Last night’s episode of The Bachelor was intense, to say the very least. As you know from last week’s previews, last night was the hometowns episode, and it was Peter’s turn in the hot seat.
First, Peter went to visit Hannah Ann Sluss in Knoxville, Tennessee. That trip itself was a whirlwind of emotions, from the excitement of throwing axes on a target, right down to Peter’s heartfelt list of endearments towards Sluss.
After exploring the town and having some great adventures, it was time for Peter to meet Hannah Ann’s family. All we knew thus far, was that her father wanted Sluss to marry a “real man” with good character.
Once they walked through Hannah Ann’s home, there was an immediate sense of positivity and warmth. From the way Hannah Ann’s mother greeted Peter with a loving hug, to Haley Sluss (Hannah Ann’s younger sister) crying when she saw how happy Hannah Ann was, everything about that hometown scene was so genuine and real.
When Peter and Hannah Ann’s father went outside to talk, he emphasized to Peter that he did not want him expressing his love towards Hannah Ann unless he meant it with his whole heart. Peter agreed, and later, proceeded to confess his love towards Hannah Ann; a clear sign that Peter was sure of his feelings towards her.
Next up, we were brought on a journey to Kelsey’s hometown in Des Moines, Iowa. She took Peter to the Summerset Winery, where she informed him that they would be stomping grapes and making their own wine. It was a heartfelt moment, because it confined the both of them in a close knit space, where instead of just stomping on grapes, they danced on top of them.
Afterwards, Kelsey admitted that she was in love with Peter, and rather than saying it back, Peter thanked her for being so vulnerable and honest. When it came time for him to meet her family, he had a light hearted conversation with most of Kelsey’s family.
During their dinner, Kelsey made Peter try her favorite food that they talked about during their first date: Crab Rangoon. Later, Kelsey was taken away by her two caring sisters, Kayla and Kalason Weier. Her sisters, along with her stepdad, and brother, seemed concerned about how Kelsey would handle it, if Peter decided not to choose her. Meanwhile, Kelsey’s mother assured Peter that she’s extremely protective over her daughter’s heart, and warns him that he needs to take care of her.
Next up, we followed Peter to Madison’s hometown in Auburn, Alabama. Peter arrived at Auburn University, and Madison took him right to the main basketball court. Since Madison is really passionate about basketball, Peter was able to experience that first hand, and we got to see Madison’s competitive side. She also has a lot of people supporting and protecting her. Two men in particular, Charles Barkley, and head coach Bruce Pearl, warned Peter not to hurt Madison.
After Madison schooled Peter in a basketball warm up/scrimmage, it was time for Peter to meet the Prew Crew. Madison got the “special plate” at dinner, which meant that everyone had to announce one thing that they admired about her. Later, Madison’s mom pulled her away to talk. We learned in that moment that Madison is saving herself for marriage, but that she hasn’t told Peter yet. Simultaneously, Peter sat down with Madison’s father, where he stated that he wants the absolute best for Madison, and he outwardly asked if Madison was 100% who he wanted in the end. Since Peter couldn’t offer a direct answer in that moment, Madison’s father felt uneasy, and when she asked him for his blessing, he couldn’t offer it. However, he stated that he also wasn’t going to close the door on Peter, as long as he respected Madison and her decisions. Madison walked Peter to his car, and they lingered for a few moments, before Peter went to his next destination.
This is where the drama really starts to pick up. The day started out well. Peter visited Victoria F’s hometown in Virginia Beach, and he had the pleasure of meeting her labrador dog, Buxton. They played fetch for a few minutes, and then Victoria surprised Peter with an intimate Hunter Hayes’ concert.
While they were dancing, singing, and having the time of their lives, it didn’t last long. Shortly after the concert ended, Peter was approached by ex-girlfriend, Merissa Pence. We learned that Merissa personally knew Victoria, and that she had allegedly broken up several relationships.
Victoria wasn’t aware of this meeting between the two, since she was on her way home by then. Several hours later, before Peter was supposed to meet Victoria’s family, he pulled her aside, and asked her what Merissa meant, in regards to what she had shared with him. Victoria felt as though Peter was accusing her without any evidence, and her emotions got the best of her.
They fought, words were exchanged, and it ended with Peter leaving back to the hotel room. The next morning, however, Victoria came back to apologize and repair the damage that had been done. She ended up leaving the hotel room with an undefined answer, since he needed some space to recollect himself.
The episode ends with a fancy rose ceremony, and while the viewers at home assumed that Victoria Fuller would have been sent home, it was Kelsey that didn’t receive the rose. I was very impressed at how gracefully Kelsey handled the rejection, and how she kept her composure.
It ended on an interesting note, with Madison getting ready to confront Peter about remaining abstinent until marriage.
Be sure to tune in next Monday, February 24, at 8 pm, on ABC to see what happens!