The reason behind contestants' early exits on The Bachelor range from not clicking with the experience to angrily insisting to the subpar lead that "it's not OK." These moments are usually hit or miss when it comes to dramatics, but they rarely happen as early as Caitlin's exit on Colton Underwood's Bachelor season. The 25-year-old Canadian stepped away from the show during a group date in Episode 3, but why did Caitlin leave The Bachelor early? Colton just didn't see a future with her.
Appearing in one of the season premiere's popular promos, realtor Caitlin first caught fans' attention when she exited the limo on Night One with a red balloon in tow. Startling anyone already dozing on their couches (after all, the premiere was heavy with filler), she popped the balloon, telling Colton, "Now that I popped your cherry, we don't need to talk about virginity anymore." The joke was definitely the boldest of the women's pokes at Colton's virginity, causing many viewers to LOL on Twitter. However, it didn't go over as well with the Bachelor. As Caitlin walked away to enter the mansion, Colton revealed that he thought the balloon was supposed to be an apple. Yikes.
Their first meeting might have foreshadowed the two's inability to seriously connect. Although Caitlin became a favorite for people like former Bachelorette / her secret twin Kaitlyn Bristowe, she received little airtime in last week's episode but finally stepped into the spotlight in Jan. 21's episode. Early in its run, Caitlin confessed to the camera that she didn't want to be in a position of scrambling for attention from Colton. On a group date tracking a competition to find the strongest woman in the bunch, she did get some personal workout time with Colton and managed to succeed in the contest's limo pull. However, their crucial moment together came during the date's cocktail party. These early eliminations always happen once they bring out the alcohol, huh?
Freaking out beforehand about lacking time with Colton, Caitlin set herself apart as someone who's never had much opportunity to make a strong impression. Well, to be fair, it's hard to follow a balloon-popping stunt. In their one-on-one conversation during the after party, Caitlin revealed that she felt she was slipping behind in the competition. Now with the time she wanted, Caitlin also blanked on life experiences she wanted to share with Colton.
Colton encouraged her not to shut down because of the unique experience of being filmed, but in an interview with cameras, he confessed that he didn't feel the kind of connection with Caitlin that he wanted in a partner. Because he had relationships with other women that were moving further along, Colton felt obligated to let her go. The dismissal came as a shock to Caitlin, who told producers in her exit car that Colton just eliminated someone who genuinely wanted to be there for him. She claimed that Colton cutting her so early was a mistake, but it's clear that Colton believes you can't fake chemistry.
Alas, Caitlin, we hardly knew you. Fingers crossed that you score a guest spot on Kaitlyn's podcast and bond with her over puns and being Canadian.
Season 23 of The Bachelor continues on Monday, Jan. 28, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.