This season on The Bachelor, the hometown visits seemed to come too soon. Charlie has barely gotten a chance to spend any time with the remaining four women—he hasn't even had a one-on-one date with Krisily—and he's already meeting their parents. Part of this, of course, is due to one of my pet peeves this season, namely that the producers seem determined to let us get to know the women as little as possible. But, I also went back and looked at my recaps of Bachelor 6 last fall with Byron, and realized that Byron didn't go on individual dates with the final four women until the sixth episode. This season they've "skipped" an episode—no wonder the hometown dates seem to have come too soon.

One difference between Charlie's hometown dates this week, and the hometown dates in some of the earlier seasons of The Bachelor is that there are no "families from hell." Certainly Krisily's family is wild and fun, but there is nothing to rival Meredith's visit with Lanny in Bachelorette 2, where she learned more than she ever wanted about how semen is artificially extracted from bulls, followed by a lecture from Lanny's mother about how wives are to be obedient to their husbands. And, who will ever forget Jesse Palmer's home visit with Tara in Bachelor 5, when Tara's father greeted Jesse with a rifle in his hand? Even Krisily's family is almost a Norman Rockwell painting in comparison.

One other difference between this season and earlier seasons is that, unless we've been completely deceived by editing (which, of course, is entirely possible), Charlie spent very little time truly alone with any of the women (or at least alone with the woman and the cameras) during the hometown visits. Sarah B's parents apparently arrived at her house after a very short time, and Charlie's alone time with Kim and Sarah W was spent in public places. Charlie and Krisily got the closest thing to alone time when they were sitting on the porch, but even then, Krisily's mom and grandmother were spying on them through a window. No wonder poor Charlie is confused about which woman to send home.

On to Charlie's marathon travel week.....

Visiting Sarah B—The Dog Gets The First Kiss

Charlie's first hometown visit is with Sarah B in McKinney, Texas. After the standard shot of Charlie riding in the van through town, Charlie waits on a roof overlooking the Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas....Of all the four women, Charlie seems most excited to see Sarah. (Of course, this is also Charlie's first stop, and the novelty hasn't worn off yet.).....Charlie says that he wants to be more that just buddies with Sarah, and he thinks she wants the same thing, but when they get together they get "gun shy." He says that, at the moment, he really likes it, but "the clock is ticking for both of us."

Sarah then suddenly appears on the roof wearing her nursing scrubs in a bright print.....Scrubs aren't particularly flattering on most people, but, of course, Sarah looks cute as a button. (BTW—Normally, when I use the phrase "cute as a button" there is more than a hint of sarcasm in my voice, but with regard to Sarah, it is a compliment.).....In fact, Sarah is so cute that you almost forget to wonder why she is wearing scrubs when she's obviously still on leave from her job while filming the show....Note: Apparently the reason for filming on the rooftop overlooking the hospital is that the producers couldn't get permission to film inside the hospital itself.

Now that we've gotten to see Sarah in her nursing scrubs, she and Charlie leave the rooftop, and drive to Sarah's house....Sarah says in a voiceover that she hopes she and Charlie will have a chance to talk about more serious things on this visit, like morals, values, and family....Sarah lives in a snug little white house.... While Sarah changes into street clothes, Charlie has a long conversation with Sarah's dog, Lucy....Charlie asks Lucy if she has any questions, and tells the dog about the dates he's been on with Sarah.........Lucy gives Charlie a big kiss, and Charlie says in return, "You're some kisser. Me and Sarah haven't been making out yet, but that's 'cause I really like her."...Charlie and Sarah settle down to talk.....Charlie asks Sarah, "Could you ever see yourself living somewhere besides here?" Sarah assures him that she could see herself living somewhere else, and that she doesn't expect to live in Texas forever....Almost immediately after this, Sarah's parents, her brother John, and her sister Rachael, arrive at the house unexpectedly early, cutting short Charlie and Sarah's time alone.

We don't hear much from Sarah's parents all evening. And, I don't think we ever hear a word from Sarah's brother. (In fact, I forgot Sarah's brother was there at all I watched the tape of the show a second time.)...But, we see a lot of Sarah's sister Rachael (in more ways than one).....Rachael appears to have borrowed one of bachelorette Kim's low cut blouses, designed to show off her ample assets. Rachael is a living example that "everything is bigger in Texas."....Am I the only one who thinks it's either a little strange, or not very nice, for Rachael to wear provocative clothes when she's meeting her sister's potential boyfriend on national TV? Is Rachael, trying to show up her sister, auditioning for a job at Hooters, or just demonstrating her lack of taste? In an effort to be fair, I tried to come up with a positive reason for Rachael flaunting her boobs. The only possibility that came to mind was that Rachael might have worn the blouse as a test. If Charlie stared too long at Rachael's boobs or tried to come on to Rachael, then she'd know he wasn't serious about Sarah.

The two sisters sit down alone together to talk, and one of Rachael's first questions is whether Charlie and Sarah have kissed yet. Sarah replies that they haven't kissed, explaining, "Kissing, to me, is so intimate. And I didn't feel like we were ready. And, I thought it would kind of keep him hanging on, and it did. If I feel like the time's right and the moment's right, then definitely.".....Rachael then asks, "But you are attracted to him physically?".....Sarah replies, "Yeah, I'm totally attracted to him."....I admit I did have some doubts about whether Sarah is attracted to Charlie, but, as Sarah talks about being attracted to him, she rubs her knee and thigh—pretty obvious body language. (However, I confess, the first time I watched this scene, I went "Whoa!" because it looked like Sarah was rubbing her crotch. But, I ran the tape again, and realized that the way Sarah's hands were positioned was misleading—her fingers were much closer to her knee. Slap my dirty mind.)...Rachael then clarifies, "(So), you want to kiss him, but you're playing a game," and Sarah replies, "Basically." And both women laugh.....Okay. I know all about "The Rules." And, I have to concede that Sarah's strategy of holding back is working very well so far—she's got Charlie intrigued and wanting more. But, finding out that Sarah is consciously being "hard to get," even though she feels differently, doesn't sit right with me—it feels like playing games. Heck, maybe it's sour grapes on my part, because I don't have (or even really want to have) that kind of self-control—if I want to kiss a guy and he wants to kiss me, I kiss him. But, what do I know? Sarah may have the right idea. And, maybe my social life would benefit from the same tactics. Still, even if this tactic works, it feels dishonest.

Next, the family sits down to a dinner that appears to have magically arrived at the table via Harry Potter's house elves, because we never see any food preparation....After dinner, Rachael gets Charlie off alone, after taking off her jacket to give him the full benefit of her top, er blouse....Charlie is no dummy. Whatever he's feeling physically, he sits a modest distance away from Rachael, and is very careful to keep his eyes on her face......Rachael asks Charlie if he's doing this to boost his career......Well, duh. Charlie is obviously a guy who can get plenty of women without going on national TV. Why else would he do The Bachelor? .....But, Charlie gives the answer Rachael wants to hear, and says that acting is not his greatest love. It is something that he just ended up doing.

After this conversation, Sarah's family leaves, and, then we see Sarah walk Charlie out to the van....Charlie gives Sarah a big hug, and what looks to me like a quick peck on the lips...As Sarah walks back to the house, Charlie tells the camera that he and Sarah still have a lot to figure out, "Can we live together? And do we have sexual chemistry? Those questions weren't answered, but, it's definitely half my fault. I feel like a kid in sixth grade running away from the girl I like."...I've gotta give credit where it's due--apparently "The Rules" are still working.

And that's it. Arrghhh! What a frustrating hometown segment! It's not just that the segment was short—about 7 minutes. But, the producers showed us almost no conversation between Charlie and Sarah. Of the four remaining women, Sarah B is a huge favorite, but you'd never know it from this segment. Heck, I think we saw more of Charlie's conversation with Sarah's dog than we saw of Charlie and Sarah together.

Visiting Kim—You'll Always Be My "Meatball"

Charlie's next visit is to Edmonton, Alberta, Kim's hometown....Charlie tells the camera, "Kimberley and I have been getting along. I think we've been physically getting along more than talking, or anything like that. I don't think we've (held down a conversation) yet. I can't remember. " Ha! That pretty well sums up Charlie and Kim's relationship so far....In her turn, Kim tells the camera, "I can hardly wait to get my paws on Charlie," so apparently she hasn't felt any loss from the lack of conversation so far.

Charlie meets Kim at the West Edmonton Mall, which is large enough to contain its own amusement park. (With apologies to the Edmonton folks on Joker's—the amusement park looks pretty lame.)....Charlie and Kim ride the rollercoaster and discuss the life of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. (Okay, the second half of the sentence is a lie—just making sure that you're paying attention.) In fact, Kim and Charlie's conversation is more along the lines of, "How are you?" "Awesome."....Next, Charlie and Kim head to the Ukrainian restaurant owned by Kim's parents, the Pyrogy House, where Kim's parents, and her brother and sister are waiting for them.....The family sits down with Charlie in the empty restaurant, and after some Ukrainian beer, Kim's mother Marge invites Charlie to the kitchen to learn how to make pyrogies. (Note for my fellow spelling freaks: There is more than one way to spell "pyrogy," so, to be consistent, I decided to spell it the same way it's spelled at the restaurant.)

I like Kim's mother Marge a lot—what a sweet woman.....Marge recites the list of the 11 types of pyrogies offered by the restaurant. (And, Marge admits that she thinks the sardine pyrogies are gross.)...Marge then shows Charlie how the pyrogy dough is rolled out, cut in circles, then thrown over to the bowl of pyrogy filling...She instructs Charlie, "You have to be fast (when you throw). Ukrainians are always very fast." (That last phrase would explain a lot about Kim, but I don't think that's what Marge is referring to.).....Charlie knows exactly the right things to say to Marge, and by the time the pyrogies are finished, Marge tells Charlie it's just like he's part of the family. In fact, Marge seems more enthusiastic about Charlie than Kim is.

A little later, Marge gets Kim alone in the kitchen, and asks Kim if she could imagine herself married to Charlie. Kim admits she could. Marge's eyes light up at the thought of Charlie as a son-in-law, and she tells Kim, "If you guys ever get together, you could take over the Pyrogy House. And then mom and dad could retire."....I felt bad for Kim's mom at this point. She is so sweet, and so out of touch with reality. There is about as much chance of Charlie and Kim taking over the Pyrogy House as there is of Kim becoming a nun.

After dinner, Kim invites Charlie to the kitchen on the pretense of making dessert, but Kim has a different kind of dessert in mind. Unfortunately for Kim, Charlie has some class.....Charlie tells Kim, "Are we making blueberry (pyrogies) or are we just back here to kiss? 'Cause I'm not kissing in the back of your store."....This time I felt bad for Kim. Even though Kim isn't particularly bright, she is a basically nice person. But somewhere along the way, Kim seems to have picked up the idea that the only thing she has to offer guys is her body. So, unfortunately, Kim hasn't developed other skills, such as the art of making basic conversation. (Charlie is an obvious example of how you don't need to be an Einstein to make other people feel good just by talking to them.) So Kim is surprised (and lost) when Charlie doesn't respond to her overtures.

After dinner, Charlie and Kim go to a local bar, Sapphire, for some alone time....As Charlie and Kim make casual conversation, we see former bachelorette Jenny and Kim's old boyfriend Jason outside, walking toward the bar.....Ah, that explains it. Early this season, we heard rumors that Jenny had been spotted at Sapphire with the Bachelor film crews. But, after Jenny was sent home by Charlie two episodes ago, we figured that the rumors must have been mistaken....At first, we can't see the faces of the two people walking toward the bar. But, it isn't as if there is any suspense about their identity--we've been shown numerous previews of Jenny and Jason crashing the date....Jenny says to the camera, "Living in a town like Edmonton, it's not that big. We always run into people that we know. I knew Charlie and Kimberley were in town. I had a feeling that they'd be here. Jason is a friend of mine and an ex-boyfriend of Kimberley's."....Sure, we believe that Jenny just "had a feeling" that Charlie and Kim would be at Sapphire. And, Jenny always "just happens" to have a camera crew along when she goes out in the evening.

Kim isn't pleased to see Jenny and Jason. Jason asks Kim if they can talk alone, and at first she refuses. However, Kim finally catches on that the "surprise visit" was set up by the producers, and part of the program is that she is supposed to go sit at a table and talk alone with Jason....Personally, I think Kim and Jason are perfect for each other..... There is no way I can do justice to the conversation between Jason and Kim in a summary. So, here are some verbatim excerpts:

Jason: What's going on with this guy? How's it going?
Kim: It's going really good.
Jason: Who do you think you found the most connection with? We lived together for a year and stuff, so we always had that thing and stuff like that, and so what about with him now?
Kim: It's completely different.
Jason: But can he harness the Kim Wild?. (Apparently Kim's nickname around Edmonton is "Kim Wild" because she is such a party girl.)
Kim: Please don't mention anything about that.
Jason: No, but I'm just saying, like, you know what?
Kim: But just don't.
Jason: What happens if you end up being engaged to him? Do you have the "meatball connection"?
Kim: You're asking me really dumb questions.
Jason: I'll never call anyone else, like, my meatball and stuff like that. You'll always be my meatball, right?
Kim: I can't say it's the same, 'cause it's totally not. It's a different level.

Then, Jason says to the camera, "Kim and I were in love for a very long time, and we have that meatball connection. We're each other's meatballs. It's, 'I love you, meatball.' But in meeting this guy, I'm just like, 'Wow. This is happening very fast.' I think (Kim) needs someone to say, 'Okay, well, slow down.'"

The meaning of the phrase "meatball connection" is never explained, for which I'm very grateful.

While this is going on, Jenny and Charlie are sitting at the bar.....Jenny tells Charlie that she doesn't know what he's looking for, because the remaining women are all so different. Jenny says she's different, too, and she is frustrated because she didn't get a chance. Charlie then sums it up for Jenny, "I think you're great. I just think we're not great."....Because Jenny has some class, she realizes she's been made to look like an idiot by participating in the "date ambush" and apologizes to Charlie, saying, "I'm super embarrassed right now."....Charlie is very nice to Jenny in return, and tells her he thinks she's going to be just fine. (After all, Charlie knows this thing was the producer's idea)....Personally, if I'd been Charlie, seeing both Kim and Jenny would have made me realize I'd dumped the wrong one. (If nothing else, Jenny looks even prettier than she did in the bachelorette house.)....But, Charlie is a gentleman (and also knows his job is to stick to the script).

Jason and Kim return, and Jenny says to Jason, "I think we should go, let them finish their date." Then Jenny kiddingly slaps Charlie on the leg in good-bye saying, "The drinks are on Charlie" and drags Jason out the door. (I think Jason would have preferred to stay and fight for his "meatball.").....When Charlie and Kim are finally alone together again, Charlie tells her that he's very glad to be there with her....Kim is still feeling bad about what they haven't done (namely, make out), but Charlie replies, "There's other things we can do, and there's other places to do those things."

Unfortunately for Jason, I'm not sure he came across as the better man in a direct comparison with Charlie....Kim tells the camera, "Any ex-boyfriend I've ever had has just never really had what it takes. And I think Charlie definitely has what it takes. The way I feel right now is like I've never felt before. I don't know what it is, but it's awesome.".....As Charlie and Kim walk out the door, Kim tells him that tonight was awesome.....And, as they stand outside on the sidewalk in front of the bar to say good-bye, Charlie finally gives Kim a long, deep kiss.....Kim tells the camera that kissing Charlie in the middle of her hometown was "perfect" and says, "I really honestly think I'm falling in love with Charlie."

Visiting Sarah W—I'm Kind of a Diva

Charlie's third hometown visit is with Sarah W's family in Corning, New York. Upstate New York is known for getting lots of snow, and Charlie's visit is no exception. It's snowing pretty hard as Charlie meets Sarah at Soul Full Cup, a coffee house where she used to work....Charlie tells the camera, "Sarah and I started off great. She was at the top of the charts, (but) the house cracked her. By the time she left the house, she couldn't get a sentence out without twitching. I'm hoping being out of the house, she can relax and unwind, and maybe we can find that ease that we had on the first date."....However, Sarah is on her guard almost from the beginning of the conversation.

Charlie starts out with a pretty neutral remark, saying that he's sure Sarah is glad to be out of the house....Immediately, Sarah gets defensive and replies, "I didn't know we were gonna talk about the house, but okay."....Maybe he wasn't originally planning to go there so fast, but Charlie decides to wade right in, and says, "One thing was, I know Krisily and you didn't get along."....Sarah replies, "I put up with (Krisily), and she would antagonize me, and try to get me to fight with her, and I wouldn't do it. It got to the point where I realized, '(Krisily's) talking about me to (you). This is, like, ridiculous. I need to put an end to this.' And the minute that I did, everyone hated me in the whole house. I'm not used to that, because people always like me."....Wait a minute, Sarah, aren't you the one who said a few episodes ago that girls have always hated you because you're so pretty?.....Charlie tries his best to smooth Sarah's ruffled feathers and says, "It's a new day now, and that's great."

But, while he's at it, Charlie brings up another touchy issue....He says, "The one other thing is that Little Sarah told me that you told her who the final four were earlier."....Sarah replies, "That's horrible."...Charlie explains further, "I asked (Sarah B) why she was so surprised that she got a rose. She told me it was because you told her who the final four was and she wasn't included in it.".....I'm glad that Charlie finally confronted Sarah W, because I wanted to hear her explanation....Sarah says, "Because (Sarah B) was like, 'My relationship with Charlie is more like buddy-buddy friendship, I mean, I don't have anything with him at all.' If someone says that, it's like, 'Well, okay. I'm gonna assume that you really mean what you're saying.'"...Based on Charlie's next comments to the camera, he doesn't find Sarah W's explanation entirely convincing. "I wanted to know why (Sarah W) told Sarah B who the final four were. And Sarah W was wrong at who the final four were. I don't know why she'd make something like that up. I still don't know why. There's a lot I don't know about Sarah W. Sometimes I (want to tell Sarah W) 'You're turning crazy.'".....Sarah W is still upset. Charlie tells her, "Take it easy. We're already out of the house. We're here to have fun."

I try to be as fair as I can in my comments about the women, but I confess I can't be even-handed about Sarah W. She used up all my "benefit of the doubt" a couple of episodes ago. One view (certainly Sarah W's view) would be that she is simply self-confident, and the other women are showing their insecurity. I could almost buy that if it weren't for the fact that Sarah W makes remarks to the camera like the following, made in response to her conversation with Charlie about Sarah B. "I have major goods on Sarah B. Like, I could ruin her. But I'm not going to. To think that (Sarah B) tried to portray me in a negative way to Charlie was completely unexpected and kind of outrageous."....Comment to Sarah W--Give me a break,. What "goods" could you possibly have on Sarah B? Sarah B is arguably the nicest woman in the house, and, she only told Charlie about your "final four" comment in response to a question from Charlie about why she was so insecure.......Sheesh. Now Sarah W's got ME wound up, and it's just a TV show!

Next, Sarah and Charlie head out to meet Sarah's family....It's still snowing hard, and everyone looks a little cold, but it's very pretty.....At the house, there is a gratuitous scene of Sarah sending a video cell phone call to her family saying that she and Charlie are on their way. That's a waste of a minute.....We hear a voiceover from Sarah, "Charlie's questions today revealed to me that the girls really were trying to sabotage me. But the great thing about Charlie is that he is gonna make up his own mind, and if he wasn't gonna make up his own mind, I wouldn't have gotten a rose.".....Sarah introduces Charlie to her parents, her sister Chelsea, and their dog Twinkie.

As the family sits in the living room, Chelsea asks Sarah how she gets along with the other girls.....Sarah replies, "In the beginning, it was really fun. And, they were all great girls. But when it comes down to it, I do get noticed. I mean, I have a presence in a room, and there's nothing I can do about it. I'm kind of a diva if it comes down to it. And there's nothing I can do about that. And, some people were threatened by it. In my day-to-day life, that's how it is, you know? But I was stuck with these girls regardless. They want to push me down."....When Sarah started this little speech, I was looking away from the TV for a minute. I said to myself, "I wish Sarah would act this way around Charlie so he could see the other side of her." And, then I looked up and realized that Charlie was sitting next to Sarah when she made these remarks (and Charlie looked kind of uncomfortable.).....I thought Sarah was smarter than that.

In response, Sarah's sister Chelsea tells the camera, "My sister usually gets along with everyone. Of course, there's gonna be some competition and conniving, but Sarah's not used to trying to get attention from guys. Guys just are drawn to her.".....Hmm, the last time I looked, "conniving" wasn't part of the definition of "getting along." I think Chelsea got it right later when she said that guys are always drawn to Sarah (rather than everyone being drawn to Sarah). Something tells me (and, in fact, Sarah herself has told us) that the negative reaction of the women in the house isn't the first time that Sarah has alienated other women.

Charlie is asked what his dates with the women were like....When Charlie describes the group dates, Sarah's dad Jake smiles and says, "I never tried that, but I'd be open to it," and everyone laughs. I like Jake (and so, it turns out, does Charlie.).....Jake takes Charlie outside to "help" him shovel. Of course, there is only one shovel, and Charlie is the one who gets to use it.....But, Charlie, as always, is a good sport. He says in a voiceover, "Sarah's dad was great. He got me to shovel--tricky bugger."....Charlie tells Jake how nervous he was about meeting him, and says, "To be honest with you, I do have another three girls that I'll have to go to their hometowns." Jake replies, "That's okay. As long as it's straight up about it all, that's cool."....Jake's response is very "un-dad-like," and probably a relief to Charlie....Charlie jokes, "Hopefully on the next (hometown visit), they won't have me digging ditches. I just got snow today."....Jake kids, "Could you move that along a little quicker?"....Charlie tells the camera, "I had a great time with Sarah's dad. I think if her dad and I had any more alone time, he'd be getting a rose.".....In truth, after being isolated and surrounded by women for weeks, it was probably a nice change for Charlie to have some "guy time" even if it meant shoveling snow.

Over dinner, Sarah's mom Karen asks Charlie, "What do you do job-wise?". Charlie replies, "Um, for the most part, I'm an actor.".....Wait a minute. How does this fit with Charlie's earlier comment to Sarah B's sister that acting isn't his greatest love? As much as I like Charlie overall, I still haven't figured out exactly how he makes his living (assuming he does), and what his future career plans are (if any)....Thankfully for Charlie, he doesn't have to say anything more about his job, because when he tells the family that he grew up doing acting, along with judo, dancing, and fencing, Chelsea quickly picks up on the dancing comment. Charlie says he took ballet for awhile as a kid, and was even in the Nutcracker. It turns out that Chelsea is a dancer, and was also in the Nutcracker, so she is immediately won over.....As the family finishes dinner, Jake tells the camera, "Charlie's definitely a gentleman, respectful, and would fit in to our family like a glove."

After dinner, Charlie and Sarah leave to go to a bar for some more time alone.....Sarah says in a voiceover, "Seeing how well it all worked out with Charlie and my parents, I was thinking all I wanted to do tonight was have some alone time with Charlie, and get that flame back into our relationship. When I was sitting with Charlie at the bar, I just kind of gave him the eye and batted my eyes a little bit or whatever, and, uh, it did work. Finally, after a day of feeling a little lost, I have Charlie back again."...And, Charlie and Sarah do look like they're having a good time and are very comfortable together.....Charlie gives Sarah a short kiss in the bar, and a somewhat longer kiss outside as they say good-bye (although not the "tonsil hockey" kiss Charlie gave Kim.)....Charlie tells the camera, " I had a great date with Sarah. I think one-on-one, Sarah and I were making a great couple. It was the other girls that were turning Sarah crazy."

I confess—I'm baffled about why men are attracted to Sarah W. Yes, Sarah W is very pretty, so I can understand why men would be drawn to her looks. But, I don't understand at all why men would continue to find Sarah W attractive after they get to know her. I can't make the excuse for Charlie that he doesn't know what Sarah W is really like, because, at this point, Charlie has seen the "other side" of Sarah W. Obviously Sarah W has something. And, as I remind myself at least once an episode—the point here isn't which woman we, the viewers, like best, it's the woman Charlie likes best.

Visiting Krisily—If Nana Wants to Dance, I'm Dancing

Charlie's last visit is with Krisily's family in Providence, Rhode Island.....Before this segment, I would never have believed that Krisily could ever be one of the quieter members of any group of people. Krisily's family is loving and lots of fun, but no one would ever describe them as restful.....Charlie meets Krisily with her dog in a park. Krisily tells Charlie that first he is going to go to the hair salon where she works with her cousin Michele, whom she describes as an older version of herself. Krisily kiddingly says to Charlie, "No better way to grill you than with a pair of scissors in her hand."

Krisily and Charlie drive to the Michele Martin salon.....Krisily leaves for awhile, so Michele can talk alone with Charlie.....Michele is particularly worried that Krisily will get her heart broken...Michele tells Charlie, "When Krisily and her ex broke up, I had to pick her up. And now her heart's on the line again." Charlie replies, "I'm not trying to break your cousin's heart. I'm trying to find who's right for me." Michele understands, but says to Charlie, "As soon as you know that, if (Krisily's) not for you, you've got to let her go."......Despite the tough questions, Charlie handles himself well. He tells the camera, "When Michele grabbed the razor is when she decided to ask me the important questions. It made me a little nervous, but, I guess I answered okay because I got a nice haircut out of it."......Actually, I didn't notice much difference in Charlie's hair—I don't think Michele cut very much off....Krisily returns to the salon, then she and Charlie go to meet the rest of the family.

At the house, Charlie meets Krisily's mom, her stepdad, her aunt, and her grandmother, who everyone calls "Nana." Nana is quite a character, and I can't do justice to her voice and accent in writing. But, she has more energy and life than most people half her age.....When Nana meets Charlie, she says, "Oh, you're so handsome, honey."....The producers have planted a framed picture of a much younger Charlie on the mantel, and the family tries to convince Charlie that it's been there the whole time.....Nana is obviously a veteran Bachelor fan. At the dinner table, Nana says that, when Krisily told her she was going to be on The Bachelor, Nana asked Krisily if she was a good kisser, and, if she isn't, she'd better practice, "because that's all they do is kiss, kiss, kiss on that Bachelor.".....Then Nana says to Krisily, "Did you take my advice? We're waiting to see. I haven't seen (Krisily and Charlie) kiss yet."....Krisily is totally embarrassed, but Charlie gets right into the spirit and says to Nana, "Are you kidding me? Nobody kisses at the dinner table!" Krisily says, " I feel like I'm 12!"

Charlie asks Krisily, "You want to go have some alone time just to get away from all these questions?"......Charlie laughingly tells the camera, "The first thing everyone's been asking me is, 'Well, have you been kissing?' And they're like, 'Go kiss. Go kiss.' It's crazy! Made me nervous. I had to pucker up and get ready."....Charlie and Krisily go out and sit on a couch on the porch, covered by a blanket. Charlie tells Krisily, "You make me feel good." Krisily replies, "You make me feel good, too, and it's been a long time since I've been around a man at made me feel good."....Then Charlie leans over, and he and Krisily share a long kiss.....Of course, the producers "just happened" to place the couch right in front of a window. As Charlie and Krisily kiss, Nana and Krisily's mom Cheryl peek into a room where they can see Charlie and Krisily through the window. They say, "Oh, they're sitting on the couch. And they're close. Their heads are close together. How cute are they?".....As contrived as it was, the scene of Krisily's mom and Nana peeking through the door was actually kinda sweet.....Out on the porch, Charlie tells Krisily, "You can tell your grandmother we were kissing." Krisily laughs, "The first thing I'm gonna tell her when I walk in. 'We were making out. He said I was a really good kisser.'"

After this, Krisily confesses to the camera that she's afraid to get hurt again. Then Krisily and her mother Cheryl sit in the bedroom alone, and Krisily confesses again how nervous she is about getting hurt. Krisily starts to cry as she tells her mom, " I want to get that next opportunity to really get to know (Charlie) 'cause I think he's a really great guy. I feel like I'm attracted to him and that there's a great connection, but I'm afraid that I'm not gonna get the opportunity to get to that next step. I didn't think that I was gonna get attached to someone like this."....From looking at her, Cheryl looks like she's probably had a difficult life, but her love for Krisily is clear. She hugs Krisily and assures her, "You'll do fine. Don't worry. Just be yourself."...Then Cheryl tells the camera, "I would love to see (Charlie) as part of our family if that's what Krisily wants."

Back with the rest of the family, Nana says to Charlie, "C'mon Charlie, wanna dance?"...Charlie says to the camera, "Nobody likes to dance more than (Krisily's) grandmother, and if Nana wants to dance, I'm dancing. She can shake it. All of a sudden, she hit me with her booty. Nana was great."....After dancing, Charlie takes a red rose and presents it to Nana. Krisily walks back into the room and Nana shows her the rose, "There's my rose. I beat you to the punch.".....Nana tells the camera that getting the rose from Charlie made her feel very important. She says, "I'm gonna take (the rose) home and put it in the water, and every time I look at it, I'm gonna think of Charlie."

Outside, it's time for Charlie to leave. He tells Krisily, "You've got a great family. I'm glad I got to see you here. You should be proud."....Charlie says to the camera, "Krisily really grew on me today. She's got a great family, and they like to have a lot of fun. And I was just glad to be a part of it for one day."

After she goes back in the house, Krisily gets some unsolicited advice.....Nana tells Krisily, "What you got to do now is try and get him in bed. You got to fight for your man. Get him in bed and jump on him."...The family is howling with laughter, and Krisily is dying with embarrassment. She says, "We need to not have this conversation, Nana."....But, Nana hasn't finished. She goes on. "Well, (Krisily's) got to use her powers. You know if you get that done, you will get another rose."....Krisily reminds Nana, "You know this is on national television, right, Nana?" Nana replies, "Whatever it takes.".......Ha! I love it! At least Krisily won't have to worry about what her family will say if she chooses to spend the night in the fantasy suite with Charlie.

The Rose Ceremony—It's Enough to Make You (or Charlie) Cry

As it gets close to the end of the season, every bachelor starts to lose it. It's part of the script. And, Charlie is no exception...When Chris Harrison greets Charlie for the rose ceremony, Charlie tells Chris, "I can't sleep. I can't eat. I'm on the verge of a breakdown trying to figure out.".....At the rose ceremony, Charlie tells the women, "I just want to say I had a great time meeting all your families. I think you're all great. This is not easy for me. And, I'm not having fun with it at all.".....Unless Charlie really is a better actor than his career would suggest, he really is stressed out, because as he makes his comments to the women, Charlie starts to get teary-eyed.

Charlie starts to hand out the roses: Sarah B. Krisily. Then, after a long pause.............Sarah W.

Charlie walks Kim out....He sits down next to her on a bench and confesses, "I didn't know (I wasn't giving you a rose) even coming in today. I didn't know up until the moment. And it's nothing that you did. I'm gonna miss you. And truly, I'm sorry.".....In her turn, Kim says, "I'm, like, stunned. I'm kind of in shock about this. But, don't be sad. You'll do good."

In the limo, Kim seems surprised that she was sent home, but doesn't seem heartbroken. It's always tough to tell what Kim is really feeling, because almost everything she says is delivered in a similar, flat tone of voice. And, since Kim says more in the limo than she has said on the rest of the show tonight, it's difficult to know which of Kim's comments are her own, and which are answers to leading questions posed by the interviewer.....Here are a few of Kim's comments. "I've never felt like this before. It feels like you got hit by a train. All of a sudden, boom. You're out. I want to get married, but at the same time, I don't really know if Charlie could have handled me. I'm sure he was thinking in his mind, 'How can I settle down with this girl?' I'm not that wild a girl. I just like to have fun. I was starting to fall for Charlie drastically. He was crying, so he obviously cared about me. It was hard to say goodbye, but I feel like I'm gonna see him again. I'm sure I'll run into him someday."

Back in the house, Charlie hugs each of the women in turn, but it's clear that he is still shaken up about sending Kim home. He tells the camera, "I'm just hoping on these (overnight dates) that something becomes clear because I need it. I I've got a lot of questions, and I don't have one answer."

I wish Charlie had sent Sarah W home, but I'm not surprised it was Kim. During his hometown visit with Kim, Charlie seemed to enjoy her family, but, whenever he was alone with Kim, he seemed uncomfortable. And, maybe the prospect of having to try to make conversation with Kim for a whole day was just too much.

Next Week on The Bachelor

Note: The information below is taken both from the previews shown at the end of the episode, and from an ABC press release dated April 26, 2005, and posted on

On the May 2 episode of The Bachelor, Charlie takes the three remaining women on overnight fantasy dates to Aruba. The overnight dates in an exotic locale are a standard Bachelor feature, but the twist this time is that, the women find, to their surprise, that all the dates will take place at the same resort, and that all the women will be staying at the resort until the rose ceremony. Also, for the first time, the rose ceremony will take place on site, and not back in New York. (I'd like to think that these "twists" were added for creative reasons, but like many other changes this season, I suspect it's no coincidence that they also save production costs.)

Charlie and Sarah W go riding on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), but in the previews, we also see several scenes of passionate kisses between them in the ocean. And, in the evening, as Charlie and Sarah W eat dinner, Krisily lurks nearby, trying to overhear. In one scene in the previews, we hear Sarah W say to Charlie that she would love nothing more than to wake up next to him tomorrow morning.

On Charlie's date with Sarah B, they go sailing, and finally kiss for the first time. They have some serious discussions, including the possibilities of either of them moving to be with the other. At the end of the day, they go back to Charlie's room where they kiss again, but Sarah B tells Charlie that she isn't comfortable staying the night, and goes back to her room.

Krisily is enjoying her first trip out of the U.S., but Sarah W interferes, first by tracking down Krisily to try to talk with her, and later, by trying to spy on Krisily and Charlie in Charlie's room (but finds that they aren't there). Krisily's claustrophobia becomes an issue again when she and Charlie go snuba diving--a cross between scuba and snorkeling. (The producers had to have given Krisily the snuba date just for that reason. That seems kind of mean, since it isn't as if the producers won't get plenty of drama as it is.) Krisily and Charlie do end up back in Charlie's room, but we hear Charlie comment in one of the previews, "She's already fully decided that I'm right for her—and that's terrifying," as they show scenes of Charlie and Krisily sharing a shower (in bathing suits) in what looks like it could be the fantasy suite.

At the rose ceremony on the beach, Charlie calls out the name "Sarah," while the voiceover asks, "What happens when both Sarahs think they're getting a rose?"

Of course, one big question for those of us watching will be, "Do any of the couples have sex?"....The previews suggest that Charlie could have sex with either Sarah W or Krisily (or both). Or, if Charlie is still having strong feelings for Sarah B, he could decide not to have sex with any of the women for fear of jeopardizing his relationship with Sarah B. On the other hand, Sarah B's decision not to spend the night in the fantasy suite could be a deal breaker (as it has in previous Bachelor seasons). Certainly Sarah B's values and lifestyle are very different than the way Charlie has been living, and different from those of the other two women.

Over the credits, we are shown another cute scene between Charlie and Krisily's Nana. First, Charlie teases Nana about whether she talks to his picture and kisses it. Nana says she definitely does both, and says she just loves The Bachelor....Then, as Charlie sits next to Nana on the couch, Nana says to the others, "We're touching legs! Isn't this wonderful?" Charlie then makes Nana's day by kiddingly putting his leg over hers, and giving her a big hug. Nana screams with delight. While this is going on, Krisily is sitting on the other side of Charlie, laughing, but also dying, and exclaims, "I have the most embarrassing family in the country."

Spoilers and Speculation

I've spent this entire season not having any good guesses about what will happen on the next episode, and this week is no different. I can make good arguments about why each of the three remaining women is a good candidate to go home.....But, I realized tonight that part of my problem in making educated predictions is that Charlie has virtually no idea about what he's going to do next, and, in fact, is waiting until the rose ceremony itself to make his decision. Even this far along in the process, I think Charlie still doesn't know what he is really looking for or wants, so it makes it very hard to guess which woman best fits the bill.

There was one small rumor this week, that Sarah B's house in Texas is up for sale. Many people are guessing that it's because she's moving to be closer to Charlie. However, Sarah B could also be selling her house for privacy reasons, since it's now been shown on national TV. We'll see.

Usually by now we have a spoiler from the National Enquirer about the identity of the bachelor's final pick. Of course, this season, the spoiler would be the identity of the final two women, since Charlie continued to date the final two women after filming was over, and won't make his final choice until the live finale. Since we'll know the final two next Monday anyway, if the NE hasn't told us by now, it's not much of a scoop.

Until next week!