The final three couples face the Fantasy Suite and their final performance in Nashville.

By Kristen Baldwin
May 18, 2020 at 10:00 PM EDT
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And so, rose lovers, our six-week spin-off “journey” is at an end. The “winning” “couple” has been chosen, and we’ve once again been thrust into the cold world of no Bachelor content… at least for two weeks, until The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever! begins on June 8.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. For now, you must Listen to Your Heart one last time. Let’s recap!

The final leg begins at the airport, as the remaining three couples — Rudi and Matt, Bri and Chris, and Jamie and Trevor — board a private jet to Nashville. (What, were those tour buses from last week just for decoration? It’s only a 29-hour drive from L.A.!) Jamie is thrilled to be home, and Trevor would have us believe that he’s ready to settle in Music City as well. “Whether we win this or not, my plan is to stay,” he says. “My plan is to move here because Jamie lives here.” (You know I immediately went to Trevor’s Instagram to figure out if he’s still in Nashville… but it’s not 100 percent clear. Anyone out there have the scoop?)

Chris Harrison greets the contestants on stage at the auditorium where they’ll be playing their final performance. And he’s rocking that “casual black jacket” lewk once again.

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In even bigger news: Harrison tells the “couples” that they’ll each have one last date. And it’s not just any date, says the host. It’s “the most important” date of all: “At the end of the date, there will be a Fantasy Suite card.” Ooooh, looks like someone’s excited!

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Then comes a masterful stroke of editing (and maybe it actually happened, who knows): Just as Harrison says, “I can’t impress upon you enough how important it is that both of you are on the same page,” the camera cuts to Matt, who fidgets and clears his throat nervously.

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Poor Matt. Doesn’t he realize that the stakes here are minuscule? So what if he’s not ready to spend the rest of his life with Rudi? Producers can’t force him to profess his undying love for her — and honestly, she’d probably think it was a little weird if he did. It’s pretty simple: They can either keep dating after the show is over, or Matt can say, “I think we should see other people.” You’re 32 years old, pal. Put on your big-boy pants and deal with the fact that you signed up for some reality TV singing-dating-public humiliation nonsense.

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What Matt actually said, I think, is “I want to talk after,” but “We have to talk” sounds more ominous, so I’m not surprised producers chose those subtitles. “I care about Rudi a lot, I really do,” says Matt. But, he adds, Chris Harrison’s speech about being on “the same page” as a couple “freaked me out a little.”

Because she can hear and see, Rudi can tell that something is bothering Matt. “I’m, like, super stressed right now,” she confesses to Jamie. “I feel like Matt is, just, like all over the place… I really just don’t feel good right now.” She feels so bad, in fact, that she just put her dirty boots on the fancy hotel bed!

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Rudi, this is the presidential suite at the Hermitage Hotel! Nixon, Wilson, and Kennedy have all stayed in this very room! Do you think they put their shoes on the bed? Come on, woman!

When Matt arrives for The Talk, Rudi is so anxious and prepared for the worst she’s practically sweating blood. “Getting to know you and how far we’ve come… has been such an amazing experience,” says Matt gravely. “And getting to sing with you has literally been the best musical experience of my life.” Matt, there’s clearly a big “but” coming here. Just do it, buddy. Tell Rudi about your big “but.”

Here it is: “But after hearing all that stuff from Chris Harrison, and looking at Bri and Chris and Trevor and Jamie… it’s just hard for me to say, like, we can go up there and be at the same level as they’re at with their relationship. Because I just don’t feel like we are.” Matt goes on to say that he just “can’t get there,” and he doesn’t want to be “disingenuous.” Gah, has this guy never seen a reality TV show before? The genre is built on people being disingenuous!

Joking aside, Matt seems like a nice guy, and he’s clearly trying to do the right thing here. And Rudi, to her credit, manages to keep things in perspective. “We don’t fake anything, and that’s why I like you,” she says. “What is on stage is real. It’s just me and you.” Neither of them needs to fake being “in love” to continue with the show, she reminds him. But Matt clearly wants to leave, and Rudi is rightfully annoyed. “Why did we f---ing come to Nashville then?” she asks him. “I could be with my freaking family right now.” (Oh honey, quarantine is coming — you’ll have plenty of time to hang with the fam.)

After sobbing for a few minutes in the bathroom, Rudi emerges because Matt wants to “say some stuff.” That “stuff” includes: I didn’t want to upset you, this decision was really hard, I care about you a lot, I’m really sorry, etc. etc. etc. “It’s okay,” whispers Rudi with a heavy sigh.

Welp, time to break the news to the other couples. “No!” shrieks Jamie, when Rudi announces that she’s leaving. “Go win it for me,” replies Rudi. Producers send Bri and Chris into the room so they can get in on the sad-goodbye action.

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Fare thee well, Rudi and Matt. Best of luck parlaying your time on this show into… something? Rudi would have been fun on Paradise. Damn you, COVID-19. Damn you to hell.

So I guess there’s really just one couple left to root for — and only two dates to sit through. Trevor and Jamie, you’re up! The “date” itself is pretty lame: Producers just sent them to the Fantasy Suite and gave them, like, a hummus platter.

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Live it up, you two! Jamie and Trevor dutifully talk about their “romantic” “journey,” with Jamie reiterating how she’s had trust issues in the past and tended to give “love to people that didn’t love me back.” I’m not sure if you remember this, rose lovers, because Jamie’s only told us about 14 times, but every person she’s ever dated has cheated on her. Will Trevor be the next to do her wrong? According to Trevor, the answer is no. “Heartbreak is scary for anyone,” he says. “But for you, I want to take that risk, because you’re worth it.” You know what’s next, rose lovers.

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Even the date card says, “Listen to your heart”!!!! Anyhow, Trevor and Jamie obviously decide to forgo their individual rooms, because their showmance is strong. Enjoy the chocolate-covered strawberries, guys!

There’s a similar lack of date drama with Chris and Bri. As a nice young woman from Provo, Utah (and a Mormon, per the description in her intro video), Bri isn’t just gonna say yes to the Fantasy Suite because producers want her to. “I take physical intimacy very seriously,” she explains.

At dinner (yes, Chris and Bri get an actual dinner — though they don’t eat anything), Chris tells Bri that he sees her as his future. They smooch and exchange “I love yous,” and then it’s time for the big date card reveal. Because of her past relationship trauma (remember, her fiancé broke up with her while she was wedding dress shopping), Bri says she’s not in “a rush” to “get anywhere” with their relationship. “I first want to get to know you on an emotional level,” she tells Chris. “But anything past that I want to save.” Of course, Chris is a gentleman about it. He agrees that “accelerating too fast on the physical front” can doom a relationship, and he’s fine to wait.

Look at this adorable, chaste duo!

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“Can I walk you to your room?” asks Chris. All together now: Awwwwwww.

Rehearsal day arrives, and right away, the musical director is up in their face about not being “lovey” enough during their performance of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.”

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From there, we intercut between Trevor and Jamie — relaxed, happy, lounging in plush hotel robes and sharing a massive room-service breakfast — and Bri and Chris, who keep screwing up their songs. “Something changed,” sighs Bri. “I can’t focus on my singing.” She’s worried, apparently, that she and Chris are “a little off” because they skipped the Fantasy Suite.

But did time in the Fantasy Suite help make Jamie and Trevor a better on-stage duo? Producers don’t even bother to show us their rehearsal, so we’ll have to wait for the “official” performances to find out. On the way to the venue, the vibe in each couple’s SUV is very different. First, Bri and Chris:

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And then we have Trevor and Jamie:

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Hmmm… It’s almost like producers really want us to think that there is no way in hell Chris and Bri could end up “winning” tonight. Now why on earth would they do that? Anyhow, let’s get this show on the road.

The theater is packed with (mostly) women who let out their best and loudest Women Tell All scream when Harrison walks out on stage. The host reminds everyone what the “winners” will receive: A recording session with a “noted producer” and a post-show tour. (At this rate, “post-show” probably means 2021, but that can’t be helped.) Let’s meet the judges!

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Yes, that’s Taye Diggs, former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe and former Bachelorette reject Jason Tartick, singer-songwriter-actress-poet Jewel, and singer-actress-icon Rita Wilson. (Reminder: This was shot long before she and that guy she’s married to got sick with coronavirus.)

Trevor and Jamie

Songs: “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers; “Speechless” by Dan and Shay

Judges’ feedback: “I really think you guys are unbelievably sweet together,” says Wilson. “I felt that your voices blended so beautifully.” Diggs agrees that Trevor and Jamie are “adorable,” but cautions that they were “leaning a little bit too much on each other” during the performance. (Translation: Stop with all the touching and hugging and just SING.) Jewel thinks their duet was “very beautiful,” and Kaitlyn says Trevor and Jamie’s “chemistry” just screams Fantasy Suite. This, of course, sends Bri into another spiral.

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“I’m worried about letting Chris down,” she says.

Chris and Bri

Songs: “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan; “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran

Judges’ feedback: Rita Wilson is impressed, y’all.

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Wouldn’t you know it, all of that build up about Bri and Chris not “connecting” turned out to be a big ol’ red herring! They blow Trevor and Jamie out of the water, and the judges LOVE it, the audience LOVES it, and Chris Harrison LOVES it.

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“You guys are a beautiful couple, you sing beautifully together,” says Taye Diggs. “I would pay money to see you guys.” Jewell encourages Bri to bring more energy to her body when she sings, and Jason Tartick announces, “It’s time for the world to see you two because you have so much to show and give.” Well, the world didn’t see them tonight… but LTYH averages about 2.8 million viewers, so that’s something.

With that, it’s time for the judges to deliberate and pick a winner. “You’re going to change two lives tonight,” says Harrison. He then sends them backstage to make their momentous decision. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see any of those deliberations (no doubt because it involved a whole pack of producers, too), and right after the commercial break Harrison brings the two “couples” back on stage.

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And the “winners” are… Chris and Bri, of course! After a group hug with Trevor and Jamie, the winning twosome leaves the theater and heads to the tour bus that’s waiting right outside. But there’s still one thing left for them to do.

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The mutual exchange of roses is complete! And in case you were worried that everything went south as soon as the cameras (temporarily) stopped rolling, we suddenly flash forward to “a few weeks later,” as Chris and Bri work together in a recording studio. The tour will have to wait, but a card at the end of the credits assures us that “Bri and Chris are still deeply in love today and are excited for the release of their debut album.” Sorry your reality TV victory happened during a global pandemic, guys!

Well, rose lovers, this was a fun distraction. Do you think the right couple won? Will you be watching The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever? And when was the last time you washed your hands? Post your thoughts below!

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