Last night, as I settled in for the second episode of The Bachelor, I was pleasantly surprised by the appearance of Billy Eichner on the second group date. Billy Eichner, clearly not excited to be on The Bachelor, tried to make the best of it. Or just make fun of it while he was there.
But let’s back up a little. Colton Underwood, 26 — who has previously dated Aly Raisman — is a pretty boring Bachelor (so far). Most of the contestants are like 23 (yikes). And this date was a “summer camp” theme (fun?).
Billy Eichner shows up, for no apparent reason, and not a single girl seems to recognize him. (A shanda!)
THE GIRLS TEPID RESPONSE TO BILLY EICHNER IS ALL I NEED TO KNOW SEND THEM ALL HOME IMMEDIATELY #THEBACHELOR
— Evan Bass (@ebassclinics) January 15, 2019
Then there’s a cut-away of Colton saying to the camera, unconvincingly, “Billy Eichner is very hilarious.”
Colton, have you seen “Billy on the Street”? Have you heard of “let’s go lesbians, let’s go!!”? Have you watched the carpool scene in Parks and Recreation that I legitimately cannot even think about without laughing? (She DROVE me here!!!!) Did Colton request Billy’s presence? Who thought this was a good idea??
Honestly, a “Billy on the Street” parody of The Bachelor would have been much, much better:
Pls let Billy Eichner go up to the women on The Bachelor and yell “MISS, MISS, FOR A DOLLAR, WOULD YOU HAVE SEX WITH THIS VIRGIN?” #TheBachelor
— Rebecca Moffatt (@rebeccamoffatt) January 15, 2019
Anyhoo, after Billy is introduced, the contestants go off to change into color war clothes, and Billy, Colton, and Chris Harrison sit down for a chat. Chris says nothing, so let’s just print Billy and Colton’s exchange in full (with some screencaps for your reading pleasure):
Billy: “All right I just met you.”
Billy: “You’re a virgin.”
Billy: “Never even like a one-night…”
Colton: “No. I feel like those are awkward. I wouldn’t—”
Billy: “No, they’re fantastic. Are you going to wait ’til you get married?”
Colton: “I’m gonna wait until I’m in love.”
Billy: “Fine. You get an award. Okay but then let’s say you have sex, and the sex is bad.”
Colton: “Well, there is always room for improvement.”
Billy: “Not a lot.”
This is a lot more awkward watching, don’t worry. But then it gets good:
Billy: “I’m glad you waited to have sex until you found someone who can successfully do a three-legged race. I think that’s what they’re gonna do. Egg on a spoon.”
Colton: “Is this not criteria you normally look for?” [Joking, we hope.]
Billy: “No the first thing I do— I’m gay, I know that’s a shock, Colton. That, I think, you should look into. Maybe you’re the first gay bachelor and we don’t even know! Put that in your promo. See you later!”
Let’s talk about the line, “Maybe you’re the first gay bachelor.” Here are screencaps of Billy saying it, and Colton’s reaction:
There have been rumors about Colton’s sexuality within “Bachelor Nation” (the fandom surrounding the Bachelor franchise), and outside the fandom (see: this blind gossip). While Colton’s status as a virgin shouldn’t be linked to being possibly gay, and speculating about somebody else’s sexuality is pretty gross, we are glad it was Billy Eichner who brought it up.
BILLY ENCOURAGING COLTON TO BE GAY IM SCREAMING #THEBACHELOR
— To Hell and Bach 🌹 (@HellandBach) January 15, 2019
Wouldn’t that really be the most dramatic season ever, if the lead came out at the end? As my favorite Bachelor recapper, Ali Barthwell, wrote for Vulture, “And the best part about it? No one would be mad! We would all be really happy for him. It’s come up in my group chats already. At the very least, it would explain the incredible number of quotes in this episode that could definitively be in someone’s coming out story. Y’know, everything Colton said about the pressure of expectations and being who someone else wants you to be and the pressure to be perfect? I’m just saying — it would be a great twist. Thank you, Billy Eichner, for opening up the conversation that was only a conspiracy theory in my world.”
As one viewer tweeted:
i don’t want to vocalize my controversial bachelor opinion so i’ll just say that when billy eichner made a joke about the bachelor being gay, he gave the same “im not gay” laugh that i gave until about 2011.
— Matt Bellassai (@MattBellassai) January 15, 2019
Billy himself retweeted a comment saying that Colton has more chemistry with him than any of the contestants:
— Ruth Skater Ginsburg (@ruthsk8r) January 15, 2019
Billy also posted two tweets about the show. One, a joke, saying, “Colton loses his virginity to me.”
I need to tell you guys something. I am on The Bachelor tonight. Colton loses his virginity to me. I have no other comment at this time. pic.twitter.com/0H6W0GQC8i
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) January 14, 2019
And the second, a more serious tweet:
I actually do think it would be cool to do a gay season of The Bachelor … and hey @BachelorABC I’m single…..
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) January 15, 2019
This would be amazing — #BillyforBachelor, let’s get it trending — but points to a more serious issue in the Bachelor franchise: Where are the queer people? One Daily Beast writer called the show a “spectacle of straightness,” writing, “The Bachelor still seems to take place in a universe where queer people don’t exist — not in the real world, where something like seven percent of millennials are LGBT.”
There have been some very tiny baby steps. Let’s remember that viral moment from Bachelor Vietnam when two female contestants admitted their love for each other. And on Arie Luyendyk’s season, there was a bisexual contestant, Jami King, but her storyline was handled very poorly.
If Colton is gay, or bi, or just not straight, I honestly think viewers would be very excited about this. But truly, I cannot see it happening.
For now, we’ll just have to take what we can get, which I guess is Billy Eichner stealing the show for one glorious episode. I’ll leave you with two of my favorite moments:
During the canoe race, Billy shouts, “Where is the red team going? It’s like Colton trying to find a vagina! It hasn’t happened yet!”
And before the tug of war, one of the contestants tells Billy he ruined their pre-tug-of-war chant. His response? “I’m sorry. I wanted a guest spot on The Goldbergs, and I got this.”
Thanks, Billy. Please come back every week, okay?