Marc hands out the final three roses – and Gillian leaves empty-handed!

After visiting their homes and meeting their loved ones, South Africa’s most eligible single guy, dreamboat Marc Buckner has chosen the three ladies whom he will take to the next significant phase of his love journey on M-Net’s hit reality dating show, The Bachelor SA. But first, he had to say goodbye to someone who has made warm and fuzzy footprints in the hearts of many viewers – bubbly and adventurous Gillian-with-a-G.

That means that Bridget, Jess.R and Marisia will spend some quality time with Marc at the extravagant five-star game lodge Kapama, before he makes his final decision on Thursday, 28 May during the series’ much-awaited final Rose Ceremony. In the next couple of episodes, the three ladies will go on adventure dates and have the option of visiting the Fantasy Suites with Marc.

Although Gillian left the Bachelor mansion with a smile after last night’s Rose Ceremony, she had nothing to say to Marc. But her parting words to viewers were telling: “It’s the end of the journey. The only thing that I really wish was that he didn’t put me in the top four,” What can I do? I cannot force a connection, but he’s following his heart, he’s following his gut. I couldn’t even say anything to him”.

Gillian and Marc had an easy-going relationship and he especially appreciated how open and honest she was. Their relationship went to the next level when Marc invited Gillian to a special one-on-one date next to a lake, where she let down her walls and showed Marc a completely different side to her, sharing her beautiful upbringing and getting intimate with Marc. Although Marc was the very first man to be introduced to Gillian’s mom and friends, their connection just fizzled out and wasn’t enough for him to take things to the next level. In his discussion with Jason before the Rose Ceremony, he noted that since the chemistry date, he and Gillian had this crazy attraction followed by affection and kissing, but with the home visit, it all subsided.

A breakdown of the hometown dates:

Bridget in Durban (Marc and Bridget’s hometown)
The date: Bridget took Marc on an old-school-high-school date at the arcade. The couple spent the afternoon bowling and playing arcade games, which was filled with loads of laughter and flirting. Marc and Bridget have formed a great friendship as a basis of their relationship, and share great banter. While she is giddy and excited by the prospect of a life with Marc, she does still have her reservations. Bridget is afraid that he still sees her as a friend, and will friend-zone her like many of her past relationships. At the end of the date, Marc admitted that he is enjoying her more and more and that his attraction to her is increasing as he gets to learn more about her, while Bridget couldn’t stop wiping the smile off her face and saying that she has completely fallen for him.

Meeting the family: Marc met Bridget’s mom and dad, and her aunt and uncle. He immediately felt comfortable and welcomed, and her Uncle thought that they looked great together as a couple. The visit went very well and Marc felt relaxed and right at home. While Bridget’s dad was apprehensive, he said that they were well suited and her mom was impressed, saying that he is a decent chap.

Marc’s round-up with Jason: Loved the date, loved her warm and welcoming family and believes that their relationship has moved from friendship to something more romantic.

Jess.R in Cape Town (Marc and Jess.R’s current hometown)
The date: Jess.R recreated a date that she has dreamt about since she was a little girl – a picnic at Spier with no distractions – where they could chat and unpack more about their relationship. During the date, it was evident that their relationship feels natural and easy-going or as Marc refers to it, like “high-school sweethearts”. Marc noted after the date that she kisses very well and that they just enjoy their time together!

Meeting the family: Jess.R had Marc meet her parents and her best friend Melissa. Jess.R felt weird about introducing Marc to her family because she wasn’t in a committed relationship yet. Her best friend Melissa took the honours of finding out Marc’s intentions with Jess and warned him to be careful with her heart. While her family was pleased to see her happy and in love, they were concerned about her getting hurt.

Marc’s round-up with Jason: Loved her dad, but felt like he needed to be saved from Jess.R’s mom, as he wasn’t sure if she liked him. For him, family is important and he needs to know if he can get along with someone’s family.

Gillian-with-a-G in Johannesburg
The date: Gillian invited Marc to enter Gilly’s world, where she would reveal another side to her – her love for photography. She believes that Marc should learn things about her in stages, to keep things fresh and exciting, which Marc quite enjoys. The pair spent the afternoon doing a photoshoot, while also chatting and getting to know each other better.

Meeting the family: Gillian was extremely nervous about introducing Marc to her mom and best friends because she has never brought anyone home to meet them. She felt like her mom was accepting but still tried her best to make everyone comfortable and not awkward. Gillian’s mom was curious as to why Marc chose her, while her friends wanted to know what made Gillian different from his other suitors. For Gillian, her mothers’ opinion was the only one that counted – and she was pleased that her mom was happy and believed that he had a good heart. Marc noted that their relationship was evolving slowly, but was surprised to learn about her social media life for the very first time.

Marc’s round-up with Jason: Their crazy attraction subsided after the hometown date, and he felt thrown with her social media life that he didn’t know about.

Marisia in Johannesburg
The date: Marisia chose an adventurous activity for her date, which was right up Marc’s alley. She chose to do rock-climbing, which Marc thought was extremely smart, as they had the opportunity to get to know each other better, work together and build their relationship. He also noted that she looked “so sexy” in her little leopard shorts. He noted that she is very like-minded in many ways and that they both enjoy similar things. Marisia found his adventurous side very attractive and also thought that he looked sexy.

Meeting the family: Marisia was initially nervous to introduce Marc to her Afrikaans family. Before they arrived, she tipped him off to greet everyone with a kiss, as per Afrikaans tradition. She also mentioned to him how important family is to her. She introduced Marc to her parents and her two best friends, and to Marc’s surprise, the visit was extremely jovial with no awkward moments. Overall, her parents were content and liked Marc with her dad calling them “very well-matched”.

Marc’s round-up with Jason: He was very excited about the date and appreciated her family for being so accommodating by speaking English. He especially loved seeing Marisia come out of her shell, but is concerned about her emotional maturity.

The Bachelor SA Season 2 is screened every Thursday at 19:00 on M-Net Channel 101. DStv Premium viewers can also catch all the romance on Catch Up, or stream the episodes live via their mobile devices on DStv Now.

Fans can follow all the breaking news around the show on the M-Net Website, and join the conversation with #TheBachelorSA on Twitter (@MNet), Instagram (@mnettv) and Facebook (@MNet).

The Bachelor SA is produced by Rapid Blue and proudly sponsored by Lottostar. Lottostar is a fixed-odds online betting platform that offers South Africans the chance to bet and win big on the world’s biggest Lotteries, Live Games, Instant Play Games, ScratchCards & Sports Betting – with over R2,4 Billion in winnings paid out in just the last 3 years. Lottostar is licensed by the Mpumalanga Economic Regulator. No u18s. National Responsible Gambling Programme 0800 006 008. You are not playing directly in these lotteries but rather betting on the outcome or result of such lotteries.