The Bachelor headed to Malta in Monday's episode and put an end to the tension between two of his suitors — or so he thought
Host Jesse Palmer started things off by telling Joey’s remaining suitors they’d be continuing their journey to find love in Malta. The women rejoiced, despite some of them not being able to find Malta on a map.
“Is Malta [in] Europe?” Autumn asked the cameras.
Heading overseas brought out 28-year-old Joey’s punny side. “By the end of this I’m hoping to bring someone to the alta, but before I do that, I have to hang out in Malta,” he said in an on-camera interview, giving himself two thumbs down for his lame joke.
Joey wanted to explore Malta with Lexi, so they did some shopping, tried a local pastry, played bocce ball and danced. They also visited a church and spoke to a priest about the makings of a good marriage; the priest touted love and having a family together.
“I’m so ready for that,” Lexi told the cameras of having kids.
However, the topic of starting a family also brought up mixed emotions for Lexi, 30. “I have this health condition that might make me not able to have my own children,” the digital strategist said in an on-camera interview.
She planned to talk to Joey about that during the evening portion of their date. Lexi explained to Joey that, after she moved to New York City, she started not feeling well.
“It was about a year and a half of not knowing what was going on with me,” Lexi said. “So fast forward, I end up meeting the doctor in New York, they put me into surgery to kind of figure out what’s going. And I find out that I’m diagnosed with stage 5 endometriosis.”
She described that to Joey as “a reproductive condition where tissue that’s supposed to grow inside of your uterus grows on other organs.” Lexi also shared that the doctor told her, “You might not be able to have your own kids.”
“That’s a lot to hold, but I don’t want you to think in any way that’s something that I hear and it makes me want to run way,” Joey responded. “That’s all I can say. It doesn’t scare me in any sense. There are a lot of other ways to create a family.”
Joey proved he saw a future with Lexi by giving her a rose.
“I just want to let you know again that it’s just something that will continue to be a conversation, something that I’ll need to understand to be a great partner, potentially, in the future,” the tennis pro said to Lexi before offering her the rose.
Lexi accepted it and they kissed.
“I’m falling for Joey and I’m so excited,” Lexi told the cameras.
Joey picked Jenn, Daisy, Edwina, Katelyn, Allison, Rachel, Autumn, Kelsey T., Jess, Madina, Lea and Kelsey A. for this week’s group date, leaving Maria and Sydney on a two-on-one.
For the group date, the women trained to be knights, competing in medieval garb. Joey wore a knight costume, too, which did not include a shirt.
“I would describe it as a half-naked Roman solider,” Joey said to the cameras. “I think I still need to still do some pushups and sit-ups. But it’s OK, we’re powering through. I tried my best today. Fun-size Bachelor.”
The first challenge required the women to simply stare into Joey’s eyes. Kelsey A., 25, used the opportunity to go in for a kiss, as did Daisy, also 25.
Next, the women competed in the sash grab, where they had to snatch each other’s sashes while facing off one-on one, almost like flag football. They finished by engaging in a sausage eating contest in which the ladies tried to catch sausages that hung from a rotating wheel with their mouths. Joey partook, too, because he didn’t want the women engaging in anything he wouldn’t do himself.
Jenn, 25, explained it as “juicy sausages smacking your face.”
Autumn, 26, won the day and received extra time with Joey.
Then everyone changed out of their knight gear for the afterparty. There, Joey talked to Daisy about starting a family. The Philadelphia native shared that he wanted to have a boy and twin girls, one of which he would like to name Emily. Daisy suggested the names Collette and Ocean.
“Daisy makes me feel special,” Joey told the cameras. “She’s got this giddiness and she’s got this smile.”
Joey told Kelsey A. he “couldn’t stop focusing on you the entire time” on the date and said he felt a “natural” and “seamless connection” with Kelsey T., 31.
Jess, 24, used the afterparty as a chance to tell Joey, “I can feel myself falling for you, I really can.”
At the end of the night, he gave Kelsey T. the date rose for “being herself, being fully there, [and] doing her best to make this uncomfortable situation comfortable.”
Sydney, 28, dreaded spending the day with Maria on the two-on-one.
“Spending the whole day with Maria is like spending the whole day with the devil,” Sydney said in an on-camera interview.
Both women sat wordlessly next to each other on a boat that brought them to Joey.
“I just can’t get past the fact that there’s something going on that I don’t understand,” he told the cameras. “I just don’t know who is telling the truth. Is Maria actually a bully or is Sydney making something bigger than she needed to?”
When Maria, 29, and Sydney met Joey, he explained they’d be going to The Blue Grotto.
“I know this isn’t, again, the most comfortable setting and it’s a little awkward,” he told the ladies. “But, again, the purpose is to be able to talk to both of you, to get as much time as possible, just because I want to have that ability to clear up some stuff from last week.”
Sydney claimed the stress of the situation manifested itself physically. “My body is taking a toll from the anxiety that she has caused,” she told the cameras. “I had stomach issues of the intense stress of just walking into a room and not knowing when she’s going to attack me.”
Joey pulled Sydney to talk first.
“When you left the pool party, like, hell broke loose,” Sydney said to Joey. “Maria … started attacking me in front of the group and this was like, the first time the girls were trying to step in and then she told Lea to ‘shut the f--- up.’ “
Sydney kept going with the accusations against Maria. “I can guarantee that every single situation in the house, there’s been one common denominator and that has been Maria repeatedly being disrespectful,” she continued.
“What Sydney said, that just scares me,” Joey told the cameras.
Joey spoke next with Maria and asked the executive assistant if she ever told Lea, 23, to “shut the f--- up.”
“I would never say that,” Maria asserted. “First of all, that is just so vulgar.”
Joey told Maria he didn’t expect all the women in the house to be friends, but, “I’m just expecting there to be an environment that can be somewhat comfortable.”
When Sydney and Maria reconvened without Joey, Maria called out Sydney. “You’ve made up some BS this entire time but like, I told Lea to ‘shut the f---up?’ I told Lea?” Maria questioned. “Yeah, you know we’re on camera the entire time, right?"
Joey joined Sydney and Maria at dinner and asked them both if they saw a future with him. Sydney answered first, saying she did.
“You think that with the short time that we’ve had, there has been a legitimate connection and something that can build?” Joey wondered.
Sydney reaffirmed her answer.
“Sydney is weirdly confident,” Maria said to the cameras.
Maria told Joey she felt “very hopeful” about him at the beginning, “but, obviously, with the craziness that’s been happening and a lot of me defending myself, I have a lot of unanswered questions.”
Joey only had one rose to give out, and he’d made a decision.
“With this rose, it has to do with how I’m feeling,” he said to Sydney and Maria. “And Sydney, I’m sorry, but I cannot give you this rose.”
Joey extended the rose to Maria because “I wanted her to know how good I feel around her, how happy she makes me feel,” he said in an on-camera interview.
They ended the evening listening to a singer belt “Ave Maria.”
Ahead of the rose ceremony, Madina shared with Joey how her name means “a city that is closed in by walls,” and accordingly, she wanted to break down some of her own. Madina informed Joey that her parents divorced when she was in high school and now, “I just feel like I have a really hard time trusting.” She also struggled with “the concept of love.”
Joey thanked Madina for opening up. “It definitely helps me to understand how I can make you feel more comfortable and how this can continue to grow,” he said.
Joey and the mental health therapist ended their time together by doing a trustfall. “It’s definitely made me closer to him for sure,” Madina said.
With Sydney gone, Lea decided to defend her honor and took offense to people “being nice to Maria,” the account manager told the cameras. “If I was Sydney, I’d be really, really disappointed.”
Lea particularly took issue with Madina acting civil towards Maria since Maria and Sydney’s whole problem with one another grew out of Madina expressing her insecurity about her age.
“I feel like I’m just honestly a little bit frustrated and pretty confused about how you’ve navigated that,” Lea said to Madina. “Because last night, you called Syd one of your best friends and you were hoping she was going to come home. But Maria walks in the door and you kind of switch up. And you’re like, ‘Oh, Maria, I’m so happy for you, you look so good.’ Your narrative changes a bit.”
Madina didn’t see Lea’s point. “I don’t have to be mean to Maria because Sydney was my friend,” Madina said.
Lea said she wanted “clarity” from Madina.
“You don’t have to understand how I’m navigating this journey,” Madina said to Lea.
Back inside, Maria spoke to Madina and expressed it “hurts my feelings” that other women felt offended by Madina being nice to her.
“I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore,” Maria said to the group. “It’s always something.”
Maria walked away crying, and Lea relished in it. "Maria storms off in tears and I’m honestly, I’m glad that that’s the case,” Lea said in an on-camera interview, calling Maria “a drama queen crybaby.”
Lea decided to talk to Joey about his choice to keep Maria.
“A lot of us were shocked just because of the words that were said and how Maria’s treated some of us,” Lea told him.
Meanwhile, Maria wanted to leave. “I’m out,” she told a producer. “They win.”
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