For the Final 3, “Bachelor” Brad is taking the ladies to South Africa, which might be the coolest destination this show has ever done. The wilds of Africa are unlike any other place, I’m super jealous.
But before we can get to the wilds of Africa, we have to sit through the wilds of the season video package. Bloop bloop bloop. When Brad arrives, he is literally staying out in a game preserve. Brad’s cabin is amazing and he is right there! He can see animals off his porch! Wow.
Chantal is up first, looking super hot in her safari chic best. As they take off, Brad goes, “I’m sitting here looking at the South African bush” and he really emphasizes the word “bush” and I snicker. Because I am 12.
In all seriousness, their safari is amazing. I am running out of words to express my awe, jealousy and delight at this date. As they picnic near a watering hole, Chantal gives one of the stupidest talking-heads ever on this show – “There’s not many people that I can say that I would feel safe with when I’m surrounded by lions and hippos. I’m trusting Brad to keep me safe in this situation. But it’s more than that. It’s really a metaphor for what’s really going on in our relationship. There’s scary feelings around every corner.”
OK, first of all – you think Brad is going to somehow keep you safe if wild African game decide to charge you? Please. He’d scream like a little girl and run for his life, probably pushing you in the way of the charging beast. What she really meant was that she feels safe because just off camera are a bunch of trained animal handlers wielding tranq guns.
Secondly, let’s not get crazy with the “metaphor” talk. A date being a metaphor for “scary feelings around every corner” would be more apropos in a Haunted House, since I don’t exactly think the wild animals are jumping out at you from around corners. Which, come to think of it, would be the scariest date ever.
Just by the way, off-camera trained animal handlers with tranq guns is a way more apropos metaphor for a “Bachelor” relationship.
Anyway. They picnic and talk all schmoopy, while the editors make it look as though a wallowing hippo is totally riveted.
That night at dinner, Brad says he is the most comfortable around Chantal out of all the girls. Well, there’s your answer. He may not be head-over-heels in love yet, but pick Chantal and explore your relationship outside of this very intense situation.
Chantal says she’s willing to say yes to an engagement, which to her means she’s willing to get married. It’s not a “let’s get engaged and figure things out,” which is a great attitude because yes. That’s not what an engagement is.
The Bomp Chicka Bowwow card comes out and Chantal practically knocks the table over getting out of there. Most Overnight Dates, I don’t know if a couple had sex or not. This? Is not one of those dates. They are totally going to do it. In fact, I’m impressed they make it to the tree house. I fully expected Chantal to strip off her dress in the middle of the prairie grass and just go for it. And I would’ve applauded her all the way to the show fading to black.
Anyway, so the tree house is incredible. Though once the cameras are gone, it’s probably a little scary. I mean, you are alone out there with all those animal sounds. Speaking of – a lion gives Brad and Chantal a “rowr” in approval as we go to commercial.
Emily shows up in … kind of a stripper cowgirl outfit. Like the shirt is a tearaway and then suddenly we hear the strip club DJ, “Coming to the mainstage now at the Booby Trap – Kaerolyna!”
So Brad comes out riding an elephant named Tembo. Awesome. I did that once at the Omaha Zoo. This is better. They have drinks at a watering hole where a bunch of elephants are frolicking.
But Ricki comes up and Brad assures Emily that Ricki will be important to him if they keep moving forward and that he’s ready to be with Ricki as well as Emily. He says all the right things. The men off camera with tranq guns poke the elephants to evoke a rousing round of calls as Brad and Emily kiss.
At dinner, Emily talking-heads that she’s working up the nerve to tell Brad that she loves him. She also is having more trouble now with the fact that there are other girls. She doesn’t come right out and use the L-word, but she does say she’s ready to jump in.
The Fantasy Suite card comes out and Emily has to keep her image by saying she’s a mom to a little girl and wants to set a good example, but she also wants to spend more time getting to know him. Did Emily just tell him no sex, or did she just try to make us think sex was off the table. I’m not sure, but I think she just did that for our benefit.
In the Fantasy Suite, she finally says she’s falling in love with him. He is pretty surprised and responds by saying that he’s falling in love with her too. The sweeping music swells and they hug. The lights go out in the suite, but there is no animal sounds implying they are having crazy monkey sex.
Their date involves a helicopter ride (DRINK!) and Ashley loses her freaking mind. She’s scared of them. But she really doesn’t seem that afraid. She gets in the ‘copter, it’s just a lot of fake shrieking and giggling. If a date I was on involved snakes (my biggest fear), I’d cry and probably pass out. Call me when you get a real fear, Ashley.
They fly to a giant canyon/cliff area the locals call God’s Window. It’s breathtaking, truly. At their picnic, they talk about where Ashley wants to live. She is pretty attached to Maine, as her example of “striking out” is considering “even moving to southern Maine.” Hey, don’t get crazy.
She then launches into her very driven career talk and I am not knocking a driven career woman, I was one for a long time. But her talk about not leaving Maine and being so driven in her pursuit of being a dentist is not earning her a ring. I’m not saying it’s either career or man, I’m saying she and Brad are meeting in a very unusual circumstance and they each have lives in totally different parts of the country. He has to consider her attachments to Maine and her job/schooling.
They should have just skipped the dinner and sex, clearly the two of them are not going to advance past this episode. It’s a darn shame Shawntel didn’t stick around because even though she has some of the same hometown issues as Ashley, I liked watching her more and would’ve loved to see her enjoy Africa.
But they still have to do the dinner and fantasy suite part. Ashley has to explain how she thinks they could mesh their individual lives, but Brad is clearly dubious. He says you can’t build a future off an “incredible carnival date.” Uh, no kidding. But you seem to have kept this girl around solely based on that. Ashley seems lovely and smart, but I have never seen her and Brad really spark.
It then gets super awkward, as the sound editors don’t even need to pipe in the bug sounds while they talk about the food a little. Even the off-camera tranq guys are cringing.
I hope they don’t use the suite card and just call it, because the end of the episode is totally anticlimactic now. Does anyone at this point actually think Ashley is going to stay over Chantal or Emily? But they use it. Booo. That would’ve be kind of hilarious. “Um, yeah, I don’t think so. I’ve got Maine and dentristy to attend to. Peace out.”
It’s like Miller Time, but with less calories and more Chris Harrison. The two gents sit down for a chat, looking very dapper. It’s a whole lotta nuthin,’ but
at the end Rule-Breaker Brad returns and goes off to find Ashley.
When they show up, Chantal has on a tangerine wrap dress that makes her boobs look enormous. Ashley is dressed as Pocahontas. Emily is Barbarella. So that’s fun. Brad appears and before he can get to the ceremony, he says he needs to talk to Ashley for a bit.
Brad apologizes for backing her into a corner with all the questions he had for her, but the questions came from a place of sincerity. They both take the blame for how awkward it went, but they still don’t know if they fit in each other’s lives. He tells her she’s just so exceptional, but he then says he needs to tell her goodbye. It’s actually very lovely and mature.
She doesn’t beg or get all gross, just says she’s surprised and they walk out. She looks back at the girls and I took that to mean she was kind of hoping to say goodbye to them. Did anybody else get that?
At the car, she doesn’t really want to hug because she’s surprised and hurt, which is fair. She hugs him anyway and gets in the limo. In the car interview, she says she wishes she could’ve smiled and hugged him and been herself, but it’s hard to muster the strength when you’re hurt.
Ashley seems cool, I bet I would like her. But I’ve thought for a long time Brad belonged with Chantal (or Shawntel, but ya know … dead people), so this is OK.
I thought that was the end. Imagine my surprise that there is 15 minutes left. Turns out Brad wants to go through with the Rose Ceremony because it’s still up to the women to accept the roses. That’s cool.
They both do, of course, and then they hug. Hippos! Then he primes them meeting his family in Cape Town.
Uh, did you see that little moment at the end? He said they were going to a city he’s always wanted to go to and when he revealed Cape Town, Chantal goes, “I knew it!” and they shared a moment while Emily just stood there.
Next week: The women tell all. Oooooh.