Unfortunately I start this week's blog with the surprising and sad news that Andi and Josh have broken up. I have been asked by many of you if we already knew before I interviewed them on the red carpet premiere show, where they talked about their wedding plans, and the answer is no. I understand that some of you may feel deceived, but I do not. Having gone through a very public personal breakup myself, I understand keeping up appearances until both parties are ready to make an announcement. In my case, I had kids and family to consider, so there were times when I, too, had to do interviews and make appearances while I knew full well what was going to come out just days later. My responsibility was to my family, not to the world, and I understand that Andi and Josh are approaching things the same way. So I say to Andi and Josh that I'm very sorry and I completely understand why they did what they did. I'm also sorry for the timing of all this, and that they had to feel the need to go through the paces like they did. I know that must have been painful and awkward for them. I don't know the details of why they broke up; Andi and Josh will decide if they ever want to share the reasons, and that's completely up to them. I know the two of them loved each other very much and they shared a beautiful relationship, and again, I wish both of them happiness.
Now I want to jump back into this week's episode because it was a good one. We began with the Kimberly cliffhanger from last week. She came back in and asked Chris for another chance to get to know him better. It put Chris in a really tough spot because he didn't want to send the wrong message to all the women, but at the same time he didn't want to make a mistake and let this girl go when he obviously didn't get much of a chance to meet her. After talking it out, I agreed with his decision to keep her so that he could make a better-informed choice. I told him that this is the time to make these decisions, because later on you don't really have that opportunity. The next day, I sat down and had an informal chat with Chris. I'm constantly struck by how excited and appreciative Chris is for this opportunity. I also got the impression after talking to the ladies that they, too, are excited for the opportunity to date such a solid gentleman. They are all quickly learning that this is a great guy who is worth fighting for.
The first group date took the ladies to downtown L.A. for a rooftop pool party and, of course… a bikini tractor race??? Yep, that really happened and there's not much I can say about it that could top what you saw. Just the walk across town in their bathing suits was enough to make you duck behind your favorite box of wine.
Meanwhile back at the mansion, Megan and Jillian were snooping in Chris's house and checking out his motorcycle. (As you'll see from the photo at the top of this post, I can confirm Chris's bike is a sweet ride.) As for the group date, Ashley I. ended up winning the most un-dramatic race ever, but it was Mackenzie that got the one-on-one time later. Their time together started off awkwardly as they talked about her nose fetish and aliens, but then things got serious as Mackenzie told Chris about her son. Many women over the years have left their kids at home to try and find love, and it's obviously very tough. While this date was going on, back at the mansion, Julia was letting the ladies know her story about her husband, who committed suicide. It's an incredibly tragic story and I find her to be an amazingly strong woman.
Megan got the one-on-one date this week, and what an incredible date it was. The two of them jetted off to Vegas for what you figured was going to be a typical Vegas date, but this was anything but. Megan and Chris then got on a chopper and headed out to the Grand Canyon where they landed and had a picnic. These two really hit it off, and I think it's pretty easy to see Chris is very interested in Megan.
The other group date will heretofore be known as the "Zombie/Ashley S date." All I can say about Ashley is "bless her heart." Like the ladies, I have no idea what's going on here. I will say this isn't an act — unless she's the greatest actress of all time. I will also agree with the ladies that there's really no way she should be walking around with a weapon, even if it's only a paintball gun.
The things that really stood out to me on this date were the obvious battle for the top spot in Chris's heart and how difficult this season is about to get for the women falling for Chris. Kaitlyn and Chris have something special: She puts him at ease and he really likes her brash carefree attitude. Britt has been a frontrunner since stepping out of the limo, and you saw again they have amazing chemistry together. But after sharing a nice long talk and a passionate kiss with Britt, Chris gave the rose to Kaitlyn. This definitely set Britt back, as everything up to this point has been smooth sailing for her.
The cocktail party was interesting because things are incredibly intense for so early in the season. We learned that Ashley I. is a virgin with a magic belly-button ring. Mackenzie has an incredibly flawed theory on how men perceive virgins and is therefore quite jealous of Ashley's virginity. She's adamant that all men dream of discovering virgins, like finding unicorns, so they can capture them and take their virginity. Let's just say she's a little off.
You might have noticed Chris is not shy about making out with the ladies. But what's strange to me is how open the women are about sharing this information. All of them are running around talking about how they kissed Chris, and how many times they kissed him. Have any of you ever seen this show before? Chris is also very open about showing his affection in front of other ladies. He might need to be a little more careful as we move forward; as feelings grow so will resentment and anger if women see too much of that. After the rose ceremony we said goodbye to four more ladies. It's interesting that both women Chris gave a second chance — Tara and Kimberly — were sent home. I guess it shows how important that first impression really is.
The tease for next week's episode showed you that we have a very special guest joining us. Jimmy Kimmel, who's been a huge fan and supporter of our show, wanted to take a shot in helping Chris find love, as well as see if he could fill my shoes. We had a blast having Jimmy on set all week and I think you'll love what we have in store. Tune in next week to what may be the craziest, funniest episode you've ever seen.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.