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Helene Eksterowicz's 'Bachelor' Recap: Brad Womack hits Madawaska Maine For Hometown Dates


Episode eight of The Bachelor starts out with Brad visiting the chosen four’s hometowns and their wacky families. And everyone’s family is a little wacky. Let’s see how Brad does meeting the parents.

First stop: Chantal O. in Seattle

The first hometown date starts off with a trip to Seattle, WA to see Chantal O. and her family. The divorced Chantal  is The Bachelor Rose Ceremony. Photo: http://www.buddytv.com/articles/the-bachelor/the-bachelor-week-8-recap-39447.aspxanxious to see how Brad meshes with her family. Brad notes that he can see himself spending a lot of time in Seattle with her and traveling there a lot with her. Brad meets her dog “Boca” and two cats at her house (which is four streets away from her parents) as she notes they are a package deal. I hope Brad likes animals and isn’t allergic!

Next they take off to meet her family at their spacious mansion-like house. Chantal’s dad takes Brad aside to talk to him and talk about their humble beginnings, their lack of connections with their fathers, and if Chantal is ready to settle down. Chantal’s dad tells Brad that he has their blessing if he decides to wed Chantal while she talks to her gorgeous mom about her love for Brad. Her mom tells Chantal to follow her heart. Lastly, Brad and Chantal chat. He admits that he doesn’t want to leave her, feels honored to be accepted into their family, and sees a future with her.

Stop No. 2: Visiting Ashley in Madawaska, Maine

Next up, Brad jets off to Madawaska, ME to meet Ashley  and her fun loving family. Ashley is hoping to get closer to Brad and she first takes him to a small town restaurant where she used to work. Brad loves the small town atmosphere and hospitality. They try some French Canadian poutine (pronounced “putsin”),  which is a local dish of french fries with cheese and gravy. I can’t see six-pack Brad eating a lot of poutine, but he tries a bit of it with her. En route to her parents’ house, they pick up some Maine lobsters and some locally raised veggies at a farm stand. Ashley energetically walks into her parents’ home and he loves seeing her energy and enthusiasm. Ashley’s gracious family along with Brad dine on lobster together, then Ashley’s dad takes Brad away to talk to him.

Brad and her dad share a lighthearted conversation about Ashley’s independence, her dentistry aspirations, and Brad’s desire to have children someday. Brad worries if he can keep up with Ashley and he doesn’t want to hold her back professionally. However, Brad feels that he is already established and can possibly emotionally support her as she develops her career. Before he leaves, Brad notes that he really doesn’t want to (again) and notes that he will miss her.

Stop No. 3: A trip to the mortuary with Shawntel in CaliforniaFormer contestant Shawntel of 'The Bachelor.'  Photo: starcasm.net

Brad’s journey next takes him to Chico, CA to meet Shawntel and her family. While he’s there, Brad goes to explore Shawntel’s family’s mortuary business. Yikes!

With some sinister organ music playing, Brad meets her at her family’s funeral home. Shawntel is concerned that Brad may not be comfortable with her profession and family life (and so am I). She shows him around the crypts, asks him about his desire for cremation, shows him the crematory, and takes him into the prep room ultimately showing him what she does daily (embalming people).

Brad notes that he is fascinated by her embalming expertise, but expresses that he is starting to freak out a bit as she explains what exactly she does. (I’m personally glad that I ate dinner hours ago because it’s starting to gross me out as well!)

Anyway, while talking to Shawntel, Brad states that he doesn’t deal with death well, but he still seems impressed by her character and compassion for people. Shawntel feels that Brad seems very comfortable with her profession, but I’m not so sure.

Brad then meets Shawntel’s family, who have a very candid and open talk over dinner about their family business as well as their desire to have Shawntel take over the business. Shawntel tells them that Brad lives in Austin, she is in love with him and that her plans may change. Shawntel talks to her father and he is concerned that his plans for her to take over the family business may be in jeopardy due to this love affair. Despite his concerns, her dad ultimately gives his blessing to them and Shawntel tells Brad that she is in love with him outside her family’s house. Brad notes that he will miss her as he has said to the other two…how funny.

Final Destination: Charlotte, North Carolina with Emily

Last but not least, Brad heads off to Charlotte, NC to meet Emily- a girl that he is very smitten with, and her 5-year-old daughter Rikki. Emily notes that she hasn’t introduced her daughter to anyone that she has dated and explains to her daughter that she will meet a new “friend” of hers. Brad is very nervous to meet them and brings a small present for her to break the ice. Her daughter acts very shy around him and Brad acknowledges it’s an awkward situation. They share a picnic at the park all together, but Rikki seems uninterested and silent around Brad. They eventually fly a kite together and Rikki finally cracks a smile. Emily opens up and expresses that Brad is someone that she definitely wants in her and Rikki’s life, which is huge for Emily to disclose.

The trio then go off to Emily’s home where Rikki immediately runs upstairs to play and they share some fun times playing board games. Brad states that he can see himself in their world and having an instant family with Emily. They put Rikki to bed and then she and Brad talk downstairs on the sofa. Emily feels very comfortable and says that she can see herself falling in love with him. Emily wants to kiss Brad but Brad feels funny being intimate with her while her daughter is upstairs. He is being respectful and sweet, but Emily seems to be wanting more. Brad certainly seems for the first time uncomfortable with the situation. Emily seems disappointed and ultimately takes charge of the situation and leans in to kiss him at the door. Brad notes that he is not uncomfortable anymore and acknowledges that kissing her feels so perfect.


The Rose Ceremony

After the hometown dates, Brad talks with Chris Harrison about his experiences with the girls and their families. Brad notes that he has strong feelings for Chantal, loves Ashley’s enthusiasm and her family, was freaked out by Shawntel’s profession but still really admires and likes her, and was overjoyed that he met Emily’s daughter and loved their time together. Chris brings up that Ashley hasn’t opened up and expressed her “love” for him like the others have, but Brad seems ok with that.

At the rose ceremony, Brad thanks the girls for opening up their hearts to him as well as the gracious hospitality of their families. He then gets down to business and picks Ashley first (the one who hasn’t said “I love you”), Emily (the frontrunner), and lastly Chantal (who is wearing a very unflattering matronly dress, in my opinion). Brad expresses to Shawntel that he doesn’t feel the same love for her like she does for him. Shawntel starts to get emotional and Brad remarks to her that she will find a great guy, which I believe as well. Shawntel ends up leaving on a very classy note.

Tune in next week as Brad takes the final three girls to South Africa for some safari adventures and romance!



Ex-Bachelor star and winner Helene Eksterowicz is also a co-writer of a dating/self help book called "Nobody’s Perfect" featured on Amazon.com  and Barnes and Noble  a few years ago. Drawing from her reality show dating experience, her background in psychology, and her belief in true love and relationships, Helene is setting out to bring some love back to Philly and help spotlight some eligible singles in order to hopefully find some love matches for others.

You can contact Helene at helene@philly2philly.com

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