Talk about drama! Before Kaitlyn Bristowe makes her choice on The Bachelorette, her suitors had their chance to dish on the season in the annual Men Tell All special. From Nick Viall’s controversial arrival to Ian’s dramatic departure, the men shared their gripes, favorite moments, and regrets from a very memorable Bachelorette season.
Here’s how it all went down!
Ian vs. Everyone
Ian’s dramatic departure from the show — aka the Princeton grad’s blowup after a confrontation with Kaitlyn about making out with other guys — pushed him away from the rest of the cast. Tanner noted that Ian’s exit was the most disappointing part of this season, lamenting, “I would call the rest of these guys friends for the rest of my life but I didn’t get the chance to call you that.”
Ian, who’d insisted that he was punished for “being an intellectual,” then decided to take off his suit jacket (because of course) and apologize to Kaitlyn and the men. The corporate recruiter got down on one knee to say his piece. “I’m getting down on my knees to say I’m sorry; I’m sorry to Kaitlyn, I’m sorry to her family and sorry to her mother,” he said of his explosive remarks. But did anyone buy it?
Clint vs. Everyone
Much like Ian, Clint didn’t get along with the majority of the other guys in the house. His arrogance seems to have been a factor, but the guys alluded to more. He confessed that he came onto the show to truly find love, and his bromance with JJ was not sexual at all. Hear that? Neither he nor JJ are gay — it was purely bromantic. JJ came to Clint’s defense, saying, “The villain stuff was tongue in cheek,” and confirming that they truly bonded as friends.
We Need To Talk About Nick
Former Bachelorette contestant Nick upset the group dynamic when he came on to the show several episodes into its run. Having previously texted and flirted with Kaitlyn, he wanted to explore if there was anything lingering between them. Some of the other men thought it was unfair, but JJ, in a moment of welcomed generosity, admitted that Kaitlyn owed it to herself to turn over every stone. Kupah said that if Kaitlyn was unsure, she should have left the show and dealt with Nick in her real life. But since Nick is one of the final two men remaining, perhaps it was a smart move after all…
The Hot Seat
How did some of the other men fare as they opened up about their experience?
JJ: Kaitlyn admitted that the former investment banker stood out to her at first and she could see herself ending up with him. But as Clint and JJ’s relationship grew, they alienated themselves from the rest of the house. JJ admitted how ashamed he was about crying, and how regretful he was about what his relationship with Clint turned into. He regretted every second of his final moments, and was upset that he fell behind as the other guys gained momentum.
Ben Z.: After the women in the audience stopped losing their minds over Ben Z., he discussed his relationship with Kaitlyn and opening up to her about the death of his mother. The night in Ireland blindsided him; it was the first time — not receiving the rose that night — that there was any indication Kaitlyn didn’t feel the same way about him that he felt about her, but it was too late. Admittedly, the group date in Ireland forced him to close up a little bit, but Ben thought his guardedness was his downfall and he’s working on himself.
Jared: Of all the guys, it was evident Jared had genuine feelings for Kaitlyn. In watching the show back, Jared remained confused about why he didn’t get a rose and he admitted he’s slowly trying to move on from her. But his biggest mistake might have been admitting — on national television — to watching the movie Click.
Ben H.: The front-runner for the next Bachelor discussed what he thinks went wrong with Kaitlyn. Their connection was immediate (“Ben’s the kind of guy that always makes me smile and makes me feel good,” Kaitlyn said early on), and he was falling in love with her. He admitted that it was hard to watch the show back because he re-lived the feelings that were so real (awww) and there was no closure. He also touched upon the incident in San Antonio when he and Shawn were roommates — Ben was in a cot and Top 2 finalist Shawn was in the bed. Kaitlyn showed up to their room, sans camera and microphones, hoped into bed with Shawn and they all hung out for few hours. Ben left them to shower, and came back noting that something had happened while he was gone that changed everything. We now know that she told Shawn he was the one! It’s okay Ben, maybe you’ll have your second chance at love soon enough.
Right out of the gate, host Chris Harrison addressed the most controversial moments from this season as he sat down with star Bristowe. Regarding having sex with Nick early on and the ridiculous backlash she received, Kaitlyn opined, “I like to think of myself as a tough person … but spreading hate the way people have been is not okay and it’s been hard.”
After revealing that Kaitlyn had received death threats, Harrison went on to read some of the notes the Bachelorette was sent. The tweets and e-mails read during the special were vulgar and unfortunate, slut-shaming her for her actions. The audience stood beside Kaitlyn, giving her a standing ovation in support.
Kaitlyn also addressed her fallout with Jared and her relationship with Nick. For the former, she admitted that nothing really could have made a difference — but how sweet he was when she said goodbye to him broke her heart. As for the latter, her feelings toward Nick are honest. She had the beginnings of a relationship with him in the past and maybe bringing him into the show in the middle of the season wasn’t great, but she couldn’t pass up the chance at exploring their connection.
Finally, it was time for Kaitlyn to grill the guys. She went right for Clint, asking, “Why didn’t you treat me as well as you treated JJ?!” Clint did not take the question well. Then she allowed Ian to to give her a final note with his apology. Alright Ian, that’s quite enough.
The special ended with a blooper reel of Kaitlyn, showing that through it all, she really had such a great spirit, was able to goof off, and be one of the brightest Bachelorettes the show has seen.
Tell Us: Were you satisfied by the Men Tell All special? Which suitor deserved more air time?