‘The Bachelor’ Week 8 Recap: Hometown dates and awkward blessings

We here at SB Nation realize that “The Bachelor” is very much sports. Therefore, each week we’ll recap all the heartbreak, drama, and excitement.

IT’S HOMETOWN WEEK! Colton and his four remaining ladies — Caelynn, Hannah, Tayshia, and Cassie — head to their respective hometowns to meet with a collection of family and friends. Colton was concerned last week after the intentions of several of the women (namely Caelynn and Cassie) were called into question by Tayshia.

Things get underway in Fredericksburg, Virginia, as Caeylnn shows Colton around. They kick things off in a horse-drawn carriage as Caelynn gives him a tour of the quaint downtown Fredericksburg area before stopping at Carl’s for ice cream.

She tells him that he’ll be meeting a ton of people, but her biological father isn’t one of them as her stepfather John raised her. They grill out in an adorable back garden before the family splits them off and starts questioning them.

Caelynn’s sister Ariana is skeptical of whole thing (WHICH IS NORMAL, I THINK), and her mother isn’t too much more excited about everything. Pops says their relationship sounds more like a friendship, which isn’t a great sign. They watch some baby videos of Caelynn before she shows him out and tells Colton that she’s in love with him.

Hannah’s hometown is up next, and she takes him to an etiquette class in Birmingham, Alabama. His reaction is perfection, pulling off his patented “I seem excited on the outside but am dying on the inside” look:


They make Colton:

  • Walk with a book on his head
  • Tear small pieces of bread, and butter them individually
  • Sit through a weird comparison between an umbrella and Hannah’s parents

This is his face of incredulity watching the etiquette teacher explaining how to eat bread:


The whole awkward experience gave me my life mantra, though:

What seems like the entire city of Birmingham is at Hannah’s house, and they all scream when the couple walks in the door. Hannah gets questioned about whether she’s prepared for a possible fantasy suite, and Mama Beth comes around to the idea of her little girl being in love. “Go get it, girl.” Mama Beth should be there for motivational speeches all the time, in my opinion.

Hannah caps off the most speaking she’s done on the show to tell Colton that she’s falling in love with him.

Next up is Santa Ana, California, for Tayshia’s hometown. It gets off to a great start as she immediately blindfolds him.

Colton: Are you blindfolding me?

Tayshia: Yep!

Colton: Oh, boy.

They get in her car, and then my favorite moment of the episode happens:

She takes him to Lake Elsinore, where they’re going to go skydiving, which is terrible because they both hate heights. SPOILER ALERT: They live, and the couple heads to her parents’ house to meet her family. Things go pretty well, probably because Tayshia’s dad is the episode MVP. After eating and talking, the couple parts ways with more declarations of strong feelings and kissing outside the SUV.

They saved the best for last as Cassie teaches Colton how to surf in her hometown of Huntington Beach, California. Wonderful Cassie seems like a great teacher, but Colton doesn’t have a super smooth outing on the waves his first time out.


After surfing, they have a heart-to-heart on the beach, and Cassie doesn’t give him much to feel secure about as she says she’s not super sure where she’s at with this whole thing. Poppa Cassie is … not a fan of all of this:


Cassie talks through her emotions with her sister, who tells her there are hundreds of other men out there if this doesn’t work out, which is honestly great advice. Colton seems to be into Cassie the most, but she’s the only one who hasn’t said she’s falling in love with him at this point of the show. The pair parts ways after the hometown visit with our titular hero super confused about what he’s going to do.

At the rose ceremony, Colton keeps Hannah, Tayshia, and Cassie, sending a heartbroken Caelynn home.

Next week, we get the fabulously dramatic Fantasy Suites, which have an added layer of drama this season as — I don’t know if you’ve heard — Colton is a virgin. Will he sleep with one of the women? WILL HE SLEEP WITH ALL OF THEM? WILL HE FINALLY JUMP THE FENCE?

Here were the highs (and lows) of Week 8:

Best Cookout Addition: Deep fryer

WHAT IS THAT I SEE? Caelynn’s family steps up the normal backdoor grillin’ with a set of not one, not two, but THREE deep fryers. Based on snippets of conversation, there’s a litany of things to deep fry, including cookies. Respect.


Most Touching Moment: Caelynn and John

I’m a sap, but I’ll admit I got choked up as Caelynn shared with her stepdad John what he’s meant to her. He was touched as she thanked him for everything he’s done for her, and he quotes Whitney Houston as he says he’ll always love her. It was stinkin’ adorable.

Best Death Glare from a Parent: Hannah’s mom Beth

Colton gave a nice toast at the dinner table, saying that he was honored to be in their house and around the people that made Hannah into the wonderful woman she is. This seems to be the moment that Hannah’s mom Beth realizes that this man (or a man in general) is going to marry her daughter and effectively steal her from them. She’s not stoked:


Don’t piss off Mama Beth.

Riskiest Date Move: Skydiving

As a reminder, Colton made Tayshia bungee jump back on their one-on-one date, but this seems just … mean. Colton is the actual definition of white-knuckled:


Look, I come from the school of “never jump out of a perfectly good airplane” as a former naval aviator, but at least I have been through some training. It’s cruel to just spring this on someone! Especially someone scared of heights! Colton does it, but not without a very high-pitched scream and some panicked leg flailing.

They obviously live — man wouldn’t that have been a crazy twist — and it turns into a “wow our relationship is all about pushing each other out of our comfort zones.”

Favorite Family Member: Tayshia’s brother Bryce

UMM, HE’S THE CUTEST. Tayshia’s dad asked Bryce if he wanted to see Tayshia married again (she has been divorced once), and his response was the purest: “If it goes well, then yeah!” You’re a doll, Bryce. A total doll.


Her other brother is in training to be a federal law enforcement officer, so he threatens to hunt Colton down as an FBI agent. “Man, everybody is going to be after me,” Colton says in response. This is my favorite family.

Weirdest Family Chat Location: The bed

Every hometown visit involves the mom or sister talking, and they inevitably excuse themselves from the normal talking areas — like the living room or the kitchen or the patio — to go to what looks like the guest bedroom to chat on a fully made bed full of pillows.

Has this ever happened naturally in the history of people talking?

Best Quote: Tayshia’s Dad

“You don’t microwave relationships.”

And he made this face after she said that she would say yes if Colton proposed at this stage of the relationship:


What I really loved about Tayshia’s dad is that he gave Colton advice like a father would. It wasn’t just “don’t break my daughter’s heart,” it was a sincere hope that, no matter which of the four women it was, that Colton would be respectful of their feelings. I’m here for Poppa Tayshia.

Coldest Assessment of Colton: Cassie’s dad

“I didn’t have a strong initial opinion of Colton because I don’t like to draw judgment too quickly. I could tell Colton was being affectionate with Cassie. I don’t know if that’s what he does with all the girls he goes out with and is meeting the parents. We don’t know him, but he seemed like a … guy.”


Cassie apparently didn’t know this until the episode aired, and her reaction was perfect:

Colton Asking for Blessings Power Rankings

This is always a super awkward part of what’s already a super awkward show, but a guy asking a dad for his daughter’s hand in marriage when that guy is still dating three other women is A LOT.

Here’s how it went, from least awkward to most awkward.

4. Caelynn’s dad: Started skeptical, but came around quickly and gave his blessing.

3. Hannah’s dad: “What are your intentions with my daughter, man? You guys have known each other for what, a month?” Good question, dad. There were a lot of awkward pauses, but he seem sincerely touched that Colton asked, and eventually said yes.

2. Tayshia’s dad: His grilling of Colton was thorough and fair, questioning his feelings at this point. After Colton says he’s falling in love with Tayshia, he says Colton seems like a smart man and that he would pick his words wisely regarding “love.” Colton asks for his blessing, and he’s the only one to withhold, saying he just met him. SUPER FAIR, POPS!!! He later changes his mind after chatting with Tayshia, eventually giving his permission.

1. Cassie’s dad: Her dad said giving his permission for her hand in marriage would be a “premature blessing,” and you could see Colton’s spirit just leave his body. You can tell her dad is not a fan of this whole thing and thinks she’s too young and this is too accelerated.

Gone Too Soon

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