The viewers have spoken and the women’s ages are back. This should let you know that we do try to listen to our fans and when we can give them what they want. The ladies were extremely excited to head to Costa Rica even though most of them had no idea exactly where it was, and most thought it was an island. That changed on the long plane ride south as all the girls read up on the country and quickly became experts on all things Costa Rica. We stayed at the beautiful exclusive Spring Resort deep in the Arenal region of the country. It was a long two to three hour ride inland from the airport. As you saw it was literally at the foot of an active volcano. Not sure what our fascination is with volcanoes the last couple seasons, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. When I say this volcano is active I mean very active. It actually erupted several times while we were there. You can hear rocks falling down the mountain and if you’re lucky at night you can see lava shooting and spilling out. The resort was completely shut down for us much to the dismay of several tourists. One day a couple of us were on a tour bus returning from a zip line trip with a few other American tourists. When we pulled up to the Spring Resort the tourists wondered how we could be staying here when they were told it was closed for the week. I sat in the back of the bus with my hat and shades on, they had no idea who we were or why we were there. The girls loved the resort and the suite but were quickly sent into a tailspin when the first date card was delivered for Chantal.
The girls pretty much expected the first date to go to Alli or Britt who had not had a one-on-one yet. They pretended not to care, but of course they did. Chantal’s connection with Brad really leaped forward and she became the first of the women to tell Brad that she loves him. Notice I said the first… I love how the sudden rainstorm surprised Brad and Chantal. There’s a reason they call it a rain forest. The zip line tour they took is a once in a lifetime adventure. The particular tour we all got to do had seven total zip lines through the canopy of the rain forest – the last being a half-mile long, the longest zip line in the world, or so we were told. I know there seems to be quite a bit of animosity between Michelle and the other ladies and to a certain degree there is, but she was very helpful to the other ladies in Costa Rica. Being a hairstylist and seeing as how we were in a hot humid forest, she had her work cut out for her. She was flat-ironing, styling, and braiding all week. Back at the suite Alli was having a little bug problem. Chantal was just trying to help the poor bug outside but Alli freaked out so bad when Chantal came close she threw that full glass of Coke at her. The glass shattered everywhere. No humans or bugs were hurt in the shooting of that scene. I can’t say so much for the ones unlucky enough to end up in my room.
Because of the bug issue Alli and Chantal decided to play a little prank on the other ladies and put twigs in their beds so they would think it was bugs when they climbed in. This was a colossal failure as a gag, but it was still kind of funny. As fantastic as the zip line date was my favorite adventure while we were in Costa Rica was the rappelling. You only got to see the first big rappel on this date but there’s actually a series of about seven rappels down different waterfalls and then a short hike out of the rain forest. It was unlike anything we have ever done before. If you’re ever in the neighborhood I highly recommend doing both the zip line and rappelling adventures. Let’s deal a little bit with Michelle. She is easily the most talked about woman this season and the woman I get asked the most about. Up to this point she has been very careful about how she’s been playing Brad, but this week he started to see through that. For the first time, Brad seemed less intrigued and turned on by her and more confused and even a little frustrated. As for her late night visit, Michelle waited until all the other girls had gone to sleep before she quietly snuck out. Again the entire property was ours so it wasn’t difficult for her to find his place, which was just above their suite.
The cocktail party started off with a very strange vibe. The other girls felt like something was not right. It was interesting listening to them as they tried to put this puzzle together. Shawntel and Chantal wouldn’t let it go and were determined to figure this out. They pretty much knew but didn’t want to call Michelle out as the one who gave Brad grief for not handing out a date rose. Well as you saw, they finally flushed her out and she admitted to sneaking up to see him. The two women who were sent home this week pretty much fell into the same category: “friends.” As Brad explained on his date, Alli is a great woman but Brad just knew there just wasn’t that spark or that deep connection that he already has with some of the other women. Jackie also fell victim to this. The further this goes and the more serious it gets, the more you can see the changes in Brad. The way he called Michelle on her B.S. or the conversation with Emily is a good example of how he now confronts situations head on. This is a much improved man with a clear vision of what he now wants and it was good to see this side of him because it gets much, much tougher from here on out.
As confused as some of the women were about Costa Rica, Brad really threw them for a loop when he told them we were going to Anguilla. They were extremely excited, but then really wanted to know where it was. I’m sure many of you are also going to have to check the atlas. The easiest way to find it is to find St. Martin and then find the small island right next door. That’s her, and that’s where we set up camp next week for what turns out to be a very pivotal episode. I think you can see how things are coming to a head with many of the ladies. Something about a little sunshine and salt water forces things to a boiling point. Check out the map and I’ll see you on the island next week. As always, leave your comments below – hey, you never know what else you might change on our show. For more, be sure to check out ABC.com keyword Bachelor, and you can always find me on twitter @chrisbharrison.
And check out Brad’s Bachelor blog on people.com.