In keeping with what's already been an unprecedented season of The Bachelorette, the so-called "hometown dates" will also work very differently this year. As Tayshia recently revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, this year, the final four contestants' families traveled to Palm Springs' La Quinta Resort to meet her. Don't expect Ben Smith's parents, David and Judy, to be there, however. Although the reason remains unclear, Reality Steve is reporting that they were not part of the filming, though coronavirus concerns are a distinct possibility. After all, the Bachelorette star appears to be close with his entire immediate family.
Instead, Ben's 29-year-old sister Madalyn and his friend (and Top Chef star) Antonia Lofaso are reportedly the two people who came to visit him and Tayshia. As Bachelor Nation already knows, Ben and Madalyn share a close bond, as he revealed during a one-on-one date that his sister is the one who got him help during a years-long battle with bulimia. He also previously told Tayshia he was apprehensive about introducing her to his family because Madalyn wasn't aware of the full extent of his mental health struggles, which included two suicide attempts.
"I didn't want to be here anymore, and for the same reason that I don't like to share, because I didn't want to burden anybody with my problems," Ben said in the episode. "And I thought that the easiest way was to just not be around. Luckily, it didn't work and the only thing that got me through that was her and she has no idea. She saved my life. I owe her everything."
While celebrating Madalyn's birthday in an Instagram post on Dec. 6, Ben wrote that she's "the only other person with the exact same parents as me" and that he loves her "the most." In turn, Madalyn, a nursing student at UCLA, captioned a Dec. 9 holiday photo with Ben, "so thankful for you." Another of her posts credited Ben as being the "best big brother you could ask for."
As for Antonia, it seems that she's one of Ben's personal training clients at Deuce Gym in Venice. In April, she also shared a photo with Ben as they delivered 200 meals to frontline doctors and nurses at LAC + USC Medical Center.
Only time will tell if Tayshia earns their approval.