Tayshia is finally here, and the season is looking immensely better already.
After that abrupt cut–off from last week, we get to see all the guys’ reactions. They are just as excited by the rest of Bachelor Nation to meet our new bachelorette, and unsurprisingly, are immediately drawn to her. I mean, Tayshia is drop dead gorgeous. Ivan portrays all our—and likely the rest of the contestants’—sentiments perfectly when he says, “I like her way more than Clare already."
Tayshia starts with a short speech on how she’s committed to meeting all—and emphasis on all—the guys, concluding with how she just wants “a bomb summer." It doesn’t take much time before the contestants start scrambling over each other to try to talk to her, which I can’t imagine Clare reacting too well to after what happened at her first group date after–party.
Ivan ends up being the first to talk to her, telling Tayshia, “You are definitely more my speed." She has a conversation with Riley after that, which reveals that's basically a glorified beauty influencer. Jordan compliments Tayshia's “big ass eyes” and admits he wasn’t sure he wanted to stay until she came in.
Meanwhile, Blake decides to take his time with Tayshia to talk about himself and his struggles after Clare’s exit, practically demanding her patience. Which, speaking of: does anyone else get strange vibes from him? Personally, I’ve disliked Blake since episode 2—and it’s mostly because he reminds me too much of Luke P, the villain from Hannah Brown’s season. She then talks to Jason, who confesses he had feelings for Claire, but he’s still here for the “right reasons." Tayshia then starts talking with Brendan—who I’ve never seen before this episode—before Chris Harrison pulls her aside to tell her “everything is about to change."
It turns out that Tayshia is getting four new contestants—as she should—along with her own limo entrance moments. The first of the new contestants is Spencer Robertson, a 30–year–old engineer from California, whom Tayshia calls hot multiple times. The next two, Peter Giannikopoulos and Montel Hill, are rather forgettable—at least for now. The final one, Noah Erb, is slightly more memorable, but only for his awful mustache.
The 16 original contestants instantly dislike the new additions, especially Spencer, who comes off as a jerk. After all, he did enter the room by asking, “So which one of you scared away Clare?” To make it worse, he cuts in front of the other guys to talk to Tayshia first—and after the whole Dale debacle, it's clear why they don't take this very well.
Tayshia then makes wishes with Zac at the fountain, slow dances with Ben, and talks with Chasen, Eazy, Noah, and Kenny. Tayshia decides to cancel the rose ceremony because she wants to get to know the guys better, and the night ends with Spencer receiving the first impression rose along with a kiss from Tayshia.
Sadly, Tayshia’s journey gets briefly interrupted by an interview with Clare and Dale. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ll summarize it with this tweet:
The next morning, Chris Harrison announces that everybody will get dates this week, and that the first group date consists of Blake, Riley, Zac, Jordan, Noah, Peter, Kenny, Jay, Eazy, Spencer. They start a competitive game of splashball. Strikingly similar to Clare’s strip dodgeball game, they all played in speedos—and Yosef is probably screaming at his TV right now. Spencer and Riley get aggressive with each other, and Riley hits Spencer in the face with his elbow, which ends up working in Spencer’s favor as this scores him more attention from Tayshia. The Blue team wins the game and a barbecue with Tayshia, but we don't see it at all. All the guys get to attend the cocktail party this time.
At the cocktail party, Tayshia bonds with Eazy over their shared energetic personalities and he's already rushing things, saying he can see her as his wife. She also talks more with Zac, whom she calls “a pleasant surprise," has a conversation about kids with Riley, and has some moments with Jordan and Kenny.
During all of this, the guys take the chance to call out Spencer. Kenny tells him, “don’t take this the wrong way but you’re acting like a dick” and Riley calls him a “fried baloney sandwich with the mayonnaise." Tayshia ultimately gives the group date rose to Eazy for his vulnerability, but takes the time to thank Zac and Spencer as well.
Back at the resort, Jason’s struggling and decides that he needs to leave the show because Tayshia deserves a guy who’s going to give her all his love. He has an honest conversation with her, and explains that he had fallen in love with Clare, and is finding it hard to move on. While some people say falling in love in two weeks—especially with Clare—is a little fast, you must consider that Clare asked him to be emotionally vulnerable with her for possibly one of the first times in his life before dumping him for Dale just a week later. So, it’s understandable why he's a little upset.
For Tayshia, though, this confirms her fears that the other guys might view her as a second choice. Jason tries to reassure her that’s not the case before leaving, but she’s still worried. Can we just talk about how mature and sweet Jason has been so far? And not just to Tayshia, but also to all the other guys who he apparently had some emotional goodbyes with. I’m hoping to see more of him on Bachelor in Paradise or perhaps even as the Bachelor.
Next up is the one–on–one with Brendan. After her conversation with Jason, Tayshia is worried about the mindset of the rest of the contestants, and she wants to take the chance to make sure Brendan’s really there for her. She arrives at the pool on a horse, and they go on a ride around the resort. Brendan tells her that he “couldn't be happier that it’s [her]," and he gets ready to make a move, which he’s wanted to do since night one. But every time he thinks about it, Chris Harrison pops up on his scooter offering them margaritas, ice cream, cold coconuts, and more. However, it ends up working out for him: they kiss at the end of the date, with golden hour setting the scene.
At dinner, Brendan feels the need to open up about his baggage and his past marriage, but he’s worried about Tayshia’s reaction. They start off with talking about Brendan’s chill and collected demeanor, which Tayshia likes. I’m really liking Brendan so far. Case in point? He utters the best line of the episode: “There’s certainly, like, better–looking guys, smarter guys in the house—and I know being well–rounded isn’t necessarily sexy." Brendan then tells her about his previous marriage with a high school sweetheart, which ended because they fell out of love and wanted different things.
Tayshia completely understands, as she was in a similar situation, marrying and divorcing at a young age. They develop an even deeper connection, and Tayshia comments that it’s “really therapeutic to hear him say all the words [she’s] felt the past few years." Their dinner date ends with themkissing beneath a firework show, which looks very romantic, and perhaps an auger of good things to come.
I’m definitely rooting for Brendan and Tayshia so far, and after this episode, I have a renewed excitement for the rest of this season.