Monday night's episode of The Bachelor carried more weight than usual. Hunky single Ben Higgins began the evening with his top six prospective partners, but narrowed the race down to just four women -- the remainder of whom will be taking him home to meet their families next week.
Among the finalists: Dallas' JoJo Fletcher, which presumably means ABC's signature dating show will soon be traveling straight to the Heart of Texas, y'all! (Reality Steve says so, too.)
Last week, Higgins said goodbye to this season's most-hated contestant, Olivia Caridi, which made the house much less awkward but no less dramatic. During week seven, the bachelor took his top picks to Warsaw, Indiana, where he's from, to see the sites -- you know, where his first kiss took place, his high school, his parents' house.
This scenario would be obscenely romantic for any exclusive boyfriend-girlfriend couple, but for hustler Higgins, emotions bordered on disaster.
If only I could show you how many tears were shed.
Oh wait, I can:
"This is all getting very personal," The Bachelor said at one point, as if that weren't blatantly obvious.
Without the distraction of Caridi, Dallas' hometown gal Fletcher had a chance to shine. Higgins took her on a day trip to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, in the Windy City where they played some ball in matching Mr. and Mrs. Higgins jerseys. Anyone else nauseous?
The two had dinner on the field under the stadium lights, and for a moment it seemed like things were taking a turn for the worse. Higgins quizzed Fletcher about why she couldn't give up being "scared" about the whole dating-on-reality-TV-and-all-the-while-living-with-his-other-girlfriends thing. Because clearly it's a cake walk.
But after Fletcher pleaded her case -- "I'm really trying," she said -- the two locked lips and lived happily ever after for the evening.
"I'm more Team Ben than I've ever been," our Dallas gal said.
Of course, jealousy ran rampant throughout the house during the rest of the episode. Women were crying because Higgins handpicked flight attendant Lauren Bushnell for the first solo date. Then Bachelor veteran Becca Tilley and Boston resident Caila Quinn were upset because mom Amanda Stanton garnered the group date rose.
Twin Emily Ferguson ugly-cried twice -- once happily when she found out she would be on the last private date with Higgins, and then later less happily when he sent her packing. Tilley was also cut from the crop, which led some to speculate she might be the next Bachelorette. Third time's a charm?
Next week, Higgins travels to the top four women's hometowns to meet their families. Big D, however, may stand for "big drama" if the previews are any indication. Either way, we're still Team JoJo!