Bad poetry followed bad poetry on Monday night's "The Bachelorette" as the nine remaining bachelors tried to write a love poem to Ali Fedotowsky in hopes of winning this week's only one-on-one date in Reykjavik, Iceland.
"It takes a real man to buck up and do it," Ali says of the poetry contest, before selecting Kirk as the winner. Of all the guys, she chose him because he sat next to her while he read his poem -- as did Frank -- but of the two, she selected Kirk because she hadn't had a one-on-one date with him yet. She told the guys that they should have learned their lesson at The Lion King when she selected Roberto to be her partner because he sang his audition song to her.
First stop was a clothing store where the two tried on silly sweaters before selecting matching outfits for their date. Kirk, who hadn't dated anyone in more than a year, was nervous about telling Ali his history because he thought if he revealed his secret, it would leave him exposed.
Even as Kirk was feeling concerned about his privacy, Ali was troubled as to why he hadn't been dating. She said, "I feel that he is holding things back. I want to give him a rose, but I don't know. I hope he opens up today and let's me know what is going on."
Finally, that night at dinner, Kirk shared his story: Five years ago, he became so ill, he wasn't sure he was going to survive.
"I was a runner. I was all-American. I went to college to train with friends," he says. "I moved into a house and I started having breathing problems. In a matter of a month, I lost 15 pounds. I felt terrible. Weird things were happening, like the hair on my arms was falling out. I lost my short-term memory."
Kirk went to several clinics, including the Mayo Clinic, in search of a diagnosis. It took him more than a year, but he finally discovered that two weeks before he moved into the house, the health department had deemed it "unlivable."
"There was asbestos and mold. It really affects your nervous system, so I got awfully sick," he told her. "It doesn't define me. It just prioritized what is important -- people and relationships are most important."
After hearing his story, Ali felt he had a lot of the qualities she was looking for, so she presented him with the red rose. He told her, "I feel so lucky."
The group date -- Roberto, Chris L., Chris N., Craig R., Frank and Ty -- began with a horseback ride, showing Ty off to advantage as he was able to help Ali and Chris L. with their horses. Next stop was an ice cave. Chris L. went first so he could spend some alone time with Ali while the other guys were repelling into the cave. Ali noticed that Frank, who had had the very first solo date on episode one, was holding back, but she didn't say anything to him at that time. Then, the six bachelors and Ali culminated their date at the famed Blue Lagoon, a geothermal volcanic spa, where Ali surprised the guys by stripping down to a bikini and jumping in. They quickly changed into bathing attire and followed her.
Frank hated the time that Ali spent with the other guys, saying, "It is driving me insane. I am an emotional disaster now." He told Ali, "It is a competition for your time. Everybody is right there to pounce."
She explained her feelings to him, saying, "I don't think you exist on the group dates. It is about me knowing we have something. I look forward to seeing you." Frank agreed she was right and promised to do step up.
Then it was time for Ali to present the rose. She said, "Tonight, I would like to give the rose to a guy who, no matter what happened today, I felt was there when I needed him." That guy was Ty.
Meanwhile, Justin was planning Kasey's downfall. The "Rated R" wrestler got his cast cut off and replaced with a walking boot, so he could ditch the crutches and "hug Ali with two arms."
"When you see fear in your opponent's eye, you got to do what you got to do. Take them out," Justin said. Then he told Kasey, "There will be one rose and the other person is going home. That person is not me."
Justin was successful in psyching out Kasey, who said, "Justin is so full of lies. Who knows what he is going to do? He may tell Ali about my tattoo."
The two-on-one date began with a helicopter ride across the famed, active Eyjafjallajökull Volcano. "Stepping off the helicopter onto the volcano was extraordinary, but I had to remind myself that one of the guys was going home," Ali said.
Ali was aware that the other guys didn't like Justin and she tried to get to the bottom of it, and Justin succeeded in reassuring her about his intentions for the time being.
Then Ali went to spend time with Kasey, pointing out that the only thing she wanted from Kasey was for him to act normal. "I don't want to take away from who you are," she said. But Kasey was clueless and made a huge blunder when he showed Ali his tattoo -- a heart guarded by a shield. "I never want to forget this memory," Kasey said. "I am who I am and that is never going to change."
Ali's reaction was, "What! When? Your mom is going to kill you." But you could tell it helped her make her decision. She said, "Justin, I appreciated how you empathized with the situation [that I had to let someone go]. Kasey, I love that you are being so strong though this whole situation, but I am going to give Justin the rose. Kasey, I think you are really great. I think you are so ready to meet someone. I don't want to hold you back. I want you to go find her." Then she added, "I felt that something just wasn't there."
Later Ali said, "I am 100 percent positive that I made the right choice in letting Kasey go today. Not just the right choice for me, but also for Kasey."
Before the rose ceremony, Ali had a conversation with host Chris Harrison in which she divulged that she was afraid to let go and fall in love because she was afraid she wouldn't be loved back by the guy that she picked. She vowed not to let fear be a controlling factor in her life.
Then it was time for the rose ceremony: Kirk, Ty and Justin already had roses, so they were safe. Ali presented the remaining four roses to Frank, Chris L., Roberto and Craig R.
"I just couldn't get there with him," Ali said of her choice to send Chris N. home. While he said, "I am at a loss for words. I am shattered by this whole thing. I might have come out of my shell a little bit more if I had stuck around."
"The Bachelor" returns next Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC when the next stop on the round-the-world tour is Istanbul, Turkey.
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