'The Bachelor' star Brad Womack narrows love search to 14 women
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/18/2011
The Bachelor star Brad Womack eliminated two bachelorettes and watched another one choose to quit and leave on her own during last night's broadcast of the ABC reality dating series' fifteenth season.
Madison Garton, a 25-year-old model from Brooklyn, NY, decided to leave the competition, while Sarah Powell, a 27-year-old real estate broker from Denver, CO, and Kimberly Coon, a 27-year-old marketing coordinator from Charlotte, NC, were eliminated during the third episode's Rose Ceremony.
"I came here because it sounded fabulous. On The Bachelor, you have the potential to meet your prince charming, but it's not so easy as walking into this fairytale and walking out with Prince Charming. It's my fault," Madison said following her ouster.
"Things may have worked out very differently if I came in and showed all my real cards from the beginning, and by the time I realized that, it was too late. There is every chance that I will wake up tomorrow and wonder what the heck I just did. I just let a great man walk into the arms of some other girl."
The Bachelor's third fifteenth-season episode began with The Bachelor host Chris Harrison telling the remaining 17 bachelorettes there would be two one-on-one dates and one group date over the course of the next week. There would be a rose up for grabs during each date -- and if the bachelorettes on the one-on-one dates failed to receive a rose, they would be ousted immediately.
Ashley Spivey, a 26-year-old nanny from New York, NY, then was told she'd be accompanying Brad on the week's first one-on-one date.
"This girl has this air about her that makes me feel comfortable. That is definitely a quality I'm looking for in a wife... on today's date, we will be doing something that I consider a 'torturous event,'" Brad said before he picked Ashley S. up.
Brad took Ashley S. to a studio in Capital Records where she learned the two of them would be recording a duet to the song "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal.
Ashley S. was very nervous about singing in front of Brad, while she claimed that although her southern voice was "really charming," her singing voice is not so much.
"My whole life, I've been so terrified of singing in front of anyone. I don't even sing in the car, like I hate the sound of my voice," Ashley S. said when the date began.
Brad wasn't looking forward to singing anymore than she was, but he tried to find a way to laugh off his anxiety.
"This song is going to sound awful. No offense to Ashley, it's going to sound awful," Brad joked.
However, Ashley S. and Brad tried to have fun with the recording, growing more and more comfortable with each other. Ashley S. had an easier time relaxing because she said the song meant something to her and was very special.
The bachelorette mentioned in a confessional that she would sing the song with her father all the time when she was a little girl, and shared again how her father passed away from a brain aneurysm unexpectedly about two years ago.
"As soon as I saw that it was 'Kiss from a Rose,' all I could think of was my Dad," Ashley S. said.
It was a very emotional experience for her to record that song with Brad, but the moment didn't end there.
Brad then surprised Ashley S. with a private live concert by Seal just for the two of them, walking into an empty room where Seal was serenading them "Kiss from a Rose."
"I can't imagine a more perfect date with Brad. I can already feel myself starting to fall for Brad. I haven't felt this way in a long time, so I'm really excited about it, and it feels amazing," Ashley S. said in tears in a confessional.
Brad then took Ashley S. to a romantic dinner setup on the rooftop of the building, and she told him the story of her father's passing that was apparently not easy for her to discuss so openly.
Back at the mansion, the other 16 women learned who would share the group date with Brad.
Kimberly Coon, a 27-year-old marketing coordinator from Charlotte, NC; Sarah P., Chantal O'Brien, a 28-year-old executive assistant from Seattle, WA; Marissa May, a 26-year-old sports publicist from Kissimmee, FL; Britt Billmaier, a 25-year-old food writer from Woodinville, WA; and Lindsay Hill, a 25-year-old first grade teacher from Plano, TX, accompanied Brad on the week's group date.
The other girls who were selected for the group date also included: Stacey Queripel, a 26-year-old bartender from Boston, MA; Alli Travis, a 24-year-old apparel merchant from Columbus, OH; Shawntel Newton, a 25-year-old funeral director from Chico, CA; Michelle Money, a 30-year-old hairstylist from Salt Lake City, UT; Ashley Hebert, a 26-year-old dentist from Philadelphia, PA; and Lisa Morrisey, a 24-year-old marketing coordinator from Ottawa, KS.
Meanwhile, Brad offered Ashley S. a rose on their one-on-one date.
"Thank you so much for opening up to me. It means a lot. I know it's got to be painful, so I really appreciate it. I don't know if you realize how I was panicking about this date because I knew I was going to do something that never in a million years I would want to do on my own. You basically just allowed me to be myself and that's what I'm looking for in a wife and somebody that I want to spend the rest of my life with, so Ashley, will you accept this rose?" Brad asked her.
"I'm so happy right now. Everything about tonight was perfect and romantic and he actually made me feel so comfortable and I hope that I'm the one for Brad. I couldn't imagine a more perfect person to be in love with," Ashley S. said after she accepted the rose.
The couple then shared a kiss and danced on the rooftop.
The next morning, the 12 bachelorettes accompanying Brad on the group date learned they would be filming an action adventure movie. Each woman would have the chance to film her own action scene, while back at the mansion, Emily Maynard, a 24-year-old children's hospital event planner from Charlotte, NC, discovered she would be going on the next one-on-one date with Brad.
During the filming of the adventure movie, one girl stood out to Brad from the rest.
"Shawntel N. is one woman that is really standing out to me today. I saw every single one of those women giving it their all, but Shawntel, in my opinion, gave it the most," Brad said after watching the bachelorettes film their scenes.
"What is she doing right now? She's trying to go from the 'extra' to the 'lead actress,' and it ain't happening," Michelle complained as Shawntel began filming special scenes with Brad.
Shawntel and Brad acted in many makeout scenes, surprisingly the other women who were watching nearby. The two apparently had chemistry on and off the screen.
"It feels very good to be in Brad's arms. I can't help thinking, not only how romantic this is, but how safe I feel in his arms, and if we were ever to be married, how it would feel all the time. And the only thing that would be the icing on the cake, is a rose," Shawntel explained.
Later that night, Brad and the 12 bachelorettes enjoyed a rooftop pool party where they all relaxed, drank wine and tried to get to know Brad better. Michelle went off for most of the group date about how she hates sharing Brad's time with all the other women and wants him solely to herself. She then found ways to interrupt Brad's one-on-one time with a few of the other women.
Chantal was one of them. The bachelorette cried to Brad about how hard it was to watch all the other girls have special moments with him just after she felt she snagged a special moment for herself. Chantal then opened up to Brad and told him how her father passed away after not speaking to him for 15 years.
Brad appreciated her emotional breakdown and honesty, as she normally has a hard tough exterior shell. The two then kissed while Chantal joked saying they almost had "too much chemistry."
"It's funny because I haven't been on a one-on-one with this man yet, but I feel a ridiculous connection with him... Brad makes me feel like I am the most special, beautiful wonderful person in the world, and I feel like I am already falling for this man. It's so scary," Chantal said.
Meanwhile, Emily explained the story of her fiance who died in a plane crash to the other bachelorettes who did not accompany Brad on the group date. The women deeply sympathized with her, causing Madison, Meghan Merritt, a 30-year-old fashion marketer from New York, NY, and Jackie Gordon, a 27-year-old artist from New York, NY, to cry. The women advised Emily that it would be important for her to tell Brad about what happened as soon as possible on their date.
At the rooftop pool, Alli had some quick one-on-one time with Brad until Michelle interrupted them and stole him away. Michelle shared her much anticipated first kiss with Brad and later said in a confessional that Brad is hers and the other women should just pack their bags, but Brad had another bachelorette in mind to offer the rose to on his group date.
After a long day, Brad was then ready to announce which of the 12 bachelorettes would receive the date's rose, and he approached Shawntel to tell her how he felt.
"There's so much more about you that I want to know. I haven't quite figured you out yet at all, but I do know that after today, I want you to stay here so badly, so badly. I'm wildly attracted to you, but more importantly, I just like who you are. That being said, I do have this rose to hand out, so Shawntel, would you accept this rose?" Brad asked her.
"My feelings for Brad have grown since the day I stepped out of the limo. It has progressed the entire time. This is definitely going to be a huge step in our relationship. I'm on a journey to hopefully fall in love with Bad," Shawntel said after accepting the rose.
The next day, Brad picked up Emily for their one-on-one date. Meghan referred to Emily as "Mother Theresa" and said as beautiful as she is and Barbie-doll like, she can't hate her because she is so sweet and genuine. Brad then brought Emily to a plane and told her that's how they would be traveling to the destination of their date.
"I've been looking forward to taking Emily out for a long time. In all honesty, I've been attracted to this girl since I first met her. We had pretty good conversations, but it's just basically been small talk, and so I want to take this entire date and try to figure out what makes her who she is," Brad said before he picked Emily up for their date.
Brad then brought Emily to a plane, where she learned that's how they would travel to their one-on-one date. She was anxious to have to fly because of what happened to the "love of her life," but she put a good face on for Brad and wanted to wait to share with her the dramatic details of her past.
Brad and Emily then drank wine in a vineyard in California, and Brad attempted to open Emily up because he felt she was guarded and had her walls up.
But back at the mansion, Madison was showing early signs of uncertainty and doubt after hearing Emily's personal story.
"At the end of the day, I came here because I wanted to meet somebody. I wanted to fall in love... see if there was a connection -- the whole experience, all of that -- but I wanted to, and I feel that some girls who are here needed to," Madison told Ashley S.
Meanwhile, during Brad and Emily's date, Brad was getting frustrated that he couldn't get through to Emily. He started having second thoughts about whether they would be able to ever fall in love.
"I don't know what's going on here. I want so badly for there to be a romantic connection with Emily. From the very first time I saw her, she's been a front-runner, but if I can't break through Emily's walls, I'm not sure if Emily and I are going to work out," Brad explained.
Later that day, Brad took Emily inside a quiet stable for an outdoor romantic candle-lit dinner for the two of them. Brad dove right into the conversation, and Emily was finally able to share her story with Brad. A huge weight was lifted off Emily's shoulders, and she finally got rid of the big "elephant in the room" present whenever they had their alone time.
Brad then decided to give the rose to Emily.
"I like you a lot. A lot. I mean a lot. It means the world to me that you told me everything you did, and your daughter. I love it. Emily, will you accept this rose, please?" Brad asked her.
"I am really starting to feel a real connection with Brad. Brad is being so understanding about everything I say and he truly is just a great guy. I am here more than anything to find love, and I think that having a rose tonight makes me one step closer to finding love," Emily said after accepting the rose.
The couple then kissed and Emily told Brad how special he makes her feel.
The next day, Brad met with his psychiatrist and they discussed his experience so far on The Bachelor. They talked about how Brad needs to remain open to the possibility of letting love into his life, while Brad realized it's important to turn his nervousness into playfulness and not close himself off to the women.
That night, the cocktail party preceding the Rose Ceremony took place, so each of the bachelorettes would have one last chance to snag some personal time with Brad. Alli told him about the estranged relationship between her parents, while Michelle and Chantal also made sure to secure some one-on-one time.
Madison then spoke to Brad and told him of her concerns. Emily's story made her feel how real the situation was and she was scared to take a rose away from a girl who was truly deserving of one, although she admitted she wants to find love very badly. Brad then told Madison if he offered her a rose at the Rose Ceremony, he hoped she would refuse to take it if she was still hesitant to stay.
"This has become, or is, a lot more difficult than I thought it would be," Madison told Brad.
Ashley H. then told Brad if he was having any reserves about keeping her around to just send her home. He wanted her to feel as comfortable as possible and gave her a kiss to relieve her doubt and give her the reassurance she needed.
"I came into tonight to try to make each and every one of you feel very comfortable and in my opinion, I found out so much more. So, I wanted to thank you. Please continue to just be yourselves, please. That's the only way any of us are going to get anywhere," Brad initially told the bachelorettes.
Besides Ashley S., Emily and Shawntel, Brad gave roses to Michelle and Chantal, but then surprisingly, Madison walked out of the room.
"I would have a really hard time taking a rose from one of these girls. I wouldn't feel right tomorrow if I were here and I knew that a girl went home who put her everything on the line and had her heart on the line for you. So, I would rather go home tonight," Madison told Brad.
"I actually really wanted to get to know you. I really did... we didn't even try. But if you just didn't feel it and you're walking away, I actually commend you for it. I think I'm missing out on a hell of a girl," Brad said.
Brad then continued to give out the other roses to Lisa M., Jackie, Ashley H., Marissa, Britt, Alli, Lindsay, Meghan, and Stacey.
"I have no regrets -- wouldn't have done a thing differently -- there just wasn't that connection. I think he was intimidated by me. I'm talented, smart successful -- some guys find me attractive -- the list could go on. I could start dating somebody tomorrow and be fine with it. F**k Brad, his loss," Kimberly said following her elimination.
"Everybody wants to come here and find love, but it doesn't happen for everybody. I have so much happiness and love to offer. When you put yourself out there, you hope for something to come back, but sometimes it doesn't. Not being chosen, it hurts. Rejection sucks. I just want to go home," Sarah P. lamented.