This week’s episode of The Bachelor was a brutal one for Colton Underwood, as the contestant he was madly in love with, Cassie Randolph, dumped him in the midst of their “fantasy suites” date in Portugal. It didn’t come out of nowhere, necessarily: Randolph had been the least vocal among all the remaining contestants about her feelings for Underwood, and she was also plagued by “wrong reasons” gossip throughout her time on the reality show. Still, seeing a heartbroken Underwood tearfully hop a fence to escape a fleet of cameras was disheartening to watch, especially when you factor in the gloomy accolade he’s now earned: He’s the most-dumped lead in the Bachelor franchise’s history.
Factoring in Randolph’s departure, four women have self-eliminated during Underwood’s season, which is more than we’ve ever witnessed in the franchise. The most women to ever voluntarily leave The Bachelor in one season was previously two, which occurred in season 18 for Juan Pablo Galavis and season 20 for Ben Higgins. For a Bachelorette season, meanwhile, the record is 3, which occurred in season 7 for Ashley Hebert and season 11 for Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson. It also happened twice in season nine for Desiree Hartsock.
The first self-departure in the current season came around the midway point, when Elyse Dehlbom realized the show’s formulaic process wouldn’t allow her enough time to properly date him. “I want to know all the silly, stupid things about you and how we are together. And I can’t call Chris Harrison and say, I want every one-on-one for the next year. I want the time and attention that a relationship deserves,” she said. Fellow contestant Sydney Lotuaco soon followed, after concluding that Underwood wasn’t interested in a woman like her. “With the choices you’ve been making, you’re taking a lot of easier choices with the people you’re pursuing,” she explained. “If that’s what you’re looking for, great, do that, go after that.”
In the least ego-crushing exit, Heather Martin politely eliminated herself before the hometown dates, as she implied she and Underwood were perhaps on more of a friend track than a romantic track. “Right now, I just don’t think it’s fair to you,” she put it.
And then, sadly, Colton’s beloved Randolph left him, blaming a lack of time to appropriately gauge her feelings for a man who was overwhelmingly in love with her. “I love you so much,” she told him. “But I couldn’t, after today, I’m not in love. You know what I mean?”
We’re not totally sure we know what she means, but with The Bachelor already teasing Underwood’s journey to win Randolph over once and for all in next week’s finale, we’ll soon see if she changes her mind.