It’s Hometowns Week on The Bachelor! This is the time in the season where the four remaining gals get to drag Ben back to their parents’ houses and try to convince their families that they are head-over-heels in love with some dude they met a few weeks ago. The girls’ parents are bustin’ out their finest Chinet plates in honor of Ben’s visit in hopes that he’ll choose their daughter and have ABC pick up the tab for their wedding. Let’s get started!
The episode starts off in Orange County, California, which is where Amanda is from. Ben sits on some rocks by the beach to ponder his “journey to find love” thus far. And to look constipated, as per usual.
Amanda is, of course, going to immediately introduce Ben to her two little girls, even though she hasn’t yet seen them herself. Amanda’s kids are both under four years old, so they seem to be having trouble understanding why Mama had to ditch them to go hang out with the weird dude in the shorts lurking behind her on the beach.
Neither of the girls seem too thrilled with Ben, and who can blame him? This guy basically swiped their mom out from under them for six weeks!
Ben plays doting dad for the cameras, and the producers are careful to zoom in any time the girls aren’t giving Ben dirty looks. (“This’ll really get the female viewers’ ovaries a-flowin’!)
Of course, Amanda proclaims that Ben would be the greatest father/husband ever. (I’m sure Amanda’s ex-husband is biting on a stick while watching this scene. He had to watch Amanda bag on his parenting skills, all while knowing that she ditched the kids to go on a reality show!)
Since one of Amanda’s kids is basically fresh out of the womb, she starts wailing in the car.
Ben looks incredibly uncomfortable during the whole incident, which is a great sign that he’s ready to be an Insta-Dad.
They arrive at Amanda’s home where her parents and sister are waiting to meet them. Over the baby’s crying, Ben tells the family how fun it is hanging out with two kids. While Amanda and Ben (and the camera crew) go to put the youngest kid down for her nap (Um?), Amanda’s family talks about why Ben would be a perfect dad. This is, of course, about five minutes after they met him.
Ben tells Amanda’s mom that he feels prepared to become an instant dad to Amanda’s kids. (He did stand in the room while Amanda put her kid down for a nap, after all. He’s basically Doctor Spock!)
Amanda’s mom later expresses her hesitation about Ben to Amanda, who talks about how embarrassing it was to get divorced.
Um…isn’t it more embarrassing that you’re on this stupid show? Just sayin’…
Meanwhile, Ben is chatting with Amanda’s dad. The dad is trying to explain that life with kids isn’t all hot tubs and Fantasy Suite humping, and that if Ben’s not cool with dates at the Chuck E Cheese’s for the next decade or so, then he better hit the bricks.
After Ben reads the kids a bedtime story (about himself, naturally), Amanda declares that she is totally in love with Ben and would be heartbroken if Ben were to decide he’s not cool with the kids’ menu.
The next day, Ben zips up to Portland, Oregon, to meet Lauren in her hometown. They head downtown to eat some local food and visit a whiskey library. Lauren talks about a bunch of boring stuff and Ben looks like he’s somewhat checked out of the conversation. (Who knows– maybe he’s four Gentleman Jacks in at this point?)
Lauren’s considering telling Ben that she loves him, but wants to see if her family hates him before she does that. They head to Lauren’s parents’ house and Ben has another giant bouquet of flowers. (The bouquets keep getting bigger with each girl’s family. By the last one, Ben will need a U-haul to transport all of those flowers!)
Ben gets to meet Lauren’s entire family, who is overjoyed that their “Lolo” has brought home a man..and a camera crew. Lauren’s sister steals Ben away and asks Ben how many other families he’s given the same spiel to. Ben explains that he likes Lauren, but he can’t explain why.
“I feel really lucky,” he says, as he manages to squeeze out some tears. (Anyone else think he just couldn’t think of anything to say about Lauren so he went straight for the man-cry to get out of it?)
Lauren tells her sister that she feels like Ben’s “her person” and that their relationship is meant to be. Meanwhile, Ben goes to chat with Lauren’s dad, who seems less-than-thrilled to hear that Ben plowed through 24 girls to get to his daughter.
He expresses concern that Ben and Lauren are basically going from meeting-to-Neil-Lane in less than a month or so. Ben basically explains that while he’s going to tell three other fathers that their daughters are “amazing,” the dad should rest assured that Lauren will at least make it into the Fantasy Suite.
Next, Ben heads to Hudson, Ohio, where he will be meeting up with Caila. Ben tells us that his relationship with Caila is the deepest of the four.
Caila’s dressed in her finest Gap vest-and-turtleneck combo for the occasion. Caila shows Ben her old high school, where she explains she “became her own person.” (Is that like code for ‘lost my virginity?’ or…?) They sit down on a bench and Caila explains how sad she is that she didn’t really have much of a hometown.
However, as you can imagine, Ben is her home now.
Their next stop is the headquarters of a toy company that Caila’s father runs. They draw houses and then Caila tells Ben that they get to (giggle, giggle!) build their home together in the toy factory!
Yes, it’s just as boring to watch as it sounds.
Afterward, Ben carries Caila out of the factory ala “An Officer and a Gentleman” and…we all basically feel like throwing up the desserts were have been stuffing into our gullets while watching this episode.
Caila brings Ben (and yet another oversized bouquet of flowers) to meet her parents and siblings. Caila’s mom has cooked a full Filipino meal for the occasion, and she seems thrilled to meet Ben. Caila’s dad wants to know all about how fame has changed Ben, and Stepford Wife Caila starts to get very uncomfortable. She seems unhappy that Daddy Dearest is steering the conversation off the perfect course she’s created.
Ben goes to talk to Caila’s mom and he is starting to look like he’s growing really tired of answering the same questions for every girl. Caila starts crying and talking in a creepy whisper as she announces that she knows that “this is it.”
Well…at least we know she’ll be a great ugly-cryer in the limo! That gives us something to look forward to.
When she goes to say goodbye to Ben, Caila decides it’s time to throw out the “I love you”…but she chickens out. She’s now sweating through her vest in worry that Ben will dump her before she ever gets to tell him how she feels.
The final hometown date is with JoJo, who brings Ben to Dallas. JoJo arrives home to find a bunch of red roses on her porch. She squeals because she thinks they’re from Ben. However, we find out that the roses are actually from her ex-boyfriend, Chad, who has sent a long love letter as well. JoJo freaks out and starts crying and pacing just at the mention of Chad, who apparently broke her heart.
So…did Chad just like hang out on her porch with flowers for a month and a half until he saw her pull up? Or did a helpful production assistant just happen to drop ol’ Chaddy a line to let him know when to drop the red rose bombshell?
JoJo calls up Chad to yell at him for ruining her perfect ‘Bachelor’ moment. Chad is pleading for another chance, while Ben is coming up to her door to pick JoJo up for their date. Ben notices that JoJo has been crying, so she finally explains that she found flowers at her door. Ben glances at the flowers and you can tell that he’s trying to figure out if “he” sent her flowers that day or not.
JoJo explains that the flowers are actually from her ex, and Ben looks uncomfortable.
The one time that Ben doesn’t bring flowers, he gets upstaged by an ex!
JoJo tells Ben that she told her ex to leave her alone because she’s happy being with Ben (and his three other girls). She says that she’s never felt love like she feels for Ben (groan) and she seals that statement with a kiss.
It’s time to meet JoJo’s parents and Ben has his trusty bouquet to present to JoJo’s mom. As soon as they walk through the door, JoJo’s brothers uncomfortably accost JoJo. Ben also meets JoJo’s parents and sister, who welcome him into the dining room. He tells the gang that he feels like himself when he’s with JoJo.
“So how, like, serious, are y’all feelin’?” one of the brothers asks.
Ol’ Chad must have done a number on JoJo because her brothers are very nervous to have another guy break their sister’s heart. The brothers take Ben aside to talk to him, and ask Ben if he’s planning to dump their sis.
(Watchful eyes may remember that JoJo’s brother, Ben Patton, had his own bout with reality TV stardom. Anyone remember him from Ready for Love? He’s got a lot of nerve scolding Ben and JoJo for falling in love on reality TV, considering her proposed on-camera to a girl he met on the show.)
“There’s still a lot of time,” Ben stutters. “We’re going to have some good conversations.”
Both brothers look like they want to punch Ben in the face as he explains how “real” his relationship with JoJo is. Meanwhile, JoJo is explaining to her mother that she’s scared of getting hurt by Ben. Apparently, no one explained to JoJo’s mom how this process works because she looks genuinely shocked when she finds out that Ben is also dating three other broads.
Next, JoJo sits down with her brothers and they are less-than-thrilled to learn that their sister has only been on two dates with the guy she’s proclaiming to be in love with. (Hey– she gets like three minutes with him on every group date, too!)
JoJo is wailing about how “emotionally exhausting” it is to date a dude with a few other girlfriends.
Life is just so hard!
Later, the brothers call Ben into the room and accuse him of doing some hoo-doo witchcraft on JoJo to get her to like him. They accuse Ben (jokingly) of brainwashing JoJo, all while JoJo’s mom is literally slugging champagne out of the bottle.
Can she be the next ‘Bachelorette?’
One of the brothers accuses Ben of having rehearsed answers prepared for every question, and Ben can’t even argue with what he’s saying. Ben’s mom is trying to stick up for Ben, and Ben is giving the family his best hurt puppy dog face.
JoJo seems to have no idea that Ben was just verbally tarred and feathered by her family. Ben tries to sugarcoat the conversation that he had with her brothers. He feels uncomfortable with how things went with JoJo’s family. JoJo frets that this awkward meeting could jeopardize her future with Ben.
The next night, all four ladies and Ben head back to the Bachelor Mansion for the rose ceremony. There are only three roses, and JoJo isn’t playing. She’s put her lady bits on full display in hopes that by giving Ben a sample of “the goods,” he’ll take her into the Fantasy Suite next week.
Ben starts handing out the roses. The first one goes to Lauren, who gets a shifty-eyed look from the other three girls. The next flower is given to Caila, and it’s down to Amanda and JoJo. Chris Harrison comes in, says his mandatory one line and takes off before the final rose is given.
The final rose goes to JoJo, and it’s no surprise. The editors were totally trying to make us think that JoJo was toast because of her brothers, but we all knew that Amanda was going home because of her kids. She doesn’t even seem surprised, but is mad that Ben didn’t kick her to the curb back when they were back in the OC. She asks him why she made her come “all the way” back to Los Angeles to get dumped.
Um…it’s only a 40-mile drive or so from Orange County to LA, Amanda. Relax.
Ben shovels Amanda into the Pity Limo and watches her drive off. Amanda’s not giving us much in terms of limo wailing, but she does seem angry that she introduced Ben to her kids and then got dumped.
Next week, Ben and the remaining three girls head to Jamaica, where all the girls will declare their undying love for Ben. There will be fireworks, there will be helicopters and waterfall makeout sessions–not to mention Ben telling two women that he loves them. (Oh, and everyone’s going to be boning in the Fantasy Suite.)
To read The Ashley’s recap of the previous episode of ‘The Bachelor,’ click here.