Ben Higgins traveled to the remaining four women's hometowns to meet their families
brightcove.createExperiences(); We’re almost at the finish line, Bachelor Nation.
In this week’s episode, Ben traveled to the remaining four women’s hometowns to meet their families, and in true Bachelor fashion, there were plenty of hard questions, awkward dinners and aggressive siblings. Let’s begin.
Amanda’s Daughter Couldn’t Stop Crying and It Got Uncomfortable
The first hometown date was Amanda’s in Laguna Beach, California. This was probably the most important hometown date of them all because Ben ended up meeting Amanda’s two young daughters, Kingsley, 3-and-a-half, and Charlie, almost 2.
The foursome spent day on the beach, playing in the sand and running around with kites. Though the girls took some time to warm up to Ben (and, you know, the entire ABC crew following them around with cameras and microphones all day), things eventually got to a more comfortable place and Amanda was over the moon watching Ben show off what a good dad he’s going to be.
The mood quickly took a turn for the worse when they got in the car to head over to Amanda’s house – like, things got really bad. Poor Charlie couldn’t stop crying and even though we only got to see a few seconds of the painful car ride, it’s safe to assume it wasn’t the best way to set the scene before Ben met the rest of Amanda’s family.
Once at the house, they sat down on the patio to chat as a group with Amanda’s parents and sister, but after a few minutes Charlie’s wailing could no longer be ignored and Amanda finally shooed everyone away and put her daughter to bed.
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Then it was time for Ben to have his one-on-one talks with Amanda’s parents, and her dad pretty much nailed the entire evening on the head when he remarked that Ben looked like “a deer caught in the headlights.”
Indeed, poor Ben – though he tried his very best to answer all of the tough (but perfectly legitimate) questions thrown at him about the possibility of being thrust into sudden fatherhood – couldn’t seem to hide the fact that the date was, all-in-all, very overwhelming.
Amanda, meanwhile, wasn’t having any doubts and admitted in a confessional that after the date, she could say with confidence that she was in love with Ben, and that she would be completely crushed if she got sent home after their date. (Red flag number 12 that things weren’t about to go the way Amanda was hoping.)
Lauren B.’s Hometown Date Was Perfect to No One’s Surprise
Up next, Lauren B.’s hometown date in Portland, Oregon provided some much-needed alleviation. (Can we drop the “B.” now that she’s the only Lauren left? At this point, she’s the last one standing from the original four Laurens – she’s earned it.)
Ben and Lauren spent the day walking around Portland, which apparently is known as the City of Roses, even though no one seems to actually be able to explain why. They visited a bunch of food trucks, fed each other donuts, and then had the most romantic date ever at a whiskey library. Evidence No. 54879 of Ben and Lauren being unable to keep their hands off of each other, in case you were keeping count.
Then they headed over to Lauren’s house to meet her parents, sister and two brothers. Even though Lauren’s sister Mollie did her best to grill Ben, he won her over in about five seconds when he got so emotional talking about his feelings for Lauren that he started crying. (Lauren is #winning at this point.)
The show made a big to-do about the fact that Lauren is now “in love” with Ben (seriously, she said it like 12 times to the camera). She still didn’t end up dropping the “L” word to Ben himself, but that was irrelevant because at this point it’s pretty clear these two are obsessed with each other.
Caila’s Dad Didn’t Do Her Any Favors
The next hometown date was Caila’s in Hudson, Ohio. Ben said his relationship with Caila was the “deepest” one out of the remaining four women, so naturally, the two spent the day at a toy factory.
Okay, fine, that was because her dad is CEO of the toy company, but regardless, this date was silly: They designed a house, painted the roof blue cause blue is Ben’s favorite color, then physically built the house at the factory. Then they climbed into it and made out, which is honestly what Ben and Caila seem to do best together.
Caila, meanwhile, was about 15 steps ahead of herself: “I know Ben is the one and I know that I’m going to marry him and I know that we’re going to have a happily ever after.”
Then they went over to Caila’s house to meet her dad, mom and brother. Did anyone else feel super uncomfortable by everything Caila’s dad said? Case in point: when he asked Ben “What it’s like dealing with microwave fame?” (A quick Google search indicates this means being famous for basically nothing.)
On the other hand, Caila’s mom – braces and all – was really excited about Ben, though she did make the whole room feel weird when she point-blank asked him if he’d ever met any Filipinos before.
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Caila’s conversations with her parents were also bizarre: First, she sat down with her dad and basically sobbed the entire time because of how much she loves Ben. Then she sat down with her mom, who told her she could tell Ben is in love with her. Caila got really excited about this, which was worrisome because her mom only met Ben half an hour ago.
Anyway, Caila didn’t end up telling Ben she loved him, which made him 0-3 at this point.
Everything That Could Go Wrong, Did Go Wrong with JoJo
JoJo and Ben’s date in Dallas, Texas was by far the most dramatic hometown date of all.
The day started with the producers totally screwing JoJo over by allowing her to believe the bouquet of roses at her door AND THE HANDWRITTEN LOVE LETTER that came with them were from Ben. They even had her sit down and start reading the card out loud, and that was when it got really heartbreaking.
“I first want to start off by saying I am writing not because you are on the show but because I have spent the last 39 days self-reflecting and soul-searching about you and me,” JoJo began reading with a beaming smile on her face. “I gave you my time, made you laugh and we did everything together. I am human and make mistakes and it has taken this journey to understand what true love is –” and at this point, she realized the letter was not from Ben, but rather from her ex-boyfriend. She flipped the page over and the words “Love Chad. XOXO,” loomed threateningly across the screen.
“No! No! I don’t want to read this,” JoJo said furiously, storming across the room towards what we can only imagine must have been one of the producers.
Then poor JoJo started crying, and after a lot of pacing back and forth in her apartment, she decided to call Chad.
“All I can tell you is that I literally have gone through so much since you’ve been gone,” Chad said over the phone. “It’s taken me this time apart to like grow and mature and think about what I want for the future. And it’s you. … Listen, I now know what love is and you showed me what love was.”
JoJo was not having it.
“There were so many times that you walked away and didn’t look back, when I begged you to stay and now you’re doing this. Like, now?” JoJo demanded.
“This is how I feel. I care so much about you and I love you so much,” Chad replied.
“But you didn’t while we were together,” JoJo can be heard saying at the same time as footage of Ben pulling up in a car outside played.
The rest of JoJo’s phone conversation with Chad wasn’t shown to viewers, but by the time Ben walked in, she was clearly upset and had tears in her eyes. She ended up telling Ben about what had just happened and revealed the conversation ended with her telling Chad they were completely “done” and she was the happiest she’s ever been with Ben.
After that whole scene, the two made their way to JoJo’s family’s house (which, by the way, is a freaking mansion) and JoJo’s expectation that they were going to “love” Ben fell sadly short.
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JoJo’s mom was a huge fan of Ben, and even her tough-to-crack dad seemed to warm up eventually – but her brothers Matt and Ben weren’t as impressed: The two had no qualms asking all the tough questions and made it no secret they were unimpressed with Ben’s responses. Ben, for his part, did his best to answer them as diplomatically as he could, but the tension was definitely lingering. (They also sat down with JoJo and told her to keep her guard up since they didn’t feel Ben was “as emotionally invested” in the relationship as she was.)
Shortly afterwards, Ben strolled into the kitchen to overhear Chris talking about how Ben “brainwashes” the girls on the show. This led to a super awkward conversation where Ben was left to fend for himself in front of JoJo’s entire family since JoJo herself wasn’t in the room at the time. (Extremely important side note: Did ANYONE else notice JoJo’s mom drinking straight from the bottle of champagne at the kitchen counter as her sons railed on Ben for giving “coached” answers? Legend. Legend!)
At that point, there wasn’t much else poor Ben could say to appease JoJo’s bros, and while her dad jumped to his defense and shut the conversation down, Ben’s discomfort saying goodbye to JoJo after the date was apparent.
We Do Not Envy Ben for Having to Go Through with This Elimination
In the end, Ben sent Amanda home – with a long hug and an emotional farewell.
“Don’t be sorry. I just feel like, if you were having any doubts after my hometown date it would have been nice if you’d let me known then, rather than send me to L.A. to send me home with a Rose Ceremony,” she told him.
Ben said he didn’t know at the time things wouldn’t be moving forward.
“I saw you with your daughters this week, and I was more impressed with you than I ever could have imagined I really do wish nothing but great things for you,” said Ben.
On the limo ride away, Amanda said she was “definitely falling in love with him.”
“I wouldn’t have introduced him to my kids if I wasn’t falling for him. I’ve never brought somebody home. I’ve never introduced somebody to my kid. I’ve never met somebody like him,” said Amanda.
For his part, Ben told the cameras “I can’t do this right now,” as he wiped away tears.
Next week: Ben tells two women he loves them! Who will they be?
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.