Final three! We are hitting Heartbreak Hill on this Bachelorette marathon, and the finish line is almost in sight (give or take The Men Tell All). Andi tells us that she’s brought three very different men to the beautiful Dominican Republic, and that she has quite a choice in front of her. (Would probably be easier if you weren’t required to “fall in love” in three weeks, but whatevs.)
We begin with Sporty Spice–but first, a montage of all Josh’s moments with Andi from earlier in the season, in case you sustained some sort of traumatic brain injury. Spoiler alert: Josh “sees the real Andi” and is the kind of man “every girl would be attracted to.” Sure, if you like aging ex-jock mama’s boys, why not?
Then we have Hayseed Spice–Chris is sweet and wholesome, and is getting a serious Farmer Edit in this montage. She finds him sexy and romantic, and says she could see herself in Iowa after meeting his family. Chris is a “total package type of guy.” Ladies, be sure you get a total package guy–do not accept those layaway guys! They’re a total ripoff.
Finally, Salty Spice–Andi says that she has “a mental connection with [Nick],” i.e. he’s the only one of her suitors who’s not a dumb bunny. I thought he was the front-runner, but suddenly I’m getting the Patrick-Dempsey-in-Sweet Home Alabama edit: perfect on paper, fits her lawyer lifestyle…but she’s got a thing for lummoxes! Could it be Josh in the end?
At last, we are free of the montages, and cut to Andi walking along a pristine beach in a very low-cut cover-up. Oh, look! No sensible one-piece this time: it’s a plunging purple bikini. (But props to her: girlfriend looks great.) She reclines on a conveniently placed beach towel (where did that come from?) to ponder her options and stare at the horizon.
Andi tells us “they’ve changed everything” this season, and thus now it’s time for their first overnight date. Is it just that they did the hometowns first? I didn’t even notice. Anyway, Salty Spice is up first, and he arrives to meet Andi for the obligatory helicopter ride. (Seriously, do the producers have some sort of helicopter “Ride 10, Get 1 free” punch card?) You know the drill: beautiful coastline, blue water, hand-holding, kissing instead of looking out the window on your no doubt very expensive helicopter tour.
Oh, at least this tour was also transportation to the private island where they’re staying. Andi describes it, eloquently, as “frickin’ insane.” There’s a stork there to greet them. Hello, stork! Will you accept this fish? They pick a spot for their picnic basket, and then hit the ocean! Nick “has a body on him,” according to our fair maiden, and there’s lots of ocean canoodling footage (scored by music that I am virtually positive is the thene to a Skinemax show).
Andi’s (trumped-up) “concern” about Nick is that his description of his most recent break-up glossed over a massive heartache, and his family was all over Andi about how he fell apart after his broken engagement. Andi’s trying to suss out if he’s a liar or a trainwreck or what…but because Nick is a basically smart person, he is able to talk around her fears. I’d tell you what he said, but I don’t think he actually said anything. He fumbles his way right up to the “I love you” line, but keeps bailing out and not making eye contact, and finally Andi’s all, “Screw this. Let’s snorkel!” Nick berates himself for missing the window, but they get to mack in the water some more, so there’s that.
That night, Nick is wearing an ugly-ass henley, and describes himself as having “a childlike sense of wonder,” which perturbs me. However, he follows this by telling Andi that he wrote a story…and then whips out a scrapbook and begins reading his fairy tale about “Andi from Atlanta.” Naturally, she is smitten, but –oh lord, there are badly-drawn pictures–it’s making my skin crawl. One highlight: he says that when they went to “the kingdom of France, it was there Nick fell under an evil spell that made him act like a big baby.” Hmm…I couldn’t help but notice that the final drawing shows them kissing in swimwear that is THE RIGHT COLOR! I call shenanigans, and suspect that somewhere in the back there’s a PA washing Cray-pas off her hands.
At last, it’s time for the invitation to the Fantasy Suite, and Andi asks Nick what he thinks. He launches into a long babble about “I just love talking to you and want to talk to you all night, and like…talk your ear off and…you’ll want to just go to sleep and I’ll still be talking…” Are we sure he means “talk”? Finally, Andi’s all, “So is that a yes?” and he says, “Oh yeah, I’m down!” with a self-deprecating grin that kind of wins me over. And then he finally digs deep and weasels his way up to the words “I love you!” In a talking head, Andi grins cheesily but gleefully.
Date suite! The living room is all French doors, the better for the camera to spy on them making out on the couch. I must note that in addition to the bad henley, Nick is wearing tight red pants that I cannot get behind. We don’t get more of a tour at this point, but the coming attractions show us that there will be tears! (Wouldn’t be a Bachelor/ette without ’em.)
When we return, it’s the next day and Nick is but a fond memory. It’s time for Sporty Spice! Josh bounds up to meet Andi in what seems to be Old Town Santo Domingo, and Andi expresses a desire to hear Josh express his feelings. “Falling in love” is no longer going to cut it, boyfriend! It’s all or nothing, round the bases, six points and the field goal, insert other sports metaphor here.
Salsa plays as they stroll through the streets in patented rom-com mode–including stopping for a friendly vendor to hawk his wares. And what is he selling? A male aphrodisiac! Josh is a good sport and buys some, which Andi finds funny (and OK, so do I, even though I’m not the biggest Josh fan.). And oh look! They just happen to stumble upon a kids’ baseball game! And the kids just happen to invite him to play! Josh does seem to be having fun, and loving the low pressure game with the kids. He seems very coach-like. Brian the Blob is probably sitting at home seething: “That should have been MY date. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MIIIIIIINE!”
Now it’s time to sit and relax over a shared coconut, and Josh quizzes Andi about how the family visit went. I am distracted by his hair, which has a flat matte-black quality like he dyes it. Think Josh is a secret silver fox? Is that why Andi winds up crying? Josh is much speedier than Nick was to say that he loves her, and with the “I love you” out of the way, Andi is smoocherific. I dunno, Salty Spice, you’re getting a run for your money…
Under a crescent moon, Andi and Nick stroll to “Casa de Campo” for dinner. It’s another resort, and they have a little sweetheart table under the palms. I think it’s cooler there than it is in my apartment right now. Oy. Andi says in an interview that she needs to know Josh is serious about settling down and having a family. Josh says that he will be a great dad, but overprotective. Josh has learned Interviewing 101 and turns the question around on Andi, who is delighted to talk about herself. I don’t think enough Bachelor candidates remember this strategy.
Wow, Josh totes doubles down on the “I love you,” following it with “I want to marry you and settle down with you.” Andi warns him that she can be difficult, and he says, “You’ve already been difficult!” with a grin. He says they’ve “been through the wringer” and apparently I missed that episode? The background music switches to a minor key so Andi can quiz Josh on why he’s so damn happy all the time. She, like any good city girl, doesn’t trust it.
It’s time for the Fantasy Suite card, which Josh reads with a wink. I am more concerned about the fact that they haven’t touched their dinner! Aren’t they starving? Do you think that all the participants on this show are just starving all the time because they don’t want to eat on camera? Off they go, dinners still uneaten, to their suite…and look, there are fireworks going off as they stroll down the path! Their suite is cooler than last night’s: it’s a villa behind a shuttered door, and it has a private pool! Go swimming, y’all!
They do! (How could you not?) Good thing she had a bikini in her purse. Josh talking heads about how he’s never felt this way before, that he could be a great partner to Andi…he is saying all the right things. He’s not at all guarded, which is actually making me uncomfortable. You are too exposed, dude! You’re freaking me out!
It’s time for Hayseed Spice! And of course, their date involves horseback riding, even though Andi is apparently uncomfortable around horses. Andi, you are the star of the show? If you’re afraid of horses, why did you let them put you on one? Of course, since it’s Farmer Chris, their date is at Rancho Peligro (doesn’t that mean Ranch of Danger?), because poor Chris has to work the farm even when he’s on vacation.
Andi claims to be unsure about spending the night with Chris, but she has the day to figure it out. Up he drives in a Jeep, looking like the kind of guy who gives rafting tours to groups of tourists. They walk up to the horses, and Andi confesses that she’s nervous. She is also super not-dressed for this, in her platform sandals and short-shorts. Ladies, this garb is inadvisable for reasons both of safety and comfort. Chris helps her up, like a gentleman, and off they go. It’s clear right away that Andi’s horse is a little hyper, and then he starts trotting, which is scaring Andi, which is making the horse scared. Chris is happily talking her through it (while I’m thinking change horses with her, dummy) but eventually, her horse chills out and Andi gets a break. She’s going to be sore tomorrow–and Chris, you’d better move slowly in the Fantasy Suite!
Picnic time! They sit under a tree in a field while the horses graze nearby, and toast each other with water. Is Chris a teetotaler? (I think that would be a dealbreaker for me. Mama likes her vodka.) Andi talks about how the hometown visit was great, and Chris’s peeps are “the best family she’s ever met.” Methinks Andi loves the family more than she actually loves Chris. Sorry, Andi, you can’t have Mama Farmer Chris without her boy.
Chris tells Andi that he doesn’t typically have dates in cornfields, pulling back the curtain on the show shenanigans, but admits that the family visit they had was very typical, “right down to the Ghosts in the Graveyard.” This is an awkward segue into an “impromptu” game of hide and seek…but as they’re in the middle of a field, Chris’s choices are limited. Spoiler alert: she finds him. And then it’s time to get back on the horse, literally, and move on to Nighttime Farming!
They meet at yet another beachy resort; this time, dinner is served poolside, on a loveseat. Chris asks what Andi’s favorite part of the date was, and she says it was their hide and seek game, because it “brought back Iowa.” She’s not making a lot of eye contact with him, and he asks her pointblank what she’s thinking about the possibility of actually living in Iowa, rather than just playing farmer’s wife for a weekend. Chris is actually the most mature candidate I’ve ever heard talk about relocation on this show. Andi jibbers on about “the risk” of Iowa for a while, and then pulls out the Fantasy Suite card as some kind of metaphor? Neither Chris nor I understand what she’s asking, but I think she’s telling him that she’s not that into him?
Chris tries to fumble through it, not quite understanding what she’s looking for but sensing it’s a promise. He tells her “I’d say I’m falling in love with you, but I really am in love with you.” Rather than the smiles of her previous two dates, Andi looks crestfallen. Here it comes–she just isn’t that into Chris, and she says she could “blame it on Iowa,” which is part of it, but “the honest truth” is that she doesn’t “see the foundation with us.” Aww, sorry, Farmer Chris! If only you’d traded horses with her.
Andi explains that she knows it’s not going to happen, so she doesn’t think it’s respectful to him to go through the Fantasy Suite and making him wait for the rose ceremony when she knows she’s not going to pick him. Chris is stoic through all this, but picks himself up to tell her he appreciates her honesty. Andi says she feels like an idiot for not falling for him, since he’s so great on paper, and he’s all, “But why question your feelings?” Aww, Farmer Chris is even a good breaker-upper! And looks like he’s single, Iowa ladies! Get a move on!
After an awkward silence, Chris says, “Well I should probably go…” and Andi, with a sniffle, says, “I’ll walk you out.” Ouch. Chris is being most upstanding here, and Andi really should stop looking for absolution and consolation at this point. Let him go salvage his pride, honey. But, viewers at home: are we looking at the next Bachelor? In his talking head, he tells us it wasn’t what he wanted to here (over shots of him packing), but he’s still looking for a partner. (Ding ding ding! Bet he’s the next Bachelor. Gonna be a dull, corn-fed season.)
Well, should be an easier than normal rose ceremony, with no one to send home, right? How will we fill the twenty remaining minutes? Probably with more weeping and recrimination. Well, part of it is with Bachelor in Paradise ads, and Marquel is not as sharply dressed on the island as he was in the city. I miss his suits. The Tommy Bahama look does little for me.
The next day, Andi is recovered, more or less, though the sack dress she’s chosen today makes her look pregnant with sorrow. Or a burrito. Chris girlfriends it up with her, totally “yes and”ing her assertion that her feelings weren’t there and that she made the right decision. Moving right along…time to dissect Nick and Josh. Two great guys! Both of them say they love her!
So basically, Nick is a little serious but can be goofy, while Josh is a little goofy but can be serious. Maybe polyandry is the answer, Andi? Well, maybe not, but she still needs a rose ceremony because The Bachelorette isn’t a slave state and the men are allowed to decline their roses. (Even though they won’t.) The show is trying to make it feel like someone might turn one down, but if that happened, there would be no more show, since she’d be down to one guy, so none of us is fooled. Hurry up, show! We want to get to next weeky so we can see Hy, Best Bachelorette Dad Evah!
Chris Harrison waits to greet our two stalwart suitors and escort them to the Rose-Receiving Deck-Pier Thing. Oh, Nick, why are all your pants too short??? Maybe Andi can work on hem length with you. But then it appears that Josh may have worn sneakers? Oh, maybe they’re deck shoes. Room for both of them to look a little less like a Sears catalog, at any rate. The two wait in silence, not even looking at each other, and they notice that there’s no Chris.
Andi comes out and gives a little speech, and basically warns them in so many words that if they aren’t going to come up to scratch on the day, they had better not accept her rose tonight. Unsurprisingly, both Nick and Josh accept their roses without demur. Back to Atlanta we go! Oh, I take it back–she tells us we’ll be staying here in “the Dominican.” (Is that how locals refer to it? No “Republic”?) But it’s nice that her family gets a trip to an island paradise for putting up with this nonsense.
Next week: The Men Tell All! And after that: Hy!