Nate Mitchell went from ‘Bachelorette’ fan favorite to one of the most controversial contestants in season 19. When Gabby Windey chose him for her first one-on-one date, fans fell in love with the effervescent single father. “I do care about you, and a lot of who you are resonates with me,” Mitchell told Windey before kissing her against a scenic mountaintop panorama.
A Little Backstory
Unfortunately, Windey was unable to reconcile her difficult relationship with her own mother, which made her feel unworthy of taking on a stepmother role to Mitchell’s daughter. Hoards of social media users went online to say they cried when Windey sent Mitchell packing.
The tides turned when two of Mitchell’s exes came forth and talked to spoiler blogger, Reality Steve. Kelsey Fankhauser said that she and Mitchell dated for a year and a half and she didn’t find out that he had a daughter, or had been divorced, until she saw it on TV with the rest of Bachelor Nation. According to Reality Steve, Fankhauser sent him “a Google drive of 38 photos and screenshots of her relationship with Nate, along with a timeline explaining everything.”
Fankhauser also told the blogger that Mitchell had been seeing another woman named Laree Starke at the same time he was dating her. Reality Steve did a lot of digging and confirming before going public with these accusations. He even posted entire text conversations online. Many fans supported Mitchell after the news broke, but a lot of them turned against him.
On Tuesday, August 23, Mitchell posted a somewhat cryptic TikTok video that stirred up both sides of the Nate-for-Bachelor controversy that had been arising in recent weeks. Those who support Michell despite the accusations want him to be the next Bachelor, while others say they will boycott the show if he is.
WATCH the TikTok Video and See What You Think
The TikTok video shows Mitchell sitting a table, staring off into the distance with a forlorn look on his face. “Friends: why are you still thinking about her?” it reads at the top. Haunting music plays in the background as the scene switches to still pics of stock photographs that represent uniqueness.
Each image has the word “her” at the top. The first pick is of a golden egg amongst a sea of white eggs. Next is a yellow balloon rising up from a group of grey balloons. The scene then switches to a golden chess piece (a pawn – not a queen) separated from all of the other pawns. Last but not least, a gold paper clip is shown all alone on the left with a pile of grey paper clips on the right.
Not surprisingly, viewers are not sure what to make of this video. Nate-supporters on TikTok tend to think it is “sad” and “beautiful.” Other TikTok users find it “funny” and confusing. One TikTok viewer asked, “so uh what girl is this about?”
Another Reddit poster joked, “Bro really looked at the posters in my middle school guidance counselors office and said ‘that’s my type.’”
Some fans think the producers talked Mitchell into making the video. They think ABC is trying to make it look like Nate is pining over Gabby because it will make viewers think he’s sweet and start rooting for him to be the next Bachelor again.
One viewer wrote, “ABC really wants a single dad as the Bachelor. Nobody likes the grifter Michael Allio, so they want to go with Nate who they gave the Bachelor edit to. He has to act like he fell in love and is heartbroken so we can sympathize for him, and support him as the new Bachelor. Its all a PR campaign.”
A similar comment read, “This is to boost his image and appeal to a specific type of Bach fan so he seems sweet and romantic. Most of the comments are eating it up so I guess he’s on to something. I think if he was truly heartbroken, he’d be dealing with it privately.”