Chris Harrison Blogs ‘The Bachelor’ Episode 8: Hometown Dates

Nick with Vanessa and her students (Photo: Instagram)
Nick with Vanessa and her students (Photo: Instagram)

Welcome back, Bachelor Nation! I can’t believe it’s already here. The week of hometown dates is always such a big shift. First of all, it’s hard to imagine that there are only 4 women left in this situation, when we started with 30. It’s crazy to see how far those relationships have come and to see the women decide to bring Nick back to their hometowns to meet their families.

Related: ‘The Bachelor’ Hometown Dates Recap: Impossible Decisions

Before we get too far into it, I just want to thank all of the families for letting us into their homes. We know it’s a big deal to open up your lives, and we really and truly appreciate it. These relationships are real, and hometown dates are a big part of allowing these love stories to fully blossom.

Raven’s family is as adorable as can be. I think it would be inhuman to not shed a tear while watching this hometown. This close family had really great news that day and shared it with Nick. I think Raven’s relationship with her family, and especially her father, really show us how she became the person she is. And there’s nothing more fun than four-wheeling around and pulling a “From Here To Eternity” in your local swamp. But please, make sure the water is clean before replicating this activity.

Raven and her Dad. (Photo: ABC)
Raven and her Dad. (Photo: ABC)

Next we were off to Dallas to meet Rachel’s family. I think this was a very exciting date for Nick, who got to experience some new things and got to address some really interesting topics with Rachel and her family. Rachel’s father is a federal judge and so could not appear on our television show, but you should know that Nick and Rachel’s father did get a chance to talk before he left that night. This date was a huge step forward for Rachel, who obviously was falling in love with Nick — but she’s also a realist, and wanted to gut check her feelings against the perspective that her family could provide. Obviously, sometime soon, things go in a different direction for Rachel, but for the time being, this relationship is strong and growing.

I think we’ve all been dying to meet Corinne’s family, especially Raquel, who has been much discussed all season long. It was really nice to see where Corinne came from. Her family is high energy and funny and also really serious about her finding love, including Raquel. It was also great to see Corinne taken out of the competitive environment and allowed to thrive on her own. Everyone has many different sides, and part of dating is exploring those sides. I really think Nick learned a lot about Corinne this week. And I heard Raquel taught Nick some recipes he can use to keep Corinne happy if they end up together.

And finally, Nick visited our friendly neighbor to the North, Canada. Vanessa took Nick to her school to meet some of the people she works with. It really was wonderful for all of us to get to see Vanessa in her natural element. She is a nurturing and a caring person and I think Nick really got to see Vanessa at her most confident. Vanessa’s family, though, like many in hometown history, really wanted to make sure that Nick wasn’t going to hurt her. I think we can all relate to wanting to protect the ones we love most, but in the end it seems as if Vanessa’s students and her family both granted their approval. I think that’s all she needed.

We went back to New York for the Rose Ceremony, and Nick certainly had his hands full. Four amazing women. Four wonderful families. These decisions are nearly impossible at this point. But sometimes before you can take steps into your future, it’s important to look into your past. And the past came knocking. Next week, you’ll find out why. Thanks for joining us, Bachelor Nation!

The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of The Bachelor for free on Yahoo View.