Now that we’ve met the bachelorette’s families and seen their homes — both fabulous and mediocre — it’s time to hit the road again with Brad and his merry band of wannabe brides. Or, as we learned in the most recent episode, maybe wannabe brides. Some of them are ambivalent about the whole situation.
Ready for his walkabout. Or swapping spit. Whatever.
Brad and his embryos are headed to South Africa, land of beautiful scenery and, as Brad points out, many wild animals. Wild animals and not so wild women await Brad. Brad admits that he has no clue and it’s freakin’ him out. Did you know that he was the Bachelor before? And that he made some mistakes? And that he doesn’t want to it again? Cuz it’s true. He hopes this time will be different because he’s afraid of ending up alone. Fear of loneliness is the greatest, most romantic reason for getting married.
Brad once again recaps how he feels about the women. He and Chantal have the c-word: Chemistry. But she has taken him on an emotional roller coaster ride. Ashley has a lot to offer: she makes him comfortable. But Ashley is insecure about their relationship and distances herself. Emily makes him giddy. She’s “a truly sweet woman.” But he’s intimidated by her past — she lost her fiance in a plane crash and she’s a single mom.
How Brad sees his future with Emily.
How Brad sees his future with Ashley.
How Brad sees his future with Chantal.
We see you creepin’ back there, Michelle!
This week is big, Brad says as an elephant passes in front of his beach. He arrives at a game reserve in Sabi Sands and chillaxes and ponders which of the women will be his wife.
First date is with Chantal. she has stuffed herself into some jeans and a safari shirt. Brad greets her with a traditional South African greeting: “whussaaap?” He’s taking her on a safari and brought her a hat, too. Fortunately, she opts not to wear it.
It’s hard to take you seriously, Crocodile Dundee…
They ride around and come across a sleeping lion pride. Brad is thrilled because the lion is theone thing he wanted to see in South Africa. Next, they see a giraffe. Brad marvels that the giraffe is just “hangin’ out, eatin’ his lil leaves.” They see all sorts of animals. Then they come to a river. A guide takes them for a picnic.
“Right this way. It’s perfectly safe. I just carry this rifle to look like a badass.”
Brad says relationships need a test of fear or danger to build a bond. They are put to the test when a hippo walks by during their lunch. Chantal says she feels secure that Brad will protect her. This leads to a metaphor about their relationships.
They talk about Chantal’s family and Brad says he misses them. The hippo glares at them and grunts while they make out.
Later, Brad ditches the hat and Chantal dresses up for dinner. She looks very pretty. She’s ready to prove to him that she’s in love with him. She tells him that she’s ready to meet his family. Brad is bad at flirting. He says he’s the most comfortable around Chantal. She says she’s ready to get married — “screw the engagement.” She makes a very good point — an engagement is not the time to find out if you’re ready to get serious. You should be ready to get married immediately. Brad says he needs her spontaneity and boldness.
The upside of gaining 20 pounds on the show? Fabulous boobs.
Brad gives her a fantasy suite card with a key to Brad’s personal room. Chantal’s totally down to bone. That’s when Brad reveals they’re staying in a tree house. “Holy Moly,” says Chantal. The tree house looks cool, but there’s no way I’d be staying out there alone, so a key to the fantasy suite is definitely in order.
The tree house is basically a platform with a bed on top. They have a view of some scratchy-looking bushes. Also, I’m sure those lights are attracting some big ass bugs. They tongue kiss to the sounds of exotic birds and bugs. And lions yawning.
After an “incredible” night with Chantal, Brad meets up with Emily, reeking of poon and fried chicken grease. He runs to greet Emily, but immediately says he forgot something and leaves. Emily’s a little perturbed he left her in the wild where it’s possible she could be eaten by a lion. He comes back with a black man.
Also an elephant. Wonder which one Brad is so excited about, though?
He invites Emily onto the elephant and spends a light of time saying things like “oh my goodness gracious” and “oh dear lord.” She says it “feels like the Lion King but better.” They check out some elephants and talk about how much Little Ricki would love it.
This leads to Emily talking about how important it was that she introduced Brad to her daughter. Brad says he wishes Little Ricki was there and Emily says Ricki had an amazing time with Brad. They talk about how they would explain a relationship to Ricki and Emily says she’s worried Brad isn’t ready for a five-year-old. Brad pauses and says yeah. He’d make every effort to include Ricki in his blossoming relationship with Emily. He knows they’re a package deal.
Emily looks teary and Brad gives her his boy scout face and they kiss and the elephants trumpet and this happens:
This is what happens when you don’t leave the U.S. and your only reference point for other countries is Disney movies.
Later, at dinner, they have trouble communicating because Brad gets so nervous. Emily’s also nervous. She wants to tell Brad that she’s falling love with him. She rambles and sputters a lot and says “I just wanna do it.” I think she means get married. But Brad takes it to mean it’s fantasy suite time, and he hands her the envelope.
She reads about the fantasy suite and puts the envelope down. She’s the mom of a five-year-old, she says, and wants to set a good example for her. “That being said,” she adds, mama needs some one-on-one time — it’s been awhile. She says that they’re just going to talk and get to know one another better, though. But as Chantal says, what happens in the fantasy suite stays in the fantasy suite.
Emily and Brad leave without Emily having revealed her love for him. They go to the fantasy suite where some sort of heart-shaped cheese or dessert is waiting for them. They sit down and Emily finally tells him that she’s completely falling in love.
Brad is taken by surprise. Um. Newsflash doofus: when someone tells you they’re falling in love, you don’t say “I didn’t expect that” and stutter a bunch. He finally says he’s falling in love with her, too, and he’s the happiest guy in the world. They hug and kiss and the camera focus goes soft and the lights go out. For all the talking they’re going to do.
A new day, a new date. This time with Ashley. They’re both super excited. They head off for their date and Ashley speculates they’re going to a carnival, like their first date. But it’s a helicopter. Again. Ashley runs away because she says helicopters are her biggest fear. She signed up for the wrong show, then. There’s been a helicopter in just about every episode.
Thanks for dressing up…
After some squealing and jumping around, she finally gets in. There’s more squealing as they take off and Brad lurves it. They check out some waterfalls and canyons and terrifying some herds of animals below. Then they fly over a really cool canyon.
Another terrifying date, courtesy of The Bachelor producers.
We’re on top of the world, Ashley says. She sounds like Snagglepuss. They land and walk around a place called God’s Window for a picnic. Brad wants Ashley to be clear about where she wants to live in the future. She says she could totally see herself living some place warm, down south. Like southern Maine near where her sister lives!
OK. Brad moves on. Could Ashley have an actual life while she finishes dental school and becomes a dentist? She says that achieving is really important to her. And that Brad knows what he wants and she knows what she has to offer. Crickets.
Brad says Ashley reminds him of himself when he was in his 20s because he, too, worked everyday. Just like the rest of us who aren’t trust fund babies, I suppose. He thinks maybe they would have been in the same place ten years ago. Which is weird and icky, because I think she was 16 ten years ago. But Brad does seem to like ‘em real young. I think all of the women left are more than 10 years younger than he is.
Anyway, Ashley has given Brad some food for thought and they go to get ready for dinner. They’re having South African food. Nothing says a satisfying end to a date like eating food you’ve never had before and running to the bathroom after.
They basically rehash their earlier conversation. Ashley wants to be Superwoman. Brad doesn’t want Superwoman. He wants someone who will move to Austin to be with him. Eventually, Brad gives Ashley the key to his fantasy suite. They head there, do some making out, and stare off into space. After awhile, Ashley asks him what he thinks of the mosquito nets. “They work,” he says. These two are in for a life of fun and adventure, huh?
This is what excitement looks like.
It’s a new day and Brad is reflecting on the enormity of the decision he’s about to make. Here to put things into perspective is the always hyperbolic Chris Harrison. Chris says this week is huge… massive… maybe even catastrophic. How does Brad feel? Bore snore. Let’s get to the ritual ceremony of the floral dispensing.
The women are finally dressed nicely for a rose ceremony. Even Emily is in something cute and age appropriate. Except it looks like it has a stain on it. Probably from all that talking she and Brad did the other night.
When Brad arrives, he’s nervous and tongue tied from the start. He asks for one-on-one time with Ashley.
They step away from the others and talk about their communication breakdown. Ashley cries and says she could have handled the whole situation better but “there’s really nothing I can do now.” Brad wants to know why she’s counting herself out. Eventually he tells her she gots to go.
OK, she says. That’s it? Brad asks. I’m not gonna beg you, she says.
“So… I’ll see you around or somethin’, then?”
He puts her in a fancy white Land Rover — the limo of South Africa — and she’s done.
Brad goes back to the others to tell them what happened. he gives roses to Chantal and then Emily. He announces that next week they’ll be going to Capetown to meet his family. Really? Do they live in Capetown? Why don’t they go where the family lives? Anyway, single gal Chantal is excited about going to Capetown. Emily looks about ready to go home.
Next week… not the finale — the reunion show! Where apparently the women are contractually obligated to “tell all.” Will some girls we forgot about continue their bitter feud? Is Molechelle still cray-cray? Is that one really upset girl still crying while Elvis continues to play over and over again in the background? Find out next week!