'The Bachelorette': Hometown Dates whittle down to Top 3

bachelorette-hometown-dates.jpgTime for Hometown Dates, y'all! My very favorite "Bachelorette" episode. It's always like three families I can't be snarky about because they're awesome, and then one crazypants family (see: Kirk with the taxidermy or Naomi with the pigeon funeral). Update: I love all the families this time, what is up?!

Philadelphia

We start out in Philly, where Ashley lives. Thank God this time we don't have a "Rocky"-esque montage, but we do have a rehashing of all the bachelors she has left. Ben is "a man," Constantine is Ben's long-lost brother "so sexy," Ames is "nerdy" like Ashley and with J.P. "everything is there."

Eek, a furry rat! Kill it, kill it! Oh, that's her dog. Of course it is.

I'll predict right now - I think Ames gets cut. I do not know any spoilers.

Constantine's Date

Constantine is from Cumming, GA. Oh, the jokes. But I won't stoop to that level, I'm better than that. Constantine is introducing Ashley to his awesome Greek family - father Dimitri, mother Elleni and sister Maria - but first they go to Giogio's, his restaurant. The restaurant is Italian - bummer it's not Greek, but it's adorable anyway.

Ashley thinks he "looks like a stud" walking around the restaurant. Uh, that's weird. He's walking around and people are saying hello. At a place he owns? Yes, that's studly how his subordinates are nice to him.

When they eat lunch, Ashley talking-heads that when Constantine loves, he "loves hard and he loves for real." And she hasn't even been on the Overnight Dates yet! BOOM! That's the level to which I will stoop.

The waitresses are crowded around the window like the kids in "Babes in Toyland." Unfortunately when Constantine kisses Ashley, none of the waitresses go, "He just tried to bite her." Anybody? Underrated kids movie, y'all.

Finally they go to his house. His mom and sister are super pretty and everybody seems really open and loving. In private time, Elleni is very concerned about if it can last past the jet-setting excitement of the show. She also wonders if Ashley can become a part of Atlanta and the restaurant. Ashley says she can be happy anywhere as long as she with the right guy and he's happy. Plus, they need dentists everywhere.

Meanwhile, Constantine asks his dad for his questions and thoughts because he appreciates his father's opinion. Dimitri says it takes time, but that he likes Ashley and if Constantine says she's the right person, he has their blessing.

The extended family arrives and - wow, it's "My Big Fat Greek Bachelorette." That's awesome. They bust out the Greek dancing and my favorite is old Greek grandma clapping her hands. Adopt me, Greek grandma! Ashley says she's in love with his family - you and me both, girl.

Ames' Date

Chadds Ford, PA. Ames actually talking-heads that he feels at this point that he and Ashley "are like boyfriend and girlfriend." Aww. Are you going to have malteds at the general store later? Anyway.

Ashley meets sister Serena, brother-in-law Randy, mom Jane, brother Jim, sister-in-law Tracy and the nieces and nephews.Interestingly enough, Ames, Serena and Jim all look alike, but they don't look like mom Jane. They must really have taken after his dad. And just bee tee dub - Ames' haircut really helps his looks.

Wow, their house is incredible. There's a ridiculously beautiful indoor pool. Wow. Anyway, Serena takes Ashley aside and grills her - Ashley doesn't seem to really win Serena over. Did anybody else get that sense? They use the tried and true "Shrek" analogy. Ames is an onion, not a parfait. Serena also fills Ashley in on how their real dad died and then their step-dad died. Aw, geez. That's rough.

Meanwhile, Ames and his mom talk and he say she's lucky to have somebody so amazing on the other side of the show. I feel like Ames likes Ashley more than Ashley likes Ames.

Ashley talking-heads that she's still missing the spark with Ames. Yeah. He's done.

He takes some time to talk to Serena and she voices her doubts that he's the one for Ashley. She tells him to step up his game romantically, so Ames takes Ashley to this gorgeous park where magnolia trees are blooming, very pretty. But I still just don't see the sexual chemistry with them. He's like her straight gay BFF. And unfortunately, he doesn't see that and I feel he's going to be pretty upset at the end of all this.

Ben's Date

Ben is from Sonoma, so naturally it is ridiculously gorgeous scenery. They go to his winery for a picnic (must remember to order from his winery, I have to try it). He gives her the tour, which is awesome. I want to own a winery!

At lunch, he warns that he's only brought one other woman home to meet his mom. Well, my mom only met three before my husband and one was by accident. Anyway, Ben tells her his dad was a "gentle giant" and soft-spoken, but happy about life, jovial. Aw, he sounds neat. Ben also reassures her that he's confident in them even though Ashley is nervous to meet his mom and sister.

So he takes her to meet mom Barbara and sister Julia. Julia asks if Ashley noticed Ben straight off and - what's she going to say? "Nope, he really faded into the background. Luckily he didn't stand out in a bad way, so he made it through the first elimination."

Julia takes him off privately and he says it's "effortless" with Ashley and he's really opened up to her more than anyone in a long time. He also says if things keep progressing, he has no problem proposing at the end.

He also tells his mom it's changed from an adventure to having feelings. He also says he wants to model his marriage after his parents' marriage and he admits to his mom he should've been a better son after his dad died and he should've done things differently. Aww, it's getting a little dusty in here. Don't cry, Ben! His mom is really cool about it.

At the end of the night, Ashley talking-heads that she can really see herself with Ben. Yeah, me too. See Ashley with Ben, not myself with Ben. Though he seems great. Moving on.

J.P.'s Date

Roslyn, NY is J.P.'s hometown and for a surprise, J.P. takes her to Hot Skates, their roller rink. Oh my god, that's awesome. We had the Black Hawk Rollerdrome in my hometown, but it got torn down years ago and I was very sad. I'm with J.P. - like every third birthday party was held there. REO SPEEDWAGON!!!! This is seriously the best date EVAH. J.P. totally wins.

Oh, that's not Kevin Cronin singing. Bummer. J.P. tells her she'll meet mom Ilene, dad Peter, brother Roy and girlfriend Andrea (who is clearly the coolest because of her name). He tells Ashley he's only taken home four girls to meet his family and she says, "That's not a lot."

Clearly Ashley brought home every guy who even so much as smiled at her on the bus. She brought home guys like stray dogs.

J.P. admits to her that he really likes her and it sucks that she's dating other people, but he's steeled himself to get his heart possibly crushed at the end and he wants to just go for it.

For family time, J.P.'s family is just bonkers about Ashley, especially Ilene. I love that they have a lovely, modest home. So many of these dudes have like mansions, it's nice to see a normal house. His mom has the cutest Long Island accent, love it. It's cute without being abrasive.

Ilene tells J.P. she's very guarded because of his heartbreak before, but he says he has to let go and try it. She then says, "Are you in love with her?" and he says, "There are a lot of signs that point towards it." But he thinks he's having difficulty admitting it.

When Ilene asks if he'll propose, he says, "Yeah, why not?" Uh, that's not exactly the right answer. It shouldn't be like a "why not?" type of thing, it should be a "hell yeah" type of thing.

So Ilene takes Ashley aside and says she's guarded and nervous because J.P. looks at Ashley with love in his eyes, but Ashley has other guys to choose from. Ashley assures Ilene that she's smitten and that she and J.P. have something very special.

Meanwhile, J.P. and brother Roy talk and J.P. says he's ready for it to end now, he wants Ashley to pick him now. Aww. Ilene then busts out J.P.'s bar mitzvah picture and it's absolutely right when they say it's a combo of Kirk Cameron circa "Growing Pains" and Doogie Howser. Hee! So awesome.

J.P. admits in a talking-head he's not ready to admit he's in love with her.

I Want to Talk to Chris Harrison

Therapy time. Ashley says her guys are exceptional and I'd agree - there's not a stinker in the bunch, even Ames, who is not the guy for Ashley, but would make some other woman a wonderful husband.

But they rehash each date and that's boring - blahblahblah, we just watched this.

Rose Ceremony

Ashley definitely has a hard decision because these guys seem great, but I think Ames' time is up. So the roses go to Ben, J.P. and ..... Constantine. Yeah.

On his way out, Ames and Ashley chat and he is very kind and respectful about it, saying he's lucky to have her in his life and she's an exceptional person, as he gets choked up. Aww, Ames! He's great, he'll be fine.

In the limo, the chords of heartbreak play as Ames cries a little and says, "I've fallen in love with somebody who clearly did not fall in love with me back." We've all been there, fella. I'm so sorry.

Next week: Fantasy Suites in Fiji! My second-favorite episode. And who comes back?! Oh my god, the drama!

Photo/Video credit: ABC
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