Four words - most.disappointing.episode.ever. Why, you ask? The streak is broken. Need I say more? That said, I love hometowns!
Hometown number one, destination - Clampett mansion...I mean Chantal’s parents’ little shack. Who has that kind of money?
Prior to going to visit Granny and Uncle Jed, though, she takes him for a visit to her place...which is only 4 streets away from her parents, which she apparently never stays at because according to her she’s always over at their house. Brad walks into her place and brags about it being “really nice.” If you think this is really nice, just wait Brad, just wait. I personally am not a pet person, yet I understand people get attached to their pets. I respect that, I really do. However, you might be a little too attached if you’re willing to say, “Brad has to get along with my pets in order for us to have a future.” Ummmmm........HUH? Again, I admit I don’t have a bond with any animal, but I reeeeaaalllllyyyy don’t think it’s normal to choose a husband based on who scratches your dog’s undercarriage the best! Oh sweet Boca, that fuzzy little ankle biter. Dearest Chantal, I’m pretty sure you’d have a better shot at getting Brad to love your pooch if you got yourself a man’s dog. C’mon Richie Rich, shop around for a Bull Mastiff or English Bulldog or something. Look at this picture...
This looks like a man thinking, “keep your yapping rat-dog away from my Corona!...by the way, do you have a lint roller?” We didn’t see much of little Jinxie though. I’m sure he’s in the back with DeNiro learning how to flush the toilet.
Ok, I’ll stop pet bashing now and move on to Billie Jean and Michael. After Brad lint rolls the dog hair off of his clothing, they loaded up the Tahoe and they moved to Beverly. I mean they headed to her Dad’s...mansion that is...swimming pools, wine cellars, botox, creepy statues. The first thing I noticed about daddy? Hair plugs. Almost overshadowed by the Barney purple button up, but not quite. The hair plugs were hard to get past. First thing I noticed about mommy? Bad cosmetically altered face. I’m not against cosmetic surgery, but when it makes you look frozen in time and gives you duck lips...gross. While Ellie Mae sits in Granny’s lap and consoles her about her bad botox, Jethro and Uncle Jed go from man cave to man cave and finally close their conversation with another extremely awkward man hug. Did ya notice Brad’s distant pat on Michael’s back as daddy dearest came in for a hug? Weird.
After all of the dinner and after-dinner weirdness and excessive red wine drinking, Brad received another awkward man hug and a cougar hug from Daffy...I mean Billie Jean. Then they invited him back to that locality. Hospitable enough...just not my kind of people.
I suppose you could say the next stop on the hometown tour was no man’s land. AKA Madawaska, Maine. One of the first things Brad told Ash was that he could live there. That would be a stark contrast to his trip to Seattle where he told Chantal he could see himself visiting and hanging out there. Ouch.
I was a little surprised by Brad and Ash’s initial stop. She took him to the diner where she held her first job. Not sure that’s where I would have taken him to introduce him to the place in which she was raised. But then again, there may not be much hoppin’ up in good ole Madawaska. The meal she chooses. Ugh. Fries with cheese and gravy? Known as poutine (pronounced poo-tin) to the locals. Yeah, to this Arkansas girl it sure looked like a pile of poutine. This meal is a little like Chantal’s dog. Not really something you’d picture a manly man enjoying. How about a big fat Porterhouse and a loaded baked potato? These girls! I really can’t move on without pointing out Brad’s “native tongue”.....native to towns a little further South than Madawaska. Waitress asks Brad if he wants some poopin. Oh my bad, I mean poutine. His response? Si. Oh dear. I’m not even a Spanish speaker and I would know better than that! Jeez Brad. They speak French... you know like French fry, French kiss, French manicure.
While I totally think the feeding each other was cute, it was probably a little inappropriate to tell him to open wide for a bite and then say, “I just saw your crown.” Once again, the conversation gets a little serious and Ash starts chewing on the inside of her mouth. It bugs me. Kindof like a dripping faucet, once you notice it you can’t get past it. I have to say that I liked Ash’s family better than Chantal’s. I didn’t realize Ash’s sister was Courtney Love though! That’s exciting. Or wait, was it Angelina Jolie? Anyhoo, we’ll just call her tat and move on. So they walk into the house and Ash immediately transforms into a little kid at the circus. She got some mad vertical during that jumping scene, though. Props to you AshLebron! Then they finally sit down and she takes one good bounce off of the couch and ends up in Brad’s lap. Nice landing Mary Lou! This landing makes sister tat take notice and come to the conclusion that they must be pretty serious. Yeah they must be because in Maine women aren’t allowed to sit in the lap of a man until they are ready for marriage. Is it rude of me to refer to her as tat? Shall I instead call her by her real name? Chrystie with a C...and a Y. Nah I prefer tat.
The term “soup’s on” takes a whole new meaning when by soup they mean lobster. This ain’t Red Lobster, folks. Up in Maine they just yank a big’un outta the tank, toss it in the boiler, and lay it on the plate! I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t stick tiny fedoras on the little guys. I was curious to see how they were going to eat them. They, as in the parents and Brad. Makes you wonder why none of the kids had oversized crustaceans on their plates. Anyhoo, I was curious as to how you go about digging in to a whole lobster. I saw the chewing of food, but the technique was never revealed. Fail!
The dinner conversation was good, except for tat’s outburst when Brad thanked Ash for “picking him.” I believe she screamed something like HEARTS ARE BURSTING AGAIN! That was right before she was overcome with the urge for a new tattoo. A heart bursting...perfect!
The most curious moment for me was when her dad commented that Ashley “will be a dentist” and finish school. I’m confused. On the show she has always been labeled as a dentist. What gives? She’s not really a dentist yet? Oh well, after a weird sleepover conversation the date ended.
From one side of the country to the other, Brad travels 3,000 miles to see Shawntel. *creepy music playing in head* This hometown was the most disturbing I’ve ever seen. Brad tries to tell Shawntel he loves it there...in Chico, and she gets excited because she thinks he loves it inside her second home. Her and 300 of her closest friends and ashes. Brad corrects her and lets her know that he doesn’t love it there in the mausoleum, he loves her town. Wah wah wahhhhhh.
Since I have an overactive gag reflex about this sort of thing, I can’t stomach much conversation about this part of the hometown. Saying I was creeped out couldn’t begin to describe my feelings toward her bluntness about her passion. Did she really tell Brad she wanted to be cremated? Really? Did she? As he nervously followed her into the room that has a danger sign on the door, I was anxiously and even more nervously waiting for the show to cut to a scene where Jigsaw is watching from his control room. Brad lays on the table, some yuckity yuck conversation takes place, you can see Brad’s thought bubble asking for help from the cameramen, and he tries to save himself by telling her that he is fascinated by the embalming process. Just before the point of a panic attack, she spares him any further anguish. She lets him know that if she went to Austin with him, she could get a job that would utilize her prep room skills. Does she mean skills like Napoleon Dynamite’s nunchuck skills? Oh just go make yourself a dang ques-a-dill-a.
Conversation at the dinner table seemed a little forced and a little uhhh weird. If I’m going to make fun of duck lips, I’ll stay consistent and point out Dad’s stash. So THAT’S where Jimmy Hoffa is hiding!!
When this date ended, it was painfully obvious to me that Shawntel would never have the honor of picking out urns together with this Bachelor.
There is something to be said for saving the best for last. The hometown I have waited for...sweet Em’s. I did not appreciate ABC’s obviously inaccurate depiction of how this hometown was going to go. Thanks ABC producers for making us think little Ricki wasn’t going to like our hunky Brad. Indeed this sweet little doll with her precious giggle and pink flip flops loved Mr. Brad! And I loved little Ricki...and her ginormous bedroom. Move over Clampetts...Ricki’s room is here! I wondered why we didn’t get to meet Em’s family, but meeting Ricki was more than enough! I was satisfied with that. What I wasn’t satisfied with was Brad’s lame attempt at chivalry. It’s not 1902, Brad! She’s a grown beautiful woman who hasn’t had a serious boyfriend in nearly 6 years. She doesn’t want a hug! Don’t be a douche. KISS HER! But once again, they kissed, and when they did...fireworks!
The rose ceremony was a bit predictable. I believe most everyone could sense that Brad wasn’t prepared to spend his life having dinner table discussions about vein drain and cremation. Ick. But finally, we don’t have to use last initials anymore...only one Ashley and only one Shawntel/Chantal. I knew the difference, but Brad mistakenly referred to both with the same pronunciation. So I’m thinking if we ask him if he’s happy with his decision, he’d probably say Si.
Next week - overnighters! Bow chicka wow wow. All I know is, to make up for depriving America of the glory that is Brad's glorious torso this week, there better be an abundance of hot tubs in the jungle, the mighty jungle. A wimoweh, a-wimoweh a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh. Until then, set a spell, take your shoes off. Y’all come back now, y’hear?