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Rose Report Week 8: Meeting the families

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Posted at 7:33 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 21:33:51-05

Hi y’all! Thanks for checking out this week’s Rose Report -- a blog where I break down the crazy things a group of women do in hopes of winning the heart of Denver’s Ben Higgins. A little about myself: I’m a 28-year-old producer, an avid Bachelor/Bachelorette fan (Chris Harrison is my spirit animal) and admittedly, I don’t like red roses.

Hometown dates. All true Bachelor fans know this is when we find out who’s really a potential match for the Bachelor. Is your family crazy? SEE YA. 

The first hometown date is with Amanda in Laguna Beach, Calif. This is a big hometown date because Amanda has two kids and Ben is going to meet them. Amanda sees her girls and they come running to her from across the beach.

The kids are shy and nervous around Ben at first, but then they start to warm up with him as they play on the beach. All I have to say is Ben better be serious about Amanda. It isn’t OK to put her through this if he doesn’t have actual feelings for her. Right now, I just can’t tell. But Ben playing with her kids on the beach is super adorable. And he looks really cute in those shorts.

Amanda’s kids and Ben mesh really well on the beach, and Amanda says she can see Ben being a great dad. Ben says it feels natural, but I can tell that he just isn’t super into it. Just because he’s good with kids doesn’t mean he’s ready to be an instant dad to two sweet little girls.

We come back from break to find Amanda, Ben, and the two girls on their way to Amanda’s home. The youngest is crying from the back seat and I can tell Ben is starting to get stressed out, and they haven’t even made it to her house yet. You can tell Ben is tired. He goes with Amanda to put the girls down for a nap. Amanda’s dad explains it perfectly: Ben has a "deer-in-headlights" kind of look.

Amanda is talking with her mom and she tells her she’s embarrassed about her divorce and that’s why she focuses so much on her children. Her mom tries to comfort her, telling her she has to have a life of her own. Amanda tells her mom she’s never met anyone like Ben. She says she would be completely crushed if she gets sent home this week. If he doesn’t have feelings for her, I think he would send her home now. Why drag her away from her kids just to bring her back to LA and send her home?

It’s time for Ben’s hometown date with Lauren in Portland, Ore. Lauren tells the camera she is in love with Ben, but she wants to wait for him to meet her family before she tells him. Lauren takes Ben to Portland’s food truck scene and the two enjoy some snacks together while looking all cute. Then Lauren takes Ben to a special place that she thinks he will love: A WHISKEY LIBRARY!

Right now, I think Lauren is the frontrunner. They are so natural together and I feel like the way Ben looks at her is just different than the way he looks at the other girls. Anyway – back to the date – Ben has the biggest smile on his face when he finally meets Lauren’s family. He looked like he was meeting his in-laws for the first time. I can totally see it.

Lauren’s sister has some doubts, like any sister would, and she makes Ben give her a rundown of his relationship with Lauren. While he’s talking about Lauren, he tells her sister that he feels so fortunate. Not only that, but he even tears up while he’s talking about her. He clearly cares for Lauren a lot.

 

Lauren’s sister asks Lauren what makes Ben different. Lauren tells her “I was just meant to meet Ben.” She tells her that she’s in love with him 100%.

Next, Lauren talks with her dad, who is rightfully concerned about the three other women. Lauren explains that Ben is “the most likable, genuine, honest” man. Her dad tries to snap her back into reality and make her understand that there are still three other girls involved. She gets defensive, but her dad is right. Her dad tries to snap her back into reality and make her understand that there are still three other girls involved.

She gets defensive, but her dad is right. At the end of the night Ben leaves without Lauren telling him she loves him. WHAT ARE YOU DOING LAUREN?! You have to open up at this point! We’ve all seen people with a huge connection go home because they didn’t reveal their true feelings. Hope this doesn’t come back to haunt her later.

Now it’s time for Caila’s hometown date, and I’m coming into this thinking this is going to be terrible – I don’t even know why. Caila is so sweet and bubbly so I hope it doesn’t go badly, but I just have a weird feeling. Either way, Caila is super excited about the day she has planned for Ben.

Caila takes Ben to Hudson, Ohio. This is where her family lives now. She tells Ben she moved around a lot as a kid and that she never really felt a place was home until she moved to Ohio. Ben and Caila are super cute together, I just don’t see Ben look at her the way he looks at Lauren. Sidenote: Caila and Ben would have REALLY cute kids. 

Caila’s dad is the CEO of a toy company so she wants to design a toy house with Ben. She tells Ben that she knows his favorite color is blue, so she was thinking the roof of the house could be blue. At first I thought this whole thing was dorky, but it gets cooler throughout the date. Ben tells the camera he can see himself building a real home with Caila someday. Exactly what you were going for Caila, nice work.

Has anyone noticed that when Ben and Caila kiss it’s SUPER passionate? Like, they have some SERIOUS chemistry. 

Okay, moving on. Ben and Caila go over to Caila’s house to meet her mom, dad and brother. Caila says she can’t wait to tell her parents how in love she is with Ben. She wants to get their validation before she tells Ben how she’s feeling. 

Caila’s mom went out of her way to cook Ben a special Filipino meal, even cooking him a special noodle dish that means “long life.” Caila’s dad asks Ben a bold question: he wants to know how Ben is dealing with the “microwave fame.” Yikes. As usual, Ben handles it well, and Caila’s mom takes him away to talk more privately. 

Again in the episode Ben is looking pretty tired, but you can’t blame him. I wonder how many days he has in between hometown dates? Does he go back-to-back, or does he have a day to rest in between? That has to be rough.

In the meantime, Caila is talking with her dad and telling him that she knows “this is it.” She starts to cry because she’s feeling so passionate about it. Her dad tells her he’s praying this is it for her too. Caila is SO in love with Ben that she’s getting upset over it. I hope he doesn’t break her heart. She seems like such a sweetie. 

Caila then talks to her mom, and she tells her how she feels. Her mom tells her time is precious and that she shouldn’t hold back. Her mom tells her, “just tell him how you feel.” Caila does NOT end up telling Ben she loves him. That makes three girls who DIDN’T tell Ben they loved him on their hometown dates – this is almost unheard of.

When we get back from the break, we’re in Dallas, JoJo’s hometown. There are roses waiting outside of JoJo’s door, and she is so excited about it. She realizes a letter came with the flowers, so she sits down to read it. When she first starts reading the letter, she thinks it’s from Ben. But then she starts to get confused, goes to the signature, and realizes it’s from her EX! DRAMAAAAAAA.

JoJo starts to freak out. She is PISSED. She says how messed up this is and she’s stomping around her home. GOOD WORK PRODUCERS. JoJo decides to call her ex and this is when stuff gets good. While she’s on the phone, she seems to be listening to what he has to say, and possibly considering whatever offer he’s giving her. We see Ben walking up to JoJo’s house as she’s on the phone. This is going to get good.

When JoJo answers the door, she’s visibly upset. Ben is caught off guard and definitely confused. Then she starts to come out with the truth: when she got home there were flowers waiting for her. Ben looks shocked when she tells him this. He’s not happy. 

This whole thing is so awkward and amazing, I don’t even care if it was a set up by producers. JoJo tells Ben the truth, and tells him she ended it with the other guy. Ben asks her if she feels confident in their relationship, and she tells him she’s never been so excited about someone. Then the two make out and all is well. Before the two leave to go meet her family, she tells Ben she loves him. Oh man, now I’m all confused. I don’t know WHERE Ben’s head is at. 

It’s time for Ben to meet JoJo’s family, and JoJo is super excited. She says she knows Ben would fit in well. Well, she might have been wrong. JoJo’s mom likes Ben from the beginning, but it takes her dad a little bit of time to warm up – but in the end, he seems to approve of Ben too. But not everyone does.

JoJo’s brothers grilled Ben multiple times, and Ben actually handled himself pretty well considering. One of JoJo’s brothers tells the camera that he’s scared about how excited JoJo is about Ben and that he thinks she deserves better. He goes on to say that he just can’t say that Ben is “that terrific. I just genuinely can’t say that.” Part of me thinks this guy is just trying to get air time by being rude. 

Ben tells her brothers he can’t speak to where he is now, because there is still a lot of time. This doesn’t seem to satisfy her brothers so he goes on to say, “Your sister is incredible, she is. And JoJo means a lot to me. It’s very real. More than I could have ever expected.”

JoJo’s brothers then talk to JoJo privately, and they tell her they’re having reservations about Ben. They tell her they don’t want her to sell herself short. Her brothers are intense, but are right to some extent. They simply don’t think Ben is as emotionally invested as JoJo is.

Later in the date, Ben goes into the kitchen and overhears one of JoJo’s brothers talking about how Ben has brainwashed the girls on the show. Ben thinks he’s joking at first, so he kind of laughs it off. But he quickly realizes he isn’t joking when her brother says he’s seeing JoJo get a little more emotional than he would like. (Sidenote: PLEASE tell me during this conversation you noticed JoJo’s mom drinking straight from the champagne bottle? This was definitely the best part of the entire episode and had me laughing so hard I had to pause.) 

Ben goes on to tell her brothers that he really does care about JoJo and he doesn’t want to hurt her. He says he’s going about the situation the best way he can, and that he cares about JoJo a lot. But that still isn’t good enough for her brothers, who even go as far as to say Ben might have been “coached” on his answers – whatever that means.

Ben is confused about how the night ended. JoJo asks him how it went, and Ben tells her that her brothers had concerns about the way he was feeling. Ben seems like he’s being honest with JoJo, but there’s definitely a part of him that seems shaken up by what happened. He tells the camera that he is leaving Dallas slightly unsettled and that it wasn’t the hometown he would’ve liked. I’m not sure if this is going to end well with JoJo. I’m nervous she’s going home now.

Each of the girls are waiting for Ben to come out for the rose ceremony. Caila tells the camera she regrets not telling Ben she loves him. Lauren B. looks terrified. She says it seems silly to say she wants a rose this week because “it’s so much bigger than that.” Ben thanks the girls for opening up their homes and introducing him to their families…and then it’s time.

Lauren B. is the first woman to get called. Then it’s Caila. It’s time for the final rose.

Ben calls JoJo’s name and that means Amanda is going home. So, what I thought wouldn’t happen happened! I can’t believe Ben made her leave her kids and fly all the way back to LA just to get sent home at the rose ceremony. He has to have a good reason. Amanda brings the same point up to Ben, and he tells her he wasn’t sure after their date and needed to see how the other hometown dates went first. Maybe he really hadn’t decided, but damn. What a bummer. And a waste of time. 

As Ben opens up the door to say goodbye, he says “thank you” to Amanda and it’s really awkward. Amanda tells the camera she would have never introduced him to her kids if she weren’t falling for him. She says she’s never brought somebody home before him. 

Ben told the cameras, “I can’t do this right now.”

So, kind of a downer way to end the episode but we knew someone had to go home. I still can’t get over how little drama this season has, but I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: maybe that just shows how good of a guy Ben is. 

Next week, Ben, Caila, JoJo and Lauren will go to Jamaica. Dun dun dun…..

In Chris Harrison we trust, 
Kelly