The Bachelor – Women Tell All

Abigail was more active on social media leading up to last night’s Women Tell All (WTA). She posted an Instagram story thanking everyone for their support, saying she’s been blown away. She encouraged people to get the Threads app that she was using because it auto captions, which helps people like her. THANK YOU, Abigail, for using your platform for good!

In her story, she said, “um” so often that she typed afterwards, “Take a shot for every time I say “um.”

It’s a good thing I’m not allowed alcohol (doctor’s orders)!

People Magazine published an article with a sneak peek at Abigail’s WTA appearance. The Bachelor tweeted a clip that was retweeted by Abigail and mentioned by Us Weekly.

https://twitter.com/AbigailHeringer/status/1366210984893947907

In an Instagram post, Abigail urged viewers to tune in. Based on the media blitz, I knew she’d be in the Hot Seat, which means more airtime!

Chris’ Hyperbole

Ok, I hear you telling me to get to the WTA already and I don’t even have my cochlear implant on yet!

Recorded on February 4 without a studio audience, the WTA is a “very special, very intimate episode.” Chris refers to the wild, unprecedented season of shocking surprises and explosive drama. “Everybody’s looking good,” he says, and gives our girl Abigail a shout out. A clip also airs of her saying about Matt, “He was just super easy to talk to, so he just blew my expectations out of the water right away.”

A review of the season thus far is shown. Thank goodness I have this on TiVo and started late. Fast forwarding is my superpower right now!

It appears the women are seated in two rows formed in a semi circle. Abigail is in the back row as usual. The front row would be easier as she could just turn around to lipread. The distance between her and Chris/the stage seems too far for lipreading.

First, Chris addresses the Jessenia and MJ feud. Next up are Ryan and Victoria, who is wearing a crown. But of course. Victoria makes up a word: “upset-ness.” I’ll use it in a sentence. Victoria’s upset-ness may have been overshadowed by her outfit, which was an open jacket with matching bra, as if she was proudly and ironically flaunting her bra-zen fashion sense (or lack thereof).

Many of the women are experiencing backlash for how they handled things, which Katie says is karma. Victoria actually apologizes. Then in a true demonstration of irony, they all gang up on Katie.

The Hot Seat

To Brittany in the Hot Seat, Chris says, “One of the craziest rumors I’ve heard in 20 years of doing this show enveloped you. I wanna hear all about it, but first, let’s take a look back and see what happened.” FF to the rescue again!

Being falsely accused of being a high end escort has clearly taken its toll. Brittany didn’t want to be around her family when she got back, and even texting her friends was difficult. She’s forever going to be associated with this. Anna — who started the rumor — apologized earlier but hasn’t reached out. Anna delivers a good apology. Brittany takes the high road and says she doesn’t want people to destroy Anna’s life also. Words can really affect you, she says. People make mistakes. She also addresses people in the sex working industry, saying no one’s life is worth more or less based on an occupation.

Dates We Didn’t See

To lighten things up, we get a peek at some of the “most outrageous moments we didn’t get to see,” including one date that didn’t make it to air, which is rare. It’s called “What’s in the Box?” Abigail knows right away what this means. She reads a card in the clip: “Ring shopping can be intimidating and a bit scary…and today will be BOTH! I DARE YOU to pick a ring out of one of these ring boxes.”

The first box has killer Amazon cockroaches. Abigail’s box has fire crickets. She reaches her arm in sight unseen to feel around for the ring. “How did you find yours so quick?” she asks. Abigail is shown watching this in the studio with her hands over her face. In the clip, she finally grabs the ring, and jumps up and down out of disgust and relief.

Another box has flesh eating worms. Seeing all these creepy, crawly critters is so gross. What were they thinking?? Obviously they realized it wasn’t worth airing, yet it aired anyway. Perfect Bachelor logic.

As part of the group date on the farm, they have to eat a whole plate of dense pancakes, and then drink a pint of beer. Abigail belches. She’s in the next clip too, of a group date playing Hide and Seek in the woods. Good lord, has it really come to this? Might as well throw in a game of Cat’s Cradle while they’re at it.

On the boxing date, the girls each drink a raw egg. I’m going to puke just watching. Kit is smart – she pretends to drink it but really throws it over her shoulder.

The Hot Seat

Chris calls Katie the gift that kept on giving. She was confident in her relationship with Matt, but didn’t pay attention to the other relationships in the house. Matt is the first person she was able to be 110% herself with. She says she just has to remain hopeful that her person’s still out there.

Now it’s Abigail’s turn in the Hot Seat! First, they show a clip of her with Matt. She asks him how old he was when he had his first kiss. He was in 7th grade and bit the girl’s lip so hard, it was gushing blood. “Now I’m scared to kiss you again,” Abigail laughs.

“This next woman captured the First Impression Rose and America’s heart,” Chris says. “But, well, in the end, things did not work out for her and Matt. So what happened? Let’s find out. Abigail, come down and join me.”

The women snap fingers as she makes her way to the stage. “Wow, at least you got snaps, the new applause in 2021,” Chris says. Can Abigail even hear the snaps? Odd choice, but whatever.

“We have so much to talk about,” says Chris. “Let’s take a look.”

“That’s not fun to watch,” Abigail says afterwards, tears in her eyes.

“How surprised were you that night?” Chris asks. “He just always kind of wanted to be near you. It seemed like you had that chemistry.”

“Yeah, no, I definitely felt it, and he just gave me so much assurance every time I was with him, and we started off so strong. I kind of came in saying, you know, I don’t believe in love at first sight. Just having the first night go the way it did, I think that’s the closest I’ve ever come to that kind of feeling.”

“Were you ready to fall in love with this guy?”

“Um, I was on my way to falling in love. He had all the qualities I was looking for, and all the conversations we had, he responded really well to all of them. I told him, I said, you know, hopefully we would get more time, but I feel really confident bringing you around my family. You’re everything they would hope I would bring home. I just kind of have a big what-if. If we had that much attraction with how little time we had, you know, what if we had had a whole day together? Could I have been up there with kind of the frontrunners? Um…you know, it’s just, yeah, it’s just a lot of questions, for sure.”

“You had a very honest, vulnerable conversation with Matt about having children.”

“Mmm hmm. Yeah, um, so by that point, hometowns were coming around the corner. I wanted to be as [my notes say “farrow,” which makes no sense and is clearly an autocorrect that I can’t figure out, so just pick a word to go here] with him ’cause I think it wouldn’t be fair to him if I went through this entire journey and kind of held on to my insecurities, not giving him that whole transparency.”

“Well, I know there were a lot of challenges, but I love that you are here and were brave enough to do this. It’s had a massive impact on the deaf community.”

“It’s been incredible. I was really scared, kind of, when I decided to come on, just because I think people kind of view the hearing community and then the Deaf community, with a capital D, as kind of black and white. And I’m kind of that gray space in the middle that hasn’t had a lot of light shone on, because I don’t use sign language. I’m able to communicate vocally. I was born profoundly deaf so it means I have no hearing, so if I take my cochlear implant off, I can’t hear anything. So I had no idea how people were going to receive me. But no, the response has been incredible. I’ve had so many people reach out and say, you know, thank you for sharing your story. I have a very similar one. Yeah, I just–I’ve been blown away.”

[Note: it’s interesting – the clip ABC tweeted has parts that weren’t on WTA, so I kind of combined them in Abigail’s quotes on this post.]

“I wanna pull up some of these comments. I don’t know if you’ve seen all of these or not.”

Abigail laughs. Chris says there’s one more. It’s from @bdub1209: “Abigail, my daughter is 7 and bilaterally implanted. Seeing the representation and you not being afraid to be who you are makes my heart SO happy.”

“Oh my god,” Abigail says. “I just have gotten so many messages like this, of people saying, thank you so much for showing this in a romantic light, just because disability isn’t always romanticized. Um… yeah, it’s been incredible.”

“I know you were actually here looking for love and that’s what it’s all about. To that end, where are you now?”

[Sighs} “Yeah, so I know things didn’t work out with Matt and I, but that’s not to say that I didn’t leave, you know, with nothing. I think, you know, I met an incredible group of women. I learned a lot about myself. Yeah, I think it’s what Katie said, like I think I’m just a better version of myself that I’m really excited to be able to share with whoever wants to share that with me.”

More Hot Seat

Pieper’s next in the Hot Seat. She, too, was shocked by her exit because she wasn’t paying attention to the other women.

Back from commercial, Chris says, “All your favorite women are with me tonight.” The camera immediately goes to Abigail. Hmm… Is it me, or am I getting Bachelorette vibes?

In the Hot Seat, Serena has to visibly compose herself. Chris thought she was the one at one point in time, but instead she’s the one who had the guts to leave.

Matt comes out to “twangy rock music” in a big, bushy, UGLY beard. Chris calls it a bold choice. The women profess to like it, but as Twitter describes it, “Show you’re single without saying you’re single.”

Matt addresses a couple of the women and reflects on his journey. Then Chris tells him there was a recurring issue America had with him – “you always had your eye on those ladies” – cue to a kissing-with-eyes-open montage. Matt didn’t know it was a no-no and admits after watching it back that it’s kind of weird. Chris asks if anyone is brave enough to talk about it. Pieper says she brought it up to Matt and expresses surprise that it went this long without anyone saying anything. The consensus: Eyes closed, please.

“Some of these ladies want to talk to you,” Chris tells Matt. The camera lands on Abigail. “Abigail, did you have anything you wanted to say to Matt?”

“No, I just want to say thank you for the entire experience. Um, I think we had a really good time together. But it just wasn’t in the cards for us. I just have nothing but good things to say about our experience, and hopefully you feel the same way about it.”

“Thank you, I appreciate that,” Matt responds, sticking to his standard line.

A couple other women speak. Then the best part: the bloopers. And a preview of the March 15 finale. “You have no idea what’s coming,” Chris says, a statement that has aged well.

An EW recap says, “Gah, after watching this highlight reel, I’m mad all over again that Matt sent Abigail home. Big mistake, buddy. Big. Huge. Abigail is an angel on earth…Damnit, producers, do NOT put this woman on Paradise. She is too pure.”

Abigail remains a fan favorite. A tweet calls her one of the least toxic women this season. Another says, “These women can learn so much from her.”

And ABC tweeted this. Hmmmmm.

https://twitter.com/BachelorABC/status/1366572202880098308

As Reality Steve says of the Bachelorette possibilities, “You might think Serena is still too young, or maybe you don’t want to see Abigail get screwed by production, but you won’t be mad and angry seeing [the prospects] in that role if they got it.”

The Bachelor – Week 7

This week’s episode begins with [ominous music] as we see a replay of Heather walking in, because seeing it in the previews and last week’s episode just wasn’t enough. This time, however, we’re treated to the incredibly articulate conversation she has with Matt. Just kidding. True to her blonde roots, she breaks a record for the number of times she says “like.” And get this – she even booked a red eye, all on her own!

While Matt takes some time to think (good lord, we’ll be here all night), Heather approaches the other girls. As she tells the camera after, they came at her hard. That they did, but they had some good lines. When Heather says she’s not there to ruin everyone’s day, one girl says, “My day’s pretty ruined.”

“Matt’s been gone for a while and we’re super nervous ’cause we don’t know what’s going through his mind and whether he’s gonna keep her or send her home,” Abigail tells the camera.

A couple of the girls say if Matt keeps Heather, then he hasn’t valued the time he’s spent with them. Luckily for them, Matt gives Heather the boot because he’s already deep into the process and falling for the women already. I still don’t understand why Hannah didn’t tell him about Heather earlier. The timing is suspicious.

The girls watch as Matt walks Heather out and says goodbye. Abigail points out that they’re hugging. Matt apologizes when he joins the group. To his credit, he also apologizes to Pieper and invites her to finish their conversation. Chelsea says, “That was so hot,” and the women laugh. We see Abigail joining in.

“I’m really scared, to be honest,” Abigail says. “I think I have no idea where his head’s at and what decision he’s gonna make, and I think of just all the sacrifices and time that we’ve all put into it….Umm… I don’t know what that means for me yet.”

To the camera, Abigail adds, “This is probably the most nervous I’ve been going into the Rose Ceremony because I don’t know where I stand…umm… so I’m just hoping for the best. [groans] I’m not ready to go home.”

Rose Ceremony

Matt sighs outside and reflects on the roller coaster of emotions tonight. “I’m taking this process serious,” he says. SERIOUSLY, Matt. It’s SERIOUSLY. I’m fucking serious.

Abigail’s in the front this time. “I think Matt and I do have a really great connection and–and I think, you know, we are really attracted to one another,” she tells the camera. “If I get a rose tonight, it just means that he really could see a future with me, so this rose definitely means everything.”

She looks nervous. “I think my biggest fear if I was to go home tonight would be that,” she tells the camera. “I can see Matt being my future husband.”

It comes down to the final rose, and it’s between Abigail and Chelsea. Matt says Abigail’s name, and she looks so relieved. Now there’s eight women left.

Up in the Air

Jessenia and Abigail talk about how Matt said his wife is in the group. Abigail says, “Waking up this morning, I feel recharged. Now I do feel confident in my relationship with Matt. I really do like this guy and so I just hope I finally get my 1:1 time with Matt.”

Chris calls last night a big turning point. Dates are huge this week, with two one-on-ones, and one group date. Abigail and Jessenia are the only girls who haven’t had 1:1 time.

The first date goes to Serena P., who says, “Everyone assumed it would be Jessenia or Abi today.” Yep, from here forth, Abigail is referred to as Abi by the girls, showing how much closer they’ve gotten.

“It feels like a slap in the face to give Serena a 1:1 and I’m like, well, I haven’t even had one,” Abigail tells the camera as she blows out air and sighs. “I’m just trying to figure out where his head’s at.” She twists her lips in disappointment.

Apparently Matt picked Serena because they’ve been in the friend zone and haven’t had that breakthrough moment. To jump start that, they have a tantric yoga date. Matt’s in leggings, and that’s just not my thing on guys. Try some joggers next time, perhaps?

The yogi puts Matt and Serena into sex-based yoga positions. AWKWARD! Serena hates it and tells Matt she was in her head the whole time and couldn’t wait for it to be over.

Back at the house, Jessenia says she and Abi are the only ladies left without 1:1 dates before Hometowns. The next date card arrives. It’s a group date. Abigail’s name is the last one mentioned, which means Jessenia gets the 1:1. She does a double take, as she’s first sad for Abigail and then realizes what it means for her.

Matt is caught off guard by Serena being uncomfortable during their date. He loves her honesty and is drawn to her authenticity and realness. Does that mean everyone else is fake/er?

“I just have no idea kind of where his headspace is right now,” Abigail tells Kit. Kit tells her to go with her gut and instincts on what she thinks is the best decision for her and her relationship. “Like you got the First Impression Rose, so you know there’s potential there, but not having a 1:1 must be discouraging at this point,” Kit says. “Yeah,” Abigail replies.

[somber music]

“I feel like I’ve gotten forms of validation like the First Impression Rose, a group date rose, and then just not the chance to explore that potential,” Abigail tells the camera. “It’s just like I don’t know what else I need to be doing. It’s frustrating when I have so much desire to hang out with him and I just feel really defeated right now.”

She tells Kit, “It’s just weird bringing someone home when you haven’t even had a normal date with them.”

Serena tells Matt she’s falling for him and wants him to meet her family. She gets the rose, so now she’s one of the final four. They go ice skating after the “meal” we never see them eat. Matt can 100% see himself falling in love with her. Too bad he doesn’t literally fall. That would have been good TV.

Group Date

In what I’m sure isn’t product placement, we see Matt on his Peloton. Meanwhile, the girls get ready for their date. We see Abigail put lipstick on. She’s wearing another simple, classy dress, this one in burnt orange.

Matt tells the girls he wants them to leave everything on the table. He probably means their clothes but takes the high road and says if there’s something bothering them, it should be addressed. (Not undressed.)

Bri says she’s given up a lot, and now it’s time to share that with Matt. The lead up makes me think it’s going to be something big, like she’s a single mom. Her revelation is that she had to resign from her dream job to be on the show. It’s “extremely worth it” to be here with Matt. Really? It’s a hell of a lot easier to find a man than to snag a dream job – especially when the outcome with Matt isn’t guaranteed. But you do you, girlfriend.

“Thank you for sharing,” Matt says. “I had no idea.” Matt, of course you didn’t, you fool. You’re not a mind reader.

Abigail says, “What I’m struggling with is the fact that I’m the only girl going into Hometowns that hasn’t had a 1:1. We are hitting that point where certain relationships are moving faster and are at the next level, and I feel like I’m struggling to keep our relationship moving forward. And it’s just frustrating.” [lip twist]

Pieper tells Matt she’s falling in love with him.

Abigail is shown sadly looking down. “The first night, I ended up getting the First Impression rose, which was the most amazing feeling,” Abigail says. “But we just haven’t been able to see a lot of each other since then, so I need to know that we’re not stalled, that we’re still moving forward.”

To the camera, Abigail says, “I would love to introduce Matt to my family. He’s an amazing guy, and there is something here. It wasn’t just like an initial spark, so I guess I’m just getting in my head and overthinking things, because I think Matt and I would be really good together.”

To Matt, Abigail says, “This week has been really hard.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Um… I think, from the beginning, all I’ve wanted is…just more time with you. We’ve only kind of gotten little bits here and there, but I think we’ve had really good conversations, and I mean, I’ve opened up to you…”

“Yeah.”

“About, you know, some of my biggest insecurities, and you know, you’ve kind of shared your insecurities as well, and it just made me feel really good. I think we want a lot of the same things. We kind of share a really similar perspective…”

“Yeah.”

“On life, and…like, I’m just really excited about you. Just – I was kind of thinking about it the other day, of, you know when you kind of have a picture in your head of, ok, this is what I want, you’re like, ok, I want to be married, I want to have a family, and I’ve just kind of started picturing you in that, and it’s scary because I can see the possibility of a future with you. I just wanna know, like, can you see that possibility with me? Or…like, I guess I’d rather know now instead of…and I know you can’t like, obviously say too much, like…”

“Yeah,” Matt says. “You know, from night one, our first conversation, I was instantly drawn to you. You were vulnerable with me. You’re beautiful, compassionate, and understanding…everything that I’m looking for, and it was a no brainer that I’d give you the First Impression rose. I was so comfortable in our relationship that…I explored other relationships and…[tense music] in exploring those relationships with other women and going on those one on ones, I did grow strong feelings for them…and being honest with you and following my heart, my heart’s pulling me in another direction. I apologize. [solemn music] The last thing I wanna do is lead you on and lie to you. You deserve someone who’s gonna put you first.”

Abigail looks down the whole time and takes it in. “I-I mean, I really do appreciate you being honest,” she tells him, as his hand is on her thigh.

“Again, I apologize,” Matt says. “You want me to walk you out?”

They hold hands as they walk out, and she holds his arm. They hug and he says, “I’m sorry, I wish I had more time.”

Once in the getaway vehicle, Abigail puts her hands over her face and sniffles. “For me to like lay it all out and then for him to come back and say he doesn’t see it, umm…it’s just kind of eating me alive right now.” [lip twist] “I just feel like I’m constantly like the person that makes men realize what they want next, but they never want that with me, so it’s just…a hard pill that I’m gonna have to swallow.” [purses lips]

Matt returns to the girls and says, “Um, I just walked Abigail out. I wasn’t expecting our conversation to go that way tonight, but that’s where the conversation led us, and at this point in the process I’m not gonna lead anybody on.”

Rachael says, “Oh my god, Abigail felt a connection with Matt and he sent her home. Shows that none of us really know where his mind’s at.”

Matt tells the camera, “It was not easy saying good bye to Abigail. I hated doing that, but I had to be honest with her. So now I’m gonna continue to follow my heart and explore these relationships, because I’ve got some tough decisions I’ve gotta make going forward.”

The Rest of the Episode

We don’t care about the rest of the episode now, do we? But Abigail’s exit has caused some shockwaves. “After seeing how Abi went home, I’m really nervous,” Kit says. “Are we on the same page?”

Rachael, by the way, tells Matt she’s in love with him. Given her racist statements on social media, is this the definition of irony?

Kit tells Matt she has some set things on her life trajectory that she’s not willing to compromise on that he needs to know. She calls herself a long-term investment. Good for her!

Rachael gets the rose and bonus 1:1 time with Matt. They invent a new dance called The Make Out Dance, which they do while someone I’ve never heard of called Aloe Blacc sings. Is this a stage name? Whether it is or his birth name, I have questions.

I think I’ve pinpointed why Matt’s tongue bothers me. It floats. Kind of like a puppy dog, only it’s inside his mouth. On par with his bland hangdog personality.

Anyway. Kit pays Matt a visit and basically tells him she’s leaving because he deserves someone who is 100% sure of a proposal tomorrow. Matt wants her there, but thankfully even though she’s only 21, she does the right thing for both of them. As a friend points out, he’s nicer to her than to Abigail.

“I really do respect Abigail and Kit to, like, take, really take, a step back, and realize what’s on the line here,” Pieper says.

Jessenia is nervous that Abigail and Kit went home, so she’s even more nervous for her date. They meet in a parking lot, where Matt shows up in a red sports car and a professional drifter who’s also a host on Motor Trend. Had you ever heard of drifting in this context? I hadn’t. According to Wikipedia, it’s a “driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner.” Wow. My idea of a fun date… not.

After Jessenia takes the wheel, she describes the experience and says, “I did once, on accident.” It’s BY accident, Jessenia! My 16-year-old son says “on accident” all the time, and my 19-year-old and I am always correcting him. Don’t validate his poor grammar usage!

She gets Matt to lay her out on the hood of the car, and they kiss. They have the prettiest evening date yet. Matt appreciates her patience with the process and with him. Guess he saw more potential with her than with Abigail?

Back at the house, Rachael says she’s sitting and thinking about Abigail and Kit. Why do the girls keep bringing up the two of them? Do they not realize Kit left of her own volition?

Jessenia tells Matt she’s falling in love with him. “Thanks for sharing that with me,” he says, his stock answer to everything. He grabs the rose and then praises her before he says they’re missing that compatibility, that love he needs to feel going into the Hometown week that he has with the other women. “I don’t think I’m there yet.” She’s blindsided, and I don’t blame her. Holding the rose wasn’t necessary.

Prior to the next Rose Ceremony, Matt tells Chris that he’s conflicted. But then he says he knows what he has to do. Either Matt figured it out quickly or the editing didn’t show it all.

Pieper is sent home, so the final four is Bri, Michelle, Rachael, and Serena P. Pieper doesn’t even talk to Matt when he walks her out.

The clip at the end shows Michelle’s sense of humor and personality. Why they never air more of this stuff is beyond me. As it is, the impression we get of Matt is that he’s bland. A friend who’s a long-time Bachelor fan calls him a terrible Bachelor. His conversations suck and we know nothing about him, she told me, and he looks bored all the time.

Last Thoughts

A deaf friend pointed out that Matt never took the time to get to know Abigail. All their interactions were about her deafness, not about having fun together. His line about being so comfortable in their relationship is a load of BS, this friend says, and I agree.

After last week’s episode, my friend Eileen told me, “I hate to say this, but I really feel like she’s being kept around because she’s deaf, but I’ll have to see how they play it to make my final decision. The problem is, it’s like in society… keep the ‘scary deaf girl’ at arm’s length. Be intrigued, but don’t get too close. You don’t wanna go too far because, let’s face it, it’s probably not gonna work. But whatever you do, don’t make yourself out to look like the bad guy by cutting her off right away because they’re gonna say it’s because she’s deaf, and we all know it’s because she’s deaf, but we don’t want it to actually BE that she’s deaf. Oh, and try to avoid a lawsuit. Thanks.”

Historically, the First Impression Rose does get a 1:1 date, but an article in Men’s Health says it’s not really indicative of how well a contestant will do during the season.

A Yahoo article about Abigail’s exit has a poll asking if Abigail or Katie should be Bachelorette. Last I checked, 80% was in Abigail’s favor. Even Nick Viall — who’s been on three seasons of The Bachelor and I don’t know how many of Bachelor in Paradise — tweeted, “Abigail for Bachelorette.”

Even though I’m leery of the show due to producer involvement and manipulation, and poor background checks, Abigail being the Bachelorette would increase awareness of cochlear implants along with listening and spoken language. And just think of the accommodations they’d have to make for her!

Abigail’s Instagram post affirms that she didn’t walk away empty handed.

The Bachelor – Week 6

[tense music]

Because there’s not much going on in the world right now, we’ve been anxious for the MJ and Jessenia showdown. It’s as expected: more drama and more lies, with another two-faced antagonist eliminated. Matt even fakes MJ out by holding up the rose and saying, “MJ…I can’t give you this rose.” Guess he learned something from being an athlete.

We first see Abigail at the start of the cocktail party, when the girls are talking as they wait for Matt. Chris shows up instead, informing them that Matt wants to skip the cocktail party as he knows what he wants to do. The girls freak out.

At the Rose Ceremony, Abigail is in the back row again. She already has a rose from last week, so we can relax.

During a commercial break, ABC airs an ad: “Now casting seniors looking for love. Go to abc.com/casting.” So many questions…

First 1:1

Now there’s 11 girls left. Five have had a one-on-one, six have not. Pieper gets the first 1:1. But first, more drama. Serena C. is fed up with Katie, so she seeks her out. This devolves into an argument. The other girls are in sleeping bags by the fireplace when they hear the arguing. The first sign of this is when Abigail looks up quizzically. Sure, it’s got to be loud because the deaf girl can hear it.

There’s an interlude when a girl drives up to the property in a white van. She introduces herself as Heather Martin and says she’s there for Chris. She was on Colton’s season and is good friends with Hannah Brown, who spent time with Matt in quarantine and says he’s the perfect match for her. She wants to meet him. Chris acts surprised, laying it on thick: “This is just bizarre. Just when you think you’ve seen it all.”

Pieper and Matt walk through a forest in the dark, holding lanterns. She flips a switch and sees their very own carnival, all lit up. Somehow they fit that in plus a dressed up dinner. Sadly, her family doesn’t communicate love. She tries to overcome this by telling Matt she’s falling in love with him.

I’ve lost track of how many women have now said this to him. It’s ridiculous, especially when you consider how little time they actually get with him. Ashley I. said on Instagram that the amount of solo time they typically get with the lead during group dates and cocktail parties is about 10 minutes. And each episode usually comprises four days!

Obviously, they’re in a constrained environment without other distractions. Naturally this will make Matt the focus of all their thoughts. But he’s looking like less and less of a prize. He was partying with Tyler C. (his best friend from Hannah’s season) in Tampa all weekend – maskless. He’s being called Covid Matt. Supposedly his mother is a big Trump supporter and he’s a Republican. [If you are too, you can find another blog to follow.]

Group Date

Abigail is again part of the group date. When the girls show up, Matt is wearing a bowling shirt and skinny jeans that look like leggings. Not a fan. Abigail tells the camera, “I can’t control whether I get a 1:1 date, but I can control, you know, what we spend our time talking about.” She adds, “Matt and I had a spark the first night and we had potential, but we need time.”

If you can’t figure out the date from Matt’s attire, find another blog to follow. The date is bowling, with pizza, nachos, and wings. Abigail looks around and smiles. This is a much better group date than outdoor obstacle courses. But this does involve a competition, as Chris shows up to tell them the winning team will get a romantic evening with Matt. The losing team will walk home in the rain.

Abigail is on the blue team, aka the Blue Bombshells. The opposing team in pink shirts is the Pink Petals. “I have been on the losing team,” Abigail says. “I’ve had to walk home, so we are not losing this. We’re gonna win. There’s no way I’m gonna lose twice.” She goes first on her team, and shows spunk as she walks to the lane. Unfortunately, she only knocks down one pin.

The Blue Bombshells are down by a lot, but they battle back and it literally comes down to the last few frames. Abigail is the last to bowl for her team. Serena P. — on the other team — says, “Abigail, I love you, but gutter.” Did Abigail hear this? Was this taking advantage of her hearing loss?

Abigail gets a gutter ball. “My team is going home, and with the pressure of hometowns being in a few weeks, it’s frustrating when you have that potential and then you can’t explore it, like, you just have to wait and wait,” Abigail says. “I-I-I don’t know, I’m just, I’m not getting any time. It’s not even a little time. I’m just not getting any time.” She gives Matt a good hug good bye.

Back at the house, she says, “I’m not even upset yet, like, I’m just angry.” She tells the other girls, “It sucks getting that First Impression rose, seeing that potential, and then week after week, you know, just…waiting. It’s just like… how am I supposed to take this seriously when I can’t even get time?”

But then Chris delivers a personal date card. Matt feels terrible and needs time with them, and invites them to join the party. The girls erupt in shrieks and cheers. Abigail bounces up and down on the couch.

During Matt’s speed make-out sessions, Serena P. says she’s falling for him. The girls say so many of the same things; it must be hard for him to differentiate. Then again, this is a guy with a thigh fetish. Michelle gets the date rose.

Katie’s 1:1

Before Matt’s date with Katie, he gets some bro time with Tyler C. as they play pool. Katie does the patented run and jump when she sees Matt. They meet at a spa, but they won’t be partaking of any services. Instead, they’ll be pranking Tyler, whose masseuse is actually an actress who will be following their commands. Tyler checks himself out in the mirror before he gets on the massage table, confirming my impression of him.

At their dinner date, Matt holds the rose while he tells Katie he’s letting her go. What a tease. Now she’s the favorite to be the next Bachelorette. Either way, she’s better off.

Cocktail Party

In a fancy dress, Heather drives up to the chateau because she’s quarantined and has been allowed to join the show. At the chateau, Abigail is the first one Matt grabs. “Can I steal you, Abigail?” he asks. She laughs and apologizes, I’m guessing because she didn’t realize at first that he was talking to her.

“Look at you!” Matt says. She’s in a gorgeous green dress with a plunging neck.

“I just really enjoy time with you and I just want to reiterate that to you every time that we’re together that I look forward to seeing you every night,” he tells her. They kiss and hold hands in the precious <10 minutes they have.

https://twitter.com/stephdizzle11/status/1358972730188713985

Heather struts into the chateau, smiles at the girls, and takes a hard left to find Matt. Poor Pieper, whose conversation with Matt is rudely interrupted when Hannah walks in. Matt busts out in laughter because he can’t believe his good fortune. The women, they just keep coming!

The previews show Heather crying and complaining about how mean everyone is. In the end clip, I see what looks like a bald spot on the back of perfect widdle Matt’s head.

Abigail is now officially in the top 10. I’m rooting for her to get more screen time while also hoping she doesn’t “win” this pathetic contest.

‘The Bachelor’ – Week 5

This “dramatic new episode” opens with nature shots. No, not Matt’s bare chest again, but actual footage of the world outdoors.

Making the House Safe Again

There’s a divide in the house: the Original Girls (OG) vs. the new ones, or JV vs. Varsity, as coined by MJ. Whatever you call them, the house is tense. Matt addresses the mob mentality and culture of bullying at the start of the Rose Ceremony. “If you’re having to belittle someone else for you to shine, then those aren’t the qualities I’m looking for in my wife,” he says. “It sucks ‘cuz I don’t get enough time with you all, and now I gotta deal with this.”

It’s a tough job, Matt, but someone’s gotta do it.

Needless to say, there’s actually drama in this dramatic episode. Girls are apologizing and backpedaling any negative comments they’ve made. One girl rightly describes the goings-on as “kiss-assery.” Anna — who spread a rumor about Brittany being an escort — is let go. Instead of doing the same with Victoria — the most toxic person in the house (and also the one with the worst fashion sense) – Matt makes us sit through another Rose Ceremony where she doesn’t get a rose. If she can’t figure out how to wear a bra with a dress, it’s no wonder she’s so deluded about her own toxicity.

Sad Abigail

Rachael gets the first 1:1 date. Abigail is sitting next to her when she finds out. She smiles and looks pleased for Rachael, which is a breath of fresh air after all the drama.

Rachael gets to try on fancy dresses with celebrity stylist Ty Hunter. Meanwhile, the Group Date card arrives and through process of elimination, it’s obvious Kit has the next 1:1. Everyone else is disappointed, including Abigail.

“I’m disappointed, um…I mean…[somber music] I think I’m just getting a little confused,” Abigail says, as Magi puts her arm around her in consolation. “Just, you know, we’re already halfway through this, and…yeah.”

Abigail then tells the camera, “It just kind of makes me question a lot of things, like does he not want that 1:1 time with me? Does he not want to explore that relationship? I don’t know. It’s like reality’s just slapping me in the face right now.”

Rachael’s a Good Actress

During Rachael’s evening date, Matt asks why she hasn’t been in love before. Ironically, even though he described her as being super confident, she tells him she doesn’t have a lot of confidence in herself. Rachael is the first to outright tell him she’s completely falling in love with him, and he says he feels the same way. They go for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, because there’s nothing like smelling animals and manure when you’re on a romantic date.

Group Date on a Farm

But at least Rachael isn’t on the group date that goes to a farm! The producers didn’t even warn the girls to dress appropriately. Abigail’s wearing a white or off-white top – and it’s a rainy day. Even though Matt lives in NYC, he grew up in Raleigh, NC, and on farms so he’s a country boy at heart. He wants to see how doing farm chores will bring out their true selves. Yeah, there’s nothing like shoveling manure, collecting eggs, or milking animals to prove your worth.

MJ catches Matt making out with Pieper, not even secretly, and all the women are insanely jealous. Abigail tells the camera, “It’s definitely settling in that we’re all dating the same guy, and it’s hard to see the other women have that connection with him.”

That evening, Serena C. says she would have had a better outfit if they had said to dress for a farm. Abigail agrees and with a thumbs up, says, “Yeah, my boot got covered. Covered!”

To the camera, a dejected-looking Abigail says, “We’re halfway through this process and I definitely cracked a little bit. I feel like my connection just isn’t as far along as the other girls, so the time that I get I need to make it meaningful. I don’t want to miss, like, a great opportunity to take our relationship to the next level.”

Abigail’s Serious Conversation

Abigail finally gets serious screen time – in more ways than one. Matt asks what she thought about the day. “My grandparents actually have a farm,” Abigail says. “I’ve never been on it, but I was like, oh, I can finally understand like what my grandparents are going through, but honestly, I was kind of defeated. I know, like, we joke around a lot, like, obviously, like about the group dates and stuff, but…”

“What’s wrong?” Matt asks.

“I mean, nothing’s wrong,” she replies. “I think there’s just something about you, like I’m super excited, um, I don’t know. I literally get like the biggest smile on my face when I’m around you, but I also wanna be as open with you through this process. I guess my biggest fear has become that I’m gonna disappoint you. You want a wife and you want a family, and you know I want those things too. But you know if I were to have a family, um, there is a really strong possibility, you know, that…my kids would be deaf. My birth dad did walk out on my mom and my sister right after we got our cochlear implants. In no way do I, you know, view my hearing loss as baggage, but when you have, you know, what should’ve been one of the most important people in your life…[gentle music] you know, walk out, it’s hard not to feel like you know, if I fully open myself up to somebody, are they gonna do the same thing?”

“Can I tell you something?” Matt asks. “I can’t imagine what that’s been like for you, but I can relate to not having a dad growing up and having a single mom who raised me and my older brother. But it’s not something that, like, I’m ashamed of, because…it’s made me who I am, and the things that you’re seeing as a barrier and a roadblock, these are things that I look at you and I admire about you and are encouraging to me about what a future with you would look like. And that’s how I feel about you.”

“Yeah, ok, I feel a lot better.”

[Romantic music]

Make-out session ensues.

Matt tells the camera, “It was extremely courageous of Abigail tonight to share that with me. She was extremely vulnerable with me and opened up about things that keep her up at night and some of the things she worries about and ultimately things she would want to share with her husband. I’m looking for someone who’s going to push me, challenge me, and make me a better person, and I think Abigail does that.”

After Abigail rejoins the group, Katie notices her ear-to-ear grin and says, “You look happy. Did you have a good time?” Abigail hunches her shoulders and gives a crinkly nod.

In Matt’s preamble to giving out the Group Date Rose, he says it’s going to someone “who was extremely vulnerable with me tonight.” It’s Abigail! She smiles and brings her hands to her face in pleasant shock.

BLESS ABIGAIL GETTING THE ROSE ON THE GROUP DATE! Well deserved. 👏🏻👏🏻 #TheBachelor #Bachelor

Originally tweeted by Simona (@simona_ka) on February 2, 2021.

Why Abigail’s Conversation Is Important

I write about this in depth for Hearing Like Me, but as one of Abigail’s longest scenes, it’s an important one. We need more speaking deaf representation, and here’s one in all its glory. Many people don’t realize this, but culturally Deaf people actually want their children to be deaf. Why would I want my kids to go through hardship and struggle? It’s a whole different world today, yes, with cochlear implantation happening at earlier ages. But it still requires work and dedication. You’re still deaf when the cochlear implants are off. You still have to deal with technology and its challenges, and of course all the costs related to that.

All parents should want their kids to have easier and better lives than the previous generation. Ironically, I was so worried about my kids being deaf that I didn’t consider anything else. They’re hearing, but they both have celiac disease, and my daughter has a second autoimmune disease. Those are arguably scarier and health-threatening than being deaf.

At any rate, it’s important for potential spouses/parents to have open communication and discuss possibilities. I had a conversation with my now-husband about the possibility of our kids being deaf. As an engineer, he was focused on logistics. If our kids were deaf, we’d have to move to an area where there was an oral school or program. That was his only concern.

My friends received similar responses from their significant others, who see how independent and successful we are as speaking deaf adults and didn’t think it was a big deal. Of course, we know how much work we and our parents put into it, but at least we’d be experts.

I also have lots of questions about her dad leaving. Why did he leave after Abigail and her sister got cochlear implants, as opposed to when their deafness was diagnosed? I’m sure there’s more to this story.

I hope that Abigail’s deafness isn’t the focus going forward. I get that she had to introduce it in the first episode, and the conversation in this one was necessary. But now the editing shouldn’t single it out. She has a disability, but it’s not her whole identity. Don’t make her into the token deaf girl.

The Rest of the Episode

Now that Abigail has her rose and her big scene, we don’t care about the rest of the episode as much, do we? Kit’s 1:1 is cooking dinner at Matt’s house, which is meaningful to her. She tells him she’s built up so many walls over the years because her mom’s a fashion designer (Cynthia Rowley) and she grew up in the spotlight. Yet she sought the spotlight by being on this show. Whatever, little Miss Rich Girl. You’re only 21 and we don’t need to see tongue when you make out with Matt.

Meanwhile, there’s still one more person in the house who’s adding to the toxicity: MJ. There’s a showdown between her and Jessenia, but we don’t see all of it because the producers want us to come back next week.

By the way, if Abigail doesn’t “win,” she’s one of the fan favorites to be the Bachelorette. Now THAT would be amazing!

The Bachelor – Week Four

“A shocking new episode of The Bachelor starts right now!”

ABC is known for its hyperbole when it comes to this show. Every episode is shocking or dramatic. But this one actually fits the bill.

Abigail’s Group Date

Abigail’s group date — which should have aired last week — is finally shown. The evening date with seven women makes me think of a good drinking game. Every time someone says “like” as a sentence filler – not describing how they feel for someone – take a shot! On second thought, don’t. You’ll end up hospitalized!

Matt asks Abigail, who’s outfitted in a classy orange dress, “Up until this point, is this what you thought it would be before you got here?” Abigail responds, “I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it past the first night. Just the fact that, like, you saw me and, like, we hit it off, like, I’m still riding, like, on that high, to be honest.”

Yep, unfortunately Abigail isn’t exempt from, like, overusing the word “like.”

Abigail’s hair, by the way, is in a ponytail. I find myself looking for her cochlear implant. Actually, every time she’s on screen, I look to see if she’s showing her CI. A deaf friend shared that she does this too.

At the end of the evening, Matt tells the group there was a lot he liked. He calls out Abigail: “What you shared about what you were looking for, it really resonated with me.” But Chelsea gets the date rose instead.

When Matt says he’s going to leave, he turns around so he’s facing the group when he talks. I think he may have started talking before he turned around. Everyone should be thinking about how to include Abigail; I certainly hope Matt is one of them.

Abigail gives Matt a thumbs up and afterwards, tells the camera, “No, I’m super happy for Chelsea, but it is disappointing. I mean, you want that rose. It means you’re safe until next week. I think it will be intense tomorrow at the Rose Ceremony. Who knows how many people are gonna be sent home. And I just feel like there’s a storm, like, waiting to brew.”

Rose Ceremony

When the women are sitting around during the cocktail part, someone behind Abigail says something. Again, I wonder if Abigail hears and understands.

[quirky dramatic music]

Yep, the captions say that, for real. Props to whoever’s doing the captions for this show!

The Rose Ceremony is shaken up when Chris tells Matt that they had a record response from women who wanted to be on the show when he was announced as the Bachelor. So, because there are more “incredible women” that are dying to meet him and want a shot at falling in love with him, they’re arriving right now.

One of them — Brittany — wants to make up for lost time and immediately makes out with him after she introduces herself. Well, then. Game on.

Naturally, the other women are pissed, frustrated, disrespected, shocked, experiencing PTSD from Night One, you name it. Many still haven’t had much time with Matt, and now they’ll have to fight with these new girls for it. Abigail tells another woman, “And if it’s a small thing like this that shakes me, I’m just like, I don’t know…” Indeed, they’re all rattled.

Thankfully, Abigail — who’s in the back row on the far left again — gets a rose. It’s hard to tell if she does the ear signal; it looks like she’s just tucking her hair behind her ear.

Another Group Date

The Date Card says: “Let’s fall in love…” Abigail is on this date, along with three of the new girls. But first, Ben Higgins, former Bachelor, talks with Matt at the house. He’s planned the day, apparently, and will be alongside Matt the whole time. Oh good, I feel so much better now.

It really must be difficult coming up with dates during COVID. This date is an obstacle course called Fall in Love Fest. First, they get in large pumpkin boats and row across the lake to where Matt is. Next, a foot race to Squirreling Around, where they put on a squirrel costume, find an acorn, carry it like a squirrel, walk across a balance beam, drop the acorn in a bucket, and then it’s a foot race to the finish. The winner gets a “very special prize.” Their dignity?

I wonder if Abigail’s CI is waterproof. I sure hope so, because it’s always risky being on or near a large body of water.

Mari wins the race – like you care.

Shit is stirred during the after party. Anna says there’s a rumor that Brittany is an escort. They’re both from Chicago and people have gone out of their way to tell Anna to watch out for Brittany, etc. This raises many logistical questions and leads me to think the truth is that a producer fed this to Anna. She directly addresses Brittany, who denies the rumor.

Matt gets to know the women by always stroking their bare thighs during their conversations.

Date with Michelle

Michelle, one of the new women, gets the 1:1 date. It goes well and they seem like a great match.

But many are wondering why Abigail hasn’t had her 1:1 yet. My friend Eileen is pissed about this. “A lot of other Bachelors and Bachelorettes have given out their First Impression Rose and asked their pick on a one-on-one date very soon afterwards because they were so intrigued by the person and wanted to get to know the person more and see if the connection was really there,” she says. “Three weeks in and Abigail hasn’t gotten her one-on-one yet?? Seriously?? I’m starting to feel like it was ‘props for being the token deaf girl here.'”

Eileen tells me there’s an actual website that has all the First Impression Rose recipients. A lot were eliminated in Weeks 4-8, but some were runner ups. “I guess I just figure if you’re really impressed by someone and their ability to open up, wouldn’t you wanna get to know them more, and not just give them [the First Impression Rose] because they were ‘brave’ or something to talk about being deaf?” She admits she could be reading too much into this, but it’s an annoying, nagging feeling. I agree!

Interestingly, a friend told me today she was reading a blog from a former contestant who said they take a break from the First Impression recipient, but we know Abigail’s one-on-one is coming.

Battle for the Bachelor

There’s an obligatory bare chest scene with Matt working out in the forest. Alas, his shirt is back on when the group shows up. For this group date, Matt tells the women that being physically fit and active is an important part of his lifestyle. So former five-time boxing champion Mia St. John shows up to help train the women to fight each other in front of a live audience. I’ve never heard of her, but the women are all excited. Guess someone is also training them on how to act.

Surprise, surprise, the live audience is just the other women in the house. There’s a real boxing ring, and the women go at it. Eventually, Matt calls the fight because it was getting dangerous instead of about having fun. Like ABC didn’t know what would happen!

Back at the house and during the after party, the women trash the new arrivals. Anna and Victoria in particular have a conversation that’s mostly bleeped out. Katie tries standing up to the bullying unsuccessfully and ends up telling Matt about it. She suggests that he address it in front of everyone the next day. “That someone in the house thinks they’re going to be able to bully their way into my heart, that’s not how it works,” Matt says. “I’m going to get to the bottom of it.”

Thumbs Up

This tweet is so true! Abigail is normal compared to many of the other women. Clearly, this is why she’s not featured with all the drama. I’m ok with it!