Monsters and Critics columnist Liz Long recaps The Bachelor hometown dates on Season 24, Episode 8, with a little help from a glass of pinot (or two)…
Well, Rose Lovers. I was about to say we made it through the drama, the tears, and the debacle that was Champagne-Gate, but hometowns just put a big ol’ kabosh on that statement. Little carrier pigeon by the name of Merissa swooped in and shat all over my hopes and dreams for a wholesome, family-fun episode.
Serenity now, I say! Let’s just breathe, knowing we are finally in the hometown stretch. Soon the
real winners losers will all go home and wait for their next vacation opportunity to find love on Bachelor in Paradise. And the balance of Bachelor Nation shall be restored again.
In the meantime, say a little prayer for me, if you will, mis amores, because I have only about half a bottle of pinot noir left and a full two hours of hometowns staring back at me. Scratch that. I have only enough for a full glass. Shoot me now.
Let’s just get to these hometowns shall we, where all the parents are not a day over 30. Oh, that’s right. All of these “ladies” are 12. First up ….
Hannah Ann’s Hometown in Knoxville
Hannah Ann Sluss is what Peter’s Bachelor Caucasian dreams are made of. She follows The Bachelor script. To. The. Letter. (Pun intended.) And since Hannah Ann and Peter are all cutesy with their little letters, how about Lizzy create one of her own. It goes something like this:
The ways Hannah Ann ticks off all of ABC’s and Peter’s Bachelor boxes:
- She painted him a picture on day 1.
- She is precise in keeping with The Bachelor script and has said the three versions of “I love you” right on cue: “I’m falling in love with you.” “I’m in love with you.” Culminating in a declaratory “I love you.”
- She has a cute and pretty sister. (Okay, so that one isn’t part of The Bachelor script. In fact, it flies in the face of it. So bonus points for you, Hannah Ann.)
Peter is so inspired by Hannah Ann’s A+ Bachelor performance, he penned a little note himself! I think he used Kelley’s legal pad for it, but who’s lookin.’ Oh yeah. Me. That’s who.
With this cutesy-wootsy exchange, Peter can also safely drop his little security blankie on the obligatory bench out front for the “I love you” debriefing, and all is well in Knoxville. Good job, little Hannah Ann.
Oh yeah, Hannah Ann wanted to show that this California boy is tough (even though he has constantly sought affirmation on how his boo-boo looks). So their hometown date included axe-throwing because Hannah’s dad, Ranger Rick, I guess throws axes? Needless to say, this date further emasculated Peter while a “random” crowd, presumably borrowed from the Chase Rice concert, looked on.
Kelsey’s Hometown in Des Moines
Kelsey, our resident Busy Phillips, has something “a little dirty” up her sleeve for our Pilot. Of course we’re not in fantasy suites week yet, and so the “little dirty” is nothing to get excited about. Unless you have a fetish for close-ups of feet covered in grapes. Cue the metaphors, Pete!
Making our own wine is the perfect date because ….
PETER: “We have not been bland in any way!” “We are that perfect blend!” “The aftertaste always leaves you wanting more.” (Ew.)
I ask you, do you think ABC writers just feed him these metaphors now that we have exhausted the pilot puns?
Now you know Peter won’t let a slippery little tub of grapes stop him from giving a quick dance lesson complete with his signatory twirl. Just spare me the close-ups of the feet, next time, mmkay ABC? Not because it’s completely gross or anything. But because I’m down to my last drops of vino over here. Have mercy on a girl, would ya!
Kelsey, also on cue, carefully states, “I am in love with you, and I know my family will see that.” All I see is that Kelsey’s eyes are fully lined with black eyeliner, and I worry for her when she undoubtedly cries soon. Peter is all, “we’ve come a long way,” meanwhile I’m all, I know nothing about their relationship. But let’s dive right in and meet the fam, shall we?
Kelsey and Pete walk into her house, and, good god, I think all of them are blonde with the same highlights and low-lights! Wait. I see one stray brunette guy over there. All of Kelsey’s sisters’ names seem to start with a “K.” More generic talk ensues until we arrive at the appetizer portion of the night, when Peter exclaims:
“THESE ARE CRAB RANGOON?!” It’s as if Peter is seeing his Abuela’s dessert on the streets of Peru all over again. Awwwww. Now, apparently, Peter and Kelsey have talked about crab rangoon before. In fact, they have even built a “foundation” and have “overcome” a lot.
What’s more, Peter tells Kelsey’s mom “we connected on a deep, emotional level right away.” To which I say, “deep”? “Connected”? “Crab rangoon”?! Please, Peter. Enlighten us! Do tell what you mean by all of this!! Missed opportunity, mom, to enlighten the masses on what, exactly, this deep, emotional level is.
Kelsey continues to follow script and track Hannah’s date completely, right down to the 30-year-old looking “dad.” She reminds us that if she gets broken-hearted, she’ll just pick up the pieces. Oh, Kelsey. Again. I’m concerned. I think we should start looking into therapists right now. May I give you some numbers? Let’s discuss.
But, first, on to the girl who is completely out of Peter’s league … Madison!
Madison’s Hometown in Auburn
Two Bits, Four Bits, Six Bits, a Dollar. All for Madison Stand Up and Holler!
On his hometown with Madison, I mean, Madi (forgive me as we only began knowing this human being last week), Peter gets to meet the Prewett clan, including …. Charles Barkley? Is that you?
For the love. It is at this time my feelings of complete insecurity well up inside of me as I begin to ponder, “who would I have make a cameo on my hometown?” I mean, I might be able to score my local KFC manager … It is finger-lickin’ good, after all.
Oh, hell. Now she is bringing in Bruce Pearl too? I’m done. Thankfully, my neighbor just brought me over a bottle of wine in celebration of National Drink Wine Day. As if we need a faux holiday for this, but, bless you, Jessica.
Now I’m just gonna take a little sippy sip here. Maybe a little sippy sip there. Aaaaand. We can continue.
The world famous men’s basketball coach treats us to a little dribbling lesson that not only shows us that Madi actually can play, but is replete with all the unspoken puns and metaphors one could hope for.
“Two ball pound, Pete!” “A little harder!” “One high one low!” Are we back in the windmill or on pure Madi’s date, here. Geez, ABC. After Pete is done being emasculated for the second time this episode, Peter declares “I can’t get enough of this girl,” and I have to say, I actually believed him. Guess he has a thing for spider lashes.
But, in all seriousness, Madi is by far that Special Plate for Peter. So much so, that as Peter talks to Madi’s 14-year-old dad, Chad, who tells Peter, “she’s pure. Are you compatible?” Code for are you about to windmill it up with my daughter after windmilling it up with three other women. Peter is forced to re-think his canned answers that ain’t gonna work in sweet tea-land.
Elevate your game, War Eagle Peter. Elevate. I don’t think Daddy Prewett had you in mind when he laid his hands on baby Madi and prayed for her and her future husband. Call it a hunch.
This is the one hometown where we cannot tick off our “falling in love” check-box (on Madi’s end, mind you). And that’s okay with me.
Victoria F.’s Hometown in
Hell Virginia Beach
Now that we’ve just experienced pure goodness, let’s move on to Victoria F. and straight up toxicity in Virginia Beach! Yay! Can’t wait. It all starts with a little fun and a dog on a beach, then a few old-timey photos before someone gets hurt …
I feel like I’m watching a horror movie right now and know it’s the calm before the storm. Okay, “a life with Victoria would never be boring.” You got that right, Pete. But on to Shack on 8th!
We are still safe. In fact, we are about to have another random country concert! Oh god, are we about to see Chase Rice, again? Nope. It’s none other than Hunter Hayes(!). Okay, I personally don’t know him but maybe he is a real someone because Peter actually knows the words, right?
Peter goes straight into his white boy — I mean, Cuban — dance. Everyone is so white right now, and Peter repeats Mr. Hayes’s song lyrics, “I don’t want easy, I want crazy.” And that’s when all the “happiness” stops. Calm is over. And Victoria ominously asks, “Are you sure?” Peter. That wasn’t a joke. Take your hints where you can get them.
Being that Peter is once again clueless on his concert dates with Victoria, might we now shed some light for him by serving up one little carrier pigeon in the form of an ex-girlfriend. Now, we have no idea what this girl looks like being that a huge blob constantly lingers over her face. At least this is better than it covering her whole body as we saw in the previews.
We learn that this blob is named “Merissa.” She worked at Guess, sold Peter some jeans, and tells him that he doesn’t deserve who he’s on a date with. Which kinda sounds like Victoria F. is too good for him, right? But think again. Victoria is all, “I can’t wait for you to meet my family” meanwhile Peter looks like he just had an atomic bomb dropped on him.
And as soon as he brings up the name “Merissa” to Victoria, she invites her two best friends, Defensive and Emotional, to the party.
PETER: “I just want the truth!”
Victoria F.: You can’t handle the truth, Peter!
Oh, I keed. I keed. Victoria F. always speaks to Peter in gentle — even loving — tones. She actually said, “Well it doesn’t matter anymore, Peter!”
Oh. Okay. If it’s going to be like that. Again, I suggest you run for the hills little Bachelor boy as fast as you can!
Instead, Peter is just all:
And Victoria is all:
Hey-oooo! We have an official mean girl on our hands. She shuns Peter. She shuns the camera crew. And she’s off to hunt down Merissa.
After doing some loose math, Peter says 99 percent of their relationship is amazing and 1 percent terrifies him. Pete, I realize we are just viewers over here, seeing all that you are not actually seeing for yourself. But hear me when I say, this is a 100 percent completely toxic relationship! Run.
He does flee to the nearest hotel, but that won’t stop Victoria from getting HER “I’m falling in loves” in. Aaaaaaaand, Peter, is once again, a sucker for Victoria’s alter-egos. Well played, Victoria. Well played.
The Rose Ceremony
Oh Lord, we still have a rose ceremony. Please tell me the only reason we kept Victoria is so we could have this obligatory ceremony and that she’s going home soon. Victoria F walks up to Chris Harrison, all “hiiii-eeee.” Gag me, though I must say I do like her emerald silk dress. She stands next to Kelsey, wearing a remarkably similar dress but in velvet.
Madison and Hannah Ann get roses, and we are down to the green dresses. Which one will he choose? Silk or velvet!? Bloody hell. He chose silk. And I’m doomed for another week.
In the meantime, I ask, just one important question: What in the sam hell is this new show with Chris Harrison, Listen to Your Heart!? Is that Kendall Long I see?! Hope she’s doing okay after her breakup with Joe. Must watch …. Til next, Monday, Rose Lovers. I’m going to go hide under my security blanket and dream of Chris Harrison making me biscuits.