Joe Michelle Minnesota basketball connection

October 27, 2021
Michelle's basketball-themed date hits a little closer to home than expected.
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Remember last week on “The Bachelorette” when Michelle revealed she had a history with Joe prior to coming on the show? It turns out the two have a bit more of an intertwined past than they let on. 

Michelle noted last week that she wanted to dig deeper into why Joe was coming back into her life now that she was the Bachelorette. We don’t get to the bottom of that in Episode 2, but viewers do learn that they nearly crossed paths even earlier than their brief direct message flirtationship last summer.

Joe, who, like Michelle, hails from Minnesota, was named Minnesota Mr. Basketball in 2011 – an annual award for the best player in the state – before he went on to play at the University of Minnesota. Michelle reveals that she was nearly his counterpart: That same year, she was the runner-up for Minnesota Miss Basketball (she lost to a future first-round WNBA draft pick). 

Michelle makes it apparent that this local sports connection is a major plus. 

Last week:‘The Bachelorette’ premiere recap: Michelle Young hands out first impression rose, sends 7 home

“Basketball was a huge part of my life,” she explains during their (you guessed it) basketball-themed date. “Not only does (Joe) get the basketball life, he gets the Minnesota basketball life. It’s this part of you that there’s just understanding right off the bat.” 

The Bachelorette later remarks that she’s never had so much chemistry with someone so quickly. Joe tells her he feels the spark too. 

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Jamie takes the Joe rumors to a new level, claims Michelle was ‘already boo-ed up’ 

You didn’t think Joe and Michelle’s connection was going to be all roses, did you? 

There are more suspicious rumors swirling about their involvement: Jamie (who had already nabbed the first one-on-one date of the season) tells some of the other men that he spoke with a friend in Minnesota who saw Michelle at a bar one night shortly before taping of the new season began, and heard she was “already boo-ed up with a tall, light-skin baller,” whom Jamie takes to mean Joe. 

He feels the need to confront Michelle about the rumor. The Bachelorette is thankful he came to her but still feels “blindsided” and worries about who in the house still believes she’s telling the truth. 

Addressing the group as a whole, Michelle maintains she has nothing to hide: She didn’t have a relationship with Joe prior to the show and insists everyone “started on an even playing field.” 

“The first night when all of y’all walked in was the first night that I was meeting every single one of you for the first time,” Michelle says. “Joe and I exchanged a few messages quite a few years back. We kind of joke about it now, but Joe ghosted me after two messages and that was that.

“Also, there’s a rumor about me being spotted with a ‘light-skin basketball dude’ before the show. And being a woman of color in Minnesota, any time I’m with a man of color, we’re a couple – that’s what everyone sees it as. I could have a romantic dinner with a white guy in a restaurant and nobody would say, ‘Oh, they’re a couple.’ But because it’s another Black man, we’re supposed to be together. And it’s frustrating because I’m open to all of you.” 

Several of the men weren’t aware of the claims, but now they feel an urge to reassure Michelle they still believe in her. 

Who went home? 

Brandon and Joe entered the rose ceremony with group-date roses, and Jamie nabbed one from the first one-on-one date, which left 20 contestants still vulnerable. 

Nayte, Rodney, Martin, Rick, Leroy, Spencer, Casey, Chris G., Mollique, Olu, Chris S., Will, Romeo, LT, Clayton and Peter all got roses, which meant Michelle said goodbye to Alec, Daniel, Pardeep and PJ.

The identity of the person who brought forward the claims about Michelle (ahem, Jamie) is still a secret. But a teaser for next week suggests that secret won’t last long. 

“Trust is something that makes or breaks a relationship,” Michelle warns. 





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