Going into the June 27 episode of The Bachelorette, the two-on-one battle between Kenny and Lee was all anyone could talk about. But once the dust settled and Lee was sent packing, Kenny was given the opportunity to wow fans even more than he already has so far. After an open and honest conversation with Rachel, Kenny got the chance to talk to his daughter McKenzie again, and his reaction to the phone call speaks to exactly why so many members of Bachelor Nation are thoroughly Team Kenny.
Most Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants don't get the chance to speak so much to their children as Kenny has throughout this season so far — or, at least, they don't get the chance to do so on screen. Kenny's relationship with his 10-year-old daughter is something special, and his brief interactions with her in this two-part event show exactly what type of a father he is. Both times, he was outspoken and vulnerable with McKenzie about how much he missed her, and was so overcome with emotion that he openly wept in front of the cameras — which is kind of a big deal.
As children, most boys in the United States are taught to internalize their pain, and that crying is tantamount to weakness; as a result, studies reported on by LiveScience find that men cry much less frequently and for less amount of time than women do. Kenny makes his living as a wrestler, which has got to be one of the most traditionally masculine jobs of all time, and yet he doesn't seem feel any shame or embarrassment about his feelings; he's willing to admit that he cares deeply for his daughter. Of course, tears are more common than you'd think among modern men, who cry twice as often as their fathers according to The Independent. But it still can’t hurt to have more positive representations on television of men expressing their emotions without fear, and Kenny certainly provided that to viewers.
The tough decision to leave his daughter behind also adds a new dimension to Kenny’s commitment to pursuing Rachel. In their one-on-one conversation, it was already clear that Rachel felt Kenny was truly there for her, which is not something every contestant this season can say. But it’s also obvious that being away from McKenzie is hard for Kenny, which proves just how much he’s sacrificed to get to know Rachel better. “I’m not done yet. I’ve gotta see this through,” he told the camera. "Rachel could be the woman, the catalyst, all of these things that changes our lives."
Does this mean Kenny is the right choice for Rachel? As much as she believes he's coming to this experience whole-heartedly, it seems like she's still not totally sure just yet. If she ultimately choses another man at the end of the series, though, I know just the place Kenny can go to get over her, if he can stand to be away from McKenzie a little longer — the next season of The Bachelor. Like McKenzie said, he deserves to be happy, too!