SPOILER ALERT! If you have not watched the latest episode of “The Bachelor” you may want to read this later!

“The Bachelor” tea is boiling hot right now. I still can’t believe what happened on last night’s episode; all of Bachelor Nation is shocked and confused about what they saw, and maybe a little bit happy that they finally got to see the infamous fence-hopping scene in context, since commercials have been using footage of it for weeks now. I personally have been a Bachelor fan for quite a few years now, and I am almost positive that what occurred last night has never happened in the history of the show.

Those of you who did watch last night’s episode saw what happened, and know that Cassie Randolph chose to leave the show after making it to the final three girls. For a couple weeks now, I have been questioning why Cassie has been unable to verbally express her feelings to Colton, especially considering how far she progressed compared to other girls who have been eliminated, and that all of the other girls at her point have been very transparent with their feelings. I have had my doubts about Cassie even before last night’s episode, but after the pointed fingers and the “girls-aren’t-here-for-the-right-reasons” scandal, I ultimately had restored faith in Cassie. I thought that she handled herself as well as she could have while under fire and there was definitely a very clear connection between her and Colton. I assumed she was taking it slower with saying the three words Colton wanted to hear most, and saving them for a time that she truly, confidently knew her feelings.

After last night’s episode I realize that I could not have been more wrong. Last week at hometowns, Cassie’s father was the only father out of all four girls to not give Colton a blessing to propose to his daughter. Some may say that Cassie’s father was the smartest dad out of all four of them for having his reservations and concerns, especially considering that Colton is still seeing three other women simultaneously, and that this whole process takes place over the course of only six weeks. However, this is a process that Cassie willingly entered into; she knew what it would entail and that majority of Bachelors/Bachelorettes hope to be engaged by the end of the show. Furthermore, Cassie kept Colton in the dark about any fears that she may have developed and ended up leading him on/misleading him into thinking that she was on the same page as him. Yes, she didn’t verbally express her feelings, but instead, she showed them, and Colton never questioned Cassie’s stance.

On last night’s episode, Cassie’s father flew out to Portugal to have one last conversation with Cassie, and although it was a nice, genuine conversation between a father and his daughter, I can’t help but feel that there was some manipulation here. Cassie’s dad kept trying to tell her that she should not have any doubts and that she should just know that Colton is the one. If she doesn’t know that already, then he’s not the one. Cassie’s dad also told her that this is in no way what happened between him and her mother; that when he met Cassie’s mother, he was not looking for a relationship, rather, it just happened, and that’s how he wants Cassie’s forever love story to happen as well. The problem here is that Cassie is a different person than both her mother and her father, and this is not the path she chose for herself. Her love story does not have to be the same as her parents’, and it should be under Cassie’s terms how she meets and ends up with the person she wants to spend her life with. Cassie is not a little girl anymore; she is allowed to make her own decisions, and this ending really felt like it was decided by her father.

For the most part, I like to give every contestant the benefit of the doubt and think that they are genuinely on the show to find love. Many of the contestants offer an explanation as to why they decided to go on the show, and a couple of the most popular reasons include that they are at a point in their lives where they are ready to settle down, or they’ve had heartbreak and failure with love before and are completely open to being vulnerable again, stepping outside of their comfort zones and potentially finding love on “The Bachelor”/”The Bachelorette.” Before last night’s episode, I had faith that Cassie’s intentions of being on the show were pure, and that she was ready for all of what could await her, and cared deeply for Colton. Now, I can’t help but think that she just wanted more Instagram followers. It’s such a shame, because she seemed so sincere, even when the other girls knew that she was not ready for all of this, and also because Colton admitted that Cassie was the girl he planned on choosing in the end, and did everything he possibly could have to get her to stay. Colton was completely blindsided and I feel terrible for him. First Becca, then his roller coaster relationship with Tia, and now Cassie rips his heart out?

I could not even offer a guess as to what happens next week. I don’t see how Colton could continue being “The Bachelor,” seeing as he revealed that Cassie was the intended winner, and she left the show. Now, Hannah G. and Tayshia look like second options. Does Cassie come back? Does Colton choose between Hannah G. and Tayshia instead? Does he stop participating in the show altogether? All of these questions will be answered next week in the two-part finale on Monday and Tuesday night, and a lot of unanswered questions will also be revealed on the “Women Tell All” special!

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-- Senior| Assistant Vine Editor Emeritus-- English Literature

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