Andi brings a trio of potential husbands to the Dominican Republic—but only two of them make it to the Fantasy Suite.
Credit: ABC

Let’s begin this week’s “journey” by giving some long-overdue props to the genius on Team Bachelor/Bachelorette who coined the phrase “Fantasy Suite.” Can you imagine the rejected names? The “Romance Room.” The “Love Lodging.” The “Sex Shack.” Honestly, I hope the person responsible for “Fantasy Suite” gets a hefty, non-taxable bonus each year. He or she is a hero.

And we’re in the Dominican Republic, rose lovers! As Andi settles in to her phat pad at the Paradisus Punta Cana, we’re treated to the Memory Lane Montage: Josh is “funny and endearing,” and he handles Andi’s “brattiness” and “divaness” with aplomb. But he’s a “former athlete,” and, confesses the Bachelorette, “I worried about being hurt by him.” As for Chris, he’s “cute and charming and romantic,” and he “has it all.” But, you know, Iowa. Nick, meanwhile, is “shy and a little skeptical,” and Andi loves the “mental connection” she has with him.

After the 14th “I’m here in the Dominican Republic,” we finally get to the dates. Nick’s up first, and he swears he’s ready to drop the L-bomb on Andi. Will he do it on the helicopter ride? Nope. Will he do it while they frolic on the “frickin’ insane” private island? Nope, there they just make out and talk about Nick’s tendency to become “a mess” after a bad breakup. (Though to be fair Nick does try to offer up an “I love you” on Saona Island… but all he manages to spit out is “I think what scares me the most is, trying to like, I don’t know, what it is, like, when I’m with you” and then a series of “Um, yeahs”…) Okay, so will he do it at dinner on the beach? Oh man, it’s not looking good. “Usually, I, like, to form, like, thoughts—but then with you, not so much,” Nick stammers, as Andi laughs in his general direction.

Yes, Nick clearly does better with a script. So he pulls out his latest composition, an illustrated “fairy tale” about “a beautiful princes named Andi” who embarked “on an ancient quest to search for her true love.” At first I was hoping the cutesy drawings were by Bella, until Nick got to the part about the “magical room” accompanied by a crude drawing of a bathing suit-clad couple making out. Shudder. Naturally, the story ends with stick figure Nick confessing his love for stick figure Andi, which prompts real-life Andi to give real-life Nick the Fantasy Suite card. He babbles something about talking Andi’s ear off (is that what the kids are calling it these days?) before the Bachelorette finally cuts him off with, “Is that a long version of yes?”

It sure is, but first Nick has to pull Andi as far out of camera range as possible (which, of course, is not very far) and finally—finally—spit out those 55 little words she’s been dying to hear: “I love what I know about you. Like, I love that you’re a serious girl who doesn’t take herself so seriously. I love that you know what you want but you can go with the flow… I love that you’re very confident and strong but not afraid to be vulnerable. And [pause] I love you, Andi.”

And she LOVES it. Cue the Peter Wolf!

NEXT: Josh pounds some Mamajuana

The next day, Andi meets Josh in Santo Domingo, and once again she’s armed with her internal checklist. “He’s said that he is falling in love, which is great—but at this point, I don’t know, I might need a little more than that.” Hear that, Josh? It’s all well and good to pick up a bottle of Mamajuana to help you “function” in the fantasy suite, but Andi really wants you to find an elixir to plump up your emotional intelligence. In a shocking turn of events, though, Josh tells the Bachelorette exactly what she wants to hear before the date is even half over. “I’ve wanted to tell you I do love you,” he confesses. “I’ve never said that to somebody before that I really meant it.” (Sorry, all of Josh’s previous girlfriends!)

Still, fretful is Andi’s resting state, so she heads into dinner nursing fears that Josh may not be “serious” enough to get married and have kids. Pshaw, says the former “pro” baseball player. If crashing that local little league game a few hours ago taught Josh anything, it’s that he and Andi will be great parents with a “fun household” full of kids. “I can be difficult,” admits the Bachelorette, stating the painfully obvious. “You’ve already been difficult with me!” Josh retorts. (Oh, I’m sorry—but the correct answer is, “You’re challenging.”) Keep brushing off all of Andi’s concerns, Josh—it’s not going to stop her from wondering Did I really come all this way to choose a jock from Atlanta—the exact type of guy I vowed not to pick? Short answer: Yes. Give him the damn card already; Josh wants some “her and I” time in the pool.

After all the fuss over Nick’s struggle to say “I love you” and Josh’s effort to prove that he’s ready for marriage, it’s hard to imagine what the conflict narrative for Chris’ date will be. Whether or not he uses too much hair product to be a farmer? Regardless, it seems like Team Bachelorette is setting Chris up to fail: His date with Andi takes place at a farm that’s literally named “Danger Ranch.” It definitely wasn’t the Bachelorette’s choice; I’d bet money she looks more comfortable in the middle of a pelvic exam than she does on top of that poor horse. “What’s happening? Why is he trotting? Whoa whoa WHOA!” she shrieks, as the beast tries to outrun the awkwardness of the situation. “I’m gonna be sore tomorrow,” she tells Chris after the ride. I was praying he’d respond with, “Yeah you are!”—but he’s too much of a gentleman. (Of course, he does tell Andi, “I loved when you just hopped on my lap and went to town”—but he was talking about their tractor ride back in Iowa.)

NEXT: “I feel like I’m at a crossroads with you”

Other than all the unintentional double entendres, Chris and Andi’s date is pretty tame. (Ghosts in the Graveyard in broad daylight? Zzzzzz…) The episode is far from over, but the Bachelorette can’t help but telegraph her decision-making process in her confessional: “To me the Fantasy Suite isn’t just another date—it means a lot more to me than that. And I’m still not sure that Chris and I are at that point yet.” Especially if spending the night with him brings her one step closer to living in Iowa—an idea that Andi is beginning to panic about. “I feel like I’m at a crossroads with you,” she admits to Chris. “There’s a struggle between, like, seeing, like, what an amazing person is right in front of me, and then, like, also being unsure about it.” Chris is all, Are you giving me the boot? It sure sounds like it, bro.

Indeed, Andi’s voice begins its climb up the octave range as she tearfully owns up to her lack of feelings for Chris. “I can’t feel the same things that you’re feeling,” she sobs. “I could sit here and blame it on Iowa, and I could take the easy way out I guess and say I can’t see myself in Iowa, which is partly true, but…” You get the point, Farmer Chris. She no likey you that way. Gallant to the end, Chris rubs Andi’s shoulder soothingly. “I’m incredibly disappointed, but I get it,” he says sadly. “I want your feelings to be for me—and if they’re not, I want to go home.”

Okay, now I get what all the “Chris for the Bachelor!” fuss is about. He may have a bad temper, he may use the phrase “Alls I want” way too often, and he may live in Iowa—but that, rose lovers, was a classy goodbye. Fare thee well, good sir. Perhaps we’ll see you in January.

[Insert totally unnecessary rose ceremony here]

And we’re down to the final two! Who will it be—the “intense” and “passionate” Nick or the “goofy” and “giddy” Josh? We’ll find out in two weeks’ time. So, rose lovers, are you pleased with Andi’s last suitors standing? Do you want Chris be the next Bachelor? And should Andi see a therapist about her bed-wetting history? Post your thoughts now! Be sure to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog over on PopWatch. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stitch “No Horses, No Distractions” on a throw pillow.

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The Bachelorette

One single woman searches for her future husband amid a sea of studs in this romantic reality series. Will you accept this rose?

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