Buckle your seatbelts, folks, we have three, count ’em, three HOURS of Bachelorette goodness to get through. And they’re trying to convince us that Andi is the most coveted, desired bachelorette ever as Chris tells us that the suitor she doesn’t pick is still not over her! “He tried to speak with her on her vacation in Mexico…he tried to confront her during the Men Tell All special…and tonight, Andi will finally have to face him.” Um, why, show? Why are you enabling someone who’s behaving like a stalker? Although after last week’s UltrasoundGate, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.
Our first home visit is with Nick! He greets Andi and comes bearing flowers for Mom Patty, and Scotch for Hy! Smart boy. (I feel he could have dressed up a bit more, though. Navy henley is not doing it for me.) Hy tells us that Nick seemed more nervous than anyone’s ever brought home before; Mom notes that he’s not very demonstrative, but politely surmises that he’s just nervous. As they sit down to dinner, Nick tries to thank Andi’s parents for having him, and fumbles a bit. Hy and Mom sit silently as he natters on. Jeez, guys, you could throw him a lifeline. Even Andi says in a talking head that she wishes he wasn’t so nervous! But I think it’s cute. (Sharleen and I are on Team Nick!)
In his one on one with Mama Andi, Nick doesn’t hold back, telling her that he’s madly in love with Andi. Mom is sold. Meanwhile, Andi’s telling her sister that Nick “makes her feel like a woman.” As she goes on and on about Nick’s passionate kisses, Rachel looks vaguely like she’s enduring a dentist appointment. Let’s move on.
Now it’s time for the grilling from Hy that we’ve all been waiting for. He is happy to take his moment as he grills Nick on why he loves Andi. Nick starts inauspiciously, telling him that they have a connection he can’t explain, but eventually he comes up with some very nice things about her, and asks for Hy’s blessing. Unlike last time we met him (where he saw right through JP the Lothario!), here he tells Nick that when the time is right, he thinks that they would suit very well together.
Nick and Andi are now free to have some end-of-date “passionate” smooching, and their farewell does seem genuine. Lots of “just one more!” kisses. Then he’s packed off into the waiting SUV, to cool his heels until the rose ceremony (unless we get ring-shopping footage this season).
The next day, it’s time for Josh to meet Andi’s family; she explains that he’s an athlete from Atlanta, and that she originally expected him to be a player, but he’s not. Hy says Nick was “really impressive,” so he’s withholding judgment today. Josh arrives, and at least he had the sense to wear a linen button-down and not just a t-shirt. He also picked navy, interestingly. (Or rather, the producers did.)
Hy is amused that Josh comes in and seems really nervous–he brought flowers for Patti and cigars for Hy. Patti gives us classic mom when she says, “This loud guy came in with Andi and kept telling us over and over how nervous he was!” Rachel and her husband sit down to grill Josh, warning him that “Andi told us to ask you the tough questions.” Josh is talking way too fast. Dude, I’m trying to recap here! Slow down a little.
Josh tells Rachel that he knew he was in love, not just falling, when Andi came to visit his family. Rachel seems satisfied. I have concerns about Josh’s eyebrows this week. They seem to have gone through some sort of amateur waxing, and are now on two different levels. Either that, or it’s so hot the left side of his face is melting. Next it’s Hy’s turn with the rubber truncheon and the spotlight. Josh is very assertive in telling Hy that he loves Andi and he’s ready to spend the rest of his life with her. Hy is maintaining his distance, but in the end, doesn’t torture him too long–he tells Josh, “You’ve got my blessing, but the only one you need to worry about is hers.” In a talking head, he says, “I could definitely see Josh being a son-in-law.” HY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME? I THOUGHT WE WERE TEAM NICK!
When we return from commercial, we take a quick pan over the audience, including a row of identical blonde teen-to-twentysomethings who look like sister wives. Then it’s off to our last stages of this “journey”: individual dates with each finalist. First is Josh, and Andi says they’re taking a yacht around the Caribbean. It’s one of those modern-looking ones with a lean silhouette, but there’s still room for them to enjoy a picnic on the bow (stern? the front, anyway). Soaring music plays as Josh says over and over again, “I had a great time with your family, a great time, I had a great time with your family.” Conversational wunderkind, there.
Andi says that she totally believes in Josh’s connection, and his acceptance by her family, but she “overanalyzes and has doubts.” Really? You have doubts about the efficacy of finding your soulmate on a six-week television show? Weird. Also, I think she really likes that he already lives in Atlanta.
Swimming time! They drop anchor (no, that’s not a metaphor, you pervs) and do some snorkeling in the clear green water. We’re getting a lot of underwater shots of Andi’s butt, which make me feel like this could turn into a very special crossover episode of Shark Week.
As the sun sets, it’s time for a quiet dinner a deux, and Josh is talking again. Is it just me? He says lots of words, and yet at the end I feel no meaningful information has been conveyed. (In fairness, that’s the case for virtually everybody on this show.) He’s talking very explicitly about “the love that I feel for you” lasting forever, and Andi seems to be looking for some sort of guarantee. Has she not dated before? That isn’t so much how love works.
To drive the point home (ew, also not a metaphor, shame on you) he’s brought Andi a present: he opens a box and reads her a letter explaining that he loves her very much and made her her very own baseball card. It’s a photo of Andi at the baseball game, labeled “The Murrays.” It has stats on the back, including “can’t dance.” OK, that’s kind of cute. This is better than a bad rhyming poem with no meter.
Man, it’s like they agreed not to say anything of note in front of the cameras! If you want to know what this scene is like, just throw the words “journey,” “love,” “wild,” and “questions” into a bowl and then pick them out at random. What happened to the Andi who criticized JP for not knowing about her religion or her politics, etc.? Do Nick and Josh already know all that? Why don’t we?
Chris Harrison in the studio promises us that we’ll get even more excitement coming up, including a chance for a jilted suitor to confront Andi at last! Um, yay? Also, the Bachelor in Paradise conscripts–er, contestants–are lined up in the front row for no real purpose.
It’s time for Andi’s last date with Nick, who whiffs it once again, sartorially speaking. His bright blue t-shirt is the exact shade of his shorts, so he looks like Violet Beauregard.
They’re going off-roading! Plinky guitars play as they Jeep around, until they wind up at their picnic spot, a “private lagoon.” To be honest, this sort of water-in-jungle setting makes me nervous because I’m convinced there will be leeches or other terrible bugs. I don’t want them to go in that water! (I guess their date is the Lake Placid to Josh’s Sharktopus.)
Nick recaps his take on the family visit, which he feels went well. He takes her through his talk with her mom and his audience with Hy, and Andi seems touched. There were more actual sentences formed on this date, but you already know what happened so I’m skipping that part. As before, I think she looks more natural with Nick, as though they’ve been together for a long time. I suppose that could be either a good or bad thing, though!
Now it’s back to Nick’s place for drinks and more poorly-chosen henleys. Nick pours the champagne and offers an awkward toast. (Seriously, how is this guy a salesman? He cannot think and speak at once.) Andi kindly says, “I love when you ramble.” Nick says he’s nervous about tomorrow, especially because of his previous broken engagement. He says he remembers, that time, thinking something “wasn’t right.” Andi’s getting a weird pout on her face that I can’t tell if it’s displeasure, or if she was just going for “pensive.” Also, she tells him to turn his brain off instead of worrying. Um, seriously? Andi is saying this? Girl, didn’t you cry through your entire last season?
Andi tells Nick, “It’s gonna be alright. It is.” Nick chooses to take this as secret code for, “I’m picking you, dummy.” In a voiceover, he tells us, “I’ve had confidence before, but this is new….She’s giving me all the signs.” I hope this isn’t typical TV bait and switch. I guess it comes down to: which of these two men do you think is most likely to travel around harassing Andi after he’s dumped? (I fear the answer is Nick.)
Now it’s time for prezzies! Nick also has a small box, and Andi withdraws a pendant on a fine gold chain. At first I think this is a mistake, because it’s not as personal as Josh’s gift, but Nick does not fail me. The pendant is a little vial of sand, and Nick explains that he went back to the beach where he first told her “I love you.” Awww. Well-played, sir. Smooches as we fade to black.
Chris Harrison takes a quick cheering poll (about as accurate as your average presidential primary exit poll) to see who they think is winning–it’s hard to say, but I think the crowd is slightly pro-Josh at this point.
At last! It’s morning in bachelorette-ville, and Andi steps out onto the verandah to contemplate her options. (I like her shortie nightgown.) Nick and Josh each start the day by obligingly opening the blinds of their rooms while shirtless. Both their abs elicit cheers. Andi recaps her options while we zoom in on her serious face, because she has to send one man home even as she becomes the Happiest Girl in the World. (Jeez, Andi, it’s not like you’re Ned Stark beheading a deserter.)
Nick is nervous. Josh is also nervous. Both of them are opening their hearts and preparing to be vulnerable. And Josh provides us the ring-shopping segue so that we can enjoy a visit with Neil Lane (TM). No more going to a tawdry store–Neil comes to the house for these guys. Josh looks at several diamond-encrusted rocks and picks a round one. Lane describes it as a “strong ring” for a strong woman.
Cut to Nick’s room–we get a tap on the door, and presume it’s Neil Lane coming to do the same shtick…but it’s Andi! OH NOES! WHAT COULD IT MEAN? In the studio, Chris Harrison assures us that we are not the only ones dying to know (whew!), and that when we return, we will have some Bachelor fan favorites speculating about it. Yes, that sounds much more reasonable than actually playing the rest of the tape.
Oh, it’s Crazy Clare! I’m sure she’ll have useful insight. She does begin by saying, “I wish somebody would have come to my door.” She goes on to say that Andi is being honest, etc….but she doesn’t know why she’s there yet! Farmer Chris (clearly the next Bachelor, no?) says that Andi’s appearance could mean a lot of things. “Do you think it’s a good thing?” asks Host Chris. “Not necessarily,” Farmer Chris tells us.
Now there’s some weird ferret-faced guy who is apparently a final two contestant from some other season? I don’t know who this is. Ugh, show, stop trying to make fetch happen!
Michelle Money interrupts to ask Chris a question. “I have a very important question: when are you going to announce who the new bachelor is?” No, that wasn’t a plant at all. Well, Chris isn’t telling us yet.
Finally we’re back to the Andi tape. She says, “Hiiii” in a sex kitteny voice, but then goes into message-delivery mode. She tells him that she thought about what he said about “waking up feeling that something was not right” on the morning he got engaged last time. Aaaaaaand she says that she feels the same way. Womp-womp. (Oh noes! Poor Nick!) She says, “The things I see in us is ultimately not what I think is best for us.” I don’t know what that means.
Nick is shattered. He stares at the ground and asks, “When did you start feeling this?” Andi says that she was “overanalyzing” everything (I do not think that means what she thinks it means) and at the last date she just wanted to relax and have fun, but she couldn’t. She thinks “a life with you we’d just be overanalyzing everything.” Nick doesn’t understand how she could have looked at him with the emotion she did and yet now be saying she’s not feeling it. He’s suggesting that she was lying, or playing him, and she starts crying.
Nick asks her, “Is this more about us, or is it about…someone else?” Andi won’t answer him, and just whispers, “I’m sorry.” Awww, poor guy. But honestly, Andi’s right in that it’s better to do it this way than leave him standing at the altar. He accuses her of “taking things too far” because some of the things she said to him, once he proclaimed his love, led him to believe she was trying to tell him that she loved him too. He won’t even look at her now.
In the end, he says, “I know that this was hard for you to do. I just hope that you’re a million percent sure, and not scared.” Ugh, Andi, you should be scared of that crazy-ass family you want to marry into. Enjoy EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND from now to eternity watching your brother-in-law’s football games.
It’s pouring out, the perfect backdrop for Nick to weep on his lanai. (“Weeping on the Lanai” is the title of my first novel.) He dramatically throws a dried rose in the trash (which he kept from…where?) and starts packing. (And he’s finally in a button-down! Oh, Nick, too little too late.) He’s silent the whole time, his mouth hanging open. He won’t even meet the camera’s gaze. Could Farmer Chris have a challenger for the role of next Bachelor after all?
Finally, he speaks: “She obviously has feelings for Josh. But I just thought we got each other. God, what is she doing?” Oh, Nick, don’t be crazy, now. No means no.
His ongoing recriminations are intercut with Andi, waiting by a pool in a flowy maxi-dress for…Host Chris? The rain to stop? She’s not dressed for a proposal yet.
The tape ends, and the audience is in silence. Lots of “ooh, poor baby” faces on the audience members. This is not doing wonders to masculinize him further, especially when Chris reminds us that we’re going to hear about how he kept chasing Andi even after this.
This is it! Andi feigns concern that Josh might not propose. Josh feigns concern that Andi might not accept. Josh’s jacket is ill-fitting. Andi’s dress looks too soap-opera-ish. In profile, the two of them have matching Jay Leno chins.
Josh begins his speech. Care to guess how many words until he mentions baseball? If you picked any number over 5, you lose! As he gets rolling, Andi’s nerves vanish and her expression turns into glee with a hint of smug and a dash of “Yeah, I’d tap that.” He has more flowery words, and they’re very nice, but he pauses before actually asking if she’ll marry him. However, it must be part of the script, because Andi launches into her part. Get your “journey” fishbowl out and add “challenge,” “struggle,” “scared.”
The music is turning dark, as though this is not going to have a happy ending…could it be? No of course not. The feeling she’s had…is LOVE! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE! Since the moment she first saw him (which suggests that this whole “process” is pointless, no?) But the music swells, they both sigh in relief, and at last, Josh goes down on one knee (probably because of the weight of the Neil Lane (TM) diamond).
Andi’s thrilled. You can see that ring from space. Smooch smooch. There’s kissing and wiping of sweat (Josh is red-faced and dripping) and at last, the exchange of a final rose. (Also, Andi can’t stop staring at her rock.) OK, people, the kissing is actually getting a little gross now. Get a room (provided by Hilton). He swoops her into his arms and carries her off their little altar-platform. And they all lived happily ever after…(or at least until they are no longer contractually obliged to date).
That’s all for me, my friends! Check our Twitter account for reactions to the “After the Final Rose” special…and look for more TV recaps right here on XOXO After Dark!