Welcome back, Bachelor Nation! We’re 8 weeks in and our overlords at ABC have left us with yet another so-called “cliffhanger”. Given the state of their lazy social media which we covered in our Week 8 preview, we already knew we were getting a full slate of 4 hometown dates. 30 seconds into the episode, Nick slinks back into the hotel room to meet his tributes and produces 4 roses. The best part about this week is Nick doing his best to avoid the topic of him dating 29 other women in the last 2 months, so I’m glad we get to see it with 4 families.
Hometown #1: Muddin’ in Hoxie, because, of course
Since this show is nothing without perpetuating stereotypes, we open up on the first hometown date in Hoxie, Arkansas with Raven racing towards Nick on a quad. We then head over to a nearby grain bin to have a serious discussion because I guess that’s where serious discussions happen? Before Raven and Nick get too far into their discussion about wheat futures or whatever, a police cruiser stops by to see what’s going on. At this point it’s looking like there may be a bench warrant out for Raven’s arrest following her B&E and assault with a stiletto. As it turns out, her brother is a police officer and Nick begins to mentally prepare his go-bag in case things don’t go well in Hoxie. After their poorly staged brush with the law, Raven and Nick jump back on some quads, go muddin’ and then make out in the middle of a swamp. Hey, enjoy the bacterial infection, ya’ll.
Next, it’s time to meet the parents. Raven’s family welcomes Nick and before they can start pretending that this is normal, her parents share that Raven’s dad is now cancer free. Wow. In a show full of complete nonsense, this is a really nice moment that was captured and clearly moving for everyone (even Nick). With the rest of the date being completely overshadowed by this news, Nick is able to meet with Raven’s family and, from what I can tell, have a pretty nice visit. Who really cares though – great news for Raven and her family – let’s move on.
Hometown #2: Rachel in Dallas
This has to be the least suspenseful hometown date ever, right? It’s a shame too because Rachel is great but at least we’ll have 10ish episodes of “The Bachelorette” to spend with her this spring. We start off the date by Rachel bringing Nick to her church. Nick does his best to fit in until the pastor addresses him directly during the service. Boy, what I wouldn’t have given to have Nick try to explain the “fantasy suite” to the congregation.
We make it to Rachel’s home and I’m sad we don’t get to meet Rachel’s federal judge father due to a conflict (he has self respect). Nick most definitely is ok with this. We dive right into the topic of the evening of “if Nick has dated a black woman before” but I think he fields the probes really well, to be fair. He talks about all the things he likes about Rachel and it seems like they’ve been open about it with each other which is positive.
Rachel’s brother-in-law, Alex, pulls Nick and her aside to chat and immediately notes that Nick, like him, is “a white”. I sure didn’t see the most awkward conversation of the evening coming from this guy. Alex is like a messier, weirder, beardier version of Nick. Alex and Rachel’s sister (who is basically her twin) chat with Nick and Rachel about their relationship before Nick has some 1:1 time with Rachel’s mom. Her mom definitely is all business and grills Nick on his intentions and if he’s considered the political environment as it relates to dating her daughter. Nick appears to be caught a bit off guard by this but handles things pretty well. None of this matters because, THANKS ABC, we know Rachel is the Bachelorette and thus not Nick’s choice.
Hometown #3: A day in the life of Corinne + RAQUEL!
As Will Smith would say, Welcome to Miami. Corinne wants to show Nick what she’s all about so they spend the day in one of those malls that’s so high end that there are only like 3 people in the whole place at any given time. All of the sales people know Corinne which is a massive red flag. What is also a red flag is that she makes him try on athleisure – ew. They finally land on an outfit for Nick that costs a whopping $3 G’s which appears to be quite the steal in Corinne’s world. Nick, being the Maxxinista that he is, is visibly uncomfortable as they check out. I wish he would have gone with the “Miami soccer dad” look – aka the “Juan Pablo”.
So, what does “software sales” pay these days?
Going into dinner with Corinne’s family
Nick: What do you call your dad?
BachelorNation in unison: Ugh. Of course she calls him daddy.
We finally meet the infamous Raquel and to be honest it is a bit of a let down as she seems to be there of her own volition. What doesn’t disappoint, however, is the conversation Corinne has with her dad. They start out with the typical stuff – “do you like this guy, what’s he like, does he treat you right, etc”. But before long we move into “so what does he do?” and “would he be ok with you being the bread winner”? I get the impression that Corinne’s dad would actually like to see Nick’s W-2 before giving his blessing.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, we move into the awkward Nick / dad 1:1. Corinne’s dad busts out the 15 year old scotch (nice) but fills the glass with a handful of ice cubes (come on). This whole family reeks of being nouveau riche. It doesn’t take long for her dad to directly bring up the subject of Nick’s earning potential with him. The kicker is he simply assumes there is no way he can support his daughter and asks how he’d feel about not being the breadwinner. This has to be incredibly awkward given that Corinne isn’t exactly Warren Buffett.
All of that being said, call me crazy – but I kind of like Corinne. ABC has done a nice job of giving her a better edit the last few episodes and at the worst, she’ll be fun to watch in “Paradise”.
Hometown #4: Vanessa’s Italian family in French Canada – what?
In our last stop on the hometown tour, we find ourselves in Montreal to visit Vanessa and her family. Nick goes all out with a white v-neck t shirt for the occasion so you know he means business. Vanessa first brings him to visit the school where she works and it’s immediately clear she is way too good for this nonsense. We meet the adults that she works with and it’s evident how much of an impact she has with each one of them. For this reason alone – I implore you, Nick; send her home. I think Hoxie will survive Raven’s boutique moving so maybe we go with that, ok?
Vanessa’s parents are divorced so we are splitting the evening into two parts. In the first part, they head to her mom’s to see the majority of her crew. We meet her siblings, grandparents and of course mother for a big family meal. This should be no problem for Nick who comes from a large family but things take a take a pretty fast turn for the worst. I’m not even sure what happens here but it’s clear that no one is really too thrilled with Nick. Vanessa’s family is really worried that she’s going to get hurt again. What happened to her? And what kind of scent did they get off of Nick that they see it coming again? They’re all crazy protective. After meeting a bunch of Italian speakers, we finally meet a member of her family that sounds French Canadian – her brother. To complete the look, he’s rocking a jean jacket- aka the “Canadian Tuxedo”.
Wait, you’re asking everyone for their blessing?
We move on to meet Vanessa’s dad who makes it clear that like Corinne, is not here to make friends. There is always one dad who doesn’t understand that the Bachelor is dating multiple women and asking for their hand this week too – Vanessa’s dad is this dad. He is taken aback by this situation and is aghast at the thought of giving his blessing to a guy who has been on, what, 3 dates with his daughter? He eventually comes around but overall, Vanessa’s date “could have gone better”.
It also seems like Vanessa didn’t understand that Nick would be asking all four dads (or really whichever three would appear on camera) for their blessings. How could she not expect that at this point. I would expect a woman with an IMDB page to be a little more “woke” to what is going on here. Her experience playing “girl’ on Blue Mountain State should have prepared her better for this.
…Next week on the Bachelor
Ok, I hate you, ABC. This isn’t suspenseful – it’s annoying. Here, let me spoil things for you this time:
- Andi shows up to “confront Nick”
- She tells him how much he hurt her or whatever
- Nick pours his heart out to her, and explains that he’s serious about finding love now!
- Andi offers her best wishes and some trite advice.
- First commercial break
Seriously – stop it, ABC.