Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Let's chat about The Bachelorette (Hometown Dates)

Apologies for not posting last week, but I was booked and busy preparing to eat an entire turkey (if you're picturing that episode of Friends, yes I am Joey). But to summarize my thoughts on last week: MARTIN IS A DELUSIONAL TRASH ASS MAN WHO SHOULD LEAVE US ALONE FOREVER AND ALSO WE MUST DO WHAT WE CAN TO ENSURE OLU FINDS LOVE. That's all you missed reading.

It's hometown dates week! But they're taking place in Michelle's hometown, so this is a real hometown in a hometown date, which isn't that the premise for Inception (omg calm down, I know the premise of Inception is to showcase how hot Joseph Gordon Levitt got).

Let's jump in!

Portland, Minnesota with Brandon

Brandon, who I am obsessed with, is up first and he brings a bit of Portland to Minnesota by taking Michelle on a date at a skatepark because skating is something he grew up doing with his brother.

And sorry, but there is basically no date situation where I want to be wearing a helmet. Not because of the danger element likely associated with it, but because absolutely everyone looks like a child with a helmet on. Doesn't matter how hot you are, when you put a helmet on, you are Tommy Pickles.


Anyway, after falling a bunch, Brandon gets Michelle on a skateboard because there's no one you want more to teach you how to skateboard than a man you just watched flop all over a skatepark.

Afterwards, they sit and chat and what I need to know is WHAT IS IN THAT PINK BOX??? DO YOU THINK ITS DONUTS???? CUPCAKES???? I NEED TO KNOW. 

Brandon lets Michelle know that introducing her to his family is a new thing because he's never brought someone home who he "cares about so much," which makes me ask, does that mean he's brought home plenty of girls who he doesn't care about?? If so, I would love to not be cared about??

Later, Michelle meets Brandon's parents and brother. 

Ahead of their arrival, Brandon's mom says it's odd that he's dating someone she hasn't met yet and if that's odd, then wow I guess my family is the Odd Family because I never subject my family to the cockatoos I date.

Brandon's hot brother, who btw is casually delaying entry into the Navy to be here because sometimes Uncle Sam calls but Uncle ABC calls louder, tells Michelle that he's concerned that she's dating 3 other guys.

Which yes, this is the regular thing that all family members on this show should always bring up first. Like, you're meeting your brother's girlfriend who has 3 other boyfriends, that is for sure the premise for a TLC show. But hot brother comes around because he can tell how much Brandon cares for Michelle, who tells him that she can 100% see herself with Brandon at the end of this. 

Both of Brandon's parents love Michelle (obviously), his dad especially who bonds with Michelle over fishing and basketball. 

They end the night how every hometown date is legally required to be concluded — by making out on a bench.

Brandon has expressed his feelings before, but he tells Michelle he's falling for her and she tells him she's also falling for him, making this our first (but not last) double fall of the week!

Gonna be honest, I'm now predicting Michelle picks Brandon. This prediction is a win-win for me in that if I'm right, my close personal friend Michelle gets true love with a sweet guy and if I'm wrong, my close personal friend me gets true love with hot Brandon.

Appletown (apparently), Minnesota with Rodney

Rodney, whose whole thing with Michelle is based on the apple costume he wore on night one (the strongest foundation for any relationship), tells Michelle that they'll be spending the day picking apples that are only grown in Minnesota called "first kiss" apples. And that's cute and all, but isn't this supposed to be about his hometown, which is Rancho Cucamonga? Shouldn't they actually be reenacting scenes from Bring It On?

Alas, there is no spirit stick, instead they frolic and pick apples and taste them with various dips (while blindfolded because this is also their thing??).


During all of this, Michelle keeps saying how she can see Rodney being her "best friend," which oh hey can I show you this location on the map it's called the Friend Zone. Rodney is sweet, but he is truly the mayor of the Friend Zone. So when Michelle says she can see him as her "life partner," I assume she means partner in playing the board game, Life.

Later, Michelle gets to meet Rodney's mom and stepdad.

What do you think is in the gifts the Bachelorette/Bachelor always brings to these family meetings? Do you think it's just full of all the uneaten coot, accumulated throughout the season, because that doesn't sound disgusting at all to me, I am interested in a bag o'coot.

When Michelle talks with Rodney's mom, she tells her that she doesn't laugh with anyone else as hard as she laughs with Rodney.

His mom is like hehe that's great but um, you're dating 3 other dudes and there's a chance Rodney could have his heart broken. Michelle reassures her by saying if her flight was canceled and she was stuck in an airport for 5 hours, Rodney is someone she could picture getting through it with. Phew, you're welcome mom, don't you feel so much better.

Rodney's mom also shares her concerns with him and he tells her that he's falling in love and Michelle is "worth the risk," which wow I have a cavity because of how incredibly sweet that is.

During bench time, he tells her he's falling in love.

And she says she's falling in lo...aded mashed potatoes, jk, that actually would've been better because she just doesn't say anything in return. Not looking good for Rodney!

Actual Minnesota with Minnesota Joe

Joe is the only guy whose hometown date is in his actual hometown, so to kick things off, he brings Michelle to his high school (since she took him to hers before).

They walk around his enormous She's All That high school before he stops her near this ledge and tells her he's "always wanted to do this" but never had a girlfriend to do it with.

And I'm sorry, NEVER HAD A GIRLFRIEND?? JOE??? THIS MAN WITH THIS FACE NEVER HAD A GIRLFRIEND??? This fact is actually what they should've teased in promos as "THE MOST DRAMATIC REVEAL YET."

To wrap up their time on Riverdale, Joe surprises Michelle with a prom because he never got to go to one (AGAIN, WHAT???) and she mentioned getting picked last for dances and he wants her to know she'll always be first with him (SERIOUSLY, THIS MAN, DID NOT HAVE A GIRLFRIEND??).

They take photos and dance to royalty-free music and most importantly, actually eat the snacks.

I need to know what production assistant decided that a bowl of PLAIN ASS LAYS was the best chip choice when there are perfectly good bags of Doritos available everywhere.

Later, Michelle meets Joe's parents, brother and sister-in-law.

We learn that there actually is someone who is quieter than Joe and that's his dad. They speak for about 1 minute before Joe asks his dad if he has any questions about it all AND HIS DAD SAYS NO and they sit in silence. 

Joe's mom, brother and sister-in-law all love Michelle because they can tell how excited he is to be with her and they can see that she pushes him to express himself more and share his feelings.

Michelle and Joe end the night on literally the same bench setup from Rodney's date and Joe tells Michelle he's falling in love with her and that she's "that special person" for him. She tells him she's falling in love too, making it 2/3 for the week.

Now obviously, I love Joe and it would be easiest for him to end up with Michelle since they already live in the same town and have so much in common. Buuuuuut, I'm still thinking Brandon has a slight edge.

Austin, Minnesota with Nayte

To share a little of his life in Austin with Michelle, Nayte takes her out paddle boarding because it's something he always does a few times a week.


During this joint paddle board situation, Joe is like "I have balance, see" and in response, Michelle is like "you have a nice body" HAHAHA excuse me am I writing the lines for this show.

When they sit to chat, Nayte tells Michelle she'll be the FIRST woman he's introduced to his mom and stepdad (who are divorced now), so they'll likely be very protective over him. He says they've never seen him "head over heels for someone," before telling Michelle that he's crazy about her and falling in love with her, which Michelle says in return. Wow, not even saving it for bench time, this is unprecedented.

Later, it's time for the "he may not be ready for this" family meeting, which is required to happen every season.

Nayte's mom tells Michelle that she's worried he's being "swept up" because he's never been in a relationship that might end in marriage and she doesn't want him to feel pressure to get engaged. This doubt is put on full volume for us when Nayte admits to his mom that he's "not 100% there" right now for engagement BECAUSE HE'S NEVER BEEN IN LOVE BEFORE. And like, I'm no relationship expert, but I'm pretty sure saying "I love you" for the first time shouldn't happen when you get engaged, but what do I know.

While Nayte's stepdad is happy to see him happy, he also doesn't think Nayte is ready for an engagement. 

So 3 out of 4 people here do not think Nayte is ready to get married — his mom, his stepdad and him. I'm not a mathematician (I'm just trying to date one, remember Romeo), but these odds don't seem the best.

Nayte talking with his stepdad about Michelle does spur a lot of emotions because they've never actually talked this deeply before. 


Nayte tells his stepdad that when he has a family, he wants to be to them what his stepdad was to him and his stepdad says "you'll be better than me" AND WOWWWW LEMME GET THESE TEARS. They hug and then tell each other they love each other FOR THE FIRST TIME and sometimes this show is good, okay.

So great progress for Nayte's relationship with his stepdad, but not the best for his relationship with Michelle. Nonetheless, things conclude on what we've now learned is THEEEE bench for hometown dates:

They could've at least changed the lamps or something, I mean come on.


After all of the hometown dates, Bri and Serena drop by to see how Michelle is dealing with juggling four boyfriends (it's tiring). They obviously all became best friends after suffering through Matt's season and hearing "thank you for sharing that" 1 billion times.

While I'd normally use this as an opportunity to scream that it's not too late for the show to give Bri her own Bachelorette season, I'm pretty sure she has a boyfriend now, so anyways IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO GIVE BRI HER OWN SEASON, ABC!!

Not them lining up the guys from tallest to shortest

Let's all remember that Nayte is like 6'7", so Brandon isn't actually a short king, okay and actually they should swap Rodney and Brandon and wow this is a stupid thing to be talking about.

As expected (based on who she said she was falling in love with), Michelle gives roses to Brandon, Nayte and Joe, sadly sending home sweet Rodney. He departs like any sweet Mayor of the Friend Zone does, by kissing her hand:

And that's it! Honestly, this was probably the best final four and now, three, we've seen in a while. All such high quality guys who seem to genuinely care for Michelle. We'll see what happens in these last few episodes, but I'm still thinking she's going to pick Brandon.

See you next week when some of the trash we threw out returns for the Men Tell All! Til then, find me lurking on Twitter (@cocoakristis) and Instagram (@kristimac9).

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