February 22nd, 2011
12:15 PM ET
Last night's episode of "The Bachelor" was the traditional "hometown date" show, where Brad headed to the hometowns of the four remaining contestants to meet their families and learn more about them. Hopefully Brad brought his frequent flyer card to the festivities.
Our first stop was Seattle, where Brad caught up with Chantal, who said her parents are "great judges of character," so it was crucial for them to give her the go-ahead to be with Brad. Are they also great judges of her slap-happy antics on the show?
Brad and Chantal headed to her parents' home, which appeared to double as stately Wayne Manor on "Batman." I half-expected their basement to also serve as the Batcave. Brad told the potential in-laws about Chantal slapping him on national TV, and the family seemed to enjoy that anecdote, which was quite disturbing.
Chantal's dad, who played for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks in 1979, showed Brad a statue, then talked about masonry. I'd rather hear the dad talk about Jim Zorn's leadership skills as quarterback, but I don't run the show. In the end, Brad got Chantal's dad's blessing to marry her, saying he would be proud for Brad to be his son-in-law.
Our next stop was Madawaska, Maine, the northernmost town in New England. It's where Ashley grew up, and where Brad was going to meet her family. But first, a stop at the restaurant where Ashley worked before she moved to Philadelphia.
At the eatery, Ashley mentioned that a majority of the residents speak French. Brad took that into consideration and then proceeded to speak to the waitress in Spanish. Ashley ordered Brad to enjoy some poutine, the "unofficial" national dish of Canada, as they were sitting near the New Brunswick border. Alas, the poutine Brad eats appears to consist of French fries, gravy and melted cheese. Traditional poutine substitutes cheese curds for melted cheese, but I'll give the show a pass on accuracy.
Brad and Ashley then headed to Ashley's parents' home, where Brad asked the family what it's like to grow up on the Maine-Canadian border. Sadly, no one mentioned the Grey Cup or "Red Green Show" marathons when reminiscing.
Ashley's dad noted that Ashley is technically not a "dancing dentist," as the show mentioned in the premiere, but rather a "dancing dental student." If I were Brad, I'd be a little nervous about being a guinea pig for the root canal midterm. Brad left the house concerned that a marriage proposal would prevent Ashley from following her dental dreams.
Before we met up with Shawntel the funeral director, it was time for a commercial for Shawntel's family's funeral business, complete with dog. Of course, this led to Shawntel and Brad getting together at the family funeral parlor in Chico, California.
Shawntel showed Brad around the place, including the mausoleum, the crematorium and the "prep room," where dead bodies are embalmed. She then showed off some of the instruments she uses in the embalming process. At this point, I was wondering if Shawntel was trying to pull off that human sacrifice I've joked about from time to time.
Brad met the parents and got a blessing from Shawntel's dad, but he also got a feeling that the family doesn't want her to leave Chico and the family business. Shawntel's dad openly worried that his "plans will be destroyed" if she left town - is he worried about the business or global domination?
Our final hometown date was in Charlotte, where Brad caught up with Emily and her young daughter, Ricky. Brad enjoyed calling the child "little Ricky" – I wonder if he was an "I Love Lucy" fan growing up?
Despite some early reluctance, the three got along swimmingly, going out for a picnic and some kite-flying. The three then headed to Emily's house to play a board game and to put Ricky to bed. Can't imagine Ricky being thrilled with TV cameras being in her bedroom.
Brad told Emily he wanted to be affectionate with her, but didn't feel comfortable doing that with a child close by. Emily didn't seem too thrilled about that, and told Brad to "be himself." So the two kissed at the front door, and all was well again in Charlotte.
Brad and the four women then headed to New York for the rose ceremony, and Shawntel the funeral director got the boot. Brad said he didn't "feel the way a man should feel" when she told him that she loved him. Tough to have a touching moment like that when you hear cars honking and slamming their brakes in the background.
Next week, Brad and the women head to South Africa.
What did you think of last night's "Bachelor" episode? Share your thoughts with an iReport, like KCRep has, or sound off in the comments below!
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