The Bachelorette returned on Monday night after a two-week hiatus, with Rachel Lindsay breaking down under the pressure of being the first black woman to be cast as the bachelorette.
She broke into tears, amid fighting and bickering between the contestants, saying that she felt under pressure as a black woman. She expressed concern that she would likely come under criticism from the black community over her choices at the rose ceremony.
“You have no idea what it’s like to be in this position,” Lindsay lamented, with tears streaming down her face.
“I already know what people are going to say about me, and judge me for the decisions that I’m making,” she said. “I’m the one that has to deal with that and nobody else and that’s a lot.”
She described the week’s episode as a “crazy house,” in reference to the bickering among the men vying for her attention. Eric and Lee had a big confrontation last week, but it was Lee and Kenny this week. Lee, the singer from Nashville, appears to be picking fights on purpose. Although he had already had his time with Lindsay that night, the 30-year-old interrupted her one-on-one with Kenny.
Having noticed his penchant for stirring the pot, Dean accused Lee of picking on the black men in the house, specifically Eric and Kenny.
When the producer asked him what he meant, he said, “You know exactly what I mean.”
“The only people that I’ve seen Lee pick fights with have been not the people that he’s used to seeing on a daily basis, from a cultural perspective. You know exactly what I mean when I say that,” Dean said. “The longer Lee sticks around, the more everyone will become aware of his intolerance.”
Kenny eventually confronted Lee for interrupting his one-on-one with Lindsay, accusing him of taking advantage of their friendship to have more time with her.
“You took advantage of our friendship,” Kenny said.
The confrontation escalated quickly as Lee taunted Kenny, who lost his cool and began yelling.
It was during the confrontation between Kenny and Lee that Lindsay broke down into tears. She was in the midst of a conversation with another contestant when Kenny raised his voice, and she overheard some of the exchange between the two. The tension that had developed due to the quarreling, gossiping and backbiting was more than she could handle and she broke down during an interview.
Viewers were puzzled initially about why Lindsay was upset, but the reason soon became clear when she explained that she broke down due to the pressure she felt being the first black woman to feature as the bachelorette.
“The pressures that I feel being a black woman and what that is… I don’t want to talk about it,” she said, with tears streaming down her face. “I get pressured from so many different ways being in this position, and I did not want to get into all of this tonight.”
Lee also admitted, without remorse, that he deliberately provoked the confrontations with the other men.
“I get tickled when I smile and an angry man gets angrier.”
The situation forced Lindsay to end the cocktail party abruptly and go straight to the rose ceremony. She sent Brady, Bryce, and Diggy out of the contest. Diggy cried after being eliminated.
They group then flew to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina where Dean got the solo date, which involved a flight in a blimp that went well despite Dean’s fear of heights. They also had a private dinner and attended a Russell Dickerson concert. Lindsay made a point of reminding him that she was 32 and that he was only 25, to be sure that her age was not an issue for him.
Viewers saw Dean’s softer side when he talked about his family and early life. He teared up when he talked about his mother who died from cancer when he was only 15.
The other contestants, including Anthony, Peter, Bryan, Matt, Kenny, Lee, Iggy, Josiah, Will, and Alex, took a boat ride around the island. They later had a spelling bee which Josiah won. Peter surprised many viewers when he suggested that “coitus” starts with a “q.”
The backbiting and bickering resumed immediately when they returned to the house, with Iggy backbiting about Josiah to Lindsay, and Lee insisting that Kenny was to blame for their confrontation. He alleged that Kenny attacked him verbally and gave him the finger.
“Lee’s handshake doesn’t match his smile,” Kenny later told Lindsay while trying to defend his role in the confrontation with Lee.
It seemed that Lindsay might have been swayed by Lee’s embellished version of his confrontation with Kenny, whose defense was apologetic.
What Lindsay makes of the situation would become clearer when The Bachelorette returns next Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]