Published On: Thu, Dec 7th, 2017

Chris Leroux saves real emotion for his mom on Bachelor Canada

Read on for highlights.

Date No. 1 with Mikaela: Our first clue that Mikaela is likely to be left ringless at the end of all this? She and Chris had their date on a freakin’ pirate ship in Cancun, Mexico. Romantic? Not so much.

It wasn’t the fake pirates running around the ship that worried Mikaela; it was the fact that Chris started talking like someone with major cold feet.

“How are you feeling about us?” Mikaela asked him.

“There’s points in my day where I’m, like, really excited and there’s points in my day where I’m nervous and there’s points in my day where, like, I don’t know what to think,” he said.

Not the answer Mikaela was looking for.

“You seem very confused right now,” she said. “I just feel like you’re more unsure than I thought you were.”

And yet, with a night in the fantasy suite in the offing, the pair papered over their differences at dinner.

Chris told Mikaela he was falling in love with her and asked her not to give up on him; Mikaela told Chris she wouldn’t and that he could ask her all the “hard questions” he had allegedly been avoiding (although what those were we never found out).

And when he whipped out the card inviting him and Mikaela to stay as a couple in the fantasy suite, Mikaela responded with a refreshingly enthusiastic “I would like to forgo the crap out of my individual room.”

I don’t know how much “forgoing” actually took place, but there was certainly kissing, and Mikaela read Chris a love letter she wrote calling him “the man of my dreams.”

Date No. 2 with Lyndsey: Lyndsey’s line going into her date was that she was terrified of losing Chris because of how her family behaved. “My family was really tough on him, they did not give him a chance and I think he felt super rejected,” she said.

What better way to slough off the muck of an unsatisfactory hometown date than to visit a Mayan clay spa and slather real mud all over each other?

And yet even a Mayan purification ceremony couldn’t completely rid Chris of jitters, or so he said.

“I feel like the elephant in the room is always gonna be how your parents feel about all of this,” he told Lyndsey. “I could tell that you’re so in love with your family and you respect what they say that I almost thought, like, ‘Well I lost her.’”

“I respect what they say absolutely, but when it’s warranted, and I feel like if they didn’t give you a chance it’s not,” Lyndsey replied.

“I got your back, I will always be on your side,” she added.

That was good enough for Chris.

“I have so much hope for us. I just haven’t met somebody like you ever,” he said. “Although you scare me, although you keep me up at night, hopefully in the end it’s worth it.”

And that fantasy suite card that her sisters didn’t want her to have? Lyndsey was totally not prepared to sleep alone and said yes.

“I’m really looking forward to having some good conversation with you tonight,” Chris said — perhaps for the benefit of the sisters — and then the smooching began.

Mikaela meets the family: Mikaela passed the parent test with flying colours.

(Anybody else notice Chris’s descriptions of Mikaela and Lindsay to his parents were almost exactly the same: funny and beautiful, except he added “sweet” for Mikaela and “fun” for Lyndsey.)

Chris’s mom Marian had noted before Mikaela arrived that Chris had trouble showing emotion after being taught as a major-league baseball pitcher to keep his feelings hidden. But Mikaela assured Marian that she was a good communicator.

“My heart tells me that she would be a good match for Chris,” Marian said.

Lyndsey meets the family: “I don’t want him to be alone, but I think he needs to find somebody closer to his own age,” Marian said before Lyndsey arrived, after learning she was only 23.

And she didn’t hide her concern from Lyndsey. “You’re 23, right? You have a lot of experience to experience,” Marian told her.

And then there was the long distance thing. Chris told his dad Keith he was considering moving to Vancouver, but admitted it would be tough not being around his parents or his brother’s children.

“You’ve had two girls in your life and both of them have been long distance and it’s difficult,” Keith said. “I hate to tell you this, but you’re too old to start doing that, playing that game.”

And just when it looked like Lyndsey was about to strike out with Ma and Pa Leroux, they relented. Keith said Chris had his blessing and Marian said she’d be more than happy if Chris ended up engaged to Lyndsey: “The 10-year age gap concerns me, but I think that she’s a lovely girl; she has a lot of motivation to do well in life.”

Chris gets real: The most touching part of the episode involved Chris and his mom and there was nothing made for TV about it.

As they talked over the decision ahead of him, Marian encouraged Chris to show his emotions.

“It’s so important to talk about your feelings, so important,” she said. “You just never had the opportunity to do that before because, like, you were gone when you were 18 and you were with a whole group of guys.”

Chris struggled not to cry.

“Is that what scares you off in relationships, just talking about your feelings?” she asked.

Chris nodded.

“Why?”

“Being vulnerable,” he replied.

“But that’s part and parcel of being in a relationship, the vulnerability, right? You can go on the mound in Yankee Stadium and pitch a 94 mph fastball, you don’t think that’s vulnerable?” Marian asked. “How is it different because one is your body strength and the other one’s your heart?

“It’s OK, it’s OK, you can fix it and it starts now.”

But as she tried to comfort Chris he really lost it and then they were both crying.

“You’re such a good person, you’re so good; you’re a good son, you’re a good grandson, you’re a good brother,” Marian said.

She hugged him as he cried and told him, “Don’t be afraid to fall in love, Chris, don’t be afraid. It’s the best thing, it’s just the best.”

And if your own eyes weren’t at least moist by then you’ve got ice water in your veins.

The episode ended with a lonely-looking Chris walking on a beach, admitting that he was afraid to fall in love, but “I don’t want to leave here in the same spot that I came here. Either I can be afraid or I can take a chance; it makes me feel like I want to take a chance.”

We have to wait two more weeks to find out if he does because next week The Women Tell All. And trust me when I tell you that you won’t want to miss that.

You can watch Wednesday at 9 p.m. on W Network.

And you can email me at dyeo@thestar.ca, tweet me @realityeo or visit my Facebook page.

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TORONTO STAR

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Chris Leroux saves real emotion for his mom on Bachelor Canada