Ali 'The Bachelorette' picks her Final 3: Hometown Date (review)


Running through Grand Central this past week, a box of 40 Timbits for $7.25 in one hand (expensive, but that’s NYC for you), a gift for my boss’s baby shower in the other, I am a hot mess. This didn’t stop me from counting how many people eyed the box of goodness. I counted 8 just on the run through the main terminal alone. I can’t be sure if they were staring at the doughnuts or my dripping sweaty run to make the train. This meeting was different. After introducing the majority of my office to Timbits from Tim Horton’s doughnut shop two weeks ago, a phenomenon has taken hold. People are obsessed with these little doughy cakes of joy. We conducted a challenge: Timbits vs. Dunkin Donuts’ Munchkins ($6.99 for 50). The outcome of the results can be found at  I placed the box on the luggage rack above my head on my train to work for two reasons: (1) this prevented me from reaching over while I type this post and eating them like popcorn and (2) it deterred the stares I got last week from strangers hoping I would offer them one (not gonna happen).

Ok, so I’ve managed to calm down since watching this week’s hometown visits episode. I felt so bad for all of these guys because I’ve seriously learned to love each of them in their own wonderful, charming, quirky ways. As I said to The Husband, while wiping tears away during the Chris L hometown visit: “I feel like I have a connection with each of these guys. How can she send any of them home?” I mean look, at least last season with Jake, we thought Vienna was a looney and Tenley was sweet but she was clearly getting over her divorce and needed some time to go through dance therapy. It was ok that either of these two would go home. But how do you send home a guy who has overcome such hardships like Kirk? How do you tell a hot baseball player after he got his mother’s blessing to marry you and have salsa danced in their living room that you’re just not that into him? How do you possibly dump a man of the character and quality of Chris, who quit his job to help his sick mom and has such a wonderful family (who didn’t get choked up when the father was saying that Chris’s mother orchestrated this whole thing after Chris was upset that his mother would never meet his wife??).

I know I was really upset with Frank this week, but a good night’s rest and some thinking have provided some clarity. While I was trying to picture my vegan mother-in-law’s reaction to Kirk’s father’s basement, I had an epiphany: what if The Husband and I were dating, but he was also dating 3 other girls at the same time and meeting their families? In an instant, I saw Frank’s side of it. I would have a heart attack. I don’t think I could stand that kind of nonsense. Yes, I would have faith that The Husband would ultimately choose me, but I can’t begin to imagine how loco I would get in between dates. If Frank does have another girlfriend, you would have no idea from what we saw this week. His family seems very in favor of him getting all hitched up with Ali, although Ali reveals in her blog this week that we did not see a conversation she had with Frank’s father, where Frank’s dad said that Frank was not ready to be in a committed relationship.  Hmmmm. Not surprising given the previews we’ve seen.  I think Ali likes him particularly for the challenge he presents to her – she can’t figure this boy out. I will say, that besides Frank’s Harry Potter cardigan, he seems to be the most compatible at this point in his life with Ali. For one, he is the only one out of the remaining 3 that can pick up and go wherever Ali is. Roberto still seems to have some professional baseball aspirations. I could NEVER see Chris leaving his family, or the Cape Cod area after watching him interact with his family, nor would I want Ali to separate him from his dad. Perhaps Kirk could have accompanied Ali wherever she wanted to go, but she didn’t seem that into him in the long run and the expression on her face when she saw all of his father’s stuffed creatures said it all.

I have gone out of order in today’s post as my mind is racing with all of the emotion that came out of this week’s show. Now in order of the dates, here are some thoughts:

Roberto: I loved that he took her to his college baseball field. I was horrified that Ali did not know how to hold a baseball bat. Hands together, Ali! Despite her lack of experience, she did manage to connect with the ball, thank goodness, but she throws like a girl and that really upset me. I played softball in college and any time I see a girl throw like a girl it drives me nuts, because this is so easily preventable. Regardless, Ali does seem like a natural athletic type and she was extremely giddy to get to first base with Roberto all over the field. The Husband LOVED Roberto’s American Eagle plaid blue and yellow shirt and I loved Ali’s matching yellow plaid shirt. He thinks they planned their outfit, but I don’t believe it. I would bet a reasonable amount of money that The Husband will be checking out the American Eagle website today. Did anyone else notice the jumping up and down that Ali did on a couple of her dates this week? It was kind of a quirky trait, which comes off as part cute in a childlike way and part scary. Roberto did look awfully adorable in his uniform.

We meet the Roberto clan: Olga, Roberto Sr, Peter and Olga. I loved his family. Roberto probably asked his ex army ranger father to go easy on Ali about 3-4 times. I have to say that Roberto Sr. was pretty cool – I liked that he asked Ali tough questions. They were legitimate. Yes, I’d want to know what her professional aspirations are and how my son fits into them. Clearly there’s going to be a media circus when this is all over and Ali will either get offered to go on Dancing With the Stars or to be a hostess of some entertainment show. Will Roberto have equally interesting opportunities when this is all over?? He is right to be concerned. Nonetheless, both parents give Roberto their blessing to marry Ali and I thought it was pretty cute when Ali was dancing with Roberto’s dad. It’s funny that Ali still puts Roberto on this pedestal – she doesn’t think she’s good enough for him.

Chris L just keeps getting better and better. I know some of you have started to complain that all he talks about is his mother. Keep in mind, there is a ton of editing that goes on and also that his mother’s death happened only around a year ago, so it’s still very much fresh. Seeing Chris on the beach with his beautiful undisciplined dog and after meeting his family – I hope that Ali is smart enough to know how incredible a catch he is. He’s
funny, charming, well loved and genuine. I’d say the only thing with Chris is that I don’t see him enjoying the bright lights of Hollywood. He’s a down to earth guy who prefers sitting around in sweats all day to hanging out in celebrity night clubs. And as I’ve already pointed out, I don’t see him settling out in San Francisco away from his family. If things don’t work out with Ali, he is by far the best choice to be the next Bachelor.

My three favorite Chris lines from this week:

“Right now there are whales having sex.”

“If you get Meagan and Sara bombed, they will love you.”

“Jetty (the dog) doesn’t like being on TV.”

I absolutely loved Ed, Chris’s dad. I also really liked the sister in law, Meagan. It must be hard to come into such a tight knit group and feel comfortable, but Ali looked like she did alright. It was interesting that Meagan pointed out that Chris jumps into relationships with his whole heart. Well, Ali’s a lucky girl if Chris has done that with her.

Next we are in Green Bay, Wisconsin and wow, what a different way of life. Time out: there is a bee buzzing around the train car and it just landed on the window next to me. I am freaking out a little. Should I slam it with my newspaper? Just did a Timbit check. They’re still up there, uneaten. I almost forgot about them, but I can smell them from here. They were still warm when I bought them. Ok, focus.

So “Kirky,” as Ali called him, has got it bad for Ali. His father’s mustache could have been fake, but he looked like a dark haired, shorter version of Kirk. I loved Ali’s yellow trench coat (actually, she had a lot of yellow going on this week to meet the families). The time with Kirk’s father was a bit odd. Keeping dead frozen animals in the same freezer as your ice pops must give that poor adopted sister of his nightmares. My personal favorite piece of work was the caribou foot with eyes on it. Not much else to say here. There was a much warmer feeling at Kirk’s mom’s house and I liked his grandmother a lot. Clearly Kirk is the apple of these women’s eyes, which is important since Kirk will need their support now that he’s heartbroken. You really saw Kirk’s love for Ali sky rocket this week and it was so sad because you just knew he was a gonner. Ali may have used the excuse that he has never had a long term relationship before, but the good news is that she is the first girl to dump him and stomp on his heart. Hopefully he will learn and grow from this experience.

My favorite moment of Kirk’s hometown visit: Kirk’s face turning red when Ali talked about him at the dinner table.

So last, but not least, it’s Frank family time in Chicago. Ali admits in her blog that she was looking forward to the Chicago trip most of all.  Another sign that Frank was in first place at this point in the process.  Their conversation on the boat ride was ridiculous. He’s scared. She’s scared. The situation is hard. I feel like we’ve heard this conversation between them on EVERY date. Yawn. The good news is that Frank is taking this relationship seriously. Ali’s worried that Frank is confused about whether Ali is the one, not the actual process of dating her.  At one point, I thought they might actually have a fight and break up. How awesome would it be if The Bachelorette got dumped the day she is supposed to meet one of the families?? Ok, not nice.

I liked Frank’s family a lot and it seems his mother took quite a liking to Ali. His sister Becky eerily looked like Frank, but seems very genuine. All in all, Ali fit into all of these families really well. Did you guys catch what Ali said at the end of the Frank family visit? “There’s a really good chance that at the end of this, I will end up with Frank.” Oh come on, is ABC setting us up? We all know because of their inability to keep anything sacred that Frank will most likely leave the show next week.

Off topic: some jerk just sat down next to me and is blasting his music in his headphones while reading a book. How on earth can he concentrate when Nirvana is blasting? Smells Like Teen Spirit. The entire train car is empty except for my row. Does this guy need to sit directly next to me? Move over, kid!

I loved Ali’s dress for the rose ceremony. It looks like it could have been a bridesmaid dress, but it was such a gorgeous rose color and she looked beautiful. Her talks with Chris Harrison before the rose ceremony are kind of lame. Mostly because they don’t tell us what we don’t already know. Roberto is hot. Chris is perfect but their relationship is moving slow. Kirk’s dad is scary. Frank needs to get his act together. When Chris asks her if her husband is among the remaining men, Ali doesn’t immediately say “YES!” Interestingly, she does say that she feels stronger about these guys than she did at the point she was willing to accept a marriage proposal from Jake.

So Kirk is out this week, and Ali cries during the entire rose ceremony. Ugh, I can almost feel Kirk’s instant pain when she doesn’t choose him. I found it incredibly annoying and unnecessary when Chris H comes out of nowhere to tell Ali that “this is the final rose.” Honestly, do they need to keep up this horrible, offensive ritual? Poor Kirk. He really did open himself up to Ali, but in the end, she wasn’t feeling it for Big Red. It’s too bad she can’t divide herself into 4 people and pursue each guy.

Next week we are off to Tahiti! At least whoever Ali dumps can say they got to travel the world for free. Brace yourself for the Frank showdown. It seems at this point, her feelings for Frank are the strongest, despite Roberto and Chris being way more attractive in so many different ways. Not sure how Frank’s sudden departure will affect her feelings regarding the two others, but we’ll have to wait and see (unless ABC decides to tell us up front).

Til next week, Bachelorette fans. Stay cool.

-Stacey B