[This story contains spoilers for Charity Lawson’s “Men Tell All” special of The Bachelorette.]
Charity Lawson got a lot of flack with some of her most notable former suitors — including Brayden Bowers and Xavier Bonner — during the “Men Tell All” episode of The Bachelorette Season 20.
The special airing Monday on ABC featured Lawson sitting down with Bonner, whom she abruptly rejected during an episode of Fairy Wings after he admitted to cheating on his latest partner and didn’t seem ready for a serious commitment. The Bachelorette also chats with Powers, who gets her first impression skyrocketed during the season premiere, but later stirs up a lot of drama with the other guys and Lawson herself.
in conversation with Hollywood ReporterIn the episode, Lawson discussed her main hope for Bonner, how she thought Powers would fare Bachelor in Heaven, differences in her relationships with celebrities Joey Grazidi and Dutton Olubico, and the “beautiful” finale, which airs next week. (Click here for coverage Golden Bachelor “Men Tell All” star Jerry Turner’s emotional debut.)
How do you feel about your time with Brayden, and how does it feel when you’re done?
It’s like the bigger question is always: “Obviously, Brayden got your first impression for a reason.” And I go back to the first night, the night was very chaotic, and there are a lot of moving parts. I would describe Brayden as a very charismatic character, and he’s really full of energy – he was basically a breath of fresh air. Watching it again, it was really hard because I don’t have full context in everything that’s going on, so I can only draw on the conversations I had with each of the guys in the house. Seeing their interviews and then how they discuss things among themselves, this was the most shocking part of our relationship.
Upon watching it again, viewers somewhat related to it. Not many of them had contacted Brayden, but I heard them say he was an honest person, and was transparent with me, and that’s the way it is. But I also think there was a lot of manipulative things Brayden used with me and how he had these conversations, versus the way and tone he talked to guys about me. In “Men Tell All” it was fun being able to talk to him. I don’t know if there is necessarily any real closure that we both need. I understood that when we decided to separate in Washington. But just let him know, “I’ve been so daring with men, and you’ve never been so much with me.” I thought that was interesting, and I didn’t appreciate it. But we are now in two separate places, so everything is fine. (He laughs.)
We’ve seen a tease of his mission Bachelor in Heaven. Does that seem right to him?
I think form heaven It will suit him better. This is just Brayden’s personality. Again, he’s charismatic. I can imagine him forming several bonds there. But do I personally think he’s ready for a long-term committed relationship? No, and I can say that. Brayden is honest, a realist who has a lot of his opinions on things in life. But when it comes to relationships, I definitely think he has more navigating and self-growth to do. I hope, if there is something, heaven teach him that.
What has it been like to reconnect with Xavier, and how do you feel about his place in his personal journey?
I can tell after talking to him on “Men Tell All” and having that conversation where we managed to close the door completely, he revealed to me that this was something he was replaying in his head, which was causing him so much stress as and trying to figure out ways he could improve himself . He took the initiative to continue to grow. I don’t know, of course, to what extent, but what I told him was, my hope is for him to watch this again, [that] He is able to use this to advantage and get the help he needs. Therefore, I wish him well, and I hope he continues to learn.
Was it hard knowing you could have used your time with Xavier to further the connection with Aaron [Bryant]?
Yes, it’s one of those things that you have an initial reaction to when you go through an experience like this where you’re dating multiple people. You always wonder, “What if I did this?” At first, in that moment, I felt so frustrated, more than anything – less sad. After an emotional parting with Aaron in his hometown, it got me thinking, “Maybe if I had kept Aaron around because I needed more time, I wouldn’t have had to deal with this, and maybe our relationship would be in a different place.” what if”.
You and Joey had a very moving discussion about what it feels like to be an interracial couple. Why was it important to have that conversation?
It’s great to have the opportunity to have that conversation, and then it’s broadcast on national television – we don’t see it very often, especially in this franchise. It was something I was a little worried about because I didn’t know how it would turn out. But my whole plan for being a black woman in this leadership role is to have these important conversations. Also, there have been conversations I’ve had with several other guys who aren’t breathing, and that’s okay. But it was my priority to have conversations about something very important to me that would basically become a very important part of their lives as well, if they ended up with me.
How did you manage to get past Uncle Joey to question his authenticity?
The town is a whirlwind. I was very nervous when I met all the families. Meeting Joey’s family and then having this perception of him, getting to his hometown and then having someone very important to him ask me if I was going to get the original Joey was really hard. It was shocking to see that, and I didn’t know how to process it or understand it at that moment. It was really frustrating. I definitely had time to follow up with Joey and talk about what that meant. What does uncle’s definition of “authenticity” mean, and how did he understand it, too? I just need time to process these feelings.
What made your connections with Joey and Dotun special, and how do you navigate where you went from here?
When I look at Joey and Dotun – two amazing stand up guys, our relationships are very different but they also have very similar core characteristics. Joey is just a very loyal, patient and really loving person. He has a kind heart. And then, when I’m with Dotun, you just see this undeniable chemistry. It just seems like it’s meant to be. For me, on this whole trip, the way they were both so intentional, and I never felt like I had to question why they were there, was huge. Dotun and Joey and I were reassured that we didn’t have to worry about it at all, and so I was able to continue to grow our relationship.
How did you get to the end? (He laughs.) You just have this gut feeling of knowing when something’s right and what’s best, and you can’t really shake it. And so, with a certain person, that was the feeling I had all along. It will be an emotional journey to get there but a beautiful one.
How do you expect fans to react to the final?
Fans will be attached to each love story at that point. All I can say is, buckle up. It will be beautiful. There will be no dryness in the room once we get to the end. (He laughs.) I’m excited. I dealt with it. At this point, I’m really ready for everyone to see.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
The Bachelorette It airs Mondays on ABC.
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