The Bachelor, episodes 7 & 8: hometowns

The Bachelor ep 8 Britt abc

Two 2-hour episodes in two days is a lot of info to take in and spit back out.  So let's get right to it. I'm combining these two episodes into one recap so we can get it all out of the way at once.Episode 7: Let's Go to Iowa!

I loved this episode. We got rid of the crazies and now it's just hearts and flowers and love all around (well, minus Britt). I love the girls that are left (minus Britt).

In my notes, the three things I wrote down during the episode were "Chris and Whitney," "Carly Bachelorette" and "I want to be friends with Kaitlyn." That sums it all up nicely, don't you think?

But alas, I shall continue on anyway...

OK so we left off last week with Ashley and Kelsey both getting the boot from the Badlands and the rest of the girls celebrating like it was 1999.

Rose Ceremony

thebachelorroseceremonyabc

The girls get dropped off by a horse drawn carriage at the RC (that's code for Rose Ceremony. Chris shows up and gets verbal high fives from some of the ladies for getting Kelsey out of their hair. Carly is particularly exuberant. You see, she has a problem with a number of people on this show, Kelsey and Britt in particular. She sounds just like me, therefore, I think she's awesome.

Anyway, during I guess what is the pre-RC cocktail party, Chris takes Megan for some alone time. Megan immediately brings up that their relationship hasn't progressed and she can tell he has stronger connections with some other girls. She asks him straight out how he feels about her...and long story short he agrees that something's missing between them and sends her on her way.

I really love how this went down. I'm sure there was a lot we didn't see, but for the daffy blonde that she comes off as -- real or not -- choosing to confront Chris right off the bat that way was very mature and brave. Good for you Megan.

Charrison shows up (Charrison, where've you been, darling!?) and announces there will still be a rose ceremony. The girls - understandably - freak out. They thought getting rid of 3 girls this week was plenty. Carly takes it the hardest as she seems to understand she's the next in line after Megan for having the least connection with Chris.

But Chris isn't having it. He tells Charrison it was a hard week and he can't let anyone else go. He updates the girls and they freak out again. He tells them he wants them all to go to Iowa with him and they freak out even more.

We see more funny Carly interviews. Could you see Carly as the next Bachelorette? She deserves it after her last boyfriend treated her like such crap. Plus she's funny as hell. If it's not Kaitlyn (first choice if she doesn't end up with Chris), my vote is Carly.

Date one: we're heading to Arlington

Anyway the first date card shows up is for Jade and it says Chris wants her to come to his hometown. The other girls (minus Britt) are really happy for her and tell her how significant it is.

Jade survives the 2+ hour ride from Des Moines and gets dropped off at Chris' place. He shows her his house, his land, and his cows then drives her through "downtown" Arlington, which consists of a bank, a meat shop and a church. It's pretty run down and quiet, but I'm sure ABC sent an intern in ahead of them to scare all the people away and rip down all signs of life to make this the most dramatic episode ever.

Photo courtesy of abc

Photo courtesy of abc

Next they head to Chris' high school to watch a football game - because that's what you do on Friday nights in the Midwest folks. There's all the people! That's more like it. She meets cousins and friends and even his parents. Could they be any more adorable?? I want to squeeze their cute little faces. I couldn't live in Arlington, Iowa but I could definitely adopt Chris' family as my own.

Chris shows Jade his high school and tries to drag more personal info out of her. The only thing he finds out is that she used to be a bit of a rebel. That's about it. This date couldn't be more boring, seriously. The only redeeming part is when Jade recognizes that Chris is insecure about his town and his lifestyle. She gives him a heartfelt pep talk about how he should be proud of it and you can see how much what she says means to him. I think it shows how legit and sincere Jade is. It sorta gave me goosebumps. (Yes, I am losing it.)

Jade survives the 2+ hour ride from Des Moines and gets dropped off at Chris' place. He shows her his house, his land, and his cows then drives her through "downtown" Arlington, which consists of a bank, a meat shop and a church. It's pretty run down and quiet, but I'm sure ABC sent an intern in ahead of them to scare all the people away and rip down all signs of life to make this the most dramatic episode ever.

Next they head to Chris' high school to watch a football game - because that's what you do on Friday nights in the Midwest folks. There's all the people! That's more like it. She meets cousins and friends and even his parents. Could they be any more adorable?? I want to squeeze their cute little faces. I couldn't live in Arlington, Iowa but I could definitely adopt Chris' family as my own.

Chris shows Jade his high school and tries to drag more personal info out of her. The only thing he finds out is that she used to be a bit of a rebel. That's about it. This date couldn't be more boring, seriously. The only redeeming part is when Jade recognizes that Chris is insecure about his town and his lifestyle. She gives him a heartfelt pep talk about how he should be proud of it and you can see how much what she says means to him. I think it shows how legit and sincere Jade is. It sorta gave me goosebumps. (Yes, I am losing it.)

Back at the hotel....

Next date card arrives and it's for Whitney. The new crazy in town - Britt - looks like she wants to rip Whitney's clean blonde hair out for having the nerve to go out with her man. Date card says Chris and Whit are going to Des Moines.

Jade comes back and tells the girls about her date...the football game, meeting the parents and Arlington itself. She tells Britt and Carly the crowd was chanting "Kiss Chris, Kiss Chris" after the game and Britt starts crying. You know what that means! Another fun Carly interview! She hypothesizes that Britt thinks this show is actually "The Bachelorette." She is number one and anything outside of that is unacceptable. Again, she hits the nail on the head.

To cheer Britt up Carly announces that the rest of the girls are planning to road trip to Arlington to check it out. Britt is hesitant, for some reason I don't care about, but of course, ends up going. ABC gives them an SUV and they hightail it to the country to check shit out.

Des Moines, Iowa with Whitney

Jade comes back and tells the girls about her date...the football game, meeting the parents and Arlington itself. She tells Britt and Carly the crowd was chanting "Kiss Chris, Kiss Chris" after the game and Britt starts crying. You know what that means! Another fun Carly interview! She hypothesizes that Britt thinks this show is actually "The Bachelorette." She is number one and anything outside of that is unacceptable. Again, she hits the nail on the head.

To cheer Britt up Carly announces that the rest of the girls are planning to road trip to Arlington to check it out. Britt is hesitant, for some reason I don't care about, but of course, ends up going. ABC gives them an SUV and they hightail it to the country to check shit out.

Des Moines, Iowa with Whitney

photo courtesy of abc

photo courtesy of abc

Meanwhile, Chris and Whitney find out they are getting a camera to photograph their time in Des Moines. They spend some cutesy time taking pictures of themselves kissing and straddling and gallivanting through town. It's sweet but it's boring. That night they head to a bar in town where the bartenders are sawing ice (for drinks? that's intense). They are enjoying a couple drinks when Chris' three best friends show up. Whit shrieks and blows everyone's ear drums but makes up for it by charming their pants off. Chris seems really happy with how things went and you can tell he's smitten with her.

Once the friends leave she takes their alone time to share her family dynamic with him: she doesn't have one. OK that's not true: she just doesn't have parents. Her mom passed away and her dad was never in her life. She tells Chris she always wanted to marry a man with a big family so she could call someone mom and dad again.

I,ahem, think I have something in my eye...

Back to Arlington...

The girls drive through downtown Arlington and Kaitlyn and Britt in particular freak out at the size (or lack thereof) of the town. Size does matter! They get out and walk around and discover everything's closed and locked, even the church. They wander down to someone's house and it turns out it's the pastor from the church. He basically confirms that - yup, there's nothing to see, eat or do there. He's very cynical for a pastor.

When they get back to the hotel it's all about Britt again. She declares she at first could not see herself living there, but claims a beautiful sunset changed her mind. Not so fast liar! You told Carly and Kaitlyn you thought it sucked and said you could NOT see yourself living there at all!! Ah HA!

Next date card shows up and it's for....Carly, Britt and Kaitlyn. That means Becca will get the last one-on-one date.

Oh and Jade finally reveals her secret - well, to us and to Carly. She posed for Playboy. She's terrified of telling Chris but she's also terrified of him finding out from someone else, knowing full well his family is probably going to Google the shit out of her. Carly's reaction:

I,ahem, think I have something in my eye...

Back to Arlington...

The girls drive through downtown Arlington and Kaitlyn and Britt in particular freak out at the size (or lack thereof) of the town. Size does matter! They get out and walk around and discover everything's closed and locked, even the church. They wander down to someone's house and it turns out it's the pastor from the church. He basically confirms that - yup, there's nothing to see, eat or do there. He's very cynical for a pastor.

When they get back to the hotel it's all about Britt again. She declares she at first could not see herself living there, but claims a beautiful sunset changed her mind. Not so fast liar! You told Carly and Kaitlyn you thought it sucked and said you could NOT see yourself living there at all!! Ah HA!

Next date card shows up and it's for....Carly, Britt and Kaitlyn. That means Becca will get the last one-on-one date.

Oh and Jade finally reveals her secret - well, to us and to Carly. She posed for Playboy. She's terrified of telling Chris but she's also terrified of him finding out from someone else, knowing full well his family is probably going to Google the shit out of her. 

Now we know why Jade was in L.A. She was hangin' with Hef!

Back in Des Moines, Chris takes Whitney outside and there are throngs of people cheering and taking photos. How do they keep all those people from posting their photos and videos? ABC must send an intern by with a giant magnet to erase their hard drives. (It's for real. I've seen it in "The Big Easy" and "Breaking Bad.")

Anyway, Chris takes her around the building and shows her a mural he ABC had made of one of the photos they took together that day. She loses her shit (understatement) and claims this was the best day of her life. She straddles Chris (again) in front of all the innocent bystanders. She tells us she fell in love with him that night, even though she thought it would be impossible.

Group date

The girls head to an arena where they find Chris standing in the middle of a hockey rink. They're ice skating! They skate and fall and play a little hockey. Chris falls a lot. They all laugh. What fun!

First alone time is with Britt and she gushes, I mean gushes, about how much she loves Arlington. I shit you not. He is surprised. You know why you're surprised Chris? Because she's full of shit, that's why.

photo courtesy of abc twitter

photo courtesy of abc twitter

Next up is Carly and she gives Chris the straight skinny on Britt's lies. She tells him she cares enough to keep him from making a mistake. I find that a little bit of a stretch. Obviously she does not like Britt and she's trying ensure that Britt doesn't win the "prize" in this love game. But hey, whatever works. I don't like Britt either and she definitely doesn't deserve Prince Farming.

Chris actually seems pretty appreciative that Carly told him these things, but we all figure this means the end of the road for Carly.

They get gussied up for cocktails and head over to something formerly used as a train depot (??) for some more QT with Chris. Chris spends time with Britt first. She tries to get him to say he wants to meet her family. Like, wink wink "meet her family." She's looking for reassurance that "she's the one" and he's not really giving it to her. You see him try to bring up her hatred of Arlington and he can't get it out of her, so he gives up and kisses her instead. Nice detective work Chris! Britt of course feels relieved that she still has him folded up nice and neat in her back pocket next to her supply of "Hug Me" coupons.

Next he spends time with Kaitlyn and she is really vulnerable, which is sweet and honest because she's usually the wisecracking tough girl who just wants to have fun and make people laugh. She tells Chris she has a legit connection with him and has felt frustrated/panicky because she hasn't had any time with him. She feels like she's playing catch-up but he reminds her she "killed it" the first two weeks. He gives her the code "you don't have anything to worry about" line (the one Britt was looking for). Sometimes it's legit, sometimes it's not. But I have a feeling this time it is. They really seem to like each other.

Chris roams back to the main room to grab the rose off the table and gives it to.....Kaitlyn.

photo courtesy of access hollywood

photo courtesy of access hollywood

Back on the couch Britt is STEWING. Is she going to murder Chris?? She's cracking her knuckles, gearing up for a rumble. It takes a mere 10 seconds into Chris' speech before she loses her shit. Britt interrupts him with a rant about giving the rose to Kaitlyn doesn't make her want to bring him home to meet her family. She doesn't want her husband to put her second/third/forth in line after a bunch of other girls. Girls who are, in fact, sitting right next to her.

Apparently Britt's family is more important than the other girls' families. And Britt's feelings are more important than the other girls' feelings. He mentions that she seems to be saying that she doesn't want to be there any more and she immediately puts him on the spot with a threatening "well what would you say if that were true?" Manipulative!

Once Chris escapes, Carly reminds everyone that if anyone should be worried it's her. Britt is quick to remind her, it's not that she's worried about NOT getting a rose, she's worried about taking a guy home to meet her parents who ultimately might not pick her. Which, I might remind everyone, is the whole point of this damn show!

Back at the hotel the girls rehash what happened and hypothesize that there's no coming back for Britt. That she's damaged goods and there's no recovery. Carly is giddy.

Episode 8: The Girls' Hometown Dates

We start off with Becca's leftover one-on-one date with Chris. They spend the day walking around town and hanging out in the loft he's staying in (I'm guessing this is still Des Moines). She admits she's never been in love with anyone.

He asks her more about her last relationship and whether she can see this process working for her. This girl is so honest and real and she doesn't make any bones about how this experience is just totally weird. But she tells him that although she doesn't think she'd accept a proposal from him, like, today, she does really like him. They make out in front of a lovely sunset.

Back at the hotel

The girls recap the group date with Whitney. Britt tells the girls she packed her shit and that's she's going to leave before the rose ceremony. She is pissed that Chris isn't fighting for her (in a room full of other girls he's dating).

Carly calls bullshit and says she's going to change her mind. Her and Britt bicker until finally Britt admits she's going to talk to Chris and see what he says. Ah ha! Carly is right again.

Whitney interviews that Britt is cracking because she's not getting everything she wants. She's starting to realize Chris has relationships with the other girls that are just as strong or stronger than he has with her. That she's beautiful, but looks aren't everything. Go girl!

And really, this show has been going for 19 seasons. Nineteen. This is how it works. Did Britt not realize what she was signing on for?

Rose Ceremony

Big announcement! There will be no cocktail party! Everyone (minus Britt) rejoices.

Britt rethinks her strategy. As they're all standing in front of Chris for the ceremony, Britt interrupts him and asks to speak with him.

Of couuuuuuuurse she does.

She can not go quietly people. Did you even question it? She wants to give him a chance to fight for her honor!

She goes on and on apologizing for her behavior the night before. She was upset. She was emotional. But she should have talked to him in private. Chris agrees. And by agrees, I mean he tells her it was disrespectful (go Chris!) to him and to the other girls and sends her on her way. She nods and smiles like she knew all along this was the outcome she expected then bawls in the driveway hoping producers in L.A. will hear her dramatic sobs and rescue her.

The girls recap the group date with Whitney. Britt tells the girls she packed her shit and that's she's going to leave before the rose ceremony. She is pissed that Chris isn't fighting for her (in a room full of other girls he's dating).

Carly calls bullshit and says she's going to change her mind. Her and Britt bicker until finally Britt admits she's going to talk to Chris and see what he says. Ah ha! Carly is right again.

Whitney interviews that Britt is cracking because she's not getting everything she wants. She's starting to realize Chris has relationships with the other girls that are just as strong or stronger than he has with her. That she's beautiful, but looks aren't everything. Go girl!

And really, this show has been going for 19 seasons. Nineteen. This is how it works. Did Britt not realize what she was signing on for?

Rose Ceremony

Big announcement! There will be no cocktail party! Everyone (minus Britt) rejoices.

Britt rethinks her strategy. As they're all standing in front of Chris for the ceremony, Britt interrupts him and asks to speak with him.

Of couuuuuuuurse she does.

She can not go quietly people. Did you even question it? She wants to give him a chance to fight for her honor!

She goes on and on apologizing for her behavior the night before. She was upset. She was emotional. But she should have talked to him in private. Chris agrees. And by agrees, I mean he tells her it was disrespectful (go Chris!) to him and to the other girls and sends her on her way. She nods and smiles like she knew all along this was the outcome she expected then bawls in the driveway hoping producers in L.A. will hear her dramatic sobs and rescue her.

But alas, we still have a rose ceremony to attend to and one more lady must go. I think we all know it will be Carly, even Carly. And it is. In true Bachelor tradition, the girl who narcs out another girl never gets the rose, whether he takes her advice or not.

She leaves very gracefully and wonders why she is so unlovable. I want to grab her and shake her and tell her she will be fine. She deserves to have men fighting for her attention. Get the ole self esteem back up there.

Hometown dates

The hometown dates had me a little bored, so I'll go through these quickly.

Becca, Shreveport, LA

Chris gets a big ole earful from practically every member of Becca's family about how she 1) has never had a boyfriend, 2) has never brought a guy home and 3) isn't into intimacy. They admit she seems happy, but are suspicious.

I'm speechless.

Becca talks with her sister and all she cares about is what she's going to tell Chris when she gets to the fantasy suite. Chris talks with Becca's mom and she tells him she'll hunt him down if he hurts her baby.

Rating: C

Whitney, Chicago, IL

Whitney takes Chris to her hospital to show him what it's like to fertilize an egg and hang out in the "specimen" room. I've already read a few bloggers speculating if Jade was in one of the Playboys they had displayed in the room. I wouldn't be surprised if ABC planted this entire set up so they could elicit these reactions from viewers. It's a bit of a coincidence no?

Later on they meet Whit's family - her grandma, uncle, and sister and brother in law. They are a very sweet family and welcome Chris in. The sister refuses to part with her blessing if Chris asks for it even after Whitney pleads with her. She tells Chris he can call her when Whitney's the last girl standing. It surprises me we don't hear this more from the families who go through this shit.

Rating: B+

Kaitlyn, Phoenix, AZ

Apparently Kaitlyn's parents live in Phoenix in the fall and winter to get away from the Canada winter. Smart people. We meet her divorced parents and their current partners and Kaitlyn's sister. This family is very happy and warm. The mom seems spiritual and very protective of her daughter. After dinner Kaitlyn brings Chris to a weird parking lot to give him a surprise.....it's pot! No just kidding- it's actually a billboard that says "Kaitlyn ♥ Chris." She stole his move!

Rating: A

Jade, Geary, NE

Chris and Jade wander through Jade's version of a small town, which is a metropolis compared to Arlington. They end up at her mom's house, where we meet her mom, two brothers and her dad and his wife/fiancee. Finally, some divorced families. I was starting to think ABC was discriminating.

Anyway this whole gathering was very awkward. Like they all knew Jade was a "wild mustang" and were trying not to blurt it out.  Instead, just her brother blurts it out - to Chris. Jade chats with her dad about how she hasn't told Chris her secret and he says some nice dad things and they have a moment.

After dinner, Jade wants to hang out with Chris more so they can talk. They head to his hotel and she gets him on the couch and drops the playboy bomb. He just smiles dumbly throughout this, not knowing what to say or do. She asks him if he wants to see the pictures and he doesn't know what to say or do. She shows the pics (and a video too) and you can almost see him float up out of his body in one of those "I can't believe this is happening to me right now" moments. I'm not quite sure why she wants him to look at the pics, if it's even her choice at this point. It should be something she saved for if they progressed in the relationship. My opinion. I can imagine he had a hard time getting those images out of his head. Not that it's bad, but they just don't know each other that well. Ugh.

Later on they meet Whit's family - her grandma, uncle, and sister and brother in law. They are a very sweet family and welcome Chris in. The sister refuses to part with her blessing if Chris asks for it even after Whitney pleads with her. She tells Chris he can call her when Whitney's the last girl standing. It surprises me we don't hear this more from the families who go through this shit.

Rating: B+

Kaitlyn, Phoenix, AZ

Apparently Kaitlyn's parents live in Phoenix in the fall and winter to get away from the Canada winter. Smart people. We meet her divorced parents and their current partners and Kaitlyn's sister. This family is very happy and warm. The mom seems spiritual and very protective of her daughter. After dinner Kaitlyn brings Chris to a weird parking lot to give him a surprise.....it's pot! No just kidding- it's actually a billboard that says "Kaitlyn ♥ Chris." She stole his move!

Rating: A

Jade, Geary, NE

Chris and Jade wander through Jade's version of a small town, which is a metropolis compared to Arlington. They end up at her mom's house, where we meet her mom, two brothers and her dad and his wife/fiancee. Finally, some divorced families. I was starting to think ABC was discriminating.

Anyway this whole gathering was very awkward. Like they all knew Jade was a "wild mustang" and were trying not to blurt it out.  Instead, just her brother blurts it out - to Chris. Jade chats with her dad about how she hasn't told Chris her secret and he says some nice dad things and they have a moment.

After dinner, Jade wants to hang out with Chris more so they can talk. They head to his hotel and she gets him on the couch and drops the playboy bomb. He just smiles dumbly throughout this, not knowing what to say or do. She asks him if he wants to see the pictures and he doesn't know what to say or do. She shows the pics (and a video too) and you can almost see him float up out of his body in one of those "I can't believe this is happening to me right now" moments. I'm not quite sure why she wants him to look at the pics, if it's even her choice at this point. It should be something she saved for if they progressed in the relationship. My opinion. I can imagine he had a hard time getting those images out of his head. Not that it's bad, but they just don't know each other that well. Ugh.

Rating: D+

Rose Ceremony

I find myself wondering if it will be Becca or Jade that goes home and I decide that it's Becca because Chris won't want Jade to think it was because of the pictures. But I am wrong, it's Jade.

You can tell she thinks it's the pictures, but he tries to assure her it was just a case of being farther along with another girl (or girls). She cries big crocodile tears and I feel for her, but someday in some non-televised situation, she'll find a Prince who doesn't live in a small town and who loves nudie pics.

Chris seems pretty shaken up himself, but based on the scenes for next week, he snaps out of it.

See you next week in Bali!