The Bachelor season 19 — the gift that keeps on giving! After leaving Ashley I. and Kelsey in the desert, our Prince Farming Chris Soules heads back to his remaining seven women — a number that quickly dwindles during the first half of The Bachelor’s two-part Presidents’ Day weekend special. During the cocktail hour, Megan pulls him aside to talk about their relationship progress, and ends up getting the boot. Chris opts out of a rose ceremony — and that’s not the only good news — they’re going to Iowa! Yeehaw!
Part One: Our Town
The main takeaway from episode seven: Arlington, Iowa is not exactly bustling. Chris takes Jade to his dreary hometown for a one-on-one, and she quickly becomes skeptical of her potential life as Mrs. Soules (there are no restaurants, bars, or even a movie theatre). “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed… Arlington just feels like this little ghost town,” she says. The pair attend Chris’ high school football game, where she meets his friends and family (no pressure), before they do some “frenching” outside the Bachelor’s former English classroom.
Chris admits he feels insecure about his less-than-desirable hometown, a fact that becomes even more obvious when Carly, Britt, Becca, and Kaitlyn decide to make the road trip to small-town America and check it out for themselves. Cue Britt’s unraveling. It’s immediately evident that the waitress isn’t exactly excited to leave behind Los Angeles for a town whose entertainment motto is “go somewhere else.”
Meanwhile, Whitney and Chris go on a photo shoot in downtown Des Moines, which consists mostly of them making out in front of various backdrops. We only wish there had been a selfie stick involved. Later, the Spouthern belle meets some of Chris’ friends at a local bar, and shares her tragic (but not “amazing”) backstory. With the sudden death of her mother a decade earlier, and the absence of her father, she wants Chris to be fully aware of what a hometown date with her will look like.
Back at the hotel, Jade reveals to Carly that she isn’t quite as innocent as she appears — the stunning brunette has been between the pages of Playboy magazine. Carly advises Jade to reveal her history to Chris, so he can have time to prep his “don’t Google my wife” speech before she meets the fam.
The group date, ice skating, provided episode seven’s “OMG!” moment — Britt comes completely undone. After witnessing Britt tell Chris how “beautiful” Arlington is, Carly reports that Britt feels just the opposite — leading to an awkward confrontation. When Chris gives Kaitlyn the rose, Britt cracks. Questioning why he would give anyone but her a rose, in front of the other women, Britt demands attention from Chris. Chris quickly shuts her down, scolding Britt for putting him in an awkward position. “She blew it!” Kaitlyn laughs. It certainly seems so!
Part Two: Their Towns
Chris and Becca have a very low-key date in Polk, Iowa — long gone are the Bachelor days of tropical sunsets and exotic locales. Becca reveals to Chris that she’s never been in love — their slow-paced relationship is in complete contrast to his very touchy-feely relationship with the rest of the women.
Back at the hotel, Britt tells the Bachelorettes that she packed her stuff and she’s set on leaving before the rose ceremony. Her best laid plans quickly go awry, however, when Chris opts out of the cocktail party, yet again. Britt interrupts the ceremony to apologize for her actions, but her consistent lying gets the best of her, and off she’s sent. “Backstabbing” Carly feels vindicated — albeit briefly, as Chris opts against giving her a rose as well.
On to the hometowns! We’re starting to wonder how these women can leave behind some of America’s most colorful locales for… Arlington. Becca’s up first — Chris is the first guy that innocent Becca has ever brought home to meet her folks. Chris is still in the dark that Becca’s virginity is in tact, despite her family’s less than subtle efforts to reveal it. Regardless, they end the visit sky high on a ferris wheel, with a little mouth-to-mouth action.
Next up: the Windy City with Whitney! Whitney decides to play “take your boyfriend to work,” and shows him around the fertility lab – which includes a very uncomfortable attempt to get him to make his own donation. Whitney’s sister is also a tough critic, and won’t give Chris her blessing while there are other women in the picture. Unfettered, Whitney tells Chris she’s fallen in love with him, and he truly seems thrilled to hear it.
Leave it to Kaitlyn to make the awkward farmer hit up a recording studio – and perform an original rap. While rarely-serious Kaitlyn was expecting a humorous approach from the Iowan, he gets emotional and romantic with his lyrical attempts. Later, Kaitlyn’s family sees a “glow” in her around Chris, and she finally opens up about her feelings for the Bachelor – with a giant billboard reading “Kaitlyn <3 Chris.”
In Nebraska, Jade’s bunny past catches up with her and Chris’ idealized image of her small-town values quickly crumbles. “I think there’s some things about me that would surprise you,” she tells Chris, before admitting she’s posed nude for the camera. She ends up showing Chris the naked images — cue the chipmunk giggle. Chris, remarkably, doesn’t seem fazed – he tells a relieved Jade that her past doesn’t reflect their present.
But apparently, Jade’s relief was premature — Chris chooses Whitney, Kaitlyn, and Becca as his final three.
Tell Us: Do you think he made the right choice?
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