Welcome back, Bachelor Nation. There’s always that time about halfway through the season where the contestants suddenly start dropping like flies, and tonight’s episode of The Bachelorette was no exception.
TWO-ON-ONE / ROSE CEREMONY
Picking up where things left off on Monday night, Rachel found herself in the middle of the Norwegian wilderness on a miserable two-on-one date with Kenny and Lee, with absolutely no idea which man to believe after Lee had claimed Kenny was aggressive, violent and had a “dark side” — all of which Kenny vehemently denied.
Finally, after some reflection she made her way back over to the guys and announced that she had made her decision. Rejoice accordingly: She sent Lee home.
“What’s been very apparent today is that you guys have completely different stories about how things have gone down — it just comes down to who I believe and who I trust at this point,” she said. “Lee, after hearing what I heard today, I don’t trust you, and because of that I’m going to send you home. Kenny, with you, I feel like we had a really good conversation — but at this point I’m not ready to give out the rose. I just need more time, so I’d like to spend more time with you tonight to figure that out.”
Rachel and Kenny then made their way back over to the helicopter — but for some inexplicable reason Kenny simply couldn’t let it go, and instead insisted on walking back over to Lee to address the issue one last time. (Rachel, understandably, was extremely irritated by this.)
Later that evening, Kenny came to Rachel’s hotel room so they could talk things through. The conversation was honest, mature and thoughtful, and Rachel ended up giving him the rose.
Going into the rose ceremony the next day, no one was more confident that they would be getting a rose than Josiah, which was rather ironic because he didn’t receive one. Neither did Anthony, which prompted Eric — once again — to speculate whether Rachel wasn’t interested in dating a black man.
ONE-ON-ONE WITH ERIC
The next day, Eric landed his very first one-on-one date and to say he was in the best mood he’s been in all season would be a serious understatement.
The two had an amazing day exploring Copenhagen (including an outdoor hot tub sesh) before enjoying a meal together that night. Eventually, Eric opened up about his childhood — he was a good kid (a.k.a “a cool square”), though he admitted he never really got the love he needed from his mother, which impacted his relationships with women later in life.
While Eric has never been in love (and thus wasn’t entirely sure what it feels like), he confessed to Rachel that he was falling for her. Overall, this date took their relationship leaps and bounds forward, and he earned himself the one-on-one rose.
Because the group dates this season are getting more and more absurd, Rachel took Dean, Kenny, Bryan, Alex, Matt, Peter and Adam out into the middle of the Norwegian countryside to meet Tom and Morton, two “Viking fighting instructors.” That’s a thing, apparently, but we’re not complaining because those knockoff Game of Thrones costumes were hilarious.
Later that evening, Rachel enjoyed some one-on-one time with the guys, and things went incredibly well with each of them — except Kenny, who was starting to realize that as much as he liked her, their relationship wasn’t moving as quickly as he wanted it to be, and he was really missing his daughter McKenzie back home.
When Kenny and Rachel sat down together, he opened up about his concerns with hometown dates approaching, explaining that while he had no doubt Rachel could fit right into his family life, he was protective of McKenzie and hesitant to get her caught up in all of this if things with Rachel weren’t going to work out long-term.
Rachel was honest with him in return, admitting that while she cared for him and admired him, she agreed that their relationship wasn’t where it needed to be — and for that reason, she didn’t think it was fair to keep him around any longer. The two said their goodbyes and parted ways, marking one of the most mutual, respectful and mature eliminations this franchise has ever seen. The group date rose went to Peter, because Rachel just can’t get enough of that salt-n-pepa.
ONE-ON-ONE WITH WILL
The next guy to land a one-on-one was Will, who hopped on a boat with Rachel and spent the day exploring an adorable town in Sweden.
While Rachel enjoyed their time together, it was obvious that something was missing — notably, she pointed out that despite the romantic setting, Will had barely held her hand all day.
Later that evening, Rachel broached the topic of previous relationships, asking Will what type of women he’s usually attracted to and what he’s looking for in a relationship — an interesting point to bring up considering that Will had admitted to Eric earlier in the episode that he had typically only dated white women.
Will told Rachel as much, explaining that he grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and therefore, that was “the pool” he was working with. Rachel said that while she grew up in a similar kind of neighborhood, she had actually predominantly dated black men. … Awkward.
Things got even more uncomfortable when Rachel asked what kind of boyfriend Will is and he responded by claiming to be extremely “passionate,” explaining that physical intimacy was very important to him.
“I feel like you and I have a good, solid base and we get along well and we’ve built a friendship — but I’m not looking for just a friendship in all of this,” responded Rachel. “I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that I just didn’t feel like you wanted me today. I didn’t understand why you wouldn’t hold me, or kiss me. … And then for you to tell me that that’s the kind of person you are in relationships, I’m kind of like: Well, why wasn’t he giving that to me?”
Completely caught off guard, Will admitted he wasn’t sure how to explain his behavior and admitted that he was probably just nervous. But it was too little too late — Rachel didn’t feel that she could hand out the rose, and he was sent home.
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Heading into the rose ceremony, Rachel admitted that she was feeling “really guilty” about all of this week’s eliminations — and the fact that she had one more ahead of her wasn’t helping.
“I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings — I’m just doing the best that I can do,” she said. “I’m trying to follow my gut and my heart. It’s so hard, and it’s only going to get even harder.”
Ultimately, she sent Alex home, meaning the six men remaining in the competition are Eric, Peter, Bryan, Dean, Matt and Adam. Yup, that’s the puppet guy. He’s still here. Anything is possible, people.
The Bachelorette returns Monday, July 10 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.