Bachelorette Investigation: Is Clare a ‘bad’ Bachelorette?

Moments from Tuesday’s Bachelorette episode made it feel as though Clare was toying with the process. Is she actually a bad Bachelorette?

We’re only two episodes into The Bachelorette and there’s a bit of an annoyance growing in fans with regards to some of Clare’s actions so far. Many are upset with her process, the fact that she’s already head over heels for Dale, and her, let’s say interesting, decision making with the rest of the cast.

The timeline is still split between like and dislike for Clare, but it seems as though many fans are beginning to grow tired of the charade. If Clare already has her mind set on Dale, why are they stringing everyone (including us) along?

It doesn’t help that we’ve been fed the same dramatic preview for two weeks straight, leaving us wondering why they haven’t even teased Tayshia’s efforts to save the season yet.

This week’s investigation looks into something that can’t really be defined without the full picture. But, to borrow a phrase from our Bachelorette, this is my game, these are my rules so we’re going to investigate anyway.

What is a “bad Bachelorette?”

Let’s take a step back for a second. Whether you are sitting at home like Brandon or watching from the president’s suite of a La Quinta resort like Bennett, you are seeing a season that you think you know the ending to. And don’t say you “avoid the spoilers” because it is VERY clear who Clare is choosing at the end of this.

It’s easy to judge our Bachelorette knowing that while she’s dating a few of these men, she’s also making wedding plans with Dale. This is not Clare’s fault. If you’re upset, you should be blaming ABC. Clare was very clear that if she was chosen as a lead, she wasn’t going to participate in the usual run-around and ABC picked her anyway. If her way of treating some of these men is coming off as seemingly uninterested, it is because she is not interested. Clare is laser-focused.

Group date drama

Confronting the group of clueless men on the first group date after perhaps the longest, strangest awkward silence in Bachelorette history was definitely justified. The guys were getting a little too comfortable living their best resort lives and seemed to have forgotten why they were there. There hasn’t been an awkward silence that bad since your last Zoom meeting.

Clare later sent Brandon home for not doing his homework, which was entirely Brandon’s fault. He started his first real conversation with Clare by stating how excited he was that she was chosen for the show. He then followed that up with zero knowledge of her, her situation, her life or her Bachelor past. He was dog-walked the hell out of the resort faster than he could say “can we not talk about this?” a second time. In an episode with plenty of physical ball drops, this metaphorical one was by far the worst.

Clare also rejected Blake’s attempt at a kiss, which was hard to watch, but she was doing it out of respect to the other men on the date. Instead of letting that moment destroy Blake’s psyche for the rest of time, she pulled him immediately at the cocktail party and reassured him with a kiss and a rose. As a Canadian, I can assure you that Blake went home and practiced at least 25 different ways to say sorry for that awkward moment, so trust me when I say the rose was earned.

Therapy and naked dudes

This wasn’t meant to be an entire investigation spent defending Clare and here is where we make that distinction. On Clare’s date with Jason, she turned what started as a nice exercise to an uncomfortable one when she pushed for Jason to share more about what he said was a “dark past.” Yes, it meant a lot to Clare that he did so and I’m sure he was okay with it, but asking that of him in the first place was heavy.

He’s still competing with 22 other men. Childhood trauma is like, at a minimum, a third date conversation. Oh, and he (hopefully inadvertently) sold out his parents on national TV by saying he didn’t think they should be married.

Finally, if you’re upset with the men on the dodgeball date getting naked, just settle down Yosef. I highly doubt these all guys agreed to go out to the dodgeball date in matching banana hammocks. They knew what was going on here and there was no requirement for them to get fully nude. Garin (I think) dropped the thong after it was all over, which sent Twitter into a tailspin. This wasn’t so much Clare asking for nudity as it was Garin wanting to prove he didn’t have any… shortcomings.

As of right now, Clare is still a good Bachelorette. There’s a lot of show left and it isn’t her fault you read everything about her and Dale before the season started. The awkwardness of this season is fueling a lot of fun discussion, so enjoy it for what it is and be happy we’re eventually getting a two-for-one when Tayshia shows up.

What are your thoughts on this week’s Bachelorette Investigation? Share your comments below!

The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.