The Bachelorette Gets Real Life in Hometown Visits

The Husband is downstairs getting me a slice of delicious pizza at 10:30 PM at night. I made the mistake of thinking I could watch Bachelorette after running 40 minutes in 85 degree NYC heat with leftovers as dinner, watch 2 hours of Bach and then blog. My stomach says otherwise. I’m STARVING.

Until he comes back, I’ll type very quickly about what I observed tonight on Hometown Dates. Usually one of my favorite episodes of a Bachelor / Bachelorette season, these hometowns were very B+. I mean, there’s the Dean factor, but that’s a whole other ball game and didn’t feel like Bachelorette drama – it was more that I felt bad for Dean and his family. Like a Bachelorette tragedy side story.

But let’s start with Eric. He has definitely built the most momentum out of everyone left in the group. There is a New York Times article that came out about how this season raises many challenges given the many different socio-economic differences in the contestants that have never been raised previously. Take Eric, for example. He grew up in a tough neighborhood within Baltimore. These are not the typical affluent contestants we’re used to seeing. The ones that we ultimately learn have parents that travel the world volunteering and have a $2M net worth from picking up their parents’ tips from their own financial success (That’s You, Jef “with one f” Holm from Emily Maynard’s season) up on a 300 acre farm or whose parents own a multi million dollar toy company (I’m looking at you, Caila Quinn) Eric seems to have had a challenging relationship with both of his parents and witnessed many family members and friends go to prison. But nothing felt warmer than that greeting Rachel got when she walked into his family. They were cheering Eric on and felt like family immediately. It was such a unique perspective on Eric and how remarkable he truly is for being who he is despite what he has had to grow up around and rise above. I love that Rachel sees this in Eric and adores him for it.  I also loved his Aunt Verna who looked EXACTLY like Eric.

A pizza is here. Please hold.

That was amazing. But not as amazing as Bryan’s mom’s love for him. I was instantly terrified of her. She actually reminded me of an ex-boyfriend’s mother. Extremely intense. Over-the-top dramatic. Willing to do anything to keep Bryan to herself. Did you hear how she openly told Rachel that Bryan could never leave her? That he needed to stay close by. That he is her life. So basically Rachel will need to marry both of them but always play second fiddle to his mother. This picture is becoming a lot clearer on why Bryan is 37 and still single. Also, did you hear how his mother discussed all of the women that Bryan has dated in Miami. Multiple mentions of multiple women. She’s very skeptical that he’s found THE ONE on a TV show. She just seems ready to sabotage their relationship at all costs – I mean now it’s all TV cameras and introductions and putting our best foot forward and praying in church. But she does not seem the type of woman that you want to cross. In fact, I’d like to see an episode of what Bryan’s mother really thinks after Rachel left and then play it for Rachel. That’s my idea of fireworks.

Yes, Bryan dropped the love bomb on Rachel and was the first one to do it. (Rachel didn’t accept Eric’s – “I love this girl” – declaration as the real deal. Or maybe she just didn’t want to hear it). But I feel Bryan’s plea is more like a – GET ME THE HELL AWAY FROM MY CRAZY MOTHER? Or maybe he does adore Rachel – but can anyone honestly see them lasting long terms with that sort of a personality? OMG.

On to Peter. What struck me as interesting about Peter, particularly in light of the New York Times article cited above, was how diverse his friends are. I mean, Madison, Wisconsin has a very small Black population and Peter (who I believe is Caucasian), says that 8 out of his 10 closest friends are Black. In meeting his friends at the bar in Madison, Peter seems a lot older than his friends. Maybe it’s a bit of salt and pepper hair color (premature gray?), but I imagine Peter seems to stand out amongst the crowds in Madison – he just has a distinguished look that sets him apart and makes you wonder if he stepped out of a Brooks Brothers advertisement. I loved Peter’s family. Besides Eric’s, they were very down to earth and welcoming to Rachel. I don’t get the feeling that Peter is ready for what Rachel is ready for. I don’t think that’s Peter’s fault, but I do think that will be their downfall. Rachel wants the fairytale and wants it in 3 weeks. Peter seems more grounded and not like someone that can be pushed.

I’m not really sure what to make of the Dean hometown date. Did Dean actually hire a whole bunch of actors to be his family? Do people like his father really exist in the US? I felt awful that such an intimate, important discussion between Dean and his father was being captured on national TV. It just didn’t feel normal to be watching such a thing and to see Dean not get out of it what we all wanted him to get out of it was even more awkward and disappointing. I know we were in Aspen, Colorado for his hometown, but in reality, this is not Dean’s life. He’s out in Venice, CA doing his thing. And after being on Bachelorette, he’ll have a world of doors opening for him. He’s ripe for Bachelor in Paradise, becoming a model or even becoming crazy Ashley Iaconetti’s next infatuation. Side note: do you know that Ashley I and Ben Higgins have a podcast that they do together? UGH.  I feel bad that Dean has been through so much, but something tells me he’ll be just fine.

I think we all knew that Dean had to go. I mean – how do you encounter a hometown like that and want to join that sort of family? Yes, Dean has a lot of fine qualities that have nothing to do with his crazy genetic pool. But ultimately, he’s a 25 year old who needs to find himself a bit more and process the very painful past he’s had to endure. Should there be another Bach spinoff of some of these contestants in group therapy? Ashley I and her sister might be great contributors as well. Jake the Pilot for sure – serious anger issues. Maybe even get Vienna in there just for fun.

What did you all think of tonight’s hometowns? Do you think it’s possible to love Bryan AND his mother? Can Peter’s timeline be sped up? Do Eric or Peter even have an inkling of chance when you see the chemistry between Rachel and Bryan?

Let’s hear it.


Stacey B (





  1. I just finished watching and had to come on and see what you thought and agree with you. They completely exploited Dean for ratings and I feel yucky being a part of it. It is clear that those were private conversations needed to be had behind closed doors, probably in a therapy office. His hometown should have been in California with his friends. I don’t know why Rachael and he went along with this plan – obviously the producers wanted it but why would they not put their foot down. I really hope there is enough public criticism that they (the producers) hear and don’t do this to people’s families. Let me know if you know where we can share those opinions. Thanks for your effort to stay up and watch and post!

  2. Melanie and Stacy, I agree with you both. It was awkward and inappropriate to air those conversations between Dean and his father. Yes, I know, Bach/ette episodes air some really intimate exchanges, but this was over the line. We (and Rachel) got no idea of Dean’s daily life in CA through these scenes. And, for ratings, the producers seemed to mock Dean’s father’s lifestyle and religion, not a welcome thing in today’s atmosphere of intolerance. We all have different ways of living. The gift of feathers was very meaningful, so that was one high point.
    I’ll get off my soapbox now, and wish Rachel and the men the best. Btw, Bryan’s mom was a bit intense!

  3. I can’t help but circle back to the fact that she should have stuck with Will! If he had stayed then we would never have had to endure that totally inappropriate home town date with Dean. It was clear he was lagging behind in terms of the relationship and then to have him expose his entire severe family issues to the whole world only to be sent home right after is just brutal. So again: WHY DID SHE GET RID OF WILL?!

  4. I just don’t think any of these guys could have a lasting relationship with Rachel. Furthermore, I don’t think she, herself, would be happy with any of them. Eric’s a likable enough fellow but comes from a completely different background from Rachel & is a personal trainer so they don’t have a whole lot in common. As far as Bryan, there’s something about him that I don’t trust. . . . . or like, for that matter. He’s way too smooth & is too good to be true. More importantly, his mother loves Bryan a little too much & would most definitely come between Rachel & Bryan’s relationship.. . . . you can see the handwriting on the wall here. Lastly, I really like Peter but, understandably so, he wants to be absolutely sure rather than propose right now just because she wants him to. She is so hung up on getting married right away that I find it annoying, & wouldn’t put it past her to pass on Peter who I really like. And then there’s Will who was the best of all the bachelors who she didn’t give half a chance. She would have had a decent chance at a long term relationship with him. These three remaining bachelors, not so much. I like Rachel but at this point in time, I have to say that I find her frustrating.

  5. Wow. I was floored during this episode. I thought what abc/producers/Rachel/whoever did to Dean was disgraceful. Why would they put him and his family through such an embarrassing ordeal?? I was appalled. And WHY did she tell him she’s falling in love with him??? That poor kid. I think Dean should be the next Bachelor. They owe him after that.
    My prediction WAS that she will choose Bryan. And they would break up because of the mom. He is definitely still single because of her. She’s intolerable. But I’m starting to lean toward Eric because previews make the Bryan meet-the-parents look pretty bad. But editing has always tricked me in the past. I definitely think Peter is out, even though I think he is the only one that should be IN. He has common sense and thinks in terms of REAL life and long term. Having to be proposed to asap seems immature.

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