So here we are at episode 5. This was so exciting because we traveled to Las Vegas! I can't describe how much I love that city, and I was so happy to get the women out of the Malibu mansion and take them to one of my favorite cities in the entire world.
I started the week with a one-on-one date with Shawntel. I chose her for this particular date because Shawntel is such an unassuming woman and never asks for or expects anything out of the ordinary. I really like this quality in a person so I wanted to take her on a shopping spree and give her some things that she would never buy for herself.
The Crystals shopping center is truly one of the nicest in the world. I can only imagine it's a woman's dream come true to have stores closed to the public in order to allow her to shop. We had so much fun! We both tried on countless outfits and accessories and laughed the entire day. Shawntel walked away with bags full of merchandise and I was so happy for her.
I especially enjoyed the evening part of my date with Shawntel. We had an amazing conversation and I felt like I got to know her very well. This was Shawntel's first time in Las Vegas, so to have a shopping spree, dinner on the roof of the Aria hotel and her own fireworks display to end the evening – it was an over-the-top experience for her!
You can see in my interview (that evening with Shawntel) that I was laughing hysterically. There was something about the fact that we were talking about Shawntel's cat, Peaches, that I found to be so funny. Long story, but I couldn't stop laughing!
The NASCAR DateNow on to the date that everyone seems to be talking about ... the NASCAR date. I want to be very clear: I had absolutely no idea the extent of Ricky's (Emily's ex-fiancé) involvement with NASCAR. I never – not for anything in this world – would have taken Emily to the racetrack in Las Vegas if I had known. It was only in the middle of the actual date that I found out everything about Emily's past.
On a positive note, I was very proud of Emily for driving the car instead of shutting down. It showed an immense amount of strength and courage on her part. I know it was an emotional experience for her and I tried my best to comfort her while not overstepping my boundaries. It actually seemed like something Emily needed to do to be able to move forward and try to find love again, so I'm actually glad everything happened as it did (although that may seem selfish on my part).
Trying to comfort Emily as much as I did obviously caused some drama during the final part of the group date. I empathize with the women because I know time is limited, but I also wish everyone would have been more understanding. In no way did I feel sorry for Emily (because I think she's moved on). I simply wanted to be there for her in a time of need. I would have done the exact same thing for any of the women that were there on the date. I will say, however, that no matter what the circumstances were, I was able to let Emily know that I was beginning to develop strong feelings for her. And that's why I gave her the rose.
2-On-1 DateNow for the dreaded two-on-one date. This is by far the most awkward situation a man can put himself in. The Ashleys are both incredible women so I knew I was going to lose out on getting to know one of them even better. I chose "the Ashleys" for this date because my feelings for both of them were strong enough that I had to put myself in a position to make a very hard choice. It may not make sense to some of you, but that's the best way I can explain it. One thing I didn't realize is how close they had become in the house. I honestly didn't know that they were "best friends." I didn't intentionally put these women against each other – I promise that. My decision boiled down to just one thing: My feelings for Ashley H. were stronger. I can't define that specifically; it's just one of those things. It is what it is.
The exciting part of the date was Cirque du Soleil! Ashley and I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform in a live show. I'm a huge fan of all of the Cirque shows, so I'll never forget that. Ashley was so good in the show. I was so proud of her!
The rose ceremony was very difficult. I remember looking around the room and realizing what a small group of women were left. I can't say enough good things about both Marissa and Lisa, but I had to say goodbye to both of them simply because stronger connections had been made with other women.
That's it for this week. As always, I want to say a very sincere thank you to all of you that are continuing to watch. Thanks!
– Brad Womack
For more on The Bachelor, check out Chris Harrison's blog on EW.com