It’s hometown dates time on The Bachelor … or at least, something that kind of resembles hometown dates. Due to pandemic restrictions, the entire 25th season of the show was filmed at Nemacolin Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania, and that means Matt James won’t be traveling the country to visit the homes of the final four women.
Instead, each of the four contestants will try to bring a slice of home to Pennsylvania before introducing James to a few members of their family.
A week ago, there were still 10 women in contention (11 if you include Heather Martin), but a jampacked episode parsed down the list quickly. James turned away Martin before sending home Chelsea Vaughn and Serena Chew at a rose ceremony. Later, Jessenia Cruz was sent home during a one-on-one date, Abigail Heringer was eliminated after a conversation with James, Kit Keenan removed herself from the show, and Pieper James went home in a second rose ceremony.
Just like that, the list of contestants was whittled down to Rachael Kirkconnell, Serena Pitt, Bri Springs, and Michelle Young. Here’s what to expect on episode eight of the show:
WARNING: IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW ANY SPOILERS FROM ‘THE BACHELOR,’ EPISODE 8 DO NOT KEEP READING.
Who Will Be Eliminated on Episode 8?
Even the best Bachelor Nation sleuths are having a bit of a tough time figuring out the hometown dates episode. ABC has revealed very little about the upcoming dates, but what we do know from previews and commercials is that Michelle Young introduces James to some the students she teaches, Rachael Kirkconnell goes skydiving with James (and crash lands), Bri Springs introduces James to her infant sibling, and Serena Pitt plays some hockey with James.
The last of those four dates looks as though it could be the focal point of the episode, as a preview showed Pitt’s family casting doubt about the relationship. Her sister was shown saying she didn’t think her sister was “smitten” with James. In a video posted on Instagram, Pitt’s mother says she’s not sure her daughter is ready to be engaged and her sister fears an engagement would be a mistake.
In January, Reality Steve wrote that Pitt is eliminated after the hometown dates, although he also said in the same post that Abigail Heringer would finish fifth (she finished eighth). If he’s right that Pitt is headed home in episode eight — which many signs point to — the bigger question is whether it’s because James sends her home, or because Pitt heeds her family’s warning and self-eliminates.
One promo seemed to indicate the latter, as James is heard saying, “That’s not how I saw our relationship ending. She couldn’t see herself as my wife.”
Either way, a rose ceremony likely won’t be necessary to trim the number of contestants to three.
Will Chris Harrison Appear on the Episode?
While the 25th season of The Bachelor is nearing its conclusion, most of the conversation about the show has been centered around the host. After a firestorm of criticism for defending Kirkconnell for actions that were deemed racist by many — including even Kirkconnell — Harrison announced he’d be “stepping aside for a period of time.”
That means Harrison won’t appear on the “After the Final Rose” special, but the controversy came well after the remainder of Matt James’ journey concluded. That left ABC with the difficult choice of figuring out what to do with the “Women Tell All” special and Harrison’s remaining appearances.
According to US Weekly, ABC has discussed the possibility of editing Harrison out of the show as much as possible, if not entirely, in the remaining episodes. It could also mean that the “Women Tell All” is left on the cutting room floor, according to The Sun.
It seems The Bachelor will avoid Harrison screen time as much as possible, and in a hometown date episode that requires very little from the host, that means you shouldn’t expect to see much Harrison on episode eight.