The Bachelor Season 26 returned after its brief hiatus and the group dates in the episode left viewers scratching their heads and pointing out some blatant irony in the dates’ contrasting themes.
While one group date was all about the women vulnerably opening up about self-image and body acceptance, the other was a Bay Watch-inspired date that seemed to mostly be designed to get the women in red swimsuits and see how sexy they could run in slow-motion.
With such different messaging all in one episode, The Bachelor viewers took to social media to call out the hypocrisy, and even ABC’s Robert Mills admitted that the group dates were on quite different sides of the spectrum.
The Bachelor viewers take issue with both group dates
The Bachelor viewers found both group dates to be problematic and called it out on social media.
For the first group date, Kaitlyn Bristowe made a guest appearance as she encouraged the women to open up about things they did that they weren’t proud of in their previous relationships.
The group date took an emotional turn as Clayton and many women got vulnerable about their body insecurities and the way they struggled to reach unrealistic image standards.
The Bachelor viewers found this date to be ironic considering the show has been accused of not casting women of certain sizes and they also felt it wasn’t right to push these women to divulge their insecurities on national television.
One viewer wrote, “How many times do we have to tell the producers we don’t need to exposure these girls trauma and insecurities.”
Another viewer asked, “Can we not do these circle trauma dumping dates anymore please”
During the remainder of the episode, Clayton went on a one-on-one date where he and contestant Sarah Hamrick were expected to strip down to their underwear and do a scavenger hunt.
The final group date of the episode had the ladies wearing signature red Bay Watch swimsuits and doing sexy slow-motion walks and sexy CPR.
One viewer pointed out the irony of the Bay Watch date, writing, “Wasn’t the last date just about how women have been objectified??”
Another viewer suggested the contrasting dates gave them whiplash, writing, “Group date: trauma circle discussing insecurities and body issues, One-on-One: running around downtown LA in underwear.”
The Bachelor viewers question the producers
The latest episode of The Bachelor wouldn’t be the first time that contestants have been asked to strip down physically and emotionally.
Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette featured a ‘trauma bonding’ group date and Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette featured Rodney Mathews running around naked, to name a few examples.
These patterns led a fan to ask, “What’s the producers’ obsession with having contestants in their underwear??”
Another viewer commented on the contrasting dates writing, “So one group date is group trauma bonding and the other date is Baywatch???”
ABC’s Vice President of Unscripted and Alternative Entertainment Robert Mills reacted to the tweet and agreed, “The pendulum does swing pretty wide tonight.”
What do you think of the contrasting dates on the latest episode of The Bachelor?
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.