'The Bachelor' star Andy Baldwin ousts Amber Alchalabi, picks Final 3
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/08/2007
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Andy Baldwin traveled across the country during last night's episode of ABC'sThe Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman to meet the families of his four remaining suitors. While he never got to meet bachelorette Amber Alchalabi's parents, Andy said it was no big deal but still sent the 23-year-old teacher who currently resides in Sugar Land, TX home due to the seven-year gap in their age.
"Andy lost a girl that would have bent over backwards for him," said Amber through tears after learning she had been eliminated. "I've been hurt by guy after guy. They tell me everything I want to hear and they always hurt me and break my heart, so I should be f**king used to it."
"It was really hard to tell Amber why she didn't get a rose tonight," explained Andy. "She's young. She has insecurities. She has a lot of learning and growing to do."
The three remaining bachelorettes that Andy will take back to his home state of Hawaii during The Bachelor's next episode will be Bevin Powers, a 28-year-old clinic research coordinator who currently resides in Palo Alto, CA; Danielle Imwalle, a 25-year-old graphic designer who currently resides in Bethel, CT; and Tessa Horst, a 26-year-old social worker who currently resides in San Francisco, CA.
The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman's sixth episode began with Andy saying he'd had "enough of this group dating" and was excited to meet the four remaining suitors' families because it would provide him "a lot more perspective on the women."
But first, Andy handicapped the bachelorettes' chances. He described Tessa as a "very dynamic woman," but added she "hasn't really put her heart on her sleeve." He commented Danielle is the "most invested," but was unsure if she was a "friend or lifelong partner." He thought Amber had a "beautiful smile" and would make a "wonderful mother," but had a hard time dealing with her age because she's in a "different stage of life." He had nothing but compliments for Bevin, whom he has "natural chemistry with" and described her as "just keeps getting better and better."
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Andy's first stop was in Seattle, WA to visit with Bevin and her family. After the two greeted each other with a bear hug, Andy told her, "I'm in heaven when I'm with Bevin." She then took him north of Seattle to a scenic location called The Falls where she would go with friends and family during high school. When Andy asked her if he was the "first boy she took to the waterfall," Bevin answered, "Yeah. I guess." Bevin then began to wonder how Andy would take it when he learned she had been married as a teenager and got divorced six-years-ago. "I'm nervous he may change his mind about me after he finds out," she said. During a picnic, she found the right time to spill her guts about her past.
"I want to be completely honest with you, because it's important to be honest and open in a relationship. I'm going to say something to you... We've all had pasts before, right? I was once a teenager who was very stubborn and did stuff her parents didn't want her to do... and I... got married as a teenager," said Bevin (finally). "It didn't last very long because I wasn't ready. It's something I don't regret because I learned so much from it, but I wanted you to know that. It's part of who I am, and it's part of the way I've been shaped and the way my personality has been developed."
After responding he "appreciates" Bevin's openness, Andy admitted he has an "idealistic" view of marriage and added it's not something to be taken lightly. Bevin said she never thought that she would be divorced, and thought it was "forever" when she made that commitment, but added it gave her perspective. Andy called Bevin "the most mature" of all his 25 suitors.
"I didn't anticipate that she would come out and tell me she'd been married before," said Andy. "It hit me. That was pretty profound. Marriage means so much to me and it's not something I ever think about... getting divorced. So it worries me."
With all that "divorce" ugliness behind them for the time being, Andy went to Bevin's father's house where he -- somewhat ironically -- met her divorced parents, step-mom and sister. He described Bevin to her family as an "amazing, amazing daughter," and discussed her The Bachelor journey to this point. Bevin noticed Andy "just clicked" with her family, while Andy described her family as "easy to get along with" and "my type of people." When her mom presented him with a painting as a gift, Bevin was happy because she called her mom her "toughest critic" when it comes to guys. Her father, however, sensed Bevin was "holding back."
"I don't want to get my heart broken. I'm tired of that," confided a tearful Bevin to her father, who recommended she "believe in it" or else she'll "always regret it." With Bevin's hometown visit over, Andy commented it was "loving, supportive and warm... that's what family's all about." Bevin was glad it went "smooth" and added she "definitely feels" like she's "falling in love with Andy."
Andy then found himself in Bethel, CT, where he visited Danielle's dad, mom and younger sister at her parents' home. Because Danielle is still dealing with the death of her boyfriend when the two were in college and Andy recently had to handle the passing of his uncle, the bachelor said he was glad she was able to "triumph over tragedy," a quality he looks for in a woman. Danielle said it was a "big deal" she was bringing Andy home because she still lives with her parents. As she gossiped about Andy in the kitchen with her mom and sister, Andy told her dad he has an "amazing, amazing daughter" (sound familiar?). However dad said he was "concerned" about what his daughter was getting into and the entire family was curious if their Danielle could possibly be moving thousands of miles away to Hawaii. A straight shooter, Andy revealed Officer and a Gentleman's final rose recipient could "travel the world" and added he knows long distance relationships are hard.
"As long as you're happy, it doesn't matter where you are," said Danielle. After playing the drums with Danielle's dad and having a good laugh with her mom and sister, Andy looked at some family photos. With the date over, Danielle's dad called Andy "genuine."
"Coming here, it really feels like coming home," said Andy about visiting Danielle's family.
Andy described his relationship with Tessa as a "bit of a roller coaster" as he arrived in snowy Washington DC to meet her mom, dad, sister and best friend at her parents' home. As Tessa went to get changed for dinner, Andy found himself in-front of a firing squad that was her family. Questions ranged from asking him to describe his faults; what it was like dating all these different women at once; and if he prefers living in the suburbs to the city. "I'm sweating bullets here," said Andy. While he realized he was in "a house full of skeptics" and "people who are quick to judge," Andy weathered the "gauntlet of questions still standing."
As Andy and Tessa's dad did dishes in the kitchen, her father revealed Tessa applied to The Bachelor for the "fun of it." Andy answered that was "not good enough" of a reason and turned the tables, firing questions at her family. Tessa's sister said Tessa "initially" signed-up for fun because she "marches to her own beat." Andy said he knew Bevin, Danielle and Amber were there to be with him, but wasn't so sure about Tessa.
"I'm not leaving DC until I know how Tessa feels about me," said Andy. While Tessa and Andy discussed their feelings for each other, both saw the "potential" in a relationship. Tessa revealed she was concerned about "setting herself up to get really hurt," and Andy asked what exactly she hopes to get out of her experience with him.
"I want to fall in love with you," answered Tessa. Replied Andy, "Alright... Because I want to fall in love with you."
After leaving the snowy northeast, Andy found himself outside of Colony Bend Elementary School in Sugar Land, TX to meet with Amber, who was excited to show the bachelor her fourth-grade class because it's a "big part of her life." Andy was also excited, realizing it's such a "big part" of who Amber is. Following a brief tour of her classroom, Amber's students filed in and greeted their teacher as well as Andy. "You have the best teacher around," Andy told the students before teaching them how to sign Aloha. When one little girl asked Andy how he met her teacher, he replied it was on a "special mission."
"I saw the true side of Amber," said Andy upon leaving the classroom. "I can't wait to meet her family." Unfortunately for Andy, it appeared that wouldn't happen, as Amber learned "something came up" for her aunt and uncle and they would be unable to meet Andy. Amber said she has a "rocky family relationship" and added her parents "weren't really supportive" and "didn't approve" of her looking for love on The Bachelor. Amber said she was "crushed" Andy would not meet her family and described it as "really embarrassing."
"I understand, I understand," said Andy as he tried to console Amber. He said family is "just one piece of the puzzle" and added her classroom gave him a "sense of who Amber is." Still, he couldn't help but point out it was "unfortunate" there would be no family. So instead, Andy settled for dinner with Amber's roommate and puppy, and quickly realized it was a "different dynamic" than his other hometown visits. He described it as a "college sorority" vibe.
"Amber is very mature for her age, but there is that seven-year gap," said Andy. Just then, Amber's aunt appeared at the door, and Andy said he was "overjoyed" a member of her family was able to make it. Andy revealed to the aunt that Amber has a lot of similar qualities to his mother, and asked if she was ready to pursue a family. Amber's aunt said Amber likes to "nurture." While Amber told her roommate she could "100%" see herself married to Andy, she was left to wonder if meeting just her aunt was enough in comparison to meeting the three other suitors' families.
"You are four of the most incredible women that I have ever met," said Andy once he was back in Los Angeles with the four remaining bachelorettes at the episode's Rose Ceremony. "I'm responsible for my heart, and now I feel like I'm responsible for all of yours' as well. But in the end, we all are searching for the same thing, and that is true love." Andy then gave roses to Tessa and Bevin before handing the third and final rose to Danielle. "Let's go talk," said Andy to Amber, taking her outside to the visible look of amazement on the other girls' faces.
"I don't understand at all. I had the most amazing day of my life yesterday... Why? I just want to know why?" said a tearful Amber. Answered Andy, "I know that you've been through a lot and I know that you're mature because of it, but you are quite a bit younger than me and I think that we're in different places in our lives. It breaks my heart too." Amber said she felt an "amazing connection" with Andy, and thought he felt the same way. "I do!" replied Andy.
"I am [younger] by age, but by maturity I'm not!" said Amber. "If you think my heart, and you think that's what matters -- my inside -- then that's what should matter to you. Not my age. You told me age doesn't matter, and so please don't say that... I don't know. I just hope it's not because you didn't get to meet my family..."
"No! No! Amber it's not," said Andy. "It's not. Okay? I want you to know that... it's not. We have a connection, it's just that I have to trust in my heart the connection I feel with the other three... it's just greater. I'm sorry Amber." He then walked Amber to her limousine, where she continued to sob uncontrollably.
The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman's penultimate episode will air Monday, May 14 at 9:30PM ET/PT on ABC.
(Photo credit ABC/Craig Sjodin)
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