We are really in the homestretch now kids. We’ve got Hometown Dates right now, then onto Fantasy Suite, a quick stop by the Men Tell All, and then we’re done. Wow. From that side it looks like nothing, from my end it looks like a lot of work. But let’s stop dithering and just get to the goods!
The first stop on Andi’s nationwide trip to meet her potential in-laws is Milwaukee, Wisconsin for Nick. This bodes well for him and his family, as the first stop is never the most titillating or scandalous. They do a great job making Milwaukee look like a nice place and not a sad, forgotten step child of Chicago. They go to the Milwaukee Public Market and do fun things like eat cheese, try cheese, sample cheese. All cheese all day! Jealouuus! Then they go on a brewery tour, and one of the beer pulls is called the Nick and Andi with a rose on it. Ok. Then Andi doesn’t know what the polka is…has she never seen HOME ALONE at least? Or like been exposed to any kind of anything to know what a polka is?
Nick has a big old family in the adorable town of Waukesha, Wisconsin. There are a lot of brothers and sisters and boyfriends and fiancés and husbands and wives. It is a HUGE family. But I’m still just distracted about how weird Nick’s mouth and teeth are? Have we talked about this before? His teeth are like tiny and he has little fish lips. Nick talks to his older sister about how he is definitely in love with Andi. That same sister Maria gets emotional talking to Andi about how she just doesn’t want to see him hurt again.
His ADORABLE youngest sister Bella has a list of prepared questions for Andi like “What do you like most about my brother?” She’s freaking cute. I can’t stand how cute she is. Andi is also really great with her. I love this segment with no irony!
Nick’s talk with his mom about how much he loves Andi and wants to spend his life with her is great. He cries! Nick cries because he feels that Andi is a half of him that has been missing! Ok. Alright. We’re at the point of the show where I feel things. I feel things. A boy crying to his mom who is also crying about how much he loves a girl? I mean come on. I’m not a monster.
As they kiss good-bye, Nick doesn’t take the opportunity to tell her he loves her. He says there will be time to do that later. “I don’t think of her as the Bachelorette anymore. I just think of her as my girl,” Nick says as his parting words.
Next stop is Arlington, Iowa (Population 758) to meet Farmer Chris and his down-home family! “There is a difference between being excited to be here and living here,” Andi says of her trepidations of really seeing what life would be like in Iowa. Chris looks super handsome in a vest and a plaid shirt on his own farm. I’m dying.
They go on a quick tour of his house. It’s a great little house that overlooks his huge farm. Andi is very impressed by a guy who owns a home rather than having a dinky apartment. Then Chris takes Andi out on the tractor to see the farm from that perspective, and he even lets her drive! She sits on his lap as he teaches her how to drive this humongous John Deer tractor.
“She asked me if she could sit on my lap and I said ‘I will never say no that question from you ever, I promise you that’,” Chris tells the cameras. Oh, swoon. Farmer Chris really tugging at the old heartstrings over here. Then they have a lovely little picnic in the middle of such a huge field I can’t see where it starts or ends.
Then they discuss what would happen if they live together. Chris really feels that Iowa is important to him and his whole life and family. He’s very understanding that you have to enjoy your lifestyle and where you live otherwise you’ll never be happy even if you’re in love. And then Andi asks what she would do for work in Arlington, Iowa and the FIRST THING CHRIS SAYS IS, “Well there’s an opportunity to be a homemaker.” And then I black out for forty-five minutes.
ANDI IS A LAWYER. FROM ATLANTA, GEORGIA. YOU DON’T HAVE THE KIND OF WORK ETHIC AND DRIVE AND INTELLIGENCE TO GO THROUGH LAW SCHOOL TO JUST THROW IT ALL AWAY TO BE A HOME MAKER WITH THE JUNIOR LEAGUE. WHAT. GOOD LORD. KILL ME. I WOULD RATHER DIE.
But then he says that Cedar Rapids is a vibrant community that isn’t too far away, and she would have opportunities to practice law in some form. And I’m breathing regular air again and not just steam and fire.
And then I black out for another forty-five minutes because as they’re sitting there Chris points up to a crop-duster plane dragging a sign that says “Chris loves Andi!” and he says, “no secret admirer anymore!” And Andi is so completely taken by it. She says it’s the most romantic gesture ever. I want to die at how hokey and tacky and like not cute that is.
They arrive at Chris’ parents’ farm house which is very large and modern and nice. They are successful farmers I guess. There are so many huge bear hugs that happen as soon as Chris and Andi walk in the door. His mother Linda and his father Gary (GARY!) are adorable. His sisters are adorable too. I love this family.
The three sisters get together with Andi and cackle as they share dirty secrets about Chris’ childhood. They also sing his praises and you can tell how much they love him and are proud of him. I like those ladies a lot. They are good sisters.
Chris’s mom is the BEST THOUGH. She’s THE BEST. I LOVE HER SO MUCH. She is straight talking and smart and knows TRUTH, y’all. When Chris says that it may seem strange he’s fallen in love so fast she says, “Well no. When it’s love it happens just like that. It doesn’t take much time with love.” And then she tells him how she was a girl from town and had never driven a tractor, but she met his father and seeing him on a tractor would just stop her heart. So she adapted and raised her kids on a farm and drove a tractor, and there’s nothing nowadays that would stop Andi from being a successful woman who also lives on a farm.
LIKE I SAID, THE BEST. She never said homemaker either so props to mom.
Then Linda and Andi talk and Linda continues to be adorable and supportive and the best. “Times have changed. I want you to know that if you want to have your career, or even if you don’t, you can still have that on a farm. As long as you have gumption like I’ve got gumption. I think you’ve got gumption,” she tells Andi. SHE’S THE BEST MOM WHO’S EVER BEEN ON THIS SHOW. SHE AMAZING LIKE SEAN’S DAD IS AMAZING.
At the end of the night, the whole family of grown adults plays ghost in the graveyard. You guys. His family is amazing. Andi finds Chris and he whispers, “you’re so smart!” Andi says she is on cloud nine at the end of such an amazing hometown date.
Now we’re in what must be one of the Living Hell’s on Earth, Tampa, Florida for Josh’s hometown date. Josh is such a bro-ey dork I can’t stand it. They go to a park and play some baseball. He’s such a jock. Andi loves every second of him playing baseball and being in his element. I don’t get it. I don’t really get it with Josh in general. He’s too much of a meathead. He’s sweet and genuinely likes Andi but what else? What else is there?
A point of interest for me is that Josh played professional baseball for a number of years and then quit so he could be around his family more and support his little brother as he played quarterback in college and is now trying to get drafted. I’m always suspicious of families that push their children to be professional athletes. Same with show-biz families. Suspicious.
Andi is worried that tonight’s dinner will be all about Aaron and the NFL draft, which is special, but it’s also a special time for Josh as he might be introducing his family to his future wife. Josh has a reasonably sized family of just two parents and one brother and one sister. Josh even cries a little bit as he introduces them all. His brother Aaron looks like his twin. His brother Aaron also gives the toast at dinner which is so f***ed I can’t really believe it.
Then they talk for what seems like three days about Aaron and the NFL. Andi doesn’t say two words because she doesn’t know anything about it.
His mom and dad talk to Andi only about if she’s willing to be part of their family inasmuch as they will be going to all of Aaron’s games if he’s drafted. They are very protective and very close as a family and that worries Andi. She worries that if she had a family with Josh, they wouldn’t have their own lives as well.
When Josh and his mother talk, she tells him that he has put himself last for so long that he deserves all this great love he’s got coming. Aaron is pretty nice too but I still can’t get over that the son gave the toast at family dinner. That’s not ok.
At the end of the day, she had a nice time because Andi is hell bent on always having fun. But I think Josh’s family is a little intense and the least “homey” feeling she’s gotten so far.
Finally, we go to Dallas, Texas for Marcus’ hometown. They just drive around (in his BENZ) as he plays tour guide to his city. Marcus has already said he’s in love and has expressed the he would already be ready to marry Andi. Andi’s worried this is too fast for where she is at with Marcus.
And then they go into an honest to shit night club in the day, and the Marcus walks away and comes back IN THE SAILOR COSTUME FROM THAT STRIP SHOW DATE. AND THEN HE DOES THE DANCE. SOLO. FOR ANDI.
I black out for at least ninety minutes this time. So awkward and uncomfortable but Andi is like, “it was so hot! Marcus is so hot! I wasn’t complaining!” And I’m not entertained. She says that Marcus is the hottest guy she’s ever dated which is so confusing to me. Like, he’s good looking, but he is not THAT insanely on-fire attractive. Right? Am I crazy here? Am I alone in this?
They walk into his family home and wow, wow, wow are they Polish. Marcus kind of sneaks by as not looking super Polish, but his family are the most Polish looking people imaginable. Beautiful, beautiful people with beautiful eastern European things all over the house. I love it. This feels right at home to me.
Andi and his sister Kathy talk about how Andi feels a little intimidated by the fact that Marcus falls so fast in love and is so quick in expressing it. She wonders if she can catch up to where he is emotionally.
Marcus has a very emotional conversation with is older brother Conrad about how much he appreciates and is grateful to him for being a father-figure to him when their dad left. Real emotions once again!
His lovely mother has a sweet conversation with Andi about how she was able to open Marcus up so quickly with his emotions and trust. “You are very bright and intelligent and of course very beautiful,” Elena says, “I see the sparkles in his eyes when he looks at you!” She is so sweet.
At the end of the night, Marcus tears up as he tells Andi that he loves her and is so happy she met his great family. Andi is touched by this and is really touched by how kind and warm his family was.
And then we break to Chris Harrison’s home in Los Angeles. All the guys and Andi gather with a full film crew to be told the news that Eric Hill has passed away. I don’t think they should have filmed this in the first place. I don’t think they should have shown it. I don’t agree with how much they showed and how long they showed it, so I’m not going to say anything about it other than that it is of course very sad and very difficult to watch people hear the news that someone they know has died.
Magically, twenty-four hours later, it’s time for the Rose Ceremony. We start off right away with a fireside chat with Chris Harrison. My rock, Chris Harrison. Andi is very emotional about absolutely everything. She is emotional about Eric’s death, and sending someone home after meeting the families, and feeling happy about her love while something so tragic happened.
Chrarrison is so wise and strong and tells Andi that it’s ok to show emotion and that she doesn’t have to fake it up there, to just allow the emotions to flow and be true to herself. She pulls herself together long enough to come out to the rose ceremony and tell the guys how grateful she is for the love shown by their families. Then she picks up the first rose, pauses, and has to run off screen because she’s so overcome by emotion.
But we press on. And the first rose goes to Josh which greatly surprises me. The next goes to Chris which doesn’t surprise me at all. And then it’s down to Nick and Marcus, and, unsurprisingly it goes to Nick. He’s been her favorite for so long, and Marcus was the only one with whom she expressed any doubts. Poor Marcus. They have a very emotional good-bye. I feel bad for Marcus, but I know he’s going to get back. Andi says, “I’m sorry I couldn’t give you what you gave me.” Which is deep and cuts deep. He’ll be ok. He will!
We must move ever onwards however. The famed and infamous Fantasy Suite dates are up next in beautiful Dominican Republic.