The Minnesota teacher starring in "The Bachelorette" picked her final four suitors — with an assist from her fifth-grade students.
During Tuesday night's episode, set for the second week in Minnesota, Michelle Young gave her final roses to four men of color, a first for "The Bachelor" franchise.
Fellow Minnesotan Joe Coleman was among them. She also chose Nayte Olukoya, who grew up in Winnipeg; Brandon Jones, who met Young's parents; and Rodney Mathews, who specializes in secret handshakes.
A special team supposedly planned this week's dates — four of Young's fifth graders. The kids proved to be adept at judging "who the bad guys are and who the good guys are," as one of them put it.
"I don't really like Martin," Kelsey said. "I don't know how to explain it. He's trying to show off...
"And he wears too much cologne."
They appreciated Clayton Echard's big muscles ("He'd be really good at carrying in the groceries.") and his fort-building skills ("Probably the best fort I've ever seen.") and selected him for a date at the Bell Museum in St. Paul.
Echard and Young gasped at the woolly mammoth, checked out the planetarium and devised their own mating calls.
Then, over dinner in the garden outside, Young declined to give Echard the rose, prompting a long, teary goodbye that set Echard up to become the next star of "The Bachelor."
"My heart is telling me that Clayton is a wonderful person," Young said. "He's just not my person."
A group of Young's suitors then trekked to a farm, to get their hands dirty "Minnesota-style," as Young put it, milking cows, churning butter and shoveling manure. Coleman won challenge after challenge, later revealing that he spent lots of time on his grandparents' dairy farm.
That night, after a heads up from Olu Inajide, Young sent home Martin Gelbspan, a Miami fitness trainer with frosted tips who last week enraged fans with a rant about "high maintenance" women.
The next day, Young brought Brandon Jones to the cul-de-sac in Woodbury where she grew up.
"I truly feel like the luckiest," Jones said, as the pair looked at school photos of little Michelle. "She's literally walking me through her heart."
As they were making out in the hot tub, her parents arrived. Jones was flustered but recovered, eventually asking them for their blessing, should he propose.
Young's parents seemed charmed: "She looks so happy."
Over dinner inside the candle-lit Mill City Ruins, Young told Jones that "I can see you being my best friend."
Young cut her group of men in half Tuesday night, selecting the four men whose families she wants to meet. That group, for the first time, was all people of color.
"I'm really excited just for the whole world to be able to see these love stories, because they've been love stories that haven't been common in the past," Young said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
"For me, it's not this strategy to put four men of color in the top four, but for me that happened to be the four I truly did connect with," she said. "There's so many wonderful things that the world is going to see."