TV & Movies

Brayden’s Bachelorette Drama Has Twitter Divided

The controversial contestant is sticking around — and fans have thoughts.

Brayden Bowers and Charity Lawson on 'The Bachelorette.' Photo via ABC
ABC/Craig Sjodin

Brayden Bowers had a strong start on Charity Lawson’s Bachelorette season — earning her first impression rose after forging an “effortless” connection with the Season 20 lead, as she recently told Bustle. “He’s very charismatic. It just shines through.” But winning the Bachelorette’s favor doesn’t always translate to friendship with the other men vying for her heart, as Brayden soon learned. The 24-year-old travel nurse was the center of continued conflict in the show’s July 10 episode, when he told the men that he was “not sure” he could get engaged to Charity after she dated “20 other dudes.”

“I mean, I know I for sure could date her after this experience,” he continued. “For me, the only thing that’s gonna be hard is — to be 100% — like, I can 100% get down on a knee after this experience, you know? And that’s where my mind starts spiraling.”

The comments “struck a nerve” with Aaron Bryant, who decided to approach Charity with the intel. “He is not ready for an engagement,” he said. “He is very unsure of you. He’s been very vocal around the house about, just, not wanting to be here, not wanting to be with someone who dated 20 of his friends.”

This obviously disturbed Charity. During her one-on-one date with Brayden earlier in the episode, Brayden did express uncertainty about engagement, and Charity understood that — but the comment about dating other people left her shaken.

“To hear ... you’re going in the house, and you’re talking about, like, you don’t know how you feel about your future wife dating multiple people,” Charity told Brayden. “It’s like, why are you here Brayden? You knew what this was.”

Charity ultimately decided to keep Brayden around and not to make any decisions “prematurely.” However, the tense episode had Twitter buzzing about Brayden’s apparent villain edit. Some fans were eager to send him packing — perhaps with a pair of suitcase-shaped earrings, as @elizabethram11 suggested.

Others were willing to cut Brayden a little slack for his uncertainty about engagement — without letting him off the hook entirely. As Reality Steve put it: “At its core, what Bryaden is saying is realistic. He’s just expressing it all wrong. Yes it’s crazy to get engaged to someone you barely know. But that’s the show. He should know that.”

Indeed, hesitancy about making a lifelong commitment is a common pain point on The Bachelorette — like last season, when Rachel Recchia sent Aven Jones home after he voiced reservations about timing.

Brayden got more love in the comments of his post-episode Instagram post, where he shared a clip of him dancing and said he was “Happy… Happy… Happy…. 🎶🎶🎶.”

“Still adore you,” user @hizstry wrote. “Appreciate your honesty and realness. Your downfall unfortunately is/was expressing it to and in front of guys that do not have your best interest at heart as this is a competition at the end of the day.”