‘The Bachelorette’: Upsetting the apple cart

The Bachelorette
November 30, 2021

So … I was under the impression that since the production this season had moved from a Palm Springs resort to Minneapolis for a few dates, that this season’s Dreaded Hometowns would actually be in the men’s …. hometowns. But I was wrong. Thanks to this never-ending pandemic, the dreaded hometown dates are not going to take place in the men’s hometowns but instead there in Minneapolis. To be fair: a quarter of the men do actually live in Minneapolis, so there’s that. But I have to wonder: between going to a golf resort in Palm Springs, California, or a Sheraton in Minneapolis, where would these families have rather spent a few days making awkward small talk in front of a television crew?

In any event, the first Dreaded Hometown goes to The Bed Guy who tells us that his parents and his brother are here in Minneapolis to meet Michelle. In fact, his brother delayed going into the Navy so that he could be there, and I have to confess, I didn’t realize “Guest Appearance on The Bachelorette” was a valid reason to defer enlistment but there you go.

But first, The Bed Guy meets Michelle and takes her to a skate park for some skateboarding.  Based on his very not great performance, he hasn’t been on a skateboard in years.

The Bed Guy skateboarding:

The Bed Guy, having decidedly demonstrated that he has no idea what he’s doing, decides that he can teach Michelle how to skateboard because as a two-minute montage of him falling on his ass over and over again suggests, The Bed Guy is not short on unearned confidence.

And I could be wrong — God knows I don’t know how to skateboard — but …  are they riding these backward? I’m sorry, are they riding “fakie?”

That night, The Bed Guy brings Michelle to some fancy-looking building that will serve as the Hometown Hub. There, Michelle is introduced to mom Carmen, dad David, and brother Noah. After telling his family that The Bed Guy arrived … on a bed and that she almost counted him out as nothing more than a smooth talker, Michelle assures them that once she really got to know him, their son/brother has made her smile every single day.

Michelle first chats with The Bed Guy’s brother who worries about the fact that she’s dating three other men, but Michelle insists that she can “100%” see spending the rest of her life with his brother.

Meanwhile, The Bed Guy tells his mother that the thing that made him fall for Michelle was her strength and that she’s made him realize what he’s been missing in his life.

When it’s her time with his mother, Michelle tells her that she’s come to know how genuine he is and that she can see him becoming her best friend. And Michelle talks with The Bed Guy’s dad about fishing.

And by the end of the date, The Bed Guy tells her that it’s clear he’s falling for her.

Ok … but, wait … what about the bracelet? WHERE’S THE BRACELET? DOESN’T ANYONE ELSE REMEMBER THE BRACELET?

The next date is with our friend Granny Smith who takes her on an apple-picking date because we’re sticking with the theme, apparently. That said, there’s a lot of laughter and he gives her a blind taste test as payback for the one she made him endure (she does a lot better than he did, but it just was not that hard, honestly) and the whole thing is adorable and genuine and GAH WHY IS THAT LUMP OF WHITE BREAD WITH FACE MUSCLES THE NEXT BACHELOR??? Unacceptable.

That night, Granny Smith introduces Michelle to his mother and stepfather, who are perfectly adorable and seem thrilled to see their son. Michelle tells them that she connected with Granny Smith over his sense that he’s an “underdog” which … isn’t … necessarily what a parent wants to hear, but sure.

Alone with his mother, Michelle tells her that she just doesn’t laugh with anyone else the way she does with her son, and acknowledges that while he is a “jokester” he’s also very loveable.

With his stepfather, Granny Smith tells him that he knows his feelings for Michelle are real and that he will do whatever it takes to cross the finish line. When she’s alone with Granny Smith, his mother expresses worry that this relationship won’t work out in the real world and that he might end up brokenhearted at the end of this, but he insists that Michelle is worth the risk.

As Granny Smith walks her out, Michelle tells him after meeting his mother, she sees where his strength comes from: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

oh my god we get it already

Granny Smith then tells Michelle that he’s “definitely” falling in love with her, which he claims is something he never says. Woo boy, this breakup is going to suck.

The third date is a genuine hometown date: Ghost, who is also from Minnesota, takes Michelle to his high school where he shows her places where he spent zero time, like the library and the math hall. Then, asking her to trust him, Ghost sits her on a ledge to make out with her while ABC’s lawyers’ heads explode.

Ghost then reveals the big surprise of the date: they’re going to prom, which they both missed out on during high school.

Yes, these two people supposedly did not have dates for prom:


Anyway, the producers have apparently shipped their prom decorations from Paradise to Minneapolis, and these two put on fancy clothes, take pictures in the photo booth, dance, and SURPRISE! are crowned prom king and queen despite the stiff competition.

Ghost then brings her to the same place where all the other families have been corralled all week to meet his mother, father, brother, and sister-in-law, Hannah, who we are warned is skeptical of this whole thing. Michelle tells them that she appreciates Ghost’s “lack of personality and anything to say” “quiet confidence” and that it took a while, but he eventually figured out that it was OK to share his emotions with her. This stuns Ghost’s family who was unaware he was capable of having emotions.

Ghost chats with his father first, and I have never, in all my years watching this show and The Bachelor, I have NEVER seen someone who could not give less of a shit about any of this:

Dad: “How’s it going?”
Ghost: “Good. Any questions for me?”
Dad: “Nope.”
Ghost: “Good talk.”
Dad: “Good talk.”

Ghost’s dad is my new hero.

Meanwhile, Michelle visits with Ghosts’ mother who is like, “Go back to the part where Ghost expressed his emotions? Are you sure? Ghost?” Michelle reveals that while talking about his injuries, he became very emotional and his mother is completely baffled, insisting that even at the time, Ghost didn’t show much emotion over any of it. “You sure it was my son?”

Ghost visits with Brother and Hannah and insists that he thinks that he is falling in love with Michelle and that he’s ready to propose to her. They then talk with Michelle who calls Ghost “a slice of home” and insists that they are working on him articulating his feelings more. Hannah is like, “OK, but have you met his Dad?” (She didn’t actually say that, but now that I think about it, they did not show Michelle have a private conversation with Dad, which you KNOW SHE DID. I demand the outtakes, ABC. I NEED TO SEE MICHELLE TRY TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH THIS MAN.)

And in the end, Ghost tells Michelle that he is falling in love with her, just like the other two guys did.

The final date is with Doggy Daddy who wants to show her what life is like with him in Austin. Unfortunately, it does not involve his adorable dog, but instead paddle boarding.


He also reveals that she’ll be meeting his mother, Brianna, and his stepfather, Charles, who came along even though he and his mother got divorced a year and a half ago. Michelle asks him about how he and his parents interact in terms of talking about feelings and emotions and he’s like, “We don’t.” He then adds that they’ve also never seen him “head over heels” for someone, insisting that he’s crazy for her, and she tells him she’s crazy about him too.

That evening, Michelle gives Doggy Daddy’s mother a box of Canadian candy for her students. They then chat with his parents about how the show has been going so far, and Michelle notes that Doggy Daddy was the first out of the limo and received the “First Impression Rose.”

Michelle first speaks with his mother who wants to know what, exactly, she sees in her son. Michelle explains that she and Doggy Daddy connect on many different levels. Mom wants to know if Michelle wants to leave the show engaged, and Michelle assures her that she’s going to do “what feels right.” Mom stresses that she doesn’t want Michelle to pressure her son to do something he’s not ready for, and that he’s never been in this situation, but methinks her 27-year-old son can handle himself just fine, thanks.

Doggy Daddy then speaks to his mother who worries to his face that he’s going to feel pressured to propose when he’s not ready, but he’s like, “Look, I’m a grown man. It’ll be fine.”

Michelle chats with Doggy Daddy’s stepfather next and asks him about the fact that Doggy Daddy has never brought anyone home or talked about his feelings with him. Charles tells her that this is all new for Doggy Daddy and his concern is that he might not know the difference between being in love and being married or engaged. Charles expresses his concern that Doggy Daddy could get to the end of all of this and then realize he’s not ready yet, and people could get hurt.

Michelle worries in an interview that Doggy Daddy might not be all in. But to be fair to normal people, of course his family is worried about their son being pressured to propose to someone he met for the first time six weeks ago. BECAUSE THAT’S INSANE. THEY’D BE INSANE TO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT.

Doggy Daddy then chats with his stepfather and tells him that he has feelings for Michelle that he’s never felt before. Charles insists that while Doggy Daddy’s feelings are certainly real, it doesn’t mean that it’s true love or sustainable.

He starts asking how Doggy Daddy is going to approach thinking about all of this and Doggy Daddy is like, “can we just pause here for a second and talk about how we never talk about these things?” Doggy Daddy then tells Charles that he wouldn’t be the person he is today without him, and suddenly the conversation turns completely away from Michelle and instead focuses on their relationship and how much they mean to one another, despite Charles not being legally a part of their family anymore. Doggy Daddy begins crying and tells Charles that he loves him for the first time in his life, and it’s all very sweet, but these people have a WHOLE LOT to unpack and talk about, and maybe should not do it on national television?

Doggy Daddy reveals to Michelle that he and Charles had this moment, and in her interview, she’s like, “That’s cool and all, but both his parents said he’s not ready for marriage, so that’s a lot to chew on, too.”

The next day, Michelle is visited by her fellow contestants on The Bachelor: Queen’s Gambit and First One Out of the Limo for the express purpose to kill five minutes of screentime tell them she’s worried about choosing someone who is not as far along in his feelings as she is in hers. Yep! That was definitely worth flying these two out to Minneapolis!

That night, Michelle reveals that the clarity she was hoping to gain through the hometowns isn’t there, but she’s got roses to hand out, SO LINE UP.

Rose #1: The Bed Guy
Rose #2: Doggy Daddy
Rose #3: Ghost

Which means the man who must go away now is our sweet Granny Smith apple. On the way to the Go Away Now SUV, Michelle tells him that she knows he thinks of himself as an underdog, but she wants him to know that who he is is enough. He tells her that he will always care about her and do anything to make her smile, and then gets into the SUV and has a sad.

And look, we all knew Granny Smith wasn’t going to make it to the final two. He was an underdog! And that’s why it was SO GALLING that ABC released this promo for the next season of The Bachelor the very night this episode aired:

BOO, ABC. BOOOOOOOOOOOO. And then just to rub salt in the wound, the episode ends with Michelle and Granny Smith pretending to film an opening for their own cooking show, and it is so sweet, so funny and so natural.


The Men Who Have Been Dumped by Michelle:

The Men Who Are Going to Soon Be Dumped by Michelle:


The Bachelorette airs on ABC on Tuesdays at 7/8 p.m.



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