OK, before I get into Monday's marvelous non-overnight date episode of "The Bachelorette," a disclaimer: I knew Sean was going home Monday. That's because over the weekend I attended the "Men Tell All" taping, where I got to talk to all of the losers -- er, quirky individuals -- who populated this season, as well as Emily and -- swoon -- Sean. But more on that later.
So even though I was aware Sean wasn't going to last long in Curaçao, I couldn't help but root for the guy when he showed up in the kind of super low-cut V-neck that inspired that recent "Saturday Night Live" skit. Emily, who apparently spent her first few days on the beach writing "Emily + ? = <3" in the sand, was worried that Sean was the only dude who hadn't dropped the L-bomb yet. Accordingly, she tried nearly every passive-aggressive route she could imagine to get him to spurt out those three little words.
"Sometimes you do hide your feelings from me," she told him, a coy look in her eye.
"I've already told you I'm crazy about you," Sean replied. Cue awkward silence. "I forgot what I was going to say," he blurted out, trying to avoid being forced into saying those three magical little words.
Luckily, some crew member had thrown some snorkel gear into the pair's beach bag, so they headed into the ocean to look at fish. But it wasn't until the later portion of the date that Sean really got comfortable. He whipped out a letter he had written to Ricki, telling her how much he was looking forward to becoming her stepfather. I mean, dude crushed it. Brought his A-game. And then he finally got the guts to say "I love you."
But lest you think a sentimental letter and a premature admission of love will get you in good with Emily, think again. Our Bachelorette decided to forgo the fantasy suite with Sean, which was apparently fine with Mr. Perfect, who was eager to do nothing more than "stay up and talk" with Emily.
Emily proceeded to use that same tactic with all three of her remaining suitors, opting not to sleep with any of them because she's a mom "and it just doesn't line up" with what she believes in and "the example" she wants to set for Ricki. I'm sorry, but we need to pause and examine that. So it's fine for women without kids to be promiscuous on national television? How does that make any sense? And by the way, missy, don't think I forget about the fact that you spent the night with Brad in the fantasy suite just a few seasons ago.
Man, this episode always makes me miss Jillian. She really didn't skimp on the hot tub action. Things have gotten progressively more tame since. I mean, Ed in that green Speedo, anyone? How long until "Bachelor Pad" starts airing again?
ANYWAY. Jef was up next, and I have to say, I'm feeling pretty certain that he wins now. He started off the date by telling Em that his Mormon sibling folk told their parents about the Bachelorette's visit to OMG-Jef-Is-Actually-Soooo-Rich-Ranch. Turns out the fam dug Emily and now Jef's parents deign to meet her. Which is uh, nice and all, except that they shouldn't have needed to screen test her first.
Even though Jef is the most boyish of the remaining bunch, there's something undeniably endearing about him -- especially the way he asks questions like a doe-eyed innocent: Do you think I'd be a good parent? Do you think I'd be a good fit for Ricki? Do you like my hair? Can we play with our marionettes again?
Jef did have a few serious questions for Emily, "Just, you know, like details," he said. LIKE: WHERE WOULD YOU WANT TO LIVE? You know, a small detail. Oy. This show.
Later on their date, Emily made a key reveal when she told Jef that he was the one she imagined by her side when she thought about life in North Carolina with Ricki. She also said she felt he loves her "in a way no one else does." I mean, what else do we need to hear, people? Arie may know how to suck face, but I think the Jef-ster is going to pull it out in the end, even though I will never be able to forgive him for uttering the sentence: "I plan on spending every night with you in our own fantasy suite."
After another night of celibacy, Emily headed off for her final makeout sesh -- I mean, date -- with Arie.
"I'm so excited to have a whole day with Arie and just focus on him," she said. Yeah, and his pores. And his lips. And his tonsils.
It's too bad they couldn't stop kissing, because their date was the best of the trip: They got to swim with DOLPHINS in the middle of the ocean! We're not talking SeaWorld here, people. These were like, free-spirited sea creatures frolicking in the waves with the two lovebirds, and I was jealous.
Of course, Emily was kind of scared of the dolphies and would prefer to swap spit with Arie instead on the boat.
"There's such a chemistry between us that it's hard to even talk," said Captain Obvious.
While Em is clearly the most physically attracted to Arie, I feel like she realizes that and knows there's more depth with Jef. Then again, I know we've seen countless people on this show choose their final pick based on sexual attraction alone -- Jake and Vienna, anyone? I just want to believe that Emily's smarter than that. I hope against all hope!
Sadly, after a full day of kissing Arie, it was time to let Sean go. Emily wore her fake ponytail extension again, which made me feel even more sorry for him.
But here's the good news! I saw Sean at the "Men Tell All," and he's fine now, ladies. And yes, he would consider being the next "Bachelor," should he receive the invitation -- though he insists he has doubts about finding love on reality television again.
"I have a lot of hesitations," he told me. "For one, this was such a draining experience, and it was emotionally taxing. So can I go through all this again? I don't know. And I don't know if they're going to ask."
The 28-year-old insurance agent said it took him a while to get back into the swing of things once he returned to Dallas, but said he now realizes Emily wasn't the one for him.
"My wife is not going to have any doubts or hesitation about wanting to spend her life with me," he said. Maybe this dude really is Mr. Perfect.
Check out my full interview with Sean, in which we discuss the amazingness that is Kensington Cottage, at the top of this post.
Follow Amy Kaufman on Twitter @AmyKinLACopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times