Hey friends. Can you believe we FINALLY made it to hometowns? I can see the end in sight and I couldn’t be happier. Just gotta keep your head in the game and look ahead to Bachelor Pad (they’re showing the promos – it’s gotta be soon).
To get us started, I’ve decided that I will no longer recap montages/previews but I will say I am excited to see an old man make it rain.
So we meet up with our girl Ash at her condo in Philly (I saw a lot of people giving Ash a hard time for saying Philly is her hometown but not going there last season. Simmer down peeps, I am no ASh fan but she lives in Philly and she grew up/her fam lives in that little town in Mainada that serves that weird/delicious poutin thing.) Ashley’s going through her mail (c’mon ABC ole girl is annoying but I know she had WAY more mail than that after being in Asia for like a month. I go out-of-town for a weekend and it’s like the post office bombed my mailbox.) playing with her pup all while being dressed like she’s going to a wedding rehearsal dinner.
While this is going on Ashley gives us the deets on why she likes these four dudes.
Ben: Superficially Ashley loves him. She likes his hair, his eyes, his body but yet never mentions his personality (or lack thereof) or how he feels about her. This one’s got true love written all over it.
Constantine: She likes him for all same reasons as Ben since they are essentially the same person.
Ames: He’s unique and nerdy. Oh and also humble about how much better he is than everyone. Basically, he snuck into the final four and she has no idea how he’s been here this long.
JP: Well, duh. She likes him cause he’s a smoking hottie with more of a personality than a wet blanket which is all the other guys are working with.
Ashley is now ready to get her hometowns on. So she steps outside and hails a cab. Wait, what? Clearly the producers hate her as much as we all do since they couldn’t even send a car service for her. And we’re off….
….to Cumming, GA. Yup, that’s what it’s really called.
Constantine’s hometown name is the first of many sexual innuendos that get thrown around this episode. So get used it to.
These two love birds meet how all young lovers on this show do for hometowns with the required Running! Picking Up! Spinning! Hugging! sequence but this one has a new addition, SKIPPING! YAY!
And next these two go on the required hometown picnic date. While Consty and Ash catch up, I notice he’s still sporting a Asian bead bracelet from his trip. Since I’m paying more attention to his souvenir sporting, I definitely didn’t catch anything they were talking about. I’m guessing it was something like:
Ash: Oh my gawwd, I missed you.
Consty: Me too.
Ash: Can you believe it’s been so long?
Consty: Um, it was like a week ago.
Ash: Thank you for picking me up and twirling me. I am so surprised you can lift me.
Consty: (Confused look, different from normal sleepy confused look) You’re Welcome?
So this ends and it’s off to Consty’s family restaurant which surprise! is not Greek but Italian. We get little to no explanation on this conundrum so it’s on to making a pizza of love. Ashley is super excited about all of this pizza making (is that what the kids are calling it these days?) and attempts to bake Consty into her slice of love. “Put whatever you like in it” (That’s what she said.) Consty says and then Ashley feebly tries to put him in the pie. Guessing she got this idea from Shawntel’s epic hometown date last season. (What are crematorium jokes not funny?)
After a slew of food jokes (“I’m so cheesy!”) these two get down to business. Or as you may know it better, eating a meal. They blabber on about falling in love while the girl employees gawk like teeny boppers from a near-by window. They provide great commentary like “AwWWW!” “She’s so pretty.” “They’re so cute.” and my personal favorite “OOOOOOOO! They’re kissing.”
After picking the pizza out of each others teeth with their tongues, these two head on over to Consty’s house to meet the fam. And can we all agree, Demetri, Elleni and Maria KILLED IT. They set a high standard for the rest of the hometown dates and no family could compare to their Big Fat Greek Bachelorette Dinner Episode.
I loved all of this hometown especially when Elleni got awkward and quizzed Ashley hard about whether she would be open to relocating. Basically, the little Greek mama bear was gonna put the kibosh on anyone trying to take her Consty our of Cumming (please ignore how gross that sounded).
I’m hoping Consty is the next Bachelor just because I want Demetri to get some more TV face time. His accent makes even Ashley seem fun and interesting. After a series of H-to-H’s, the rest of the Consty clan (of course his niece is named Athena. I love it.) storm through the doors with casseroles, drinks and apparently A LOT of twenty-dollar bills. Um, how come whenever I go to a family party there isn’t some fun uncle making it rain with $20 bills? I am sure I would go to a lot more family events if this happened on the regular.
This date is by far one of the best of the season (see, i can use hyperbole too!). OPA!!! to the clan Consty for turning this drabness around. Since Ash is a debbie downer though, she makes us leave before they start getting really wild and smashing plates.
We leave with Ashley and Consty swapping spit while Demetri and Elleni watch creepily from the door. End Scene.
Next Stop: Chadd’s Ford, PA. Oh Muffy! It’s time for Ames’ hometown.
Before the required Run!Hug!Lift!Spin! sequence Ames let’s us know he’s really excited. I’m going to take his word for it since he face shows no sign of emotion or recognition.
They meet up and Ames let’s Ashely know this place “Is like home to me.” Um, yeah Ames because it IS your home.
So we pull up and Serena Van Der Ames sinks her sister claws into Ashley the minute her stripper heels hit the patio. We relive the Muay Thai boxing fiasco and Ames’ other adventures in love before we break down into one-on-ones.
Serena drags Ashley by her hair over to sit besides their in-door pool where she breaks it down. “Hurt my brother and I’ll hurt you.” Okay, so it didn’t exactly go down like that but more or less Serena is OBSESSED with her baby bro and will cause bodily harm to anyone who breaks his little Ken doll heart. And I believe her, she seems a lot bigger and a lot meaner than Ashley.
After hooking Ashley up to the lie-detector and running a brain scan analysis on her answers, Serena knows that Ashley is full of it and has no love for our boy Ames. So what does she do? She takes a page from her Gossip Girl younger self and runs over to blab to Ames, telling him how she’s not that into him and he needs to step up his game. They share some weird sexual innuendo and I am officially creeped out. I was almost officially creeped out with Ames’ awkward hand gestures but this is what really pushed me over the top.
Since Serena van der Ames stole all the spotlight on this date we hardly get to see any of Ash’s sit down with Mama Ames or Ames mama’s boy chat. We do learn about Ames losing both his dad and his step-dad and I am genuinely touched for a moment. Then I notice that Ashley is not paying any attention to what Jane Ames is saying. I’m guessing she stops paying attention when they stop talking about her. Can’t blame her, I tend to do that too. (Just kidding. Or am I?)
The awkward Ames family says their goodbyes and they duo are whisked off to a magical magnolia filled park. Ames thinks magnolia’s are the most romantic thing ever (um, haven’t we already been to all the most romantic places ever? I think we need to establish some sort of ranking for this kind of thing) which my grandma would wholeheartedly agree with.
Ames let’s Ashley know that he used to go to boarding school (duh!) where he was a big nerd (shocker!) and that he didn’t have a ton of friends (really?!). Ashley pretends to act sympathetic but has no idea what to say here. The odd moment is broken up when Ames goes into his diatribe on making the “ordinary extraordinary.” According to Ames there is “magic in the ordinary.” Um, your ordinary must be a lot cooler than mine Ames cause I’m pretty sure commuting to work, working, going to the grocery store and cleaning my house aren’t filled with a lot of magic. They are filled with a lot of alcohol though, maybe that could help make everything more magical.
Ames suggests they make some ordinary magic so they kiss (after staring at each other for WAY too long) and ride off into the forest in a carriage driven by some George Washington look alikes.
Sonoma Valley, CA. Bottoms Up!
We’re halfway through the hometown marathon and now we’re heading out west to Sonoma Valley or what 40-year-old women refer to as Heaven. I admit I’m a little excited about this one. Ben has seemed to have some personality this season and I am assuming there will be a lot of boozing in Sonoma so it should be a good time.
If you were thinking anything like me, you had to have been sorely disappointed. I am going to say this may have been the most boring hometown date I’ve ever seen. I spent the last few minutes of it online shopping for baby gear because that seemed more interesting than what I was watching (it was pretty boring too which shows how awful this date was).
Ben opens the date by saying “This is my hometown. This is where I grew up. And Ashley is here. And I’m very excited about it.” all with the enthusiasm of a wet sock. He tries to look mildly interested for the running! jumping! twirling! meet-up but even that is half-assed.
Since there isn’t a shred of originality on this show, they go for a picnic. (Isn’t Ashley just a LITTLE tired of picnics at this point? Did these guys really do that much picnicking growing up?) The entire Ben and Ashley alone time is spent with Ashley trying to paw Ben’s clothes off while he stares awkwardly ahead, speaking exclusively in monotone, looking like a deer in headlights. What happened to the Scooby-Doo loving stoner that we’d grown to know and not hate?
Ben tells Ashley he’s only brought one girl home before which is why, i’m guessing, he’s acting so weird. Ashley kind of freaks out and all the while I’m wishing we could go back to Cumming (Georgia that is) and hang with Consty and his fam.
Ashley and Ben taking a hair brushing break and then head over to his house to meet his mom and sister. They also speak exclusively in monotone and shockingly are way more uptight that Ames’ family. Ben’s sister manages to grill Ashley through the entire dinner before taking a break to lay down the law for her brother.
Was anyone else a little overwhelmed with these intense brother/sister relationships? Yikes. Anyway, at this point, the monotone convos were making my brain numb so I stopped paying attention.
When I looked back up Ben was crying and we finally got to leave. (For all the more sensitive viewers, I know his Dad passed away and that’s very sad but wow – that date was ROUGH!)
I thought this moment would never come…. Rosslyn, NY – Hot Skating with JP.
If I wasn’t excited enough about the date with JP, I was over the moon after that monotone date from Sonoma. JP, his hotness and his voice inflection were on hand to spin Ashley who could barely keep her hands off our hottie hipster.
Ashley doesn’t care where JP takes her as long as they’re together. For once, I am 100% behind Ashley. But JP being cute, hot and original takes Ashley on a tour of his childhood with a date to the roller rink aptly named Hot Skates.
JP and Ashley lace up and then hit the floor for couples skate. Ashley “feels like [she's] back in 7th grade.” Except it’s better because there definitely weren’t hottie like this in Mainada.
Everything is going well until the music starts. Wait, hold up. Really? That song. I know Ashley can’t fight that feeling but that wasn’t even the original version. I got a serious case of SE but then I realized I was watching JP and it passed. After tongue kissing in the strobe lights, JP takes Ash back to meet his fam.
ps. I do need to mention the fact that Ashley asked JP how he could be single for so long which was code for “What’s wrong with you? There’s got to be something I don’t know about since you are otherwise smoking hot and really charming.”
So back at the family pad, we meet JP’s mom who belongs on the SNL skit Coffee Tawk. I love her though. We also meet JP less genetically blessed brother Roy. They also say some white-haired dude is his Dad but he is never allowed to talk so I’m not sure.
Ilene gets real and asks JP if he is in love (since she knows Ashley is in love with him, obvi). He skates (you like how I used skating again huh) around the question but I’m pretty sure he digs her.
This date is pretty standard family fun and then Ilene goes big – she break out his Bar MIitzah. Ah MAZ ING. Not a boy, not yet a man JP was a perfect mix of Kirk Cameron and Zack Morris. Love it. What a cutie. He definitely didn’t have the same issues as Ames in high school. This is a special message for Ilene: Thank you for bringing out that picture. We all owe you and Consty’s family for bringing your A-game to hometowns.
At the end of this date, if you weren’t convinced JP wins (yeah I consider this a game) then you should know now.
Phew. We made it. I’m going to skip over Ashley’s babbling to Chris Harrison and get down to business.
After pulling down her long black sweater and gazing longingly at the frames, Ashley knows who’s got to go.
Roses go to:
Ames looks unique with his tan suit and hand-in-the-pocket style which Drew refers to as “keeping it Ivy league.” I’m not quite sure what my husband knows about Ivy League style since we both went to the University of Kentucky, but we’ll go with it.
Consty looks confused/confident. Just the way I like him.
- Consty for the win.
Poor Ames doesn’t know what to do so he awkwardly says bye to the dudes and wanders out with Ashley. Sitting like Forest Gump, he gives Ashley his good-bye speech before giving her a HAND SHAKE. How uncomfortable was that? Oh Ames, bless your heart.
Before he leaves, Ames gives us one final piece of poetry, “I thought I would be sharing a life time of adventures with this woman but instead I have a lifetime of adventures by myself - which is less enticing.”
Oh Ames, I’m sure there is a frozen faced girl out there looking for adventures with you. Maybe you can find her on the next season of The Bachelor (no, nevermind, I take that back).
So there it is. What did you all think of hometowns? What do you think about the previews for Bali?
I’ll be back on track with Love in the Wild this week.
Until then… stay tuned.