Zak Waddell was a contestant on ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 9 // Follow him at @RealZakWaddell

What B word would you use to describe Carly…Brit…Becca? Please complete the worksheet below:

Carly: ______ , _______ , _______

Brit: ______ , _______ , _______

Becca: (maybe lets skip this one…the only word I can think of is Becca)

Do you have your answers? Good.  Now go on Carly (@carlywad) or Brit’s (@brittkarolina) Instagram and see if your answers match that of your peers.

Surprised?  People are harsh!… because they can be with no consequences. Social Media enables a cloak of invisibility. Even as I blast out words for this week’s blog, I am reminded that I have the last word. I can sit anonymously, cornered in this crowded Starbucks, plucking away on my work issued laptop, headphones inserted, set to whale sounds. When I hit send and these words are magically lifted to your screen, I have done my part. I have painted a picture of my thoughts for you to take in. The paint has dried and I have moved on to other projects. My opinion has been my brush and stroke.

I heard it said once, that Social Media is just socially approved narcissism – that it requires less effort to construct a favorable image of self under the guise of social media, than it does through actual human action. That all we are doing is digging a hole of wants, filling it with the waters of fallacy, and as the water becomes still… gazing into an altered self-reflection. True or false, right or wrong… it is part of our post-modern age.  Abstaining from it is like jumping into a Hot Tub Time Machine of days past. That choice is up to you. Just know that there is no reflection in the rolling, bubbly waters there.

The thing about Narcissus that makes him innocent is that he was only a threat to himself.  He fell in love with his own reflection and drowned by his own self-love.  Maybe this is the same thing that makes it socially approved… no one is really causing harm to others. Or is it?


Since week 1, Brit has entranced Chris.  She has taken him by the hand, kneeled with him next to her own reflection and together they have fallen in love with “the reflection of Brit”. The issue the women are having, like we did with James, is “this Brit” is not the same person they have spent every waking minute with for the last 2 months. Her stories change, deep secrets are revealed, her goals vary. The inconsistencies are vast and alarming. As many times as they cast stones in the water, sending ripples towards “the refection of Brit”, it doesn’t just change the way Chris sees her.

In steps, the martyr… Carly. Where would Chris be at this point if it wasn’t for Carly? Would any of the other women have taken a stand?  Would Brit continue to drag Chris along her wandering path of indecision? It is hard to imagine these scenarios being unaltered, without Carly stepping in.

Maybe Carly went a little overboard with her celebration after Brit was sent home, or maybe it was just misunderstood. Was she celebrating purely out of jealousy and rivalry? Or was it from a deeper place, a place of empathy for the well-being of Chris. It came across to me more like a friend cheering on a friend at mile marker 22 of their first marathon. Tired and defeated, they push on with a new sense of purpose and strength. Chris certainly had his suspicions about Brit. Luckily, Carly brought them to light before it was too late, knowing her time was coming to an end.


Every season there is a fight like the one between Carly and Brit. On my season it was James. The baffling thing for viewers is trying to put their finger on a reason. We never really get to the bottom of it. The logic never really adds up.  Did Brit really say she could never live in Iowa, was the story exaggerated, taken out of context? We hope to get some clarification at Women Tell All. But we know what we will get, smiles and false apologies all to persuade public opinion. After all… isn’t the Bachelorette being chosen soon?

Brit was never a realistic option for farmer Chris and the Arlington, Iowa lifestyle. Was she ready to be a mother… possibility… but not a mother in Iowa. Brit personifies what makes the Bachelor/Bachelorette interesting – watching people mature/unravel under pressure. If you aren’t ready to take love seriously and make sacrifices to align your life/interest/goals with another… you just won’t make it on the show. Other contestants, production, and the viewers will see right through you. You will be exposed for your insincerity… your Oscar worthy acting abilities. You will cry (and maybe squirm) in a final plea to win the pity of America. And maybe, after the show, if you post enough pitiful things on social media, you can gather enough followers to persuade the franchise to enlist you as the next Bachelorette. Fingers crossed it doesn’t actually work this way.

Back to the episode.

Jade is aware of the importance of her one-on-one date; the other women painfully aware. Jade seems to have a soothing effect on Chris. She seems to glide around him like an orb of desire.  There is an obvious sexual chemistry and a constant flirtation building. Jade has a quiet confidence in moments that others nervously over-exaggerate. The date ends with an enamored but suspect Chris… maybe there is more to her than the small town Nebraska persona he has boxed her in.

Running out of time.  Unfortunately, I have about 2 hours to finish this blog entry before I go back to work.  Every Tuesday I bring breakfast to an Oil & Gas Operator that does business with us. I rush out at 9am, race to Starbucks and try to get my thoughts down before lunch time work obligations. I look forward to these every week and will try to get more content to you next week!

Until then..


  • MelissaWrites

    I’ve really enjoyed reading these until now, and although I agree that Britt likely could not see herself in Iowa and that it was an appropriate time for her to go home, your painting of Carly (your sister, after all) as a martyr is gross. I really liked Carly on the show, even with her misguided tattle tale incident, but this article made me resent her because of how you chose to write about it.

    Carly wasn’t a martyr for love or for Chris, she saw an opportunity to shed light on another girl and potentially extend her own stay on the show by telling Chris that Britt wasn’t right for him. As with other contestants who have behaved similarly, she likely felt insecure and that she was about to go home. So what? It’s a show that brings out people’s insecurities and casts light on those who might not be genuine.

    Carly wasn’t first and she won’t be the last to do something like that, honestly if there was a true connection between her and Chris he would have kept her regardless; but let’s not pretend that her saying something to him was anything more than an attempt to not get sent home when she clearly knew she was at risk. If she catches some heat for that, so be it. Let’s be up front with her motives though, comparing her to a martyr is insane.

    Is what I am disgusted with is your need to tear down another human being.

    Tearing down Britt the way you have (again not my personal favorite) is disgusting and horrifying. You’re a grown man who is clearly protective of your sister, which is ok with me, I have siblings too. However, tearing down another individual in order to make what Carly did not look so bad, is wrong. Britt doesn’t deserve to be completely torn apart (which you’ve done in other recaps) in order to make your sister look innocent.

    Carly’s a big girl, what she did really wasn’t a big deal and I think that even without her saying something, it had become more and more clear that Britt wasn’t right for Chris, but you don’t need to paint an unflattering picture of someone else to try and justify her actions, it makes you look like a bully and an asshole if we’re being honest here.

    Also, as much as you might say that Britt wasn’t right for small town Iowa and never going to move there, the same argument could have been made for Carly (or most of these girls). So let’s just get over that, I don’t think there are any cruise ships sailing out of the Lake Okaboji area.

    • Amanda

      I absolutely agree with everything you just said. Zak has been tearing Britt apart since the first episode and clearly not watching as a viewer, but as someone informed by his insider, his sister, and her tainted views of how the process went down. Carly was jealous and her jealousy reflects in Zak’s recaps. We never saw any clips of anything Britt allegedly said for Carly to make her out to be so fake, and I’m not saying the possibility isn’t there that they just didn’t show them, but it’s also possible that she didn’t say exactly those things. And for Zak to suggest Britt just wants to be the next Bachelorette, which he was since day 1, is unfair. Ever consider maybe Britt acted the way she did because despite signing up for this process, it still hurt her to have to play out her love story against these other women because she truly loved Chris. I have really not enjoyed Zak’s recaps on this blog at all.

      • Brenna

        I completely agree! I wrote a huge response that was similar to yours but it didn’t post. Instead of taking the time to type it all again (it took so long!) I will just add an “Amen!” to your post!

  • violovein

    I have to respectfully disagree with Melissa and Amanda. If you follow along on Chris’s own blog, you will know that not only Carly, but Jade and Ashley also warned him about Britt. I don’t think Zak is really tearing Britt down that much. Her own words and actions did that for her. As for Zak’s defense of Carly, of course he would defend her, she’s his sister! And he himself admitted that maybe Carly celebrated Britt’s exit too much. I like Carly. She’s really funny and she seems real and down-to-earth. Thanks for your take on things, Zak!

    • MelissaWrites

      I also read Chris’ responses and I don’t see any issue with someone telling Chris about Britt. Something like that happens every season, and will always continue to happen. I don’t even think the way Carly behaved was all that bad, however will she be criticized as a result? Of course, not from me personally. I liked Carly, and truthfully I wasn’t a huge fan of Britt overall. But I don’t like someone who is telling others to not be an online bully while he has been doing the same exact thing.

      My issue comes from Zak tearing down a person in effort to making his sister look better overall. From early on he set-up Britt as a villain and it appears now he did this because he knew his sister might end up being criticized for the way she acted. That’s what I find gross about this.

      He compares Carly’s actions to that of a martyr (which is insane) and that she was gloating on screen and cheering when Britt went home, because she was happy for her ‘friend Chris’ for getting rid of a bad girl, rather than happy about the fact that she had increased her chances at staying. Let’s be real, Carly said some mean stuff in the moment. I personally wouldn’t hold that against her, but that’s what she did. And that is an unfortunate side effect of this show. It brings out people’s insecurities and causes them to act in ways they wouldn’t normally behave.

      That’s what I don’t like about this. He continually highlighted why Britt was a bad choice in a way he didn’t with the other girls. If you want to stand up for your sister, fine. I get that and would likely do something similar for my siblings, but don’t do so at the expense of someone else. His focus should have been on building Carly up and not taking anyone else down. That just makes you (and them) look even worse as a result.

      Desiree’s recent recap of her thoughts on the show is a perfect example of how this should have been approached and how this can be done without tearing someone else done. Because doing that only makes you just as bad as all the online trolls who are doing that to your sister.

  • Anjali Agarwal

    Zak defending Carly. SHOCKER. #yawn #siblinghypocrisy