The 30-year-old lawyer from Chapin, SC was ousted during the fourth episode's Rose Ceremony.
"Since my wife passed, this is the first time that I've really let it all hang out, so to speak, and completely put myself out there. I had a great love, and I will always cherish that. Unfortunately, it's gone now, but at least I had it. Ashley maybe had the wrong impression. She may have thought I wasn't completely ready. She expressed concern about it tonight that she felt she would have some big shoes to fill," West said following his elimination.
"You can't replace someone that you really loved and was taken from you. That's not what I was trying to do. I'm trying to move on. Life is love. If you don't have it, you could be happy on so many levels, but it's so much more satisfying deeper if you have someone to share it with. Hopefully one day, I'll find it."
The Bachelorette's fourth seventh-season episode began with host Chris Harrison telling the 12 remaining bachelors 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 -- and if the bachelors on the one-on-one dates failed to receive a rose, they would be sent home immediately.
After Harrison told the men he hoped they were all on the show for the right reasons after he saw how bachelor Bentley Williams, a 28-year-old businessman from Salt Lake City, UT, quitting The Bachelorette the week prior brutally affected Ashley in a way that left her crushed and insecure, he gave them all good news and explained they would be traveling to Thailand for the week's upcoming dates.
The bachelors then flew to Thailand and were told they would be meeting Ashley on the beaches of Phuket. Meanwhile, Ashley was still contemplating whether her Bachelorette journey would work for her, because she thought of Bentley often and wondered what the process would be like if he was still around.
"I've been holding on a little bit to the beginning of the relationship that I had with Bentley... All I know is what I felt in that short period of time. I just can't forget about him. It's obvious that I'm really affected by Bentley leaving. So, as much as I'm trying to put my best foot forward, I bet the guys kind of feel neglected and feel like they don't matter. If I was in their shoes, I'd be upset. I'm hoping that I can dig myself out of this hole," Ashley said.
Ames Brown, a 31-year-old portfolio manager from New York, NY, said he hoped Ashley could leave all her sadness behind and move on, because he believed Thailand would be the perfect place for her to start over.
Ashley, although a little depressed over Bentley's previous departure, said maybe his exit was a positive occurrence, because she no longer pictured a specific guy in the end of her journey with her. She thought her dating experience might go smoother and she'd be more open since she did not have one man pegged to win her heart and be her future husband so early on.
Once the 12 remaining bachelors moved into their villa, they discovered Constantine Tzortzis, a 30-year-old restaurant owner from Atlanta, GA, would be getting the first one-on-one date in Thailand. Nick Peterson, a 26-year-old personal trainer from Tampa, FL, joked that he hoped it rained on their little parade because he was jealous he hadn't gotten a one-on-one date with Ashley yet.
Ironically, Nick's wish came true. Ashley and Constantine planned to take a boat out onto a private beach, but they were told they could not go out because of rocky dangerous waters from the heavy rain. Constantine said he didn't care as long as he had alone time with Ashley to get to know her better, but he felt bad because he noticed Ashley seemed "bummed out."
However, the couple tried to make the best out of the situation and they went shopping in the rain. Ashley loved that he just went with the flow of the date and didn't have any unrealistic expectations. As they tried on hats and scarves and walked alongside each other from shop to shop, Constantine decided to seek advice from a local man who said he had been married for 36 years.
The man advised Ashley and Constantine that it was important to forgive and forget in relationships and to just let the little things go in arguments. One thing the local said really hit home with the couple. He told them it was necessary to never try to win, and Ashley acknowledged she didn't want the men fighting for her heart to make it about the competition and winning. She said she wanted someone to fall in love with her and take it to the next level solely because of their connection.
Meanwhile, back at the villa, the bachelors learned who would be accompanying Ashley on the week's group date.
Ben Flajnik, a 28-year-old winemaker from Sonoma, CA; J.P. Rosenbaum, a 34-year-old construction manager from New York, NY; Blake Julian, a 27-year-old dentist from Greenville, SC; Mickey McLean, a 31-year-old chef from Cleveland, OH; West; Ben Castoriano, a 28-year-old lawyer from New Orleans, LA; Nick; Lucas Daniels, a 30-year-old oilfield equipment distributor from Odessa, TX; William Holman, a 30-year-old cellular phone salesman from Galloway, OH; and Ryan Park, a 31-year-old solar energy executive from Corona Del Mar, CA, leaving Ames with the remaining one-on-one date he had been anticipating.
During Ashley and Constantine's date, Constantine said he was having a great time so far.
"This date so far has gone really great. We're doing something that's totally foreign to both of us. It's really neat and we're kind of just not taking each other too seriously. We're just soaking up this new experience together and we're having fun with each other and joking," Constantine said, adding that the rain didn't ruin anything because he only cared about finding out if there was something between him and Ashley.
"In my mind, Thailand was going to be a fresh start, but I'm still thinking about Bentley and I still think about Bentley when I'm on these dates. The truth is, I was a little bummed out because our date was rained out, but Constantine's really making me feel a lot better. There's definite chemistry between Constantine and I. I feel like I have a little bit of my heart back, so I'm ready for begin able to start giving it away," Ashley explained.
That night, they enjoyed wine and drinks on a sofa outside surrounded by tiki torches, but Ashley was scared to open up about the pain she was feeling about Bentley. She decided to refrain from bringing it up, and Constantine asked her how she had stayed positive during her time on The Bachelor with Brad Womack.
Ashley told him she had to find inner strength and always be honest. She asked Constantine that if he realized he didn't have strong feelings for Ashley, then he shouldn't pretend as if they were there and continue with the journey.
Constantine told her he'd love to be able to stick around because he had such a wonderful time with her. However, Ashley admitted she was a little concerned about whether they just connected on a friendship level, and she told him it was a big insecurity she was feeling. Constantine calmed her fears and assured her he was ready to run through life with a partner and to give him a chance.
The couple then discussed Constantine's dating history, and he explained how he had been in numerous meaningless relationships because he was scared to fail and get hurt. Ashley, afraid she was taking on the role as his guinea pig in relationships, asked Constantine what his intentions were. He told her he'd been open to find love for a little over a year and was ready for a real commitment.
Ashley then offered Constantine the date's rose.
"I loved today. Today was perfect, and I think as you know, I had a rough time last week. But tonight, having a date with you, I feel like I'm right back on track. I really feel good... You being the first date here, I was really looking forward to it, and I feel like you could get me back on my feet again, and you did... I feel really, really good about you and I love the realness of you. I feel like we're at the same point in our lives. We had an epiphany of some sort... I just wanted to give you this rose," Ashley said.
Constantine accepted the rose and went on about how "awesome" their whole date was together.
"She's got a bubbly, larger than life personality. She's so cute. Now that I've got that rose, we can grow in this connection that we've started. I'm so excited," Constantine explained.
"I'm starting to feel so much better after what happened last week. Hopeless Ashley is now hopeful again," Ashley said.
The following day, the 10 men went on their group date and learned they would be "bringing sunshine to the kids" amongst all the rain. Ashley told the bachelors they would all be painting the interior and exterior of a building in an attempt to rebuild an orphanage.
The guys loved how selfless Ashley was to want to help children during her special date time in Thailand, and Ashley was thrilled that they were so excited to step up to the plate and make a difference.
Ryan began dictating responsibilities to the other men and attempted to manage the work for everyone, which annoyed the other bachelors. They said he was starting to "irk" them and get on their nerves. But once the drama was pushed aside, the men knew the real reason they were there and it was to help children in need.
Ben F. decided to paint a mural for the kids and wanted to show Ashley his creative and artistic side. Ashley was impressed with his initiative and the men all admitted the work they were doing felt great. J.P. said he had been "forever changed" by the opportunity and Ashley was who made it possible.
"I never thought we were going to do something like this, going to an orphanage and helping these kids. It was the best feeling -- one of the best feelings I've ever had," Lucas said. "These kids have been through more than I could probably ever imagine. It was an eye-opener today."
"The look on those kids faces was astonishing. I had such a good feeling about the whole day -- easily one of the coolest dates I've ever been on," Blake noted.
That night, Ashley hoped she and the men could reconnect because she wasn't afforded much time to talk to them or spend alone time with any of the bachelors during the day since so much work had to be done. Ashley then took them to a bar on the beach where they had drinks and engaged themselves in conversation.
Ben F. was the first bachelor to snag some alone time with Ashley and she was excited for it. He told her he noticed her "buzzing around" him more than usual when they were working at the orphanage, and Ashley told him it was because she was starting to really like him. Ben F. was thrilled to hear those words and Ashley admitted afterward she could sense him getting more confident and comfortable in The Bachelorette setting.
While many of the guys were still expressing distaste for Ryan, William said he was probably only bothering the other men because he was intimidating and posed such a big threat in the competition. William suggested Ryan was definite "final four" material.
Ashley then talked to Ryan and she told him exactly what she was looking for. She said she wanted physical chemistry where she felt the desire to touch, flirt and play with her man, while she also hoped to feel secure with her guy.
Blake, who was the bachelor to seemingly have the biggest problem with Ryan, told Mickey that if Ryan got the group date's rose again, some men would probably feel defeated and leave the show. Ashley then began to worry about J.P. who was acting "standoffish" and she wanted to check where he stood.
J.P. joked with Ashley and pleaded with her to tell him when their next one-on-one date would be, because he said he was very impatient. Ashley thought his enthusiasm was endearing, and she told him she owed him a great date and that he's certainly get it.
"I know it was only one date, but it was the perfect date. It really was," J.P. told Ashley.
The couple then shared a kiss.
"Kissing J.P. is magical -- the best kisses I have here by far," Ashley confessed. "J.P. is one sexy man. I mean, that shaved head? Mmm."
J.P. said he thought there was "a lot of chemistry" that existed between he and Ashley, and he carried her back to the group. Ryan saw how Ashley was connecting with J.P. and said the jealousy feelings were really beginning to develop.
Meanwhile, Ames was looking forward to his first one-on-one date with Ashley and was thrilled, because he said they had great group dates and countless conversations but hadn't had the opportunity to take their relationship to the next level.
On the group date, Ashley was about to hand out the date's rose when Ryan interrupted her, pulled her aside, and said he couldn't wait until they would spend alone time together again. All the men were frustrated with Ryan's actions and called him a "goober" behind his back. They felt it was rude and he looked a bit desperate.
J.P. added that if Ryan got the date's rose, people would begin to evaluate why they're still competing for Ashley. He said he thought he was right for Ashley and admitted that if she liked Ryan, then obviously he wouldn't be the guy for her because they are opposites.
"He's been funny and I'm really starting to feel something strong with him. So, Ben F., will you please accept this rose?" Ashley asked.
"Of course I will," Ben F. happily replied.
"It's awesome. There's no other word to describe it, really. Ashley's great and we're making a connection. I'm just on Cloud 9."
The entire group then went swimming and had some fun together.
The following day, Ames met up with Ashley, and she said she hoped he could let loose away from a group setting. Ashley was convinced she already knew he was intelligent and sweet, but she needed a little more from him.
"I spent time here in Phuket several times over the last few years and I went alone, but I'm at a point in my life where I'd love to travel with someone. I feel so lucky to be spending time with this really charming and beautiful woman, and I'm so excited for this date... We're going to be able to use this full day together to get to know each other," Ames said.
Ames and Ashley hopped on a boat and he told her he loved doing things spontaneously and making last minute decisions. They observed the mountains and scenery together, and Ames explained how he was sailing unchartered territory with Ashley but couldn't wait to see where they could take things.
The couple then went sea-kayaking into a winding, "mysterious" cave together, and Ames said it was a standout moment in his life.
"I've been to 70 countries and this may be the most romantic thing I have ever seen... It's really so beautiful that I can't even talk to her. I'm just dumbfounded by how awesome this is," Ames said in awe.
Ashley and Ames didn't talk much, but once they docked their kayak, they sat and chatted. Ashley told him she was looking for someone "devoted" to others in his life, while Ames explained how he wanted a woman that would be open minded and spontaneous -- or at least understanding of spontaneity. Ashley was surprised at how genuine and likeable Ames really was, and they realized they had a lot in common.
"I saw Ames in a new light today. I think taking him out of the pressures of being around all the other guys, he was just himself and he was more comfortable than he's ever been. There's so much good that I see in him that I could potentially see in a husband. I'm afraid that I would have overlooked him if Bentley was still here," Ashley said.
Later on, Ashley and Ames enjoyed dinner under a little hut and Ashley was happy she got rid of her tunnel vision for Bentley, because she said it allowed her to give the guys a real chance. She may not have truly opened herself up to the other men if Bentley was still around.
During their date, Ames said he started to like Ashley a lot and thought she looked beautiful in all circumstances, situations, locations, and weather. Ashley found his sweet nature loveable and kept laughing with him at his jokes. She called him "nerdy" but admitted it was in a good way because they had that trait in common.
Ashley told Ames she'd love to expose her children to more than she was exposed to as a kid, which would involve more traveling. Ames continued to ask good questions, which Ashley appreciated, and she realized he was very different from most of the other men in the house. Once Ashley asked Ames what exactly he was looking for in a partner or relationship, she got an answer she loved.
"There is no list. Just a feeling," Ames said, adding it's a vital step to just throw the checklist out.
Ames believed Ashley was a strong independent woman who made his heart beat quickly, while Ashley seemed to start feeling something for Ames.
Ashley offered Ames the date's rose without much reasoning behind her decision, but Ames loved her cheerful attitude. He said they didn't end up kissing, but he felt she was a remarkable woman and could most likely find everlasting love with her.
Later on, when the cocktail party preceding the Rose Ceremony took place, each of the bachelors had one last chance to secure some private time with Ashley, and she said she had some deep-rooted questions to ask the men.
Ashley wanted to know if West was in a good place and ready to find love again and maybe even get married, referencing how his wife had died. West assured Ashley his wife's death was always going to be a part of him, but he was ready to move on. He told her that she wouldn't have to try to fill his former wife's shoes, but rather start something new with him in an entirely separate situation.
Ashley said she saw potential in West but wasn't convinced he was truly ready to get married again.
Lucas then sat down with Ashley and they discussed his ex-wife. He told Ashley he'd always care for her, but the love and passion in their relationship had disappeared. Lucas told her it had been three years since they divorced and he wanted to find another awesome woman. Ashley asked him how it's possible to keep passion alive in a committed relationship, and Lucas suggested it's all about never giving up. He also told her he wouldn't have stayed on The Bachelorette if he didn't feel some type of connection with Ashley.
Meanwhile, Blake told Ryan the men in the house basically had a problem with him and Ryan couldn't believe it, because he felt he had no problem with them. Blake told him he got overly enthusiastic and intense when Ashley was around, but Ryan had no idea why it would be an issue that he was never grumpy when there was so much for him to be happy about.
The guys admitted they didn't know if Ryan was genuine with Ashley, in that he tried to act like the "perfect guy" for her when he got his time alone. Blake said Ashley needed to see his annoying side to discover the real Ryan. Ashley then talked to Ryan and asked him how he could be so happy all the time.
Ryan said it was just who he was and that he had a lot of love to give and simply enjoyed living. Ashley admitted Ryan could probably bring out the best in her.
Before the Rose Ceremony started, Ashley sat down with Chris and said she had an amazing week but was still a little hung up on Bentley. She wondered what could have been, because she felt so strongly for him. Ashley explained it was her "woman's intuition" that clung onto him.
"The potential for Bentley and I was so great, that I'll never know what could have been... Early on, I was dead set on one guy and I was really closed off to all the others," Ashley told Chris, adding that she was ready to get her mind in a better place for dating.
Chris told Ashley she had to send two of the 12 guys home, but she asked to break the rules. She requested to send only one man home because she didn't want to leave the show with regrets and eliminate a man that may have been truly perfect for her. Chris agreed it was a smart decision and let her follow through with her wishes.