Chris Soules is down to his final three women as his quest for love nears its conclusion in the 19th season of The Bachelor, and with the fantasy suites looming, Jade’s untimely departure has forced me to rethink my position on this heavy-on-drama, short-on-romance journey.

I’ve said repeatedly that the female suitors were backloaded with drunks and crazies to bridge the watchability gap and compensate for Chris’ less-than-leading-man persona. But what usually makes this all so much fun is picking out who we like and who we would hope finds fairytale love, and I think it’s clear that Chris’ tastes are a bit at odds with much of America.

I think I finally need to accept that this man is looking for a wife, in every sense of the 1950s word. That’s why Kaitlyn has to be the next to go; the fact that she took a half-naked dip in the lake on the group date is reason enough to send her home. 

I’m not saying that Chris eliminated Jade simply because she posed in Playboy, but it seems he wouldn’t want a woman who would consider that sort of modeling appropriate. He’s a conservative farmer with conservative farmer friends, and the purer the better. 

It’s telling that of all the women in the competition, the two who are least likely to sleep with him in the fantasy suite are still here. And I know Ashley was a virgin, but not the same kind as Becca. Not because God told her to wait. And the fact that Kaitlyn is a bit friskier also works against her.

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Breaking it Down

Here’s my take on the three remaining women:

Kaitlyn: She’s easily the most fun and outgoing, but at the end of the day, she just doesn’t fit into the Chris wife mold. She’s too much of a free spirit, and even if she ended up in the small town, she’d still want to do stuff and go places. And he strikes me as more of a homebody or a dude who likes to also spend time with his dude friends. And Kaitlyn won’t have chick friends who aren’t Chris’ sisters to balance things out. 

Whitney: She’s the slam dunk choice, no? She’s the most wife-like in the classic sense, has virtually no red flags and, despite her career, is the most likely to be cool with cooking, cleaning, momming and sitting on the porch sipping iced tea. She has the Christian values he seems to cherish, and I don’t see her ever, ever showing off her ta-tas in public. Plus, she was my first-episode pick as the most likely to be the next Bachelorette. Even better if she wins. It’s the only one that makes sense.

Becca: She’s a question mark for sure, though I think Chris will actually like that she’s a virgin while the rest of the male wife-seeking world might not be so excited. It means she hasn’t been corrupted or defiled by any other man, but the danger is that sex shouldn’t be such a big deal that it’s life changing when you’re in your late 20s or early 30s. You also don’t know how she’ll react to it. Maybe she’ll love it and want it so much that he has to push her off and be like, “Chill. I’m 33. I don’t want to do it like I’m 22 anymore.” Or maybe she’ll hate it and never want to do it again. Not to mention that he’ll probably have to teach her stuff? Plus, she strikes me as the type of girl who’ll want to pray before she lets you touch her boobies. 

That’s my take. Here’s Chris’.

Straight Bali-n

After Chris pre-tapes the customary partaking of Bali culture, hanging out with the townfolk and walking the steps of culturally-significant monuments, it’s time for a date with Kaitlyn. They don sarongs (which sounds like a porn star name) and enter a sacred temple where they’re not allowed to kiss. Boo hoo. So they put baskets on their heads and meditate with the natives.

Both Kaitlyn and Chris are concerned with the perception that she has walls up, so the goal of this is to break them down. Jericho-style. They choose beer over Pringles and Fanta, and I’m happy the best of American culture has reached the other side of the world. 

They monkey around with some primates, feeding them bananas, and one pees on Chris’ shoulder. It’s more of a shower than Britt took the entire time. Despite the date, no one gets any monkeys off their backs, and the nearly minute-long makeout that follows feels awkward. They talk about the hometown date, filling the silent stretches with more kisses. 

Diving Deeper

Kaitlyn is still struggling to open up and let Chris in, and maybe doing it physically will make up for the lack of emotional intimacy. She’s terrified to let Chris know how she’s feeling, and he has to keep asking her why she’s shaking. Trembling in anticipation, maybe? Yeah, probably not.

He feels like she’s been pulling back lately, and her guard being up comes from a place of fear after her last breakup. His advice is to just put yourself out there, because that’s the only way you know if it’s right. “We’re both extremely vulnerable right now,” he coos, telling her how excited he is about what they have going. 

He invites her into the fantasy suite for an overnight date of breaking down walls, and she happily accepts. I hope the room is air conditioned because they’re both sweating like pigs. Moist is the best word to describe what’s happening to Chris’ chest. 

Kaitlyn says she has zero questions and that she’s totally falling in love with Chris, and he returns the sentiment. Then they retire to solitude so that Kaitlyn can prove just how un-wife-like she can be. Missionary only! And no eye contact!

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A Whit and a Schooner

Whitney’s date is up next, and they’re heading out to sea on a romantic catamaran ride, but not before one of her patented 2015 Bachelor leg-wrap hugs. She’s worried about the fact that her sister refused Chris her blessing, while he’s concerned with Whitney’s willingness to move to Arlington after seeing her in her element at her job. 

The conversation hovers around sister Kim, who had to grow up fast after their dad left. As much as she loves her family, she butts heads with Kim more than anyone because circumstances turned her into a “prepare-for-the-worst” type of person, and Whitney is upset. Chris’ response? “You shouldn’t … really … be?” 

She is reassured by this, and smooches follow. They strip down and jump into the water, and Whitney is so in love with Chris that her heart is about to explode. 

To Iowa or Not to Iowa

Whitney’s already dropped an L bomb, so no need to cover that over dinner and drinks. Chris jumps right into the conversation about the future, asking if Whitney would ever be able to leave her rewarding career for a life of a wife in Arlington. It’s his biggest insecurity, and if she wants a similar job, she’ll have to drive. Far. Des Moines is three hours away, and Chicago is further.

She’s at a slight disadvantage because she’s the only one who didn’t get to see his hometown, and would she ever look at a map and point to a town of 400 and say I want to live there? No, but she’s always wanted to be a wife and a mother, so if she has to leave it all behind to pop out babies, she’s ready to do that. And if she wasn’t confident in that, she would’ve left earlier. It’s the perfect answer from his perfect choice. It’s a no-brainer. 

He offers her a thrilling overnight in the fantasy suite, and she almost-surprisingly obliges, because even the most wife-like person needs to see what she’s working with. They pull the shades closed, and I hope the room got a deep clean after the night with Kaitlyn. It’s H-O-T in Bali.

Like a Virgin, Hay! (Cause He’s a Farmer)

Golly gee, I wonder what the focus of this date is going to be? Becca is falling in love, but she’s still got that bone-free skeleton in her closet. They drink from coconuts and walk around the village of Sidemen, with Chris talking about the importance of intimacy and Becca hoping her unblemished maraschino won’t be a deal breaker. 

The village seer says they make a good couple and will be good parents, but Becca is hard to control, and his advice for the big day is to make love. No help from producers there. They take off their shoes and make out in a creek, and Becca speaks of urges ahead of the nighttime. In the words of the chaste LeAnn Rimes, you can’t fight the moonlight.

The 26-Year-Old Virgin

Becca is hoping the pre-invitation conversation won’t be smothered by the unpenetrated cloud hovering over the date, but Chris is blissfully ignorant and more concerned with her lack of previous relationships and that her family told him she’s not an intimate person, isn’t publicly affectionate and has never felt the need to be close to a man.

But she says she misses him when he’s not around, sees him in her family and that she’s falling in love, and he kisses her, excited to get to know her on a whole different level. Then the overnight card comes, and it’s untapped bombshell time because she knows there will be kisses and temptation in there. As if it couldn’t get hotter and more uncomfortable in Bali.

She thinks it’s important to spend alone time together, and he says it’s a big night for them, so she reluctantly enters. She plays the L card before mentioning the V, and he responds with a giant exhale and several moments of silence. He respects it in a lot of ways, but he’s not surprised, and his focus is to see if the relationship can work. 

She ends the date by saying that while she’s holding out for marriage, she is also in love and has been waiting for this for a long time. So who knows what happens when the lights and cameras go out? Deep in the dark, you’ll surrender your heart, but you know, but you know that you can’t fight the moonlight…

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The Aftermath

As Becca walks down the beach back to her hotel, Chris is concerned over a conversation they had in the morning. They had a great date, but when he woke up next to her, they had a talk about their potential future that left him terrified because she’s not ready to say that she’s in love. He can see them together as a couple, but she’s the only one of the three who still has reservations. He sits with his feet in the pool and tearfully ponders his dilemma.

Chris Harrison joins the fray to dissect the decision, and possible regrets aside, Chris Soules has to make a choice. But even leading up to the rose ceremony, there’s no clarity. Harrison lets Soules talk for a bit, and then he’s like, okay, let’s get to the virginity thing, but nothing new comes from it. 

He sees a future with Kaitlyn as well, and while he’s falling for Whitney, saying “I love you” to her just doesn’t feel right yet. He wants to get through the final week and the meet-the-family date, and then he’s sure that he’ll know. He’s lost, and he’s hoping something will happen to make things clearer.

The Choice

The rose ceremony is taking place at one of the holiest temples in Bali, which means hand holding is the extent of the public displays of affection. Chris is as unsure as he’s ever been, and he greets his three ladies, who are all wary of the situation and hope to make it to the next leg so they have a shot at starting a life with him. Whitney and Kaitlyn are anxious, but Becca is apprehensive after the last conversation. 

Before announcing his decision or handing out roses, he pulls Becca aside for another conversation. He sits her down on the temple steps, and she tries to save the day by saying she’s crazy about him and doesn’t want the two of them to be over. He had asked if she thought the show was the reason for their feelings, and she hesitated, but now all she credits it for is introducing them. 

He wants to believe that because he really does like her, and he apologizes for putting her in an awkward position. She reassures him that she’ll be more reassuring should this continue, and he says it’s been an eye-opening week in his search for the one he’s supposed to be with.

Fancy Editing

All the promos leading up to his moment showed Chris walking back to Whitney and Kaitlyn by himself, with my fiance complaining that she couldn’t believe they’d give something like that away. And while Kaitlyn is very excited at the prospect of Chris letting down Becca easy before the rose ceremony, things are naturally not as they seem. The two of them walk back hand in hand, with as much affection as the law allows, and you have to figure she’s getting a rose if he’s going to have her in the ceremony. And that spells danger and an abrupt 180 for the prematurely confident Kaitlyn.

The roses go, with a solid 30 seconds of tension-building silence in between, to:



And as predicted (I promise I wrote this in linear fashion), it’s the end of the line for Kaitlyn. He walks her out and apologizes with a hug, but the wall went back up the instant she heard Becca’s name. Nothing happened, he says, and then he selfishly goes on and on about how difficult this is for him and how he has no idea if this is the right decision. But he’s following his heart, and then a rooster crows in the middle of his speech.

All she says before tearfully getting into the van is that she doesn’t want to do this, and on cue, the driver starts the car, like, oh yeah, this is happening whether you like it or not. She calls it the most humiliating moment of her whole freaking life, and she does a good job of keeping it together as she heads out. She is confused, and her mind is blown, but the tears are mostly muted. 

One Date Remains

Chris sits on the steps in somber silence, questioning everything. But no time to fret about pending proposal possibilities because the “Women Tell All” is on deck. All the drunks and crazies crammed onto one stage to settle old beefs and explain erratic behavior. Ashley, Ashley, Kelsey, Jade, Britt and Kaitlyn will all be back to discuss how watching their heartbreak play on television makes them feel. 

Then it’s off to the snowy version of Iowa for Becca and Whitney to meet Chris’ family. Dad thinks Becca is who his son wants, but the sisters feel Whitney is the more wifely choice. But the real question is, are either of these two ready to give up everything — career and body — to be Princess Farming?

Who do you think is the best choice for Chris? It’s gotta be Whitney, right? No matter who he ends up with, I’m just not buying into the chemistry like we’ve seen in other seasons. There’s no heat, and it’s all so practical. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it’s a bit more how things work in the real world, so this could be the start of a relationship that will grow into something very solid. Maybe it’s more conducive to long-term success, but it’s just not what we’re used to in the fantasy realm. 

It’s a ho-hum end to a ho-hum season.

You can watch The Bachelor every Monday night at 8pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Bill King

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Emmy-winning news producer & former BuddyTV blogger. Lover of Philly sports, Ned, Zoe, Liam and Delaine…not in that order