There’s one week left in Boot Camp and Steve hopes to see how the ladies will handle family, home and the men they’ve been dating by sending them to their hometowns…with their dates! Melissa quips, “If they think I’m awkward, meet the family.” Despina has never brought a guy home to meet her family, while Stephanie has brought too many guys home and is nervous her parents won’t take her progress seriously.
Last week’s ex-centric Boot Camp took a toll on Danielle’s emotions. She meets with JoAnn to discuss what the next steps are for her trip to Atlanta.JoAnn suggests that she “be direct” with Kevin and lay her feelings out on the table and see how he feels. Danielle needs to know her baby’s father, Kevin, is interested in pursuing a romantic relationship and if he isn’t, she needs to move on.
Elizabeth arrives in her hometown of Freehold, NJ. Steve tasks her to prove she is over her ex, Paul, for good. She tries to call him, but he doesn’t answer so she writes him a break up letter. As soon as she finishes, she feels like a weight has been lifted from her shoulders and she’s ready to introduce Carl to her family. She calls her parents, her twin sister, and four brothers, but not one person answers. She leaves them messages pleading with them to call her back. Elizabeth hopes the sincerity in her voice will persuade them to call her back. No one does, but in a show of optimism she makes dinner reservations for seven.
She and Carl show up and wait for over an hour before they realize no one is coming to support Elizabeth, so after several check-ins with the waitstaff, they finally clear the unused table settings. Elizabeth is mortified and scared that if she opens up to Carl he will leave her too. Carl is supportive and tells her it is impossible for her to grow if she is “always trying to appease everyone, especially family.” Carl hugs Elizabeth and tells her that he is “lucky that he got to meet her.” It means so much to Elizabeth that she can count on Carl. Everything is going to be all right!
Our next destination is Boston, MA. Despina brings Austin to her meet her father and their family’s doughnut shop. She is nervous to introduce Austin to her family because “What if they don’t like him and she has to hear about it for the rest of the year?” It seems silly, but the pressure is on as this is Despina’s first time bringing a date home. Her father has always told her “Don’t bring me guys. Bring me the guy, that’s going to open up the doors to care for you and put a ring on her finger.” Despina’s father teaches Austin the proper way to ice a doughnut, which Austin can’t seem to get right. Her father says Austin’s name about 200 times during their interaction so Despina fears that he doesn’t like him. Her father asks Austin questions about his relationship with his daughter, and starts “throwing jabs” while responding to Austin’s questions, which lets Despina know that he likes Austin!
After their time in the doughnut shop, Despina brings Austin back to her place to drink wine and talk about their future together. She learned “the more I opened up, the more he opened up and the more our relationship developed.” Steve’s advice is really sticking with Despina and she knows it. She would never have brought a guy home to meet her family without what she’s learned in Boot Camp so it looks like Steve has one less girl to worry about after Boot Camp is over.
Melissa is also from Boston, though she keeps her accent more hidden than Despina so you might not know it. Melissa introduces Chris to her father, sister and some girlfriends. Almost immediately her father breaks out her Bat Mitzvah photos. If you thought 25 year old Melissa was awkward, you can only imagine what 13 year old Melissa was like. It’s like getting into a time machine that makes the past more awkward than you could ever have dreamed! Melissa is embarrassed, but she follows Rule #59 — roll with it, your family can be embarrassing but if you roll with the punches you won’t be the punchline. Chris tells her she looked beautiful, even at 13, and she rejoices, “He didn’t call me ugly! Yay!”
Melissa is popping Chris’ Boston cherry so she takes him on a romantic ice skating date downtown. She admits she has never been ice skating before. Chris makes sure she doesn’t fall and helps her learn to skate and eventually even twirl! A date that could have gone awkwardly wrong turned out to be “really romantic.” That’s two weeks in a row that nerd love has prevailed! No word about Melissa’s “vagina tingles,” but she’s glowing as she describes her date so we can assume all is well in that department.
Next we’re off to Dallas, TX to meet Stephanie’s semi-conservative family. John is different than all the bad boys Stephanie has brought home in the past and her parents notice right away by asking where his tattoos are. To their pleasant surprise, John doesn’t have any. Stephanie and her mother have grown closer together over the years and her approval means a lot. While the two are in the kitchen, he mother asks her about her future with John and says “He’s definitely clean cut and he has manners and so I think that it’s a good choice. I’m proud of you.” Stephanie normally doesn’t go for guys like John, but she realizes she is falling for him, hard. Realizing how much Boot Camp has changed her for the better freaks her out, but in a good way!
Shalana is actually from New Orleans, so she and Aubrey didn’t have to travel far to meet her family. Before they meet her family, Aubrey takes her on a romantic picnic in the park — Shalana’s first picnic ever! She brings pictures of her son, Donald, to show Aubrey. He seems receptive to the idea of meeting Donald and she admits she is “falling for Aubrey.”
It’s time for Aubrey to meet her mother and son for the first time. She’s nervous how Donald will react to meeting Aubrey, luckily Aubrey brings him a gift to up his cool points. Shalana’s mother compliments him as being “a nice guy and a nice looking guy.” Two points for Aubrey! Just as everyone starts to get comfortable, Shalana’s mom makes a very dangerous statement in front of Donald. She tells Donald that he’s gonna finally get what he wants and that “Aubrey is gonna step up to the plate and be your step dad.” Shalana is mortified by her mother’s comment, but Aubrey handles it like a true gentleman. Aubrey says that “step-dad is a strong word” and that he and Shalana “have to be married first” before they can start discussing it. Then he invites Donald to play with blocks. Watching the two of them together makes Shalana “feel really good.” She has a feeling that everything is going to “fall into place.”
Boot Camp has provided most of the women incredible clarity, but Danielle is more confused about her situation than she has been for the past six years. Her challenge this week is slightly different than the other girls. Her challenge is as much about resolving the past as it is moving forward. Her trip to her hometown of Atlanta is the perfect time for Danielle to finally get clarity from her baby’s father, Kevin. She asks Kevin if if “he thinks they will ever be able to rekindle what they had” and tells him she needs either a no or a yes. Apparently she wasn’t clear enough because Kevin lets her know that on a scale of one to ten (one being “no way in hell” and ten “let’s get married today”) he would answer a five. Instead of the clarity she so desperately wanted from Kevin, she got more mixed signals.
Danielle needs a second opinion so she consults her mother for guidance. Momma knows best and she tells Danielle she’s breaking Rule #29: don’t over think things. Danielle’s mother has always been “the voice of reason” and gives Danielle some sage advice: “don’t turn down a guy that may be good for you for a situation that may not be good for you.” Danielle has a lot to think about.
As the other girls board their flights back to New Orleans, Danielle meets with Corey. She decides it “is just too early” for Corey to meet her son, but she does introduce him to her mother before rushing him out of the house and into the park to talk. As if it weren’t already clear that Corey is falling for Danielle, he explicitly lets her know that she “could possibly be the missing piece to my puzzle.” Corey’s sweetness is trumped by Danielle’s concerns about a long distance relationship with no end point. Corey is willing to work towards their being together, but Danielle has doubts. Corey tells her if she “wants it to work there’s nothing that can stop it but you.” She wants to take it step-by-step, but Steve thinks “it’s clear Danielle wants to end the relationship.”Steve worries she’s giving up a guy who really cares about her for a guy that’s just stringing her along.
The ladies are traveling this week so there is no hot seat until next week’s season finale! Who do you think has made most progress so far? Do you think that the ladies will be able to take Steve’s lessons with them after they leave Boot Camp? Let us know in the comments section.