Four ladies, four trips to their respective homes. What could go wrong, right?

The first hour-and-a-half of Hometown Week was relatively quiet. Ben visited Amanda in Laguna Beach and morphed into Super Dad. He visited a whiskey library with Lauren B. in Portland, Oregon. He made a toy house with Caila somewhere in Ohio. About 217 bottles of wine were uncorked.

And then there the was the trip to Dallas to meet JoJo’s family, a fireworks filled visit which rewarded us loyal Bachelor viewers for hanging around despite all the snooze-inducing scenes early on.

We’re down to the home stretch now. Just three ladies left, and Fantasy Suite week is around the corner. So where do our remaining gals stand, and what went wrong for Amanda? Below are our updated power rankings, with last week’s ranking in parenthesis.


Amanda (4): On the one hand you couldn’t help but feel for Amanda and her kids and how hard this whole situation must be for all involved. On the other hand, I’m still not so sure that the best way for a single 25-year-old mother of two to find her children a new father is by entering a reality TV contest that will keep her away from her kids for months. But hey, what do I know?

The date started with a little gathering on the beach. Ben and Amanda hugged, Amanda got to touch and play with her kids. The whole thing had a real prison visit sort of vibe. Amanda also felt comfortable declaring Ben a man suitable of being a father figure for her children after seeing him interact with them for maybe, oh, 45 minutes? But again, what do I know?

After that it was time to pack the little ones into the car and make the short drive over to Amanda’s Laguna Beach home where Ben could meet her sister and parents. He had a heart-to-heart with her father while Amanda debriefed her mom, who appeared to be very puzzled by the whole situation.

“He’s a great guy, I’d be very happy to see you with him,” she said at one moment. It sounded as enthusiastic as it reads.

But in the end Amanda never really had a shot. Ben could run around in the sand with the kids, and say all the right things, and put on a good face, but there was just no way he was going to choose the mother of two. He’d never admit it, and that wasn’t the reason he gave for sending her home. But we all knew Amanda’s journey was going to come to an end sooner rather than later. She actually lasted longer than most experts thought. (Ed note: experts?) Now she’ll have to go back to spending her days actually being a mom and taking care of her kids. Poor woman.


1. Lauren B (1): At this point it’s her game to lose. She heard her name called first during the Rose Ceremony — always a good sign. An even better sign: when the Bachelor breaks down while trying to describe why exactly it is that he likes you.

Either these feelings are legit, or Higgins has been taking classes from Daniel Day Lewis. I’m going to guess the former, though I guess you can never be one hundred percent sure.

As for the pre-meet-the-parents portion of their date, they seemingly spent it eating every fatty and carby food Portland’s food trucks have to offer. It was the first time all season we saw Ben put food in his mouth. He and Lauren B also shared a run-of-the-mill heart-to-heart. Lauren B. admitted that she was still scared of this process. Higgins threw his Freud cap back on and responded with a “what scares you?” Things pretty much went as expected.

Later on the two made their way over to Lauren B.’s house. There we met Lauren’s seemingly thirsty sister who was WAY too prepared to be on TV and who I think we can expect to see on future seasons of the Bachelor. We also met Lauren B’s parents and younger brothers. To be honest, I don’t remember a single thing about her parents or the evening other than everyone making sure to carry a glass of wine wherever they went. That, and the Line of the Night (see below) delivered by her younger brothers post-credits.

2. JoJo (2): The star of the evening, or at least her family was. But more on that in a bit.

First I want to rewind the tape and try to unpack what exactly was going on with JoJo’s ex-boyfriend, Chad. A quick refresher: a vase of roses and a handwritten note greeted JoJo as she approached a house which we assume is where she lives. She giddily picked them up, opened the letter and began to read it. She assumed it was from Ben — until she got a few sentences in and realized that it was apparently from some dude she used to date named Chad. This confused her.

About Yaron Weitzman

Yaron Weitzman is a freelance writer based in New York whose work frequently appears on The Comeback, SB Nation and in SLAM Magazine. He's also been published on SB Nation Longform, The Cauldron, Tablet Magazine and in the Journal News. Yaron can be followed on Twitter @YaronWeitzman