Bachelorette week 10 recap: that’s a wrap

Welcome back to Mouthful of teeth’s weekly Bachelorette recap where I’ll break down all the heartbreak, bad feminism, and television gimmicks on Katie Thurston’s search for love.

This is week 10 of Katie’s “journey” and it’s finally over. After a season of turmoil caused by the worst set of contestants in a long time, we finally saw Katie’s “happy” ending. The good news? She didn’t get married to Greg. The better news? She yelled at him on live television.

But before we get to that, it’s time to tune in…

Live from Los Angeles, it’s Monday Night

I’ve been a big fan of the live studio audience this season. It brought back some normalcy and watching the regular batch of audience members clap and “ooo” and boo throughout the performance made me smile.

But, just because we have a crowd doesn’t mean we need a host. Instead, we’re treated to our lovely mentors* Tayshia and Kaitlyn.

To both their credit, Tayshia and Kaitlyn have grown leaps and bounds in their hosting abilities. Not only do they do a marvelous job at delivering the terrible lines written for them, but they also seem more comfortable in the format.

What came off as wooden during the Men Tell All turned into a more relaxed feel, akin to the Chris Harrison mode of delivery. Not only that, but Tayshia threw away Chris’ line of “the most dramatic finale in Bachelorette history” for an entirely original slogan.

“The most EPIC finale in Bachelorette history.”

No notes, keep up the good work ladies.

The last gasp of fashion

After a truly horrendous season of men’s fashion this year, the women have really shouldered the bulk of the fashion load. But after 10 weeks, they women finally broke down and gave us some B-grade looks. I’m sorry to see it, but I completely understand.

Just like the Men Tell All, the mentors coordinated their outfits and gave us some Katie-inspired looks. They opted for a Katie Thurston special, which is what I call a sparkly minidress with a strange fold or knot sprinkled in.

While not terribly exciting, the looks were serviceable and each of the women accessorized well. Tayshia equipped herself with some gravity-defying figure-eight earrings that looked great. Kaitlyn opted for her normal barrage of (fake) gold around her person, but with a fresh spray tan like we wouldn’t notice.

Katie walked onto stage in a bright, white dress that I thought I was really going to like until I got a better look at it.

the hosts were unclear on her charging speed

Our lead loves a sparkle and good for her. It adds a lot of flair to normally bland looks and calls back to the 2000’s fashion she clearly misses. This dress, on the other hand, lacked the glittery flash of her former dresses, and looked more like the iPhone Lighting Charger.

The worst part of all: the weird pattern didn’t extend all the way around.

Thankfully, it was a good cut and Katie wore some really interesting earrings. Not interesting in the way your conservative family members talk about your new hair color, interesting in the way that I’d like to ask questions.

Oh yea! We have to finish the season

After 20 minutes of talking to Katie about her breakup with Greg, ABC remembers that we technically haven’t finished Katie’s journey. The fact that she literally said “if you leave, what was this all for” to a man no longer on the show doesn’t seem to faze them.

the form is textbook, but the hair is too good to be believable

So, we flash back to Katie who’s having a bed-day to mull over her depression. I also frequently employ this strategy and can vouch for its efficacy, but I don’t usually do it with a full face of make-up.

That’s when we flash over to the two remaining boys sitting in the living room being suspicious.

They aren’t the brightest of the bunch, but they know something went down with Greg and we’ll soon find out nobody even told them about Michael. That admission really goes to show how quickly they wrapped up this season after Greg dipped.

The mentors walked in to let them know they’re the only two left, and this doesn’t really matter except to mention how each of them responded.

Justin responded by immediately wondering about Katie. He knew that she really liked those two milquetoast white boys, and he showed some real emotional maturity in that moment.

Blake, on the other hand, had a remarkably weirder take. He started off with “this is the week that solidifies whether or not she’s gonna become my fiancé” which is an odd start. You might’ve began by wondering about her feelings, but also, why was this week (the fantasy suite week) the final test?

Who can say.

Blake won the scheduling lottery

Blake is first of the final two contestants to get a date and this will turn out to be very important.

After Greg’s temper tantrum where Katie wouldn’t tell him she loved him, Katie was going to say “I love you” to the next male person she saw. We’re just lucky it was a contestant and not a producer, to be honest.

get this woman some apple slices STAT

So, Katie put on her capris, kindergarten era pink shirt, and a brave face to meet her new fiancé. Blake walked up with all the blissful ignorance of a 12-year-old and we started the most fun date I’ve seen this season.

They had a paint-balloon fight to start, which surprised the hell out of me. Why did they save such a fun date for a one-on-one instead of a group? That would’ve made way more sense to me and probably would’ve been much more entertaining to watch with more people.

Then, the happy couple moved onto hot tub time. Just like with Andrew’s one-on-one, the hot tub is always a welcome sight. There’s literally no situation not improved by a hot vat of water, except I wish Katie had worn the same maroon, leopard print swimsuit as last time.

This date legitimately seemed to calm Katie down and I’m glad she got to have some fun after last week.

Katie: the rebound champion of the league

Now, it’s time for the night portion of the date that I really couldn’t care less about…that is until I heard their conversation.

Blake leads off with a speech with a solid opening play: he’s glad Katie got along with his family because that’s important to him, but it’s not as if he needs their approval. After watching Greg’s mom singlehandedly destroy Katie’s last relationship, she was all ears.

Then, Blake, the dumbest contestant of the whole season, gave a remarkable speech to say I love you. I didn’t think he had it in him, but he proved me wrong.

He spoke about all the “little things” Katie did like kiss his neck and the intimate glances they shared, which is always a good move. But it was when Katie took her heels off and yelled “go America” during their hockey game that made him exclaim, “fuck, I love her.”

Is this just a foot fetish thing or was it her openness and frivolity that charmed him? Personally, I don’t think it matters because Katie ate it up.

After that, Katie gave the biggest “fuck you” to Greg of the episode.

Katie heard Blake’s admission of love and responded with a full-throated “I love you too.” I could hear Greg stomping his foot and throwing his juice box across the room from miles away.

I don’t really believe Katie in that moment, but good for her. Sometimes you need to get a rebound boyfriend as soon as possible to get over your ex.

So, after an exciting dinner, Blake and Katie finally get to do what they’ve wanted all season: bus down to bone-town. They didn’t even need that card to tell them they can spend the night together, that’s been Blake’s goal since he came on the show. I hope they had an incredible time and looking at what happened the rest of the episode, it appears they did.

A dead man walking

We’ve seen this kind of brutal editing before on Catman’s one-on-one.

Justin is getting ready for his day portion with Katie while repeating how confident he is in their relationship and how excited he is to meet her family. At that moment, you already knew he was toast.

“hell yea, now that Greg and Michael are gone, I’ve got a real chance at winning this thing”

When he walks up to meet his girlfriend, Katie hits him with a double sucker punch: no jumping kiss and a “can we talk.”

But, as we’ve seen all season, Katie is a master of dumping. She gives Justin the well-oiled reasoning that she doesn’t want to make him continue the season when she already knows it’s not there. Justin takes it like a champ and that plotline is peacefully resolved.

Justin does remark, however, that he feels like he didn’t deserve the #2 spot and only reached that far by default. He’s absolutely correct, but I wouldn’t wish that realization on anyone. Well, maybe Greg.

Everybody hates Blake

I can’t believe how Katie’s family treated my man Blake. He’s just a simple Canadian and they asked him tough questions like “are you ready to marry Katie” and “are you moving in together,” which shocked and confused him.

a little preachy about hasty lifelong commitments for someone with a Celtic heart tattoo

Katie brought her mom and her aunt Lindsey to New Mexico and they clearly thought they were meeting Greg that day instead of Blake. You can tell as much because they grilled him and the format of the show as if this isn’t Katie’s second season in the franchise.

Aunt Lindsey was the real grill-master. Her conversation with Blake ranged from antagonistic to just plain mean.

Listen, we all know the format of this show is stupid and the engagement at the end of it isn’t real. Sure, some contestants actually get married for a couple years, but that’s not what the Bachelorette is really about. I don’t know why Lindsey didn’t get that memo.

She started off by asking Blake if he’s “strong enough to handle all that is female in our family.” Blake is a dumb man, but I truly believe he’s a good feminist. I understand where these women were coming from, but Blake seems to have a really healthy relationships with the women in his life.

Lindsey followed that up with several more severe (but valid) questions for Blake and his view of marriage, and I don’t think he mustered up to her assessment. But, she explained to him that her approval isn’t what he needs; it’s Katie’s.

As critical as Katie’s family was, I think they were just looking out for our girl. In their defense, Blake does seem more boyfriend material than fiancé.

Burning their doubts away

After Blake’s tumultuous run in with Katie’s family, our boy is nervous. His voiceovers for the rest of the episode will be about how unsure he is about proposing, and the night portion of the date seemed to directly target that.

But, first we meet Felicia, the “energy healer” to help guide Blake and Katie through the choppy waters of uncertainty.

There’s nothing I love to do more than make fun of energy healers, horoscopes, crystals, and everything woo, but I’m not sure I can do the same for Felicia. She appears to be an indigenous person and I don’t want to critique an important part of their culture that I don’t understand.

If she were a 20-something white girl with dreads, however, I’d be all over that.

“sure, I’ll let these silly white people film here, did you see that check?”

Felicia tells Katie and Blake to write down all their insecurities and fears before placing them in a giant statue called a Zozobra. A Zozobra is a real thing in New Mexican indigenous ceremonies and that, paired with the Tamaya resort actually using indigenous décor, makes me think ABC actually tried not to culturally appropriate this season.

The best part of the date happened when Katie asked Blake to read what he wrote out loud. He clearly thought this was a private assignment so when he read his fears, it was in the second person and all about how scared he was to propose.

Katie, on the other hand, wrote a list that included a fear of abandonment, fear of being unaccepted, and an uncertainty of what’s to come. What a dark admission and a clear reference to Greg if there ever was one.

Finally, they lit the giant statue on fire and all their fears burned away with it (lol, sike). I’m sure they were thankful for the heat, because the wind was so harsh this date and they shivered the enitre time.

You thought Neil Lane wasn’t going to show up?

With all his fears up in smoke, Blake is ready to pick out an engagement ring from the ugliest set of choices imaginable.

Tayshia jumped on a FaceTime with Neil Lane, the Bachelorette’s resident ring designer to let him know she needs his “skills” ASAP. She also let it slip that Katie’s season ended way sooner than they thought, otherwise Neil would’ve been in there in person.

Lane’s rings are a staple of the franchise and they’ve always been ugly, but this year was an especially bad lineup. Blake put on his most convincing “ready to get engaged” face and faced his ex-girlfriend to pick out one of those monstrosities.

imagine of all the unethical things it took to get all these diamonds only to be made into a Neil Lane ring

Tayshia sensed Blake’s nervousness (because he has the inability to hide his thoughts) and asked him if he’s really ready to go through with this.

Her actual quote was “you’re about to get on a knee soon” to which Blake responded with the LONGEST pause and a defeated “yea, I need a minute.” That is not what you want to hear if you’re Katie watching this at home or Tayshia whose job it is to make this engagement happen.

Then, Tayshia does something Chris Harrison was never brave enough to do: she gave some good advice. She told Blake if he’s not absolutely sure, he needs to let Katie go.

What a reasonable thing to say, I can’t believe it actually came from the Bachelorette.

Formal Fits for Feeling Fly

Disney on Ice dress

Katie knew dark green was her color going into this season and she was right. Her last green dress (and her best of the show) came during a cancelled cocktail party to set the stage for this engagement fit.

Unfortunately, she missed the mark.

Katie’s dress was a deep green with a subtle, yet elegant, paisley pattern that incorporated her trademark sparkle. It had a decent tail befitting any ballgown, but the cut just wasn’t what it needed to be. Instead of letting some exposed skin come through where it wanted to, the dress had some vanilla-colored pantyhose between the slits.

That’s not Katie’s skin tone and even if it was, that material messes up any textural consistency and makes the outfit look like it’s meant for a high school play. I liked the fit in general, but little details like that throws off the whole look.

Our hosts – sorry, our mentors’ outfits didn’t suffer the same mishaps.

Kaitlyn drew inspiration from Lorde’s Solar Power music video. She opted for a warm mustard dress with loose straps that really worked for her. It’s always impressive when I see white women who can pull off yellow.

Tayshia put everyone to shame, however, by wearing a suit and oozing Top energy all over set. The lapels were all glitter and puffed up to give the jacket a shape it doesn’t normally see on men (because they’re boring). Then, we see her from behind and the coat doesn’t even open from the front, it’s actually connected by rhinestoned straps up the back.

ABC played a NSFW advisory message before this scene

Naturally the pants matched the lapels and completed an astounding look. Tayshia stole the show with that outfit and I’d buy it for myself if wasn’t a full 6 inches shorter than her.

Blake wore a suit. It was fine.

A proposal not worth accepting

Blake got out of the SUV for his proposal and the first words out of his mouth are “I’m freaking out.”

The last 30 minutes of the show were dedicated to explaining how much Blake doesn’t want to propose and this only convinced me further that he wasn’t going through with it. But, just like my prediction for the 2016 election, I was completely wrong.

Blake walks up to his soon to be fiancé and damn near had a panic attack. Katie sensed his anxiety and launched into her own engagement speech. It was well thought-out and made me wonder if Katie should just be the one proposing.

But, Blake finally mustered up the courage to give a terrible proposal. His speech was a rollercoaster of emotions and I legitimately couldn’t tell if he was going to dump her or give her a ring until he dropped to a knee.

The line that pushed him over the edge was “I can’t give you what you came here for…because you deserve more than that…and I can’t wait to be there with you,” which doesn’t make sense nor is it romantic. Hot tip for any would-be proposers reading along: don’t do a bit during your speech, because the other person should rightfully turn you down.

Katie’s a better person than I am, however, so she accepts and the pair ride into the sunset on horses. Congratulations Blake on being the most successful rebound in history.

Greg in the hotseat

The audience at home and in the studio didn’t come here to see Blake’s shitty proposal, though, they came to see Greg get yelled at.

he looks like he’s about to ask me for another bump before telling me about his “new” crypto

Before Katie comes out to light him on fire, Tayshia and Kaitlyn have some questions for him. They aren’t interesting or deep enough for my liking, but they gave him a chance to explain himself. He still fucked up his chance, but at least he had the opportunity.

Greg led with the statement “I didn’t know how unhappy I was until Katie showed me how happy I could be,” which is a solid line that probably came off the cuff and wasn’t rehearsed at all. Most of Greg’s explanations had a stale feel like this.

Greg even had the audacity to say it was hard for Katie to open her heart to him. I’ve written all season about how conciliatory Katie’s been to this baby child and Greg thinks it wasn’t enough? The brass balls.

Before Katie comes out, the mentors have one last question: If there was anything Greg would’ve done differently given the chance.

Does he say he wish he handled the breakup better? Did he apologize for not listening? What about not letting his mom dictate his relationship? Of course not! He said “nope” immediately, and I lost my mind.

Hiiiii Katie, thanks for reading!

With that unbelievable interview out of the way, Katie struts back on stage and passes her ex-boifriend without a hug, which the crowd noticed.

Then, Katie outted herself as a loyal Mouthful of Teeth reader. She told Greg all the points I made last week about the special treatment she gave him as well as how shocked she was for that breakup to happen after a “perfect” hometown date.

So, now that I know you’re reading, I’d just like to say some things Katie:

  • I loved your outfits this season, especially the double leather dress commitment
  • I’m sorry your men were so shitty, you deserved what Hannah Brown got
  • I’m extremely single, hot, and emotionally competent so when you get tired of explaining politics to your fiancé, shoot me an email

Watching Katie rip Greg apart was extremely satisfying, but Greg was frankly shocked to hear any criticism. Greg tells her that he was always there to get engaged and wouldn’t have introduced her to his family if that weren’t the case.

Wow, lucky Katie, she got the opportunity – nay, the privilege to meet Greg’s Michael Phelps ass brother and his Mom with accompanying Oedipus complex.

the “I’m being calm because we’re on TV” pose

Katie told him “you spoke down to me and didn’t even say goodbye. I don’t think you know what love is because that’s when I needed you the most.” Greg put on his best shocked face and denied the whole thing, which Katie seized upon.

Katie brought out the internet sleuths’ findings, much to Greg’s disappointment. People familiar with the softboi from Jersey reported that he’s not as soft as he seems. Instead of an insecure introvert who needs special attention, he’s actually an insecure extrovert who likes to gaslight women.

Greg is frankly insulted by this accusation, just because it’s obviously true. But with the word “gaslight” finally entered into the Bachelorette lexicon, we’re paroled to commercial.

The last scene, but again

Now, it’s time for Greg’s rebuttal. Greg’s not the type of guy to take these accusations lying down, he’s going to stand firmly against them and pose thoughtful arguments like “nuh uh.”

Greg clearly didn’t listen to Katie’s speech, nor read my breakdown of his breakup, because he lodged the same accusations as he did at the resort. Namely:

  • You question my integrity on the show and who I am as a person when I felt like I gave you my full self
  • I was uncomfortable with the game show terminology
  • He felt like since she didn’t want to tell him she loved him, it was withholding emotions

None of these points are particularly convincing, but I guess he’s sticking to his guns.

Katie responded that one moment of uncertainty wouldn’t be enough to make him run away if he really loved her. It’s not a very fair thing to say, but she’s not wrong. Then, she also kept explaining over and over how she validated him every week, much to his dismay.

But, I’m a fair reviewer and even if I don’t like Greg, he did make a good point. He told Katie (and the crowd) that a relationship is a two-way street and just because she’s the Bachelorette, that doesn’t mean she’s higher than him. That’s a valid point and even if it doesn’t refute anything Katie said, it was technically true.

Now, it’s time to take that good will away because Greg said the quiet part out loud: if Katie really loved him, she would’ve broken the one boundary she set for him. The exchange went like this:

  • G: you knew what I needed to hear if you wanted me
  • K: That’s not fair for you to give me an ultimatum like that
  • G: I didn’t’ give you any ultimatum
  • K: you just said if I really wanted you to stay, I would’ve basically told you that I loved you
  • G: well…yeah

Game over, Greg lost, and I think everyone finally got to see his immature self if they weren’t already convinced last week.

how did they not hike ONCE this whole season

That’s a wrap

To finish this dreadful season, Katie and Blake sit down for the first time as a public couple. They didn’t say anything meaningful, but they at least look way happier together than they did all season.

I’m legitimately cheering for them, but I’m not holding my breath.

After a season of dramatic men, weaponized insecurity, and half-assed dates, I hope our professional lead gets some rest. She deserves it.

The Rundown: stats after week 10

“My heart” count: 10

Times Greg says “I can’t believe this”: 3

Katie’s good outfits: 0 (sorry babes)

This Is Fine

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