Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelor': Hometown visits and Andi's 'fantasy suite turned into a nightmare'

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I hope you are okay after two straight nights of Bachelor-palooza. Monday night was our regularly scheduled show with hometown dates, and Tuesday the final three took off for exotic overnight dates that quickly turned into the much-discussed “nightmare” date for Andi. We’ll obviously go in depth on that in a bit — but first, it was time to meet the families.

We started off the week in Kansas City with Nikki’s family. This was easily the easiest and smoothest stop of all four hometowns. They had a great time during the day and the barbecue at Oklahoma Joe’s was top notch, as always. Nikki’s family quickly embraced Juan Pablo and gave both of them their blessing to do whatever seems right at the end of the show. Really the only thing worth noting here is Nikki still hasn’t told Juan Pablo she loves him.

The next stop was Andi’s house and family in Atlanta. I’m pretty sure that by the time you’re reading this, Andi’s dad, Hy, might have his own show. I loved his response to Juan Pablo asking for his blessing to marry his daughter. I have a little girl myself and I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how I would’ve handled the situation as well. For the record, Juan Pablo also appreciated Hy’s candid response. The thing that stood out to me were the comments Andi and her sister made. Andi mentioned that she had a physical attraction, but that she’s trying to dig deeper. She went on to say she’s not there yet. Andi’s sister also had some interesting insight in saying she didn’t see it. Andi came close to telling Juan Pablo she was falling for him, but she didn’t.

Renee’s hometown was the next stop: Sarasota, Florida. The date started off with Renee reuniting with her son, Ben. It was beautiful to see how excited she was to see him and interesting to see the dynamic when he got to meet Juan Pablo. They then settled in to see Ben play a little baseball. I don’t know if there were any pro scouts watching our show, but this kid can flat-out play ball. Once the game was over, it was time to meet Renee’s family. Much like Andi’s family, Renee’s mom was skeptical. I loved her line, “We can love our pets, but you need to be in love.” Renee admitted she loved Juan Pablo but, like the other women, didn’t feel comfortable saying it to Juan Pablo.

Needless to say, Clare’s family provided the most drama. Before meeting her family though, she opened up more about her dad. It was really an incredible story and he sounds like he was an amazing man and handled a tragic situation with grace and wisdom. Things seemed to be going pretty smoothly until Clare’s sister Laura jumped in and really made things awkward for Clare. Laura was incredibly defensive and protective of her momma. The odd thing is Clare just seemed confused by it all and wasn’t quite sure how to handle it. Juan Pablo came in and really smoothed the situation over and handled Laura and Clare’s mom with grace and ease. He did a good job of turning an awkward situation into a positive hometown visit.

We all headed back to Miami for the rose ceremony and that’s where Juan Pablo said goodbye to Renee. I know it was tough for Juan Pablo to say goodbye — and from what I saw on Twitter last night, she will be missed by all of you as well. Renee is an incredibly sweet woman and was very much loved by our whole crew. She demonstrated her class by the way she handled saying goodbye to Juan Pablo.

The three women and Juan Pablo left Miami and jetted off to the beautiful island of St. Lucia. This is the second time we’ve been on this island. This is also where we traveled for Jake’s overnight dates and eventual proposal to Vienna. Despite the bad karma, we came back looking to set the universe right. In all seriousness this is easily one of my favorite islands in the Caribbean. We’ve stayed in several resorts in and around this island but my favorite is Sugar Beach resort. We stayed here before and I loved it but was wondering if it would live up to my memory. Glad to say it’s as good as ever and has actually gotten better. We stay in many beautiful resorts around the world but I have to say I’ll be going back here on my own time as soon as I can.

Obviously the talk of this episode is centered around the “nightmare” known as Andi’s overnight date. But before we talk about Andi’s premature departure, I want to note how well the other two dates went with Clare and Nikki. This might be the latest we’ve gone in a season without anybody telling our Bachelor that they love him, but the ladies made up for that this week. Both Clare and Nikki told Juan Pablo that they love him.

While these two were professing their love, Andi was looking for the escape hatch from the fantasy suite. None of us on the crew expected this overnight date to go so wrong. When they went in the suite that night and we all left, things were fine and Andi was looking forward to spending some time getting to know Juan Pablo better. But when we talked to her the next day, she told us it was a “nightmare.”

Juan Pablo, on the other hand, thought things went swimmingly well and couldn’t have been happier. It’s amazing that two people could walk out of the same situation and have such differing views. Nobody but these two will ever really know what was said and what went down that night, but Andi was really bothered by it. She was just frustrated and tired of Juan Pablo, in her mind, not making an effort to really get to know or even care about her and her feelings. There was no question Andi was leaving. I learned that she was taking off before I sat down with Juan Pablo for our deliberation. Andi made a video message, but what she really wanted to see him in person and tell him everything she was feeling. So she showed up right before the rose ceremony to talk to him. The talk was interesting because Andi did a good job of articulating her feelings, but it just didn’t seem to phase or move Juan Pablo and that frustrated Andi even more. In the end it didn’t much matter because she was leaving and Juan Pablo was moving on. I’ll be sitting down with Andi next week during the “Women Tell All” and I can’t wait to get her story now hat she’s had some time to gain some perspective. IT was important after Andi left to hold a rose ceremony to let Clare and Nikki know what happened but to also make sure that they realize this is a two-way street.

So now we’re down to our final two, Clare and Nikki. But before we get to the finale, it’s time for the “Women Tell All” special. This reunion promises to be even more explosive than any we’ve had before. How do the girls feel about Juan Pablo now? What really happened in the fantasy suite with Andi? And how will Juan Pablo respond to all the women he’s let go so far? There will be fights, there will be tears, and there will be answers to all the questions you’ve been dying to ask.

We’ll see you there.

More Bachelor from EW:
Bachelor overnight dates recap: I’m okay, you’re okay


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