Ah, yes, the “Men Tell All” episode. It’s the penultimate week of the Bachelorette season, when a bunch of grown men fight like eighth-grade girls and dish on all the hot goss.
The men don’t really “tell all,” but “Men Tell All” has more of a ring to it than “Men Respond to What Chris Harrison Asks Them,” I suppose.
Lee was the primary focus of this season’s edition. You remember Lee, of the Kenny-and-Lee saga that consumed our TVs and our minds for a few weeks not long ago. “Disingenuous snake” Lee. “Dime store psychologist” Lee. Yeah, that one.
We delve pretty deep into how big of a jerk he really is, digging up old tweets and putting him on blast for being racist and misogynist.
Yeah, it got pretty interesting.
The episodes' rising action (shoutout to all my elementary and middle school teachers for their lessons on dramatic structure) saw Demario defend himself by giving a brief lesson on what a “side chick” is, much to the dismay of the predominantly female audience.
There were a few one-liners the guys had clearly been waiting a long time to use, like “There was a lot of ‘Whaboom’ when it should’ve been ‘Wha-bye.’” Lucas, the Whaboom guy, wore about 10 pounds of makeup to close out his 15 minutes of fame in style.
Then Kenny takes his turn in the hot seat. Chris Harrison does his best Oprah impression and brought Kenny’s daughter, Makenzi, on stage and gave them both a trip to Disney World. Makenzi and her dad cry together and she savagely says “I’m proud of you. You finished what, in eighth place?”
Lee apologizes for being a tool, but he wasn’t off the hook.
“I’m gonna step on your applause and call bull*** real quick,” Kenny says before pointing out a few lies Lee told along the way.
Then, the climax. Lee is brought on stage and asked to defend some old tweets, in which he compared the NAACP to the KKK and took some not-so-subtle jabs at women and feminism. (ABC allegedly didn't know about the tweets when he was cast on the show).
For those asking, no, of course we didn't know about the offensive tweets from Lee's account. None of us were aware of them Very unfortunate— Chris Harrison (@chrisbharrison) June 2, 2017
All the guys repeatedly ask him to denounce the tweets and acknowledge that they were racist, and he mostly deflects with lines like “I have a lot to learn.” Dean calls him out for never once apologizing for his words or actions until being grilled on national television.
After Lee finally says he denounces the KKK-NAACP tweet, Demario challenges him:
“But did you [denounce it] the next day? When you woke up the next day and realized you sent those racist-ass tweets, did you go, ‘I Lee, denounce these tweets,’ or did you wait a year and nine days to be on this stage saying it?”
Demario gets a standing ovation -- and when Demario of all people, whose claim to fame is getting booted from the show for having a “side chick” and following it up with an encore of sexual assault allegations during Bachelor in Paradise filming, is getting applause for challenging your character… you know you’ve messed up pretty bad.
Anthony, the Vince Young lookalike who rode a horse that pooped in a store on Rodeo Drive before being sent home earlier this season, uses a bunch of big words to basically say that, whether Lee realizes it or not, his actions are motivated by deep-seeded racism.
After about 15 minutes of TV time on stage (save one commercial break) and countless prompts to do so, Lee admits he was uneducated when he sent the tweet, calling it racist and saying he denounces it.
The admission is met with applause. Lee appears to be forgiven for his abhorrent behavior, so we can focus on another crime of his: The dreadful suit combination he wore for his shot at redemption.
I mean, it looks like something a freshman in high school would wear to the homecoming dance -- if the school colors were navy blue and pale teal.
My message to Lee: Way too much going on with the suit, chief. If you’re somehow able to leverage being a racist jerk in front of millions of people into a career in the spotlight, maybe stick to just a couple colors, and maybe have them match. Just a thought.
The falling action of the “Men Tell All” episode saw Rachel call out Demario for his dishonesty. He responds only with some emphatic gesticulations.
It also includes some strong speeches from contestants who really never had a chance.
Fred, the guy who’s had a crush on Rachel since he was like six, talks about how he wishes their reunion went smoother but then finishes it off with “I’m happy to see you happy” and everyone loves it.
He was visibly exhausted after delivering the monologue.
Matt, who has ridden silence to a nine-week foray on national TV, once again says very little. But he does speak, saying Rachel did the “courteous thing” sending him home before hometown dates. No one knows who he is, but we still love him.
The show concludes with some solid bloopers, and I leave wishing they just aired the outtakes and saved the “love story” for the Men Tell All episode.
One can only dream.