Joey explains why he sends bachelors home

The universal conflict of Joey Graziadei's singles season reached a crossroads in week four. During the team's trip to Malta, Joey opted for the time-tested tradition of a two-on-one date by inviting Maria Georgas and Sydney Gordon to spend a day on the water with him. He needs to get to the bottom of this drama and find out the veracity of the bullying accusations.

In the end, Sydney lost the bachelor's rose, but the date didn't turn out as fans imagined. This is what happened.

stressful trip

Under any other circumstances, a sunny cruise along Malta's Mediterranean coast would sound like a dream. But as Sydney explained in her confessional, she was "terrified" of the trip because "spending a whole day with Maria was like spending a whole day with the devil."

She also told the cameras that Mariah was "not right" for Joey and tried to convince him of this in a later private conversation. "Every situation in the house has one thing in common," she told him. "This is Maria, showing disrespect over and over again."

Joey admitted that he didn't want to be with someone who made others "uncomfortable," but he still felt torn after hearing what Mariah said. Ultimately, Joey said he was "more confused than before the date."

Disney/Richard Middlesworth

Joey's rose goes...

Later, during an awkward two-on-one dinner, Sidney insists she feels a connection with Joey, but he ends up sending her home.

"I think you can tell it's not easy for me by any means," he said. "I want you to know that I can see how amazing you are. I just had to go with my gut and break away from what I thought was a stronger connection at the time."

Disney/John Fleno

Sydney and many of her fellow contestants were "shocked" by the decision. Back at her residence, Lea Cayanan looked particularly depressed. She later told Joy she thought it was Maria. (Is this the beginning of a new post-Sydney feud? We’ll have to wait and see!)

Sydney back home

Since leaving The Bachelor, Sydney has been making some moves around the country, including celebrating the one-year anniversary of her vintage shop in Rhode Island called Folk Vintage. She also works in social media for Bachelor Nation alum Ashley Iaconetti, according to Us Weekly Ashley recently defended Sydney after the drama of the season began to brew.

"Please be kind to our friends," she wrote on Instagram, according to the outlet. "Sometimes you just have to be there to understand why people act the way they do."