Rachel Lindsay:The guys on The Bachelorette often get down and dirty as they battle for the affections of the woman whose heart they aim to win.
But the episode Monday of the ABC dating show saw eight of the contestants literally fighting dirty — mud wrestling to impress Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay.
In an episode where six guys also stripped off on the Ellen DeGeneres show, which she aired in March, Rachel had her ‘posse’ from her season on The Bachelor help arrange for the guys to fight it out in front of a group of screaming women.
Surprise victory: Bryce surprisingly defeated pro wrestler ‘Pretty Boy Pitbull’ Kenny King
The date was heavily favored for contestant Kenny, 35, who is a professional wrestler from Las Vegas known as Pretty Boy Pitbull Kenny King.
‘These dudes about to get their a** whooped today. If I were those dudes I’d be extremely nervous,’ Kenny bragged. ‘But hey man, all’s fair in love and war.’
He threw himself into it wholeheartedly, repeatedly body slamming the first few guys he battled, with Jack Stone, 31, admitting: ‘Kenny’s a beast. I think I got pretty murdered by Kenny. I’m lucky to have gotten out alive.’
But 30-year-old fireman Bryce — who had already shown off his other moves by pole dancing for the girls during the bus ride over — was confident about an upset.
First up: The were surrounded by an audience of women as they started wrestling
In the ring: The guys were covered in mud as they wrestled each other
Big move: The crowd was impressed by some of the takedowns
‘I consider myself the most athletic guy of the whole group,’ he bragged, saying he also grew up constantly wrestling his brothers. ‘I’m in my element.’
As he prepared for the final against Kenny, he said: ‘He’s bigger than me, he’s more experienced — but I think I can hold my own.’
To loud screams from all the girls — including Rachel’s former Bachelor posse of Raven, Corinne, Jasmine, and Alexis — both men added to the layers of mud that already caked their complete bodies, including their faces.
On the pole: Bryce earlier showed his athleticism on a dancing pole during the bus ride
Main event: An announcer informed the guys that they would be wrestling in a tournament
Support system: Raven and Jasmine helped Rachel assess the competitors
Fan favorite: Corinne also was back to help out Rachel
To everyone’s surprise, Bryce’s confidence was well placed with him ruled the winner ahead of pro fighter Kenny, who held up his victor’s hand with a smile showing beneath the mud covering his face.
Smiling with a trophy belt over his shoulder, Bryce proudly said: ‘I worked my a** off for this thing.’
Rachel, who like her friends wore a see-through rain jacket to keep off the flying mud, clearly enjoyed the spectacle of her muscular suitors fighting for her affections.
The champ: Bryce noted that he worked hard for the championship belt
‘For my own selfish reasons I get to see these guys topless today,’ she smiled later, having also had the guys strip off their shirts on Ellen’s show.
There, the guys had run topless into the audience to allow girls to put dollar bills into the waistbands of their pants, with Information Systems Supervisor Alex, 28, getting particularly carried away.
‘Whoever’s grandma it was that I danced on, I’m sorry,’ he said, as footage was shown of him grinding for one elderly woman. ‘I can’t believe that I did it either but I lost myself in the moment.’
She’s excited: Rachel was excited to see the guys strip down and wrestle
Chat show: Ellen DeGeneres welcomed Rachel on a group date
Shirts off: Alex got into it as the guys took off their shirts and danced for the audience
Ellen also got them to play Never Have I Ever — where Will, Peter, and Bryan upset the other three guys by admitting they had already kissed Rachel, and two raised doubts about their honesty when they insisted they had never thought about having sex with her.
But Alex left no doubts that he was being honest when he confessed to having peed in the pool at the mansion.
When he then tried to insist that a naked selfie he had once sent someone was ‘classy,’ Ellen quipped: ‘He’s the guy that peed in the pool, though.’
Fun game: The guys played the popular game Never Have I Ever on the chat show as Rachel learned more about them
Still, his humor and enthusiastic dancing earned him the rose from the group date, with him having also told Rachel: ‘I haven’t met a girl that makes me nervous in a long time. I will take those butterflies all day.’
‘Alex is such a rare breed — smart, funny, sexy,’ Rachel said as they were shown kissing.
Calling him one of the ‘dark horses,’ she added: ‘Every single time I’m with Alex I learn something new about him and it draws me in more and more.’
Dark horse: Alex apologized for grinding on a grandma and earned the group date rose
Rachel had called Ellen her ‘spirit animal,’ adding: ‘I love everything that Ellen is.’
After the episode, she smiled: ‘I loved Ellen before, I love her even more now for helping me see the men with their shirts off.
‘Thank you Ellen — Mama was pleased!’
Ellen fan: Rachel called Ellen her ‘spirit animal’ and thanked her for the shirtless show
The TV host, meanwhile, said: ‘Every year I say I’m not gonna watch the Bachelor, I’m not gonna watch the Bachelorette, I can’t devote that much time, I have a life. And then I get sucked in.’
As for Rachel, Ellen said: ‘I like her a lot, she’s great. So I hope one of these guys is the guy. She’s looking for love and she deserves that.’
Rachel also had a rose for education software manager Anthony, 26, after what she called their ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ date — riding horses through Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills even though the contender had never ridden before.
One on one: Rachel offered a rose to Anthony after their one-on-one date
Horseback riding: Anthony had never ridden a horse before but mounted one with Rachel for a ride in Beverly Hills
They even went into stores on horseback, buying matching cowboy hats and boots — and cringing when one of the horses pooped inside a posh store.
He further endeared himself to her over an outdoor dinner with the L.A. skyline behind them, telling her he was an old soul because of what he called ‘the perfect childhood’ he had that was ‘rich in love.’
‘Thinking about my parents and that loving household they created — I want to do that. I know the impact of having a great father in my life, and I want to be that for a kid,’ he told her. ‘That’s why I started teaching — I just want to pay it forward. I just want to give out to the world.’
Matching items: Rachel and Anthony bought matching cowboy hats and boots
Horse cupcake: They also stopped at a Sprinkles machine and bought a horse cupcake
‘That’s beautiful,’ she told him, before they walked over to where a live band was playing for them to dance, stopping for kisses.
‘Dancing in Anthony’s arms in front of a quartet has been such a fantasy,’ she admitted later.
The mud wrestling was not the only fighting of the night as tensions kept growing between some of the guys.
That’s romantic: Anthony and Rachel later danced as a quartet played with the downtown skyline as a backdrop
Lucas — notorious for his over-the-top screaming of his catchphrase ‘whaboom!’ — increasingly upset Blake, who was convinced that Lucas was on the show just for TV fame and not to find real romance with Rachel.
Their feud turned even more surreal when Rachel asked Lucas about it, and he insisted that Blake maybe was bad mouthing him ‘because he has a crush on me’ — even claiming he was licking a banana suggestively as he stood over him in his room as he slept.
‘I don’t eat carbs because I’m on a ketogenic diet, so I don’t eat bananas,’ Blake insisted when confronted by Rachel about it, seemingly confusing her all the more.
Banana talk: Rachel asked Blake about allegedly eating a banana while watching Lucas sleep
As both men wished the other would be sent home during the first rose ceremony, Rachel sent a message that she does not want unnecessary drama — and instead sent both home.
But they were not done, having a screaming match outside the mansion as they left the show, with Blake saying as he walked over to confront his nemesis: ‘Time to kill this guy.’
Instead they just traded insults, with Blake starting the conversation by saying: ‘I just wanna say, ‘F*** you, bro. You’re a piece of s***.’
Bitter farewell: Blake and Lucas were both booted during the rose ceremony
Saying he was ‘here to be on f***ing TV,’ he called him ‘a washed-up joke’ and insisted: ‘You’re the whaboom clown, I’m the nice gentleman.’
‘It’s not about winning, it’s about the world, brother,’ Lucas told him as he walked off, mocking his words after him.
‘Go back to your protein shakes, go back to your steroids. Just get back to your garbage clown life, dude,’ Lucas continued, walking away — before returning to scream at him: ‘I’m a clown because I can be funny — you don’t even know what funny looks like!’
Getting ugly: Lucas told Blake that he doesn’t know what funny looks like and Blake mocked his ‘whaboom’ catchphrase one more time
‘Just let me know when you change the world one ”whaboom” at a time,’ Blake shot back before both men finally went on their way.
Rachel also showed she was not willing to suffer drama when executive recruiter DeMario Jackson, 30, returned to beg for a second chance despite getting sent packing when a woman confronted him claiming to be his girlfriend.
‘As much as what he did hurt me, I think it took guts coming to the mansion tonight and so I feel like out of respect I should give DeMario a chance to explain himself,’ she said before walking outside for a one-on-one chat.
Nice try: DeMario returned begging for a second chance after Rachel sent him packing after his girlfriend showed up
He admitted he ‘completely f***ed up,’ telling her: ‘One of your mottos is ”keep it real,” and I didn’t keep it real with you.
‘But I want to let you know that I can’t let you go.’
He added: ‘One of my favorite quotes is, ”In order to experience joy you need pain.” And I realize these faults last night, being not able to sleep.
‘So I am begging this from the bottom of my entire heart, will you please give me another chance.’
‘What I saw in the gym yesterday — that’s a boy. And I’m looking for a man,’ she finally told him, saying he had plenty of chances to stop her looking like a ‘damn fool’ and be honest at the time.
‘So I’m glad that you realized you should move forward, but I need you to know that forward isn’t that way through the mansion, forward is outside of it.
Life lesson: Rachel appreciated the Jay-Z quote and told DeMario that she hopes the pain he’s endured gives him ‘joy somewhere else’
‘So I’m glad that this has been a life lesson, and I’m glad that you gave me the quote about the joy and the pain, and I hope that the pain that you’ve gotten from this gives you joy somewhere else. It’s just not here right now,’ Rachel told DeMario as she turned his favorite quote, apparently from a Jay-Z song, back at him.
She also crushed Fred, 27, the contestant she had known at school as they grew up in Dallas, Texas, and always thought of as that ‘bad’ kid.
He had grown increasingly frustrated that she was still branding him by his childhood, insisting: ‘I’m a man, I’m not a boy anymore.’
Grown up: Fred was dealing with Rachel still seeing him as the ‘bad’ kid from school in Texas
And he also insisted he was beyond besotted, saying Rachel was ‘deeply rooted in my soul’ and that he ‘can’t even go a day or go to sleep or wake up without thinking about her.’
‘I’ve been waiting to kiss her for like 20 years, man,’ he said, insisting his feelings were ‘a little bit deeper’ than the other guys.
When they finally got one-on-one time after the Ellen group date, he blew it by nervously asking Rachel: ‘Is this the moment that you feel that I can kiss you?’
Deeply rooted: Rachel and Fred kissed after he asked permission
‘Now I feel awkward. I’ve never had anybody ask me — they just do it,’ she said, with Fred finally leaning in for the kiss.
He later called the kiss ‘bliss,’ insisting: ‘I saw me in a tuxedo and I saw her in a wedding gown. It’s crazy to think that my childhood crush is a woman that now I can see as my wife. I’m excited to get the rose because I know she felt the same.’
Instead, she sent him home even before the rose ceremony, telling him: ‘I just can’t reciprocate the feeling that you were giving me today.’
Rachel Lindsay:Sent packing: Rachel wasn’t feeling it and sent Fred packing before the rose ceremony
But she was blunt when she spoke about her decision to camera, saying she ‘still sees a boy’ in him, adding: ‘That was even evident in the kiss — it was like a little boy was kissing me.’
Fresh feuds also appeared to be brewing against L.A.-based personal trainer Eric, 29, with Iggy, Nashville country singer Lee Garrett, and firefighter Bryce all speaking out against him with Rachel.
He had also moaned to everyone that he felt Rachel was ’emotionally unavailable’ to him — actually getting a group date rose after the mud wrestling after opening up about his fears that she was not letting him get close.
Emotionally unavailable: Eric accused Rachel of being ’emotionally unavailable’
Rachel Lindsay:After saying he felt at ‘ease and peace’ at getting the rose, that was soon shattered when he found out that some of the guys were again talking bad about him to Rachel.
She also confronted him, admitting that she had considered taking back the rose because of it — but giving him the benefit of the doubt.
‘But I would be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that my antennas are up,’ she warned him.
Rose accepted: Rachel handed Eric a group date rose after the wrestling, but later admitted that she felt like taking it back
The episode ended with Eric calling the guys together and telling them: ‘Don’t make this thing about me, man — make it about Rachel. If I fail with Rachel let that be for me, not for you.’
Rachel Lindsay:But a teaser made it clear that the feud only got worse, with Lee having admitted: ‘Eric doesn’t like losing — neither do I. It’s not gonna be pretty.’
His comments upset more than just Eric, with Kenny shown calling Lee a ‘bitch’ — and Will even warning he may have been racially insensitive in calling him ‘aggressive.’
Rachel Lindsay:Game on: Lee and others were called out by Eric for talking about him to Rachel
‘I understand his frustration,’ Will told Lee. ‘When you call him aggressive, there is a long-standing history in this country regarding black men as aggressive to justify a lot of other things.’
Rachel Lindsay:The teaser also saw Rachel wiping away tears and sobbing: ‘I did not wanna get into all of this tonight.’
The Bachelorette returns next week on ABC.
Favorite topic: Eric implored the others to stop making it about him by mentioning his name to Rachel
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