Did Thomas's Punishment Fit His 'Bachelorette' Crime?

- The Bachelor -
Did Thomas's Punishment Fit His 'Bachelorette' Crime?

Katie pulled a major psych! during Week 4 of The Bachelorette when she called Thomas up to seemingly accept a rose only to tell him, "Your Bachelor audition ends tonight." Fans were cheering the emboldened move. I can argue how truly "emboldened" it was some other time, but did Thomas deserve his Bachelorette sendoff? Despite stalking Thomas's social media, I don't know who this man is. And I don't know if I should be sorry to this man for how his Bachelorette narrative played out or if (to paraphrase Katie) this selfish, unkind liar got what he deserved. But what I do know is that everyone but Andrew S. (bless him) seems to be just the teeny, tiniest bit hypocritical regarding the alleged crimes of Thomas.

So what did Thomas do? Well, at minimum, he seemed to be full of it when proclaiming his deep feelings for Katie. Which whether or not you believe in the "right reasons," it isn't a good look. And he admitted he had considered a future where being on The Bachelorette could lead him to become the Bachelor. As Kaitlyn said, "There's one way to not be the Bachelor... and that's to tell everybody that you want to be the Bachelor." While Tayshia said Thomas was only thinking about himself and using Katie to "propel himself." And when he went to address the situation ahead of the rose ceremony cocktail party, did he serve up a heaping plate of seemingly insincere platitudes? Sure did. But was he using Katie? Or just using the Bachelor system?

If you're inclined to believe Nick Viall, he told Us Weekly how every male contestant has considered being the Bachelor in this age of social media. Nick himself may be a suspect source as someone who was on Andi Dorfman's season, crashed Kaitlyn's season after flirting with her for months, went on Bachelor in Paradise, and then became Bachelor. But is he wrong? When it comes to reality TV and specifically the Bachelor franchise, isn't what Thomas told Katie true? "I went on the show open for anything and one of the possibilities of anything is that I could be the next Bachelor," he said. "I did not know you. None of those guys can sit there and say that that wasn't a thought going into this."

Many of the contestants on The Bachelorette don't appear to watch the show or be familiar with the lead ahead of time. Oftentimes, they have to apply before the lead is even announced. Yet, they're all expected to be emotionally and physically attracted to the chosen one. Although the decent thing to do would be to leave the house of your own volition if you aren't feeling the chemistry, not many contestants do that or admit to that. Think about the shift from Clare to Tayshia last season — pretty much all of those men who had said they were there for Clare flipped and were ready and willing to be there for Tayshia, which leads me to question their sincerity in the first place.

Saying you originally were inspired to go on The Bachelorette because the idea of being the next lead intrigued you and then being pleasantly surprised by the connection you felt is one of the more honest sentiments I've heard in this franchise. But do I think Thomas was actually falling in love with Katie? No. So she was right to send him packing. (Though they might have won steamiest make-out session in a season full of make-outs.) But was she wrong when she told Thomas, "I can say confidently that there are men in this house who have zero intentions of ever being the Bachelor here"? Are there men who are exclusively there only with the purest intentions of pursuing love with her and only her?

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Everyone might proclaim they're there to "find their person," but the reality is they are also there to increase their social media following and grow their personal (PPP loan-funded) brand. And based on the number of successful engagements, the chances of sponcon are far higher than the chances of ending up being married to a person you met within the franchise.

Thomas was very likely spewing bullshit, as evidenced by his immediate retraction of saying everyone got into the show thinking they could be Bachelor once Katie countered him ("And I feel the same way" — no you don't, sir!) and his bizarre promises to sign some paper proving his devotion to Katie (your real estate broker is showing). But the boilerplate lines the contestants are expected to say are kind of a bunch of bullshit too.

Is Thomas's promise of love really so different from being forced to proclaim your love for Katie under habanero duress? Or so different from telling your third Bachelorette in a calendar year that you think you could marry them? When is saying "all the right things" a bad thing? Is it only when you sound like a salesman (which Thomas is)? Someone get him into Greg's acting school, stat!

What I learned from Thomas's eviction from the house is: As long as you fully delude yourself into believing in the Bachelor "process," then some untruths or exaggerations are acceptable. Otherwise, your lies and half-truths will get you sent to Bachelor villain jail... or Paradise.

Images: Craig Sjodin/ABC

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