Hometown dates on "The Bachelor/ette" are the worst. Seriously, is there anything more excruciating than seeing all these wonderful families meet their loved one's future "spouse," only for one of those families to find out — nope, our loved one got dumped!
No, we don't envy Desiree or any of the past leads when it comes to hometown visits. They're entertaining, fun, and illuminating, but if it were us … we'd run for the hills!
Des manages to smile, say all the right things, and charm all four families. All the relationships are still going strong, but Desiree still seems to be leaning toward Brooks. Then again, of the remaining guys, he's also the only one who hasn't said those magical three words: I love you.
Zak: Dallas, Texas
You know, Zak's really grown on us since his eyeroll-inducing stunt on the first night. Des loves his positive attitude and boundless energy. And he definitely comes up with a memorable date: Giving a bunch of elementary school kids sno cones from his family's truck! As Des would say: Awwwww!
Later, she meets the fam, who are just as fun-loving and funny as he is. They guffaw at his tale of emerging shirtless from the limo, with his mom joking that she's surprised Des even gave him a chance after that.
One by one, Zak's family members sit down with Des. To his sister, she describes their relationship starting out as a friendship, though Des assures her that they are definitely out of the friendzone now.
Meanwhile, with his mom, Zak opens up about his feelings — he's in love with Des. He's been waiting a long time to meet someone, and she's it.
At the end of the night, the entire family sings a song he wrote for her. She's touched by that, and even more so by a promise ring he gives her as a symbol of his love for her.
Drew: Scottsdale, Arizona
Drew is practically glowing when he meets up with Des. Guess the desert air really suits him! Guy looked good before; now he looks like a J. Crew model!
Drew takes Des to meet and pick up his severely mentally handicapped sister, Melissa, who is very excited to see them both. Drew seems like the best, sweetest, kindest brother in history.
They go meet the rest of his family — all 11 of them. Geez, this isn't a numbers contest, Drew! There, he tells both his mom and dad that he's in love with Des and that he's prepared to propose to her.
Des seems to fit right in with his family. In fact, she says, "I want to join Drew's family right now. I want to stay."
Of course, she can't (she has two more hometowns to visit), but as she leaves, Drew finally tells her, "I love you."
Two for two, so far, Des!
Chris: McMinnville, Oregon
Next up is a very All-American date for Des and Chris in the small town he grew up in (he lives in Seattle). He shows her the baseball field he played on as a kid, and they hit some balls, throw some pitches, and play a little catch.
As usual, they kiss a lot, and Des shows him a sketchbook of their journey together (guess she stole the idea from Zak?).
At his family's house, she meets his parents, two sisters, and brother. Des seems a little nervous about this meeting — she knows how much Chris relies on his family's advice on love matters. Or so we thought! During a private conversation, one of his sisters reveals that they never liked his ex-girlfriend.
The funniest part, though, comes when Chris's chiropractor dad gave Des a little back adjustment in the basement. Just a little bit awkward.
Even more awkward? When Chris gets a "nose adjustment" from his dad. Really didn't need to see that.
Brooks: Salt Lake City, Utah
Wow, you can really see the difference in Des when she sees Brooks — she really lights up. And she even reveals that she's been looking forward to meeting his family since their first date! Brooks, meanwhile, hopes that this visit will help him clarify his feelings for Des.
They meet his ginormous family (seriously, we lost count of how many there were). Des likes that he has a big clan, since on her side, it's just her, her parents, and her wackadoo brother.
In a one-on-one, Des asks Brooks's mom if he's really ready to get married. The mom thinks he could be (though what mom ever says no to that question?), and can see how the couple looks at each other with love. Well, love on Desiree's side and almost love (hopping? jogging? prancing?) on his.
Des and Brooks share a very tender goodbye. Come on, man, what's it going to take to say those three words?!
Well, speaking of Desiree's wackadoo brother — he stops by for a visit. Good old Nate Hartsock is just as as Nate Hartsock-y as ever. Apparently, Des hasn't seen him since that night he insulted Sean Lowe. She was (and still is) pretty mad at him for that.
They have a weird little chat. Nate asks if Des has a favorite, and this time, she wisely chooses not to tell him too much. He wants to meet them, but she's understandably wary about that idea. But Nate says he did what he did to Sean because he knew Sean wasn't The One for Des.
If she thinks she's found The One for her this time, then Nate is happy for her. We'll see how he behaves if he does meet any of the guys!
Des sits down for a pre-ceremony chat with Chris, who immediately brings up her confession to loving Brooks. Yup, she still loves the guy, and yup, he still hasn't said those words to her. But it doesn't matter — she is confident in how he feels about her.
She's also still falling for Chris, and cares deeply for Drew and Zak. All three of those guys have said "I love you," and one of them is about to get a rude awakening.
Time for the ceremony. First rose goes to Brooks, of course. Second rose to Chris. Des gives the third and final rose to Drew.
Zak looks stunned. He hugs the other guys goodbye, and seems dazed as Des walks him out.
"I'm just completely shocked," he says.
Des explains that she had to weigh the relationships against each other, and that he's a great guy. She returns his promise ring, and says she didn't want to lead him on. Blah blah blah, it's not you, it's me, all the usual breakup banter.
Zak gets into the limo. He looks like a truck just hit him. "Tomorrow I'll probably be heartbroken, but right now I'm still trying to figure out what the hell just happened," he says.
He's been looking for love for so long, and he thought he'd finally found it — but it wasn't meant to be.
Meanwhile, Des is doing that "sitting on the bench, looking forlorn" thing that Sean did so well. Except she doesn't even look that forlorn.
"I don't want to go back to the life I had, because it's a lonely life," Zak says. "I just want to spend my life with somebody."
Awwww. Then he tosses the ring out the car window. Don't give up, Zak … someone out there wants to be the queen to the sno cone king!
Check out reactions from Twitter, then sound off in the comments below!
Zak is a class act. Showed America his abs on night #1 & left showing America how kind, fun, & classy he is. #bachelorette— Trista Sutter (@tristasutter) July 16, 2013
ok drew is the sweetest! I love how he is w/ his sister. You can always tell how caring a man is by how he is with his family #Bachelorette— Katy Showers (@_katy_love_) July 16, 2013
I could see Des with Brooks or Chris, but I think I like Brooks just a little bit more. #bachelorette— Neli (@focus331) July 16, 2013
Watch the full episode:
"The Bachelorette" airs Mondays at 8 PM on ABC.
"The Bachelorette" airs Mondays at 8 PM on ABC.