Tayshia Just Blew Our Minds on The Bachelorette’s Hometown Dates

On Monday night, Tayshia Adams slashed her reverse harem in half with the strained enthusiasm of a woman who has to get engaged to a stranger in the next few days. On Tuesday night, she met her four remaining boyfriends’ families on hometown dates.

Only “hometown” was a euphemism for “staged hotel conference room,” because they’re not allowed to leave the La Quinta resort thanks to the whole global pandemic thing.

And people think The Bachelorette isn’t realistic.

Brendan + Tayshia

First up was Brendan (30), the curly-haired commercial roofer from Massachusetts with piercing blue eyes and a penchant for wearing turtlenecks. He oozes this intoxicating quiet confidence that draws me Tayshia in. I’m a fan.

hometown dates

The options were limited on the hotel grounds so Brendan set up a half-assed carnival reusing props from previous dates. Supposedly this was a nod to his hometown which hosts a lot of carnivals. Thankfully he had a secret weapon in the form of his niece Aliyah who joined their date. Well done, Brendan. What woman on the hunt for a husband doesn’t want to imagine him as a dad? Aliyah was adorable. Brendan can Harlem Shake. Even I want to take him to the fantasy suites.

That night Tayshia met Brendan’s older brother and sister-in-law. Most of their conversations revolved around Tayshia and Brendan’s shared history of divorce and how that can be a strength in their relationship. Overall Brendan was looking for someone he trusted to convince him that he’s not crazy for falling for Tayshia. I mean, it’s The Bachelorette, so of course, he’s crazy, but it’s the fun kind. For her part, Tayshia thinks Brendan could be her end game.

Zac + Tayshia

The next day, Zac (36) planned a cute date imagining what it would be like to visit his hometown of New York City. They hailed a cardboard taxi, ate pizza, and “visited” Central Park before making out in a fountain. It’s a good thing they took that dip because I have never seen a more sweaty man in my life than Zac. I know it’s the middle of the desert in July, but the man drips like that one gif of Jordan Peele.

We know the story of Zac’s history with addiction, but seeing how relieved his family was to see him really cemented how it had formed him. His brother was protective, his mom was weepy, his dad was the sweetest man alive, and Zac just kept sweating. Zac told his mom that he was lying all of those past times when he said he didn’t want a family. He wants one now Tayshia. Based on how Tayshia kisses him, she’s down.

Ivan + Tayshia

Ivan (28), is an aeronautical engineer from Dallas who previously had the most political conversation of the season. He is self-assured, well-informed, and way way way too good for this show. He comes from a biracial family with a black father and a Filipina mom. For his faux hometown date, he and Tayshia made lumpia and laughed at how terrible it turned out. He is a dream.

That night, Tayshia met Ivan’s mom and dad who were skeptical about Tayshia, but she quickly won them over. Not unlike all of Bachelor Nation when she was named the replacement Bachelorette. Ivan likes Tayshia and Tayshia likes him, but it doesn’t feel like a grand romance. Instead, the real love story came when Ivan’s brother surprised him. Ivan’s pure elation and unconditional love for his brother, who was previously incarcerated and an integral part of his life, poured off of the screen. Even my cold dead heart grew two sizes.

Ben +Tayshia

Ben (29) is a personal trainer/Army veteran who tends to be either super boring or super vulnerable about his past traumas. He’s also absurdly hot when he takes his scoop neck shirt off. In his own words, he doesn’t know how to, “do that crying emotion,” but he has smiling at Tayshia down. His hometown date was a recreation of a day spent at Venice Beach complete with rollerblading, shopping, and hanging out in bathing suits. I see you, Ben and I respect it.

That night Tayshia met Ben’s sister (who he credits with saving his life from an eating disorder and suicide attempts) and his family friend Antonia. Wait, did he mean Top Chef celebrity Antonia Lofusa? Way to bury the lede there, Ben.

If I didn’t love Antonia before this I do now, because she took one look at Ben and said, “You love her.” Ben was like, “What? No! I couldn’t.” But she was like, “Uh, yeah, you do.” Then his whole face lit up as we witnessed the moment he realized that it’s true. Ben is in love with Tayshia. Like head-over-heels in love. I feel like we finally got to see his real personality and it was a gift.

Then he screwed everything up, by choking on the words when it was time to say good-bye to Tayshia. Someone help this emotionally stunted puppy of a man! Did I just become team Ben?!

Most Shocking Rose Ceremony of All Time

If I’m being honest, I had a pretty solid theory on who would be in the top three for fantasy suites. I figured it was going to be, Zac, Ben, and Brendan with Ivan going home. So when I tell you that my jaw dropped when Ivan got the first rose I mean my jaw DROPPED. What is this madness?!

The second rose went to Zac.

That meant it was between Brendan and Ben and like, no, you can’t do this to me Tayshia.

It went to Brendan. Ben was going home. I audibly gasped.

The rate at which Ben’s blank look of shock and inability to speak came back was mind-boggling. He couldn’t say a word, which led a crying Tayshia to believe he never really cared about her. Meanwhile, he was in the SUV of shame staring at the camera like, “I SCREWED UP EVERYTHING.”

Uh, yeah, you did.

I haven’t been that shocked by an elimination since JoJo dumped Luke Pell. I need someone to hold me. Where’s Brendan?

Next week, The Bachelorette will wrap up the season with fantasy suites and the finale airing over Monday and Tuesday night. I’m going to need at least that long to get over the shock. Who do you think is her man? My guess is that it’s going to be Zac, but Ben comes back to declare his love and mess everything up.

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