The Bachelorette seemingly has a simple premise. 30 or so men show up to a mansion to win the heart of one woman. This lucky lady, the Bachelorette, is given a finite number of roses that she is able to hand to the dudes that she wants to keep, with the rest being forced to awkwardly shuffle past the girl who broke their heart as they find their way out the door. This sacred process happens every week until we get down to four and then three and then two and then one. 

But what happens when there are more roses than there are men? What happens when the guys quit it before they get to hit it? This is a problem we never had to fathom before, until this season, when not one, not two, but effectively three of Katie's top five declined to stick around long enough to get a rose. (I'm counting Andrew on a technicality. He didn't get a rose at the rose ceremony but was offered to come back, and he declined.) We're down to two guys left, and we haven't even gotten to "Fantasy Suite Week" - the week, traditionally featuring three contestants, where they proverbially get to hit it. (Usually not all at once. This isn't the Netherlands.)

It's no wonder that Katie ended the past week's episode asking the producers to book her a flight home. She must feel pretty rejected. We just saw the self-elimination of Greg, Katie's number one pick for the entirety of the season. She even said he was herself. So what does she do now? Are you allowed to "settle" as the Bachelorette? Doesn't that make for anti-climatic TV? Is she really just allowed to pack up and go home? What about the other two dudes? Do they just go to the Fantasy Suites for a solo performance?

We have no answers. It seems like Greg's sad-boy seppuku just broke the show. It's like if someone just took away the hoops in the middle of a basketball game. What do you do from here? Yeah, Katie has two men to choose from, but she made it pretty clear the one she actually wanted just walked away. And even if she does try to stick it out with these two guys, what happens if they decide to walk away too? It's certainly the trend.

Perhaps this is where we talk about how delicate in nature the premise of this show actually is. If you go on, you get famous, but if you win, then you get married. There are probably many people who go on this show that want to get famous but don't want to get married. It used to be you weren't allowed to quit unless a relative died or you developed a rare bone disease while on the show. You were bound by blood to stick to it until the very end, even if that meant getting married to a guy who goes by "Pilot Pete." But now it seems you can just leave whenever you want, but that kind of ruins the stakes of the whole marriage thing. There's probably an easy fix to that, but right now, we can't think of one because we're too busy feeling sorry for Katie.

Follow Dan on Twitter to learn more about his upcoming projects and find him on his podcast The Bachelor Zone to hear him talk about The Bachelor like it is a sport. (Because it is.)

Top Image: ABC/Hulu

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