Shanae Ankney may have been sent home on The Bachelorette, but the most toxic villain from Clayton’s season still has a lot more to say. After the 29-year-old recruiter was eliminated during the show’s Feb. 14 episode, she shared a video on Instagram of her riding ATVs with her dad, who she called her “first love.” In the caption, the former contestant thanked those who’ve supported her on her very controversial journey and sent a stern message to those who’ve judged her based on the limited footage they’ve seen on TV.
“Woah! What a wild ride it’s been,” Shanae began. “Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend the day with my dad, my first love, and I’m so thankful for this special relationship in my life. As we were making donuts and hauling a$$, I took some time to reflect on this journey of a lifetime.” The Ohio native then thanked her friends and family for their unwavering support through everything from #shrimpgate to crashing a group date. She also came under fire for mocking a fellow contestant’s ADHD diagnosis.
“For those of you who don’t know me, I wanted to share a few things,” the former contestant added. “If you choose to judge me on the five hours of footage you’ve watched, I’m sad you didn’t get a look into the real me. And if you were so quick to say you would never be ‘so mean to someone’ while simultaneously sending me hateful messages so ugly I wouldn’t repost - that doesn’t make you better than me.” Shanae faced a lot of backlash for how she behaved on the show but still has not issued a heartfelt apology to her fellow contestants or Bachelor Nation.
Rather than taking the opportunity to apologize, Shanae instead brushed her behavior off as “realness.” “My realness isn’t for everyone,” she continued. “Real never makes everyone happy. I made a promise to myself a long time ago that my heart won’t ever be guided by anyone else but me.” While it’s unclear where her heart will guide her next, Bachelor in Paradise is a pretty solid guess. “There are big things in store and for now, I’m just going to eat shrimp and continue to be my authentic self,” she teased.
Despite all of the backlash, Shanae has really been leaning into her villain persona on social media. In recent weeks, she has poked fun at #shrimpgate on Instagram and TikTok and joked that the episodes put her “in the mood for shrimp.” But fans of the show were not amused. “Dear Bachelor production, While the Shanae shrimp stuff is funny the ease with which she attacks people with neurodevelopmental disorders is not,” one fan tweeted on Jan. 31. “Let’s end this chapter this season and not continue it in Paradise.”
At this point, it’s too early to tell whether or not we’ll see Shanae on the beach in Mexico. What we do know, however, is that she’s grateful to have been cast on Clayton’s season of The Bachelor and wishes him the best of luck on the rest of his journey. “Clayton, good luck to you and I hope you find what your heart is looking for,” she wrote before signing off of social media for the night. “It was an honor to be part of your journey!”