The Best ‘Bachelor’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Hometown Meltdowns

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Happy Hometowns week, Bachelor fam! This is the fun part of every season where the lead tries to pretend that they might actually move to a town that only just got a Walmart last year. Lol, k. It’s LA or die, you aren’t fooling anyone! It’s also the most telling part of each season. Right now what we know about these women is only what they’ve shown us, and what they’ve shown us is that they probably have surgically enhanced bone structures and can contour within an inch of their lives. During Hometowns we get to see what their original noses looked like, meet the people who caused their deep emotional trauma that eventually drove them to sign up for a reality dating show, and find out who should start with their anti-aging skin care regimen right away. So, let’s get started then! 

Hannah Ann’s Hometown

Up first we have Hannah Ann’s Hometown in Knoxville. If you’ll recall, this is where all the modeling magic happens: from her parent’s basement in a town in Tennessee that is not Nashville. What fortuitous timing that she would look for “love” on a show where there have been multiple opportunities for her to work with brands who used to always pretend like they didn’t know Knoxville’s zip code. I can’t wait for her parents to whip out a scrapbook of all her past modeling gigs and watch Peter agree that, yes, Hannah Ann really does have the perfect face for an Applebee’s franchise. Carry on.

PROBABLY HANNAH ANN’S MODELING LOOK BOOK: 

Hannah Ann tells Peter that her dad works in lumber and she needs to see if he’s man enough like her dad. I’m going to go ahead and save you the suspense, Hannah Ann: he’s not. The man showed up to meet your family in skinny jeans, for Christ’s sake.

They go axe throwing before meeting the parents and I love that they immediately put Peter in a situation where he could get another serious head injury. He just got that bandaid off, you guys!! 

Also, how is axe throwing going to prove that Peter is man enough for her? This feels like a loose connection. In my experience, axe throwing is something drunk girls do at breweries to pass the time between drinking ciders and taking boomerangs. How does this prove he’s a man exactly?

Peter was so enamored by Hannah Ann’s note during the last group date that he decided to write one of his own. His isn’t pink or scented, but it does say that he enjoys her giggle and that he loves that she has a name for every dress she owns. Oh, Peter. Those aren’t names she came up with herself! Those are brands she’s contractually obligated to mention at least once a date! 

Peter is introduced to Hannah Ann’s family, and I love that these people get so emotional every time they see their son or daughter on this show. It’s like they know they’ve been held hostage and they’re glad to see they’re in one piece. You know, if they consider “one piece” gushing over a man who sometimes refers to himself as “pachi.” 

I would like to see more of this house. Hannah Ann still lives at home, right? I just get the feeling that her bedroom still has Justin Bieber posters on it. I can’t wait for her to show Peter and admit that tickets to the Purpose Tour was the best 13th birthday present ever. 

A girl wearing more body glitter than an entire Hannah Montana concert and a star necklace straight from Delia’s 2005 accessory bin asks Hannah Ann if she’s ready for marriage and THIS is how I know Hannah Ann is too young for marriage. Who are these people she associates with?? 

Peter sits down with Hannah Ann’s mom and I love how unsure she is about him. She’s like “where is your relationship at?” Well Mrs. Sluss, she’s one date away from getting f*cked by him in a three-star hotel, does that answer your question? I mean, sure, that’s not a great look, but your daughter also thinks she’s going to be a supermodel because the manager at Kohl’s told her so once. This isn’t the worst idea she’s ever had. 

PETER: I think I’m in love with your daughter.
HANNAH ANN’S DAD: I would ask that you just not. 

AHAHAHAHAHA. I WOULD ASK THAT YOU NOT. These are things that I say when my Uber driver tries to speak to me, these are not things you want your potential future father-in-law to tell you on your first meeting!! It’s not looking good for you, Peter!

Oh sh*t! He said “I’m falling for you” anyway! On their family porch and everything! Is nothing sacred to you, Peter?? 

Kelsey’s Hometown

Kelsey’s up next and she tells Peter that he better be ready to get “down and dirty” in Des Moines, Iowa. I’m not sure what this means, but I can’t wait to see what she and the Iowa tourist board have come up with to make this place seem interesting. 

Of course Kelsey’s date involves alcohol. God, I love her. Kelsey paints a picture for Peter that makes Iowa sound like a mecca for art and culture and a place known for its wine-making. And here I thought the only things Iowa was know for were its corn mazes and f*cking us all over in primary elections. Huh. 

Part one of their date involves them crushing their own grapes with their feet, but it’s unclear as to what the purpose of this is. Surely they aren’t making their own wine with those grapes? Because the grapes on the vines in the background aren’t even ripe yet, so you know the ABC interns just filled that bathtub up with whatever the Des Moines Costco carried in bulk. 

Part two of their date takes them to a wine-tasting! They’ll be tasting various wines so they can make their own special wine to take to dinner at Kelsey’s parents’ house. Once again, Kelsey makes this all sound very sophisticated when in reality she probably just wanted to get day drunk with her boyfriend. I see right through you, girlie. She’s like “here’s a symbol of our love” and it’s a bottle of what I’m guessing is red moscato. 

Overall, I find this date to be very cute and I’m not just saying that because it’s inspired me to open a second bottle of wine tonight. I actually find Kelsey to be really genuine and sweet, but I just don’t think Peter is into her. Case in point: when Kelsey tells Peter she loves him, he doesn’t say it back. He even gave ole Ranger Rick a half-hearted “I’m falling for you” but he can’t give Kelsey the same?? Wow.

My first reaction when I see Kelsey’s family is that they’re beautiful and not at all surprised or uncomfortable about having a camera crew in their home. This doesn’t feel like the house of horrors she described during her one-on-one. How pissed do you think ABC is to find that her family found healthy coping mechanisms for their pain? Where are the broken dreams and blatant displays of abandonment issues? This is not the hometown date they were promised!

Peter sits down with Kelsey’s mother, and I can already tell you this isn’t going to end well. He’s talking to a woman scorned and she’s supposed to be impressed by a guy who wears skinny jeans and says things like “Barthelona” in casual conversation? Nah, I don’t think so. Drag his assssss, hunnie. 

Meanwhile, Kelsey sits down with her stepdad to hash out her feelings for Peter. She says she doesn’t want to get her heart broken again and this guy is nodding like a man whose biggest tragedy in life is that the Vineyard Vines President’s Day sale ran out of his size.

Guys, I feel bad for Kelsey! Peter leaves her with a very half-hearted “I love that you love me” speech and I just have a very bad feeling about all of this. Kelsey is so great! I mean, yes, there was that one time she took a bottle of red to the face and cried alone by a pool, but WHO AMONG US HASN’T DONE THAT. Do better, Peter! Do Better.

Madison’s Hometown

Next on Peter’s bus tour of America is Madison’s hometown of Auburn, Alabama! Madi tells Peter she’s going to take him someplace that’s really important to her, and I’m hoping for all of our sakes it’s not a bible study class. 

She actually takes him to Auburn’s basketball stadium where they play a little pickup game of basketball. How fun that she gets to take him on a date where she gets to do what she does best! If this were me, I’d have taken him to a bar to see how well he can mock and verbally spar with the other patrons. Some people are good at sports, others are good at alienating people—we all have our special talents! 

Peter meets Madison’s family, and I’m immediately alarmed by what her dad looks like. Is this the real Benjamin Button?? How can he possibly be old enough to have a child?? My alarm only grows when they all sit down to dinner. It’s announced that Madi’s family likes to do a fun thing called “the special plate” where they go around the table and compliment Madi. 

Yeah, my family does a similar thing, but instead of showering me with praise and adoration it’s more like they berate me for my life choices until I’m rocking back and forth in a ball under the table. 

MADISON’S FAMILY: We cheers with sweet tea!
PETER:

Mtv Lauren GIF by The Hills - Find & Share on GIPHY

Okay, that is a red flag if I’ve ever seen one. I can deal with racist uncles and my grandma asking about my love life and my baby cousin announcing her engagement before I have a chance to announce that my dog likes to wear sweaters now, but I what I absolutely cannot deal with are dry family occasions. I won’t do it and you can’t make me!

So Madison IS saving herself for marriage?? What does that mean exactly? Like, is it a “just the tip” situation or is she the type that still wears maxi pads because she’s afraid of dishonoring the Lord by piercing her hymen with a tampon? I. need. more. answers! 

Oh, OF COURSE her dad’s name is Chad. He really looks like the Chaddiest Chad I’ve ever seen.

MADISON’S DAD: When you were a baby I prayed that one day you might find a husband.

Why do I feel like this guy has to think dowries are still a thing?

Peter says he loves Madison, and this is huge. He’s only ever said “I’m falling in love” not that he’s actually in love. I feel like if he knew the truth about her virginity, he would be singing a different tune… 

Also, I love that Peter thinks he’s on the same page as this girl. That basketball coach legit said Madi made the final four that year. THAT MEANS SHE WAS IN COLLEGE STILL THIS YEAR. You can’t be on the same page as a recent college graduate unless you’re learning that your email signature isn’t supposed to include an inspirational quote from Audrey Hepburn. You just can’t. 

Victoria’s Hometown

I love that they start the hometown date that production has teased as being the seventh circle of hell, with footage of Victoria’s adorable black lab. You know that was the only decent footage they could find of Victoria from that entire date. 

Victoria tells Peter she wants to show him the “charm” of Virginia Beach, and apparently that charm includes another musical number by none other than… Chase Rice?! Kidding! It’s just Hunter Hayes, but you can tell Peter is still traumatized because he’s looking around like he’s waiting for someone to tell him Victoria’s f*cked this musician too. 

Hunter Hayes starts singing “I don’t want easy, I want crazy” and that feels like the most fitting song for this date. 

PETER: In Spanish that song would be called I want loco!!

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After they part ways before the dinner portion of the evening, Peter runs into an old pal at the concert. How crazy and unexpected this is! I love how shocked Peter is to see this girl as if production didn’t plant her there by giving her Peter’s exact coordinates. He’s like, “oh my god you live here?? You guys, she lives here!!” In other news, Peter, the sky is blue!! Is your foundation absolutely shaking??

This friend of Peter’s tells him that she’s also a friend of Victoria’s and that Victoria can’t be trusted. What I don’t understand is why ABC is even blurring out her face? We all saw her exclusive on People.com this week. Also, this encounter tells Peter nothing really. If you’ve been following this scandal closely then you know Victoria has been accused of sleeping with the married men of Virginia Beach (among other problematic things). And yet, all we’re getting out of this friend is “don’t trust her.” I’ve been more descriptive in a Venmo request. Come on, Merissa, you can do better than that. 

Obviously this vague, but foreboding message still has Peter on edge even as he gets ready to meet her family for the first time. His anxiety must show because he takes one step out of the Uber and already Victoria is jumping down Peter’s throat about something seeming “off” about him. Uh-oh. Looks like Peter’s in another mood, Victoria!!

PETER: I heard this rumor that you break up people’s marriages in your spare time. Is that true?
VICTORIA: That’s offensive.
ALSO VICTORIA: But which couple did she say it was…?

Peter’s like “do you ever fight for anything?” and it’s like, Peter, she’s been fighting to get kicked off this show for actual weeks now. I thought you knew this! 

I can’t even take this argument seriously because all she does is mumble and cry. He keeps asking her to fight for them and she keeps telling him to leave. This feels like a clear sign that Peter should dump her right here and now. There is nothing redeemable about this girl, Peter!!

Okay, so wait. Did they just break up? I’m confused. Their argument ends pretty abruptly with Peter getting into the limo and leaving the date early. He doesn’t even meet her family! 

Back at his hotel, Peter says he’s really conflicted. On the one hand, he doesn’t like what he’s heard about Victoria from his own trusted source, but on the other hand he’d still like to f*ck her. I think this is what they call a “Sophie’s Choice.” 

Victoria shows up to Peter’s hotel and I’m not surprised in the least. I’ve heard she’s familiar with the hotel scene in Virginia Beach…

She’s trying to convince Peter to give them another shot while at the same time neither confirming nor denying any of the rumors. She is a master manipulator, I will give her that. Meanwhile, Peter is bringing up some great points about how they have no communication skills and this relationship is definitely doomed in the long run. I still think he’ll pick her. 

VICTORIA: I don’t even know. I can’t, like, let you go.
PETER: You literally told me to leave?

Yes, she did!! Also, why aren’t they talking about the accusations? There’s no mention of her mistress extracurricular activities, and I feel like that should be mentioned here.  

As Victoria leaves his hotel room she makes one final plea for Peter’s heart: she slips him a wallet sized nude picture of their WestWorld cosplay. Interesting choice. If she really wanted to catch his attention, perhaps she could have just answered his question directly, but this tracks too.

The Rose Ceremony

For the rose ceremony the ladies are, of course, meeting up at an airplane hangar. WE GET IT, ABC. He’s a pilot. Enough. I beg of you. 

Peter starts things off by saying that this has been a particularly rough week for him. He’s like, “some of you were able to give me a lot more than others, like an actually dinner with your family.” Whoaaaa. Low blow, Peter. Low blow.

HE CHOOSES VICTORIA! WHAT!!! My married friend who has watched approximately three episodes of this show ever just got up from my couch and said: “I’m going home to finish this bottle of wine, he deserves to die alone, goodbye.” GOODBYE. 

He legit looks so miserable giving that rose to Victoria. It’s like someone threatened to blow up one of those planes so he had to do it. Anything for the planes!

I feel so bad for Kelsey, oh my god. And he doesn’t even have a legit reason for it. He’s just like “I wasn’t there with you yet.” 

ME: 

YOU COWARD!! She said she loved you and you chose a girl whose past is sketchier than some of the clothing vendors on Amazon! Kelsey, girl, I would pour one out for you, but I know how much you’d hate that. Here’s hoping we see more of you!

And that’s a wrap for Hometowns, kids! We’ll have to wait until next week to see if Madison finally address the hymen elephant in the room and finally tells Peter her secret. I’m sure he’ll handle it with as much grace and maturity as he did all of those windmill jokes. Until then!

For more on Peter’s hometowns, check out the latest episode of Betchelor Center:

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