The Bachelor, Season 18, Episode 8 Recap: Hello, Hometowns!

It's hometown week! With only four Bachelorettes left, the pressure is on for Juan Pablo to pick a wife—but even more pressure to meet the parents, heading to each girls' hometown to meet their families and get a bit of a taste of what home life is to them. 

First up was Nikki's hometown and Juan Pablo met her with open arms and a big kiss. Nikki wanted to see if JP had a bit of a "cowboy" streak (growing up in Kansas City, she's apparently very fond of them) and took him to a barbecue joint (which he loved) before taking him to ride a mechanical bull as payback for all the dancing she was forced to do in Korea. JP looked a little terrified and super uncomfortable, but he was a good sport about it and in the end looked like he had a lot of fun, impressing cowboy-loving Nikki. Over post-bull beers Nikki was debating on when to tell JP that she's falling in love with him, but didn't feel like the moment was right just yet—perhaps a red flag for what's to come? 

When Nikki and Juan Pablo arrived at her parents' house, her family welcomed JP with wide open arms and her father even made a sweet toast to them and accepted JP as "family." Nikki had a chat with her mom about how she's feeling about Juan Pablo and expressed how much love she was feeling for him. To Nikki's relief, her mom seemed to back her up and said she just wanted Nikki to be happy. Nikki's dad sat down with Juan Pablo and was very pleased with what he had to say, explaining that he trusts his daughter's judgment and if JP did propose to her, he would welcome Juan Pablo and Camila into the family wholeheartedly. When pops sat down with his daughter, he asked her a very important question: How does she feel about being a mother figure? Nikki said she's ready and excited for it and then the two had an adooooorable father-daughter moment that made us think this might be the winning family—so far at least. When Nikki and JP stole a moment alone before he had to head out, Nikki couldn't find the right moment to tell JP how she felt in between the hundred kisses he was showering her with, but she's hopeful that she'll be around for another week to tell him she's falling in love with him. 

Back in Atlanta, Andi was awaiting Juan Pablo's arrival to introduce him to her family and her turf. Before she brought him home, she also had a bit of fun with vengeance, taking Juan Pablo to a shooting range to shoot some guns—and to JP's surprise, Andi's pretty freaking good. Even though Juan Pablo only hit one bullseye, Andi decided he was still worthy of going home to meet her 'rents, but not without prepping him first. Nervously, Andi brings Juan Pablo home and introduces him. When the family was sitting and hearing Andi and JP's travel stories, Andi's dad was unimpressed and started with the grilling, making Andi even more nervous and intimidating Juan Pablo, even calling him a "visitor." Andi's mom took Juan Pablo aside and after a brief convo, JP showed off his dance moves with the two-left-feet Andi and even taking mom for a little twirl. Then pops sat down with Juan Pablo and began the interrogation and not making it easy for Juan Pablo to earn a spot in the family or Andi's dad's blessing. When Juan Pablo asked if he and Camila would be accepted into Andi's family, her dad aptly asked him to reverse roles and admitted he would only accept him in when there's no one else in Juan Pablo's life but Andi, obviously concerned about the three other girls vying for JP's heart. He made JP sweat, but he seemed pretty fair (also a little scary). Andi was a bit upset when chatting with her sister after her sister suggested that Andi hasn't really said he's "the one." Juan Pablo left Andi with a couple big smooches and off he went to the next hometown. 

Next up was single mom Renee waiting for Juan Pablo in sunny Florida and excited to see her son after being away from him for so long and also introducing potential future stepdad to Ben. A tearful reunion between Renee and her son was absolutely adorable and even made JP choke up a bit. JP and Ben hit it off and then Renee and JP watched his little league baseball game, making JP dream of becoming a father to a son so he can play all the sports with him. Renee brought JP back to meet the rest of her family and took advantage of being around her son and got the chance to tuck him in. Juan Pablo sat down with Renee's brother first and the two guys hit it off well. Next up was Renee's mom and the conversation seemed to go smoothly, until it was time for Renee to get the third degree. Renee admitted to her mom that she's also falling in love with Juan Pablo but still hasn't admitted it—and mom seemed absolutely relieved to hear it. Renee sat down with her pops who instantly gave JP the seal of approval. Just like the Bachelorettes before her, Renee had the chance to tell Juan Pablo that she's in love with him, but couldn't get the words out and kicked herself for it later. 

Saving the best craziest for last for the hometown dates is Clare in Sacramento. After a big kiss, Juan Pablo and Clare snuggled in her favourite park while she talked about her dad growing up and then talked about the impromptu father-daughter dance she had with her pops right before he passed (and even though she's super psycho and I can't stand her, I totally teared up). Introducing Juan Pablo to her mom and five other sisters, Clare was curious to hear what some of her older (and married) siblings had to say. Clare admitted that she would absolutely say yes if Juan Pablo proposed and that she's falling madly in love with him. A couple more of Clare's sisters chatted up Juan Pablo to find out what he thought of Clare and how she would be as a potential stepmom and wife for him and he (to our confusion) seemed totally smitten and that he wanted to live up to Clare's expectations for meeting a man as good as her dad. When Clare sat down with her mom and another sister Lara, the real questions came out and the situation got tense. Her sis made it pretty clear that as it stands, Juan Pablo hasn't gotten their stamp of approval, putting Clare into defense (read: psycho) mode, warranting even her own family to call her manipulative (at least it's not just us thinking it…). Clare went on to complain about Lara to another sister and became very whiny (probably because she's the baby/crazy) and made this one of the most bizarre hometown dates so far—enough that we want to tell Juan Pablo to run for the hills faster than we've been yelling it all season long. Afterwards, the Lara and silent mom sat down with Juan Pablo to try to get to know him and explain where they're coming from with their concerns with Clare and big sis even let mom have a moment alone (and to speak for herself) with JP. After mom spoke Spanish with JP a little bit (she's actually pretty good), she gave Juan Pablo her blessing and told him he's welcome to come back if he wants to and wants to be with Clare. 

Back in Miami, all the girls were together again with Juan Pablo for a post-hometown date rose ceremony, narrowing down the group to three for tonight's explosive second episode. When Nikki showed up after Clare, she jolted a bit when Chris told her to stand next to her arch nemesis. When Nikki walked back from accepting the first rose, Clare threw daggers at her, but then got her own (to our dear editor's dismay), followed by Andi, sending poor mom Renee back to Florida to see her son once again. After not getting the chance to tell Juan Pablo how she felt at her hometown date, Renee was kicking herself, feeling like she should have said something sooner so he knew how she felt. Finally, while saying their goodbyes, Renee admitted that she had been falling in love with him, prompting some waterworks from the Bachelor himself. While we're all pretty sad Renee got sent home (possibly the only sane one on the show all season), there's no doubt she'll find someone better (who doesn't like crazy people). 

With tonight's double-whammy episode promising lots of tears and drama with the fantasy suite (plus one Bachelorette leaving with a very different opinion of Juan Pablo), last night's episode seemed pretty tame. Stay tuned for another recap tomorrow morning—we'll be covering all the drama! 

Coming up roses: Nikki, Clare and Andi 

Bachelorettes to watch: Andi—based on tomorrow night's episode

Cry count: Episode- 4 (Andi, Renee, Clare, Juan Pablo); Season Total – 33

Kiss count: Episode- 4 (Nikki, Andi, Renee, Clare); Season Total- 25

Catfight count: Episode- 0 (until tomorrow…); Season Total- 2

Tags: andi, clare, hometown dates, Juan Pablo, nikki, renee, the bachelor, The Bachelor Episode 8 recap, The Bachelor season 18, the bachelorette

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