Arie Luyendyk Jr. Is Forced to Address His 'Playboy' Reputation During Tense Bachelor Hometowns
The Bachelor continues with a two-hour Women Tell All special this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC
Bachelor Nation, we’ve made it to hometowns.
On Monday night’s episode, Arie Luyendyk Jr. visits the final four contestants’ family homes — and lets it slip that he’s “falling” for each and everyone one of them. Here’s how it all went down.
HOMETOWN DATE WITH KENDALL
The first hometown date goes to Kendall, who is from Los Angeles. Kendall’s great, but she hasn’t exactly been a frontrunner this season — and even she seems surprised that she’s made it this far.
“I definitely feel like Arie and my relationship started a little bit later than the most of the girls,” she admits. Translation: “I have no idea how I ended up with a hometown date.”
Arie reminds us over and over again how “quirky” Kendall is, but nothing could prepare us for their actual date: They spend the day mounting taxidermy white rats. Arie looks understandably horrified to be handling folds of floppy rodent skin, all while Kendall provides a bone-chilling explanation for why she loves taxidermy so much.
Kendall: “When I realized that taxidermy existed, it was just a way to keep things forever. In a way, taxidermy is a perfect relationship. Because it’s something that’s going to last for ever and ever.”
Arie tells Kendall he’s falling for her and she has absolutely no idea what to say back, so she kisses him to avoid saying anything at all. This date is off to a great start.
Before bringing him home with her that night, Kendall gives Arie the low-down on who he’ll be meeting: Her mom, dad, brother and twin sister Kylie. So that’s Kylie…and Kendall…
Kendall’s family seems very sweet but you can tell they’reskeptical of this whole “courtship,” particularly when Kendall admits she’s not ready to be engaged but that it could “maybe” happen by the end of this. Not to point out the obvious, but “maybe” isn’t going to fly when Arie gets down on one knee in Peru, Kendall.
Arie tells Kylie he’s falling for her sister and she’s stunned.Arie also tells Kendall’s dad that he’s falling for her, which seems ill-advised considering he goes on to deliver this line at each and every single hometown. Just because you’re not saying the word love doesn’t mean you get carte blanche to go dropping I’m falling for you‘s all over the place. Have you learned nothing from Ben Higgins, Arie?
Kendall really hates talking about her feelings but finally musters the confidence to tell Arie that she, too, is “falling” for him. “I’m okay with being patient,” she adds. “I just want to know that Arie is, too.”
HOMETOWN DATE WITH TIA
Tia pulls out all the stops for her hometown date with Arie in Weiner, Arkansas, surprising him with a day on the race car track and trays of pigs in a blanket. (Because wieners. Get it?)
Tia’s family is a hoot. Her dad Kenny casually jokes about polishing his shotgun while Arie is walking in, and then proceeds to call him “Arry.” They’re also completely shameless about the fact that everything they know about Arie, they read on the internet, including all about his “playboy” and “kissing bandit” reputation. Even Arie could barely keep a straight face as he tried to explain the whole “kissing bandit” thing was really just promotional material for ABC.
“If you hurt her, I can find you on Google,” warns Kenny.
While Kendall has trouble admitting she even likes Arie at all, Tia is on the opposite end of the spectrum. She can’t stop telling him how in love with him she is, but — red flag — Arie doesn’t quite return the favor beyond telling her family that he’s “falling” for her.
“I can’t express every single feeling that I’ve had,” he hedges. “But I’ve had an amazing day and I won’t forget this.”
RELATED VIDEO: Arie Luyendyk Jr. Says This Bachelor Contestant Brought Him to Tears
HOMETOWN DATE WITH BECCA
Arie and Becca spend the day apple-picking in her hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Becca’s dad passed away when she was 19, and before she brings Arie home, she warns him that her Uncle Gary — who took on the father figure role — will definitely be the hardest to win over. She’s not wrong, because Uncle Gary is already talking mad s— about Arie before he’s even walked in the door, calling the whole process “ridiculously fast.”
But Arie does his best to appease Gary, insisting his relationship with Becca is “the real deal” and that he’s falling for her. By the end of the night, the family appears to have warmed up to it all — and both Arie and Becca agree the evening couldn’t have gone “any better.”
HOMETOWN DATE WITH LAUREN
The most intense hometown date is definitely Lauren’s, which takes place in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Right off the bat, she warns Arie that her family is going to be highly skeptical of the situation, which honestly might have been an understatement.
After several awkward silences — and a truly cringeworthy moment where Lauren’s dad openly shames Arie for not playing golf despite living in Scottsdale — the tension finally starts to ease up after dinner. Arie, clearly desperate for approval, makes a point to thank Lauren’s military father for his service and casually reveals he once traveled base-to-base in Iraq to visit soldiers with a few other race car drivers, which wins the guy over almost immediately. But Arie’s biggest bombshell comes during his discussion with Lauren’s mom, when he admits that he’s not just falling for Lauren, but falling in love with her.
“It makes me nervous, this whole thing,” replies Lauren’s mom, Pamela. “Are you saying the same things to these other women? I just wonder if you can always be devoted and loyal to that one person after going through this experience with these compartmentalized relationships. I don’t want to see Lauren get hurt.”
Arie says it would kill him to hurt Lauren and maintains his feelings are real. Pamela then confronts Lauren herself, who insists she believes Arie is being genuine.
“She seems awfully convinced that it’s real,” says Pamela. “I just hope it’s true.”
RELATED VIDEO: Arie Luyendyk Jr. Talks Biggest Bachelor Regrets
Going into the rose ceremony, Arie admits he’s feeling unsure about his decision.
“I thought, going into this week, that I knew what I wanted to do. But it just changed things when I met their family — for all of them,” he says. “I could see my life working with each and every one of them. For me, it’s an impossible decision right now.”
Seconds before handing out the first rose, Arie suddenly panics and asks to speak to Kendall alone.
“I need to know if you can get there — if you feel like there’s a chance you can get engaged, if you feel like this is something you can do,” he pleads.
Kendall avoids answering the question directly by saying she’s “not ready” for their relationship to end, but Arie presses on.
“It’s not about that, though. It’s about, could you be engaged and be comfortable in that?” he says. “That is the real question. I just want to let you know, if you stay, someone else goes who’s very ready to get married.”
After their talk, Arie resumes the rose ceremony — handing out a rose to Becca, then Lauren, then Kendall. Tia is absolutely crushed and breaks down into sobs almost immediately.
“What did I do wrong?” she asks.
“I don’t have a good explanation. I don’t,” admits Arie. “There was just something missing. You didn’t do anything wrong. You are an incredible woman and anyone would be lucky to be with you.”
The two-hour Women Tell All special airs this Sunday, followed by an all-new episode of The Bachelor on Monday, both at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.