Desiree Hartsock has three guys remaining in the running for her heart -- Brooks, Chris and Drew -- but the bachelorette had to kiss a couple frogs to get to that point. In a special "Men Tell All" episode of "The Bachelorette,” the hit show on Monday recapped some cringe-worthy moments such as Brian’s girlfriend; Ben’s elimination break down and James’ supposed car ride confession. The episode finally gave the guys a chance to apologize, explain and clear up any confusion -- except for Brian, who decided not to participate in the “Men Tell All” special.
We’ve broken down the top three moments from the July 22 episode below. Let us know your thoughts on “The Bachelorette” drama.
Ben’s the first one in the hot seat during the special “Men Tell All” episode – and with good reason. Out of everyone fighting for Desiree’s heart, Ben was the one who had the most trouble getting along with the group of guys.
For “Bachelorette” fans who don’t remember, the guys claimed that Ben was manipulating Desiree and the cameras by playing “the dad card.” Desiree, who went on a two-on-one date with Michael G, ended up sending Ben home. His true colors showed through after his elimination, when the cameras caught him waving to Hollywood and asking how soon he could be in public with another woman.
Finally getting a chance to speak out, Ben explained to host Chris Harrison that his exit from the show didn’t mean that the guys were right all along to not like him. “I had just been dumped by the girl that I really liked,” he said, explaining his comments.
Brandon, who still insists that he was on the show to find love, and not for personal gain, told the audience that Ben was definitely not there for the right reasons. “It was just about me and Des,” Ben persists.
Casting doubt, Desiree told the audience that looking back, she couldn’t “gauge emotion in his eyes when he was talking about things.” After watching the episode of him in the limo following his elimination, Des said she found him to be arrogant. “I really don’t know who Ben is,” she dished. “I really don’t.”
James was another contestant who didn’t leave “The Bachelorette” on good terms. While in Germany, Kasey and Drew called James out for telling Mikey in the car that he had the potential to be the next “Bachelor.”
Although the conversation was never caught on camera, James ended up being sent home when Desiree learned of the accusations. In the hot seat for “The Men Tell All” episode, James finally got a chance to tell his side of the story – but the audience still wasn’t buying it. According to James, Mikey told him that he could end up being Desiree’s husband, but if worse comes to worse he would end up being the next “Bachelor.”
The confrontation between James, Drew and Kasey reportedly happened six days after Mikey was sent home, which is what really got James riled up.
With Mikey on hand for the episode, the fans also got to hear his side of the story. Mikey claims that it was a genuine conversation between friends that occurred because James and him were a lot a like – but Brooks was the one getting the roses.
“It wasn’t a plan,” James said referring to the talk. “We were just talking about the alternative – what would have happened if things didn’t work out.”
Kasey also got a chance to explain what he heard. According to him, James said that if Desiree “likes Brooks then that’s not my type of girl.”
Whether or not James was trying to become the next “Bachelor,” a poll taken by Harrison showed that the audience wouldn't trust him as the “Bachelor.” And he definitely wouldn’t have Desiree’s blessing.
“You don’t think about your second wife while you’re still with your first,” she tells him during “The Men Tell All” episode. But Desiree isn’t the only one hurt. James reveals that he’s also hurt that she didn’t stand up for him. “You let these guys take a week to turn things against me,” he insists. “I was being manipulated by you 100 percent,” Desiree counters. “Telling me one thing then being completely different with the guys.”
James tries to throw down the “you were in a relationship with 25 guys” card, but he concludes by apologizing and telling Des that he hopes for the very best for her.
Last week was the hometown visits, and Zak was the last one to be sent home before “The Men Tell All” episode. While Des and Zak didn’t end on bad terms, it was still a heartbreaking experience for him.
Zak told the show's host that despite “never sensing a change,” he might have come onto Desiree a little too strong.
Harrison brought up the journal he gave Des early on in the season and reminded “Bachelorette” fans that Zak left an invisible message in it for her. Unsure if Des ever read the message, Harrison took the time to read it to the audience. The last line revealed that even toward the beginning of the season, Zak was “happy to say this is love.”
Zak acknowledged that he’s still in love with Des, and he got another chance to say goodbye. Breaking out his guitar after she came out on stage, Zak sang her a song that he wrote after his elimination. Des tells him that he’s really thoughtful and gives him a hug.
Part one of “The Bachelorette” finale kicks off on Monday, July 29. What did you think of “The Men Tell All” episode? Let us know in the comments section.
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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