With only Gabby, Serene, Rachel, and Susie remaining in Clayton’s dwindling harem of potential ex-fiances, the time has come to drag their unsuspecting families into it for our entertainment.
It’s finally Clayton’s hometown dates week on The Bachelor.
For the first time in two years, hometown dates are actually happening in the cast’s respective hometowns. No one is more grateful for the distinct absence of hotel conference rooms in New Mexico than I am.
Susie + Clayton’s Hometown
First up to introduce her family to Clayton was Susie who showed Clayton around Virginia Beach, Virginia. They talked on the beach about how her dad is her gold standard of men.
And then she choked him out at a jiujitsu lesson.
These two are kind of perfect for each other. They seem like your standard small town Homecoming king and queen couple who got married after high school and now teach PE and lead the local spin class. They’re perky, kind, and like to kiss. If you’ve been watching Love is Blind, you know that matches have been made under worse conditions.
Susie’s family was the perfect example of how to handle meeting the man your daughter has been dating in cultlike conditions for six weeks. They were welcoming, but cautious, and most of all, trust their daughter.
I’ve never heard someone speak so admirably about their child on this show as Susie’s parents did of her.
Overall, this hometown date was a roaring success which only means Clayton is going to be more conflicted than ever. Just the way we like him.
Gabby + Clayton
Next up on Clayton’s hometown Grand Prix was a trip to Denver, Colorado where Gabby took him hiking to a randon hot tub in the mountains.
Never change, Bachelor, never change.
Gabby is adorable and hilarious, but unfortunately for her, Clayton thinks she’s the “funniest woman alive.”
I think I hear the friendzone calling.
That night, Gabby introduced Clayton to her aunt, uncle, cousin, and grandpa because, sadly, her dad needed to stay away for reasons related to Covid. The real star here was grandpa who laughed hysterically at the retelling of Gabby’s limo entrance in which she made a reference to sitting on Clayton’s face. He joked that he thought Clayton was “full of shit” but ultimately supported her and gave her sweet advice about marriage.
Then, just when all hope was gone, Gabby’s dad rolled up into the street and reenacted that cue card scene from Love Actually but in a sweet father-daughter way instead of the “trying to steal my best friend’s wife” way.
It was all so emotional for poor Gabby that she got caught up in the moment and told Clayton she was falling in love with him. To which he replied, “There it is.”
If I were a betting woman I’d say this hometown was the perfect start to Gabby’s role as the next Bachelorette.
Serene + Clayton
Soon Clayton found himself in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where Serene took him on an obstacle course. They wore helmets with fisheye lenses while they climbed a large tower and Clayton tried not to pee himself with fear.
If you’ve seen those TikToks with the English guy who goes trainspotting, you know what this looked like.
That night, Serene introduced Clayton to her gorgeous mom, beautiful best friend, and seriously attractive brother. I don’t know what’s in the water at her house, but I’m hoping they bottle it.
Serene’s older brother was
hot suspicious about the whole process, especially when Clayton admitted that he’s not in love with anyone yet. However, ultimately Clayton continues to kill with families, so it all ended with everyone wishing them the best.
Serene was feeling so confident after their introduction that she told Clayton she was no longer falling in love with him, she was in love with him.
Seriously, how does this dude keep pulling this off?
Rachel + Clayton
The last of Clayton’s hometown dates went to Rachel in Clermont, Florida. They kayaked down a river in a clear bottom boat and Clayton stayed terrified of local wildlife the entire time.
That didn’t stop their white-hot chemistry though.
These two cannot keep their hands off of one another. If they weren’t kissing in the gator-infested waters, they were laid on top of each other across the grass in their bathing suits.
Sexual chemistry is not their issue, but Rachel’s dad might be.
The way Rachel prefaced introducing Clayton to her family, even I was terrified. She said that he has never liked anyone she has brought home and that she just hopes he doesn’t screw this up for her.
She didn’t need to be scared though, because Clayton is a dad whisperer and her dad is actually a huge softy who worships the ground his daughter walks on.
By the end of the hometown date she was crying, her dad was crying, her whole family couldn’t stop talking about how happy she looked and Clayton was more freaked out than ever.
Reality has finally set him that he’s going to have to break at least three more hearts before this is over, and homeboy is not prepared.
The rose ceremony took place back at the Bachelor Mansion where Clayton had come to a new realization. He told Jesse that he’s had a wall up this whole time, but that the time to protect himself is over. He’s falling in love with all four women and he’s just going to let himself feel all the feelings.
There’s no way this ends well for him. It’s going to be great for us though.
Jesse Palmer was like, “Wow,” and then the rose ceremony began. Get that paycheck, Jesse.
The first rose of the night went to Susie. The second rose of the night went to Gabby.
Wait, what? Gabby? Rachel must be freaking the eff out.
Oh, phew, the third rose went to Rachel which meant a shocked but poised Serene was sent home before fantasy suites.
Clayton walked her out of the mansion where she asked what went wrong. But all she got was the usual explanation that he feels more strongly for other women.
Don’t sweat it Serene, chalk this one up as a win.
Next Monday, Gabby, Susie, and Rachel will get fantasy dates and we’ll hopefully finally see them cry because Clayton is an idiot. Then on Tuesday night, we’ll get the Women Tell All special. Two nights instead of one? It really is a fantasy.
Heidi is currently obsessed with watching people make bad decisions on TV, being a coastal elite, artificially avoiding any sign of aging, reading feminist romance novels, and getting the biggest laugh at her own expense. She has a husband, 3 kids, a dog and anxiety.