It's week seven of The Bachelorette, which means things are getting serious. Dallas native JoJo Fletcher took things to the next level with four men Monday by visiting their hometowns and their families.
Avid watchers know this can be a make-or-break moment in any reality television couple's journey — it's the closest inkling of real life each gets before they have to enter the dreaded post-show world most of us call, ehem, reality.
Getting families involved is the hard-hitting circumstance when most contestants realize their actions affect more than just themselves. Talk about stress, it can make people do uncanny things. Take for example, JoJo's mom, who won the Internet during the last season of The Bachelor by chugging bubbly straight from the bottle.
JoJo's mom FTW!
When it comes to hometowns, there's always unpredictability and usually — say it with it me — drama. So we ranked Monday's four dates by how big of a hot mess they were. In order from surpringly put together to white girl wasted, they were ...
Hometown: Burnett, Texas
"It feels so good to be back in Texas," Fletcher said on her way to meet Luke Pell, the sexy and sensual war veteran.
Pell introduced JoJo not only to his immediate family — his father, mother and sister — but also his extended family, which consisted of 50 of his closest friends. They gathered in Pell's backyard for picnic and some house-smoked barbecue, cooked by pop.
You think that's picturesque? Pell then took Fletcher for a horseback ride at sunset to a remote couch built of hay bales, where he told her in so many words he was falling for her. Except, the cute AF country boy didn't use those exactly words, which almost hurt him in the long run.
Hometown: Highland Ranch, Colo.
Though Chase McNary has long been an underdog, he blossomed to viewers Monday night as one of the most deserving contestants this season.
McNary took Fletcher to meet his family in two sittings — first his dad, then his mom and the rest of the family. You see, McNary grew up in a divorced household, which tore him apart as a kid. He confronted his father on camera about why his first marriage had been so tumultuous. Spoiler alert: Out came the real talk.
"I started climbing corporate ladder and I was gone way too much, so I carry a lot of guilt from that," his dad said. "I feel really bad about what happened. I want to make darn sure that you don't ever let that happen in your life."
The date ended with McNary dropping an "I'm falling in love with you," and to be honest, the date could not have gone more perfectly. The reason it comes second on this list is because of how many people couldn't handle the fact McNary's staircase didn't have a railing. Deal breaker?
Hometown: Chico, Calif.
If you follow this column it shouldn't be a surprise that NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not a star in Monday night's episode of The Bachelorette, even though his brother is one of the final contestants. As was revealed last week, Jordan Rodgers and his super famous sibling are not in cahoots. And in fact, it's a sore subject thank you very much.
But that didn't stop JoJo from bringing it up to his family.
After Rodgers took her on a walk-through of his high school — "Where it all began," as he described it (or as many on Twitter said, it all ended) — Fletcher made a point to bring Aaron up. She went as far as to discuss him with Rodgers' eldest brother, Luke, who was rightfully awkward about disclosing such personal information on national television.
No one is sure why exactly the Green Bay Packer isn't part of the picture anymore, but it didn't matter to JoJo.
"I know [Jordan] and I know what he is to me," Fletcher declared after dinner.
"He's nobody's brother. He's a man I'm falling in love with and I'm crazy about and comes from a family of so much love."
And may also have a hook up on tickets to the next Super Bowl. Maybe?
Hometown: St. Augustine, Fla.
Here's a summary of Fletcher's trip to Florida to see Robby Hayes' family (and I'm paraphrasing here):
Fletcher: "Hey Robby, what's the deal with your long-term ex-girlfriend whom you left less than three months before The Bachelorette started filming?"
Hayes: "Nothing, you'll never have to hear about her again, I promise."
Robby's mom: "So there are rumors you left your ex-girlfriend for The Bachelorette."
Hayes' charmingly tan family was more than welcoming of Fletcher, who won them over with her upbeat attitude. But their quintessential "life's a beach" plastic wine glasses were no match for the storm Hayes' love life brought to shore. In fact, the hopeful bachelor interrupted conversation time between Fletcher and his sisters to talk about the accusations.
He pleaded nothing would come in the way of their love — "My relationship with Hope, who is my ex, was over nine months before it actually ended," Hayes said.
Was it enough to convince JoJo he should stay?
We don't in fact know. Fletcher walked into the final rose ceremony in a stunningly tight blue dress, mind made up to cut Texan sweetheart Pell.
But her course changed direction after Pell pulled her aside to lay a big, fat "I'm falling in love with you" on her. Cue a minor panic attack on JoJo's part.
The Bachelorette will continue next week with a presumably dramatic double feature. On July 25, the show will air a conclusion to Monday's episode, and on Tuesday, July 26, prepare the popcorn for this season's Men Tell All reunion special.