I FINALLY watched “CODA,” the film that swept the Sundance Film Festival and is now on Apple+. Despite its rave reviews, I was nervous to watch because of how it might portray deafness. As someone who was raised to lipread and speak (and isn’t an exception), I’m sensitive to the pervasive assumption that all deaf people sign.

But like many other things, deafness is a spectrum. And this film shows one part of it, in a beautiful way. Thankfully, it doesn’t present an idealized version of Deaf Culture, and there was a lot I could relate to. It’s a well done, lovely film.

The Beginning Set the Tone

As soon as the film began, I knew it would be different. The first sign was when my (hearing) husband Aaron told me that the ambient sounds were very clear. He said there was a lot of work and effort put in to make the audio landscape a rich sound experience. This level of effort isn’t typically done. As Aaron said, “I know why they did it. They’re trying to accentuate to a hearing audience, to remind us that it’s about all those sounds out there in the world.”

The second sign was when the first song came on. The captions told me the name of the song, the musician(s), how it was being played, AND the lyrics – and continued to do so throughout the movie. This rarely happens. In fact, most of the time, song lyrics don’t appear at all. This is a huge pet peeve. Why would you caption a film but not the entirety of it? Why would you censor a feature that actually adds MORE to the experience?

Relatable Scenes for Me

The first time we meet Ruby’s deaf parents, they pull up in their truck outside her school with the music blaring. Ruby’s embarrassed because everyone is watching. Her dad signs, “I love rap music; my whole ass is vibrating!” Ruby’s parents and brother don’t wear hearing aids or cochlear implants (it’s unknown whether they choose not to or if they just don’t help with their kind of hearing loss), so they need the music at a high volume to be able to feel it. Bass and defined beats help.

Because I have a cochlear implant and hearing aid, I don’t need things at a loud volume. I can tell if something’s high or low, but not the specific pitch. Forget melodies or tunes. I don’t even know the difference between the two. I gravitate towards music that has defined beats and/or lyrics that can be heard over the music. There’s a reason I loved Harry Connick Jr. and the Red Hot Chili Peppers when I was in high school!

When her family attends Ruby’s concert, they’re out of their element. Jackie asks her son Leo if he can read Mr. V’s lips on stage. “Not really,” he responds. This is always the first thing I do at an event; I gauge how much I’ll be able to understand independently.

The Rossis are completely lost. They notice audience members laughing, but don’t know the joke. They don’t know to clap until they see others doing so. They’re so bored that Frank notices the buttons are off on his shirt, and they talk about Ruby’s outfit and what to have for dinner.

This is exactly how I am at my kids’ concerts (and other events when I can’t follow or enjoy the proceedings). Sometimes I go to support them, even if it feels like torture to sit there, bored and missing out. I always wish I could discreetly read on my phone, but I don’t want other people thinking I’m rude. Sometimes I deal with this by only attending the “more important” concerts, like my daughter’s last high school orchestra concert. Thankfully, my family understands!

I also enlist my hearing companions to be my ears. Aaron and I now have a shorthand; he knows when I’m asking, “Are they good?” or “Does she have a good voice?”

At one point, the sound fades out during Ruby’s duet to illustrate what it’s like for the Rossis. This normally cliched trick is usually heavy handed. But in this case, it’s effective. It’s not indicative of my experience, since I wear hearing devices, but it’s representative, if that makes sense. I hear music, but can’t appreciate it in the way hearing people can. The Rossis observe their fellow audience members and their wide range of experiences; this is one thing I do to amuse myself as well.

Aaron pointed out that the songs chosen for the movie were done purposefully. He thinks they picked songs for which the original singers conveyed their emotion and presence. The songs have a lot of soul in them, and further emphasizes the contrast between the audience and family experience.

Relatable Scenes for Hearing Family Members

I wasn’t the only one who could relate to many scenes. Aaron said the parenting stuff hit; that’s universal.

“The really noisy kitchen table scene when she’s trying to study and they’re all making a lot of noise… YEAH!” my husband said. “There’s a reason why a lot of our plates have chipped bottoms, because you put them down hard. You are not the quietest person in the kitchen, that’s for sure!”

Ruby is her family’s de facto interpreter, and we both noticed she paraphrases. Aaron has seen our kids do this, and has done it himself, like when someone on the phone is rambling. As he pointed out, however, Ruby was paraphrasing in ways that showed she was getting frustrated. When he does it, it’s for efficiency. “But I’m not a teenager!” he added.

I do try to utilize my kids as interpreters as little as possible, and I would never put them in the situations portrayed in the movie. They usually voluntarily step up when they notice I’m missing out. One difference is interpreting for me is different than for the Rossis. When my family interprets, it’s English to English, which isn’t the same as English to ASL.

Unrealistic/Unrelatable Scenes

Being the only hearing person in her family is difficult for Ruby. She has to interpret for them with no thought to her own schedule or desires. Alarmingly, she interprets for her parents at a doctor’s appointment in which sensitive information is revealed, and at a Coast Guard legal proceeding.

In real life, these situations legally warrant an interpreter, whether in person or remote. Having a child interpret these is wrong for so many reasons. The Coast Guard knew the Rossis were deaf; it’s why they were there in the first place. The lack of accommodation violates the ADA and should never happen.

There’s a touching scene between Jackie and Ruby, when Ruby asks her mom if she ever wished that Ruby was deaf. Jackie admits she prayed that her daughter would be deaf, though she says it’s because she was worried they wouldn’t connect. Deaf Culture folks actually want their kids to be deaf, and this is only one reason. I’m the opposite. I prayed that my kids would be hearing. Isn’t it our job as parents to ensure that our kids’ lives are easier and better than ours? Granted, it’s a little different in the capital-D Deaf Community, because there’s literally a communication barrier.

I was shocked that Ruby never provided her parents with printed lyrics to the songs sung at the concert and in her audition. Or that they didn’t use their phones to look up the lyrics based on the songs listed in the program. I kept waiting for Ruby to sign and sing as a way to include her family!

Communication Difficulties

Ruby’s family is dependent on her because they communicate via ASL. The film did a good job of showing how difficult this method can be. Frank, Jackie, and Leo miss out socially and professionally. These examples are exactly why I’m thankful my parents made the choice they did. You can always learn how to sign later in life, but you can’t always learn how to lipread, hear, and talk if you miss the early language development window.

Humor and Heart

The movie’s humor is evident early on and provides a nice break from the heavy topics. There are lots of laugh out loud moments, like when Frank demonstrates the need for putting a helmet on a soldier. That’s one way in which the visual of sign language is much more effective!

The scene between Frank and Ruby after her concert brought tears to my eyes, despite myself. It’s that age old trope of a parent trying to understand their child, but with a twist.

The movie is about Ruby realizing what her dreams are and having to choose between that and helping her family. In actuality, Ruby and her deaf family members help each other. She pushes them outside of their bubble and forces them to think about relying on others. She stands up for herself and her bravery allows them to do the same.

Today’s generation of deaf kids with cochlear implants – and hearing kids of deaf parents who speak, for that matter – can’t really relate to the Rossis’ struggles. And that’s a good thing. My children are CODAs, but not in the way the definition is traditionally used.

I went in expecting the worst, that it would amplify deaf stereotypes in the media. Instead, it was a nuanced portrayal that still captured realistic parts of the deaf experience. I’m glad I watched.


This episode opens with everyone chilling, and ends with two people demonstrating the Netflix version.

Noah rattles off the couples to the camera, including him and Abigail. Cue to a shot of them in the pool.

Then there’s a boombox with a note that says, “Play me.” The music that plays is from NSYNC. While this is a creative way to introduce the new celebrity guest host, Lance Bass, my first thought went to Abigail. This isn’t exactly an inclusive way to share the news. She’s shown holding her hands over her hears, like the noise is too loud. But later, she’s shown dancing. Does she even recognize the music?

Abigail does understand when Lance asks who wants a mimosa. She shoots her hand up in the air and yells a “Whoa!”

The guys from Katie’s season talk about Thomas, the villain from their group, and how they don’t want him on the show. Do they not understand how it works? Of course he’s the next person to arrive, date card and all.

He goes to Abigail first and asks if she wants to give him a tour. They don’t show the tour, just the two of them sitting and chatting. Meanwhile, Noah says if Thomas is into her, he’s not going to take that well. I sure hope so!


Thomas tells Abigail she had a first date with Noah and now they’re getting married. Abigail says it’s still early. Guess she’s still keeping her options open. Thomas asks about the couples, so she fills him in.

Thomas proves he’s still a villain by using the same lines on all the girls, and doing anything possible to emphasize his height and girth. After talking to most/all of the girls, he picks Serena P. for his date. Abigail thinks people are still figuring out who Thomas is a little bit. She also thinks Serena has an open mind about pursuing Joe (who she’s been coupled up with). There are shots of Abigail looking pensive/disturbed, which comes across oddly because of the editing. Maybe she was contemplating the best way to get a good edit on this show — it’s working so far!

When Abigail is talking to the other girls, she’s actually in prime position. They’re all in a row in front of her. I wonder if that was done on purpose. I know I’m always thinking about the best seating position when I’m in a group.

Another shot of Abigail and Noah in the pool, with their legs intertwined underwater.

The next contestant arrives: Riley. Abigail confirms when someone next to her says he’s a lawyer, without having seen the speaker. Tre describes him as being cut from granite. He picks Maurissa for his date. They get a Fear Factor kind of date, where they have to eat gross food if they don’t answer a question. The camera spends too much time showing us the gross food (tongue, chicken feet, etc.). Maurissa’s eyelashes look like spiders. They make out and end up in the Boom Boom Room.

Serena and Thomas have a good date, but Serena tells him to pursue other people. There’s a shot of Abigail and Noah on one of the outdoor beds; Abigail’s on her stomach leaning on him. Thomas apologizes to Katie’s guys for his behavior on the show, and agrees that his actions will have to back him up. But of course they don’t and karma bites him in the ass.

Connor sings his song about BIP to Jessenia and Abigail in the end credit scene. They’re not far from the waves, but Abigail seems to move to the music. His face looks down while he sings, but Abigail catches the line about her being a sweetheart and laughs.

BIP: Episode 2

We were spoiled last week, with an Abigail-centric episode. This one is all about the drama, of which Abigail thankfully continues to steer clear.

The Love Boat-style intro is cheesy yet perfect. The lyrics are from “Footloose.”


The drama starts with Demi’s arrival. She looks like Pot Stirrer Barbie. She uses her date card on Brendan. While they’re off jet skiing and making out, the rest of the group is aghast to discover that Brendan and Pieper (who isn’t on the show…yet) had a relationship prior to BIP.

Ironically, Abigail’s the one who points out that it’s like a game of telephone; everyone has a different version of the story. She could very well be talking about what it’s like to follow a conversation when deaf. Or even what it’s like lipreading something out of context.

Demi and Brendan return from their date separately, because she essentially asked him to be exclusive and he wants to keep his options open. While they discuss their situation, everyone else can’t help but watch from a distance. Two quick glimpses of Abigail doing so made me wonder if she was trying to lipread them. I certainly would! Missed opportunity there, ABC!

Victoria P., who looks like Plastic Surgery Barbie, also instigates drama. Known for being manipulative, she pretends she’s into James for the rose. But according to Tammy and Kelsey, she has an aspiring country singer boyfriend back home, and her ultimate goal is to get him airtime.

At the first Rose Ceremony, host David Spade calls out Noah (Abigail’s current boo) for his Miami Vice look. Just like on Bachelor, there’s a cocktail party before the Rose Ceremony, only this time the non-coupled up girls are rose chasing.

There’s a brief scene with Abigail and Noah, in which Noah tells Abigail to make eye contact when they clink drinks. “You just want to look in my eyes? How romantic!” she tells him. He tells the camera that he’s in a good place with her.

During the Rose Ceremony, Abigail is in the back (second) row again, like she was on the Bachelor. Why‽ She should be front and center, or whatever the prime lipreading/listening position is – not in the back on the far left!


Noah is second to give out a rose. He looks right at Abigail when he says her name. She tells the camera that she’s really surprised at how quickly they’re forming a relationship, and that she’s excited to keep it going.

Since Victoria P. left on her own prior to the Rose Ceremony because Tammy and Kelsey told James on her, only three women are eliminated. James is the wild card, and he picks *gasp!* Demi instead of Kelsey.

Tonight’s episode has Lance Bass as the host, and the arrival of villain Thomas from Katie’s season. Just like Connor’s unbuttoned shirts, we don’t need either.

Abigail Finally Gets Her 1:1 in Paradise

Well, Abigail wasn’t picked to be Bachelorette. She was, however, cast on the summer spinoff “Bachelor in Paradise.” While she’s too sweet for the trashy show, it will increase awareness about listening and spoken language. And maybe she’ll even find love!

True to form, the first episode opens with some eye candy. The montage includes Connor B. from Katie’s season of “The Bachelorette,” which just ended. He plays his ukulele and sings, “I hear Abigail’s a sweetheart…”

Because Chris Harrison is no longer part of the franchise, BIP will have a series of celebrity guest hosts. The first one is David Spade, who I’ve always thought of as smarmy. But I have to say he nails the gig. He has the right casual, humorous, devil-may-care attitude that fits with the show.

“Welcome to the show where the guys are good looking, the girls are good looking, and I’m the host…” he says.

The First Contestant!

The first “contestant” to enter is Abigail! More screen time for her! She’s shocked to see David Spade. With her hands over her face, she exclaims, “OMG! I’m so starstruck right now!” She asks if she can give him a hug. “You feeling ok?” he asks. “I’m nervous,” she says. “You’re making it worse.”

Spade asks what happened on Matt’s season. Abigail explains, “It didn’t work out between us, obviously, that’s why I’m here.”

“You looking forward to seeing anybody here?”

“I’m trying to keep an open mind for the most part. Just see who’s on the beach, who I vibe with, we’ll see how it goes.”

“Do you think there’s a chance to find some love here?”

“I think so, I think so.”

“You hope so, right?”

“I hope so!”

He then tells her she’s the first one to arrive. She puts her hands over her face again and utters, “Why?” He asks why that’s bad. She says she always walks out and starts talking to people right away because she’s nervous. As she walks out into the lion’s den, Spade says he can see why everyone likes her; she’s a sweetheart.

Abigail sings the praises of this crappy Mexican resort. “Omg, it’s so nice…omg, this place is incredible. I’m here!” she shouts, with her hands in the air. “Paradise, I’ve arrived!”

And her journey is summed up when she tells the camera, “Going into Paradise, I’m really excited to show the guys I’m not just this fragile thing that can only talk about her hearing loss. I’m an adult trying to find my partner. You know, people have met here, married here, and it makes me really excited ’cause I know it works. There’s like no one to talk to yet. I feel like I could fall in love if the right guy comes, so I’m just hoping, hoping that that guy will be here.”

Other Arrivals

The second person to arrive is someone nicknamed Grocery Store Joe, ‘cuz he owned a grocery store. Only he doesn’t anymore. He says Abigail is super sweet. He was on the fifth season of BIP and tells her he didn’t think he’d be there again, and that shouldn’t be her goal either. Abigail didn’t expect him to come down and describes him as “really good looking.” She wants to get to know him as he seems like a great guy, but smartly, she also wants to keep her options open and see who else is coming down to the beach.

Ivan is next. So now it’s Abigail with two guys. She thinks Ivan is super hot, taller than expected, and predicts he’ll be a hot commodity. Both guys say they’re hoping to see Serena, so Abigail calls it the first little love triangle.

Of course, Serena is next. She and Abigail are excited to see one another. Serena even calls her Abby.

After several people have arrived, they’re all standing by the ocean, chatting. I can’t help but wonder how Abigail is faring in this situation. It’s got to be harder to hear with the noise of the waves and everyone talking.

When Brendan arrives, Abigail says she can’t look at his eyes for too long because she feels like she’s going into a trance. “He is definitely a major upgrade to Paradise,” she adds.

Cue Noah Erb, the Love Interest

Noah Erb, 26, from Tayshia’s season arrives. When asked who he wants to see from other seasons, he tells Spade, “Abigail. Because I’m a nurse, I used to do clinical with kids that were deaf. I think it’s powerful. She’s been through adversity. It’s not really a disability to her and I think that speaks a lot about a person.” Ok, this guy gets it!

Spade jokes that Abigail might like a goat roper like him from Oklahoma. Noah tells the camera, “I do want to get to know Abigail. I think she’s somebody that I can like vibe with and like pursue an actual relationship with.” Yup, they both say “like” a lot, so it’s already a match made in heaven!

When he comes down, Abigail is talking with someone else and turns around to see him. She recognizes him and tells the camera he’s cute and funny. She doesn’t know that much about him, so she wants some 1:1 time with him, not in a group.

Once Noah has a drink in hand, he approaches Abigail, who’s drinking in a group, and asks if they can go chat. He tells the camera, “I’m excited to talk to Abigail. I want to make sure we’re both on the same page that we’re both here to find somebody.” They talk on one of the large gazebo beds. She asks what he’s expecting to get out of Paradise. He tells her he wants to focus solely on finding somebody that he gets along with. If they’re vibing, he can go further with that person and pursue it. Otherwise, he’ll explore other options. She agrees and tells him she was hoping he’d get there early so she could get to know him better. “Awww,” he responds, as he touches his hand to her face. Looks like they’re definitely on the same page!

Everyone else notices their immediate connection and ships them. “I love them together!” “I love them together too! They’re really cute!”

Noah demonstrates that he’s the funny guy Abigail’s looking for when he tells her to look straight ahead. “Ok.” “It’s pretty.” “It is pretty.” “Ok, now look to her right,” he tells her. “Lower,” he directs her, which means she’s now looking right at him. “Noah!” she laughs.

Kendall tells the group, “They’re in love, you guys!” They’re deemed the first Bachelor couple.

More people arrive, including some douchebags (not my word, but Aaron’s, from Katie’s season). A character from Matt’s season who called herself Queen Victoria is now the Blonde Goddess, complete with a golden tiara. One girl went on a date with contestant Tre’s uncle. One guy shows up completely naked, with a black box over his privates. Supposedly he was really wearing a Speedo, but they certainly all act like he’s naked.

How This Show Works

Spade calls a family meeting once everyone has arrived. The bartender, Wells (also a former Bachelorette contestant) explains the rules. You’re probably wondering what they actually DO on this show, besides each other. “The rules are simple,” Wells says. “You find love or you go home. That’s it. New people will be coming all the time. There will be dates pretty much every day. At the end of the week, there’s a rose ceremony. If you’re not in a relationship, you’re gonna go home. If you don’t get a rose, kick rocks, you’re out of here. Some weeks men have roses. Some weeks, the women have roses. If you count everyone, there are 10 guys and 13 girls. The gentlemen have 10 roses to give, so three women are going home this week.”

[soft dramatic music]

At dinner, Abigail and Noah are sitting closely to each other and talking. Noah says there’s 50 people there, and Abigail says it’s definitely overwhelming.

She tells the camera, “I feel like in the beginning of the day, I was in my element and then as more and more people started coming, I like get really overwhelmed like in group settings. I’m so much better one on one.”

Abigail’s First 1:1

Then the first date card arrives. Guess whose name is on it and who is FINALLY getting her due? The 1:1 date she was denied on Matt’s season? Abigggaaaaaillll!

The date card says: “It’s finally your time to fall in love.” Abigail claps and says, “It’s finally my time!” Everyone cheers and applauds. She’s excited about her first date card and doesn’t have to ponder long who she wants to take. She asks Noah if he’ll go on a date with her. He hugs her and says, “Let’s do it!”

Again, everyone approves. “I think they’re really going to hit it off.” “Abigail and Noah, so cute. They looked really great walking away together.”

Walking into their date, Noah asks Abigail if she thought her name would be on the date card. She says no, and was thinking she’d sneak away to go to bed. Noah already had his eye on her, so he was definitely excited when she asked him to go on the date, he says, adding that there’s no better way to kick off Paradise.

They walk into a dark room with lit up pinatas. It feels like they’re in a haunted house. Noah says Abigail is the girl that’s like wife material, someone he feels he could get engaged to. When he pulls out a chair for her, she tells him, “Oh stop!” He says she should be used to this. He later calls her out on this, saying she notices every time he does something like that, and is so grateful. But he feels she should have this anyway.

She confesses that she doesn’t really go on many dates. When he asks why, she says she’s asked that a lot. She doesn’t know, but has gotten comfortable being single and moves very slow.

“Like physically?” Noah asks.

Abigail says she talked with her ex for eight months before she wanted to make things official. Noah says it’ll be hard for him to move slow. “Nonstop, we’re gonna be together all the time,” he tells her. She admits there’s going to be pressure but she has to be sure about someone before calling them a boyfriend. It’s hard for her to get guys out of the friend zone.

Noah says he’s going to help her relax. She asks if she seems uptight. He says he can’t tell yet, so she makes the WHOA! face, but he reassures her that he’s just kidding. To the camera, he says he wanted her to have fun and for it to be a special first date, but he can tell she’s withholding and has some walls built up. He wants to know what makes her Abigail.

“There’s obviously more to you than just the quiet, nice girl,” he says. She clearly doesn’t like being called that. She says she’s just not an outwardly emotional person. She doesn’t cry a lot, nor does she express how she’s feeling. She buries it all inside.

“Well, I feel like you have a heart of gold, and the fact that everybody was clapping for you as we went on this date speaks to you,” Noah says. “I don’t think that you hear that enough, and I think you deserve it.”

After the serious talk and a toast, they smash some pinatas. Determined to get out of the friend zone, Noah kisses her. He calls it a great kiss and the first one in Paradise. Turns out there’s lots of kissing, and everyone thinks they’re the first.

Noah picks up Abigail and carries her out as confetti streams all around them. He tells the camera she’s the only one he’s interested in. They kiss.

The Season

The irony is that this place really doesn’t seem like Paradise. One veteran says sand will get everywhere. It’s muggy, buggy, wet, hot, with cramped conditions and bunk beds. Oh, and crabs. Crabs that are everywhere.

In the season preview, Abigail is shown telling Noah that he makes her really happy. But there’s lots of “crazy shit,” drama, a love triangle, and relationships that will be tested. Here’s hoping Abigail and Noah make it! Looks like we’ll have two nights a week to be voyeurs…

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.


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.


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.”