By this point in a Bachelor season, we usually know the final four “Bachelor” contestants pretty well. They’re the stars of the show.
But not this season. Seeing Bri, Michelle, Serena P. and Rachael get the hometown treatment during Week 8 was difficult. And not because there is something wrong with these ladies — most (again, most) of them are nothing short of wonderful. But they barely got any time screen time.
Because so much time was devoted to the toxic drama in the house, we didn’t get to connect with the finalists. When Michelle’s parents called back to a time she got hurt in a relationship years back, all of Bachelor Nation cocked their heads. It’s hard to root for a winner when we’re left out of the conversation.
Here’s everything that went down on Episode 8.
The first hometown date: Michelle
Cutest couple in school. ABC
Instead of taking him home to Minnesota (because of, you know, the pandemic), teacher Michelle did a Zoom call with some of her students. “Mr. James” and “Ms. Young” got grilled by some cute and inquisitive elementary schoolers. “Are you going to give Ms. Young a rose?” “Have you guys kissed yet?” “How many girlfriends do you have?” The producers definitely fed them these questions but the whole thing was too cute for me to care. Matt brushed them off like a pro.
Later, Matt met her parents, who were flown into the Pennsylvania resort the show is filming at. Michelle talked to her dad about Matt’s charity for kids and how their passions intersect. If he proposed to her right now, she would say yes. Her dad grilled Matt too, particularly about what his and Michelle’s life would look like outside the show. Matt says he would leave NYC for Minnesota to make their relationship work. After the date, the couples played basketball together, and Michelle told Matt she’s — guess what — falling in love with him.
The second hometown date: Rachael
Wanting to ingrain that trust and honesty are important to her, Rachael put Matt to the test: They went skydiving. Matt’s experience was fine, but Rachael and her professional had a hard landing. She had a mouth full of grass and was in some pain. “I didn’t realize how strongly I felt til something like that happens,” said Matt, consoling her. “I can’t even think about going through life without Matt,” Rachael said. (Judging by the statement he put out Monday night, she may have to.)
At night, Matt met the controversial contestant’s parents and sister. Like Michelle, Rachael would say yes to Matt’s proposal. But her mom and dad were skeptical about their quick relationship and the other women involved. Still, they promised to support her no matter what. Despite her injuries, Rachael was most upset that Matt didn’t ask for her father’s blessing.
The third hometown date: Bri
In a callback to their first one-on-one date, Bri took Matt off-roading and for a picnic (which was cute, but didn’t have much to do with her San Francisco hometown). Bri told her date how he would be meeting her mom and her best friend (also named Bri), and admitted that she was nervous that Matt wouldn’t be joining a “traditional” family.
Bri’s mom Lauren had a frank conversation with Matt, trying to make sure that her daughter wasn’t going to get her heart broken. “I feel like this is the first time someone is looking at me and seeing every part of me,” Bri confided in her mom. Still, she’s terrified about what could happen. A bonus: Bri’s infant sister was there, and this baby was too cute.
After the family left, Bri told Matt she’s also falling in love with him. They kissed.
The fourth hometown date: Serena P.
Au, Canada. Proud Ontarian Serena taught Matt about our neighbors to the north. After a lesson in slang (eh?) and cuisine (poutine), the two geared up for a one-on-one hockey game. Serena scored on her American boyfriend, and won a kiss from him.
Later, Serena’s parents and sister came south of the border to meet Matt. Her mom pulled him aside to suss out his intentions. He stressed that he really does have feelings for Serena, but mom isn’t sure that her daughter will be ready to get married. Her sister was equally suspicious, and thought Serena was holding back with Matt. Speaking to her dad, Serena told him she was nervous and doubtful about getting engaged.
After the meet and greet, Serena talked to Matt about her concerns. He validated them and told her that he’s scared too, but she didn’t feel better.
The next day, Matt wanted to talk to Serena about her worries. He met her at her room for a chat. “You are the person I’ve spent the most time with, and that’s intentional,” he told her. But Serena was defeated. “I thought I was just scared intially, but if I’m being honest with myself, it’s more than that,” she said. “I don’t think that you’re my person.” The Bachelor was devestated. They said their goodbyes.
The rose ceremony
The final three ladies — Michelle (from left), Bri and Rachael. ABC
Bri, Rachael and Michelle were shocked when Serena didn’t show up to the ceremony. I think Matt probably would have kept Serena if she hadn’t left. Who would he have sent home? Who got the pity rose?
Before giving out the flowers, Matt stressed that by accepting them, the women are telling him they are ready to get engaged. Each woman accepted — though Bri felt slighted that she received the last rose.
The next two week’s “Women Tell All” and finale episodes won’t be anything groundbreaking. I’m more interested in the “After the Final Rose” special. Since Chris Harrison has stepped down, who will fill in to host? Most everyone believes that Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt get engaged, though I bet (and hope) they’ve broken it off since her social controversy has come to light. I want to know what’s been going on behind the scenes.
Originally published at https://nypost.com/2021/02/22/the-bachelor-week-8-recap-who-didnt-fall-for-matt-james/ on .