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The Bachelorette 9: Desiree Hartsock

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Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelorette' episode 6

This week we landed in easily one of the greatest and most romantic cities in the world, Barcelona. The guys and Des actually stayed in a quaint little seaside town a short drive from Barcelona called Sitges. When I walked up to find the guys at the beginning of the episode, we were actually on the boardwalk in Sitges. Usually when we go to great cities like this I will spend some time telling you why it’s such an amazing location, but I think Barcelona speaks for itself, and it does so with an incredible Spanish accent. If you get the chance you must spend some time in this city.

Drew got the first one-on-one date this week and he and Des made the short drive to spend the day getting lost in Barcelona. We’ve seen a little bit of Drew but we’ve never seen him like we did on this date. Drew opened up to Des and revealed a lot about his personal life, especially the struggles with his dad. These conversations can sometimes get awkward but Des and Drew really seemed to get each other on a very deep, personal level. The date had a heavy start but it really took off from there. At dinner, Drew really seemed to step out of his comfort zone when he attempted to steal Des away to a private place so he could deliver what Des described as a very passionate kiss. It’s a little hard to steal Des away when we have all our cameras there working, but the sentiment is what’s important. Drew obviously got the rose and is definitely someone to be watched as we continue.

The group date this week, on a personal level, was one of the coolest dates we’ve ever had. If you don’t know, I love soccer as much, if not more than Juan Pablo does. While I was in town I was fortunate enough to take in some Barcelona games, so it was incredible that we got to take over their cross-town rivals’ stadium for our date. The Espanyol stadium and field was in perfect condition and I want to thank them for being so gracious in allowing us to take a few divots out of that pristine pitch. One of the most entertaining parts of the date was a former pro and now professional trainer named Carlos who put the guys through some drills before the game against the girls. As you saw at the end of the episode, he was awesome and had a great sense of humor. Juan Pablo was easily the best player for the guys, but Chris was the surprise star.

Of course the real drama on this date took place off the pitch when the guys finally confronted James about the things he said. Kasey did most the talking as he had actually heard James talking to Mikey in the van. But then James tried to “counter-accusate” these serious allegations. Yes, Kasey completely made up a word here, but I have to be honest I not only knew what he was talking about, I like it and plan to start using “counter-accusate” as well. James later sat and talked to Des and was very emotional and contrite, which is completely different than how he is with the guys. So the big question is, “Who do you guys believe?” I do have to credit James for one thing: I absolutely loved his entrance back at the suite. He calmly strolled in and instead of the confrontation we were expecting he simply said, “Gentlemen, goodnight,” and walks off to bed.

I know Zak was worried his date might be marred a bit with all the James stuff from the night before, but he didn’t need to worry. His sunny disposition and charm quickly helped Des forget all about the James garbage and she was able to dive right in to the nude sketching. There are plenty of jokes that pop into my head about the nude sketching and although I find it hard to let them go, I will not indulge such adolescent punch lines. Instead I will rise to the occasion and show my great love for the arts. In all seriousness the date with Zak was a huge success. Their relationship seems very fun and easy. Des and Zak appear to be on the same page they make each other laugh and seem happy together.

The situation with James was far from over, though, and Des had to come back to finish the conversation she had postponed the night before. The only problem is when James talks to Des he seems sincere and sweet. It’s when he’s with the guys that he gets defensive and confrontational. It really is a bizarre situation and I look forward to sitting down with James and the guys to discuss this at the Men Tell All. Like you, I’m a little torn on this situation and I think it’s safe to say that Des is as well. Even though she let James go, I really don’t think she had clarity on him or how she felt about all of it.

Lost in all the James drama will be the fact that Juan Pablo and Kasey also went home this week. As you could see from the previews, the rest of this season is incredibly emotional, and it’s not going to be easy for Des. Next week we’ll be in Madeira, Portugal. Until then you can always find me via twitter and instagram @chrisbharrison.


ABC press release:


Catherine, Lesley and Jackie from Sean's Season Visit Desiree to Offer Their Advice

"Episode 907" - The drama of Munich and Barcelona is behind Desiree, but she still must determine which four men will have the chance to take her home to meet their families. Madeira, off the coast of Africa, is the perfect location for her to meet up with three of her friends from last season -- Catherine, Lesley and Jackie - for some girl time to refocus on the crucial task at hand. Brooks and Desiree enjoy a one-on-one date, but a serious conversation gives her some indication of where their relationship is headed. Desiree takes Chris to a deserted island for an idyllic day, but he is very nervous about whether to reveal his real feelings for her. An over-the-moon Michael gets his first one-on-one date with the Bachelorette, exploring the city of Funchal. Zak and Drew's two-on-one date, where the one who gets the rose is assured a hometown date, turns into a real contest between the best in both men. But Desiree makes a confession to Chris Harrison that will turn everything upside down, on "The Bachelorette," MONDAY, JULY 8 (8:00-10:01p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Brooks gets his second individual date with Desiree and they drive to the top of a mountain, passing through the clouds. The couple share a romantic picnic and, later that night, in an attempt to figure out where their relationship stands, they play a game of metaphors to describe their feelings. What does Desiree learn from this revealing word play?

It's off to a deserted island for Chris and Desiree, leaving the other four men green with envy. Once they arrive, Chris suggests a very romantic gesture: the two of them will write a poem, put it in a bottle and send it off into the ocean. An extremely nervous Chris decides that he needs to tell Desiree how he feels about her that night, but how did she respond to his overtures?

Michael is finally going to get his opportunity to spend the day alone with Desiree. The excited bachelor and the object of his affection explore the streets of Funchal, the island's main city. He opens up that evening at dinner, sharing a deeply personal story about how his father left his family when he was very young, and another about a very gut-wrenching break-up he had with his last girlfriend. How has his personal history affected his relationship with Desiree? A traditional Fado singer caps off the day serenading the couple.

Finally Zak and Drew go on a very different two-on-one date, spending the day at a Go Kart track. One man will get a rose and be assured of a hometown date; the other will need to wait to learn his fate at the rose ceremony. The men compete to see which of them gets to spend time alone with Desiree first. They both put their best foot forward in ways that touch her and move her to reward one of them with a rose.

Before the rose ceremony, Desiree is filled with emotion. What she reveals to Chris Harrison about her feelings for two men makes her believe she is on the right track to find love. She makes a very difficult decision to send one bachelor home, who declared that he was ready to commit to her forever. The four very happy remaining men will return to the States and introduce Desiree to their families.

The five remaining men are:

Brooks, 28, a marketing consultant from Salt Lake City, UT
Chris, 27, a mortgage broker from Seattle, WA
Drew, 27, a digital marketing analyst from Scottsdale, AZ
Michael G., 33, a federal prosecutor from Miami Beach, FL
Zak W., 31, a drilling fluid engineer from Mico, TX


Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelorette' episode 7

This week we found our way back to the country of Portugal. The last time we came to Portugal was with Ali and we stayed in the city of Lisbon on the mainland. This visit took us well off the coast, to the small island of Madeira. It’s actually a lot closer to Morocco in Africa than it is to Portugal. Madeira is a small island known for its gardens and amazing hikes.

The week began with Des getting to visit with some friends from last season: Jackie, Lesley, and Catherine. Catherine had a smile on her face, but believe me she was exhausted. Due to some travel complications, she barely made it into town at the last moment and her luggage never actually made it at all. Then she had to hop on a flight the very next day to get back to the States for an event with Sean. Even through that, she was thrilled to get to catch up with her old friends and dish about the five remaining guys. Des also enjoyed the visit with the girls and it put her in a great place going into her dates.

Brooks got the first one-on-one this week. I find these two very interesting. They seem happy together, but they also seem very cautious. It’s almost as if they spend time trying to figure out how to define their relationship or figure out how the other person is feeling. For example, they came up with “adjectives” to describe where they are between like and love. Now the fact that they actually came up with verbs, and not adjectives, is something I know mortified every English teacher in the world, but that’s not the point. The point is while their outward appearance is happy and free, their words still seem cautious. Des later admitted to me that she isn’t “running” toward love, she’s actually at the “finish line.” She’s in love with Brooks and she feels he’s in love with her as well, although he hasn’t expressed that to her verbally.

Chris got the second one-on-one this week and as good as Brooks’ date was, Chris’ was just as emotional, if not more. When these two are together they just seem right. It’s unbelievably easy and nothing seems forced between them. Chris really seems to make Des happy and he became the first this season to tell Des he loves her. He did it in a poem, but it still very much counts and Des knows exactly how he feels about her. Later, during our deliberation, Des admitted she’s also fallen for Chris and that she could easily see a future with him. I’m glad she’s kept an open mind and is still able to separate each man and each date at this point.

Michael was definitely put behind the eight ball this week. After two incredible dates with Brooks and Chris, the guy just didn’t stand a chance. Maybe if he’d gone first things might have been different, but after being with two men she definitely sees a future, with her feelings and relationship with Michael just didn’t measure up. You could really see it in Des’ body language and hear it in her voice. Michael opened up all he could and he can leave knowing he really gave it his all. He really expressed his emotions to Des, but it just didn’t click for her. Des narrowed it down to five great guys, but when you look at her other four relationships they are just much further along and much deeper than her relationship with Michael. Looking back, I’m not totally sure that the two-on-one where he went after Ben didn’t doom their relationship. After that date you got the sense that Des wasn’t feeling it.

The final two-on-one date was really a foregone conclusion. Unless one of these guys went completely nuts on her she likely knew that both of them would be getting a rose this week. The only true decision would be who would get the rose on the date and who would have to wait for the rose ceremony. Zak brings out a very happy and playful side in Des. When she’s around him she always has a smile on her face. Drew also makes Des happy, but it seems to be in a deeper emotional way. When I see them together they look like a couple that’s been together for years. They seem to get each other on a very deep level. Drew went a little further than Zak and professed his love to her and he ended up getting the rose, but again, at this point, she already knew Zak would get one as well.

The deliberation and rose ceremony this week took place in the courtyard of our hotel. The deliberation was down on a patio right off the ocean. Des was more open and honest in this deliberation than she’s been all season. She admitted she’s already in love with Brooks and Chris and that Drew and Zak were close behind. Heading into hometowns she’s definitely in a good place but also realizes she has her hands full, as time is running out. This next week with be incredibly pivotal because at this point, Des really needs to see that these men want to be there for her for the long haul and that they are just as committed to these relationships as she is. Hometowns are always my favorite because you can’t fake family. It always provides for an interesting and entertaining episode. I’ll see you next week back in the States as we narrow it down to the final three men! In the meantime you can always find me via twitter and facebook @chrisbharrison.


ABC press release:


Desiree Gets a Surprise Visit from Her Disapproving Brother, Nate,
Who Wants to Meet the Final Men

"Episode 908" - Desiree's emotionally charged, whirlwind world tour to find love comes back to the U.S. as she travels across country to visit Brooks, Chris, Drew and Zak in their hometowns and to meet their families. Her spirit and resilience has surprised the men, but she is about to be severely tested by their loved ones as she tries to figure out if she can love more than one man at a time. Are all of these bachelors ready to be married? Desiree will try and find out from the people who know them best, as she moves closer to making her fairytale come true, on "The Bachelorette," MONDAY,
JULY 15 (8:00-10:01p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Desiree starts her visits in Dallas, the hometown of fun-loving, free-spirited Zak, whose zest for life is contagious. The spontaneous bachelor surprises her with an unexpected adventure: They drive a family-owned snow cone truck to an elementary school, where a group of children, hungry for a frosty treat, crowd them. Desiree admires Zak's easy charm as he entertains the kids dressed in a furry Penguin suit. That evening the Bachelorette is delighted to find that her suitor's family is just as fun and outgoing as he is. Zak's brother and sister happily sing their version of a song that Zak wrote for Desiree, bringing her to tears. Then to top it off, the smitten bachelor tells her how he really feels and presents her with a romantic surprise gift that leaves her speechless.

Next the Bachelorette heads to Scottsdale, Arizona, to meet Drew, whose sweet and earnest attitude has captured her heart. He prepares her for an emotional and very moving experience as he introduces Des to his severely mentally challenged sister. His selfless devotion to his older sister deepens Desiree's feelings for Drew. The bachelor's infatuation with Desiree is quite clear to his very happy mother, but what does his father think of welcoming the Bachelorette into the family? Drew make a bold and passionate decision to confess his feelings for Desiree and hopes this will further his chances in taking the next big step.

For her date with Chris, the confident and handsome former professional baseball player, Desiree journeys to McMinnville, Oregon. Their easy chemistry makes for a fun afternoon playing baseball on the field where Chris learned the national past time. The real test will be getting the approval of his overly protective mother. Will she give Desiree the thumbs up?

The final hometown visit is to Salt Lake City, Utah, where the ruggedly handsome Brooks awaits Desiree. Although the Bachelorette is already in love with this man, he is not quite certain of his feelings for her. Brooks' incredibly large family - 10 siblings and their spouses - give him a serious grilling in private, but his mother's opinion is the one he values most.  What will she say?

All four men and their families have touched Desiree's heart. Headed back to Los Angeles for the rose ceremony, she is faced with the difficult task of letting one of her amazing men go. As she prepares for her gut-wrenching decision, Desiree gets a visit from her judgmental brother, Nate.

He'd like to know when he's going to get to meet her final men. Of course Desiree remembers Sean's hometown visit to her family last season and the effect it had on Sean and his decision. Now, after talking to Nate, she wonders if she'll let Nate meet her final suitors.

At the rose ceremony, Desiree loses her composure as she says a tearful goodbye to one stunned and devastated bachelor. The Bachelorette and her final three men prepare to leave to their last exotic destination, the tropical paradise of Antigua.

The four remaining men are:
Brooks, 28, a marketing consultant from Salt Lake City, UT
Chris, 27, a mortgage broker from Seattle, WA
Drew, 27, a digital marketing analyst from Scottsdale, AZ
Zak W., 31, a drilling fluid engineer from Mico, TX


Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelorette' episode 8

Welcome to the hometown dates for Des and the boys. This was a very interesting and pivotal episode in many ways, and with all that was going on there were some things you may not even understand until you see the dramatic two-episode finale of this season. Des was looking forward to these hometown dates and was really hoping she would get answers from these guys and their families as to who is really ready to settle down and begin a new life together with her.

Des started in Dallas with Zak and his family. It was very cute watching Zak and Des serve the kids snow cones, but Zak needs to understand rule number one when wearing a penguin suit: You never break character! As you could clearly see, Zak has a very normal, loving family and they are very protective of him. They could clearly see Zak was in deep and had fallen head over heels in love with Des. This is always one of my favorite episodes, but one of the aspects I love watching the most are the intimate one-on-one talks the Bachelors or Bachelorettes have with their parents. Zak’s talk with his Mom was so telling of the guy he is and where he came from. We’ve seen Zak sing some songs this season, but this week we got to learn that the apple didn’t fall far from the guitar in this family. Zak’s siblings did their best Partridge Family impersonation and serenaded Des. To say she looked slightly uncomfortable would be a gross understatement, but the truth is she found it very endearing. The sister was actually pretty good but the brother was like a little pitchy dog. On an incredibly serious note, Zak very strongly professed his love and devotion to Des and there’s no question he was ready to propose to her and his family would be just fine with that.

Drew was up next in what may be the most emotional; touching hometowns we’ve ever shown. Drew is clearly in love with Des and he finally said that to Des this week. It was this love and trust that allowed Drew to feel comfortable enough to introduce Des to his mentally handicapped sister, Melissa. Des handled this touching moment with class and grace and it was a positive experience for everybody involved. Des seemed very relaxed and comfortable with all of the families. It felt like she was really in her element at these homes, sitting down with the people that could possibly become her future in-laws. Like Zak’s talk with his mom, Drew’s talk with his dad was incredible to watch. They can see that Des has captured Drew’s heart and it was special to hear his dad encourage Drew to go for it and bring Des into their family.

Last week Des admitted she has fallen in love with both Brooks and Chris, and their two hometowns were last. The moment Des sees Chris you can just see her relax and start smiling. I think I speak for everybody when I say we were all very happy to see Chris didn’t open his date with a poem. Instead, Chris ripped a page from Roberto’s hometown with Ali and took Des to the baseball field where he learned to play. When Des went to his house she quickly learned that all important things seem to take place with this family on a chiropractic table. Des got a quick adjustment before talking a little love with Chris’s dad, but that was nothing compared to Chris’ procedure. While talking to his dad about the future of his life Chris got a little nose adjustment. Whatever they did seemed to work because his nose looked straight and in the middle of his face where I guess it should be. It also seemed to have the desired emotional effect because Chris’ dad gave his son his blessing to propose to Des if he so wishes. Chris reconfirmed his love for Des and with that she entered Brooks’ hometown a perfect three for three in the love department.

Brooks is the only one up to this point who hasn’t professed his love verbally to Des. And while this hometown date was pretty good, Brooks still isn’t ready to take that leap and use the “L” word. One thing I noticed on Brooks’ hometown date is the different dynamic. On the other hometowns Des knew the guys love her and she’s really just meeting these families and trying to see if she could see a life with them. While Des was doing some of that with Brooks it really seemed like he was the one using the time to see if he was ready to take the big leap with Des. He really seems to be leaning on his family members looking for answers. It seemed by the end he got those answers. Like the other families, Brooks’ family loved Des and could very much see her apart of their son’s life.

Once the hometowns were over it was back to Los Angeles for the rose ceremony — but first the long awaited meeting with Des’ brother, Nate. It was interesting to hear the two pretty much haven’t talked and haven’t seen each other since the confrontation with Sean. The body language between Des and her brother was a little awkward and contentious. In the end Des explained she didn’t want Nate to interfere this time and he seemed to give his blessing to Des.

At the rose ceremony Des said goodbye to Zak. At this point I knew it was going to be tough because even if it’s the right thing to do it’s still not easy to say goodbye to anyone. Des was really impressed with Zak and knows he’s a great catch, but he’s just not for her. You just can’t compare the feelings she has at this point for Drew, Brooks, and Chris to those she feels for Zak. It was tough to watch Zak in the limo as you could clearly see he was blindsided by this breakup and was very much in love with Des.

Next week, as you saw in the previews, is the Men Tell All reunion show. We have much to discuss with all the guys, including what’s about to happen in the special two-episode finale! I’ll see you next week from the hot seat, until then I’ll see you on Twitter and Facebook @chrisbharrison.



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