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They say that home is where the heart is… but in the case of The Bachelorette, it’s also where your judgmental mama and sister are, and without their approval, our boys aren’t puttin’ a ring on it. So the hometown episode was all about seeing whose family Ashley fit in with and whose mom was the least like a dragon lady. To kick things off, Ashley is back in Philadelphia to get packed up and ready to go.
Aww… how can she leave her fur baby behind??
She recaps why she likes each of the final contestants and she’s got nothing new to say: Constantine is cute and funny, Ben is funny and sexy, Ames is interesting and she has chemistry with JP. As she reminisces, she packs her suitcase and hauls it out to the curb. Strangely, she’s dressed in barely nothing while the strangers passing her by are all bundled up.
All dressed up and ready to go to…
Cumming, GA. Small town, north of Atlanta, all the way ‘crost the state from Climax, GA. Its sister city is Wetwang, England. So this is where Constantine lives and runs a restaurant called Athena’s Giorgio’s, which serves tasty Greek Italian food. Constantine says that he’s excited Ashley’s coming to Cumming, but he’s not as excited as she is — no one is as excited as she is. She skips up to him, all squealy and huggy. She says that Constantine is exactly what she’s looking for… physically.
First stop in Cumming is Giorgio’s, where a whole passel of young, cute waitresses all hug Constantine and comment on how cute Ashley is. Hmmmm….
Constantine takes Ashley to the kitchen and teaches her how to make pizza. When he tells her to put her favorite ingredients on the crust, she pretends to pick him up and put him on. Ew. After tearing up the kitchen they sit outside with food and wine and proceed to have a very long and boring conversation. I actually fell asleep during this part, but something tells me I didn’t miss much. Watching the waitresses watch Ashley and Constantine is far cuter. There’s a lot of squealing and squeeing. They get very excited when they see Ashley and Constantine kiss. People of Cummings — please go to Giorgio’s! The waitstaff needs something to do.
“ZOMG! They like each other, totes magotes!”
Next stop is Constantine’s parents’ home. A giant sign welcoming Constantine hangs out front. I guess they didn’t think he’d be bringing anyone?
They probably had to cut off the bottom part because it said “and Emily!”
Constantine has a cute family — his mom and sister are nearly identical and his dad is cuddly and is genuinely excited to be hanging out with his son.
Booze? Check. Buzzed smiles? Check. Ridiculous dog with bow in its fur? Check. Looks like a fun family.
After a group hug, they sit down to a dinner that seems to be composed entirely of meat dishes and Constantine’s dad, Dimitri, tries to force feed Ashley lamb chops.
“We have all the main food groups: lamb, pork, beef and poultry.”
Constantine’s family wants to impress Ashley, but at the same time they are concerned that the relationship is moving too quickly and in the reality show bubble. Mama and Daddy Constantine encourage both kids to take it slow and “it it happens, it happens.”
What my mom would say: “I tell you what else better happen; your shoes coming off my couch, that’s what.”
Later, Constantine’s extended family comes over and there’s lots of shouting and hugging and dancing and one gentleman who is making it rain like it’s Friday night at the Cheetah Club.
“Make it rain, trick.”
Ashley loves every minute of it and flings herself into the activities. Constantine’s dad says he hopes his son and Ashley will be “in love forever” and Constantine admits that he can see Ashley being a part of his family.
Next stop on Ashley’s Make-a-Family-Fall-in-Love-With-Me-Then-Dump-Their-Son Tour is Chadds Ford, PA, which is where Ames is from. Ames and the setting look like something from a Polo Ralph Lauren ad and I’d bet my next paycheck that Ames is very familiar with the game of polo.
“And after a rousing polo match, I thought we might play some croquet. I’m going to use my mallet to pound some balls at your wicket.”
Ames tells the camera that he feels like he and Ashley are like “boyfriend and girlfriend” so he’s excited to introduce her to the family. Speaking of family… the genes run strong in this one:
Ames’s brother and sister.
Ames’s sister seems nice enough, but she’s pretty suspicious of Ashley, noting that Ames has a love “spark” about him… but Ashley does not. I think she hit nail on the head there. She takes Ashley to a room that has an indoor pool and hot tub (of course they have an indoor pool and hot tub) and asks Ashley some very direct questions about her feelings and intentions. Ashley seems a bit surprised by the line of questioning and says that she sees many good things in Ames and wants to get to know him better.
Here’s how she describes him: “He thinks about things. He’s a man. And I love that he’s independent.” You guys… this has the makings of the greatest love story ever told.
I’d choose the family with the indoor pool. Just sayin’.
Sis says that Ames is like an onion: he has lots of layers and is very romantic. She says that Ames is very cautious because his dad and stepdad died of cancer when he was young. And she adds that he is hot and smart and amazing. Well if you like him so much….
Ames seems blissfully unaware that the passion he thinks he feels for Ashley is going un-reciprocated, so his sister basically tells him to step up his game and bring the sexy. Take a lesson from JT and bring the sexy back, Ames!
“Let her see what you’re twerkin’ with!”
For Ames, this means taking her to a garden called Wintertour (thanks, Gatsby) and setting up a picnic of fruit and wine under a blossoming pink magnolia tree. He then regales her with tales of how unpopular he was in school and what a dork he was and how nobody liked him. Sexy.
He tells Ashley that life isn’t all fireworks and romance has to come from the inside and there’s an Italian renaissance way of romancing someone by being romantic in your ordinary, everyday life and that’s what he’s about. They kiss and Ames calls it “the most amazing kiss ever” that made time stand still. They go for a horse and carriage ride and Ames says that he’s falling in love with Ashley and the next time his family sees her, they might be engaged. Ashley says they’re having a very real connection and this could be a story book romance.
I’m going to guess those feelings were short lived because her next stop is to Sonoma, CA to see Ben F. Ben and his floppy hair are floppin’ around Sonoma and Ashley thinks his general floppiness, fashion and sense of humor are just the sexiest ever. Ben takes her to his winery so she can “taste” his “wine.”
He says it’s a big step bringing a girl home to meet his mom — he’s only done it once before. He’s confident in his relationships with Ashley… but, he adds, he’d never marry a woman his mom and sister didn’t approve of. Uh-oh. The sirens are starting to go off — we have a red alert: mama’s boy ahead!
They head to Ben’s mom’s house to meet his mom Barbara and his sister Julia.
Ready to cut a bitch.
Over dinner, Julia tells Ashley that she signed Ben up for The Bachelorette because she hasn’t liked his previous girlfriends. She says she’s much more protective of him than “you might think.” What does THAT mean? Julia — so firey and yet so icy with her chilly stare and cold, cold pearls. I’m kind of scared and turned on right now.
Later, Ben and Barbara sit down and have what feels like a very intense therapy session. Suffice it to say, the last few years have been tough on the F. family and Ben may not have handled it as well as he could have. Ben apologizes to his mom for not being a better son and she seems surprised but thanks him for his apology and tells him his dad is looking down on him from heaven with pride.
Things got so intense I forgot that Ashley was there! She bounds back into the picture like a happy puppy and, before taking off again, says that she could see herself spending the rest of her life with Ben F.
The final stop on Ashley’s Heartbreakers Tour is Roslyn, NY, JP’s hometown. JP says he’s happy to be back on Long Island. Everyone knows Long Islanders pull their strength from Lawn Guyyyland. If they stay away too long they get weak and don’t have enough energy to hit Manhattan’s cheesiest bars on Saturday night.
Since it’s 1985 and they’re both 12, JP takes Ashley roller skating. The lights are down and the music’s playing and the battered disco ball is turning and Ashley says she feels like she’s in 7th grade again and she loves it! They skate and make out before JP goes sprawling onto his back.
Later, JP takes her home to meet his mom, dad, brother and the brother’s girlfriend. JP, too, doesn’t often take girls home to the family, but he’s “100 percent” sure about his relationship with Ashley and he’s willing to put his heart on the line for the chance to be with her.
JP’s mom Ilene is excited to meet Ashley, but also very worried about her son being heartbroken by her like he was with his last girlfriend. Ilene really fixates on the heartbreak stuff. At the same time, it’s hard to take someone with so many buttons on her sweater so seriously.
Ilene sits Ashley down and tells her how much JP has been hurt in the past and how painful it was to watch. She also wants to know what it was like for Ashley to have her choice of men to date… when all of the men had no choice but to date her.
“Was it difficult being such a whore, dear?”
JP sits down with his brother Roy and tells him that he has something special with Ashley and he’s ready for her to pick him now. Roy says he doesn’t want to see JP get hurt again. Damn! What happened to JP?? What was so bad — the breakup… or his reaction to it? I’d be a little nervous if the entire family of the guy I was dating was terrified about his reaction to a breakup.
Was JP adopted or was Roy?
Before things get too serious, Ilene turns to the best trick moms have in their repertoire: embarrassment; specifically, embarrassing photos. She pulls this gem out:
Awesomely ’90s. He’s got the Zach Morris smirk down pat.
How does a 13-year-old kid know how to pose like that?? Everyone cracks up, but Ilene clearly loves this bar mitzvah photo, gazing at her boy’s sweet, charming face. So youthful and innocent. That magical time before his heart would be broken over and over again by girls who wanted nothing more than to get their claws into his tight little body. Didn’t those girls know her boy had so much to offer? She stares at the giant photo while everyone laughs. “It’s a beautiful pic-chuh,” she says quietly.
Back to the Bachelor/ette mansion. Chris Harrison’s there to greet Ashley and remind her that the last time she was there she had 12 guys and two pounds of makeup. Now she’s returned with four guys and eight pounds of makeup… most of it glitter eyeshadow and false lashes. Oh yes, and she had an absurd and inappropriate obsession with spawn of Satan Bentley. “Who?” she asks, laughing nervously.
She recaps all of the hometown dates for Chris who listens politely before telling her she’s gotta kick another guy to the curb. After Ashley gives another long, meaningless soliloquy to the remaining boys, it’s finally time to hand out roses. The first one goes to Ben, who has gotten an unfortunate hair cut.
JP looks confused by this, but he gets the second rose. Now Ames looks a little stunned. And the third and final rose — which Ashley is gripping with her fingertips as though her life depends on it — goes to… Constantine. There’s an awkward moment when she and Ames just stare at each other and he either winks at her or twitches one eye uncontrollably.
She walks him outside and he says some really nice thing about her and about the experience being amazing and poetic and memorable. She practically has to lead him into the limo and pull her hand out of his. In the limo, Ames closes his eyes for awhile and then tells us that he was in love with Ashley, but she clearly wasn’t in love with him. He was looking forward to sharing a lifetime of adventures with a beautiful woman. Now he’s back to adventuring alone “which is less… enticing.” He says that more than anything, he wants to be loved. Well, hopefully he will find that on Bachelor Pad, which kicks off next month.
And up next for the remaining boys and Ashley: Fiji. Ugh! So jealous! I NEED to be on this show. But. Looks like there will be trouble in paradise… Ashley’s tattooed sister gets mouthy.. PLUS, a surprise guest. Who can it be now? See you next week!