The episode started with Ashley getting ready for hometown dates in her Philadelphia studio. (Further proof she's in serious need of rescuing from someone tall dark and banksome -- I mean handsome). She shared her initial thoughts on her remaining suitors:
Ben: "A real guy. No question. I love his long hair. His build is great."
Constantine: "Exactly what I look for physically in a man."
JP: "Everything is there, physical and emotional..."
Ames: "One of the most unique guys I've ever met"
No spoilers, but take a wild guess who got kicked off and who made it through to fantasy suite week.
Constantine -- Cumming, Georgia
Ashley went to Constantine's restaurant and they made a pizza together, which she found incredibly sexy. Then they went outside to talk about feelings. When they kissed, the waitresses cheered from the window.
Then it was time to meet Constantine's mom, dad, sister and tiny dog. Mom worried about the "truncated time" of the show and told Ashley, "in the real world it's different." (What? Lies!) She was won over when she (sort of) said she'd be willing to move to Georgia and become part of the family. Constantine's dad told his son "it takes time" to love someone, but gave his blessing anyway.
And then Constantine's big fat Greek family showed up for dancing and general revelry. There were tons of them -- cousins, uncles, aunts, an elderly grandmother, a baby, a puppy! At the end of the night, they had a goodbye kiss outside, while the whole extended family watched and cheered from the front door.
Ashley said she fell "in love with Constantine's family and he called the visit "a massive, massive step in the right direction."
Ames -- Unidentified Hometown
Next, Ashley met Ames' mom, siblings, nieces and nephews. His mom and sister could both tell Ames was "smitten." Ash told his sister that although her other relationships were moving faster and involved more feelings, she was "choosing him because I see so many good things in him." His sister explained to Ashley that their dad died when Ames was 10, and then their stepfather died later on too, so it was hard for Ames dive into relationships. His sister was left wondering of Ashley: "Does she have that passion, that spark? I don't know."
His mom gave Ashley the hard sell. When she seemed unsure, mom said "you'll figure it out, I have tremendous faith in both of you" and when Ash said the relationship was moving slowly, mom said "that's good." Alone, she confided in us that she wanted to feel passion "but I'm still missing that romance, I'm still missing the spark between us."
Ames' sister told him to get more "personal," "dig deeper" and up the romance with Ashley. So he planned a "romantic surprise" and took her to his "favorite tree." (Swoon.) They had a picnic and drank booze and ate berries. He told her yet agaaaain how he was "the unpopular guy" in high school. Ashley told him "whoever made you feel unpopular when you were younger, were stupid [sic]." They kissed and rode a horse-drawn carriage, champagne still in hand.
Ames said "today has been so romantic and so beautiful. I am absolutely totally falling in love with Ashley" and Ashley said the day was what she'd been looking for and that they had a "very very real connection."
Ben -- Sonoma, California
Ben went into the date thinking, "Ashley and I's relationship is progressing greatly." Hopefully it's progressing better than his grasp of the English language. Ashley said "everything about him screams sexiness to me"... a stark reminder of the lack of sexiness with Lames?
Ben gave Ash a tour of his winery, which Ashley found incredibly sexy. He told her it was "kind of a big deal" having her there because he'd only brought one other girl home. He explained, "This process has really put me in touch with the emotional Ben," a side he liked because "it's like freedom of expression." Actually, Ben that's not quite -- never, mind. Then he made Ashley all nervous by saying his mom and sister's approval was a deal breaker.
When they arrived at the house, his sister was pretty cold and Ashley had to eventually go in for an awkward hug. You see, Ben's sister wears pearls (earrings and necklace-multiple strands) and button down shirts, with sweaters and belts, because she is cold and judgmental. Over dinner she explained that she hadn't liked Ben's other girlfriends. Ben talked about his emotions some more.
Ben told his sister that if things with Ashley kept progressing he'd "have no problem proposing." His overprotective sister decided that "for the first time in a really long time I could tell that he was in touch with his emotions" and accepted Ashley. Ben told his mom he wished he'd been "a better son" after his dad died. They said "I love you"-s and hugged, and Ben got all chocked up to the camera talking about his dad.
At the end of the day, Ben said "this is more real than it's ever been" and I'm not sure if he was talking about his feelings for Ashley or all of his feelings in general.
JP -- Roslyn, New York
JP took Ashley roller-skating and they were smooching before they'd laced up their skates. They skated around the rink to cheesy music, holding hands and kissing some more. At one point he fell, which was an excuse for more lip locking. Then they drank wine out of paper cups. Because if this show has taught us one thing, it's that you can't find love sober.
Before they went to meet JP's mom, dad, brother, and brother's girlfriend (though dad and girlfriend didn't really make the cut for camera time), JP warned Ashley that his family was overprotective because his last relationship ended badly. Ashley wondered if he was sure about their relationship and he said he was "100 percent" certain and was ready to "expose my vulnerability."
They arrived and sure enough, his mom and brother worried that he'd get hurt again. JP told them he had to let go and open up. He had to accept that his heart might get broken and not be afraid. Besides, he was confident he and Ashley had a special connection. (Between their lips?) His mom asked Ashley how she picked guys and she said she used her gut and her head and was "smitten" by JP. His mom told her she was "a beautiful young lady on the inside."
After a long, long, long lingering hug goodbye, JP confided to the cameras that he might be "a little afraid to maybe fully admit" that he was falling in love.
Ashley wore a very short black dress with very long sleeves and a very high neck, that had a weird lace back situation going on. It was paired with boots she couldn't walk in (maybe walking just isn't her thing?), huge earrings and more pageant makeup.
Chris brought up Bentley, because he likes to do that. Ashley told Chris all the remaining guys were "exceptional individuals." She said Lames was everything she was looking for and "would be the best husband." So obviously he wasn't going to make it. She told Chris she had no regrets. I had a lot of them, beginning with turning the television on.
Ben was first, followed by JP and it was down to Constantine (physical attraction but obviously not going anywhere) and Ames (no physical attraction, but "intriguing" to Ashley and fun for me to laugh at his outfits).
Ames, who looked around uncomfortably like a confused bird while his eye twitched, smiling the whole time. Ashley escorted him outside to sit on a bench and dump him some more. Ever-positive Ames said "It's been totally beautiful and full of the unexpected and even more poetic than I ever would have imagined and I'll remember every second of it for the rest of my life." He took his creepy grin to the car, and hugged her. In the car he stopped smiling, closed his eyes and held his hand to his head. "I've fallen in love with someone who clearly did not fall in love with me, back." he said, "And I just wonder, you know, what it was." It was that she didn't find you as sexy as the other guys. Sorry Lames!