Sometimes, the best part of Men Tell All is the screaming.
There’s just something so satisfying about seeing which guys get the screams from the audience as they’re introduced, and which guys get the lulled residual screams. The biggest screams tonight went to Dean (obviously), while Kenny, Josiah, Diggy, Whaboom, Fred, Jonathan, and Will all clearly got screams just for them. Even Whaboom had some of his own screams. Matt, Jamey(??), Jack Stone, and a few other randos got “Yay…who?” screams, but the decline was clear when Lee was introduced. Lee is not a man with screamy fans, nor is he a man who probably deserves them.
And of course, there were the screams inside our own heads. We had forgotten how much we did not want to remember the existence of Lee’s drawling southern assholery, or Whaboom and his best frenemy Blake, or DeMario and his really incredible ability to sit at the very bottom of a hole and still talk himself deeper into it.
Then again, even through all the screaming, we have to say that tonight’s Men Tell All was one of the most interesting hours of this entire season in terms of the discussions surrounding Lee and his behavior both on and off the show. Chris Harrison and the other men really took him to task, and at first he seemed to be doing some things right.
He admitted Kenny never dragged him out of a van (obviously), and that the other guys were right in pointing out the things he did wrong. He was thinking a lot about being more considerate, he had been a terrible friend, etc etc.
DeMario AKA Man in the Hole even tried to defend him for a second (before really changing his tune later), saying the Lee he knew before he was carried off in his van of shame was not the Lee he apparently later became.
But then Lee was put into the hot seat, and Harrison brought up the offensive tweets that were found on Lee’s account back at the beginning of the season. He even read a few out loud, and forced Lee to answer to them directly. They particularly focused on a tweet comparing the NCAAP to the KKK, and it took a lot to get Lee to finally stop blubbering about how that wasn’t what he intended, and how it was only “half of a tweet,” and admit that it was racist.
It was “nice” (if that’s even the right word) to see everyone asking the questions we’ve been asking for weeks, like when Josiah joined Lee on the couch to ask him why he was there to meet the first black Bachelorette when he had those racist opinions. His answer was…not satisfactory.
“I don’t like racism at all,” Lee stammered. “It bothers me morally, it bothers me inside, and I don’t like it. And when I woke up and I saw that those came out, it hurt me a lot.”
Not an answer, dude.
It was hard to watch, actually, because it’s hard to watch a man squirm in a pile of lies when confronted by his own worst self. Even the parts where he admitted his shortcomings were painful, because those were just the shortcomings he was comfortable with admitting to. “Being a bad friend” was the least of his issues.
Eventually, Lee vaguely apologized while vaguely acknowledging what he was apologizing for.
“I’m sorry for saying things when I was not educated and ignorant in those subjects,” he eventually said, to cheers and claps from the other men. He said that he was there to learn, but he made mistakes, and he appreciated that the guys reached out to him despite his behavior.
He also got a chance to apologize to Rachel for screwing up her Bachelorette experience.
“I took a situation that was very important to you and very important to a lot of people, and I didn’t take that initiative to learn, and I watched it and just, goodness,” he said, explaining that being surrounded by all those men made him realize how great they were.
Rachel told him he didn’t need to watch the show to see how great they were, and basically took none of his crap. Hopefully, no one will publicly have to take any of Lee’s crap ever again.
(Note to the entertainment industry: If this man gets a show/appearance on a show/endorsement deal/career of any kind based on his potential to learn how to not be a racist sexist jerk, we will quit. We don’t know what we’ll quit, but we’ll certainly quit something.)
And the rest:
—Whaboom and Blake don’t deserve to be talked about, but here goes: They talked over each other for a bit, and Whaboom pointed out that most of what he observed was that Blake was obsessed with him. We observed this as well, and after praising Whaboom for his observation skills, we forgot about them forever.
—DeMario referred to the girl who showed up on the show as a “side chick,” saying he knew her and sort of dated her, but didn’t really date her, you know? He made some reference to Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, and literally nothing he said helped his situation. Rachel said it best when Chris asked her about DeMario: “Who?”
—Fred clearly had a speech planned, and it sounded like he was reading from a script as he explained how he got out of the limo with feelings for Rachel already, and wished her the best. We had forgotten about Fred. Sorry, Fred.
—KENNY. Just, Kenny. Unless we’re mistaken, there’s a certain sense of him being groomed for a future on this show. They brought out his daughter, he cried, and he got nearly endless screen time to weigh in on nearly every situation. He got chants, he got cheers, and came out of this night lookin’ mighty fine.
—And then there’s Dean. Dean did a lot of talking, got a lot of cheers, and also came out of this night looking very, very good. What will be interesting is how he comes across on Bachelor in Paradise, which has a way of shaking up our impressions of the people on these shows (or confirming them, in some cases). We shall have to see.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.