Matt eliminated Bri, a 24-year-old communications manager from Owatonna, MN, at the Final 3 Rose Ceremony, which determined Michelle, a 27-year-old teacher from Edina, MN, and Rachael, a 24-year-old graphic designer from Cumming, GA, as his Final 2 women.
The Bachelor broadcast began with Michelle saying that she wanted to know where Matt's feelings were at because she felt ready to spend the rest of her life with him. Michelle had already told Matt that she was falling in love with him, but she wanted to share with him that her feelings were even deeper than that.
Bri also gushed about her strong connection with the "amazing, incredible and empathetic" The Bachelor star, and Rachael said she couldn't wait to tell Matt that she was "so sure" of their relationship and "so sure of him."
"I feel it with every ounce of my being that he is who I'm supposed to be. It's scary because I still have that chance of losing him, but I know I want it more than anything I've ever wanted," Rachael told the cameras.
The Bachelor host Chris Harrison then met with Matt's Final 3 bachelorettes to drop off the first Date Card and said each woman would have an amazing, romantic day with the Bachelor as well as an overnight Fantasy Suite date in which the couple would receive off-camera time to have some serious, in-depth conversations.
Michelle was up first and she said she was "super excited" to see Matt.
But Matt had struggled to go deep in past relationships and share who he is and what he's about due to the demise of his parents' marriage and watching his mother raise kids alone.
Matt no longer wanted to run from tough conversations, and so he decided to sit down with his estranged father, Manny James, for some long-awaited answers and closure.
"I still have fear about what commitment looks like based on him and my mom's relationship, and that's not something I want to carry with me," Matt explained.
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!
"Harboring that negativity in my life hasn't progressed any of my relationships; it's hindered my growth, and for me to move forward, I need to address those demons in my life."
Manny said Matt was clearly doing well for himself, and Matt explained he was nervous about committing to a woman on the show. Manny told Matt that he'd be great and didn't think he'd have any problems with that.
Matt said he wanted to be a husband and a father and, to him, that meant showing up, having tough conversations and being there for his loved ones. Matt admitted he had missed out on a lot because he had guarded himself due to what he had been through with his father before.
"When I needed you, you weren't there to have those conversations. You started other families, and that affected me. I need to know where your head was at so that I don't make those same mistakes going forward," Matt said.
Manny insisted he would have had this conversation with Matt in the past had he been approached earlier, but Matt said there was never a good time because his dad was allegedly never around.
Manny explained that his father was killed when he was only five years old and he had come home one day when Matt was only two or three years old to see his wife had taken off.
"For good reason! Who's going to be with somebody who's not faithful to her?!" Matt argued.
"No one is perfect son... You are not perfect yourself. We're going to make mistakes in our life. You fall, and you've got to get up," Manny countered.
Manny said his behavior "wasn't a good thing" and, if he had a daughter, he wouldn't want his daughter to be lied to and cheated on.
Matt asked his dad not to make excuses and said he thanked God his mother had the courage to stand up for herself and walk away from the terrible situation Manny had put her in.
Manny said he came on the show to celebrate Matt as the Bachelor, but Matt said he needed to have a tough conversation with him in order to maintain any type of relationship with him going forward.
Matt said his father dropped by every now and then when he was little to drop off shoes or buy the boys pizza.
"I didn't need any shoes. I didn't need any pizza. I needed a dad," Matt cried in a confessional.
Manny apologized to Matt for hurting him and said he'd work on making things better so Matt would be happy and enter a healthy relationship, and Matt thanked him for that.
Manny said he didn't want Matt to be far away from him, and Matt noted that he wanted Manny to be in his future children's lives and they both have a lot of life left to live.
Matt told Manny that he forgave him and wanted them to move forward, and then they shared an emotional and tight embrace.
"I'll still kick your ass in soccer," Matt joked with Manny to lighten the mood.
Manny told Matt that he loved him and was proud of him, and Matt acknowledged this was just a starting point and more work needed to be done in the future to better their relationship.
"I'm not the man my dad is, and just because I'm his son, I don't need to follow in his footsteps. I believe my person is here, and I'm absolutely excited," Matt gushed.
After a heavy morning and a lot of growth, Matt embarked on his date with Michelle, whom he felt "strongly about," especially after meeting her family.
For their date, Matt found a way for Michelle and himself to de-stress with a spa day. It was a "traditional Pennsylvania Dutch spa day" that included some interesting treatments -- including a milk bath, an oatmeal soak for their feet and strange animal skins everywhere.
Matt admitted the date was a little weird but he and Michelle were able to have fun with it and enjoy each other's company. The pair even smothered themselves in butter!
"I feel like Matt is my person. We could be sitting in a milk bath covered in butter and it feels comfortable! It feels like home," Michelle shared.
Michelle told Matt that her feelings for him grew during her hometown date, and Matt said he felt the most comfortable around her loved ones and noticed that her parents are so in love.
The couple discussed how staying in love is intentional and takes work, especially when kids are involved and daily life becomes exhausting, and Michelle said she had a good example in her life on how to do that.
Matt could see achieving his hopes and dreams with Michelle, whom he could also envision as his wife.
That evening over a nice dinner, Matt felt closer to Michelle than ever before, and he planned to tap into his feelings and be vulnerable.
Matt dished about the insecurities he had because of his mother and father's failed marriage that was laced with distrust, infidelity and a lack of communication. Matt promised to be the man his father wasn't and said he was ready for a commitment.
Michelle told Matt that she viewed him as her "person" and would always be there for him.
"I know what I feel in my heart for you, and it feels completely right and it feels crazy," Michelle said, adding, "You're the person I want to spend the rest of my life with."
Michelle decided to forego her individual room and accept a key to her Fantasy Suite with Matt, saying she'd love to spend more intimate time with Matt. She said she felt comforted by her love for Matt and hoped for a marriage proposal at the end of the process -- no question.
The couple then popped champagne in their Fantasy Suite and Michelle told the Bachelor, "It feels right to say it and so I'm going to say it. I love you, Matt."
Matt kissed Michelle and she said she felt so relieved.
Meanwhile, the thought of Matt and Michelle spending the night together was "driving [Rachael] absolutely insane."
"I am in love with Matt and he's with another woman right now. My heart is gonna explode. I don't want to think about it, but it's all I can think about. I'm going insane," Rachael lamented. "My worst nightmare is him spending the night with someone else."
The next morning, Matt and Michelle woke up next to each other and Michelle said she could get used to this. Michelle felt confident and unafraid and just hoped Matt was feeling the same way.
Matt said it's not hard to see a life with Michelle because their relationship just worked, and he said, "Where we went last night was just incredible."
"It's almost unfair just having this type of experience off the bat; it just sets the bar at a place that's going to be tough to beat," Matt explained. "Because the way we interact with each other and how we connect, it's special. She could be my wife."
That day, Rachael was feeling sick to her stomach and then Michelle rejoined the group. Michelle said she got many conversations out of the evening and was really happy about it, and both Bri and Rachael were obviously struggling.
Bri was battling feeling hurt, excited, happy and in love. She questioned if her romance with Matt was enough considering he had given her the third rose at the prior Rose Ceremony following hometown dates.
That day, Bri met up with Matt in the woods and the couple hiked and pitched a tent together. She anticipated a life-changing day with The Bachelor star, who knew Bri was falling in love with him.
Matt had never been camping in the woods before and so the pair enjoyed a few laughs and cuddled by a fire. Matt joked that he and Bri would be sleeping in the tent overnight.
Bri said it was getting harder to compartmentalize her relationship with Matt, but he assured the bachelorette that he felt comfortable with her and her family's intensity didn't scare her away.
Bri had all the reassurance she needed, and she said, "If Matt got down on one knee tonight, I would one thousand percent say 'yes.'"
At dinner, Bri asked Matt if he felt ready for an engagement, and he talked about his conversation with Manny and how it resulted in him letting his walls down.
Matt said he thought he was ready for a major commitment, and Bri shared that she would have liked her father -- who also wasn't around when she was a child -- to be a part of this journey. Bri wished her father could see the woman she's become.
"I still feel 100 percent ready for an engagement after this, and what I'm feeling is that I really am so in love with you," Bri expressed to Matt, "because it means the world to me that you can understand me. And it really just goes to show why I love you and the things I love about you."
Matt noted that he felt "an undeniable" connection with Bri and could also envision spending the rest of his life with her. Bri looked forward to undisturbed and uninterrupted time with Matt, and so she accepted his invitation into the Fantasy Suite.
The couple had a beautiful cabin set up for them with a fire in the fireplace, and Bri hoped it was going to be one night together of many to come.
Matt and Bri kissed and then Matt escorted her into the bedroom, and Bri hoped Matt would wake up in the morning feeling like he was laying next to his wife.
Matt and Bri woke up together and made some eggs, and Bri said that Matt had shared he felt ready for an engagement. Bri said she felt utter bliss and so in love, and Matt revealed he and the bachelorette had "connected on the deepest of levels."
"It's hard to see her leave... I have such strong feelings for everybody. It doesn't make the decision I have to make at the end of the week any easier," Matt admitted in a confessional.
When Bri met up with Michelle and Rachael again, Bri was smiling big and said she had a good day and the off-camera time had been "worth the wait."
Rachael confessed that she was getting in her head about Matt having changed his mind about her after spending intimate nights with two other women.
As Rachael got ready for her date, she just sat by herself in a room and cried. Rachael apparently felt overwhelmed and scared, and she was starting to feel the pressure.
"It hurts seeing how they feel... I'm worried about how he feels and what he's thinking. I'm really freaking out. I know how I feel about him and I know that I love him, and I know this is love because I don't feel like I could live without him," Rachael explained.
"At this point I just want him to tell me, like, 'Do I need to walk away?' I'm scared he's going to hurt me."
Matt's date with Rachael then began, and Matt acknowledged Bri had once again set the bar very high.
Rachael went into her date nervous and a little defeated or deflated. Rachael feared Matt had developed a stronger connection with someone else, and she hoped she wouldn't feel that once she entered his arms again.
Matt told Rachael that he had been thinking about her, and he could feel that the bachelorette had something on her mind and was going through a struggle.
For their date, Matt and Rachael enjoyed a ceramics date together. Rachael was quiet and didn't feel 100 percent because she couldn't help thinking about him being intimate with another woman.
Rachael said her thoughts were "excruciating" and she had to get a lot off her chest because she didn't want to wait around just to have her heart broken.
Rachael admitted to Matt the week had been "unbearable" for her because she pictured him as her future husband and knew he had spent intimate moments with other people.
Rachael said it was the "lowest" she had ever felt but she wanted Matt to do whatever he had to do in order to feel completely confident in his final decision. But Rachael questioned if Matt's feelings for her had changed, and she expressed utter fear in the thought of losing him.
Matt promised Rachael that he was only thinking about her and her rough skydiving landing really freaked him out because he had a hard time thinking about life without her. Matt reminded Rachael that he was falling in love with her and would continue to be open.
"I'm head over heels for you. I am completely in love with you," Rachael said.
Rachael suddenly felt a lot better and gained her confidence back. Rachael told the cameras that she's a better and happier person in Matt's presence and every part of her wanted him.
"Being intimate is really important to have in a relationship, especially someone you're going to spend the rest of your life with someone," Rachael shared in a confessional.
She added, "I never let my guard down like this, but I see him as my husband and I want to be his wife, and I feel like there's just a really special intimacy that you share with one another that you don't share with anyone else, and that's exactly what I'm looking for tonight."
Rachael told Matt later that evening that she found comfort in leaning on him, and Matt expressed how he was ready to love wholeheartedly. Rachael knew Matt would never walk away from his family, and Rachael touched upon wanting to have kids with him.
"I am one hundred percent completely ready for that if you give us a chance and I'm ready to take on life with you and whatever comes our way," Rachael said.
"If you had a ring in your pocket and pulled it out right now, I would say, 'yes.' I've been ready for weeks at this point!"
Matt gushed about how Rachael is smart, beautiful, articulate and sexy, and he wanted to show Rachael how much he truly cared about her. Rachael said she'd go through the pain 100 more times just to be in this position with Matt.
Rachael looked forward to spending the night with the man she loved and waking up next to him, and before the couple got into bed together, they watched an amazing firework display outside of their window.
"I've never wanted anybody more in my entire life. I really do love the man and I want to spend my life with him. I want to be his wife and I am so ready for this. I hope that he goes and gets the ring while I'm asleep and I wake up with a ring on my finger," Rachael gushed.
It then became time for a Rose Ceremony, and Matt's Final 2 bachelorettes would get to meet Matt's family.
Michelle felt "on top of the world" and Bri also felt really good about having progressed her relationship with The Bachelor star. Bri had "extremely high hopes" going into the evening, and she knew one woman was going to be "completely blindsided."
Rachael walked into the Rose Ceremony totally confident, saying her Fantasy Suite confirmed her feelings for Matt and seemed to do the same for Matt.
"What we have, you can't have that with two other women," Rachael said.
Matt knew he was about to break a woman's heart and this person did nothing to deserve that. Matt told the women at the Rose Ceremony this was "the hardest decision" he had to make.
Following a "monumental" week, according to Matt, he handed out roses to Michelle and then Rachael.
Bri immediately appeared devastated and then Matt walked her out. As Bri cried, Matt said, "I'm sorry." Matt insisted he couldn't point to one thing and tell Bri that's why he ultimately decided to let her go.
Matt said his decision was just based on his feelings for the other women and where his heart was leading him, adding that Bri really had nothing to do with it.
"I can't be upset and I can't be angry, but I can be really upset, disappointed and hurt," Bri cried.
"But that's not on you... Obviously I gave up a lot to be here, and it is hard to think about not being able to see you again, but I think that's just how this goes."
Bri admitted it was hard to think about Matt moving on with someone else, and then the pair hugged goodbye.