Bachelor Nation
Nayte Olukoya and Michelle Young on The Bachelorette

Did The Bachelorette Give Everyone A Totally Wrong Impression Of Nayte?

Fans are calling it "the Bryan edit."


The Bachelor franchise never fails to produce a dramatic finale. It’s an ongoing joke that hosts will refer to each season as the “most dramatic one yet” — but come the final episode, the show almost always delivers on the drama. But just how much of that tension really occurs during filming, and how much of it is manufactured by ABC’s production team? That question has come up again this season, after Michelle Young chose Nayte Olukoya despite the less-than-favorable impression many viewers got of him on the show. Now that they’re happily engaged, some in Bachelor Nation are questioning whether Olukoya just got a bad edit.

Let’s start with the obvious: The chemistry between Young and Olukoya has been explosive since the night they met. He received her first-impression rose, historically a strong indicator that a Bachelor romance will go the distance. (Young is the eighth Bachelorette who has chosen her first-impression rose recipient as her eventual winner.) But some fans bristled at Olukoya’s confidence — at one point, another contestant claimed Olukoya made an off-hand comment about having a rose “in the bag,” which Young later had to shut down. Ultimately, their love story was muddled by a narrative that Olukoya wasn’t ready for the commitment Young wanted.

Of the final three men, Olukoya was the last one to tell Young he was falling in love with her, and he shared that he had never been in love with anyone else before. During the hometown date with Olukoya’s family, his stepfather expressed reservations that he might not be ready for marriage. "I don't want him to emotionally hurt himself or you,” he told Young, saying he was concerned that his stepson wasn’t “there yet.” (Olukoya later weighed in on that scene on the Bachelor Nation podcast Click Bait: “That was a really long conversation that my stepdad had with Michelle, and there were some key parts that we didn’t see,” he said. “Ultimately, he and my mom, after that episode aired, we obviously talked, [and] the biggest takeaway is that they just don’t want me to get hurt.”)

Young’s parents also felt worried about Olukoya’s willingness to commit. After meeting him, Young’s mom told her daughter she didn’t think he was ready for an engagement. When Young talked to Olukoya about this later that night, he reassured her. “I’ve never been more certain about anybody,” he told her on their final date. “All I do is think about life with you.” Those words proved to be exactly what she needed to hear, and she ultimately chose Olukoya over runner-up Brandon Jones — a fan favorite whose unwavering love for Young was presented in contrast to Olukoya’s indecision.

Was Nayte Olukoya Given A Bad Edit By Producers?


After the finale aired on Dec. 21, Olukoya and Young alluded to their qualms with how their relationship played out on the show. “Regardless of the edit, we know our true story,” Olukoya wrote on IG on Dec. 22. “My whole life people have taken one look at me and thought they had me all figured out. … But you, Michelle, you saw me for me from the very first night, and I will always always always love and appreciate you for that.” He signed off by cheekily calling himself “your 6’8”, Costco Chris brown, walking red flag.” Young wrote something similar, saying, “I’ve learned our love story doesn’t need to be perceived as perfect, as long as it’s perfect for you and me.”

Some Bachelor fans on Twitter have also questioned the way the network chose to portray Olukoya and Young's relationship. (Elite Daily reached out to ABC for comment on how Olukoya and Jones’ narratives were shaped on screen, but has not heard back by the time of publication.) They compared Olukoya’s edit to Bryan Abasolo, the chiropractor who won Rachel Lindsay’s heart on Season 13 of The Bachelorette in 2017.

Abasolo and Lindsay are happily married now, but they weren’t always the fan-favorite couple they are today. Lindsay has expressed regret at how their relationship was portrayed on TV — and how it was placed in contrast to her widely beloved runner-up, Peter Kraus. “I wish people could have seen the essence of my love story with Bryan,” Lindsay wrote in a 2018 Bachelorette recap on Us Weekly. “You know more about the journey of my breakup than the journey to my proposal acceptance. I think it is fair to say that I was denied my on-camera happy ending.”

Did Young and Olukoya get a similar treatment by producers? These Twitter users think so:

So, Why Does This Matter?

Dominik Bindl/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Technically, the scenes and conversations shown on The Bachelor are “real,” in the sense that they are unscripted. But that doesn’t mean viewers see the full story of how each relationship develops. The franchise has long been criticized for manufacturing (and even manipulating) the narrative to suit the drama it thinks viewers want to see. (Who can forget Clare Crawley “confiding in a raccoon” on Bachelor in Paradise Season 1?) This has drawn objections from contestants who come out of the show thinking they were portrayed unfairly. Some who started out as “villains” even went on to become fan favorites in later seasons — think Nick Viall, Thomas Jacobs, Tammy Ly, Ashley Iaconetti, and more.

The franchise has also notably struggled in its portrayal of non-white, non-hetero love stories, which has frustrated so many viewers that it inspired the creation of the grassroots Bachelor Diversity Campaign in 2020. Despite this season’s historic first — Young’s final four suitors were all men of color — Clayton Echard, a white man who received relatively little screen time in comparison, was chosen as the next Bachelor. And it’s notable that Lindsay, the show’s first Black lead and most outspoken critic of its handling of race, believes her love story was marred by an unrealistic edit by producers.

In her Us Weekly piece, Lindsay noted how she was “labeled an angry black female,” and how Bachelor Nation was not shown some of the more romantic, tender moments between her and Abasolo. “There will always be that stigma attached to my finale because it has been said that when truth is blurred by misinformation, perception becomes reality and all is lost,” she wrote. “As for my happy ending, it was not demonstrated within the confines of your television screens, but I am living it every day in real life.” Sound familiar?

Here’s hoping Young and Olukoya are also able to rise above the noise. "It's so natural for us to be together,” Olukoya told People in an interview about their engagement. “I've never felt the way I feel before. I'm all in!" Let their off-camera journey begin — where we’re able to learn about their love story directly from the two of them.