Episode 9

“At this point I've completely let down my guard and I've thrown myself at the mercy of this process.” – Nick, defeated at last.

 

Fantasy Suite week was brought to us courtesy of the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Tourism. Planning a tropical vacation? GO TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.

 

NICK'S DATE

After a flashback segment where Andi methodically lists the pros and cons of each guy, divided by the requisite "And then there's [contestant's name]"s, she's joined by Nick and they embark on their first helicopter ride. Oh, wait, sorry. It was only NICK's first helicopter ride. My bad.

Let the Man Hand Watch commence!

Not bad at all. Groomed and clean. I give Nick's hands a solid 8.

There's something about Andi's appreciation of the locales that I like. She never acts like she herself is responsible for their being wherever they are, as some leads tend to come across. She's just as excited as the guys are and it's refreshing.

That said, it's interesting to observe Nick's carefully-dispersed excitement. He reminds me a bit of myself in how he's constantly keeping his expectations in check.

Andi: This is frickin' insane!

Nick: It's pretty cool.

Andi: This is ours for the day!

Nick: (with a grin in his voice) I'll take it.

Ahhh, the ocean makeout shots. Bear in mind water time is generally one of the VERY few times the lead and contestant ever get together, able to talk, without mics attached to them and without a producer chaperoning. They know this. And all camera work is done from afar, so – and I can speak from experience – there's the illusion of privacy.  

In my case there was a camera guy swimming around us underwater but lucky for Nick and Andi, the Dominican's water is crystal clear. GO THERE.

In my case there was a camera guy swimming around us underwater but lucky for Nick and Andi, the Dominican's water is crystal clear. GO THERE.

This is honesty if I've ever heard it:

Andi: Tell me about it [the engagement].

Nick: She broke it off. Honestly, I was embarrassed. My ego was so bruised.  

Nick haters gonna hate, but it's not every day you speak to someone that candid. Few people are ever able to admit their egos are bruised.

Ooh, where is this ITM from? 

I'm pretty sure this is the first we've ever caught a glimpse of this carved flower-motif casket.

I'm pretty sure this is the first we've ever caught a glimpse of this carved flower-motif casket.

It's utterly fascinating watching the show after having been on it. I had seen several seasons before I going on myself but now listen and watch for different things. Perhaps the best example is the voiceover editing. How sometimes individual words are plucked from elsewhere to form a sentence or thought. It's a fun game that I recommend: When listening to voiceovers, listen to the cadence of the sentence. Does it flow or is it choppy? Try it! It's fun. :)

Case in point, in the above ITM-turned-voiceover-turned-ITM:

Dots indicate cuts to listen for.

“During my hometown date with Nick in Milwaukee, his family brought up the fact that his breakup was a lot more difficult than Nick had kinda let on.” • “Honesty is one of the most important things in a relationship for me” • “So" • "I need him to be open" • "about" • "his past relationships and" • "I just wanna" • "give him a chance to say, like, what he felt, like, happened and just to kind of hear his perspective again on it.”

Interesting how inserting the mere mention of honesty immediately stirs doubt in Nick's honesty. Just an observation.

 

I had to laugh when Andi says, “Well, we're at the beach... I wanna snorkel.":

 ... and they use a shot of Nick looking at her all droopy eyed to show his distress at "missing his opportunity":

I am 100% sure this face was taken from a different conversation. WHO MAKES THIS FACE ABOUT SNORKELING?

I am 100% sure this face was taken from a different conversation. WHO MAKES THIS FACE ABOUT SNORKELING?

This sentence pretty much sums up everything wrong and unnatural with this process: "I really need to tell Andi I love her, but there's (laughs sadly), there's not much time left, obviously."

 

Going into the evening portion of their date, Nick, who usually seems to own a decent wardrobe, picks out a very questionable shirt and trouser combination for his big "I love you":

I may be biased but I'm not blind.

I may be biased but I'm not blind.

As for the book, I don't understand anyone taking issue with it. I thought it was super cute and very well-written. Hey – if Chris had done it ladies would have been throwing their panties at the television.

I love how he casually says, “Oh I just had some time."

He had a TON of time.

He had a TON of time.

I love how Andi segues into the Fantasy Suite card and her humor with it all. She's got a twinkle in her eye the whole time like she knows how ridiculous this card is.

"Chris Harrison" has suspiciously similar handwriting to whomever writes the date cards:

My guess is "Chris Harrison" has very, very girly hands.

My guess is "Chris Harrison" has very, very girly hands.

She even laughs as Nick reads it. It's awesome.

They are so cute together, you guys.

Andi: So is that a long version of yes?

Nick: No, yeah, I'm down. 

Up next is another example of why I like Nick. (Haters are welcome to go read some other blog) 

He is so obviously trying to get away from the cameras and staged setup when he pulls her away. He looks over in the direction of the cameras/producers, assessing how he wants to tell her he loves her:

He wants it to be as private as possible. People can roll their eyes and say, “Well, he came on this show, he should've known”, or scoff that cameras have zoom and that they're miked, but it doesn't matter. In the moment, in your head, it makes a difference.

You can even see Andi look over in the direction of the cameras/producers, with a look that says, "What's he doing?":

Can we talk for a minute about his profession of love? He doesn't stop at "I love you" or even "I love everything about you." As he said in an earlier ITM, "It's one thing to say I love you and it's another to know why you know."

Nick: I love what I know about you. 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, which is my favorite thing about you. I love that you're confident and strong but able to be vulnerable. And... I love you, Andi. Like, I'm really in love with you. And it's terrifying, but... you're it for me. You're my – I don't know what it is – when you know, you know.

A well-deserved Happy Andi™. 

A well-deserved Happy Andi

 

JOSH'S DATE

Andi: It would be nice to hear Josh really put it out there with his feelings. I mean, he said that he is falling in love, um, which is great, but at this point, I don't know, I might need a little more than that.

Another example of what's WRONG with this process. It's been SEVEN WEEKS.

At least she looks self-aware while she says it.

At least she looks self-aware while she says it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: these two are insanely cute together. I mean:

Andi: When I'm with Josh I feel young and vibrant and I can't help but always want to be near him. I'm drawn to him.

Probably my favorite moment of the date was when Andi casually dabbed Josh's forehead for him after they danced. It was so damn precious I finally learned how to make an animated .gif for it:

Josh seems to have adopted Andi's open-mouth grin:

Man Hand Watch™:

Josh's paws also appear well-groomed. Unfortunately, this isn't a great photo and more research still needs to be done. Score pending.

I know everyone's been mocking the baseball thing but I don't see the harm in it. Just as I'm sure Josh himself didn't write down “Former Pro Baseball Player” as his occupation, I'm sure he doesn't only talk about baseball. And the baseball game with the local children was pretty much the definition of adorable.

Oh, and I couldn't not include this screencap:

Sorry, Josh.

Sorry, Josh.

Andi strikes again with her tongue-in-cheek presentation of the fantasy suite card. I love how everyone's just openly poking fun at the ridiculousness.

Andi: (handing him the card) I found this. 

Josh: You just found it? Just under your placemat? 

THE FOOD:

Everyone asks me about the food! Or rather, why no one ever eats it. Long story short, in between the day and evening portions of dates, the lead and contestant go their separate ways with their producers to shower/change/get ready, do ITMs, and yes, eat an actual dinner. The dinner provided on the date itself is mostly for show. It's real food and edible but I never even tasted mine so I couldn't tell you if it's good or bad. I did however touch it once with my finger (don't judge me; you would too!) and it was cold. No one expects you to eat it, and I don't know what happens to it afterwards.

If you never hear from me again it's because ABC hunted me down and shot me.

 

CHRIS' DATE

OH CHRIS. Why do you have to be so dashing and gentlemanly, yet rugged and farmerly? He starts the day off right with:

"She's easy to fall in love with for me, and I hope I'm the same way for her."

Very sweet, and I do believe that's how it should be.

Oh, and add sexy to the list. I found him teaching her how to mount a horse and talking her through the horseback riding super hot. (Is that normal?) Plus the way he talked about the local agriculture knowledgeably but while never sounding condescending or like a know-it-all. It was sexy.

Man Hand Watch™:

Seeing as how Man Hand Watch™ was literally invented in Chris' honor, it goes without saying his Farmer hands are a perfect 10. Even Andi loves them on her leg so much she gave us the rarest of the rare: a Happy Andi WHILST giving a direct-look-into-camera!

!!!

!!!

Did anyone else find the lack of music during their discussion about Chris' family and then the oddly somber piano ballad during “Ghosts in the Graveyard” a bit strange? Foreshadowing, I guess.

Chris is going out with a bang: "There's really no question that I'm in love with Andi. I'm in love with everything about her; the person she is and the person she strives to be."

Unfortunately for him...

Chris is great when they're discussing the potential for Andi to move to Iowa. First off, kudos for her for being honest with him and admitting wrapping her mind around it is a struggle.

Chris: All's I really want to do is fall in love with you and that's happening. There's not one thing about you I would even imagine wanting to change. 

Chris keeps saying the sweetest things, breaking millions of American hearts by the second and kickstarting Chris-For-Bachelor campaigns, until we hear waves crashing and suddenly we have the most awkwardly-timed commercial break of all time.

 

ROSE CEREMONY (DON'T ASK ME WHY)

I had to include this screencap because I found it hilarious:

The Bachelorette meets The Green Mile.

The Bachelorette meets The Green Mile.

Did anyone else find it funny that Chris Harrison went all the way back up the stairs after dropping Josh off...

... only to immediately come back down and inform them that Chris is gone.

I think they wanted shocked reactions from the guys but the best they got was:

 

BEST DRESSED

Nothing stood out to me (positively, anyway) so I'm afraid there's no best dressed this week. :(

 

ANDI'S LOOKS

It was another near-clean sweep in the fashion department. I loved Andi's flowy, gauzy dresses this week and the only thing I didn't love was the one thing she wore that wasn't a flowy, gauzy dress.

I really dug the first one she wore, for her date with Nick:

From the interesting back to the colored-but-muted animal print, this dress is very me, and I want to steal it off her.

The only non-win for me was her daytime outfit with Josh:

I just don't really care for the top, though the shorts look cute and the whole outfit was definitely activity/date-appropriate. And I loved her Chan Luu wrap bracelet.

Her evening look was a win for me:

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for nude anything, and this dress is simultaneously simple and interesting. It's just lovely.

My favorite look of the week was her nautical-inspired maxi:

Everything. The middle slit, the statement stripes, the accessories. I want it all.

Her Rose Ceremony dress brought drama while still being beachy and fresh:

The ONLY issue I have with this dress is the slight maternity look it has. I get that that's the silhouette but it was a bit too, well, BIG. But other than that, I love the ruching on the neckline (and I almost never like ruching!), the gorgeous color, and the fact that she balanced out the fluidity of the dress with tame hair. The accessories, again, are nailed. 

 

DRINKING GAME WORDS OF THE WEEK

1. You know

2. Like

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!