This week we touched down in easily one of, if not the most romantic cities in the world: Venice Italy. As Andi said herself, it’s almost impossible not to fall in love in Venice. We stayed in a small town just outside of Venice called Abano.
Andi met the boys in Venice and let them know the week would start off with a one-on-one date immediately. Most of the guys assumed that Cody would get it as he was the only guy left who hadn’t received a one-on-one yet. Much to Cody’s chagrin, Andi decided to give Nick the first date this week. Andi had some unresolved issues with Nick that were lingering from last week. Some of the guys Andi really believes in let her know that Nick wasn’t the most popular guy in the house and she was a bit worried about that. I think she took Nick on the first date this week to get to the bottom of that. The situation with Nick is one that I see a lot on the show. At what point are you just being bold, strong, and looking for love and at what point are you being rude or disrespectful? Nick hasn’t shied away from anything he’s said or done and completely owned up to it with Andi. If he’s denied it or acted like he was being bullied, it would have been a disaster for him, but instead he’s open and honest and flat out told Andi exactly how he feels. As you saw, Andi loved it and it only got deeper and better from her perspective at the rose ceremony. Nick and Andi have something strong between them, and he easily got the rose.
The group date was next this week. It was an interesting date that definitely stirred up some emotion with the guys. We administered a lie detector test on Andi and the boys. I always like how a seemingly benign activity that was meant to be fun can turn into drama. Most of the guys took it as it was intended, but Josh really had a problem with it. Andi was pretty shocked at just how personal Josh took this and how upset he got. Andi and Josh were already on the rocks from last week and this behavior didn’t help. Josh knows Andi has a bit of a trust problem with him being an athlete, and I think he’s a little defensive about that. He feels he hasn’t given her any reason not to be trusted. So he really took it personally that Andi would ask him to take a lie detector test. When Andi got the results she tore them up so nobody would ever see them. Maybe a good move, but one I know she kind of regrets. She told me later she really would’ve liked to have seen what the guys had to say. She knew it wasn’t going to be anything earth shattering,but it would’ve been fun.
One thing of note that did come out of this was we found out Chris is the secret admirer. This didn’t come as much of a surprise to Andi, who had already performed a three-week investigation including handwriting analysis and had come close to figuring out the big mystery. Andi really appreciated his gestures and gave him the rose. This whole day did not sit well with Josh and not getting the rose only made things worse, as was easy to see in the one-armed side half hug he gave Andi.
The one-on-one date with Cody was one of the most romantic dates this season, but that led it to also be the most heartbreaking to watch. The city of Verona was an incredible backdrop for a date. How could a city that was the inspiration for Romeo and Juliet not be? Cody was so happy to finally get a one-on-one date that he could barely contain his excitement all day long. He’s such a kind, gentle soul, you can’t help but like this guy. He’s always got a smile on his face and always seems to have a kind word. These are the reasons that Andi had kept him around this long despite not truly having the deep feelings for him that she was growing for others. I think she was really hoping that once they got alone and spent some romantic time together that might change, but it only made it more clear what she had to do. When Cody really opened up and started sharing his feelings, her heart just broke. It was brutal for her to have to stop him and let him know it just wasn’t happening. Kudos to Andi for doing the hard but right thing and just ripping the Band-Aid off. It was sad to see the big man go, but for Andi it was the right thing to do.
The rose ceremony this week took us about an hour away from our hotel in the Italian countryside. One of my favorite things about this show is the spectacular places we hold our rose ceremonies. Villa Mosconi Bertani is a huge estate that sits on an old vineyard that makes some pretty good wines (yes, I found out firsthand). Like many places in this part of the world, the history surrounding this place is incredible. One of the most compelling stories was how the owners protected and hid their wines and vines from the Nazis that came through and occupied the estate for some time during the war.
The mood in the room when Andi arrived was pretty intense as the guys are realizing that the numbers are dwindling and now real contenders are going to start being sent home. It was a surprise to the guys that Nick jumped up with a rose already on his chest and grabbed Andi first. As the guys put it, a total “Nick” move. But herein lies the problem: Did you see and hear Andi’s reaction? She loved it and said “that is a man.” So why wouldn’t Nick be this bold? When I sat down with Andi in deliberation it was the first time I’ve seen her doubt herself and this whole process. She wasn’t in a great place. I think it was a combination of her troubles with Josh and the guys having such an issue with Nick. These are two guys who were very high on her list and now she’s not sure what to make of either one of them. It was a tough decision but Andi ended up sending JJ home from the rose ceremony. He’s a good guy and cares about Andi, but he was really just headed for the friend zone. Andi has much stronger feelings and relationships with other men, and it was the right move to make.
Next week we make the short jump over to Brussels, Belgium, for some chocolate, mussels, beer, and love. It’s a very pivotal week for Andi as she has to narrow the group down to just four men. The four men who get roses next week will be taking Andi on hometown dates. She has been anxious about getting to this point all season, so there’s a lot of pressure on her to make the right choice and coming out of this week she couldn’t be less confident. Thank you for tuning in this week and every week for our show. You can always reach me with comments and questions via Twitter or Instagram: @chrisbharrison.
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