We're down to our final six women on The Bachelor
, but the only question on every viewer's mind (and the other five ladies') is WHEN will Sean Lowe see the true Tierra? Whether intentional or not, her isolationist strategy has paid big dividends for her. Not only has she been the polarizing figure in the house, she has successfully distracted all the other women to the point where they've lost focus on the prize. They look like the drama queens who are attacking Tierra, and she looks sweet and victimized. Several of them have tried to have the "she's here for the wrong reasons" talk with Sean, and it's backfired on each of them.
Personally, I DON'T think she's there for the wrong reasons. Crazy or not, I believe she is looking for love and hopes to find it with Sean. But she just doesn't deal well emotionally with having to share a guy she likes, and it's gone to the extreme that she is the main focus of every episode. Sean is a sideshow in his own quest for love, and I don't think anyone expects her to be around near the end.
This could be the week he comes to his senses, because after AshLee becomes the next woman to foolishly "warn" Sean, there's a huge screaming match that Sean appears to overhear (Laughably, the promo says the fight "will stop your heart." Jeez, I certainly hope not. Hyperbole much, ABC?). But then again, he also takes her on a one-on-one date, and we know how much he loves to give out roses in those situations.
The women are trading the snowsuits and hypothermia of Montana and Canada for bikinis in St. Croix and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which is a relief for me, because I got tired of the lack of skin we were seeing. I mean, Sean didn't even take his shirt off last week until he joined the Polar Bear Club! Unacceptable for the throngs of female viewers out there. It might start fully clothed on a plane, but everyone will be stripping down soon enough.
Falling in Love over Tierra Bashing
AshLee gets the "Let's get carried away" date card, and they take a catamaran ride to their own private island. There are no roses on the solo dates this week, just one to give out on the group date as Sean narrows it down to his final four. While AshLee waxes about opening up, letting go and being happy, the four non-Tierra suitors rip the show's most hated contestant behind her back on the beach. They're wondering if AshLee is going to address the situation with Sean, and they bash Tierra for calling AshLee a cougar (when Tierra is 32, she expects to be married with kids, so something must be wrong with AshLee) and for choosing a rollout bed rather than sharing a room with anyone. I'm certainly not on Tierra's side, but I get why she wouldn't want to stay with any of these chicks.
At least in her defense, AshLee doesn't rail against Tierra until Sean asks her about drama in the house. He's grateful for her honesty, but I still feel like any time you say something negative about a person someone else likes, whether it's true or not, it moves you closer to the friend zone. It's hard to feel romantic in that situation, especially in what is a competition. But judging from the intense makeout session that ensues, Sean doesn't seem to mind.
'I Can't Imagine Anything Going Wrong at This Point'
Those are Sean's prophetic words just before dinner, when he tells AshLee he plans on meeting her family and asks if there's anything they haven't covered. It catches her off guard, but she feels it's important to tell him before hometown dates that she got married when she was 17 to her high school boyfriend. It was over by the time she was a senior, and he tells her he thinks she's perfect the way she is and makes her feel great about it. Still, we don't know if it's really something that bothers him, even though he says it doesn't.
There's some rather cringe-worthy moments in which they shout "Hello St. Croix!" at the top of their lungs, but unfortunately, they don't rile up any wild boars or anything. Then AshLee screams "I love Sean!" and later whispers she meant it. I know it's tacky TV, but that is not how you drop an L bomb.
The Great Tierra Experiment
Tierra gets the second one-on-one, "Let's explore our love on the streets of St. Croix," but she's disappointed they're not going on a boat. She's worried about bugs and her makeup dripping and a bunch of other crap, and Lesley says, "I hate that bitch."
Sean is determined to find out the truth about her as they shop around town, and she loves that Sean buys her a bunch of island trinkets. She was complaining before, but now she says it's the best day ever. She really is a totally different person when she gets alone time, and they have a blast together.
AshLee informs the other girls about her conversation with Sean, and they're convinced she'll be going home this week because Sean finally knows what he's in for. But back on the date, the couple giggles over snow cones. He still has questions about only seeing her good side, so he asks her how she's doing? She keeps flashing her smile and talking about not being accepted, but away from him, she's pissed that other girls would throw her under the bus. Spoiler: Epic argument to follow.
Over dinner, Tierra addresses that she feels their energy is a little off and that Sean is a bit distant. Now it's his turn to be caught off guard, and Tierra remains the only person who regularly turns the tables on him, which he has to appreciate as an added challenge. He blames it on the drama with the other girls, and she vows to not let anyone stop her in the competition.
They cap off their date on a candlelit dock, and Tierra admits she is falling in love. It comes across as less sincere to me than AshLee's, yet it's more tactfully done. There are definitely feelings there, and he sums it up by saying he doesn't believe she is nice to the other women, but that she is genuine with him and doesn't have to be.
Lesley, Catherine and Lindsay sit around, talking about how things are destined to get bad between AshLee and Tierra. It's obvious foreshadow, because we've seen the fight in previews like every hour since last week. But still, the most important takeaway is that these three ladies are sitting around talking about Tierra instead of talking about Sean.
The Best Prank Yet
It started when Sean took Emily home with him and convinced her he still lived with his parents. Then he tricked Desiree into thinking she broke a multi-million dollar piece of art. But now, he is sneaking into the women's house with a camera just before 5 a.m., while they're all fast asleep, to see what they look like without makeup. And I love it. Because while every female dreads such a scenario, when a guy really likes a girl, he doesn't care what she looks like when she's not at her so-called best.
It's actually the start of the group date with Catherine, Desiree and Lindsay, "Love is on the Horizon," which means Lesley gets the last one on one date. They're up and on the road within 45 minutes, and they will be traveling from one side of the island to the other to see both the sunrise and the sunset. I hope that's just orange juice and not a mimosa, because Sean is driving.
Their road trip stops a sugar mill, a donkey, a cafe (with more drinks, apparently) and finally a tree house in the rain forest. Catherine and Lindsay aren't happy that Desiree sits in the front seat of the jeep more than they do, and it reminds me of a time when I was in college and got mad because the girl I liked rode more carnival ride with my friend than with me. That didn't work out well for me, and I imagine it'll be the same when it comes to the rose.
They make it in plenty of time to see the sunset, and it's time to strip down and hit the water. After some chicken fights, a makeout with Lindsay and dolphin watching with Catherine, it's time to get serious. Catherine opens up that he dad was abused as a kid and tried to kill himself in front of her and her sister when she was 14, so he won't be there if she gets a hometown date, and that's a concern of hers. He seems to admire all the baggage these women have, but is it just his personality to be so nice? Or does it really not impact his decision-making process?
Deisree is reduced to tears for no real reason while talking about her family, other than just the emotion of competing with two other women this close to the end. Her parents are happy, and that's what she wants. Just before watching the sunset that wasn't (damn clouds!), Sean gives the rose to Lindsay. Didn't see that one coming, not from the girl who showed up in the wedding dress. I am really starting to believe she might be the best kisser ever.
A Chat with Lesley
Lesley's date card reads, "I hope our love stands the test of time," and Sean just wants to take her to a quiet place to talk. He doesn't feel like their connection is on the same level as what he has with the others, so he has to really get to know her and find out if his feelings change. She looks really, really good, and that should help.
She talks about her family and their lake house, and she's about to tell him she's falling for him. But after an awkward pause, she balks and suggests they go pick more fruit. She said it didn't feel right to say it then, but I doubt she'll get another chance and will only confirm his feelings. There's a disconnect, and the rest of the date is awkward.
Advice from Shay and a Dustup with Tierra
Sean wants some help making his decisions, so he's bringing in his hot and happily married sister Shay to guide him. He's sees marriage potential with all of the women, but no one has really stepped up as a front runner. Shay warns him about picking a girl exactly like Tierra, and her one piece of advice was "Don't end up with the girl that no one likes."
Earlier, AshLee and Lesley were openly talking about Tierra within her earshot, though they don't know she is listening when AshLee said she won't have the guts to confront her. They also believe they won't have to talk to her much longer. Seriously digging your own grave here, girls.
Tierra finally asks AshLee, surprisingly very nicely, why she tried to sabotage her relationship. AshLee attacks her character, and Tierra says it's all about jealousy because men love her. The fight starts and stops several times, and Tierra actually makes several good points, including: "Sabotage backfires," "I'm not perfect" and "That's my face...I can't control my eyebrow 24/7."
Sean decides to get introduce Tierra to his sister so they can get to the bottom of things together, and he walks in right as the fight ends. Tierra is crying, Sean is confused, and she says that AshLee is out to get her and takes exception with everything she does. Sadly, they're both right. Tierra might be an over-emotional manipulator, but the other girls really are just mean to her, like straight out of high school. It makes them look ugly, and Sean will see that as much as he sees Tierra's good qualities.
He is struggling with what it all means, because he cares for Tierra but is still troubled by red flag number 1,000. He goes back, apologizes, tells her he is crazy about her and sends her home immediately. WOW. Holy crap, that was a surprise. I thought for sure we were going to meet her family! That's the first truly shocking moment of the season, I think. She's pretty dignified about it, until she gets in the van. Then she's a wreck. She blames the other girls and says she hopes they got what they wanted. They did. But I don't like it when the mean girls win.
An Eerily Tierra-Free Rose Ceremony
But that doesn't mean it's without drama. The girls don't even know that Tierra left, just that she's been gone for hours. They half expect Sean is going to walk in with her by his side. AshLee looks amazing, but I'm very concerned for her in this rose ceremony. I think her actions might lead to her undoing.
Sean arrives and breaks the news that he sent Tierra home and doesn't want drama in a partner, glancing at AshLee when he says it. But he knows what he must do, so there's no cocktail party, and we're jumping right to the rose ceremony. AshLee wanted time to talk it over with him, but she won't be getting that opportunity, and it's the first time she's worried.
Lindsay is safe, and the other three roses go to: Desiree, Catherine and AshLee. Luckily for her, Lesley just didn't break down enough barriers in their one-on-one date. She is hurt, rejected and heartbroken, but she kept herself at enough of a distance that she'll be okay.
Catherine, who was super happy and cute when she bit her lip accepting the rose, is more upset about the elimination than Lesley is. If he doesn't want Lesley, she says, why does he want her around? She thinks Sean had more in common with Lesley than he does with her, so her beliefs are shattered about what he wants. It's quite an overreaction considering how Lesley couldn't open up at all.
I don't know about you, but I'm actually going to miss Tierra, to some degree. I thought the Tierra show must go on, but I was wrong. She didn't do herself any favors with all the drama, but I still don't like how the other girls treated her. Still, without that distraction always being present, we'll hopefully get to see the final four really come out of their shells and focus on their relationships.
All that being said, we've still got our fair share of tension on the hometown dates. Catherine's sisters aren't fans of the entire process, and Lindsay's dad is a two-start general who doesn't take kindly to a man asking permission for his daughter's hand while he's still dating three other women. Then there's Desiree's brother, who might even try and throw down with Sean. Guess that all bodes well for AshLee.
Which of the remaining women do you think is best for Sean? Do you see a marriage in his future? What do you like or dislike about each of them, and how much do you think the family reactions will influence his decision. Tune in next week to see how it all goes down.
You can watch The Bachelor every Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC.