SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not watched the Dec. 14 episode of “The Bachelorette.”
After Rodney Matthews was eliminated, three men remained to compete for Michelle Young’s heart on “The Bachelorette.” Brandon Jones, Joe Coleman and Nayte Olukoya all joined Michelle in Mexico, where they anticipated their overnight fantasy suite dates — the first camera-free time as a couple.
Brandon went first, which left the other men reflecting on their own relationships with Michelle. While Joe was bothered and nervous at the idea of his girlfriend spending the night with other men, Nayte was unphased by the situation.
Brandon spent the afternoon horseback riding with Michelle and was especially communicative about his feelings. He reaffirmed his love for her, confident that she was the one for him. During dinner, the two agreed to head to the fantasy suites after hot tubbing under fireworks.
The next morning, Brandon was confident as ever and left the date sure they were meant to be. When he reunited with the men, the awkwardness was palpable as each man went quiet in an attempt to not “show each other [their] cards.”
The second date went to Joe, and he and Michelle went zip lining before a picnic and intimate dinner. Despite his quiet demeanor and introverted personality, he affirmed his feelings for Michelle and they agreed to head to the fantasy suite.
After the night together, Michelle claimed clarity, complimented her “slice of home” and dreaded her impending elimination decision.
The final date went to Nayte, who exuded confidence going into his one-on-one, where he and Michelle sailed on a catamaran. Back at the hotel, the other two men questioned his commitment and ability to open up to Michelle.
Michelle started their date seeming giddy and saying that Nayte felt like being with her “soulmate.” But later, she expressed concerns and worried that her investment in him was one-sided.
“This whole engagement thing is a week away. And it’s important for me to know if he can get there. Going into tonight, the biggest thing that I need to hear is if he loves me. … If we can’t get there, I will be incredibly heartbroken,” she said.
When she confronted him about the expedited timeline and asked about his feelings and readiness, he initially praised their relationship in vague terms. She pressed him for more details and he admitted he saw a life together and said he did not plan on pulling away.
His remarks instilled a new confidence in Michelle, who invited him to the fantasy suite. The next morning, he told her that he loved her, which — in rare Bachelorette form — she reciprocated. She reiterated that her time with Nayte felt like what a “soulmate feels like.”
After Michelle wrapped all three dates, they all prepared for the rose ceremony. Once the group was gathered, Brandon pulled her aside and reiterated his own feelings for her and his commitment to being unwavering support — regardless of the outcome.
When the two rejoined the group, it seemed his conversation was successful. She presented Nayte with a rose, followed by Brandon, advancing them both to the finale. Michelle was emotional during Joe’s exit, apologizing for breaking his heart.
He was quiet during the rejection and said he was in shock on his way out. But his absence rattled the Bachelorette, who broke down in tears behind him.
“The Bachelorette” finale airs Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. on ABC.