Sweet, sweet fantasy, baby. Week nine of Andi Dorfman's search for love on The Bachelorette was an important one, as it brought about the long-awaited overnight dates. These dates were especially important for Andi, since her nightmare Fantasy Suite date on season 18 of The Bachelor is where it all went wrong for her and Juan Pablo Galavis. Anything would have to be an improvement over that disaster, right? Let's recap!
The episode kicks off with Andi strolling down a beach in the Dominican Republic and reflecting on last week's very successful hometown dates. She's down to three guys now—Nick, Josh, and Chris—each of whom have their own unique appeal. "I've got three great choices, three very different choices," she muses. "There's three different paths in front of me right now."
Josh, she says, makes her "over-the-moon giddy." He's outgoing, funny, endearing—the type of guy "every girl is attracted to." He and Andi have had their share of ups and downs over the last eight weeks, though, and she has her guard up with him.
Chris, on the other hand, is "sweet" and "smart" and "lighthearted." He's never been anything but kind and romantic, and he always takes time to check in with Andi about how she's feeling. "He would be an amazing father and an amazing husband," she says. "But then there's Nick."
Ah, Nick. Nick is someone Andi has liked from the very first night, when she gave him the first impression rose. "I have a mental connection with him," she gushes. "It's something that intrigues me, it's something that excites me. When Nick looks at me, he just gets me. He's got that passion." But? Actually, no buts this time—so it's not surprising that he gets the first one-on-one.
For their date in the DR, Andi takes Nick on a helicopter ride to a private island, where they spend most of the afternoon making out in the ocean. Andi has a few things she wants to talk about, though—namely, his past breakups. According to his family, they were much more catastrophic than he let on. He cops to being a mess after one split in his 20s, and to feeling "bruised" by his broken engagement, but says he's never going to not put himself out there. That's enough for Andi.
With that out of the way, Nick tries to work up the courage to tell Andi he loves her, but he stutters and stumbles and can't get the words out. He's finally able to express himself at dinner, after presenting her with a hand-drawn fairy-tale book about their relationship, which she imagines him someday reading to their kids. There's no happily-ever-after in the story, though; it ends instead on a question, about whether the prince and princess will spend the night together in the Fantasy Suite. (Uh, might want to rethink reading that to your kids, Andi.)
Both Nick and Andi are eager to take advantage of the suite, especially after Nick says the magic words. "I love you, Andi. I'm really in love with you," he says. "When you know, you know." Cue the loud kissing noises! "Nick said he loves me," Andi coos. "I feel hopeful and safe, and I feel like when Nick looks at me, he sees every part of me—my heart, my mind, my soul."
The next day, Andi meets up with Josh in Santo Domingo. They spend the day eating local foods, dancing in the town square, and just generally exploring the city. (In case anyone is keeping score here, Nick got a private island, while Josh got a walking tour.) The date seems like a blast, though—mostly because Josh is so outgoing and goofy. "When I'm with Josh, I definitely get giddy," Andi raves. "I always have a good time with him."
That afternoon, she takes him to a Little League baseball field to watch and play ball with some kids. It's actually very sweet, and Josh is touched that she planned such a personal activity for him. "The way I feel for Andi, I've never felt before in my life," he says, grinning. "It's a great feeling. I've waited 29 years for this feeling…I am totally in love with Andi. It's gone through the roof. I don't know what's beyond love, but that's where I'm at."
Andi obviously has strong feelings for him, too, but she needs to know he can be "serious about getting down on one knee." That night at dinner, he assures her he's ready to get married and have kids; they even talk about their hypothetical parenting styles. Seemingly satisfied with his answers to her questions, she takes him to the Fantasy Suite, where they strip down to their bathing suits and make out in the pool.
Moving on to Chris! In honor of his farming background, Andi plans a date at Rancho Peligro, where they spend the afternoon riding horses through a very hilly, open countryside. Andi isn't a very experienced or comfortable rider—there's a lot of cussing coming from her direction—but she eventually settles in enough to enjoy the scenery. They talk about his hometown date, her favorite of the bunch, and then play a cute game of ghosts in the graveyard, which she first played with his family.
Chris is feeling great about their connection—but Andi is less sure. "He's definitely here for a reason," she says. "On the other hand, I definitely have the overnight aspect of this date on my mind. I'm still not sure Chris and I are at that point yet."
That night, they talk again about whether Andi could ever live in Iowa, or whether Chris could ever live in a big city. Her concerns are bigger than geography, though. "I feel like I'm at a crossroads with you," she confesses. "There's a struggle between seeing what an amazing person is in front of me and also being unsure about [our relationship]." Hoping to ease her fears, he tells her he loves her—which only makes her feel worse.
"I don't think it's fair to make you sit here for days and wait for a rose ceremony," she says, crying. "I just think I'd rather be honest with you and tell you that I'm trying and I'm trying but it's not there…Every part of me feels that I'm an idiot for not being able to reciprocate [your love]. Because look at you. Look at the type of person you are…My head and heart don't match up."
Chris is clearly devastated, but like the gentleman he is, he tells Andi he understands and respects her decision, and then hugs her goodbye. In the car en route to the airport, he admits he didn't see the end coming. "I just had my heart broken and I put everything out there," he says, holding back tears. "I'm just sad, disappointed. I do have some questions as to what the hell just happened." (Save it for the Men Tell All special, Chris!)
Back in the DR, Andi and Chris Harrison have a heart-to-heart about how she's feeling. There's no real need for a rose ceremony this week since Chris is already gone, but Andi decides to have one anyway, just in case Josh or Nick wants to reject her offer of a rose. (Yeah, right.) To no one's surprise, they both accept.
"She's gonna be Andi Murray," Josh brags afterward. "It has a good ring to it. I like it." (So does the other Andy Murray, the Scottish tennis pro!)
Tell Us: What do you think of Andi's final two??
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