[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Episode 5 of The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart. Read at your own risk!]
The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart finally justified its repeated invocations of A Star Is Born in Episode 5, letting Rudi and Matt duet on "Shallow," the best song choice of the season. It was a Rudi and Matt-centric episode that worked really well. The most talented couple on the show had a single-episode narrative arc with an emotionally satisfying happy ending. It just doesn't get any better than that.
The episode started with the final four couples boarding their own individual tour buses bound for Las Vegas. They shouldn't get used to that level of luxe travel, because the vast majority of touring happens in a cramped van where everyone is all clumped up together with the merch and equipment and everything. While the rest of the couples went straight to Vegas, Rudi and Matt got to spend some alone time -- they even got to sleep in the same bed! -- at a bottle tree-themed B&B to work out some issues they were having.
Rudi was all in on Matt and ready to say she was falling for him, but Matt was unsure of his feelings. He didn't want to move too quickly. Matt, remember, has never watched The Bachelor before and is therefore less familiar with the show's pressure tactics, and he seems like a pretty normal guy. It seems like he likes Rudi, but isn't ready to commit to her fully after a few weeks of dating, and has some reservations about her temper. Matt, like Peter Kraus and Kelley Flanagan before him, is holding onto real-world values that do not serve him in the accelerated emotional timeline of Bachelor World. He was unsure of what he was even feeling for Rudi.
They finally got to Las Vegas, where they went on a date to a Shaggy concert and got to sing "It Wasn't Me" onstage with him. They should have done that for their performance in front of the judges. Afterwards, Rudi tentatively told Matt that she was falling for him, and she even seemed to hold back a little bit from expressing the depth of her feelings. But it was immediately clear why she held back, because Matt did not reciprocate at all. "You're very courageous for speaking your truth, and I appreciate you doing that, so..." he said, trailing off. Rudi immediately started to cry.
"I don't think that he really likes me like that," she said.
But it wasn't so much that he didn't like her, and more that he didn't want to say something to her that wasn't 100 percent true. This seems to me like a wise impulse, because it would be more hurtful to Rudi in the long run if he told her he was all-in and then reneged right after. Just look at what happened with Brandon last week. He did give Rudi a little bit of reassurance while they were performing, though, telling the band that he had been put through the emotional wringer, and he would have left if not for Rudi.
And then they crushed their performance of Lady GaGa and Bradley Cooper's "Shallow" so thoroughly that in that moment Matt was almost ready to marry Rudi. Whatever reservations he may have about their relationship, he has no such reservations about their onstage chemistry.
Among the other couples, Jamie and Trevor moved along nicely. They had a very cute and romantic date ice skating around a hockey arena they had all to themselves. Jamie was nervous to tell Trevor she was falling in love with him, because she wasn't sure if he reciprocated her feelings, but when she said it, he said it back. We'll see how that works out, though. Trevor seems a little less genuine than Matt. I thought their performance was boring, but it was good enough to get them through to the finals, especially since Natascha and Ryan had an off-week that cost them.
Natascha sang the wrong part of the song towards the beginning of their performance, and the mistake threw the rest of the performance off. Then she kept handing him a microphone while he was trying to play guitar, and it looked very awkward. It also looked awkward when she was standing there with microphones in both hands, too. They should have either had one microphone or Ryan shouldn't have played guitar, which was Pat Monahan from Train's suggestion. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Monahan, as I think Ryan's solo was the most lively part of the performance.
In any case, Ryan and Natascha's botched performance put them at the bottom, as Bri and Chris had a typically strong performance and easily advanced to the final. Next week we'll find out who wins the tour that they won't be able to go on.
The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC. Episodes are available to stream on Hulu.