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Katie's 'Bachelorette' Men Have Turned The House Into 'Survivor'

- The Bachelor -
Katie's 'Bachelorette' Men Have Turned The House Into 'Survivor'

After last night's shocking rose ceremony, Katie's Bachelorette season might have done the impossible and put a new twist on the "here for the right reason" storyline. It's a tale as old as Chris Harrison's career: someone in the house accuses someone else of being there for fame, sending the lead back and forth to get the whole story, until finally a rose ceremony sends someone packing. This week, Katie's Bachelorette men decided to skip all of that, and instead they banded together and turned The Bachelorette into an episode of Survivor to eliminate Karl.

After Karl told Katie that "multiple people" weren't there for the right reasons, Katie cancelled the rest of the cocktail party and went straight to the rose ceremony, where Mike decided to publicly take a stance against Karl — after receiving a rose, obviously. "We feel, as a unit, it's our job to protect your heart," he told her, adding that they felt it was important for her to hear that they all thought Karl was lying. Katie was torn, but she ended up taking Mike's warning, sending Karl packing without so much as a goodbye. It was dramatic. It was sweet. It might have just opened up a huge can of worms.

To be clear, Mike and the guys were 100% right. Even if Karl was actually right (we see you, Thomas), how he spoke to Katie and ruined the cocktail party was just straight up unnecessary. Name names or don't say anything at all, Karl! He had to go, and Katie was right to send him home. But now that the men have realized what power they could have have over a rose ceremony, it could make for even more toxic drama ahead.

By the end of the episode, it looks like, in light of their successful unionizing against Karl, the men in the house are gearing up to do a repeat with Thomas next week. And I'm here to say that they absolutely should not do that. Sure, Thomas sucks, but consistently undermining the Bachelorette's ability to make her own decisions is not a good idea. Coming together as a house to ask Katie to get rid of a toxic contestant might sound noble and sweet, but it's really pretty patronizing.

Banning together to denounce a toxic man in the house once feels like a genuine, protective gesture. Doing it twice feels like a strategy, which in turn begs the question: what is the goal here? Is it really to "protect [Katie's] heart," or is it to come out of the season looking like a good guy? If the last season of The Bachelor has shown us anything, it's that being the villain doesn't really pay off like it used to. It's better to leave the house with a reputation as a sweetheart than a jerk. Just look at Bachelor Data Analyst's breakdown of Instagram follower gains after last week's episode. According to their analysis, Mike gained the most followers while Karl gained the least of all the contestants. You can guess how that's going to play out in sponcon post-show.

Look, I don't know what's driving Aaron, Hunter, Tre, and the other men in the house to confront Thomas so openly, but I do know this. At the end of the day, this is not Survivor or Big Brother. The other men in the house do not get to decide who stays or who goes. It's Katie's decision, and hers alone. She might want the men to be her "eyes and ears in the house," but at a certain point, she's also going to need to trust that they respect her decisions, even if they don't agree with them.

After sitting through an entire season of a toxic split house on The Bachelor, the idea of a house united in their desire to do what's best for the lead is incredibly appealing. But at a certain point the guys are going to have to understand that Katie is the one in the driver's seat here, not them.

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Image: ABC/Craig Sjodin

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