Monday night we experienced an episode that is always a crowd pleaser among Bachelor Nation: HOMETOWNS! Andi criss-crossed the country, although perhaps "criss-crossing" is a bold term for making 2 stops in the midwest and 2 stops in the south.
Andi's first stop was Nick's hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (more specifically the suburb of Waukesha, recently made famous as the site of the creepy teenage Slenderman stabbings! Way to be relevant and topical, Waukesha!). Before they met Nick's oversized family (as in 10 kids, not as in overweight--I'm not a jerk!) the couple had a very Laverne & Shirley day: they visited a brewery, danced the polka, and wore cheese hats. That evening they had dinner with Nick's family and Andi tried and failed to explain the concept of "romantic connection" to Nick's kid sister. The family matriarch is a Tabatha Takes Over look alike named "mom" and Nick is very close to her.
|There's mom aka Tabatha in the middle|
|The Real Tabatha is unimpressed (as always)|
Nick tells his mother that he thinks he's Andi's favorite and they both cry. As Andi drives away, Nick says that he doesn't think of her as The Bachelorette--he thinks of her as his girl. Aww Nick--I almost don't completely despise you anymore.
Then Andi heads to Chris's family farm in Arlington, Iowa (population 757 normals, 1 cornfed hottie farmer). Chris revealed his love for indistinctive, overstuffed furniture as he showed Andi around his house, then they rode in his tractor together before having a picnic among the severed corn stalks. Andi claims to be "not as city as you think I am" and says that she loves hunting and the outdoors. Just then, a small plane flies overhead (and I was thinking, "Attack of the drones? Amazon delivery?") with a sign hanging behind it: CHRIS LOVES ANDI. Aww Chris---you're a good egg. That night Chris's family charms the pants off of Andi and Bachelor Nation with their kind hearts, blonde hair, and love of Ghosts in the Graveyard (seriously--that game is a classic).
Andi journeys from the nicest family in America in Iowa down to the Sporty Spice of families in Tampa, FL. Josh waits for Andi by the beach and claims to be very excited, but I'm still not buying it. They run around a baseball diamond and Josh says that he hasn't been at a ball field in 7 years (which is odd since he also claims to have quit his pro ball career 5 years ago, but hey--I'm not a mathematician--I'm just a hater). When Josh isn't name dropping his sports achievements he's name dropping the sports achievements of his younger brother and we soon learn that it's a family hobby! Over dinner the family fail to ask Andi and Josh any questions about their courtship but instead, discusses Aaron's recent games and draft prospects (and he sits at the head of the table). After football discussion over dinner, the family retires to the backyard for a game of touch football. Good Lord has any one of you picked up a book in the past decade? And NO, a football play book does NOT count!
The last stop on the Meeting Families and Soon Breaking Hearts Express is Dallas, TX where Marcus and his Mercedes are waiting for Andi. Marcus drives her to a darkened club (very "Varsity Blues") where he re-enacts their stripping date sans alcohol (BAD IDEA). There's nothing quite like watching a guy strip down and gyrate, then meeting his sweet, immigrant mother mere moments later. Marcus's sister has awesome hair, he and his brother share a heartfelt moment, and he says "I love you" to Andi. A big night all around.
Then suddenly we're back in LA and Andi and The Boyz are summoned to what is supposedly Chris Harrison's house (but either he HATES person effects/table top decorations or that was a random house that was staged) to learn that Eric "Explorer" Hill died suddenly. Marcus walks outside, Andi follows him, everyone looks stunned. Then, Bachelor Nation gets a peek behind the curtain as the producers on site come out from behind the cameras to hug Andi and the gang. We even caught a glimpse of the infamous Bachelor producer who got into a fake fight with a nonexistent woman for attention! Yup, this guy! Andi regrets that her last conversation with Eric was so harsh and I feel for her. That's tough.
But this Love Train stops for no man--not even a deceased one--and it's time to make somebody cry. The four men line up (nice pink jacket, Nick--and if you can't tell that I'm kidding and I actually hate your pink jacket, then let me clarify: I hate your pink jacket but you are growing on me in a TINY way) and Andi arrives in a green dress that resembles a Chinese finger trap standing upright.
|I'm just a Chinese finger trap standing in front of a boy, asking him to love me.|
Andi's still so emotional and just as she's about to start rejecting men on network television, she has a crisis of conscience because Explorer Eric used to stand in that same room waiting to be negged or loved by her. But Andi's a tough cookie (according to Chris's mom, who rules) and she pulls it together long enough to crush one man's heart. Whose heart does she crush? Well, the roses are handed out like so...
-CHRIS (heck yeah--cool family, cool dude, good times)
-NICK (I wonder if his mom whips failing businesses into shape like her look alike? If so, Nick wins some points in my book.)
So sweet Marcus's heart is ripped out of his chest, just above his washboard abs. He handles it gracefully, though.
Up next are "fantasy suite dates" (aka 2 tickets to HUMP CITY and there's a carry on luggage fee of $25 and I hope that carry on is filled with condoms IF YA KNOW WHAT I MEAN) in the Dominican Republic. I can't wait to hear more about Josh's failed pro ball career!