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Lots of Highs and Lows on Hometown Date Week on 'The Bachelor'

I love hometown week.  I feel like this is when you really get to see how “The Bachelor” reacts for real with each of the ladies, and get a better idea of who is good for him.



Brad heads first to Seattle to see Chantal O.  She says it’s crucial for her to have her parents approval, and in this case, she had very little to worry about.  He starts off by checking out her house and her three pets.  She has a dog named “Boca” who is the cutest little Pomeranian, and two cats named “Jinxy” and “Bailey”.  They were all so cute.  Brad loved how confident and secure she seemed at home, and that was exactly what he started to fall in love with in the first place.  Best of all, Boca approved of Brad because Chantal said he’s a biter and he didn’t nibble on Brad.



At Chantal’s parents’ mansion, he met her mom, dad, and brother.  They all laughed about how Chantal slapped Brad when they first met.  Chantal’s mom made a home cooked meal, and they were very warm and welcoming to him.  It seemed like they really had a great time at dinner.  Dad later took Chantal outside where she told him that she loved Brad and how happy she was.  Brad was very nervous but had a talk with her father and they found out they had some things in common.  They are both self-made men as far as their businesses go.  Chantal’s dad’s father was a mason, and Brad’s grandfather was a brick maker!  Strange coincidence.  They were practically BFF in no time at all.  He even gave Brad a very sincere blessing to be with his daughter.  In the end, Brad said he could really see a future with her.  I have to agree, he fit like a glove with this family!



Next, Brad traveled to Madawaska, Maine to meet Ashley’s family.  They first stopped off at a restaurant/bar where she worked in high school.  Brad really seemed to love the area and said to Ashley several times that he could see himself living there.  Brad definitely does not want to move, but I think he would consider a vacation home there for sure!  It’s a very charming town that is actually a big French speaking area.  As part of that, one dish they love to serve there is poutine.  Its cheesy gravy fries.  Ashley insisted they eat them with their fingers and when Brad opened his mouth she commented that she could see his crown!  Ha ha!  Such a dentist!  I thought I had never had poutine, but a friend quickly reminded me of it being served in Canada, which I have indeed had and forgot all about!  It’s delicious!  Later, they stopped at a farm stand which you pay on the honor system, and Brad’s little Texan heart just melted. 



Ashley’s family meets Brad back at home and Brad gushes on about the first time he met Ashley.  Things did really seem to go really well on this date!  Did you notice the HUGE lobsters they were eating for dinner?  I think I need to go to Maine for some poutine and lobster!  Also, what was the deal with her sister?  Either she is just naturally very energetic or she had a few too many drinks before the camera crew arrived.  Ashley’s dad took some time to talk to Brad and make sure he knew that his daughter was finishing dental school for sure, and she has a lot of goals.  He told him he didn’t even know if she wanted children one day!  Uh oh, that’s a no, no for Brad because he loves kids!  Mom was surely smitten with him though.  In the end, they give him their blessing, and Brad had so much fun he had a hard time leaving.




Then, Brad went to Chico, California to meet Shawntel’s family and learn about their family business: the funeral home.  I loved how this segment started out with airing Shawntel’s family’s local TV commercial!  It was nice, and you do feel they care about all of their clients and families.  Brad could not have been more creeped out.  She starts off by showing him where they will be cremated and interred into the mausoleum one day if they are married.  Then she takes him to the embalming room and has him lie on the table as she shows him all of her tools and what they do.  I’m talking blood, veins, fluid...not great topics for a date.  But, things turn around once she talks about consoling the families and helping them deal with their loved ones loss.  Brad really respected the work that she does, that’s for sure.



Back at Shawntel’s family’s home, things get awkward really fast.  Dad talks all about how Shawntel is inline to take over the family business.  She confronts her dad in front of Brad and says that maybe she wants to move away.  They go off to have a serious talk.  Her dad tells her how her old high school teacher’s son had died and she really needed Shawntel, but she wasn’t around because she was doing the show.  Dad used that as one example of how the community would miss her if she left the area.  Wow, way to lay on the guilt!  Meantime, Brad talks to her mother, who is very quiet and it just didn’t seem to go that great.  Brad felt like he would be stealing her away from her family.  Not only that, but he worried that every dinner conversation would be about her work, and death, and loss.  He just didn’t want to deal with that I think.  Despite all of the awkward conversations, Brad also gains the blessing of this family.  Shawntel said as Brad left that she didn’t think that this date could have gone any better.   Seriously?  This girl must have been on some AWFUL dates in the past.  She also told him that she’s gone from falling in love with him, to actually in love with him.



Last but certainly not least, Emily introduces her daughter Ricki to Brad in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Ricki is very shy and standoffish for quite some time on their picnic date.  Brad brought her a gift to break the ice, but momma Emily had to open the gift for her which was a little butterfly kite.  Once they get flying the kite, she seems to start to loosen up to Brad and laugh and have a good time.  Phew!  Brad even said that he would be honored to be a father figure to little Ricki.  Aww.



Later, they head to Emily and Ricki’s home.  Emily wants Brad to see how their everyday life is.  They play some board games, and Ricki even draws Brad a picture of the kite he got for her.  To raise the cute factor even higher, she asks for Brad to come in and say goodnight to her!  Once Ricki is fast asleep, Emily and Brad have some alone time.  Things seem to be going well, but uh oh, it’s time to pucker up.  Brad says not so fast, I just met your daughter, I respect you and this situation so I’m not going to kiss you.  Emily seems to think it’s a bunch of bull, and says that well, if you pick me, Ricki will ALWAYS be upstairs!  Things got weird, and Brad said, “I guess I’m a weird guy,” ha ha!  Sometimes Brad, sometimes.  He even says to Emily, “I don’t want to leave weird”.  But, despite her disappointment, Emily rallies and grabs her man as she walks him out the door, and kisses him.  All is back to normal!



At last, it’s time for the rose ceremony back in New York City.  Brad tells host Chris Harrison that he’s sad to send someone back after meeting their family, but he’s also so happy to be at this point where he’s close to choosing his future wife.  Also, Chris Harrison points out that Ashley is the only woman left who has yet to tell Brad that she loves him.  But, in the end Ashley, Emily and Chantal get roses, and Shawntel is sent right back home.



Brad tells her that he cares for her, but doesn’t feel the way a man should when she tells him that she loves him.  He also told her it had nothing to do with her family because they are great.   She tells him that she wishes him happiness.  In the limo, she says that she hopes she can meet someone like Brad who will treat her like a princess.  Aww.  She added that she will miss him.  That just made my heart break.  I really want her to find her prince charming!


Next week, the three remaining ladies and Brad head off to South Africa for a fantasy vacation! 



Hugs, Kisses & Roses,

Jennifer Matarese


P.S. Read the string of live tweets from during the show and get "Bachelor" updates at http://twitter.com/JennyMatarese 




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