Visiting The Bachelor's hometown in Indiana

Posted at 12:14 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 12:14:07-05

The Bachelor is known for its lavish dates.

But the show blew that stereotype to bits Monday night when Bachelor Ben Higgins took single mom-of-two Amanda to McDonald’s – where they worked the drive-thru as part of the date.

Every woman’s dream, right?

The whole episode took place in Warsaw, Indiana, where Ben grew up. Shockingly, no one proclaimed Warsaw (population 14,000) as “the perfect place to fall in love,” but it looked perfectly charming—especially Ben’s parents’ beautiful lake house.

Frontrunner Lauren B. (the last standing Lauren) got the first one-on-one date, and the other five women were upset because Ben asked Lauren out in person, rather than delivering a typical date card through host Chris Harrison.

Ben took Lauren on a tour of his hometown, pointing out his elementary school, church and where he had his first kiss. Then they swung by a youth club where Ben once worked, and played basketball with the kids. Two players from the Indiana Pacers showed up, too. Because that happens every day.

After a night out at Ben’s favorite hometown bar, Lauren says she’s not in love with Ben, The Bachelor.

“I’m in love with Ben from Warsaw, Indiana,” she said.

I thought they were the same thing?

Next up was a one-on-one with JoJo, whose date card informed her she was going to the Windy City. Is that Chicago? some of the women wondered aloud.

Hey, we already knew from an earlier episode that geography wasn’t their strong point.

Ben took her to Wrigley Field, where they donned Mr. and Mrs. Higgins baseball jerseys and talked about JoJo’s relationship fears. JoJo assures him she is now “Team Ben.” Which only makes sense, as he is the only Bachelor on the show.

Caila, Becca and Amanda got the only group date of the episode. Ben took them to a farm and informed them there was one rose up for grabs and whoever got that rose not only was guaranteed a hometown date next week, but also got to spend the rest of the day alone with him. Essentially, a bonus one-on-one.

Amanda was the lucky recipient—maybe. Because Ben took her to work at McDonald’s, after all. They ended their night at the Warsaw Carnival, where we saw tons of other Bachelor fans/stalkers taking cellphone pictures of them.

Professional twin Emily from Las Vegas got the last one-on-one date of the episode, prompting Caila to wonder if Emily is mature enough to be a wife.

“She’s like a bright-eyed puppy. Everything is new and exciting,” said Caila, who at 24 is just a year older than Emily.

Ben took Emily to meet his parents, and it was a hot mess from the beginning.

Maybe she was nervous, and maybe her conversation with the Higgins family was edited to make it look like she was rambling on and on as they just stared at her with bemused expressions on their faces. But it was painful to watch, especially when she told Ben’s mom her life goal is to be an NFL cheerleader.

A tearful Mrs. Higgins told the cameras that her son “has a lot to think about.” Not the reaction you want from your would-be mother-in-law.

Ben decided to send Emily home, saying he couldn’t see her as his wife.

At the rose ceremony, Lauren, Caila and JoJo all received roses (Amanda already had one from earlier), so they’ll take Ben home to meet their families in next week’s episode. Ben decided to send repeat contestant Becca home, awkward because we all saw her plead with Ben earlier not to blindside her.

Ben told her he felt it was better to send her home now, rather than after meeting her family. Poor Becca cried more leaving the show this time than she did when Chris Soules didn’t propose to her on the final episode of last year’s Bachelor.

The Bachelor at 20: A Celebration of Love

Bachelor Nation was treated to an extra night of The Bachelor Sunday night, Valentine’s Day, as fan favorites Jade and Tanner tied the knot in a glitzy ceremony paid for by ABC. The two met on the spinoff Bachelor in Paradise after being rejected on Chris’ season of The Bachelor and Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette, respectively.

Much of the episode, though, was dedicated to showing throwback clips from seasons past, including a montage of all the proposals that have happened over the years. Unfortunately, a majority of those couples never even got married, so that was weird.