'The Bachelorette' Power Rankings: JoJo's Men Ranked After Episode 7

7:23 PM 7/11/2016

by Jackie Strause and Christina Schoellkopf

THR ranks JoJo Fletcher's suitors based on their episode performance. This week, Jordan is up and James Taylor is down.

JOJO Bachelorette Rose Overlay H 2016

Welcome to The Bachelorette version of The Hollywood Reporter's Power Rankings. Each week, THR's Bachelor experts will be tuning in to the romantic connections and dramatic shenanigans taking place on season 12 of the long-running ABC franchise. In an effort to cater to viewers who opt out of show spoilers, these rankings are based on opinions and observations week-by-week. Read last week's Power Rankings here.

Tonight's Bachelorette saw the battle of the frontrunner.

In the last episode before the relationship-catapulting hometown dates, JoJo Fletcher had some narrowing down to do. With six men hoping to introduce JoJo to Mom, the Bachelorette doled out three one-on-ones, one three-on-one group date and only four roses while romancing her remaining men in the Argentinian countryside. 

Alex, the sometimes hotheaded marine who at first mainly sparred with villain Chad, was the first to go — ironically, after a romantic date and his first one-on-one that showed his softer side. When he opened up about falling in love, JoJo immediately realized they weren't on the same page and sent him on his way.

With the stakes raised, season-long frontrunner Jordan nabbed the next one-on-one, his second so far. While he and JoJo were busy stomping grapes and making out in hot tubs during their escape to a local winery — and finally discussing all those Aaron Rodgers rumors (more on that below) — the others argued over who holds the frontrunner title, spurring a "frontrunner" drinking game for Bachelorette viewers everywhere.

James Taylor and Chase, who called themselves the bottom two once Luke got the second one-on-one date, said Jordan has always been in the lead. But Robby refused to accept it: "In my mind, I’m the only frontrunner here and I always have been." (Drink.)

The second elimination didn't come until the rose ceremony, when JoJo gave the season's most heartbreaking goodbye yet. After episodes of teetering on the friend zone, JoJo displayed a familiar reaction when James Taylor also said he was falling in love. Though the country singer didn't see it (or didn't want to see it), JoJo's guilt for again not feeling the same way was written all over her face. 

"It hasn’t sunk in yet that it’s the last time I’m going to hold your hand and see you," James Taylor said to JoJo as the pair cried and embraced. (James Taylor and Alex were both saved last week, only to be sent home tonight.)

Next week's trailer hints that Robby may not have told the whole truth to JoJo tonight and that more tears are ahead for JoJo come hometowns. See how the final four men rank after tonight's episode and keep sharing your thoughts with THR using the #THRose hashtag on Twitter.

  1. 1

    Jordan, 27, former pro quarterback from Chico, CA

    Nothing says frontrunner like being the first guy to earn a second one-on-one date. During his alone time with JoJo, the former NFL player put his footwork to the test — in a bucket of grapes during a visit to a winery in Mendoza — and addressed the elephant in the room (for viewers and JoJo) when he opened up about his estranged relationship with his famous brother, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

    Admitting that he hasn't brought a girl home "in years," Jordan told JoJo that he won't be meeting Aaron during hometowns — he doesn't even know Jordan is doing The Bachelorette. "At every step of my life I was kind of disappointed," he said. "No matter what I did, it was never good enough because I was being compared to someone who did it the best. Football didn’t define me and not having a great relationship with my brother Aaron didn’t define me." Naming his rocky relationship with his brother as the source of his anger over being called out as "entitled," Jordan explained that the pair don't speak because of "the way he's chosen to do life." He added that he does love him and that there are no hard feelings, but that his other brother, Luke, is who he can't wait for her to meet.

    JoJo ate up Jordan's honesty, saying, "I know who you are and I trust you." The reaction prompted Jordan to admit to her, "I am so in love with you." He added, "It’s been a couple weeks since I knew it was happening. After our first one-on-one I thought I wanted to tell you and today I was fighting it at times, but it’s so real." After a night of watching nearly every man left confess their love for JoJo, the Bachelorette's giddy reaction sealed the deal for Jordan — clearly, the frontrunner.

  2. 2

    Luke, 31, war veteran from Burnet, TX

    If JoJo didn’t already love Luke, it’s hard to imagine she wasn't weak in the knees after seeing the Texan in his element. Despite JoJo and Jordan's obvious connection, she and Luke looked the most like a couple tonight. Dressed perfectly in plaid and boots, JoJo took the country boy on a rustic date and seemed totally at ease as the pair snuck kisses and she casually jumped into his arms. Calling Luke the "total package," she praised his horse-riding and skeet-shooting skills, but mainly, his "way of explaining his feelings that is unlike most men I've met in my life."

    Even an intimate chat about their future read like a conversation a real couple would have, as Luke expressed his realistic view on the process and relationships in general. "I want to open those chapters and those doors with you," he said about what comes next. "[But] I don't know what's around the next corner. Some people are very selfish about how they go about life and for me, I want to decide to do what I'm going to do in life with whoever I love. That's what makes it real and worth doing." JoJo felt clarity after the conversation, saying she can "easily" picture a future with Luke. ("Easy" being the operative word.)

  3. 3

    Robert “Robby,” 27, former competitive swimmer from Jacksonville, FL

    "In my mind, I'm the only frontrunner here and I always have been," announced Robby to the camera amid many house debates over who holds the title. Refusing to see Jordan as the leader of the pack, Robby is certainly getting cocky about his relationship with JoJo, but can you blame him? During a fratty-fueled group date, JoJo dared him to strip down to his underwear and gave him the rose, announcing to both James Taylor and Chase that she's ready to meet Robby's family.

    An earlier confession to JoJo about his ex was what won the Bachelorette over. Shockingly, Robby ended a nearly four-year relationship only four-and-a-half months ago. When pressed about whether or not he's ready to be engaged, Robby assured JoJo "I'm definitely moved on" and that he can't even express how ready he is. Despite winning the "heaviest-weighted group-date rose possible" and being the first of JoJo's guys to be moving onto hometown dates, teasers for next week show signs of trouble ahead as Robby’s ex continues to be a point of tension. “I didn't want this fork in the road to come up, but it's up,” Robby shared in his private interview. “Falling in love” with someone new so fast? The Robby guard is going back up. 

  4. 4

    Chase, 27, medical sales rep from Highlands Ranch, CO

    Chase found himself in the bottom two tonight, which for the first time begs the question: How has his and JoJo's tantric yoga connection lasted this long? The 27-year-old continues to struggle to open up — admitting to the camera that saying the word "love" is "scary" — but JoJo still has the patience for it. He won JoJo over by admitting, "I do want to spend the rest of my life with you," a sentence that he said was hard to express. His next-most redeeming group date moment was staying out of the drama when James and Robby got into their insult-slinging scuffle. Hopefully when he takes JoJo home to Colorado next week, we’ll start to see what she sees in him (aside from the obvious). 

  5. 5

    James Taylor, 29, singer-songwriter from Katy, TX

    We’ll miss his Southern drawl, acoustic guitar sessions and the balance he brought to the table in a sea of beefy, pompous guys. But week seven did seem like the opportune time to send James Taylor home. After being saved the week prior, the Texan was starting to lose his cool with being in the bottom two, again. In addition to slamming "wandering eye Robby" for checking out the local women, James did everything he could to win JoJo's attention on the group date. He stuffed 25 French fries in his mouth to get JoJo to laugh and confessed: "I'm very much in the process of falling in love with you."

    But when James shared his feelings, viewers saw JoJo express the same guilt-ridden reaction she gave Alex earlier (see below). James acknowledged his disadvantage, but that didn't stop his waterworks from flowing when JoJo finally sent him home. Even though we also knew it was coming, it was hard to watch — while being dumped, he still proved to be a class act. Telling JoJo that this isn't the first time he's heard he "deserves a great girl," he asked: "When am I going to finally find her, someone who's not going to say that to me?" But he was gracious and overly complimentary when, through tears, he told JoJo that he's honored "the best girl in the world" thinks so highly of him. "It hasn’t sunk in yet that it’s the last time I’m going to hold your hand and see you," he told her. "I never wanted to hurt you," JoJo cried back as the pair held an elongated embrace.

    After the elimination, hearts broke on Twitter.

  6. 6

    Alex, 26, U.S. Marine from Oceanside, CA

    From "black sheep" to horse whisperer, Alex's long-awaited one-on-one date with JoJo ironically led to his elimination. All signs pointed south when the pair had too many moments of silence and silliness in their long car ride to the countryside — with Alex making Pringles lips and attempting to show his freestyle rap skills (“Yo yo, JoJo gots to go to the liquor store"). But even when dressed in gaucho gear from hat-to-toe, the marine did show his softer side as the pair had a romantic moment laying atop a subdued horse.

    Flying high from their date, Alex told JoJo that he's experiencing "one of the happiest moments of my life" and is falling in love. Despite their great date — and an earlier promise from Chris Harrison that a rose wasn't on the table — Alex's confession sent JoJo galloping for the door as she realized that they weren't on the same page. Clearly hurt, Alex shut down and couldn't even look at JoJo as she walked him to the car. "I don't know how to do this, I don't know what I'm doing," JoJo confessed to the camera about the bad breakup. "My final memory with him was him not being able to look me in the eye. That’s not how I wanted to say goodbye to him."

  7. 7

    Derek, 29, commercial banker from Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Derek must have done something off-camera to deserve his elimination treatment from the ABC producers. Thanks to their location of Buenos Aires, Derek received a near-full song sendoff as "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" played while he wept in an elongated limo ride after JoJo sent him home. “Go find your forever,” Derek, who had boasted about being destined for JoJo in earlier interviews, chose as his parting words. “I hope you do, too,” JoJo replied with tears in her eyes, before heading back to kiss and cuddle with Chase. The show then flashed between Chase and JoJo’s romantic moment and Derek. “I wasn't enough. I thought I was. I’m not. I'm Derek. And Derek is imperfect,” he muttered through tears, adding that he told himself not to cry. With that emotional farewell, the show bid adieu to the sensitive John Krasinski look-a-like. 

  8. 8

    Wells, 31, radio DJ from Nashville, TN

    It didn't bode well that Wells was the only one in the house who had yet to kiss JoJo, but the bachelorette gave him a chance by picking him for the first one-on-one in Argentina. Having a sense of humor about their status, JoJo's date card for the DJ read: “Besame. Besame, muchacho.” Translation: “Kiss me. Kiss me a lot, Wells.” While on their date at an interpretive art center, Wells finally found his moment and the pair shared a romantic first kiss while slushing around in the dark and in water, which JoJo called romantic. Still, the highly anticipated lip-lock didn't set off JoJo's usual fireworks, and she sent him home. “You are an incredible human being, but I don't know if you are the person who I can spend the rest of my life with,” she told the heartbroken guy.

  9. 9

    Grant, 28, firefighter from San Francisco, CA

    Charming good looks and a selfless career choice weren't enough to sway JoJo to Team Grant. Though she didn't interact with Grant on his last night and he probably should have seen the rejection coming, his teary-eyed confessional said the opposite. “I feel like she did make a mistake tonight by sending me home," he told the camera. "I don't get it. I seriously don't.” With his elimination, there are no diverse contestants remaining. 

  10. 10

    Evan, 33, erectile dysfunction specialist from Nashville, TN

    Evan put up a good fight. Who would have guessed the erectile dysfunction specialist would make it so far? Along the way, he earned respect by standing up to Chad and giving proud shoutouts to his three kids watching from home. But everyone knew Evan's days were numbered once he no longer had the Chad contrast to hide behind. (He even brought up the $20 for his ripped shirt during Chad's final confrontation.) It was still sad to see how badly Evan was hurt by his crush. “It felt like daggers through my heart," he said through tears. "I'm just so disappointed in myself. I tried.” 

  11. 11

    Vincent “Vinny,” 28, barber from Delray Beach, FL

    Vinny and JoJo's tearful goodbye makes it seem like viewers weren't entirely privy to the connection that these two might have had. She had a very emotional goodbye after sending him home following the second rose ceremony, sharing in a low voice, “You have made everything so unbelievable for me.” 

  12. 12

    Daniel, 31, model from Vancouver, B.C., Canada

    Even the Canadian knew he was no match for JoJo, telling the camera that she is pursuing guys for their personalities and admitted that his personality is “shit.” After his elimination, he said, “If this is based solely on looks there’s a good chance I would still be here — my body has nothing to do with this." And with that, we bid Daniel adieu. 


  13. 13

    James F., 34, boxing club owner from Nashville, TN

    Props to James for being the brave soul to set off alarm bells when Chad unexpectedly returned to the house. Who knows what Chad would have done if he entered the room in the middle of their “Chadless” celebrations and protein-powder funeral? Though James did show his softer side during his final moments with a self-written poem (Her heart is like a treasure/Her dream’s not far away) that actually brought her to tears, it just wasn't enough. JoJo sent him packing and left him in a state of confusion: “I'd be OK to go home if she knew who I was. Maybe I should have been more assertive." As they say, hindsight is 20/20.

  14. 14

    Chad, 28, luxury real estate agent from Tulsa, OK

    Finally: Both Chads are gone from JoJo’s life. After viewers braced for The Bachelorette to become a horror show, the season villain was — to borrow a phrase from Alex — "all bark and no bite," and his exit was, ultimately, less dramatic than ABC had artfully teased. After running his fingers down the glass door in a state of apparent insanity, Chad did not raise his fists to the guys. He did, however, poke the side of Jordan’s head — despite his many warnings against poking. The guys tried to give the former marine one final chance to apologize for his actions and restore a sense of decency, but, of course, the luxury real estate agent couldn't back down from his alpha-male sensibility. “I'm gonna say what I want to say, when I want to say it," he said. "Looking back, I would still say the same damn things.” After failing to retract even his death threats, Chad danced away while muttering: "I'm out." That is, until Bachelor in Paradise returns this summer.

  15. 15

    Nick B., 33, electrical engineer from Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Nick's elimination — especially before James, Vinny and Daniel, who were the bottom three above Chad in Power Rankings — was somewhat surprising. Though the pair didn't have instant chemistry, JoJo had gravitated to the Christmas lover ever since he made her laugh in his Santa suit on Night 1. When saying goodbye, Nick was a class act, kissing her on the cheek and telling her the experience was a pleasure. To the camera, he admitted: "It sucks, especially since I felt there might have been something there, but she didn't see it."

  16. 16

    Christian, 26, telecom consultant from Los Angeles, CA

    Christian's relationship with JoJo never took off, but his elimination was noteworthy given the diversity controversy surrounding the long-running franchise. In the season premiere, he open up about growing up biracial and not having a relationship with his father's side of the family because they couldn't accept him. 

  17. 17

    Ali, 27, bartender from Santa Monica, CA

    Ali's time was certainly up, given that the Los Angeles bartender, whose family is from Iran, hadn't had much airtime. Though, if Ali's looking for love, he can scroll Twitter's attraction to his eyebrows.

  18. 18

    James S., 27, 'Bachelor' superfan from Phoenix, AZ

    At least the Bachelor superfan can add this to his résumé: "I wasn't the first person to get kicked off my season of The Bachelorette."

  19. 19

    William “Will,” 26, civil engineer from Jersey City, NJ

    Will made a last-ditch effort by having some fun with JoJo and encouraging her to T.P. the Bachelor mansion with toilet paper, but the moment of mischief and his other gags weren't enough to save him from going home. 

  20. 20

    Brandon, 28, hipster from Los Angeles, CA

    We initially saw promise in the hipster, agreeing that he is super chill and can't possibly be there for the wrong reasons. But after the aggressive showdown between his competitors on the group date and during the rose ceremony, it became clear he wouldn't be able to stand out in this pack.

  21. 21

    Jonathan, 29, technical sales representative from Vancouver, B.C., Canada

    Poor Jonathan, who fell for the producers' entrance-making advice. Arriving in a kilt due to his half-Scottish heritage was fine, but telling JoJo he wasn't wearing any underwear underneath was a fateful fail.

  22. 22

    Peter, 26, staffing agency manager from Chicago, IL

    Peter seemed genuinely bowled over by his elimination, despite viewers at home never seeing him and JoJo interact.

  23. 23

    Jake, 26, landscape architect from Playa Vista, CA

    A lack of airtime made it hard to weigh in, so we defer to JoJo on this one.

  24. 24

    Colin “Coley,” 27, real estate consultant from Chicago, IL

    Coley got more airtime during the rose ceremony than he did all episode, but we barely heard him speak. 

  25. 25

    Nick S., 26, software salesman from San Francisco, CA

    Ascot-wearing headshot aside, Nick S. more than deserved to be sent home after being the first to drunkenly barge in on JoJo during her on-camera interview. But thank you for the entertainment, and for giving us a peek inside the secret interview room!

  26. 26

    Sal, 28, operations manager from Fort Lauderdale, FL

    When Sal introduced himself to JoJo he brought her a gift: blue balls. About the stress balls: "If at any point you feel stressed, I give you permission to squeeze my balls." Total camera time after his intro: negligible.