I always look forward to the hometown dates episode. It’s a chance to see where all of these crazy people come from and how much the families have bought into the whole “find a husband on reality tv” concept. Isn’t it funny that none of these families questioned Brad’s intentions? They are all buying in to the concept. It’s like a cult, this Bachelor show.
Unlike the flashy hometown dates we have seen in previous seasons (flashback: Jason Mesnick’s trip to Naomi’s hometown where her mother had a funeral for a dead pigeon; Ali’s visit to Kirk’s hometown where she faced his father’s taxidermy practice head on, etc.), this week’s meeting of the families was relatively uneventful. That is, of course, if a date to a funeral home can be considered normal. The Shawntel visit to the Chico, California mausoleum had to have been staged. It’s one thing to bring your boyfriend to the place you work. It’s another to walk him through the hall of crypts, lay him down on the corpse table and explain in detail (using instruments as a visual) the embalming process. There is no way that the down to earth, grounded and very real Shawntel wasn’t encouraged to be extremely detailed when discussing her work with Brad. Once this date was set to music and sound effects were added, they painted Shawntel as a slightly psychotic and eccentric woman because she has a passion for her profession.
The Husband was upset that their time together didn’t go very well, particularly considering that they seemed to have this wonderful natural chemistry between them on their previous dates. I like Shawntel. She never freaked out about the other girls. She wasn’t overly analytical about their connection or lack thereof. She just went with the flow and seemed to genuinely be falling for Brad. But as I reminded The Husband – take away the Pretty Woman shopping spree in Vegas. Remove the jumping rope scenes in Anguilla followed by a Reggae concert and moonlight ocean swim and what do you have? A professional funeral director who deals with death all day long.
“Honey, what did you do today?” the future Brad might ask.
“I cremated three bodies. Did an intake of two families – one member died of cancer. The other in a tragic car accident. The rest of the day was spent embalming. I’m exhausted. What’s for dinner?” the future Mrs. Womack might respond.
And so Brad foresaw the conversations he would be having with the stunning beauty Shawntel for the rest of his life. While Shawntel saw romance in having their remains placed together in one of those little crypts at the mausoleum she worked in, Brad looked like he was about to have a panic attack. Plus there’s the added fact that Shawntel is leaving the family business and moving to Austin, Texas for the guy she has known for barely a month. And she announces this all to her in front of Brad at dinner. How cozy. It sounded ridiculous. When the father started talking about Shawntel’s community counting on her to comfort them in their time of need, this reminded me of a talk between King Triton and Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Ariel wanted to be human so she could marry Prince Eric. The father forbid her from going to the ocean’s surface and that her home was with her family under the sea. Well we all know how that went. Unfortunately in this case, Prince Eric (Brad) had the sense to realize that life with a mermaid/funeral director was not his happily ever after.
I’d say that I feel bad for Shawntel, but she seems to really enjoy the family business. I mean – she even described her interactions with the families she services as “happy.” It’s pretty impressive that she can find happiness in death. She’s not just a natural beauty. She’s a natural funeral director. Her sisters were very pretty too – were they twins? They looked very similar to Shawntel in the blonde version. Perhaps one of them could have become the legacy to her Pop’s business? She’s 25 years old and was willing to throw away her dad’s business and say goodbye to her family all for love. That’s some bold decision. Thankfully Brad cut her loose before it got any more serious. As for Shawntel being the next Bachelorette – based on looks and personality alone, I’d say sure. But when you factor in her profession, I’m not sure that main stream America (and 30 men) would accept a wife whose daily work took play in a mausoleum. Not to worry, I’m sure people will be dying to meet Shawntel (pun intended).
Brad’s connection with Chantal seemed to be back on track. This is mostly because she straightened her hair and dressed like a flight attendant. She also did not have to watch Brad making out with another girl while on a date with her. I can’t decide whether Chantal would actually be a sane person in the real world with Brad or whether she’d become emotional if he brought home the wrong cereal. As Brad rightfully states about Chantal, what he can’t deal with in a relationship “is an emotional rollercoaster.”
So let’s break it down with the remaining ladies – Pros and Cons. Here we go.
• Beautiful face and hair when straightened and smoothed.
• When she’s feeling secure, she has a nice personality and seems very down to earth and playful.
• She’s not afraid to say how’s she’s feeling.
• Her parents are loaded (this should count as 20 pros)
• I like that her ears curl out a bit on top.
• She’s divorced, so despite there being a 10 year gap in their ages, she’s at least experienced with marriage and relationships.
• Her father seems to also be in love with Brad and Brad recognizes this as and feels a kindred spirit with him.
• Chantal’s mother is hot and if these really are her parents and not actors rented from a soap opera set, Chantal may have incredible genes and maintain her pretty face for a while.
• Chantal’s family’s wine cellar collection. I don’t think many restaurants have that impressive of a collection. Brad’s blog revealed that Chantal’s dad is an ex pro football player. He definitely has that look and the trophy wife to match.
• Both Brad and Chantal’s father have matching daddy issues. How cute! That must have been why he got the father’s blessing to marry Chantal without Brad even asking!
• She lives 4 streets away from her parents. This may be too close for comfort, but it sounds like Chantal would be yanked off to Austin anyhow.
• Chantal’s blue eyed cat looks scary.
• The dog, Boca, bites. I would never allow a dog that bites into my home, but that’s just me.
• She’s divorced. This may carry some emotional baggage that she’s not yet dealt with. Perhaps this is where her insecurities kick in and make her an emotional wreck.
• Sometimes she looks absolutely amazing. Other times not so much…(like at the rose ceremony this week, she looked like an actress dressed up like a geisha. What on earth look was she going for with the unflattering fitted red satin dress and a pulled back bun?)
• She cries at the drop of a hat
Madawaska, Maine is on the other end of the planet. Seriously, there’s no way that Brad went from Seattle to Maine (which required a trip first to New York, then to Boston, then a charter flight to Maine, followed by a 2 hour drive) without getting the Chico, CA trip in first. So basically what I’m saying is, what we saw this week was most definitely filmed out of order. It would make no sense logistically that Brad started in NY (where the episode begins), then went to Seattle, then to Maine, then to Chico, California, then to Charlotte, NC then back to NY. Nope. Don’t buy it.
Ashley H’s family was absolutely adorable. I loved how happy Ashley seemed to be with Brad. She was very playful and fun. Brad’s entire attitude around Ashley changed dramatically from his time with Chantal, which seemed more intense. Chris H’s blog said that Ashley’s mom was a huge Bachelor fan (I wonder if she reads this blog!). Can you imagine how excited you would be if you watched this show season after season and then one day, one of the ex bachelors comes to your house because he’s dating your daughter? Very exciting! Let’s do Pro vs. Con for Ashley H.
• She’s independent and will have her own profession apart from whatever Brad can offer her.
• She eats Putzin (spelling?) which is fries with cheese and gravy and she won’t use a fork.
• She speaks French, or whatever that language is they speak in Madawaska.
• I LOVED Ashley’s sister Chrystie. She was very pretty and so down to earth. I loved her exclamation of, “This is getting serious!” when Ashley jumped on Brad’s lap.
• While Ashley is taking pictures of her and Brad throughout their day in Maine, she says, “Let’s do a smoocher,” and leans in for a kiss. Hilarious. This is a whole side of Ashley we haven’t seen. She’s funny and confident.
• I loved Ashley H’s parents’ house. It was so much cozier than the monstrosity that was Chantal’s home.
• She hasn’t spilled the “I love yous” yet to Brad. She’s the last holdout. Stay strong, Ash!
• Ashley’s Mom is already saying she would love to visit Texas and asks both of them to sleepover.
• It’s hard to find a good residency so if Ashley finds one in Texas because of Brad, it better work out between them
• She’s 26, he’s 38. A 12 year age gap? Hmmmm
• I still see her as more of a kid sister type and less of an actual lifelong mate for Brad
• She’s competing with Emily, who is perfect.
Last, but certainly not least, we’ve got the long awaited Emily date – and the meeting of little Ricki. Ricki is absolutely adorable. From the pictures of her father, she seems to have his face and Emily’s hair. What a cutie! I was surprised by how quickly she actually opened up to Brad. I loved that she had her nails painted just like her mom and sucked her thumb like a little 5 year old should. Emily’s house was beautiful as well – and I loved that Ricki had her own little girl suite complete with bright pink couch all for herself. What I don’t get was Brad’s odd behavior at the end of the date when he wouldn’t kiss Emily. Yes, he was trying to be respectful and was worried that Ricki might pop out of her room, but as Emily very astutely put it: if this works out, Ricki will always be upstairs sleeping – grab those kisses while you can, Brad! What was he thinking?? I love how determined she was to kiss him before he left. The Husband thought he might not be interested in her and was just being kind. I knew Brad was just being an idiot.
• A real life Barbie doll who couldn’t be nicer
• Brad would have an instant, built-in family if he chooses her. Which may be ok since he’s 38;
• She’s a real Southern belle and would probably blend in very well in a Southern culture like Austin;
• She hasn’t gotten caught up in the drama of the other girls. Emily’s worst enemy is her own self-doubt;
• She dresses well, always looks great and seems a lot older than 24
• Other than being 24, the only real con I can see in choosing Emily is the fact that she’d have to relocate her daughter to Texas. That could be a problem if Emily’s family lives nearby and helps take care of Ricki.
• Speaking of Emily’s family – how come we didn’t get to meet them? Can Brad really propose to her not having met her parents / siblings / other important people in her life?
• Brad has enough commitment issues in just dealing with choosing a woman to be with. Throw a child into the mix – and that adds a whole other element of commitment. I don’t like that little Ricki would be his guinea pig for whether he’s fully over his commitment issues.
So we know how it all goes now. Shawntel is sent packing and has a heck of a lot of nice things to say for a guy who just dumped her. Classy lady. Particularly after Brad fondles her knee before she gets into the limo. I hope she finds a very nice guy (like Nate from Six Feet Under) who will love her to pieces and embrace her professional endeavors.
We’re off to South Africa next week. So excited to see Emily turn down the fantasy suite (assuming she doesn’t give him the whole – “but I’ll go there anyway and hang out with you but not sleep over because I want more time with you” bull). What’s hotter than Brad getting rejected?
Whose your favorite of the remaining three ladies? Are you mad Shawntel was sent home? Do you miss Michelle? Let’s hear it!
BTW, we finally got our Bachelor review show up and running. Check it out if you have 10 minutes.