Bachelorette Week 7: Hometown Week

It would really suck to be the Bachelorette candidate who gets sent home immediately after introducing the titular lady to his family, but someone has to get the boot and this week, family week, it’s… CLIFFHANGER! We have to wait until next week to find out who will be going home and who will be going home later.

First up is Chase’s hometown of Denver, where the snow reveals that it has been quite a while since this episode was shot. Chase’s family seems entirely normal even if they do treat his parents’ divorce as something that doesn’t happen to half of all marriages. On a show that is supposed to be a celebration of falling in love, divorce is anathema. As one might expect, the visit to Chase’s house is the least interesting of the episode’s trips, his father and mother seem nice, even if they are divorce monsters, and his sister looks a lot like him except feminine. Chase still seems to be hoping to sneak through by flying under the radar which is still not entirely a bad plan, he might be able to hold on for a couple more weeks. He’s saying what he needs to say, “I’m falling in love with you,” and not revealing any toxic flaws. He’s not playing to win, he’s playing to not lose.

Next, JoJo is off to gorgeous Chico, California to visit the Rodgers family. Before family time Jordan takes JoJo through his old stomping grounds, visiting his high school where the mascot is “The Vikings!” Deduction leads me to conclude that Aaron Rodgers once played for The Vikings, which is kind of a fun revelation but not really. Jordan, as per usual, avails himself of an opportunity to make out with JoJo who is more than receptive and the two take the time to canoodle in the school library before heading to the Rodger’s home.

The Rodgers family is fun group of people who look alike. Jordan’s mother Darla takes the time to ask typically motherly questions of each of them, regarding whether they will be ready to be engaged when the show comes to an end. JoJo is enthusiastic, as she is apparently ready to marry whomever wins the show, and Jordan, as ever, seems into JoJo but not particularly ready to commit so soon. Because he is sensible. Jordan is the favorite here at The Renaissance Fan because, of the remaining candidates, he seems the most hesitant to say anything he doesn’t mean. Sure, he will drop an “I’m falling in love with you” because he knows it is what he has to say to stay on the show, but he won’t say “I love you” because he has not known JoJo long enough to realistically be “in love” with her. It might make him seem less romantic than some of the other candidates, but he seems far more stable. For her part, JoJo seems more interested in Jordan’s “I love you” than she is in the other guys’, particularly Robby’s. JoJo claims to be nervous because Jordan is more noncommittal than the other guys, but I wonder if her nervousness has been played up to make Jordan seem less the frontrunner. Also JoJo talks to Jordan’s brother Luke about their relationship with Aaron which simply reiterates what Jordan has already said on the subject and is boring.

The real drama comes with JoJo’s visit to Robby’s family in St. Augustine, Florida. At first things are going smoothly; the town is lovely, the couple enjoy a tour of the town in a horse-drawn carriage (JoJo loves a horse), before heading back to meet the family. Like the other candidates, Robby’s family are upper-middle class and remarkably white, but with Robby’s clan there are more of them (really, a lot of white, white people). Things go sour when Robby’s mom explains to him that his ex’s roommate is telling people that he only left his ex to be on the show. Inexplicably, Robby decides that he needs to talk to JoJo about this immediately, pulling her out of a conversation with his sisters to explain the situation and, in effect, creating a problem where he claims there is no problem. Robby’s recent (just how recent remains somewhat ambiguous) breakup, has been a concern of JoJo’s for a couple of weeks now, so Robby’s decision to bring it up seems remarkably ill-conceived. It seems for a moment that if Chase gets to stay another week he will have Robby’s ex-girlfriend’s roommate to thank for it.

Luke nails hometown week. Luke hails from Burnet, Texas and JoJo is happy to be back in her home state. Luke makes a smart move by introducing not only his family but also a few of his friends. Introducing your  good, nice, appealing friends to someone you are wooing is a good idea because first it demonstrates that you have friends and second, the people with whom you choose to spend your time reflect well upon you if they are, indeed, good, nice, appealing people. Most people’s families feel obligated to keep them in their lives, friends choose to do so. After meeting these friends and family, Luke, of course, takes JoJo horseback riding (JoJo loves a horse), JoJo comments that she and Luke have “undeniable chemistry,” but that she is unsure that Luke is in love with her. Noticeably, JoJo is more concerned that Luke and Jordan be in love with her than she is Chase and Robby. The date ends with Luke taking JoJo down a candlelit path to a heart made of flowers that is supposed to represent that his heart is hers or his heart is “out there” or… look, he’s not great with words but he’s making some serious, smart moves this week.

For the Rose Ceremony, the candidates arrive movie-villain-style in sedans at a hangar housing the private jet that will carry all except the unlucky eliminated candidate to their next destination. It seems like it should be curtains for Robby, but then JoJo shows a real curveball in a talking head interview when she says that she may have to say goodbye to Luke. This is a shock, as Luke has seemed to be a really strong contender for several weeks now. A possible explanation here is that, of the candidates this year Luke seems like the most likely future star of The Bachelor and the producers want him out before he can in some way poison his image. Before JoJo can make a decision, Luke pulls her aside to tell her “I am in love with you,” something that he had neglected to tell her before. This could be a bit of a desperation move on Luke’s part but it may well have pulled him back from the brink. We won’t know until next week because JoJo breaks down, agonizing over her decision, and we are left with a “to be continued…”

Week 7 Power Rankings
1. Jordan: JoJo’s into him, that’s all there is to it.
2. Luke: After the date, I thought Luke would be in the number one spot but JoJo really seems to be wavering on him.
3. Chase: Failed to be interesting this week but at least he was not interesting in a bad way.
4. Robby: That ex-girlfriend’s roommate really screwed him.

Eliminated
None. So far…

 

Surprise Survivors
Chase? Still?

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