Gabby and Rachel also react to the "Men Tell All" absences of "rough around the edges" Hayden and Fantasy Suite-focused Chris.

It was a night filled with tension as the “Men Tell All” after a season of drama and more drama on “The Bachelorette” — but who was too afraid to show up?

Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia navigated a complex season of “The Bachelorette” with no guide and no rulebook as to how anything would work with two leads. That left them to make it up as they went along.

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It also put their men in a position no group of suitors has ever faced, with a choice of who they wanted to date — which led to even more emotions and complications. The very structure of the season meant thing were going to get ugly and awkward.

But that didn’t stop some of the men from making things ugly with their behavior. The biggest offenders didn’t show up, with both leads and Jesse Palmer giving some choice quotes about their absences to ET.

Other problematic and controversial guys did show up to face the women (and the music), including the ol’ switcheroo Logan, the guy who told Gabby he’d leave if it was just her, Jacob, and Nate who was a dollface on the show, but found himself mired in past relationship controversy after he was eliminated.

But before we could even get to the guys on the stage and why on earth Meatball again doused himself in marinara sauce, we had one final Hometown to see.

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Aven @ Home with Rachel

Poor Aven was the seventh hometown of the season, and the only one to get punted from the Hometowns visit. And yet, it also had one of the most charmingly funny moments of them all.

During the day portion of their date, Aven and Rachel dropped in to see a witch in his hometown of Salem who had the thickest Massachusetts accent we’ve ever heard and who conducted a love spell for them — before disaster struck.

Out of nowhere, after the spell was complete, she went to leave them alone and the glass table top she’d just conducted the spell went toppling to the ground. Does that mean their love is cursed?

The date did have to be shown after Tino’s, though, because Rachel was still deep in her anxiety after TIno’s family ripped her a new one throughout the entire visit for things entirely out of her control — like how the show is structured.

They were savagely brutal, calling the entire relationship a fairy tale, so she was understandably terrified to meet Aven’s parents. And then his dad started hitting her with the tough questions. The difference, though, is that he respected her honesty and answers, even when she had to acknowledge there are still other guys so she can’t fully commit to Aven.

It was a much better experience overall, leaving her feeling good about where things stand. In fact, both women felt so good that ABC punted the Rose Ceremony to their website. Why take up precious TV time when they both opted to keep all of their remaining men, so all six guys move forward.

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Jacob Owns His Behavior

Everyone is human and everyone makes mistakes. It’s what you do afterward that says everything about who you are and your character. In the case of Jacob, there may yet be hope for him.

He was incredibly unaware of the existence of Gabby as an entity with feelings outside his own when he bluntly told her that if she were the only woman there, he’d just bail. He was only thinking of himself in that moment.

And he still came onto the show and immediately owned up to his terrible behavior, telling the guys, “There’s no excuses for my actions.” He called himself “rude” and “selfish” and admitted he was “ignorant of her feelings.”

We had to applaud later in the show when Jesse asked Gabby what she would like to address with Jacob and she immediately turned it around and asked him what he wanted to address with her.

Jacob did not hesitate to take advantage of the moment to again apologize and wholly own what he’d done. He apologized, telling her that he understood if she couldn’t accept it. He did the right thing throughout the show, showing humility and appeared to be proving that he was making strides to be a better, more compassionate person.

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Logan Not So Much

Logan’s is such a tricky situation because he was apparently trying to follow his heart. But the moment that Bachelor Nation first turned on him was when he disingenuously accepted a Rose from Rachel knowing that he’d already decided he wasn’t interested in continuing with her and wanted to pursue Gabby.

That was using Rachel to advance himself in the game to get a shot with Gabby. Then, he derailed the whole week when he immediately turned around and told Rachel that he wanted to jump ship to the other side of the — ahem — ship to be with Gabby’s guys.

It wasn’t fair to the guys he left behind, as Rachel was crushed, and it wasn’t fair to the guys he joined, as they lost time with Gabby. We’ll never know how his story might have ended as Covid cut it short.

But when confronted about his choices, the only thing he said he wished was that he could have been a little more graceful about it. He was pretty heavily making out with both of them from the jump, so BN has been a little wary at thinking anything was genuine. But he did seem to have some vocal support from tonight’s audience.

He kept insisting he was waiting for the perfect moment to tell her, and so that was the extent of his apology and his takeaway. He needs to learn to not wait for this magical “perfect” moment when something needs doing. You know, maybe not string someone along at all.

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Nate — Nice or Naughty?

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A fan-favorite from the jump, and our pick for Gabby’s winner — and hope for future “Bachelor,” Nate hit the hot seat to a thunderous applause. His emotional maturity was so far beyond any other guy, as was his respect for women.

He continued to show that leadership even on the dais with the other guys. Add to that his obvious adoration for his young daughter, and the heartbreaking farewell when Gabby dumped him over fear she’d be a bad mother, and Nate is the kind of guy you can’t help but root for.

That’s why it was so shocking and disheartening when Bachelor Nation heard allegations that he’d kept his daughter a secret from a girlfriend he’d dated for a year and a half, and that he’d been dating two women at once.

He never outright confirmed or denied keeping his daughter a secret, but alluded to it being true by sharing that after his divorce rocked his and his daughter’s foundation, he didn’t want to subject her to his tumultuous dating world.

Now, that could have been done by making the women aware of her but perhaps not meet her. But anyone who has tried dating with a young child knows how tricky that can be and knowing when to reveal your child is never an easy thing.

The tougher one is the allegation that he was dating two women at once, and they apparently didn’t know it. He had nothing but remorse for that and the requisite confirmation that not only is he still growing and learning, but that he’s already grown from the man who would do that.

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Meatball Meets 'Bros'

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Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane of the upcoming gay rom-com “Bros” joined the show to play a silly game that somehow led to a repeat of Meatball and the marinara sauce from that eariler Speed competition.

They also pushed back against Jesse being uncomfortable with the Speedos by asking the ladies their opinions — and they decided they liked them quite a bit. “What’s not to love?” Gabby asked.

Jesse was equally uncomfortable when a giant jar of marinara came out and Meatball was asked to please again pour this all over his body, like he did during that infamous date. He, of course, was willing to oblige. He even stripped down to his boxers for almost the full effect.

Then, out of nowhere, he tackled Billy, who’d helped douse him, with both of them hitting the ground hard and us worrying who was going to get sued first. But Eichner jumped up, gave him a hug and pitched his movie.

Meatball may be a, well, meatball, but he’s been a very entertaining presence on the show, and proved himself a guy with a big heart and a lot of compassion and concern for the women on this journey.

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Chris and Hayden No-Show

Two of the biggest “villains” of the season deigned to appear for the “Men Tell All” special, leading the guys to dog them in respective segments about their antics. The women did not address them on the show, but did let their feelings know in interviews with ET after.

The first one to go was Chris, who seemed to start talking about Fantasy Suites almost from the moment he got out of the limo. He was making it clear to the guys that he couldn’t be with a woman who would sleep with other guys, and he was planning to get to that point.

The whole thing was rubbing almost every other guy wrong, and they wasted no time letting the women know. They double-teamed Chris, who didn’t back down from anything, coming at them with condescension and attitude, so they countered with a trip off the the show.

After the episode aired, he posted a picture of himself on Instagram with the caption, “Lesson learned” and a “self improvement” hashtag. But his comments turned out to be tame compared to what Hayden started spouting off.

It quicky got to the point where we wondered why he was even still there, as he seemed to have open disdain for both of them. He compared them to his ex-girlfriend, saying they did not compare favorably, he said, “I can’t trust these b—-es,” and used the b-word again when defending himself against backlash for saying Gabby was “rough around the edges.”

When confronted by Rachel, he lied and lied and lied but she saw right through him and she was teling the truth when she told him she was going to dismiss him from the ship and the show.

“I’m not surprised that Hayden didn’t show up tonight,” Rachel told ET. “I really think that everyone was able to see his character during the show. Him showing up tonight and not apologizing, not only to me but to Gabby, is kind of a true testament to his character and who he is.”

During the broadcast, the guys lit into him for his behavior, with Jacob calling him a misogynist and Nate saying, “For a man to have to put down a woman to feel like he’s empowered is just not okay.”

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The guys went in hard on Chris focusing so hard on Fantasy Suites, with Spencer noting how hard they had it during that week on their “Bachelor” season with Clayton, which was still pretty raw in their memories. That made his comments even more insensitive.

“I’m honestly not surprised,” Gabby said of both men skipping the special. “I think they’re trying to protect themselves. They’re getting a lot of backlash online and from Bachelor Nation, which I think, at this point, I do kind of think they deserve.”

“Jacob really showed them what they could have done and what they could of been,” Gabby noted, saying that she hopes people give him a second chance. She said Hayden could have had a similar opportunity, “but he was too scared.”

Jesse said that he understands how difficult it can be to come face your peers and your own actions on a show like this, but it’s also a rare opportunity to tell your story yourself. “I think for Chris and Hayden tonight not showing up, I think that was a huge, huge missed opportunity,” he told ET. “It’s why I respect a guy like Logan.”

In the immediate aftermath of the episode and the backlash, Hayden did post an apology to his Instagram page where he called the experience his “worst and lowest moment.” He directly apologized to both women and said he took full responsibility for his actions. The post has since been deleted.

“I think this would’ve been a great opportunity for Hayden to have a face-to-face apology that I think was much needed,” Logan told ET after the “Men Tell All” special. “An Instagram post that gets deleted is not good enough. I hope he finds a way to make that happen. I think that that was a mistake not to come.”

Hayden’s pal Tyler said he wished he would have come, but understands why he didn’t. “You’re dealing with people that you don’t even know, that really, truly don’t even know you, and make you feel terrible,” he said. “It’s tough to see and you just think to yourself, ‘I don’t even wanna be involved with this whatsoever’… [It’s] definitely tough to put yourself out there, but I wish he had.”

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Mansion Chatter

  • “I’m not gonna say anything, but here’s a hint: it’s cursed.” –Jesse (setting up Aven’s Hometown Visit with Rachel)
  • “Our love spell just tumbled to the floor. I don’t know what that means. I just hope it’s not a bad sign.” –Rachel (after table collapses)
  • ‘I like her. I hope it works out. She’s great. She’s welcome to the family. Don’t stop fighting for her, man, ’cause she’s a good catch.” –Arthur (to Aven about Rachel)
  • “My feelings are getting really, really strong and I am, like, falling in love with you.” –Aven
  • “Oh my gosh, hearing you say that is the most incredible feeling.” –Rachel
  • “I do feel like I am falling in love with Aven.” –Rachel (but she didn’t tell him)

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Men Tell All Chatter

  • “Jacob, I don’t think you were wishy-washy at all, I just think you were a d— how you addressed it.” –Robey
  • “There’s no excuses for my actions. I was rude, I was selfish. I was ignorant of her feelings. I need to take ownership on that that I did mess up. I just have to learn and hopefully teach others to do better as well.” –Jacob
  • “Meatball did say no, but he also did go back and try to rekindle his way back into the situation, which worked for him. But to me, that’ snot genuine at all. That’s like, I want to just be here for the moment.” –Termayne (about rejecting Rachel’s Roses)
  • “There was a lot of questions through my head, you know, to it. I mean, I came on open to boht of them. Going into that Rose Ceremony, I thought if I were to get a Rose it was gonna be from Gabby.” –Meatball
  • “That sounds like you didn’t accept the Rose because you thought Gabby was more into you as opposed to you being more into Gabby. So, like, who the hell were you into?” –Robey
  • “Let me speak, let me speak, shut the f— up for a second and let me speak.” –Robey (to Ethan)
  • Robey, you were there at the mansion for four hours for a reason. I mean, have some respect.” –Ethan
  • “To know what happened to these girls a few months ago and then to say it right there? That’s one of my biggest regrets from the show is not saying something ot him right then.” –Spencer (about Chris talking Fantasy Suites so early)
  • “To hear someone reduce somebody to their counterparts of what they can only do you for you sexually is so barbaric. I’m glad that you guys brought it up. Real men hold other men accountable.” –Nate
  • “For him not to be here, I think it speaks a lot to his character and how cowardly he is not to be here.” –Mario (about Hayden)
  • “For a man to have to put down a woman to feel like he’s empowered is just not okay. And if this is how you’re treating Gabby, you don’t deserve Rachel, either. So I’m glad that they eventually got rid of him.” –Nate
  • “He completely lied about the whole thing. After hearing all of that, he’s a misogynist, and honestly, his dog Rambo doesn’t need training. He needs training.” –Jacob
  • “I saw two wonderful people. And although I felt more moved by one connection, I thought maybe there’s potential in the other one that I haven’t seen or explored.” –Logan (about switching Bachelorettes)
  • “I feel like you were just looking for the next step. That’s why you accepted that Rose. You went to France, you sent me home.” –Jordan H
  • “I wasn’t just looking for the next step, because you know what? I saw this moving connection with Gabby. And so I accepted her Rose. And so, if that’s seen as a bitch move, you know, so be it. But I thought it was worth exploring if it means spending the rest of my life with someone.” –Logan
  • “Honestly, I just don’t really have the sympathy card that I guess you’re wanting right now, from me.” –Termayne
  • “Oh, I’m not asking for anything from you.” –Logan
  • “I think in your mind you felt like Rachel really wasn’t into you. So your next thing was, if I flip, I can stay longer. And that’s what you did.” –Jordan
  • “I disagree completely, Jordan. There was a huge part of me that thought when I stepped away from Rachel and told Gabby how I felt that she would send me home. So it wasn’t the easy choice. It wasn’t jumping over because it was convenient, ’cause it was anything but convenient.” –Logan
  • “I hope you do know you did mislead Rachel throughout the whole process.” –Quincey
  • “Do you regret leaving Rachel to pursue Gabby?” –Jesse
  • “I wish I had done it in a more graceful way that didn’t effect so many people, but I don’t regret pursuing Gabby, no.” –Logan
  • “The one thing that I protect the most on this earth is my daughter. I would never put her into a situation that I feel is dangerous, that I feel is unstable, and so I put a wall up protecting my daughter from the instability of my dating life.” –Nate (about keeping daughter a secret)
  • “I would say I’m deeply sorry for the way that I acted. I should’ve been more communicative, I should’ve been more clear in my intentions, and I pray that you forgive the man that I was because I’m not that same person.” –Nate (about dating two women at once)
  • “Jacob’s here tonight. What would you like to address with him?” –Jesse (to Gabby)
  • “What would you like to address with me, Jacob?” –Gabby
  • “It was extremely hurtful what I had said, obviously. And it took me watching it back and to see that moment. I mean, I still have so much emotion towards it. You mentioned it yourself. I just didn’t have self-awareness. I’m realizing that now and I’m trying to learn and better myself. Just know that– Just know I’m sorry for my actions, and I know you may not accept this apology, but I am truly and deeply sorry.” –Jacob
  • “I was obviously hurt because I did keep my heart open. I just wish you were a little more honest earlier, but I understand.” –Rachel (to Logan about accepting her Rose while wanting to pursue Gabby)
  • “That’s totally fair. You know, there’s times that I could’ve done things differently. I think I was looking for the perfect time to have a conversation where it was private and where I could say everything I wanted to say and where it was the right place and the right time, but I wish I didn’t wait for the perfect time and the perfect place and, you know, that’s a lesson I’l take home. I’m still learning and growing so I appreciate the both of you for giving me an opportunity to do that. I’m trying to be better.” –Logan
  • “This is the best moment on TV.” –Gabby (after Meatball poured spaghetti sauce on himself and tackled Billy Eichner to the ground)
  • “Do you stand by all the decisions you’ve made so far?” –Jesse (to Gabby)
  • “Of course, yeah. And if I didn’t, I would never tell you.” –Gabby

“The Bachelor” continues next Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.


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