It’s hometown date time on “The Bachelorette.” Andi Dorfman has managed to narrow down her search for love to four guys – Nick V., Chris, Josh M. and Marcus. And while each guy is head over heels for the 26-year-old Atlanta beauty, there can be only one winner on “The Bachelorette.”
Fans of the ABC show still have a couple of weeks until the highly anticipated season finale, but things took an emotional turn in episode 8 when Andi had to cut one guy after meeting his family. But that wasn't the worst heartache of the episode. Andi and the guys learned about contestant Eric Hill’s untimely death.
Andi kicked off her hometown tour with Nick V., meeting up with him in Milwaukee. The 33-year-old software sales executive took the bachelorette on the tour of the city, visiting a brewery where they got to taste a beer named after them, and going polka dancing.
Nick, who received the first impression rose at the beginning of the season, wanted to tell Andi that he loves her. But before he could do that, he wanted to make sure that his family approved of her.
Moving the date to nearby Waukesha, Wisconsin, Andi got to meet Nick’s parents and 10 siblings – and was grilled by almost every one of them. While they all seemed to approve of her, his sister Maria is definitely worried about Nick getting his heart broken … especially since he fell in love with Andi so quickly. Maria expressed her concerns to Andi, explaining that Nick has had some serious heartache in his past. But Andi eased her worries, telling her that she’s in the same boat as Nick.
While Nick decided not to say “I love you” to Andi, he did tell his mother that he thinks he’s her favorite and that he suspects he’ll have more time with her to express his feelings.
The next stop on Andi’s hometown date journey was to Arlington, Iowa, (population 758) to see Chris. The 32-year-old farmer took her on a tour of his home and farm before they jumped in his tractor for a ride around the grounds. Things heated up when Andi sat on his lap for a chance to ride the tractor, but the conversation took a serious turn over a picnic lunch in the fields.
While Andi can't deny her attraction to Chris, “the hottest farmer ever,” she’s definitely worried about whether she can live in Iowa. For Chris, location is everything. But Andi was uncertain about what she could do for work in the small town.
Chris’ immediate answer was that Andi can be a homemaker. But all jokes aside, he added that she can still practice law in nearby towns.
Andi thought things over and revealed to Chris that she wouldn’t be there if she wasn’t open to life in Iowa. And the timing couldn’t have been any more perfect because a plane buzzed by holding a banner that read: “Chris loves Andi.”
Moving from the field to his family’s home, Andi met Chris’ parents, sisters and their spouses. They all welcomed Andi into their home with open arms, telling embarrassing stories about Chris and playing games. Chris’s mom told Andi that she would make beautiful babies with her son and that she’d be happy to babysit. But what really struck Andi the most was when Chris’s mom revealed that she was a city girl before meeting Chris’s father.
Andi’s third stop on her hometown date tour was Tampa, Florida, to see Josh M. The pair played a little baseball – something that’s really meaningful to the former professional baseball player since he hasn’t been on the field in seven years.
After a little one-on-one time, Josh brought Andi to his home to meet his parents and siblings. And needless to say, Andi was worried. Josh is very family-oriented and dedicated to his brother Aaron. The family’s focus is currently on Aaron, who at the time of filming was trying to get drafted into the NFL.
Fortunately, things went smoothly. Josh’s parents and siblings warmly welcomed Andi into their home. But they did warn her that if she chose Josh, she’s ultimately choosing to be with the whole family – which could include football games every weekend.
Andi was little uncertain about joining such a tight-knit family, especially because if she ends up with Josh she believes that their own family should be their first priority. And while Josh’s parents might not share that view, his sister Stephanie understands where Andi is coming from.
Andi’s fourth and final stop was to Dallas to meet Marcus’s family. But before Andi could meet Marcus’s mother and siblings, he surprised her with a little something special – a striptease! Re-enacting their first date together, Marcus got dressed up in a pilot’s uniform and seductively took it all off for the bachelorette. But this time Andi got Marcus all to herself.
“This is every girl’s dream,” Andi told the cameras with a giant smile on her face. “From head to toe he’s hot.”
Surprisingly, Andi admitted that she was the most nervous about meeting Marcus’s family. And Marcus felt the same way because Andi is the first girl he’s brought home in three years.
There was no need for either of them to worry, though, because Andi and his family immediately hit it off. She got to see another side to Marcus, and his family understood how he could develop feelings for Andi so quickly.
Before she left, Marcus made sure to tell Andi that he loves her. And while Andi didn’t reply in kind, she did acknowledge that life with him would be a fairy tale.
The News of Eric Hill
The four guys returned to Los Angeles and were greeted by host Chris Harrison, who had to break the horrible news about Eric Hill’s untimely death. “Bachelorette” fans will remember that the contestant passed away in late April in a paragliding accident in Utah. Andi had sent Eric home in episode 4 of “The Bachelorette” after a confrontation where he accused her of acting differently in front of the cameras.
After hearing the news, everyone just sat shocked in silence. Eventually the crew members put down their cameras to console each other in one of the most emotional scenes ever featured on “The Bachelorette.”
The Rose Ceremony
Twenty-four hours after learning of Hill’s passing, “The Bachelorette” moved on with the rose ceremony. Andi told Harrison that she feels guilty having happiness out of this, and doesn’t even know how to do the rose ceremony. Harrison acknowledged that it was uncharted waters, but promised Andi that it wasn’t her responsibility to take all of it on alone.
“I don’t even know how to comprehend us losing one of our own,” she told the four contestants when she finally came face-to-face with them. But they had to push forward. With three roses to hand out in episode 8, Andi made an attempt to begin the rose ceremony. But after picking up the first rose she had to step away to pull herself together. When she did return, she handed the first rose to Josh. The second rose was given to Chris, leaving Nick and Marcus to sweat it out over the final rose. Andi gave the last rose of the episode to Nick, eliminating Marcus from the competition.