DATE WITH JP ROSENBAUM
Constantine left. Ryan came back. JP is here. JP is always the one to deal with stuff like this. When Bentley left the first time, JP had to pick up the pieces. When Bentley returned in Hong Kong then left again, JP had to pick up the pieces. Now JP is doing it again. She calls him her rock. (We call him her Cupcake!)
They take a seaplane over a private island and Ashley says they are so comfortable with each other they can just hold hands and enjoy the view without talking. Have they already run out of things to talk about?
They have a date on a postcard-perfect island. JP says his family gave her rave reviews. He’s ready for the end. (Get in line, man.) He wants it to be over and have him be The One, but he knows she can’t say anything. He’s trying to tame the Jealous Person inside.
Ashley is clearly Team Cupcake. JP says he looks at her and sees the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
That night, JP is also not sure if he’s going to drop the L-bomb. He tells Ashley that he knows there are two other guys and he’s afraid that she has stronger feelings for them. She tells him about Constantine and Ryan leaving. His little “I can’t believe this” smile is so cute. Finally some good surprises for JP! He’s glad it wasn’t Bentley returning again. Ashley doesn’t want him to be hung up on her other relationships. He doesn’t think he is. She said they can’t get to where they need to be if they’re holding back. She doesn’t want him to just want to win, like some guys do. He said he wants to be the last man standing because he wants her. He wants her to be his wife.
The fantasy suite date card comes out. His little smile is so adorable. “Yeah, I think I’m into that.” They have been looking forward to their alone time. Bow-chicka-bow-bow!
Ashley says this is the most important rose ceremony because the guys could have a change of heart, even at this point. It’s a two-way street.
Ben is the perfect guy for her on paper. They have a light, fun relationship. Ashley says her relationship with JP progresses when they are on beaches. Um, that’s a weird thing to say. She thinks they could make each other happy. Ashley isn’t sure why Constantine wouldn’t even want to give their relationship a chance. She said it was harder to say goodbye to Ryan than Constantine because Ryan was hurt.
(Side note: Didn’t Chris Harrison say we would have a new frontrunner this week, instead of JP? When was that supposed to happen?)
Ashley tells Ben and JP that Constantine is gone. Ben should’ve had a chance to say goodbye. She puts her final two guys on the spot, a la Ali with Roberto and Chris, and asks them if they will accept roses and be willing to move their relationships forward.
1. Ben — he accepts
2. JP — he accepts
No drama. She tells them that no matter what happened with Constantine, they would’ve gotten roses.
Don’t forget — The Men Tell All special is this Sunday, July 31, from 9 to 11 p.m. The finale is the next day, Monday, August 1, at the usual 8 to 10 p.m. time, followed by the After the Final Rose special from 10 to 11 p.m.
Ashley, Ben, and JP are staying in Fiji. The men will meet her parents, brother, and sister. We hear JP tell Ashley he is madly in love with her. Ben says he is in love with her. Ashley’s sister says Ashley is too much for one of the guys. Who would that be?
DATE WITH CONSTANTINE TZORTZIS
Ashley claims she is still thinking about Ryan at this point, but please. She’s only thinking about how she’s going to have to deal with him later. She can’t wait to spend her date with the Red Dragon hottie.
He has “a euro mullet”! That’s awesome. He’s excited to go flying in a helicopter. He’s always wanted to do that. “You’re crushing my bucket list,” he says, as if that’s the point of the show. He’d propose to the chopper before Ashley.
But wait! It’s Ryan, just standing sad and alone on the water as Ashley flies around. This is the most pathetic thing ever. Is it awful to bust out laughing every time they cut to him?
Back to the actual date. Ashley makes some speech to the cameras about a leap of faith. She’s not sure he’s ready to make one for love, but they are both willing to jump into a waterfall and swim around.
Dang, Dino is a big beefy man’s man. They have a little picnic by the waterfall and he talks about how if he got to spend more time with her things might be better. She says he takes things slowly and thinks things through. She asks how many houses he looked at before he bought his. He looked at 108 houses before buying one? “I wanted a man cave!” he says
He’s not ready for this. He’s giving her blank looks. He’s. Just. Not. That. Into. You.
That night at dinner, Ashley says their relationship still isn’t progressing at the rate it needs to, but she wants to figure it out. She makes a toast to having more time together, which is code for “let’s head to the fantasy suite, have some sexy time, and see if we have time to talk later.”
When they drink wine, Dino brings up Ben. Which says everything. Ashley asks how he feels that he and his Red Dragon twin/boyfriend Ben are both dating the same woman.
She talks about how he doesn’t seem like he wants to hold her hand or be natural with her. She’s not sure if he’s being slow because of her or the process. Ideally, he wants to be 100 percent sure and ready to meet her father and ask for his blessing to marry her. But he’s not there yet.
He brings up the fantasy suite. He knows what it means and what it implies. He shows her respect by rejecting it. Ouch.
President Obama breaks in at this point, but later we return and Ashley wonders why Dino is just talking about this now that he’s at the final three. “This means the end of the road for me,” he says. Ashley is glad that he’s being real about it, but she is surprised he doesn’t want to give them a chance. They stand up and hug and say goodbye. He walks out.
Wouldn’t it be funny if she called Ryan at this point and said, “Hey, there’s an opening in the fantasy suite — want in?” Why does she read the fantasy date card? Does she expect it to say something different, like “Fooled you! He’s really in love with Ben!”
Constantine said his biggest fear was hurting Ashley or embarrassing her (a la That One Guy Everyone Hates). So he waited until now to be sure he wasn’t into her. He pulled a Frank Neuschaefer, from Ali’s season.
FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, RYAN, GO HOME!
Ashley goes to visit Ryan to end the inevitable. As delusional as ever, Ryan feels an attraction and thinks there’s a natural energy between them. His heart is bursting out of his chest and whatever.
Ashley reiterates that, on paper, he is what she was looking for from the beginning. That’s why he got the first impression rose. Saying goodbye to him in Taiwan was the hardest farewell so far. He’s beaming. Maybe he just wanted reassurance and an ego boost.
She gives him the “but”… she knew back in Taiwan that it was the right call to let him go. She has stronger feelings for two other guys at this point. Ryan can’t even really feign good heartbreak. He’s happy for her. This is so phony. The story of Ash & Ry is over. We hope.
Ryan goes on about how his life is missing someone to hold hands with. He’s going to miss his job, too, if he keeps running away to film shows like this... and possibly The Bachelor. America, are you really asking for him? He’s sweet and, like Ashley, he seemed great at first, but the Jake Pavelka Force is strong in this one.
MR. SUNSHINE JUST CAN’T STAY AWAY
Ashley is getting ready for her date with Ben, but notsofast! It’s raining out — should’ve brought a water heater! — but that can’t keep away Mr. Sunshine himself, Ryan Park. He trudges up to her cabin in flip-flops like a zombie from The Walking Dead.
He thinks Ashley might be regretting sending him home, which is code for “the producers said if I came back I would have a better shot at being the next Bachelor.”
Ashley wants to know why “Ry” is there. They sit down in her “Dream House” and it immediately gets awkward. He goes on about “conducive environments” for romance. She’s looking at him like, how long is this going to take before I get to see Ben?
Ryan said he called Chris Harrison to come back. He said he knows he’s not supposed to do this, but that’s wrong. Someone always comes back. Sometimes several people come back each season.
Mr. Sunshine talks a blue streak. Ashley says nothing as he goes on. He breaks out some kind of written speech. He’s there for a couple of days, so he doesn’t need an answer from her right away. She looks desperately uncomfortable.
Point to ponder: Is it “stalking” when the guy is cute and sweet like this or should we just call it “tenacious” or “determined”?
They say you shouldn’t talk about sex, politics or religion in polite company — so it’s a bloody good thing we’re not polite! Obviously “they” need to add water heaters to that list or maybe Mr. Sunshine wouldn’t have had to leave the first time, but God bless The Bachelorette Season 7 for giving us all the major no-nos on Episode 9.
First, Ashley Hebert and Ben Flajnik thank each other for their *ahem* hard work sunbathing on a yacht, then suck face (and toes?) on their way to the fantasy suite. Next, President Obama pulls a Kanye to discuss the national debt, which could probably be solved by calling ABC, since they seem to have plenty of cash to burn if they can fly both Constantine “Dino” Tzortzis and Ryan “Mr. Sunshine” Park to Fiji just for them to file for love bankruptcy.
That’s where religion comes in, although it isn’t addressed directly on the show. Constantine just never seemed that into our dancing dentist and he drop-kicks the fantasy suite card before she even has a chance to bring it out. However, Ashley mentioned in her People.com blog last week that Dino is Greek Orthodox and his faith is very important to him. She also mentioned that religion does not matter to her. Spoiler King Reality Steve said the religion thing was an issue, even though the Red Dragon twin and his euro mullet never said anything about it on air.
Dino dumps himself mid-date, continuing the curse of the third-place contestant. (He was always more in love with Ben anyway.) Ryan randomly shows up and makes his pitch to return, but that was never going to happen. ABC just flew him to Fiji to hang out for three days and write down all the reasons he should be the Season 16 Bachelor.
Read on for a full recap of the overnight dates — in which JP Rosenbaum continues his role as Ashley’s go-to guy to talk about whoever just left her:
ASHLEY HANDICAPS HER TOP 3
Ben: The more Ashley gets to know Ben, the more she can see herself with him. There’s never a dull moment with him. Her first spark with him started on the orphanage date in Thailand. They review Ben’s emotional journey from his father’s passing. He really is getting the Chris Lambton edit.
Constantine: Once again, she gushes over his physical hotness. She also says he has a really good head on his shoulders and he can handle situations in a really mature way. He’s thoughtful and honest and communicates what’s on his mind in a good way. She’s very attracted to him. Their relationship is moving slowly, but it has real depth.
JP: When JP walked out of the limo the first time she thought he looked like a model and she couldn’t believe she was that lucky. (Ali Fedotowsky said stuff like that about Roberto Martinez!) She loves his smile and says it’s the cutest thing she’s ever seen. (True!) Everything JP says is so sincere and she never has to question it. “Sometimes you don’t need 20 dates to know how you feel about somebody. And with JP, after the first date I knew things would get pretty serious.” Squee!
DATE WITH BEN FLAJNIK
Ashley claims she’s not sure what to do about Ryan, but that’s baloney. She’s just not sure exactly how to let him down (again).
Speaking of letdowns, Ben cut his hair and his shorts look goofy. He’s also sunburned. He says it’s been a while since he’s seen Ashley. How long has it been? Why is there so much time between meetings? He seems, if anything, less enthusiastic than ever. They hang out on a gorgeous yacht and Ashley tries to start the party by doing some suntan lotion rubbing.
Ashley feels like she can be herself around Ben — goofy, serious, everything. Ben says Ashley makes him laugh a lot. Then we see Ashley straddling him. She’s more than okay with rubbing lotion on his belly. (But will JP — a.k.a. “Jealous Person” — be okay with it?) She keeps talking about how there would never be a dull moment with Ben because he has this hunger for life. When is that excitement going to enter his voice?
They go snorkeling and Ben sees his life with Ashley flashing before his eyes. His feelings for Ashley are more comfortable and calm. “I’m into her. I am falling for this girl, I am.” He does look adorable when he grins. They need to show him laughing more often. She calls him goofy and fun, but we’ve mostly seen the serious side.
Ben plans to tell Ashley he loves her tonight. At dinner they talk about their favorite parts of the date and how he pictures their future out at the winery, etc. They can see each other together. What would have to happen to move the relationship further...? Ben says, “I think one of us would have to come forward and fully commit and say that ‘I want to spend the rest of my life with you.’” That’s close, but not quite there. Ben says he is not the same guy he was two months ago when they started the journey. He wasn’t available at the time? Why would he even go on the show, in that case?
Ben is dancing around “the whole I love you thing.” But he’s trying. He isn’t there, but he’s close.
She breaks out the fantasy suite date card. Will they forgo their individual rooms? He thinks it would be “very nice” to continue on. JP had better jump up and say “hell yeah!” when it’s his turn. That’s what a girl wants to hear.
He picks her up out of the water and kisses her. Sexy! Ashley tells the cameras she is really falling in love with Ben.