Listen To Your Heart Recap: Vegas Baby

We are down to four couples and when the end of the journey is no longer a dot in the distance, things get real. You learn who is in love, who’s faking it, and who wants this more than anyone else. 

In a nutshell, we see which of these jokers is listening to his or her heart.

Our Host Chris Harrison puts each couple on their own tour bus so they can travel the four and a half hours to Vegas in style. Most are excited by this arrangement, noting that they can’t wait to have “much needed alone time.”

I guess they are forced to eat, sleep, and play together as one big group in the tricked out mansion. Times are tough in this musical world and only the strong survive.

Each couple settles onto the tour bus differently. Bri and Chris take Polaroid pics of each other for their scrapbooks. Jamie listens as Trevor serenades her an original song about how this wacky journey is actually working. Ryan Mayer pretends to like Natascha as she attacks him on the bed. Matt pretends to like Rudi while social distancing on the bus bench. 

Rudi is worried that Matt isn’t into her, which is a valid concern. Of course he makes the waters murky when he compliments her musicality and the fact that she’s “smokin.” Matt tries to pile all of his reservations in one general “I’ve been burned before and I’m cautious” suitcase, but we all know that the “love factor” just isn’t there. 

To be fair, I think it does bum him out. 

He tries to be cool at the Bottle Tree Ranch establishment which is, from what I can tell, a haunted roadside motel decorated by a bunch of old beer bottles fashioned into trees. We see Rudi sitting in his lap huddled around a camp fire. They agree to check out the rooms when things go beyond snugglng. 

Rudi and Matt spend the night, hopefully in their shiny, clean, ABC accommodations on wheels verses sketchy lodging which boasts paranormal activity. The other three couples are concerned that the duo never came home. Most assume that there might be trouble in paradise. Bri thinks they probably got hitched. Bless.

Speaking of nuptials, Bri and Chris land a super cool (sarcasm) date at the Little White Chapel. They get all dolled up so they can sing “Stand By Me” to two strangers getting married. 

Oh the awkwardness. Where do I begin? I’m going to go out on a limb and say the bride and groom were either actually dating or agreeable to the ABC attorneys promising a quickie annulment. The song lasted a solid two minutes. Bri and Chris were way into it. The bride and groom just stood there staring at each other. Again, bless. 

After the happy couple leave to celebrate their love at the slots, Chris tells Bri that he always wanted his dad to marry him, but that’s not possible now since he passed away. Oh and by the way, his dad passed away the same day his best friend died too. WHAT IN THE WORLD?

While I try to wrap my head around those missing details, the remaining competitors cheer when Matt and Rudi walk through the door of the real hotel with high thread-count sheets and tiny toiletries. Jamie thinks Rudi looks relaxed. Rudi later tells Jamie that it was a good night. Matt tells Ryan Mayer that he’s still trying to “figure it out.”

Rudi confesses to Jamie that she can see herself falling for Matt. In fact, she almost pulled a Bri and told him that she was in love with him after their last performance! Jamie encourages Rudi to just tell him how she feels or she will regret it. 

Jamie is living her best life. 

How do I know? Because she and Trevor landed the coolest date of the night. Jamie, in her pastel pink crop top sweater with matching knit hat and gloves, ice skates around an arena rink as Trevor zips around her tiny little frame. 

Trevor is stoked. He grew up playing hockey and he’s so excited to share this piece of his life with Jamie. Plus he gets to make out horizontal right there on the ice, which is something he’s never done before. 

Methinks Trevor has totally done this before. He probably meant that he’s never done this in Vegas.

Trevor cradles Jamie like a baby and skates over to a seating area as if she weighs twelve pounds, which she probably does. The ABC Intern really outdid himself this time. Schlepping and entire carpet and couch with fuzzy throw pillows and a fluffy blanket and antique coffee tables seems to be a bit much when there are literally hundreds of chairs surrounding the date area. 

He probably lost some major scratch doubling down at the blackjack table. An executive had to bail him out and now he’s proving himself worthy of the task by going above and beyond. 

Trevor tells Jamie that he’s thankful he connected with her the first night. He wants to be the best for her. She wants to be the best for him. Blah, blah, blah. Then he tells her he’s only said the “L-word” to two people because it’s sacred. This dashes Jamie’s hopes of dropping her own L-bomb. 

They head back out on the ice and Trevor pulls Jamie into an embrace. This is when she notices that he’s crying. He wants her to know that he couldn’t have done this with out her and that he’s falling in love with her. Her reactions is banshee screaming. She would have jumped up and down if her feet hadn’t been strapped into dangerous blades. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Matt and Rudi land a date to see Shaggy perform in a club. Yes, you read that correctly. Shaggy, the musician who claimed several times “it wasn’t me” back in 1999 brings his reggae talents, for a third time, to the ABC network. As some of you may know, the Shagster played Sebastian in the unfortunate Little Mermaid live musical event, as well as an appearance as Mr. Boombastic himself on American Idol

Spoiler: Rudi had no idea who Shaggy was since she was a mere three-years-old when he came onto the scene. This makes things hella weird when Shaggy calls them up on stage to sing with him. Fortunately Matt was an entire decade old, with parents who encouraged him to embrace all music, and he was able to sing along to the charming ditty about a woman discovering her man has been cheating. 

Rudi takes Matt to a velvet couch so she can broadcast every feeling she’s ever experienced when Matt was near. She hems and haws a bit before finally blurting out, “I’m falling for you. I like you a lot. I see myself getting there with you. I wouldn’t retreat not telling you that.”

Imagine the longest pause in the history of television. Do you feel it? Can you sense the uncomfortableness and how embarrassing it would be to share that truth, only to be followed by the sound of silence? 

FYI: The pause is still going on. I know I’m typing through it, but you have to imagine that this ENTIRE TIME, Rudi has been looking at Matt and Matt has been staring at Rudi. 

Still pausing. 

Matt: “You are very courageous for speaking your truth. I appreciate you doing that. So…”

Rudi starts to cry. Then she loses it because Matt provides zero follow-up. He wraps the moment in more silence and Rudi cracks. She leaves him to go talk to her handler about how she always puts herself out there and the feelings are never reciprocated. 

Matt, in turn, tells the camera that he shouldn’t say anything about love if he’s not feeling it. 

Agreed, Matt, but you should same SOMETHING. You already told her she was smoking hot. Why not offer a nice compliment about her singing voice? Perhaps an obligatory, “You are an amazing woman.” 

Rudi is crying so hard that it makes me veer toward one particular thought. A thought that has to do with certain “relations” that may or may not have occurred in either a dingy motel room or a tour bus. Do we think they had sex is the question.

While Rudi processes, the camera switches to Natascha and Ryan Mayer’s date already in progress. What activity do you give to the two birds who aren’t in love? Smashing cars with heavy construction equipment, obviously. Then you have them sit on a pile of dirt and drink champagne. Perfect. 

The next day, Our Host Chris Harrison shepherds the four couples to a bigger venue, a bigger crowd, and bigger celebrity judges. One of those descriptions is a total lie.

Joining us tonight are Arie and What’s Her Name who legitimately received an audible “BOO” from some audience members. I laughed. They looked very Stepford. Ashley Simpson and her husband Evan Ross were the next judges to be announced, followed by the band Train’s own Pat Monahan. 

Here’s what our couples performed:

Chris and Bri
“Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” by Elvis Presley

It was an interesting performance. They looked great in their complimentary rose gold outfits. They sounded fine. But a few things stood out to me as odd.

First, she kept touching him randomly on the chest and face. It was unapologetically choreographed. Second, they never broke eye contact. So much so that I think someone bet them to NOT break eye contact. At the end, they shared a mic which we all know is the golden goose of lovey dovey duets. 

What’s Her Name thought the energy was low, which is clearly the pot calling the kettle black. Arie thinks Bri is in love. Pat thinks Chris started off wobbly, but his voice made it work. Evan likes Chris’ delicate voice and Ashley appreciated it going in a different place. I have no clue what that means.

Jamie and Trevor
“Just a Kiss” by Lady Antebellum

Look out, reality show contestants, because Young Jamie has found a new confidence since her man is falling in love with her. She believes the songs! She understands the lyrics! She’s never felt this way before, which makes total sense due to the fact that her last real relationship began with an invitation to be some dude’s date to the homecoming dance. She is decked out in her signature red dress and she means business. 

At the opening of the song, Jamie backs her rear straight into Trevor’s junk. We all felt weird about it, yet no one can say anything. 

Well, I said something. I yelled at the TV that this wasn’t the time to recreate a prom photo from the eighties.

They twirl a little too much. They sing face-to-face, just like Chris and Bri, leading me to believe that there must have been some sort of contestant pact that they would all pretend the audience isn’t there. Jamie looked more comfortable than ever before, yet still behaved like a dork.

How did they sound? Oh, it was fine.  I’m just not sure “fine” deserves to win this competition.

But what do I know? The judges loved it. In fact, Ash and Evan kissed in the middle of the chorus. Were they reacting to a moment? Or were they responding to the lyrics of the song? One can’t be sure. Let the record show that Pat thought Jamie’s awkwardness was beautiful. 

And Arie liked her good penis.

Interesting. Is this some sort of Bachelor franchise slang I know nothing about? Was that what Jamie was doing when’s he backed into Trevor’s front? Is that what the young kids are calling a “good penis?” And how does Arie know this potential urban dictionary term? He’s old enough to be her dad.

Upon further inspection, unparalleled research, and use of the rewind button, I can optimistically report that Arie told Jamie he liked her “goofiness.” Not her good penis. 

Good to know.

Natascha and Ryan
Perfect by Ed Sheeran

Where Jamie has the signature red dress, Natascha has a signature severe ponytail. She’s dressed in a short black mini with fringe and is ready to own the stage.

I’m still not quite sure what happened, but the stage was the opposite of owned. It was an actual hot mess. 

They started off strong, but when Ryan Mayer broke eye contact to grab his guitar, it appeared that Natascha was in charge of pulling the mic stand to the front of the stage. She picked it up, set it back down, then grabbed the actual microphone from the stand. Now Ryan Mayer is playing his guitar, grabbing the mic, singing, holding the mic and playing at the same time. Natascha tries to make it look like all this was on purpose. No one bought it.

The entire feel of the performance was off. There was zero connection masqueraded by a bunch of fake smiles. At the end of the final note, Natascha leans in to apologize and Ryan Mayer dips and kisses her to try and salvage something. 

The judges rake them over the coals. Pat bemoans Ryan Mayer for picking up the guitar. Evan and Ashley think the song was sung by two different people. 

Correct. It was sung by two different people. That’s what we call a duet. What I think they meant to say is that Natascha had a vision for the song to be one way and Ryan Mayer didn’t read that memo. Probably because he has no feelings for Natascha and is ready to get back to his hometown. 

In a rare, vulnerable moment, we see Natascha cry. And we all know that if Rudi can pull it together and sing the crap out of her song, then she and Matt can make it to the finale. 

Rudi and Matt
“Shallow” by Lady GaGa and Bradley Cooper

I have nothing written down. The reason I have nothing written down is because I was sitting on the edge of my chair, willing Rudi to hit those money notes. Then I prayed that she would nail the crescendo. Was this already filmed months ago? Sure. But I prayed anyway. 

Rudi nailed it. The raw emotion was there because when Matt looks and asks her, “Tell me something girl. Are you happy in this modern world. Or do you need more? Is there something else you’re searching for?” IT FILLS HER SOUL.

So she summons all of the feels and she sings her heart out. And I’m telling you what, Matt looks like he’s mesmerized by the woman standing beside him. It was electric. Phenomenal. 

Ashley felt the heat and congratulates their connection. 

Pat thought it was magical and commends Matt for his guitar skills. 

PS: Pat can wait to hear their original stuff. 

All of this affirms Rudi’s feelings for Matt. She believes that with every performance, they get stronger and better. Although Matt doesn’t profess any changed feelings, he does say he wants to play music with her forever. 

I hope they win.


To no one’s surprise, Natascha and Ryan Mayer go home. She’s upset that she dropped the ball, but knows their chemistry together is strong. Ryan Mayer even says that he wants to “continue this” beyond the show, which is a fabrication that he doesn’t even try to cover up with a forced smile.

Next week, the gang heads to Nashville, which means Jamie is on her own turf. Will this boost her confidence even more? We also see that there’s trouble in Bri and Chris’ love bubble. I don’t think it pops, but there may be a slow leak. 

And then there’s Rudi. Crying big tears. Let’s hope they are tears of happiness and bliss verses dashed hopes and dreams. 

Team Rudi and Matt!

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Dawn F
Dawn F
4 months ago

Bhahaha! Good penis! I thought the same thing, Lincee. Luckily, I watch with captions on, so I was able to read what he actually said. Arie didn’t say much last night. What’s her name looked very plastic to me, but that is nothing new. I guess they are happy, so maybe there really is “a lid for every pot.” I too agree that Rudi and Matt are the couple to beat. She has a phenomenal voice and the two of them blend well together. They strike me as more realistic as far as being “slow burners” in the love department.… Read more »

Long time fan
Long time fan
4 months ago

Was I the only one that thought Arie walked out with Emily Maynard at first? The resemblance was a little creepy. But I am sad to hear that she was booed–I really do wish them the best.

4 months ago

Natasha and Ryan absolutely RUINED that song. It doesn’t need revamping. I still don’t know what the hell happened–she said something about singing the wrong part of the song. The song is not that hard and whatever happened with the mic stand was wrong. All the random touching while singing annoyed the crap out of me. It didn’t add anything to the performances. And it looks like there is trouble in all the paradises next week. I think I agree that I want Rudi and Matt to win. And I was NOT happy with Arie and what’s her name on… Read more »

Dina B
Dina B
4 months ago

Thank you Lincee! I swear I rewound “good penis” 3 times and still couldn’t figure out what he said.
It almost seemed like Natascha and Ryan were too much of a train wreck – like maybe the producers sabotaged them to make room for their preferred top 3? Anyone else think that?

4 months ago

i yelled, “THE BAND TRAIN!” all by myself watching this. team rudy and matt! she’s amazing.

4 months ago

I think Ryan and Natascha could have killed Perfect had they not messed with the arrangement. It’s a beautiful, emotional song and they ruined it.

4 months ago

“What’s Her Name thought the energy was low, which is clearly the pot calling the kettle black.” Favorite line.

I love Matt and Rudi. I agree, he loves her in some way, but not romantically. But they sound amazing together.

I’m sadder than I should be that this show is almost over. I mean, I don’t care THAT MUCH about these characters, but I do love your recaps and podcast after watching.

Thanks again for being a bright spot in my quarantine 🙂

4 months ago

Great recap as always! “Good Penis” LOL I’m rooting for Matt and Rudi as well. He just needs to tell her SOMETHING! He doesn’t need to be in love but at least tell her that it’s hard to share his feelings…give her a crumb man! And poor Chris and Bri get the WORST dates! LOL First Guitar Center and now some strangers wedding! I’ve definitely enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I think they can thank the virus for the viewers!

Linda Hadley
Linda Hadley
4 months ago

Linda H

Linda Hadley
Linda Hadley
4 months ago

Tracy: I yelled THE BAND TRAIN too. And thank you Lincee for the origin of the good penis/goofiness…..I couldn’t figure that out. I watched with my daughter on a Zoom conference and even my husband, who does not watch but passed by a couple of times asked when the washed up Race Car Guy was going to leave reality TV for good. Can’t wait for the finale. Team Matt and Rudy!!!

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