‘The Bachelorette’ Fantasy Suites: One Man Decides to Leave, Another Makes a Surprise Return (RECAP)

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We’ve made it to Part 1 of The Bachelorette Season 16 finale, aka the Fantasy Suite dates! Tayshia Adams is now down to her final three men, Ivan, Brendan, and Zac…or is she?! With so much to cover and so much drama to unpack, let’s jump into tonight’s recap. 

After sending Ben home last week, Tayshia is ready to focus on her final three men. With a potential engagement right around the corner, Tayshia’s getting anxious. Thankfully, JoJo Fletcher stops by to help her unpack her feelings. 

During their conversation, Tayshia reveals she’s falling in love with more than one person. It’s not anything new for a Bachelorette or Bachelor to love more than one person, but it does raise the question — who is Tayshia falling in love with?

Ivan’s Fantasy Suite Date

Ivan gets the first Fantasy Suite date and he clearly couldn’t be more excited. “I am falling in love with Tayshia and I’ve been ready to settle down and have a family. This could be the start of all of that happening,” Ivan says. 

For their date, Tayshia decides she and Ivan will try to break the world record for the “World’s Longest Coldest Kiss.” Chris Harrison reveals the world record is at five minutes and 16 seconds, so not only will Tayshia and Ivan have to kiss inside an ice bath, they’ll have to do it for over five minutes. Tayshia and Ivan are clearly uncomfortable, but they manage to crush the world record! 

The Bachelorette Part 1 Finale Tayshia Ivan

ABC/Craig Sjodin

During the evening portion of their date, Tayshia tells Ivan she knows they have something special. “I can count on you to be someone I can have a good time with, but be comfortable and vulnerable with. I feel like you are truly the first person I was able to break a wall down with. I even cried in front of you,” she shares.

After saying it’s hard for him to articulate his feelings, Ivan says he started falling in love with Tayshia a few weeks ago. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner and I kind of glossed over it in the past,” Ivan says. Tayshia says she’s falling in love with Ivan too (eek!) and the pair decide to go to the Fantasy Suite. Though Ivan hasn’t always been an obvious front runner, he’s certainly proven himself to be a serious contender in recent weeks.

Zac’s Fantasy Suite Date

Zac finally gets his shot at a Fantasy Suite date, too. Tayshia tells Zac that they’ll be painting a canvas…with their bodies. 

They douse themselves in paint, roll around on the canvas, and end up making something that resembles a piece of art. Oh, and they kiss… a lot. “I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed this date with anyone else. He’s just the biggest dork and we just laugh. That’s what you want,” Tayshia says. Though Tayshia is obviously attracted to all of her final three men, there is something electric between her and Zac. 

The Bachelorette Part 1 Finale Tayshia Zac

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Zac is determined to tell Tayshia he loves her during their dinner, especially since he knows they may be spending the night together. But, before professing his feelings, Zac explains why he recently changed his mind about not having kids. “What I realized coming here and putting every other area of my life on hold is that I do want to be a dad and I do want to have kids,” he says. “And I know I’ll be a good and that I’ll be a good husband and that I deserve all those things.”

Zac then tells Tayshia that he loves her: “I just love the human being that you are, I just see it.” Tayshia starts to cry and tells Zac that she loves him too — and that she’s never felt this way before! So, they’re off to the Fantasy Suite, which has to be the least shocking thing to happen during this season of The Bachelorette. 

Brendan’s Fantasy Suite Date

The third and final Fantasy Suite date goes to Brendan, who has been eagerly awaiting this moment all week, and is obviously the most anxious of the men. Though he says he’s falling for her, he’s been very clear about the fact he doesn’t want to propose unless he’s 100% sure it’s right. “I’m hoping that today is going to allow me to take a big step forward to be able to feel really confident and really ready and really at peace with the decision of proposing,” Brendan says. 

Because Bachelor producers are evil geniuses, Tayshia takes Brendan to meet none other than Neil Lane, the Bachelor Nation engagement ring designer. We have to imagine he’s sweating through his shirt right about now.

“I’ve been here before, I’ve looked at rings before. But when I propose to someone for a second time that person is going to be my wife for the rest of my life,” Brendan explains. He’s clearly stressing about popping the question and Tayshia can feel that something is off. 

The Bachelorette Part 1 Finale Tayshia Ivan

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Tayshia’s determined to get to the bottom of what’s bothering Brendan during the evening portion of their date. “I don’t know where you are and I feel like I’ve just been stressed,” Tayshia tells him. Brendan then drops a major bomb, revealing he doesn’t believe he’s ready to get engaged. 

“I want a wife and kids and a family more than anything on the face of this earth. But then coming to the realization that there’s a big part of me that’s still broken. There’s a big part of me that still needs time to heal,” Brendan says through tears.

Though Tayshia is clearly heartbroken, she ultimately respects Brendan’s decision to leave. “Brendan is definitely someone I saw a future with and I really thought I was going to be with him,” she explains. While we understand Brendan’s reasons for leaving, we’re honestly shocked he’s decided to leave at this point in the show. 

Ben’s Big Return

Former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay arrives in La Quinta to help Tayshia during this emotional time. Tayshia tells Rachel about Brendan’s decision to leave and the two guys she has left, but she also brings up Ben, who left last week. Right on cue, Ben returns to talk with Chris. “I just feel the need to express myself,” Ben tells Chris before revealing he’s in love with Tayshia.

Ben then shows up at Tayshia’s door later that evening and asks for a moment of her time. “I’m in love with you. I have been in love with you,” Ben tells her. “I blew it by not telling you in the moment. I’ve never felt this feeling, so I was just terrified.” Tayshia’s clearly caught off guard and doesn’t know exactly how to respond. Looks like we’re going to have to wait until Part 2 to see what Tayshia decides to do!

The Bachelorette Season 16 Finale, Tuesday, December 22 at 8/7c on ABC

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