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Helene Eksterowicz's 'Bachelor' Recap: Safaris, Elephants, and Heartache in South Africa


Brad starts off Episode 9 of The Bachelor packing for the trip to South Africa  and expressing his doubts, trust issues, etc.

Here we go again!

Then, Brad notes that he is very comfortable around Chantal, has a fun relationship with Ashley, and calls Emily “one in a million.” But then he notes his concerns about his roller coaster relationship with Chantal, Ashley’s feelings and insecurities about his feelings towards her, and Emily’s past. But ultimately, Brad notes that he can see a future with them after meeting their families and notes that he does not want to end up alone. Well that’s reassuring.

Brad’s safari with ChantalChantal and Brad of the 'Bachelor' on their safari. Photo: www.people.com

First up, Brad starts off his South African adventure with Chantal on a jeep safari. They see lions sleeping, elephants roaming, and monkeys walking around. Their guide takes them to a picnic spot while holding a gun in his hand. Yikes!

With his Indiana Jones hat on, Brad expresses his feelings to Chantal both good and bad. They share some kisses by the river as a rhino snorts…very romantic.

Over dinner later, they discuss possibly meeting his family and Brad expresses to Chantal that he is the most comfortable around her. And then Chantal states her desire for them to skip their engagement, be spontaneous, and get married in South Africa. Brad likes her sense of adventure and boldness. The two then take off into the desert to their private treehouse (aka “fantasy suite.”) and go up to their elaborate canopy bed under the stars. The romance and kisses are flowing, and this was definitely a good date for Brad and Chantal.

Brad, Emily, and their elephant rideBrad, Emily, and their elephant ride. Photo: ABC fromhttp://www.buddytv.com/articles/the-bachelor/the-bachelor-week-9-recap-goin-39535.aspx

Next up, Brad runs up to greet Emily in her daisy dukes and cowboy boots. Brad remarks that he’s been counting the seconds to see her. And after a brief heartfelt meet-up, Brad takes off and returns on top of an elephant to pick her up for their safari adventure.

After an elephant ride through the desert, Emily and Brad share an open conversation together about Emily’s daughter, and whether they both can handle that commitment. Emily asks Brad very directly if he can handle a five-year-old and he says that he can.

At dinner, Brad seems very nervous around Emily and says that he has a lot of questions for her. Emily opens up to Brad and shares that she is so excited to share her and her daughter’s life with him. When the fantasy suite card comes around, Emily discloses that, although she wants to set a good example for her daughter, she also wants to spend more time with Brad talking and she wants to express her love for him tonight. And when Emily does express that she is falling in love with him, Brad has an odd reaction. After putting his head down almost in astonishment over her comments, he acknowledges back to her openly that he is falling in love with her, which is something that he hasn’t done with Chantal (at least on camera). They share some romantic time together where I’m sure some sparks were flying!

Brad and Ashley have trouble in paradise

Last but not least, Brad takes off to spend the day with Ashley soaring high above the desert on a helicopter (which Ashley is deathly afraid of). She holds on for dear life to Brad and they both take in the scenery below them. The two also share a fun picnic together and share their thoughts about the future. Brad asks Ashley about her future aspirations and ambitions and he hopes that he can add some balance in her life between work and play.

Later, Brad notes that he enjoys being around Ashley and her energy, but has more questions about their compatibility and where their lives are heading. Ashley is at the start of her dentistry career and Brad doesn’t want to hold her back. Ashley expresses to Brad that she wants to be superwoman and have it all, such as a great career and a family. Brad then discloses that he is sort of perplexed by her comments sometimes, and they both note some difficulties communicating things with each other. He feels that they are spending too much time reassuring each other about things rather than just enjoying their company. She notes to him that she just wants him to be happy and then they are miscommunicating again….and then there is silence and crickets.


After lounging together and drinking some wine, there are again some awkward moments and Brad feels that they may be taking some steps back. As I am watching this, I just don’t think they are a good match for each other, or maybe it’s just bad timing for them.

The Rose Ceremony

Brad speaks with Chris Harrison  briefly before the rose ceremony about his thoughts and feelings. While talking with Harrison, he emphasizes that his feelings are way deeper this time around. While he notes some strong feelings and fun times in South Africa with Chantal and Emily, he sadly remarks that his date with Ashley didn’t go as well as expected, and that he saw them both shutting down on each other.

Before the ceremony starts, Brad takes Ashley aside to talk to her about their last date, and he is upset that their relationship has taken a bad direction. They share a tearful conversation together, and he tells her that he has to say goodbye to her and doesn’t want to make her sit through the rose ceremony. Ashley gets up and notes that she is very surprised by his decision and heartbroken. You can see her further shutting down and detaching herself as they walk out to the car. Brad gives out the final two roses to Chantal and Emily and he shares with them that they will meet his family in Capetown, South Africa soon.

So tune in next week for the interesting reunion show with the girls (can’t wait to see Michelle’s and Ashley’s comments) before Brad jets off to Capetown to introduce the final two girls to his family!


Ex-Bachelor star and winner Helene Eksterowicz is also a co-writer of a dating/self help book called "Nobody’s Perfect" featured on Amazon.com  and Barnes and Noble  a few years ago. Drawing from her reality show dating experience, her background in psychology, and her belief in true love and relationships, Helene is setting out to bring some love back to Philly and help spotlight some eligible singles in order to hopefully find some love matches for others.

You can contact Helene at helene@philly2philly.com

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