THR ranks JoJo Fletcher's suitors based on their episode performance. This week, Luke and Chase are crushed as Jordan and Robby head to the finale.
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.
The fantasy suites always bring the drama on The Bachelorette, and JoJo Fletcher's overnight dates were no exception. Tonight's episode came in twos with blindsided breakups, surprise visits and successful fantasy suites all coming in pairs (the latter with her final two men, Jordan and Robby).
The episode was bookended with heartbreak, beginning with last week's "to be continued" moment with Luke. After pulling her aside to finally tell her that he loved her, JoJo eliminated Luke during the rose ceremony. Utterly shocked by her decision, he could barely speak.
“I just can’t believe I squandered it away," he said about expressing his feelings too little too late. "You didn't want me anymore. F—." In his limo ride away, Luke said he felt like he got hit by a train: "I would have been ready to propose to her today."
At the end of the episode, JoJo saw herself being similarly torn after rejecting Chase in the fantasy suite. After what appeared to be an amazing day, JoJo got cold feet when Chase told her that he also loved her.
"She gave me the fantasy suite card and then I said 'I love you' to her and then it was the end of it," Chase tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I went straight into walls up and to shock and confusion. I wasn’t able, at that point, to say a lot of the things that I wanted to say."
After their rocky goodbye, Chase surprised her the next day to end things on a better note. "It was important to be able to have at least one last conversation," he tells THR about returning during JoJo's rose ceremony with Jordan and Robby. "Between that night and now, it feels a lot better between JoJo and I."
Both Chase and Luke get their chance to confront JoJo during tomorrow's Men Tell All reunion special (airing at 8 p.m. on ABC) before she must make what she calls the "toughest decision" between Jordan and Robby.
Tonight, JoJo realized that she has come full circle: Just like Ben Higgins, she too has fallen in love with both of her final two picks.
"I'm sick to my stomach knowing I feel so strongly about both of them," she says to the camera. Calling it "cruel and twisted irony" that she's in the same shoes as the Bachelor who broke her heart, she says it "pains me to know that I'm going to have to put someone through the same heartbreak that I felt."
For more details on tonight and to see how Jordan and Robby stack up as The Bachelorette heads into its finale next Monday, see below. And keep sharing your thoughts with THR using #THRose on Twitter.
If Twitter is any indication, Luke Pell could be the next Bachelor.
After his shocking elimination by JoJo Fletcher on Monday night's episode of The Bachelorette, heartbroken viewers launched a social media campaign for the self-described "hopeless romantic" to get another chance to find love by launching the #LukeForBachelor hashtag.
Viewers again rejoiced after Tuesday night's episode of the Men Tell All reunion, when Luke seemed to have heard their call. He teased to Chris Harrison, "I'm ready to fall in love [again]."
The Hollywood Reporter followed up with Luke to ask him flat out: Would you be interested in being The Bachelor?
“I would be excited about it," he told THR about the possibility of leading ABC's 21st season. "I’ve seen firsthand that it worked, going through this whole process with JoJo and I. I was in love with her."
He continued, "And it happened so fast, but it was real at the same time. It was real for us and it was real for me. So, I would be open to it again because I know it works. It’s proven.”
Luke added that he knows it's possible to have an authentic relationship on the reality series because he experienced a very real heartbreak after JoJo sent him home. When he returned to his hometown of Burnet, Tx., he says he suffered from anxiety attacks and remained "in a state of shock."
"Your heart feels like it’s out of rhythm. You’re almost dizzy when you stand up," he says about bringing the shock viewers saw on TV home with him. "There were these anxiety symptoms that I was having to deal with and I couldn’t control. That’s when I knew. I realized, 'Wow this cut me deep.'"
The Texas war veteran quickly became a fan favorite on this season's Bachelorette and ABC has a history of listening to its viewers when it comes to picking the star of the franchise.
Last season, Ben Higgins castoff Caila Quinn was set to become the next Bachelorette, but JoJo swooped in to claim the gig last-minute after an overwhelmingly positive reaction for the runner-up after her Women Tell All special.
And Team Luke also has some competition: Viewers were also heartbroken over Chase McNary's elimination, whose fantasy suite rejection earned him more air time than Luke during the Men Tell All.
ABC could announce the new Bachelor during the After the Final Rose special (which follows the finale this Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC), or they could wait to see which of JoJo's exes claims the biggest following over the next coming weeks.
Heading into the finale, JoJo will pick between her final two men: Jordan Rodgers and Robby Hayes. With Jordan as the seasonlong frontrunner, there's still potential for a Team Robby to rear its head after the episode.
If ABC does pick one of JoJo's finalists to helm the next season, the long-running franchise is likely to continue to ignore its diversity woes and select another nonwhite Bachelor, as JoJo's eight finalists are all white. With 31 seasons between The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, there has been only one diverse star — American-born Venezuelan Juan Pablo Galavis.
Check back on Monday to see who JoJo picks in the end — and possibly learn the pick for the next Bachelor — when The Bachelorette and After the Final Rose kickoff at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Monday. And keep sharing your thoughts with THR using #THRose on Twitter.
Robby has finally lived up to his self-proclaimed frontrunner status. Despite Jordan and JoJo's clear connection from the start, JoJo expressed zero doubts about Robby tonight and had many still to answer about Jordan (more on that below). The competition remains stiff — especially with JoJo proclaiming her love for both of her final two men by the episode's end — but Robby stole the top slot tonight.
From the city market of Hua Hin, Thailand to a Thai massage and romantic dinner date, Robby couldn't stop proclaiming his love for JoJo. Nothing was off the table for the pair, who both seemed eager to move forward after his ex drama from last week's hometown dates. “Knowing that we can sit down and grab the bull by the horns, and confront something means a lot,” Robby told JoJo. She agreed, and added that she appreciates the fact that Robby told her he loved her so early because, “it allowed me to open up to you." She added, "I think that’s why we’re here now: I have felt so much safer falling for you and trusting you in this.” The one word sums up why JoJo’s relationship with Robby is stronger than Jordan’s right now: Trust.
After Robby gave JoJo a letter from his father that vouched for his son’s character, the Bachelorette was ready to spend the night with the 27-year-old. But not before Robby called out her former beau Ben: “I want you to know that I’m not like the guys in your past — I'm not going to say those three important words and then cop out and walk away.”
With one final interview before the highly anticipated camera-less sleepover, JoJo said she felt ready to be intimate with Robby. "I know I love Robby and I'm ready to take that next step." she said. "I've always wanted my own love story … being here now, I have found that with Robby.”
In the morning, they ate breakfast in bed, exchanged good morning kisses and couldn't stop smiling. But JoJo was careful to avoid the L-word: “I will not tell someone I love them until it's the end. I’m just not ready to say that I know without a doubt that I know who it is.” She said it's easy to picture waking up to Robby every morning, but she still had two more fantasy suites ahead of her. When Robby surprised her during her date with Chase later in the episode, he sealed both his own and Chase's fate. Seeing Robby seemed to remind JoJo how different she felt about him, as she sent Chase home shortly after.
Jordan triggers feelings of unease and confusion that JoJo now knows all too well since her breakup with Ben. After continuing to question Jordan's intentions week after week, she finally hit her breaking point when she compared the former NFL qauarterback to her ex (who told her he loved her and then broke up with her on The Bachelor.)
"Is this guy too good to be true?" she asked.
With the fantasy suite card laying in front of them on the dinner table, JoJo grilled Jordan about what their future would look like and if he could really commit to "forever." His answers weren't satisfying, which had JoJo admitting that his instability makes her “nervous.” He tried to save himself by saying that he doesn't need a homebase and "can be wherever you need to be,” but JoJo was not persuaded: “When you say ‘right now’ it makes me feel that in six months you can get a phone call and be like, ‘Well, peace! I’m out,’” she said.
When Jordan expressed, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” JoJo snapped back, “That's what Ben said.” (Ouch!) But when Jordan said she’s the one who he wants to see walk toward him down the aisle, she decided to let her worries fall to the wayside.
Despite this week being fantasy suites, JoJo said her concerns about Jordan have nothing to do with their physical relationship. The pair did work on their emotional connection when hiking through Thailand and observing cultural traditions at a hidden temple. And they looked just as sad to say goodbye the next morning as JoJo did with Robby. Still, she told the camera she’s in love with Jordan but isn’t quite ready to tell him.
The irony is that after her second fantasy suite, she awoke with a newfound sympathy for Ben as she found herself in a similar predicament. “It's scary to think that I'm in love with two people right now," she said about both Jordan and Robby. "Now I understand more than ever Ben's perspective.”
Chase was put through the ringer tonight. He finally opened up in a way that he never has before by telling JoJo that he loved her — only to see it all crash and burn. While Luke’s goodbye was devastating (see below), Chase's breakup was the roughest and most drawn-out yet.
After a seemingly amazing date where JoJo looked just as comfortable with Chase as she had with Robby and Jordan days earlier, JoJo became the first woman Chase has ever said "I love you" to first. After accepting her fantasy suite invitation, Chase told her: “I am 100 percent in love with you.”
JoJo's response? "I need a minute."
The Bachelorette collected her thoughts and when she returned, her decision was written all over her face. "When you said that to me, in my heart and in my gut, I don't think I felt what I thought I was going to feel.” Chase did not take the news well, telling JoJo that he felt "skewered" and "shattered" and "100 percent" regretted saying those three words: "So now 'love' means 'get the f— out'?" Later in his limo ride, he said the moment was like "pull your pants down and kick me in the nuts.”
JoJo was left heartbroken herself and in tears as Chase left in a fit of rage. Which is why he says he decided to return the following day to end things on a better note. "I have an immense amount of love for you and that's not going away," he told her when he pulled her aside during her rose ceremony. "I'm proud of you. I'm impressed by you. I admire you. I think you're amazing. I want you to know I'm not mad at you. My heart's still open for you."
The 27-year-old spoke with The Hollywood Reporter to explain what was running through his mind when JoJo sent him home. “All the pieces of the puzzle were there to let her know that I am in love with her, so I let it be known," he explains. "It was difficult and hard to know that those exact words were the same words that would end it."
He continued, "It sucks that it happened when it did. There could have been a lot of good that came out of spending the night together, but at the end of the day it’s JoJo’s journey and I hope it ends up the way she wants it to be.”
Chase could see himself competing for the fan vote to be the next Bachelor after his show of class. No matter what the outcome, cheers to Chase for taking the high road.
Bachelor nation’s hearts broke along with Luke’s tonight. Viewers watched the sweet Southern Luke pull JoJo aside to tell her he loved her, only for him to learn that it was too late. JoJo gave her final rose to Chase instead, but it wasn't an easy choice — or an easy goodbye.
With tears in her eyes and mascara running down her cheeks, she told Luke: “This hurts me so much. I don’t even know how to explain this." She managed to say, "I started to struggle with not knowing where you stood.” Luke looked like a deer caught in headlights as he tried to form sentences. “I dreamed about so much … You didn’t want me anymore,” he said. In the end, he just whispered an “I’m sorry,” leaving a hysterical JoJo in his wake.
Luke spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the gut-wrenching breakup. “I think my face said it all," he said. "I was just in a huge amount of shock, having known that every day prior to me going home, JoJo and my relationship was just getting stronger and stronger. For it to end that way was just really hard to take.” Does he have regrets? “You really can’t plan it,” he says about saying "I love you" too late. (Read his full interview here.)
Stay tuned to see how Luke and JoJo interact for the first time since that emotional breakup when the two reunite on tomorrow’s Men Tell All. Would you want to see Luke as your next Bachelor? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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.
— ChristinaSchoellkopf (@c_schoellkopf) July 12, 2016
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Peter seemed genuinely bowled over by his elimination, despite viewers at home never seeing him and JoJo interact.
A lack of airtime made it hard to weigh in, so we defer to JoJo on this one.
Coley got more airtime during the rose ceremony than he did all episode, but we barely heard him speak.
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!
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.