It's hometown time on this week's Bachelor, and we start off in Laguna Beach with Amanda.
Sorry...too aggressive? I couldn't help myself.
So Ben and Amanda and her kids all meet up on the beach and my first -and biggest- question of the night is: how the eff did they wrangle two toddlers into gladiator sandals?? What magic is this? I can barely get Madi to hold still for the 20 seconds it takes to velcro her into her little Nikes. Mind. Blown. But anyway, obvious sorcery aside, the foursome has a great time hanging out, playing on the beach and flying kites and what have you. It's all very southern California. Then comes the car ride back to grandma and grandpa's house. And it is a car ride full of standard tired-toddler fussing and whining, and here's where I call it. The final three will be Lauren, Jojo and Caila, because I can see by the look of sheer panic in Ben's eyes that Amanda ain't gettin' no rose this week. Being a step-parent has got to be tough at the best of times, but jumping into that role with two toddlers? Lord have mercy.
I think Ben's starting to get the picture that there's a bit more to this package deal than making out with a hot mama and reading cute made-up fairytales to her kids before bed. But just in case he's still feeling optimistic toward the end of the date, grandpa makes sure to hammer home all those points about "responsibility" and "not doing what you want anymore" that would-be suitors everywhere are longing to hear.
Lauren is up next with a hometown date in Portland. They hit up some pretty fantastic looking food trucks (what is this georgian cheese bread?? I must know!) They spend some time hanging out in a "whiskey library" (and now I'm really getting jealous because none of these things were "things" when I visited Portland a couple
decades years ago!) And then we're off to visit Lauren's family. and They really seem like nice normal people and there just isn't too much to say about the visit (um, aside from the awkwardness of the little brother asking about the fantasy suite -yikes- but that's not shown until the credits) so, moving on...
...to Caila in her postcard-perfect hometown of Hudson, Ohio. After a visit to the makeout bench at Caila's old high school she decides they should pay a visit to the toy company where her dad is a CEO. They're going to design their very own toy house, you guys! Then of course it's dinner with the folks and Caila confiding to her dad that she's sure Ben is "the one" and that he's going to give her her "happily ever after." I can't. The cutesy-ness of the date (combined with the 3 glasses of wine I had at dinner with the in-laws) is starting to make me a little queasy. I want some action! Some controversy!
Things finally look up for us in that regard when we head to Dallas for Jojo's date with Ben. It starts with the roses and heartfelt letter placed on Jojo's doorstep by
Bachelor producers her ex-boyfriend. This is followed by an emotional phone call to the ex, a heartfelt chat with Ben and then a little bloodsport in the form of a "friendly" family gathering where Jojo's brothers aren't afraid to let our Bachelor know how they really feel about this whole situation. In case you were wondering, how they 'really feel' is less warm and fuzzy and more deep-freezer hostility. They accuse Ben of "brainwashing" the girls and giving "coached" answers to their questions.
Methinks "Dallas's most eligible" brother Ben Patton is just a wee bit jealous since his own reality show attempt at finding a mate on NBC's Ready For Love seems to have crashed and burned.
While Jojo's brothers continue to harangue Bachelor Ben in the kitchen, good old mom can be seen in the background chugging the champers straight from the bottle like, well, like a champ. You go, girl.
So yeah, best hometown of the night by a freaking mile.
At the rose ceremony, Amanda is the odd woman out and I'm completely surprised. No, not really, but I did feel for her and it was sweet that Ben got a little choked up about sending her away. But then Amanda gives him a hard time about forcing her to come all the way back to LA for the rose ceremony when he could have just said goodbye at her house. I mean, LA is a good 50-60 miles from Laguna Beach! And that's like 19.5 hours in traffic! The nerve! Seriously though, don't these girls know the drill by now?
Ta ta Bachelor Nation. Next week, fantasy suites. Ooh la la!