Hello there my beloved kitty cats! This week’s Bachelorette episode was the always-awkward ritual of hometown dates, whereby the bachelor or bachelorette visits FOUR potential mates and meets their family members (those who are willing to appear on reality TV), then dumps one of those poor souls by episode’s end. Who got a faint taste of love and then got metaphorically punched in the nose? We’ll find out momentarily. First, let’s recap each visit. Emily traveled from Chicago, IL to Salt Lake City, UT to Scottsdale, AZ to Dallas, TX and had great hair the entire time. How DOES she do it? (Answer: by being blonde the entire time. BOOMTOWN!)
Her first stop, Chicago, is the hometown of anxiety-ridden bobblehead Chris. Chris and Emily met up at the Water Tower right on Michigan Avenue, a Chicago landmark that is completely underwhelming. I have never understood the importance of that spot. Chicago has SO much history, so many phenomenal buildings and waterways—yet people gather around this rinky-dink “Water Tower” that resembles a low-budget castle. Either way, they kiss hello, walk down Michigan Avenue, then head to a Polish-American restaurant for beers. That is when we learn that Chris is Polish and, as he says, “On a scale from 1 to Polish, I’m Polish,” which is one of the few funny things he has said all season. I was shocked, but Chris really grew on me during this episode. Emily and Chris arrived at his parents’ McMansion in Highland Park and promptly sat down for dinner. The table setup looked just like DaVinvi’s “The Last Supper” which was quite fitting, since by the end of the episode, Emily would betray Chris (just like Judas and JC, am I right?) Emily had some one-on-one chat time with Chris’s super Polish father (over shots of liqueur—did you see that sitting on the table?) and she made a fantastic impression, of course. After dinner (with Chris’s father, mother, and 2 sisters), the whole neighborhood showed up for live music and dancing on the back porch, which made me cringe because it’s just too much. If there’s one thing I know about hometown dates on The Bachelor/Bachelorette (and I have done YEARS of pathetic research), it’s that the more friends and neighbors the family invites over for the big “Our Child Is One of a Half Dozen People Dating This One Person On A Reality TV Show” celebration, the more likely that guy or gal is to get DROPPED right after. That’s just how it goes. Anyhoo—Emily and Chris go out to the driveway where he says “I love you” (L BOMB!) and they kiss goodbye.
Emily’s next stop is the suburbs of Salt Lake City, Utah. I apologize for not knowing the name of the town, but I left my notes at home (Yes, I take NOTES on these shows. I’m pathetic and I take it very seriously.) The car drops her off at Jef’s family’s 400 acre ranch outside of Salt Lake City and everything about Jef finally makes sense. OF COURSE he’s an entrepreneur who sells “environmentally friendly” bottled water—HE’S A TRUST FUND KID! Rich kids can be entrepreneurs and create companies that peddle moronic, unnecessary products and those companies always SEEM profitable because they were started by rich kids. And the wheel goes ‘round and ‘round! As Jef mentioned last week, his parents are “committed to some stuff” (in the faraway land of SOUTH CAROLINA) so they can’t be there to meet their potential daughter-in-law. So Emily meets a posse of Jef’s siblings and their many children. With families this big, it seems like Mormons are the Catholics of the south west. Everyone loves Emily, of course, but it’s only Jef’s older brother who is willing to address the fact that Jef has previously never wanted the whole wife/kids/family thing. Jef insists that he does NOW because it’s Emily. Well played, Jef, though I still doubt your motives and hate your hair. Emily and Jef go make out on some rocks and he reads her a long love poem that I’m betting he stole out of a 7th grade boy’s journal. She digs it, though.
3rd stop is Arie’s hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona. Emily arrives at the race car track while Arie is cruising around it in an Indy Car. Emily remarks that she’s never gone for a ride “in an Indy car” which I’m hoping is a dig at Arie, since he drives Indy cars, while Emily’s late ex-fiancee drove NASCAR. It’s tantamount to a Ford Bronco owner ribbing the owner of a Bronco II (the redheaded stepchild of the Bronco community) and I love it. Emily says that Arie looks “stupid hot” and apparently the definition of “stupid hot” has changed to mean “sweaty, pasty, and in a constant state of allergy attack” cause that is definitely how Arie is looking. Arie and Emily have a glass of wine and he braces her for the upcoming family dinner. He explains that his parents are “really different” and “very European” then they head to the family compound. Arie has twin brothers, a sister, a mom who looks like she has spent a few too many hours by the pool and a few too many days at the plastic surgeon’s office, plus a dad who also drives race cars. They sit and chat, then commence speaking about Emily in Dutch right in front of her. Nice manners! Emily and Arie’s mother retire to a bedroom where they sit down on the bed for a one-on-one chat (no chairs around?) and Arie’s mother warms up (in her own Euro way) to Emily.
After that funky Euro family visit, it’s time for a jump into the deep end of America: Sean’s family in Dallas, Texas. Emily drives up and meets Sean in a field by his favorite lake, where he is waiting with his dogs. The minute she opens the car door, Sean drops their leashes and the 2 dogs run up to Emily. Did anyone else find that totally odd? It just felt very, “Go boys! Sick her!” Sean and Emily play with the dogs and drink wine in the park, then drive out to the suburbs where his parents McMansion awaits. (Do any participants in this franchise NOT have wealthy parents who live in McMansions?) The family is waiting for them in the backyard. Emily meets Sean’s parents, sister, brother-in-law, and their 2 kids (the kids are named—get your barf bags ready—Kensington (girl) and Smith (boy). I just hate the current trend of these odd, seemingly meaningful but actually meaningless, over-serious names for children. Kensington? What, like the neighborhood in London that you’ve probably never visited? Am I being a terrible person with this?) The family was sweet, the tykes were cute, and little Kensington had her own, child-sized playhouse that could give Chicago’s Water Town a run for its money. The producers really got their hooks into Sean’s poor, sweet family because there were WAY too many over-the-top jokes in that visit. Sean claimed that he still lives at home (then took Emily up to his messy room which was filled with stuffed animals) then, 5 minutes later, revealed that it was all a joke (HILARIOUS! And stupid! And tiresome!). Then the family sat down for dinner and Sean’s father brought out Sean’s favorite meal, armadillo! Then, 30 seconds later, he revealed that it was all a joke (HILARIOUS! And stupid! And tiresome!). Emily rolled with the punches and made a good impression, of course. Sean kissed her goodbye and then chased her down the street for a 2nd kiss because life is a movie montage, right?
Finally it’s rose ceremony time and everyone meets up in Los Angeles. Emily looks stunning in a gorgeous, blue dress, fantastic make-up, and great volume at the crown of her hair (probably done with some strategic teasing). Chris chats with her about her choices and she’s very emotional. She’s got to pull it together, though, because there are guys waiting to be rejected on network television, so she’d better get down to biz. Chris, Jef, Arie, and Sean are lined up and ready to be loved or rejected while America watches.
How did Emily dole out the ‘ole lapel roses?
ARIE (dude must have a great personality because he’s straight-up “busted” as we used to say back in the 90s)
JEF (the pompadour stays in the picture)
SEAN (Mr. Perfect is ready and willing to be Pappa Perfect to little Ricki)
Chris takes it hard and snaps at Emily once they are alone, saying, “I TOLD YOU I LOVED YOU!” Yeah YOU did—and why are you yelling at HER about it? I had some sympathy for Chris, though, because it SUCKS to bring home a girl to meet your family AND entire neighborhood (not to mention the local Polish folk music band), then get NEGGED within days. Ouch. But he’s 25 and now he’s a C list celebrity—he’ll be fine.
Up next, the three remaining guys and Emily are going to the island of Curacao. Lucky for Arie, Curacao is a constituent country of the Netherlands! He can break out his Dutch language skills and get some (much-needed) vitamin D. See you next Monday!