The Bachelor Recap: Then There Were Two

02/17/2009 AT 12:00 AM EST



The Bachelor Jason Mesnick took the final three to New Zealand for this season’s erotic, err, exotic dates. After some extreme sports, hot tub shenanigans and declarations of love, he broke one more heart.

Friends with Benefits: The first fantasy date went to Jillian. Plaid-clad Jason picked her up in a helicopter for a scenic bucolic splendor tour. After watching her parents bond with Jason, her feelings had intensified. “I’m walking on clouds right now,” she said. They snuggled under a blanket on an isolated cliff overlooking a lake, drank wine and discussed what they are looking for in a partner. She said she was looking for her best friend. Unfortunately, Jason wants more than that. “She’s somebody I can be friends with forever, but I’m looking for a passionate connection,” he said. The date continued over dinner at a winery. Before he gave her the fantasy suite card, he made her share her most intimate thoughts about him. Apparently, she answered correctly as a big smile spread across his face and he planted a wet one on her. Then she asked if he had something to give her. (This is why we love Jill. She goes after what she wants without seeming presumptuous or cocky.) She quipped, “Can you handle a whole night of me?” What followed in the spa was almost too hot for us to handle. After that display of intertwined limbs, butt grabs and spit swapping, how could his concerns about a lack of passion not be quieted? Leap of Faith: Molly (and her ever-present ponytail) wanted to show him “more of her emotional side” and take their “goofy, sarcastic” relationship up a romantic notch. Jason wanted to add a fear factor first by asking her to tandem bungee jump. She seemed nervous, but he was the screamer. (Side note: They obviously did it more than once as her necklace disappeared and reappeared from scene to scene.) Molly compared the experience to the thrill of falling in love. Over lunch, Molly pulled out a list of questions. He looked frightened until he realized they were of the favorite ice cream flavor variety. They moved on to dinner and Jason brought up his observation about how un-touchy-feely her family was. “We’re not a mushy-gushy family, but I’m different with them than I am with the I’m dating. I want to let my guard down for you,” she explained. He considered this a breakthrough. She had saved the last question for after dinner. No. 20 invited him to spend the night with her and he liked her initiative and they were off to the fantasy suite for a joint bubble bath.

Parental Advisory: Jason surprised Melissa (who reminds him of Deanna and his ex) with an afternoon ride on Winston Churchill’s old boat. Her MIA parents weighed heavily on both their minds, but it wasn’t until they took a dip in the barrel pools that he brought the subject up for discussion. “I wanted them to see how happy you make me,” she wished while looking teary. He reiterated that you fall in love with the girl not her parents, but was still disappointed that he didn’t meet them. “I can fall in love without meeting her parents, but it can only go so far,” he warned. They strolled in downtown Queenstown before settling into a private room for a meal. She finally told him how worried she was about them not partaking in the show and asked him point blank how much it mattered. He was honest, but made a good point that hers were the only friends he met. They retired to the lodge and Mel told him she was scared to lose him because she loved him. (She was the only one who didn’t buffer the l-word with the “falling in” phrase.) It’s obvious he likes her but their intimate moments seem the most innocent.



Down to Two: Each woman made a video to help Jason decide whom to cut. Molly amended her early statement as she realized post-date that she was in full-blown love. Jason’s heart was heavy and his eyes were wet because he was falling for three women. “I have to do the most selfish thing I’ve ever done and break one of your hearts,” he choked. He gave roses to Mel and Molly. He walked Jill out to the Down Under version of the breakup bench. It was obvious she was trying to hold it together as he said they felt more like friends than lovers and blamed their different lifestyles. She told him she loved him multiple times and that she thought it was right. She’d even told him about a dream she had of their future together with Ty trying on one of her dresses just days earlier. Her car ride away was one of the most dramatic ever. “This decision he made broke my heart,” she whimpered. A red-nosed Jason moped in the driveway for a long time, but when he rejoined the final two he declared, “I am going to spend the rest of my life with one of you.”– Carrie Bell

Tell us: Were you shocked that Jillian was the one to go? Which woman will Jason pick? And the sneak peek suggests major drama will unfold during the finale -- what do you think will happen?

READ MORE: Bachelor Jason Blogs About the Toughest Cut Yet

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