North Carolina women monopolized Monday's episode of "The Bachelor," with two of the three Tar Heels getting one-on-one dates. But as we predicted, Emily from Charlotte is still the star of this show.
But first, Ashley S., the New York nanny who is from Ellerbe, N.C., got the first one-on-one date.
"The very first time I laid eyes on Ashley," Brad says, "my nerves went away. This girl has an air about her that makes me feel comfortable. That is definitely a quality I'm looking for in a wife."
I felt really bad for Ashley because her date involved singing at a recording studio and she says she knows her accent is "charming" when she talks, but that she hates her singing voice. Brad also describes it as "probably the most embarrassing thing I've ever done," which puts her at ease a little. The song they have to sing is "Kiss From a Rose," which Ashley says was her favorite song growing up, and one she used to listen to with her dad, who passed away a couple years ago.
Brad warns us that the song is going to sound awful. And it does.
This is the stuff of nightmares and it's uncomfortable to watch. Any women thinking about going on this show should watch this. These people will *try* to make a fool out of you. Yeah, music studio guy, "concentrating" is going to make them sound better. Just Auto-Tune these fools!
Poor Ashley S. Brad says he picked the perfect girl to have a horrible, humiliating date with. To make up for the "grief and misery" of the date, Brad takes her to a studio where the actual "Mr. Seal" is singing "Kiss From a Rose" the way it's supposed to sound. My ears are healed.
Ashley S. thinks the date was perfect and that it felt like her dad was there (I don't really like to think about my dad being along on my dates, but that's just me).
She seems like a very sweet girl, though.
After the music stuff, they have dinner on a rooftop and Brad says he feels like he can be himself with her. Ashley tells him her history with the "Kiss From a Rose" song and that her dad passed away from a brain aneurysm. After telling Brad about her dead father and all those tears, there's no way Brad can send her home, right?
"Ashley has far exceeded my expectations," Brad tells us. She's sweet, she's charismatic. This is a very beautiful woman. She's the whole package."
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Crazy Michelle announces if she doesn't get a personal date with Brad that week, she's going to be "pissed off." She gets stuck on the group date (again) and Psycho is not happy.
Michelle tells us at least ten times that she hates group dates and hates the other women in the house. She makes fun of every woman there (to the camera, not to their faces). There's a level of nastiness and hateful here that you don't see every day. There is always one Rabbit Boiler in the group, but I think we have a champion here.
On the dreaded group date, Brad takes the women to film a fake action sequence in a fake movie. The cheese factor is high.
While all that is going on, Emily from Charlotte finds out that she's getting the next one-on-one date with Brad. She's nervous about telling Brad about her daughter and what happened with her little girl's dad. She says that when people learn about all that, they look at her differently.
"My worst fear is that when I tell Brad everything, that he's gonna run for the hills."
Back to the cheesy action movie. We finally hear words come out of the mouth of the other Charlotte participant, Kimberly the marketing coordinator. She thinks the date is awesome.
Shawntel N. (the funeral director) makes a big impression on Brad. He thinks she gave it "the most," whatever that means. But Brad is digging her and Crazy Michelle gets upset when she thinks Shawntel is taking advantage of kissing Brad during the scene. She wants there to be a closing scene of her "drop-kicking Shawntel." I wonder how the cameramen keep a straight face when she's doing these crazy rants.
After the filming there's a rap party, at a pool, of course. Chantal O. pulls Brad away for some alone time, and she starts crying immediately. She's crying because there are other girls there. Is it possible people are still coming on this show and not familiar with how it works? Brad, you do not need this. She's crying over nothing!
Brad tells her to tell him her biggest mistake. I'll spare you the details, but it's more daddy drama. It's like if you took Ashley H's daddy drama (from last week) and Ashley S's daddy drama and those dramas got married and had a baby, it'd be Chantal O's daddy drama.
Of course, Chantal O. is "already falling for this man." She cries, they kiss.
Emily is back at the house with the three other women not on the group date, and she ends up telling them about her relationship with Ricky Hendrick.
She tells them: "I was engaged and we had known each other for ever and he was the absolute love of my life." She tells them he was a car racer and said they went together every weekend to the races. She says they had a deal that any time one of them flew or went anywhere without the other, they'd always call or text.
She starts to get emotional.
"It happened on a Sunday. I wasn't feeling well and we thought I had the flu or something, and he said just stay home. That day I didn't hear from him and I was worried sick, and I found out that they didn't make it there. The plane had crashed, nobody had made it."
"All that week is really just like a big blur. Just the lowest any human being could feel. And then finding out I was pregnant and I was only 18, so I was like, what am i going to do? She has been the biggest light in my whole life you know, because I truly and honestly don't know what I would do without her. So that's why I haven't told him, but I'm nervous."
The girls are mostly silent but that's because most of them are crying (except Jackie). Jackie tells her she'll know when it's right to tell Brad. Emily says it's just a lot for a guy to handle, coming into that.
Later she says she's worried about telling Brad and that she hopes she can keep her nerves in check and that she's "not a hot mess" because she still wants to look cute for her date.
Whew. Back to the pool party.
Alli from Ohio needs some time alone with Brad so she pulls him away. As soon as she does, Crazy Michelle decides he's had enough time with these girls and it's her turn. She goes over and just stands a few feet away, just lurks in the background with this angry look on her face. She breaks in very, very awkwardly and Alli leaves. Alli tells the other girls that Michelle is an "evil bitch" and one of the other girls makes the Psycho stabbing motion. I'm so relieved they know she's insane.
Oh wait, I had no idea this crazy woman was a mother! Oh dear Lord. When Michelle tells him about how she is "there" for her daughter and cries, you can see it's totally fake. But he buys it they kiss.
Michelle tells the camera: "Okay, listen, it's like this. All you ladies need to pack your bags and get your tickets booked, farewell, goodbye. He is mine. He's mine." I think we hear thunder crash in the background.
Evil "Bachelor" editing makes it look like Brad is about to give the Psycho a rose, but he gives it to Shawntel N. She's pretty cute and seems pretty nice, but she's not from North Carolina so I can't pull for her yet.
We get another frightening rant from Crazy about how, you know, whatever, because one day it will be her and Brad. In Tahiti. Practicing making babies.
Now we get to Emily's date with Brad. Brad says he's been looking forward to taking her out "for a long time." Their date will last all day. When he goes to pick her up, Brad sees her and says, "My God. You are stunning."
With all the back-biting in the house, it's no small thing when Meghan describes Emily this way: "She's like this itsy-bitsy Barbie doll, with the soul of Mother Teresa, so you want to hate her, but you can't because you can't hate Mother Teresa, you've got to love her. So no one hates Emily. Great. Awesome."
I like Meghan now. But I actually think Michelle might hate Emily.
The date. Brad and Emily start out in a convertible and they drive ... to the airport to get on a small private plane. Emily looks stunned and terrified.
She admits to being nervous when she flies because she thinks about Ricky being on the plane that day. But she says she could tell Brad was so excited about the plane so she didn't want to tell him she was uncomfortable and make him think she was ungrateful. But she does tell him that she'll be happy when they land.
They go to the wine country and Brad hopes she feels comfortable enough to open up. "I don't know a single thing about you," he tells her.
Emily says guys she has dated in the past have "shut down" when she tells them about her past, and she's afraid Brad will be like that too.
Back at the house a couple of the girls discuss whether or not they think Emily will tell Brad. Madison cries because she says after hearing Emily's story, she realizes that she "wants" to fall in love but that some of the girls (Emily) "need" to. Geez, kind of like Madison a lot more now, too.
Back in the vineyard, Brad asks Emily to tell him about herself and she tries the ole "I'm just like everybody else, what about you" trick, but it doesn't work. "No way I'm letting you off the hook that easy," he says.
Brad asks her about her best date and she says it'd be spent with her best friend. She starts to tell him a little, just letting out little nuggets of info and then immediately turns it back to Brad. But she lets it slip that she's only been in one relationship, which Brad pounces on. "I've you know, dated, here and there. How about you?"
"How about you?" seems to be Emily's favorite sentence. Brad notices the constant deflections and has to put her on the spot. He asks her why that relationship didn't work out. From Emily, nothing.
Brad tells the camera that he wants so badly to have a romantic connection with Emily because from the first moment he saw her, she has been a front-runner, but if he can't break through her walls he's not sure if it'll work out.
He leaves to grab a jacket and we're left with an ominous image of Emily sitting all alone.
Next we see of them, it's dark and they are going into a candlelit barn. Brad feels the first part of the date has been "tough" but he has to get to know her better. It's do or die because if she doesn't get a rose tonight, she's out.
Emily starts out by telling Brad there's a lot about her she doesn't know. She says she's been in love once in her whole life, only once.
"I met the absolute love of my life. He was my best friend in the whole world. He worked in racing and every weekend I traveled with him for his job and really never missed a weekend."
She tells Brad about how she didn't go that weekend because she didn't feel well, and how they flew to the race but "the plane never landed." Brad takes a deep breath and makes sure he understands. "Okay. His plane crashed," Brad clarifies. She nods. "Good God. I'm so sorry."
Emily: "Honestly, it was the darkest period of my life and there was no part of me that didn't wish I was on that plane." Long pause. "And then on that Friday, still feeling sick, thinking man I have the flu, and I found out I was pregnant. And now I'm like the happiest mom to a five year old."
Brad is stunned but not put off. "Are you really? A boy or girl?"
Emily tells him she has a little girl and that she hopes he doesn't feel like she was hiding anything from him. "I wanted you to get to know me and figure out if you like me as a person and not me with all this stuff."
"It's not stuff, it's you." Emily tells him she feels bad she didn't tell him earlier.
"No. No, don't be sorry at all. I'm glad you even thought highly enough of me to tell me. Because I'm sure it's hard. Trust me when I say this: every single thing you've told me makes me like you even more."
Deep breath from Emily.
"Tell me about your daughter, please."
Emily describes her daughter as a "mini me" and finally begins to talk and open up. Brad is so happy and says they've broken through.
Brad goes to get his little rose and comes back. "I like you a lot. A lot. I mean, a lot. It means the world to me that you told me everything you did. And your daughter -- I love it. Emily, will you accept this rose, please?"
"Absolutely. Give me that daggone rose!"
Emily tells the camera that she's starting to feel a real connection with Brad. To Brad, she says that even though she's there with a lot of other girls, he makes her feel special, and she thanks him for that.
They share a kiss. It's romantic and sweet but not over the top.
Brad tells the camera: "The way I'm feeling right now is the way people feel when they begin a future with somebody. I can see Emily being the woman that I want to spend my life with."
He declares it a "perfect day."
Oh, don't let Crazy Michelle find out or Emily could be in danger.
Brad calls his therapist and talks about his dates. He admits he feels an "intense" connection to Emily and his therapist gives him tips to "tune in to that."
Brad is having a deep serious talk with Chantal O. and Michelle comes over and "steals him" Brad is visibly irritated. She tells Brad "You and I are in a fight." Why? Because she shared her kiss with him and then she finds out he has kissed other girls. "Explain yourself," she says. No. Let me. IT'S THE FREAKING BACHELOR, you fool! He is going to kiss a lot of girls.
But Brad likes that she's playful and jokes. Oh, Brad, that's not playful. Those aren't jokes. That's crazy. But for now, Brad is fooled. He likes her. Not "a lot a lot a lot," but I'm sure he'll keep her around.
The most interesting development is that Madison (the vampire) tells Brad that after talking to Emily she isn't sure she should be there. Brad tells her to just stick with it a little longer.
At the rose ceremony, Brad says if anyone is there and having second thoughts, please don't accept the roses.
He gives the first rose to Crazy Michelle. What a fool.
Chantal O gets a rose. He looks at Madison and she shakes her head "no" and walks out. Brad follows her out and she says she'd have a hard time taking a rose from one of those other girls and she'd rather go home tonight. Of course, when she isn't interested, he likes her more. He says he wanted to get to know her and doesn't understand why she's removing herself, but if she just doesn't feel it and is walking way, he commends her for it. They hug and say goodbye.
Madison says it all sounds like a fairytale but it's harder than it looks.
Back to the roses.
The bottom line is Kimberly Coon from Charlotte did not get a rose, but she really got zero time with Brad, so it's not surprising.
In her exit, we get to see the real Kimberly (read this aloud while flicking your head back in a really cocky manner): "I have no regrets. I would have done nothing differently. There just wasn't that connection. I think he was intimidated by me. You know, I'm talented, smart, successful. Some guys find me attractive. The list could go on. I could turn around and meet someone tomorrow and be fine with it. F--- Brad. His loss."
Looks like Brad made the right call on that one!
Next week, it looks like there's a lot more drama and even some physical violence? We just know that Crazy Michelle has a black eye.
The show ends with a clip of Brad and Emily roasting marshmallows by a fire. Awww!
Brooke Cain writes the blog, 'Happiness is a Warm TV."