Welcome back, Bachelor Nation!
We picked up this week right where we left off last week, in a very uncomfortable space between two men who dislike each other more than I’ve ever seen two men dislike each other in Bachelorette history. Shawn and Nick have been taking jabs at each other behind closed doors for a long time, and it was good to see them decide to talk man-to-man.
Or at least, that’s what it seemed like what was going to happen. The truth is, these two men just see everything in the world so differently, they’re never going to agree, probably about anything. Throw in a woman they both are madly in love with, and you really have a recipe for absolute destruction. Nick and Shawn’s conversation didn’t really go well, but Shawn felt like he had gotten some things off his chest and Nick felt like Shawn showed himself to be a jealous man. In a weird way, I think both men think they won that battle.
Off in the wings, in an undramatic corner of Bachelor Nation, there’s Ben. Ben patiently waited for his overnight date, and boy was it amazing. They had an amazing time riding horses, were almost eaten alive by ravenous donkeys, and spent the night in one of the most picturesque places in all of Ireland. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong on this date, and there never really seems to be anything wrong between Kaitlyn and Ben, but for some reason he just doesn’t seem to elicit the same passion that Nick and Shawn bring out in her. Perhaps that’s what went wrong. Maybe Ben and Kaitlyn would have been perfect together, but maybe they also just want different kinds of relationships. Happy birthday, by the way, Ben. You should’ve told us — we would have gotten you a cake!
Shawn’s overnight date was just what you would expect. Silliness and a sort of shorthand that two of those kids seem to have around each other. There is an ease in their relationship that you usually only see in a couple that’s been together for a really long time. It’s nice to see how relaxed they are when they are just near each other. Golfing in Ireland is a dream for any lover of the sport and watching these two hatchet up the course was a real travesty, but at least they were having fun. I played a few rounds myself at the incredible resort we stayed at called Lough Erne and tried to make it up to them on behalf of America. Quick shout-out to the head pro and new friend Lynn McCool. I did not, however, streak the 18th hole. I’ll leave that one to Shawn. I don’t think he’ll ever be doing that again. Let’s just say it was so cold out that day you could barely see a tee in the green. Unfortunately my room overlooked that very spot, and there’s some things you can’t unsee.
Obviously, Shawn was none too pleased to discover that Nick had talked about him to Kaitlyn. There’s no question in my mind that Kaitlyn would never say anything to intentionally stir up drama in her life, but in trying to find her husband, she’s needed to leave no stone unturned. Luckily, this didn’t take away from Shawn’s feelings for her on the overnight date, but his mind was obviously on Nick, as we saw, when things came to a head just a little later.
Nick had a few things on his mind himself, clearly, and wanted to express them to Shawn. Needless to say, Shawn had no interest in letting Nick speak. Oddly, this was about as ‘Shawn’ as we had ever seen Shawn. He was emotional and he was at a loss for words and he really expressed his anger in a way that made it clear, for everyone involved, that it would be best if the conversation ended before it came to blows. I wanted to hear what Nick had to say, but Shawn didn’t. So I guess we’ll never know.
Sitting down with Kaitlyn this week was obviously hard for her. When it gets down to these tough decisions it really is incredibly hard for the Bachelorette. The decisions you make here are life-altering and you feel the weight of them at every moment. This carried into the rose ceremony where she finally said goodbye to Ben.
The moment of truth
Seeing Ben go was tough. He had actually made huge leaps with Kaitlyn in recent weeks, but it was too little, and too late. But I’m not too worried about him. I think he’s going to be fine and I’m sure he’s going to end up with an amazing woman before too long.
With the field narrowed down to two men, it was time for the very out-of-our-usual-order hometown dates. We had the families come out to Utah for these and really tried to maximize the time spent between the men and Kaitlyn and their families rather than spend time exploring hometowns as locations. There are upsides and downsides to every decision, but I think in this case, things worked out for the best. Both Nick and Shawn told Kaitlyn they were in love with her this week.
She met two families. Shawn’s, who were obviously shocked that he was only one of two men, and Nick’s, who were so emotional because they’ve seen Nick go down this road before, to less than desirable results. Without getting too far into it, both families had great questions, had solid answers for their sons, and both cautiously and optimistically approved of the relationships that are left.
And now we’re left with two men who really, really don’t like each other.
Before we get to our dramatic finale, next week we bring you the Men Tell All. All the secrets, all the drama, all the questions you have will be answered. Clint will be there. Ian will be there. And fan favorites like Ben Z., Jared, and Ben H. will be there to find out how things have been since they were sent home by Kaitlyn. And there will even be a very special preview of summer’s hottest show, Bachelor in Paradise 2.
See you next Monday night for all the drama!
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.