Not There Yet on THE BACHELORETTE Season 18 Hometown Dates Episode Recap!

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Not There Yet on THE BACHELORETTE Season 18 Hometown Dates Episode Recap!

Pictured: MICHELLE YOUNG, JOE COLEMAN. Photo by: ABC/Craig Sjodin

“The Bachelorette” hometowns episode welcomed back almost some normalcy to the franchise since the pandemic.  In that Michelle got to meet the men’s parents, but without traveling to their actual hometowns part.  Except for Joe, who was already in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Also Michelle’s hometown.

Because of the pandemic,  the men’s family traveled to Minnesota to meet Michelle, instead of Michelle and the men traveling to several different cities.  This episode opened with Michelle Young talking to co-host and former ‘Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams.  Michelle told Tayshia that she was “excited.”  I was hoping for ONE solid connection.  Now she has four relationships that she’s confident in.

Tayshia said the guys will show their true selves once they’re around family.  Tayshia called it “the pivotal week.”   A specific question that Tayshia found informative in her season was when she asked the parents if they thought their sons were ready for this? (an engagement).

Michelle said it’s going to be interesting to see the guys in their comfort zones.  The guys were talking about the hometown dates when hosts Tayshia and Kaitlyn arrived to tell the men that “the most important people” in their lives were already there.  Nayte was super-excited to get to introduce his two really important people to Michelle.

Brandon was up first.  Kaitlyn told him that his Mom, Dad and his brother Noah were all there.  His brother postponed going into the Navy so he could be there for Brandon on his hometown date.  Brandon wanted to show the love in his family and that’s the type of love that Michelle would get if she got welcomed into the family.

 

BRANDON’S HOMETOWN DATE:

Brandon is from Portland and promised to get her out of her comfort zone.  He told Michelle that he gets to show her a whole different side of him.  He took her skateboarding.  Michelle said in her confessional that her feelings had gotten so much stronger and could fall for Brandon.

Later that evening, Michelle got to meet Brandon’s parents and brother.  His mom, Carmen, said it seems odd for him to be dating someone that she hasn’t met.  She hoped that Michelle sees Brandon for who he is.  Michelle was nervous before meeting them because he passed with flying colors when he met her parents.

Noah talked to Michelle alone.  He said he was skeptical since she’s dating three other men right now.  He could already tell that Brandon cares a lot about her.  Noah said underneath Brandon has a big heart.  He hasn’t “had the best past relationship.”  He asked her what separates Brandon from the rest.  She said she’s never had to question Brandon’s feelings for her.  She said 100% she can see herself with Brandon for the rest of her life.

Brandon told his parents that Michelle is one of the strongest women he’s known.  Michelle asked Brandon’s dad, David, if he’s into fishing because her Dad is big on fishing.  Dave said fishing is also part of his family’s activities.  Dave said he can also play basketball.    When she talked to Brandon’s mom she told Michelle that she hopes she can see him for who he really is.  Michelle said everything that comes out of his mouth he truly means.  Carmen said Michelle is a lot like Brandon.

Brandon told his parents that Michelle is the woman that he’s been waiting for his whole life.  Noah chimed-in and told Michelle that has earned their parent’s full trust and that’s not an easy feat.  Michelle got overwhelming support from Brandon’s family.   Outside the house, Michelle told Brandon that she is falling for him.   Brandon said in his confessional that he wants to marry Michelle.

 

RODNEY’S HOMETOWN DATE:

Pictured: MICHELLE YOUNG, RODNEY. Photo by: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Rodney was excited to show Michelle the “first kiss apple” in Minnesota.  He took her apple-picking (from her poem).  Michelle said she could see Rodney being her best friend.  Then, Rodney had Michelle do a blind fold taste test.  Rodney said he is falling in love with Michelle and can see her as his fiancee.

Rodney said Michelle was going to meet his mom that he calls “Moms” and his Stepdad whom he calls “Pops.”  Michelle said Rodney “is an amazing person” and can see her feelings for him growing stronger and stronger.   His parents talked before their arrival.  Moms, or Carrie, said Rodney has been looking for the one for a long time.

Carrie said her and Rodney are “very close” and close to being best friends.  Michelle said her and Rodney both connected on the experiences of being “the underdog.”  Carrie asked what traits does Rodney have that sets him apart.  Michelle said with Rodney, there’s a level of playfulness and doesn’t laugh as hard with anyone else than with Rodney.

Rodney told his dad that it’s overwhelming to have these feelings and “when you know it’s real, you know it’s real.”  He said she checks off all the check marks on his list.  Carrie told Michelle that it almost brings tears to her eyes if Rodney gets heart-broken.  Michelle said when she thinks about her life-partner in real-world situations and who she’d want to be stuck with, that person would be Rodney.  Someone who goes with the flow.  For instance if their flight got cancelled.  Rodney would be fun to hang out with for five hours.

Carrie said it gives her anxiety knowing that it’s just her for Rodney, but Michelle has four men.  She told Rodney that it scares her knowing that he could be broken-hearted after all of this.  Rodney said he needs someone strong and independent.  Michelle is beautiful inside and out.  He said he’s definitely falling in love with her.  Carrie told Rodney just to hear him say that is so serious and scary.

Michelle said that the strength that Rodney has got passed to him from his Mom.  Rodney told Michelle that he’s definitely falling in love with her.  They kissed.  Michelle reacted in her confessional that she realized how strong her feelings are for him.  She told Rodney that “with you and your Mom, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…” pun intended.  Rodney got the joke.  She loves that they laugh together, and said they have a strong connection.  She realized how much a short amount of time can change her feelings.  “Every minute counts when you’re falling in love.”

 

JOE’S HOMETOWN DATE:

Pictured: JOE, MICHELLE. Photo by: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Michelle said sharing his feelings doesn’t come easy for Joe, which they talked about previously.  Joe is also from Minnesota. The first thing was he showed Joe his high school, since last time she showed him her high school.   Joe surprised Michelle with a prom setting that was inside the school’s gym.  He asked her if she would go to prom with him.  Michelle loved that Joe remembered that in her poem.  She called it the “most romantic date ever.”  She said “Joe really sees me and understands me.”  They got into proper prom attire and had fun at their mock prom.  Michelle called it the “most fairy tale moment” that she has had in her lie

Joe said he didn’t know that Prom could be that romantic and that special.  Joe told Michelle that the family members she was going to meet were:  his Mom Julie, Dad, David, his brother Dan and his wife Hannah.  Michelle noted that Joe hadn’t yet told her that he’s falling in love with her.

Michelle said she looked forward to knowing exactly where Joe’s feelings are with her,  and that will come out with the people he’s the most comfortable with – his family.  Michelle told his family that she likes the quiet confidence that Joe has.  Joe’s dad invited Joe to chat alone with him.

His dad asked Joe how he was doing then didn’t really have any questions for him.  Michelle said Joe was able to show a different side to himself during their first date.  His mom said he sees how excited Joe is being next to Michelle.  So, she thought that was cool.  Joe talked with Hannah.  He said he thinks he’s falling in love with Michelle and is ready to propose.  Then Hannah invited Michelle to talk to them with Joe.

Hannah asked Michelle how she would know the next hard move.  She answered that when she sees something in someone, she wants to pursue them.  She said when she had a conversation with Joe, it made her feel at ease.  Hannah said Joe needs a strong woman and Michelle fits into that mold.  Hannah likes that Michelle is pushing him and will be great for Joe.

When Michelle and Joe sat outside the house, Joe told Michelle that he wants her to know that his feelings for her are getting stronger and stronger.  He’s falling in love with her and she’s that special person for him.   Joe said he sees himself in one year married to Michelle, living in Minnesota and starting a family.

NAYTE’S HOMETOWN DATE:

Nayte’s hometown is Austin.  Michelle said there’s always”this instant kinetic energy” the moment she’s around Nayte.  Nayte said the important thing for him is to show Michelle his home side.  The stuff he does at home – that was walking in the park, and going paddle boarding.  Nayte said he could see himself spending time with Michelle in his hometown.

Nayte’s Mom, Diana, and Stepdad, Charles, are the people that Michelle is meeting.  He said his family is not “touchy-feely.”  They may be a little protective when meeting Michelle, Nayte expressed to Michelle.  He told Michelle that he’s crazy, head-over-hills for her.  Michelle said when meeting his family, she’ll be the first person that he’s dated to meet them.  Michelle was very nervous and she cares a lot about Nayte.

Diana is also a teacher and gave Michelle some candy from Canada to give her students because her students love it so much.  They told his parents about their first meeting and how Nayte got the First Impression Rose.  Diana asked Michelle what it was that caught her attention about Nayte.  She said they connect on so many different levels.  Diana asked her if it’s the goal to leave with an engagement.  Michelle said she’s going to do what feels right.

Diana’s worry is that it’s a different world once they leave the show and will have to deal with things that every couple deals with.  Nayte told his parents that he genuinely sees him and Michelle being something special after all of this.  Nayte said he feels he’s heading in the direction where he’ll want to propose.  But, is he there yet?  Nayte answered “no.”  Diana was worried because they are in “The Bachelorette” environment. But, will he and Michelle still carry those feelings in the outside world?

Michelle talked to Charles alone.   Michelle asked Charles how he was feeling.  He was surprised that Nayte seems genuinely excited and showing a smile that he’s never seen before from Nayte.   He said Nayte would keep his personal relationship details to himself growing-up.  He doesn’t know if it’s because he maybe has never been in love before.  Charles said honestly Nayte doesn’t know the difference between being in love and being married, or being engaged.  One is a feeling and one is a commitment.  They tie very closely together.  He doubted if Nayte would get to the point of being ready for an engagement.  Charles said Nayte may realize at the end of all of this “that he’s not there yet.”

Michelle said if she gets to the end and Nayte isn’t there she would be heart-broken.  Nayte talked to his parents alone.  He said this is all new to him.  Charles said his feelings are real,  but is it true love?  Is it sustainable?  Nayte told Charles that he wouldn’t be the person who he is if it wasn’t for him.  Charles told him that he’s so fortunate to have all of them in his life.   He said to watch the young man from being in ninth grade to grow-up to be him, he is very proud of him, and loves him very much.

Nayte said he wants to have a family one day and he wants to be who Charles was for him, to them.  Charles said he will be better than him.  Nayte started crying from the emotions, and said they have never talked about that before.  Nayte was happy with the outcome.  Nayte said there were “emotions that he didn’t know he had.  And it was the first time he told Charles that he loves him.  He’s scared to say “love.”

In a private conversation between Diana and Charles, Diana said Michelle is more mature than Nayte,  and Nayte is not there yet.  Charles said Nayte can get there.

BEFORE THE ROSE CEREMONY:

Pictured: SERENA PITT. Photo by: ABC/JC Olivera

Michelle said that night will be the “toughest Rose Ceremony yet.”  There was a knock at the door.  It was Brie and Serena from her season on Matt James’ “The Bachelor.”  They were there to help Michelle.   Serena asked Michelle if she has gotten to the point of feeling like she wants to get engaged.  Michelle said she is in fact there.  She didn’t think she’d be there, and she’s falling for multiple people.

Are all four guys also ready for an engagement?  She said the fear was having someone who isn’t ready.  Michelle hoped to have clarity.  “But it is getting difficult.”  Michelle’s clarity didn’t come in the way she wanted it to come, and she had to step back and see which relationships she wanted to pursue.  “There’s no way to navigate this where people aren’t going to get hurt”  including her.

Michelle said her heart could get broken, “and that’s completely terrifying.”

THE ROSE CEREMONY:

Pictured (l-r): NAYTE, JOE, RODNEY, BRANDON J. / Photo by: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Brandon said in his confessional that this is the woman that he wants to be with for the rest of his life.  Rodney said he’s going into the Rose Ceremony “very optimistic.”  He said Michelle has something that he’s never experienced before and that’s something that he doesn’t want to let go.

Michelle said all four of them have made a lasting impact on her heart that she’s never going to forget.

Pictured: MICHELLE YOUNG, JOE COLEMAN. Photo by: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Men who got roses:  Brandon, Nayte, Joe

Joe got the final rose and that meant, unfortunately, Rodney went home.

Michelle and Rodney said goodbye to each other outside.  Michelle told Rodney that she doesn’t feel like Rodney is the underdog and who he is, is enough.  She told Rodney that her other relationships moved quicker.  She said everything that makes-up Rodney is so special.  Rodney told Michelle that he is falling in love with her.  “This doesn’t change easily.”  In his ride home, Rodney said even with them breaking-up, he still cares about Michelle and the moments that they’ve shared will always be with him.

Pictured (l-r): NAYTE, MICHELLE YOUNG, JOE, BRANDON J. / Photo by: ABC/Craig Sjodin

NEXT WEEK:  It’s “The Men Tell All” episode.  There will be drama with Will, Peter, Jamie, and Martin! Then on Monday, January 3rd, “The Bachelor” show returns with Clayton Echard as “The Bachelor.”  The sneak-peek showed plenty of crying from a lot of the women.  Clayton was even crying and saying that he’s “done” and “broken.”

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