The Bachelor travels to hometowns and experiences a day in the life of big-spender Corrine

It’s like everyone pretends to love hometowns, because of this remembrance of what they used to be. Sure, we still get fun moments like JoJo’s mum drinking straight from a wine bottle, but normally they end up a little lacklustre.

Last week, Nick axed Danielle M on their one on one date and sent Kristina home before the rose ceremony – which we never ended up seeing. Corrine might have tried to sleep with him but it failed, and all the girls are anxious about making it to hometowns…So Nick has decided rose ceremonies suck, and there’s no point to do them anymore. He sent Kristina home at the end of last week and left everyone wondering where they stood. At the start, we find out everything is fine and the four remaining girls (Rachel, Vanessa, Corinne, and Raven) get to take him home to meet their families, but here’s the problem: how can anyone be confident in their relationship with Nick, when he is sending people home left-right-and-centre? I know people feel uncertain leading up to rose ceremonies too, but at least they know when it’s coming – and don’t have to deal with the positively awful breakups he puts them through. I know other Bachelors have sent people home outside of ceremonies, but Nick doesn’t know how to soften the blow all that well and it just comes off kind of painfully.

But onto these dates… Remember the hometowns of old with weird bird funerals and nose readjustments? And the time Ashley gave someone a dental exam? They were hilarious and strange and livened up the whole ‘meeting the parents’ trope. This season looked like it might have a few of those quirky moments because of the Corinne-has-a-nanny oddity, but please remember that woman is paid to help their household (and make Corrine’s cheesy pasta). Sure, the fact that she gets called a nanny is strange, but laughing at the expense of this woman who clearly seems loved by the family isn’t great comedy.

Raven gets the first hometown and they do a lot of local Hoxie favourites, like mudding and grain binning? Is that how you say that? Then they get pulled over by a cop that turns out to be her older brother – because freaking him out is the most fun. There’s lots of rolling around in swamp water and getting each other’s hair wet as Nick talks about how happy he is with their relationship. They have a weird hometown because it’s a lot more about her dad getting a cancer-free diagnosis instead of about meeting Nick. Probably takes a lot of pressure off, which would be a nice way to ease in. Raven is doing the classic end of hometown date, not saying she loves him thing where she really wants to say it but just can’t.

From Hoxie, we move to Rachel’s hometown of Dallas. They go to a Southern Baptist church service and Nick seems pretty comfortable, although he’s totally not in his element. This would probably be the most intense and uncomfortable hometown, but they never publicised it as a will-they-or-won’t-they hate him because he’s white. Did they new producers who know how to handle this kind of topic? Because earlier in the season they had a group date at a haunted plantation, and a two on one with voodoo.

So then there’s Corinne, the outrageous date of the episode. We’re back to fake life, and trying on clothes in one of the most exclusive shopping centres in Miami. I’m not sure if that really means anything, but she spends over $3,000 on one outfit for him which seems to stress him out a little. I don’t think blogging or selling sunglasses and gummy vitamins is going to support those habits… And then as they’re heading off to meet her parents and the nanny, he looks a little resigned to his fate. He definitely didn’t seem interested when she said she loved him, and he was certainly a lot more awkward here than on the previous hometowns.

Lastly, Vanessa gets her chance in Montreal. Everyone is doing the “day in the life” thing this season, so Vanessa takes him to her work for some scrapbooking with her absolutely lovely students. It was a really start to their hometown but unfortunately, the evening didn’t go as smoothly. Her mother brings out some real questions right away, and we find out they haven’t talked about where they’ll live or what they’ll do… Clearly, they aren’t thinking about real life yet, and that’s a serious red flag for the relationships on this show. She seems to be getting the wife edit since they always try to make things seem really uncertain before they win. After a serious conversation with her father, confident Nick disappeared and had to admit he asked other parents for their blessing as well as her father. Which somehow completely shocks Vanessa once she finds out, and she has to ~reevaluate~

But before she can do that, Nick has to spend just enough time getting ready so Andi Dorfman, who originally broke Nick’s heart on the show, to show up and make things awkward. But, until next week!