The Bachelor: Hometown Dates from Coast to Coast
Week six of The Bachelor started with Jake telling us how excited he was for the hometown dates. The newest word in his vocabulary seems to be “insight”. It’s too bad that insight doesn’t go very deep. He mentions that he “could be proposing in a couple of weeks and that’s a huge thing.” No, really?
The first date was with Gia with New York City as the backdrop. I’m pretty sure she’s from Long Island or something like that, but maybe I wouldn’t have gone back there either. How would that tour go? “Over here we have some factories and over there is where the Jersey Shore kids live. Oh look! There’s my brother – wave!” Okay, okay, I know Long Island isn’t all bad. There’s Brooklyn and the Hamptons, but I’m thinking the bustling city was a much better choice.
They started with a boat ride where Gia points out the Empire State Building. Really, she goes into detail. Who doesn’t know what the Empire State Building looks like? He just kinda nodded. They took some pictures of each other and together and it was, well, it was like watching people take pictures of each other.
I can’t fall asleep at seven o’clock…I can’t fall asleep at seven o’clock…
They chose a New York restaurant for the family get-together. Her mom looks like one of those gals you wouldn’t want to mess with. Her step-dad has a ponytail. In 2010. A ponytail. I’m pretty sure I caught a glimpse of a gold chain there too. I better stop because her brother told Jake he would hunt him down and “break his legs” if he hurt Gia. Yeah, they were like that. But, they were also fiercely protective and concerned about her heart. She’s really been hurt in the past. Her douche bag ex-boyfriend cheated on her with “all her friends”. Man, what did they look like? She’s gorgeous. She just wants the fairy tale now. Aw, I’m going to be sad when he lets her go.
The night ends with them sitting on a random stoop. Gia says it’s her favorite thing to do – “sitting on a stoop and watching taxis go by.” Wow. I can think of a number of things that would top my favorite things to do list and that certainly wouldn’t be one of them. Now, people watching? I’d be on that stoop all night. This prodded Jake to have a forced moment of kissing with her, which I’m not pleased about because it made my husband throw up.
At the end of the show, they showed a clip of Gia’s mom reading Jake his tarot cards. It was pretty awesome as she told him to think of a question and send his energy into the deck. He did, she read them and said he was conflicted about a decision. Then she asked if that was what his question was about. His answer? “No.” Nice one.
Jake next travels to Williamstown, Pennsylvania to meet Ali’s mom, sister and brother. With four girls left, her included, Ali has finally decided “to focus on Jake and not Vienna.” What a good game plan! They meet in a park and the conversation is so bad, they go on and on about leaves. Leaves. Ali tells him a story about making wishes on them as a kid, so Jake shakes a tree so some fall down and they both catch one and make wishes.
I can’t fall asleep at seven fifteen…I can’t fall asleep at seven fifteen…
She decides to take him to a place that is special for her and explains that the last time she was home was for her grandmother’s funeral. It was a sad time for her, but this trip is a happy one. She then tells Jake that she spoke to her grandmother just hours before she passed and told her all about him. She was “going to meet this boy, Jake” and was “really excited”. I’m a little confused about the time frame here, because she didn’t leave the show to attend a funeral. But, what do I know about production?
I’m so scared she’s about to take him to a cemetery. Whew. She only takes him to her grandmother’s empty house. It seemed just as weird for Jake as it did for us. I understand how much she meant to Ali, but maybe a photo album would have felt less awkward.
They head off to Ali’s family home and have a nice, relaxed dinner. When Ali’s mom takes Jake aside to speak privately, he basically asks for permission to marry her. I didn’t see him do that with Gia’s parents, so unless it’s all about editing to throw the audience off, I’d say Ali’s in the lead. Her mom’s gives her blessing to Jake and seems pleased to do so. Later, Ali’s mom tell us that her “gut tells her Ali will have a ring at the end.” My gut would probably say the same thing since he just asked for permission to give her one.
Before he leaves, Ali lets us know that she “wants it”. If he asked, “she would marry him today.” Wow. As they sit on a bench in the cold, Jake, of course in dramatic fashion, takes off his gloves, grabs her face, the music swells and then he pecks her on the lips. Odd, weird, passion? I swear I haven’t seen a “real” kiss from this guy. You know it’s bad when they have to use tricks like music to make us believe something. But, at the end of it all, Jake says, “She could be the one”. So, we’ll see.
I can't fall asleep at seven thirty...I can't fall asleep at seven thirty...
Next, Jake heads to Newburg, Oregon to meet Tenley’s family. They meet in a park that is gorgeous. Uh-oh, Tenley has on some boots that I think Corrie left behind. They sit down for a talk with her wanting to know what role his parents play in his life. Meaning, do they control what he does. This seems to be a major problem with her ex-husband. His response is, “I run just about everything by them.” I think she’s a little confused here because she’s glad “he’s his own man.”
They head to a dance studio, since Jake is “passionate” about dance. Really? She choreographed a special dance, just for him. I think Jake feels a little awkward here. She’s a great dancer and her calves are amazing. Bitch.
After the audition, they are off to meet her family who immediately start crying upon their arrival. They have a nice dinner and her dad pulls Jake aside. He questions him on the integrity of the man he saw on the previous show – if that was really who he is. Here’s where I wish someone would just say, “Nope. Smoke and mirrors.” I mean, what is he going to say? Of course, Tenley’s dad gets the response he’s looking for.
Oh man, now everyone’s crying – including me! (Don’t tell!) They are really happy that she’s moved on a bit from her divorce, but it did a number on everyone. Man, this is so sad. Her dad just wants to be sure that Jake is worthy of his daughter. Oh dear, now mom’s crying too. I can’t take much more of this. Jake and Tenley’s dad go outside for one last chat, where Jake asks for his blessing in marrying her, which he receives.
Now, he’s on to Sanford, Florida to meet up with Vienna, the daddy’s girl. I totally had her pegged as a Jersey girl for some reason, so I’m a little surprised she’s from Florida. And, yes, I’m aware that they probably have it under her name every time it comes on the screen. They take a pontoon boat down a river that Vienna grew up on – gators and turtles are everywhere.
I can't fall asleep at seven forty-five...I can't fall asleep at seven forty-five...
When they get to her house, everyone starts crying again, especially her dad. He immediately takes Jake to the garage, telling him he’s not cool with him dating three other girls and Vienna. She’s a “princess” and should be treated as such for the rest of her life. While that’s pretty sweet, her dad also goes on to say how she’ll “clean the house and raise the kids right”. I hope my husband got a little more than that. If not, he’s probably wondering when that’s going to start.
At dinner, Jake brings up the fact that the other girls have been jealous of Vienna and her family doesn’t bat an eye. “She’s dealt with that her whole life.” This seems to make Jake a little at ease and he and Vienna head into a bedroom. It’s kinda weird, now they are just laying on a bed, making out. I don’t know if that’s production, or just something that comes after dinner at your parents house on a regular basis. Of course, her dad comes in and separates them, which is pretty funny. But, as soon as he’s gone, they are back at it again.
Vienna tells us that everyone can see her “glow”. I wish some of it would spread to her roots. Really, they are out of control. And that concludes the evening. We didn’t see Jake ask her father for permission to marry her; so again, that’s interesting or production cut it out to make us wonder. Either way, I think she’s still got a chance.
I can't fall asleep at eight o'clock...I can't fall asleep at eight o'clock...
Back in L.A., Jake gets a knock on his hotel room door. It’s Ali, she’s upset. She has to choose between staying with Jake and losing her job or vice-versa. Hmm, it’s a little reminiscent of last season’s Bachelorette in which Ed did the same thing. She wants him to help her make the decision, but I imagine he’s contractually obligated not to. He wants to be selfish and tell her to stay, but he can’t guarantee that she’ll be the one getting the ring at the end. This is a tough spot to be in for her, I get that, but the show maybe has two weeks left. Her job let her go this long but another two weeks is just too much? After she leaves Jake, she collapses in the hallway – bawling. Tough to watch, even though I know she wants him to run out to her.
Tenley, Gia, Vienna, Ali
The girls all arrive for the Rose Ceremony at the posh hotel. Tenley’s dress is gorgeous, so she totally made up for those boots. All of them appear excited and happy except for Ali who gives them a weird blank stare and then asks to speak with the host, Chris Harrison.
Chris leads her up to a room so she and Jake can talk about what her decision will be. She’s quickly becoming a mess with wild hair. Finally, Jake tells her that he doesn’t want her to go, that she wasn’t on the line tonight, he’s falling in love with her and would be devastated if she left. She responds by telling him she loves him and when Chris comes back in for the decision, she begs for more time. I happen to know that they were in there for three hours. Three hours. While the other girls waited to learn their future, they left them waiting for three hours.
When she finally makes up her mind, she tells Jake she’s sorry, but she has to leave. I can’t believe they dragged this out so long. You could tell she was leaving in Jake’s room the previous day. Jake says he feels like she’s “slipping through his fingers”. Man, nothin’ gets past this kid. She just said she was leaving, so, yeah, that’s probably what’s happening.
He walks her to the limo. Hugging, kissing, tears – she’s gone. In the limo, Ali wonders about her choice – she’s really a mess. This is about the only time she’s been even the slightest bit endearing to me the entire show. I feel a little bad for her. While she rides off, Jake goes for his favorite prop to cry on – a railing. It’s a repeat of a previous scene on the Bachelorette. And, no, it’s not contrived. I’m sure of it. Everyone leans over the tiniest railing they can find in the most awkward way possible just to do it, right? It's a hand rail for like, three steps!
As Jake informs the other girls that Ali has left, Tenley and Gia smile from ear to ear, with Vienna the only one showing concern. He hands out the roses as a group and they learn they are off to St. Lucia for some sunshine.
* * * * *
The previews to next week show have Jake answering the phone with Ali on the other end. Yep, it’s exactly like Ed. I’m guessing she wants to come back. I really hope he doesn’t let her. I know it was a tough decision she had to make, but I can’t imagine that a few days changed her employer’s mind if she couldn’t change it before.
Oh, and in a few weeks we will see the most dramatic final rose ceremony in Bachelor history. How they can pull drama out of this cast is beyond me.
Article also posted at Reality Fishbowl.