Four men. Four states. Four inquisitive families. One very important decision for DeAnna to make. It was, of course, hometown dates week on The Bachelorette.
Date 1: JesseDeAnna’s first stop on her whirlwind tour were the slopes of Breckinridge, Colo., where Jesse works as a snowboard instructor. It was DeAnna’s first time on a board, and she was obviously scared. Jesse seemed like an attentive teacher right up until the part where he let go without warning and she faceplanted into powder. There was some serious--well, as serious as Jesse can muster--talk over hot beverages on the mountaintop before a piggyback run down the slope. He said, “I could end up in a wheelchair every day and I know you would be right by my side.” She said, “I definitely need a guy with a backbone who can tell me when I’m wrong because I always believe I’m right.”(Not sure the guy who constantly puts you on a pedestal can be the same guy who knocks you off it. Just sayin'… ) Then it was back to Jesse's condo, which he described as “like me. Little but has a lot of character.” Jesse’s parents arrived for dinner, with his dad sporting a baseball hat with what appeared to be crimped fake hair attached to it. For a second, we’re sure DeAnna was thinking Sean’s mullet wasn’t so bad after all. While Jesse had a heart to heart with his pop (Jesse told his dad DeAnna makes his hands sweat and “makes me feel like I’m at a snowboarding contest with 10,000 around”), she talked to mom, who revealed it took 12 years of trying to get pregnant with Jesse. After his parents left, Jesse took DeAnna out for a horse-drawn carriage ride and found that backbone because he went in for the kiss (finally!) and declared, “In the weeks to come, I am kicking it up about 10 notches and those dudes ain’t gonna know what hit ‘em.”
Date 2: JeremyJeremy picked DeAnna up on his crotch rocket and took her on a tour of Dallas. Back at his place, she was impressed by his well-mannered dog and his immaculate and well-decorated abode. She even commented on his organized closet. (Why does it give her pause that he has a clean closet, but Jesse’s OCD labeling doesn’t? Wouldn’t you throw stuff on hangers if a national TV show was coming to your house?) They shared some sweet kisses on his balcony before pouring over photo albums and skimming the journal he kept as his mother was dying. It was a very touching moment that left DeAnna in tears and Jeremy feeling “extremely vulnerable and exposed. I have not put myself out there since my parents passed away but DeAnna is step by step destroying the brick wall I’ve built up to protect myself. I don’t just want her in my life. I need her in my life.” Then it was time from Jeremy's brothers and sister-in-law to grill DeAnna--and convince her Jeremy's The One. Meanwhile the sister-in-law spent the balcony girl time concentrating on the pros of dating someone who understands the loss of a parent. The night ended with wine and heavy petting in front of the fireplace.
Date 3: JasonLeave it to a reality show to turn even a hometown date into a VIP experience. Jason met her at the base of the Seattle Space Needle (which she claimed she didn’t recognize even though she also claims to love traveling), and when they got to the very top Jason went in for a high-altitude smooch. They discovered they both want three kids and discussed the Ty factor before going to meet Jason's son in the park. Jason and Ty ran for each other and rolled around on the ground in the series’ most touching moment to date. It worked on DeAnna, too: “That was the most perfect moment I have ever see in my entire life. It was like something out of a movie.” Jason introduced them, there was a hand bump (apparently, the kid is an Obama supporter!), a gift exchange (a golf ball? Weak sauce!), slides, swings and duck feeding. (This week’s hilarious outtake during the credit reel showed Deanna getting bit by a duck and Ty naming all the ducks in a row Ted.) DeAnna gushed about not having to guess if he’d be a good father and admitted, “No one grows up and thinks I want to be a stepmother but in a few weeks I very possibly could be.”
Jason's family also gets the award for doing the most to welcome DeAnna to their home. A giant clan cooked up a Greek feast, toasted, danced in a circle and played a rousing game of leap frog. Yes, you read that correctly. However, the teary goodbye between Jason and his son could backfire because it seems DeAnna is looking for someone who puts her No. 1--and that position looks to be occupied by Jason's son Ty. Luckily, Jason's mom gave him some great advice about losing his defensive body armor, which he seemed to take it seriously as his last bits of alone time were spent professing his feelings for DeAnna and commenting on her soft lips. "I don’t know where it’s going to go but I love where it’s heading.”
Date 4: GrahamThe last stop on the second chance at love tour was Raleigh, N.C., where Graham grew up and his parents still live. He gave her the tour of his high school basketball gym, because “basketball played a large part in my identity.” He was in a noticeably better mood and was a lot more talkative than usual, which she kept pointing out. His reason: “When I don’t have to live with the others guys you date, it’s a lot easier and more fun.” He had a jersey made for her with his last name and number (“It’s subliminal,” he joked.). They shot hoops and picnicked on the bleachers and made a half-court shot bet. Even though he missed the shot, she still made good on her end of the bargain and kissed him before retiring to his parent’s place. His mom showed off Graham's trophies and old photos like a proud mama, but was brutally honest when it came to their private chat, telling DeAnna that Graham was “a loner… who has not had a lot of serious girlfriends… who lasted beyond four weeks.” When DeAnna tried to confront Graham on a bench outside their house, it turned into the signature Graham-DeAnna spat. She accused him of running away from problems. He called it handling it internally. As she drove away, she concluded, “I don’t know if I can spend the rest of my life begging graham to fall in love with me” and the fate of a frontrunner hung in the balance.
The Rose CeremonyNo drinks, no push-up contests and no merriment. This elimination was like the front-end of Sean’s mullet … all business. When she uttered Jesse’s name first, you could see the rest of the guys fearing for their safety. Jason looked like he was going to throw up when Jeremy got called second. He seemed to assume he was getting the boot and bowed his head. But in a truly shocking moment, she called Jason's name and then offered to escort Graham, the odd man out, to the limo. They took a seat on a bench outside, apparently not realizing their bad track record on lawn furniture. Graham looked one-third stunned, one-third sad and a third angry and bitter. His eyes watered and hers gushed as they had the last bickering match of their courtship. She tossed out that she felt like he was leading her on like Brad did. He denied it and added, “You are very entitled to your opinion and you are more than welcome to make it easier on yourself by thinking that. Obviously you don’t see in me what you need to continue on so your decision is easy now.” She barked back, “All I wanted was for you to be that person in the end, for you to truly let your guard down and see what this could have been, But you couldn’t do that. I am saying goodbye to the one person I thought I was falling in love with. I can’t take the chance that in the end you wouldn’t choose me in return.” In another surprise move, Graham whipped out a handwritten letter saying, “I knew there were some things I wouldn’t be able to say to you. Everything I put in there is for you alone, not for any show. You don’t have to but it would mean a lot to me if you read that one day.” It was like he sensed the hometown date went awry and was going to get kicked off. As Graham's limo drove away, the cameras panned to DeAnna reading the note and second-guessing her decision: “First and foremost, I want to be in love and what if that doesn’t happen now?” Uh-oh. – Carrie Bell
Tell us: Did DeAnna make a mistake in not choosing Graham? Of the three remaining guys--Jason, Jeremy and Jesse--who will ultimately win DeAnna heart?