Hello, rosebuds, and welcome to the Rose Rehash, our weekly summation of one of the increasingly annoying "The Bachelorette." This week's episode finds Ashley and her suitors hightailing it to the “hidden jewel of Asia,” otherwise known as Taiwan.
Hi, we're Carrie and Deirdre, your weary recappers. Things look promising as the episode opens with sweeping views and Ashley wearing a snappy pink skirt. She’s finally ready to put the past, er, Bentley behind her and start anew. Even better, she’s got six amazing guys to discover this gemstone of a country with.
Ashley breaks down what she likes abut each guy, which is great since we’re having a hard time figuring it out at this point. She feels safe with Ryan and “loves his energy”. She’s feeling good about Lucas, and loves how unique and smart Ames is. Ashley LOVES Ben and so do we. (We’re pulling for you, Sonoma!) Constantine is easy to talk to and to look at, and JP makes her feel comfortable.
Ashley is FINALLY ready to move forward with the guys on this “amazing journey.” Take note fellas; she’s looking for the emotional and physical package.
Deirdre: We bet you are.
Chris shows up looking dapper in blue and talks ominously about the looming hometown dates. Game change! They are switching up the dates this week. There will be three one-on-ones and one group date. The remaining Fab Four will make it back to the states and show Ashley off to their families.
Back at the Man Cave, the one-on-one dates are freaking JP out. He hasn’t felt this way about someone in a long time and doesn’t want anyone else to go on date with Ashley. Too bad, JP: You're on "The Bachelorette."
Constantine gets the first date. JP continues to moan.
On the date, Ashley and Constantine board the steamy engine to love. We’re distracted by her tattered backless shirt.
Carrie: Yikes. Did Ashley rip her shirt herself? That’s some low back action.
Ashley finds the train romantic. We find it unbearable when she asks Constantine if he’s looking for love on this train.
They pull into the station and we find out that we’re just in time for the Pang Shi Annual Lantern Festival. Ashley and Constantine will be writing their love wishes on the side of the lanterns and then setting them free. Constantine is into it. Ashley is amazed that any guy could like her and is shocked that he’s taking the challenge so seriously. We’re amazed too.
Cut to dinner where Connie and Ashley are sharing deep thoughts about falling in love. Her hand is on his leg; but he seems a little bored. However, he says he’s ready to take the next step by subtly releasing a giant hot air balloon sized-red lantern of love, and they share a big smooch.
OK, it does look stunning. The sky is lit with lanterns and Connie says their wishes will come true. Cue cheesy dramatic music and more kisses. Connie wants her to meet the fam. Ashley is dazzled by the lights and says it’s “one of the most romantic nights of her life.” We buy it because it’s pretty, but not based on past experience. She’s had a lot of “super romantic dates” on this lackluster season.
Time for the next one-one-one with Sonoma Superstar, Ben F. They meet for a date at Taroko National Park and she reiterates that she wants the whole package. Subtle.
Alas, their chariot awaits! And they hop on a moped. What, no helicopter?
As they whiz past the beautiful scenery and lush green landscapes, Ben says he has a good feeling about how things are going to turn out and that they are going places. We’re ready to go places with Ben too, until he tells Ashley, “Hell of a second date, kiddo.”
Carrie: Ew. My dad used to call me kiddo. I’m a little freaked out.
Deirdre: What is this, "Casablanca"? Ben’s cute, but he’s no Bogart.
Ben equates the ride to a fairytale. Not sure what fairytales he's been reading, but they don’t usually involve mopeds.
Before dinner Ben lets it slip that he’s falling in love with Ashley but isn’t ready to tell her yet. She says that the wine tastes like the one he brought her that first night. He says he’ll show her the differences on the hometown date. Whoa, go Ben! He tells her how serious he is and that he wants to take the relationship to the next level and hints at the L word. He brings up the moped at least three more times.
Carrie: They better be riding a moped off into the sunset if they get engaged on this show.
Ashley says she might be falling in love with Ben and that she feels like he’s her boyfriend.
Back at the house, JP spirals into deep depression when he realizes that Ben hasn’t slept at the man cave. JP is pissed and pouty and can’t stand sharing Ashley. Dude, tone down the crazy jealously. It’s a DATING SHOW.
On the group date, they trade awkward in athletic challenges for campy wedding portraits. That’s right, the fellas will be getting gussied up in their finest to take posed faux wedding photos with Ashley.
Lucas is swathed in a gold Taiwanese dress and Honest Ames gets a bedazzled blue suit with a ginormous feather trying to escape his pocket. What ridiculous attire is JP decked out in? A traditional tux, of course.
Deirdre: Are the producers trying to give us a preview to the finale?
Carrie: This is like a bad "America’s Next Top Model" photo shoot. Smile with your eyes!
Lucas and Ames make the most of the shoot and have fun posing with Ashley and even sharing some "wedding kisses." JP can barely keep his jealously in check, biting back the bitterness. He can’t manage a smile during their nuptial shots and we’ve had enough of his bad attitude and are now rooting for Lucas and Ames.
Post photos, Ashley sits down with Lucas who says he had "fun" on the date. Ashley asks if it’ll be weird bringing her home to is family since he’s been married before. He says he wants kids and it won’t be hard to marry a second time. We think it will be if he’s planning on marrying Ashley.
Lucas doesn’t want to jinx it but he feels like he’s getting a rose. We shake our heads knowingly.
Ames brings old photos and some nifty Nantucket red pants to the table and talks about being shy growing up. She tells him she loves how unique he is and Ames talks about how much he lurrrves Ashley.
JP continues to complain about the date and how tough it’s been watching her with the other guys. But, because these are the same tactics Ashley perfected on her previous season on "The Bachelor," she eats it up. Ashley says she feels his pain and pins the Insecurity Rose on JP to help him get through hard times. JP back is back on Cloud 9. We bury our heads in the couch cushions.
Deirdre: These two deserve each other.
Ryan finally gets his long awaited one-on-one date after many “sleepless nights” and thank Chris Harrison because we’re SO SICK of him whining about it.
Ashley meets Ryan for their date and says she doesn’t care what the guys say about his over-the-top personality. We don’t care to see anymore of her back.
Carrie: Honestly, what is up with her backless shirts? Did they slash the wardrobe budget or something?
They hold hands and head to a gorgeous temple where hundreds of people are chanting and praying. Ryan says there is something romantic and intimate about experiencing it with Ashley. Next, they take their chance with the matchmaking bricks and make a wish before the Matchmaking God. If the bricks turn up opposite, your wish will come true. Ryan wishes for a happy future. Ashley wishes for the date to be over. No one is surprised when the bricks prove they are not a good match.
They chat about Tai Chi and Ryan’s positive outlook, but Ashley still isn’t feeling the romantic connection. They start chatting about recycling and the environment and things are going downhill fast. Ashley says she wants to learn more about what Ryan does—something she can take away with her and he decides to pull out his secret romance bomb… wait for it.
Deirdre: Is he really talking about a water heater?
Ashley’s bored. We’re bored. The producers are so bored they cut to her voiceover so we don’t have to struggle through the water heater monologue.
The water heater seals his fate and she tells Ryan he’s her perfect guy on paper but she’s not feeling the romance. He actually looks shocked. How can he seriously be surprised when he spent the last 5 minutes taking about a water heater?
Ryan tries to frown but his face doesn’t know what to do—he’s so used to smiling and being super positive all the time! He doesn’t get it and plays he guilt card: “You don’t want to meet my family?”
Ashley says it was a hard goodbye and is not 100 percent confident she made the right decision. We are.
Ryan says he’s shocked and doesn’t want to be alone. He can’t choke back his tears during his exit interview and escapes into the bushes to break down. He is visibly upset and we leave him standing in front of a giant heart-shaped flower wall, hailing a cab. Nice touch, producers.
Time for the rose ceremony and more backless outfits. Seriously? Ashley opts out of the cocktail party and has her game face on. She’s ready to send the last suitor home and move on to the hometown dates.
Deirdre: I would get rid of Constantine.
Carrie: I forgot he was still there.
Ashley thanks the fellas for traveling around Asia on a journey to love and admits that she sees her husband in the room. Dramatic drums and long pauses lead to Constantine nabbing the first rose. Ben snags the next rose. Ames and Lucas wish each other good luck, and Honest Ames scores the final rose.
Lucas wasn’t ready for it to be over. But it is. Thanks for playing, Lucas. Ashley cries that it’s so much pressure and maybe she wasn’t cut out for this.
We return to L.A. and the Bach House, and Chris has a very special sitdown with Emily, who won the previous edition of "The Bachelor." Chris starts by saying that he’s been lucky enough to see many people find their soul mates on the show. Some have even gotten married and had kids. (Here’s looking at you, Trista and Ryan!)
Emily’s barely out of the car and she’s already shaking and near tears. Emily talks to Chris about having a hard time dealing with being in the house where she and Brad fell in love.
She breaks it down: They’re not engaged anymore, but she said Brad will always be a huge part of her life. She was ready to put an end to their own "dot dot dot." Emily says she’ll always love Brad.
Chris asks what went wrong after the final rose and Emily said that all the attention was hard to bear. She was getting ready to pack it up and move to Austin when she started doubting things.
She says she and Ricki had their pictures taken all the time and it was so hard to explain all that to a 5-year-old. The reality of her reality show romance was that real life was just too much. It’s so sad. She’s so genuine and really upset and heartbroken that it’s tough to watch.
Ugh, we’d even take a Bentley mention right now to lighten the mood. Lucky for us, we at least close with hometown date previews. Honest Ames in a plaid shirt leading a horse carriage? Yes, please!
Next week: we join Ashley and the Fab Four as they head back to the US for hometown dates.