It’s time for hometown visits in episode eight of “The Bachelorette.” With only four guys remaining, Desiree Hartsock headed off to meet the families of Zak, Drew, Chris and Brooks.
Desiree starts episode eight off by heading to Dallas to meet Zak’s family. Meeting up in town before heading to his house, Zak gives Des a taste of what his family is like – and it’s pretty sugary!
Turns out that Zak’s family owns a snow cone truck business, and Zak puts her to work making snow cones for elementary school students. The day turns out to be pretty amusing, with Zak coming out in a penguin suit, and Des declaring that her boyfriend is a penguin.
After the snow cone fun, Zak takes Des to meet his family, who all squeal in excitement upon meeting her. Recounting the first time they met, Zak tells his family how he came out of the limousine shirtless … and they all agreed that he was a “weirdo” and “that guy.”
Zak’s mom tells the camera that Desiree is “fabulous,” but like any mother, she’s worried that their relationship started so quickly. Talking with Des about her feelings for her son, his mom gives her one little piece of advice – look for that spark.
But it seems like Des passed her test. Zak’s mom tells the camera that the two are “amazing together” and that she really sees something special there. “I hope it’s real,” she concludes.
As for Zak’s sister? Seeing how obvious his feelings for Des are, she’s worried that Des doesn’t share the same feelings. “I just don’t want him to get hurt,” she tells the cameras. “So I’m a little scared I guess.”
Zak’s hometown visit comes to an end with his siblings singing a song that he wrote for Des. But that’s not the only surprise he has in store for the bachelorette. Pulling a little box out of his pocket, Zak tells Desiree that he’s kept this box in his pocket every day since their time in Atlantic City. “I don’t want this to scare you when I open it,” he tells her, showing Des a ring. “I wanted something to symbolize the moment I fell for you.”
Next up is Drew in Scottsdale, Ariz. As promised on their last date, Drew takes Desiree to go pick up his severely mentally handicapped sister – and it’s a big step for the contestant, who has never taken any girl to his sister’s house before.
Desiree ends up meeting 11 members of Drew’s family, and he tells the camera that it’s a big day for not only that reason, but because it’s the day that he will tell Des that he loves her.
The whole family is excited to meet Des, and Drew sits down with his parents to see if they approve. And while his mother is protective since Drew is her youngest son, she realizes that this is “real for him.” Drew’s dad agrees, telling Des that they would be “blessed to have you in our family.”
“I’m ready to propose,” Drew reveals. “I can definitely see myself getting down on a knee for her.”
Ending their hometown date by telling Des that he loves her and wants her a part of his life, Drew tells the camera’s that the next time he sees his family he’ll be an engaged man.
Desiree’s next stop is McMinnville, Ore., to meet Chris’s family. A former professional baseball player, Chris sets up a date for them to play a little ball – and Des surprises Chris with her skills! After throwing around the ball for a little while, Desiree reciprocates all of Chris’s poems throughout “The Bachelorette” by sharing some drawings of their special moments together.
Eager to introduce Des to his family, Chris takes her back to his house where she is welcomed with open arms. Things get a little unusual when Chris’s dad gets handsy with Des … because he’s a chiropractor! Giving her a treatment to promote clarity, his dad takes the alone time to tell Des that he thinks his son is ready for a serious relationship. And as Chris later tells his dad (while getting a nose adjustment), things just come naturally between the two.
But while his dad is immediately open to Des, Chris’s mom isn’t so much. “The last one really hurt him and I don’t want to see that happen to him again,” his mom tells Des. Inside his sister echoes similar thoughts, telling her brother that none of his family members liked his last girlfriend.
In an attempt to convince his mom that this is the real deal, she counters by telling him that he’s not completely in the “real world” with Des right now. But despite her doubts, Chris’s mom gives her blessing (although she honestly doesn’t sound too happy about it).
Brooks in Salt Lake City is the final hometown visit of episode eight. Right off the bat, Brooks tells the cameras that he’s had a difficult time being apart from Des, and kind of forgot what it’s like to be with her. But that all changes when he sets eyes on her. Hanging out at a park, Brooks tells Des that he wants to continue to explore his feelings for her … but just isn’t being granted the time.
In an attempt to show Brooks just how much he means to her, Des comes up with a list of their special moments together and shares it with him. It’s while out on a canoe that Brooks realizes he’s on the same page with Des.
Taking her back to his house, she’s greeted by A LOT of family members who decide to welcome her by wearing nametags. Getting pulled aside by Brooks’ mother, Desiree takes the time to ask if she thinks her son is ready to take the next step. She tells Des that marriage is important to the family and that when Brooks meets the right person, he’ll be ready.
And although Brooks doesn’t tell Desiree at the end of their hometown date that he loves her, he does realize that he doesn’t want to her to leave.
Back in Los Angeles after the hometown dates, Desiree meets with one more person – her brother. Revealing that she hasn’t seen him since “The Bachelor” hometown dates, she tells her brother that she doesn’t want him to meet the guys because of how he ruined things with Sean Lowe for her. For those who didn’t catch that episode last season, Desiree’s brother called Sean a playboy, and told him that he wasn’t “buying” whatever he was selling.
Arguing that he wants to meet the guys for his own clarity, Desiree tells the camera’s that she’s willing to consider it.
The Rose Ceremony
Although the four hometown dates went well, and she tells the guys that she’s honored to have met their families – one person has to go home.
The first rose Desiree hands out goes to Brooks, who accepts. The second rose goes to Chris, leaving both Zak and Drew fighting it out for the one remaining rose. The third and final rose goes to Drew, leaving Zak just completely torn apart.
“It’s tough,” tells her, “because everything I said to you is real.”
“You deserve the absolute most,” Des counters. “You really do, just know that." She hands Zak back the ring, and he heads off in the limo, still unable to grasp what just happened. “I let myself completely fall,” he tells the camera; throwing the ring he gave Des out the window. “I don’t get it.”
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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