The Bachelorette aired an emotional episode last night, when Desiree Hartsock, and her remaining five contestants/boyfriends travelled to Madeira Island for three one-on-one dates and one special one-on-two date (meaning she does not have to send one suitor home while on the date).

With the finale in sight, Des invited three of her “friends” and fellow competitors from last season’s The Bachelor to help her size up her top five. Jackie, who was eliminated during Week 5, Lesley, eliminated Week 7, and Catherine, the winner of “bachelor” Sean Lowe’s heart, joined Des for a little show-and-tell session, in which they all observed the guys from afar. Drew (proclaimed ‘best kisser’ by Des), Michael, Chris, Brooks and Zak, paraded around the pool, allowing the girls time to size them up.

After the display, Des is whisked away for her one-on-one date with Brooks. The two picnic on a romantic mountain top, and later, during a romantic dinner for two, open up about the upcoming hometown dates, during which Des would meet Brooks’ family. Brooks, a family guy, tells Des that meeting his family is, in no uncertain terms, a serious step for him, moving Des to tears with his love for his family. The date appears to be going well, although Des and Brooks do show a bit of a disconnect when they compare their feelings for each other. Whereas Des sees their relationship as “going into a run” (with ‘love’ as the “finish line”), Brooks says he thinks they’re “jogging.” This confirms Des’ earlier fears that Brooks may not be ready for a commitment, but she isn’t too bothered.

The next one-on-one date is awarded to Chris, the mortgage broker/poet. The two sail to an island for a picnic, and later that night, Chris reads her a poem he wrote just for her titled ‘Individually Defined,’ to tell her he loves her.

The final one-on-one date goes to Michael, who was the only guy that had never had a one-on-one with Des before. The two spend a day exploring, and Michael finally has a chance to open up to Des about his rocky relationship with his biological father. Michael says that he will put family above work, and that Des has inspired him to be open to love after a rough break-up.

Finally, the two-on-one date has Zak and Drew competing in a go-cart race – the winner gets the first one-on-one time with Des. Zak easily takes the win, but it’s Drew that ends up with the rose after he tells Des that he loves her. Not even Zak’s drawing illustrations of their time together could sway Des in his direction.

Before the rose ceremony, Des sits down with Chris Harrison and reveals that she feels “100% myself” with Brooks, making him the frontrunner in the competition. Still, Des says she is “keeping an open heart, and an open mind,” and might even be able to picture “a life with Chris.”

The remaining men are all anxious going into the rose ceremony, though Drew, who has already received a rose, is safe from elimination. Not surprisingly, Brooks receives the first rose, followed by Chris, with Zak accepting the final rose of the night. And so, Michael is sent home.

Next week, Des and her four suitors will return stateside for the hometown dates.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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