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Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard take center stage on '19 Kids and Counting'

Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard take center stage on TLC’s hit reality series, “19 Kids and Counting.”
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard take center stage on TLC’s hit reality series, “19 Kids and Counting.”
Photo courtesy of TLC, used with permission.

The latest new episode of “19 Kids and Counting” aired on May 6. The one-hour edition focused on Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard, who took center stage in faraway Nepal. As posted by ABC News on Tuesday, fans got to experience the memorable moment when Jill and Derick met in person for the very first time halfway around the world. It was a Duggar family first.

The reality program, which first aired in 2008 as a special titled “14 Kids and Counting,” chronicles the lives of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar as they raise their super-sized family. Six years and five children later (plus three grandchildren), “19 Kids and Counting” is more popular than ever and the Duggars continue to produce strong ratings for TLC.

Tuesday’s episode of “19 Kids and Counting” opened with the Duggar family weighing on Derick Dillard, a 24-year-old who was raised in Arkansas. For the last two years, he has been living in Nepal and doing missionary work. Jim Bob, who mentored Dillard in the past, suggested that Derick and Jill could be right for each other. It looks like he put two and two together – literally. “I believed Derick and Jill would hit it off. I really thought something might work out here,” he explained on Tuesday night’s new episode of “19 Kids and Counting.” Mom Michelle stated, “He could be the one for her.” Joseph added, “Jill has a good servant’s heart and Derick has the same goals.” Jessa, who is currently involved in her own courtship with Ben Seewald said, "They're a great match."

After communicating for three months via text messages, video conferencing and phone calls, Jill and Derick finally decided to meet in person and Jim Bob went along to give his approval and support. Father and daughter departed from Arkansas, flew to Chicago and finally on to Nepal, more than 8,000 miles away from home and halfway around the globe. “Even for a Duggar, this is pretty weird,” Jill exclaimed. However, love has no boundaries and the pull between Jill and Derick was too strong to keep them separated any longer.

Feeling nervous and excited at the same time, Jill Duggar finally met Derick in person after her 36-hour trek. Upon seeing her long distance friend, she ran to him and was presented with a lovely bouquet of flowers. “This is the moment of truth,” Jim Bob said. Derick stated on air after meeting Jill, "I couldn't believe it. I thought I was still dreaming."

The three went sightseeing in Kathmandu (Nepal's capital and its largest city), but all the two lovebirds could see was each other. They dodged crazy traffic, posed for photos with a local engaged couple, plus tried out authentic Nepali food and attire. While looking at art, Derick tapped Jim Bob on the arm and the two took a walk. Sounding extremely nervous, but sure of himself, Derick asked Jim Bob if he could officially court his daughter. “It’s a big step. If Jill’s fine with it, then her mom and dad will be alright with it,” the father of 19 replied.

As Duggar fans already know, Jill and Derick courted for four months and got engaged on March 29. The two will be married on June 21. As posted by The Stir, they are saving their first kiss for the altar. To see Jill and Derick’s official engagement photos, head to the Duggar Family Blog.

The next new episode of “19 Kids and Counting” is also extended to sixty minutes and titled “The Big Question.” With a few days left in their trip, Jill and Jim Bob make the most of their time in Nepal. Jill volunteers at a birth center, with Derick takes Jim Bob for a traditional Nepali shave. As the trip comes to an end, Derick has a surprise for Jill. How will she react? Tune in to TLC at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, May 13 to find out.

The eighth season of “19 Kids and Counting” comes to an end on Tuesday, June 3. However, don’t be too sad, Duggar fans. Amy Duggar’s new special is set to debut sometime in June. While speaking to a TLC rep on May 6, she informed me that the announcement of a premiere date is coming very soon. Stay tuned here for more details.

More about the Duggar family from "19 Kids & Counting"
The super-sized Duggar family includes mom Michelle, dad Jim Bob, plus children Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn and Josie. The family resides debt-free in Arkansas and stars in a weekly reality series on TLC called "19 Kids & Counting."

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