At first, the 39-year-old had the two teams play a dodgeball match against each other, and whichever won would get to spend some much-needed time with the reality starlet. Crawley made the competition more interesting when she said that every time a team loses, they had to lose part of their outfit, ultimately ending up with just boxers on.
Despite seeing some fantastic abs on television, some viewers were less than thrilled with the idea. One person wrote, "Is this reverse sexism/objectification?" while another echoed, "All I’m gonna say that if genders were reversed in strip dodgeball on The Bachelorette, the show would be canceled."
A third user added, "Can you imagine if The Bachelor made a bunch of women play strip dodgeball? He’d get canceled immediately. #bachelorette #clare."
A fourth person fumed, writing, "Friendly reminder if this strip dodgeball date happened on The Bachelor vs. The Bachelorette, we would be furious because of the further objectification of women. So, unless these dudes give explicit consent to drop trousers, no, we’re not gonna celebrate this in any way."
On the other hand, some people thought the date was hilarious and amazing entertainment. "It was only fair to make these guys play strip dodgeball after making the girls last season have a lingerie pillow fight. #TheBachelorette," one person said. Another added, "Who do I have to talk to at @BacheloretteABC to get that unedited dodgeball footage #TheBacheloretteABC."
Meanwhile, Yosef — who was not involved in the group date — was the only one who said something about the controversial request, calling it "classless." On the next episode, he appears to talk to Crawley about what she made the men do.
That wasn't the only uncomfortable moment on the show, though. During the first group date, Crawley was shocked when no one asked her to chat with her.
"Does anybody want to step up to the plate?" she said after an awkward silence. "Don't everyone jump at once."
Even though Bennett pulled her aside, she couldn't help but confront the men over what was on her mind. "I'm a little bit taken aback. I'm sitting here, I made a toast, and then there was the longest awkward silence," she said. "Does anybody want to spend time with me?
"If you guys all want to hang out with each other, you can do that and I can go home and go to bed. At the end of the day, I'm a woman and I want my man to show me he cares. The truth of the matter is, it just hurt me," she said.
Eventually, Crawley was able to collect herself and move on. Later on in the week after the red team won the dodgeball game, Brandon got some alone time with the leading lady, but things went downhill fast.
"I wanted to come in here and really show balls," he said. "I'm here for you and I'm going to these uncomfortable places internally to show you that. I know I'm going to take a bunch of heat for this, but I just don't really care that much."
Crawley wanted to know what Brandon specifically liked about her, but he couldn't come up with a good enough answer. "I don't really know anything about you," he said. "I don't obviously know you on a personal level. You're just so beautiful, and I wanted to get to know you."
"I don't think people have to know me on a personal level, but there's a lot of guys here who say they like my drive, they like what I have to offer," Clare replied. "I have a really great group of guys here and I think I'm going to have to focus more on them. I don't think I want to pursue this anymore." As a result, he was sent packing.
The Bachelorette airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.