“The Bachelor” Recap: Ben Higgins Goes On Hometown Dates, Final Three Revealed
On Monday’s “The Bachelor,” Ben Higgins went on hometown dates with the four remaining women, before saying goodbye to one and choosing his final three. Get the full recap below!
On last week’s installment, the contestants traveled to Ben’s home state of Indiana, where Emily and Becca were eliminated. Now for episode eight, he traveled to the hometowns of Amanda, JoJo, Caila, and Lauren B. First up in the two-hour broadcast was Amanda’s visit.
To see Amanda, the 25-year-old mom of two, Ben went to Orange County, California. The two met up on a Laguna Beach, uh, beach, where Ben met her two young daughters. The little girls warmed up to him quickly, and he seemed to have a blast playing the father role, even calling it “so natural.” At Amanda’s home afterward, her parents and sister questioned whether Ben was truly ready to be an “instant dad.” A chat with the esthetician’s own dad had Ben seriously thinking whether he could be a stepfather, while Amanda admitted in a confessional that she was now “in love.”
Next, Lauren B. welcomed Ben to Portland. The 25-year-old flight attendant told the camera she was “already in love” with him, but before confessing her feelings to Ben, they went sightseeing around the city (see photo above). Afterward, Lauren brought him home to meet her siblings and parents. Lauren’s sister pulled Ben away from a family dinner to tell him she had “doubts” about whether his professed affections for Lauren were sincere, given that three other women were still in the competition. Put on the spot, Ben’s eyes welled with tears as he said how “lucky” he felt to be with Lauren. But the visit ended before Lauren confessed her love, something she wondered if she would regret.
Ben reunited with Caila in Hudson, Ohio, admitting to the camera that he felt they had the “deepest” relationship. They visited the 24-year-old software sales representative’s high school, as well as her dad’s toy factory. After building their own “house,” Caila was convinced Ben was the “one,” that she was “in love,” and they would marry. But first, he had to meet the family: Caila’s parents and brother. Her father was skeptical of the “Bachelor” process, and even initially doubtful of his daughter’s own feelings. “I know this is it,” Caila cried to her dad. But even though her mom was convinced Ben loved her, too, a scared Caila held back on her “I love you” as they said goodbye.
Lastly, Ben went to the South to meet up with JoJo in Dallas, and things quickly went, well, south. When JoJo found roses and a letter waiting for her at home, she was stunned to find out it was from her ex, Chad. On the phone, the former flame said he wanted another chance, and the 24-year-old real estate developer was both angry and seemingly conflicted. JoJo wiped away tears as Ben arrived, but to her credit, she clued him into what happened and swore that, on the call, she told Chad they were done. JoJo further insisted that with Ben, she was the “happiest” she’s ever been.
But more drama occurred later on, when JoJo’s adult brothers felt “spooked” by her “attachment” to Ben, believing he wasn’t “that terrific.” The over-protective siblings were convinced that their sister was going to get hurt, especially when Ben admitted he couldn’t guarantee anything beyond the here and now. At the same time, JoJo confessed to her mom that while she was “falling in love,” she was worried about getting her heart broken. The matriarch, however, advised her to keep falling and fight for Ben. But the brothers then told JoJo that Ben didn’t seem emotionally invested, particularly since they only had two one-on-one dates, and even accused him of “brainwashing” her and giving “coached” answers. Ben and JoJo eventually parted more confused and unsettled than ever.
After all that traveling, everyone met up again in L.A. for the rose ceremony. Naturally, all the girls were nervous. But it was Amanda, who moments earlier said she was ready to accept a proposal right then and there, who was left standing without a rose. Though she told Ben not to be sorry, she pointedly said she wished he dumped her right after the hometown date instead of making her go to L.A. just to break up with her. He insisted, however, that he didn’t know at that point and needed the additional time to figure things out.
In tears after telling her Amanda goodbye, Ben struggled to talk to the camera before choking out, “Man, I can’t do this right now.” But happier times are still to come. The final three for next week’s Fantasy Suite dates are JoJo, Caila, and Lauren B., and based on the preview, Ben breaks the rules and tells two of them he loves them.