We’ve made it to the most awkward week in The Bachelor series: hometowns. It’s time to meet the families that have raised their daughters to aspire to be on a reality TV dating show. It’s also time for Ben to explain to FOUR sets of parents that he kinda likes, possibly loves their daughters and in three weeks time he may be proposing or dumping her. Hometowns week has provided us with a quite colorful cast of characters in the past and this season is no exception, so let’s do it!
First up for hometowns is Amanda. Cute, bubbly, and blonde Amanda is from none other than Laguana Beach, California. She does have an LC vibe to her. Amanda is waiting on the beach in half a shirt waiting for Ben and her daughters. Ben shows up first and says he is so excited to meet them. Amanda tells him he should chase them around, because a strange man chasing young girls around sounds like a great time. The girls appear with Amanda’s nanny or sister or something and immediately run to their mother. In this moment I kind of resent Amanda for leaving them to go on this show. They are adorably dressed in matching outfits with perfect pigtails and immediately ask where Ben is.
The older daughter, Kinsley, takes to Ben chasing her around-Amanda may want to go over the ‘stranger danger’ talk with her, but the younger daughter, Charlie is not so sure. On the ride to Amanda’s parents house, Charlie begins screaming in the back seat. Ben clearly can’t handle it. At Amanda’s parent’s house he immediately admits it’s been a long day. Not a good start when you are trying to convince them that you’ll be a good dad. Amanda’s father tries to give Ben a reality check of what being a dad means, but he tells him he may not get to go to the gym with his buddies-which doesn’t accurately describe the situation.
Amanda tells her mom that she can see herself falling in love with Ben and that he can love her and her kids. Mom breaks it to Amanda that Ben is young and maybe they will be ready for this eventually-as in not in three weeks. Amanda cries so mom changes her mind to tell her she’s sure they will be great together. Amanda says she will be crushed if she gets sent home after Ben met her kids, foreshadowing at it’s finest.
Next up is Lauren, who lives in Portland, Oregon. Upon arriving in Portland, Lauren takes Ben to get lunch at some food trucks and then takes him to a gorgeous whiskey library. Well played Lauren, he’s having way more fun than listening to a five-year-old scream in the backseat of a car. At Lauren’s parent’s house we learn that her family calls her LoLo and she has a really pretty and skeptical sister. Mollie pulls Ben aside and puts him on the spot about why Lauren stands out, she points out that she is pretty, intelligent, funny, and successful so he can’t use those things. Ben is a bit stuck, so he cries.
This works wonders on Mollie, while her words to Lauren are cautious she approves of Ben. Lauren tells her mom they she’s in love with Ben, her mom says she better tell him. But Ben leaves without Lauren telling him those three magic words.
Next up is Calia who lives in Hudson, Ohio. As an Ohion, I have no idea where Hudson is but it looks very classy. Of course Calia is concerned that her hometown won’t be that great because she moved around a lot as a kid. She shows Ben her high school which looks like a college and shows him her favorite bench. Yep. Well it’s more like a swing but she says all the couples hang out on it and she never had anyone to sit on the bench with. So Ben and Calia sit in the bench and Calia gets fictitious revenge on the girls she went to school with.
Calia then takes Ben to the toy factory that her dad owns. They draw up a playhouse and then build it. Also Ben thinks Calia looks sexy in a hardhat. Then it’s off to the parents’ house. Calia’s mom is Filipino and she cooked a feast for Ben. I love her already. Calia’s dad had some bright orange pants and immediately calls Ben out for ‘microwave fame’, which is a term I’ve never heard. Calia gets increasingly annoyed with her dad’s line of questioning so her mom steals Ben away. When Calia gets the chance to talk to her mom she spills that she loves Ben. Her mom would like her to run down stairs, jump on him and tell him. Luckily, Calia doesn’t. Ben also leaves Calia without knowing how she feels.
Last up is JoJo who lives in Dallas, Texas. We see JoJo arriving at her home with roses on her doorstep. She thinks they are from Ben and begins to read the letter. It takes far too long for her to realize the roses aren’t from Ben, but from her ex, Chad. She gets angry and cries and doesn’t want anything to do with Chad. So naturally, she calls him. Chad says that he loves her and wants her back. Of course Ben arrives and we don’t see her response. Ben takes JoJo’s tears as good and she’s just really happy to see him.
She bursts that bubble by showing him the roses and explaining about Chad. She said she told him she was happy with Ben. Ben looks more than uncomfortable and tells her that he wished he were there when she made the call, which I think is super weird. On to the parent’s house. JoJo has a huge house, and in it is a mom with a Botox problem, a mob looking father, a sister you forget about and two goon brothers. These brothers tell JoJo’s name so loudly that I’m scared watching it. They also hug her for an excessive period of time.
JoJo tells her mom she loves Ben (shocker). Her mom says that’s great but before she can plan the wedding JoJo tells her that there are three other girls, obviously mom didn’t read the manual. Dad is pretty easy on Ben, he likes him. That’s ok because the brothers step in and rip Ben a new one. They don’t think he is genuine and won’t believe he isn’t going to hurt JoJo unless he says he loves her. Which he won’t-you know contractual obligations and all. But he does care for her-does t have the same ring though. The brothers double down and accuse Ben of brainwashing the girls and giving them scripted responses. JoJo’s parents actually have to come to Ben’s defense.
I wish Ben would’ve stood up for himself a little bit here. Those brothers were big bullies and turns out one of them was on his own reality show-hypocrite much? Ben leaves with JoJo all worried and the brothers calling victory.
And it’s rose ceremony time. JoJo brings the girls out in a smokin hot red dress to make up for her brothers. It works. JoJo, Lauren, and Calia are the final three. Amanda is sent packing. On the walk out Amanda tells Ben that she wished he would’ve told her during her date so she didn’t have to fly back out just to get dumped. I can’t blame her there. She’s a sweetheart but Ben was not ready to be an instant dad.
Next week: Fantasy Suite!