It’s Fantasy Suite week! You know what that means: Andi and the three remaining guys head to a tropical island—this time, the Dominican Republic—to finally get a little sexy. “Having alone time is crucial,” says Andi. Read: You gotta sample the milk before you buy the cow. But which cows are still being considered for purchase?
First up is Nick, who has been an all-star competitor so far, but may be at a disadvantage against beefy Josh and beefier Chris now that it’s beach date time. The producers break out the trusty helicopter and transport the pair to a private island so we can find out.
The shirts come off and Andi is pleasantly surprised by what she sees. The pair, who at this point actually resembles a real-world couple, have fun playing in the water, snorkeling, and staring adoringly into each others’ eyes. “Everything about Nick is, like, passionate,” she gushes as they hump in the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean.
When the sun goes down, playtime is over and the Q&A portion of the date begins. Nick reveals, upon Andi’s now-patented interrogation method, that his one-time engagement ended when his fiancée broke it off. He confesses further that he took it badly, barely speaking to anyone for six months afterwards. Andi comforts him while adding a note to his growing psychological profile: “insecurity brought on by relationship trauma could lead to fear of commitment.” (Prior note: “Salty, salty, Nick.”)
Afterwards they clean up and head back to the beach for a candlelit dinner. Nick presents Andi with a storybook he has written and illustrated, recapping their “fairtytale” relationship and starring Nick as the prince. (Josh plays the part of the big green ogre who tries to steal the princess and ruin everything.)
Duly impressed by Nick’s romantic handiwork, Andi offers a gift of her own: an invitation to the Fantasy Suite. Nick really wants to accept but he’s like a teenage girl on prom night: before he gets in the backseat of anyone’s car, he wants to officially tell Andi he loves her. He’s wimped out on several occasions, but he finally gets it out with the shadow of a coconut tree as emotional cover. Validation is to Andi as cocaine is to an addict; she snorts the sentiment right up.
With that out of the way, they are left to spend the night together doing god-knows-what without the prying eyes of viewers like us.
Andi and Josh get the city date in Santo Domingo, where the name of the game is showing your comfort with foreigners. Josh dusts off his sixth-grade Spanish and manages to converse a little with the locals and Andi loves it: “It’s hot when a man can not only, like, speak Spanish while we’re in the Dominican Republic, he just takes charge.” We hope Josh gets the message for tonight in the Fantasy Suite.
Andi has planned a little surprise for Josh: she takes him to a baseball field for a “spontaneous” pickup game with some local children. Wait. Josh is a former baseball player? This is a complete and total surprise to the viewers who blacked out the entirety of the season thus far. Josh is a bigger hit with the kids than he was with the MLB and Andi’s uterus skips a beat or two.
After the day of cultural appreciation, Andi and Josh sit down for dinner. They talk about important stuff like what kind of dad Josh would be (“a great dad!” says Josh) and how Andi can be “difficult” (“you already have been!” he quips). His answers must be satisfying because he gets invitation #2 to the Fantasy Suite.
Josh is now fully in it to win it. He tells the camera, “She’s the most amazing woman I’ve ever been with. . . . It feels good to find the woman I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.” We like that confidence, Josh. It’s especially important when you’ve found yourself on the tail end of Nick’s sloppy seconds.
While Andi didn’t hesitate to extend overnight invitations to Nick and Josh, she’s worried she’s not ready for camera-free time with Farmer Chris. Despite falling in love with his Rockwell-esque family during last week’s hometown visit, she still has some concerns about living in Iowa. Plus, she has yet to feel the same level of chemistry with Chris as with Nick or Josh. This means their daytime date is make or break time for the couple.
Chris is, of course, comfortable with animals, so it’s fitting that Andi takes him on a little ride. On a horse, that is. The pair goes for a less-than-smooth trot and then sits down in a field for a chat. Andi looks out at the Dominican landscape and exclaims, “It looks like Iowa!” A dumbfounded Chris generously leaves his response at, “Umm, it’s hillier.”
Still, Chris is having an amazing time that is only solidifying his love for Andi. But apparently the two are on different dates because Andi can’t seem to match his enthusiasm. Something is wrong.
By the end of dinner, it’s confirmed that it’s not food poisoning, but the knowledge that Chris is not the one that is making Andi queasy. With the Fantasy Suite card on the table, Andi feels compelled to break the news: Chris is not only not getting lucky tonight, but he’s also going home. We give Andi credit for not using Iowa as the easy excuse for saying goodbye to Chris and instead babbling something incoherent about not having a solid foundation with him.
Chris is adorable, successful, and has a great family, but the country mouse and the city mouse just couldn’t make it work. God, he makes a classy exit though, telling Andi, “It just wasn’t meant to be” and kissing her hand goodbye. In the limo ride to the airport, he nearly breaks down and is finally able to articulate some real emotions: “I felt like she was damn close to being it. I had my heart broken. . . . I’m just sad, disappointed. I mean, what the hell do I do?”
Chris Harrison escorts Josh and Nick to the site of the rose ceremony and announces the obvious: Farmer Chris is not here. Andi shows up and is quick to emphasize that she sent Chris home before the Fantasy Suite. She goes through the motions of handing out the two roses to Nick and Josh anyway, officially sealing their fate as finalists.
Post-Show Power Rankings
1) Josh: Josh, your momentum has really picked up in the last few episodes and Andi’s googly eyes when she saw you playing with kids speak volumes. Plus, with your inevitable off-the-field experience as a professional athlete, we can only assume you knocked it out of the park on the overnight date.
2) Nick: With room for only one ring on Andi’s finger, second place is the same as last. Nick, you are so damn close, which just means you’re really not gonna see it coming.
Next week, it’s time for the men to tell all. We’re expecting a lot of Nick haters and the Andrew-Marquel fight to be rehashed. Get all the season’s dirt on Monday, July 21, 8 p.m.Follow Kimberly and Meredith Liu on Twitter @kandmliu.