'The Bachelorette' Power Rankings: JoJo's Men Ranked After Hometown Dates

7:28 PM 7/18/2016

by Jackie Strause and Christina Schoellkopf

THR ranks JoJo Fletcher's suitors based on their episode performance. This week, Luke is down — but is he out?

'The Bachelorette'
ABC/Adam Larkey

Welcome to The Bachelorette version of The Hollywood Reporter's Power Rankings. Each week, THR's Bachelor experts will be tuning in to the romantic connections and dramatic shenanigans taking place on season 12 of the long-running ABC franchise. In an effort to cater to viewers who opt out of show spoilers, these rankings are based on opinions and observations week-by-week. Read last week's Power Rankings here.

Hometown week has arrived on The Bachelorette.

JoJo Fletcher traveled all across the U.S. to meet the families of her final four — Chase, Jordan, Robby and Luke — and at the end of tonight's episode, she ended up right back where she started.

After seemingly falling further in love with all four as she got to know their parents, siblings and, in Luke's case, 50 of his closest friends, JoJo ended the night in teary-eyed confusion and did not eliminate anyone in a dramatic "to be continued" rose ceremony.

JoJo pulled back the curtain on hard-to-read Chase as he introduced her to both sides of his broken family; she connected with the Rodgers clan, who all appear to be united in their the hurt over the absence of their estranged son and brother, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers; and she even survived her first real-life fight with Robby when his mother informed them of circulating rumors that he dumped his ex to come on the show.

Luke came last and despite JoJo feeling right at home in Texas with the guitar-strumming cowboy, he was the only one to stop short of using the L-word (technically, Chase said he was "falling in love," but he still said it.)

Going into the rose ceremony, JoJo said that even though it would be "by far the hardest decision I've had to make," she announced to viewers that she planned to send Luke home. But he threw a wrench in her plans when he interrupted the ceremony to pull her aside and finally tell her what she's been waiting to hear.

"I'm in love with you," he said. "I didn't get to tell you that the other night and it's the only thing that's been on my mind since then."

The news sent JoJo into a tailspin, asking the off-camera producers: "Of course it changes things, but is it enough?" Ending on a "to be continued," viewers will have to wait until next week to see whether or not Luke will be sent away in the dreaded limo ride. 

Next week sees a two-night event with Monday picking up right where tonight left off, followed by the Men Tell All reunion special — watch out: Chad is back! — on Tuesday. See how the final four men rank after tonight and keep sharing your thoughts with THR using the #THRose hashtag on Twitter.

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    Jordan, 27, former pro quarterback from Chico, CA

    Up from last episode.

    Courtesy of ABC

    At this point, JoJo has faced just about every red flag imaginable with Jordan: They’ve chatted cheating rumors about his ex-girlfriend, concerns that he’s here for the wrong reasons and deep-seated issues with his estranged brother Aaron. And yet, JoJo is undeniably smitten whenever she's around him.

    The 27-year-old former football player took the Bachelorette home to Chico, Calif. — the first girl he's brought home in two years since "the ex." The trip back to his teenage turf was eye-opening for JoJo, who learned that he wasn’t always such a hot shot. With no high school sweetheart, an awkward bowl-cut hairstyle (documented, thanks to a framed photo) and memorabilia of Aaron overshadowing him on the walls, JoJo again addressed the brotherly elephant in the room. “It doesn’t need to be a topic,” he said about Aaron while disclosing that it’s been “a year or two” since the Green Bay Packers star had been a part of his life.

    Upon meeting the rest of the clan — mom, dad and brother Luke — it was evident that the entire family unit is hurting from Aaron's absence (quite clearly captured by ABC's seating arrangement, which contained two very empty chairs for Aaron and girlfriend Olivia Munn's ghosts). "I can’t imagine why Aaron wouldn’t want to be a part of their lives," she said.

    Jordan’s mom told her son “you could be engaged: this is so exciting!,” his dad defended his son's character and his brother told JoJo that Jordan's opening up about Aaron is rare. “Fame can change you. He's so strong-willed,” Mr. Rogers assured JoJo. “He's not gonna let that change him.”

    When walking her out, Jordan told JoJo: “I'm crazy about you and I'm in love with you.” But JoJo told him, “A part of me is still scared.” Since the episode ended before the rose ceremony wrapped, we’re left to wonder how much JoJo took into account Jordan’s closing words, “Don't ever doubt this.”

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    Robert “Robby,” 27, former competitive swimmer from Jacksonville, FL

    Up from last episode.

    Courtesy of ABC

    Ironically, JoJo opens up her date with Robby by expressing how much she trusts him. After surprising her with a horse-carriage ride through his hometown of St. Augustine, Fla., he reminisces about the first time he told her he loved her and unlike when she's with Jordan, JoJo tells Robby "You’re very believable" as he utters those three little words.

    But she still has her concerns with the former Olympic swimmer. “I have these moments where I feel like I’m falling in love with Robby, but then I feel like I'm conflicted,” she disclosed before pressing him about his ex Hope (who Chad seems to have have pursued after JoJo sent him home). She wants to know if Robby is really ready to move on. “It's very much a part of my past. It's never going to be an issue,” he assures her. And with his next reply, anyone could have seen the future coming: “I don’t see anything that could possibly go wrong.”

    At first, meeting Robby’s family was only going well. His mom said JoJo made "an incredible first impression." As they sipped wine in plastic to-go cups, his brothers chimed in that they too felt the bachelorette was a good fit for the Hayes family. And for the first and only time this season, JoJo told a contestant's mother that she was falling in love with her son. She even felt comfortable enough to bring up her fears about Robby possibly not taking enough time between the two relationships.

    But it's Robby's mother who then breaks the news to Robby that his ex's friend has been circulating rumors that he dumped Hope to go on The Bachelorette. Robby's one redeeming quality was rushing to JoJo to confront the rumors right away. After he explained the situation, JoJo asked directly, “Did you break up with her when you found out you were coming on the show?” He explained, “I will tell you right now that's not true by any means. My relationship with Hope was over nine months before it actually ended. It's something I didn't have the capacity to end it when it should have because I tried to see changes made. The relationship is over and I will never speak with her again.” 

    Of course, JoJo felt conflicted and confused, but ultimately seemed to trust him. “I believe in how he makes me feel when I’m with him,” JoJo said in her interview. “He's been the most open.” At the end of the night, she told him, “I had the best night with you tonight." To seal the deal, a very confident-looking Robby later arrived at the rose ceremony.

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    Chase, 27, medical sales rep from Highlands Ranch, CO

    Down from last episode.

    Courtesy of ABC

    Chase remains a mystery. While we did get to peel away a layer or two about the medical sales rep, he and JoJo have yet to show viewers the depths of their connection. Is JoJointo his calm, cool and collected attitude? His height and broad shoulders? The chase of pursuit? Sigh, we may never know. 

    Their mysterious romance picked back up this week in Highlands Ranch, Colo., and it’s hard not to admit that their hometown date was pretty cute. With hot cocoa in hand, the two sat perched on a rock overlooking the gorgeous, snow-covered Colorado landscape. To give credit where it’s due, Chase has transformed a bit this season from being shy and guarded to finally pushing himself to be vulnerable. This date demonstrated the latter, when he opened up about his parents’ divorce and let JoJo into both sides of his "broken" family. “It’s kind of been weighing on my shoulders. I mean it’s hard to talk about,” Chase said before sharing with JoJo that she would meet his father separately. “To watch my mom suffering, it was just painful."

    The two then headed to the home to where Chase grew up and met with his father. For the first time, Chase asked his dad what went wrong with his marriage and, in a touching moment, his dad explained his lack of work-life balance and how he wanted to make sure his son wouldn’t do the same.

    Later at his mother’s home, the day was just as touchy-feely. Tears in both of their eyes, his mother told Chase, “You’ve been the most amazing son and you deserve the most amazing girl.” And finally, the date closed with Chase walking JoJo out and whispering the words, “I’m falling in love with you.”

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    Luke, 31, war veteran from Burnet, TX

    Down from last episode.

    Courtesy of ABC

    While it hurts to place Luke in the bottom of the pack, JoJo made it quite clear tonight that Luke fans should prepare to say their goodbyes! After easily the most dramatic rose ceremony this season, the fate of the 31-year-old Texan lies on thin ice. Just minutes prior to JoJo standing before her final four, JoJo revealed in her private interview, “I think I need to say goodbye to Luke.” Marking a shocking first for the season, viewers were blatantly told who JoJo wanted to send home.

    But as JoJo picked up the first rose to call out a name, Luke interrupted. Once they stepped aside, Luke looked her in the eyes and said, “I needed to tell you that I’m in love with you.” Now more than ever, JoJo looked incredibly torn. “I think the one thing you've been wanting to say has been what I’ve been wanting to hear,” she responded with tears in her eyes. The episode ended on the ultimate cliffhanger, as JoJo thought aloud to an off-camera producer in an emotional monologue: “Of course it changes things, but is it enough? I've been wanting him to say this for so long. In my entire life of dating I've never met one guy, let alone four, that have made me feel this good. This happy. But who's gonna be the best husband? And I feel like out of control right now because I can't like control my emotions. What if I make a mistake. That scares me. What do I do?”

    An attempt to rewind and look for what went wrong on her date with Luke leaves us stumped. Wearing the boots Luke gave her on night one, JoJo met the war veteran in his hometown of Burnet, Texas. True to the phrase “everything’s bigger in Texas,” Luke surprised his crush with a massive group of people eager to meet her, including his extended family and 50 of his closest friends. His dad sat with his son to give him his blessing, “If you make that choice we support you and love you.” 

    Later, Luke and JoJo ditched the outdoor picnic for their second horseback ride together this season, and Luke made sure she knew how special he thought of his fellow Texan. “I want this future. I want us,” he told her. Hand in hand, they walked through a trail of flowers that led to a heart of petals on the ground, leading to the perfect moment for Luke to say, “My heart is yours and my heart's out there for you, and it's all of it.” After a tearful goodbye, JoJo told the camera, “We have these random moments that are so powerful.”

    No wonder JoJo's confused.

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    James Taylor, 29, singer-songwriter from Katy, TX

    Eliminated Week 7.

    Craig Sjodin/ABC

    We’ll miss his Southern drawl, acoustic guitar sessions and the balance he brought to the table in a sea of beefy, pompous guys. But week seven did seem like the opportune time to send James Taylor home. After being saved the week prior, the Texan was starting to lose his cool with being in the bottom two, again. In addition to slamming "wandering eye Robby" for checking out the local women, James did everything he could to win JoJo's attention on the group date. He stuffed 25 French fries in his mouth to get JoJo to laugh and confessed: "I'm very much in the process of falling in love with you."

    But when James shared his feelings, viewers saw JoJo express the same guilt-ridden reaction she gave Alex earlier (see below). James acknowledged his disadvantage, but that didn't stop his waterworks from flowing when JoJo finally sent him home. Even though we also knew it was coming, it was hard to watch — while being dumped, he still proved to be a class act. Telling JoJo that this isn't the first time he's heard he "deserves a great girl," he asked: "When am I going to finally find her, someone who's not going to say that to me?" But he was gracious and overly complimentary when, through tears, he told JoJo that he's honored "the best girl in the world" thinks so highly of him. "It hasn’t sunk in yet that it’s the last time I’m going to hold your hand and see you," he told her. "I never wanted to hurt you," JoJo cried back as the pair held an elongated embrace.

    After the elimination, hearts broke on Twitter.

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    Alex, 26, U.S. Marine from Oceanside, CA

    Eliminated Week 7.

    Craig Sjodin/ABC

    From "black sheep" to horse whisperer, Alex's long-awaited one-on-one date with JoJo ironically led to his elimination. All signs pointed south when the pair had too many moments of silence and silliness in their long car ride to the countryside — with Alex making Pringles lips and attempting to show his freestyle rap skills (“Yo yo, JoJo gots to go to the liquor store"). But even when dressed in gaucho gear from hat-to-toe, the marine did show his softer side as the pair had a romantic moment laying atop a subdued horse.

    Flying high from their date, Alex told JoJo that he's experiencing "one of the happiest moments of my life" and is falling in love. Despite their great date — and an earlier promise from Chris Harrison that a rose wasn't on the table — Alex's confession sent JoJo galloping for the door as she realized that they weren't on the same page. Clearly hurt, Alex shut down and couldn't even look at JoJo as she walked him to the car. "I don't know how to do this, I don't know what I'm doing," JoJo confessed to the camera about the bad breakup. "My final memory with him was him not being able to look me in the eye. That’s not how I wanted to say goodbye to him."

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    Derek, 29, commercial banker from Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Eliminated Week 6.

    ABC

    Derek must have done something off-camera to deserve his elimination treatment from the ABC producers. Thanks to their location of Buenos Aires, Derek received a near-full song sendoff as "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" played while he wept in an elongated limo ride after JoJo sent him home. “Go find your forever,” Derek, who had boasted about being destined for JoJo in earlier interviews, chose as his parting words. “I hope you do, too,” JoJo replied with tears in her eyes, before heading back to kiss and cuddle with Chase. The show then flashed between Chase and JoJo’s romantic moment and Derek. “I wasn't enough. I thought I was. I’m not. I'm Derek. And Derek is imperfect,” he muttered through tears, adding that he told himself not to cry. With that emotional farewell, the show bid adieu to the sensitive John Krasinski look-a-like. 

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    Wells, 31, radio DJ from Nashville, TN

    Eliminated Week 6.

    ABC

    It didn't bode well that Wells was the only one in the house who had yet to kiss JoJo, but the bachelorette gave him a chance by picking him for the first one-on-one in Argentina. Having a sense of humor about their status, JoJo's date card for the DJ read: “Besame. Besame, muchacho.” Translation: “Kiss me. Kiss me a lot, Wells.” While on their date at an interpretive art center, Wells finally found his moment and the pair shared a romantic first kiss while slushing around in the dark and in water, which JoJo called romantic. Still, the highly anticipated lip-lock didn't set off JoJo's usual fireworks, and she sent him home. “You are an incredible human being, but I don't know if you are the person who I can spend the rest of my life with,” she told the heartbroken guy.

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    Grant, 28, firefighter from San Francisco, CA

    Eliminated Week 5.

    ABC

    Charming good looks and a selfless career choice weren't enough to sway JoJo to Team Grant. Though she didn't interact with Grant on his last night and he probably should have seen the rejection coming, his teary-eyed confessional said the opposite. “I feel like she did make a mistake tonight by sending me home," he told the camera. "I don't get it. I seriously don't.” With his elimination, there are no diverse contestants remaining. 

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    Evan, 33, erectile dysfunction specialist from Nashville, TN

    Eliminated Week 5.

    ABC

    Evan put up a good fight. Who would have guessed the erectile dysfunction specialist would make it so far? Along the way, he earned respect by standing up to Chad and giving proud shoutouts to his three kids watching from home. But everyone knew Evan's days were numbered once he no longer had the Chad contrast to hide behind. (He even brought up the $20 for his ripped shirt during Chad's final confrontation.) It was still sad to see how badly Evan was hurt by his crush. “It felt like daggers through my heart," he said through tears. "I'm just so disappointed in myself. I tried.” 

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    Vincent “Vinny,” 28, barber from Delray Beach, FL

    Eliminated Week 5.

    ABC

    Vinny and JoJo's tearful goodbye makes it seem like viewers weren't entirely privy to the connection that these two might have had. She had a very emotional goodbye after sending him home following the second rose ceremony, sharing in a low voice, “You have made everything so unbelievable for me.” 

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    Daniel, 31, model from Vancouver, B.C., Canada

    Eliminated Week 4.

    Even the Canadian knew he was no match for JoJo, telling the camera that she is pursuing guys for their personalities and admitted that his personality is “shit.” After his elimination, he said, “If this is based solely on looks there’s a good chance I would still be here — my body has nothing to do with this." And with that, we bid Daniel adieu. 

     

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    James F., 34, boxing club owner from Nashville, TN

    Eliminated Week 4.

    ABC

    Props to James for being the brave soul to set off alarm bells when Chad unexpectedly returned to the house. Who knows what Chad would have done if he entered the room in the middle of their “Chadless” celebrations and protein-powder funeral? Though James did show his softer side during his final moments with a self-written poem (Her heart is like a treasure/Her dream’s not far away) that actually brought her to tears, it just wasn't enough. JoJo sent him packing and left him in a state of confusion: “I'd be OK to go home if she knew who I was. Maybe I should have been more assertive." As they say, hindsight is 20/20.

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    Chad, 28, luxury real estate agent from Tulsa, OK

    Eliminated Week 3.

    ABC

    Finally: Both Chads are gone from JoJo’s life. After viewers braced for The Bachelorette to become a horror show, the season villain was — to borrow a phrase from Alex — "all bark and no bite," and his exit was, ultimately, less dramatic than ABC had artfully teased. After running his fingers down the glass door in a state of apparent insanity, Chad did not raise his fists to the guys. He did, however, poke the side of Jordan’s head — despite his many warnings against poking. The guys tried to give the former marine one final chance to apologize for his actions and restore a sense of decency, but, of course, the luxury real estate agent couldn't back down from his alpha-male sensibility. “I'm gonna say what I want to say, when I want to say it," he said. "Looking back, I would still say the same damn things.” After failing to retract even his death threats, Chad danced away while muttering: "I'm out." That is, until Bachelor in Paradise returns this summer.

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    Nick B., 33, electrical engineer from Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Eliminated Week 3.

    Courtesy of ABC

    Nick's elimination — especially before James, Vinny and Daniel, who were the bottom three above Chad in Power Rankings — was somewhat surprising. Though the pair didn't have instant chemistry, JoJo had gravitated to the Christmas lover ever since he made her laugh in his Santa suit on Night 1. When saying goodbye, Nick was a class act, kissing her on the cheek and telling her the experience was a pleasure. To the camera, he admitted: "It sucks, especially since I felt there might have been something there, but she didn't see it."

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    Christian, 26, telecom consultant from Los Angeles, CA

    Eliminated Week 3.

    Courtesy of ABC

    Christian's relationship with JoJo never took off, but his elimination was noteworthy given the diversity controversy surrounding the long-running franchise. In the season premiere, he open up about growing up biracial and not having a relationship with his father's side of the family because they couldn't accept him. 

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    Ali, 27, bartender from Santa Monica, CA

    Eliminated Week 3.

    Courtesy of ABC

    Ali's time was certainly up, given that the Los Angeles bartender, whose family is from Iran, hadn't had much airtime. Though, if Ali's looking for love, he can scroll Twitter's attraction to his eyebrows.

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    James S., 27, 'Bachelor' superfan from Phoenix, AZ

    Eliminated Week 2.

    Craig Sjodin/ABC

    At least the Bachelor superfan can add this to his résumé: "I wasn't the first person to get kicked off my season of The Bachelorette."

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    William “Will,” 26, civil engineer from Jersey City, NJ

    Eliminated Week 2.

    Craig Sjodin/ABC

    Will made a last-ditch effort by having some fun with JoJo and encouraging her to T.P. the Bachelor mansion with toilet paper, but the moment of mischief and his other gags weren't enough to save him from going home. 

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    Brandon, 28, hipster from Los Angeles, CA

    Eliminated Week 2.

    Craig Sjodin/ABC

    We initially saw promise in the hipster, agreeing that he is super chill and can't possibly be there for the wrong reasons. But after the aggressive showdown between his competitors on the group date and during the rose ceremony, it became clear he wouldn't be able to stand out in this pack.

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    Jonathan, 29, technical sales representative from Vancouver, B.C., Canada

    Eliminated Week 1.

    Craig Sjodin/ABC

    Poor Jonathan, who fell for the producers' entrance-making advice. Arriving in a kilt due to his half-Scottish heritage was fine, but telling JoJo he wasn't wearing any underwear underneath was a fateful fail.

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    Peter, 26, staffing agency manager from Chicago, IL

    Eliminated Week 1.

    Craig Sjodin/ABC

    Peter seemed genuinely bowled over by his elimination, despite viewers at home never seeing him and JoJo interact.

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    Jake, 26, landscape architect from Playa Vista, CA

    Eliminated Week 1.

    Craig Sjodin/ABC

    A lack of airtime made it hard to weigh in, so we defer to JoJo on this one.

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    Colin “Coley,” 27, real estate consultant from Chicago, IL

    Eliminated Week 1.

    Craig Sjodin/ABC

    Coley got more airtime during the rose ceremony than he did all episode, but we barely heard him speak. 

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    Nick S., 26, software salesman from San Francisco, CA

    Eliminated Week 1.

    Craig Sjodin/ABC

    Ascot-wearing headshot aside, Nick S. more than deserved to be sent home after being the first to drunkenly barge in on JoJo during her on-camera interview. But thank you for the entertainment, and for giving us a peek inside the secret interview room!

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    Sal, 28, operations manager from Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Eliminated Week 1.

    Craig Sjodin/ABC

    When Sal introduced himself to JoJo he brought her a gift: blue balls. About the stress balls: "If at any point you feel stressed, I give you permission to squeeze my balls." Total camera time after his intro: negligible.

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