Jake Pavelka took the good guy act nationwide on Monday when he went on hometown dates with each of the four finalists to meet their families. What ensued was a two-hour The Bachelor episode packed with lots of drama including another early departure!
On the first hometown date, Gia showed Jake the big lights of the big city. After a boat ride around Manhattan, the two sat down for dinner with her family. Her mother showed typical Italian flare, peppering the pilot with pointed questions. Gia’s brother Erick backed up their mother’s protective stance when he half-jokingly threatened to break Jake’s legs if he hurt Gia. Their final verdict? Of course, they loved him and her step-father ended the night saying he hoped to see the dashing suitor again. Gia also left Jake with a parting last memory, kissing him on a stoop as they watched the taxis roll by.
Next up was one of the frontrunners Ali. Though she lives in San Francisco and got to show Jake around her current stomping grounds in the last episode, the bubbly blonde was excited to tour him around her childhood haunts in Williamstown, Mass. After a sweet frolic in the leaves, Jake took her to “meet” her recently passed grandmother by taking him through her grandmother’s home. “I feel really good that she would share something like that with me,” said a clearly touched Jake. “That meant a lot,” he told her as they left.
Next up, she introduced him to her mom, her older sister and her little brother. Ali’s mother Beth was obviously impressed with the pilot (and with how much her daughter was beaming) despite her reservations. “In terms of my blessing, you certainly have it,” she told him after their outside chat on the porch. Ali also gave Jake her full approval with a heartfelt fireside confession: “You are everything I’ve ever dreamt…I am so in this, my heart, everything. I want to be there in the end. I want it. I want you. If you asked me today, I would say ‘yes,’ I would.” Jake returned the compliment telling the cameras, “This could be the girl. This absolutely could be the girl.”
Off to Oregon next, Jake got to spend some more time with Tenley. A main stop was her dance studio she taught at for years. “My ex-husband never really saw the dance that was in my heart,” she revealed to Jake. “I was just kind of melting in the chair,” he said of the performance.
Breaking the tradition of the last two dates, it was the dad this time that took Jake aside. “You appeared to be a man of integrity,” her dad Robert said of watching Jake’s first go at finding reality love on The Bachelorette. “I admired you…I said I wish Tenley would meet that guy or a guy like that.” Robert then added, “Are you that guy…was that perception correct?” Jake defended his character, which seemed to put her father at ease. After a revealing talk with her mother, which helped appease his concern that Tenley was still too broken to get married again soon, Jake cleared the air once more with her dad to get his blessing if he does decide to propose to her. Jake got the permission he was seeking.
Last but not least, he jetted to Florida next to see the season’s villain Vienna. “I feel like I’ve never been in love before…I’ve never felt like this before,” she told her father. After laying down a few warnings, Vienna’s dad told Jake “I have a really good feeling about you.” Capping off the laugh-filled evening, the duo enjoyed a prolonged make-out session in her childhood bedroom.
“I have completely fallen for all four women for all different reasons,” Jake sad after returning to Los Angeles to prepare for the rose ceremony. Little did he know that he was in for a major surprise! He got a visit from a teary-eyed Ali who had to tell him that she was being forced to choose between staying in the competition for Jake’s heart and going back to work. “I haven’t made up my mind. The reason I’m here coming to you right now because I wanted to let you know and I’ll need you to help me,” she told him. “So what are you asking me?’ Jake asked as he tried to process the information. “Life is about minimizing your regrets and you have to weigh which one is going to be a bigger regret…so selfishly, I would say stay here and take a chance on me but I can’t right now guarantee you that I’m going to put a ring on your finger but I can’t look you in the eye and tell you I’m not going to.“ Ali retorted, “I guess at the rose ceremony I’ll let you know.”
“My mind was set that I was going to stay and then when I saw the other girls, I thought ‘I have to go’,” she told Jake as they had a final talk on a coach in an upstairs room. She had asked host Chris Harrison for additional time with Jake after the ladies lined up for the rose ceremony. “I’m so, so sorry,” Ali said as their time together wrapped up.
“I feel like you’re slipping right through my fingers and I don’t know how to stop you,” he told after walking to her in the limo.
Once back inside with the last three girls standing, he let them know the next and last trip for the group: St. Lucia!