“Who’s taking me home first?”
Welcome to DeAnna’s journey across America, also known as the Hometown Dates! Tonight The Bachelorette crisscrosses the fruited plain to meet the families of her potential one and only. And what grand insights will the families provide? Join me as we get down to it!So we start off with DeAnna taking us through a familiar journey detailing the four guys who are lucky enough to be welcoming her to their hometowns this evening. We’ve already viewed and dissected all of these moments with painstaking detail, so on with the show! First stop, Breckenridge, Colorado, home of The Riddler. The Riddler is looking the cutest he has so far in his light blue snow suit and non-matching gloves. His wacky hair even seems right in this setting as we get a montage of him doing his extreme snowboarding. He tells us that he’s been teaching snowboarding for years and it isn’t uncommon for his students to fall in love with him, so he’s hoping that’s what will happen when DeAnna takes her first snowboarding lesson today.
“I got dressed in the dark.”
DeAnna tells us how much she’s grown to care about The Riddler after spending more and more time with him, but there is always that unfortunate incident where DeAnna practically threw herself at him and he didn’t dive at the chance to kiss her. How dare he? DeAnna is in a little snow suit of her own. Hers is cream with pinstripes. The lesson starts and DeAnna does fine until The Riddler lets go of her hands and then she goes tumbling. Now, I have tried snowboarding exactly once, and let me tell you, it is not easy. I hear that once you catch on it’s great fun, but I spent an entire day sliding two feet then falling hard. My brain hurt from being jostled around so much. I guess I needed a teacher like The Riddler.
No brain injuries here.
The two little snow bunnies stop for a hot chocolate snuggle and a define-the-relationship chat. DeAnna feels safe with The Riddler, and he thinks it’s hot that she’s a natural athlete. He prepares her to meet his parents and she yammers a lot about needing a guy to depend on – like when The Riddler helped her after she fake-fell off the mechanical bull. Then he scoops her onto his back and swoops down the run with her riding piggyback. Somehow all I can think of is “Twilight” and the teenage vampire running through the forest with Bella on his back. DeAnna is even a huge wuss, just like Bella! (Sorry, I’ve been doing some summer reading.)
They head for The Riddler’s apartment and just like every red-blooded American bachelor, he has one entire wall taken up by a plasma screen television. Then he tells her about his non-profit organization, JSAK. Just Snowboarding Ambitious Kids. It’s for kids who don’t come from a ton of money, but want to snowboard, which is expensive. Hmm, didn’t Graham say on episode number one that he was THINKING about starting a children’s charity? Well, here’s The Riddler with a great one already up and running, he’s three years younger than Graham, and he never had to mention a word about it. He’s a good guy. DeAnna is all dumbfounded – thinking about her little life and her quest to put a stop to jilting bachelors. Here’s an odd tidbit about The Riddler: he has labeled every shelf in his kitchen with a P-Touch label maker. Somehow that seems to clash with the plasma screen, but okay, I’ll bite. We get a tour of his Hall of Snowboards and then see his log cabin bed, with a mini fridge next to it. There’s that American bachelor! Then the doorbell rings and here are The Riddler’s parents. His dad has totally long hair under a baseball cap, but wait! The hair is just part of the cap and his wife snatches it off of his head. Aw, a daddy with a sense of humor. That’s actually quite funny. Perhaps too funny for serious little DeAnna.
Over dinner they talk about The Riddler’s long hair and his dad asks if DeAnna is a share-er. Like, will she share her secrets? Is he kidding? She won’t shut up. Next The Riddler and his dad sit down on the log cabin bed to talk things over. The Riddler says that DeAnna makes him feel the way he feels in a snowboarding competition. Well, let’s not go crazy. I don’t think she’s all that exciting.
“She didn’t even laugh at my long-hair-hat.”
Downstairs The Riddler’s mom tells DeAnna all about her fertility issues and how when she finally gave up on having children all together, The Riddler came along. Then The Riddler’s dad sits down with DeAnna and tells her that The Riddler is ready to get married, but he’s afraid. Then he cries over how much he loves his little boy. This is slight overkill – let’s move along.
The Riddler takes DeAnna on a non-pumpkin carriage ride and he finally works up the nerve to give her a big fat smooch. Now he’s totally fallen for her and ready to kick up the competition 10 notches. Look out!
And next we join DeAnna in Dallas, Texas, hometown of Jeremy. DeAnna wears huge cowgirl boots for the occasion. Jeremy comes zooming up to meet her on a motorcycle, which she thinks is sooo hawt.
Love, love, love
He takes her on a motorcycle tour of Dallas in case she ends up living there for any reason. Then they visit Jeremy’s house and it is every bit as clean and organized as The Riddler’s. Is this just for the show, because I’ve never seen a dwelling belonging solely to a male that is this clean in my life. Jeremy’s closet is completely organized and he still has one room wallpapered with study material for the bar exam. Oh, it’s his bedroom. Sexy.
“See? I took this really hard test called The Bar.”
AND he has a dog named Chemo. I swear that’s what he said. I’m not sure of the spelling, but it sure sounded like Chemo, as in short for chemotherapy. Hmm. They look through Jeremy’s scrapbooks and he shows her pictures of his parents who have passes away, which is actually really sad. He reads from his journal the account he kept of his mother as she was dying and I’m needing a box of tissue. DeAnna cries and they realize that they have a unique understanding of each other, having both lost their mothers.
Jeremy’s brothers, Jason and Patrick, and his sister-in-law Meredith come over to eat and meet DeAnna. Over dinner the brothers talk about what great friends they all are and DeAnna says “y’all” a lot. It turns out that Meredith also lost her father, so this is a great big bonding session over lost parents, which no one else can possibly understand. Meredith and DeAnna go out on the balcony and Meredith says that it’s a big deal that Jeremy has opened up so much to DeAnna. Jeremy’s brothers ask him how he can stand knowing that DeAnna is dating other guys and Jeremy says he just doesn’t think about it and that is how he gets through this. Then DeAnna comes back inside and sits down with Jason and Patrick and Jason immediately tells DeAnna that they are on Jeremy’s side, not hers. Well, that’s friendly.
“We don’t trust you TV people.”
They talk about how weird this situation is and that the girl Jeremy ends up with has to get along with all of them, not just Jeremy. DeAnna says how perfect Jeremy is and how he’s everything she’s ever wanted and that scares her. (Can anyone say “Brad Womack?”) Finally Jason and Patrick seem to relent a little and end things on a nicer note. DeAnna says she knows they’re just protective of their brother.
After everyone leaves Jeremy and DeAnna sit in front of the fireplace in Jeremy’s bedroom and he tells her that he doesn’t just want her, he needs her. I’m not sure that I would take that as a compliment or a huge red flag at this stage in the game. They make out for a while and DeAnna talks about how perfect they’d be together. Jeremy says that everything just fits.
Next stop – Seattle! Jason jumps up and down when he sees DeAnna approaching and he scoops her up and twirls her around when she reaches him.
All you need is love.
They are standing in front of the Space Needle, which DeAnna has never seen or heard of. Oh DeAnna! That’s embarrassing. No wonder Brad didn’t want to marry you. Kidding, kidding. They take the super-secret passage way all the way up to the tippy top of the needle and take a good long look at Seattle. Then they eat in the rotating restaurant of the Space Needle and DeAnna frets while Jason gets her all ready to meet Ty. But here’s a good sign. Both DeAnna and Jason want three kids! Destiny calling! In fact, DeAnna wants three kids before she’s 30 so she’s on a clock here. I’ve heard that guys find that really attractive (cough!).
Now it’s on to the park where Ty is kicking a ball around with his au pair or auntie or whoever that is and as Jason calls out to him, Ty yells, “Daddy!” and runs into Jason’s arms. They roll around on the grass as the music swells and DeAnna bawls. I swear! This is like The Bachelorette: After School Special. So many tugs at the heartstrings going on. Jason introduces Ty to DeAnna and she tells him that she brought him a present. Then she hands him a blue golf ball. I’m sorry, what? That is so random. It’s like she saw it rolling on the ground or something so she picked it up. Who deliberately gives a single golf ball as a gift? And to a toddler? Whatever.
“Gee, thanks for nothing, lady.”
They go to throw some bread to the ducks and we get this brilliant illustration of what a phenomenal father Jason is. I have to say that Ty is totally adorable and he looks just like Jason. It’s actually really sweet to see how much Jason loves him, too. It’s just such a sticky situation when there’s a tiny person involved and an ex-wife who will always be lurking. I don’t know, let’s see what happens.
They head over to meet Jason’s family, which includes his parents, two brothers and another sister-in-law. Jason’s parents have actually prepared a Greek feast for DeAnna, which is totally sweet. Remember when Shayne’s mom made English food for Matt last season? Ha ha. The family wants to know if DeAnna likes sports, and what it’s like dating a bunch of guys at once, you know, the usual. After dinner the family sits around and Jason pulls out the scroll of Ty’s star and shows it to him and I almost start crying again. What is wrong with me? They do a Greek toast and a Greek dance and then they all go outside and play leap frog. Okay, I get it – this family is child-friendly. Dennis, Jason’s father, takes DeAnna aside for a chat. When she says she’s okay being a stepmom, Dennis is very touched and tells her how special she is. They actually seem like a very warm family, which is sweet. As Jason gets ready to leave Ty starts sobbing. Then the whole family starts sobbing. It must be the Seattle weather. I hear it causes lots of suicides. Where do I sign up?
Later as Jason and DeAnna snuggle, Jason tells her that his heart is in a place it hasn’t been in a long time. He tells us he’s falling in love.
And on the opposite end of the United Sates we find Raleigh, North Carolina, Graham’s hometown. At last! Some emotion-free footage. Graham is waiting around in front of the building that represents the pinnacle of his life – his high school. DeAnna acts like she is still in high school as she jumps out of the car and giggles like a little girl. Ah, the Graham effect. She shifts into her perma-grin and high pitched baby talk. They go into the high school gym, where the production staff has made up two basketball jerseys – both with Graham’s last name on them, which DeAnna takes as a super huge hint. And what a sexy last name – Bunn. Ahem.
“Wee! He wants to marry me!”
Graham continues to act how he always does, and DeAnna tells us that he continues to surprise her. She offers him a kiss if he makes a half-court shot, which he misses, but she wraps around him to kiss him anyway, to his surprise. He pulls away pretty fast. Is his indifference what she finds so attractive? I thought that only worked on guys. After basketball Graham prepares DeAnna to meet his family and she has never heard so many words come out of his mouth at once.
“Wow, you can form whole sentences!”
We meet Graham’s parents and as everyone sits down to chat, Graham’s mom wants to know how DeAnna thinks she can know enough about a guy just from this process to know if she loves him. You see, love takes time to build, and you have to go through ups and downs with a person to create real love. Rubbish, Karen! The Bachelor/ette process works! Didn’t you know? DeAnna fell in love with Brad, after all. Graham tells us that the way DeAnna looks at him sometimes feels very, very special. Wow Graham. I think YOU are very, very special.
Graham’s obvious glory days
Graham’s mom takes DeAnna into Graham’s old bedroom, which hasn’t changed since high school, complete with his trophy case. That’s too funny. When I moved out, my mom had my room redecorated before the front door could close. I couldn’t find a remnant of high school even if I wanted to. DeAnna tells Karen that she’s had feelings for Graham since the first moment she saw him and wonders if Karen thinks that Graham is ready for a serious relationship. Karen admits that Graham doesn’t usually have relationships that last more than four weeks. Well that’s an encouraging thing to hear about a 29-year-old man. DeAnna tells Karen that she’s worried she’s falling for Graham more than he’s falling for her and she doesn’t want to get hurt in the end. Karen’s answer? “You’ll make the decision that works for you.” Oh snap!
“Don’t look at me, honey. You’re on your own.”
So DeAnna and Graham go sit on a bench in the woods and Graham’s total presence is very non-encouraging. He barely touches DeAnna and he stares down at his lap the whole time she talks. He gives her one word answers and when DeAnna asks if this is how he would act if it were just the two of them he says, “This is how I am, so yeah.” Wow. Does he need to get in a bikini and spell out “I’m not interested” in the sand for you DeAnna? He ends the conversation by saying, “Well good luck!” How sweet. Geez!
Do you feel the electricity?
It’s time for the Rose Ceremony! DeAnna once again goes over the pros and cons of every single guy as she picks up each of their pictures in turn. The Riddler shows up dressed like Saturday Night Fever and Graham shows up in jeans.
The line up
Here comes DeAnna and here come the roses! The Riddler, Jeremy and… Jason! Graham, I’m sorry. Take a moment and say your goodbyes.
So Graham is going home and DeAnna is PISSED. They sit down outside to talk things over and Graham looks nothing but uncomfortable. He just keeps nodding and saying DeAnna did what she had to do, but she will not have it! She gives her now-famous speech about what happened when Brad Womack led her on and broke her heart. She feels like Graham is leading her on. He just says she’s entitled to her opinion. No words of comfort, no assurances of his feelings, and dang it, this will not do! Care, Graham, care! I won’t put you into the limo until you show some hint of disappointment about being let go! He won’t even look at her. She starts bawling and says that she’s saying goodbye to the ONE person she thought she was falling in love with. Well! Take that, whoever wins! The only one she was falling in love with after the hometown dates was Graham. And he could care less. DeAnna goes, “When you leave, it ends here.” In other words, are you sure you don’t want to stay, Graham? All it would take is a little nod from you and we can start all over. Just give me a sign and I’ll keep you. Please! Please? No dice. Graham is ready for the limo.
“For the love of mercy, let me out of here!”
But first! Wonder of wonders Graham has written a note and he pulls it out of his pocket and says he would appreciate it if DeAnna would read it sometime. She just leaves it on the bench and they go to the limo. I’m surprised she doesn’t tear it open with her teeth and beg him to stay. He gets into the limo without a hug or even a backward glance. During his Ride of Shame he says he’s never been so relieved in his entire life. Just kidding, he doesn’t say anything. DeAnna sobs as she reads Graham’s note and worries that now she might not fall in love at all. Well, this all went horribly awry. Did Graham just do this for fun and find himself in over his head? What was up with all that?
Next week are the fantasy overnight dates! Also, it looks like we have The Men Tell Nothing, but supposedly we get to see what Graham wrote in his note. I’m sure it is literary genius. We shall see!
So! What are your theories on Graham? I can’t wait to hear!
Thanks for reading!