What a wild ride we had this week on Ready for Love! We saw romantic highs, emotional lows and a jealous ex-girlfriend pull a power move. We got a triple dose of love this week as Tim, Ernesto and Ben continued their journeys of finding The One.
There were a few relationships starting to blossom and it reminded me of the early stages of my relationship with Giuliana. Everything's new, exciting – and would you believe Giuliana made the first move? Okay, okay, that's not entirely true. Giuliana is literally looking over my shoulder right now and giving me her famous "you wish, Rancic!" look. That's the one thing about working with your wife – You can't get away with anything! But she's keeping me honest and I love her for it. Let's talk about how the guys are doing on their quests for love.
Tim took his ladies to the spa to get pampered and started forming connections with a couple new women. Sara L. opened up about her late fiancé who passed away from cancer and you could feel Tim's heart breaking for her. And although his divorce was a different type of loss, Tim really seemed to understand Sara's pain of finding great love and losing great love. The emotional connection they shared was evident.
Things really heated up with Jenna when she and Tim spontaneously jumped in the pool fully clothed and shared a kiss. Jenna didn't tell anyone about the smooch and it later came out on stage, to the chagrin of the other girls. On stage Matt told Taonaya the reason she had an emotional breakdown on the date was because Tim wasn't responding to her the way she wanted. I've spoken with the matchmakers and I know they picked the most compatible girls for these guys, but until you put two people together and see how they interact, you'll never truly know if there's any chemistry. And sometimes what seems perfect on paper may not always transpire in reality. Taonaya's emotional display landed her in the garden but I think her lack of chemistry with Tim was the reason she ultimately got sent home.
After Ernesto learned about the sudden departure of Olivia, who couldn't handle living and competing with the women, he was disappointed but still thrilled to get to know the rest of his girls.
For this week's date, Ernesto shared another one of his interests by putting on a fashion show – and using the girls as the models! What Ernesto didn't tell his ladies was that his sister was posing as a "stylist's assistant" and secretly spying on the girls while they were getting ready. Most of the women were nice enough when the "assistant" came over to talk with them ... except Erica. It was clear Erica didn't come on the date to make friends with "the help" and her bad behavior rubbed Ernesto's sister the wrong way. Erica later apologized to Ernesto for her rudeness, but since Ernesto is such a big family man, Erica's apology may have been too little too late.
Onstage, Erica was sent to the garden with Katie, whose intimate date with Ernesto was praised. Down in the garden Ernesto was faced with a tough decision, but in a shocking twist, decided to keep Erica for another week! It's obvious Ernesto knows how to forgive and forget.
Ben and his ladies shimmied and shook their way to a salsa dancing date. And Ben – or the "kissing bandit" as I like to call him – made some more physical connections along the way.
Ex-girlfriend Kari caught wind of Ben kissing the other girls and told him not to be a lip-slut. Whoa there! Kari held out on kissing Ben herself, but promised that a kiss from her would be well worth it in the future. Ben seemed to be struggling because he came on the show to find his wife, but with an ex in the picture it could be hard for him to have enough room to freely explore his feelings with the other girls.
On stage, Amber called out Kari and said she was playing a cat and mouse game with Ben, and in doing so probably lost some of his trust. Kari assured the matchmakers she wouldn't be on this journey if Ben weren't the one, but Matt still seemed skeptical. One thing is certain – Ben isn't responding to Kari's mind games and she's going to have to change her strategy if she expects to stick around. Kari was spared from the garden this week while Katie and Beth were sent down instead.
Ben sent mother of two, Katie, home and I respect that he wanted to send her back to be with her kids if he's forming stronger connections with some of the other women.
Next week the romantic adventures continue! The guys will further their connections with the women, and Tim learns a shocking secret about one of his ladies that has him rethinking everything. You don't want to miss it!
Vivian Zink / NBC