A season of “The Bachelorette” that has been deemed “The Luke P. Show” may finally be over, and for Luke Parker, that could be for the best.
The 24-year-old Gainesville resident has been one of the show’s most controversial figures, and on “The Men Tell All” episode that aired July 22, the rest of the guys — and even the audience — let Parker know how they felt.
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But, as has been the case with the rest of the season, Parker’s family said what was aired on that episode wasn’t exactly how it happened in reality, and ABC told The Times it has “no comment.”
“When Luke went to ‘The Men Tell All,’ the whole thing was set up against him,” said Mike Parker, Luke’s brother. “They ambushed him.”
“The Men Tell All” brought back all the men that were featured on the show for the first time since filming ended.
But before things could get going, the show had to reveal how the last episode ended. A rose ceremony was still needed after Luke was sent home by Hannah Brown, this season’s bachelorette.
Even though Brown sent Luke home, he wasn't done. He wanted to clarify what he meant in his and Brown’s final conversation. He wanted “closure.” So, he talked to Brown in front of the other men at the rose ceremony. Brown grew more and more frustrated with the way Luke was talking to her and at the fact that he showed up to the rose ceremony uninvited in the first place.
The other men had to step in the way, trying to get Luke to leave after they realized she had already sent him home, until the show’s host, Chris Harrison, stepped in and helped get the job done.
After everything settled down and Luke was gone, Harrison told Brown something she wasn’t expecting.
“He has a ring in his pocket right now,” Harrison said. “He was ready to propose to you … I’m not joking.”
But Mike shared a different story about that final scene.
“(Producers) gave Luke the ring,” Mike said. “And at ‘The Men Tell All,’ he said ‘That wasn't my idea, a producer gave me that ring. I wasn't about it. I put the ring in my pocket, but I wasn't going to do anything with it. I wasn't about it.' And Chris Harrison proceeds to ask the guys, ‘How many of you guys here were ever manipulated or whatever by a producer?’ And not a single one of them raised their hand.”
When “The Men Tell All” finally began — it hadn’t really even started yet — it was just Luke who sat down in the studio with Harrison to talk about everything that had happened throughout the season. As Luke walked on stage, the audience wasn’t sure whether to applaud.
Nonetheless, a clean-shaven Luke sat down and talked things out with Harrison.
Much of the conversation was centered around Luke’s Christian faith and how “The Bachelorette” has never been so focused on faith before this season.
Luke admitted the faults, including pride and arrogance, he displayed on the show and went on to explain he’s OK with how things turned out in the end.
“My feelings for Hannah haven’t changed,” Luke said. “I still love her. I still want what’s best for her, and I boldly say that. But I also boldly say that I know she’s not my person.”
According to Mike, Luke was on stage for at least two hours talking with Harrison.
He said Harrison asked question after question, even repeating the same question multiple times until he got the response he wanted.
“Luke was like, 'They asked me the same question like 40 times,’” Mike said. “To the point where he was like, ‘I've already answered that question. Why are you asking me that again?’”
And after he was done with Harrison, the rest of the men came out on stage to share their feelings about Luke.
They called Luke names like “a narcissistic, cantankerous misogynist,” “a liar,” “manipulator” and “controlling.” They said things like “Luke hasn’t learned a thing, whatsoever” and “your future wife is going to be a prisoner of you” and “you honestly are a psychopath.”
Luke followed that up with an apology, saying he was “extremely immature,” and asked for their support as he “worked on those things.”
His apology didn’t go over well with most of the guys, but one, Matteo stood up for Luke.
“Luke messed up,” Matteo said. “But at the same time, watching the episodes I wasn’t a part of after Rhode Island, you could see the distress and pain on Luke’s face about being socially isolated from the group and I’m sure watching these episodes and being humiliated on TV was not easy. And to me it feels like he’s already gotten the punishment for his actions.”
Throughout the show, Luke was shown taking time to think carefully about his responses to questions. Sometimes it even seemed awkward at how long silence filled the air.
Again, Mike said it’s all in the editing and that was shown even more as Luke left for the night.
Just before one of the commercial breaks, the show made it look like Parker got up from his seat and left upset. Harrison brushed it off as if “Luke just got up and left. So there you go. He’s catching a flight, but I think we’re good.”
In reality, that’s exactly what happened. He had to be back in Gainesville to make it to a wedding the next day.
“They set the whole thing up to make it look like Luke left ‘The Men Tell All’ disgruntled,” Mike said. “He gets up to leave and the cameras follow him out and they're all up in his face acting like he basically couldn't handle it anymore. When in reality, he was going to catch his flight they planned like three weeks ago. They planned the whole thing around that.”
Mike met Luke at the airport in Los Angeles, and was proud of him from the first words he said.
“He comes up to me and he's crying,” Mike said. “And he's crying because he's like, ‘I know she's lost’ … So for him to say that and not to be concerned about himself and not to be concerned about how he's being portrayed but concerned over her eternity, I was proud of him because of that.”
He said throughout the entire taping of “The Men Tell All,” Luke was hurting for everyone in the room. Especially when Brown got her chance to share how she felt about Luke.
“(Producers) have turned her Christianity into a self-serving faith,” Mike said. “(Brown) talks about grace and forgiveness and she talks about love and how important those things are to her, but she bashed Luke at ‘The Men Tell All’ … She said he was the embodiment of toxic masculinity and that that's who he is to his core and he would never change. She showed straight hatred to him.”
As Luke was sitting there, listening to everything Brown and the rest of the men had to say, Mike said Luke’s heart was breaking. Luke’s faith was all that was on his mind.
“I know Luke's heart, and his heart was broken when he was at ‘The Men Tell All,’” Mike said. “It was broken for (Brown). It was broken for all those guys. And it was broken for everyone in that audience.”