CLEVELAND — Ohio's Shanae Ankney monopolized the air time in another drama-filled episode of Clatyon Echard's season of The Bachelor, while Ohio University alum Rachel Recchia briefly appeared to seek reassurance from the leading man.
Shanae, 29, of Sycamore, was the center of attention throughout the 2-hour airing of episode 3 on Monday, January 24, stealing the show with drama over a plate of shrimp, a steamy kiss on a Baywatch-themed group date, and more accusations of bullying against Colorado's Elizabeth Corrigan that were at least edited to appear as if they were malicious, manipulative lies.
The episode started with the second rose ceremony of the season, but not before Shanae's confidante Cassidy Timbrooks, 26, was surprisingly stripped of her group date rose and sent home in what Clayton couched in concerns about trust and honesty, but wreaked suspiciously of "slut shaming" over a casual sexual relationship she had been in before coming to film the show.
By the end of the second elimination round, Shanae and Rachel were among 18 women left hoping to win 28-year-old Clayton's love.
The most we hear from Rachel, a 25-year-old private pilot and flight instructor, comes after the same Baywatch-themed group date that Shanae dominated, during the cocktail party portion of the night.
In an awkward conversation with Clayton, Rachel playfully places a pillow between them as she shares how she sees his relationships progressing with other women, and she's not sure that he feels as strongly towards her as she does towards him.
The medical sales professional told Rachel that in his experience, other people on the show "talk up" their connections, and she shouldn't be worried, before easing her mind with a lengthy kiss.
Before the group date ever took place, we see video of the women at the Bachelor Mansion, where 33-year-old Elizabeth is cooking lunch and offers Shanae shrimp.
Shanae takes her up on the offer, but Elizabeth takes issue with how many pieces of shrimp Shanae eats, and comes for the entire state of Ohio with a rude comment, saying, "I don't know how big the serving sizes are in Ohio..."
Not to be outdone, in a perfectly petty response Shanae posted a video of herself on Monday watching the show at home and cooking shrimp, and we also see preview footage of Shanae cooking shrimp for Clayton in a later episode.
For the record, Shanae says she took eight pieces of shrimp, which as someone who eats a lot of shrimp (and has consistently eaten a lot of shrimp while living in Los Angeles, New York and Cleveland), doesn't seem like a huge serving size to me.
From what we see after the offending shrimp debacle takes place, Shanae circles back to the women and offers them more shrimp, but appears to get a chilly reception, which is the subject of her later complaints to Clayton.
From there, Shanae and Elizabeth (and Rachel) are invited on a Baywatch-themed group date, where former star of the sitcom Nicole Eggert leads the women in silly competitions, including a slow-motion run-off. That's where Shanae shines, leaping into Colton's arms at the end of her strut and aggressively making out with him for all of the women to watch, while they cringe.
But even with all of her efforts, Shanae isn't designated the "winner" of the beach day activities, so she turns her attention during the cocktail party portion of the evening to share more negative comments about Elizabeth with Clayton.
Breaking down in tears, she tells the bachelor that she feels bullied, and that certain women will only speak to her in the Bachelor Mansion house when Elizabeth isn't around.
After she shares this with Clayton, we see a questionable edit of Shanae talking with producers, where it seems clear that the words "he believed me" were edited in, out of context. (The Bachelorette alum Blake Horstmann, who was a recent guest on my 3 Things to Know podcast, made this point himself, on his notorious real-time recap of the show on his Instagram story on Monday night.)
Shanae does make other seemingly indicting statements, saying, "I was so good," and "I didn't even mean to cry but I did," and "I've got him," but while those certainly don't look good in the situation, they don't quite rise to the level of "he believed me."
Clayton, who spent a few months in the summer of 2016 signed as a tight end for the Seattle Seahawks, seemed swayed by the portrayal of Shanae in the episode, tweeting on Monday night:
"Oh boy…what I was being told then and what I’m seeing now is like watching two different movies [exhaling face emoji]"
He also quote-tweeted someone who asked, "Is Shanae ADMITTING to all of #bachelornation that she’s LYING and playing Clayton?"
In the episode, however, Clayton confronts Elizabeth, who also breaks down in tears and says she feels like she is constantly having to defend herself over not wanting to be friends with Shanae. When the women from the group date are all in the same room again, a verbal confrontation breaks out between Shanae and Elizabeth, with all of the women siding with Elizabeth. (Unpopular opinion: As antagonistic as Shanae is, this scenario actually serves to support her point, with the women piling on in support of Elizabeth seemingly without having any personal issues with Shanae other than her antics taking time away from cocktail party scenarios.)
Ultimately, neither Shanae or Elizabeth win the group date rose, and Clayton suggests he'll address the bullying accusations at the next elimination ceremony, which we never make it to on this episode.
Looking ahead, we see more preview footage of Shanae on a football-themed group date, including a scene where she grabs a trophy and throws it into a pool, so we know she isn't going anywhere just yet.
Follow along on Shanae's and Rachel's journeys for love, with a recap here every Tuesday following the Monday night airing of The Bachelor on ABC.