HOMETOWN DATE WITH CHASE
JoJo’s first hometown date was Chase in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
Chase is very sweet but as we’ve learned isn’t entirely comfortable with, you know, verbal communication or expressing his *feelings* or whatnot. He was also very nervous about hometowns because his parents are divorced, so the day ended up being split in two: First JoJo met Chase’s dad, then she met his mother and the rest of the family.
Time with Dad seemed to go fairly well. Clearly Chase and his father have their own issues to work out (not going to lie, that was pretty awkward when Chase basically flat-out asked his dad why he left his mom in front of JoJo) but all of that aside, it was pretty much smooth sailing.
Then JoJo met Chase’s mom and the rest of the family, including his sister, brother-in-law and stepdad. Most of the conversations the group had, together and separately, revolved around the fact that Chase – gasp – hadn’t told JoJo he loves her yet.
Then Chase and his mom both cried when they sat down together and it was actually cute. Look, emotions! He’s experiencing them! It’s happening!
Anyway, he ended up blurting out the L-word while kissing JoJo goodbye not the smoothest delivery, but A+ for commitment.
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HOMETOWN DATE WITH JORDAN
Up next, JoJo traveled to Chico, California, to meet Jordan‘s family. (He lives in Nashville but grew up in Chico and still considers it home.)
Jordan and JoJo had hands-down the most picture-perfect reunion ever. They ran up to each other in the middle of a field with grass rippling in the wind and it was basically straight out of a movie. They were even wearing matching green statement jackets.
Then Jordan took JoJo around his old high school, where they hung out with former teachers and coaches and wandered through offices covered in pictures of Jordan and his brothers.
JoJo carefully broached the subject with Jordan, who in turn dodged the questions, expertly avoiding going into any more detail about it all. (“It won’t come up. It doesn’t need to be a topic.” BUT THE PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW. Give the people what they want, Jordan.)
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Then they made their way to the Rodgers household, where JoJo met Jordan’s mom and dad, his eldest brother Luke and Luke’s girlfriend. There was a very dramatic shot of two empty chairs at the dinner table, calling to attention the big fat elephant in the room: The fact that Aaron wasn’t there.
While we don’t learn too much more about the situation, or why Aaron and Jordan are estranged, or if Aaron is actually estranged from the whole family and not just Jordan (we have a lot of questions, clearly), Luke does fill us in on the drama a little bit.
“It’s something we don’t really like to talk about a whole lot,” he tells JoJo. “It pains both of us like, not to have that relationship [with Aaron] – we miss our brother. I trust that God brings things full circle and that everything would just get back to us being a family.”
During an on-camera interview, Jordan admitted it “would have been nice to share JoJo with not only my parents and my brother Luke, but my brother Aaron as well.”
“I miss my brother a lot,” he added. “Especially in moments like this because my family means so much.”
Meanwhile, JoJo was all like, Aaron Schmaron.
“[Jordan] is nobody’s brother,” she said during an on-camera interview. “He is a man that I am falling in love with and crazy about and comes from a family with so much love to give.”
The evening came to an end and Jordan walked JoJo outside. There was more kissing and more of Jordan professing his love to JoJo – the usual, you know – except this time, JoJo admitted a part of her “is still scared” that he might not be in this for the long haul. Jordan, for his part, promised he was.
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HOMETOWN DATE WITH ROBBY
The third stop for JoJo was St. Augustine, Florida, for her hometown date with Robby. (Side note: Does Robby ever not wear pink … just wondering.)
The two took a tour of the town in a horse-drawn carriage before stopping by a café on the water for drinks. Robby, being Robby, told JoJo he loves her about 27 times – but JoJo decided she needed to confront him about her hesitations regarding his ex-girlfriend – whom he dated for four years and broke up with just three months before going on the show.
JoJo brought up a series of legitimate concerns, i.e. whether or not he’s actually moved on, the fact that she doesn’t want to just fill a void for him, etc., etc., but Robby maintained the past was in the past and he was over that relationship. Then he said he couldn’t see anything that could possibly go wrong that night, so obviously something was about to go very wrong ….
Cue Robby’s mom, who took him aside in the middle of the evening to inform him that his ex-girlfriend’s roommate was stirring up drama about Robby, both online and in person, alleging he broke up with his ex to find fame on the show. (You still with us?)
Robby freaked out and decided he needed to talk to JoJo about this, so he interrupted her in the middle of her chat with his sisters and relayed what his mom had just told him.
JoJo was upset and worried, pressing Robby for the truth and asking whether he did break up with her when he found out he had been cast on the show. Robby, for his part, maintained it was all lies.
Robby: I will tell you right now that’s not true by any means. My relationship with Hope, who is my ex, was over nine months before it actually ended.
JoJo: [Takes giant swig of wine … ]
Robby: It’s something that I didn’t have the capacity to end it when it should have because I thought changes were going to be made. And I tried to give her benefit of the doubt to see if we could make it work and it never happened. I ended it at the end of December, we had a blowup fight and she slapped me. (This felt like a weird detail to include here, but maybe that’s just us.)
Anyway, ultimately, the ex-girlfriend drama was just a road bump: JoJo ended up taking Robby’s mom aside and telling her she was falling in love with Robby – something she didn’t say to any of the other guys, or their family members.
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HOMETOWN DATE WITH LUKE
Finally, JoJo traveled to Burnet, Texas, for her hometown date with Luke, who, by the way, looks fantastic in a flannel and should be wearing one at all times. JoJo also wore the cowboy boots Luke gave her night one, which was adorable.
The two made their way out to Luke’s house in the country to meet his family and quite legitimately 50 of his closest friends. The entire town of Burnet has now been featured on The Bachelorette, so there’s that.
Overall, the date seemed to go extremely well – Luke’s family was so sweet and JoJo fit right in.
As the evening rolled around, JoJo and Luke went off horseback riding to enjoy some quality alone time. The sunset was epic, the music was spot-on, there were flowers and candles in the shape of a heart in other words, the setting could not have been more ideal for Luke to finally tell JoJo he loves her only he used the words “my heart is yours” instead of “I love you,” which is a big no-no. (Come on, Luke. Even Chase could spit it out!)
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ROSE CEREMONY, INTERRUPTED
The rose ceremony took place at an airport hangar, with a private jet ready to whisk the remaining three guys and JoJo off to some exotic destination.
JoJo, despite getting emotional during her on-camera interview, said she knew what she needed to do: “I think I need to say goodbye to Luke,” she revealed.
She walked in to start the ceremony, picked up the first rose and was about to hand it out when – lo and behold! – Luke interrupted and asked if they could step outside together.
He ended up telling her all he could think about since they said goodbye was that he didn’t say the one thing he needed to say – he’s in love with her. (About damn time, Luke.)
Of course, “this changes things,” said JoJo to the camera, sobbing as she wandered around the airplane hangar. As for exactly how that changes things? We’ll find out next week.
The Bachelorette airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, followed by The Bachelorette: Men Tell All Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.