The Bachelorette, episode 8: hometown dates

NICK V., ANDI DORFMAN

bachelorette This was quite an episode.  We had four relatively successful, albeit boring, hometown dates, then the devastating announcement to Andi and the guys, in Charrison's house no less, about the death of Eric Hill.

And what about the Suave "date night hair" commercials?  I've refrained from mentioning this before, but now we've seen Katherine TWICE.  These are the stupidest things I've ever seen.  Enough!  I don't use Suave and I won't ever!

Anyway, let's dive right in to the dates.

Nick - Milwaukee

NICK V., ANDI DORFMAN

Nick takes Andi on a brewery tour -- very apropos -- and then to do some hopping around, I mean polka-ing, at the bar.  Seems like a fun enough date.  Then he takes her to meet the family and what a family they are!  Do I count 10 siblings?!  And they seem so normal!  I think they made me like Nick more.  Maybe I didn't give him enough credit.  It was really touching to see his older sister Maria choke up when talking about Nick's past heartbreak.  His little sister (Bella - what a cutie!) with her adorable list of tough questions was hysterical.

You know, it's just hitting me how young Andi is.  I really think 26 is too young to be talking about marriage.  And could she say "like" any more?  It must be disconcerting as a family member to meet this strange girl who is asking you to trust her with your baby brother's sensitive heart and she's using "like" every other word.  It's a glaring reminder of how young she is.

Anyway, Nick talks to his mom about how happy Andi makes him and they are both crying.  He says Andi is "a half of me that is missing."  Ahhh...however, he wimps out of telling her he loves her in his goodbye in the driveway.  Perhaps a smart move?

Chris - Iowa

ANDI DORFMAN, CHRIS

If Chris is not the next bachelor, then there's something wrong with this show.  Oh wait, there's a lot wrong with this show...but anyway, he is the best catch EVER; besides the whole farmer/Iowa thing.

Andi meets Chris in Iowa and he shows her his house and it's beautiful and grown up and huge!  (That's what she said.) Chris is a real man.  Then we move on to his farmland and his giant...tractor.  They ride said tractor and Andi asks to sit on the hot farmer's lap while it's her turn to drive.  This is the last thing I remember as I fall into a slight fugue state.  I wake up and they are sitting in the field having a picnic and Andi is talking to Chris with resting bitch face (bad sign).  He asks her if she could see herself living in Iowa, to which she asks about what kind of work would she find there.  He says "well, there's the opportunity to be a homemaker," then giggles and says "I'm being sarcastic obviously."  Phew!  I knew that was shady editing!  He tells her that Cedar Rapids is nearby and there's no reason she couldn't continue a career in the DA's office there.  Totes!  Next thing we know a plane is flying over head with "Chris loves Andi!" trailing behind it and they kiss a bunch.  Andi interviews that it's the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for her.  What about the strip show Andi?  That must have been up there too.

On to meet the fam:  another fabulous group of people.  Fun sisters and brothers-in-law and a cool as hell mom.  They went a little crazy with all the statement necklaces, but hey -- when are they gonna be on TV again?

The only drag:  the siblings' bringing up farting and the no underwear thing.  OMG.  I'd kill them!  During her one on one time with the sisters they tell her how successful Chris is.  Andi's eyes light up at this.  Heck, my eyes light up at this.  Why can't he be mine??  I'll move to Iowa!  The highlight though: Chris' mom, Linda.  I want to be in a sewing (wine) circle with her.  She is totally on board with the process and with Chris falling in love quickly.  She is super cool.

At the end of the dinner the family tells Andi about how they traditionally end their dinners and they initiate her with their "ghost in the graveyard" hiding game outside.  Seriously, these people are a fun time.

But alas, we must move on...

Josh - Tampa

ANDI DORFMAN, JOSH M.

So is Josh from Tampa and just now lives in Atlanta?  I am confused.  But never mind that, holy shit her shorts are so short! Please don't visit Josh's family in those!

I can't really detail this whole date because it's mostly a bunch of Josh talking a mile a minute about Josh, and about baseball, and about his brother Aaron, and about Aaron's football career.  Andi interviews that she hopes the family recognizes Josh's accomplishments too (making it to the final four of The Bachelorette is nothing to sneeze at).  OK here's the deal with Josh:  he was drafted -- probably out of high school -- by the Brewers and played in their farm system for five years.  He then quit voluntarily to go to college.  He says he lost the passion for the baseball lifestyle and also wanted to be there for his little brother Aaron.  Do we believe this?  I thought he told us (I mean Andi) on a boat in Marseilles he left baseball because he wanted to start a family.  (More about Josh here).

Andi thankfully changes out of the short shorts into some nice tight jeans for the meet the parents time.  Here we have the Murray parents, a sister and brother Aaron - the real star of the show.  Josh gets all teared up when he sees his mom (or is it when he sees his dog?).  Anyway they all seem pretty nice but once they sit down to dinner, it's all Aaron/football talk, all the time.  Andi looks bored and concerned that suddenly she's not the focus.  She interviews again that she is worried the fam isn't giving Josh (her) the attention he (she) deserves.

To be honest, this family freaked me out a bit.  I get that there are these sports families that wrap their whole lives around their kids' athletics, especially when they get to the pro level; but to say to a potential wife of the "other" son that they would expect the whole family to attend all of the brother's games?  Are they trying to scare her off?  Thankfully the younger sister had a good head on her shoulders and acknowledged exactly what Andi was thinking/fearing.  I suspect Miss Andi's fear of dating an "athlete" (i.e. the brother of an athlete) might have reached another level, but not yet enough to turn him loose.

We see Josh having a moment with his mom and he cries (again) over all the love he has for Andi.  It seems pretty genuine, I guess.  Then they play football, of course.

Let's go to Dallas, shall we?

Marcus - Dallas

marcus

Andi gets to Dallas and Marcus picks her up in his Benz.  Nice start!  They pull into a weird building, he pops some champagne and Marcus, oh Marcus; he puts on his navy uniform and reenacts his strip tease from week two.  Why on earth would you subject us to more stripping??  It was so horribly awkward the first time!  Fortunately Andi seemed fine with it exclaiming: "this is every girl's dream!"  Hmm...an awkward, creepy strip tease is not every girl's dream my dear.  Don't get me wrong, Marcus is very attractive, but when you are getting into the home stretch of a journey that could quite possibly lead to a proposal, giving a publicly televised strip tease right before the girl meets your mom is kinda creepy.

(Sidebar:  Why did they blur Marcus' junk? Wasn't this their idea?  Did he forget to get a wax?)

By the way, Marcus is "madly in love" with Andi.  He's "ready to propose."  In case you forgot.

At the Marcus family gathering we meet his mom, his sister, his brother and a niece and nephew.  I was prepared for them to be crazy but they are totally normal.  Sister Kathy grabs Andi right off the bat to chat and seems really down to earth.  Unfortunately Andi totally talks like a valley girl the whole time.  Don't talk serious family business with sister Kathy in that voice!  Anyway they chat about how open Marcus has been and Andi admits she wonders if she can catch up (foreshadowing, people).

And Marcus' mom wasn't scary at all!  She had a great convo with Andi and she was actually very sweet to Marcus. I gotta say -- we've encountered four really cool moms this season.  Good pickin' Andi!  All of these boys have sisters too.  Very interesting.

As Andi leaves Marcus we hear her say: "Life with Marcus would be a fairy tale."  I don't know about you, but this sounds negative to me.  That's what chicks say when they are trying to force themselves to like someone.  She knows he's good on paper and he would do anything for her, but she just doesn't dig him like that.

Back in L.A....

andi

In breaking with tradition, instead of seeing the guys pulling up in a limo to the mansion, we see the four of them being dropped off at a house in their street clothes.  Turns out it's Charrison's house.  He sits them down and tells them they're now waiting for Andi.  Andi arrives and they all look pretty scared.  I wonder what they were thinking.  Do you think they had any idea what they were about to hear?  Anyway, Charrison delivers the news about Eric's accident and then drops the bomb that he had passed away that morning.  Everyone looks devastated and I wish very much that ABC had cut the cameras at this point.  You could tell the guys (some of them at least) were trying to process and hold it together, while Andi was just a mess.  There was no reason we had to continue to see all this.  The only bright spot was to see how the crew was there to support Andi and the guys.  They must all feel like a big family after spending so much time together over the course of the 8 weeks it takes to film this show.  I'm glad they were there to comfort each other.  But anyway, I appreciate why they showed Chris telling the news and how sad everyone was, but I thought it was a little tacky they showed so much.  (Read Charrison's justification here.)  And then we cut to commercial and we are voting for that episode's "Most Bleachable Moment?"  Terrible timing ABC.

We move forward a measly 24 hours and Andi pulls up in her limo with her green pageant gown (her hair looks fabulous though).  She is, understandably, a bit of a mess.  I can imagine this is an emotional roller coaster - not even including the Eric news.  She tells Charrison she feels like she has to be strong for the guys, since she is the reason they are all there.  Hmm...I think ABC's ratings (and Suave's promos) are why they're all there, girly, but whatever.  She finally gets in front of the guys and right as she is about to give the first rose she runs off crying.  Charrison is there to comfort her and tells her she doesn't have to be strong for everyone.  She's gets back in there and gives roses to Chris, Josh and Nick.

Andi walks Marcus out and he legitimately is shocked.  I don't blame him.  Anyone who watches this show knows that you have to "open up" and "share your feelings" even if you've only been on two dates with the Bachelor or Bachelorette.  He totally did that and look where it got him.  Granted, he was a bit more aggressive with the information than he really needed to be, but point is, he was vulnerable and now he feels stupid.  Poor thing.  Guess that strip tease wasn't the best use of his time after all.

Next week we move ahead to Fantasy Suite week.  We need to prepare ourselves for more over-the-top magical dates, three separate readings of the same date card and the same tired fantasy suite "should I/shouldn't I" conversations.  But as long as I get to see farmer Chris in his swim trunks, I'm fine with all of it.

Who's your favorite at this point?  Was anyone else wishing she would have given a rose to Charrison?  THAT would have been the MOST dramatic rose ceremony EVER.

See ya next week!