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'The Bachelorette' recap: Hometown week ends with a devastating elimination

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ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) After a tough round of eliminations on Monday, it was time for Tayshia to visit the “hometowns” of the four remaining men on Tuesday’s episode of The Bachelorette — which led to a heartbreaking elimination.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions, the men had to be creative and bring the flavor and feeling of their hometowns to the La Quinta Resort.  Members of each suitor’s families — who were tested and quarantined, according to the show’s strict protocols — were flown in as well.

First up was Milford, Massachusetts native Brendan, who treated Tayshia to a small-town carnival and had his young niece Aliyah tag along.  Later, Tayshia met Brendan’s older brother Daniel and his sister-in-law Christy, who had some tough questions for the once-divorced Brendan, as well as the Bachelorette.

After a round-robin of conversations, Brendan’s family saw a genuine “connection and spark” between him and Tayshia that earned their approval. Tayshia, addressing the camera afterwards, said she could “definitely” see herself “falling in love with Brendan.”

Next up was Haddonfield, New Jersey native Zac, who picked up on Tayshia’s desire to move to New York City one day and treated her to a glimpse of his old stomping grounds, such as hailing a cab and introducing her to NY-style pizza and bagels.

Then, it was off to meet Zac’s mother, Beatrice, father, Douglas, and brother, Matthew, the latter of whom had the toughest questions for Tayshia, including where her relationship with Zac stood compared to the other suitors. When she attempted to dodge the question, he suggested that it was one of the “deeper conversations” they needed to have with each other.

Otherwise, the family was happy with the positive change they saw in Zac. “Zac and I are GOOD!” she later gushed to the camera.

Ivan gave Tayshia a taste of his Filipino heritage, by teaching her how to make a crepe-like pastry called lumpia.  Then, it was time for the Bachelorette to meet Ivan’s parents, who had questions about what she had learned from her previous failed marriage.

Ivan’s mother was “skeptical” as to whether the couple could really be sure about their feelings for each other after dating for such a short time, but agreed to trust her son’s judgement.

An emotional moment followed when Ivan got a surprise visit from his younger brother, Gabriel, the “most influential person” in Ivan’s life.

Finally, Ben treated Tayshia to a day exploring his hometown, Los Angeles’ Venice Beach — or at least the closest he could come to recreating it at the resort.  The fun day ended with some conversation with Ben’s sister Madeline and popular chef Antonia Lofaso, best known for her appearances on shows such as Top Chef and Chopped.  Ben happens to be Antonia’s personal trainer.

It was Antonia’s conversation with Ben that led to a revelation — he was head-over-heals in love with Tayshia. Unfortunately, Ben’s old insecurities would once again get the better of him when he couldn’t get up the nerve to tell Tayshia how he felt.

Tayshia sensed Ben was holding back, and he paid for it at the rose ceremony, when Tayshia sent him home.  She gave one last chance to speak up after the ceremony, but again, he couldn’t find the words.  Instead, Ben’s journey ended with a long limo ride home, and the thoughts of what might have been.

Here are the men going to fantasy suites:

Brendan, 30, a commercial roofer from Milford, Mass.
Ivan, 28, an aeronautical engineer from Dallas, Texas
Zac C., 36, an addiction specialist from Haddonfield, N.J.

The Bachelorette two-night season 16 finale kicks off Monday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

By George Costantino
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