One Sentence Summary: There’s no place like home visits for the final four guys who bring Ashley home to meet their families.
Melissa: Who doesn’t love a hometown visit??
Rachel: Well, thanks for those deep thoughts Melissa. Apparently, my partner would like to just cut the BS this week and get right to the visits. Can’t say as I blame her. Two hours of this every week is really exhausting. I mean paying attention for that long… in a row… can tire even the most experienced of couch potatoes. Thankfully, she’s got her Layer Cake wine helping her through these tough times. I shall pour myself a glass at our first commercial break. But that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to watch Ashley ingratiate herself in the homes of our four remaining bachelors. Who’s ready? Road trip!
Back In The City of Brotherly Love
Ashley is back Stateside for home visits. She’s super excited about her prospects and can’t wait to head out to meet each of their families… with a suitcase that in no way is big enough to hold the amount of clothes & shoes we’re about to witness.
Melissa: We’re starting off in the City of Brotherly Love – my old stomping grounds!! Fair warning…If they start touring Philly I may start to wax poetic. OK, what’s the deal abc?! You show her strolling in heels everywhere she’s been, but I don’t get to catch any glimpses of my precious Philadelphia?? I feel robbed! Well, less robbed than her poor pooch who has apparently been trapped in her apartment all this time!!
Rachel: Wait wait wait.. Ashley is now calling Philly her hometown? Didn’t she grow up in some place where they eat french fries with gravy & cheese but call it Poutine so it sounds fancier than it is? Anywho, I guess this is where she’s in school. (Although exactly how much school she’s attended in the last year is debatable… I don’t want those mitts in my mouth.) So. Philly it is. Ashley regales us with her feelings about the remaining four guys while showing us scenes of the couples laughing and having fun. Um, why don’t we get to see these moments in real life? And by real life, I mean on the show. Regardless, she is fully 100% into JP. I’m thinking this is his to win unless he effs up royally... which isn’t out of the realm of possibilities with the Psycho Shower Scene boiling under the surface.
Constantine welcomes Ashley to his hometown of Cumming, GA and gives her a VIP tour of the family restaurant. It’s an Italian restaurant run by Greeks. Ashley gets to try her hand at pizza & salad making… which means arranging toppings.
Ashley & Constantine head to his parents’ house for a family dinner that turns into a full-on party with everyone they are related to coming over for some Greek dancing.
Rachel: Hee hee… You said Cumming. Hee hee. Come on! That’s hilarious! I can’t possibly be the only one that giggled at that. And what’s with Ashley skipping? And what’s with the kaballah red string bracelet on her wrist? Did I miss an episode? Did they go to Israel? Or West Hollywood with Madonna? Eh, who cares… Let’s talk about the date. I gotta say I was expecting something totally different from Constantine’s restaurant. When I pictured the place, flowered stained glass booth separators and a “favorite wines” refrigerator were not what I was envisioning. Fine, it’s charming… Charming pizzas in Cumming, GA cooked by Greeks. Makes sense. ‘Tine’s family is great… They do the typical questions and one-on-one heart-to-hearts with no big revelations. But just as things seem to be winding down… It’s holy My Big Fat Greek Date! Get me some Windex and Ouzo stat! Ok, I may have to change my mind about the ‘Tine… I do like me some tzaziki and some dancing. I could sign up for that. Yassou! I think Tine may have shifted into first place for the Ash.
Melissa: Here we are in Cumming, GA to visit Constantine’s family. We’re off to Girgios Italian Restaurant to visit the family business <head scratch>. Love the completely “un-scripted” waitresses watching from the window mewing over how cute they are. OK, family time!! LOL, lamb chops… “What do you mean he don’t eat no meat? Oh, that’s okay. I make lamb.” Sorry, every time I hear “lamb” I physically can’t stop myself from busting out that line… and yes, it gets very annoying (side bar, sorry). Momma has her sit down with Ashley… will she relocate? Yes – OK, Momma is good. Now Daddy’s talk to use their marriage as an example – good stuff pops! Ashley is buying into the idea of her own Big Fat Greek Wedding.
I Like A Heavy Starch
We shift from 100 to 0 as Ashley visits Ames’s family in a more subdued Chadds Ford, PA. It’s pretty much a quick hello and then right into meeting the family. No wasting time with planning an outing for Ames…
… That is until his sister lets him know that her talk with Ashley involved talking about a little thing known as romance. Ames jumps into action and BAM! it’s a picnic and carriage ride. Talk about quick on your feet.
Melissa: Chadds Ford, PA to meet Ames’s brood. FYI… a mere 15 minutes down 202 from my old house!! Old school horse country at its loveliest. Btw, when I saw Ames was from Chadds Ford – picture me slapping my forehead with the palm of my hand “no wonder”!! The entire Ames package makes complete sense, all wrapped up with a madras bow. Rach’s ‘tangle head is from old school horse country! I’m really confused though as to why they flew her to Georgia first instead of just sending her 45 minutes down 95 to see Ames. Unleash the WASPs!! Big sis wants to make sure Ashley isn’t going to hurt her baby brother and I love her protective nature. She offers some words of advice to step up the romance before it’s too late. So, smart boy he is Ames is cooking up a romantic surprise… what could he be thinking?? OMG, he’s taking her to Winterthur?! I can’t tell you how much I adore that place (I had my wedding pictures taken at the Reflecting Pool)! Well played Ames… very romantic.
Rachel: OMG… Ames’a home is exactly what you would expect. There isn’t a wrinkled piece of fabric among them. I’m not sure going from the Greek bouzouki-fest to the uptight crusties was the best for Ames’s chances. BTW, did he whiten his teeth even more? I’m blinded by the glare coming off those choppers. Ames’s sister gets the first tete-a-tete with Ashley and asks her intentions. Ashley regales her with her lukewarm feelings for her brother. Wow, way to talk the kid up… You might as well have said “He’s nice.” I’m not thinking Ames is making it to next week… which is ok because these kids aren’t the long run couple (even though he’s my fave)… you know like those other couples that came before them. Ashley says that maybe this relationship is “more of a marathon”. Yikes. Another ringing endorsement. I don’t even think the very romantic picnic, the making out and horse-drawn carriage ride is going to save him. Ash, just isn’t the prep school girlfriend. Yep, the ol’ gut says Ames is headed home. Thankfully, it’s a much shorter trip than it was for the others that came before him.
We Whisper The Scary Words
Next, it’s stunning Sonoma, CA for a visit to Ben’s hometown. He takes her to his vineyard first for a picnic in the cold rain on the porch of a house that is probably warm inside. Ben waxes poetic about his life and his wine.
Then it’s dinner with Ben’s mother & sister. This show is losing energy by the visit. There is an underlying tension in the Ben house and it’s made subtly clear that if sister doesn’t like you, you don’t stick around.
Rachel: Ashely says that Ben is so sexy… Yeah, no he’s not. No. He’s. Not. He’s nice looking. Sure. He has a vineyard. Major plus. He lives in Sonoma. I fully get the romance of that. But sexy he ain’t. And I want to know why we haven’t learned the name of the vineyard? I’m confused. It’s free marketing, Ben! You may not win the final rose but you could be winning a few new customers along the way… I happen to know two ladies that would pony up and try a bottle. Andrew Firestone never missed an opportunity to remind us about the name of his vineyard. Just sayin… Oy… This family makes Ames’s family look like crazy hippies. Actually, you know what it is? Ames’s family has evolved with the times and is modern WASP 2011 while Ben’s is still classic WASP 1984. Really, his sister is wearing pearls at dinner. Whew. That’s a tight family to try and infiltrate. Everything in that house feels heavy. Don’t get me wrong… I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose my father and there is for sure love in that family but man, it’s hard to breathe in there. Even the food is uptight.
Melissa: Sonoma, CA to visit Ben’s mom and sister. Starting off at the winery for a picnic. I gotta say losing me again with the number of times he’s used the word “super” in one conversation. This is probably one of the most uneventful family visit I’ve ever seen. I get they’re all sorts of laid back wine people, but it’s just making me sleepy watching them… yawn! Ben’s family makes Ames’s look like the main act in Cirque du Soleil. And here is a random thought I had halfway through Ben’s visit when he and his sister were in the kitchen for no apparent reason it seemed other than they needed to have “quiet time”… or mom’s tranquilizers were wearing off: Who is in charge of picking the “family talk” spots at the house? Is it based on lighting, room for the camera crew, ambiance, all the other rooms had people in them and it needs to be a “private talk”? They just seem so random and disconnected.
The Shiksa Goes To Long Island
Ashley’s final stop on the Final Four Tour is in Roslyn, NY to meet JP’s family. But first, JP takes her to the local roller skating palace for some Ladies’ Choice dances. Where’s the limbo bar?
Then it’s home to meet the family which proves most uneventful… He’s got an overprotective Jewish mother, natch…until mom whips out the Bar Mitzvah poster. Oh yes, Corey Haim is smiling down his approval from Heaven.
Melissa: And we’re off to meet JP’s Long Island peeps. But first we have some roller skating – way to go JP… set yourself apart from the pack. Was it league day at the bowling alley? This has to be the most cheese-ass hometown date in the history of this show… sorry all you roller skaters out there. Ashley is making inroads with the family, but Mom is still cautious about her boy getting his heart broken again. Never fear, Mom always goes all-in before the end of the visit. Ensuring Ashley runs screaming Mom pulls out the bar mitzvah picture… nice! What about the childhood bath tub photos, or are you saving those for the engagement montage?
Rachel: Yeah still not feeling JP. Though I do like that he takes her roller skating. Sorry Melis, but conjuring up childhood memories of Jordache jeans & “shooting the duck” makes me smile. Come on. Who didn’t love a birthday party at the roller rink… giant comb in the back pocket, satin unicorn patch on the terrycloth top, a ribbon barrette holding down the frizz that was hair before the advent of the flat iron. Those were good times. However, I object strongly to the tragic REO Speedwagon cover with which they are assaulting our ears. They couldn’t spring for the real thing? Traveling around the globe is budget-friendly but those 80’s power ballads will really break the bank. You know what they should have played here… Say it with me boys & girls… On The Wings of Love! Really, what do I have to do to make that dream come true? Anywho, I’ll sulk in my wine later. Let’s talk about JP’s family…
Ahhh… a relaxed family. So why are you so uptight, JP? He tells his mom that what he has with Ashley isn’t what she has with the other guys. Mmm… alrighty then. I’m telling you that, if he is the final guy and he is sitting at home watching this episode right now, there is steam coming out of his ears because she’s feeling groovy with all her mens at the moment. But can we give mom props for whipping out the Bar Mitzvah picture? That’s awesomeness. Oh, how I do love a Jewish mom… mostly because I have one.
Ashley and Chris Harrison reminisce about the good ‘ol days back in LA when she was crazy to have been pining for Bentley. Can we all laugh about it now? Uh, no. Too soon, Ash. Too soon.
…but it was Ames that got sent home without his supper.
Rachel: Well, I can’t say as I’m surprised… I mean he was in the bottom two the last two weeks and Ashley could barely muster a half of a “warm & fuzzy” when talking to his sister. So, it’s back to the grind… or not, as I hear he’s been recruited for the next season of Bachelor Pad. Why Ames, why? You’re too good for that. Bachelor Pad is the Bachelorette’s slutty sister that’s drunk at a fraternity party. No one wants to be affiliated with that… unless your name is Jake or Vienna. But what’s really offensive is whatever it is that Ben did to his hair tonight. Bad call, dude. Bad call.
Melissa: Finally… going back to Cali (Cali… Cali…) for the “talk” with Chris and the ceremony. Here we go… Ben, JP and Constantine. Poor Ames, sorry my man… Winterthur didn’t have it’s magic for you… but I love you offering your arm to her to walk you out.. You have finally redeemed yourself for the sock-less in loafers shot my dear!! On a side note, did he get a little cuter or is it my love of chivalry talking? Hey, you… abc producer people… put Ames on the Bachelor short list!!
Melissa: A surprise visitor in Fiji? PLEASE… no… not El Douche!! I’m just putting that out in the universe… please… hear my prayers!
Rachel: They’ve been teasing us with this surprise visitor for weeks now and I’m just about ready to go online and find out who it is on some spoiler site… but what fun would that be? And being that this is so much fun on it’s own… I’ll leave it and say that it’s not Bentley (aka Ass Hat) and it’s not Ames … Mickey? Oh the anticipation…