'The Bachelorette': Nick V.'s power move makes us clamor for more behind-the-scenes footage

Make no mistake: clip shows, like the Bachelorette edition ABC ran on Monday night in lieu of a new episode, serve no purpose except that of a time filler. Sure they advertise "wild footage you didn't see!" or the promise that the previous episodes they're culling from will be re-contextualized, given new meaning in this hour that's devoted to their ardent and overwrought discussion. But it's rarely if ever the case. Almost always you're just getting leftovers, and not even leftovers that keep, like pizza or birthday cake. We're talking now-flavorless mac and cheese and steak. Nobody wants that stuff.

And yet...Monday's Bachelorette clip show actually did offer something new, at least a tiny portion of it. Remember last week's confrontation with Eric? (Why am I posing that as though it's anything but a rhetorical question? Of course you remember.) WELL apparently right afterward Nick V., he of the First Impression Rose, took it upon himself to "console" Andi. He didn't consult with the other guys; he didn't, even though they were all sitting together, ask if it'd be cool if he be the one to go talk to her. He just did it, kind of like an asshole, and when the other guys confronted him about it pretended like they'd all have done the same thing.

First is the fact that no, not all of them would -- some suitors seem to remember that even on a reality dating competition, even on one where "love trumps all," there's still such a thing as not being a douche-nozzle. But whether Nick V. is or isn't a douche-nozzle is beside the point, because far more interesting is what we got to see of the discussion surrounding that status.

Josh, who I've never considered very articulate, pointed out to Nick that literally any of them would have wanted to go over and console Andi. Duh! That's what we're on the show to prove. And yet they didn't because they understand, without even needing to talk about it, the implicit agreement of the suitor set: you don't undermine these 12 other guys who are in the same boat as you, even/especially if you consider yourself a frontrunner. Watching Nick try and worm his way out of the other guys' frustration was genuinely interesting, which is not a word you can often use on this show!

Bachelorette producers: why do you hide these conversations from us? We had to wait until a clip show -- one you probably wouldn't have aired if this season weren't doing kind of poorly in the ratings -- to see our first honest conversation on the show, at least between the guys. (For all of his immaturity and lack of tact, Eric was being pretty real last week with Andi.) This is the shit we want to see! These talks about the "rules," the very nature of the show, are infinitely more interesting than any back-slapping the guys could do after a karaoke group date, or in the wake of another cocktail party in which everyone notes how radiant Andi looked.

As much as Bachelorette (and Bachelor) can be real, this conversation was it. And it should be the norm on a show that proclaims to be al about authenticity.

Image: ABC