Hello and welcome to blog No. 1 for this week's two-night Bachelor extravaganza. We kicked things off with the Chris Tells All special. There have been so many storylines to keep up with this season it was good to check back in with Chris to see how he's holding up. It's such a rare opportunity to be able to watch your life decisions on TV and be able to dissect what you've done — though it's not necessarily an opportunity most of us would want. I'm sure in our minds we're all much cooler, smarter, and more articulate than we really are. Chris was a great sport sitting down and going over some of his decisions. He's the first to admit he's not perfect and that some of these situations could've been handled better. I also always love bringing you some of the unseen moments from this season — like Ashley S. discovering the Bachelor "betting" ring. Our secret's out!
The sit-down with Kelsey was an important one for me. I look forward to seeing her at the Women Tell All special but before that, I really wanted to get her perspective on all that happened this season. My talk with Andi, meanwhile, was unlike any chat I've had before. First of all, I should confess that when it comes to Andi, I'm biased. I love her to death and consider her a good friend, and I also like Josh. I truly believed these two were in love and I wanted to see them walking down the aisle instead of sitting down to do this interview. This was a brutal, emotional talk and neither of us enjoyed it, but in an odd way I'm glad we did it, because it was cathartic. You never want to see a friend this heartbroken, and that's exactly what Andi is right now. Still, she did a phenomenal job expressing her feelings and explaining as much as she could. I appreciate the fact that she respects me enough to sit down and open up the way she did. I wish Andi and Josh peace and happiness as they continue to move forward with their lives.
After the Chris Tells All special it was time to get back down to business for Prince Farming. We picked up the show with the final events in Deadwood, South Dakota. The cocktail party got off to a rough start as the first girl he talked to ended up going home. Megan and Chris started talking and they immediately realized there just wasn't anything between them. It was actually a pretty odd conversation because they almost talked themselves into the breakup. I was sitting in the control room listening to the conversation, wondering where it was headed, and all of a sudden they just got up and he walked her out.
The plan was for Chris to send another woman home at the rose ceremony — but as has been the case this entire season, Chris had other plans. Chris let me know that he had had enough drama this week and he really just wanted to take all the remaining women back to Iowa. He was so excited to tell the women he was taking them to his home state of Iowa, and the ladies really got wrapped up in his enthusiasm. I did warn Chris he was only delaying the inevitable by not having a rose ceremony today — it only means more ladies would have to be sent home next week, and each week the stakes get higher. He understood, but he really wanted as many of the women as possible get to spend time in Iowa.
And see Iowa they did! On the first date Chris actually took Jade to his hometown of Arlington. This was a huge date on many levels; Chris is obviously self-conscious about bringing a woman back to his small town. Despite his trepidation it turned out to be a great date, and the visit to his high school and the football game were priceless. How huge of an advantage was it for Jade to get this date and meet his parents? Hard to say, as Jade has alluded to many times she has a big secret to share with Chris, and it's like a dark cloud hanging over her head. By the way, I hope some of you more "experienced" Bachelor fans got the Judd Nelson/Breakfast Club reference as Chris and Jade walked off the football field. If you didn't get the reference, rent the movie — it's a classic and still holds up.
Whitney got the second date and this one actually took place in Des Moines. Whitney and Chris have an interesting relationship; it's been a nice slow burn for them and it seems to be working. Meanwhile, the other women decided they were a little jealous of Jade and also wanted to get a glimpse of Chris's hometown of Arlington. So they made the drive but I'm not sure it was such a good idea — and it may end up being the final nail in the coffin for Britt. There are small towns, and then there's Arlington, Iowa. These women were really in for an eye-opening experience.
Britt's already had a tough time with some of the other women because she's clearly been a frontrunner and seems to monopolize Chris's attention. But she's also had a few missteps, and some of those missteps have been a little disrespectful. Chris is definitely a down-home conservative man and being disrespected, especially in front of others, has not gone over well with him. Things really seemed to take a turn for the worse when on the group date Chris decided to give Kaitlyn a vote of confidence by giving her the rose. Britt felt incredibly betrayed and offended by this move and absolutely let Chris have it right in front of the other girls. If you know Chris at all — and by now these girls should — this was an awful move on her part. There's a time and place for everything, and this was neither. Up until to this point Britt has been able to fix her missteps, and it'll be interesting to see if she can rebound from this, because Chris is clearly not happy with her.
Another huge development that took place was Jade finally opened up to Carly about her past. She admitted that she needed to tell Chris that she has nude photos and videos online. You can tell this topic really weighs heavily on Jade's shoulders, and she really needed to get it off her chest. I have to say Carly's reaction was fantastic. This girl has no poker face and pretty much has no filter.
If telling Carly was difficult, how rough do you think it will be when she tells Chris? Well, we'll all find out tomorrow night. There is a rose ceremony coming up in Iowa, but you'll have to wait for Monday night to see how it all plays out. I will tell you this: Two women will be going home from Iowa, and only four will be moving on to hometown dates. Monday night, you will not only get to see all four hometown dates, you'll also get a second rose ceremony from Dubuque, Iowa. This will narrow the ladies down to the final three, who will then join Chris on romantic overnight dates in Bali. I can't recall the last time we've had two rose ceremonies in one episode, but that's what you'll all get Monday night! Get your rest and rehydrate — I need you all locked and loaded for part two tomorrow.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.