The Bachelor and his three remaining ladies get the heck out of the U.S. and find themselves in none other than Bali, Indonesia. Finally! We all deserve a little vacation after this season, don’t you think? OK maybe we don't. They’ve done all the hard work while we just drink wine and make fun of everyone.
I have to say, this episode was one of the more serious in Bachelor franchise history. Not in a dramatic crazy town way but in a "these girls are all really great" way. They all honestly seem smitten with Chris. They all seem like sweet girls. They all seem to be authentic. And as you know I think Chris is authentic. So this is going to be a tough one on our Bachelor and on the girls. I don’t want to see any one of these girls upset.
A few observations/thoughts from this episode:
1) Although I think Chris does know who he has the strongest connection with, I do get that he has feelings for all three girls. I just wish ABC didn't make him use the "love" word; I don't really think he's in "love" with more than one girl. I think that's disingenuous, and I could imagine it causes stress to the girl that he does pick in the end.
2) I really have been on Team Whitney for quite some time, but Becca may be the dark horse. Of course, we all know ABC uses the scenes to throw us all off.
3) Is ABC forcing Chris to stick to this story line that these women would have to move to Arlington? This idea that Chris has to live there for the rest of his freakin' life seems like ABC fabricated drama to me. Could Chris live in Des Moines and run the farm? Could he hire someone to do his on-site responsibilities? I really think if he met someone (e.g. Whitney) who has a "life" and a "career" he could/would move for her. Even just to a bigger city in Iowa that has a hospital she could work in. This idea that the woman that Chris chooses will have to give up her entire life and her career to be with him? My friend Kerri and I think that's just plum crazy.
4) Why is it that when it's the guy who's a virgin, it's considered an honorable, private choice (see Sean Lowe, The Bachelor season 17). When it's a woman who is a virgin, she's almost reverse-slut-shamed -- she's seen as "naive," "inexperienced," or “afraid of intimacy.” What a double standard! You have too much sex and you’re a slut; not enough and you’re a naïve prude. Becca is definitely not as naive as they are making her out to be.
5) Bali looks hot as balls. In his People blog, Chris said the temperature in Bali was around 90 degrees and close to 100 percent humidity. He admitted he was “sweating like a ‘you know what’ in church” and “had to pack like two or three shirts for every date.” The producers were actually rubbing baby powder on him to try to keep him dry. Eek.
OK on to the dates...
First date is with Kaitlyn. She does the obligatory straddle hug on Chris that I’m starting to realize is the traditional greeting of skinny Gen Y women. She is wearing pink shorts panties and a cute black top (smart to go with black; the Bachelor is unfortunately wearing mint green and we can see every drop of sweat coming off his body). They visit a temple, walk around with baskets on their heads, do some praying, then end up feeding some crazed monkeys what else? Bananas!
These two are adorable together. They seem comfortable. They are schmoopy. But Chris remains a man of few words: Kaitlyn's describes how wonderful it was to have her whole family together (including, might I remind you, a set of divorced parents) to meet and get to know him and his response was "it was fun." So then they kiss a bunch.
At dinner Kaitlyn opens up to Chris like she hasn't before. She tells him why she had a guard up. (Like it's not the most natural thing in the world to have a guard up when your boyfriend is dating and spending the night with two other girls.) She tells him that she’s her “best self” when she’s vulnerable so that’s how she’s gonna be with him. Because she trusts him and what they have.
"I'm extremely excited about what we have going" -- says Chris. To Kaitlyn.
They get the standard fantasy suite card from Charrison and there is no hesitation from Kaitlyn that she wants to spend more time with Chris overnight. There is also no hesitation from all the girls I am in the room with that Kaitlyn plans to sex Chris up. We all think she may be quite bendy.
They get into the suite and she finally lets it out that she's falling in love with him.
“I’m falling in love with you as well” – says Chris. To Kaitlyn.
Sounds promising, right?
Next date is with Whitney. She greets him with – you guessed it – the straddle hug in -- you guessed it again -- shorts panties. Thank goodness Chris and Whitney get a less sweaty date out on the open seas. Their crew immediately rams their pirate ship into the dock. Off to a great start!
Whitney, we all agree, looks different. Is it her hair? She’s definitely still sporting her Pepto-colored pink lipstick.
They show Chris and Whit canoodling on the deck of the boat and she is seriously talking non-stop. She brings up her hometown date and tries to explain her sister's withholding of her blessing. Chris assures her it doesn't change anything for him. She is relieved her sister didn't ruin it for her and it causes her to ramble on even more. They jump in the water and smooch a bunch. Watch out for sharks!
That night at dinner Whitney is wearing a very unfortunate neon green dress. It clearly doesn't fit her right and it’s quite distracting. Chris quizzes her about moving to Arlington. He gives her an overview of what it's like to live there and she gives him her squinty "I'm about to tell you something bad" look," but then assures him that her first priority is to be a wife and a mom and that her career is something to fall back on. She's ready to have babies!
Off to the fantasy suite or as Whitney said "Check please!" Go get it girl!
Chris meets Becca in a small village. She's wearing a jumper that looks like it's made of parachute material. I am glad she's wearing black (never let 'em see ya sweat) but the material looks like it might be suffocating. Anyway, Chris is in another long sleeve colored job. Another day, another gallon of sweat! Chris and Becca wander through the village and watch how the natives farm. Because it wouldn't be a Chris Soules date if we didn't see some kind of farming. Because Chris is a FARMER, in case you forgot!
They end up visiting a temple (I guess that's what you do in Bali) and talk to a medicine man, who also has a medium at his side. The medium answers the questions they have: yes, they are very compatible; yes, both of them will make great parents and, as a bonus, Becca is hard to control. What?! Two out of three isn't bad, I guess. She then asks for advice for their date and he tells her they should "make love." Ding ding ding!
We all know what happens next as the formula for this show hasn’t changed that much: they have dinner, they talk about their feelings then they talk about Iowa.
Chris interviews he "loves" who Becca is, but he is concerned that she's never been in love before and she is unsure if she wants to move for him. She smartly says she wants to be sure before she decides to uproot her life and move somewhere and marry someone. She describes her feelings and they both admit they are falling in love. She's one of the most level headed woman to ever darken this show's doorstep.
They head into the fantasy suite (because, let's be real, no one turns down the fantasy suite) and she finally drops the V bomb on him. He gives an audible sigh (maybe he was holding his breath waiting for another Playboy-type reveal?) but tells her he respects it and says the most important thing is that they figure out if they are right for each other.
These two are way too logical for this show.
But wait, it's now morning and Chris is confused because he doesn't know where Becca stands. He's staring at the ocean. She's walking down the beach. He says he's not ready to make a decision. He says both Kaitlyn and Whitney have said they love him and could move to Arlington. Becca is still unsure.
Does this mean that Becca is the front runner? They keep the camera on him so long eventually they get him to cry. He wants to take all three home to meet his family. He doesn't know what to do. He's terrified of making a mistake.
You know what the answer is Chris? Consult Charrison. Chris shares that he could see himself with all three women (I’m assuming he doesn’t mean all at the same time; although, can’t you totally see Charrison's wheels turning that that would make a great premise for a reality show??).
Charrison is no help. He's just parroting back what Chris is saying. Damn it Charrison, give him some advice! You are so wise!
Chris and Charrison arrive to another sacred temple in their jesus jammies. Chris steps up to the plate and immediately whisks Becca away so they can talk. Since they left the fantasy suite on a questionable note, he wants some clarification. It appears that Becca told Chris she 1) wasn't "in love" yet and 2) isn't ready to move to Iowa. Of course it's not cut and dried Chris. It never is!
Becca tells us she is emotionally drained and hasn't slept. Becca reassures Chris that she's crazy about him and wants the show to be over, but doesn't want them to be over. The show was just the way that they met, but not the reason they are falling in love. Chris tells her he really cares about her and sees the potential with her. This all sounds very normal to me. More normal than someone ready to trash their MEDICAL CAREER to live on a FARM after going on THREE DATES with a guy.
You know what I love about Becca? She has a good head on her shoulders. She isn't desperate. She is being real and realistic. She's asking legitimate questions. She's not blinded by "love" or the "process." She's applying real world logic into this thing. I dig that.
Back at the rose altar, Whitney and Kaitlyn both assume Chris is letting Becca go. They know he's the type of guy who wouldn't subject Becca to the rose ceremony if he could help it. Which leads Kaitlyn to feel rather cocky
But wait! Here they come, back to the altar, hand in hand.
This was not the way it was supposed to happen! Kaitlyn is shocked.
Whitney looks pissed. I think this is one of the first times we actually hear her badmouthing another girl on camera: she says Becca is “too young” and if Chris likes her, how can he like Whitney? Hmm…
After some dramatic pauses and some crowing roosters, the roses go to Whitney…and Becca.
Kaitlyn is heartbroken, but handles it like a champ. She even looks beautiful when she cries. She doesn't say much besides "what happened?" She just looks so freakin' sad. I want to hug her. He puts her in the limo, I mean mini-van, the rooster crows once more and off she goes. She says it’s the most humiliating moment of her entire life. Worse than when you took your swim trunks off in a dirty pond??
See ya next week for Women Tell All!