One of my favorite things about The Bachelor franchise are the misdirections. You see previews with your own eyes and hear the conversations with your own ears and are shocked by what they mean. Ah, but without full context, the evil genius producers know we are like naive sheep so easily led astray.
In this case, last week’s previews showed us Colton and Hannah B. (the “B” is for bad) meeting a family and we all assumed that meant she was making the Final Four and getting one of the impending hometown visits. Alas, the hometown and family were Colton’s rather than Hannah B.’s (the “B” is for bad).
If you’re playing chess rather than checkers, you may not have been fooled if you recalled that last season Arie took Krystal home to meet his parents in just the second episode and that she didn’t eventually get one of the coveted hometown visits. Ah, but the evil genius producers are really good at chess and made sure they could fool those not easily fooled by 1) using someone with enough viability to surprise us and 2) doing the misdirect close enough to the hometowns to make the clip with Colton’s family believable as Hannah B’s. (the “B” is for bad) hometown visit.
And look how they did us! Boom! Down goes Hanna B. (the “B” is for bad)! Colton took his Dad’s repeated advice to trust his gut and his trusting gut said he wasn’t feeling it, so her sent her home after their 1-on-1. By the way, did you see the guns on Colton’s dad? Even though I never trust my gut, I’m not arguing with with him.
Anyway, while I hate to analyze people’s feelings on these shows – Uh, who am I kidding LOL? That’s why we watch! – did any of us believe she was feeling it as much as she said she was? I always felt like she was trying to convince herself or that she was in love with the idea of love. In any case, her dismissal gave us an appearance of the The Bachelor Grim Reaper – the guy who grabs the Goodbye Girl’s luggage much to the shock and awe of the remaining girls. I love how when the women see that, they typically react with horror before silently thinking to themselves, “I’m glad that [choice of inappropriate word] is gone.” On The Bachelorette, the men usually start high-fiving right away.
All that said, misdirection took a back seat to deception in this episode as we were led to take sides in the Tayshia and Kirpa don’t think Caelynn and Cassie are here for the right reasons drama. [cue Eurythmics Would I Lie to You] The drama began with Colton getting advice from a pastoral Ben Higgins to ask each girl why they think they’re ready to say yes. Colton then screws that up by asking Tayshia if she thinks any of the other girls aren’t ready which “forced” her into the position of protecting Colton’s heart by trashing Caelynn. Protecting the guy you love is always the best reason for trashing the other girl he’s dating.
Although thrown by the accusation, Colton had a great home-cooking date with Tayshia, anyway, making a meal that My Daughter Cassandra said, “Looks like your kind of dinner, Dad.” Salmon, roasted veggies and copious amounts of white wine which appeared to be Chardonnay based on the color – hopefully an oaky one.
For her part, Caelynn managed to get out of the trash and survive her 1-on-1 with Colton which ended with a private concert at Red Rocks by someone I’ve actually heard of – country-pop singer Brett Young. Red Rocks is an amazing and legendary venue – I saw Fitz and the Tantrums there and toured the music museum – and Brett is on the Big Machine Label which was home to Taylor Swift until her most recent album.
Hannah G. (the “G” is for good), Cassie, Kirpa and Carlsbad Heather were left for the Group Date with only two roses available. Carlsbad Heather shockingly decided that she was the one who wasn’t ready and threw herself onto the exit train. I guess her first kiss wasn’t all that, after all? That left Colton to fall in the middle of the Kirpa-says-Cassie-is-here-for-the-wrong-reasons vs. Cassie-is-shocked-how-she-could-say-that great debate. It turns out that Kirpa was relying on info from the already departed Katie (last week) which makes the she-said she-said a she-said she-said-she-said. [cue Fleetwood Mac Rumors].
At some point during an awkward dinner date, Colton asked Hannah G. (the “G” is for good) to step outside where we were treated to the sounds of giggles. I got $20 that says what was really going on out there was Chris Harrison leading them in a risqué game of Mad Libs. It must have been a good game because when they came back Colton offers her one of the two remaining roses (as if Hannah G. (the “G” is for good) wasn’t going to get one).
And then more drama!!! Caelynn who couldn’t stand being lied about by Tayshia couldn’t stand Cassie being lied about by Kirpa and shows up to protect Colton’s heart by throwing Kirpa into the trash. Apparently, it was enough (or likely never really mattered) because Cassie got the last I’m-Going-to-My-Hometown Rose. Kirpa goes out saying that Colton is an adult and can make his own decisions despite the fact that she tried so hard to tell him what his decisions should be.
So, it’s official. The Hometown All-Stars are Tayshia, Caelynn, Cassie and Hannah G. (the “G” is for good). As always, we’ll both enjoy and endure skeptical moms, overly protective dads and hostile male siblings all so we can get rid of Tayshia and then Caelynn and then Cassie to get this thing down to Hannah G. (the “G” is for good). And the eventual irony of the evil genius producers deciding that either Caelynn or Cassie are now ready to be The Bachelorette.
Until the next time.
 This process of self-delusion is called The Ladder of Inference. Google it.
 Who eventually turned out to be the season’s villainess
 Or is it overly protective moms and skeptical dads?