She tells us that she was "devastated" when she left South Africa and realised she was in love with Brad but never told him. "Watching our relationship going up and down was hard and I have so many regrets," she says. "I wonder how different things could have been. That is going to haunt me forever."
The 27-year-old decides that it's time for her to move on with her life and is determined to leave The Bachelorette with no regrets.
Among this season's bachelors...
Before the cocktail party kicks off, we get a quick introduction to some bachelors. Ryan P, 31, is a solar industry expert who's ready to get married if he meets the right person. "The only thing stronger than the sun is love." JP, 34, is a NYC construction manager and real estate developer, while Ames, 31, tells us he went to Yale, has two masters and a doctorate from Harvard. He's also run 39 marathons and ultra-marathons.
Ben C, 28, is a lawyer looking for lasting love, while Ben F, 28, is a winemaker who is ready to open himself up after closing off following his dad's death. Bentley, 28, is divorced and has a daughter called Cozy, while Anthony, 28, is a fourth generation butcher. Other bachelors include West, 30, a prosecutor who is ready to find love again following the death of his wife, and William, 30, who claims to have a "terrible relationship history".
Ashley meets Chris...
Before the limos arrive, Ashley reveals to Chris that someone has warned her Bentley is on the show for the purposes of promoting his job rather than finding love, but she wants to give him the benefit of the doubt until she gets to know him better.
Ryan P tells Ashley that Brad's loss is his gain, while commerce executive Jon E, 26, jokes that they should just skip to the honeymoon before hoisting Ashley on to his shoulder and pretending to walk away with her. Oil field equipment distributor Lucas, 30, and cell phone salesman William, 30, are next, followed by chef Mickey, 31, who channels Chantal O by telling Ashley that he has something to give her from the men of America - it's a kiss, although she doesn't seem too receptive.
Liquor distributor Tim, 35, pauses after getting out of the limo and there's an awkward silence when he struggles to talk; lawyer Ben C, 28, woos Ashley by talking in French, while hairstylist Stephen, 27, compliments her new colour. Sports marketing coordinator Chris D, 25, introduces himself with a rhyme and lawyer West, 30, gives her a broken compass stuck on west so that she can always find her way back to him.
Butcher Anthony, 28, can't imagine facing 25 blind dates in one night, while technology executive Rob, 27, jokes that unlike Brad Womack, he has no crowns. Portfolio manager Ames, 31, produces ballet tickets as a gift, office supply salesman Matt, 28, teaches her a secret handshake, while entrepreneur Jeff, 35, hides his face behind a mask. "I wanted to take my face out of the game and have you learn a little bit about what is inside."
Winemaker Ben F, 28, brings some of his own produce for Ashley to sample, while college admissions director Frank, 29, kisses her hand and picks her up to dance, and technology salesman Mike, 29, jokes that it's the first time he's been excited to see a dentist. They are followed by construction company CEO Chris, 27, and construction estimator Ryan M, 27, who takes photos of them together.
Construction manager JP, 35, says that he has no props, just his smile, to impress her and personal trainer Nick, 26, recites a poem. Fellow dentist Blake, 27, is next, followed by businessman Bentley, 28, who admits to being nervous. Finally, restaurant owner Constantine, 30, wraps pink dental floss around Ashley's hand to remind her to speak to him at the party.
The Cocktail Party and Tim's departure...
Ashley spends time chatting to the guys during the party. Ben C secures one-on-one time with cue cards he holds up against a window; William does impressions; Jeff explains that he wants Ashley to get to know the real him behind the mask (and she thinks he is sincere); JP and Ashley bond over a love of cupcakes; while Matt phones his mum so that she can talk to Ashley. She also spends time with Bentley, who says that his life revolves around his daughter. Ashley seems comfortable in what he is telling her, but is also worried about getting hurt.
Unfortunately, it's not such a good night for Tim, who admits to drinking too many cocktails. After stumbling through a conversation with Ashley (who feels bad for him) and telling Jeff that he doesn't understand his mask, he falls asleep by the pool, and is eventually sent home when Ashley enlists the help of some of the bachelors to take him to a waiting car.
The Rose Ceremony
The first impression rose goes to Ryan P (Bentley isn't happy because he's very competitive). The other roses go to: Masked Man Jeff, Constantine, Ben F, Lucas, Stephen, Matt, Nick, Chris D, Ryan M, Blake, Mickey, Ben C, West, William, JP, Ames and Bentley.
It means that we say goodbye to: college admissions director Frank, commerce executive Jon, butcher Anthony, technology salesman Mike, technology executive Rob and construction company CEO Chris.
The Bachelorette continues Mondays at 8/7c on ABC
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