SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “The Bachelor” episode from Monday, Feb. 19.
And then there were four.
Week 8 on “The Bachelor” means time for the infamous hometown dates, with Tia, Kendall, Lauren B. and Becca each bringing Arie Luyendyk Jr. home to meet their families. With only two weeks to go until the final rose (and likely a proposal), the relationships are in crunch time.
First up was Kendall, the quirky taxidermist from Los Angeles.
“It’s been really difficult for me to find people who get me,” she announced as she brought the Bachelor into a warehouse full of dead animals.
“The taxidermy freaked me out a little bit, not my thing, but I love spending time with Kendall,” Luyendyk pronounced as he nervous-laughed his way through the date. Kendall even made him stuff dead rats and create a scene of the two taxidermy characters kissing in front of an Eiffel Tour painting. If he can handle this, he can probably handle anything.
After giving Luyendyk some lifelong trauma, she brought him to meet her family, which included her identical twin sister Kylie. Kendall opened up to her parents about falling for the Bachelor and seeing a future together, while he talked to her sister about if she is ready for marriage. Her father also addressed his concerns with Luyendyk and said he couldn’t give his blessing on an engagement. The two left on good terms, though, with the Bachelor telling Kendall he was falling for her. For those keeping score at home, he’s now told that to three of the four women.
Weiner, Ark. was the next stop on the hometown tour for Tia’s date. To make Luyendyk feel at home in the South, she took him to a dirt track where the two raced cars before she took him to meet her family.
In front of a giant plate of pigs in a blanket, Tia’s brother quickly confronted Luyendyk on his rumored playboy past. Even though she told her father he’s “leaps and bounds” ahead of anyone else she’s dated, her father expressed the same concerns about things he had read about Luyendyk. He did give his blessing for an engagement, but he also told the Bachelor, “If you hurt her, I can find you on Google. It would be bad for you.”
In their private time, Tia told Luyendyk that she was in love with him, and he described the hometown visit as “a perfect day.”
Luyendyk next headed up north to Minneapolis, Minn. for Becca’s hometown. The two started the day in an apple orchard, which included an apple slingshot, carving their initials into a tree and decorating caramel apples. Young love!
Becca also warned the Bachelor about meeting her uncle, a pastor who was skeptical about their journey. At her home, Luyendyk and her uncle spoke about her father’s recent death and his role as Becca’s “guard dog.” Becca talked to her mother about a possible future engagement, to which her mom replied she would not be willing to give a blessing. When Luyendyk asked, though, she said she would support any decision that Becca made.
“Words can’t describe how happy I am right now,” Becca told the Bachelor after he won over her skeptical family.
For the fourth date, Luyendyk headed back down South to Virginia Beach for Lauren B.’s hometown, where the two rode horses on the beach and made out in a lighthouse. Lauren warned the Bachelor about her conservative family, and he confessed, “On a scale of one to having a complete meltdown, I’m at about an eight.”
It seemed that Lauren often gets her silence from her family, as the dinner was filled with awkward moments between Luyendyk and her family. At one point, he was so nervous he had to get up to dry himself off, comparing his feelings to the time he competed in the Indy 500. Seems a little extreme, but alright.
Luyendyk told both of her parents that he was falling in love with Lauren, and her mom confessed that made her nervous. “Are you saying the same things to all these people?” Lauren’s mother asked.
She struggled to give her blessing to Luyendyk but said she trusted what Lauren wanted. Lauren’s family was clearly the most skeptical of the process, but Lauren said she felt they were very similar. In the end, though, they seemed to come around and believe that the two were falling in love. Or maybe it was just good editing.
Returning back to the Bachelor mansion after the whirlwind week, Luyendyk said he had fallen for all of the women and confessed he didn’t know what he was going to do. He gave out his three roses in an emotional ceremony, saying it was “the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life.” After pulling Kendall aside to question if she would be ready to be engaged so soon, he sent Tia home in tears.
The campaign for Tia as next Bachelorette has already begun, and next week the final three will travel to Peru, along with the “Women Tell All” special that will air on Sunday.
“The Bachelor” airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.