Tierra and Sean roam around the streets of St. Croix. / Francisco Roman, ABC
"How cool is this?" says Sean Lowe, looking out of a seaplane cruising over a Caribbean island.
Actually it was pretty hot, as the hunk Bachelor and his six women spent the episode canoodling on the beaches of St. Croix before narrowing down to the four who will take him on hometown dates.
But there was also major drama, major confessions and major tears flowing. Starting with Tierra, of course. She immediately began setting up her roll-away bed in a corner away from the other girls and playing her villain role.
Here's how it unfolded:
First date: AshLee.
"The cougar's back in town," snarks Tierra.
Tierra, 24, explains to the cameras that Ashlee is 32. "When I'm 32 I want to be married with kids and have my family set. Why hasn't she found someone who she can settled down with? Like, you're 32 years old!"
Off go AshLee and Sean, 29, who'll spend the day on a catamaran. But they have to swim out to it. Bikini time! They set out on the water, while AshLee gets teary on camera, saying, "I love and adore who he is."
Back on the beach, Catherine, Lesley, Lindsay and Desiree lounge and diss Tierra. "I want to roll away her roll-away bed into the freaking ocean," says Lesley.
At the same time, back on the date, AshLee tells Sean, "It's the house and Tierra. ... She is not polite. She isolates herself. The girl you get is a completely different girl than the house gets." Sean thanks her for telling him.
They do their own From Here to Eternity scene, kissing on the sand as the waves lap around them.
Later, they have dinner on the beach. "Today's been fun, sexy and romantic," confesses Sean. "I haven't felt this way about someone in a long time." He tells her that he plans to meet her family and wonders if there's anything he needs to know.
"Yes," she says. "There is one more thing."
She continues, "I want to say it and be done with it." Spit it out already, Ashlee!
She says that she was having a tough time when she was a teen and got married at age 17. "It breaks my heart to tell you about that. I'm like crazy about you and I don't want poor mistakes in my past to affect our future, but that's my skeleton in my closet." She said she was married as a high school junior and separated as a senior. "I didn't want to be like this broken girl that comes to you..."
Sean, unfazed, says, "I thought you were going to tell me something terrible."
"Still like me?" she asks him.
"Of course, I do," says our knight in shining armor, and he gives her a kiss. "I think you're perfect the way you are and I certainly don't view you as being broken, 'cuz you're not. Take that out of your vocabulary."
Next thing we see: AshLee standing on a chair yelling, "Hello St. Croix! ... I love Sean!"
Second date: Tierra. She's happy to get a one-on-one date card, but immediately starts complaining about the fact that it says they'll be exploring the streets of St. Croix. "Being attacked by bugs, and the sweatiness and my makeup dripping off, that's not fun nor cool."
They meet up and she says to the cameras, 'I'm hot, I'm gross, I'm thirsty." Shopping helps, especially when Sean buys her a bracelet.
When he asks how things are going in the house, she whines, "It's difficult because I feel like no matter how hard I try... the girls don't want to accept. ... I try to talk to them. I try to get involved. They go do their own thing all the time and don't say a word to me."
Later, at dinner, she wonders why he's feeling a little distant. He's poker-faced while she talks. They walk down to a dock, while Tierra vows to the cameras, "I'm not letting any of these girls stop me!"
To him, she says, "I'm falling for you and hopefully you know that and you go home tonight and take that into consideration." She kisses him, smiles and whispers, "I'm falling in love with you."
Group date: Catherine, Desiree and Lindsay. Sean wakes them up while they're sleeping. He says he wants to see them without makeup. "I hope none of them hit me!"
He survives, saying, "They look really good for first thing in the morning! I was pleasantly surprised."
Says Catherine, "I'm probably the lowest maintenance person here. I just need to pee and I'm good to go."
They're zooming to the easternmost tip of the island, Point Udall, so they can be the first four people in the U.S. to see the sun rise. He tells them they'll head to the opposite side of the island for the sunset later. In between, they'll explore the island. The have drinks at every stop, toasting each other. Desiree turns on the charm, making Catherine feel like she and Lindsay are double-dating with Sean and Des. "I want that rose, really bad," she says. It's the only rose he'll give out, aside from the rose ceremony.
They end the day with a swim. He plays around with each of them, hugging Lindsay and kissing her.
He sits on top of Catherine's shoulders in the water, but later they get serious as they hold hands and sit in the sand. She tells Sean she wants him to know that her dad won't be there if he comes on a hometown date because he's in China. When she was 14, he attempted suicide in front of her and her sister, and he was immediately taken away. She says, "It's kind of hard for me to deal with cuz he's my dad." They wind up kissing.
He and Des also have some alone time in the sand. She starts crying when talking about her family. "It's like ... everything to me." She confesses, "It would just mean so much to me to get the rose today."
Sun-kissed Sean sits with the three of them and says, "By a mile, this was the hardest decision I've had to make ... because I think the world of each one." He says he's giving it to the person who "hasn't wavered a bit from the beginning... Lindsay."
Last date: Lesley. They hug and smile and seem so happy. "I light up inside when I see Sean," she confesses.
But he tells the cameras, "I think I have stronger feelings for other women here, so today I have to figure it out."
They sit on a lawn and she talks about her family in Arkansas and describes what her hometown date will be like. "We'll probably be going to my lake house. When I picture my happy place it's on a lake, making dinner with my family and laughing so hard and telling stories. It's literally the best time ever. I can see you fitting in so seamlessly, it's weird."
She says she wants to tell him she's falling for him, but wants it to feel natural. "It just didn't feel right to tell him today," she says to the cameras. They kiss, but she doesn't say anything. Not good.
Next, Sean gets a visit from his sister, Shay. He tells her he's conflicted, worrying about sending two women home. She's candid and says, "I know you're definitely concerned, because they're all great girls and you don't want to break their hearts, but their hearts will get broken and they'll get over it, just like yours got broken and you got over it."
She asks if he could see himself proposing to any of them.
He smiles sheepishly and says, "Well, here's the thing: I could see the possibility of marriage with all of them, and not one stands out."
Back at the hotel, AshLee and Tierra go at it. "You turned on me!" accuses Tierra.
"I don't talk bad about you. I just say what I see," say AshLee. It goes on and on, as Sean tells his sister he's going to get Tierra so they can chat and Shay can give him a reading on her.
As Sean enters the hotel, Tierra's on her Cinderella cot, crying. "I don't understand why you're acting like this," he says. She smiles, then cries. Faker!
"I have a such a big heart but I'm so scared in this whole process," she says. Sean just looks at her. She says AshLee is behind it and blah, blah, blah.
Sean steps outside to think. "My sister told me if a girl cannot get along with other girls, that's trouble. This is turning into a nightmare."
He goes back in and says, "I'm crazy about you and I have been since the very first night. And because I care so much about you, I just think it might be best if, you know, you go home right now." She continues to wipe at her eyes (although we don't see any actual tears) and have a cry face on. "I'm sorry," she mutters.
He walks her out, and you can hear the cheers erupting across America (and on Twitter). "I can't believe they did this to me," she sobs in the minivan as she's driven away, adding moments later, "I'll be OK, though. I'm strong. I'll get through it."
Rose Ceremony: AshLee is crying (again) to the cameras, fearing that she is going to be sent home because Sean said he doesn't want "drama" from a wife and that's why he sent Tierra packing.
Lindsay has a rose. Three remaining roses go to Desiree, Catherine and AshLee. "This is my husband," a now happy AshLee tells the cameras, waving her rose around.
Bye-bye to Lesley, the political consultant. "Rejection hurts. Heartbreak hurts. It doesn't feel good. Rejection doesn't feel good," she says to the cameras.
And in an odd twist, Catherine's crying. She explains, "I honestly can't explain how I'm feeling right now. If he doesn't want Lesley, I don't know why I'm here. She has more in common with him than I do."
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Read the original story: 'Bachelor' Sean narrows down to final four