After competing on Nick Viall's Bachelor season and finding love on Bachelor in Paradise Season 4, Raven Gates knows this franchise inside and out, and she's dishing all to Bustle. Now, read what Raven has to say about hometown dates on Arie's Bachelor season.
It's time for The Bachelor hometown dates, y'all! On Monday, we first started out in Los Angeles with Kendall. She mentioned that she feels like hers and Arie’s relationship started a little later than the other girls, so this hometown was extremely important for her. Naturally their date kicked off on a unique note — making taxidermy their own rats. I’m not going to lie, while watching this episode with Alexis Waters, Jasmine Goode, and Danielle Lombard, we all stopped eating our pizza because we were a little grossed out. However, Arie actually did stuff his dead rat pretty well! Still, the fact they played with the rats after they stuffed them? That was a little much. But, Kendall is quirky, different, and unique — all things which we love her for, and Arie seems to like also.
After playing with dead animals, Kendall brought Arie to meet her mom, dad, twin sister, and younger brother. You could immediately see the love this family has for each other. I think someone’s home tells a lot about a person. I noticed Kendall’s home was kind of eclectic — and, as Arie would say, I love that.
Kendall first talked with her mom, and her main concern was if Arie is right for Kendall. Meanwhile, Kendall’s twin sister, Kylie, pulled Arie aside and said that she noticed some space between them. Wow, talk about observant. I shouldn’t of expected anything less from her sister, honestly. After their chat, Kylie went right to Kendall and told her she did not feel "this is the right person." I applaud Kylie for this. She spoke her mind and her concerns without offending, or being condescending towards Arie or Kendall. You could also tell that Kylie was really listening to every word Kendall was saying. Kendall eventually told her sister that she’s not ready to get married, but she's definitely ready for a relationship.
Meanwhile, Kendall’s dad didn’t press Arie as much as Kylie did, but he did say that his first reaction to Arie asking for Kendall's hand in marriage would be, "No." Still, her dad said that if Arie makes Kendall happy, he supports that. The whole fam definitely gave both Arie and Kendall a lot to think about.
The next hometown was with my girl Tia in Weiner, Arkansas. It was so fun to see on TV where Tia and I come from. Tia took Arie racecar driving and I have been to that track before. It is so much fun to watch — but Tia seemed nervous to be the one driving!
During their visit, Adam and I actually got to meet Tia and Arie while they were in Arkansas. Adam had a few beers with Arie, while Tia and I threw back some fireball shots.
That didn’t air on TV, but Arie was extremely kind, and Adam and I left the date thinking, Wow, Tia might be his wife. They seemed really happy together at the time. But, that's neither here nor there now.
Watching it back, I loved when Tia and Arie sat down with her family, and they had all sorts of wieners on the table for them! I also laughed out loud with her dad called Arie, AIR-ie, making Tia cuss for the first time in the episode. But when Tia’s brother pulled Arie aside, things got serious.
See, much like a lot of the other girls, Tia has had some guys in her life that weren’t so great. So her brother was ready to come to her defense and needed to see what Arie was all about. If I was Arie, I would be sweating, too. Even Tia’s dad raised his concerns to Tia and Arie, because of what he’d heard about Arie. Her dad noted that Tia has achieved so much in her professional life, and he just wants her to be happy in her personal life.
I really appreciated her dad saying this. Her dad (and my dad on my own hometown) knew how hard we both worked professionally and wanted us to be happy in our personal lives. Tia’s mom is a lot like my mom as well, she trusted Tia’s decision when it came to Arie, just like my mom trusted my decision with Nick. Can you now see the dynamic of how a strong southern woman is raised?
Anyway, at the end of the date, Tia told Arie that she is not just falling for him, she IS in love with him.
The third hometown date lead us to Minnesota with Becca! She and Arie went apple picking at an orchard that’s near and dear to Becca’s heart. We know that her dad passed away, but she has fond memories of apple picking with him, so it was sort of like incorporating him on the date too.
Later, Becca and Arie were greeted by Becca's family with such warm hugs, you could almost feel the love. Becca’s family then toasted in honor of her dad. Her uncle took Arie aside, and told him more about Becca’s dad and how important it is for their family to stick together in his absence.
This made me so emotional. Looking back on the trials that my family went through with my dad having lung cancer, I can only imagine the pain and also the love that has formed between this family after Becca's father's passing. It's a lot.
Meanwhile, Becca’s mom pulled Becca aside and said she just wants Becca to be loved, content, and fulfilled. I found myself getting emotional all over again. Her mother loves her so much! You can tell their bond is much deeper than what we see on the surface. When Arie asked for Becca’s mom’s blessing, she told him she trusts Becca and that she would bless whatever Becca choses. It was such an emotional date for everyone on it and watching it.
From there, Arie went to Lauren's hometown. They rode horses on the beach, and it was so beautiful. Let's not forget that the week before hometowns Lauren told Arie that she was falling in love with him, and he said he was falling deeply in love with her back. It is a rule on the show that the Bachelor can’t say he loves anyone, and he wouldn’t even tell the other girls on their hometown dates that he was falling in love. So, it's pretty major that he told Lauren that, and it was easy to see the feelings they had for each other during her hometown.
Lauren told Arie that her family may be difficult to talk to, but to be himself. Walking in the door, you could tell Arie was SO nervous. It was so awkward when Arie sat down with their family, because there were a lot of quiet moments. It got so bad that Arie had to step away and pat his forehead with a napkin! Lauren’s dad started off by saying he’d kill Arie if he proved him wrong, but it seemed like Arie won him over fairly quickly. When Lauren’s mom sat down with Arie, she was concerned about whether what they had was real, but she said that she trusted Lauren. I have to say, even though we as viewers don’t quite understand Lauren and Arie — there is something special between them that none of the other girls share. That much was obvious.
After the four dates, it was time for the rose ceremony. Arie really had four incredible women to chose from. Apparently, he was having a hard time with that, because he pulled Kendall to the side to talk. His concerns were whether she could see herself getting engaged (the Peter Kraus talk, if you will). Kendall told him she sees him as being someone she could marry, but she couldn't say that she was ready right then to be engaged. He told her that he needed clarity, because, if she stayed, another person who was really ready to get married would go home. I immediately knew Tia would be on the chopping block.
Becca got the first rose, then Lauren, and then it was down to Tia vs. Kendall... and Kendall got the rose. It broke my heart to see Tia’s heart broken. Especially as one of her best friends, I knew the pain that she’d already endured with other men who had rejected her or chosen other women over her. But this is what happens on The Bachelor.
All of these women are extremely strong, wonderful women and very deserving of love. Arie just wasn’t Tia’s person. It is always easy to blame yourself after a breakup, just as Tia asked, “What did I do wrong?” But, it’s just as simple as Arie said: “You did nothing wrong.” Sometimes there is no good explanation of why something is missing in a relationship. I loved, loved, loved how Arie said, “This is not about your worth ... you are incredible. I admire you.” He made sure Tia wouldn't leave blaming herself.
And, even though I was really sad to see Tia go, I am selfishly excited to see her find love again, maybe on Bachelor in Paradise? Maybe as the Bachelorette? Hey, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see...