Now that Michelle Young has narrowed down her final four men on ABC‘s The Bachelorette — Nayte, Joe, Rodney, and Brandon — it’s time for Hometown Dates. But instead of going to their actual hometowns, the men’s family members will be meeting Michelle in Minneapolis. After that, only three men will move on to Fantasy Suites next week.
So who will go home tonight? Let’s find out…
Brandon’s up first but before Michelle meets his family, he needs to show her just how bad he is at skateboarding. Is it actually called skateboarding if you don’t actually stay on the skateboard? Poor Brandon. At least he’s cute and endearing. But he’s also all in on Michelle. He admits that his brother Noah postponed his start date for the US Military so he could meet Michelle so clearly, this is a big deal.
And Noah doesn’t waste any time getting to the difficult conversations with Michelle. Naturally, he’s concerned that his brother is going to get his heart broken given the circumstances, but Michelle assures him that she can “100% see herself” with Brandon.
Brandon’s mom assures Michelle that Brandon is the real deal — not a player, not an actor, just a sweet guy looking to find love. But I’m pretty sure we already knew that. There’s no hiding that this dude is in looooove. He tells his family before leaving that Michelle is the “most important woman” in his life and the woman “he’s been waiting for.”
And Michelle reciprocates those feelings, at least as much as she can at this point with three other men in the game. She tells Brandon before leaving that she’s “falling for him” and he is left absolutely smitten. “I truly as a human being want it to be me more than anything in this entire world,” he says.
So before we meet the family, we have to watch Michelle and Rodney do a taste test of various apples because WHY WOULDN’T THEY at this point? It’s pretty much become Rodney’s entire character and I’m starting to feel bad for the guy. He’s more than just his apple costume, people.
Later that night, Michelle meets Rodney’s mother and stepfather and immediately opens up about her feelings for their apple-loving son. But no amount of gushing can put Rodney’s mother’s concerns to rest. Still, Rodney assures his mother that even if he gets his heart broken in this journey, Michelle is worth the risk.
At the end of the evening, Rodney admits that he’s “definitely falling in love” with Michelle and just wants to be the final man standing. Michelle’s clearly happy to hear those words, but something tells me he’s going to get friend-zoned. She keeps making references to how Rodney is like her best friend, and that’s not always a good thing when there are three other romantic interests still in the picture.
Next up is Joe’s hometown date, but since he’s actually from Minneapolis, this is quite literally his actual hometown. And he’s pulling out all the stops for this date. First, Joe invites Michelle to “prom” which is set up in the high school gymnasium. He recalls that Michelle admitted earlier in the season she was picked last for her high school dance, so he wanted to prove that he’ll always choose her first. Major brownie points there, Joe. Not really sure how it’s fair that Brandon had to pretend to skateboard and Rodney had to eat apples for the tenth time this season but Joe gets this huge romantic set up, but I digress.
Later that night, Michelle meets Joe’s mother, father, as well as his brother Dan, and sister-in-law Hanna.
It’s clear Joe struggles with expressing his feelings verbally, which his family points out to both him and Michelle. While Joe admits that he’s ready to propose to Michelle, when asked if he loves her, he reveals that he’s “falling for” her. Where’s the love, Joe? We need that L-word!!!
Luckily, by the end of the evening, Joe delivers on that. He tells Michelle that his feelings are getting stronger and that he’s officially falling in love with her.
For the daytime portion of the date, Nayte takes Michelle paddle-boarding and the chemistry between these two is electric. This feels like an actual, real-life couple having a day out on the water. Nayte tells her that he’s “head over heels” and “crazy for her” and “falling for her” — but again, where’s the L?! Step it up, Nayte.
This is the first girl Nayte’s ever brought home, so this evening is a big deal for the whole family. Nayte’s mom tells Michelle that she doesn’t want her son to feel pressure to get engaged if he’s not ready. According to her, he’s never been in a relationship serious enough to want to take that next step — so, is he really ready to get engaged to someone he barely knows? Probably not.
Still, when his mom asks if he’s ready to propose, he says he can see himself being ready, but he’s not ready at this very moment. Sigh. That’s not exactly what we want to hear, Nayte. It doesn’t help that his dad doubles down on the fact that Nayte may not be ready for this next step and tells Michelle that he doesn’t think he can “get to that point.”
And all of this talk about love gets the emotions going for Nayte and his dad. They share a sweet heart-to-heart where Nayte says he loves him for the very first time. Perhaps after breaking this barrier, he will be ready to do the same with Michelle? Not quite. The evening ends without Nayte saying he loves Michelle, leaving her uncertain about where they stand.
The rose ceremony
Before Michelle is faced with the hardest decision yet, she gets a surprise knock at the door from Bri and Serena from Matt James’ season. Perfect timing, because she needs some help figuring out how to choose between her final four men. Ultimately, she hopes she has the clarity going into this rose ceremony.
Brandon gets the first rose, followed by Nayte, leaving Rodney and Joe left vying for that final rose. If you don’t know who is going home tonight by this point, I don’t know what to tell you…
Unfortunately, we say goodbye to sweet, apple-loving Rodney tonight. While he shared a connection with Michelle, it just wasn’t comparable to the other three men. Before letting him go, Michelle reminds him that he is enough, he is amazing, and he is so special. She doesn’t want Rodney to feel like the “underdog” that he always said he was.
Rodney takes the breakup like a gentleman, clearly respecting her decision, but telling her that he still loves her, and that this ending doesn’t change his feelings.
The Bachelorette: Men Tell All, December 6, 8/7c, ABC