Maybe they should do the hometown dates at a resort in Palm Springs every season of The Bachelorette?
It makes a lot more sense in real life for a person to actually visit the hometown of their partner before they get engaged, but for the purposes of entertaining us, tonight's "hometown dates" were absolutely delightful.
Brendan took Tayshia to a carnival. Zac recreated the spirit of NYC with cardboard cabs, New York pizza and a controversial bagel breakfast (Tayshia got roasted for choosing blueberry, but topping options included strawberries and gummy bears so how mad can you really get?). Ivan taught her how to prepare a Filipino meal, and Ben recreated Venice Beach, complete with a weird hat store.
Every single date was adorable and actually looked fun, and even the family visits were pretty chill, for the most part. The parents were skeptical but no one was even that dramatic. It was simply very pleasant, and even emotional when Ivan's brother arrived as a surprise.
The thing that truly threw us for a loop was the fact that Ben's hometown included his BFF Antonia, who turned out to be celeb chef and frequent Food Network judge (shoutout to Cutthroat Kitchen) Antonia Lofaso. We were not able to listen closely to anything anyone said from that point on because Antonia's presence was so confusing, but it appeared that she got Ben to admit (to her) that he was in love with Tayshia.
The problem was that he couldn't tell Tayshia that. He just froze up as they talked later, and he knew at the time that he blew it. He couldn't even muster any emotion when she sent him home, so while she cried and wished he could acknowledge in any way that any of this meant anything to him, he tried to come to terms with what just happened. He thought they were going to be together forever, despite his inability to not tell her how he felt.
"Maybe she loved me and she thought I didn't love her," he mused. "And if that's the case, I f--king blew it."
Well Ben, you're not wrong. Is Antonia single? Can you bring Antonia to the next season of Bachelor in Paradise?
Keep up with all the remaining men (and the men we've lost) below!
Season 16 of The Bachelorette concludes next Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC.