It’s down to six guys! That’s awesome for two reasons: one, it’s easier to remember who the heck all these people are, and two, it means we’re one episode closer to this show being over. The gang heads to Taiwan and the guys are being driven around in some bus. 2011 is the hundredth anniversary of Taiwan, which is actually somewhat interesting and I can’t believe it made it onto the show. Chris Harrison announces that there will be four dates – three one-on-ones and a group date. After this, two guys get booted and they have hometown dates.
JP is trying to be my TV boyfriend because he voiceovers that he doesn’t want the other guys to get to go on dates with Ashley. Ryan has a smarmy voiceover, as he always does. Aaaaaaaaaaand we do this.
Girls love it when you talk about your family.
Constantine gets the first one-on-one date, which is great since it helps me tell the difference between him and Beneff. They take a train to a small town outside of Taipei. There are no roses up for grabs on the one on one dates, which means they can just enjoy hanging out with each other. Ashley voiceovers that trains are really romantic and we get some B-roll of a toy train. It’s like the Spice World “bus” footage up in here!
They end up in a small town that has a paper lantern festival. You’re supposed to write your wishes on paper lanterns and then set them loose in the sky, and then the wish is supposed to come true. It’s really cute, actually. Constantine voiceovers that he comes from a very traditional family and that he’d like his own marriage to “have as much longevity” as his parents’. Instead of writing out the wishes they draw pictures – Ashley, of course, draws a diamond ring. Constantine talks about his big, crazy family and asks how Ashley would handle getting inappropriate questions from his grandfather, and Ashley says she thinks it would be hilarious. (I’m just guessing from his name that Constantine’s family is Greek.) At dinner, Ashley says she admires how confident and laid-back Constantine is and how close he is to his family. “You see things in me that I want people to see in me,” he says, which is sweet. He says that Ashley commented on hometown dates during her season and said it was the most realness we saw from her the whole season, and he feels the same way about his own potential hometown date. At the end of the date, they let the lantern loose. And then they make out. Of course. Then a bunch of other lanterns – all lit up – go into the sky. It’s beautiful, and Ashley says it’s one of the most romantic nights in her whole life. Then they do some kind of weird huggy-sway dance.
Don’t drop the L-Bomb unless you mean it.
Beneff adorably voiceovers that it’s “too little too late” for Ryan since he’s the only remaining guy who hasn’t had a one on one date yet. As if on cue, the next date card is for Beneff. They get on a moped and explore Taroko Park together. They put on helmets – yay safety! While they zip off, Beneff voiceovers that their relationship is “going places.” Ashley voiceovers that she felt safe and protected, which is really hot, and Beneff says he’s being careful because of the “precious cargo” he’s carrying. Beneff tells the audience that he’s in love with Ashley but that he doesn’t want to tell her yet. When she asks about his feelings, he says that his mom and sister’s opinions are really important to him and that he looks forward to them getting to meet Ashley and seeing what he sees in her. He calls love “The L-Bomb” and tells Ashley that when he says it to her it’ll be for real. It’s nice for someone not to jump the gun on this show. AND he hasn’t used the word “amazing” or “connection” at all. Ashley thanks him by sucking face with him. Later that day, the guys can’t believe Beneff isn’t back yet, and he ends up not coming home for the night at all. JP is pissed and stomping around silently. He finally comes back the next morning, and Ryan calls him “Mr. 24 Hours” and Beneff snots “Mr. 36 Hours.” I don’t think he would been that cocky if it hadn’t been Ryan talking. The guys ask if anything physical went down and, like a gentleman, he says “Nothing that you need to know about.” Point for Beneff. It’s weird enough imagining the girl you’re “dating” kissing other guys, so who’d want to have even more mental images? Beneff says that he and Ashley didn’t share a room and JP goes off to stomp in the hallway and voiceover that this is bullshit. I cannot decide whether I have a bigger crush on JP or Beneff.
If you love someone, you’ll wear horrible outfits for them.
Back at the hotel, the guys talk about being tense and not sleeping well. A door knocks and the next date card arrives. It announces that JP, Ames, and Lucas are going on a group date, which leaves Ryan with a one-on-one date. He insists on reading the card himself just to make sure. He voiceovers that he’s really exciting, and then Lucas voiceovers that Ryan is irritating and that Ryan and Ashley aren’t right for each other. If Ryan is as annoying in real life as he is in his talking head segments, then I don’t blame the dudes for hating him. The group date is posing for wedding photos. Is this show kidding? They come up with outfits for each of the prospective grooms – JP gets a traditional tux, Ames gets a ’60s prom style tux with a pink ruffled shirt, and Lucas gets a long traditional gold Asian-style men’s robe. JP says that Ames looks like “the love child of an ostrich and Elton John.” Love. JP is the last one to get his outfit and they play swagger music as he comes out with his hot tux on. The bowtie’s too big, but it’s nothing compared to the other getups.
Ashley gets different outfits for each dude. For her shoot with Lucas, she has a traditional cheongsam, and it might be the first time the wardrobe staff hasn’t stuffed her into a halter top and high heels. She voiceovers that she chose this look for Lucas because he’s a very traditional person. For the last picture they kiss and JP looks ready to cut a bitch. Luckily, he’s up next and Ashley accuses him of not smiling enough. JP voiceovers that group dates suck and he is coming down from the high he got on his last one-on-one.
At the end, they compare all the photos. Ashley voiceovers that the guys didn’t seem to have as much fun as she did, and she says she understands that there’s a lot of pressure and they’re probably all nervous about the rose. They switch into cocktail attire and Ashley grabs them for one-on-one dates. She starts talking to Lucas, who admits that the date was weird and it was hard to watch her kiss other guys. He says he wants Ashley to meet his family, and she asks if it’ll be weird to introduce someone to his parents because he’s divorced. (I hate the way that this show acts like being divorced is the Worst Thing Ever unless you’re Jason Mesnick and have a cute kid.) Lucas says that his family just wants him to move on and be happy again, and they know he really wants kids. Lucas voiceovers that he thinks his family will love Ashley and he has a good feeling about his chances of getting a rose. Ames brought some of his family photos and shows an embarrassing school photo of him from when he was a kid, plus his parents’ wedding photo. She calls him “very unique,” which is a dumb thing to say, but whatever. Ames mentions how much his family is going to love Ashley. Did the guys get direction from the editors to mention hometown dates, or are they all really gunning that hard to make it through to the next round?
Next up: JP. He tells Ashley how much he loved their last date when it was just the two of them, but admits he’s been super jealous this week and can’t handle being on a group date. He says that the format is hard because he has a lot of time alone at the hotel to sit and stew and overthink things. Ashley gets up and leaves without explaining where she’s going, which just makes all the guys nervous because they know she’s going to get the rose. She returns to the couch and sits down with JP. She says that she identifies with how JP feels because she was in the exact same situation with Brad, and she gives JP the rose.