The "ladies" head to Peru with the Bachelor for a final round of dates before hometowns.
4. Season 5 (Jesse Palmer)

Welcome back to Peter Weber’s “situation,” also known as dating a whole mess o’ women at once to determine which one he wants to marry. I’d like to take a moment to thank José Luis Antonio, the nice Peruvian man we saw during the credits sequence, for reminding us how very, very strange and “not conventional” this whole ridiculous Bachelor franchise is. It’s always good to get a little reality check, as it were.

But hey, enough with the common sense! Peter and his “ladies” are in Peru for the biannual Winnowing Down to the Final Four ritual! The Bachelor starts the day the way we all should: with a call to his mother.

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Kidding, kidding. Barbara is supportive as always. “You really need to believe what’s in your heart,” she says. “It’s the most important thing I can say to you.” Good advice, mom — but what should your son do if whatever’s in his heart changes every 10 minutes?

Because Peter is incredibly self-unaware, he thinks the biggest risk he faces is “falling for someone that maybe thinks they’re ready for this… but they’re not.” Yeah, it’s the women who are the problem, buddy — not you. Sure. Whatever you need to tell yourself to sleep at night. The Bachelor shows up at the women’s hotel and gives them this whole “make sure you know what you want” lecture (again: Pot! Kettle! Black!) and then leaves without taking anyone on a date. Natasha is hoping that she’ll finally get a one-on-one, but when the first date card of the week finally arrives, it goes to… Madison!

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Peter and Madison meet in the picturesque fishing village called Pucusana, where they stroll on the beach and marvel over the Bachelor’s brand-new forehead scar. They also “go fishing,” which means a nice Peruvian man catches fish and lets the tourists pull them in. Later, on a different boat, Madison tells Peter that she “really” likes him and sees a future with him — and that’s the only reason she’s putting herself through this whole fakakta process. Then they make out on the deck. “I can definitely see her as my best friend,” says Peter. “My best friend that you could also fall in love with.”

Hmmm… I wonder what’s going on at the hotel?

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Well that escalated quickly. Awww, I’m just joshing. Natasha did say that, of course, but it wasn’t about Madison specifically — it was part of a larger conversation the “ladies” are having about the overall competition. They all seem pretty sure Madison will come back with a rose, but they’re also hoping against hope that the Suitcase Ninja will come and take her bag away.

Unlikely. At dinner, Madison lays down her truth — the Lord is her shepherd, and she shall not want to marry a man who doesn’t live a life of faith — and the Bachelor LOVES it. “How much faith you do have, and how important that is for you, I love that,” says Peter. “Honestly, it inspires me so much.” Though he admits that his faith “could be stronger,” Peter says Christianity is “important” to him. Plus…

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So yeah — he may not be as religious as Madison would like, but she’s willing to give him a pass on that for now. “I’m so glad you said that,” she whispers. “I needed that.” Madison gets the rose and a guaranteed hometown date.

You guys, something amazing has happened!

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It’s an honest-to-God miracle — Peter finally gave Natasha a one-on-one date! They meet up at the Plaza de Armas for an afternoon of eating and exploring. Peter almost loses his damn mind when he sees a vendor selling arroz con leche (a type of rice pudding) — “This is my absolute favorite dessert!” — and Natasha pretends to like it. “I’m just really excited to get him all to myself,” she says. “It’s scary because he’s my only person, but I’m not his only person.” Wait… what’s going on here?

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Whatever it is, it looks cozy. After the “dancing awkwardly in public with some locals” portion of the date, the duo sits down for some drinks, and Peter has a lot of nice things to say about Natasha. “You have always been someone… that has shown me more sides than any other woman here,” he tells her. “I have seen that goofy and that fun side of yours, I’ve seen that bold side and that fierce side, and you’ve been nothing but honest with me.” Exactly! So why has it taken you so long to give her a damn one-on-one, buddy? (Also, why did they leave all the souvenirs they bought at the bar? Are the Bachelor Interns supposed to carry them back to the hotel?)

The truth is, it’s pretty clear that Peter hasn’t given Natasha a one-on-one until now because he simply doesn’t feel it with her. (Even though she’s wayyy too good for him.) “I’m falling in love with Madison,” explains Peter. “But I don’t know if I’m there yet with Natasha. So tonight I just have to be very honest with Natasha, and with myself.”

Ooof… I think we all know where this is going, rose lovers. Though Natasha says she “really, really, really, really, really” does see “something special” between them, Peter knows he has to come clean. “I feel like it’s just like a friendship with us,” he confesses to the camera. “It’s more that than, like, romantically invested.” So, yeah…

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“I know what you have to offer someone, and I want you to find that so bad,” says Peter. Natasha is disappointed but she doesn’t seem that surprised. They share a long hug goodbye, and then we cut to footage of the burly Suitcase Ninja wheeling Natasha’s bag out the door. “I’m just going to continue to follow my heart,” says Peter. “With every hard goodbye, I’m just one step closer to why I am here.”

The next day, Kelsey suits up for her second one-on-one of this “journey.” She meets him in the countryside of Pachacamac, about 25 miles outside of Lima. And what better way to enjoy the beautiful, rolling hills and valleys than with noisy, gas-guzzling ATVs?

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Yeah, nature! Eventually, they put the machines away and recline on the grassy mountainside, where Peter asks Kelsey to describe her ideal vision of married life. “I want to be able to work a couple days a week but also be at home,” she says. “I think it’s important to, you know, raise your kids and be at home with them… I just want to be involved in my kids’ lives but still have something for me.” This is a remarkably refreshing answer — correct me if I’m wrong, rose lovers, but I think it’s pretty rare for a “lady” on The Bachelor to declare so clearly that they don’t see motherhood and marriage as the be-all-end-all of their existence.

When they sit down to dinner, Peter seems amazed that they got through the day portion of the date without drama. “We had a fun day,” he marvels. “It wasn’t serious, it wasn’t emotional. It’s a good step for us!” Kids, that’s what’s known as a backhanded compliment.

With hometowns looming, Kelsey gives Peter a little more detail about her family. Her father, whom she hadn’t seen for a decade after her parents’ divorce, got in touch with her after she won Miss Iowa in 2017. “We tried to have a relationship again,” says Kelsey, “but there were a lot of red flags, so we didn’t.” A few years later, she started talking to her dad again — but she’s never told her mother. “The reason for that is I want to make my own decision about the relationship I want to have [with my dad] before I involve family,” explains Kelsey. “I don’t want outside influences to dictate my relationship with him.”

That actually sounds… pretty reasonable. Is this Kelsey? #Champagnegate Kelsey? I guess she can be (relatively) calm and composed. Peter sees her “quiet strength” and “grace” too, and he LOVES it.

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Great. While he’s there, maybe he can get to the bottom of that whole caucus disaster.

Question, rose lovers: Would you rather go on a two-on-one or a three-on-one date? The final date this week finds Victoria F., Hannah Ann, and Kelley battling it out for the remaining two roses. “Last night when I realized I was going to be on the three-on-one, I was pretty annoyed,” says Kelley. “And today, I’m still annoyed.”

I can’t blame her — if you ask me a three-on-one is even more uncomfortable than the gladiator-style two-on-one. It’s too small to be a proper group date and too big to be a satisfying showdown with another woman you hate. It’s the “neither here nor there” of emotional torture and Kelley deserves better! “Hannah Ann and Victoria F. are children,” sighs Kelley, “and who wants to be on a three-on-one date with them?” (Side note: Kelley is 27, Victoria F. is 26, and Hannah Ann is 23.) Sorry, toots, but “rules” are “rules.” Get in the car!

The Bachelor
The Bachelor (screen grab)CR: ABC
| Credit: ABC

The first sign that things aren’t going to go well for Kelley on this date comes during that cramped car ride — or at least the voiceover we hear during it. Kelley is in full trash-talk mode, saying Hannah Ann is “not in the right phase of her life to be in a relationship” and that Victoria F. is “just, like, a hot mess.” That’s all true, but when a woman says “I should be fine” going into a group date of any kind, she’s probably not going to be fine.

The date takes place at a beautiful hacienda run by the aforementioned José Luis Antonio, who offers to let Peter marry his final “lady” in the plantation’s chapel. I’m pretty sure that’s not going to be necessary, señor.

The Bachelor pulls Hannah Ann first, and she’s already a wreck, talking about how stressed out she is by “the thought that this could be one of our last times talking,” she says, her voice quavering. “That has just weighed so heavy on me.” Peter says he’s been “worried” that Hannah Ann has only shown him the “all good” side of her — and it seems that Hannah Ann came prepared to rebut this concern.

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I am not going to tell you how long I spent poring over a freeze-frame of this note from Hannah Ann because it would just be too embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as being a 23-year-old woman who still dots her i’s with little hearts. Suffice it to say that it took me quite a while to realize that No. 14 was “Our mutual dorkiness [sic]” and not “Our mutual darkness” (LOLz). Peter calls her list “the sweetest thing ever,” but how does it address his concerns about Hannah Ann’s ability to display a range of human emotions? It doesn’t, but I suppose it’s a good distraction.

Meanwhile, all of the waiting — and the prospect of being sent home — is sending Victoria F. into yet another downward spiral. Kelley, meanwhile, is just chillin’…

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Yeah, this is definitely going to be a bait-and-switch. Remember: Whatever the sane, rational choice is, Peter is going to do the opposite. When Kelley sits down with Peter, she reiterates that she likes him, she wants him to meet her family, and points out that not every relationship has to be “super-hard” and filled with drama. “It can be easy and still could be fun.” Peter seems… confused by this idea. “Is this more than just fun for you?” he asks. “I want this to be more than just fun.” Kelley says yes, yes, of course. But does Peter believe her? Let’s put a pin in that question and see how his conversation with Victoria F. is going.

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For the love of all that’s holy, woman, you are the queen of MOODS. All Peter did was ask Victoria F. about their last one-on-one date, which ended with her crying in the bathroom before finally accepting the rose. “It’s like you’re attacking me for asking these questions,” Peter replies. “I’m not in a mood. I do feel like you have given me reasons to [long pause] doubt.”

Gah, this fight again? We all know how this goes: Victoria F. cries about how “hard” this “process” is for her and tells Peter that she is very into him (even though she always acts like a pissy bitch). And then Peter will inevitably fall for it and give her yet another chance. That’s exactly what happens. “I think at the end of the day I, like, just don’t want to get to the end and then, like, lose you,” says Victoria tearfully. “So it’s easier to just not have you in the first place.” Peter’s all, “There, there, crazy woman, I would never lead you on.” (I’m paraphrasing.)

Guess what happens next. Just guess.

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Yep, Victoria F. is getting a hometown date. “Victoria and I obviously have a really unique relationship,” explains Peter. “I don’t necessarily look at that as a bad thing.” WE KNOW.

Kelley, who was certain that Peter walked away with Victoria to send her home, still seems confident when she sees him return without that precious date rose. He’s gotta give it to her, right? I mean, she’s the grownup here. She’s an attorney for God’s sake. He has to know she’s better a better option, right? Right? RIGHT???

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Wrong. Peter gives the 23-year-old his final rose of the night, leaving Kelley to wonder what the actual F just happened. (Also, Hannah Ann, why are you sobbing? You “won,” girl!)

Kelley keeps her composure as she says goodbye to Peter. “It sucks that it didn’t work out,” she says. “Figure out the things you need to figure out.” Once she’s in the Reject SUV, though, Kelley doesn’t hold back. “The four [women] that are left are like little babies,” she says. (Side note: Madison is 23, and Kelsey is 28, one year older than Kelley.) “They don’t really know who they are.” As for Peter, she’s glad he’s not going to waste her time any longer. “Thank you for not coming and meeting my family,” she says bitterly. Fare thee well, Kelley — see you in Paradise!

And now, a toast to the Final Four.

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Is it the group you expected, rose lovers? From the looks of the preview, Victoria F. continues to be a hot mess during her hometown visit, and Madison has been keeping quite a big secret from Peter. Only four weeks left! Before you rest up for next week, let me know your thoughts: Why does Peter keep giving Victoria F. so many chances? Is it me, or was Kelsey almost normal this week? And did that rice pudding look good to you? Post your thoughts below!

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