'The Bachelor': Live-Blogging the hometown visits
9:49pm: THE ROSE CEREMONY. My gut says that JP is going to send home Renee, worried about hurting her or her son. And that's painful, because she seems to think her lack of an "I love you" would send her packing.
"The gravity of the situation is weighing heavily on him," says Chris Harrison of his boy, JP. Nikki gets the first rose. Heavy sigh from JP. Clare gets the second. Renee is definitely going home. And sure enough — Andi gets the rose.
JP starts crying. He and Renee hug, start walking. "I've never felt this way about anyone," says Renee. "You opened up my eyes to a whole new world." Christ, I'm going to start crying.
9:39pm: We're back! And that SAME SISTER, Laura, is back to protect Mama as she tries to talk to JP. IT IS SO, SO WEIRD. Mama sits there, nodding, wondering exactly what in the hell is going on. "Family is our big thing," says Laura. "We have each other."
Finally, finally Mama talks and she's totally normal, unlike one third of her daughters. I think they were just worried about her English or something? JP is thrilled to get out of there.
9:25pm: FIVE SISTERS. Oh brother, this one's gonna be a doozy. Thankfully, all the sisters are ready to hear about JP and Clare's avenchur. "That's a lot of swimming! That's a lot of bikinis!" (They're going to love that episode.)
Clare heads out to talk with one particularly valued sister, who's happy to see her sister happy. And Clare says she'd say "yes" in a heartbeat. Just learned: Clare's parents got engaged three weeks after meeting each other. So we can trace the nuttiness in this family.
Clare's sister Laura... is not ready to offer her blessing. Mama is just sitting there, silent. "I just want you guys to want happiness for me." And then Laura stands in front of Clare's mom, trying to intervene on behalf of Mama. IT'S WEIRD. Is Mama foreign? Incapable of speaking for herself? I just want to leave this Visit behind. No one even knows where JP is at this point.
9:15pm: Here's Clare! There will probably be a high degree of crazy on this date! And hopefully far less post-hookup shaming than in Southeast Asia.
Clare opens up to JP (not us — we've already heard it a fair amount) about her late father, who sounds like a nice man. But JP should be afraid.
9:04pm: Renee trusts her family, to the point that if they don't see it with JP... she's ready to cut and run. While Renee tucks her son into bed, downstairs Renee's family gives JP the once-over. And then mom says the best line of the night: "You know, we can love our pets. You need to be in love."
Outside, Renee very nearly lets go with JP on the "I love you" front... but not quite. Understandably! It's probably for the best!
8:55pm: Sarasota, Fla., for Renee's hometown visit. "I'm going to literally eat my son when I see him." Don't do it, Renee! Thankfully she's taking JP to see him at little league, where the possibility that she might eat him is less severe.
And there he is! Playing for Team Light Blue, Lakewood Ranch Dental. "Soy tu padre ahora," says JP in the alternate reality scene I've concocted. JP bonds with Ben through fist bumps and sports talk. And the two of them sit in the stands, watching the kid play. It's very sweet. There's a double play!
8:46pm: "Do you see me with him?" Andi asks her sister. "From you I get... 'I don't know.'" And Andi's upset, but... obviously she doesn't know. And she's desperate for that reassurance.
Andi's conversation with her dad is pretty forthright, acknowledging that yes, she's in a competition with three other girls, and the best she can do is just try and deal with her own situation. "I am... very, very close to being in love with him." Andi says she felt it, feels it.
8:34pm: UH-OH, Andi's dad isn't thrilled to hear that his daughter had only been on group dates for... some time. Keeps wiping his brow. This is going to be a tough talk with Andi's dad, who can barely mask his disappointment. Then again, the guy got married within six months of meeting his wife. So let's not get too upset with JP.
Anyway, JP manages to prove his worth to at least Andi's mom by showing off his salsa moves. Dad is less enthused, and wants to reinforce for JP that he can't look at these women as stepmothers first. He also breaks down the proposal talk, appropriately, telling JP that if he wants the man's blessing... then he's got to get rid of the other three girls first.
8:24pm: Andi's next, in Atlanta, greeting JP with a sharp outfit... and a SURPRISE. "You've made me do some crazy things: soccer, dancing, karaoke." So Andi takes JP to the shooting range. Which. Is. Awesome. And Andi is a SHAR SHOOTER. With a pistol, a submachine gun — everything. Terrifying and sexy at the same time! JP, avowed lover and not fighter, has a much harder time hitting the target. But finally he nails the bullseye.
8:15pm: Nikki would appear to live at a sorority house! But there are people inside, specifically Nikki's family, and not a bevy of pillow-fighting coeds. While JP is left to fend for himself at a table of Nikki's father and brothers, Mom grabs Nikki to talk about love. Nikki's mom supports her decision to accept a proposal from JP, even if she's shaking her head while offering said support.
"I would prefer if your heart isn't there... you not ask her to marry you," asks Nikki's dad of JP, very politely, before digging into it with his daughter. All things considered — a normal family meeting, which just means the three left tonight (and tomorrow) will probably all be insane.
8pm: First up is Kansas City, Mo., Nikki's hometown. Nikki takes JP to Oklahoma Joe's BBQ, where JP is confused as to how he's supposed to eat ribs. With his mouth? Food can be such an exotic undertaking. Mechanical bull riding is next, which JP pulls off more effectively. "I'm totally in love with Juan Pablo," Nikki tells us. Maybe she'll tell him later?