As each episode of The Bachelorette airs, the viewer gets the feeling he’s seeing the drama episode to end all drama. Then the next episode airs—and even more drama surfaces. That describes Ali’s tour of Tahiti with the remaining three bachelors: Frank, Chris and Roberto.
The three men couldn’t be more different, physically and behaviorally. Frank, the cerebral, self-doubting Chicago native has shared chemistry with Ali from the start. Roberto, the Floridian who taught Ali to Salsa dance and presented her with a baseball card of himself from her hometown, sought the blessing of his family before he threw all in with the lovely blonde. Chris, the soft-spoken former NYC schoolteacher who returned to Cape Cod to help care for his dying mother, let down his guard only recently and presented Ali with a bracelet or particular significance made by a neighbor.
Ali had her work cut out for her coming off of the hometown visits. Tonight was her night to spend one-on-one and overnight dates with the men.
And that she did, with one exception.
Third things first. Frank has been pushing Ali, expressing jealousy, then pulling back with apprehension. Tonight instead of heading to Tahiti, he went back to Chicago to see his former girlfriend Nicole. Nicole told him that she had felt empty since he left. She told him he needed to come home. He smiled, lowered his head, told her he loved her and agreed.
He set off to Tahiti with the hope of explaining to Ali that his intentions were genuine, but he’d discovered that his unfinished business was stronger than a future with her. He explained to the cameras: “From the very first day, I thought Ali and I would be together. It’s fun. It’s romantic. It’s sexy. It’s everything I would want in a relationship.”
Only it isn’t, at least not with Ali.
Ali went to his Tahitian, island-style suite overjoyed. “I need this day. I’m glad it’s here,” she said, as she approached Frank’s door. He told the cameras: “My stomach is at my feet. My heart is in my throat.”
Ali threw her arms around Frank, but all he could say was the dreaded: “We have to talk.”
He laid it out for her, and it was an event that hit Ali where she lived spiritually. Her biggest fear coming into this was that she would fall for someone and that feeling would not be returned. After Frank left Nicole he said, “Nicole is the girl I want to be with the rest of my life.”
Both cried, and Ali went off knowing he was not the one, thinking he was the most dishonest person she’d ever known. And that’s AFTER Justin. Frank should avoid dark alleys if The Bachelorette is in the area.
The first two dates were much better, with all the elements dream dates are made from. Roberto shared the first date. Before Ali came on the scene, he marveled at his own luck at getting to this point, and getting the blessing of his family to pursue Ali in earnest. “Family is really important. Having their blessing is really going to give the relationship a push in the right direction.” He considered his status in the final three: “We are down to the last three. I can’t wait to get to the point where it’s only me left.”
The two set off on a helicopter ride over magnificent Tahiti. They spent the day in a heart-shaped island lagoon. “I never knew places like this exist,” Roberto gushed. “This is so awesome.”
The day was hot, heavy and, using Roberto’s sentiment, awesome. Could it get better? It seems Ali may have made up her mind at this point.
Then it was onto date #2 with Chris. Chris and Ali shared a magnificent charter boat. For all of the things the relationship wasn’t at the beginning, the are now. Chris is very lucky that Ali kept him around long enough to let those feelings unfold. In the real world, Chris’s behavior is much more real, but as the throng of bachelors gushed about guarding her heart and Ali being the perfect girl, Chris’s subdued behavior might have been mistaken for apathy.
Ali has been rewarded for her patience. Chris has fallen hard for Ali. He told the cameras that after his mother’s death: “I wasn’t ready for anything. Now a year and a half later, I’m ready for love. I can’t believe how in such a short time I’ve gotten connected to Ali.”
In the beginning, he said, he was but one of 25 guys trying to meet Ali. “Now she’s not that. Now Ali is my girlfriend.” He still expressed great fear of being rejected after laying his heart bare. Still, he said, he knew if he didn’t let her know how strong his feelings were, he would lose her to one of the other two men
If it seemed Ali had made up her mind after her date with Roberto, it became evident during Ali’s date with Chris that she hadn’t decided anything at all. It’s all still up in the air.
Next Monday, July 26, the bachelors reunite—that includes the obnoxious Craig M., sensitive weatherman Jonathan and Justin, who came in R-Rated but left deflated. In two weeks, Ali must decide between Chris or Roberto.