6:55pm PT by Christina Schoellkopf
'The Bachelor': Ben's Hometown Visit Includes Dates to Wrigley Field, McDonald's
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Season 20 of ABC's The Bachelor.]
After an uncomfortable episode last week — where the women survived wild ocean pigs and Olivia's exit was so dramatic, she took to Instagram to defend herself from haters — The Bachelor took a refreshing turn. This week, Ben Higgins introduced the six remaining women to his hometown of Warsaw, Indiana.
The episode kicked off with a cute reunion between Ben and his parents (which made him that much more attractive as a family man). In a giddy tone, Ben explained to his mom and dad what each woman meant to him; he said he is more himself with JoJo than with anyone else, described Becca as standoffish, felt that Emily might be too young for marriage, failed to explain the complexities of Caila, broke the news that Amanda has two children and floated on a cloud as he shared that his chemistry with Lauren is something "you can't even explain."
First One-on-One: Ben Gets in Dad-Mode and Shoots Hoops with a Professional Basketball Player
After his little family huddle, it wasn't much of a surprise that Ben took Lauren on the first one-on-one date — and it quickly got personal. After driving past the high school where he was the quarterback football star, Ben brought the blond flight attendant from Marina Del Rey, Calif., to the Baker Youth Club, where he worked with children for four years.
Lauren (and viewers alike, who cannot help crushing on Ben) were treated to seeing the bachelor in "dad mode" as he played with the kids and was literally a shoulder to cry on for one little boy who started tearing up in a corner. But the real surprise came when basketball player George Hill of the Indiana Pacers and Coach Frank Vogel showed up to shoot some hoops with the kids.
Later, Lauren was the lucky woman to meet Ben's best friends from home, and Ben could not have looked happier to have her on his arm. Their special time together ended with a deep conversation in which the two talked out Leah's horrible lie last week (about Lauren being a different person with Ben than she is with the other women). Lauren left the evening confidently, saying, "I'm falling in love with Ben from Warsaw, Indiana."
Second One-on-One: JoJo and Ben Escape to the Windy City for a Dinner Date on Wrigley Field
After smooching with Lauren in Warsaw, Ben stole JoJo away to Chicago for a dream-like date on Wrigley Field. A serious Chicago Cubs fan, Ben was in heaven as he and JoJo played a game for two and rounded the bases with the entire stadium to themselves. The cutest part of all? The two enjoyed America's favorite pastime while wearing matching Mr. and Mrs. Higgins uniforms. (Could this be a sign?)
Somehow dinner magically appeared on the field (just go with it), and things got real when JoJo brought up again how she was feeling scared to get vulnerable. You would think Ben would have had it by now with her insecurities, especially when he brought up his concerns of asking a girl to marry him at the end of the show and being nervous about her answer. But he shook it off with that cute dimpled smile of his, and they ended the date on a high note, sharing a kiss inside the stadium's scoreboard.
Group Date: Oh So Awkward Again, Ben Gives out the First Hometown Rose
Finally, it was time for the dreadful group date, where the pressure was on between Becca, Caila and Amanda to snag the group date rose. This time around, the rose meant far more than just being safe for another rose ceremony. It meant Ben was ready to meet the woman's family, as next week the four remaining girls will show Ben around their hometowns.
After boat rides on the lake and flying kites together, Ben pulled each woman aside for a little chat. During Becca's alone time, she expressed deep feelings for Ben, but things got very awkward when she told him, "I really like you," and he gave no validation in return. She looked him straight in the eye and said, "Don't blindside me."
Ultimately, Ben made it clear he is ready to see Amanda in "mom mode" as he gave the group date rose to the mother of two. Becca's reaction? Her most emotional moment yet. She cried saying, "Why would someone want to keep putting themselves out there for someone who gives nothing in return? ... I’m just like what am I doing? Why am I here, you know?" (Oh, Becca. Don't act like this is your first rodeo.)
With the group date rose in hand, Amanda left with Ben for a surprise one-on-one date. But could you even call it a date? Ben took her out to dinner to...McDonald's. After munching on Egg McMuffins, they literally went behind the counter to hand out drive-through orders. (What?!) The most cringe-worthy moment had to be when Amanda and Ben pulled a Lady and the Tramp, eating their way through a French fry before stealing a kiss. Luckily for Amanda, Ben finally showed some real romance by taking her to a street carnival. She tolerated Ben screaming for dear life on a roller-coaster and kissed him on the Ferris wheel.
The Last One-on-One: Ben Introduces the First Woman to His Parents
Emily was the lucky lady to first meet Ben's mom and dad. She was so happy when she got the one-on-one date card that she actually bawled on the spot. But unfortunately for her, Ben's mom was really not feeling the Vegas twin. When Ben pulled his mother aside for her raw and real opinion about the 22-year-old, Mrs. Higgins anxiously questioned if Emily was ready to be a wife and literally broke down in tears. (Ouch.)
Maybe it had to do with Emily telling Ben's mom about her aspirations to be a professional cheerleader, potentially for the Denver Broncos. Did you know Emily and her twin Haley chased this dream all the way to a cheerleading reality series? Skip to 3:53 in the video below to see the twins on the show Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team:
After not receiving much support from his parents about his relationship with Emily, Ben decided to call it quits. For whatever reason, he thought it was a good idea to break up with her in the backyard of where the women were staying...and all the girls watched through the window as he said goodbye! A tearful Emily came running into the house and cried as she gave the women a play-by-play of what went down.
The Rose Ceremony: Ben Narrows It Down to Four
Finally, it was time for the rose ceremony, where Ben said goodbye to Becca. The chiropractic assistant from San Diego was pretty pissed, aggressively asking, "Why did you do that?" After a very long journey, Becca's round 2 on The Bachelor ended with another tearful limo ride.
Was it wrong of Ben to string Becca along after she told him not to blindside her? Were you ready to see Emily go home? Share what you think below in the comments.