Recap of The Bachelor Season 15, Episode 9: Brad Dumps Ashley Hebert out of God’s Window
DATE WITH CHANTAL Every time Chantal sees Brad she falls more in love. Even as he wears that cheesy hat?
They go on a safari at the Sabi Sands Reserve in South Africa. It's like Jurassic Park. Careful of the T-Rex, guys! Actually, they're lucky, 'cause the lions sleep tonight. Brad wants to see a lion, and it happens. One of the lions yawns at him. Brad's lucky he doesn't swipe at him for staring.
Chantal and Brad have lunch with a hippo, and Chantal decides it's a metaphor for their relationship. Brad misses her family, which means he really is in love with her father. That's the ending to the show. You heard it here first.
Chantal loves Brad and wants unselfish love. She wants to put Brad first, but does that mean she really has it with Brad? Or is she just determined to fall in love? The hippo looks available.
At dinner, Chantal says she wants to meet Brad's family, and he tells her he'd love for her to meet them. They have a cute, natural conversation. He tells her he's definitely the most comfortable around her. She emphasizes she won't just get engaged and then see if it works.
Brad likes Chantal's boldness and spontaneity. He breaks out the fantasy suite card "from Chris." Can you picture Chris Harrison sitting down, writing out these cards? Right.
Chantal jumps at the chance. She wants time alone with our boy. They get to stay in a tree house! DYING! They don't deserve this. We do. Chantal says it's an adventure fairytale love story all in one.
ROSE CEREMONY Rosemaster Chris sits down with Brad to talk about the dates. They're outside in a gorgeous, sunny area — so why does Chris still look like he’s spray-tanned?
Brad feels like he's known Emily for a decade. His date with Ashley "was rough." His approach was "intense," but he needed some answers. They both shut down.
Chris and Brad discuss how he's going to dump Ashley, and Brad admits he's falling in love with Emily. So why do we have another episode after The Women Tell All?
Chantal looks good at the Rose Ceremony (for once) — and Ashley looks like she knows it's over.
Brad pulls her aside before handing out roses. What is it with him and Ashley? He's always pulling her aside. Just walk her out now. Let her take an elephant taxi back to Maine.
He opens with the fact that they both know that their date didn't go well. At all. He apologizes, but he's "completely shocked" that a relationship they felt so strongly about has gone in such a different direction. She's shocked too. He didn't mean to back her into a corner with those questions, but she assures him that she wanted him to ask those questions.
Brad: "What the hell happened, then?"
Great question. He doesn't understand why they have such bad miscommunication. She cries. She's kicking herself because she feels like they could've had something great if she had known how to behave.
See? They're still not done with the awkward miscommunication and fighting. They just don't work. Brad isn't even going to have a Rose Ceremony. Not for Ashley, anyway.
Brad: "I need to tell you goodbye.' Oh, that’s the DeAnna Pappas line from Season 11.
She's not going to beg him to change her mind. She's surprised and a little peeved. He's confident in his decision, as he should be.
Please don't tell us she’s the next Bachelorette. She doesn't have the emotional maturity, and it's doubtful she magically developed that maturity in the last few months.
Point to ponder: Are Chantal and Emily just chatting as this goes on? What are they saying and doing back at the Rose Ceremony?
In the limo, Ashley is emotional. When they were together it was magical for her, but sometimes that kind of spark isn't enough.
Brad says he expected Ashley to make it to the final two. So which lady did he not expect to be there: Chantal or Emily?
Brad goes back to Chantal and Emily and tells them "this is tough." He's not looking for four years or 15 years, he's looking for the rest of his life. It's a two-way street, so he wants to know if they will even accept their roses.
1. Chantal accepts. 2. Emily accepts.
NEXT WEEK It's the Women Tell All. Reality Steve has some spoilers on this, if you want details. They seem to match the preview.
IN THE FINALE They are going to Cape Town, South Africa. Emily and Chantal meet Brad's family, and Brad gets upset with Emily for some reason. Their first fight?
DATE WITH ASHLEY Ashley makes Brad laugh. She has an energy that's "infectious." He misses her. Badly. Ash reveals that her feelings for Brad changed after the hometown date. She got the reassurance she wanted.
She's a little Energizer Bunny. She freaks out over the helicopter, as if there aren't 20 helicopters on every season. It's a big fears of hers, so of course they have to spring it on her now.
Brad gives her the "reassurance" she needs. That word again. She loves it.
Ashley and Brad take a helicopter tour of God's Window. They have a picnic there and just talk. Brad says he really wants a relationship with her and toasts her family. Brad admits he was almost too comfortable with her family. Is he cheating on Chantal's dad with Ashley's dad? Are they the new final two?
Ashley feels like she's missed out. She's spent so many Friday and Saturday nights studying instead of being around loved ones. But what happens when she settles down and starts her career? Will she allow herself to live while she's working? That's an issue for her. She wants to achieve, and she wants to go to... dental conferences?
Ashley reminds Brad of himself back in his 20s. (He's an old man of 38 now.) He just worked and worked and worked. (And dated Laurel Kagay.) Brad thinks maybe he can help her find balance. Maybe that's why he's there. Or maybe they should fly in the therapist.
Brad realizes he and Ash have never meshed their individual lives in a conversation. They've been too busy playing carnival games and dealing with her need for "reassurance."
At dinner, Brad tells the camera he really wants this to work — even though he's already told another girl he's falling in love with her — but he left their picnic with even more questions than before.
Ash believes she and Brad want the same things, but she's not communicating it. She wants to be Superwoman. She wants to do it all. Brad says he doesn't expect anyone to be Superwoman, but he does expect his final lady to move to Austin, Texas. She's never been there. She wants to graduate first, then she will have the freedom to travel. It's a painfully awkward dinner, but Ashley wants to go to the fantasy suite anyway.
Brad feels like he would be the luckiest guy in the world if he could have her in his life. He kisses her, but the awkwardness persists. They attempt to discuss the mosquito nets. Yes, it's come to that. "We're off our game," Ashley says, which is one way of putting it.
DATE WITH EMILY "Last night was incredible," Brad says of his time with Chantal — which is probably not what Emily wants to hear right about now, but oh well.
It's her turn to date a hippo. Or a lion. Instead, an elephant taxi picks her up. It's her dream, apparently.
Emily: "This feels like The Lion King, but better." Don't tell that to Ali and Roberto, stars of the Broadway production of The Lion King.
Ricki would love it here, Emily says. Brad says he misses Ricki... but not as much as he misses Chantal's father, aka his soul mate. Brad wonders if Ricki knows what it means if he and Emily spend a lot of time together. It's never come up before, Emily says. "Are you ready for a 5-year-old?" Emily asks. A lot of the ladies this season acted like 5-year-olds, so he has some experience.
Brad says never in a million years would he even ask Emily to a movie if he didn't realize she and Ricki were a package deal. That's adorable.They have a sweet kiss as the music soars and the elephants roar. This is not a peep show, guys! Move along!
Emily tells the camera she feels like she's starting to fall in love with Brad. She says it in such a matter-of-fact way, it's hard to read her. At dinner, Brad starts his sweating and stammering. He's nervous. About-to-fail-a-polygraph nervous. Emily gets that she's hard to read sometimes. She wants him to know how she feels, but she's aware that there are two other girls around.
Emily tells Brad she's ready for this to be over. She wants to start her life with him or "whatever it is." She doesn't want him to question anything with her. She's so excited about the idea of him and her and Ricki. "I just want to do it."
Brad reads into it, saying for her to say that to him is "the best feeling in the world." She is playing the Bachelor right now — she's the one being coy, holding her cards very close to her chest.
Brad gives Emily the card "from Chris." Emily brings up her "I'm a mom" speech. She'd like to set a good example for Ricki. That said, she's gunning to spend more time with Brad. So now that she's gotten out the perfunctory on-camera speech, she's going for it.
Emily doesn't have enough guts to tell Brad she's falling in love with him; she's only said "I love you" to one man in her life, her fiance, Ricky.
In the fantasy suite, Emily finally says she's absolutely completely falling in love with Brad. Brad has an awkward reaction, looking uncomfortable for a minute. He doesn't expect this. Dude, man up.
Brad: "Listen to me very carefully when I say this: I'm falling in love with you, too. I am. I want you to know that. But I'm not going to listen to you tell me that and me not say anything back. And I mean that with everything that I am, that I'm falling in love with you. And it makes me the happiest guy in the world to hear you say the same thing."
Wow, Brad Womack is breaking rules left and right tonight. Rebels are hot. It almost makes us forgive him for wearing that Crocodile Dun-dork hat.
First, he basically ends The Bachelor Season 15 two weeks early by telling Emily Maynard, "I'm falling in love with you, too." Then he dumps Ashley Hebert before the Rose Ceremony, denying Chris Harrison a chance to announce the final rose. (Take that, Rosemaster!)
Why doesn't Brad dump Awkward Ash right after they realize they have nothing to talk about beyond mosquito nets? Seriously, Brad and that hippo have a better connection. There's no need to even take it to the fantasy suite, Chris's kind invitation be darned. He should've treated her like Britt Billmaier and chucked her out right there at dinner.
Anyway, Brad has great dates with both Chantal and Emily. He admits to Chantal that he's more comfortable around her than any of the other ladies. But he goes out of his way to make sure Emily knows he's falling in love with her. So anything can happen from here, with the elephant in the room being Brad’s obvious attraction to Chantal's father. We're holding out for their engagement as the happy ending.
Read on for full rundown of the fantasy overnight dates in South Africa.
BRAD HANDICAPS HIS FINAL THREE We start in New York, where Brad says he's packing up Ashley, Chantal, and Emily for South Africa. Only Ashley will fit in that suitcase, man.
For some reason, we have to watch Brad walk through the airport and onto the plane. So much for security.
Brad doesn't want to be alone anymore. He needs this. Badly. If you haven't noticed, he needs everything. Badly. He recaps his connections with the women. Again. Badly.
Chantal: He's himself around her. Sparks flew immediately. "Kissing Chantal is close to perfect, it really is," he says. Ah, but remember, last week he said kissing Emily was perfect. No, almost. Brad has some concerns with Chantal. Looking back, he's realizing it has been "a little bit of a roller coaster." A little bit?
Ashley: She has so much to offer. With Ash, he is so comfortable and himself. So, he's the same around her as Chantal. But there's "some insecurity" with Ashley. "Some"? He doesn't know where her feelings are.
Emily: She is "one in a million," Brad says. "The person I am around Emily, I'm a much better person. [...] She makes me giddy." Too cute. He has always wanted to find a truly sweet woman to spend his life with, and Emily is that woman. Still, her past intimidates him.
He's excited about getting some alone time with the ladies. Bow-chicka-bow-wow! But, no. He's just going to talk to them. Suuuure.
"One of these women is going to be my wife," Brad insists as the camera flashes past elephants. Hey, they are pretty cute. Make a move, man...