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.

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