‘The Bachelor’ Hometown Dates Analysis: Home Is Where the Pinot Is
In honor of Nick Viall's all-important "hometown dates" episode, we asked a watery-beer-swigging longtime Bachelor Nation member who truly understands a guy like Nick to weigh in on Nick's experience meeting the final four's parents (and Raquel the Nanny). Read his regular recaps over at Bro Loves Bachelor, and follow him on Twitter here.
The answer to the great American question of our time — "where are the swing voters hiding?" — has finally been answered: Nick Viall is truly between a rock and an orange place. I've been watching this show for a while now, and I can't remember a Bachelor being less enthused over his final four options than our dear friend Nicholas. Peppered with apparently underwhelming choices, Nick once again seems close to calling it quits and going home to romance his best friend, Miller Genuine Draft.
Someone has to win, right? Raven, can you tell Nick you're falling in love with him and get over the hump (and make it to the Fantasy Suite hump)? Corinne, can you put down the black AmEx and Chateau Blanc and try staying grounded? Rachel, can you get your brother in-law to tone down the ginger sorcery? Vanessa, can you ask your super-protective, super Italian family to take a Xanax and some osso bucco and play by the rules for a bit?
Smile and nod. "I will give you my blessing. I do want you to marry my daughter. I do think you are a handsome man of honor and integrity."
"I do want to try innovative lovemaking techniques. I do think Buffalo Wild Wings is a great combination of value and fun. I do want you to skip hot yoga and watch Fast 7 again instead. RIP Paul, we miss you."
Nick can't possibly not go home with someone on the fourth try, right? I guess you just never know. When you can have Coors Light, Miller Lite and/or Bud Light, sometimes you have to think outside the box and mix Bacardi 151 with Pine Sol and diet ginger ale. You won't be happy, but you won't remember why you're sad.
Here's a recap of this week's Bachelor hometown dates:
Let's go muddin', ya'll! Raven is definitely the chick you want to bring on the Spring Break trip to Panama City. She's one part house mom, able to keep her cool and support the other sisters when they go too hard on the Parrot Bay, and she's one part country firecracker, ready to mix it up in the muck.
Didn't you just find yourself loving Raven's parents, too? Her dad Wes, who was just pronounced cancer-free while Raven was on the show, was delightfully simple, happy, and charming. Raven's mom was ready to sit and gossip the whole night, and genuinely smitten with her lovestruck child.
Raven, however, gummed up when it mattered most. Nick is clearly waiting for her to tell him she's falling in love, but she's not giving it up (unlike Corinne, who's ready to give Nick all the milk before he buys the cow). This might be Raven's downfall. If she's not moving as fast as Nick is, or if he's looking for assurance from her, not getting it might mean Raven's time in the fast lane is limited.
Hozier once wrote a song called "Take Me to Church." Maybe that Irish dude is some kind of fortune teller, because I think it was about Nick and Rachel's trip to Dallas!
Family dinner with the Lindsays reminded me a little bit of a child's trip to a museum, but if the child is an adult who sort of already understands what he's looking at. I'm not talking about racism or anything like that, I'm referring to the brisket, okra, and cornbread they had for dinner. It was interesting to see Nick struggle with the best way to admit that he did, in fact, know what okra was. Fried okra is delicious, by the way. So is brisket. Everyone should eat those foods for every meal.
It was a bit strange to watch this date knowing that Rachel is the next Bachelorette (we're very excited), especially because it seemed to go pretty well. Her mother was naturally skeptical, but not to the point of letting it get in the way of excitement for her daughter. Rachel's family seemed protective, and wanted to make sure Nick would ready to date and marry someone of a different race, but Nick seemed to handle it just fine? So we'll see how the tapestry ultimately unravels.
Finally, we get to meet Raquel the Nanny, the woman who invented the cucumber slice and the lemon salad! The woman who made Corinne the sexy, sensual, emotionally-intelligent shopping savant she is! It was nothing short of revelatory. It was like the first time you ate the orange dust right out of the Kraft Mac 'N Cheese box: So THIS is how the magic happens? Count me in. Make Raquel the ambassador to Estonia. Or the Secretary of Finger Foods. I don't really care which; she's a star.
It was touching to see how much Corinne's dad cares about her, and how much her mom's head looks like a russet potato covered in daisy weeds. Part of me thinks Corinne has a shot at winning this whole thing, and the rest of me thinks the other part of me should lay off the daiquiri slushies. Corinne's "shopping date" may be her downfall, though. It was sweet of her to show Nick a "day in the life," but what hot-blooded, malt-liquor chugging, chicken finger-gorging guy would possibly enjoy that date? Guys like Nick don't like to play dress-up unless it's a LeBron jersey at a Halloween party. Corinne, take him out on your yacht! Get him drunk! Try and have sex with him again on the captain's chair! Anything but taking him to a few posh boutiques and picking out a $3,000 pair of sweatpants. You're smarter than that.
The "vagine" is still platinum, though. Checkmate.
Vanessa's dad probably holds the record for most "meh" reaction to a Bachelor Blessing Request in its 21-season history. He was as enthused about Nick asking for his blessing as the president of Kappa Kappa Gamma is about pairing up with the Mechanical Engineering Club for World Philanthropy Day. The MEC is down with ending world hunger, but they're not down with pre-gaming ending world hunger.
I still think Vanessa is the favorite to take the whole competition, but that's in serious doubt now. Their relationship doesn't seem to be kicking into final gear. They haven't had the tough conversations you need to have, like Montreal vs. Chicago, Trudeau vs. Trump, poutine vs. chili cheese fries and red white and blue vs. dumb flag colors, you know? It's time to get deep and make some hard decisions.
Now we must address the high-heeled brunette elephant in the room: What is Andi Dorfman doing at Nick's hotel door? Does she want in on this circus? She'd be pulling a page right out of Nick's own playbook by crashing the Bachelor party. Nick snagged an entrance into Kaitlyn's season a few episodes in during his second go-round. Turnabout would only be fair play, but Andi would be coming in way past that point.
She's like a vulture (or, say, a RAVEN???) picking at the dead carcasses of the other girls' dead engagement prospects. I hope she can taste the ziti and capicola on Vanessa, or the fried muskrat and honey mustard on Raven. Andi's like the guy doesn't bring a sixer to the party (cheap), and then guzzles all the "wounded soldiers" everyone backwashed into left sitting on the counter after a charity beer pong tournament (opportunistic). Seriously Andi, a half-dozen Tecates is $4.99 at the 7-11 with the bulletproof glass. A quality beverage like that is worth the risk every time, so isn't Nick worth going through the process from the beginning?
I hope Andi's here to stay, just for the drama it would cause, but there's little chance that's happening. If you're going to choose Josh Murray over Nick once, you've shown your true colors. There's no going back. Honestly, that dude's first true love affair was with a Totino's Pizza Roll. I think he's courting the frozen supermarket french bread pizza now. The icy oregano flakes are perking up with excitement.
Either way, we're in for an interesting final two weeks. We know Rachel won't be with us at the end, but who's going home this week? Who's going home alone from the Phi Psi formal because their date's vacating their stomach in the men's room? My money is on Corinne, but I wouldn't be surprised to see anyone go — even Vanessa.
Corinne, if this is goodbye, I know it won't be the end. I look forward to seeing you again when Bravo revamps Shop 'Till You Drop. You bring the Veuve, I'll bring the bagel bites.
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