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'The Bachelorette' recap: Increasing tension between two men leaves Tayshia with a tough decision

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ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) — On Tuesday’s episode of The Bachelorette, the ongoing tension between Barrett and Noah got out of hand, leaving Tayshia with a dilemma — one of them had to go, but who would it be?

The show kicked off with former Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher filling in for Chris Harrison, who temporarily left to accompany his son to college.  Fletcher delivered the first of two one-on-one date cards to Zac, with the message that Tayshia was “looking for a man I can picture a future with.”

The date accidentally stirred up bad memories for the previously married Bachelorette star because it involved Tayshia and Zac posing for pictures dressed in wedding attire.  The two bonded after Zac brought up his own failed marriage and helped her see her divorce in a different light.

Later, Zac opened up about his traumatic past, which began with emergency surgery for a brain tumor, followed by years of drug and alcohol abuse, troubles with the law and, finally, a couple of stints in rehab.  The 36-year-old Haddonfield, New Jersey native ultimately straightened out his life and pays it forward by working as an addiction specialist. 

Zac’s honesty was rewarded with a rose.

Next, Spencer, Ivan, Ed, Blake, Brendan, Riley, Demar, Bennett, Ben and Noah were invited on a group date, the invitation of which teased, “Express yourself.” 

They entered an art studio to find live male and female models posing nude together.  The men, expecting to have the get naked themselves, were relieved to hear they’d be putting their artistic skills to work by “sketching from the human form in a romantic embrace.”

The artistic challenges got increasingly harder and more personal, until finally, the men were asked to create a self portrait that revealed something deep inside them.  All 10 bachelors performed well, but it was Ben who proved to be the bravest by baring his body as well as his soul for Tayshia. 

“This is me showing up for you,” he explained.  Ben’s willingness to let his guard down left Tayshia “overwhelmed” and reduced her to tears.

Later, during a private moment with Tayshia at the after-party, Ben opened up even more.  He explained that he battled eating disorders for 10 years, sparked by insecurities about his weight that started in high school and lasted into his 20s.  Ben told Tayshia that, aside from his sister, she was now the only other person who knew.  Tayshia rewarded the 30-year-old Army vet with the date rose.

What could have been a perfect day, however, was spoiled by Bennet and Noah, who spent the date throwing shade at each other in full view of Tayshia.

The second one-on-one date went to Eazy, who accompanied Tayshia on a ghost hunt through parts of the resort that, legend has it, were haunted.  Looking to take a “monumental step” in their relationship, Eazy told Tayshia at dinner that he was falling in love with her, only to find out that she was “not there” with him. 

In one of the most shocking eliminations of the season, the devastated bachelor was sent home.

Meanwhile, the drama between Bennett and Noah became too much for Tayshia, who decided one of them had to go and set up an impromptu two-on-one date to help her decide.

Which of the archenemies will receive a rose?  We’ll get the answer when The Bachelorette returns Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

By George Costantino
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