4. Season 5 (Jesse Palmer)

We packed our bags, left the rain forest in Costa Rica for the beautiful CuisinArt resort on the island of Anguilla (pronounced like vanilla). Once the girls figured out where this island was they were extremely excited. I flew in on the same flight with the ladies and it didn’t take long for our cover to be blown. Tourists were quickly snapping pictures of the ladies in the St. Martin airport. Anguilla is a short boat ride away from St. Martin, and the women loved the speedboat cruise across the crystal blue ocean to our island getaway. Like in Costa Rica, we once again had the entire resort to ourselves. It makes it so much easier when the cast and crew don’t have to worry about who’s watching what we’re up to. Once the ladies got settled in their private villa, the first one-on-one date was set between Brad and Emily. There are not a lot of helicopters around this island so we had to bring one in from a different island which also means a different country. Apparently it got held up in customs, so the date was delayed. That bit where Brad and Emily sat on the bench and had a glass of champagne wasn’t planned. It was quickly improvised once we realized their transportation wasn’t coming any time soon.

Once the chopper arrived it took the couple to the private little place called Sandy Island. Was it just me or did anybody else catch the humorous irony that the island was very much in the shape of a male… well let’s say manhood? If you didn’t catch that I’ll give you a minute to go back and check it out before we continue. I wasn’t kidding. Couple things stood out to me about this date, other than the shape of the island. First of all it was important to Brad that he make a good impression on Emily and get permission to meet her daughter. This was the first time I can remember anybody telling someone they would definitely be getting a rose prior to a rose ceremony. Brad did this to make sure Emily knew just how he felt and that he was very serious about wanting to meet Emily’s little girl. Speaking of Brad it was good to see him in a good mood in Anguilla. He had a rough week in Costa Rica and was having a tough time with everything. By the time he got to Anguilla he was in a much better state of mind. I got to spend a lot of time with Brad on the island. We had breakfast together just about every morning we were there. It was kind of like our morning deliberations. I should say, he was in a better mood until the group date from hell.

Shawntel got the next one-on-one date. The street date was a blast for them. Shawntel didn’t know much about dominoes but quickly learned and really got into it. The older woman they met and talked to, Auntie Bea, was really sweet but turns out she was a little like Dr. Ruth. She ended up giving Brad and Shawntel sex advice. That night they got to experience one of the coolest things I’ve seen in the history of this show. There was a little shack hanging over the ocean just a few hundred yards down from the CuisinArt resort. It’s called the Dune Preserve and its home to Bankie Banx, one of the most famous and talented reggae singers in all the Caribbean. The crowd you saw was a few locals and folks from the tourism board. The great thing is once Brad and Shawntel left, the party continued. We sat around listening to Bankie, and when he took a break his daughter, who sounded just like Alicia Keys, took over. Amazing to see so much talent on such a small island.

Britt got the third and final one-on-one date this week. We all woke up that day to find the ridiculously huge yacht parked just off shore. Considering how fantastic Brad’s previous two dates were and how close he feels towards Emily and Shawntel, it didn’t take long to realize he just didn’t have that with Britt. As you saw, Britt’s exit was very different than any we’ve ever had before. Instead of just leaving you got to see Britt go back to the ladies villa and tell the other women she was packing up and going home. Nobody saw this coming and the women were shocked and upset. Once again this move proved to the women that Brad was very serious about finding his wife.

Unfortunately because of all the drama the women didn’t go to bed until about one o’clock in the morning. Brad had interviews to do when he got back to his room, so he never got to sleep that night, because he had to be back at the women’s villa at about 2:30 for the wake up call for the group date. So the girls had been asleep for about an hour when Brad snuck into the villa and woke them up. Ashley H was a little freaked out and thought there was an intruder. Let me just say that over the years we have done some pretty cool things but being a part of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition might just take the cake. This is such an iconic magazine and issue; it’s a real honor for us to be apart of it. I got up early that morning to meet the SI crew and watch them work. I have to give the women credit. Most women would have absolutely freaked out if you surprised them with something like this. This is something most women would probably like a little heads up on. Michelle, Ashley and Chantal took it all in stride and really stepped up to the challenge. They all looked like they had been modeling for years.

The other thing I quickly noticed while talking to the women was that the claws were coming out, and I knew this was going to turn out to be a long day for Brad. As bad as I thought the date might go for him, it actually went worse. At this point the novelty of hanging out together and even living together has completely worn off. These women now just want to date Brad alone. As you saw, the date went from bad to worse and there was nothing Brad could do to put out this fire. One important thing I should point out is the green frozen drinks they were enjoying on this date were frozen mojitos. This is a specialty at the CuisinArt resort and they are fantastic. Other than a bad group date, they are guaranteed to make your life better.

The rose ceremony was at a beautiful private house about ten minutes away called Le Bleu. If you have the coin, you can rent this house, which comes with a chef and butler service. This place was incredible. The little beach cove where we held the rose ceremony was like it was made for us. I have to once again give major props to our lighting and art department for dressing it up and making it look that fantastic. Dennis and Ange, you guys are the best. By the time Brad arrived for the cocktail party he was done and he was especially done with Michelle. I know many of you have been dying for this day to come and it finally did. Brad’s patience quickly wore thin with Michelle and their relationship really fell apart over the last two weeks. On a personal note, I will miss her narration of the show. She has a wicked sense of humor and was fun to have around. Come on — you have to admit she made you laugh a few times with her comments.

One last note about St. Martin/Anguilla before we pack up and head back home: If you ever get a chance to go you have to stop by the famous sunset bar. Its one of those things you have to check off of your bucket list. The bar is literally at the end of the runway at St. Martin’s Princess Juliana airport that backs up to the beach. The novelty of it is the planes landing come right over your head. When planes are landing or taking off all the patrons file out of the bar and walk out on the road. Go to YouTube and look up planes landing at sunset bar and you’ll see what I’m talking about. A few of us got up early the day we were leaving and went to check it out and we were blown away, literally. From the Caribbean we head back to the states for hometown dates next week. As you can imagine these are both emotional and extremely entertaining. Wait until you see Shawntel show Brad exactly what she does for a living. Until then, thank you for watching the show and thanks to those that watched me host the Grammy red carpet show for TV Guide Network Sunday. For more on the show head to Twitter and follow @chrisbharrison and @thebachelortv, or go to keyword Bachelor.

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