Hometown week is finally here, and Andi is heading to meet Nick, Farmer Chris, Josh and Marcus’ families. First up is seeing Nick in Milwaukee and he took her to his favourite market to start off his hometown date. While he admitted that he hadn’t quite uttered those three little words yet, he was feeling confident about Andi and was excited to bring her home to meet his family. But, before the family, he took her to a brewery (her first time), and she seemed genuinely happy to be rid of all of the glitzy dates known to The Bachelor/The Bachelorette world. And since Andi looooves dancing, naturally she was forced to polka with Nick (who was equally awful), but Nick revealed a more fun side of himself—though who knows if he’s still a good guy. Andi didn’t realize what she was getting into though, walking into Nick’s house with his entire family there waiting for them to arrive and meet the girl that has stolen Nick’s heart. Sitting in the hot seat being basically interrogated by 14(???) people was a little intense for Andi, but she seemed to take it in stride. When Nick sat down with one of his sisters, he seemed the most genuine we’ve seen him all season long and told his sister how he was really feeling, but was concerned that his sister wasn’t going to let Andi skate by. But then she sat down with Andi and played the big sister card, but Andi—sweetheart Andi—reassured her potential future sister-in-law that she was real and really does envision a future with Nick. Then Andi sat down with the little sister Bella, who was probably the toughest critic, but Andi was up to the challenge and answered all of her questions well—and even won her over on the future sis-in-law front. Nick tried to get the insider information from Bella, who told Nick that Andi really likes him. (But like, like likes him. Ya know?) Nick sat down with his mom and the two got really emotional when he admitted to her that he really was in love with her. Andi got the parentals’ blessing and even managed to remember all of Nick’s siblings’ names when presented with a pop quiz. Nick and Andi’s goodbye was a smooch-filled one, but Nick still didn’t say what was really on his mind: L-O-V-E.
Next up was visiting Farmer Chris in Arlington, Iowa, with a population of just over 750 people (yikes). Can Andi handle the farmer wife life? With a hunky farmer hubby like Chris, just maybe. Farmer Chris welcomed Andi with a warm hello, full of hugs and kisses and showed her his house (next to the farm). Andi was impressed that Farmer Chris had a whole house versus the apartments or condos that she’s used to seeing, with a whole farm as his backyard. She was especially impressed when she saw Farmer Chris’ tractor and got to ride in it. Andi and Farmer Chris sat down and talked logistics of if she moved to Iowa for him and what she would do for work. Farmer Chris did suggest that she could be a homemaker, but that there’s probably opportunity to still practice law in a closeby town and Andi ensured him that she’s not as city as he thinks. And then, as they were having a romantic little picnic in the farm, a plane banner flew by saying “Chris loves Andi.” Awwww. Andi walked into another full house (but this time only with a whopping eight people to impress) and was really feeling the pressure because she knew that if her and Farmer Chris did get married, she’d be seeing a lot of them since it’s such a small town. Andi sat down with the three sisters and they seemed to really connect in their appreciation for how awesome Farmer Chris is. When FC sat down with his mom, she asked if Andi could move to Iowa and made her case for Andi living in such a small town and asked Andi the same thing when she sat down with her too. Momma was impressed with Andi’s answers and Andi was reassured that there was an actual life there for her if she chose to pursue it. They finished off the date playing some hide and seek game and then Farmer Chris had to say goodbye to his beloved until next time.
Back in Tampa, Andi met up with her Georgia neighbour Josh (who actually lives in the ATL) and was greeted with the biggest smile and an even bigger kiss. Even though their relationship has been a little turbulent at times, they genuinely seem to like (love?) each other. Josh took Andi to a baseball diamond to show his some of his (ATHLETE) stuff. Josh admitted some of his concerns with being an ex-pro baseball player and his itch to still play. He gave up the pro life, feeling that it’s not for everyone and he wanted to be more involved with his family—including his younger brother who is following in his pro-ATHLETE footsteps. Walking into the smallest group of people so far (only four people to impress), Josh got all emotional when he introduced Andi to his fam—it was actually super adorable. Then Andi met the other woman in Josh’s life—his dog Sable. Then Josh and his brother Aaron started talking about all the sports and kinda lost Andi along the way. Andi sat down with Josh’s mom who admitted that Josh was totally in love with Andi and Andi was a little concerned that by marrying Josh, she’d be marrying into a family that lives and breathes sports and would be destined to watch Aaron’s games every. single. Sunday. But Andi wanted to make sure that she was able to have her own family and her own time with Josh and confided in his sister Stephanie about the situation and got the most mature answer of the whole family. When Josh sat down with his mom, he couldn’t help but dote on Andi and how wonderful she is and how she makes him feel. Josh got all emotional again, but momma understood that he really does love Andi and would have to put his potential future wife first if it came down to marriage. After a game of backyard touch football, Andi said goodbye for now to Josh and his family.
Last up was Marcus (sweet Marcus) who started the date off by taking Andi for a tour around his hometown, while reminding her of how strong his feelings are for her. Marcus took her to an empty club, sat her down with some champagne and then reenacted their very first date—with him stripping down for Andi. Wowza. With Marcus still in his very tighty whities, they started smooching and Andi was feeling the heat. The two sat down for a quick chat where Marcus admitted that he doesn’t normally bring girls home unless he can seem them being together long-term—which he obviously can as he told her several times. Marcus has been really open about his family life, which has had some ups and downs, but his family was super welcoming when Marcus walked in with Andi. Marcus’ sister was the first to pull Andi away, but the two seemed to click right away. Sis asked Andi if Marcus’ confidence bothered her, and she answered flawlessly saying that she’s sometimes worried that she can’t catch up to that, but that she loves that strength about him. Marcus sat down with his brother and things got a little emotional when Marcus told his brother Conrad for the first time how appreciative he was that he really stepped up after their father left them. Andi sat down with Marcus’ mom, who was surprised to hear about how open Marcus has been with Andi (though she probably doesn’t know he’s going around doing private stripteases for girls, but whatevs), saying that he’s normally very reserved, but she seemed to like Andi and how she makes her son feel. Mom sat down with Marcus next and really got a sense of how he’s feeling about Andi (he’s basically telling everyone and their dog about how much he loves her), but the night finished off with Marcus telling Andi point-blank, to her face that he does love her. After a couple kisses, Andi was off, leaving an emotional Marcus behind admitting that he’s found his soul mate.
And then, the bomb was dropped. Chris Harrison invited all of the guys and Andi to be together for some news. With all the seriousness in the world, Chris gave the group the news that we viewers knew was coming eventually—that Eric passed away. The entire group and crew was very emotional and spent some time hugging and crying together (though the cameras were still rolling—not sure how I feel about this) and Andi was especially heartbroken considering her final conversation with Eric before he left a few episodes ago.
At the pre-rose ceremony, Chris Harrison sat down with Andi to talk about how she was feeling about the whole situation. She was worried she had to be strong for the guys—especially considering she has to send someone home, but Chris told her that it’s okay to be sad given the circumstances. Andi addressed the situation saying that they would all get through the tough time, but also thanked them for sharing their families and home lives with her, but just as she was about to hand out the first rose, she broke down and had to walk off to take a moment alone. After a breather, Chris Harrison brings Andi back out to the rose ceremony where she finally awards the roses.
Sadly, even though he was the most open with Andi out of all of the guys, Marcus was sent home and was naturally really emotional about it. Marcus said he had wanted to be that guy for Andi and that he didn’t know where to go from there, feeling as though he’d just lost the future he thought he’d finally found. Andi was really apologetic, but a broken heart is a broken heart, and after a long hug, Andi and Marcus said their goodbyes. When Marcus was alone in the cab, he even said he regretted telling Andi he loved her and felt stupid for believing in something that wasn't there—but that he was still in love with her.
Stay tuned for next week’s recap, where the group hits up the fantasy suites!
Coming up roses: Josh, Chris, Nick
Kiss count: Nick, Farmer Chris, Josh, Marcus (Episode – 4, Season – 26)
Bachelors to watch: The remaining three! Fantasy suites, here they come!