One pandemic, two Bachelorettes, three months: We finally made it to the beginning of the end of “The Bachelorette’s” 16th Season.
Tayshia wasn’t in love at the start of this episode, part 1 of this week’s finale. She’s falling but doesn’t know which perfect guy to pick: Ivan, Zac or Brendan.
It’s getting harder and harder for the guys to ignore that they’re all dating the same gal, especially because they’re actually good friends.
Zac put it best. “I want my sister dating them, not my girlfriend,” he said.
Monday night’s episode brought the highly-anticipated fantasy suite dates, when Tayshia can spend an overnight, cameras-free date with each of the men. It usually means sex and make-or-break conversations.
Tuesday night, someone will get down on one knee and propose to her. Here’s how the first part of the finale went down.
Boy got the cold shoulder. Some evil producer had Ivan and Tayshia compete for the world record for the longest, coldest kiss. They had to make out in an ice bucket for over five minutes. I’m praying for his downstairs region; I don’t think freezing your balls off bodes well for sexy time. The couple “obliterated” the world record, having locked lips for 6 minutes and 30 seconds.
But the coolest moment came when Ivan told Tayshia that he’s in love with her at dinner. Tayshia said she’s falling for him (not the same thing) too and they kissed. Of course, they accepted the invitation to spend the night alone together. Despite the fact they live at an empty resort filled with suites, they were given the key to a cramped RV.
“It’s tough knowing that you’re sharing these experiences,” said Brendan when Ivan returned and shared the details of his date, much to their dismay.
Zac and Tayshia donned white bathing suits and rolled around in body paint on a canvas, making “art of their love.” Unlike Ivan’s date, it was romantic and sexy and totally made up for the fact that they couldn’t travel to some far-off destination. After the art was made they got to take a steamy outdoor shower and clean each other up. Clearly the producers have a favorite.
Over dinner, Zac told her he loved her and she yelled as she said she loved him too. It was an enthusiastic declaration on both sides, and more than she’s given any other guy. “I don’t think I’ve felt this way before,” she told him. “I honestly feel that this is such a dream,” she said, as they went into the fantasy suite, which was an actual suite.
Both of them were extremely giddy in the morning, jumping on the bed and telling each other how much they loved one another.
When Zac got back, he tried to hide his smile and told the guys it was the “real deal.”
Diamond connoisseur and Bachelor Nation favorite Neil Lane was brought in to show Tayshia and Brendan some jewelry. When the engagement rings and wedding bands came out, Brendan started to sweat. He’s been married (and divorced) before, and a few weeks ago said he wasn’t sure if he was ready to propose just yet. A nerve was struck, big time.
Dining amidst a sea of twinkle lights, Brendan let his true feelings out. “When I came here I thought I was ready, [because] I want a wife and kids and a family more than anything on the face of the Earth,” he told Tayshia. “I want to give you my heart, but as I sit here today my heart is not whole. You deserve a man who is healed from his past and unfortunately, right now I’m not that man.”
Tayshia was stunned. After she walked him out, she burst into tears. “He’s been a person that every single day I thought, ‘It’s Brendan,’” she told the cameras.
Former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay came to help Tayshia with her decision. Of course they gabbed about Brendan’s exit, and how the dates with Ivan and Zac went. But Ben, who went home last week in a heartbreaking goodbye, also came up. He couldn’t tell Tayshia how he felt, and he was still on her mind.
As luck would have it, Ben had come back to the resort. Speaking to Chris Harrison, Ben revealed that he’s still in love with Tayshia.
As she prepped for the rose ceremony, Ben surprised Tayshia at her door. “Of course he came now,” she muttered to herself.
“The feelings I’ve had this entire time, I didn’t know what it was, but I’m in love with you. I’ve been in love with you,” Ben finally told her. “I blew it not telling you in the moment.”
Tayshia was upset. She walked into a room and asked a producer, “What do I do?”
I think (I hope) she doesn’t let Ben stay. He’s just not ready to be in a vulnerable relationship. After he left last week, Tayshia lamented that she always had to pull his feelings out of him. She shouldn’t sign on to do that emotional labor for him for a lifetime.
Tayshia should say yes when Zac gets down on one knee. “Falling for” someone like Ivan isn’t good enough the day before you get engaged. If she’s in love with Zac already, why isn’t she there with Ivan yet? Because it’s not meant to be.