Look, I get it: ludicrous suitors are the name of the game on The Bachelorette, and always have been. Theyre the goofy fuel that keeps this shows engine purring, cutting through all that syrupy romance. Yet throughout Rebecca “Becca” Kufrins season, which is just a few weeks away from its finale, I have found myself wondering if the dudes of Bachelor Nation have always been this awful. At this point in the season, theres only one acceptable suitor left in Beccas stable—and, sadly, hes never really stood a chance.
After Monday nights hometown dates, just three men are left standing: front-runner Garrett Yrigoyen, bow-tie aficionado Blake Horstmann, and walking pomade testimonial Jason Tartick. None of these men have totally spotless records; Garrett, as most of Bachelor Nation knows, was forced to apologize publicly for some very troubling Instagram likes on a now-defunct account, which included posts that ran the gamut of racism, transphobia, and more. Blake has a nasty jealous streak. Jason is sort of obnoxious when hes playing hockey.
Still, from where Im sitting—my couch, eyes glued to the TV—Jason is also Beccas only tolerable option, largely because he's managed to fly under the radar for long enough to avoid implicating himself with any untoward behavior. Unfortunately for Jason, he's probably not going to last one more round; the reason he seemed to come out of nowhere late in the game is because he failed to establish consistent rapport and chemistry with Becca throughout the season.
Really, though whether youre Team Blake or Team Jason—or, for some inscrutable reason, still Team Garrett—as these three groom-to-be hopefuls pack their bags for Thailand, their continued presence on the show really only serves to underscore what a sorry group of suitors Becca had to choose from in the first place.
The worst of all, of course, was Lincoln Adim—who was once convicted of assault and battery, a detail that somehow escaped the shows notice during the casting process. But even some of the more average bros were unbearable—from the absurdly jealous Chris Randone, whose once told Becca that she owed him “50,000 kisses” for not spending more time with him, to Jordan Kimball and David Ravitz, who duked it out in an insufferable grudge match. At least it wasnt as bad as Kenny King and Lee Grants feud, which the show used as a ham-fisted attempt to address the tricky topic of race—but there was something particularly insidious about David, who seemed like the exemplar of the problematic “nice guy."
Maybe the guys have always been this bad. Maybe increased scrutiny on the Bachelor programs, their production, and their cast members has simply made me more sensitive to flaws I would have previously ignored. Or maybe these days, decent dudes just don't enter “dating competition shows” that are more about boosting the Instagram profiles of those involved than anything else. But for whatever reason, Beccas band of lovers has been tough to stomach—especially in light of the grand act of assholery that got her a gig as the Bachelorette in the first place.
Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Hugh Hefner and several employees on the tarmac in Los Angeles following the opening of that citys Playboy Club, 1965. Believe it or not, says one former Bunny, putting on the uniform was “liberating.” *Courtesy of *Playboy.Hefner promoting the London Playboy Club, 1966. As he wrote in one of his many scrapbooks, “What does it feel like, being a living legend? Well, it feels just great!” From Getty Images.Opening of the L.A. club, New Years Day, 1965. *Courtesy of *Playboy.New Orleans club, early 1960s. *Courtesy of *Playboy.Marilyn Cole, 1973 Playmate of the Year and the future Mrs. Victor Lownes, early 70s. By David Cairns/Express/Getty Images.Greetings from The Big Bunny. *Courtesy of *Playboy.*Playboy*s first cover girl, Marilyn Monroe, 1953. *Courtesy of *Playboy.PreviousNext
Laura BradleyLaura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.