This season of The Bachelorette has been sent into total upheaval over the past 24 hours, and contestant Jed Wyatt’s past is to blame.
As we wrote about yesterday, one of Hannah Brown’s remaining contenders in Jed Wyatt reportedly had a girlfriend leading up right to the start of filming. Haley Stevens, a Nashville-based musician, claims via People Magazine that Jed told her he was doing the show for the sake of his music career. She knew about him going on the show early on in their relationship, but he insisted along the way that he was doing it with a particular reason in mind and he would come back to her on the other side of it.
There’s enough evidence out there for parts of Stevens’ story to feel reasonably credible, and there are a couple of different concerns here for the franchise. If Jed simply had a girlfriend and broke up with her right before the show, none of this would be anywhere near the same sort of firestorm. Sure, that’s a less-than-favorable thing for somebody to do, but he’s being open and honest proclaiming that he’s single on the show. Keeping a girlfriend back home and leaving her blindsided after the fact is a different ballgame. It shows a total lack of regard for someone else’s feelings, and that you’ll chase whoever to get you moving up the career ladder.
We know anytime a story like this comes out the inclination for some is to blame the person with the accusations for “chasing fame.” What’s the motive for Haley to come out with this stuff? Sure, she’s more famous now than she was two days ago, but if she’s in the music industry she’d probably prefer to be known for her art than being a woman Jed ghosted to be on reality TV. This feels more like her wanting to control the narrative on something that was going to probably come out in due time.
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Where does the show itself go with this?
It can’t just be forgotten about, mostly because Stevens’ story was told to a major publication. This is not some small-grade tabloid; it’s a publication with vetting and close ties to the franchise. Many happy-couple photo shoots after the season have happened with them. The Bachelorette can’t ignore it, even if creator Mike Fleiss is trying to convince people on Twitter not believe everything that they read.
If Jed sticks around long enough to be relevant at the end, he’ll have to address it at some point. We’re sure that he’ll deny all of it, but that may not change the story that is out there. If he ended up winning this season, that’s a whole other mess. It could be a relationship-killer for him and Hannah. This isn’t the sort of thing that you can easily walk away from and it’d be a huge embarrassment for ABC as a network that they couldn’t vet this stuff out.
What do you think about this new series of events when it comes to Jed? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: ABC.)