This week, the lovers descended onto the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. They kept excessively praising Ashley, in order to convince us of her worth -- and had to start fawning over the city too. Ames deemed it the "perfect place" to fall in love and JP said "If you can't find romance in this kind of environment, you're hopeless." Ashley said the city represented a "new beginning" that could be "a very happy ending". (I always love her logic.)
1-on-1 with Ben F
Ashley and Ben F. went to a marketplace where they drank beer, painted paper parasols and did all sorts of mundane things they deemed "incredible." Discussing her feelings for Ben, Ashley said, "Initially I knew he was good-looking, but the more I get to know him, the hotter he becomes." Ben's thoughts on the relationship were equally serious: "How beautiful is Ashley? I'm beginning to kind of see her as a potential fiancé? Wife? Of mine?"
They sat in front of a temple and Ashley told him they couldn't kiss being it was a sacred place, so instead they talked about kissing, had a "mental" kiss and basked in the awkwardness. "There's so much tension building up in this moment, I just want to jump on him" Ashley said, followed by... was that a roar?
Then it was time for an outdoor dinner, surrounded by candles (Ben F.: "it was one of the most breathtaking settings I've ever seen in my entire life... Just really amazing. It's incredible.") Ben told her how his father's death five years earlier had turned him into an "emotional zombie." Lucky for Ashley, in the last year he'd begun "taking down these walls, these emotional walls."
Ben's idea of a relationship is: "focus on her and obviously travel would be a big part of that... spending time together, nights in, cooking, you know, wine parties..." Ashley gave him a rose because she "could see a life with him, an everyday life..." ie. everyday wine parties.
Then dancers entered with more candles and the couple smooched as blow torches were fired off. Ash said "there's so much passion between us" but I didn't believe her. And I doubt the topless men dancing around in loincloths did either.
Group Date: Constantine, Ames, Nick, Blake, Lucas, Ryan, JP & Mickey
In order to get Ashley back into a sports bra (tummy needs its camera time!) the group got a lesson in Thai boxing. The men practiced their punches, did push-ups and gave their oiled-up chests air to breathe. Ames was scared, because he'd never been in a fight. And because every group activity scares him.
Then the shirtless men crammed into a car and headed to a boxing ring to fight each another in front of an audience. Blake wanted to show Ashley he was "more that just a dentist" and beat Lucas in their match. JP was scared because he was "the smallest guy" and was up against Chef Mickey, but eventually, "the Jew from Long Island, kicked the Irish man's ass from Cleveland" (in the words of JP). Then Ryan beat up Ames to ominous music and the stoic looks of spectators. After some slow motion blows to the head, Ames was carted off to the hospital for a mild concussion.
At the post-fight after party, Ashley was ever so "worried about Ames" -- but not too worried, to don a backless mini dress and apply enough makeup to supply an entire beauty pageant's worth of contestants. (What else should she have done? Gone to the hospital to check on Ames? That's no fun at all!) She told Ryan (who sent Ames to the hospital) he was "awesome." He said he felt "so bad to do that to Ames" but he showed Ashley his own bruises, so it was even. Eventually Ames arrived, feeling "totally a little disoriented. "It's great to see Ames show up" said Ryan, who was probably relieved he wouldn't be sued.
Blake took Ash aside and tried to "bridge the gap between friendly talks and a more romantic undertone." He told her "love is a marathon, it's not a sprint" and that it "burns out" if it gets too hot. That made Ashley question the (ever so hot) feelings she'd had for Bentley. Lucas gave Ashley a golf lesson -- minus the clubs -- just with the putting his arm around her from behind part --which left her "pretty turned on." He asked her what her type was and she said she didn't have a type. He helped out and told her her type was Bentley. She didn't seem to appreciate the help.
The date rose went to Blake, for whining that he needed reassurance, and not Ames for sustained head blows in the name of love. Ashley and Blake went aside and kissed and then all the guys toasted Ames and secretly wished he'd been sent home for a more serious medical condition.
2-on-1 with Bad Luck Willy, Ben C. and Some Elephants
The threesome went to a place called the Elephant Life Experience. Ashley sat on a raft, while the boys paddled her down a river. She felt like she was in a movie with "2 handsome men... guiding [her] along the river". Two men, plus a third Thai man, standing in the water, pushing the boat from behind.
Then it was time for a picnic and Bad Luck Willy got a moment alone with Ashley. Naturally he took the opportunity to dis his competition. He told her Ben C. had said he was ready to go home and get on dating websites. Ashley immediately decided to send Ben C. home early. He was "upset that William tried to sabotage" him and tried to explain that he'd just been "kidding around." But she would have none of it and Ben C. rowed home, while Ashley and BLW rode off on elephants.
At dinner, Ashley continued her campaign to bring back the 90s, wearing big earrings and an off the shoulder dress. She asked about William's "30-year-old boy" comment from their first date and he explained that he wanted to act like a kid, not grow up and was looking for someone to have fun with. (Always good things to tell a woman looking to get married.) Ashley sent BLW home, explaining, "I'm looking for a man, that's what I've realized." (I guess the elephant life experience convinced her she didn't want an elephant?) She left the date with a "truckload of insecurities" and threw the rose in the fire.
In his exit interview, BLW declared, "I am the world's biggest BLEEPing jackass... My life is full of BLEEP" and "I'll probably just end slipping back into that dark hole that I have again and slide the rock over top .I just wanna curl up in bed now and not wake up." If he's looking for fun -- he might have to look a little harder.
In another very low-cut dress, Ashley entered to dramatic music and asked the men to be honest with her. Ryan assured he'd been into her since the first night "like a rocket ship." Constantine told her he felt closer to the guys than to her and he didn't feel as much for her as the other guys did. Ashley sat on JP who told her he thought they could be "real." She told the cameras she was scared to tell JP she liked him, because she was still thinking about Bentley.
Chris Harrison Therapy
Cue: rumbling thunder, more dramatic music and candles. Ashley told Chris she needed closure with Bentley "in order to move forward." She said her head tried to forget about him, but her heart thought about him. "That's not normal," Chris responded. (Way to point out the obvious, Chris, we all know hearts can't think!) He told Ashley she couldn't have her foot "halfway in the pool" so even though they were "halfway around the world" he'd do his best to get her some Bentley time. And there was no halfway about it!
Ashley gave the first rose to Constantine... because he was honest about not being interested in her?
Nick. We knew he wouldn't make it with that job (personal trainer) and hair (bad) but it was sad to see him go.
Week 6 Drinking Game
Positive adjective week! (incredible, amazing, perfect, beautiful...)
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