With Monday night’s episode filled with deep revelations about the 16 remaining eligible Bachelors, Emily Maynard, the southern sweet-talking Bachelorette, is left with a lot on her mind and perhaps to reconsider her initial impressions.
The episode begins with Emily’s first date with Chris. The 25 year old cutie from Illinois discovers that ‘love is a steady climb’ and hopes for a kiss. He and Emily share a beautifully true moment while they’re scaling a building to their date destination—a storm is approaching and Emily’s composure begins to fall apart as fear settles in. Luckily, Chris is here to save the day. For Emily, he is a calming presence.
“He’s confident and patient. He’s a manly man,” Emily gushed with a tone of surprise and relief. But a conversation about his young age seems to throw Emily off. It’s important that Chris understands that herself and her daughter, Ricki, are a package deal. “I’m ready to fall in love,” Chris says in answer to her concerns.
Emily offers Chris the rose that will keep him in the running to become, well, her husband. She surprises Chris with a musical performance by none other than Luke Bryan. They share a kiss. “I know I could fall head over heels in love with Chris,” Emily thinks. And Chris’ reaction to the night? “Emily could definitely capture my heart.”
Too bad there are 15 other men in the picture.
A select few are invited to join Emily on a group date—one that involves a hot seat. That’s right; these pretty boys were put to the test by being pounded with questions by Emily’s four closest friends. Rightly so, Alejandro states that there are “high stakes today”.
Jef admits he’s dated girls with children before. Stevie whips out a dance, slightly more elaborated than his entrance performance in the premiere but by no means any more attractive or skillful. John, otherwise known as “Wolf” (seriously?), hesitates a little too long when asked whether or not he had cheated. And Sean takes the gold. “Sean is like a genetic gift to the world,” Wendy, one of Emily’s friends, says. He’s sexy, toned, and a bundle of gentleness. He promptly tells Emily’s girlfriends, “I believe in family, and I believe in faith.” What’s not to love? Oh and he also took off his shirt upon their request.
When her friends had finished with the bachelors, with the blow of a whistle Emily set a dozen children loose on them. She wants to test what the men have told her friends. Can they be a step-in dad for Ricki? Are they really up for the challenge?
Tony and Doug, our single dads, were naturally enthralled with the children. To Emily’s surprise, Jef meshed with the children just as well, going down slides and being playful. Ryan takes a break from the kids to dig himself into a hole. He tells Emily, in front of her friends, that she’d better not become fat after they’re married. Bold move, Ryan. He definitely earned himself some negative points for mistaking just how comfortable he could be around Emily.
Doug tells us the sorrowful story of his past—a non-existent mother, an epileptic father struggling to pay for groceries, and multiple foster homes. Emily tears up. But Doug keeps his composure and reassures her that “if you’ve never had a bad day, you can’t appreciate the good ones.”
When Emily asked Sean how he knew he’d be a good father, his answer made my heart, and surely Emily’s swell. “I’ve been taking notes for 28 years,” Sean says. His parents are still in love and are the best example to learn from. This wins him the rose of the date, which he definitely deserved.
But the evening isn’t going so smoothly for all. Tony is having second thoughts. Should he be here? He misses his 5 year old son. He admits to Emily that it’s been a little harder than he expected. Emily, seeing his sadness and understanding his pain, sent him home to his son. “It’s bittersweet but I can’t wait to get home to my son.”
Emily then turned her attention to spending copious amounts of alone time with Arie. “I’ve built him up in my mind so hard that I hope he doesn’t disappoint me,” Emily giggles. With his background as a race car driver, Arie tugs on a special place in Emily’s heart.
Nonetheless, her date with the stud from The Netherlands was definitely a “wild ride”. The couple flew by private jet to Tennessee for a visit to Emily’s favorite theme park, Dollywood. A surprise element came with the date as the Queen of Country Music appears. Emily is blown away. “I’ve never seen someone’s face light up so much,” Arie says. “This is something Emily and I will never forget.” They slowly sway tangled in each other’s arms to the song Dolly Parton wrote for the occasion.
Of the couple, Dolly thinks they are completely into each other. Arie’s my favorite so far, too. Emily seems to agree: “I fell in love with Arie’s personality. But I want to make sure we can be compatible in life.” Arie receives a rose after a conversation about his previous relationships. “Emily has exceeded my expectations by 1000 percent,” Arie concludes. “I can see myself one day getting down on one knee.” And Emily thinks that “guys like Arie are really hard to find and I don’t want to screw it up.” Emily and Arie shared a passionate kiss as the perfect end to the date.
The evening of the Rose Ceremony, Emily hopes she can figure out who can truly be a great husband and father as she encounters a few setbacks. A conversation with the obnoxious Kalon turns patronizing, and he won’t let her get a word in. Kalon’s announcement that he’d prefer that his first child be his own obviously causes concern. Emily tries to understand but is cut off by an overtly rude “I love it when you talk but you need to let me finish” statement. Prompting Emily’s response to be: “I do like tall, skinny and funny. But I don’t like tall, skinny, and condescending.”
Alessandro doesn’t help Emily’s mood. The tanned Brazilian may have mixed up his words when calling Emily having a daughter a compromise that would have to be made. Ricki is considered the biggest blessing in Emily’s life—to be called a compromise isn’t flattering or respectful. Alessandro was curtly sent home.
The two events set Emily wondering: who is here for the right reasons? And just as she’s at the peak of her distress, Arie comes along to wrap her up in an embrace. The couple repeatedly smooches in front of an audience of 13 men. It’s seems like exactly what she needed after a conversation like the one she had with Alessandro.
Chris, Sean and Arie all have received the privilege of lip-to-lip time with the Bachelorette, and are also safe from elimination this round while the rest have to make the cut at the Rose Ceremony. After deliberation Emily decides to say goodbye to Stevie.
“I would love to fall in love. Simple as that,” was Stevie’s closing remark as he solemnly left the mansion. Don’t we all wish that for ourselves, and especially for the broken-hearted Emily?