“The sun always shines in Fiji!” Those were the words spoken by Ashley as she stepped out of the plane in Savusavu, Fiji. She must have forgotten this is the rainiest season we’ve ever had on this show. More on the rain and our production a little later in this broadcast. This show and my blog have become a bit of a travel guide over the years, and I especially feel compelled during the exotic dates to talk a little bit about where we are in the world. This week we are in Namale in Savusavu, Fiji, a small town in one of many Islands that make up Fiji. The high definition video we show you makes it quite evident this is one of the most stunning places in the world. What we didn’t show much of was the Namale resort, which is actually owned by inspirational speaker Tony Robbins. Tony is a great guy and turns out he was in town our final day at the resort and he came down and joined my wife and me at breakfast. Holy cow! That guy has the biggest hands I have ever seen! I can’t say enough about the people of Fiji and in particular the people at Namale.
As for the show you saw the return of Ryan. Oddly enough, I got a call at home one night (no the cast usually doesn’t have my number) and it’s Ryan.
He called me to ask my opinion about coming back to talk to Ashley. He didn’t feel right about the way things ended and wasn’t really sure things had ended. Ryan made it very clear he didn’t want to be “that guy” and come back and disrupt anything or take time away from the other guys. I was convinced that Ryan was doing this with true intentions and I felt like he deserved to have another talk with Ashley. I was pretty convinced that Ashley wasn’t going to change her mind but that’s not for me to say, so I told Ryan to join us in Fiji. Obviously he got rejected again but he was grateful for the opportunity and happy he got the chance to express himself, as he didn’t really get that chance the first time around. Some of you have asked if we show the exotic dates on TV in the order they are actually shot. I think this episode shows you the answer is, yes we do. Ben got the first date and the two of them picked up right where they left off. All I can say about these two is their relationship is easy. They seem to really flow together in a great way. Ben said he’s really fallen for Ashley and if the suntan lotion scene is any indication (yikes!) then the same can be said for Ashley. I think Ben continues to show what a fantastic man he has become. One line that really stood out to me was at dinner when he told Ashley “I’m available today.” That was a great line that really spoke to Ashley’s heart. Ben has come a long way since his father’s death and he is now ready to add somebody to his life and for him that somebody is Ashley.
Constantine got the second date and this was unlike any exotic date we’ve ever had in the past. One reason I love this show is you never know what’s going to happen or how things will turn out. Constantine had an amazing hometown date and although things were moving a bit slow between them I sure didn’t see the wheels completely falling off like they did. Although Constantine was really the one that initiated the breakup they both realized that this relationship had hit a wall. It had gone about as far as it was going to go. Ashley and Constantine like and admire each other very much, but that is far from love and that is far from what either of them deserve. It is also far from what she is feeling for the other two men. I very much respect Constantine for the way he left the show. That is the way a man talks to a woman, and that is the classy way to pull yourself out of a relationship (I hope a certain someone is taking notes). By the time Ashley got to her date with JP she was already down to two men. That was a bit of a relief for her, as she then didn’t really have to worry about the rose ceremony. She very much knew by then that JP and Ben were her final two. Now all she had to do was enjoy her date with JP and by the looks of it she certainly did. The chemistry between these two is incredible. When they’re together it’s like nobody else exists in the world and that is a great quality in a couple.
After talking with Ashley we both agreed it was still important to hold a rose ceremony. This is obviously the most important rose ceremony of them all. The next step is hopefully an engagement so accepting a rose this week is really admitting you are in love with this woman and truly considering taking that next step. I want to take a moment to praise our insanely talented crew on this show. I wish my words could do justice to just how amazing they are. The day of the rose ceremony the skies opened up like never before. We had scouted a location and had been setting up all week for a beautiful outdoor deliberation and rose ceremony on a deck overlooking the ocean. Because hundreds of hours went into lighting, set decorating and tech set up we waited the storm out. Finally we realized Mother Nature wasn’t letting up so at the last minute we made the decision to move everything. In a matter of a couple hours our director, lighting department, art department, tech department, camera and audio crews moved an entire deliberation and rose ceremony that usually takes about a week to set up, and did it all in the pouring rain. Our deliberation was barely under cover so the camera and audio crews were standing in the rain while we talked. Our tech department set up a makeshift control room for our director behind a bar. I am always amazed at how good these people are, but this day absolutely blew me away. I wish I could show you what it took to pull this off and still make it look so good. We are truly one big traveling family on this show and I am blessed to work with such great talent.
I want to remind you of how the rest of this season will play out because its set up a little different than seasons past. The Men Tell All will be next Sunday night, July 31. The following night, Monday, August 1, is the finale. Immediately following the finale is the After the Final Rose special. I love this set up, as our fans don’t have to wait a week between shows. I hope you enjoy it this way. The following Monday, August 8 is the premiere of Bachelor Pad 2. We will show you an extended tease of the new season during the Men Tell All. All I can say is hide the children and buckle up! But first and foremost we have an amazing finale to The Bachelorette for you. Ashley has done a terrific job narrowing it down to two incredible men. I very much look forward to you seeing the rest of this season play out. For more on The Bachelor please check out our web site thebachelor.tv or you can always find me on twitter @chrisbharrison.
More Bachelorette from EW:
Ashley’s Bachelorette blog on people.com