Over the course of Nick Viall's season ofThe Bachelor, Bachelor in Paradise couple Carly Waddell and Evan Bass will contribute weekly articles to Bustle about their friend's journey to find love. Read their take on the Women Tell All below.
To be honest, our thoughts about last night’s three-hour “journey” are still haunted by the screeching sound of 20 or so women violently yelling at each other during the The Bachelor: Women Tell All — especially during the Taylor and Corinne fight. We're going to get into why Taylor deserves a break from Bachelor fans (and contestants alike), but first, the Fantasy Suites.
For the first hour we saw Nick seemingly score a huge victory with Raven, although Carly wasn’t completely convinced that Raven actually had her first orgasm. We saw Rachel really start to come into true Bachelorette form by opening up and revealing her fears, and then we saw Vanessa and Nick have a ridiculously low-budget date that due to ~shrinkage~ was unbelievably ill-advised. I hope that hot tub reversed the effects. But, alas, by the time the rose ceremony rolled around it was Rachel’s time to go and she said more Bachelorette-type things. She thought she was starting at square one, but little did she know she was starting at square 30 as in she’ll have 30 men that will be vying for her heart. Well done, Rachel.
But enough about the Fantasy Suite dates. Let’s talk about this amalgamation of makeup and petty arguments that is the Women Tell All. Nick's version found itself profound at times, like when Liz took a stand for women or when Kristina melted our hearts with her powerful story — but the strong majority of the night highlighted our culture's most basal instincts (aka Great TV). The arrival of Bachelor in Paradise has, perhaps unintentionally, introduced a whole new psychological layer of intrigue to the women’s final get together.
The Tell All shows have become something of an audition where the forlorn rose-seekers (and especially the ones whom haven’t had a lot of screen time) are excited to show that they do indeed still exist and have the capability to drum up drama that a show like Paradise demands.
Shockingly, overwhelming fan-favorite Alexis got very little screen time — most likely in an attempt to keep our anticipation building for the summer bachelor spinoff, which she will surely be a part of. Corinne, not shockingly, dominated the bulk of the two hours and she seemed collected and wildly unapologetic. Honestly, it’s hard to write about.
At the Men Tell All last summer, I was in a similar situation as Taylor. Walking onto the set I was faced with the fact that I had to relive the regrets I had from The Bachelorette and face my reality TV arch nemesis, Chad. It was kind of funny, because I had just finished filming Paradise two weeks earlier and I was riding the high of the emotional roller coaster and had a supportive fiancée waiting for me. Taylor had no such support system. You could clearly see when Taylor watched the clips back that she would cringe and Corinne would laugh. Taylor has not made peace with things and did not have as strong of a backing from contestants or viewers like Corinne enjoyed. For those of us whose worst personality is shown on TV, it is incredibly hard. While we’ve always been fans of Corinne, the fact that Taylor apologized and Corinne didn’t give an inch made it excruciatingly hard to digest.
Our culture has shifted from days past when the hero was the “good” guy. The Luke Skywalkers and Robin Hoods have been replaced by darker Marvel super heroes like Deadpool and high shock value of reality villains. Now, I’ve always held the stance that no one is as good or as bad as they appear on reality TV, but America is craving an endless diet of people who push the envelope, and the Taylors of the world are left grappling with that shift.
Normal is simply not interesting these days. We are incessantly scrolling through Instagram and YouTube looking for something to make us laugh or shock us. We’ve trained our minds to need bigger, faster, and more outrageous antics to sustain us. One could argue that anyone who signs up to be on a reality show is anything but boring, but Taylor seems to be pretty much an everyday girl who has her Master’s degree and had her own fledgling practice (she received so much negative publicity that she's placed her business on hold, according to Us Weekly.) Her job as a mental health professional is a gift to this world, and she is in the business of taking care of people’s minds. Contrast that to Corinne who questionably “owns” a family business but has a nanny. That’s intriguing, somewhat unbelievable, and has a hint of mystery, like, "What is really going on there?" And, while the world actually needs more Taylors, the peer pressure is pushing contestants to become a Corrine or a Chad to gain approval. To be successful, a contestant almost has to put their values down and go with whatever to not become a pariah.
So, we should all give Taylor a break. She’s TWENTY THREE and she’s going to learn tremendously from this experience. Corinne will be just fine too, and she will probably go on to do Paradise or get a TV show on Freeform. But, let’s remember to celebrate the people who are brave enough to speak their mind and be proud of them for giving us a great TV show — even if it's sometimes hard to watch in our ever-changing culture.