Team, it’s been a good run. Well, actually, it’s been a run full of trials and tribulations. Quite frankly, I had higher hopes for us. But part of being a good coach is knowing when to accept defeat and that’s what happened during Monday night’s episode of The Bachelorette, in which Colton—former NFL player, founder of the Colton Underwood Foundation, and VIRGIN—was sent home.
This is how ABC prefaced this televised heartbreak:
The Bachelorette travels to Parker, Colorado, for her final hometown visit with Colton. She sees him in action when he takes her to the Children’s Hospital of Colorado, which he visits regularly since having started a foundation for children with cystic fibrosis. Seeing him interact with kids, Becca’s attraction grows. What a father he would be! But she still wonders if he is ready for a lifelong commitment. She must wade through difficult waters with both his mother and father. Colton’s virginity, how he handled his dating relationship with Tia and if the couple is ready for an engagement are unusual topics for a conversation with your potential in-laws.
Becca remains torn about who she needs to send home and travels back to Los Angeles to seek advice from her trusted girlfriends: Bekah, Caroline, Kendall, Seinne and Tia. But some new, shocking information comes to light that throws Becca’s decision into even more turmoil. She needs to make this very difficult decision and move past it to continue her journey with her final three prospective husbands.
Emphasis mine, because who the hell wrote this synopsis?!
As you might have suspected, Colton uses this opportunity on television to stunt for the Colton Underwood Foundation, again, when he takes Becca to the Children’s Hospital of Colorado, a place that is “very special” to him. It’s also “so special” that Becca is in his hometown. “I just can’t wait to show Becca what’s important to me and what makes me me,” he says, before he and Becca give some sick kids some cute presents. He clarifies, again, that the Colton Underwood Foundation benefits people with cystic fibrosis. He then says, “Becca has a natural motherly feel that you can’t learn.”
Colton watched the episode with the kids from the hospital, and streamed their portion on Instagram. Hopefully these kids stopped watching once the pair left the hospital, because the plotline gets much, much more awkward from there.
“Tonight’s gonna be foreign for me because I haven’t brought a girl home in a formal setting,” Colton says—which prompts a question: Is Christmas not a formal setting? Some might think Jesus’s birth is the most formal of all days. But Colton is “very careful” about who he brings home. “It’s sort of like me being a virgin—it’s something I hold pride in. It’s important to me.”
Becca is still worried that Colton—a virgin who spent last week feuding with Wendy Williams—doesn’t have enough experience and isn’t ready to get engaged. His dad Scott really puts her through the wringer, suggesting that maybe she isn’t ready since she and Arie broke up not that long ago. (Forgot about that guy!) “Unless you really care about him, I don’t want you to pick him,” Scott says.
Colton and his mom Donna have a conversation. Though it was edited in the commercial to make it seem like they discuss whether he wants to lose his virginity to Becca, the talk is actually about whether he’ll be ready to propose. “Do you think she loves you?” Mom asks. “I think so,” says Colton. “Oh my God, that’s crazy,” Mom replies.
Mom: Do you see having enough time with her to see if you want to...
Colton: I think there’s a very good chance I could be engaged at the end of this.
Me: Misleading teaser from an overzealous, desperate network!
Becca’s conversation with Donna is a little weirder, at least by America’s puritanical standards. We find out Colton’s mother knows he’s a virgin, a fact she and Becca briefly discuss as she’s asking his mother her thoughts about whether her son is ready for this commitment because (actual quote) “Momma knows best.”
“Last week, he opened up about not being that intimate with women,” Becca says, relatively smoothly. His mother reveals that she just learned he’s a VIRG. (Before the cameras got there? Air that shit!)
Regardless of her son’s virginity, Mom feels he’s ready. “Before I just talked to him I would have been pretty skeptical,” Donna says. “But he blew me away with his transparency.” We then get a clearly frankenbited quote from Becca saying she wanted to hear that Colton loved her, before he tells her he loves her.
Back in Los Angeles, Becca’s met up with her homegirls again, including the dreaded Tia, who looks stressed like it’s her literal job (it is). We learn from Becca that Jason is “the best kisser.” (Good for him! Bekah says Becca should take him to the Fantasy Suite because of that. She does.) As soon as Becca mentions Colton still being around, Tia jumps up, saying they should talk.
“If I’m being honest with you, I still have feelings for Colton,” Tia tells Becca, saying she feels sick when she thinks about them together. Babe! This should have been made clear weeks ago. “Well, shit, I wish I would have known that,” says Becca. “I don’t like realizing that I do care for him,” Tia explains, clarifying she “just wanted to be honest” with Becca.
Becca appreciates that. She says she will still “follow her heart” and that her conversation with Tia doesn’t change anything about Colton. But the deck is stacked against our final QB. A virgin and the bro code being broken? She’s got the best kisser around, she doesn’t need this!
Then, we get to the Rose Ceremony. “I think if I get a rose tonight, it would be the closest thing to her saying ‘I love you,’” Colton tells the camera. “I’m a mixed bag of emotions.” What?
There is an amazing exchange in which Chris Harrison possibly earns his first Emmy nomination for Best Host with his very chill reaction to Colton’s inquiry about what happens in the Fantasy Suite date. “I know that if tonight goes well, next week is Fantasy Suites and something that Becca and I talked about in the Bahamas is that I’m still a virgin,” Colton says. “I just want to know sort of what the expectations are for Fantasy Suites.”
“Are you saying you’re worried about being intimate with Becca?”
“At this point, yeah,” Colton says.
Chris Harrison then confirms that a contestant doesn’t legally have to fuck when they get the first actually private moment on this show with their potential future legal partner. Colton seems extremely relieved. And then Becca sends him home.
“I feel like a terrible person,” Becca says, to Colton’s tears. “I hate doing this to you.” Remember: His dad said that “if Colton’s not the one,” don’t waste his time.
Colton’s still not feeling great. “I just want an opportunity to fall in love and be happy,” he says. “I finally got to the point where I could not be broken again.”
“I don’t know what to say, I feel so bad,” she says. Tell Colton he’s going to date Tia again in Bachelor in Paradise, a weeks-old fact that’s confirmed by a promo which airs almost immediately after this scene, and that he’s also going to peg the fundraising for his foundation to this episode. That’ll cheer him up!
“My conversation with Tia didn’t change anything,” Becca insists. May Colton enjoy Paradise.