Michelle Young made history on Tuesday night.
And then she made sure that one of her remaining suitors became history to close out an emotional episode of The Bachelorette.
For the first time ever on the franchise, all four finalists were Black, as Young welcomed Brandon, Rodney, Joe and Nayte to her native state of Minnesota in order to go on some pretend hometown dates with these aspiring husbands.*
(*Due to safety precautions in the wake of Covid-19, the show cut down on travel and sent everyone only to Minnesota.)
“This is my love story. That’s a big piece of that,” Michelle previously told USA Today.
“And something that’s incredibly important to me because of experiences I’ve been through.
“That doesn’t mean that’s always going to be a person of color.
“But you have to be willing to sit down and have these tough conversations because they … do matter to me.”
Let’s start with BRANDON, shall we?
The 26-year-old traveling nurse recruiter (from Portland, Oregon) brought in his mother, father and brother to meet Michelle, the latter of whom bonds with Young over their shared love of fishing and basketball.
Just how well did the introductions go?
“I want to marry this woman, man,” Brandon told the camera afterward. “I truly, truly as a human being want it to be me, more than anything in this entire world.”
What about RODNEY?
The 29-year-old sales representative (from Rancho Cucamonga, California) took Michelle apple picking before introducing her to his mom and dad, who were concerned their son would be crushed if he wasn’t the last suitor standing.
“I think Michelle is very genuine, but Rodney has only one person to have feelings for and she has four,” his mother explained.
“That does give my anxiety.”
Rodney, however, assured his parents that Michelle was “worth the risk,” later saying to The Bachelorette herself:
“I just want to be your person and I’m definitely falling in love with you.”
Young didn’t sound quite as enthusiastic, however.
To the cameras, sh simply said: “It felt good to hear where Rodney is at.”
For his part, meanwhile, JOE laid it all out there.
The 28-year-old real estate developer (from Minneapolis) showed Michelle his high school, where he had gone ahead and set up a prom in the gym because he never went to his original one.
He also remembered from her poem during the first group date that Young was picked last for prom.
Michelle referred to the gesture as “the most fairytale moment I’ve had in my life.”
After introducing Michelle to his mother, father, brother and sister-in-law, Joe said he saw himself a year from now married to Michelle, living in Minnesota and starting a family together.
“I just want you to know that my feelings for you are getting stronger and stronger and I am falling in love with you,” he told her.
“I feel like you’re that special person for me.”
Could NAYTE top this outing?
The 27-year-old sales executive (from Austin, Texas) took Michelle paddleboarding prior to introducing her to his mother and stepfather, who divorced more than a year ago… yet were both instrumental in raising him.
Young was the first woman he ever introduced to them, too.
Nayte’s mom noted her son had never wanted to make a relationship a “forever deal” in the past and worried he and Michelle wouldn’t make it when facing real-life pressures.
Nayte almost ended up connecting with his step-dad more thhan Michelle, as the two exchanged “I love you’s” for the first time.
Michelle, meanwhile, asked Charles if he thought Nayte could be ready soon for an engagement.
“I don’t know if he’s going to get to that point,” replied the stepfatherr.
In the end, however, The Bachelorette spoilers proved to be correct:
Michelle sent Rodney packing.
“I need you to know that who you are is enough,” Michelle told him after breaking the news.
“I don’t want you thinking that you weren’t enough because that’s not true. It’s just feelings moved quicker in other relationships.”
Rodney concludedd that even though Young eliminated him, his feelings for her remained.
And always will.
“I am falling in love with you. I need you to know that that’s something that doesn’t change easily,” he said.
“I’m always going to care about you Michelle, like, forever.”