ABC’s The Bachelor moved to picturesque St. Lucia on Monday with Jake Pavelka looking forward to a tropical getaway with his three final women: girl-next-door Tenley, season villain Vienna and smoldering Gia.
Before the first commercial break, one thing was clear: Ali, the frontrunner who left the show last week in order to keep her job, was going to somehow make her presence still known.
“I was just scared, work has always been my safe place,” Ali said as shots of her staring at publicity photos of Jake by her bedside flashed. “I always thought my love for my career could get me through life…I realized my life is without love.
“Everyday I am away from him, my heart breaks a little bit more.” Don’t worry, more to come from Ali later in the show!
The first date of the episode was a boat trip and rustic lunch with swimsuit model Gia. After a coconut and reggae-filled afternoon, the two took a dip into the ocean for a make out session in the sunset. At night, they nestled away in the island’s Smuggler’s Cove for a dinner at the water’s edge.
After patting each other on the back for being both attractive and “deep,” Jake and Gia cheered to some white wine before locking lips. Skipping to dessert, they retire to a nearby hammock for more cuddling and conversation where Jake gives her a card to join him overnight in the fantasy suite. “I’m ready to go all the way,” Gia said. Hmm, we wonder what she means by that! From the final image of them kissing in the bathtub, we have some idea…
The next day, Jake changes gears to spend time with bubbly Tenley who he takes around the island in a helicopter. Their final destination was a picnic spot by an abandoned sugar mill in the middle of the rainforest. Tenley laid things out early promising Jake, “I can see us together. I can see us being really happy, just having a lot of fun. I make a commitment, I stick to it.” Jake countered that he will have a “boy crush” on his wife forever.
After a playful splash in the water, Jake enjoyed his second sunset makeout session in the waves! Adding some suspense to the saccharine date, Tenley talked about her trepidation about the fantasy suite card. “It was in the back of my mind. I haven’t been with another man since I was married. Being with Jake overnight is a big deal,” she said in a voiceover. “I’m not sure if I’m ready to make that leap of faith.”
“Tenley just melted my heart,” Jake said after Tenley told him she was falling in love with him. Possibly trying to seal the fantasy suite card deal, Jake asked ballerina Tenley to dance. It clearly worked! “I want every second that I can have with you,” Tenley said as she accepted the invitation. Once up in the suite, Jake and Tenley retired to the pool where the cameras left them wrapped in each other’s arms.
Going from angelic to devilish, Jake took Vienna to a pirate ship on the third date of the episode. Characteristic of their relationship, the two had a playful (and sort of childish) afternoon running around the ship and taking a dive in the water. Vienna clearly brings out the silly side of Jake who happily donned a pirate bandana, accent and sword. Once back on shore, they rolled around in the sand in a sexy kiss-filled frolic.
After professing that she was ready for marriage, Jake took a step he had yet to with any other woman, asking Vienna what type of ring she wanted (thin platinum band with a princess cut diamond with some “bling around the ring” for the record). Taking her back a step after moving two forward, Jake also revealed that he had fallen for Tenley and Gia as well. Vienna did him (and Tenley and Gia) one better, tearfully confessing that she was in love with him. Not surprisingly, Vienna took him up on the fantasy suite offer, even having a piece of white, silky lingerie on hand for the occasion.
Finally to the big moment of the evening: Ali’s phone call to Jake asking to be kept in the running. “All I can say is I know I made the wrong choice and I want to come back,” she said over the phone. “I really would hate to think that because of my fear or my mistake, we would never find out if we were really a match.” Jake, rubbing his head furiously, tried to summon a response as Ali continued to make her case. “You drove away with a piece of my heart,” a frustrated Jake told her. “Ali, I was falling in love with you in San Francisco but the problem is when you left, it really forced me to put what I felt for you aside. Ali, I can honestly tell you I am further along with these three women here and I don’t know who I would send home to have you back. I don’t know how I could make that happen.
“Everything about me wants to say get on a plane, come here right now but I’m falling in love with these women that are here. Ali, I just have to go with my heart and I know what it’s telling me, I know exactly what it’s telling me.” As sad piano music began to play, the two said their second goodbye. “Don’t be sorry,” Jake told her. “I’m sorry. I really, really appreciate you calling me. I’m so sorry you had to make that decision.”
Before choosing the second-to-last woman he would send home, Jake watched video messages from the final three ladies as they lined up for another rose ceremony. As he faced his chosen few, he professed his love to the group before giving the two roses to Tenley and Vienna. Clearly upset, Gia fought back tears as Jake tried to explain why he let her go.
“I know I haven’t been the most open, I know I’m slow-moving,” she told Jake. “I wasn’t able to give you what you need and you have two great girls there.” Adding to her class-act goodbye, she ended her farewell by telling him “I am happy for you.”
Next week: Rozlyn Papa faces Jake again for the first time on The Women Tell All special episode!