The women courting The Bachelor, Byron Velvick, are no different than many other women out there – they don’t want to share their man. They don’t want to be cheated on, and they don’t want to be used. Dating under the stresses of being on national television makes these issues worse, not better.
As the show opens, Byron and the four women – Mary, Cheresse, Tanya, and Cindy – are moving out of the mansion. All of the dates from hereon out will take place traveling – either to exotic locations, the women’s hometowns or Byron’s. Chris addresses the women and tells them this week they will all be going on different fantasy dates. He gives them each an envelope which, if and when they choose to share it with Byron, invites the two to spend the night in a fantasy suite together. It will be up to the women to decide if they want to forego their individual suites on their fantasy dates, and spending the entire overnight with Byron.
Mary gets the first date and meets Byron in Whistler, Canada. Byron is interested to see if Mary will finally open up as she’s usually so guarded. Mary wants to be sure she keeps this night separate from the past fantasy date she had with Bob Guinney in a previous Bachelor that didn’t turn out so well. Mary says she’s excited to show Byron how much she loves the outdoors as they find they’re going to take turns going down a zip line. As Mary takes off down the zip line first, Byron says she is nuts, as she does every acrobatic move she can think of, sliding down the line. Byron takes a much less adventurous turn on the zip line, and Mary says, “I enjoy a man who can be a big kid at heart.” Obviously that was her attraction to Bob, who had to be one of the most immature Bachelors.
Afterwards, Mary and Byron set down and talk in what looks like a giant tree house. They admit to feeling quite comfortable with each other. Discussing possible future wedding plans, Mary admits she would love to get married in a place like that, at the top of a cliff. She, and everyone else, notices the walls she built are starting to come down, and she and Byron share a toast with the words, “Here’s to the start of something wonderful.”
Mary and Byron meet up again for dinner at the Fairmont Hotel. Byron can appreciate the difficult position she is in, as he knows how she was hurt earlier by Bob. Byron tells Mary it was so nice to see her open and playful on this date. Mary opens up further, and says she doesn’t want to start something off on the wrong foot, but she’s worried about getting hurt again like she had been with Bob. She doesn’t want to stop him from being intimate with the other women, but she doesn’t want past history to repeat itself. Byron, who has said earlier he hasn’t watched past Bachelor series, seems to know exactly what she is fearing, and what Bob had done. Byron says he didn’t come on the show to see how many women he could be romantic with, seeming to obviously refer to Bob. Even Chris has mentioned in interviews that Bob was quite open with the women, outright telling them he was going to sleep with and make out with as many women as possible. Mary says if he chooses to share himself with other women, then he doesn’t choose her. Mary then moves on, and presents Byron with the invite to the fantasy suite, and whispers in his ear, “I’m so lost in you.” As they head upstairs in the suite, they both feel they made the right decision.
The next day Byron finds himself in Vancouver, Canada for a date with Tanya. They are going to spend the afternoon riding through the park on Segways. Tanya tells him it was hard waiting to see him; she was used to seeing him every day. Byron tells her she was so cool on the date they had in the water car, to not mind getting soaking wet. Tanya tells him it can only get better. They meet for their dinner at another Fairmont hotel for a private candlelit dinner on the rooftop as they watch the sunset. Tanya says this is the furthest she’s ever been from Texas.
Over dinner, Byron and Tanya begin to talk about a possible future. She thinks it’s great that he’s going so far as to discuss where they would live if they got married. She then says she has something she needs to get off her chest, and admits to Byron that in the very beginning when the twenty-five women chose which bachelor they wanted to vie for, Tanya had chosen Jay. Byron says that original vote isn’t going to be what he takes into consideration when choosing the women. She appreciates his feelings, but just didn’t want him to see it on television when the show airs. I’m thinking it will be some of the previously ousted women that won’t want to see their actions on TV, like Jayne, for instance.
Byron moves on and says he thought great things about her from the start. She never seemed to take part in the ugliness and gossip like the others. They move their date to the piano lounge where they enjoy a private solo song. Tanya feels it’s very intimate and romantic, and offers Byron the fantasy suite card, which is met with a resounding, “Yes!” In the suite, they both let their guards down, and Tanya says there is so much energy between them. Byron feels all his troubles disappear with Tanya in his arms.
The following day, Byron meets Cheresse in Sausalito, California. She tells him it took so long to see him, and she’s so glad they will now have twenty-four hours together, is excited to take it to the next level, and hopes he is too.They are going boating for their date, and she says she is pretending they are on vacation. Sounds like two high school kids pretending to be married when their parents are out of town. Cheresse feels lucky and says she has had so much fun. This isn’t boding well for her, though. We aren’t hearing anything about how he feels, only her.
After sailing, Cheresse feels if this keeps going well she will be getting the final rose. They meet for a private dinner, and talk about Byron’s first marriage. She doesn’t feel his previous marriage is a problem, as she knows he is at least open to marriage possibilities. Byron is honest about the day he got married, and says he cried and was sad, as he knew life was going to get harder. Cheresse asks if Byron has been to the fantasy suite with the previous two women. He admits he has, and she makes the difficult decision to not use the fantasy suite, saying that in the real world, if this was their third, fourth or fifth date, she would not be going to a suite then either, and she wants to stay true to herself. Byron says that’s the key, to be herself. He kisses her goodbye at her door, and says her decision will not alter his decision in the end on who to keep.
Byron meets Cindy for the last fantasy date in Sonoma, CA at yet another Fairmont hotel. He ought to have a boatload of small Fairmont toiletries by this point. Byron admits to only getting further confused after the three previous wonderful dates. He knows he and Cindy will have a lot of laughs, but wants to find out if there is a future there. She admits to some insecurities over whether he is falling for the other women. Oddly, they don’t do some fun adventure thing, but instead sit down right away. She gives him a gift, swedish fish and night crawler candy, wrapped in clear plastic, that she feels the odd need to point out that she wrapped all by herself. Good for you. Ah-ha, here is the adventure, as they enjoy water massages together. This consists of a person dragging them through the water on their back.
After, they get together in their bathrobes to discuss the following evening, and she gives him his choice of three dresses. As he meets Cindy for the date, he seems to be happy with his choice. They go to dinner at a winery that has a beautiful long candelit hallway. It is clear they are totally into each other as they kiss multiple times and discuss their chemistry together. There was no doubt in my mind that she would be extending the fantasy suite invite to him. In the limo back to the Fairmont, Cindy screws up the kissing and asks Byron about his ex-wife. She says she’s seen a picture of the ex. Byron can’t understand why this is even a topic for her. She admits to asking because she is insecure, and says the only reason she asked was because she wanted to get to know him. He feels like she’s challenging him. Cindy apologizes, but you can tell the mood has been altered. Cindy feels it was their first fight. The suite is beautifully decorated with rose petals all over, and a bubble bath drawn. As they close the doors to their fantasy suite fun, and we are all well aware of what they’re doing in there, I don’t think Cindy will make final two. I think it’s more of a fun thing, and not necessarily someone he is in love with.
Back at the Bachelor mansion, the four women walk in holding hands, and each feels they enjoyed a special connection with Byron on their fantasy dates. Byron tells the women he is faced with an extremely difficult task, and goes on to choose Tanya, Mary, and Cindy, eliminating Cheresse, and making her wonder, I am sure, if it was due to her not inviting him into the fantasy suite.
Yet, Byron says after the elimination that he admires Cheresse’s integrity, and that her decision about the fantasy suite did not affect his decision. It was based on the fact that their immediate first attraction had waned. For herself, she thought they had fun, and that he couldn’t possibly have been having that much fun with the others. In the limo, normally mild-mannered Cheresse says, “That’s really [expletive] up.”
I do think, at some point, he will regret that decision to let Cheresse go. I think his attraction to Cindy is just that, attraction. Two of the remaining women have extreme issues thinking of Byron with other women. Mary is having the same problem she had with Bob, not being able to accept he can be with other women, despite the fact that this is a reality television dating series. And this is the second time Cindy has brought up Byron’s ex to him. He should realize that is a huge warning sign. I am placing my pick here, and I feel final two will be Mary and Tanya, with Tanya getting the final rose.
I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com