SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the July 26 “Men Tell All” episode of “The Bachelorette.”
Widower and single dad Michael Allio was one of Katie’s final four going into hometowns. But before the “Men Tell All” special, he abruptly left the competition in reaction to a video call with his son.
“Maybe Daddy left because he don’t want to see me,” his son James said.
The comment forced Michael to go to Katie directly and withdraw from the season. “I’m not leaving because of us. I’m leaving because my son needs his dad,” he told Katie.
The exit prompted tears from Katie, before segueing into the “Men Tell All” portion of the episode, which — of course — contained the traditional bromances and recounts of betrayal from the season. A live studio audience returned for the first time since the pandemic started, with hosts Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.
The early season villains — including Cody Menk, Karl Smith and Hunter Montgomery — had their opportunity to speak. Aaron Clancy confronted Cody about some pre-show social media posts, and Karl claimed that his generic cries of “here for the wrong reasons” were about Thomas Jacobs. The other men claimed it was a convenient cop-out, but the situation escalated where Karl and Brendan Scanzano stood up in confrontation before it was diffused by a commercial break.
Hunter admitted to moments of “some dishonesty” but stood firm that he was truthful when he said he was falling in love with Katie. He said that the environment makes people do crazy things, and Connor Brennan backed him up as a good guy.
Three men were given one-on-one “hot seats” interviews: Connor, Andrew and Michael.
Connor was sent home after a lackluster kiss with Katie, and he admitted to texting a few exes post-show to ask about his skills. An audience member interrupted his interview — “I know that you can’t be a bad kisser,” she said — to come to the stage so the two could make out while the rest of the men cheered him on.
Andrew’s interview recounted his time on the show, including that Katie “killed it” during their conversations about race and being half of an interracial couple.
Michael’s exit was still fresh, and he admitted that leaving was about his son James missing him and the “constant juggling act” of being a single parent. He said that he still had feelings for Katie and that he would try again if she was interested. However, Katie joined the stage shortly after and said that while she cared for Michael, she has “moved on.”
During the remainder of her time on stage, Katie spoke to season villain Thomas, who joined the “Men Tell All” via video call. His inability to be there in person diffused some of the potential conflicts with other men, but he ultimately took the time to apologize to Katie.
Bloopers and a video of Kaitlyn’s engagement to former “Bachelorette” contestant Jason Tartick filled out the episode before Katie’s tease for the remainder of the season. Katie will return with Greg Grippo, Blake Moynes and Justin Glaze next week for hometowns.
“The Bachelorette” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.