‘The Bachelor’ Episode 3: The Reign of Shanae Continues (RECAP)

'The Bachelor,' Season 26, Episode 3, Clayton Echard, Nicole Eggert
Spoiler Alert
ABC/John Fleenor

Only three episodes in, Clayton Echard’s Bachelor season is already proving to be one of the most dramatic in history, as fans were forced to wait two weeks to see the result of Episode 2’s juicy cliffhanger.

Last episode, Sierra revealed to Clayton that group date rose-winner Cassidy has a secret friends-with-benefits relationship back home, leaving Clayton to ask host Jesse Palmer, “Has anyone ever taken a rose back before?” Baywatch star Nicole Eggert, former Bachelorette star Becca Kufrin, and Bachelorette host Kaitlyn Bristowe stopped by this week’s dates to help Clayton build connections and get one step closer to finding “the one” for him.

Let’s dive into Week 3, starting with the aftermath of Cassidy’s revelation!

'Bachelor' by the Numbers: Surprising Stats About the Dating CompetitionSee Also

'Bachelor' by the Numbers: Surprising Stats About the Dating Competition

The bloom is off the rose? Forty percent of 'Bachelor' winners never get a marriage proposal.

Cassidy faces the music

The episode picks up right where we left Clayton at Bachelor Mansion, questioning if he should take back Cassidy’s not-so-rightfully-earned group date rose. Sierra spills the tea, telling the group she came on the show to make her guy at home jealous. Kate sums the situation up perfectly, saying, “You could cut the tension with a knife.”

Jesse tells Clayton, “There are no rules. You can do whatever you wanna do,” so he takes Cassidy aside to confront her. Assuming he wanted to talk to her about house drama, she was taken aback by his accusation, denying everything. She clarifies that her “friend” was excited about her coming on the show and that she had no interest in beginning a relationship with him. After Clayton storms away, she breaks down sobbing, “I didn’t do anything.” She should have expected that on The Bachelor, hometown secrets don’t stay hidden for very long.

Clayton tracks her down and she continues to plea her case, but he believes their “trust is shaken.” To no surprise, Cassidy is sent packing as Kate rejoices, “The wicked witch is gone!” Who will Shanae have to help her with her schemes now?

Unfortunately for some women, the Cassidy drama took up most of the night, leaving many worried about their chances going into the rose ceremony. Sierra worries that she might not make it through due to telling Clayton about Cassidy, but her fears are soon put to rest, as she and several others survive another week. Falling victim to the night’s events were Kate, Ency, and Tessa, narrowing the group down to 18 women.

An emotional group date

The first group date gals meet Clayton at a mysterious theater for an emotional discussion with Bachelor Nation mainstay Kaitlyn Bristowe. To grow more vulnerable and open with each other, they each stand up when Kaitlyn reads statements they related to. She gets the ball rolling by asking the group to stand up if there are parts of themselves they aren’t proud of, and everyone stands up. Clayton confesses to putting walls up in previous relationships. Many can relate as Genevieve admits to self-sabotaging when a relationship doesn’t feel right.

Some of the bravest confessions come from Hunter and Serene who each share their struggles with body image and conforming to other people’s desired versions of themselves. Marlena opens up about her struggles with being a woman of color, and Clayton tells her he wants them to be able to discuss race, as he wants to understand her perspective. Clayton wraps things up by sharing his own struggles with body image as a kid, turning his biggest insecurity into his greatest strength on his journey to self-acceptance.

That date has everyone feeling a deeper bond with Clayton, and he feels the same, building stronger and stronger connections with each of them. “If I could give out eight roses today, I would,” he tells them before presenting the group date rose to Eliza. The gesture was a sweet one, especially after she missed out on last week’s dates. Good for her!

Sarah’s odd one-on-one

After dominating last week’s group date obstacle course, Sarah joined Clayton on what might be one of the strangest one-on-one dates ever. Hot off Bachelor in Paradise, Becca Kufrin stopped by to set up a scavenger hunt around downtown L.A. for the duo. The only catch? They must complete it in their underwear in an exercise to step out of their comfort zones. “Sometimes we just gotta bear it all.” Sarah joked.

Running around, smashing piñatas, answering questions, and awkwardly dancing in their tidey wideys, their final challenge was nothing short of cringeworthy, as they sang their feelings for each other, causing Becca, passing pedestrians, and viewers at home to cringe at Clayton’s poor vocal chops. Sarah managed to pull out a clever rap, and with that, they headed into the night feeling more bonded than ever.

Becca’s date did its job, as they cemented their connection as one of the strongest in the house (sorry Shanae). At dinner, Sarah opened up about her experiences as an adopted child and how she has struggled with feeling second best in several aspects of life. Clayton assures her he would never make her feel that way (don’t make promises you can’t keep). She gets the date rose and they end the night serenaded by a beautiful string quartet as the Immersive Vincent Van Gogh exhibit swirled all around them. “I think this could be the beginning of me and Clayton falling in love,” she says.

Shanae vs. Elizabeth continues

After the first group date went off without a hitch, there was no question the second would be full of drama. Shanae’s reign of torment continues as she carries on her pointless beef with Elizabeth.

Fitting with the group date’s beach setting, Baywatch star Nicole Eggert stops by to teach a little Lifeguarding 101. Though their lessons in applying sunscreen, performing CPR, and perfecting the show’s iconic slow-motion run would not be beneficial to an actual victim, their bright red bathing suits and solid effort helps them show off their fun personalities to Clayton, with some taking things farther than others.

'The Bachelor,' Season 26, Episode 3, Clayton Echard, Nicole Eggert, Group Date

ABC/John Fleenor

Shanae has her eye on the prize: getting extra time with Clayton. When it comes to her turn for the slow-motion run, she chooses to pull out her best runway walk, finishing by jumping onto Clayton and planting a big ole smooch on him (a bit much, wasn’t it?). Despite Shanae’s best efforts, Gabby wins the lifeguarding challenge and earns some much-deserved time with Clayton.

Going into the night portion of the date, Sierra wishes for a drama-free evening where they can each get enough time with Clayton. Oh Sierra, you spoke too soon. Shanae’s bad mood carries over into the night, and she refuses to talk to anyone except for Clayton. What do they talk about? Elizabeth, of course. She accuses her nemesis of bullying, stating that when others are around, people won’t talk to her. Her little act works like a charm. “I was good,” she says, patting herself on the back in front of the confessional camera.

Poor Elizabeth can’t have a conversation with Clayton that isn’t about the drama with Shanae. While sharing her side of the story, she emphasizes that the other women in the house will confirm that Shanae has continued to attack her for no reason. “What did I do?” she asks. He wonders if they can hash it out so that the house can move past it. Clearly, Clayton doesn’t get how this drama works.

Elizabeth catches the rest of the group up and they question Shanae about her statements. No progress is made, as she doubles down on the fact that they have been bullying her. “No one’s bullying you. We just don’t like you.”

After Gabby is presented with the group date rose, Clayton tells the group that the situation will be worked out at the next night’s rose ceremony. However, based on clips of next week’s episode, it looks like the reign of Shanae is far from over. Buckle up Bachelor Nation, because we’re in for a bumpy ride!

The Bachelor, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC