‘The Bachelorette’: Is Michelle Hiding Something About Her Relationship With Joe? (RECAP)

The Bachelorette star Michelle Young and contestant Joe Coleman
Spoiler Alert
ABC/Craig Sjodin

The Bachelorette

Episode 2

Season 18 • Episode 2

rating: 3.5 stars

So, it’s safe to say Michelle Young‘s season of The Bachelorette is already off to a rocky start — with night one resulting in a premature elimination thanks to Ryan. But now we’re in the second week of Michelle’s journey and it’s clear she’s looking to put all the drama behind her, but something tells me that’s not going to happen.

The group date

The week kicks off with the first group date of the season, and Brandon, Romeo, Rick, PJ, Will, Olumide, Casey, Daniel, LT, and Peter are the lucky men chosen to attend. Since Michelle is a teacher, she decides to test just how smart these guys are by taking them on a school-themed date. The best part? She invited three middle-schoolers to help her out. It didn’t take long to figure out these guys are not, in fact, smarter than a fifth-grader.


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Tensions rise when the men are asked to spell the word “narcissist” and as a joke, Will writes Peter’s name down. Obviously not willing to let that slide, Peter pulls Will aside later that evening to confront him. The chat immediately turns into a screaming match and nothing gets accomplished.

Meanwhile, Michelle focuses on getting some quality time with the men who are not spending their evening arguing with others. She manages to score some solid one-on-one time (and a few kisses!) with guys like Brandon and Rick, but when it’s time to chat with Peter, she calls him out for getting so heated with Will. Immediately he backpedals and claims he acted out of character — but did he? I don’t think so… only time will tell.

When it’s time to hand out the group date rose, Michelle offers it to Brandon.

The one-on-one date

Jamie gets the first one-on-one date of the season, but his reaction to the news is a little unexpected. Instead of appearing excited, he immediately says how this date will be a perfect opportunity for him to see if Michelle is right for him and is able to fit into his life. Uh oh.

The two head to Joshua Tree National Park to go rock climbing and have a picnic, and Michelle seems totally smitten with Jamie. “I feel like today Jamie and I have this beautiful moment and it sinks in that I truly feel so happy and so grateful that he’s here,” she says. “We’re on the right track.”

Later at dinner, Jamie opens up about his difficult upbringing. He shares that his mother struggled with mental health, and recalls one time when he saw her attempting to slit her wrists with a steak knife. He was only 12 years old at the time and would skip school to stay home because he was fearful of leaving his mother alone. By the time he turned 24, he sadly lost his mother to suicide. But his loss has made him appreciate relationships that much more.

Michelle is clearly moved by Jamie’s strength. “I think it’s amazing that you’ve been able to navigate through this,” she shares, before offering him a rose. “For you to be this beautiful person sitting right here in front of me, I’m beyond impressed.”

The evening ends with a private concert by Caroline James. Because of course it does.

The second group date

Joe, Martin, Nayte, Rodney, Spencer, Pardeep, Mollique, Chris, and Clayton are invited on the basketball-themed date because Michelle is “looking for a teammate for life.” Michelle connects with Joe very easily on the court, as they are both basketball players from Minnesota and share that in common. After running a few drills, the group splits into teams of five for the Bachelorette’s Basketball Battle, with the winning team getting time alone with Michelle. Though Joe’s team didn’t win, conveniently there’s an MVP award that’s given to one man and grants him access to the afterparty… and that man is of course Joe.


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At the afterparty, Joe’s chemistry with Michelle is off the charts. They have a magnetic connection — whether it’s because of their love for basketball or the fact that they’re both from Minnesota — it’s clear they have a pull towards one another. “I can see him being my teammate and today I feel like he was my teammate,” Michelle admits.

No surprise here, Joe lands the group date rose, leaving the other men wondering if he’s going to be a serious threat in the house. (Spoiler alert: He probably will be?)

The cocktail party

At the cocktail party, rumors start to swirl that Michelle may be hiding something about her relationship with Joe. Jamie claims a friend of his saw Michelle at a bar in Minneapolis prior to the show starting, and says she was already “boo’ed up” with a “tall, light-skinned baller.” After spreading the rumors to several men in the house, Jamie decides to confront Michelle himself. Only when he shares that rumor with her, he takes himself completely out of the equation and claims it’s the other men who are questioning her motives.


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Michelle addresses all of the men about this rumor and confirms that she and Joe shared a few messages years ago, but that’s the extent of their relationship prior to this show. She hopes to open up a group conversation with the men, but everyone — with the exception of Jamie — appears very confused by what’s going on. Michelle walks out, clearly emotional and frustrated, and ends up canceling the cocktail party.

At the rose ceremony, Will, PJ, Pardeep, Daniel, and Alec are sent home without a rose, and the remaining men left in the house are still left wondering who is trying to mess with Michelle’s emotions.

The Bachelorette, Tuesdays, 8/7c, ABC