Des has weeded through 25 hunks as this season's "Bachelorette," and now she's down to the all-important final four. Next week she's meeting the parents, and from there, some Neil Lane bling will surely find a resting place on her finger.
But first, she has to get through Portugal -- the gorgeous Madeira Island, to be exact. Des's one-on-one dates this week include solos with Brooks (sigh, again?), Chris, and Michael. Poor Zak and Drew have to share her on a two-on-one.
Welcome to cloud nine
Des takes Brooks for a romantic mountaintop picnic where they have a major breakthrough -- through the clouds. "Welcome to Cloud Nine," she says as they sit in awe in a billowy, fog-like setting. Later, after mucho kissing, Des says, "We didn't just break through the clouds. I feel that Brooks and I really had a breakthrough in our relationship. The way I feel right now, I am so hopeful for everything. You know, the good, the bad, the ups, the downs -- this is the moment that I've been waiting for. This is the fairy tale I signed up for."
Oh boy, here comes Chris, so another poem can't be far off. Luckily, Des makes the words come easy for this season's resident rhymer after a schooner ride and a picnic in a wildflower field. By the time they get to the message-in-a-bottle portion of their date, a full-fledged free verse is complete. Another love poem awaits at dinner, because what better way to say "I love you" than with a haiku?
Finally, a connection that's crystal clear. By the time Des gets to her date with Michael, she seems to be all kissed out. Not that she doesn't swap spit with the guy (like she told visiting gal pals Catherine, Lesley, and Jackie, a girl's gotta sample the merchandise), but these kisses aren't quite as sizzling as her steamy smooches with Brooks and Chris. Maybe it's because Mike uses his alone time with Des to talk about his daddy issues, his diabetes diagnosis, and his cheatin' ex-girlfriend.
Three for the road
Finally, nothing spells romance like a go-cart date with a third wheel. Zak and Drew share Des, but each get a little private time after their road race. Zak uses his time to show off his artistic skills, which include pastels of his abs and a few familiar European landscapes from their "weeks" of dating. Drew uses his time to tell Des he's in love with her -- er, "I'm falling for you," he tells her. Sweet, but shouldn't you look in a girl's eyes when you say that? No matter. Des is in love, too... with Brooks. At least that's what she tells Chris Harrison. She has a thing for Chris, too (not Harrison -- the poet!), so the other boys better step it up during the hometown dates.
No surprise here
Talk about an anticlimactic rose ceremony. By the time Des is ready to dole out her flowers, it's pretty obvious that Michael won't be getting one. But his mature handling of his ousting makes him a prime contender for top billing as next season's "Bachelor," until the federal prosecutor loses us by calling his mommy before his exit limo is even out of the parking lot. And yes, mama actually says, "Here we go again," after he tells her Des dumped him. Oh dear, case closed.
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"The Bachelorette" Season 9 airs on Mondays at 8 PM on ABC.
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