!!

  12. HeatherS says:

    I am only here for Pudding.

  13. Jill says:

    Tom Hopper will always be Sir Percival to me and way hotter than Clayton, who is bland and seems really inconsistent.

    Elyse, how could you not regale us with some of the cringier the entrances? One woman had a SNAKE! The flight instructor brought an older (63) woman to introduce her and be her ‘wingwoman,’ but looked like she was attempting to scare Clayton with the prospect of an older woman to make herself look better by comparison. Shanae RAN OVER someone else’s entrance!
    Tessa, Jill, and Genevieve all went into Negative Nancy self-loathing mental spirals during that first rose ceremony that were honestly kind of concerning. Like, there’s disappointment at being cut on night one, and there’s… the feelings that they expressed of not being worthwhile human beings if Clayton didn’t give them a rose. Jill is keeping up the self-flagellation when she didn’t get on any of the dates.

    I feel like the process went out the window when Claire was allowed to run off with Dale two weeks into shooting and it’s just been nonsense and booze ever since. And by that I mean more so than it already was. Clayton talked himself TO THE POINT OF TEARS about wanting kids, but when Cassidy abandoned the task he set to show him how they interact with kids, and he was totally appreciative of that and rewarded her. He had a full on conversation planning a flight date with the flight instructor, but took a different girl on a helicopter ride. He congratulated Shanae on “talking about difficult topics” for whining about Elizabeth ‘being mean to her.’ Cassidy does need to watch her back though; if Pilot Pete can invite an eliminated girl back to the house, I’m sure that a rose can be taken back. The Rose God has delved into a new level of Chaos in recent years.

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