Hellllllo Bachelor Bracket!
I’ll start off by admitting that Hometowns is my least favorite episode. It’s just soooo boring. For the most part (and of course there are a few exceptions) it’s just a Bachelorette meeting everyone’s family who is on their best behavior. You’ll always have one parent who doesn’t believe in the process, some light family drama in another, but otherwise it’s generally smooth sailing.
AKA not why I love this show.
But moving on! Tayshia and Michelle have a quick talk about what she should be looking for while Kaitlyn tells the boys that their families are here. In the boys chat we also learn that Nayte has never introduced a girlfriend to his family, which is foreshadowing for later.
Brandon starts us off this week. We find out that his brother is going to be joining the family this week, something Brandon is excited yet surprised by because his brother was supposed to have already left for the Navy by now. Which bears the question – how did ABC make this happen? Or can you just like, call up the Navy and say hey, I’m super stoked for my first day, but my brother might be getting engaged to a woman he’s known for a week on national television so I’m going to need a later start date??
Regardless, we first have a day date. They meet up and this is the first time I’ve seen Michelle do the jump and leg wrap combo which makes me wonder if she’s much more serious about Brandon than I think she should be. He talks about being from Portland, which caused my New England self to be confused (even still) if he meant Maine or Oregon, and how he was into skateboarding with his brother growing up which provided no additional clues as to which Portland he meant.
What happens next is amazing – Brandon is pretty bad at skateboarding. And I’m sure it was just a cut of every time he did mess up and he normally was good if he’s been doing it for years. But man, way to make him look like he can’t skateboard for the life of him. Truly a beautiful moment for us viewers.
Finally we get family time. The date overall goes well, nothing really interesting to point out. Michelle seems to vibe with everyone and talks about how she can picture fitting in with his family and sees her parents getting along really well with his parents. It seems to be a roaring success for Brandon, especially when he’s throwing out ‘I love you’ vibes every time he looks at her.
Next up is Rodney! Rodney has decided that his entire personality is just going to be apples at this point. Everything is apples. He and Michelle go to an apple orchard and are cute, despite the fact that the date has little to nothing to do with California. But whatever, Rodney seems like a complete sweetheart.
Rodney’s parents also seem kind. His mother definitely has a protective vibe about her, most likely because she can tell that Michelle isn’t feeling it with him. When asked what she likes about him, Michelle tells her that he sees himself as an underdog which she doesn’t get because he’s wonderful and he’s funny. To which the mom is like…cool that’s it? She has very big Bri’s mom energy where she’s just waiting in the wings to comfort her child once they get dumped. Otherwise, they like Michelle and it goes off without a hitch.
On the docket next is Joe, our silent star. Joe says that sharing feelings doesn’t come easy to him and it’s like Joe we know. You rarely if ever talk. I like Joe and think on paper he’s the best match for Michelle, but I’m worried that the fact that he rarely if ever talks is going to make Michelle think that he’s not as in it as he is.
Keeping with current trends, Joe takes Michelle to his high school. Not to reiterate what I’ve said in a previous email, but what is with these people’s obsession with high school? Like if I had a hometown I’m not taking them to my high school. When I’m home I don’t DO anything and yet I’d rather just lounge around playing Catan and walking my dog than going anywhere near my high school.
My theory is that Michelle ALSO has some personal drama around high school and Joe is the personification of the cool guy she didn’t feel like she could have dated in high school and that’s part of the fantasy she loves about Joe. Or when he does talk he actually is a good guy.
Anyways, to really lean into this high school prom, they have a fake prom. Yay? I was so over prom when I was going to prom myself, let alone after seeing it every single season on this show. I will admit though, it is kind of cute. Joe mentions that he heard Michelle when she felt like she was picked last for prom and he himself didn’t go to his prom, so he wants to officially ask her first to be his prom date. They take goofy photos, dance around, etc., and it’s the most I’ve seen Joe smile this entire season.
Next up is meeting his family – shocker, the Coleman men don’t speak at all so somehow his sister-in-law ends up being the narrator of the evening. She breaks down all the family concerns about him falling in love with a guy he JUST met, as well as provides normal people commentary throughout.
To be clear, having this woman talk through what’s happening is necessary. At one point Joe and his dad have a heart-to-heart that essentially is straight silence. And everyone in their 1on1s with Michelle asks her if he’s opening up enough to her. So like clearly a well-known issue.
But Joe manages to pull it out! At the end of the night he tells Michelle he’s falling in love with her and she’s happy so they make out and live in the Minnesota love bubble.
Finally, we have Nayte. And because he’s last, you know he has the most family drama to work through.
Nayte lives in Austin so when he and Michelle meet up (where we are blessed with another jump and leg wrap) he naturally takes her…paddle boarding. Because out of everything Austin is known for, paddle boarding is the clear winner. I’m sure it helps Nayte knows he’s objectively one of the best looking of the crew left so he’s picking shirtless activities on purpose, but maybe he just LOVES paddle boarding in Austin.
During the date Nayte emphasizes how his family isn’t touchy feely and they don’t say I love you and they don’t hug. Super fun! And he also hasn’t ever brought a girl home or ever really talked about girls with any of his family members before so don’t be concerned when everyone is weird! But to soften the ‘my family might be a dealbreaker’ moment, Nayte tells Michelle he’s crazy about her and falling for her in a cute flirty way so Michelle is alllll lovey dovey eyes.
At the start of the date, it seems to be going well. Nayte’s mom gives Michelle candy from Canada for her students which is a super cute win, but then immediately takes her aside and is like Nayte isn’t ready and tells Nayte that he’s just in the love bubble and that’s why he’s in love, it’s not because he actually is. Which is fair! And probably accurate! But not the actual point of this show so please keep those thoughts to yourself.
Nayte’s stepdad also tells Michelle that there is absolutely no chance Nayte is going to be ready for an engagement by the end of this. Comforting! Michelle is feeling SUPER great about this as I’m sure makes sense.
The highlight of the night though (and the part that made me almost cry) is the conversation Nayte and his stepdad have together. His stepdad is like hey, are you sure you’re ready, you’ve never even talked about girls with us. And Nayte is SUPER awkward but it ends up with them talking about their emotions for the first time maybe ever, and Nayte and his stepdad telling each other they love one another which had never happened before. Super cute! Emotions!
Michelle seems slightly stressed at the end of the night, but Nayte is riding a high and tells her that she helped bring his family together and he is forever grateful for her for that alone. Michelle has big ‘cool want to tell me you love me also’ vibes, but whatever, it’s fine, it’s totally fine.
To round out our episode we have some girl talk with Michelle and former contestants on Matt’s season Bri and Serena. Nothing happens worth mentioning, they basically recap the episode and her feelings, but her opening the door and seeing them and being so genuinely surprised and happy is adorable.
But we have hit our cuteness allowance and now need to break some hearts!
Roses go to Brandon, Nayte, and Joe, in order of who is most likely to meltdown if they don’t get a rose to least likely. This means that our lovable Rodney is going home. Michelle walks him out, where she is as always grace personified and Rodney matches her beautifully by telling her that he is falling in love with her and that no matter how much time has passed he will always care for her.
Excuse me while I sob.
But instead of getting time to collect myself, instead we get a preview for the next season of the Bachelor – “underdog” Clayton! Who nobody asked for! Despite there being a ton more guys with a ton more personality on the show!
At least without a personality, the women on the season can run the show..?