Love is in the air in Madeira! With five guys left fighting for Desiree Hartsock’s heart, episode seven will find only one contestant being sent home before week eight’s hometown visits.
Taking a brief break from Brooks, Chris, Zak, Michael and Drew, Desiree meets up poolside with her old “Bachelor” friends, Catherine Guidici, Lesley Murphy and Jackie Parr. As Catherine tells Des, the last thing her beau, Sean Lowe, told her before she left was to give Des “good advice” … and that’s exactly what the girls do. Desiree reveals that she’s falling in love with more than one person, and tells the girls all the things she likes about the remaining guys. And the good news is that when the five of them come outside to the pool for some fun in the sun, Desiree’s friends all approve of their hotness factors. (Bonus: Desiree says Drew is the best kisser in the bunch.)
The break that Des gets from the contestants gives her a chance to get excited about finding love all over again – something she was struggling with after the drama the previous two weeks with Ben and James. With all the drama behind her and love ahead, Desiree heads off on her first one-on-one date of the episode … and the lucky guy is Brooks.
Driving up through the clouds, Desiree tells the cameras that she’s on the road to falling in love with Brooks. Having a picnic on a mountaintop, the chemistry they have is obvious – even without them holding hands and screaming that they’re on “cloud nine.”
Moving onto dinner, their conversation becomes serious when they start talking about family and where they are in their relationship. Brooks tells Des that meeting his family is a big deal and that he doesn’t introduce just anyone to them. Wanting to be sure that they’re on the same page, they both use running terms to express where they are in their relationship. Des tells Brooks that she’s breaking out into a run for the finish line, while Brooks tells her at the same time that he’s at a jog. While Brooks tells the camera that he may be a little behind with his emotional progress, he definitely wants Desiree to meet his family.
Chris and Des up the romance level while taking a boat to a deserted island on their one-on-one date. Not one to shy away from his sensitive side, Chris contributes to Desiree’s date when he proposes that they write a romantic poem together to seal in a bottle and throw into the ocean. (It’s romantic, not littering.)
“I think she’s the one I could be spending the rest of my life with,” Chris tells the camera, revealing that he’s going to tell her that he loves her over dinner. And on their dinner date he does just that … after asking how big of a family she wants. (Des wants three or four kids in case you were wondering.) Sweating and getting nervous after telling Des that he can’t wait for her to meet his family, Chris takes out another poem to read to her called “Individually Defined.” The poem ends with him saying that he’s fallen in love with her. And while Des doesn’t return the “I love you,” she does tell the cameras that it blew her away. “For him to be so open and ready for that is huge,” Des tells the cameras. “I’m falling for him. I could picture a life with him, and it’s exciting.”
Michael finally lands his first one-on-one date with Desiree in episode seven. Exploring the city, the duo have a picnic and later go tobogganing. But while the chemistry is obvious on-screen between Des and Brooks and Des and Chris, the chemistry seems to be lacking with Des and Michael.
A dinner date later gets Michael to continue opening up to Desiree about his family, revealing that while he doesn’t talk to his father anymore, he knows that his mom will love her. Michael also tells Des about his last serious relationship, which ended in heartbreak. He explains that his ex-girlfriend moved in with him, and that he eventually learned that she was cheating on him. “It gives me hope,” he tells Des about their relationship and moving on with her. “I’m falling in love with Desiree,” he tells the cameras.
Zak And Drew
In usual group date fashion, three is a crowd. Taking Zak and Drew to a go-kart race, Desiree pits the guys against each other, promising that the winner will get “something special.” Zak ends up whipping Drew in the race, and the three of them head off to have a picnic together. Since Zak won, he gets the first private opportunity with Des. Zak takes that opportunity to try and get a leg up on getting the rose. He does so by breaking out some drawings that he made of the special moments they shared together over the past few weeks.
Confident that he’s going to be handed the rose at the end of the date, Zak returns Desiree to Drew for his private time. “I already know that they will fall in love with you,” Drew tells Des of his family. “I’ve never had this feeling with anyone. Its like you’ve known me my entire life.”
Drew then tells Des that he’s fallen in love with her, and while Des doesn’t return the favor, the feelings are obvious when she grants him the rose on the two-on-one date.
Ecstatic that he has the opportunity to take Des home to his family, Zak on the other hand is blatantly heartbroken. “I’m a little shocked,” Zak tells the cameras. “I’ve been waiting so long to meet a girl like Desiree. I don’t know where I’d find that next person, if ever.”
Meeting With Chris Harrison
With possibly the biggest rose ceremony ahead of her, Desiree meets with host Chris Harrison before seeing the guys. Breaking down each of the guys (except Zak and Michael), Des tells Chris that “Drew is the best looking guy I’ve ever met” and total “husband material.”
Chris notices that whenever Brooks is mentioned Des smiles, giggles and blushes. “I’m 100 percent myself with him,” she says of being with Brooks. “I think with him I’ve hit the finish line… I can confidently say that.”
But as Desiree’s eyes well up with tears, she does acknowledge that while the chemistry is definitely there, she is scared because he hasn’t told her that he loves her -- when pretty much every other guy did. “I know he has strong feelings for me,” she tells Chris. “I think he’s actually in my shoes where I was with Sean [Lowe].”
As for Chris? Des says that she’s comfortable with him and that he has great potential. “I can picture a life with him,” she tells Chris. “I’d say that I am falling in love with him.”
“Wow. That’s complicated,” Chris tells Desiree, leading “Bachelorette” viewers to yell “duh” at the screen.
The Rose Ceremony
With Drew safe, only three roses remain. Desiree hands the first rose to Brooks, who accepts. The second rose is awarded to Chris, leaving Zak and Michael left to panic over the last rose. The third and final rose is awarded to … Zak. Michael is left speechless, and Des takes a couple minutes to sit down with him before he leaves.
“I was ready to commit to you for the rest of our lives,” an upset Michael tells Des. “I thought we had a really special date when we finally got the one-on-one.” (Key word was “finally,” Michael.)
“I’m heartbroken,” Michael continues, as Des twists the knife by saying that they have a great foundation of friendship. But while a lot of the guys left with bad blood, Michael leaves on a good note, telling Des that, “You have four great guys.”
Meanwhile in the limo on the way out, Michael tells the camera that he feels like his heart just exploded in his chest. “I’m tired of having my heart broken and being rejected by women I’m falling in love with. It sucks.” Episode seven ends on a bit of a funny note with Michael calling his mom and her saying, “Here we go again.” Maybe Michael will find love as the next “Bachelor?”
Do you agree with Desiree’s decision? Let us know in the comments section!
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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