Ashley Hebert has met the parents. But tonight it was time to face reality (TV).
On this episode of The Bachelorette, the remaining three suitors had one more date—including the possibility of a sleepover—before Ashley was supposed to pick two of them to bring home to mother.
But before she got down to business with the tall and handsome trio, guess who came knocking at her bungalow door?
"I can live with the answer either way...but I don't feel that we had a full chance," Ryan Park told the shocked Bachelorette as he explained why he had called Chris Harrison and hopped on a plane to Fiji in hopes that Ashley would...What? All of a sudden feel the passion that hadn't surfaced during a day of tai chi and temple gazing?
"If that's in your mind at all, then I want to spend more time with you so bad," Ryan insisted. "Call me crazy, but when I stepped out of that limo, there was something there."
He said she should take a few days to think about it, and she said she would.
But first, a date with Mr. Sonoma, winemaker Ben Flajnik.
Let's just say their day started with a kiss hello and ended with an overnight in the fantasy suite and Ashley saying she was definitely falling in love with Ben.
"My feelings are growing and I'm on my way to, you know, the whole ‘I love you' thing," Ben offered over dinner.
Well, of course, no one ever flat-out says "I love you" until the ring proffering part of the program.
Next up, a date with Constantine Tzortzis, whose big Greek family was ready to indoctrinate Ashley right then and there during their hometown visit.
"How many houses did you look at before you bought a house?" Ashley inquired of the restaurant owner as they enjoyed a picnic after their scenic helicopter ride.
"108," he replied, laughing. "It's a big investment!"
True, but that's exactly what concerned Ashley, the idea that Constantine might not be able—like a person who's not on a reality show—to just fall in love throughout the course of one or two days spent alone together.
"I feel like our relationship's not progressing at the rate it needs to be," she said off-camera.
And it never will.
During dinner, Constantine admitted that he was a natural guy and that being superaffectionate with Ashley wasn't coming naturally to him. He also said that accepting an invite to the fantasy suite would be a disrespectful move because he knows "what it means and also what it implies," so off Constantine went into the night for good and called it quits right there.
After Ashley expressed concern that she would "end up alone and all of this was for nothing," she realized it was time to cut the cord for Ryan.
Upon being rejected for the second time, Ryan said he was so happy for her, then told the camera that he was confident "it'll happen" one of these days. Especially if he's the next Bachelor fellow.
The following day, Ashley made J.P. Rosenbaum the happiest man on Fiji when she told him that Constantine was gone and that Ryan's surprise visit hadn't swayed her feelings in any way.
When she presented him with the fantasy suite invite, J.P. grinned and said, "Uh, yeah, I think I'm into that," having said before in his on-camera interview, "I want Ashley to be my wife."
She still seems to be concerned that he's not going to be able to leap far enough to actually propose, knowing he's only got a 50-50 shot at a yes. Because he's...normal?
What's your opinion of how this episode unfolded? Did Ryan really think he had a shot? Was Constantine's exit a surprise? Did you pick Ben and J.P. to be the final two all along? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
(Originally published July 25, 2011, at 8 p.m. PT)