Michelle Young’s season of “The Bachelorette” kicked off with a scenario that fans have never seen before. After the 28-year-old school teacher had an opening night spark with suitor Ryan Fox, she found out that he had a secret “Bachelorette” playbook in his luggage.
The drama took place after co-host Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe told Michelle that they found something “really alarming” when they checked in on Ryan’s room.
“So the other day, we went in and we popped in on some of the guys,” Tayshia told Michelle in the season 18 opener. “We found a document that had a lot of things about how to act around you, about how not to be a ‘villain.’ …Someone is planning out their every move.”
The two revealed that it was clear that Ryan did some research in an attempt to get a good edit and extra screentime during Michelle’s season – he even looked up information about teachers as a way to impress Michelle – perhaps because he was trying to stay on the show as long as possible so he’d have a chance at “The Bachelor” role.
Michelle promptly asked to speak with Ryan, who tried to explain that he knew nothing about “The Bachelor” franchise and that a friend’s wife had simply given him some notes ahead of his time on the show.
“The Bachelorette” star spent some time in Ryan’s room, where she looked through his red folder that contained a complete “Bachelorette” cheat sheet. She ultimately sent him home before the first rose ceremony because the incident was a red flag to her.
Tayshia & Kaitlyn Said Ryan’s Notes Were ‘Disturbing’
As the scene played out, “Bachelor” spoiler blogger Reality Steve Carbone took to Twitter to note that the scenario seemed staged.
“Gee, I wonder why Kaitlyn and Tayshia are scouting the guys’ rooms for the first time in show history? Maybe they’ll find something incriminating? Naaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh,” Reality Steve wrote.
But in an interview with ET Online, Kaitlyn and Tayshia said they saw the notes during a routine room check-in.
“I remember going in and seeing some of these documents and they were talking about who to act like in previous seasons, how to not be the villain, how to get the most time, so it was it was very eye-opening,” Kaitlyn told the outlet. “It looked like he was a very big fan of the show.”
“It was like an Excel document, front and back, multiple pages,” Tayshia added. “I had never seen anything like it before.” She called the discovery “quite disturbing.”
Fans Were Furious That Michelle’s Premiere Night Was Ruined
While he claimed to know nothing about “The Bachelor,” Us Weekly revealed that Ryan participated in “The Bachelor Live on Stage” tour in 2020. The spoof of the ABC dating show had him meeting several women during a pit stop in San Jose, California where he got to be the leading man. Former “Bachelor” star Ben Higgins hosted the traveling dating show.
On social media, fans were angry that Michelle Young’s premiere night was ruined with drummed-up drama from someone who clearly has a past history with the franchise. Several fans called out Tayshia and Kaitlyn for the “negativity” on Night 1, with some calling it a “cruel” thing to do to “The Bachelorette” on her big night.
“So you’re telling me that Tayshia and Kaitlyn know Ryan is full of s— and is just here for fame and… didn’t stop it immediately? But let him get his entrance? And let him interact with Michelle which will only lead to crap? “ one viewer wrote on Twitter.
Others blamed producers more than the two co-hosts, with some speculating that Ryan was a producer plant from the beginning.
“I’m sure he was handpicked by producers to be the night one scandal fall guy. Don’t enjoy the obvious acting,” one fan wrote.
“It’s not Kaitlyn & Tayshia’s fault, they just follow directions from producers. This is all orchestrated by production. … Michelle did not need that drama! It was cruel. Shame on producers!” another added.
“This was clearly orchestrated by the producers and they weren’t even slick about it,” another wrote. “Ryan has a full paper trail linking him to ABC. Kaitlyn, Tayshia, and Ryan are all in on it. Our only question–did Michelle know?”
Ryan Poked Fun at the ‘Bachelorette’ Drama
Following his short-lived cameo on “The Bachelorette,” Ryan shared a clip on Instagram that showed him making fun of the scene. In a social media post, Ryan was seen drinking a cup of coffee as he pilfered through his signature red folder. A cup next to him had a sticky note on it that said, “Evil Master Plan.”
“Some morning light reading,” he captioned the post. He also added the hashtags #bachelorette #bachelornation #notesboy.
On a more serious note, Ryan shared a photo of his first meeting with Michelle outside of “The Bachelorette” hotel where filming took place.
“Good luck to the beautiful @michelleyoung and all the rest of the guys this season!” he wrote. “Might not seem like it… but I had a really fun experience altogether on the show. Michelle was Stunning. Everyone on from the staff to cast were amazing to me and this is something I’ll have for the rest of my life. Fun to laugh about months later. I have no doubt Michelle will find love! Good luck boys! I am rooting for you! #bachelornation #bachelroette.”