July 18, 2011 06:57 PM by Candace Young
Ashley Hebert is excited to be visiting the hometowns of the final four hopefuls on tonight’s episode of The Bachelorette. Ashley is also happy to be back in the United States after the emotional decision to let Ryan go in the middle of a one-on-one date last week, and saying goodbye to Lucas in the rose ceremony. She will get to know the remaining four guys like never before as she interacts with their families on their home turf. Keep reading to find out how much grilling Ashley takes from protective family members, and to learn who will not continue on to the overnight dates…
Going into tonight’s episode, Ashley seems to be feeling the most for Ben and JP. She and Constantine have been moving slower, and Ames, although funny, intelligent, and good looking, doesn’t seem to have captivated her as deeply as the aforementioned front-runners.
Constantine welcomes Ashley to his hometown of Cumming, Georgia with a big hug and a compliment. He tells her how confident his family was that he would make it through to the hometown portion of the competition – they had more faith in him than he had in himself. She is going to meet his parents, Dimitri and Elleni, and his sister Maria. They head to the family’s restaurant, Giorgio’s, where she meets the staff and admires how studly Constantine seems on his own turf. Ashley tries her hand at making pizza and salad, before chatting with Constantine while the giggling waitresses spy (and cheer when they kiss!).
Ashley and Constantine go to his family’s home and are greeted enthusiastically. Dad tears up to see Constantine looking happy. Over dinner, Maria observes that they are cute together. Elleni plans a party if they end up together, and Dimitri says Constantine is good with kids. Ashley and Elleni go to talk. Ashley assures Constantine’s mother that she’d be willing to relocate,which sets her mind at ease. Dimitri tells Constantine he likes Ashley, but warns him not to rush things. Later, the doorbell rings – the family has a surprise planned. Constantine’s relatives pile in and the dancing begins. Ashley is seriously impressed with his family, and Constantine says the night was a massive step in the right direction, but their parting kiss isn’t overly passionate.
Ames is the next bachelor to bring Ashley home to see where he came from. She meets his sister, brother-in-law, mother, brother, sister-in-law, and nieces and nephews. They all sit outside and chat about where they’ve been on the show. They tell the story of Ames winding up in the hospital after the boxing match. Ames’ big sister thinks her brother has feelings for Ashley, but isn’t so sure they are reciprocated. Ashley goes for honesty – she says she feels something for Ames, but admits that their relationship has moved slower than some of the others. His sister talks to Ashley about how Ames lost his father at age 10, and then lost his stepfather to cancer later. Serena thinks that Ashley is intrigued by her brother, but still doesn’t know if she has passion for him.
Ames, meanwhile, tells his mother how highly he thinks of Ashley. When Ashley talks to his mother, she warns that she and Ames have moved slower in their relationship than she has with some of the others. In camera, Ashley says she is still missing the romance; the spark, with Ames. Serena takes Ames aside and warns that Ashley wants to get engaged at the end of this, but she’s not sure it’s with him. She suggests he really let her see who he really is at this point. Ames resolves to step up the romance by taking her to the most beautiful garden he knows to picnic under the magnolia tree. While there, Ashley notes that they see a lot of things the same way and tells him he is unique. They kiss, but it seems awkward and Ashley pulls away fairly quickly. They leave on a horse-drawn wagon ride.
Ashley greets Ben enthusiastically, noting to the cameras how sexy she finds him. He takes her to the winery in Sonoma, California. They go to choose some wine and take it to a picnic spot. They taste and kiss before making their way to the house in the rain. Ben notes what a big deal it is to take Ashley to meet his mom. He warns her he doesn’t bring a lot of women home – in fact, he’s only brought one. Ashley is nervous. Ben talks about his father, who passed away, and says he would have liked her. Ashley tells the cameras she feels a lot of pressure for tonight to ‘work’ for Ben’s sake. He admits if his mother and sister didn’t approve it would be a deal-breaker.
They walk up to the house and go inside. Ashley is welcomed kindly, but not hugged. They sit down at the table and share a toast. They all joke about Ben’s hair being his ‘thing’. Julia, Ben’s sister, warns that she’s very protective of him. She grills her brother when they take a moment alone. He tells her he’s expressing his feelings more and that he’s really into it. Ashley spends time with Ben’s mom, looking at photos of their family vacations, which they still take together. When Ben speaks to his mother, he tells her Ashley is really great and he likes where things are going. His mother tells him his dad would be proud of him. Ben chokes up talking to the camera about missing his dad. When Ashley leaves, they share a quick kiss and a long embrace.
In Roslyn, New York, JP is happy to be back on Long Island and is excited for his family to meet Ashley. When she arrives, he tells her he didn’t sleep a wink last night, and that he planned a surprise activity indoors since it was supposed to rain all day – they’re going roller skating! Ashley is very touchy-feely with him and they kiss while lacing up their skates. Once on the rink, the lights go down and the disco ball starts turning. I Can’t Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon plays as they laugh, hold hands, and stop to kiss. They have refreshments and he tells her about his family. He warns they might be protective after the way his last relationship turned out. JP tells her he’s sure about her, but he hasn’t been that way with other girls in the past.
They arrive at his family’s home where there are hugs all around. Ashley meets his parents, brother, and brother’s girlfriend. Over a meal, mom says they’ve all been rooting for JP. Roy, his brother, is worried about him getting hurt. His mother is also concerned about how vulnerable he is – they go outside and he tells his mother he has to be open to getting hurt if it’s going to work. JP says the signs are pointing to him being in love with Ashley, and confirms he is open to proposing to her. Mom talks to Ashley next and tells her she is worried about JP getting his heart broken. Ashley assures her that she’s smitten with JP and that they have something very special. Ilene is thrilled. She gets everyone together and brings out a huge poster of JP at his bar mitzvah in which he has a mullet – this cracks everyone up. Ashley and JP have their goodbye at the door. He admits to the cameras that he’s afraid to say that he’s in love with her.
Back at the mansion, Ashley meets up with Chris Harrison to chat. They laugh about how she canceled the cocktail party because of Bentley the last time they were there. They discuss the hometown dates. Ashley tells him that Constantine’s date was the best one hands down. She describes the dates with Ames, saying he would be a great husband, and with Ben, who she noticed was very nervous. She describes Ben’s family as sophisticated and welcoming. Ashley says JP’s family was great, and his mother was a wonderful lady. She says the date went exactly as she hoped it would and she fell in love with them. Now, it’s time for Ashley to let one of the guys go.
Chris wishes the four guys the best and Ashley tells them she had a great week. She says tonight is not easy for her. Ashley offers roses to Ben, JP, and Constantine. Ames, looking stunned, realizes he’s come to the end of his journey. He says goodbye to the other men and then walks out with Ashley. They sit down, and she tells him she cares so much about him. He admits he’s not feeling very composed, but tells her it’s been a wonderful time he’ll always remember. He gets into the limo, still with that sweet smile on his face. Once inside, he shields his eyes with his hand and says he fell in love with someone who didn’t love him back.
Ashley tells the remaining guys that they are going to Fiji.
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Photo courtesy of ABC