“That’s three people who had the same thing to say while saying goodbye to me: ‘You’re a smart guy, trust your gut,’ ” Colton says. “What the f—? That’s like, my ultimate fear in all of this. I’m confident in the decisions that I make, I just don’t want to make a mistake. And from here on out, every decision that I make is bigger and means more.”
Luckily, he’s headed home to Denver for a fresh start. But when he meets with season 20 Bachelor Ben Higgins, Colton sounds more confused than ever, admitting he’s falling in love with “multiple” women — and has none of the reassurances he needs before potentially meeting their families.
ONE-ON-ONE WITH TAYSHIA
For his first solo date of the week, Colton selects Tayshia, and the two head off on a tour of his hometown, making all of his favorite stops. But the conversation takes a turn for the dramatic when he brings up the warnings he got from Katie, Sydney and Demi last week and asks Tayshia for her thoughts — and she drops a major bomb on him.
“I’ve heard some disheartening conversations have taken place in the house, and unfortunately some girls aren’t necessarily in this for possibly the right reasons,” she says. “I’m not telling you because I want to tattle-tale, but I just think that you should know. I feel like Cassie and Caelynn aren’t genuine, and I believe that’s who Katie was referring to, and Sydney and Demi.”
“They’re already talking about being the next Bachelorette and they also have said that they don’t think that they’re going to be ready to get engaged at the end of this,” she continues. “They’re interested in what parties they’re going to hit up after this and the people that they’re going to get to know and where they’re going to go. And seeing how they act and what they talk about and where their heads [are] at, I feel like they still have a lot to figure out.”
Colton is shocked — especially because Cassie and Caelynn were two women he had no concerns about, up until now.
“That really sucks,” he says. “I’m not going to lie. That’s where s— gets terrifying for me. Because if I get down on one knee and I say I love somebody and it doesn’t get reciprocated, for me that would probably be the worst moment in my life.”
Tayshia reassures him there are still girls in the running that genuinely care about him, and they spend the night cooking dinner together at his apartment. Colton admits he’s starting to fall for her, and with that, she secures a rose — and the first ticket to hometowns.
ONE-ON-ONE WITH CAELYNN
The second one-on-one of the week goes to Caelynn. Heading into the date, Colton knows he has to give her the chance to address Tayshia’s “heartbreaking” allegations because there are “two sides to every story.”
“Either I’ll be able to believe her and meet her family and go to her hometown, or she’s going home,” he says.
After spending a few hours teaching her how to snowboard, Colton sits Caelynn down for the big talk and admits his “guard is up.”
“I did have questions for Tayshia yesterday and she did share with me that she thought that you were one of the women that wasn’t quite ready,” he reveals. “I think what stuck with me the most was comments being made about getting to the end of this but not getting engaged and then talks about The Bachelorette. It was just very hard to hear. Especially after our date in Singapore.”
Caelynn denies it all.
“It doesn’t make any sense to me,” she says, crying. “It terrifies me to know the way that I’m feeling and the fact that I could lose you over something that’s completely fabricated. … The only person who knows if I’m ready for marriage is me and I am. I’m 100 percent ready and I hate that The Bachelorette got brought up. That blows my mind. That’s not why I’m here.”
Later, Caelynn fumes over what’s been said about her, frustrated over how to defend herself.
“There’s only so much you can say when someone legit pulls a lie out of their a—,” she says. “Where the f— did that come from? My feelings are so strong and I feel like my future was just ripped away from me because there’s an insecure, 28-year-old girl running around the house. I am the only one that’s falling in love with Colton, so f— her. It’s disgusting that she would even make up a lie like that and try to ruin my relationship over something that was never said.”
That night, Colton gets emotional over dinner.
“There’s too many distractions going on,” he says. “I don’t know what to make of them, I don’t know what to think of them, I don’t know where my head’s at with all of it. I wanted and I needed more out of this week and I’m not getting it. What I’ve heard makes me question everything. I feel more confused than ever. I’m heading into hometowns, and I have no clue what the f— I’m going to do.”
Caelynn does her best to reassure him, insisting that she does want a husband and kids and wouldn’t be here if she didn’t feel that way.
“What I wanted to tell you today, and I was terrified, is that I’m falling in love with you,” she says. Colton chooses to believe her and gives her the rose — and admits he’s falling in love right back.
“What I did feel today was that Caelynn does care about me,” he says. “She is ready and she is here for me and she is here at the end of this to walk away engaged. It’s nice to know that we’re on the same page, especially heading into her hometown. I know that I’m falling in love with her, and I’m crazy about her.”
ONE-ON-ONE WITH HANNAH B.
The final one-on-one goes to Hannah B., who scores the biggest date yet when Colton decides to bring her home to meet his family. While the introductions go well, it’s obvious that Colton is distracted by the unresolved she-said, she-said drama.
His dad imparts some sage advice and tells Colton to trust his gut, so he does. After realizing that he’s not quite there yet with Hannah, he decides it’s time to send her home.
“You have been open, honest and vulnerable this entire time,” he says. “But I think coming into this week, I spent so much time questioning who’s ready that I didn’t get to really look in the mirror and ask myself, ‘Am I ready? And I am ready for us?’ And I don’t know if I’m there.”
Hannah is confused and disappointed but thanks him for ending things before her family got involved.
“I know that you’ve got everything that I could give you here, and I’m a little confused as to what you want, but I’m glad to know that now,” she says. “I wouldn’t want you to come meet my family if you don’t feel that way.”
“I know that I shocked Hannah,” Colton admits after saying goodbye. “And there is no explanation that I could give her other than for me, it just didn’t feel right.”
Last but not least, Colton heads out on his final date before hometowns with the remaining women: Hannah G., Cassie, Kirpa and Heather. There are only two roses up for grabs, but Heather almost immediately takes herself out of the running, admitting, “I just don’t think that it’s fair to you to take you to my hometown if I don’t know 100 percent if I’m ready for that.”
While Colton is occupied with Heather, tensions are brewing between Cassie and Kirpa, who is #TeamTayshia — and not afraid to say it.
“With Cassie, just from my observations and in my opinion, I think she’s still trying to find herself in life,” she says. “I just don’t think she’s ready for this lifelong commitment.”
Finally, Cassie gets some one-on-one time with Colton and tells him she’s shocked by what Tayshia said about her and Caelynn.
“I don’t want you to believe that. I’m telling you I would not be here if it weren’t for you,” she says, crying. “I feel so helpless. There’s no truth to it.”
But when Kirpa sits down with Colton, she backs Tayshia up, telling him that after his speech in Vietnam, Cassie and Caelynn were the only two girls who got defensive and started to panic — which the rest of the women found highly suspicious.
“I just don’t want you at the end of this to be blindsided and end up with the wrong person,” she says. “I have concerns about Cassie and Caelynn — that they’re just not ready. I just want to present you with everything that I know so you can make the right decisions.”
As for Colton? He has no idea who to believe.
“I just don’t know where the truth is,” he says. “I’m hearing two completely different things from women that I feel like I trust. That’s the most concerning thing, because where did my gut go wrong? Did my gut go wrong? It’s frustrating. I need to protect myself, but I don’t know what that means.”
While Colton mulls over his decision, Cassie and Kirpa start arguing.
“Why would you go spend your time talking to Colton about me?” Cassie demands. “This all just reeks of desperation to me.”
Finally, Colton returns and announces that he needs more time, so the three women join him for dinner that evening. His first order of business is to give Hannah a rose and send her back to the hotel so he can deal with Cassie and Kirpa — but before he’s made his final decision, Caelynn shows up to defend her friend Cassie.
“I know that this is a big decision and as much as I want it to be you and I at the end of this, I think part of loving someone is just being honest and knowing that you’re not getting the full truth killed me,” she tells him. “This is all lies and it’s all bulls—. I’m sick of girls tearing other girls down and I wanted you to have all the facts.”
We don’t get to see the rest of their conversation, but when Colton returns to the table, he hands out his final rose of the week to Cassie.
“I think tonight I just realized it’s not about the ‘she said, she said’ thing,” he says. “It’s about my instinct and what my gut is telling me. I just know how I feel when I’m with Cassie. I can picture our future together, and I’m feeling very excited about meeting Cassie’s family because I’m falling in love with her.”
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.