Bristowe, who was at the three-hour live finale, also shares her thoughts on how Tino Franco was treated by the show, and Zach Shallcross as the new Bachelor.
With a three-hour runtime, “The Bachelorette” finale covered a lot of different things, and even kick-started new Bachelor Zach Shallcross’ journey to find love, but it’s what the show didn’t address that bothers Kaitlyn Bristowe.
Bristowe has a lot of experience with the franchise, having not only appeared in a season of “The Bachelor” before taking over as the Season 11 Bachelorette. She even co-hosted two seasons of “The Bachelorette” before Jesse Palmer took over the position permanently.
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On Thursday, she took to her Instagram page to detail her experience during the live finale, and offer some pointed criticisms at some of the choices made by the show’s production team.
At the end of the broadcast, Jesse Palmer said that the show was listening to fan feedback and adjusting accordingly. Maybe they’ll be open to some feedback from within Bachelor Nation, too.
There were a couple of things that bothered the reality star, including how Rachel Recchia’s final guy, Tino Franco, was treated on the show. It was the Aven Jones stunt, which didn’t sit well with us, either, if we’re honest.
“Tino messed up. I don’t believe we needed to kick him while he was down,” Bristowe wrote as part of her lengthy caption. She then noted that even Aven was unaware that Tino was still going to be sitting there when he came out.
The guy Rachel dumped for not being willing to commit to an engagement at the end of the show surprised her live and asked if she wanted to step out and catch up. Why Tino, who’d just had an uncomfortable conversation with Rachel after having cheated on her, had to still be there is anyone’s guess.
It was so awkward, he could be seen at one point asking if he could go, and he was standing awkwardly in the shot when Jesse was throwing to commercial. Why put him through this additional torment after he’d been berated by Rachel and aggressively booed by the audience?
“Let’s just take it easy on the nasty comments and the perpetuated misogamy blaming Rachel,” wrote Bristowe. “There are 3 sides to every story. His side, her side, and the truth.”
She did acknowledge that she was “extremely angry” to find out that Tino had cheated, but she hopes he can “grow and learn from this experience.” As frustrated as she was by this, though, she was more frustrated by what the show didn’t do.
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While production was willing to put Tino through the ringer, and they were willing to set up a very cheesy mansion façade so Zach could meet the first five women of his season, there was no time to talk to Erich Scher about his blackface scandal?
While Rachel and Tino broke up after first getting engaged on the show, Gabby Windey and her last guy, Erich, got engaged and were still very much in love for the live broadcast, even getting playfully chastised for all the kissing.
Jesse did take time to talk with them about Erich’s ex-girlfriend, who alleged that he’d broken up with her just to go on the show, but they didn’t address the photo from his high school yearbook that surfaced with him in blackface as part of a Jimi Hendrix costume.
“The show, Erich, and Gabby, had a real opportunity to use their voice and acknowledge black face,” wrote Bristowe. She chastised the show for focusing on text messages rather than taking the opportunity to “show up” for a serious topic and discussion.
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“Michelle [Young], myself, and Becca [Kufrin] were all under the impression this would be addressed,” Bristowe wrote. “It wasn’t and that’s not ok.”
When the photos first surfaced earlier this month, Erich did “wholeheartedly apologize” on his Instagram page, writing, “What I thought at the time was a representation of my love for Jimi Hendrix, was nothing but ignorance.”
“I was naïve to the hurtful implications of my actions to the Black community and those closest to me, and will forever regret my offensive and damaging behavior,” he continued. “I am deeply ashamed by my actions and understand that my apology is only the first step in taking accountability.”
That accountability could have continued with a live and public conversation, that perhaps could have included Young, Bristowe and Kufrin from the audience. But that didn’t happen.
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“I don’t want to speak for Michelle, but I know she committed to being the lead with a promise of change,” Bristowe added. “To brush over black face, and act as if we didn’t have time? What message does that send? Didn’t Rachel Lindsay [the first Black Bachelorette] already show us how important this is?”
After Tuesday’s finale, Lindsay took to her Instagram Stories, per Us Weekly, to slam the show for avoiding the topic, writing, “They really missed the mark on a necessary and important conversation that was initially not conveyed. This was an opportunity for [Erich] to put action to his IG post rather than hide behind it. Unfortunately not all of us can hide in the same way when we are so highly offended by it.”
Meanwhile, Becca and Michelle talked about it on the latest episode of their “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast. “The most important topic of blackface wasn’t even addressed,” Kufrin wrote to her Instagram in her share of the podcast. “It was a conscious effort to NOT have it acknowledged and that is simply not okay.”
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“My heart goes out to Michelle as well as the people of color who came before her in this franchise, those within Bachelor Nation and all of those who continually are impacted through the absence of change,” wrote Kufrin. “Those who’ve asked for change, who expected change, who were promised change and who feel like they were silenced on Tuesday.”
Bristowe also picked a bit at the selection of Shallcross for the next Bachelor, considering he is once again a pretty generic white dude. The franchise has still only had one Black lead, and that was the very messy season that starred Matt James and had its own racism controversy.
“This show has given me so much. I am so grateful, yet I still want to hold people accountable,” wrote Bristowe. “Please bachelor nation, listen to voices that need to be heard. That deserve to be heard.”
You can check out Bristowe’s full comments below.
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