Bachelor in Paradise’s 48 Hour Debut

Just in time to distract us from the extremely confusing, still unresolved Peter and Rachel emotional breakup 24 hours before she got engaged to Bryan, it’s BACHELOR IN PARADISE!! I had no idea it was a 2 day event, but I’m not complaining (sorry, Husband). Of course it starts out with a pep talk from Chris Harrison. We already know it gets interrupted by a DeMario / Corinne scandal. Now we get to see what the heck happened.

From what I can tell, Corinne happened. Well Corinne was “doing her” as she puts it and then De Mario came along and got in on the action. Neither of them looked remotely distraught by anything that went down between them. You even here Corinne say to De Mario, “We’re homies” just a little bit before they’re taken away by producers. Plus a full 24 hours went by and both started speaking to other people there. I think they were mutually having a good time. Corinne says up front she’s not looking for anything serious. She’s there to party and further her Corinne brand of “Corn” or whatever the heck she’s got around her neck. Does she think Corn sounds like Corinne? Is that her nickname? Make America Corinne again – is that her version of charming? Ugh, Corinne.

She’s usually good for a few good laughs but I don’t like all the negative press and circus surrounding whatever went on between her and DeMario, particularly because whatever he was accused of (which she says she doesn’t remember) had such a negative effect on his life and she seems just as happy as can be before, during and after her time with DeMario. The cameras purposely don’t even show them being intimate (just jumping into the pool together), so from the viewers’ perspective, they were just drunk and playing around in the pool with their clothes on.  I’m sure there was more to it, but I’m glad that they were able to resolve the incident. And that’s all I have to say about Corinne and DeMario.

Raven is like the sweet, soft spoken slayer of this season. Everyone thinks she’s so innocent but she seems to be the real influencer on this season, not Robby. I did laugh when she was describing her view of Robby versus how Robby thought the date went. As soon as he showed up, I said to The Husband that Robby needs a true, very well groomed Cali girl. Someone very into her looks and fashion and makeup and self-grooming. Raven is way too down to earth for all that nonsense. As soon as he smiled, his teeth were so white and veneered, I couldn’t take him seriously. The teeth with the planted hair swoop is so over the top and I agree with Raven that you don’t want to date someone with abs that have abs – it just would make way too self conscious to have to look that pretty all the time. Plus his bathing suit collection is out of control. The Husband cracked up when Raven kissed Ben Z (way too into his dog, and I was disappointed as I had high hopes for Ben Z), and announced that the kiss was better than her kiss with Robby. Poor Robby.

Regarding the emotional intelligence girl (forgetting her name at the moment) her hair was getting to be like Monica from Friends’ trip to Mexico. It just kept growing kinkier and more kinkier by the minute. I kind of her like brewing romance with Jim from the Office (Derek?). I’m glad she found someone so that everyone could forget about her ridiculous Corn (Corinne?) fight. I don’t think we actually saw either of them acknowledge the other. Very mature.

When I saw Amanda, I just feel sad. This is her third attempt at coming back on a season of Bachelor and now it’s after a broken engagement with Josh. With 2 daughters that are absolutely adorable and got left at home, I hope she finds love and it’s all worth it. I was able to see a little past her hair extensions (though difficult) and laughed at her story about how a dating app didn’t accept her as a celebrity, so she’s thrown back in to the commoners pool. Too funny.

Shark Girl just seems in a permanent happy fog, but definitely like someone you’d want to bring to a party.

Watching Iggy be intimate with anyone is kind of fascinating and revolting at the same time (is that mean?) but I was sad that his time with Lacey was cut short. I’m hopeful that since the show got cut off early, she’ll be able to make it back and give her relationship with him (or anyone else) a real try.

I still think Diggy is gay.

So happy that Vinny is getting another chance since he got burned on Paradise last season.

I love that Dean is the most wanted guy in paradise. I was sure that Raven and him would hit it off but Christina has stepped in for the win. They are very cute together and seemed to have connected. Each have an adorable crush on the other. But from the previews it seems that all falls apart soon enough. Maybe the break killed it for him while he went home and hung out with Ashley I. Who knows…

I can’t stand the little marine guy – Alex, right? Forgetting his name, but he’s just the narrator and nothing more. He annoyed me on JoJo’s season and now he’s back.

And then there’s Jasmine who is being pursued by St. Nick and the darker haired gentleman. Darker haired gentleman is quite a sport for allowing himself to get dressed up as a drag queen. Jasmine has already made two references to choking him. I’m scared.

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings on this crazy island. Favorite surprise is Wells being there as a bartender. He’s one of the best candidates out there – why can’t he date??


Aftermath of Rachel the Bachelorette’s Choice

So I normally would not feel the need to chime in after the Bachelorette has made her pick, but I’ve learned a few interesting things since Monday’s finale that I felt were worth sharing.

First off – do you guys listen to Ashley I and Ben Higgins’ podcast, Almost Famous? I put it off because although I love Ben, Ashley has the tendency to drive me crazy, but the podcast they did on Tuesday of this week was quite insightful. Also, Ashley was asking questions that I really wanted to know the answers too. Their latest episode can be found here. Yes, I think it should be me and Ben having a podcast together, but until they figure that out, I’ll just share what I learned:

So first, Eric (second runner-up) was on the podcast and Ashley kept referring to him as the potential next Bachelor. Eric was so positive, taking the high road from his experience and repeating over and over how the whole experience of being on the show was a miracle because he fell in love for the first time. Eric was asked about Rachel’s choice and how she was now saying via her Hollywood Access on the show that she knew in Geneva that Bryan was her ONE. And that she never was in love with anyone else even though she told a total of 4 guys that she loved them. Eric did say that he felt Rachel was in love with Peter too. That what he saw during that finale was kind of what all of Bachelor Nation saw – she was incredibly emotional and in love with Peter and then got engaged the next day to someone else.

Rachel was also saying that Peter had agreed to propose, but we all know that this was kind of a “ok, I’ll do it to make you happy” rather than a sincere proposal. And Ben, Ashley I and all their guests agreed that Rachel just seemed really angry and hostile at the After the Final Rose with Peter. They also agreed that Rachel was trying to make Bryan feel ok after it was so clear that she had mixed feelings the night before she got engaged. The general feedback from Bachelor Nation has been that Rachel went for the ring over the love.

Ben also talked about how when JoJo was announced as the next Bachelorette, he was genuinely happy for her. He was rooting for her and thought she’d be great. The podcast discussed what a contrast this was to Rachel telling the world that this process was not for Peter. She may be mad at him but did she have a right to try and sabotage his chances of being Bachelor? Shouldn’t the producers make that decision as besides Dean and Eric, he was probably right up there for options. Sounds a lot like sour grapes. In fact, Rachel was throwing out that Alex the Russian would make a great Bachelor and Ben and Ashley agreed that she was probably saying this because she didn’t want to watch any of her final 4 competing out of jealousy – another sign that she is a bit less into Bryan than she should be.

Alex the Russian was also on the podcast and he said he did NOT want to be Bachelor. Side note: Ashley asked Ben if he’d consider being Bachelor again and he said definitely not for the next season but didn’t cut off a possibility down the road. He said it’s too soon after his break up and he’s got so many other things going on.

I’ve also learned from this podcast that Dean doesn’t use soap (ICK) and that he’s been spending a lot of time with Ashley (as friends) but she certainly has a huge crush on him. Jared is thanking his lucky stars.

So that’s the scoop. I’m not quite sure where this leaves us except that Jimmy Kimmel said it best after the finale – he thought Peter was the wisest and only sane contestant to ever make it this far on the show. After only 3 dates and 9 weeks of dating, he wasn’t able to propose and instead of being celebrated, he’s being tagged as “confusing” and “frustrating” and Rachel is trying to nab his chance at being next Bachelor.

Happy weekend, Bach Friends and see you back here Monday for PARADISE!!!


No Cryin’ for Bryan: The Bachelorette Gets Her Happy Ending

Well, it finally got interesting. And here we are at the bitter, awkward end and I’m more confused than ever. Our sweet, smart, sassy Bachelorette Rachel turned into a seemingly angry, smug, know-it-all during her Peter reunion. I felt more attacked and confused than Peter did. Instead of accepting that Peter may have just been moving at a different time scale than her, she saw this as a character flaw and flat out ruined his chances of ever being the next Bachelor by declaring that his being on a TV show in this process did NOT work for him. Ouch. Way to break his heart AND his future professional bachelor career.

But let’s rewind. I mean, I never thought Eric actually stood a chance. He seems like a nice enough guy and I’m sure his time on the show opens up a ton of opportunities for him, but his departure was not unexpected. I don’t even remember his fantasy suite time with Rachel – do you? In fact, once Rachel finished her fantasy suite dates with Peter and Bryan, I was waiting for Eric to appear, but then realized this must have happened already. The fact that I couldn’t remember it – it was a definite sign that he was OUT.

So that brings us the Rachel vs. Peter show down. Rachel wants a proposal, but more than that – she wants someone who is on the same page as her and wants what she wants. Peter can’t quite get there. They then argue this point from every angle. She’s pissed that he’s talking about their imaginary future together when he’s not willing to propose. He has actually gotten to the point where he can say he’s in love with her – but that’s still not good enough for her. Rachel has been there, done that. She’s dated the eternal boyfriend. She wants more. I feel for both of them. But what I don’t understand is why Rachel is making Peter pay for her previous relationship experiences. Clearly she loves him. Clearly she can see a life with him – it’s almost like she was deciding between being engaged or having a boyfriend instead of the actual person that she would end up with. This frustrates me beyond belief because Rachel IS a smart woman and she’s been incredibly wise and savvy with her choices throughout – to the point of boredom. I mean – when she’s always making the right choices for the right reasons, who cares?

You can so clearly see it in her eyes and in Peter eyes – they do love each other, they could be right for each other. So why is she so insistent on an engagement? They’ve known each other for 9 weeks. He’s literally fallen in love with her in the last 24-48 hours – but now she wants to take that newly declared and felt love and accelerate it to a proposal before he’s ready. I’m disappointed in Rachel. I mean – it’s one thing if this clearly made her realize that she loved Bryan. Or that Bryan was the reason she walked away from Peter. But it was Peter’s decision not to propose that made Rachel walk away. Not her pull or love for Bryan. That makes me question the whole thing.

Now Bryan has very clearly known the whole time what he wanted – It was Rachel at 100 mph the whole season. No slowing down. No wavering. The only time he got nervous was when he so clearly picked up on the fact that Rachel’s mind was elsewhere (because she’s in love with Peter and he won’t propose). I give him lots of credit for being astute and he seems like a very affectionate, passionate guy – but how will Rachel ever stop wondering what she could have had with Peter? And she refused to take his phone call?

I have nothing really strong against Bryan (except his terrifying mother, perhaps). But I do find his words and actions showy. Like his big over-the-top re-proposal when he was reunited with Rachel tonight. His constant swallowing of Rachel’s face and declarations of love. He always says the right thing. He’s smooth. I can understand Rachel’s family’s skepticism on whether he’s the real deal. I’m facing the same issue with Bryan. I want to like him, but he’s just a bit much sometimes. Peter is much more understated – which may have been confused for disinterested. I think that’s what attracted Rachel to him, but I feel he’s grown the most since the beginning of the show – his love for Rachel has been consistently getting stronger. He’s fallen in love with her throughout the process of the show, not in a single night like Bryan.

I almost had the feeling that Rachel was giving a little of a “revenge engagement happiness” in Peter’s face tonight. I don’t know – it’s hard to have any room for her to fawn over Bryan with the amount of affection he gives her. Does she like that? Can she really feel that much connection with him when she’s still so clearly affected by Peter moments earlier?

I’m confused.

Is anyone else confused?

And that break up with Peter. That’s another point of contention – they just kind of cut from that to Bryan going to get that Neil Lane ring and then proposing. What about Rachel’s post-Peter thoughts? Where did she go to after she left his hotel room in tears? What did Peter do? Did he have any thoughts of going after her? Where was Rachel’s epiphany that Bryan was her guy? Because hours earlier, he might not have been. UGH, this outcome just doesn’t sit right with me. I kept thinking, hoping, expecting that ABC had played a trick on us and Peter was the guy after all and when they showed just Bryan’s legs coming out of the limo, I was kind of hoping they’d pan up and it would be Peter. But no, it was Bryan. Then even when Peter came out before they showed the proposal and had to sit through the MOST AWKWARD reunion in Bachelorette history, I was hoping that maybe they were acting and making the audience think it hadn’t worked out when really it had. Because there seemed to be so much left unsaid between them.

And I too feel like Rachel did attack Peter – like she’s diminishing what they had together by pointing out that she noticed things about him earlier in the season that convinced her overall he was not the guy for her. I think Peter was really hurt by that as I would have been. It was almost like Rachel was trying to tell herself she made the right decision and then talk herself into believing it. Not nice. Peter probably thought he’d come to the show and have a nice, pleasant but awkward reunion with Rachel, be told that she loved Peter, but Bryan had been her guy all along. That was NOT at all what we heard tonight. I heard anger in Rachel’s voice, she was still hurt – not a happily, engaged fiance. Bryan won by default. If Peter had said he was ready to get engaged, he would have been the ONE.

So what have we learned from this? Rachel wants what she wants, but it might not ultimately make her happy long term. Only time will tell. I wish her the best, but I think she may have made her first Big mistake of the season. I was discussing with The Husband when he first told me he loved me. It was pretty early on in our relationship and I can’t imagine demanding a proposal from him at that time. You need time for the relationship to grow organically. To experience things about each other that let you know whether you’re a good fit for life. Rachel needs to spend a solid year being in Bryan’s life, doing family stuff with his mom before she can realistically say this is something she wants to commit to forever. Peter isn’t crazy. Peter is smart. It’s just too bad that Rachel couldn’t see past the Neil Lane bling.

I hope for the best for Peter – he’s definitely someone that won’t be single for long and hopefully outside of Bach world, he’ll be able to take that relationship far. Maybe for the right girl, it could happen quicker.

I also hope for the best for Rachel and Bryan – I’m not sure that this one is going to last and I hope Rachel doesn’t get married just to prove a point. Sounds like Peter and Eric may be waiting in the wings should she change her mind.

What did everyone else thing of tonight’s finale? Are you happy with the Bryan outcome? Confused as I am about Peter? EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY: WHO’S EXCITED FOR BACHELOR IN PARADISE????

See you all back here next week.

Thanks for a great season, Bach Friends, even if a bit dull until tonight.


Stacey B (@OfficeStace)




The Bachelorette’s Men Tell All, Give Heat to Lee’s Racist Remarks

If you skipped tonight’s episode, I can sum it up like this:

  • WhaaaBoom vs. the guy who couldn’t stand WhaaaBoom whining that each was “the joke” of the season
  • DeMario revealing with absolutely no shame that the girl who showed up to confront him on the show was like a side booty call who he had no real relationship with.
  • Kenny (and everyone else besides DeMario, but then DeMario ended up chiming in anyway) going off on Lee, who tweeted some pretty ignorant, racist remarks while the season was airing. Then each of the anti-Lee club (the opposite of a Glee Club, I’d say) trying to articulate why Lee’s behavior was so bad and attempting to get Lee to take responsibility for his actions.
  • Lee eventually being verbally beaten to death that his only move is to apologize and admit to being racist (though he doesn’t use these exact words) and then the guys all accept him back in to their circle and agree to give him history lessons. Lee was visibly shaking as he knows the entire world will be sending him hate mail, but this never stopped him from having a perfect hair part at all times.
  • Only other memorable part of the show besides Rachel also going off on Lee was Dean’s ridiculous hair and his “why did you say you were falling in love with me” if you ditched me 4 days later speech to Rachel. Her response was basically non-sensical. She truly did mean what she said. Yeah, that really clears it up.
  • We get absolutely 0 explanation for why Rachel sent Will just because he didn’t throw on the affection nor any sign that the producers are grooming him for next Bachelor. Sad. Actually, I really didn’t get that feeling about any of the remaining guys. I sure don’t think it would be Kenny and that is certainly (along with Dean) who they focused on.
  • No funny Alex the Russian lines tonight either. I really hope Alex goes to Bachelor in Paradise and hooks up with Kristina (life in color) the Russian from Nick’s season. I just want to hear them speak to each other in thick Russian accents, really.

So that’s all I got from tonight. There were a couple of memorable events:

  • Mackenzie, Kenny’s daughter. She’s the most poised, genuine, smart and beautiful little girl. I wonder how they pulled off getting her to LA without her daddy knowing. Was this an act? Very nice that the show is sending them to Disneyland for Kenny’s birthday. When all the Lee forgiveness bullcrap was going on, I thought Kenny was going to invite Lee with them for the day. I can just see them riding the “It’s a Small World” ride together for world peace relations.
  • Dean’s “blooper” of hiding gum behind his ear during an interview. Then taking it back and chewing it. Then swallowing it. I don’t know why, but that completely grosses me out and makes me think less of Dean. YUCK. I’m glad he viewed his very awkward hometown date as a cathartic experience that he hopes to one day turn into a reconciliation with his family. Yeah, I don’t see that happening any time soon.
  •  Rachel’s camper’s declaration of hurt. I admire Fred for voicing his frustration regarding how Rachel treated him during their time together. She could never see him as anything but the bad camper she knew in his childhood. He was accurate to say that she never gave him a chance. And when he started his speech, I thought he was going down a road of trash talking Rachel. But instead, he just wished her the best of luck. You can tell when he finished that it really took the life out of him to say those words. It had definitely been on his mind. I mean how frustrating to go on a show and try to win the heart of the girl you’ve always had a crush on. But instead of having a shot, you’re pegged as the “bad boy” and never even thought of as a real contender. Good for him.
  • Josiah was still performing even down to his need to sit with Lee on the couch and cross-examine him. I don’t feel like talking about him anymore.

So that’s about it. I’m bummed that they’ve pushed back Bachelor in Paradise for one more week to August 14th, but what can you do? Blame it on Corinne and DeMario.

Also, I’d be absolutely shocked if Rachel picks anyone other than Bryan the Chiropractor Physician who is not an actual MD Physician. I think she’d be happier with Peter, but Peter doesn’t seem to be ready for a fiance after 9 weeks. You know, he might actually be normal.

Did you watch the #MenTellAll? Any highlights for you? Does Rachel choose anyone but Bryan?


The Bachelorette Uncorks Her Feelings in Rioja, Spain

Rachel really “opens herself up” this week. She’s certainly spreading the love. She’s uncorking those wine bottles left and right this week. Yeah, you get it. Exotic overnights are upon us and we got the bonus of meeting Rachel the Bachelorette’s family a whole two episodes earlier than normal Bach timeframe.

First things first. The Husband texted me the following while I was at work today:

“Bach tonight. This season needs to end.”

If that’s not a wake up call, I’m not sure what is. What is it about this sleepy season that’s making it drag on and feel so, well, sleepy? By the time we were done with Rachel’s family, I was ready for bed. But we had a whole other hour and that’s when the sleeping around happens. Shouldn’t I have been more interested? Maybe it’s just so apparent how “off” the remaining men seem for Rachel. I mean, you’ve got Peter who seems to be the right middle ground for Rachel. He’s sincere, small town roots, good family, diverse friends (does this mean anything?) and even has the gapped tooth thing going for him. But he’s just not ready to propose after 9 weeks. He must be insane, right? Or maybe he’s actually normal. Why is he made to feel bad because he’s not committing to a life with Rachel before he’s actually ready? I just don’t get the love vibe from him. He’s under such a tremendous amount of pressure to feel a certain way and won’t succumb. He could lie about it – make a great name for himself and take advantage of all the publicity and probably make a nice little living earning an income on Instagram by modeling plaid and flannel shirts. But he’s being honest. This makes me (and Rachel’s mother) like him even more. But Rachel isn’t having it. He’s got to be going home next right?

Then you’ve got Sad Eyes Eric, who just seems so on another league / planet than Rachel. Yes, he’s sincere. Yes, he’s enthusiastic. Yes, he’s actually said the words, “Rachel Lindsay, I love you.” But every time they’re together, I feel like Rachel is Cinderella-ing him. She is so eager to throw exotic things his way and force him to articulate his feelings that there seems to be an almost teacher / student relationship between them. Or a Babysitter / Child. I have never had the feeling that they’re operating on the same level – emotionally, maturity-wise, financially, etc. I could get over the “I’ve never been in love before” factor if Eric seemed to be in sync with Rachel’s lifestyle. He’s a personal trainer. She’s a lawyer. How is that going to work? Is she going to support them financially? Is he going to move to Dallas and personally train her friends? Can they move into a wing of her parents’ house?

And then there’s Bryan. The mother and sister picked up on something within 3 minutes of him entering their home: (1) Doubts about his sincerity and (2) Concern about his close relationship with his mother. Did the producers tell Rachel’s mother about how intense Bryan’s mother was on the hometown? It’s almost like someone played her video footage of her over the top declarations about Bryan on last week’s show. They definitely grilled Bryan more than the other two guys. At least Rachel’s friends seemed to like him. Also, I thought we were going to meet Rachel’s friends from law school with Bryan. Did I miss that? It speaks volumes that out of her remaining 3, she only took Bryan to meet her real friends. Doesn’t that kind of mean she chooses him? Also, how much time passes between each parental meeting? Enough time for the flowers to wilt that each men brings the family? Or did they grill him more because Rachel already knows she is choosing him and they needed some more drama.

Some things that I question:

  • Did Rachel REALLY need to go back to the hotel room where the guys were staying for every “date?” Couldn’t she have just had the guys meet her one-on-one at some location in Dallas? It seemed unnecessary and uncomfortable. Why should the guys have to hang out together at this point and compare notes? I’m with Peter on this one. Bryan is just bragging and thinks he’s got this thing in the bag (he may be right).
  • Did Rachel REALLY need to go all in on those fake eyelashes again? She’s got such a pretty face, but the make-up is just RIDIC.
  • I felt bad for Eric needing to make a wish and ring the bell 3x because clearly he’s wishing for Rachel, but I just don’t see how that could actually happen. Also, if things don’t work out with Rachel, where does he go from here? It’s like trying to date someone after you’ve dated Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones reference). It’s just disappointing and nobody can compare.
  • Why did Rachel work so hard to get Eric to verbalize his love? I felt like she was leading the witness. And he was too naive to realize it. I also felt like Rachel’s sister was cross examining Bryan. Maybe it’s in the blood?
  • Is it really against the law for a federal judge to be on The Bachelorette? Maybe he didn’t like the contract he’d have to sign to make an appearance and understood that he could be edited in a horrible way and didn’t want to risk it.
  • Does Peter feel like a younger, gap-toothed version of Mr. Rogers? I just don’t know where we go from here with Peter. If Bryan is too fiery and Eric is too childlike, then maybe Peter was the perfect middle ground? But he’s just not ready yet.
  • Can I just leave everything behind and head to Rioja, Spain RIGHT now? It looked absolutely incredible and I’d like my own locker of wine to drink away my sorrows. Who’s coming with me?
  • Let’s discuss Rachel’s parents’ house. That was the largest house I’ve seen since JoJo’s season of Bachelorette. Can you imagine what Eric must have thought when he saw the size of it? I mean, it’s completely intimidating to a normal person, but to someone who is not used to seeing something like this, it must have blown his mind and added to the Cinderella fantasy.
  • Did Eric and Rachel do IT? They must have, right? Especially once we see the morning after shots with his shirt off, I think we’re safe to assume it happened. I mean, if Rachel had gotten me to confess that I loved her after showing me her insane mansion that she grew up in, I’d have likely gone all the way too. Is this wrong? Did I mention she also took me on a helicopter ride?  Oh AND I got the green light from her mother to propose if Rachel was all in? Even if I’m having some doubts about forever with Rachel, I am not having any doubts about her parents’ house and having a federal judge for a father in law might definitely come in handy.
  • So now it’s Peter’s turn to do the dance. Again, wondering how much time has passed since her Eric dance. And he’s right on the brink of getting that clearly female written card from Chris Harrison inviting him to a fantasy suite and he can’t get on the same page as Rachel. Can’t they sleep together and THEN see how he feels? Or he won’t even do that because he’s Mr. Rogers?
  • Is Peter being groomed to be our next Bachelor? Or would middle-America protest his gap-toothed ways?
  • Will Bryan’s mom join them in the fantasy suite?

MUST GO TO BED. Am I being too harsh? What are your thoughts? Is there any sustainable match here? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Stacey B (@OfficeStace)


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 (