It’s hard sometimes to watch “The Bachelorette” knowing someone so close to home may make a mistake or say the wrong thing.
Well, for Gainesville’s Luke Parker, that’s exactly what happened on last night’s episode.
Things started getting off-kilter with a group date.
This season’s bachelorette, Hannah Brown, took eight of the men on a group date to a birthing class in order to teach them “sympathy and empathy” toward women — which included a quiz on the female anatomy, changing a baby’s diaper and real-life simulations of labor pains.
Afterward, she took Connor, another of the contestants, on a one-on-one date. Connor’s date didn’t go as planned as Brown got sick and they spent the day resting and talking at Brown’s place.
When Connor was chosen for the date, though, Parker showed a bit of cockyness for the first time — but not the last — on the episode.
“It’s really frustrating to see these guys go ahead of me, but I’m not all too concerned,” Parker said during an on-screen interview. “There’s some really good guys here, but I mean, she has to compare them with me and I know that when she does that, she’s going to be like, ‘Man, these guys are great. But they're not Luke Parker.’”
Then came the next group date of the episode, this one attended by Parker. Brown took the men for a photo shoot, where they posed with animals. But the first part of the group date was a test in character. As the men were getting prepared for the photo shoot, Brown was hiding with Demi Burnett, a former contestant from “The Bachelor,” spying on the men to see how they responded when asked questions about Brown.
“I’m actually developing a genuinely real relationship with this girl,” Parker said. “Like, I just want to go talk to her… She’s like the perfect woman for me.”
Brown was pleased and said “Luke P. passed.”
As the photo shoot went on, all of the men were good sports and seemed to have fun with it until Brown kissed one of the men in front of all the others on the date. Parker was visibly unhappy.
“She’s kissing other guys,” Parker said. “It’s not an easy pill to swallow. I mean, yeah, It’s frustrating. Who wants to date someone, and start to fall in love with someone and have to share her?”
Parker finally had enough and jumped in to take more photos with Brown, even though it wasn’t his turn. He asked her to stand on his back while he did push ups for the camera. Then Brown had to change for the next photo shoot and Parker stepped up, saying he’d walk her to her dressing room.
“Let’s talk tonight,” Brown said as she backed away to head to her dressing room alone.
In an on-camera interview, Brown said, “He doesn’t have to be beside me the whole time to know that we’re good … I need him to slow his roll.”
And after the photo shoot was over and everything moved to the more relaxed part of the night, Brown wanted to let Parker know that. She pulled him away before she talked to any of the other men.
“You know I like you,” Brown said. “And I’m glad that we like, automatically had a deep connection, but I’ve been struggling a little bit with it because I just feel like you already think it’s like, promised to you and that bothers me a lot. Like, I feel like your confidence in this kind of makes me irritated in a way.”
Parker tried to jump in and explain himself, but Brown didn’t let him.
“I want you to focus on me, and you do that, but you also don’t respect that I have other relationships here for me,” Brown said. “And that bothers me … I like confidence, but it’s like, cocky in a way and I don’t like that at all.”
Without getting the chance to explain himself, Parker went back to sit with the rest of the men on the date and seemed frustrated. He went back to try and talk to Brown as she was talking with another man on the date — something he did three separate times — and Brown sent him away.
While Parker was away, the other men sitting on the couch said he was “self-imploding” and called him “unstable.”
Parker finally sat down and waited until Brown was ready, which came just before she handed out the rose on the group date.
“I really like you, OK?” Brown said to Parker. “But I still don’t feel like you’re getting it. You’re not the only relationship that I have a strong connection with and I don’t feel like you’ve respected that, even tonight. So I just need you to work harder and fix this.”
The group date ended with Parker not receiving the group date rose, but he did get a rose during the rose ceremony, so he’ll be around for another week hoping to redeem himself.
Following the episode, Parker posted on Instagram explaining how he was feeling after seeing the episode.
“I have learned a lot and I am continuing to learn about my flaws as a man,” Parker said. “I’m the first to admit I am far from perfect. This journey has (given) me a great opportunity to grow and mature as a man, for that I am grateful.”
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I just want to address the elephant in the room here really quick. First I want you all to know how hard it has been for me to watch myself this season so far. Regardless of what is aired AND IF @alabamahannah and I are together or not my behavior in all situations has been and will continue to be exposed. I have learned a lot and I am continuing to learn about my flaws as a man. I’m the first to admit I am far from perfect. This journey has giving me a great opportunity to grow and mature as a man, for that I am grateful. For those of you who are on this journey with me I am grateful for your support and hope you get to learn and grow from my mistakes with me!