Ahh the hometown dates, where things start getting serious and normally we start to hear the first “I love you”s. Unfortunately, the girls let me down in the second department, as none of them professed their love to Ben. Even though there were no romantic proclamations, this episode packed plenty of drama, so let’s get to it!
- The first hometown we see is Amanda’s, in Laguna Beach. Upon his entrance, Amanda runs to Ben, while pulling up her off the shoulder top the entire time. Suffice it to say, the outfit choice was not the best for a date that involves running around and playing with her kids. I was honestly shocked to hear Amanda tell Ben that she hasn’t seen them since she’s been home. It was a super cute moment for the producers to have on camera, but I didn’t think they would keep her away from her kids just to get that scene.
Amanda’s kids are the cutest things on this planet. The first question the oldest one, Kinsley, asks Amanda is, “Where’s Ben?” Clearly someone is feeding this kid lines. They spend their date playing at the beach, which involves sand castles, kite flying, and just general chasing. Kinsley is loving it while the younger daughter, Charlie, is unimpressed. She expresses her unhappiness by crying and screaming for the entire ride back home.
As soon as the crying lasts longer than a minute, you can tell Ben is becoming a little harried. As people say, you don’t truly know what its like to be a dad until you actually are one. Although Amanda’s girls are adorable, well behaved and sweet, I think this date really showed Ben that he wasn’t ready to be a father. I think he had feelings for Amanda, but knew at this point in his life he wouldn’t be able to give her and her girls everything that they deserve.
- Next, Ben travels to Portland, where Lauren “keeps it weird”. My girl crush on Lauren continues to develop as she takes Ben around downtown Portland, with stops for food at a food truck and a whiskey library. For the first time all season, we see someone actually put food in their mouth, as Lauren claims, “This is everything. I love butter. I don’t know if we’ve discussed my love for butter, but I love butter”. I don’t know about you, but I really need to get whatever brand of butter they have out there in Portland.
Lauren takes Ben to meet her parents, sister, and two little brothers. Her sister, Mollie, is the one who grills Ben the hardest about his intentions with Lauren. She asks him, “My sister is an eligible bachelorette. She’s beautiful, she’s smart, she’s funny, she’s nice, good values, any guy would fall in love with her. What makes her stand out to you?” Ben’s response is telling of his feelings when he says, “There’s something about your sister that I can’t put words to. I don’t know, I feel really lucky, I do.” AND THEN HE TEARS UP. I really don’t see how anyone but Lauren can be the recipient of Ben’s final rose.
- Finally, we can talk about JoJo’s hometown! In all honestly, the rest of the episode was pretty anti-climactic, with dad’s warning their daughters that there are still other girls in the process and daughter’s spilling their feelings to parents; but JoJo’s hometown is where it really gets good.
The segment starts with JoJo walking up to her “house” and seeing a bouquet of roses on the porch. They come with a letter and assuming it was from Ben, she reads it on camera without any hesitation. Unfortunately for her, and after a very long time, she realizes the letter wasn’t from Ben. It was from her ex-boyfriend Chad, who has decided it was time to tell her he made a mistake and wants her back. JoJo is furious, although I have a feeling she may be angrier at the producers for letting this happen than with Chad himself. JoJo calls Chad, whether to tell him that she doesn’t want to be with him or she does (we don’t know), as Ben walks up the drive. JoJo answers the door looking upset, and Ben is super confused. When JoJo sits him down to tell him what has happened, you can see in his eyes that he thinks it is going to be over between them. Luckily for Ben, she tells him that she called Chad to tell him how happy she was and how everything between them is done.
Maybe not so lucky for Ben, that means he still has to meet JoJo’s charming brothers. At her family dinner, Ben meets her mom, dad, sister, and two older brothers, Ben and Matt. Both brothers seem WAY too excited to see their sister, and engulf her in a giant sandwich of a hug complete with screaming and very close to the mouth kissing. Seriously, I had to turn my TV down when these guys were on the screen.
JoJo’s brothers don’t seem to like Ben as soon as he walks in the door. They continuously tell Ben that they want the best for their sister and don’t want to see her get hurt. Brother Ben says that when he sees JoJo light up around Ben it is spooky and scares him because she deserves better. Possessive much? Also, what? That doesn’t even make sense. When JoJo tells them that she can see herself falling in love with Ben, they don’t gently remind her that there are still other girls in the process but yell to Ben, “Ben you’ve brainwashed these girls way too much. To see my sister like that after two dates…” All of this becomes even more hilarious when you learn that JoJo’s brother Ben was on a reality dating show himself.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is JoJo’s mom, who doesn’t seem to know how the show works. When JoJo tells her that she’s afraid to go for it because there are three other women, her mom’s response is, “Oh?” She also tells JoJo, “you’re not going to get hurt, you’re beautiful” and takes champagne bottles to the face. Essentially, what everyone wants in a best friend.
Caila’s hometown was pretty uneventful, and Amanda is sent home at the rose ceremony. Next stop: Fantasy Suites.
Amanda hugs her girls adoringly. The big one suspiciously side eyes the weird dude watching their reunion. #TheBachelor
— Emily L. Foley (@EmilyLFoley) February 23, 2016
— Dana Weiss (@Possessionista) February 23, 2016
Ben looks at lauren like i look at donuts, dr pepper, pizza, taco bell…. Etc. #thebachelor
— Becca Tilley (@beccatilley5) February 23, 2016
Lauren looked a little edgier than normal for her hometown, I guess she was tapping into Portland’s “weirdness”. There have been plenty of leather jackets on this season but I fall hard for any that have a special detail. I like the quilting on this jacket, paired with a long plaid flannel.
Well that’s all I got for you Bachelor lovers! Is it just me or do these posts get longer and longer? If you enjoy reading them, please subscribe in the sidebar to the right, and you can always reach me @third_and_girl on Twitter!