The exotic island of Bali is the backdrop for this week’s fantasy suite episode of The Bachelor, Season 19.
Chris Soules’ first date is with 29-year-old dance teacher Kaitlyn Bristowe, who confesses that she’s had her guard up. Kaitlyn has been hurt before. She wants to let Chris in, so she decides to be vulnerable.
After a great day touring Bali, Chris and Kaitlyn enjoy a romantic dinner—then comes the card inviting Kaitlyn to forgo her own room and spend the night with Chris instead. She immediately agrees and off they go to the fantasy suite. The room is decked out with everything romantic, even a rose petal-covered bathtub and canopy bed surrounded by flowing silk—yes, there’s another canopy bed this season.
Kaitlyn opens up and tells Chris she is falling in love with him. Chris says the feelings are mutual. Shades come down on the two, leaving the viewer guessing, did they take things to the next level?
Chris has two more fantasy dates after this, so Kaitlyn will probably want to leave him with something to remember.
Is she the girl for Chris? I predicted weeks ago that she isn’t. Kaitlyn, you may think you love Chris now, but how will you feel about him when you’re stuck down on the farm? This isn’t the right guy or the right situation for you. Keep looking.
The next day, Chris is about to have his day with 29-year-old Whitney Bischoff. He expresses some doubts. Would Whitney, a fertility nurse with a good professional career, give it all up for him and his small town of Arlington, Iowa?
They meet. Yes, Deadwood and Arlington are far behind us. We are in a magical place now—on a sailboat slicing through the gentle waves of the Indian Ocean and sharing a delectable lunch. Whitney appears totally sure of her feelings and secure in expressing herself to Chris. She is head over heels in love with him and ready to move to Arlington with the man of her dreams.
Whitney had a rough childhood with her dad leaving when she was just six months old. Her mom died, leaving her older sister to take care of her. Whitney sees Chris as her chance for true happiness, and if that means giving up her job, she’s ready. She is prepared to be Chris’ wife and the mother of his children.
Chris still seems somewhat concerned that Whitney will not be able to leave her life and move to Arlington. Chris, do you mean to say there are no hospitals in your county or in any of the surrounding counties?
Whitney assuages Chris’ concerns by saying, “Life takes you places, and it’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with.”
Chris pulls out the fantasy suite card and, without a moment’s hesitation, Whitney also agrees to spend the night with him. They enter the suite to find strategically placed candles and two robes hanging in the bathroom. It truly is a fantasy.
Next day—I can’t wait for Chris to offer the fantasy card to Becca, only to have his jaw drop when he learns she is a virgin and that she fully intends to remain that way until marriage.
The two are strolling through the streets of Bali when they meet up with a medium. Becca asks the wise, old sage for advice concerning her relationship with Chris and the man says, “Make love.” Come on! Was this guy planted by the producers of the show or what?
That evening, Becca gets the fantasy suite offer. She accepts and they go off together. But wait, Becca, you didn’t tell Chris your secret yet. That takes guts! Don’t you think the secret should have come out before going to the fantasy suite? You’re really playing this out, girl. Once in the suite, champagne is pouring and the two are cozy on the sofa. Becca starts up again about never being in love before, and then segues into dropping the V-bomb. Chris’ eyes pop when he realizes Becca is a virgin, but his response is rather gentlemanly. He says, “I’m more concerned about who you are.” He tells Becca that he respects her morals. Her secret really doesn’t seem to throw him. Good for you, Chris, that was a very understanding response from a very nice guy.
The rose ceremony has arrived. Host Chris Harrison and our “Prince Farming” Chris have a confidential heart to heart. The prince laments that this decision will be excruciating. It seems he has fallen for all three girls. Our poor prince seems truly torn as to whom he will send home. He realizes Becca is not in love with him yet, but he’s hopeful that will happen. The other two girls have openly expressed their love for him. So, why are you so torn? Could it be that you want what you don’t have yet? Is it the chase that attracts you to Becca?
Next scene-The rose ceremony is about to take place on holy grounds. Chris Harrison explains to Prince Farming that since this is a holy place all he can do is hold hands with the girls, absolutely nothing else. That’s some place for a rose ceremony!
Whitney, Kaitlyn and Becca are waiting in the distance. Prince Farming walks the path to the girls. He faces them. Then, instead of picking up the first rose, he abruptly asks to see Becca and takes her aside. He is about to send Becca home, but she reassures him that she is looking for her life partner. Kaitlyn and Whitney fully expected to see Chris return without Becca, but to their surprise when he returns, Becca is at his side. That makes it obvious that he is keeping Becca and one of the other two will be sent home. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happens.
Roses are handed to Whitney and Becca, leaving Kaitlyn out. Chris walks her to the waiting black SUV. It’s all very dramatic and heart-breaking for Kaitlyn who says, “I don’t want to get in there.” Always a gentleman, our prince opens the door for Kaitlyn, leaving her no choice. She gets in the car.
Close up on Kaitlyn while being ushered away. She’s angry with herself for letting her guard down. She feels foolish. Her fears became reality. She expressed her love and in return got a car door slammed in her face.
Kaitlyn is on Good Morning America after the episode. She explains how sure she was that she would be staying. Conversations with Chris centered on their lives together. She never got the impression she was on the line. Kaitlyn says she shouldn’t have allowed herself to be vulnerable.
Though I feel sorry for Kaitlyn, once the dust settles, she will realize Chris did her a favor by sending her home. Think about it, Chris Soules is a sweet guy, but he’s looking for a girl to move to this tiny town of some 400 people. While he’s busy farming all day, what is she doing to pass the time before the kids start coming?
The girl he picks must be content as a wife and mother. She’ll have to be selfless about her own career. She just won’t have one. How will she fill her days? She can’t even go shopping—where is the nearest mall, anyway? Prince Farming isn’t offering paradise. Reality will quickly set in and a similar despair to the kind felt by Francesca in The Bridges of Madison County will surely set in.
Who knows? Chris Soules could ultimately wind up walking down the same path as previous bachelors/bachelorettes and come up empty in the end. Only time will tell.
Stay tuned for next week’s “The Women Tell All” episode of ABC’s The Bachelor on Monday, March 2 at 8 p.m.
Barbara Anne Kirshner is the author of Madison Weatherbee-The Different Dachshund. She is a regular contributor to DansPapers.com.