Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelorette' episode 8


We have made it through the infamous hometown dates and now it’s time for the exotic dates. You know what that means… that’s right, the fantasy suite card! Before anybody decides if they will forgo their individual rooms, however, let’s discuss this week. Actually let’s go back to last week first. Many of you asked why Ben stayed overnight with Ashley on his date. The reason he stayed was not exactly romantic: Ashley, Ben, and the crew stayed the night because Taroko is several hours away by car and after a very long day and night we didn’t want to put anybody through that travel. Ben and Ashley did not share a room, nor were they given the option to spend the night together. For that to have happened I would’ve had to whip up a fresh batch of fantasy suite cards, and I was otherwise detained. Now back to this week’s episode.

I say this every season and I mean it, I love hometown dates. Good or bad you can’t fake or hide your family. They are truly where you came from and partially who you really are. We started the week in Cumming, Georgia, to meet Constantine’s great Greek family. They started with some food at the family restaurant Giorgio’s. For the record the food is very good at the restaurant; our crew had lunch there and they loved it. The pizza that Ashley brought the guy at the end of the show was not what he ordered, but he liked it. He had no idea who Ashley was or that she didn’t work there. The important part was meeting the family, and Constantine’s family blew Ashley away — this is exactly what she’s looking for in her life. His mom had some very direct questions for Ashley and didn’t pull any punches in letting her know that her moving to Cumming is what would “enhance” her son’s life. Constantine had no idea his entire family was showing up. Everyone brought food and drink and then in a great Greek tradition his uncle started to make it “rain.” Constantine might have been considered the dark horse a few weeks ago but because of the last couple weeks he has definitely moved out of that role and into Ashley’s heart.

I think everybody was looking forward to the next hometown the most. Everybody wanted to see more about Ames, so off to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, we went. Although Ashley was also curious to find out where a guy like Ames came from, he really had the most to prove on his visit. He had to really blow Ashley away to raise their relationship to the level of the other contestants. His sister really put it best: If there’s passion and a spark then let there be a little fire. There is no fire between them. At least not one that’s burning nearly as hot as it is with the other guys. The part of their date I really wanted to talk about was the carriage ride. One minute I’m watching this romantic picnic, the next thing they’re on a horse drawn carriage ride along the river. Turns out carriage rides are a very popular activity in Chadds Ford and some friends of Ames’ family allowed them to use their carriage.

The next and easily most revealing hometown was with Ben in Sonoma, California. I’m very interested to hear everybody’s thoughts on Ben after this episode. Up to this point I know everybody liked him but I felt like in this episode and on this date you really got to know him on an intimate level. He revealed so much about himself and his feelings about his late father, and I’m interested to hear your thoughts on him now. Ashley is already taken by him but was really moved by his open, candid emotions. His dad’s death has really affected him but he seems to have turned that into a positive. He has definitely evolved as a man and has great perspective on his life now. Ben’s talk with his mom was incredibly moving. I think it’s great that our hometown date really seemed to bring the two of them closer together as well.

The final hometown date took us to New York to see JP. JP had made other plans outside but the forecast called for rain so he called an incredible ’80s audible, roller skating! Yes, it was kind of cheesy but it was also kind of awesome. Come on, who didn’t have flashbacks of their own “couples skate” moments? I for one was transported right back to White Rock skating rink in Dallas. (Kirsten if you’re out there somewhere, thanks for the memories.) Ashley hit it off with JP’s family. His mother made his favorite lasagna and apparently it’s amazing, not that they saved me a slice. After the four hometowns with four good men I think it was clear that Ashley really has a solid relationship building with Ben, JP and Constantine. Ames was just too far behind and Ashley felt more of a friendship than a budding romance with him. So Ashley is finally down to her final three and it’s off to Fiji for our final two weeks. As you saw in the previews there is a lot left, and did you hear what she said at the end of the teaser? “I fell in love… today marks the first day of my love story.” Hmmmm , just a couple weeks left in Ashley’s journey to find love. I want to share the dates of our final shows because it’s a little different this season. Next Monday, July 25, will be the exotic dates and we will be down to the final two men. Then on Sunday, July 31, ABC will air the Men Tell All special. Monday, August 1 will be the finale of  The Bachelorette. I look forward to all of you experiencing this season’s amazing finale.

More Bachelorette from EW:
The Bachelorette recap: Kin you dig it?

Ashley’s Bachelorette blog on

Comments (310 total) Add your comment
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  • Jessica

    Seriously, I don’t see how any normal human being can’t see that J.P. is so far and above the rest of the guys in every way. I am torn about him being the one however. I feel like J.P. deserves the absolute best. And the entire situation with Ashley falling so hard for Bentley in such an extremely short time combined with her severe insecurities, makes one wonder if J.P. doesn’t deserve better! I don’t think anyone would sign up if Constantine or Ben F were the next bachelor. But the line would be long for J.P.!!!!!

    • JP & Ashley!

      Wow, their date was amazingly hot and sweet at the same time. I love how when they talked about who would fall off their skates first, but it was also a clear metaphor for their relationship – who will fall in love first. They are the MOST real couple I have seen in a long time on this show – many of the main bach/lettes lately have been famemongers and clearly in it for the wrong reasons (Jake P., I’m talking about you & British dude) and really picked shallow people therefore showing how shallow they themselves are. No matter how badly the season started off, I have the say, 3 out of the 4 guys are just amazing. I find Constantine a bit sleazy & arrogant, big turn offs. However, I love the other three guys and I hope she’s very happy w/ JP b/c if she picked anyone else, she’s gonna have lots of ‘splaining to do=)

      • Jill

        I like both JP and Ben but I really think the chemistry between Ashley and Ben is more genuine. JP in my opinion would be better as The Bachelor but if she ends up picking him then Ben should be The next Bachelor. They both seem like great guys but there is something about Ben that standsout

      • DIDI

        Chris, Could you please give us the recipe for the lasagna? I could almost smell it in my living room…

    • Kim R

      I think all the guys seems like great guys but JP clearly has my vote. And let’s just talk about the kissing…JP & Constantine are more passionate in that regard. Ames just waited too long to jump in the pool & what is it with Ben & the little pecks he gives? haha I know I sound shallow but any honest woman will tell you kissing is important, especially if it’s bad. :) If she doesn’t pick JP I will be totally confused.

      • @Lydia

        Thanks, Lydia. I had the same thought..what’s with Ben’s little pecks? Seems to me the best kisser is JP by a mile. Didn’t Ashley already say that sometime earlier in the season? I’m usually half asleep for this show which is bout the way to watch it IMHO. I’m not looking for intellectual stimulation from totally trashy, guilty pleasure type of TV show. There is a place for this sort of thing in my life. But, really with the track record of the show, the premise being so silly, and the people that show up to be famous, etc (I could go on and on but it’s all been said probably better for years now)I won’t lose any sleep whoever Ashly picks. Not like I expect things to actually work out and really if she picks my favorite then he’s automatically not the next batchelor. So, hope she chooses Ben and his bad kisses and we wind up with JP as the next bachelor. I wouldn’t want to watch Ben or Constantine who bore the hell out of me. Ame’s would have been interesting but he’s gonna do that BP…now that’s a show I won’t be watching again. I draw the line there for myself. There is guilty pleasure and absurdity and then there is just bad TV and bad taste rolled up in trashiness that I wouldn’t even nap too.

    • mutton dressed as lamb

      JP is high maintenance. Can’t you see him struggling to keep his inner drama queen in check?

      • Nina

        THIS. I have no idea what it is, but I gotta agree with this 200%…I have a very bad feeling about his inner drama queen….

      • sue d.

        totally agree

      • Blake

        Yes. JP = anger problem.

      • mmk

        agree 100%, there’s something about JP that scares me. I think he’s trying really hard, but he would end up being jealous, controlling and having anger issues.

      • Bree

        i really think jp has an anger issue and that the only reason he wasnt pissed about the bentley thing s bc she told him about it first

      • Emily

        You don’t think this would have come out already, though…with everything that’s happened? What are people seeing that I’m not???

    • paula

      I so do not agree with you. I would love to see Ben F as the next bachelor. He has always been my favorite. He is cute, funny,sensitve and the most real. Again if he does not win I will be very disapointed if he is not the next bachelor.

      • Halfpintdynamite

        I so agree with you, Paula. I loved seeing the vulnerable Ben last night – boy, did he let us see deep into his soul. I would LOVE to see him as the next bachelor – take not, Chris Harrison! I really do think JP is the best for Ashley. He has maturity and balance, his mother asked major good questions and was really sweet, though I did love all the families on the 4 HT dates. There is absolutely no question in my mind that JP loves Ashley. We probably have a little bump in the road on the romantic date from what we were shown in the clips for next week’s show, but I believe it will all work out and JP is the last man standing. Can’t wait for that!

    • sue d.

      Ben F. is so sincere, genuine and quietly funny. I think if she does not pick him he would make an excellent bachelor, but I hope that Ashley picks him. JP is too cocky and in it to win it. He is competitive and seems too possessive.

      • cookiefan

        JP and Ashley have had a deep emotional and physical connection since he helped her get over Bentley BOTH TIMES. To say he is a drama queen is obviously way off the mark. He handled himself very well for someone who just spent an incredible date with Ashley to then have to witness the other guy not coming home from a date. If that doesn’t mess with your mind, I don’t know what will. The producers are being incredibly cruel. I do not blame JP for his reactions to her seemingly cold heartedness. I am more concerned about JP’s heart than Ashley’s heart. I care more about him getting hurt than her finding true love.

    • coco

      Ashley ends up with JP. Constantine leaves next week on his own before the date starts. Ryan makes a brief comeback appearance. I think Ashley and JP will make it. There was one kind of hot, sexy moment when they were in that cable car/thingy that is hard to fake.

      • Halfpintdynamite

        Oh, yeah, that cable train ride was hot, and even more so on the roof after that ride – whew. Wish I had found a man who loved me like that! Every time JP looks at Ashley, his feelings for her show in his eyes and on his face. Can’t wait for that Final Rose!!!! He’s the man for Ashley, I’m totally convinced of it. And Ben for the next Bachelor! Want to see more of him and have him find the love of his life – he’s so ready!

      • Amanda

        Why would you do this? If we want spoilers, we’ll go to other sites.

    • cookiefan

      You are right about JP. If Ashley picks Ben, I would love to see Ben’s reaction to the train ride that Ashley and JP took in Honk Kong. It is obvious that her passion with JP is far greater than her so called passion with Ben. Closed mouth kisses with Ben cannot compete with JP’s hot, sexy kisses. I would love to see JP as the next Bachelor!!!!

    • Dee

      Are you kidding me? The next Bachelor should most definitely be Ames…he’s such a sweetheart and I would love to see his ideas for some fun and escitingly creative dates…as he is already a world traveler…he’d bring the best experiences to watch. And besides, he does want/need someone to love and enjoy all those outings with him.

      • Sheila

        100% agree next bachelor should be Ames for all of those reasons. Plus he’s hot.

    • reerun5

      UH WRONG! There’s a whole huge Ben-fanclub where I live! Ben is AWESOME and sweet and sexy (and he comes with wine!) – don’t think he’s the best fit for Ashley (JP and Ash do seem MFEO) but if Ben were to be the next Bachelor, I think he would have a HUGE following, even if YOU are not watching!

    • decozy1

      I was just saying the same thing to my friend. JP was my pick from the very start. Who doesn’t love him!!! I agree with you totally….he deserves better than Ashley..bowlegs, and nasal whine! yuk!

  • franklee

    4 nice guys, 1 nice girl, but no sparks

    • Ida Red

      Amen to that!

  • Teresa

    Bless Ames’s heart. What a sweet guy. He was a class act. I hope he finds love in the future. My vote is for J.P. The “twins” so to speak, seem a little immature still.

    • LeonaMN

      That constant smile of Ames would be a turn off for me. He never stopped smiling until he got in the limosine. Who is the guy coming in the door? Ryan P and what is she going to do with him? JP or Ben is my choice.

      • Anne

        I totally agree about Ames. I thought he was very weird. I think she’s going to pick JP, but I think it will end up like Emily and Brad. I see a temper behind JP’s smile. I actually see no spark at all with any of the guys. I believe that whole scenerio with Bentley brought things down. I really like Ben. He’s the most genuine and I hope she doesn’t choose him so that he can be the next bachelor.

      • Brenda

        I think the guy coming through the door is Brad Womack,but it could be Bently.

      • Summer

        Ames is shy – I knew many guys like that and he just seems so sweet. I felt so bad for him – he was stunned and didn’t know how to react when he was let go. You rock Ames – hope you’re the next Bachelor or that you find love with someone who deserves you soon.

      • Monica

        JP smiles just too much. Seems not real sometimes. Yes – I agree with these ladies, he seemed like he was trying his best to suppress himself too much.

      • adriana

        Ames was by far the best guy, she’s really missing out. He is far more thoughtful and interesting than the others – though they all seem like more than average nice guys. But a life with Ames would always be interesting, and he would stay interesting. He should be the next bachelor.

    • DebraD

      I think that Ames is a sweetheart, high forehead and all. I hope the Bachelor Pad doesn’t eat him up alive. He is a class act! He is so smart, and just has a real sweet spirit about him. No chemistry with Ash, tho-certainly not his fault. And, I’m not into long hair on men-what would Ben look like with a haircut?!

    • DebraD

      The twins-you mean the long haired boys? I couldn’t keep them straight for the longest time. Ash keeps saying how Constantine was totally her type,physically, and yet she also likes JP, with his no-hair look. What gives? lol!

  • Jade

    Does anyone wonder what the 4 guys families thought about Ashley when they saw the episodes where she is Bentley this and Bentley that? They probably wonder if she really loves their son. (Which ever one she picks). Awkward!

    • Amy

      They wouldn’t have seen the Bentley rants until after the home town dates. Remember this is not airing in real time.

    • cookiefan

      I think JP is the BEST communicator of them all. Ben sat in a stupor when Ashley told the group about Bentley. That shows he withhold his emotions. It is obvious when they kiss – closed mouth and he hardly touches her.

  • sue d.

    I love the open and emotional Ben F. He let Ashley (and us) see what he is really feeling and that is not easy for him to do. He is funny, charming and very serious about carefully entering a relationship. He is not the Neanderthal that JP is. Me like her. Me want her. Me get her.

    • cookiefan

      Ben will withhold his feelings from Ashley. It took him 4 years to get over his father’s death. Those kind of people retreat into a cave when they get emotionally upset. That kind of behavior would drive Ashley batty. She will find him sullen and depressive.

  • Lisa

    Sorry, Chris, but Ben is not “The Bachelor” material. He has his moments, but we have higher standards than that. His hair would just be one constant irritant.. though, yes, I saw your recent bragging about the fab makeovers you do on these kiddies.

    The only one with any real STAR POWER was West Lee. He was dynamic, fun , spirited, smart, he could dance!, great wit, southern charm, and yes, even with little screen time, he was smokin’ hot sexy! When quizzed, he is the only one that stands out in my group of friends – the only one we could not obviously/easily shoot down. He has our votes!

    • CapricaEight

      Yeah, nice try, West.

      • Lisa

        Caprica – do you even know of whom I speak? He was hot, charming and dressed well!~ (see, I had forgotten a few items from all our recent Girl Talk!)
        Not too many lookers in Ashley’s final batch, though Ames would be incredibly unique/make great TV.

      • joe shmoe

        yeah, c’mon West, stop trying to make yourself look good. you were dark, dreary like a Chicago winter’s day. I was surprised but very very relieved when Ashley let you go. I agree with the person who wrote you had a very big skeleton in your closet.

    • etm

      The one who killed his wife?

      • Lisa

        WHOA etm!? What rock have you been hiding under? She had a history of seizures and depression and clearly, took her own life. Keep reading, knowledge is power!
        He handled it all with class, which was so very impressive, he found so much of the banal outlandish set-ups amusing (grateful for the smirks he revealed!).
        Go back and check out his ITM’s – hopefully someone has spliced together a WEST LEE reel on YouTube.

      • Sharon

        Who killed his wife?

      • etm

        I guess I’m under the same rock as you, Linda, if you think he had nothing to do with it. Why hasn’t he spolen to his wife’s family since her death? Why won’t he answer any of their questions regarding her death? West – Yum? Gross.

      • etm


    • Kat

      ARE YOU SERIOUS???? WEST????? Ga-ross!!!!!!! He was SUCH a nerd. I think I liked him the LEAST out of all the guys.

      • bev

        my thoughts exactly!! Lisa dear, are you serious??? West was completely dark, mysterious & not in a good way… he has a very large skeleton in his closet!!!! yikes girl what are you thinking!!

      • Amy

        West was bland but I liked Tim the drunk the least!! What about Mickey for Bachelor?

    • ghostlight

      Seriously, Harrison? “Many of you asked why Ben stayed overnight on his date with Ashley”? You don’t address the Bentley thing, but you answer THIS? By saying “it was a travel thing”? Could you BE any more useless?

    • wendie

      i kinda agree. west jumped out at me day one. tragic story.. great job.. sharp. actually too sharp to be the bachelor, really.

    • Pammie

      West should call Emily!!! They could relate to one another I think!

      • SuzetteH

        No doubt! I agree, the cool, sophisticated lawyer West, with charming, dainty Emily. Uh-huh, I can see that. However, I do think Emily has a “witchy” side to her we did not see.

    • LoliRyder

      I love Ben. He’s very genuine and I like his little funny comments. So I’m more than good if he were the next Bachelor.

    • Halfpintdynamite

      Oh, I agree with you about West Lee. He had my attention from the first episode – sharp, great face, still waters run deep. Definitely would like to see more of him.

    • Blake


    • SAM

      West was portrayed as pretty serious – he got gypped! He deserves a do-over since the producers gave him the sad-sack edit… Thought he was gorgeous, obviously kind… even with all those pensive shots of him in his intro (1st ep – remember that he got the extended hometown intro)

  • Truth

    Well, Chris, she better mean JP or this show is a complete sham and I wasted two months, watching what I think is a real love story between Ashley and JP. Please don’t disappoint the viewers again. Ashley and JP deserve to be happy and engaged and they better be or I’ll never watch this show again, it will be a joke.

    • SLB

      It already is a Joke and Ashley and JP will be broken up two months ATFR if i had any money on it.

      • Mellissa

        Of course, nothing will beat Dork Boy and Emily’s record of being broken up multiple times on ATFR.

      • SuzetteH

        Actually, I don’t think they will break up. I genuinely think both Ashley and JP have a very real spark. Do you notice that whenever they sit together or stand next to each other they always try to touch. She is not like that with anyone else except JP. She is also very touchy with Ben F. just not as much as with JP. However, she is not at all this way with any of the other men Just saying…

  • Ssprn

    Ok, I recognize that Aemes was alittle different but his “heart” was really special. I would definitely watch a season that had him as The Bachelor. He would be a refreshing change & respect the women.

    • Rochelle

      I agree. I’d love to see Ames as the Bachelor. A real romantic and has respect for women. Sooo positive!!!!

      • Jenn

        I agree, Ames is a sweetheart. And while I’d love to see him as the Bachelor, if the rumors are true, he is now pretty seriously involved with someone.

      • Sheree

        I agree with Rochelle, Ames would be a great one for the next Bachelor. He is a nice, sincere & respectful gentleman, that I am sure would make for a great Husband!

      • LHC

        I second/third/fourth the Ames as Bachelor suggestion. I would love to watch that season! He has some serious class, and great thoughts.

      • Halfpintdynamite

        One of the things I most loved about Ames was the way he phrased his thoughts. Really genuine, quite poetic I think, painted beautiful pictures with words. Go back and listen to his statement to Ashley when she sat with him after she had told all the guys that she had seen Bentley in Hong Kong. He has an amazing way with words. And, yes, he really is a gentleman. As for his looks, a couple of times he wore his hair down his forehead a little – that looked better. He has a very interesting face. I think he is a bit naive in the ways of women, as traveled as he is, but he will truly make some woman very happy. I’m sure he’ll be totally devoted to her and he does know how to treat women. Go, Ames!

      • Summer

        Ames is just awesome. He’s actually too intelligent for Ashley. Hope he finds someone great – he’s a real catch.

  • jessica

    she really couldn’t go wrong with any of the guys left. However, the sparks are flying between her and J.P. I think I’m going to enjo the ending :)

  • Kathi M Snider

    Unsure how Ames EVER made it as far as he did but did like his wink and his thoughts after as they were sitting on the bench. Credit due for being a total class act at what had to be a difficult time for him. Perhaps, they can remain friends on some level.

    • deb

      I think Ames made it so far because Ashley is a smart, educated woman and really was intriged by him. She was hoping the sparks would happen because she could see he was a really classy, sweet guy who would make a great husband and father. T
      he sparks just weren’t there.

  • Billy Jean

    Ames for next Bach! Such a catch! And Chris, I sense you’re trying to sell us on Ben F for next Bach, he would be soooooo boring! Has no emotion if you ask me, never even cracks a smile ever!

    No mention on ATFR, when will that be?

    • Sharon

      Good catch! There probably isn’t an ATFR because she more than likely has already broken up with whomever she picked. It has happened before….

      • dally

        It’s on the Sunday before the last show. The 31st, I think.

      • eileen

        Dally – the 31st is the Men Tell All. ATFR is after it’s all over…Felt bad for Ames…she would have had quite the life with him….

      • Mellissa

        ATFR always airs after the finale, except during Jason’s season, because of the old bait and switch he pulled. The MTA is the Sunday before the finale.

  • Billy Jean

    Constantine had the best family as far as I could tell! But could religious differences with him and with JP cause an issue? Leaving Ben F by default?
    Did anyone else catch in the preview that someone flies to Fiji for her? A previous contestant?

    • Bus Driver

      Ryan will fly to Fiji, in an effort to convince the producers he should be the next Bachelor. Oops, I mean, win Ashley back.

    • mutton dressed as lamb

      its Bentley

      • susela


      • Avid Skier

        That would be hilarious!!!!

    • Mellissa

      Yes, don’t you know a Jew can never marry anyone but another Jew? Rolls eyes (but only because I’m Jewish).

      • Kat

        LOL I’m with you. My entire family is Catholic, and my sister was very seriously involved with a Jewish guy when she was in her twenties. He was great. If they’d only been better suited for each other long-term, we’d have been happy to welcome him into the family, and I think his family would have been happy to welcome my sister to theirs. (And I’ve always thought that if I weren’t Catholic, I think I’d like being Jewish – I like all the ancient traditions and sense of community!)

      • cookiefan

        I’m all for increasing the size of the tribe. The more the merrier!!!

    • Sharon

      I think it’s Ryan..

  • Susie

    All I can say is, my heart belongs to Ames.

    Even though his last kiss with Ashley made them both look like bad kissers.

    • Carla Houston

      Ames is the bomb, but I don’t know what planet he was on. The only chemistry between him and Ashley was apparently in his head. I think he’s too much of a class act to be the next Bachelor, so I’m hoping he meets a nice (i.e., not skeezy) young lady on the Bachelor Pad and lives happily ever after. Hey, it could happen!

    • luckyduck4u

      Ames was really polite but yeah, that kiss was painfully bad and in mind sealed the deal for him to get the boot. I do think he dodged a bullet though. Ashley will choose someone more appropriate with her (low) standards.

    • aj

      Not only that, but when he said goodbye to Ashley on the bench they SHOOK HANDS…..OMG, this was too much for me. He was falling in love with her then they shook hands?? Painful, IMO

      • jen

        my man actually high fived me good night back when we first started dating. and this was AFTER we had established a goodbye kiss…lol. it was awkward

  • IB

    I really liked Ames (for myself, lol) but I just don’t feel that he was the right one for Ashley. They didn’t quite fit.
    I really liked JP’s hometown date. Those 2 are so cute together.
    Ben is a great guy but I just don’t think Ashley would fit into his life.

  • Tracelyn Cramer

    Aames…what a class act. Any woman would be fortunate to have him in her life. Please make him the next Bachelor! I like Ben but his sister was a bit intimidating. JP or Constantine all the way.

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