‘Home’ is usually a nice word. Home is good. Home is where you hang your heart. Home is safe and warm like grandmother hugs.
We have reached the ‘Hometown Dates’ portion of ‘The Bachelor’ season. In this case, ‘Home’ is not a nice word. It’s a very bad word. Hometown dates are where I hang my heart from a rusty iron spike.
EveryJuan’s favorite single dad Juan Pablo has narrowed his search for a procreation partner to four Juomen. This week, he travels to the hometowns of his girlfriends to meet their families so we can watch them eat on TV. It’s more thrilling than a shark attack. It’s ‘The Bachelor’.
The episode preview promises two straight days of yelling, crying and jumping off of yachts. I can barely contain my excitement. ABC shows us dramatic footage of families disapproving reality TV marriages set to a stirring score of music. They also promise us that tomorrow night’s ‘Fantasy Suite’ episode will be incredibly shocking. I don’t know why they don’t just show us that. ABC hates you.
We start off with cows mooing. See, we have just started and you already stopped reading. We’re in Kansas City to meet Nikki’s family. Juan Pablo walks in a Kansas City park so cameras can capture it. Nikki shows Juan Pablo what Kansas City looks like. She pledges to show him what cowboys do. They eat at Oklahoma Joe’s barbeque to get a taste of Kansas City. I keep forgetting that Oklahoma is in Kansas City. There are different angles of Juan Pablo’s food consumption. Even when he’s not making out with someone, we get to see his tongue.
Next, Juan Pablo rides a mechanical bull. It’s an exciting 3 minutes of mechanical bull footage. ABC even puts a camera in the back of the bull’s head so we can see blurry footage of bull riding. Nikki is impressed with how much of a cowboy Juan Pablo is because he rode a fake bull on slow speed for 4 minutes.
I honestly never knew Kansas City was a big cow town. It’s got the word ‘City’ right in the title there. Are there a lot of cowboys in KC? I’ve never been to Kansas City. Maybe Clare’s dad can tell us. I am also unsure if this is the ‘Kansas’ Kansas City or the ‘Missouri’ Kansas City. Is Oklahoma in Missouri or Kansas? Look, there’s no time for this crap. I already missed a bunch of Nikki and Juan Pablo holding hands and a nice 2-second shot of a horse grazing.
Nikki is obsessing over the fact that she loves Juan Pablo and wants to tell him but she can’t. The timing isn’t right. I can’t blame her. You don’t want to just rush into telling the guy you’ve been dating for 10 minutes at a time for a couple of weeks that you love him. You gotta pace yourself, girl.
Nikki brings Juan Pablo into her house and her family screams. It’s the good kind of scream. Nikki’s family is wealthy. They have those curtain things in their dining room that don’t cover windows. They’re huge. They’re like MacBeth curtains.
Nikki’s dad welcomes Juan Pablo with a toast and they drink. Juan Pablo tells the camera how comfortable he is around Nikki’s rich Oklahoma, Kansas City, Missouri family. The family laughs and talks. It’s super sweet. You guys felt at home, too. Admit it.
Nikki and her mom leave the room to talk because important issues like marriage should command an entire four minutes of conversation. They talk about how Nikki is in love with Juan Pablo but hasn’t told him yet. There’s soft ‘Nikki hasn’t told Juan Pablo yet’ piano music. It’s a really sweet moment shared between Nikki and her mom and the three camera guys in the room and the guy with the boom mic and America.
Juan Pablo talks with Nikki’s dad while Clare’s dad listens in. Nikki’s dad is happy that Juan Pablo can see things from a dad’s perspective. I had almost forgotten that Juan Pablo was a dad with how he’s abandoned his daughter again to go to 4 different hometowns of women he has no intention of marrying.
Juan Pablo asks if he and his daughter can join Nikki’s family. Nikki’s dad says ‘yes’. They use a ton of hand gestures. Nikki’s dad seems nice. I’ll feel really sorry for him tomorrow when he’s watching his little girl have sex on television.
When he’s done promising to respect Nikki, Juan Pablo takes her outside to make out on the porch. Luckily, ABC uses the latest in sound sensitive technology to capture the slurping and growling. Nikki didn’t tell Juan Pablo that she loves him and it’s dramatic.
Andi gets the next hometown date. ABC has promised us near-violence from Andi’s dad because he disapproves of his daughter dating a guy dating several other women on TV. What a jerk.
Andi lives in Atlanta, GA which is in neither Oklahoma nor Missouri. I think I used ‘nor’ correctly there. I’m not sure. Look, if you’re not going to read my recaps, I’m just going to type whatever the hell I want to in here. ABC shows us footage of ducks. These guys really do know how to give us the full flavor of a city based on wildlife.
Juan Pablo and Andi meet in a park. They always meet in parks. I guess they do that so there are witnesses. Before they meet Andi’s family, she takes him to shoot guns. It’s totally crazy. Isn’t it crazy, you guys? Andi shoots a gun and a rifle big enough to kill a Minotaur.
Andi says that Southern guys have to shoot guns and that Juan Pablo has to shoot a bull’s-eye to prove that he’s a real man. Juan Pablo eventually hits the bull’s-eye and I celebrate by spraying champagne all over my living room.
Next, we visit Andi’s family. Keep up! Andi admits that she’s not in love with Juan Pablo yet. What an idiot. How much time do you need? Andi tells her family about the fun time they’ve had in Vietnam. They leave out the part about how he had sex with Clare in the ocean.
Andi’s dad is mad and disapproving. ABC plays ‘disapproving’ music. Dad keeps asking how many girlfriends Juan Pablo has. What a square. They eat on TV in a very tense atmosphere.
Juan Pablo goes into the other room to talk with Andi’s mom. He uses his words to describe how beautiful and smart Andi is. They stop talking and they dance. I’m not going to yell at you guys because I can’t even keep up at this point. It’s all happening so fast.
Next, dad moves in to kill all of the fun. He takes Juan Pablo into a room to talk. He asks, “Is it ‘Juan’ or ‘Juan Pablo’?” Juan Pablo says, “Eh, Juan Pablo.” I think the move there is to let him call you whatever he wants to call you but, I’m not Juan Pablo. To be fair, Andi’s dad’s name is ‘Hy’. I’ve never met someone named Hy.
They have a serious talk about love. As per usual, the conversation is not nearly as confrontational and dramatic as the teaser footage promised. ABC lies. ABC is the Wes of television networks. If you got that reference, give yourself 20 points on level 5 Bachelor/Bachelorette trivia.
Andi’s sister says that she’s not sure if Andi should love Juan Pablo and that makes Andi cry. We see it. We see Andi cry. No one in Andi’s family has the slightest idea what the point of this show is.
When the family stuff is over, Andi takes Juan Pablo outside and they sit on a bench to make out in front of cameras. Andi is super happy and she cries some more. She’s falling in love. We watched it, you guys. We totally just watched Andi fall in love. I feel like I’m in love too. She tells the camera that she’s much more in love than she was 12 hours ago. I gasp because the Valentine’s card I gave my wife told her that I was more in love than I was 12 hours ago.
Renee’s hometown date is next. We open with pelicans because Renee lives in Sarasota, FL. If you want to set the stage for a visit to Sarasota, FL, you either use pelicans or old people asleep behind the wheel at traffic intersections. Renee is excited to see her son. She says, “I am going to literally eat my son when I see him.” I wish when someone said something like that, by law, it had to happen.
Instead of shooting guns, Renee takes Juan Pablo to a park to meet her son. It’s a bold move. Bachelor interns put down a blanket so they can sit down on the grass. Renee’s son Ben gets out of a random car and runs over to meet a guy who will never be his dad. He’s wearing a baseball uniform. Ben doesn’t talk much. Ben seems very uncomfortable to meet a guy with abs in front of three cameras. This kid is not a pressure player.
Juan Pablo and Renee watch Ben’s Little League game. Sports quota filled. It’s as boring as it sounds. Juan Pablo says he wants a son. I wonder if he means he wants Ben as a son or he means that he wants Renee as a birth mother for a entirely different son. He didn’t use the plural of ‘son’. He only wants one. I doubt he’d ask Renee to give up her son and then have a completely new son with him so, I’m guessing Renee doesn’t win the game show. Look, I’m just looking for clues.
Ben tries to steal third base and he reaches on a fielding error. The throw was there but the third basement couldn’t control it and get the tag down. This poor third baseman just blew any chance he had as a Major League Baseball player. It’s clear he doesn’t have what it takes.
During the commercial break, Chris Harrison and his not-shaved face introduce an infomercial for a movie about fast cars. There are so many fast cars and jumping cars in the commercial that several women watching the commercial become spontaneously pregnant.
Juan Pablo meets Renee’s family next. Ben is there and he’s still wearing his baseball uniform so I’m assuming he smells terrible. Renee brings her son upstairs. Ben brushes his teeth. Renee walks Ben into his room and there’s a camera there to capture the moment. Ben jumps into bed with a camera guy standing in the corner to film his every move. I hope ABC pays for his therapy.
Juan Pablo talks to Renee’s mom. He doesn’t mention how he’s going to dump Renee. I guess it didn’t come up in the course of their conversation. Renee’s dad really likes Juan Pablo and says that he’s a great guy. Wait until he gets to see Vietnam!
When the tender talks with Renee’s family are over, Juan Pablo takes her outside and cleans out the inside of her mouth with his mouth. They do that growling whisper thing while they make out. Juan Pablo asks Renee what she’s thinking. I yell out, “Tell him you love him!” Renee doesn’t tell Juan Pablo that she loves him. What is with this idiot girls and their inability to tell their reality TV boyfriend that they love him? This show is so frustrating!
Clare’s hometown date is next. The teaser footage promises drama from Clare’s family so, obviously nothing will happen. Clare lives in Sacramento so, ABC shows us a squirrel and a bunch of bees. It’s formulaic. Renee walks through a Sacramento garden and thinks about love while her voice over talks about how excited she is to see Juan Pablo. You could tell that from watching her think but, ABC wanted to make sure that we knew.
Juan Pablo says that Clare is beautiful and smart and he has a good time around her. He said the exact same thing about all four girls but, it’s different with Clare. We’re immediately reminded of how batcrap crazy Clare is as soon as she talks.
They sit on a bench. ABC interns have already set out a basket lunch for them. What are these people going to do when they’re back in the real world and Bachelor interns aren’t feeding them?
Clare mentions how she likes this park because her father used to take her there. I hope so bad that they make out in Clare’s dead dad park. Clare is sitting on Juan Pablo’s lap in a completely unnatural way. It’s not even dirty or risqué. It’s more awkward. It looks like she’s about to tell Juan Pablo what she wants to Christmas. It’s like he’s Santa Clajuas.
Clare is sad because Juan Pablo can’t meet her dad. We’re running out of time to see Clare’s dead dad DVD. She carries around a recording of her dad’s message to the man she’ll eventually marry. It’s normal. There’s a lot more talking about dads than I’m used to. Clare says that her dad told her, whenever she’s sad, to “go to the water and pick up a rock and throw the rock and, as far as you throw that rock, I won’t be further from you than you can throw that rock.” Clare’s dad wasn’t real good with the metaphors.
Juan Pablo was moved by the rock speech so he insists that they both get up to throw a rock. They go to the pond and throw one. They throw their rocks far. It’s weird because, throwing the rock far would mean that they want Clare’s dad to be far away. Immediately after Clare and Juan Pablo throw their ‘Dad’ rock, they straddle each other and make out. Then, they feed ducks. I thought that ducks meant Atlanta. I’m confused. Why don’t they feed some Sacramento squirrels and bees?
Clare has a bunch of siblings. We’re promised physical violence with her one sister. Often times, Bachelor contestant siblings will grab a hold of their 15 minutes and act crazy. If we’re lucky, Clare’s sister will embarrass her for our amusement.
One of Clare’s nice sisters pulls her aside to talk. When mentioning her dad, Clare says ‘Daddy’. A grown woman referring to her dad as ‘Daddy’ is a weird combination of hot and creepy for me. I should probably talk to a professional about that. I may have issues.
Clare’s sister also wishes their dad was there to meet Juan Pablo. Everyone wants Clare’s dad to be there. He must have been a fun guy. I hope people carry around DVDs of me after I die. One of Clare’s other sisters gushes about what a great guy Juan Pablo is and how perfect he is for Clare. I’m quite certain she’ll still feel that way after they watch him have sex with their sister in Vietnam and then yell at her for it.
We finally get to the bad sister who doesn’t approve of televised love. The evil sister doesn’t like what’s going on. ABC plays ‘evil sister’ music. Clare correctly overreacts to the situation by bawling her eyes out. I’m positive that Clare has or will murder. I say a little prayer that she’ll murder her sister while I watch. She doesn’t. This show has, like, zero murders. The evil siter gets up and stands to the side and continues to act evil so America will remember her. Clare cries more. There’s crying. Clare’s dad watches. He’s probably pissed that ABC won’t show his DVD.
Juan Pablo tries to talk to Clare’s mom but the evil sister butts in and Clare’s crazy eyes come out. She’s a nut job. I’m glad that I don’t have any crazy sisters. I mean, they used to put cat food on my pizza but, they’d never disapprove if I tried to date a woman who was also dating 24 other men.
I’m guessing that ABC producers either bribe Clare’s sister or threaten her to act evil so they have some sort of content for their trash-a-thon. This episode has been terribly boring. Without Clare’s evil sister, it would have been 2 hours of ducks, bees and squirrels.
Clare’s mom speaks Spanish. Then, they speak the language of love. It’s very touching. Clare’s mom also refers to her husband as ‘Daddy’. I’m no longer turned on by it. I need a shower. On the plus side, I guess I don’t need therapy. Juan Pablo and Clare sit on her porch to make out on a bench. She sits next to him instead of sitting on his lap and I’m all, “What’s the point?”
The rose ceremony is next. There’s no way Renee isn’t going home. If Juan Pablo doesn’t dump Renee, I will literally eat her son. Chris Harrison takes a bath and shaves for the big moment. He tells each woman where to stand for the rose ceremony. There’s a lot of touching. Chris Harrison acts a bit inappropriate.
It’s a weird rose ceremony. It looks like they hold it in the front parking lot of a hotel. There’s a ton of wind. They should hold these indoors. I guess, if we can have a cold weather Super Bowl, rose ceremonies can stand a little wind.
Juan Pablo talks about how amazing each woman is and how incredible their families are. Then, he dumps Renee. Back in week two or three, Juan Pablo promised Renee that he would send her home the moment that he realized she wasn’t the one. So, he didn’t realize it until the rose ceremony? He went all day without knowing who he was going to send home? Juan Pablo lies. He’s like the Moana of Bachelors.
That’s some level 8 trivia.
Renee takes the dumping well. She manages to not cry until she gets in the limo. Juan Pablo fake cries a little. Renee is heading home. Maybe she’ll take time to teach her son how to slide into third base.
Renee fell in love with Juan Pablo. She says, “There’s not a lot of guys like Juan Pablo. He’s as good as they come.” So, if you’re keeping score at home, men are basically the worst thing ever.
Tomorrow night, I get to do this all over again. Juan Pablo will have sex with his three remaining girlfriends and then he’ll dump one of them. We’re told that a few terrible things happen in the Fantasy Suite. I don’t see how that’s possible. Juan Pablo is as good as they come.
Greg Bauch recaps ‘The Bachelor’. These recaps are as good as they come.