NEW YORK -- This is always one of the best episodes of the season, Hometown Dates! Michelle is on the hunt for red flags among her final four as she figures out what makes them who they are. Because of the pandemic, all of the men's families traveled to Minnesota to meet Michelle instead of having her travel to each of the guys' hometowns. Tayshia told Michelle to ask the men's families if they are ready to be engaged.
Brandon's Hometown Date
Brandon's mom, dad, and brother Noah were all there to meet Michelle. Noah even delayed leaving for the Navy to be there! But, before Michelle could meet them, she met up with Brandon who promised to bring Portland to her. He said his goal was to get her out of her comfort zone. He took Michelle to a warehouse where an indoor skate park was set up. However, Brandon was really rusty! He fell down a lot before trying to show Michelle how to ride on one.
Later, they met up with Brandon's family and Michelle was worried she couldn't be as open as Brandon was with her parents. Noah said he's worried that there are still three other guys involved at this point. Michelle said that there's a spark that isn't there with the other men and she could see herself with him for the rest of her life. Wow. I guess technically she could say she has a different spark with each of them. Michelle bonded with Brandon's dad about fishing and she seems to think that his family could fit in well with hers. They joked around about shooting hoops and seemed to have a good rapport. Brandon's mom thought that Michelle and Brandon had a lot in common as far as their personalities go. It couldn't have gone better! Before leaving, Michelle told Brandon that she was falling for him.
Rodney's Hometown Date
Rodney and Michelle met up at an apple orchard, a throwback to their first meeting where he was dressed as an apple. They picked apples and had a great time playing around together. They have such a playful relationship! Then Rodney blindfolded Michelle and fed her dipped apples. Aw, he said that he would get down on one knee and propose to her, he's ready. But, he didn't just yet. They sat down and Rodney told her she'd be meeting his mom and pops - or moms and pops. Pops is his stepdad. Michelle told Rodney that she loves happy Rodney but she wants him to feel free to show all of his feelings good or bad. He told her that she truly makes him happy.
Rodney's mom went into the date so hopeful that Michelle could be the one for Rodney and was very excited, his stepdad said, "Well, let's meet her." One thing is for sure, Rodney's parents are just so loving! It's easy to see how he became the man that he is. His mother, Carrie, thought that Michelle was gorgeous and Rodney was just glowing as he talked about his and Michelle's relationship. Michelle told his parents that they bonded over the fact that they've both felt overlooked in their past. His mother really liked Michelle but she is worried that there are other men still involved. Rodney said there's nothing he can do because he loves her. His mom cried and said, "It's so serious, son." How can you not love Rodney after this meeting?! Rodney told Michelle he's falling in love with her and he just wants to be her person.
Joe's Hometown Date
For Joe's hometown, they already were in his real hometown! He has home court advantage over the other guys. Joe gave Michelle a tour of his high school because she gave him a tour of hers. He gave her a kiss in a spot in the hallway where he always wanted to kiss a girl, but he didn't have a girlfriend to do that back then. As they walked into the gym, Joe had a prom set up for Michelle! She changed into a gown, and him into a tux, and they shared a dance. They dressed up as the king and queen, did the photo booth, and danced the day away! Michelle said it was one of the sweetest things that someone has ever done for her.
Michelle met Joe's mom, dad, and his brother Dan and his wife Hanna. Michelle got hugs from all in Joe's family, but his dad did seem hesitant and standoffish from the start. Hanna said it might be a quiet night as the Coleman men clam up a bit when they are nervous, and they seemed nervous to her. His dad told Joe to open up to Michelle and make sure he shared his feelings. But then he just said he didn't have anything else to really say to Joe. Michelle told Joe's mom that he had opened up to her about the loss of his basketball career and his mom thought that was very special. Joe told Hanna and Dan that he's ready to propose to Michelle and Hanna was blown away! Hanna said that she hopes it works out because they will see Michelle in the grocery store, haha. There were hugs all around at the end and it seemed like the evening went well. Before Michelle left, he told her he was falling in love with her and he feels like she is "that special person" for him. Joe said he could see himself married to Michelle in a year and working on starting a family! He moves fast!
Nayte's Hometown Date
Michelle said that it was the first time she felt nervous! He's from Austin and he wanted to show off his home-side. Nayte took Michelle to learn how to paddleboard. He said it would be easy to picture Michelle in Austin, but she want to be in Austin? Nayte told Michelle that his mom and stepdad, who got divorced a year and a half ago, would be coming together to meet her. He thought it was special that they still do things together despite the divorce. He warned her they aren't touchy-feely and over-emotional. Nayte revealed he's never spoken to them seriously about a woman before.
His mother brought Michelle candy for her students! It was a sweet connection between the two teachers. Nayte's parents, who call him Nathaniel, were happy to hear he got the first impression rose. His mom asked her if her end goal was to leave with an engagement, and she said she would do what feels right. Nayte's mom said that she worries about him feeling too much pressure. Nayte told his mom that he's heading in the direction of wanting to propose to Michelle, but he's not there yet. His mom is very worried that they wouldn't be able to maintain their feelings in the real world. Nayte's stepdad Charles said that he never talked about feelings about girls before and he thinks Nayte has never really been in love. He thinks that Nayte doesn't know the difference between feeling in love and being married. He said, "One is a feeling and the other is a commitment." Michelle asked if Nayte would be ready for marriage, "I don't know if he can handle this, I don't know if he is going to get to that point," Nayte's stepdad said. He said he didn't want Nayte or Michelle to end up emotionally hurt. Then, Nayte and his stepdad had an emotional experience where they talked about how much they cared about each other. "Never ever, ever, doubt that I love you, and never doubt that I'm here for you," Charles said. Wow. That was deep. The true love story of the night - Nayte and his stepdad!
Visit from Friends
Michelle's friends from her season of "The Bachelor" Bri and Serena knocked at the door of her hotel to surprise her. She got to have some girl talk with them to figure out her feelings for the final four men. Michelle said she prayed for clarity and it didn't come in the way she wanted but she knows she has to pick three men and break one man's heart.
That meant Rodney was eliminated. Poor Rodney! Michelle walked him out, held his hand, and sat down on a bench outside. Michelle told Rodney that who he is, is enough. She explained that her feelings just simply moved faster in the other relationships. He told her that he is falling in love with her, and he said it doesn't change easily, and that he will care about her forever. Rodney was so gracious! It was heartbreaking! Michelle cried as she hugged him and sent him off in a waiting car.
Previews...and your next Bachelor!
It's time for "The Men Tell All" on Monday, December 6 and it promises to be full of drama.
Then, they showed a preview of "The Bachelor" with Clayton premiering on Monday, January 3. So many tears, it promises to be a great season!