The Bachelorette: Men Tell All sees Charity touch base with Xavier, Brayden and most of the men she broke up with — plus, the cruel prank the guys pulled on Peter, eliminated Night 1, and why, as well as the first sit-down with The Golden Bachelor Gerry.
It was a packed night on The Bachelorette: Men Tell All as the guys finally got to address the season’s drama among themselves, and with Charity. Interestingly, the nastiest thing that came up was something we never even saw on TV.
Brayden, who was surprised he got this season’s “villain” edit, was again ruffling some feathers, as was Sean, but it was a lot of what was already litigated throughout the season regurgitated again.
As for Xavier, it was Charity who had the biggest (legit) beef with him. She got to ask him why he waited until the last possible minute to admit he had cheated on his last girlfriend, even after he’d told her he was being nothing but honest weeks before that.
Considering her own past, there is no excuse for waiting this long, unless he was hoping he could build a strong enough response to overcome the trigger this was going to cause. It didn’t help that he seemed to suggest being faithful would be hard even now.
Surprisingly, though, the most vitriol came about because of a guy we barely recognized. Peter was among the six guys eliminated on the very first night. In other words, he got just a few minutes of screentime. And yet, the other guys seemed to hate this dude.
As the other “Pilot Pete” explained — yes, this Peter is also a pilot — he was participating in a cast Zoom with the rest of the cast when he noticed they were tagging their social media posts with what looked like the signature “FP.”
It was “villain” Brayden who finally stepped up and clued him in on what that was all about, and yes, it was meant to imply, “F–k Peter!” He seemed genuinely lost as to why these guys he’d barely met for more than a few minutes had so much hatred for him.
Well, they didn’t hesitate to tell him, with Aaron S calling him a “bitch” and saying he was immediately asking about endorsement deals and talking about getting a t-shirt made after his time on the show.
He was, according to Caleb B, also unpleasant to the guys in the room that first night, being accused of giving everyone a F-U attitude, or making sure he was posed to his good side for the cameras before speaking to anyone. Peter took all of these criticisms pretty silenly.
At least, Xavier finally apologized for the “FP” bit and admitted it was a bit immature, which it was. No matter how much of an a– Peter might have been in the house that first night, or even after, there are more adult ways to express frustration.
How about a conversation?
It’s just important that you know how to have a conversation, a skill Xavier clearly did not have mastered before his time on the show. To be honest, we were always left a little uncertain after seeing him with Charity, not quite seeing the connection she was.
There just felt like a distance between him and her, though now we know what it probably was. Xavier knew that Charity had been cheated on and this was a huge trigger. All season long, he harbored this secret, and it was probably weighing on him.
Ultimately, he decided to tell her in last week’s episode and it went about as poorly as it could possibly go. It was even worse than it looked when he explained tonight that he was trying to reassure that he would not cheat on her.
Admitted that he put his foot in his mouth, even Xavier could see when it was played back that he was basically assuring her of the exact opposite. He had to see her facial reactions, too. Did he not know just how badly he was screwing this up?
It doesn’t help that Xavier’s face emotes about as much as drywall, so there was no way to read how he was taking the conversation. It also meant he offered nothing facially or in body language to soften all those blows.
It does seem that he’s been putting in some of the work, though, admitting that he’s going to therapy now to work on himself. He also held no ill will toward Charity, though he still has to untangle his own feelings. He even knitted her a rose to say goodbye and thank you.
This season’s villain tag was shared between Brayden and Sean, but we have such mixed feelings about both of them. We’re also going to call out Brayden a bit for saying he was always his true and genuine self, because if that were the case, Charity and the guys would have seen the same thing.
We believe that he fell into that easy trap that guys fall into of posturing for one another. An easy clue that a guy is prone to do that, we would speculate, is their use of the word, “bro.” For some guys, everything is a bit of a competition, so there’s no looking weak or vulnerable.
With Charity, it’s easier to be that. So while both aspects of Brayden were the real him, he’s not the same person in different settings. He needs to learn to stop trying to posture in front of other guys, or really anyone, in order to truly find his authenticity.
That said, we’re not sure he really fit the bill of a genuine villain, or at least we don’t think he’s a terrible person, or a narcissist, or an egotist, or even a jerk. He’s a little self-centered, but so was Sean. That seems to be their biggest faults.
Even tonight, when confronted about stealing time when he came back into the house, Brayden said he didn’t care about that. He cared about apologizing and clarifying things to Charity. In other words, he was thinking about himself and not the other guys. Does that make him a villain? Your mileage may vary.
Sean did much the same thing when he stole Charity away for a half-hour (per the guys) after getting a one-on-one with her. That was just as rude, and perhaps even moreso as Sean was still in the running for the game.
At the same time, it’s a ruthless competition where only one can win. Is it good gameplay to sneak more time at the expense of your competitors? Again, your mileage may vary. It might depend on how nice you want your Bachelor Nation players to be.
Charity didn’t seem to have much ill will for any of the guys, save Xavier. She was disappointed at how Brayden talked about her and their relationship to the “boys,” but he really was doing what so many guys do for the “boys” — talk a bit of trash for points or clout.
It’s a dumb guy thing that’s been around probably as long as guys have been around. It’s also something most guys outgrow.
As another sign that Brayden seems to be a genuinely decent human, he got emotional — along with everyone else — when Jesse Palmer showed new Golden Bachelor Gerry’s story. It included his 43-year love story with his high school sweetheart, as well as his beautiful family.
Gerry knows exactly what love is. He has no idea what trending means or what “Gerry can Geddit” means, or even why he’s being called a “Grandzaddy,” but he knows a thing or two about love and living a full life.
He’s already lived the dream once, but he’s out to live it again. Honestly, Gerry seems like such a genuine and likable guy, it’s going to be very refreshing and probably very different to see his journey to love.
Just as we love to see older players on shows like Survivor and Big Brother because their life experience gives them such different perspectives than younger players with more enthusiasm than sense, Gerry is bringing a lifetime of understanding to this game.
We imagine his journey will be quite unlike any previous season of this franchise, though perhaps we’ll be proven wrong. Love is messy, so we expect there will be plenty of chance for drama. There is also even more chance for past traumas with contestants with longer pasts involved, but it’s that perspective from experience that we’re intrigued by.
And then there’s Gerry himself, who is so charming and delightful, we’re already in love with him. If half of the women of his season are half as charming as he his, we’re going to be smiling our way through his whole season, and possibly tearing up even more than usual.
Brayden’s story continues on Bachelor in Paradise, which might be waiting until the winter to air. The Golden Bachelor kicks off Gerry’s journey next month. Meanwhile, Charity’s time as The Bachelorette draws to a close next Monday at 8pm ET on ABC.
- “We’re not gonna waste any time, brother. What do you have to say to that man?” –Jesse (to Sean about Brayden)
- “Oof, what do I have to say? I think you were pretty manipulative the way you were shaping the situation to Charity. You’re like, ‘Listen, it’s tough for me, I don’t know if I’m gonna get there.’ But in the background, you never were gonna get there. And then you started using her, like, ‘Well it’s ’cause she’s never off, she’s The Bachelorette, like, I can never see that true side of her, as an excuse not to get there.” –Sean
- “Your doubts were about her.” –Sean (differentiating his own doubts about being ready)
- “This dude was running on his emotions. Why could you fault him for that?” –Aaron S (about Brayden returning after self-eliminating)
- “Because it got in the way of other people furthering their connection.” –Xavier
- “This ain’t about them, dude. This is about her and his connection.” –Aaron S
- “His connection ended.” –Xavier
- “Brayden, you were saying all along you were being real and everybody else was fake.” –Jesse
- “It’s not that they were being fake. It’s just that their realness is different than mine, I guess.” -Brayden
- “How so?” –Jesse
- “For people to say they didn’t have a level of a facade on would be a lie. I mean, the fact that some people are even editing their cuss words right now.” –Brayden
- “Did I ever say classless?” –Brayden (asking the crowd)
- “Yeah!” –crowd
- “Okay, so maybe I did.” –Brayden [disclaimer says no footage has been found of this]
- “His biggest problem was that he’s too honest and he’s got weird earrings. I don’t see that it’s that big of an issue.” –James (about Brayden)
- “After the season wrapped, we had a cast Zoom call. Long story short, 15 or 16 of the guys at the end of their headshots put the initials ‘FP’ after their posts. Brayden was actually man enough to come to me and tell me what it meant and what it meant was, ‘F–k Peter.” Went to bed that night kind of confused and ultimately pretty upset. I didn’t know any of these guys. I met them for two minutes, maybe some five minutes, and to have people, you know, put this online for the world to see, really affected me.” –Peter
- “Why would you put that online?” –Peter (to guys)
- “Because you are a bitch. That’s what you are.” –Aaron S
- “Because you said f–k you to every single dude that tried to speak to you or speak to them. You just did the same thing to everyone.” –Caleb B
- “Homey, you were the first one on the Zoom call after everyone got home to ask about endorsement deals and you were on the TV show for five seconds. Five seconds. I remember you laughing and saying, ‘Thanks for putting me on the map. I”ll make a t-shirt out of it.” –Aaron S
- What bothered me watching it back was seeing that she was feeling all those things for me.” –Bradyen (self-eliminated due to insecurity)
- “I didn’t care about taking away your time, to be honest. I didn’t care about taking anyone else’s time. I cared about apologizing to somebody I hurt.” –Brayden (about coming back)
- “I did not like how you talked about our relationship to a lot of the guys. That was really hard to watch back … I feel like was my 100% authentic self to you my whole time.” –Charity (to Brayden)