Image Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABCYes, I’m back and still guarding and still protecting your heart. I’d like to thank you for helping me last week with my informal poll about male grooming. The overwhelming feeling out there is that you ladies like a real man, and apparently that means having a little hair on his chest. Aren’t you glad we can come together and solve the world’s problems like this?
I want to step back a couple weeks and clear up a funny controversy that was started when some of you — and Joel McHale on The Soup (big fan of that show, btw) — noticed Justin’s cast switched legs on his hike up to Ali’s house. Justin hurt his leg the day before we started shooting the show. It really was hurt and in reality, his cast didn’t switch legs. Our editors sometimes flip the video, which is essentially using the mirror image of a shot. The reason they do this from time to time is simple: It looks prettier. With this mirror image being used, it appeared Justin’s cast switched legs. As you’ll see next week, Justin might be manipulating many things, but he wasn’t faking his injury.
I said last week, this season really gets started with the episode you saw tonight. I had no idea what to expect from Reykjavik, Iceland. It’s actually a very cool (actually darn cold) country with a lot to offer. I loved that the producers gave the guys a mini-cam to carry along as we traveled. That extra video from the guys themselves is an interesting perspective you don’t usually get to see. I know the guys had fun shooting stuff as we traveled around.
The day I met the guys in the square in downtown Reykjavik, it was absolutely freezing. You may have noticed everybody was bundled up except me. I took my coat and gloves off because I didn’t think I would be outside that long – not a good call on my part. As it turned out, I was with the guys the entire time and had to listen to their poetry. It really is hard to believe that Kirk was basically the only guy who made the poem personal and approached Ali and touched her. By now we all know she likes that, but only a couple of them managed to do it. We never claim to be smart animals.
I’ve mentioned it before and you saw more of it on this date: Kirk has steadily moved up the list in Ali’s heart. Yes, the heart that Kasey is guarding and protecting… or was. Ali was really moved by the story of Kirk’s illness, and it explained a lot about him to her. Their date was simple, strolling the streets of Reykjavik. The main street in town is really charming, as I’m sure you could tell. There are a ton of great little cafes and restaurants and plenty of shops that makes it a terrific town to walk through. Every day, you would stumble on a new place you hadn’t noticed the day before. I love places like that.
There’s not a lot to say about the group date because it was with a bunch of guys Ali really likes, even Chris N., who was sent home later. The second stop on the date is a place called the Blue Lagoon. The guys and Ali were right – it really is one of the coolest things you’ll ever see or do.
The main drama this week was clearly centered around the two-on-one date with Kasey and Justin. Justin was really good at stirring up Kasey’s emotions and intimidating him before the big event. Kasey progressively looked more and more desperate and uncomfortable. By the time they went on their date, he seemed like he was already beaten. Ali’s face was fantastic when Kasey finally showed her his tattoo. She didn’t know how to respond to that. Who would? I think Ali summed it up best when she explained later in deliberation that she felt that Kasey fell in love with the idea of falling in love. His emotions clearly got the better of him.
A couple notes about the date with Justin and Kasey. Our crew built and carved out all of that ice-sculpted furniture into the cave. We left it all there for others to enjoy when they visit. Seeing as how it’s in the middle of a glacier, I doubt it will melt any time soon. It was so unbelievably cold and windy it was hard for the three of them to stand outside while Ali decided who to give the rose to. The shot of Kasey standing there on that glacier as Ali and Justin flew away was classic. It reminded me of Andy Baldwin’s season where Peyton was left standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
The rose ceremony was back at the Blue Lagoon. For the first time this year you got to see Ali and I in deliberation. We always film a deliberation, though you may not see it every episode simply because it may not make sense to use it or there might be other things more relevant to telling the whole story. This week it was important that you saw it because Ali said something that will shape the rest of this season. Before Iceland, Ali was scared she wouldn’t fall in love; after Iceland, she knew she was falling in love, but now she was scared she wouldn’t be loved back. This was a very emotional, candid deliberation. It’s times like these you really do forget about cameras and it’s just you and a friend in a room talking like you would be back home. Many of you asked last week who Chris N. was. Well, you got a chance to see him during this episode. Seriously, Chris N. is a really good guy. Yes, he’s quiet and probably not completely comfortable fighting to stand out in a group setting, but the guys and Ali really liked him.
Ali announced to the guys that our next stop was Istanbul. The truth is, some of the guys already knew that. Somebody (me) accidentally let it slip we were going to Turkey while we were back in New York. I wasn’t sure the guys picked up on it when I mentioned it, but they later teased me that I gave it away. Oops.
This week’s episode was a great one, but next week’s will blow you away. You saw pieces of the confrontation between Ali and another guy. That was just a taste of a situation you will all be talking about for weeks to come. With that said, I hope all of your hearts are guarded and protected! Please continue to leave your comments below or you can find me on facebook and twitter @chrisbharrison.