This post contains spoilers from Monday's episode of The Bachelor.
After Katie alerted Bachelor Matt James last week about the "toxic environment" in the house, he kicked off this week by bringing it up with the group ahead of the rose ceremony.
"If you're having to belittle someone else for you to shine, then those aren't the qualities I'm looking for in my wife," Matt told his remaining suitors at the top of Monday's episode. "It sucks because I don't get enough time with you all and now I've got to deal with this. There's a lot of answers to questions that I need tonight."
Matt began by pulling Brittany aside to discuss the rumor Anna started about the model working as an escort. "I didn't sign up to be bullied and harassed," Brittany told Matt. "I signed up to find love."
"For this to work, we have to create a comfortable environment for everybody," Matt replied. "That's why I wanted to address it, because it is a rumor. It's a lie. And those things can ruin people's lives. And I want you to know how serious I take that. And I just want to reiterate if you ever feel anything, like, please bring it up to me because I can see a future with you. That's why you're still here. I'm looking for a wife."
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He then spoke with Anna to hear her side. Anna reiterated the story about how she received messages before coming on the show from acquaintances in Chicago about Brittany supposedly being an escort and then told the other women about the unconfirmed accusation. Despite her apology, Matt didn't want Anna around anymore.
"I have a responsibility to the women that are here, to Brittany, to myself, to follow my heart," he told Anna. "And unfortunately, I can't see you being part of that journey anymore."
Then Matt checked in with one of his other new additions, Ryan, who had called out Victoria for her "digs left and right." "She told me to my face that because I'm a dancer, she flat-out stated that I was a ho," Ryan told Matt. "And she laughed about it after."
After speaking with Matt, Ryan told Victoria that her name had come up in their conversation — and Victoria started to panic. "Literally, everything was going amazing," the self-proclaimed queen said in an on-camera interview. "I am the perfect person to be his wife but then these f—ing losers create these problems when everything is fine."
Matt asked Victoria about her "ho" comment to Ryan and she claimed it "was completely taken out of context."
"What context would calling somebody a 'ho' be acceptable to be taken in?" Matt replied.
Victoria couldn't fathom having any role in making the new women feel uncomfortable. "Am I missing something here? Like, I make the house toxic?" she said to the cameras. "That's completely crazy, f—ing crazy. I know there's no truth to that."
Host Chris Harrison interrupted to tell the women the cocktail party was over. Victoria, worried she wouldn't get a rose at the impending rose ceremony, stomped out, champagne in hand. She cried in the bathroom before going outside to tell a producer she was considering leaving on her own, and also called Ryan the "shadiest bitch."
"I'm literally the best option for him," Victoria continued, in full earshot of the other ladies. "I'm the only one with a working f—ing brain in this room. And I'm not even being rude, I'm being serious."
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But when it came time for Matt to give out the roses, Victoria did not receive one. The roses went to: Brittany, Ryan, Rachael, Serena P., Magi, Kit, MJ, Jessenia, Katie, Abigail, Chelsea and Serena C. Catalina, Lauren and Mari said their goodbyes to Matt, but Victoria didn't leave without taking one more jab.
"I honestly feel so sorry for you, that you would listen to hearsay and not all of the facts behind a situation, so goodbye," she said to Matt.
ONE-ON-ONE WITH RACHAEL
At the beginning of his one-on-one date with Rachael, Matt informed the graphic designer, "Today's your day and I want to spoil you."
The duo spent their time together receiving personal fashion tips from celebrity stylist Ty Hunter, and Matt gifted Rachael a pair of red-bottom heels. When Rachael arrived back at the house with the shoes and bags of clothes, the other women felt jealous. But Rachael's high couldn't be brought down as she changed into a gown from Matt for the dinner portion of their date.
That night, Matt asked Rachael why she hadn't been in love yet, and she blamed a lack of self-confidence.
"I do need to gain that confidence and stop all that self-doubt," Rachael said. "I just worry that these little things might push someone away."
But Matt offered her reassurance. "You've never been the loudest. You've never been the first one to run up. You're so subtle and you're just sure of yourself," he said. "I love that about you."
Rachael felt comfortable enough to open up about how she felt. "Although I've gotten more comfortable with you, the nerves have not gone away at all," she confessed to Matt. "The butterflies, if anything, they've grown. I really am like, already completely falling in love with you and I want to walk out of here with you and I want to start my life with you and I hope that will happen."
Matt expressed similar feelings and they kissed. "Rachael, I'm falling in love with you, too. And it is scary to say but when I'm with you, it just feels right," he said before giving her a rose. They closed out the night by making out in the back of a horse drawn carriage.
Serena P., Bri, Katie, Pieper, Serena C,. Ryan, Michelle, Brittany, Magi, Abigail, Chelsea, Jessenia and MJ embarked on the group date with Matt at a farm. "This is not my idea of a fun date," Chelsea admitted to the cameras.
MJ volunteered to milk Frenchie the goat but then freaked out when it came time to collect eggs from the chicken coop. At the afterparty, though, Matt confronted MJ about her name coming up when he spoke to another woman about the atmosphere in the house. "Your name came up actually, as someone who was an antagonist," he said. "You're making them feel like outsiders and just like I was thrown."
MJ denied making any such comments and claimed to be "shocked" about the accusations of the house having a toxic vibe.
When MJ rejoined the other ladies on the group date, she asked them why someone brought her name up to Matt in that regard.
"My character was put in question tonight," MJ began. "I was called an antagonist in the house which is a really strong accusation. If we want to get this out of the way — because this does not need to fester, especially when my character's put in question, because I think that I lead by example — the floor's open for conversation."
Jessenia owned up to saying MJ's name to Matt because of her comment referring to the original women as the "varsity" team and the new batch as "JV." "You made it uncomfortable for these girls," Jessenia said to MJ.
But MJ felt she was "owed an apology" and continued to reiterate that she leads by example.
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Ultimately, Abigail received the group date rose for opening up to Matt about her fears that a potential husband would leave her if they had a deaf child, because her own dad walked out on her and her sister for that reason.
ONE-ON-ONE WITH KIT
Kit scored the next and final one-on-one date with Matt and the two spent the night baking cookies in his suite. It meant a lot to Kit, who had previously told Matt that the kitchen is her "happy place" where she bonds with her mom, fashion designer Cynthia Rowley.
They kissed in the kitchen and Matt said their connection felt "natural."
Kit then opened up to Matt about growing up in the spotlight. "Growing up, my mom being such a success story, I think I was protecting myself and like, getting in touch with my emotions is something I've never practiced before," she said. "Being here and letting those walls down is the first down I've ever really had to be vulnerable, so I think that's the hardest part."
Matt gave Kit a rose, but before he could give out more at the next rose ceremony, he asked to see MJ and Jessenia privately.
"I have never been more hurt in my life," MJ told Jessenia before Matt arrived.
Jessenia doubled down on her argument that MJ lied to Matt and said she only mentioned the hairstylist because "you started the term 'JV versus varsity.'"
"I've only preached harmony," MJ insisted. Meanwhile, Jessenia felt MJ was "the leader of the divide in the house."
Matt's thoughts on the subject, though, won't be revealed until next week.
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.
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