Bachelorette Ep. 8: “Ricki’s New MeeMaw and Pop Pop Audition Tapes”
If the Bachelorette/Bachelor franchise is about anything, it’s about opportunity, agreed? On Wednesday, two of my most loyal readers and huge Bachelorette fans were traveling back east with their kids. At a nearby gate, they spotted none other than Big Man On Campus Ryan. My friend, the wife, snuck this picture but it’s too far away to get a good look at that wide jaw and greasy skin. I’m not going to point any fingers but a certain ‘better’ half didn’t want the other better half to approach him. I guess we’ll never know what could’ve been. I reminded him I took one for the team to personally speak to guard and protect your heart tattoo Kasey JUST for the story. But I guess true love is asking your wife to refrain from approaching a jag off no matter how good of a story is at stake, and a wife agreeing with the husband to avoid an awkward situation in front of their two small children. Fair enough. But I hope Emily doesn’t pass up on any golden opportunities here on out because she’s headed to hometowns…
Emily has returned back to her home in Charlotte to see Ricki and to reflect on the four great guys she’ll be visiting. She reviews each guy: Chris is the first strong connection guy. Jef is the fun, edgy guy who gets her. Arie is Mr. Excitement and immediate connection, bad boy guy. Sean is the makes her feel safe guy. And she can see a future with all four of them. Emily will meet the families to help determine who Ricki might call MeeMaw and Pop Pop.
Let’s just all assume the following will happen tonight: Everyone will love Emily, no one will be too hard on her and they’ll think their son/brother has found the perfect girl for him. The notion that a family would accept a stranger with very few questions asked as ‘the one’ is absolutely ridiculous outside of an ironic reality t.v. show about finding your life partner in 10 weeks while dating other men. But every season this plays out the same time and again.
If I was insane enough to participate in this show format, I’d absolutely want to meet his family BUT I’d be very careful with my words out of respect. Don’t make any future ‘we’ statements and be as general as possible without being rude. Many times the Bachelor/Bachelorette will get caught up in the moment or for lack of a better response will say, “I’d love to come back, “ or “I hope to see you all soon.” If I’m a big sister, I’d counter with, “Well, that’s on you.” or “Well, we have a 1 in 4 chance so…”
In response to family questions, I’d be my dazzling self and simply compliment their son and the relationship we’ve had thus far. Sure, I may throw out “I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t developed serious feelings for your son” but I’d try not to give the hard sell. I’m the one screening YOU for future holidays and vacations. Lastly, I’d tell the family this is an extraordinary situation that we’ve all agreed to participate in based on signed, iron clad, 5,000 page contracts. And I promise to treat him with as much dignity as I can while putting him into a stretch limo.
You’d think every family would be extremely wary and cautious but again, they will declare, “I couldn’t have asked for someone more perfect for my son.”
Nevermind, this perfect person could very well be the perfect wife to demand your son move far away and only visit you once every other Thanksgiving because suddenly she hates to fly with the kids or HER family is only 20 minutes away so it’s just ‘easier’. Family members should be just as general and cautious so to save face when your son looks like a clueless sucker getting kicked off.
Chris’ hometown date is the lead off batter. Chris, 25 yr old sales director from Chicago, had slowly come undone since his strong lead in Week 2. He somehow hid his rager side from Emily so here she is in Chicago. Chris shows her the city and takes her to a Polish restaurant to prepare her for his Polish family. “On a scale of one to Polish, we’re Polish.” Chicago is known for its huge Polish American population so at the very least, I’d date Chris for the Polish church festival season alone. All the beer and pierogies you can eat??? Winner, Winner, Kielbasa Dinner!
His culturally fun family could be a Chris’ most positive feature. I imagine a big, welcoming, blue collar family who loves to have a good time. And that’s exactly what we get. Emily meets Chris’ parents and his two sisters. Chris’ father takes Emily to the side. His dad says Chris would totally be there for her and Ricki . He tells Emily, “If you’re looking for someone to love and support you then Chris will give that to you; if you’re looking for something else then Chris isn’t the guy for you.” Emily says that’s exactly what she’s looking for. His attempt to call her bluff did not work.
Chris’ dad asks Emily if he senses some love and she says, “Absolutely. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t.” Well, that didn’t take long. Chris sits down with his mother and in her awesome Chicago accent, she says he may get hurt but if he really loves her, he’s got to get out there and “kick ass.” Yeah, Beavis.
Chris’ tough sister simply asks Emily to release him sooner than later. And then Chris’ father tells him that Emily mentioned she’s falling in love with him. He’s more than paraphrasing Emily’s earlier response but the damage has been done. Armed with this new information, Chris tells Emily he is now in love with her. Chris and family cap off the night with Polish music and dancing that makes for a fun night but is Emily all in for a lifetime of polka?
Emily now travels to Utah to visit Jef at his family’s ranch. Jef straps her into an all terrain dune buggy and take off onto the compound. Jef is showing his country boy side and Emily is eating it up. He takes her to shoot some skeet and suddenly Jef is the guy’s guy of all guy’s guys. I’m not one to find a man holding a gun sexy but at least he’s not talking about how Karl Lagerfeld is the original risk taker.
Jef tells Emily she’ll meet two brothers and two sisters. But again, his parents will not be there because they’re in South Carolina doing “charity work.” At this point, I have to believe he’s told her they’re Mormon and Emily’s okay with the whole deal so good for her and her openness. But out of respect for his family, I’d guess it’s been agreed upon that they can’t mention the religion by name. Not even Mitt Romney can move this needle.
Jef’s brother takes Emily to the side and asks her if they feel they have the same fundamentals and goals. Emily said she’s asked Jef all the important questions that need to be asked. Again, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt that they’ve talked about ALL fundamentals. Big brother co-signs this entire endeavor.
Jef’s sisters are up next. Emily wants to make sure Jef is ready to be a father, blah, blah and his sister in law asks if she’ll ask Jef to move or would she uproot Ricki to move with Jeff. Emily says she just wants a true family and would go anywhere. Words like values continue to be emphasized and questions like do you mesh in same way regarding raising kids. Emily says the basics and foundations are there. I feel like they’re all dancing around the religion issue but again, this is not my battle and I gotta let it go. His sister asks if she’s falling in love with Jef and she says she is but is afraid to throw out the L word and then gets off the hook when Jef’s adorable niece climbs into Emily’s arms like she’s known her forever.
Jef admits to his brother she’s the coolest girl in the world. Like, rad, dude. Jef’s brother sort of calls him out by saying he’s never really seen Jef want the things that are now in front of him in the way of kids and a wife. I have a feeling his brother is concerned and has always thought of Jef as the family wild card but thinks Emily is a good ying to his yang.
Jef and Emily go off where he reads her a heartfelt letter. The letter reads like a teen groom’s marriage vows at a city park gazebo wedding; I love the way you smile, I love how grab my hand and hold it, I love how good of a mom you are, I love how you want to make the world a better place. What a crock.
Well, Arie, good luck stealing Emily from Jef’s inexplicable spell but off she goes to Arizona. Of course Emily meets Arie at the race track. To refresh, Arie is an Indy Car series driver. (Arie’s father, Arie Sr., is a two time Indy 500 winner.) And since Emily comes from NASCAR stock, I really hope a blue collar / white collar racing divide won’t come to the surface tonight. Emily has always been physically attracted to Arie more than any guy in this race. Emily agrees to let Arie take her for a spin in his National Guard race car.
Arie and Emily go sit by a lake and Arie’s extremely nervous about All-American Emily meeting his very European parents. Arie says his mother will be the least open minded. I get the feeling his mother never hugged him because she didn’t believe in spoiling a child. But I don’t mind Arie’s honesty because it might offer us a departure from the family automatically jumping on board.
Arie’s father, mother, twin brothers and sister are introduced. It’s pretty obvious they’re a little more formal, per se, than Chris’ South Side Chicago polka house party. Coincidentally, his mother informs the family her first trip ever to the States was to Charlotte, NC. And then they all begin to speak in Dutch while Emily sits there looking mortified. Arie finally translates they were simply asking him how things were going. His mom takes Emily aside and for some reason they go sit on a bed. She grills Emily about her first Bachelor appearance and says she was surprised to see her back in the hunt. Emily tells her she didn’t ask the right questions with Brad (read: I didn’t ask him if he had a serious anger management problem.) Mom starts to soften up and they talk candidly about racing life. She offers the fact they’ve been married for 31 years and so the racing life can work (just don’t ask Jeff Gordon.)
Emily had nothing to worry about with Arie’s mother thinking they will make an awesome couple. Arie admits to his father he’s ready to propose to Emily and Arie, Sr. also thinks Emily has all the great qualities. Easy peasy. The Southern belle won over the Dutch aristocrats. And they both lived happily ever after. The End.
It’s Sean’s turn to show the rest of the guys Don’t Mess With Texas. As I’ve said all season, Emily knows Sean is the perfect fit for her in terms of commonalities. I think if she’s serious about finding the right family guy and settling in for the looooong haul then he’s her guy. I get the feeling Jef’s antics will include starting a band one minute to spending too much alone time visiting his family. Arie’s the flash in the pan international playboy who might tire of Pleasantville. And despite his culturally fun family, Chris is a dick. And boring.
Sean and Emily hang out by a nearby lake and play with his dogs. They picnic and pick flowers. Emily quickly recognizes their lives can easily blend together. Sean explains to Emily he will never allow a woman to give her all to him without him feeling the same. And of course he assures Emily he’s willing to move forward knowing he’s got the feelings for Emily to pursue a future. Emily continues to say he’s the perfect guy with the perfect family, the perfect house and perfect dog. Like it’s some far-fetched scenario that a girl who looks like Emily actually gets the ‘perfect’ guy.
Sean and Emily arrive and meet his parents, sister, brother in law, niece and nephew. Sean’s niece RUNS into his arms and that’s the money shot. A single guy’s best currency are cute nieces and nephews who adore him. And for the record, so far it appears Sean’s family IS the perfect family. They’re like a poster family for good Texas Christian living.
Sean doesn’t waste any time and says he needs to be open about something. Emily looks concerned and Sean admits he still lives at home. I’m mortified. She’s mortified. His family looks totally fine. Sean then takes her on a tour straight to his room. His room is a disaster and says, “I wish my mom would’ve picked up a little bit.” He promptly introduces Emily to his stuffed animal friends. Emily is being Southern and polite but she is clearly thrown. But of course, Sean comes clean that this is a total joke. Emily response is total relief but she misses out on opportunity to be a person resembling having a sense of humor and keeps that ‘too’ nice polite girl composure. “I don’t care, I would’ve still been crazy about you,” says the lying sack of Emily. I would’ve loved to have seen her give a hysterical, big belly laugh and just be real and have a real moment because I’ll give it up to him, he actually sold it to me. Well, until he started introducing the stuffed animals and the randomly placed cookie crumbs.
Sean opens up to his father and his father tells Emily Sean has never opened up this much about anyone. Of course everyone thinks Sean’s made a great choice and his parents are extremely sweet and also appear to be the best fit for Emily and Ricki. His father feels he’s known Emily for a long time and his mom thinks Sean would be blessed to have her. Sean’s mom says maybe the next time you can bring Ricki and Emily says she’d come and never want to leave. As predicted, no one has followed any of the rules.
The hardest Rose Ceremony to date: Emily has to make the extremely hard decision of what family to offend. She tells Chris Harrison that each guy’s family was so amazing. Emily looks at each picture pretending to think about each guy and then walks to a window to further contemplate.
As she stands in front of the guys she says she’s based her decision on their entire relationship and where she sees things going. The first rose goes to Arie, the second to Jef and now it’s down to Chris and Sean. Emily confirms what should’ve been done last week and sends Chris home. Sean gets the final rose.
Chris is completely shocked since his father told him Emily had fallen in love with him. He’s too immature to understand what he’s signed up for. He reverts back to his surly self demanding an explanation and sounds like angry stalker guy saying, “I told you I loved you.” Get it line, Christopher.
Once in the limo, at least Chris doesn’t start sobbing on account he’s so fucking livid. “I’m 10x the man than (bleep) all those dudes that are still there,” whines Chris. Like his hometown Chicago Cubs, he departs like a big, sore loser.
Emily informs the three remaining guys they are going to Curacao! And you know what this means; FANTASY SUITES. It’ll be interesting to see how Mommy Emily handles the awkward proposition and what it implies. But just because she spends time in the fantasy suite, it doesn’t necessarily mean actual intercourse. I’m sure many times it’s a great opportunity to talk off camera with some heavy over the underwear petting.
Lastly, if you haven’t already heard, the producers and ABC have decided to air the finale LIVE, potentially to avoid spoilers. So are we’re supposed to believe she hasn’t made a final decision? Will the proposal happen live or will they just reveal whose proposal she accepted? We have a lot to get through before the answers are revealed, including the Men Tell All. Until Curacao…
Aaron, 36, a biology teacher from Long Beach, CA Alessandro, 30, a grain merchant from St. Paul, MN
Alejandro, 25, a mushroom farmer from San Francisco, CA
Arie, 30, a race car driver from Scottsdale, AZ
Brent, 41, a technology salesman from Fresno, CA
Charlie, 32, a recruiter from Nashville, TN
Chris, 25, a corporate sales director from Chicago, IL
David, 33, a singer/songwriter from New York, NY
Doug, 33, a real estate agent from Seattle, WA
Jackson, 29, a fitness model from Lockport, ILJef, 27, an entrepreneur from Salt Lake City, UT
Jean-Paul, 35, a marine biologist from Seattle, WA
Joe, 27, a field energy advisor from Los Angeles, CA John “Wolf,” 30, a data destruction specialist from St. Louis, MO Kalon, 27, a luxury brand consultant from Houston, TX Kyle, 29, a financial advisor from Long Beach, CA Lerone, 29, a real estate consultant from Los Angeles, CA
Michael, 26, a rehab counselor from Austin, TX
Nate, 25, an accountant from Los Angeles, CA
Randy, 30, a marketing manager from Hermosa Beach, CA
Ryan, 31, a pro sports trainer from Augusta, GA
Sean, 28, an insurance agent from Dallas, TX
Stevie, 26, a party MC from Staten Island, NY
Tony, 31, a lumber trader from Beaverton, OR
Travis, 30, an advertising sales representative from Madison, MS