This week began with Chris telling the women it was "about to get very serious". How serious? Vegas serious. And no, Brad did not find love with a stripper. (Yet.) But seriously, it did get really serious. A few weeks in and women were already starting to drop the L-bomb, along with a few pounds in water weight from all the crying.
To add to the solemnity of it all, Marry Me Monday is back. Now, every week guys can propose to their girlfriends during a show that has resulted in a 10% marriage success rate.
One on One with Shawntel N.
For this classy date, Brad wore a vest and Shawntel wore white short shorts. Why the fancy attire? They went to the mall! Sorry -- "one of the nicest malls in the world." Small town girl Shawntel felt overwhelmed by the niceness of it. She couldn't believe there were "like icebergs in the middle of the mall!"
Watching Shawntel shop made Brad realize she was a "a woman that I can spend my life with". (I've lost count of how many times Brad has said this about different women this season. Needless to say, he envisions a very, very long life.) And a few thousand bucks in, Shawntel felt like it was "real love."
She returned to the house with her many purchases, making the other girls jealous. "I am so living every girl's dream" she observed. Ashley #1 further clarified, "it's like the perfect Pretty Woman moment that every girl dreams about". Have any of these people actually seen Pretty Woman? (See: Jackie's week two date) Then Shawntel changed into her fancy new Fendi dress and all the girls had to watch Brad whisk her away again. Props to Britt for drinking white wine in a bathrobe while all this went down.
Shawntel and Brad had dinner on yet another rooftop, where she weirded him out with stories about her job as an embalmer (apparently "leakage" from "orifices" is an issue) and her cross-eyed cat, Peaches. And that warranted a rose.
Brad took Jackie, Lisa, Marissa, Alli, Chantal O., Britt, Michelle and Emily to a NASCAR track. Strange coincidence, seeing as Emily's former fiancé who died in a tragic accident was a NASCAR driver. Brad didn't know about the NASCAR part -- but ABC did. Emily got visibly upset and had to tell Brad the whole story, though she worried it would all be too much for him to handle. She decided she had to drive around the racetrack to move forward -- though not before she cried for a while in a parked car. In the end she did it, happy motivational music played and she felt "ready to move on and find love again."
At the after party (booze, pool, you know the drill) Brad took Emily aside for more alone time and the other girls were not happy. Alli ever so delicately wondered aloud "just because someone comes in with the worst story means they get the most attention?" Brad told Emily he was worried he'd never live up to her one big love, but Emily told Brad she liked him for real and they awkwardly hugged.
Then Brad had to deal with all the girls who felt neglected, including a crying Alli and a crying Chantal who accidentally said she loved him. After spending the rest of the party trying to make the women feel better about all the attention he was giving Emily, Brad undid all his efforts by giving Emily the rose.
2-on-1 or: Ashley on Brad on Ashley
This week, Brad decided there was only room for one Ashley in his (rather spacious) heart. The Ashlies cried when they found out, because they were apparently best friends. "It's gonna tear us apart" Ashley 2 exclaimed. (Um, what were they expecting, dating the same guy up to this point?) Ashley 1 said that if Ashley 2 went home, she would never forgive herself. Michelle was happy.
The threesome went to watch a Cirque du Soleil rehearsal, and thus began Ash 2's mission to be out-positive Ash 1. When they found out they'd be performing in the show Ash 1 said "That's awesome" and Ash 2 countered with an even more enthusiastic "That is amazing!" Each girl then had to watch and feel sad while Brad performed a romantic aerial dance with the other one.
Brad took his decision very seriously because he cared about "both Ashlies". At a weird (or weirdly edited) dinner, Brad avoided any one on one time and decided to dump one Ashley in front of the other. He told Ashley #1 "I think you'll make an extraordinary wife, I don't think you'll make an extraordinary wife for me" and sent her home. He returned to Ashley 2 who aggressively kissed him and he noted their connection was "intense."
Then Brad and his chosen Ashley did their crappy Cirque du Soleil performance to "Are You Lonesome Tonight". As the music played, it cut between the happy couple and Ashley sobbing uncontrollably in the limo ride and her exit interview. "I just feel really sad" Ashley 1 said. Ashley 2 said, "This is honestly one of the best nights of my life".
Unfortunately, it looks like Brad's therapy sessions are going to be a weekly occurrence. Thes seems to have replaced Chris Harrison's pre-Rose Party armchair therapy sessions and I am not ok with it. Therapist Jamie told Brad that his loyalty wasn't to any of the girls, but "to the mission" because he was on a journey to the "the deepest place" he'd ever go. Brad also learned that he had to trust himself and that strength and vulnerability aren't mutually exclusive. Profound lessons for a 2-minute phone call.
Brad addressed the "emotion" and "tears" of the week and told the PFWs he was there to talk -- thus opening the door for even more emotion and tears. Brad worried about Chantal's drama and told her: "You have to stop giving me so much crap". He brought Alli cake and champagne to make her feel special. Marissa gave Brad a package of notes, which made her feel vulnerable -- but not vulnerable enough (see below).
Michelle took Brad into an empty room, sat him down, covered his mouth when he tried to talk and held his face when he tried to turn away. She told him he had to "make big decisions" and send girls home, kissed him and left. He looked creeped out, but apparently was into it, because at the Rose Ceremony he gave her the first rose.
Booted: Marissa and Lisa who've barely had camera time anyway, plus Ashley 1 earlier.
Week 6 Drinking Game: Crying, kissing, hyperbolic announcements about feelings. This season is getting too annoying for anything less. Seriously.
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