Bachelor Nation
Nayte, Joe, and Brandon on Season 18 of 'The Bachelorette'

Michelle's Fantasy Suite Week Elimination Was Kinda Shocking

What went wrong?

ABC/Craig Sjodin

From the very start of Michelle Young’s Bachelorette season, Joe Coleman has been one to watch. During the first night, Michelle revealed they’d chatted online a bit before joining the Bachelor franchise. Then, some of the other guys (OK, really just Jamie Skaar) suggested Joe may have had an unfair advantage because of that extra time in Michelle’s DMs. The truth is, no matter what happened before this season of The Bachelorette, Joe and Michelle developed an undeniable connection all season long. However, all that came to an end when Michelle eliminated Joe after their Bachelorette overnight date.

Michelle and Joe started the date out by taking a big leap — literally. They went ziplining together, which pushed Joe out of his comfort zone, something he’s been doing a lot of with Michelle. Later on in the date, he told her that he doesn’t open up with just anyone, but he’s been able to be vulnerable with Michelle in ways he hasn’t been before thanks to their connection. He let his goofy side show during their date, which helped strengthen Michelle’s feelings for him. She was happy to have him open up to her more and told cameras, “I love every side of Joe I see. It’s just taken me longer to see those sides.”

(ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Joe and Michelle spent the night together, and when they woke up in the morning, Joe told her he’s falling more and more in love with her. Michelle didn’t use the L-word, but she did tell him she can see a future with him. “I feel how strong my feelings have grown for Joe overnight,” Michelle said. “Joe’s my slice of home, and maybe my soulmate.” After their overnight date, Michelle said she felt like she got clarity, but that it was “terrifying” because it made her upcoming decision even harder.

When it came time for the rose ceremony, Michelle told the remaining three men that this elimination was incredibly hard for her. “This decision tonight has my stomach in knots and seems nearly impossible to make,” she said. That’s when Brandon Jones took her to the side to privately tell her that he’ll be there for her no matter what her decision is.

That last-minute heart-to-heart may have won Brandon his rose. He and Nayte Olukoya received roses, which meant Michelle sent Joe home. She was clearly heartbroken over her decision and she told Joe that she had been falling for him, but ultimately he just wasn’t her person. Joe was kind and gracious during their breakup and he thanked Michelle for helping him become a better person. But in the car on his way out, he hung his head in his hands and said he was simply “in shock.” Honestly, Joe, a lot of Bachelor Nation probably was too.

The three-hour season finale of The Bachelorette airs Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.