Ah…hometown dates. You never know what kinda whack jobs you’re (hopefully!) gonna get once you’re invited into the ‘real’ worlds of these contestants, however tonight seemed to be pretty whack job free! Since my day tomorrow will begin with a husband out of town who usually handles the kids Tuesday mornings so I can get to work at the crack of dawn to write in peace, followed by a super-early meeting which seriously cuts into key final edits, the fact that there isn’t a ton to write actually bodes well for me. Then again, usually when I feel like there’s nothing interesting to say, I end up writing 5000 words, so let’s just see how this goes. It is now 10:03.
Right off the bat, we get right into the spirit of hometown dates. The opening montage of girls leaping into said bachelor’s arms from across a field, followed by the high pitched squeals that usually occur when a girl’s mother opens the front door and of course, the foreboding music accompanying the bachelor’s hand lingering on the upper thigh just a bit too long under the harsh glare of Daddy. Yep, it’s hometowns all right.
Lindzi’s up first, wearing actual spurs on her boots. I had high hopes for Lindzi as I’ve made it pretty clear she’s my fave this season and the date didn’t disappoint. I thought it was a little weird that she was showing Ben how to ride the carriage…sort of the reverse of a guy teaching you how to shoot pool in a pool hall or swing a tennis racket. If Ben hasn’t already lost of few inches in the pants (and I’m not talking about his inseam) just from being near Courtney for this long, I’m afraid he was at risk of losing a couple more with Lindzi driving the cart – especially once the whip got involved.
Following the emasculating cart ride, Lindzi sets up a picnic for Ben in an area I can only assume reeks like horseshit, though is quite pretty nonetheless. And whaddayaknow, not eight minutes into the episode, I’m already nauseous about the pre-kiss lip licking.
Lindzi frolics over to her parents, casually dropping the word boyfriend any chance she gets (and making me cringe every time). Do these girls actually think he’s their boyfriend? Really? Clearly her dad has been practicing for meeting Ben since he just can’t wait to announce his ‘wonderful chilled chardonnay!’
The intros overall were very sweet and comfortable and the date continued on that way. Even as they raced around the never-ending sprawling splendor of their land, Ben tightly gripping the dog by the ass to prevent himself from falling off the cart, you could tell things were rising to a new level with Lindzi. I got a little emotional when Ben said her dad is the kind of guy he could go to for advice and the whole City Hall connection was cute (though not entirely surprising). At the end of the day I was left with one thought; if this works out between the two of them, between his winery and her endless land, they have some killer options for free wedding venues. Almost makes sense to pick her just for that, no?
The next day, Kasie, looking like she’s been helping herself to all the grits a girl could want since her homecoming, giggling like a giddy school girl with post gym hair and wearing what I can only describe as a hideous smock, greets Ben with no less than a full blown marching band full of girls who need to shave their pits in a park named after her grand-daddy (we’re in Tennessee people. You know it’s grand daddy, not grandpa.) Never thought I’d get to see not one but two baton-twirling shows in one season, but whoop there it was.
Kasie warns him about her god-fearing daddy, which makes Ben the winemaker really uncomfortable and things start to go downhill from there (except for Kasie’s hair which goes sideways, up, down and around).
I wish I could comment on the conversation at their sitcom dinner table, with everyone on the same side, but to be honest, I couldn’t decipher one word that Kasie’s mom was saying. Just me?
While Kasie chats with her sister about how she can’t understand why her parents wouldn’t immediately support her marrying this guy (um, you’re 24? You look seven? They believe in the sanctity of marriage, not the ratings of reality TV?), Ben and her dad settle into the most uncomfortable wooden chairs ever in the other room. I think the clincher for me was when her dad urged her to make every decision ‘prayerfully’. I pretty much knew then and there this wouldn’t end well. Their goodbye was more friendly than anything else and considering that Ben has been kind of glued to Kasie B since day one, it was very telling.
Date number three begins just as the others did, with a close-up on livestock, where Nicki turns on the Texas charm in ridiculous stilettos given that she’s taking Ben on a walking tour of her town on cobblestone streets. As we sneak a peek at her lower back tramp stamp, it’s pretty evident that Nicki also looks like she’s been chowing down on some Texas barbecue while waiting around for Ben (not that I blame the girl).
Nicki returns the favor Ben paid her on their Puerto Rican shopping spree date in the rain by taking Ben to get outfitted in his Texas best. Thank god he had the good sense not to choose those Twinkle Twinkle Little Star boots the salesman seemed to be pushing on him and settled on not just boots, but a hat and a belt, which was easy to spot since his pants were pulled up to his meaty nipples we got a glimpse of last week when he let it all hang out. All I could think for the remainder of the date was ‘please please please, untuck your shirt. I didn’t even know it was possible for men to have camel toes until now.
They prepare to meet his amicably divorced parents on a lovely park bench, where they basically consume each other’s faces and then head off to the house. The meeting of Nicki’s family was just what you’d want it to be and reinforced the fact that she really is just a sweet girl, who thankfully doesn’t gain weight in her face in proportion to the rest of her body. After Kasie’s semi-disastrous date, I’m putting Nicki way ahead of her at this point. Nicki’s mom seems to be in a total state of bliss the minute Ben walks into the house (either that or she has a glass eye) and is practically bouncing on the bed when Nicki tell her she’s in love. Of course when Nicki and her dad were chatting I teared up a bit. Between his lovely little toast at the end of the night and Ben’s bro-hug with her brother, I would definitely call this date a resounding success. Though I did think going into the date that Nicki for sure would get the boot tonight (no pun intended), after this date I was definitely rethinking my picks.
Sigh…onto Courtney…was it just me or did anyone else see the symbolism in Courtney’s date opening with a shot of a prickly, dangerous cactus? From the moment I saw her, I just wanted to punch her in that bullseye of a lip and the feeling didn’t really go away. Not quite sure what crap she was trying to pull by saying she’s had some time to think and regrets how she may have treated the other girls, but I hope she doesn’t expect us to believe her.
Let’s just get to the point. Courtney’s mom seemed…a bit…off. Much like the slanted tablecloth setup for their meal (is this a new décor trend I don’t know about?) something there was just a bit off kilter. But, the mystery of where Courtney gets her baby voice skills from has been solved.
Courtney settles right into a speech about how she feels about Ben right in front of Ben while we try to decipher, along with her family if she has fallen, is falling, fell, got a booboo, tripped, etc. In the meantime, Courtney’s mom shares her concerns to the camera. “Ben seems like a nice young man, but…”. Here let me help finish that sentence for ya. I believe you mean to say “Ben seems like a nice young man, but let’s face it, my daughter’s a psychotic bitch.”
After she fake-cries to her sister about falling in love with Ben, they take off on part two of their date, which apparently, is their wedding. Huh?
Even when Courtney is being ‘sincere’ with Ben and trying to tell him her feelings, she is still completely incapable of making eye contact. It’s very un-nerving. She drops the bomb that this park happens to be the place where she’s always wanted to get married and with Ben clearly underwhelmed, (it’s no Sonoma!), she drags him over to the altar.
If we weren’t sure how much of a vice grip Courtney had on Ben’s balls before, I’m pretty certain it’s clear now, since she basically got him to marry her, rings and all, without ever questioning if this is something he should be doing.
She must have worked very hard writing her vows, because she has a page of bullets that she was transcribing into broader thoughts for the big moment. Much like me right now.
Though Ben’s sentiments are sweet (though how he sees those things in her I still don’t know – honest? Kind? Really????), he reads his vows like he’s reciting a grocery list. I’m really not sure what Courtney is so nervous about, since all she had to do was copy some Bob Marley lyrics (I wanna love you and treat you right, every day and every night. I swear there was also some Destiny’s Child in there somewhere).
Finally the ‘priest’ bursts their bubble. “If this were really a wedding, I could pronounce you husband and wife right now.” But since I’m just a homeless person off the street, this is just awkward.
Ben, completely smitten and Courtney drive away into the sunset in their ‘almost married’ car (did he not notice that throughout the day???) and with that, hometowns are complete.
Going into the rose ceremony, I was flipping back and forth between Kasie and Nicki. I mean it’s pretty obvious, though I am proud to say I still haven’t read any spoilers, that Courtney goes pretty far if not all the way. If he can still pick her despite that hideous dress that looked like a map of the desert, then she must be his final pick. I was also really hoping he would keep Linzi around and I wasn’t disappointed.
But I have to say, despite seeing how mediocre his date was with Kasie, I still found it to be the most shocking rose ceremony ever (of the season) when he actually sent Frizella home. Nicki and Lindzi immediately go to her side to comfort her while Courtney stands there cluelessly and then takes two side steps towards her to give some semblance of caring.
Clearly Kasie was shocked too, as Ben awkwardly walked her to the door and could come up with absolutely nothing to say other than I’m sorry, which just fuelled her humiliating rants on the drive home. For a second, I thought Audrina Patridge’s mom had snuck into the limo.
Next week, it’s fantasy suite time and I am sooooo jeaous they get to go to friggin’ unbelievable Switzerland – the perfect setting to push Courtney off a mountain or bury her in an avalanche. Not sure if anyone comes back or if they’re just teasing us with the whole faceless woman walking determinedly in heels to Ben’s room, but either way, looking forward to it and the icing on the cake of Ali and Ashley prepping Emily for being the new bachelorette (by getting their makeup done?) Not quite sure how Ali is qualified for this since her and Roberto just broke up, but there are pretty slim pickin’s for previous Bachelorette success stories.
Okay, it’s 11:37. You may not realize how impressive that is. In my world, that’s pretty good time. Till next week!