One of my favorite episodes of the year- HOMETOWN dates!!!
Ben heads to Orange county/Laguna Beach, CA for some fun on the beach with her kids. First off, why in the heck couldn’t Amanda go and see her kids and spend time with them before she saw Ben? Why are they torturing her with not seeing them when she was probably at a motel down the street from them waiting for her date with Ben to be filmed. I’ll tell you why. So that the cameras could catch the dramatic and teary-eyed embrace between Amanda and her adorable little girls. They obviously know what they’re doing because I was tearing up watching it and I dont even have kids yet. I would fail miserably as producer of the Bachelor……I would be the one sneaking her to see her kids in between episodes.
I’ll tell you what though…her little girls are adorable. And their outfits? I was honestly shopping for a similar outfit for myself last week. I wish I could rock those gladiator sandals they were wearing, but my kankles never fit into them. (sad trombone). Although a bit shy at first, they opened up to Ben by the end and you could tell Amanda was drooling down her perfect outfit and body just watching him. Can you blame her though? I mean seriously! Is this guy for real? My uterus skipped a beat about 3 times when he picked up little Charlie and started chasing the birds with them. Did they find this guy in some sort of factory where they manufacture perfect men? (BTW I dont think I’ve ever put “perfect” and “man” into the same sentence before….).
They head back to Amanda’s house (or is it her parent’s house? Or does she still live with her parents?…..) and we meet Amanda’s dad, mom and sister. They barely showed her sister at all and the date seemed crazy short overall, but her family seemed sweet despite being understandably skeptical about Ben jumping into being a father figure of two little girls.
Since they spent their alone time before meeting the family with her kids, I can only imagine Ben is wondering how it would be in “real life” and when they would ever get their own alone time. Wish they would have given them a hot minute together alone to chat before rushing him off into his getaway car…..
Lauren (I’m officially dropping the “B”)
Ben heads to Portland Oregon and I immediately decide I need to visit there. There are rows of food trucks and a whiskey library. I meannnnnnnnnn seriously? Booking my plane ticket right now. Immediately you can tell he’s more at ease with Lauren and more comfortable meeting her family. Her sister asks Ben why Lauren is special and he starts crying. Her sister then asks Lauren separately why Ben is special then Lauren starts crying. Seriously, just end the show already……she’s the last (wo) man standing.
Lauren says she wants to tell Ben she’s in love with him but chickens out before he gets in the car.
Ben meets Caila in her hometown of Hudson, Ohio and after fulfilling her dream of making out with a guy on a park bench near her high school, she takes him to her dad’s company’s toy factory to make their own toy house. Pretty cool date actually but is it just me or was it kind of staged and corny?! There was weird 90’s sitcom music playing in the background and Caila’s dialect seemed planned and forced. Weird…
They head back to her parent’s house for an awesome Filipino meal. I flipping love authentic, ethnic meals like this where you learn about their culture and how to eat it all. As soon as her dad starts gabbing at the dinner table, I immediately see where Caila gets her complicated, weird intellect. Caila also still calls her mom “mommy” and said it about 10 times. And can we talk about how gorgeous Caila’s mom is? Not surprised though because Caila is a beaut herself. You can tell she has a great relationship with her parents but I got the feeling that she was a bit “babied” still.
She decides she is going to tell ben she loves him but chickens out. I see a pattern forming here…..
Ben’s off to Dallas, Texas to visit JoJo and her family. Ben leaves a gorgeous bouquet of roses in front of her house with an 8 page letter unloading his heart. (FRONT AND BACK!!) Friends flashback anyone?!? After reading something about” being human and making mistakes”, she immediately realizes it’s not from Perfect Ben ( because he doesn’t make mistakes) and from her ex boyfriend Chad. Whhhhhhooooaaaaaaaa. PLOT TWIST! Did anyone know she had a serious boyfriend right before coming on this show?! ABC of course has her call him on the air and listen to him profess his undying love for her at exactly the same moment that Ben is about to walk in her door. Poor JoJo….just a puppet in this game of love. :( JoJo tells Ben of the whole situation and because he’s perfect, he handles it like a pro.
They head to her family home…….wait, scratch that… her family mansion to meet her parents, sister and two brothers.
(fun fact- JoJo’s one babe of a brother is also named Ben and he was one of the “bachelors” on a reality dating show called “Ready for Love”, that aired a few years ago. It was produced by Eva Longoria, hosted by Guilianna and Bill Rancic and was about 3 single guys with amazing jobs all on their own journey to find love with a different group of women that they selected on the show. Of course I watched it and loved it but it got cancelled before the season was over so I had to watch the rest of the season online just to find out who they each ended up with. Her brother proposed to one girl but they are already broken up. One of the other bachelors was Tim Lopez from Plain White Tees and he ended up with an adorable girl named Jenna, and they actually got married this summer. I can’t remember what JoJo’s brother did for a living, but I’m pretty sure there is some big time family money involved……)
Her two brothers start grilling Ben about their relationship and you can seriously cut the tension with a knife. Ben then chats with her dad and I am bored within the first 5 seconds. The entire family dynamic is just “off” for this date and Ben is for sure feeling the same thing. He’s just not acting like himself. Ben heads back into the kitchen because her brother decides to grill him even more. JoJo’s mom takes a chug directly from the champagne bottle to mask the building tension in the room. Seriously, could her brother be any more of a d*ck?! This family is way too serious for Ben to fit in there….
The girls look INSANE! JoJo and Lauren give me fashion (and body) envy per usual and I found it interesting that they all smiled at each other and looked so happy to see each other. Usually, by this part of the season, there is girl drama still brewing and at least one bad seed that they all want to see go home. Just proves yet again that Ben’s perfect and chose the right girls.
Somewhat surprised he sent Amanda home, but not entirely. Their relationship was moving a bit slower. You could tell she was pissed at first and for a hot second, I saw “bitchy Amanda” come out. My sister gave me some Californian hot gossip that apparently she and her ex had a horrible relationship and fought like crazy people, so maybe there’s a bit more crazy in her than we thought. There’s no way she was THAT nice all the time…..
Either way, I’m happy he sent her home as soon as he knew she wasn’t the one. Get that mama back to her kiddos. :)
I actually could have seen any of them going home except for Lauren. She had the best hometown date and family out of them all I thought, free of all drama and just seemed normal.
On to overnight FANTASY SUITES! Land of premarital sex and jealousy. $20 bucks says there’s a date on a boat of some sort, a date hanging out in one of Jamaica’s towns and an adventure date.
I’m still thinking he picks Lauren at the end but my guess is JoJo is runner up and he falls in love with her too. I’m then going to go out on a whim and make these predictions:
-JoJo will be Bachelorette next season
-Caila, Amanda, Olivia and Lace will be asked to go on Bachelor in Paradise….amongst others.
-Ben will “do a Mesnick” and cry from a balcony or some epic location over his decision.
**Fair warning that I will be leaving for Costa Rica next week and wont be able to recap the next two episodes until I get back. I promise I’ll recap everything after I get a chance to watch!