Heading into week three, Michelle Young didn’t know who she could trust after Jamie told her the whole house was questioning whether she knew Joe before coming on the show. But the rest of the men had no idea where that sentiment came from.
“What’s still a big question mark in everyone’s mind is, who spoke to Michelle?” Casey wondered in an on-camera interview at the start of Tuesday’s episode. “It seems like there’s a rat in our midst.”
Jamie, 32, said he felt he could be the one to tell Michelle, 28, about this perceived speculation surrounding Joe, 28, because they had already gone on their one-on-one date. “Given my relationship with her, I don’t care,” Jamie told the cameras of the other men not knowing he spoke to Michelle.
FIRST GROUP DATE
Martin, LT, Olu, Spencer, Clayton, Nayte, Joe, Rick, Will and Peter embarked on the first of two group dates this week. The guys partook in a Top Gun-themed day of challenges hosted by Top Gun: Maverick stars Jay Ellis and Glen Powell. The actors gave Michelle’s suitors call signs like Little Willy (Will), Frosted Tips (Martin) and Dough Boy (Peter), and then the strength training began.
The guys did pushups and tested their stomachs in the G-force simulator. While spinning on the machine, they had to confess to Michelle how they felt about her. “This is probably one of my worst nightmares,” admitted Will, 28.
As Will expected, he got pretty queasy on the G-force simulator. “You need a bucket?” the elementary school teacher asked him.
“I need you,” Will responded.
After surviving the G-force simulator, the men engaged in some one-on-one combat, during which enemies Will and Peter, 26, took their fight a little too seriously. Will came out on top, though, and earned the title of Michelle’s Maverick, which came with a Top Gun-style jacket. For his prize, Will and Michelle went for a ride in the vintage car from the movie — with Michelle at the wheel — and they shared a kiss.
At the afterparty, Will and Peter’s war of words continued. “You’re intimated by me,” Peter asserted, a claim that Will refuted. Peter ragged on Will’s winner’s jacket and eventually threw it in the pool.
“I was hurt beyond words,” Will told the camera. “I earned that jacket. That jacket was mine. Not only because it was mine, it’s the meaning behind it. It meant that ultimately through any obstacle that Michelle and I go through in life, I’m going to be there to overcome that, and Peter had to ruin it.”
Will didn’t tell Michelle about the situation because he said he “didn’t want to ruin her night.”
When it came time to hand out the date rose, Michelle gave it to Martin because of a moment they shared during the Top Gun part of the day. “Martin, you listened and pulled me aside during our group date, which meant a lot,” she said.
Michelle and Martin ended the night together dancing to a live orchestral performance of “Take My Breath Away.” “I don’t think it could have gone more perfectly,” Michelle said in an on-camera interview. “I feel lucky to have such a wonderful group of men.”
Michelle picked Rodney for the week’s one-on-one and they played Truth or Dare. The first dare consisted of Rodney conducting a blind taste test, just like he did for her with apples. Rodney, 29, started with French fries, then pizza and whipped cream.
The next dare required Rodney to strip down and streak through the lobby yelling “this is our journey” while everyone watched. He completed the task with as much dignity as one could in that situation. Then came truth time, and Michelle and Rodney both had to reveal their biggest fears.
Rodney named dying before he becomes a husband and father as his, and Michelle talked about her “fear of being complacent.” Over drinks at the end of the night, Michelle complimented Rodney for being “so playful” and “so fun.”
“You make it very easy to be yourself and for me to be me, and I need that,” Rodney said. “I never want to hide who I am.”
Rodney opened up about being raised by a single mom after his dad left when he was 6 and called his mom “my hero.” He proceeded to ask Michelle about what went wrong in her last relationship; she cited a situation in which her non-Black partner didn’t understand her response to being called the n-word at the grocery store.
“When I got home, I was visibly upset,” Michelle said. “The response was more how I was giving the woman more power because I was upset about it and because I chose to be upset about it. And I had to justify my emotions which I did at that time, I did. I justified, I tried to explain where I was coming from, and looking back on it that was my sign — I shouldn’t have ever had to justify my feelings. Whatever emotion I was feeling in that moment, I was allowed and I was allowed to feel that as long as I wanted to feel it.”
“And [if] I have to explain that, well, I’ll also be explaining that the relationship’s not going to work,” she continued. “And that doesn’t mean that, you know, someone who is white or a different race can’t understand you.”
Rodney said he “felt that same way” in his last relationship and their common experience earned him a rose.
“I’m definitely developing feelings for Michelle, strong feelings,” Rodney said to the cameras. “And I can definitely see that developing into love, and it’s scary and exciting and it’s really amazing. I truly feel like Michelle could be the love of my life.”
SECOND GROUP DATE
Leroy, Chris G., Jamie, Casey, Mollique, Chris S., Brandon and Romeo joined Michelle on the final date of the week, which involved writing a poem under the guidance of poet Rudy Francisco.
Michelle felt Brandon had “a lot of depth” and loved that most of the guys were “so all into being vulnerable.” Chris G. performed some spoken word and Jamie said he lost his notebook and decided to “spit from the heart,” which entailed telling a story about a girl who got lost on her walk home and saw a guardian angel.
“It was odd,” Casey, 36, said in an on-camera interview.
Michelle shared her own poem, dedicated to her future soulmate. “Early on, society coined me as the token Black girl,” she said. Now, Michelle said she wanted to be a role model for young girls of color. Her poem received a standing ovation, and at the afterparty, Brandon told Michelle he had a similar experience growing up as a Black man.
Opening up even more earned Brandon his second date rose. “It’s an extreme privilege to have a second rose on a group date, to know that she likes me for me,” he said in an on-camera interview. “I’m absolutely crazy about this woman. I’m smitten.”
Jamie, however, couldn’t believe he lost out to Brandon.
“I’m like, really competing with Brandon for a woman’s attention?” he asked a producer. “You’re telling me that we’re in the same league? And I’m like, we’re not even f—ing close. … I really thought that there would be a stronger group of guys.”
COCKTAIL PARTY AND ROSE CEREMONY
Rick, 32, used his time at the cocktail party to correct the misconception that all the guys had questioned Michelle’s character.
“That couldn’t have been anything farther from the truth because I’ve gotten close with all the guys here, none of them was ever questioning your character,” he told Michelle. “I feel like that person could’ve done it for a few reasons, like trying to earn your trust and also trying to help themselves and put other people under the bus.”
Michelle revealed that Jamie was the one who had come to her with that information. “I feel like I’m now seeing a red flag,” she noted.
Rick told Nayte and Casey about Jamie, and then they confronted him. “I feel like nobody in the house was talking about it,” Nayte said to Jamie.
When asked who specifically had been talking about the Michelle-Joe situation, Jamie couldn’t provide names. “I don’t have specific names because I wasn’t part of conversations,” he said.
Jamie suggested that viewers might’ve wondered whether Michelle knew Joe before the show and that he wanted to stop that. The men joined the rest of the group and informed them that Jamie spread the misinformation to Michelle, and when she came over, the Bachelorette sensed a “weird vibe” and addressed the issue.
“It was the open speculation in the house of people talking about the potential of you knowing each other that essentially created its own monster that had the potential to challenge both characters longterm,” Jamie said in front of everyone.
Michelle didn’t like what she heard. “By you trying to be proactive for me, you brought this characteristic and this question into this entire world,” she said. “It became a thing that it wasn’t and that’s where I’m really struggling with you right now.”
So Michelle pulled Jamie to talk one-on-one. “I feel like our trust was completely broken,” she said to the biotech CEO.
The Minnesota native no longer wanted Jamie around. “I’m very hurt by you right now,” she continued. “I don’t trust you at this moment and I have to be done with it. And so I do think it’s best that I walk you out tonight.”
With that, Jamie exited, and Michelle canceled the rest of the cocktail party.
She moved right to the rose ceremony, where she offered roses to: Joe, Rick, Leory, Nayte, Casey, Chris G., Chris S., Clayton, Olu, Romeo and Will. That left Spencer, Peter, Mollique and LT heading home.
“I feel almost like a sense of relief,” Michelle said in an on-camera interview. “And I hope that we can move forward and just focus on building our relationships.”
The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.