The Bachelor Recap: A Drama-Filled Reunion at the Women Tell All

All your favorite (and...maybe...not so favorite) women are back for the Women Tell All.

We heard from all of the eliminated contestants, including Victoria (who is back with her crown) and Serena P., who left the show last week, along with Matt and his new beard (which has caused an uproar on Instagram).

Before we dive into the Women Tell All, let’s recap what’s happening in our current Bachelor world. Since Chris Harrison stepped back from hosting duties, Emmanuel Acho has been announced as the host for the upcoming After the Final Rose special, which will air after Matt hands out his final rose on March 15. 

Acho is a former NFL player and the host of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man on YouTube. Acho published a book by the same name last fall, and it became an instant New York Times best-seller. We can’t wait to see how he tackles hosting duties!

Before we get to After the Final Rose, let’s relive everything that went down in the Women Tell All episode.

We started off with a montage reminder featuring ALL the drama we’ve seen this season. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: there is no shortage of “mean girls” within this group. The first half of this season was defined by the drama and straight-up bullying between the contestants. 

Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin

One of the hallmarks of every Bachelor season is the on and off off-screen friendships that develop among the contestants. Take Jojo Fletcher and Becca Tilley from the 20th season back in 2016, or even Hannah Brown and Heather Martin from Colton's season just two years ago. Those are real friends who didn't spend their time on the show bullying each other. And now, years after their season's aired, they're still close friends, and are forever bonded by the wild experience of sharing their boyfriend with 20+ other women.

In Matt's group, it's hard to find two women who seem to sincerely get along. So with all of this in mind, the first 30 minutes of the Women Tell All was dedicated to this very catty, very old, and very unoriginal drama.

We relived the MJ and Jessenia issue, the problems between Katie and Victoria, and finally the escort rumors Anna spread about Brittany the night she arrived. Brittany told Chris that she's embarrassed by the rumors, and every time you Google her name the first thing that pops up is "Bachelor contestant is an escort." That's a pretty brutal reality check, all thanks to the rumors Anna aired on national television.

Anna apologized to Brittany multiple times. She agreed that "nothing" can justify what she did, and at least she owned her mistake at this point. But also, once the entire thing has aired on television and you were clearly in the wrong, isn't owning it your only option?! 

Brittany questioned Anna's sincerity, which just made Anna apologize more. The truth is, the damage is done here, and Brittany has been through a lot thanks to this rumor. An apology, while nice, can't undo that. 

After we addressed some of the biggest issues among contestants, we moved into a very odd mix of deleted scenes. Some of these scenes should have stayed deleted, in my opinion....the contestants "finding" rings in containers filled with bugs was so foul. 

Other deleted scenes were really cute, like the pancake eating and beer drinking contests. They also showed hilarious scenes of Kit getting lost during a hide and seek date–literally, the rest of the contestants and Matt were in a hot tub, and Kit was somewhere in the wilderness trying to find them. It was mostly funny just because it's Kit!

Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin

Next, we dug a little deeper into one-on-one relationships. Katie was up first in the hot seat. First, we relived her relationship with Matt, breakup included. Side note: I love how they have the little video square showing present-day Katie watching her own breakup. It’s kinda brutal. Do they know they’re on camera? Like, are they prepared to hide their pain for a sec?

Katie's interview with Chris was really light overall. She wondered why she's still single–which really felt like they were just setting her up to be the Bachelorette. I would be rooting for her if it wasn't for...


Abigail was up next in the hot seat with Chris. Abigail has been the star of this season since she got the first impression rose like 1,000 weeks ago. She watched the highlight reel of her relationship with Matt, and admitted it was awkward to watch after the fact. But then, Abigail sounded off on how she felt coming on the show as the first hearing-impaired contestant. "I have no idea how people were going to receive me, but the response has been incredible," she explained. Abigail, you are a diamond in the rough within this group. I hope we see a lot more of you!

Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin

Pieper was the next contestant in the hot seat. Looking back at her relationship with Matt, they had some really sweet moments. Pieper was one of the first contestants to tell Matt she was falling in love with him, and her departure was one of the sadder, tear-filled exits we've seen all season. She admitted that she was definitely in love with Matt, but she was keeping a wall up too. 

Finally, we heard from Serena P. She made it to hometowns before she decided to leave the show on her own. Serena explained that once her family was involved, she knew something was off. Talking to her mom gave her clarity, but that clarity meant she knew Matt wasn't the right guy for her.

In the end, Serena says she did the right thing by leaving Matt at that moment. “I would have been doing him a disservice by staying,” Serena said. “He had three other amazing women there and he deserved to explore those relationships.” Very mature. Go you, Serena!

Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin

And now, the moment we've been waiting for: Matt is here! With his beard! We got a teaser of his beard last week, and you could say I was...intrigued. But the beard got a great response from the contestants, and Chris clearly loves it too. I mean, it's Matt James. The beard looks great and he pulls it off fabulously. Is there anything this man can't do?!

As you can probably tell, the episode has been a bit snoozy until this point so I was really hoping Matt would bring some DRAMA. He...didn't exactly deliver, but I did get the most interesting tidbit of the entire episode. Serena C. asked Matt if watching the season made him think the contestants were mean, and Matt actually said no. 

I understand he knows these women in person, but...were we watching the same season, Matt? These women were vicious and saying no to that question feels like an easy out. He says that none of the contestants are bad people, which is totally fair, but you can't ignore how brutally mean they were. 

A few of the women asked Matt questions about their relationships, and he handled that like a pro. Matt just seems like a very genuine, normal guy who was put in this wild situation. He took on each question like a real human would, not like a media-trained robot.

But then, we got to the most awkward and cringe-worthy moment in Bachelor history. Apparently, Matt kisses with his eyes open. I somehow missed this?! Maybe I don't pay attention to the kissing scenes?

Well, after they showed an incredibly long kissing montage, it was clear: Matt ALWAYS kisses with his eyes open, and it's so incredibly weird. The contestants and Chris Harrison all roasted him for this, which felt well deserved. He laughed it all off but now I have that open eyed kissing montage stuck in my head and it's...not great. 

All in all, this episode was filled with the same catty drama that has taken over the season. Next week we'll get back to the date-filled action. The three remaining contestants will spend even more time with Matt and really start to fall in love. Until next time...