Hello Everyone! I'm sure you're all still reeling from Monday night's turn of events. Who would have thought Ali of all people would give up her chance at love with Jake for her job at Facebook!? Looks like she won't be changing her status to "In a Relationship with Jake Pavelka"...but we'll talk more about this later! Let's get right to the hometown dates with the final four!
The first date was with Gia in New York City, one of the greatest cities in the world. I thought the boat ride around NYC was cute and they had a few nice moments by taking some kissy faced pics and checking out the Statue of Liberty. However, Gia's reluctance to talk about past bad relationships doesn't sit well with someone like Jake, who "doesn't let the sun go down with a problem." Hopefully, she will let her guard down around the family and let Jake see what she is really all about.
The two of them head to a restaurant to meet Gia's family. Once I got past Gia's mother's heavy New York accent (I was gagging and cringing as I heard her talk!!), we got to see her talk to Jake and hear him gush about how amazing Gia is and how he fallen for her. I wonder how much of that is him caught up in her smoking hot looks over her inner beauty....
The date ends with the two of them sitting on a stoop, watching cabs drive by and Jake telling Gia that he really liked her family and him gushing to the camera about how he "loves the girl". Not a bad start to the week, but I have no doubt that the best is yet to come. Let's call a spade a spade...who in their right mind would go have a hometown date in NYC and sit on a freaking stoop!? At the very least, sit on the stoop near the Plaza hotel or take a carriage ride through Central Park on the way back to the apartment. Who over at ABC created the budget for this episode!? I hope they splurge on the overnight dates...
The next hometown date is with Ali in Williamstown, Massachussets. I will admit that I have been looking forward to this particular date for a while. We all know that Jake and Ali have a strong connection that can only improve with a great meeting with the parents. Ali surprised me (and no doubt everyone else) by taking Jake to her late grandmother's house to 'meet' her. Her story about how she came to stay with her grandmother after she became ill was touching and showed us how strong her connection is with Jake. I didn't doubt for a minute that those two appeared to be a couple who are falling in love and creating some lasting memories.
Jake and Ali spending time with her family also showed the connection he was developing with her family. Ali's mother searching on Google for details about him was a HUGE plus in my book! Gotta love a web savvy lady! I loved the time Jake spent with her Ali's mother and how he spoke to her about never wanting to propose to Ali without her mother's consent, which she gave to him wholeheartedly. For those of you in the crowd keeping score, the marriage chat didn't happen with Gia's family. Interesting and shocking? Not really. We know he likes Gia, but it's obvious that connection is not as strong as the ones he has with the three other ladies.
Jake doesn't have to say anything to Ali...their body language and serious makeout session tells me that he has fallen for her and wants to see where the rest of this journey takes them. The other dates will have a tough act to follow.
After the date with Ali, Jake heads to Newburg, Oregon for a hometown date with Tenley. Jake gushed about missing Tenley like crazy and the connection between them is obvious as they are reunited. Tenley looks amazing as always and beaming as she takes Jake on a ride down memory lane, sharing her favourite childhood memories. She wants to learn more about Jake and asks him about what parts his family plays in his life. Jake tells her that he gets good advice from his parents. Tenley wants him to take the reins in life and plan as a 'we', not as an individual.
Tenley takes Jake to the ballet studio she danced in and surprises him with a dance she choreographed especially for him. Jake is obviously affected by the dance and by Tenley, as he mentions how he is melting in his seat watching her dance. It's a passionate display of the affection and emotions Tenley is feeling for Jake. Secretly, I am thinking that this girl would make a smoking hot (and angelic!) Pussycat Doll! Again...stranger things have happened.
After the dance, Tenley and Jake go to meet the family and Tenley is beaming with happiness and pride. Early into the meeting, Jake and Tenley's father go off for a chat. Jake is told that the most painful thing her father has ever had to experience was watching his daughter go through the pain of the end of her marriage. Afterwards, Jake talks to Tenley's mother, who says that Tenley will have emotional spills for a while over her ex and what he did to her. Her mother also added that her daughter is amazing...we think Jake already knows that too!
While talking to Tenley's father, Jake asks for permission to marry his daughter. Not only does he get his blessing, he also gets a huge hug from 'dad'...awwww!!! So cute. No doubt they would have tons of fun together at Thanksgiving fighting over the wishbone and cheering on their favourite team during the Super Bowl.
Tenley ends the evening by saying her heart feels safe and that she is falling in love with Jake. Sweetie, the boy is falling in love with you too! :)
The last hometown date is with Vienna in Florida. Don't ask me what city it was...I called it a swamp and a bayou, so let's leave it at that! I felt like I watching a scene from Cape Fear...how did Vienna think this would be a romantic setting for Jake to 'fall for her'!?!? The only place Jake would be falling was out of the boat and into the mouth of an alligator.
Jake tried to get more details from Vienna about her exes while rolling down the river in the boat and learns that her dad didn't like her exes from the past. She also wishes him good luck in dealing with her dad...nice setup to the family meeting!
OK...skipping right to the redneck hillbilly family and the creepy father - good old Vinnie! He's no Vinnie Barbarino, that's for sure. I would sleep with one eye open around this dude on a hunting trip in the woods!! I loved how he told Jake that he needs to treat her like a princess and that she would make a good home for him. Ummm...ya. In the trailer park! Sorry, but I wasn't feeling it. I'm sure that he's a nice person, but the bond he seems to have with Vienna creeped me out, and I don't see Jake having warm and fuzzy family time with this clan.
Did anyone else get a kick from the banjo music playing in the background during the hometown date? I was howling! ABC is definitely playing up the image of the redneck Brady Bunch and knows the fans will eat it up. I was bummed they didn't play a bluegrass version of "On The Wings of Love". I would definitely looked that up later on YouTube!! ;)
My absolute favourite scene was the hot little makeout session that was interrupted by Daddy Dearest. Gotta love Vienna's request to give them a few more minutes alone. I'm surprised he didn't toss a few Trojans at them. Unbelievable. OK...moving right along...that hometown visit has already received more attention that necessary!
OK...let's jump right into the big bombshell at the hotel with Jake and Ali. Ali comes to Jake's hotel room, crying about the fact that she has to get back to her job or risk being fired. It's obvious that she is torn about the situation, but she is clearly looking for Jake to give her a sign that she is going to be there to the end, which of course he isn't able to do. Did they steal a few pages from last season's showdown between Ed and Jillian! Come on ABC...get a little more original here. We know the girl is one of Jake's favourites and would have most likely been in the final 2. Was it really necessary to throw in the ultimatum from work and put Jake in the middle of it?
I have spoken to some of my friends about this situation and here's what we have boiled it down to: we know these girls need to clear time from work to be on the show for at least 6 weeks, we know they are not supposed to have any type of contact with anything from home (and that means NO cell phones! Who frisks these girls when they enter the house and checks for contraband electronics!? They suck at their job!!). We also know that they need to understand that if they want to be there until the end, they need to make a serious investment and commitment to the process, both in time and emotionally.
Having said that, was this Ali's way of trying to get Jake to put everything on the line upfront to assure her that the risk of losing her job is worth it? I think probably not, but the girl did play up the drama a bit too much. We know Jake cares about her and is falling hard for her. We also know that contractually, he can't say anything to anyone in advance of the final rose ceremony. I do think he laid his feelings and intentions out pretty well and flat out told her that she was not in jeopardy of going home that night. It all boils down to whether or not sacrificing a career is worth it for getting the boy in the end.
In the end, Facebook won out and Ali left her chance with Jake at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I thought that after she heard Jake pour out his heart to her and tell her that she wasn't on the line that night that she would stay. For the record, I have no doubt that Gia would have been sent packing. The kiss at the limo was nice and showed me that there is a ton of emotion there, but no goodbye from Jake to Ali as he closed the door told me more than anything that he was pissed off about what she did and that he was moving on.
I am very curious to see what happens next week as they head to St. Lucia for some fun, sun and fantasy suite action! I am also very curious to hear what Ali has to say to Jake during that phone call. Will she pull a Swiderski and try to come back? Will Jake pull a Mesnick and try to win Ali back? Will the cast of Glee serenade the 3 couples over dinner? Only time will tell! Tune in next week for another heaping portion of dishin' and hissin'! Until next time...stay warm and out of trouble!! :)