Bachelor Blog: A Hometown Before Hometowns(Week 7)

On this episode of The Bachelor...

Ben takes the remaining six girls to his hometown of Warsaw, Indiana. Before I start in on each of the dates I just want to take a second to say how much I really love this season. It's been pretty widely commented that Ben is the best and most sincere Bachelor the show has had and I completely agree. Based on what we saw last night, how his hometown just completely loves him is proof of his amazing character. No one is perfect, but Ben's pretty close.

Not only that but the women this season are so great and so real. All of the interactions in the house with the remaining women have been respectful and it's obvious that regardless of the outcome of the show, these ladies are friends and that says a lot about the type of women Ben has chosen to surround himself with. No wonder he is having a hard time and reportedly falls in love with both of the final two women!

The conversations that are happening this season are real and important. I've said it before but, Ben is having the right kind of conversations to figure out who among these women are right for him and ready for the next steps. What's impressive is that the women are also having tough conversations and leaning on each other despite being in competition with each other. Of course it's getting weird, they are all falling in love with the same guy but, I'm just really impressed with how each of these ladies are handling themselves in this really tough and awkward situation.

Okay, now on to the dates! This week there were 3 one-on-ones, and a 3-on-1 that turns into a one-on-one for the girl who gets the date rose.

First up - Ben asks Lauren on a Date

Date: Lauren

This date didn't get a date card. Ben met the girls at the house they are staying at on the lake where he grew up to greet them. While there he tells Lauren that she has 30 minutes to get ready for her date and then they're off. This was kind of hard for the other girls to see. Last week the ladies started to recognize the connection that Lauren and Ben have and seeing him ask her out on a date was hard for them.

Ben drove Lauren around his hometown, giving her the highlights of important places from his upbringing and then took her to Baker's Youth Club where he used to work. Ben knows these people really well and a lot of the kids remember him from when he worked there. Ben felt it was important for Lauren to see him in this place to get to know him better and understand his passion for helping people. It was a really cute date, watching Ben with the kids was priceless and the kids, especially the girls, took an immediate liking to Lauren.

Ben surprised the kids with a visit from some of the Indiana Pacers, and Lauren was star struck because she is a basketball fan.

After their date at the youth center, Ben and Lauren had a much needed talk about the comments that Leah made last week. Lauren explained to Ben how hurt she was and how she had worried that something so untrue might have made him question her. He reassured her and told her that he trusts her so everything is back on track. He also took Lauren to his local dive bar where they hung out for the evening. After this date, it's pretty clear that Ben has very strong feeling for Lauren and Lauren is falling in love with Ben. She looked really happy, and I basically love her so I'd be surprised if Ben didn't too.

My predicted top 2!

Let's Find Love in the Windy City

Date: JoJo

JoJo really needed this date. She's been having a tough couple weeks and Ben knew that she needed some validation. Ben thinks it's endearing that JoJo doesn't know how much he likes her but he also sees that he needs to let her know so she doesn't pull away.

For their date, Ben takes JoJo to Wrigley Field where they get to spend the whole day just playing around and then having dinner on the field. Lucky JoJo gets a jersey that says Mrs. Higgins (she better keep that just in case, if she's the one that will be a stinking cute engagement picture outfit). They had a lot of fun playing baseball together and exploring the stadium but then they got down to the important part of the date.

Ben explained to JoJo that when she pulls away he questions the extent of her feeling for him and it makes him scared. And JoJo explained that she is falling for him and is reserved because she doesn't want to get her heart broken, basically she is also scared. She can't completely trust her heart with him because he's dating five other women but she's been trying to open up and trying to let her guard down because week after week he has told her to hang in there and him telling her that has been keeping her going. So this is a good sign for JoJo. He's told her to hang in there which means he's known for a long time that she's going the distance.

And I basically love her too. Oh no, now I'm starting to feel really stressed because even I love both JoJo and Lauren, this must have been super hard for Ben and I'm starting to get queasy thinking about how hard the finale is going to be. (PS I totally think JoJo and Lauren will be the final two in case you couldn't guess).

The 3-on-1 Date

Date: Becca, Caila, and Amanda

First, since these three got the "group date" that means Emily is getting a one-on-one and she was so sweet and excited when she realized it, but we'll get to that momentarily. The women on this date were a little less excited because obviously they each would much rather have a one-on-one. All the girls are "over" the group dates, which is okay because this is the last group date of the season! And let's face it, the 3-on-1 is the most awkward of all the dates. It's kind of a like a group date but kind of not.

There was some initial weirdness where they all were forced to interact with each other while rowing around a pond and flying kites but then it got down to the time where Ben just needed to take each of the three girls for alone time and figure out which of them was going to get the only rose before the rose ceremony (thus guaranteeing he meets their family). That rose is a big deal. It's the most important rose up to this point in the show.

Amanda was looking for some validation to make her feel confident in inviting Ben to meet her kids. Becca's alone time wasn't the best because she spent most of the time talking about how she didn't feel like their relationship had progressed the way the others have and she likes him a lot so it's hard for her not to feel any reciprocation on his end. And Caila obviously has the best physical and emotional connection with Ben among these three but is starting to get in her own head about not being enough for Ben.

Amanda ended up getting the date rose, which kind of surprised me just because I think he has a better connection with Caila but maybe he could see that Amanda needed to know that she was getting a hometown so she could prepare herself for him meeting the kids. IDK.

Unfortunately for Becca and Caila they had to go back to the house and tell the other women that their group date turned in to a one-on-one for Amanda and that made the others have all kinds of feelings. All these girls either love or are falling in love with Ben, there's not one girl there who is jut in it to win it like some of the past seasons so it's easy to see how hard the process is for them.

Meanwhile, Ben takes Amanda to McDonalds, because that's "normal" (or because McDonalds is a sponsor of the show...duh). They are cute and silly together as they work the drive thru. Then Ben takes Amanda to a town carnival! Okay so now I have a little scoop for you. It happens that a co-worker of mine is from Indiana and when she learned that Ben was also from Indiana she called up some friends who still live there to see if she could find out what they did on this date because there is legitimately nothing to do in Warsaw, Indiana. Turns out, the show brought this carnival in to town so there would be something exciting and romantic to do. But it turns out that that information was fairly obvious. The whole town came out and it was basically a Bachelor homecoming. Seriously everyone in this town loves Ben! Anyway, it was a cute date. Oh also, Ben was too cute screaming on the fair rides!

I think Ben really likes Amanda but I'm just not seeing the same kind of chemistry that I see with JoJo and Lauren.

Home is Where the Heart Is

Date: Emily

It looks like Lauren is strangling her but don't worry,
she's really comforting her after her break up.
So this is Ben and Emily's first real one-on-one date and he's taking her to meet his parents. That's kind of a lot for a first date. Emily of course is honored and feels super lucky that he chose her for this. Little does she know, Ben has some kind of serious questions about whether or not she is ready to get married and he's looking for his parents input to see if these questions about her are warranted.

Emily's word vomit came back and she just couldn't shut up, but Ben's mom is so sweet and nice, even though she definitely is concerned that Emily is too young and still finding herself. She's a good mom. Actually both of Ben's parents are lovely people!

Unfortunately for Emily, Ben's parents confirmed that Ben's questions about Emily were valid and he decided to send her home. Also unfortunately for Emily, he did this on the dock outside of the house where all the other girls were staying and they watched it happen.

Emily was really mature about it, she was sad but handled things so well. I love her, she's such a sweetie. And I love the other girls and how sad they were for her.

Rose Ceremony

So we're to the point where cocktail parties aren't happening and the rose ceremonies really aren't that eventful, other than girls getting sent home of course. Ben was struggling to decide what to do but Chris Harrison helped him put things in perspective. Chris asked Ben if he really thought that each of the five women left could potentially be his wife. Ben had to come to terms with the fact that there was one girl there that he wasn't as confident about and so he sent Becca home.

Becca was annoyed because I think she wanted him to send her home privately if he hand't been feeling it but ultimately understood. She was still of course very upset leaving.

So we're left with our final four! Lauren, JoJo, Caila and Amanda. I have to say before this week I really thought Becca would inch out Amanda but after seeing the interactions between Ben and Becca vs. Ben and Amanda this makes total sense. I also read that Ben gets "intimate" with all three of the girls who get fantasy suite dates so I was pretty sure Becca wasn't making it that far. I don't think she'd give up her V card as one of three women.

I said already that I think it will be Lauren & JoJo in the finale. Between the other two I think one of two things will happen: 1. Ben will decide he's not ready to be an instant father to Amanda's kids and she will go next week; OR 2. Caila will start to pull away and Ben will question their connection. At this point in the show he can't be questioning things so he could let her go for that reason.

So I'm up in the air about who the third girl will be but, regardless, either Caila or Amanda would make a pretty awesome Bachelorette so I'm just putting that out there.

Until next week everyone!

PS - On Sunday there was a Bachelor at 20 Special on where they recapped the last 20 seasons of the Bachelor and Jade & Tanner (of Bachelor in Paradise, Season 2) got married! And the wedding was of course BEAUTIFUL!

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