Next stop! Bachelor and Bachelorette fans know hometown dates can make or break a couple during the season. The drama, tears and intimacy can get very real during the whirlwind love stories, but what about the actual family visits? Do they really live in the beautiful houses we see on TV? Are all of the girls’ parents truly amazing chefs? We have all the dirt on hometown dates below!
Are Bachelor Hometown Dates at Real Houses?
If the Bachelor contestants’ family homes feel a little *too* perfect to be real, they probably are. While some contestants do bring their dream guy to their parents’ real house, others opt to borrow a friend, neighbor or relative’s house or even have production rent a place for the special meeting.
“I have heard that some people will do their hometown in a different house,” former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman revealed to HuffPo in 2016. “Like an uncle’s house or a rich grandfather’s house.”
In 2014, a Bachelor Australia contestant named Lisa Hyde showed the lead around her “parents’” waterfront mansion but later admitted that it was a rental. Don’t worry, though … she didn’t lie to the Bachelor!
“Blake was very much AWARE that it wasn’t our home, but due to reality TV purposes (production company) Shine asked us to go along with it,” she said on Facebook after people began questioning her.
The reasons might not just be because a family’s house isn’t big enough. In this contestant’s case, it was because filming would give away spoilers. “Filming took place two months before it was aired, and it was impossible to keep it private due to where they live,” she said of her parents’ real home.
On Rachel Lindsay‘s season, fans became suspicious when two of her suitors’ homes had the same decorations. “WHAT!! Those are the same vases from Eric’s family’s hotel room!” said one astute Twitter user. It seems like even when they do go to the family’s actual home, they still do a little staging to make the place more TV-friendly.
Do the Contestants’ Families Cook for the Bachelor?
Often, the leading guy or gal enjoys a nice home-cooked meal while visiting his contestants’ families. But are those dinners actually made with love? “They ask you, do you want your mom and dad to cook something?” Andi explained, but not every family has a great chef on deck. “Like, I remember Nikki [Ferrell, on Juan Pablo Galavis’ season] had her mom cook this big roast. And I’m like, ‘Uhhh, my mom doesn’t really cook.’”
In that case, they can choose to have the visit catered, courtesy of the production team. “My mom talked to one of the producers, and she wanted to do a big sushi love boat,” Andi revealed. While production totally would have let her do it, Andi was against the idea (though she’s had second thoughts after how the season ended).
Do Contestants Prep Their Family for the Hometowns?
Contestants always seem super emotional when they arrive at their homes with their new love interest, and that’s because they haven’t spoken to their family in months since filming began. And yes, that means they didn’t get to call to chat with their family about their new potential boo or to prep them about what to say to him!
“The weird part about the hometowns is that … your family, you haven’t seen them in a while,” said Andi. “Next thing you know, I’m bringing a guy, so it’s weird for me but even more weird for the family.”
To discuss things like food and location, the contestants have to use the production team as a messenger and don’t actually speak directly to their fam. Knowing that makes it easier to understand why the parents are always so hesitant to accept the possibility of a proposal … because the contestants only have a short amount of time to try to explain why they like the Bachelor or Bachelorette so much!