Joey visits his final 4 women's hometowns on 'The Bachelor'

ByJennifer Matarese and Gina Sirico OTRC logo
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Joey and Maria talk about their relationship
Joey visits his final four women's hometowns on "The Bachelor."

It's finally time for hometown dates on "The Bachelor! Joey had to meet four dads in four different hometowns and some of the families did not make it easy on him, although they were all gracious.

Gina: I love the hometown dates! I think both Joey and the audience will get some more clarity about these women and their connections with Joey.

Kelsey's Hometown Date

Joey started in New Orleans with Kelsey. They set off on a bicycle built for two through a park of weeping willow trees. Kelsey said the last time she rode a tandem bike was actually with her mother, who passed away from cancer. They stood in the park and watched butterflies which Kelsey had told him reminded her of her mother. They enjoyed beignets as they watched a woman taking bridal photos. Could it be a sign? Kelsey hoped so!

Gina: Joey jokingly asked if there was any way to east beignets and not be messy and the answer is an emphatic no, Joey. It's part of their charm! Also, may I just note that New Orleans is a magical city that can bring out something very special in almost everyone. We'll see if it works its magic on Joey and Kelsey!

They waltzed through a band, danced a little, and then sat in a bar to talk about meeting her family. Joey asked Kelsey how she was doing since he could tell she felt emotional about bringing him there and her mom not being there. She said it would be hard for her father to go through this too without her mom by his side. "My mom would love Joey, I think that she would squeeze his face," Kelsey said.

Joey and Kelsey walked into her family's home right in the city of New Orleans where he met Matthew Kelsey's brother, Taylor her sister, and Mark her father. They told her family about their dates in Spain and Canada. Her dad took out a photo album of pictures of Kelsey's mom and they reminisced. Joey seemed genuinely excited to see her and get to know what Kelsey's relationship was like with her mother.

Her sister asked if there had been any hard times, and Kelsey said that they got along great, she just worries about the other women. Taylor just doesn't want to see her sister get heartbroken. Meantime, her dad asked Joey about dating several women. Joey said that he would be proud of how Kelsey has carried herself through this difficult process. Mark said he knew right away when Kelsey's mom was the right one, he asked Joey how he knew when he found the right person. Joey said he is aware of her heart and their feelings for each other make sense. "I felt reassured," Mark said. "I think the man deserving of Kelsey is the one that she picks."

Her dad checked in with her and Kelsey said that she shared everything about her mother with Joey. She said she wants someone as wonderful as her dad, and she thinks Joey could be it. "I think I love him," Kelsey said to her father. "I love you," Mark said. Aw, he really is such a fantastic dad! "I do hope she's engaged when she comes home," her father said. Wow! He got Dad's approval! "I would count myself lucky to be a part of this family," Joey said. Kelsey did not tell Joey she loved him yet.

Gina: The entire second half of this day had me in tears. This family is so sweet and clearly still hurting from the loss of Kelsey's beautiful mom. When you lose someone close to you, I believe that you're always looking for signs... that they're still with you, that you're on the right path forward, that you're going to be OK. From the butterflies everywhere to the approval from her dad, I think that Kelsey got the signs she needed to know she is where she's supposed to be. And for Joey, he got the signs he needed as well.

Rachel's Hometown Date

Joey's second stop was Rancho Cucamonga, California to meet Rachel's family. They couldn't go to Hawaii to see her family so her family flew there to meet Joey. Rachel went over a traditional Filipino greeting of respect with her family and then they went to a house party! It was like a Luau! I feel like her dad gave him some side-eye upon arrival. Her parents loved that he did the respectful greetings. Noela and Hakim put on a pig roast! It looked incredible. In Filipino culture, the suitor is supposed to eat the pig's ear and Joey obliged. He played with Rachel's little nephew and it was very sweet.

Gina: Joey clearly understood the assignment and he looked like he had fun doing it! He is all in on this family and the traditions and it's really sweet to see.

Hakim asked Rachel how she was doing and she said that although it's nontraditional, she has been having an amazing time with Joey. He seems very uncomfortable with the fact that his daughter could get engaged, and he also doesn't want her to be too hurt if it doesn't work out. "I feel very happy with him and I haven't felt this happy in a while," Rachel said. Her dad cried as she told him, "You're the number one man in my life." She has a wonderful loving family that's for sure.

Noela said that it was very unusual and they were a bit skeptical of Joey, so she asked him about his feelings. She said that she was hesitant. Then she cried as she said that she wished him the best but she wished her daughter the best more because she's been hurt in her past relationship. She cannot let go of the fact that he's dating three other women. "The verdict is still out," her mother said when it comes to her giving her blessing.

Bother of her parents are so worried. They don't want to see Rachel hurt again. It's making Joey very nervous. He said that he hopes they can find him suitable for their daughter. "If that time comes, you can call me man to man," Hakim said. "It wasn't a no, but it wasn't a yes," Joey said. Rachel cried a bit as Joey checked in with her, and she told him, "I'm falling in love with you." Joey said it felt great to hear that and it made him hopeful.

Gina: I saw more of the Rachel/Joey connection on this date and I loved that Joey told her that her family is amazing and he understands why she is so amazing. However, I feel like all the hesitation from the family and them telling her to guard her heart may be some not-so-subtle foreshadowing.

Daisy's Hometown Date

Next, Joey headed to Becker, Minnesota to meet Daisy's family. They met up at her family's old Christmas tree farm. It's where she grew up, but they don't own it anymore. But, they went for a carriage ride through the farm. They wrote on little paper ornaments their wishes, and it was very sweet! Daisy's friends met up with her at the farm and Joey got to meet them all. She shared with them all how amazing Joey made her feel about herself, even though she was self-conscious about her cochlear implant. She cried tears of joy and she even said that she hoped it was her at the end! "You've helped me see myself better, like in a different light, and I'm just so grateful for that," Daisy said.

Later, he met Daisy's mom Julie, father Brandon, older sister Josephine, younger brother Harrison, grandpa Ted, and grandma Gloria. Daisy told her family about their first one-on-one date and how she shared her health struggles with him. Then it was amazing, she heard her brother speak and it actually sounded like him to her for the first time since she got her implant. It was a special moment!

Gina: They are really trying to just make us cry this entire episode, aren't they? Or am I just in my feelings a lot? What a beautiful moment, though. I'm so happy that things continue to improve for Daisy. I can't imagine how surprising and gratifying that must have been for her.

Her mother told Joey they were skeptical because there were other women still in the picture, but she admitted that she could see their connection. Daisy said that she was scared because she hadn't had such strong feelings for someone in a long time. She shared to her father that she wants to tell Joey her feelings but she can't because she's afraid of getting hurt. "Shoot the shot," her dad told her. "It's not like you are going to lose your hearing over it." They shared a laugh and he told her "You have to decide if it's worth taking the risk." Her dad is really great! Another awesome family! Joey is going to have a really hard choice! As Daisy and Joey said goodbye, "I am falling in love with you and I have been falling in love with you," Daisy said. Joey beamed and he was overjoyed that she was willing to go for it wholeheartedly. "I feel the same way," Joey said back.

Gina: Daisy admitting to her dad that she was putting up a wall because she's afraid of being hurt was pretty significant. But overall, I feel like this went exactly how we thought it might go. Joey and Daisy furthered their connection, he fit right in with her family and they showed they could go the distance.

Maria's Hometown Date

Joey met up with Maria in Niagara Falls. It's beautifully scenic, especially in the fall when they filmed this. They went on The Maid of the Mist, put on some ponchos, and downed some maple whiskey. They got their own private ride on the boat. Once they were off the boat, Joey asked Maria why she nearly walked away. Maria said she couldn't believe she did that, but seeing him with the other women got the best of her. "If I didn't have fears with that, it wouldn't be real," Maria said. Joey said he wanted to feel confident that she wouldn't walk out on him again before he headed in to meet her family. "It's not going to end, it doesn't make sense to end," she said. He was also blown away that she had never brought a man home.

Gina: That Joey interview part got me. Not that she hadn't brought a guy home, but that he said he thought that meant she hadn't shown someone all of her, particularly her vulnerability. They may have been wearing ponchos, but at that moment, it felt like Maria should have been draped in a red flag for Joey.

Nick, her father, was so skeptical but you could see how much he and the rest of her family love her. They made stuffed peppers and Joey thought they were incredible. Right away, Nick told everyone at the table that he didn't want to see Maria get hurt. "I understand," Joey said. Maria caught up with her friend Brittany and they talked about how hot Joey is and how she is falling for him. Nick told Joey that after Maria's accident, they've been inseparable and that she is his "princess." Nick said that if he says that he's "falling for her" and saying the same thing to three other women he doesn't like that. Joey said he hasn't said it back to the other women because he doesn't think he can do so with four women remaining. Her dad said that if Maria chooses Joey he'd respect that and welcome him with open arms that that he'd be "even more than a son" because Maria is his life. "Put your guard down, give this a chance, he's a good guy," Nick said. Maria cried as she learned that Joey had asked for his blessing.

They sat and watched some videos of Maria as a little kid, and her dad shed some tears. It seemed like they had a great time with her family! Nick was tough on Joey, but really, he just wants what's best for Maria. Before Joey left, Maria started like she was about to tell Joey that she loved him but then just said that she appreciated him being there. "I don't know why I didn't say it. I just froze," Maria said. That aside... Joey met four wonderful families! What can he do now? This is a tough one!

Gina: Let's talk about the allure of Joey for a moment. In the beginning of that date, I was sure Maria's dad was going to put the kibosh on their relationship. But in the end, he won Nick over! As for Maria, I believe it was her friend who said she hoped Joey was seeing the whole Maria because that was the only way Maria was going to get what she wanted. Hesitating at the end and not admitting she was falling for him was proof that she wasn't showing all of her and she still had her guard up.

Rose Ceremony

The final four and Joey arrived at an airport hangar for the rose ceremony. Joey said, "The meaning of this rose is that we took a step forward in our relationship." As Joey picked up a rose, Maria asked Joey to talk. She told him that she didn't want to leave with regrets. So, she professed her love, as Joey took several deep breaths. Then he came back out to give the roses to his final three.

1) Daisy

2) Kelsey

3) Rachel

Shout out to Jesse Palmer who made a brief yet very important appearance to tell us that it was the "final rose tonight." He told Maria to take as much time as she needed to say her goodbyes. Joey then walked Maria out where he explained to her that it was a difficult decision. They had a bumpy road, but that he just couldn't get to the point where he could see a future. "It would be dishonest to move forward with you with the amount of doubts that I have," Joey said. "It's fine," Maria said. She got in the limo and said her biggest regret was not telling him that she loved him sooner.

Gina: We love a Jesse Palmer cameo! As for Maria, she said in that last interview that she showed him all of her and that if it wasn't enough, what more could she give? I get it. And I am guessing heartbreak like this is why she remains closed off when it comes to love.

In Mexico, Joey said he's falling in love with every woman that is there. He has some amazing dates with his final three. It's fantasy suites and the ASKN ladies and Leslie from Gerry's season of "The Golden Bachelor" were there to give them advice. Joey gets a note that says, "We need to talk." And Joey said, "It's like my worst nightmare, this could derail everything."

Don't miss new episodes of Joey's season of "The Bachelor" on Monday nights on ABC and streaming the next day on Hulu.

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