If you watch The Bachelor(ette) regularly, you know that hometown dates can promise a lot of fun for the viewers at home. There’s always the potential for disapproving relatives (remember Ashley’s sister?), creepy childhood homes (remember Kirk’s dad’s taxidermy collection?) and awkward hilarity. Unfortunately for us, Emily’s four visits went pretty smoothly.
Lost in Translation
First up was Chris in Chicago. It was hard watching the poor guy put so much effort into everything, knowing that he’d probably be the one to get the boot later. The couple met in Chicago in front of a pretty building that I can only assume was Oprah’s home. Chris said “This is the closest thing we have to a castle in Chicago,” and we all know Oprah is royalty, so you do the math.
After hanging out together, Chris took Emily to meet his Polish family. Does anyone else think the house was rented? No visible family photos always makes me suspicious. Not that I wouldn’t rent a house too for The Bachelorette. Usually people who can take two months off work to “find love” (in a hopeless place) are filthy rich, and who can compete? Kensington’s Cottage is about the size of my last apartment. (But more on that later.)
I began to feel even worse for Chris when a moment between Emily and his dad seemed to get lost in translation. The dad asked Emily if there were any feelings of love (or something like that) and she said yes. Then the dad told Chris that Emily is in love with him. Erm…not quite what she said. But the intel gave Chris the courage to drop his own L-bomb before a backyard polka party. Yes, there were people in traditional costume and everything.
Next up, Emily visited Jef at his family ranch just outside of Salt Lake City. There were a lot of people present, and a lot of kids. The ranch is HUGE – a few hundred acres – so…kind of like a compound? I kid, I kid! I should not stereotype Mormons. But seriously, I was waiting for Roman Grant to appear somewhere.
Jef tried to impress Emily with some skeet shooting, but it turns out the single mom is a pretty good shot herself. That little white fluffball that was sleeping on her stairs at home won’t protect her and Ricki, so I guess someone has to!
Jef’s parents weren’t there, as they were off doing “charity work” in South Carolina. “Charity work” was totally dubbed in later. They’re obviously missionaries, why not come out and say it?
Emily was so nervous about impressing Jef’s family, but it seemed like a piece of cake. His older brother said Emily would be the “perfect complement” to Jef. How do you know that??? You JUST met her. She could be dreadful, you don’t know. Meanwhile, I wasn’t sure Jef’s sisters were doing a great job selling him as a dad. “We always say if he finds the right girl, he will be totally in love and be ready to settle down,” doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it as “This is everything he’s always wanted.” For his part, Jef told Big Bro he thinks having a family will be “awesome”. Oh Jef. Let me introduce you to a crying baby at 4am and then you’ll reassess.
Of course, none of that mattered. Because later, Jef took Emily to a beautiful spot and read her a romantic letter that she absolutely ate up. I don’t think she even noticed how bright red his ears were.
It’s All Dutch To Me
Of all the hometown dates, Arie’s was probably the closest to a fail. They began by going for a ride at the racetrack in Scottsdale, Arizona, followed by a picnic. Arie managed to adequately stress the bachelorette out by inquiring out loud if Emily would be too “all-American” to mesh with his European parents. Well, buddy, if the cultural differences weren’t a great enough barrier than the language certainly was.
Maybe it’s just me, but I thought Arie’s mom breaking into Dutch in front of a guest was incredibly rude. I was uncomfortable on Emily’s behalf. And, hey ABC, ever hear of subtitles? I wanted to know what she was saying. I was also annoyed at Arie for not cutting it off sooner. How uncomfortable is it to sit there while people talk about you in a foreign language? Gosh! So. Rude.
Continuing with the awkwardness, Arie’s mom then asked Emily to come for a private chat. She at least spoke in English this time, but she chose a bedroom for the chat. Really? Two strangers, just sitting there on the bed? How odd. Arie’s mom explained her concerns about having watched Emily accept a proposal on The Bachelor, and Emily did her best to explain why it didn’t work out.
After all was said and done, Arie said he was definitely going to propose to Emily.
Finally, Emily met up with Sean in Dallas, Texas. Seriously, is every single family this season Paris Hilton levels of rich? Sean’s niece and nephew are named Kensington and Smith, those are obviously rich kid names. Or as my mom pointed out, a prestigious law firm. The kid had a “cottage” in the backyard that was bigger than most people’s dorm rooms.
Pretty soon after Emily sat down with Sean’s friendly family, things got awkward as he slowly, painfully confessed that he still lived at home. Emily said “Oh cool” in her polite, Southern belle voice, but her face in the confessional camera said “Deal breaker!” When Sean took Emily up to a filthy, frat boy room, I knew it had to be a joke. Yup! The whole family was pulling one over on her. And they didn’t stop there – later, Sean’s dad pretended to serve up Sean’s favorite dish of baked armadillo for dinner. I kind of like this family!
At the end of the day, Emily and Sean shared some kisses that were documented far too closely on camera, and then he chased after her SUV for one more. Man, this guy really likes yelling out her name in the streets, huh?
Sooner Rather Than Later
At her hometown date with Chris, Chris’s sister told Emily that if she wasn’t going to choose him to break it off sooner rather than later. And that’s what she did. In a pretty predictable move, Arie, Jef and Sean were the guys to receive roses. Chris was, of course, horribly upset. Emily meekly explained that her other relationships moved faster, and Chris snapped “I don’t understand. How much faster could it possibly move? I told you I loved you.” Sorry buddy. Just jump in the reject car and see if it can deliver you directly to Bachelor Pad.
Next week, Emily and the three remaining guys head to Somewhere Beautiful and she has a hard time making up her mind. What do you think will happen from here? Will the final two guys get to meet Ricki, or no? Will she introduce them to the parents and brother she never brought to meet Brad on The Bachelor? Is Arie still the frontrunner or did Jef’s romantic letter move him into first place?