Hello! And welcome! Tonight's episode of The Bachelorette was the hometown dates, and it proved to be the most interesting so far this season. We learned a lot more about the men by seeing them with their families. And, I was amazed at how different each of the families was.

But, even though I enjoyed tonight's episode, I'm finding that, as the weeks go on, I'm getting more frustrated with Jen. One commenter disagreed with me a couple of weeks ago when I suggested that Jen might be shallow, but, at this point, I'm not sure what to think. I still don't feel like I know what makes Jen "tick," and what differentiates her from the thousands of other blonde twenty-somethings out there. We hear over and over that Jen is "scared but excited" but not much else. As usual, I'll give Jen some benefit of the doubt because she has no control over how she is edited by the producers. But, normally by this time in the season, I feel like I know the bachelor/bachelorette much better than I know Jen right now.

Also, I still feel like Jen is holding back—that she isn't really "in" this. In some ways, that is probably natural considering the circumstances. But, to me, at least, she seems uncomfortable rather than excited by the unknown experiences ahead of her. She uses the word "scared" a lot, and instead of throwing herself into the experience, is overwhelmed by it.

We also didn't get to see much physical affection between Jen and the four men during this episode—or at least nothing that was particularly revealing, so we don't have much new information about the chemistry between Jen and each of the men.

On the Internet This Week

The big news this past week was the spoiler published by the National Enquirer giving the identity of the man Jen picks at the final rose ceremony. Granted, the National Enquirer isn't my usual primary source for accurate news. But, so far, the NE has had a perfect track record in revealing the identity of the finalist in The Bachelor/Bachelorette, so I'm treating this as more than an idle rumor. Even though the NE info was published almost a week ago, in case some of you have been on vacation or have deliberately avoided the NE predictions, I'll discuss them in the last section of the recap.

Before I move on to the recap, I highly recommend Ben's article this week in the Aspen Daily News about his last night on the show....Enough for now.

Previously on The Bachelorette and Preview of Tonight's Show

The "Previously on The Bachelorette" portion of the show was the usual stuff. One interesting thing, though, was that the producers must be as sick of Fabrice as we are, because they didn't even mention Fabrice's melodramatic speech to Jen and his voluntary exit from the rose ceremony.

"Tonight Jen will travel to each bachelor's hometown to meet their families."..."But what she sees will shock her."...Jen to the camera: Does anyone else think this is weird?..."And, an unexpected blackout changes everything. Which family will blow one of the bachelors' chances with Jen?"...."And then it's the moment we've all been waiting for. Who will Jen choose, and who will be sent home crushed? Find out tonight on The Bachelorette."...We saw pretty much these same preview scenes at the end of the last show. However, when I reviewed this preview after seeing the show itself, it seemed as if the misleading parts of the preview were even more obvious than usual. For example, Jen's "weird" remark is shown in the context of her visit with Wendell's family, but she said it during her visit with Ryan's family.

Jen Visits John Paul in Oklahoma City

We watch Jen and the men pack their suitcases and leave their New York houses, and hear a voiceover from Jen, telling us that she's not sure how she feels about the four remaining men, and she's hoping that meeting their families will help put things in perspective....Jen is going to Oklahoma City with John Paul; Medford, Oregon with Ryan; Chicago with Wendell; and Rochester, NY with Jerry.

Jen's first visit is to Oklahoma City, where she meets John Paul in a park....Jen and John Paul greet each other with a big hug....JP says to the camera: Up until this point, it hasn't been the right time for me to kiss Jen, but today's gonna be a good chance for me to show Jen that I'm ready for this commitment. I have a house, and I have a financially stable background, so she's gonna be able to see it firsthand today....JP tells Jen that since she's in Oklahoma City for the first time, he has a little surprise for her...It's a pair of cowboy boots just like JP's. Jen tries them on, and tells JP that she loves them....Then Jen and JP get in a van to go visit JP's parents.

It's still daytime when Jen and JP pull up to JP's parents' house. It is large and well decorated—JP's family is obviously affluent....Jen meets JP's parents (Paul and Suzy) who are both good-looking and casually well-dressed, and JP's teenaged brothers, Jake Ryan and Jeffrey Conley....BTW, we never do find out why all five brothers have two first names, particularly since it appears that JP's parents have been shortchanged with only one first name apiece....Jen sits down and makes small talk with the family outside on a spacious patio....Jen is asked if she is into sports. She says that she was a cheerleader, and Suzy says that she was a cheerleader, too. Jen also says that her father and brothers are big sports fans... Jen asks the family to tell them more about JP, and JP's father kiddingly says, "Maybe we'd better not say."...(And that's all we ever learn about JP.)

JP's mom asks Jen if she can take her away alone for a bit to talk.....As the two women walk away, Jen tells the camera: John Paul's definitely getting points for his family, and I felt right at home. They're very into sports, like my family, and as soon as I met John Paul's mom, I instantly knew that we would get along.....Jen asks Suzy how she is feeling about all this....Suzy confesses that, at first, she wasn't sure whether JP should do the show, but then says, "But I really do think it is destiny."...Jen agrees....Suzy says that she is eager for grandchildren, and Jen tells her that 28 seems old, and that she'd never thought she'd be 28 and not (married)...Suzy tells Jen: I really do think that if you decide to pick him, whether you do or not, you'll never be sorry, 'cause I think he's always gonna be good and true to whoever he marries....Then Suzy tells the camera that she hopes it will work out between Jen and JP because Jen would be great in this community (Note: whatever that means) and this family....After the talk, Jen and JP hug the family good-bye, and get back in the van to visit JP's house....Jen tells the camera that JP's family was wonderful, and she has no doubt that JP would make a wonderful husband and dad, and she doesn't doubt that JP would give anything less than 100%.

Jen and JP drive up to JP's house, which isn't as large or luxurious as that of his parents, but very nice. After Jen makes a few more remarks to the camera about how settled and mature JP is, she is introduced to JP's "partner in crime"—the chef and manager at one of JP's restaurants, who is cooking them dinner tonight....Jen asks JP if he has a cook every night, and JP says that unfortunately he doesn't...Jen kids JP that a cook might not be such a bad thing because she doesn't really cook.....Wow! Jen isn't perfect. It made me like her better.

Over dinner, JP asks Jen whether she thinks he would get along with her family....Jen says her mom and JP's mom would never stop talking. And, sports is the focus in both of their families....Then JP invites Jen outside for dessert....After telling that camera that this could possibly be the girl for him, JP asks Jen: Is this something you could easily see yourself in my life and being comfortable in this atmosphere?...Jen: Absolutely. Could you see me fitting in here? I mean, truthfully...JP: I could see you fit in here so easy, it's scary. I don't think this night could have gone any better....Jen agrees, and JP leans over to kiss her. It is a nice kiss, but it isn't a "no holds barred" romantic kiss...JP tells the camera: Tonight was that perfect opportunity, and we both felt it, and we both meant it. I think I really am starting to fall for her......In her turn, Jen tells the camera: I am really surprised at my feelings about John Paul tonight. I am always attracted to the wrong guy, and John Paul could be the right one. I met his family. I see him for who he is, and it's sort of clicking. I am thinking about him in a whole different light after today.....The last shot is of Jen and JP sitting in front of the fireplace, with Jen's head on JP's shoulder, and JP stroking her hair.

Well, Jen's visit in Oklahoma City is perfect, in a sort of 50's, affluent family sort of way, with the boys into sports and the girls into cheerleading. This is the most emotion we have seen from JP, but I wouldn't describe him as a having a wide emotional range. JP planned and timed his kiss with Jen like he might plan a new business, and the kiss was successful, but I didn't see sparks. And, let's be honest here, Oklahoma City, with 500,000+ population isn't a small town, but it's not Chicago (which has roughly 8 million people in the greater Chicago area). Even if Jen grew up in a similar type of Midwestern suburb, would she be happy living in Oklahoma City?. Since JP's investments seem to be focused in the Oklahoma City area, I don't know if he'd be willing or able to easily relocate.

Jen Visits Ryan in Medford, Oregon

Jen's next visit is with Ryan is his hometown of Medford, OR. They meet at a skating rink and skate for awhile....Ryan is pretty sure on his feet, but Jen apparently hasn't ice skated much and is pretty shaky...Ryan tells the camera: Best-case scenario--Jen falls in love with my family, my family falls in love with her, things continue to progress with Jen and I, and we fall in love with each other, and I'm the guy that's standing here at the end....Then the two of them sit down on a couch by the rink with hot drinks...Jen tells the camera: Seeing Ryan today just feels right and normal, and I am so excited, because I was hoping that there would still be a spark there. It turns out it was just incredible....Ryan tells Jen that he is a little nervous, because he hasn't brought a girl home to meet his parents since his last serious relationship.

Jen and Ryan drive off in a van to Ryan's house, which is a middle class, suburban one-story ranch house, with trees around it. The decor is comfortable and homey...Ryan introduces Jen to his dad Scott, his mom Barbara, and his youngest sister McKenzie...Barbara tells the camera: My first impression of Jen was that she was beautiful, and I was excited to tell them about our recent trip to Thailand....It turns out that Ryan's parents have just returned from a trip to Thailand and their trip is the theme of the evening...Barb and Scott talk about riding elephants, visiting temples. We also learn a new factoid: The paper umbrellas in tropical drinks are made by hand.

As the conversation about Thailand continues, Jen just sits there quietly and looks more and more uncomfortable....Jen tells the camera: As the night went on, I just wanted to be like, "Is anyone else listening to this? Does anyone else think this is weird?" The family clearly loves Ryan, yet they didn't seem too concerned about the fact that he just brought a new girl home....Note: I didn't think the conversation was strange at all. My family travels a lot, particularly my mother, and I know firsthand the excitement of talking about a trip right when you first get back. Actually, I found Ryan's parents' anecdotes about Thailand more interesting than the conversations of most of the other men and their families...More disturbing to me than Ryan's parent's talking about their trip was the fact that Jen didn't seem interested in conversation if it didn't revolve around her. For example, we never saw Jen ask Ryan's parents any questions about their trip, or make any effort to find other subjects to talk about....I'll cut Jen some slack because she's been cut off from the world, and everything for weeks has revolved around her. But, at Ryan's house, Jen came across to me as a spoiled little girl who couldn't handle not being the center of attention for once....Also, where was Ryan in all this? When he saw Jen was uncomfortable, why didn't he try to steer his parents' conversation into areas everyone could talk about?

Ryan's mom makes her Mexican specialty for dinner--"barbaritas" for dinner and the family asks Jen if she likes Mexican food...Of course, leads to a conversation about Thai food.....Ryan comments on his parents: My parents were putting too much pressure on themselves. They've never done anything like this. Took them a while to loosen up, but I think by the end of the evening, they were starting to become more like themselves....Ryan and his father sit outside by themselves for awhile...Scott says to Ryan: I'll tell you, she's a very nice young lady....Ryan: She's great. Like I said, she just makes me feel very comfortable, and I just think she's easy to talk to....Ryan tells his dad that Jen is his age, 28...Scott asks Ryan what color eyes Jen has...Ryan: Brown eyes....Scott: I just wanted to see if you're checking....Scott tells the camera: I know that Ryan's only known Jen for a short time, but I think that he has a very serious interest in her. I think it would be a good match.

Back in the house, Barbara tells Jen: When I was in high school, I went to a party, and we all signed the bathroom walls, and I always thought that was such a neat thing....Jen: Ryan's mom showed me she wallpapered the kids' bathroom with construction paper, where she has people sign every time they come into the house. And I signed my name, and I thought that was actually kind of cool....Jen thanks Barbara for letting her sign the bathroom wall, and they share a big hug...However, despite this display of affection, Jen tells the camera: Tonight was a bit uncomfortable, but I understand where they're coming from. Maybe they just were uneasy about the whole situation. I do have to give them the benefit of the doubt. They're very, very nice people, and I think that they could have just been really nervous about having me around and everything that came along with me.

Ryan walks Jen to the van, and kisses her good-bye. He says in a voiceover: There were times I could tell Jen was uncomfortable, and I know my parents felt the same way. But I hope that I get a rose at the next rose ceremony and just have a chance to spend even more time with her.

It's odd, I couldn't see the reason why this visit would be uncomfortable at all. In fact, of the four families, Ryan's family is the one where I would have felt most comfortable.

Jen Visits Wendell in Chicago

Next we see Jen on her way to Wendell's apartment in Chicago. Although they show a couple of nice shots of Chicago, they don't make Wendell's neighborhood look the best, and Jen looks a little apprehensive as she walks through a dark street to his apartment...As she walks, Jen says in a voiceover: I'm in Chicago tonight to meet Wendell's family. I'm really excited to spend some time alone with him because we really haven't had enough time together. On paper, Wendell is perfect for me. He lives in Chicago. He's very successful, very close to his family, and he's funny, down-to-earth. Tonight I want to see if Wendell is right for me....Jen comes into Wendell's apartment, which is much nicer than his neighborhood. It is spacious, with a brick "loft" look, and the biggest white couch I have ever seen....After greeting Wendell, Jen sits on the couch with him, and asks him what his family is thinking about Wendell bringing Jen home...Wendell: I know for a 100% fact that they're very excited....Then Wendell asks Jen: What are the things that you like right now, and what are the things that you don't like about me?....Jen: I just know that I'm always comfortable with you, and I always have a good time....Wendell: I'm really excited for this (hometown visit), 'cause this is when you're gonna be able to see who I am....Jen: I still feel like I know who you are. That's the other thing I like about you. I'm not questioning your motives or your intentions or anything....Wendell: My motives are good. Even if I wasn't interested, I'd tell you. I'm not here to play around either.

Jen and Wendell leave the apartment to drive to his mom's house in the suburbs....Jen tells Wendell that she's nervous, but excited....(Gee, that's an original thought, Jen.)...Wendell reassures Jen: Don't be nervous. I'll take care of you....As they drive, Wendell says in a voiceover: The drive from my apartment out to my mom's place was just so normal. It was just like the two of us in everyday life, just kind of talking. I could have driven forever.

They pull up to a typical Chicago Victorian-style suburban house. The inside was warm and homey—it reminded me a lot of the family homes of my friends who come from ethnic backgrounds....Jen: I walked into Wendell's house, where I met his mom, Judy, his sister Wendy, his brother, Danny, his brother-in-law, Jeff, and his sister Sarah...Everyone greets Jen enthusiastically and asks her if she wants something to drink...Jen says to the camera: I walked into a house full of Wendells, and it was full of energy.....It's also clear from the conversation that the family drank a lot of wine before Jen and Wendell arrived....(Note: We've heard that Jen and Wendell arrived several hours later than expected.)....Jen comments on this in a voiceover: Wendell's family had a lot to drink tonight, but I thought, "Whatever. Go with it." It was so much fun....And, Jen does seem comfortable (unlike Ryan's family) But, of course, maybe that's because the conversation (sloshy as it is at times) still revolves around Jen. Meow! Slap my hand. Sorry, I just couldn't help myself.

After awhile, Wendell's sister Wendy invites Jen and Wendell's mom into the kitchen to talk...They ask Jen whether she likes Wendell, and whether she likes Chicago...Jen answers that of course she likes Wendell, and she loves Chicago...Wendy and Judy ask Jen if Wendell has a chance, since he seems like he likes Jen a lot...Jen answers: I like him, too. He's such a good guy....There is an awkward moment when Wendell's mom says: Andrew Firestone--he was one of the ones that I didn't like. I thought he was a little stuffy...Jen covers well, and replies: We're just different--different backgrounds....Wendell's mom assures Jen that she seems much better than Andrew Firestone...Wendy thinks it would be neat to watch Wendell propose to Jen on TV....But later, Wendy expresses some doubts to the camera: The thought of having a sister-in-law in three weeks is a little shocking. I don't know if it's possible to have chemistry in this situation, but I guess it could happen.

When the family sits down to dinner, Wendell is asked what he likes about Jen...Wendell answers: She makes me feel kind of like safe. That's, like, the coolest thing. She's just a good person. Obviously, she makes me feel happy. If I was in Chicago, I'd be chasing her like crazy....Wendell goes on to tell the camera: I could see myself falling in love with Jen, but right now, I want to find out of this is real. I feel like it's real on my end. I just need to find out if it's real on her end, 'cause I have no idea what's going on on these other dates because I've chosen not to think about it. Maybe I'm just kind of going through this blind....After dinner, Jen says her good-byes to the family...Jen tells the camera: Sitting down with Wendell's family, it felt comfortable, it felt normal, and I could see myself there at holidays. I could see my family there, and I could see all of us getting along really well. I'm looking for a quality family behind the man, and that is exactly what I found in Wendell's family.

After Jen leaves, Wendell asks the others what they thought about Jen...Wendell's mom says: I think she's really great, but I don't want to see you get hurt.....Brother in law Jeff expresses some doubts, as well: My vibe from her--she's a great girl. (But) is she into you? I don't know. I think she's got to determine who she's into the most...The family asks Wendell if he feels a spark between he and Jen, and he answers that he wouldn't be there if he didn't...But Wendell's mom says in a voiceover: I think Jen enjoyed being here. I think she was sincere when she said she liked us. But I don't get the feeling that Jen is into Wendell the way Wendell's into Jen.....If it's true that mom knows best, I think Wendell's mom has captured the situation perfectly.

Jen Visits Jerry in Rochester, NY

Jen's last hometown visit is to Rochester, NY to meet Jerry's family....As Jen drives to meet Jerry, she says in a voiceover: The last time I saw Jerry, I asked him about meeting his family and if he felt comfortable bringing me home, and he seemed a little bit weirded out by that. I was suspicious that Jerry had something to hide, and I have a lot of questions for him that I need to find answers to....Jerry is standing outside his old high school (looking cold). When Jen drives up he kisses her enthusiastically....Jerry says in a voiceover: Jen's meeting me here at my high school. It's very symbolic because, since I met her, I definitely have been feeling like a teenager all over again. This is my past, and this is where I grew up, and so if I can show her that side of me, that will help explain a little bit more about myself to her....We don't see much of the high school, only the art classroom....Jerry is very nervous, and talks very fast...Jerry: So this is my life. I'm sharing my childhood and everything with you....Jen: You said you haven't been home in a long time? What made you want to leave in the first place?...Jerry: It's just not me, you know. This is a great place to come back and visit but not the place I was gonna spend the rest of my life....Jen says to the camera: Jerry always speaks very highly of his family, yet I know he hasn't been home for a very long time, so I kind of have no idea what to expect. I don't have a vision of what they're like in my mind.

Jerry goes on: We're gonna see my family later, which is exciting. I haven't seen my brother's place, so we're both gonna see that together for the first time. My mom's going to be there. And my mom's deaf, so there's gonna be an interesting little dynamic there...Jerry sighs and once again says how nervous he is....Jen: When Jerry told me that his mother's deaf, it just made me realize why he was a little bit hesitant about bringing me home to meet his family....Jerry reassures Jen about meeting and talking with his mom: It's gonna be the easiest thing for you. She's just like anybody else, other than the fact that she speaks a different language. I'll introduce the two of you. I'll just tell her that this is Jen....Then Jerry teaches Jen how to say, "My name is Jen" in sign language...Jerry tells the camera: Bringing Jen to meet my family is going to test whether or not this is a real relationship. What I need from Jen is to be open to the fact that my mom is deaf. I need to see the willingness to learn sign language, because the girl that I marry will absolutely need to be able to communicate to my mom.

On the way to meet Jerry's family, there is a countywide power outage. I can only imagine how the camera and light crews at Jerry's family's house scrambled to try to deal with this, and I suspect that Jen and Jerry drove around for quite awhile before they were ready. When Jen and Jerry arrive at the small suburban house, it is lit with candles everywhere. But, along with the camera lights, there is enough light for the family to read sign language, and it actually makes the atmosphere more homey.

Jen is introduced to Jerry's mom Paula, his brother Mike, his sister Linda, and his sister-in-law Christine...Jerry's mom gives Jen a very warm greeting and seems very pleased and surprised by Jen's attempts to introduce herself using sign language.....Jerry's mom asks Jen why she did The Bachelorette again, and Jen gives the typical answer we've seen before...Then, Jerry's brother Mike asks Jen what makes Jerry different than the other 25...Jen answers: First of all, he's very artistic--number one. He thinks about things, and he has things to say in a way that I'm, like, always surprised...Mike answers:. You're so right, but in these kind of situations, where he's putting his heart out there, are you ready to handle that? If you are, please be honest with him, 'cause that's the most important thing.

Jen tells Mike that she has some questions for him, and asks if he'll go into the living room with her...Mike tells the camera: Although I know Jen was trying to be as honest as she can be, I do know that she has to date three other guys, and I'm skeptical of her behavior...Jen asks Mike:. Seeing him (Jerry) with me, do you think he's interested in this?...Mike: I can't tell you yes or no, but I can tell you that I know how he thinks, and I know that he's not fake. And I'm being honest with you now more than anything....Jen says to Mike: In this situation, there are lots of people. I've been there. Is it about... money? ...Mike: Yeah. I don't know...Jen: I'm in a position where I question whether it's me or if it's the winning part....Jen tells the camera: When I was talking to Mike, he let me know that he doesn't know if Jerry's in this because he wants to win or because he likes me, and that worries me a little, because I have always questioned that about Jerry.

After the talk, Jen sits down on the couch with Jerry's mom to look at pictures of Jerry and the others when they were kids....Jen tells the camera: Jerry's mom made it so easy for me to communicate with her. She was showing me pictures of Jerry, and I could tell exactly what she was feeling, and I could understand what she was trying to tell me...Jerry's mom tells the camera (with Jerry's sister interpreting): She (Jerry's mom) is glad that Jen understands about the deaf culture--that she was willing to accept my mom....After warm good-byes and hugs from the family, Jerry walks Jen back outside to the van....In a voiceover, Jen says: Tonight I realized why Jerry was a little bit guarded and a little bit cautious about me meeting his family and his mom. It turned out that it really wasn't a problem....After Jerry kisses Jen good-bye and she drives away, he tells the camera: Throughout the night, I was worried about how she was gonna handle the pressure of being able to communicate with my mom, and she handled that brilliantly. I hope that they all saw the sweet side of Jen that I see as well.

Back in the house, Jerry asks the others what they think of Jen...Jerry's mom has concerns about whether Jen is being true or not. But she also says that she hopes that Jerry wins Jen's heart, and that Jerry doesn't get hurt....Jerry's brother Mike is also concerned, since Jen has to go through the motions with three other guys, he wonders whether Jen is going through the motions with Jerry...Jerry tells the camera: My brother's being skeptical because our job as brothers is to protect each other. But I've been real in every moment that I've been with Jen. I know how I feel about her, and best-case scenario, we end up together, and we spend the rest of our lives together.

Jen's visit to Jerry's family was genuinely touching. And, Jen handled the power outage and potential communication problems like a trouper. She seemed much warmer and herself with Jerry's family. As for Jerry, I like him a lot better after tonight. As you know, in the past, I've had mixed feelings about Jerry, and I still don't think he is the nicest of the remaining guys. But, despite Jen's very realistic concerns about Jerry, the Jerry we saw tonight seemed quite smitten with Jen. It seemed very important to him that Jen like his family. And, each week, we see a little more of the vulnerable side of Jerry. It may be that the arrogant sometimes mean side of Jerry is covering up that vulnerability......BTW--That little Dr. Chi analysis is provided free of charge—but remember, you get what you pay for. <g>

The Rose Ceremony

The bachelors have returned to New York City. As each one gets out of the limo and walks up the stairs of the men's house, we see scenes of their hometown date, and hear a voiceover from each of the men....Jerry: After my hometown date with Jen, I feel confident in getting a rose tonight. When I brought her home, I thought that was gonna be a stressful situation, and she did a wonderful job. I'm very excited that she could be the one for me.....Wendell: I left the hometown date knowing that we continued to connect. At tonight's rose ceremony, I'm confident I'm gonna get a rose because I definitely see myself wanting to raise a family and spend my life with Jen in Chicago.....John Paul:: My hometown date with Jen was amazing, and it just makes our relationship even stronger now. I think Jen really did feel comforted by the fact that our families are very similar. Based on everything Jen and I have shared, I'm very confident that I will be getting a rose tonight....Ryan: Tonight, as I was getting ready for the rose ceremony, I kind of kept playing back in my mind how my last date with Jen went. Things could have been a little smoother at the family portion. Everybody felt a little uncomfortable. I'm very nervous just about how it's all gonna play out.

Chris says hello to the men, and then says that he is going to go and get Jen....Jen gets out of her limo to walk up the stairs. Tonight she is wearing a simple short, black halter dress, with her hair down, but the top pulled back. She looks really nice, except that the false eyelashes are too much...As Jen walks up the stairs, we hear a voiceover from her: Every rose ceremony is difficult, but this one is especially difficult because the man I'm sending home, I've met his family, and he has been so sweet and nice to me--maybe a little much at times, but he's still a good guy. I'm gonna send him home, and he's gonna be hurt, and I feel bad.

Chris gives his standard pre-rose ceremony speech, reminding the men that there are only three roses...Jen thanks the men for welcoming her into their homes and tells them how hard this decision is. Yada Yada....You know the drill by heart now...As suspenseful music plays, Jen hands out the roses:

--John Paul

In case the men can't count to three, Chris tells them there is only one rose left.


Chris tells Wendell to say his good-byes, and we hear from Jen in a voiceover: It was so hard sending Wendell home tonight. He's been so wonderful to me, but there's just not an attraction there. I wanted to be attracted to Wendell, and I wanted to see if we would, but we just didn't....Jen walks Wendell down the stairs holding hands, and sits next to him on a bench on the landing...Jen says to Wendell: I think this whole time, I keep telling you how comfortable you make me feel, how great everything has been, and how I love when you're around, but I just feel like you're like my best friend....Ah yes, the old "I see you as a best friend" brush-off....Jen doesn't need to spell it out for Wendell, and, he tells Jen it's okay...As Wendell drives off in the limo, he says: You know, the signs were all there, but I was unwilling to see them. The fact of the matter is, there wasn't any romantic connection. I think that I was who I am, and I'm not gonna be someone different. I mean, I'm pissed it wasn't me, but there's nothing I could do about it.....It's interesting, the whole interview in the limo going home segment doesn't work as well in New York City. In LA, we knew that it is a long distance between the mansion and the person's hotel. But, it didn't look like there was very much traffic in Manhattan at that time of night, so the limo must have had to drive around in circle for awhile to get the interview.

Back at the house, Jen toasts the remaining three men.

Next Week on The Bachelorette:

We haven't seen lots of preview caps of the three overnight fantasy dates, so this week's previews are interesting...We hear Jen say: It's a little scary because I'm falling in love with more than one guy...JP tells the camera that he thinks he's starting to fall in love with Jen..."But will there be trouble in paradise?"...We hear Jen say to Ryan, "It's now or never."...And Jen says to Jerry, "It's an easy situation to get caught up in."...JP turns the tables on Jen, and asks her if she thinks Andrew still plays a factor..."Will the fireworks in the fantasy suite be too much for Jen to handle?"...We hear Jen say, "I'm still not ready to take things to the next level, " but we don't see who she is talking to..."Then, at the rose ceremony, the men are shocked with an unexpected surprise."...."Three men, two roses. Who will she choose? Who will she reject?

Find out next week on The Bachelorette."

This week's outtakes are fairly lame. It's just more footage of Wendell's family.

Spoilers and Speculation—Stop Here if You Don't Want a Spoiler of the Man Jen Picks

The National Enquirer article telling who Jen picks has been out for almost a week now, but people are still speculating on the Internet about who will win. The NE has been correct so far in its past Bachelor/Bachelorette spoilers, and we have no reason to believe that they will be wrong this time.

In case you've been out of the country, the NE has predicted that Jerry is Jen's final pick, with JP as number two, but that Jerry doesn't propose to Jen. (The ABC previews have been saying that there will be two proposals at the final rose ceremony, but the NE article doesn't address that.)

So, my prediction of Ryan being the winner is wrong. What can I say? I picked too early and I violated several of my own rules of thumb. One rule I ignored was, "Look at the chemistry." At least so far, Jen's chemistry with Jerry (or at least Jerry's chemistry for Jen) seems to be the strongest. However, at least one commenter would disagree with me on this—let's face it, analyzing levels of chemistry is very subjective.

I also violated another of my own rules, which is, "Don't just pick the man you like best." I have liked Ryan the best for several episodes now. And, before tonight's show, I would have said that Ryan was the best man of the three for Jen. But now, I'm not sure that any of the three are the right guy for her. Part of my problem, as I said earlier, is that I just can't seem to get a handle on Jen and what she is really looking for. And, in may be that Jen doesn't really know what she really wants or needs. But, for what it's worth, here is my take on the three guys:

--Ryan. Ryan is a genuinely nice guy—a "people person." I had been thinking that Ryan might be the best guy for Jen because Jen likes to be the center of attention, and Ryan doesn't seem to care. So, he wouldn't mind if Jen got more attention in public. But, I started to wonder whether Ryan was the right guy for Jen when he didn't take any steps to turn his family's conversation back to Jen, even though he could see she was bored by all the Thailand talk. Ryan may be too nice and passive for Jen. Unless he has a stronger side we haven't seen, Jen could potentially p*ssy-whip Ryan, and that usually doesn't make for a healthy long-term relationship.

--John Paul. Unlike Ryan, John Paul is a "thing person" not a "people person." And, from what he shows outwardly, he has a very limited emotional range. However, he is obviously a hard-working, loyal guy—I just don't know enough about Jen to know whether this would be enough, or whether she would bring out a more passionate side of JP. The kiss of death I see in this relationship is geography. All of JP's investments seem to be centered in Oklahoma City, and Jen seems like too much of a "big city" person to be happy in Oklahoma City.

--Jerry. As I said earlier, Jerry is growing on me. And, his feelings for Jen, are seeming more sincere each week. My concern about Jen and Jerry is that they both like being the center of attention. While the attraction between them may be strong, theirs could also be a stormy relationship with power struggles for attention. And, because Jerry seems to have strong ego needs and passions, I could see Jerry straying from time to time, especially since I haven't yet seen the same level of passion in Jen that I see in Jerry. But what do I know? It's just a TV show.

In any case, the fantasy dates on next week's episode should be interesting. If you're spending Valentine's Day with your sweetheart, tape the show, or, if you forget, you'll still get a recap from me. Until then!