Luke, Chase and James Taylor rise to the head of pack and — no surprise here — Chad brings up the rear. THR speaks to JoJo, Luke, Chase and Chad and highlights the best moments (including the ones that didn't make it to air).
Reunited and it feels so good?
After a season full of blood, sweat and gallons of tears, JoJo Fletcher came face-to-face with nearly all of her exes from this season of The Bachelorette during Tuesday's Men Tell All special. Ahead of next week's finale, JoJo's final two men, Jordan and Robby, were absent when the rest of the jilted contestants appeared for the somewhat tense reunion special (invites for Sal, Nick S., Colin, Jake, Peter and Will were apparently lost in the mail).
First up in the hotseat was the season villain Chad, who was brought out separately from the rest of his former housemates — ABC even followed him from his trailer, which came complete with a security guard, to the stage while he whistled, ominously. After making his highly dramatized entrance, Chad — who appears to similarly take center stage on the this summer's Bachelor In Paradise — spoke with Chris Harrison and slammed nearly every contestant as being there for fame, especially harping on Jordan, Robby and Grant, the latter who was in the room.
Of frontrunner Jordan, Chad said the former NFL player "got what he wanted" with his new gig at the SEC Network. "The guy is just full of shit," he told The Hollywood Reporter, standing by his on-air comments. "That dude straight up just showed up trying to put on a show."
Adding that he "didn't need closure" from JoJo at the Men Tell All, Chad also said he has no regrets and doesn't care what people think: "I’ve always had people hate me — I don't care anymore."
That showed during the Men Tell All, when he insulted JoJo and her final two men when she took the stage: “Robby broke up with his girlfriend days before filming. Jordan is a liar and cheater, whose older brother won't even talk to him." But JoJo earned a standing ovation when she shut Chad down.
Speaking with THR, JoJo said she chose to take the high road.
"I wasn’t happy with what he said," said JoJo. "I could have lost my cool but it wasn’t worth my breath. He likes the attention and I just didn’t want to give him that."
The bigger reunions of the night came between JoJo and her most recently dumped exes, Luke and Chase, who were both sent home during Monday night's episode.
Before JoJo joined the group, Luke told Chris Harrison that despite his struggles to cope with the breakup (he elaborated to THR about his post-show anxiety attacks), he's still single and says he's ready to fall in love again.
"I just wanted to know that she was happy," Luke told THR about finding closure during the Men Tell All. "She says that she’s happy with the decisions she made and how things turned out and so I’m glad. Because I did love her and at the end of the day if you love somebody, you want them to be happy."
Chase, who joked that his fantasy suite rejection must be a record on the show, still had questions for JoJo and invited himself on stage during the Men Tell All.
"Looking back," Chase told THR, "between watching the episode and the conversation JoJo and I had tonight, I do have an understanding. I know that the position she’s in is an unorthodox situation and there's no textbook time to make those decisions."
The Bachelorette explained to THR that she needed more than just one night with Chase, which is why she sent him home so abruptly.
"With the fantasy suites, I couldn’t wait to have that time," she said. "A lot of people automatically assume it’s supposed to be highly sexual or really intimate and it’s not always like that. But it’s a time that everyone looks forward to and that week changed a lot for me."
She continued, "It’s tough to go from one to the next. At that point, when you’re down to those final guys you do start comparing what your time is like with him versus him. It’s just hard not to."
While JoJo couldn't give any hints as to how the season will end, she did say that she is happy with the outcome and shared her favorite qualities about her final two men.
"My favorite quality about Robby is how open he is with his emotions and how he’s able to just really put himself out there and be completely vulnerable," she says. "And with Jordan, my favorite thing about him was his ability to put me at ease and to make me laugh. He was one of the only guys who was able to ease my nerves and we had a really great friendship, relationship, romance. There was a lot there."
Until next week's finale and After the Final Rose special (airing Monday, Aug. 1, at 8 p.m. on ABC), see how all of JoJo's exes stacked up after the Men Tell All. THR was at the taping and caught all the drama between JoJo and the men — some made it to air, while other moments below must have gotten lost on the cutting room floor.
This heartbreak kid is the night's classiest act. The Texan earns the top spot on THR’s list of JoJo’s exes because, even after a breakup that sent him into a state of shock, he continues to keep his head held high. While sharing to Chris Harrison what was running through his mind when JoJo let him go, hearts ached all over again for Luke. He explained that he waited to say those three little words because he was “looking for a once in a lifetime moment to say I love you.” But the hardest moment to take was when he admitted, “I still love her.”
When Luke and JoJo finally saw each other face-to-face, his only question was, “Did you think it if I had been more direct … that would have made a difference?” JoJo explained that she followed her gut and Luke left her with one last heartfelt message: “Thank you for allowing me to love you.”
Following the Men Tell All, Luke told THR: “I realize that she’s in a tough position [and] has to go with her gut. There was just a few of us left." He added, "She needed me to say one word and I had not told her I loved her. I was building that up too much and as a hopeless romantic, I loved her. I was in love with her.”
As if the warm welcome wasn't enough of an indication — Luke earned the loudest cheers, by far — hearts then skipped a beat when he announced he’s still single. #LukeForBachelor is already a campaign that has been trending since Monday night's elimination. Perhaps Bachelor Nation hasn't seen the end of Luke, afterall.
Chase has showed more personality since being dumped than he did the entire season. And he continued to impress during the reunion.
He was nothing but respectful and understanding to the woman who broke his heart, telling JoJo, “You did an incredible job throughout the entire process.” He also had the guts to press her on the one question on everyone's minds: “If you didn't feel the love that I felt, why did you give me that fantasy suite card?” She took her time to carefully respond, saying, “Other relationships were a little bit stronger, but I wanted to be fair and give you that chance.” She added, “I do feel guilty,” but ultimately she felt confident in her statement that they simply needed more time — time they didn’t have — for their relationship to catch up with Jordan’s and Robby’s. Chase concluded, “It hurt me, but most of all, you taught me a lot and I thank you for that.”
Chase told THR that between his breakup and the Men Tell All, “it feels a lot better between JoJo and I.” He also continued to express his gratitude: “It was JoJo and this entire experience that taught me not to be afraid to ask the difficult questions and to not be afraid to say how you feel.” He also credits JoJo for strengthening his relationship with his father, saying that the pair has grown a lot closer. “Now I have an understanding of why he made the decisions he made and I attribute JoJo for that.”
Chase earned the second-loudest cheers of the night, behind Luke, and also seemed to enjoy seeing that another hashtag made the rounds after his elimination: #ChaseForBachelor.
Let’s be honest: James Taylor would be an amazing person to date. He earns a spot in the Top 3 for still being so sweet and charming (and for also showing up in cowboy boots). He told an adorable story during the Men Tell All taping of the moment he learned the Bachelorette was JoJo: “I found out the night before, and I was the happiest man in the world.” He said he thought it was Caila and wasn’t sure their personalities would click. But when he learned JoJo was the one, he was elated. “There's a video of me freaking out.”
When he reunited with JoJo, he was nothing short of complimentary. “You were amazing. I'm not just saying it. You were the prettiest, the most fun, the most sincere. You were just everything," he said. "We had no one to compare you to.” Another fun fact that James revealed was that he and Luke were close buddies in the house, playing guitar and maintaining that Texan friendship — only making him more adorable.
Where did the Men Tell All Wells come from? The shy, self-proclaimed underdog remained largely in the background on The Bachelorette, but during the reunion he stepped up to show how friendly and fun he is (something perhaps the upcoming Bachelor in Paradise will show).
It turns out, he’s Mr. Popular among the Bachelorette contestants. “I’m friends with everybody,” he shared with a giant grin. The radio DJ has a refreshing goofiness and isn’t afraid to be honest. Case in point: He said while everyone on the show was acting tough around Chad, “I was legitimately terrified. I just didn’t want to get murdered on national television.” And despite Chad being twice his size, Wells took him on face-to-face when the villain stepped on set. “I feel bad for you Chad,” he said, prompting Chad to sarcastically respond: “I hope you get a lot of listeners.” When he stepped into Chris Harrison’s hotseat to explain what made him so bashful about kissing JoJo — something that didn't make it to air — he said he just wanted the perfect moment, "one you’d want to tell your kids and grandkids about." Here's to hoping he doesn't wait as long when he returns to the franchise on Aug. 2.
A different side of Derek reared its head on the reunion show, one that painted him less as an innocent victim and more like the an instigator — but much of it didn't make it to air. Alex called him out for that infamous moment when Derek pulled him, Chase, Jordan and Robby aside during a rose ceremony to accuse them of forming a clique, asking why he waited to have that conversation once the cameras were on. Derek fired back until it turned into a full-blown fight. When his former roommate stepped on set, Derek called Chad an “episode of Cops waiting to happen.” At least he was a good sport when Chad called him Jim from The Office (a comparison Bachelor nation has enjoyed making all season). “That’s an awesome person to be compared to,” said Derek. Nicely done, Jim.
JoJo’s Top 4 exes are the best of the bunch and there’s a steep drop when it comes to the rest. By the time it gets to Grant at No. 6, you start to see some major attitude or even worse — none at all, just men who are forgettable. Grant falls into the former category. The firefighter was heating up when Chad talked about his ex-girlfriend Jen. (A few weeks ago on Instagram, Chad posted a picture of himself embracing Grant’s ex.) Grant was livid, yelling, “It makes you guys look so thirsty it's a joke.” Ouch, to throw his ex in the ring. After mistakenly calling Grant “Darrell,” Chad accused Grant of breaking up with his ex Jen, a producer in Los Angeles, to get on the show. We’re not sure what’s more surprising: the fact that Chad found and dated two ex-girlfriends of Bachelorette contestants, or that he actually found someone he can tolerate. “She's an amazing girl," he said. "She's actually really f–king nice.”
Brandon, Christian and Ali tie for seventh place because they were quiet, respectful and stayed out of the drama. There’s nothing particular that stands out about the trio, but when it comes to guys you want to date, it’s certainly not a bad quality to be with a guy who can keep his cool when in the same room as someone like Chad.
Brandon, the "hipster,” scores major points alone for chopping off his hair. Christian was a sweetheart, per usual, and Ali made the room giggle as he laughed out loud, countless times, during the on-set scuffles. Extra points to Ali for stating: “I would never let my sister date Chad.” Now that’s a good brother.
Alex may not have remained calm, cool and collected when Derek pushed his buttons, but it's a feat that he avoided a huge fight with Chad. When the villain tried to egg Alex on, the U.S. marine simply stated, “Nothing more I need to say here.” Many of the contestants ganged up on Alex tonight, arguing he was almost as bad as Chad. Still, things could have been uglier, so he gets credit for trying his best to dodge the bullets and putting their issues to bed.
There were some eye-opening moments with Evan. At first, he earned sympathy points when he explained that Chad’s aggression in the house all started when the Bachelorette bully insulted him and his children. Apparently, during the second week of filming, Evan was crying because he missed his three kids and Chad made fun of him, saying, “You’ve only been gone a couple of days.”
But here’s where Evan took a turn: He is still not over his ripped, maroon shirt (the one Chad tore after Evan accused him of steroid usage). Chris Harrison played the infamous moment back in slow motion for the live studio audience to determine who was at fault. Did Evan push Chad before he yanked his v-neck? Believe it or not, the audience sided with Chad, for once. The only good that came out of hearing Evan whine once more about his precious shirt was that Chris Harrison decided to auction it off for charity.
You would think that a Bachelor Superfan would be incredibly excited to be on the Chris Harrison-hosted Men Tell All, but the resident series fanatic kept quiet tonight. The one thing he did speak up for was incredibly inappropriate. When Chad was talking about dating Robby and Grant’s exes, James asked Chad if he kissed the women. When Chad grunted yes, the 27-year-old shouted, “How do their dicks taste, bro?” It was a little too R-rated for the ABC show, so it didn’t make it to air.
Oh, Daniel. It's still hard to take the Canadian seriously. His best moment from the night was when he opened up about his unique friendship with Chad. “I’m actually bigger than him, but he’s lean. We measured.” (Pause and appreciate that visual.) Daniel also revealed that he asked Chad if he was on steroids, but the season villain apparently said no, though Daniel still has his doubts. “He’s one of the leanest and veiniest guys I’ve ever seen," he said. As odd as Daniel can be, we at least appreciate the fact that he tried to keep Nick S. from fighting Chad tonight. To break it up, he shouted: “We don’t have to be American and resort to violence. Can't we be Canadian?”
James F. is so low on the list just because he's kind of irrelevant. He likely earned the last invite left for the Men Tell All, as it was obvious that the boxing club owner, who ironically never picked a fight on the show, only made lame attempts to snatch more TV time before exiting the franchise for good.
Vinny brought his mother along tonight: Who brings their mother to watch you reunite with your ex-girlfriend? It did provide a moment of hilarity, however, when she stepped up in the audience to try to convince JoJo that she made a mistake in sending home her son. The awkward moment managed to distract from Vinny’s new haircut but digs aside, the barber does earn points for trying to take on Chad. He told the bully, “I see the character that you are.” Chad interrupted, “The gorgeous character.” So his attempt didn't crack Chad’s ego, but it's an A for effort.
Nick tried way too hard tonight. Nick B. aka “Santa,” who showed up on Night 1 in a Santa Claus costume, tried to get on peoples' nerves tonight. There’s always someone during the reunion show who tries to turn the TV event into one final attempt to extend their 15 minutes of fame and that was Nick. He snuck in aggressive statements, i.e. accusing Alex of a “Napoleon complex” and teasing Ali about his height, too. But the biggest cry for attention came when the electrical engineer took his jacket off to egg Chad on for a fight. Go home, Nick. Just go home.
Jonathan “the kilt guy” is second to last because he is just so awkward. It's highly unlikely JoJo would have ever fallen for him, especially after he revealed the kilt is not just a fun gag for the show. He actually wears it on special occasions! It’s made an appearance everywhere from his sister’s wedding to his high school graduation.
And finally: Chad. Does his last-place ranking even require an explanation? Sure it does.
The Bachelorette asked if he built his physique on “just protein” and Chad denied the steroid rumors, stating that he consumes “just protein and sweet potizzles.” That pretty much sums it up.
Following his dramatic return on the show, Chad spoke with THR to swear he’s not violent, or arrogant. “I’m not a violent contestant because I never actually hit anybody," he said. "You can’t come to me and make me seem like an absolutely horrible person without there being some consequences, whether it be hitting you or me finding your ex-girlfriends.”
As for his attitude, Chad explains: “I’ve always had people hate me, just because of the way I look, the way I walk. The way I am — throughout my life. That’s not cocky. That’s not me being arrogant. It’s just the way it is. There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s been happening since I was 16 years old. You learn to accept it. You learn to care what other people think or you learn to just say f— it.”
It wasn't easy for JoJo to keep her cool during her face-to-face sparring with Chad — the minute the producers cut to a commercial break, JoJo vented to Chris Harrison: “I could have really gone off ... I had a lot of shit I wanted to say.”
Chris Harrison also got his chance with the Chad Bear: Chad actually took a moment to apologize to the Bachelorette host. Following their conversation in the hotseat, the Oklahoman told him once the cameras cut to commercial: “I f—ked up. I apologize. We made good TV though, didn’t we?”
The candid moment directly followed his on-camera chat about Bachelor in Paradise, so it’s possible Chad has some regrets about his actions on the spinoff. Now that JoJo has closed her chapter with Chad for good, it's time to see who his next victims will be when he returns on Bachelor in Paradise, which premieres Aug. 2.