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Ohio's Rick Leach Jr. is one of eight remaining contestants vying for Michelle Young's love on The Bachelorette

Rick, 32, got one of eight roses during the fifth week of season 18 of the reality dating competition show
Credit: wkyc studios
The journey for love on national television continues for Ohio's Rick Leach Jr. and Minnesota native Michelle Young, after week five in season 18 of the reality dating competition show.

CLEVELAND — The journey for love on national television continues for Ohio's Rick Leach Jr. and Minnesota native Michelle Young.

In the fifth week of the season, Michelle, 28, took her remaining 11 suitors and whisked them away from their isolated enclave in Palm Springs to her hometown, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, before cutting the field down to eight men.

Rick, a 32-year-old graduate of Walsh University, weathered a group date where the men had to experience what life was like for Vikings (not the football team), and eat what can only be described as "interesting" cuisine, before Michelle offered him a rose during the elimination ceremony.

"I know I'm in the right place, and so that's why I smile so big," Rick told Michelle during their group date.

Both men that Michelle shared individual dates with were asked to stay and accepted, and one man who tried to crash one of those intimate dates was eliminated on the spot, leaving two men to say their goodbyes in the formal rose ceremony after the typical group cocktail party.

The first of two one-on-one dates went to Joe Coleman, the man who we learned previously ghosted Michelle after exchanging messages over social media years ago, and shares Minneapolis as her hometown.

Michelle shared her second one-on-date with Nayte Olukoya, which was unexpectedly crashed by another man, Chris Sutton, a 28-year-old commodities broker who lives in Hollywood, California. Nayte ended up getting a rose, and Michelle sent Chris packing.

Sandwiched in between those two dates was the group date, where the men thought they were going to meet the Minnesota Vikings football team. Instead, Rick proved he has the stomach for whatever it takes to make love last.

After showing off their best "war cry," tossing logs, and eating a variety of medieval foods including fermented herring and Viking's head hash (cow brains, tongue and cheek), the men had to engage in direct combat... by arm wrestling. For the latter half of the date, the men even dressed the part, wearing traditional Viking garb.

In the end, Rick, a medical sales representative who is currently living in Los Angeles while he works toward earning an MBA at Loyola Marymount University, was not crowned "True Viking." That ultimately irrelevant honor went to Clayton Echard, who has already been announced as the next "Bachelor."

Only one rose is handed out at the end of each group date, and since Rick wasn't the lucky recipient this week, he had to wait until the elimination ceremony to learn that Michelle was still interested in pursuing their connection.

The men who were sent home, in addition to Chris, were 36-year-old music producer and musician Casey Woods from Miami, and 28-year-old bioengineer Leroy Arthur, from Dallas.

Check back here next Wednesday, to see how Rick fares in his continued quest to win Michelle's love, following next Tuesday's episode of The Bachelorette on ABC.

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