The final four couples head to Las Vegas, where Rudi and Matt face the first real test of their "relationship."

By Kristen Baldwin
May 11, 2020 at 10:00 PM EDT
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Before we get to this week’s shenanigans, rose lovers, I want to get something off my chest. I’m a little disappointed that the ratings for Listen to Your Heart are so underwhelming (it’s averaging about 2.8 million viewers weekly, even less than Bachelor Winter Games, which averaged about 3 million an episode). It’s not that I think LTYH is some kind of masterpiece but had more of Bachelor Nation tuned in, it would have proven to Mike Fleiss, Warner Bros., and ABC that fans are willing to get invested in new people. Do you see where I’m going with this? If we ever want The Bachelor franchise to stop recycling contestants — and plenty of you out there say that you do — we need to give them a reason to try it.

It’s probably a moot point this year, sadly — normally any LTYH contestant that was even remotely likable (Sheridan, Ryan, hell maybe even Savannah) would get a chance to win more fans over in Paradise. This season, that’s very unlikely.

Anyhoo, enough moping. Week five is over, and we’ve just got three “couples” left in this “journey.” Let’s recap!

It’s the morning after Julia and Brandon were sent packing, and Chris Harrison arrives at the Hummingbird Nest Ranch to give the gang some exciting news.

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That’s right — the gang is headed to Las Vegas in some fancy rented tour buses! Matt and Rudi use the ride to reminisce about the time she “hated him” and he thought she was “the craziest bitch in the world.” Ah, memories. Bri and Chris share closed-mouth smooches and take old-school Polaroid selfies, Trevor serenades Jamie, while Ryan and Natascha do what they always do.

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But we spend most of our time with Rudi and Matt because clearly, it’s their turn to be put under the “can this relationship last?” microscope. Rudi, as we know, is super into Matt, but she knows he takes things “slow,” whereas she is someone who “jumps into things very quickly.” As for Matt, he admits to being “guarded,” but says he really likes Rudi a lot. “I’m still just a little hesitant to say that I’m falling for her, even though I might be, I don’t know,” says Matt. “It’s confusing.” Foreshadowing!

Rather than heading straight to Vegas, Rudi and Matt decide to stop for the night in the small town of Nipton, Calif., for a little roadside Fantasy Suite action.

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“Tonight I hope to develop this connection that we have to see if there’s something deeper there,” says Matt. “So we’ll see what happens.”

The next day, it’s Bri and Chris’s turn for some romantic time together… at A Little White Wedding Chapel! Of course, they’re not really getting married — the producers just needed something tantalizing to put in the promos. Instead, Bri and Chris’s date consists of performing “Stand by Me” for some other random couple who’s chosen to get married at the same Vegas establishment where Michael Jordan, Bruce Willis & Demi Moore, and Patty Duke all got hitched.

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Best of luck to you, unnamed couple. After the ceremony, Chris says he’s been thinking a lot about his dad, who died on the same day Chris’s best friend from college passed away. Dayum, universe, that’s harsh. “This whole experience has been so hard on both of us without our family,” he tells Bri. “But at the same time, it’s just been a real relief to find you.”

These two are totally gonna “win,” aren’t they?

Back at the hotel, Rudi and Matt have finally arrived. “Did you guys get to sleep in the same bed?” asks Trevor, incredulous. Duh, dude. But later, Matt confides in Ryan about what went on: “Last night was a wild, incredible night,” he says. “I don’t know if I’m, like, there yet. I know that I like her. I know that I wake up every day and I’m thinking about her.” Sounds like you like her, buddy. Deal with it.

Knock knock knock! There’s an Accent Table of Doom at the Door! (Missed you, buddy.) It’s a date card for Trevor and Jamie. “I know that I’m falling in love with him, and I’ve been waiting for the right place, right time to say it,” says Jamie as she spackles on her eye makeup.

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Seriously, girl, you’re not a drag queen. Take it down a notch. But I digress. “I really feel like he doesn’t feel the same way, and I don’t want to say it and him not say it back,” pouts Jamie. “That’s really scary.” But Jamie, the producers had “Welcome Jamie & Trevor” spelled out on the giant digital billboard at Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena! Now you absolutely owe them an ill-timed declaration of love.

Inside, Trevor and Jamie play hockey on the empty rink and then make out a bit while lying down on the ice, which looks very uncomfortable. Fortunately, producers have placed a couch and table on the ice so the couple can cozy up for their important chat about feelings.

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Will Jamie be brave enough to drop the l-bomb? Let’s listen in. “You make me want to be a better person,” she coos. Trevor agrees, saying he wants to “be the best me for me and you, too,” but what he reveals next is a real mood-killer: “I have only said, uh, the l-word, um, to, like, literally two other people in my life outside of my family. And I take that word more seriously and sacred than any other word, and before I say that to someone, I want them to know that I mean it. So I just wanted you to know where I was at with that.”

In other words: NO “LOVE” FOR YOU, JAMIE!

But wait… Trevor is getting emotional. “I’m proud of you,” he says, tearing up. “I couldn’t have done this whole thing without you.” This is enough to give Jamie the courage to spit out her big secret. “I wanted to tell you I am falling in love with you,” she says. After a pause, Trevor — who no doubt is very aware of how great this moment will look on TV — murmurs, “I’m falling in love with you, too.” Question: Is the camera operator lying on the ice at this moment?

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Give that rock star some hazard pay!

Date number three goes to Matt and Rudi. Since everything went so well for Jamie and Trevor, Rudi decides she’s going to share her feelings with Matt. But first… Shaggy!

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After the concert, Rudi decides to lay it all out there. “I’ve dated guys for three years that, like, haven’t treated me the way you’ve treated me,” she says. There’s a bit more hemming and hawing, and then Rudi just goes for it. “You know what? F--- it. I’m falling for you, okay? I’m falling for you.” It sounds a little angrier than I’m guessing she wanted it to, but Matt gets the idea. And boy, does it make him nervous. “You’re very courageous for speaking your truth,” he says after a pause. “And I appreciate you doing that. So…”

Ouch. Matt just wants to make sure that he’s “not rushing into this whole thing,” but of course Rudi takes it as a massive rejection. She heads off to a corner to cry in peace. “Guys don’t f---ing care about me,” she whimpers. “I don’t think that he really likes me like that.” Knock it off, woman! Matt clearly likes you — he’s also just clearly uncomfortable talking about his feelings on national television.

Meanwhile, producers have arranged a really romantic outing for Ryan and Natascha’s date.

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Nothing says “forming a solid connection with another human being” like smashing old cars with a backhoe. (By the way, if we are ever allowed to travel again, I am for SURE going to visit Dig This in Las Vegas. Smashing things looks very cathartic.)

I’m just going to skip over Ryan and Natascha’s post-smash chat about their “feelings,” because these two have zero chemistry and everyone knows it (including Ryan and Natascha). Still, props to producers for making the Dig This crew arrange two backhoes into a heart.

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Once rehearsals begin, everyone seems pretty happy — except Rudi, who’s still reeling from Matt’s perceived rejection. But when the producer working with them innocently (LOL) asks if they are feeling “closer” as a couple, Matt praises Rudi yet again. “If I’m being completely honest with everybody in this room, this whole thing has been an emotional roller coaster,” he says. “I literally would have left if it wasn’t for her.” Hear that, Rudi? You need to stop freaking out because it’s performance time!

This week, our illustrious judges are: Arie and Lauren, Train singer Pat Monahan, and Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross. “You have a huge responsibility tonight,” Harrison tells them. “Only you guys will decide which three couples will move on to the finals.” THAT’S RIGHT, GUY FROM TRAIN — DON’T F--- THIS UP.

Chris and Bri

Song: “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley

Judges’ verdict: Lauren calls their performance “super cute,” while Train guy says Bri and Chris are a “beautiful couple.” My one note for Bri and Chris: Stop touching each other’s faces! Yes, this was filmed in pre-COVID times, but it just looks super corny.

Trevor and Jamie

Song: “Just a Kiss” by Lady Antebellum

Judges’ verdict: First, let’s take a moment to appreciate this shot of Train guy third-wheelin’ it with Ashlee and Evan.

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It seems Jamie’s newfound confidence (she has a boyfriend, y’all!) has paid off. Ashlee and Evan loved it, obviously, while Train guy says Jamie’s nervous awkwardness was “so real and beautiful.”

Ryan and Natascha

Song: “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran

Judges’ verdict: Honestly, I think Bri’s face says it best.

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Yeah, it is not great. Ryan tries to play the guitar and use the hand mic, which results in a lot of awkward hand-offs. “I don’t know why you had to play guitar, man,” Train guy says to Ryan. Arie says it felt like a “performance” in a bad way, adding, “I feel like it was put on a little bit.” (Arie, of course, is an expert on faking things — just ask Becca.) Poor Natascha knows the performance was a disaster, and she says it’s her fault. “I sang the wrong part of the song, which led us to completely disconnect on stage,” she says, wiping away tears. “I hope he forgives me.”

Matt and Rudi

Song: “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

Judges’ verdict: Once again, Rudi kills it and Matt reaps the rewards. (Was his mic even on?) “I could feel the heat!” raves Ashlee. Train guy calls their performance “magical” and tells Matt his guitar playing is “really exceptional.” Rudi somehow conflates all this praise with Matt’s feelings and decides that he is, in fact, falling in love with her, too. “We’re Mudi!” she exclaims. (Nope. Not gonna happen.)

You know what’s next, folks.

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Rose ceremony roll-call! The “judges” have “decided” that the “couples” moving forward are… Jamie and Trevor, Rudi and Matt, and Bri and Chris. So sorry, Ryan and Natascha, but your “journey” ends here.

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If I were a betting woman, which I’m not, I’d wager to say that Ryan will never see Natascha again. (Except maybe if ABC has some kind of LTYH reunion on Zoom or something.) Best of luck, you two.

With that, the “couples” are off to Nashville for the finals — and Fantasy Suites??? Before you go, a few questions: Do you see any of these couples staying together? Who would you have liked to see on Paradise this summer? And would you stay in a haunted hotel? Post your thoughts below!

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