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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.
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The Midnight Club