No Love for Juan Pablo’s Hometown Dates

bachelor-recap-hometown

Friends, did you watch last night’s Hometown Date episode?

I don’t have a full-fledged recap this week for Hometown dates because
a) I have a four-month-old
b) I could hardly keep my eyes open to watch the show let alone write about it
c) there’s another episode tonight and
d)  it was the most boring episode I can recall in many a Bachelor Hometown Date history.

I mean, aside from discovering that Clare must have had major plastic surgery to escape the ugly genes in her family, there was no big revelation. No difficult encounters, really, except for Andi’s dad who was honestly just being a good dad. It’s understandable that any parent would be cautious and suspicious of a dude asking if he could maybe, if the time is right, and I run it by my daughter, and I ditch these other three babes, if then I decide to propose, would you be cool with that? Dad’s answer: Uhhh…get back to me after all that other bullshit and then we’ll talk. Mmmkay? I would’ve loved it even more if Andi’s dad had a rifle propped up against the wall by the front door. Just to, ya know, reinforce the message that he ain’t messin’ around. And, to his credit, his daughter knows how to handle a gun herself. By the looks of it, she’s not one to tolerate any BS either (we’ll see if the promos for tonight’s episode are correct).

So, what did you think about Hometowns? I felt bad for Renee, but come on, you saw that coming. And she’s a classy broad. If Clare and Juan Pabs do get married and end up having kids of their own, Juan Pablo might discover that she secretly had plastic surgery when their kids turn out ugly. It happened to this guy – maybe – and so the story goes that he successfully sued his wife for being ugly having deceived him with plastic surgery only to be found out when they produced ugly offspring. (I mean, yeah, I feel for the guy a bit. He thinks he’s marrying a hottie and he’s a looker himself and his kids are growing up and he’s like “dang, why are my kids so ugly?”)

Speaking of kids, the one thing that really irked me during all four of the hometown dates is that there was no serious talking about parenthood or about taking on the role of being a step-mom. Nikki is the only one that even flippantly mentions it to her BFF mom, but then again she’s the only one who met Camila so she’s like “yeah, met the chick, she’s cool, I’m good.” Not one of these girls is even questioning getting engaged to this guy and they haven’t even spent quality time with his daughter, let alone him. (Love Andi’s dad for continuously pointing out and questioning why his daughter has only had a single one-on-one date — it’s equal parts pride in his daughter’s awesomeness and part pissed off she isn’t winning).  I mean, Juan Pablo won’t frolic in the ocean because he wants to set a good example for his daughter but he’ll bring home a fiance with a ring on her finger?

And Nikki…well, I think she might win this thing. Meeting Camila last week blew my mind. I still can’t get over it. Maybe our boy JP likes the idea of having a nurse around to help him raise his daughter safely. And, she’s around kids all day so she’s used to not speaking in full, articulate sentences. She and Juan Pablo get along great.

Tune in tonight for Fantasy Suites!

Oh, and here’s Juan Pablo being all-around adorable with the yellow M&M:

p.s. you got that I was just kidding about Clare having plastic surgery, right?  Or did she? Seriously, it’s hard to believe she is the single sister in that household. 

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The Bachelorette Recap, Hometown Dates — Desiree

Zak: Dallax, TX 

Zak and Desiree seem chummy but not romantic. He promptly explains a very odd dream he had about them melting on a beach but then it starts snowing and then hundreds of kids show up…and that’s the end of that story.  Kinda like this relationship. And then it sort of maybe makes sense when Zak pulls up in his family’s sno-cone truck.  It could be worse, I guess; dude could be dressed up like a penguin.  Oh, wait, that happened too. Kinda reminds me of the scene from The Sweetest Thing when Selma Blair’s boyfriend dresses up like an elephant and visits her at work. Anyone??

Mom, Dad, brother, sister are super excited to meet Desiree. In fact, mom skips over to meet her at the front door. Zak’s family is mortified to find out that he was the lame guy who didn’t wear a shirt on the first night.  Makes me feel better to know that his family is embarrassed for him especially since they all seem a little zany themselves.  Poor mom can’t help but roll her eyes when Zak confesses that he’s also been totally naked three times on the show so far.

In one-on-one time with Zak’s mom, Desiree seems to really win her over. Sister wants to know if Zak has broken through the friend zone and Desiree assures her that he has, but I’d say that’s a big fat no. What’s she supposed to say? Sister is smitten because clearly Zak is happy but she also clearly watches the show and knows how this game plays out.

Zak tells his mom that Desiree is a really beautiful person – creative and spontaneous, he really respects her and inspires her. Zak and his mom talk about how he’d all but just given up on the idea of love so I can see the Men Tell All episode now and Zak telling the world that meeting and falling in love with Desiree really opened him up to the idea of love again.  Right?  That’s totally how this goes.

And then Zak’s family breaks into song…Desiree is touched. Or severely regretting the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any alcohol in sight.

Zak tells Desiree that he bought a ring for her in Atlantic City when he realized he was falling in love with her, he presents it to her and tells her he’s in love with her. It’s awfully cute but I feel really bad because I think he’s going home.

In the case of Hometown dates, do you think the playground taunt is correct? Is first the worst?

Drew: Scottsdale, AZ

It’s a stark difference between Zak’s greeting and Drew’s.  I’ll give you a hint: Drew’s involves a lot of kissing.  This one really went very well but was also pretty predictable. Here are the highlights:

  • Drew makes good on his promise to bring Desiree along to pick up his sister Melissa who is severely mentally handicapped.
  • Drew’s dad is a good looking man. Tell Drew to cool it on the hair gel and he’ll probably get lucky with that full head of hair too.  Forgot that Dad was an alcoholic, though. Points off for that.
  • Dad asks Desiree if she believes in angels and explains that Melissa is their family’s angel and that she has taught their family more about love and life than anything else ever could have.  Dad says that Drew must have really wanted Desiree to experience meeting Melissa, a display of love and respect he wouldn’t bestow upon just anyone.  Clearly Dad fully approves and can see why Drew is so in love with Des.
  • Mom gives her stamp of approval.
  • Des says she wants to join Drew’s family and stay with him. Good sign.
  • Like a giddy schoolboy, Drew tells Desiree that he loves her and he wants her to be a part of his life and his future. Man, if this guy goes home, he is never going to see it coming. He is entranced.

Chris: McMinnville, OR 

It’s all woodsy and lumberjacky and Chris has some wildflowers waiting for Des before he takes her to the local little league park where they get in their baseball gear. Chris is super impressed — the girl can hit, she can pitch, she can throw, she can catch, she can run…and she does it all laughing and smiling and looking super adorable.  This feels like the most natural and relaxed scenario out of all the guys but it’s also important to Chris since his life has revolved so much around baseball.

When they take a break, Desiree shows Chris some sketches she stole out of Zak’s playbook: drawings of their time together so far.  Poetry-loving Chris thinks it’s super sweet. Oh, you two.  Peas in a pod.

Chris’s family is very welcoming. In fact, it’s not five minutes before Chris’s dad has Desiree laying down! Whoa whoa whoa there, folks.  He’s a professional.  Actually, he’s a chiropractor.  Dear Desiree: choose this guy.  Major perks with free massages and adjustments.  And apparently something to do with nasal adjustments…??  I’m totally not sure what just happened but Chris seemed into it.

I don’t quite understand the music that is playing as mom is interviewing Des…it’s like underwater level Super Mario Bros. music.  Mom says she likes Desiree a lot because she seems very strong and knows herself and what she wants. Mom cries and gives her blessing to Chris. And the part I think is kinda creepy is when mom shares that Chris was pretty much in love with Desiree before he found out that she was The Bachelorette. That’s weird, right?

Brooks: Salt Lake City, UT

Brooks and his flowy hair are super dreamy.  I’ll give him that.  Desiree seems very elated to be with him. And, in fact, tells the camera that she loves Brooks and has been excited about meeting his family since their first date. Wow.  In contrast, Brooks seems to be struggling with the time away from Desiree and goes so far as to say that “you somewhat forget what it’s like when you’re apart.” Hmm…sounds like he’s pulling back quite a bit.  Luckily, Desiree has sensed his lack of confidence and in an effort to remind him that he should love her (he hasn’t said it yet!), she’s logged all of their special moments so far…the hollywood sign, breaking his finger, carrying the bride over the threshold. Maybe Brooks is just super slow.  It’s like you can almost see the memories coming back to him…oh, yeah, oh..that’s right. Yeah, kinda like you.  I remember now.  Hey, you.

Best part of the episode: Brooks literally rocks their boat a little too much and totally soaks Desiree by overflowing their little kayak.  Not as suave as The Notebook. Total fail.

Walking into Brooks’s house (think he’s Mormon?)  There are so many of them that they’re actually wearing nametags, which I think is awesome.

His brothers ask some really great questions about his feelings toward Des and yet we don’t get to see him answer any of them, which is frustrating.  His sister tells Brooks that he should never want to be away from someone he is in love with because it should be his best friend and he should want to do everything with her. Brooks seems surprised to hear this.  During his little chat with his mom Brooks seems to open up and confesses that he needs to let down some walls.  Not a revelation, slow guy, but again, glad you’re getting there.

Best family comment: “Thanks for not being a huge waste of time.”  This guy wins for best family.

Desiree’s Bad Boy Brother is Back

Apparently producers also realize that there’s not enough interesting drama happening this season to keep things appealing, Desiree’s embarrassingly trashy brother is back.  She gives him a synopsis of each of the remaining men and while I really wanted to loathe him, I thought he did a good job of “yeah yeah,” “uh huh,” and “okay” responses.  Clearly he’s been scorned well enough to know not to make a total jackass of himself on national television again.  It almost works.  He seems like he’s just trying to be agreeable but he’s still skeptical.  At least he wishes her well and tells her that he’s happy she’s in charge of the situation, ending on a good note.

Chatting with Chris Harrison

Chris calls Des out on the fact that last week she told him she’s in love with Brooks, however, Brooks still hasn’t said it to her. Awkward because the other three men have “thrown themselves at [her] feet.”  Exactly.  Which is why Desiree probably really wants Brooks the most.

Roses:

As the men arrive we see Desiree’s brother creeping out all stalker like in the lobby trying to get a good view of Desiree’s suitors.  Seriously, that’s how murder-mystery novels start out, weird guy.  It would’ve been way better to pop out and introduce himself to all of them as they arrived just to gauge their reaction. That would’ve been funny. But instead, no drama and straight to the “this is hard” speech and the handing out of the last three roses:

  • Brooks, of course
  • Chris, the backup plan
  • Drew, because he’s so cute

Going Home: Zak, who absolutely did not see a goodbye coming. He looks devastated.  Poor guy.  Desiree says some really nice things, hands him back his ring and sends him on his way. Zak is super classy and takes it like a gentleman but you can tell he’s too shocked to even realize that he’s heartbroken. He probably really thought that making his family memorize a song for her was going to seal the deal. In the limo, we see a darker, very sad side of Zak.  And then we see the limo pull over, the window roll down, and Zak throws the ring out!

Next week: The Men Tell All!

In two weeks: sexy beaches and lots of I love you’s…but wait, there’s also a lot of Des crying and saying she wants to go home. My guess is Brooks bows out. What’s yours?

The Bachelor Recap Episode 8, season 16 – Hometown dates

Florida: Lindzi
We watch as Lindzi shows Ben the ropes around horses.  Not too sure that there’s any real conversations going on between the two of them.  Here’s a fun conversation they included to highlight their strong connection:
Lindzi: “You been on a horse farm much?”
Ben: “No.”
Lindzi: “Huh. Really?”

Really.

Lindzi says she was in a serious relationship with a guy – the only other guy she’s brought home to meet the fam – but he broke her heart. Ben seems relieved some other guy already broke her in so he doesn’t have to do the dirty work.

[I just have to pause right now to get up on a soapbox and say how much I loathe when these contestants announce any variation of this: “after just a few weeks, I am now so ready to be married to this man…” eww. No, you’re lying to me, you’re lying to America and you’re lying to yourself.  Stop it.  Now back to regularly scheduled recapping…] 

Dad says he’s got some chilled Chardonnay waiting for Ben.  Sounds like dad did his research. In a made-for-tv moment, Ben and Lindzi recall their first date at San Francisco city hall, which just so happens to be where Lindzi’s parents were married. aww…

Dear dad challenges Ben to a horse cart race and my favorite part is Ben holding onto the little dog for dear life. It also happens to be a jack russell terrier, which Ben also owns.  Either that’s a coincidence or dad went a little too far overboard doing the research. 

In alone one with mom, Ben asks if Lindzi is ready to be engaged. Mom says yes.  Ben tells dad he has strong feelings for Lindzi and while he’s not ready to propose he would want her dad’s blessing. Harry doesn’t quite give a straight out yes but he tells Ben he’s a stand up guy and he hopes they continue to build a great relationship. But then toasting later, Harry says they’d be trilled to have Ben as a son-in-law.

Lindzi is in love. Ben is happy. He thinks he is falling in love with her.

Ben’s Pros about Lindzi: level, grounded. (wow, that’s exciting romance).

Kacie B. in Tennessee
Ben pulls up to meet Kacie B. at a high school and finds a marching band playing while Kacie twirls her baton like a beauty pageant pro. Kacie explains that the football field is named after her grandfather, a man whose love story has inspired her. 

Ready to meet the fam? Okay, great. Hey, by the way, Kacie’s dad doesn’t drink. Oh, and one other thing — he’s a federal probation officer.  Might be a bit of a problem because, ya know…Ben makes wine for a living. Ah, the business of booze. That’s the devil’s work here in the bible belt, Ben. Not sure why, knowing this, Ben decides to bring a bottle of wine as a gift. Apparently not the brightest fella.

Dad is skeptical and grills Ben quite a bit – he takes marriage very seriously and cautions Ben to not rush into marriage. Dad somewhat threateningly asks that Ben let Kacie know soon if she is not “the one” so as to shield her from more harm. And just when Benny boy thinks he’s come up for air, Mom doesn’t give him much breathing room either.  Oh, and you betcha boy that she’s seen The Bachelor before – she knows how this all works and she is not a fan of the whole moving into together before marriage idea.  No siree.  Ben says that if he wants to propose then he will be asking both mom and dad for permission but after this disaster-of-a-day it doesn’t seem like that’ll be happening anytime soon.

Despite the awful first encounter meeting her folks, Kacie pulls her sister aside and tells her that Ben is her future husband then informs her father that she will say yes if Ben asks her to marry him. Dad says if Ben were to ask him for his permission he would say no.  Awkward.

Pros about Kacie B.: Ben feels at ease, she brings out the good in him, she knows what she wants.
Cons about Kacie B.: parents are very conservative and might have scared Ben off.

“Make every decision prayerfully and carefully.”
– good advice from Kacie B’s dad

Fort Worth, Texas
According to Ben, his relationship with Nicki has been slow to go (translation: she’s going home soon)

“The last time I brought a man home under these circumstances, I married him.” – Nicki, not helping

In true Texas fashion, Nicki takes Ben into a boot shop and they get geared up with boots, hats and buckles.  I usually love  cowboys but Ben is not doing my generalization fantasy any favors. Yuck. 

Nicki is boring Ben to death with talk about her parents’ concern now that she’s been married and divorced already and seemingly headed straight down that path again. 

“Everyone feels like i gave up but I did not. I put everything I could in for about two years…”
– Nicki, on perseverence

 Ben tells Nicki’s family that he was going to wear the cowboy hat and whole getup but he decided his greasy, undone hair would give off a better impression.

“Well, dad, last time [I got married] I leap into something I wasn’t ready for…and this time I’m gonna be sure…i’m gonna wait six weeks and test our relationship on national television to make sure it’s for real.” -Nicki (okay, I may have taken some courtesies on this one)

Anyone notice Nicki’s creepy brother? Almost expected him to tell Ben he made him a painting a la Todd Cleary in Wedding Crashers. Aside from that, Nicki’s family seems pretty normal.

When Nicki says “I’m in love with you” Ben just says “I know.” Eek.

Scottsdale, AZ is Courtney’s hometown.
Now that she’s back at home on her own Courtney says she feels bad about the way he’s treated the girls so far. Probably because she doesn’t really have to interact with them too much anymore. When she introduces her family, I’m surprised she has a sister. What happened to all that “I don’t get along with girls talk”? 

Talking about Ben like he’s not sitting next to her at the table, Courtney announces to her family that she’s in like/love with Ben. Mom says she’s not convinced.

We see a more genuine side to Courtney at home and perhaps my favorite thing that she says is that she feels deserving – she didn’t say it in her normal snotty way but in an actual sincere sentiment.  At least so it seems.  Either that or she paid these people to be her pretend family so she could seem like she’s got it together.  What about you?  Do you like Courtney more without the other girls around?

After telling Ben she feels ready and excited for the next chapter together, they just so happen to stumble upon a wedding being set up on property. Courtney tells Ben she always envisioned getting married there. Coincidentally, she’s wearing a white dress. And happens to have pen and paper to write vows. And rings. And a bow tie for Ben.  Oh, and a pastor to preside over their vows [perhaps another paid actor?].

Ben wonders if she is too good to be true…but he’s decided the answer is no.

I laugh out loud when I hear Courtney recite the vows that she’s apparently just written because she quotes Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw word-for-word: “I’m looking for real love; consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love…” wow. But then she goes on to tell him she’s ready to get married and she is in love with him.  And he eats. it. up.  And I can practically see the thought cloud above Courtney’s head: this is such a done deal.  [smirk, giggle, eye sparkle].

Roses:
Courtney, Ben’s #1 says “I do” to the rose (ya know, because they’re ‘almost married’)
Lindzi, the downhome country cowgirl
Nicki, on her way to divorce #2

I had a feeling that Kacie B. (my favorite) would be going home but it was still sad to see. It was clear from her home visit that their lives are very different. Instead of giving her any explanation or clarity about why he’s sending her home, Ben just apologizes a few times and sends her on her way. She keeps it together in front of him but loses it in the limo and I wish she would’ve asked him instead of crying/yelling at the cameraman in the limo “What the f*%! happened? What the f*%! happened?” Indeed. What f*%! did happen, Ben?  (poor thing, that video clip is going to be referenced every time anyone speaks her name moving forward.  We can all watch for it at The Women Tell All episode). My theory is that Ben knows he’s going to pick someone else (Courtney) and he took dear ‘ole bible-hugging, criminal rehabilitator daddy for reals and decided to cut Kacie B. loose before it went on too much longer. What’s your theory? 

Gotta say, though, I wouldve really liked to see Kacie B. and her dad pull out batons (hers school issued with tassels, his law enforcement issued) and give Ben a few whacks for being such an idiot and never even combing his hair. (really, somebody tell this guy that the seriously matted part down the center is not doing him any good).

Now that my favorite, cutie pie Kacie B., is out of the running, I’m even more convinced that Courtney is Ben’s final pick. Lindzi seems way too normal and nice to win so I’m gonna say shes the one left crying on a mountaintop somewhere with crushed dreams and a broken heart. And I just don’t see it with Nicki so I count her out. Who is your pick?

Up next: Switzerland. Helicopter (surprised?), mountaintops, hot tubs, someone comes back, and Courtney wonders if she screwed up talking so badly about all the other girls….


P.S. Did you blink?
If you did, you might have missed the sneak peek at Emily’s upcoming season of The Bachelorette. I heart her way more than I ever liked Ben so I’m optimistic. Looking forward to a few weeks of her endearing accent.  Apparently her daughter is old enough now to be subjected to the harsh limelight of reality tv (for those of you who forget Brad’s season, such was the main theme of Emily’s uncertainty despite being quite the Souther Belle charmer). What about you – excited about Emily? I wonder if Bentley will be a contestant…think Brad will make a guest appearance with his therapist in tow?  Are you in for another season of this? Of course you are. Me too. Glad we agree.