Like any television competition, The Bachelorette needs a compelling villain, and Katie’s season is packed with antagonists. First, viewers had Cody, who was unceremoniously sent home. Then there was Karl, who was essentially cannibalized by his fellow contestants. Most recently, there was Thomas, who couldn’t help but repeatedly stick his foot in his mouth before being dramatically sent home by Katie. With the villain mantle up for grabs, Hunter snatched the antagonist title and ultimately paid the price as fans roasted him and his elimination on Twitter.
Hunter spent most of Episode 5, which aired July 5, ruining any amount of goodwill he’d built up at the beginning of the season. The episode in question included a group date that saw the men dressed in wrestling leotards, playing a hybrid of rugby and basketball. During the date, Hunter throttled his body all over the field, turning what should have been a fun competition into an exercise in aggression. Things turned ugly when a vicious tackle sidelined Michael A., causing Katie to end the date prematurely. Fast forward to Episode 6, and Hunter’s favor with Katie unraveled at an impressive pace.
At one point, Hunter revealed he thinks Katie already has a “top four” selected and firmly believed he was included in that theoretical group. Audiences, however, disagreed.
In fact, some fans struggled to see any connection between Katie and Hunter.
The Episode 6 group date involved a public roast, led by RuPaul’s Drag Race alums Shea Couleé and Monét X Change. While speaking with the queens during an aside, Hunter waffled back and forth about the concept of love despite previously alluding to a strong connection with Katie. During the roast itself, Hunter flat out said that he was falling in love with Katie while also denying accusations of a top-four list and refusing to roast any other contestants.
As was the case with Karl and Thomas, when the men of Katie’s season decide it’s time for one of their own to leave, they make sure it happens. One of the most vocal advocates for Hunter’s elimination, unsurprisingly, was Aaron, who was later eliminated for failing to connect with Katie.
As usual, most of the men followed suit, once again banding together to out Hunter as not being there for the right reasons — they even accused him of being calculated for knowing the history and inner workings of the franchise.
In addition to all of the men teaming up against Hunter, Katie clearly seemed to have soured on him as well. During the after-party for the group date roast, Katie left to audibly vomit off-camera.
Ultimately, Katie canceled the final cocktail party of the episode as she already had a sense of what she needed to do. Similar to how she called Thomas to the podium before theatrically sending him home, Katie opened up the ceremony by calling Hunter then asking if the two of them could go for a walk.
Katie then confronted Hunter, telling him that the main reason the cocktail party was canceled was because of his theatrics. Hunter pleaded his case to Katie, expressing his genuine emotions for her, but it clearly didn’t work. Both Katie and Hunter then returned to the ceremony, where Katie explained to the men that she didn’t have “any time to play catch up” and that she was “ready to find her person.” Unsurprisingly, Katie didn’t give Hunter a rose, closing the door on their tumultuous romance and proving she’s not here for the drama and has very little trouble sending men home at a moment’s notice.