“The Bachelor”: The final rose

Mallory Pace, Reporter

Episode 9

After last week’s hometowns, Clayton and the remaining three women, Gabby, Rachel, and Susie, arrived in Iceland as their final destination. This week is reserved for Fantasy Suites, which is the opportunity for each couple to spend uninterrupted time together overnight. It’s also a real chance to get a tiny taste of what life could be like outside of the show. 

All three women have confessed to Clayton that they love him, which he has yet to verbally admit back. However, he did say to the cameras that he is falling in love with all three. Susie was especially concerned about Fantasy Suites and expressed that she hoped Clayton would take physical intimacy seriously and if not, it would be hard for her to move past that. 

First up is Rachel. They saw the best views of Iceland from a helicopter ride that dropped them off at the top of an inactive volcano. They were taken inside of it and explored around.  Rachel asked him if he had any reservations left about their relationship, which Clayton denied. He continued to reassure his feelings towards her at dinner together, where he finally admitted he is falling in love with her. “It’s been weighing on my shoulders and I’m happy I could finally tell you.” With everything out on the table, Rachel happily accepted the Fantasy Suite card, and they made their way to their private night. The next morning, they made breakfast and Clayton even shouted his love for her from the street as he left.  

When Rachel returned to Gabby and Susie, it was hard to wipe the smile off her face. Susie’s anxiety grew thinking about Clayton being verbally and physically intimate with the other women, which would be a deal-breaker for her. Clayton started to worry about the possibility of being in love with all three women but felt confident it was truly how he felt when he said it to Rachel. 

Gabby and Clayton’s date was quite an adventurous one. They drove a dune buggy to the beach and shared a conversation about where they were at. Gabby expressed that she wanted Clayton to explore his other relationships so he could purposefully choose her in the end. They went to dinner and continued to discuss their relationship. Clayton gave pretty much the same speech to Gabby that he is falling in love with her but has been too afraid to admit it. It’s music to her ears and she accepted the Fantasy Suite invitation. They shared an intimate night and then breakfast in bed. When he left, he did his signature move from the street and screamed, “I am falling in love, and it feels so good!” Gabby returned with bedhead and a giddy smile.  

Yet again, Clayton felt the gravity of the situation he was in after saying the L-word to another woman. He admitted he felt confused but still meant what he said to both Gabby and Rachel. “I just don’t want to hurt anybody, but I’m going to.”  

Susie went into their date without assumptions and with the hope that everything she’s been worried about had been for nothing. They arrived at a hot spring and went through an obstacle course of hot and cold temperatures, symbolizing Susie’s feelings during this week. During their dinner, things started to sound repetitive. Clayton opened up about his reluctance to say how he feels but knows he is in love with her. Susie, while happy to hear that, questioned him on his relationships with the other women. She told him that if he was intimate with someone else, she didn’t think she could move on from it. Clayton was taken aback by the consequences of his own actions but admitted he was intimate with someone else and said “I love you” to the others.  

He attempted to reassure her that his feelings for the other women are different, but it was clear she was strong in her decision to leave. Clayton tried to convince Susie to reconsider by claiming that relationships are messy and that it’s worth trying to work through them. 

“I couldn’t have imagined a scenario in which you become physically intimate with any other person, and it’s me in the end,” Susie told him. 

Clayton claimed that if she had expressed this earlier, he would’ve done things differently. Clayton played the victim as their relationship ended, even though it was a direct result of his own actions. Susie was devastated and apologetic for sticking with her decision, something that didn’t need to be apologized for, and went home.  

Week 10 Part 1 

Clayton was left heartbroken and confused after Susie’s departure last week and finally began to worry about how Gabby and Rachel would take the confession of his actions.  

The women went into the rose ceremony and knew something was wrong when Susie never showed. Clayton appeared and revealed some harsh truths: he was in love with Susie, is in love with both Gabby and Rachel, and was also intimate with them both. The two women took a minute alone to silently sob. Gabby expressed, “It’s not fair. I don’t want to end up in the end if it’s gonna be like this to make it there.”  

Clayton and Gabby had a talk where he tried to explain his actions in a horrible manner, “Ultimately, whoever I pick, I love the most.” Gabby made a good point when she said love can’t be measured. Rachel broke down crying in front of Clayton, saying her heart is breaking from hearing all of this. He convinced her to stay and that he wants her to meet his family.  

They continued the rose ceremony where Rachel accepted his rose, but Gabby wouldn’t. Despite prefacing the ceremony by saying he would understand if they wanted to leave, he somehow convinced Gabby to stay. “Do you want to walk out, or do you want to give it another chance?” he asked her. 

The next step was meeting Clayton’s family. When gathered with his family, Clayton was honest about what has been going on. He admitted he fell in love with three women and was intimate with two, causing Susie to go home. His parents agreed wholly with Susie’s decision to leave, and they were just as confused as to how Clayton could be in love with all three. 

His dad offered some wise words, “They don’t want to be second, or third, they want to be first. I think you’ve gotta step back and say they have a right to be upset with you.” The apple must have fallen miles from the tree.  

Gabby arrived with flowers and gifts, and his parents immediately loved her. When talking to Clayton’s mother, Gabby explained she stayed because she couldn’t give up a man like him, regardless of some of the hurtful things he had said.  

Next, Rachel arrived to meet Clayton’s parents and, while she felt excited, she admitted she was still very hurt over everything that happened at the rose ceremony. Rachel and his father had a meaningful conversation, and she expressed that she is undoubtedly in love with Clayton.   

Although both Gabby and Rachel hit it off with his family, Clayton admitted he couldn’t stop thinking about Susie. When he told his parents he couldn’t let go of Susie, they argued that Susie made the choice to leave and told him to let it go. “I think you’re too caught up in the one that got away,” his dad said. 

His family was caught off guard with this new information, but Clayton was adamant to see Susie again and have one more shot. The host, Jesse Palmer, appeared and told him that Susie was still in Iceland.  

Week 10 Part 2 

Jesse Palmer talked with Susie about how everything ended, and she agreed to talk with Clayton and meet his family.  

When she arrived, Susie and Clayton took their conversation outside. She expressed her feelings about the situation and told him how awful he made her feel. “I felt like that night you made me question my inner voice, my intuition, everything. You made me feel wrong and bad, and that to me was the heartbreak.” Clayton rebutted that he acted out of character because he felt like he was losing her and begged for her forgiveness. 

Even though Susie left without giving a clear answer, Clayton still felt his heart was with her and decided he needed to end things with both Gabby and Rachel.  

He sat down with both women and laid it on thick: “I realize that it’s not feasibly possible for me to be in love with three women like I said I was. Everybody deserves to have someone give them 100% of their heart, and unfortunately, I can’t be that person for either of you, because my heart’s no longer here, it’s with Susie.” 

Gabby called him out on his actions, “I can’t believe anything you say. Why couldn’t you have just talked to us instead of fighting for each of us to stay?” Clayton pathetically apologized and asked if he could walk her out, to which she replied with a hard “no” and walked herself out. Cue the applause. 

Rachel sobbed to Clayton and gave him her final piece of mind. “I fought for you. You didn’t give me anything, and what little you gave me I held onto.” After everything Clayton put Rachel through, she stayed the entire time even when her heart was broken. With mascara running down her face, she was walked out by Clayton, who apologized along the way.  

With Susie still in Iceland, Clayton continued to try and fight for her. Jesse delivered a note to her written by Clayton, which asked her to meet him in the countryside. With a ring in his pocket, Clayton stood in front of Susie and pleaded for her forgiveness and another chance to prove himself by being there every day for the rest of their lives. Nevertheless, she told him she doesn’t think they’re right for each other and has already decided to leave alone. He walked her out for the last time… or did he? 

For the first time in bachelor history, there was no engagement at the end of the show, but, apparently, the journey wasn’t over yet. Clayton and Jesse sat down in front of a live audience to discuss the whole experience. He even got the chance to talk to Gabby and Rachel one last time.  

Clayton revealed that, after the show, someone he least expected reached out to him, and out came Susie. She and Clayton explained how they took time after the show to rebuild their relationship and ended up back together. The future holds a lot of exciting things for them. Clayton said he’s moving in with Susie in Virginia, where they will continue to strengthen their relationship. They seemed genuinely happy, and Clayton gave her the last and final rose. 

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