The Bachelorette's return after a brief hiatus was tense AF both on and OFF screen.
Monday night's episode of the ABC hit picked up right where we last saw Rachel Lindsay and her suitors — you know, with a cliffhanger from hell because the NBA Finals just HAD to bump the dating competition from its time slot. Anywho, in case you forgot, things were getting dramatic at the cocktail party as Eric and Lee (AKA the seemingly racist contestant) were butting heads over their respective relationships with Rachel.
Of course, since Lee is a master manipulator, the songwriter made his way over to Miz Lindsay and interrupted fellow contestant Kenny's downtime with the beautiful lawyer. As Lee already had one-on-one time with the Dallas native, the other guys in the mansion started to get PISSED with his antics.
"The only people that I've seen Lee pick fights with have been not the people that he's used to seeing on a daily basis, from a cultural perspective. You know exactly what I mean when I say that. The longer Lee sticks around, the more everyone will become aware of his intolerance."
Snap! Snap! Sadly, Lee was able to rile Kenny up as shortly after this incident the professional wrestler tracked the 30-year-old down and blasted his pal for taking advantage of their "friendship." Oh Kenny, the first rule of reality TV is that you're NEVER there to make friends. Smh.
As expected the confrontation escalated as Kenny began to raise his voice, something Rachel witnessed and did NOT like. The tensions clearly got to Rachel as she took some time to open up about the pressures she faces as the show's first black lead. While fighting back tears, the 32-year-old stunner explained:
"The pressures that I feel being a black woman and what that is … I don't want to talk about it. I get pressured from so many different ways being in this position, and I did not want to get into all of this tonight… I already know what people are going to say about me and judge me for the decisions that I'm making. I'm going to be the one that has to deal with that, and nobody else. And that's a lot."
Unsurprisingly, Rachel cut the cocktail party short and decided to jump right into the rose ceremony. Frenemies Kenny and Lee were given roses, but the Bachelor season 21 standout did send Bryce, Brady, and Diggy home. Whomp, whomp!
Things took a turn for the better as Rachel and her guys headed to Hilton Head for an adventure. While in South Carolina, Rachel went on a one-on-one date with Dean (you know, the one with the baby face) where they piloted a blimp. Although Dean is notably afraid of heights, he powered through the date to reassure Rachel that he was serious about her, despite their age difference.
Oh, and Dean had us choked up as he talked about his mother who passed away from cancer when he was only 15. *Sniff* Obviously, the cutie pie walked away with a rose because… duh.
In typical Bachelorette fashion, once something goes REALLY right, drama must ensue. Things got pretty messy on the group date as Alex, Anthony, Peter, Bryan, Jonathan, Adam, Matt, Kenny, Lee, Iggy, Eric, Will and Josiah all fought for Rachel's attention. After drinking shirtless on a boat all morning, the producers decided to make the men actually use their brains as they forced them to compete in a spelling bee for Rachel.
Now, the men can't really spell for shit, but it gave us a few laughs. Like when Peter thought coitus was spelt with a q. LOLz!
It was the evening portion of the group date which caused chaos as resident snitch Iggy started bad mouthing Josiah for really no reason. To make matters worse, Iggy then told Josiah he talked smack to Rachel about him which, rightfully, set off the lawyer. The 28-year-old hurled all kinds of insults at Iggy as he called him "the lamest dude in the house" and alleged that Iggy "does drugs and shoots steroids in his nuts." Whoa.
As this confrontation was going down, Lee (yes, the same manipulator from before) pulled Rachel aside and gave her a dramatized version of what went down with Kenny. Rachel decided to confront Kenny about the incident, and while the father-of-one tried his best to stand up for himself, Lee had totally gotten into the starlet's ear. This conversation was cut short leaving fans and contestants super frustrated.
This episode may've been a win for Lee, but remember folks, reality TV villains rarely win. And it seems as though Rachel finally caught onto Lee's ways as she looped him into some shade she had for Bachelor nation vet Leah Block. During the episode, Miz Block sent out a pretty offensive tweet as she wrote:
"I'm sitting here watching The Bachelorette and my roommate just sat down on the couch and said 'what is this? Love & Hop Hop?' DEAD."
Ugh. Nonetheless, Rachel put Leah in her place as she clapped back:
DAYUMMMMM. How's it over there in the shade Rachel?? HA!
Be sure to catch more Bachelorette drama when it returns on Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
[Image via Instagram.]