After an emotional week back home here in Los Angeles where we said goodbye to Desiree, we headed off to the exotic country of Thailand. I can’t remember a season where you could’ve imagined our bachelor end up with each and every one of the final four ladies. The exotic dates of course mean one thing, and that’s the arrival of the infamous fantasy suite card. Much has been made of Sean and these overnight dates and this is the very reason I think the fantasy suite cards are great. It forces a situation and a conversation that needs to be had in a serious relationship and at this point that’s where these relationships are. What really happened in these fantasy suites? Well, as Sean told me during the special last week, it’s no one’s business. But what these suites do provide these couples is much needed alone time off-camera.
Going into this week we knew that AshLee has been a front-runner from the beginning. Her hometown was amazing, and the date in Thailand and time in the fantasy suite were fantastic, as far as we know. So the big question is, what happened? Talking to Sean, it may just have been a case of the last two women, Catherine and Lindsay, really making bold impressions this week. To be honest I really think Sean got it right. When you look at these final three, I think Catherine and Lindsay really represent something different for Sean and bring out a much different side of him than AshLee does. If you notice when Sean is with Catherine and Lindsay he laughs more and he seems more comfortable. Their relationships are much more playful and that’s something that’s appealing to Sean. It’s not that he didn’t have fun with AshLee — he did, but it was different.
I really think AshLee, being a little older than Sean and the other women, is in a little different place in her life. She carries herself differently, presents herself differently, and went through this whole process with a different mindset than the other two women. While this was all very appealing to Sean, in the end I think he realized after spending time with Catherine and Lindsay that he wasn’t ready for that, and ultimately that’s not exactly what he’s looking for. Catherine and Lindsay definitely seem to be more on the same level as Sean. They seem to all be looking for exactly the same thing and are at the same station in their life.
Standing at the rose ceremony as I looked at the final three women you could clearly see one of these just isn’t like the other. AshLee was definitely the odd woman out. Clearly she had no idea what was coming. She had all the confidence in the world that Sean was going to choose her. So when Sean gave Catherine that final rose and sent her home she was completely blindsided. It was that confusion that led to a somewhat emotional exit for AshLee. She was so confused and hurt that she not only didn’t let Sean explain his decision, she didn’t say a word herself. I’ll be interested to hear what all of you think of AshLee’s exit and how she acted. It seemed to be an honest emotional response to a tough situation. I’m looking forward to sitting down and speaking with AshLee next week at The Women Tell All so we can finally hear her thoughts on what she thinks happened. It will be interesting to see her finally get a chance to see Sean and speak to him for the first time since that day in Thailand.
Before I wrap this up I have to once again give major props to our crew. The day of the rose ceremony the skies opened up and it began to pour. We had planned to have the rose ceremony on the beach this week. As the hour approached, the skies got darker and it rained even harder. So at the last moment, after preparing all week for a beachside rose ceremony, we made the call to move it into the lobby of the hotel. In a matter of about an hour our art and lighting departments and our crew led by our director Ken Fuchs busted their butts and created a rose ceremony set that looked like it had been planned all week. I truly can’t put into words how good these people are at their jobs. What they do in perfect conditions is stunning, but when they pull off a stunt like this and make it look flawless, I’m just in awe of them.
As I mentioned, next Monday night is The Women Tell All. This is a truly unique season with so many different stories, so I’m really looking forward to this. I know you all want to hear from Sarah and find out how she’s doing. Desiree will get to talk about that dreadful hometown date and her brother. But of course the woman I’m looking most to sitting down with is Tierra. I really want to hear her side of the story and find out what she was thinking and if she’s learned anything from this experience. Oh, and we have bloopers! I’ll see you next week for The Women Tell All, then in two weeks March 11th it’s the three-hour Bachelor finale event. We will be live from Los Angeles with a studio audience watching the finale along with you and then roll live right into the After the Final Rose special. As usual you can always stay up to date on all things Bachelor by following me on twitter and instagram @chrisbharrison.
More Bachelor from EW:
Bachelor episode 9 recap: Thai Breaker
Plus, check out Sean’s blog on people.com