ANDI week 8: "i've got gumption, so do you"

Marcus decides to show it all off on hometowns since he's def not making it to the fantasy suite

JA: Tonight’s drinking game word: “open”

This was quite an emotional roller coaster tonight. Eric’s untimely death brought a heaviness to this episode that we rarely see on the Bachelor/ette. But first we have Nick’s hometown visit. I have to say, this was the home visit I was looking forward to most. We start right off with some eating. And boozing. With a beer named for them. And “polka” dancing. And ten siblings. I don’t really have much to say about Nick’s family other than Nick’s littlest sister being cute. But that girl had to be what, 7 years old? And Nick is 33? Whoa, Nick’s parents. That’s. A lot of fertility.

SA: And Nick is not mormon, is that correct? Man, that's a lot of kids. Did you notice how quickly Andi named the siblings in order when they tested her at the end? Nicely played, she must have been going over it in her head the whole visit. So, you all know Nick is my favorite and I just can't see after this episode how anyone could think he was faking this, or there for the wrong reason. I also think that all of our hearts might be headed for heartbreak because as we know from past seasons -- when they let you see give aways like a contestants saying things like, "I think I'm her favorite" or "I feel like she's the half of me that's been missing" it's usually not leading to a fairy tale ending. I hope that's not the case here but I know these producers and how they love to play with our emotions.

After Milwaukee, Andi travels a little bit to the southwest to confront the reality of being a farmer’s wife in Middle-of-Nowhere, Iowa. What kind of activities does Chris have planned? Oh. Just some plow driving.

Who is Andi kidding? She is such a city girl. “My family has a lake house in Alabama” means “we go glamping once a year.” Andi referencing her lake house in Alabama when confronted with the possibility of moving to Iowa was the LOL moment of this episode. Also, who are we kidding with this. Andi Dorfman is not a farmer's wife, no matter how much gumption she has.

When Chris said, “There’s an opportunity...to be a homemaker,” I winced a bit. Believe me; I’m not out to knock homemakers. Life’s all about everyone being able to make the choices they wanna make. But I wonder just how cool Andi (and her family) would be with her leaving the entire legal profession to milk cows. Andi is only 26 years old, so you know she’s still got a ton of law school loans. And yes, Chris’s mom seems quite happy and just fine with the choices she made. But her saying “I was born in town” is different from Andi, who would be actively giving something up to live on the farm.

Also, Chris clearly has no idea what he is asking of her, because after he saw her angry resting face in regards to the homemaker comment he then asked why she couldn't be a DA on his farm in Iowa. Um, Chris, do you see any gangs in the prairie? Because I don't.

What is Ghosts in the Graveyard? Is it weird that I’ve never played this game? Isn’t this called Hide-and-Seek? And how hard is it to find someone when they have a cameraman standing next to them with a giant light on his camera? My thoughts exactly.

I will say that I did like Chris's family a lot. They were engaging, funny and real. The cool family card trumps the middle of nowhere card when you know you're not gonna marry the dude anyway and that's how Chris managed to sneak into next week.

Ugh, Josh. When Josh said, “I’m excited to fall in love. I wanna get married at the end,” I thought he said “I wanna get married again.” And I almost had a heart attack thinking he’d just revealed some ex-wife.

I can’t put my finger on it. Something is not right with Josh. Something is really not right. As he was talking to Andi about his brother’s football hopes, I totally noticed the difference you pointed out before, Fia, between Andi’s “serious listening” face as opposed to her “you’re my future husband” face. There’s a discernible difference between those faces, especially in her mouth.

What is this Aaron business even about? Is the family using the show to promote Aaron in some weird way? Josh’s parents were like, “Oh, no, Andi, sweetheart. This family is a unit. And this unit will be watching Aaron’s football games. All of them. So how about you just not make any plans on aSunday...ever?” That really is all anyone in this family can seem to talk about. Did you hear the edge in Andi’s voice when she called Josh’s little sister the most mature one in the whole family?

The Josh hometown was incredibly weird, like the weirdest of the bunch. It made me think about Josh totally differently than I have all season and actually made me feel a little bad for him. I also did some research and though Josh was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers, he only played for their minor league team and then for their farm team. So while Josh was 'owned' by the MLB, he never actually played in it. After which it became apparent that his little brother was the better athlete and thusly should be the sole object of the family's attentions. Last week I would have said it was a bold face lie that he gave up sports for family and that was a way around saying he gave up sports because he just wasn't quite good enough. But seeing him with his family and the way they all fawn over his brother, I believe that what he said was true. When he wasn't going to make it himself, supporting his brother was the next best thing and frankly what was expected of him from his family. So I guess he was telling the truth, just spinning it slightly.

The other thing I noticed here is that Josh is a man who does what he's told. When Andi was talking to his mother and sister it was clear that they, like Andi, have strong personalities. Josh's sister even said that Andi and Josh would fight over how to spend their weekends I thought 1) okay, Andi loves to fight, that's all she and Josh have done all season and 2) these are fights she might be able to win if Josh is easily persuaded by the women in his life and she is promoted to the role of 'wife'.

The third thing that made me think we shouldn't be writing Josh off so quickly is how Andi talked about these problems. She said she was worried the family wasn't excited enough for Josh that he might be about to get engaged. And she said that if they do get married, their family will have to be the number one priority. She is both thinking of Josh's feelings and referring to the two of them as a unit. That is something I haven't heard her do with anyone else.

And then we have Marcus. The thing that has me worried from Jump Street is when Andi talks about “catching up” to Marcus’s feelings. That’s never good. Especially when she’s never said that about, um, Nick. Ever.

Nope, Marcus is dunzo. 

Watching Marcus reenact the striptease, despite his toned body, is kinda sad. Of course this gets Andi hot, but as we all know, hot ain’t love.

She's saying the same thing she said about him on night one - that he's hot. She literally doesn't have anything else to say.

Marcus’s family is nice. His mom is sweet. I just don’t think this is enough to keep him here. Before this week I would have said that Josh won’t make it to Fantasy Suites. After this week, though, you can almost hear the “but” in Andi’s voice when she says things like, “I would be lucky to be married to Marcus, and he would give me the world.”

I absolutely hate this segment with Eric’s death announcement. I hate everything about it. I understand why it’s necessary in this episode to show why the Rose Ceremony was so emotional. But I really really hate it. Watching the cameramen put their cameras down and join in the mourning was almost too much. Bachelor Nation is real, y’all. I just wish we could have seen Chris Harrison’s house under better circumstances.

This was so sad and horrible. I really hope that the camera being put down so we could watch everyone mourn naturally was not planned. But of course, it would have to have been. Sad. sad. sad.

As soon as Josh and Chris got the first two roses, Marcus had to know he was toast. I can’t see Andi in Iowa. This is Nick’s to lose.

Andi told Nick's sister Bella they have the best mental connection. We can all see that. These are the two who should be together. But I am worried Josh is a dark horse here on an emotional level. One thing's for sure - Chris is toast.


ANDI week 7: who, who, who will come to hometowns?

JA: Last week before Hometowns. It’s gonna get real. You know what’s also real? All these scarves. Big week for man-scarves in Belgium.

So this is clearly being set up as the week when Nick’s relationship with the other guys reaches its lowest point. He’s not helping matters by saying things like, “I can’t afford this late in the game to slow things down.” Are you playing World Cup soccer, Nick?

SA: So as you all know  by now I have a crush on Nick and refused to believe his intentions could be anything less then honorable. So far this season, with the exception of being standoffish on group dates, he's seemed real and like his connection with Andi was the strongest. This is the week that I began to feel that perhaps there's a chance Andi and I are both being duped, nice editing ABC. More on that later tho - first we have to get thru this boring date with Marcus, ugh.

Marcus did about as well as he could have on his one-on-one with Andi. First of all, he ate all his food. Andi even said to him, “I’m glad you’re a good eater.” We know this girl likes to chow down. The week before Hometowns is inherently risky because you have to decide what kind of family story you wanna shove down Andi’s throat. There are two ways to go about this. You can either talk about how amazing and wonderful your parents are and how they are still best friends after all these years and have been together forever and have “exactly the kind of relationship that I want.” That’s always heartwarming, I guess. Or you can go the way Marcus went, which is to throw all your abandonment issues and parental abuse at the wall and hope it sticks. It looks like it paid off, though. I suppose a former gang prosecutor can handle an intense childhood story.

Ah yes, the alternative to the war worn, "I want what my parents have" is to play the "I never had the happy family and so I want it even more". This worked for Catherine and Marcus is hoping it will work for him as well. I have to hand it to him for acing the timing of these reveals but I couldn't help notice that Andi was wearing her, 'I'm listening to a serious story' face, which is not the same as her 'I'm looking at my future husband' face. That's reserved for 2 dudes on this journey and neither one of them is Marcus. I am also still  amazed at how young Marcus is, he needs to go back home, take advantage of his fifteen minutes and bed some ladies. He can come back to Bachelor Nation in a few years when he's closer to 30 and resume his wife hunt then. Also I am stumped as to who from this crowd could possibly be our next bachelor. My vote was for Marquel but he's out now that it's been announced he's going to be on bachelor in paradise and I think Chris the farmer shoots himself on the foot during home towns.

Back at the hotel, Nick pulled his first honeybadger move of the evening -- going down to the lobby and very VERY easily getting Andi’s room number from the front desk lady. Clearly the producers had to be in on this, or else they’re just really trusting at hotels in Belgium. Remember when Nick asked for his room key and then walked away without a key?? Come on, front desk lady. Get it together.

While I believe Nick sneaking out was genuine, the trip to the front desk to ask for Andi's room number was clearly a producer's idea. You can see Nick laughing at the absurdity of it while he's going through with it. Also, sorry, they might tell him what room number his "wife" is in but there's now way he's leaving with a key without a call up. That shit was ridiculous.

Fia, can you remember any point in recent Bachelor/ette history when someone broke the rules and snuck off for one-on-one time and it didn’t totally amazingly pay off? I feel like it always works. Oh, right. Unless you’re Clare. #vietnam #oceanspray

It's because no one has the confidence to sneak out except the favorites of the lead, that's why it always works - with the exception of poor Clare, who was then slut shamed by JP for the rest of the season.

I might be in the minority on this, but Josh is sooooooo boring. If Josh were a soda, he’d be a can of Tab that was left sitting open for a week. The conversations they have now are the exact same ones they had in Week One. My disbelief gets very much suspended when I’m watching this show, and I’m STILL calling bullshit when he tells Andi he’s falling in love with her. That felt like a desperate move just to stay in the game. Also, them dancing to a nondescript song by a nondescript band while 300 townspeople awkwardly stared was bizarre.

I've been suspicious of Josh this whole season. Everything he says sounds like a line. Watching these week - brining this up to my friend Tess, she countered that he's not manipulative he's just not very smart. And the reason that everything sounds like a line is because he's a simple man. I realized this could be true and my mind was blown.

Why is Dylan still here? Has Andi even spoken to him since they went on that weird train ride next to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut?

Hey, when you can only send home two at a time you're gonna be carrying some dead wood.

This was an… interesting group date. I love how Andi takes the guys to a place where kissing isn’t allowed, and then proceeds to kiss Chris a lot during their Patrick Swayze-Demi Moore mini-date. I guess there are no rules in the pottery room…? I don’t know monastery etiquette.

Whenever we get down to the week before hometowns it is always blazingly obvious whose going home, to the viewers and the contestants. In fact the three front runners are so clear that the three bringing up the rear usually point this out themselves themselves saying things like, "it's between us losers now". I never understand why they don't just give up completely at this point - if there can only be one winner and you know for a fact three dudes are ahead of you - what's the point of taking this chick home? Looking at you on this one, Farmer Chris.

As for these other guys who are all focusing more on Nick than on Andi, I need them to have watched past seasons of this show before they came to LA. There is always that one person who is playing a psychological game to make the other contestants focus more on him than on the Bachelorette. It’s a time-honored tradition. I guess it’s also a time-honored tradition to have people keep falling for it. Get over it, guys. Nick was never a part of your bromance. He’s in it to win it. He may also be a little bit of a sociopath. Even when he “cries,” he has this weird soulless look in his eyes.

This is the point in the episode where I began to wonder if I'd been deceived by my favorite. ABC had been hiding from us that Nick "studied Des's season" and has also questioned who might be the next Bachelor. Kryptonite in Bachelor Nation.

Meanwhile, Nick gets the Group Date rose while the other three guys have to sardine themselves into the backseat of the transpo van. Bonus points to whoever made them all squeeze into the same row -- they look pathetic.

I learned from Courtney's tell all (yes I read it, don't judge, it's summer) that whenever you get into a car / limo / van on this show you are required to put on your seatbelt, which contributes to these three looking like they are on a boy scouts trip. Can we just drive them all to the airport now?

This was the least climactic Rose Ceremony ever. I don’t even know why Andi brought Dylan to Belgium. Or Venice. Or France. And I love Brian, but he didn’t do nearly enough to earn a Hometown visit. This is the week where you’ve gotta go a little rogue if you don’t get official Andi facetime. All I can think about is that time Arie basically kidnapped Emily Maynard (who, by the way, just got married to a random) and tonsil-hockeyed her against a brick wall in Prague.

That was pimp. Also in Courtney's tell all I learned that Ari was the best sex she's ever had. #notsurprised

My favorite thing about the promo for next week is that Andi suddenly wakes up to the realization that Chris is gonna want her barefoot and pregnant on the family farm in Iowa. I. Love. Hometowns.