'The Bachelorette' star Emily Maynard ousts Sean Lowe and determines Final 2 bachelors
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/10/2012
The Bachelorette star Emily Maynard said goodbye to another suitor and decided her final two men during last night's broadcast of the ABC reality dating series' eighth season.
Sean Lowe, a 28-year-old insurance agent from Dallas, TX, was eliminated during the ninth episode's Rose Ceremony at the end of Monday night's broadcast.
"Honestly, when she walked out tonight, in my head I thought, 'That's my wife.' I knew without a doubt that I was going to marry her. It hurts. It hurts a lot -- a lot more than I could probably describe. I mean, I've had all week to think about this and never did I think I was going to be going home. All week, my thoughts have been consumed with being a father, being a husband, which I was fully prepared to do," Sean said following his ouster.
"This past week, I've pictured myself with her and Ricki and having the big family that she wanted. I had this beautiful picture of what my life was going to look like and now it's gone, so it feels like it was stolen from me and there's nothing I can do about it. You know, there's a lot of emotions going on inside of me right now -- sadness, embarrassment -- I want to love someone with every ounce of my being."
The Bachelorette's ninth eighth-season episode began with the remaining three bachelors -- Sean; Arie Luyendyk Jr., a 30-year-old race car driver from Scottsdale, AZ; and Jef Holm, a 27-year-old entrepreneur from Salt Lake City, UT -- traveling to Curacao for the week's special overnight dates, which marked the first time this season Emily would be afforded the chance to spend private time with the guys alone.
Before embarking on her first date with Sean in Watamula, Curacao, Emily reflected on all three of the relationships she had formed and summed of the qualities she loved in each of her guys. She believed meeting Sean was love at first sight and that he would be the "best dad ever." Emily thought Sean was physically strong and attractive, yet was gentle and kind, which was hitting the "jackpot" in her book. She also said Sean gave her "butterflies in the heart."
Emily loved how Jef was his own person with great style and marched to the beat of his own drum. She liked the fact he had an edge but was also extremely thoughtful and sweet. Emily appreciated Jef's quirky sense of humor and imagined a life with him to be fun and adventurous. She also noted Jef just "gets her" and liked how romantic and genuine he was.
As for Arie, Emily believed he brought out the youthfulness in her. She loved how Arie was sensitive and attentive and made her feel loved and confident in herself. Emily said she felt like if she selected Arie in the end, he would adore her forever and always be there for her as a loving best friend.
"I never thought in a million years I'd be feeling so strongly for three different guys... at this point, my biggest fear is sending the wrong guy home," Emily explained.
Emily wanted to clear her mind and get to a place where she could feel confident in her decision. She knew she could potentially be getting engaged within a short period of time and needed to make the best decision for herself and her six-year-old daughter Ricki.
Later on, Emily was ready to take Sean out on their special date and was patiently waiting to hear something important from him.
"I love seeing Sean. His whole smile and his face just lights up and he's just so perfect and so sweet, but he is the only one who hasn't told me how he feels about me. He hasn't said, 'I love you' yet, and those words carry such huge weight for me, so it's hard for me -- just as a girl who's trying to be protective of myself -- to really let my heart or even head go there yet," Emily explained.
"Today's a huge day for me. I've gotta put my heart on the line. I've gotta put myself out there. We're at the point now where I'm in love with this girl, don't wanna lose her, and I think if I hold back, there's a chance that could happen. So, it's imperative that I don't hold back," Sean said.
The couple took a romantic helicopter ride and observed the sights of the island together. Sean was hoping there'd come a point where saying, "I love you" would just come out naturally and feel right in the moment. After their joy ride, Emily and Sean then set a blanket down on a private beach together.
Sean told Emily more about his past, saying he had loved his ex-girlfriend but wasn't in love with her and therefore didn't do special things for her a good boyfriend would most likely do in that situation. Sean said little things such as constantly kissing and holding hands were gestures he felt comfortable acting upon with Emily that he didn't feel right engaging in with his former girlfriend.
Emily knew Sean had it in him to be affectionate and open, but she realized he moved at a slower pace than her other two bachelors and needed more time to express his feelings. Emily was okay with the pace of their relationship, and she had a feeling Sean loved her and was ready to say those three words. However, she needed to hear him say it rather than just assume he was in love with her.
Afterward, the couple swam in the ocean and kissed in each other's arms. Later that night, Emily and Sean enjoyed dinner on the beach by a campfire, and Sean told Emily he wrote Ricki a letter he'd love for her to read one day, assuming he was going to be the man to end up with Emily and be married to her.
In the letter, Sean said he'd never try to replace Ricki's father, but he wanted her to know she was his daughter. He told her he'd love her forever just like he would Emily and he'd enjoy teaching her life lessons along the way. Emily seemed thrilled with the letter and appreciated how he put himself out there for her.
Emily then asked Sean whether he could see himself being engaged at the end of their The Bachelorette journey. Sean told her that he couldn't imagine his life without her and he had found the woman he wanted to be with forever.
"I have fallen in love with you and I know it without a shadow of a doubt," Sean said.
"It's awesome to hear Sean tell me everything that he's feeling. Honestly, all my questions were answered tonight. I feel like he's totally ready to be a dad, totally ready to be married and love his wife forever and put her first. I really feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now," Emily told the cameras.
Emily then offered Sean the key to the couple's fantasy date suite so they could spend more time together. Sean said he loved Emily and didn't want to let her go, nor did he ever see himself letting her go. He was excited to be with Emily without any distractions, and Emily seemed to be on the same page. The couple then got settled in and enjoyed time together in the hottub, kissing most of the time.
"Sean is so hot and so manly. Every time I'm around Sean, it's like I can't keep my hands off him. I'm so confused. Every fiber in my whole entire body is saying, 'Just stay the night.' Every fiber in my head is saying, 'No, don't do it.' In the back of my head, it's like, I need to figure out, 'Do I take this time just the two of us or do I go with my gut and go with what my heart tells me to do and call it a night and trust that in the end, I'll know anyway?'" Emily questioned.
Emily then walked Sean out and said she needed to set an example because she was a mom, and staying overnight with a guy in that type of scenario wasn't something she believed in. She said she didn't need a couple extra hours to be around Sean to convince herself how she felt about him. She already knew how she felt about him.
"The last thing I want to do is leave Emily, and I get the feeling that's the last thing she wants to do too. Obviously I want to spend the whole night with her, just talking with her and being with her. I think the important thing is I walked away knowing that there's no doubt about it -- I'm going to end up marrying that girl," Sean explained.
The next day, Jef met up with Emily for their date and they took a sailboat ride together. Jef told Emily his family definitely approved of her, and he hoped he could be the second most important thing in Emily's life next to Ricki. Jef really wanted to meet Ricki to ensure they could have a solid relationship.
The couple then went to Klein Knip Beach, and Emily said when she was with Jef, she felt like no one else was around and loved every minute she had with him. Jef knew he was in love with Emily and realized he needed to appreciate every single moment he got with her. He thought she was the "most amazing, beautiful girl ever." The couple kissed at sunset, and Jef said their life together was just starting.
Later that night, Jef planned to turn the tables and ask Emily some questions because he had fallen in love with a girl without meeting the most significant part of her life forever, Ricki. Jef wanted to know what Emily was like in Ricki's presence.
When asked about where she'd like to live, Emily told Jef she'd move wherever he'd be happy and wanted to start a new life with him and Ricki. Jef loved the fact they could move somewhere together and just focus on their relationship.
Jef then asked why Emily's prior relationships hadn't worked out when she dated great guys, and she said everything could be perfect on paper but still not be right for her. Emily said she simply loved being around Jef and that's what made him different for her. Jef told her in return he hadn't seen the end goal with any girl he had dated before Emily. Jef explained he was crazy about Emily and where their relationship was going.
Lastly, Jef asked Emily if he'd be a good fit as a father for Ricki. Emily told him he'd be a perfect fit and that she could picture him in the kitchen while making lunch for Ricki everyday. Jef thought her answer was huge for him.
Emily then gave Jef the fantasy suite invitation. He said it'd be awesome to forego their individual rooms, but he understood how many of their loved ones would be watching the show, and so out of respect for all of them, he said there'd be a time and place for that in the future and every night of the rest of their lives could be their very own little fantasy suite. Emily laughed because she was looking forward to turning Jef down but didn't even get the chance because he beat her to the punch.
"Today's date was the best date I've ever been on. It was perfect. It's so incredibly hard to walk out that door and walk away from the fantasy suite. I know what we have is unique and different and amazing, and after today, I'm more in love with this woman than ever," Jef said.
The following day, Emily went on her special date with Arie to Spanish Water Bay.
Arie was feeling completely in love with Emily and couldn't wait to propose and eventually be her husband. Emily said she almost had an immediate connection with Arie and her feelings were continuing to grow stronger. The couple then swam with dolphins in the ocean, and while Emily was scared, she liked how protective Arie was over her.
Arie said Emily was the love of his life and things were perfect when they were together. They had an amazing chemistry and just wanted to kiss each other constantly. Likewise, Emily said it was obvious she just loved kissing Arie and it'd be very hard for her to reject the overnight date with him due to that reason.
Emily said that from their very first date, Arie had never been "just her friend." However, Emily needed to find out whether there was more to her connection with Arie rather than just a strong chemistry. At dinner, she and Arie talked about their daily routines such as what time they normally woke up and went to bed.
They clearly had different schedules, but Arie seemed to be open to change. Emily then told Arie the same thing she had told Jef, that she'd be willing to move to Scottsdale to be with him if that's where he ultimately wanted to live. Arie felt meeting Ricki eventually was going to be an "absolute blessing" and truly strengthen their relationship. He was looking forward to showing Emily the side of him that was great with and loved kids.
Emily didn't want there to be a difference in how much Ricki's dad loved Ricki versus how much her stepdad would. Arie said first and foremost, he would need to develop a friendship with Ricki and then fill the fatherly role along the way. He said he had to gain Ricki's trust and acceptance before just becoming her father figure. Emily was surprised about how dead-on Arie was and then admitted she had never given him the credit he deserved.
The couple then told each other they felt so confident in the other's presence, and both parties agreed they brought each other so much happiness.
"Arie is so good looking. That's the problem. Tonight is the fantasy suite overnight date. It's a total inner struggle for me because he's so good looking. When I'm around him, I just want to be like touching him and being with him, but as a role model and a mother, I just can't," Emily explained.
"I'm just not going to give him the fantasy suite card. At the end of the day, I don't trust myself. I won't let myself go there, but good Lord, he's hot."
Emily then walked Arie out and they continued to kiss. She got very emotional afterwards because she had the time of her life with him and didn't want it to end. She would've loved to sit with him and enjoy the moment.
"There are three guys here and I need to pick one, and that means that my relationship with the other two is going to be over and that makes me sad because they all have really formed a place in my heart and I'm not ready to let that go yet," Emily said in tears.
Later on, Emily met with host Chris Harrison to talk about her journey thus far. She said she hadn't made any decisions she regretted up to that point and didn't want to stray from that pattern. She was scared she wasn't going to make the right choice or that things were going to end up the way her last relationship with Brad Womack had.
Chris asked Emily if she was ready to make a decision, and she said she had been following her heart the entire time and hoped she'd continue the path of making the right choices based on that. Emily said she was falling in love with each of the guys in different ways and couldn't wait to end up with one guy, but yet, she wasn't ready to say goodbye to any of them.
Emily wished there was more time, and she said she just had so much fun in general, that she couldn't believe she was getting so close to the end.
Afterward, Emily's final three bachelors each sent her a private video message as a final plea for her heart. Emily told Chris she was stressed out and felt a lot of pressure, because she felt "really bad" to break the hearts of very special men in order to find her guy. The videos made Emily's tears stream down her face, as each guy confessed his love to her and reminded her how much he could envision a life with her and Ricki.
"I do feel like you have to go through heart break in order to find the person you're supposed to be with. I know that just as good as anybody, but I hate to be the one to do it. I don't want to be the one to teach that lesson to anybody. Looking back on all three of my dates this week, I don't think the person I send home thinks it could be them. Each of my dates was so great and perfect really, that I don't think any of them think it's them," Emily explained in tears.
"That's what makes it so hard, just caring for them and wanting them to be happy and knowing that they never did anything wrong to me. I feel really bad. I don't want to hurt anybody and I don't want to make the wrong choice."
Emily feared she had everything right in front of her and was just choosing to pass it by.
Emily approached her three final men and told them she could picture a fairytale ending with three different guys there in the end with her. She said the decision was extremely difficult and she cared about each of them, ultimately ending her short speech with an apology.
Emily then handed out roses to Jef and Arie.
Sean's face read one of disbelief and shock. Emily walked him out and they had a chance to sit down with each other, talk and say their final goodbyes. Sean wasn't sure what to say at first, and after Emily asked him what he was thinking about, he said he felt "kind of stupid" because he knew with certainty he was ready to spend forever with her and he didn't see it coming. Sean told Emily it hurt him, and then Emily broke down and cried.
"I want you to know that I wanted it to be you so bad -- so, so bad. I'm really going to miss you and I've loved every minute," Emily tried to tell him while sobbing.
"I'm going to miss you more than you know, but you know, I care about you ultimately. And if this is the best for you, then you have to do what's best for you," Sean told her.
"I hope I am," Emily noted. "Thank you for everything."
Emily bawled during Sean's departure and desperately tried to maintain her composure outside while her final two bachelors were awaiting her inside with their roses.