‘Bachelor’ recap, Week 8: Four hometown dates and one very broken heart

Colton Underwood, left, and Caelynn Miller-Keyes in the February 18, 2019, episode of “The Bachelor.”
Colton Underwood, left, and Caelynn Miller-Keyes in the February 18, 2019, episode of “The Bachelor.” ABC

ABC promised “Bachelor” viewers a “devastating exit” at the end of Episode 8, and they didn’t disappoint.

It was the week for hometown dates, meaning Colton went to the hometowns of the four remaining women and met their families. The women left are Hannah G., Cassie, Tayshia and Caelynn Miller-Keyes, the 2018 Miss North Carolina USA.

Caelynn currently lives in Charlotte but has also lived in Asheville (she was Miss Asheville before becoming Miss North Carolina USA). Caelynn grew up in Fredericksburg, Virginia, so that’s where her date took place.

As usual, our recaps will have a focus on Caelynn, since she’s the North Carolina contestant.

Caelynn’s hometown

Caelynn’s hometown date in Fredericksburg was the first of Monday night’s show.

They took a horsedrawn carriage to Carl’s Ice Cream and then hung out in a park. Colton told Caelynn that seeing her in her environment gives him an idea of what life would be like with her after that — living together, getting a dog, traveling together, having kids.

Caelynn gave Colton the lowdown on which family members he was going to meet. Her biological dad is not part of her life, she told him, but her stepfather is who raised her and that’s who he’ll meet. “Today can definitely be the day where it changes the relationship for good or for bad,” Colton told the camera.

Colton Underwood, left, and Caelynn Miller-Keyes in the February 18, 2019, episode of “The Bachelor.” Josh Vertucci ABC

Caelynn’s family isn’t buying it

Colton met Caelynn’s family at a very large cookout and her stepfather John kept an eagle eye on him

Caelynn told her sister that the situation has been the hardest thing in her life, and that she thinks their relationship has progressed. Her sister was skeptical. She told her she has been through a lot and deserves the best, but she “questioned the sincerity of it.”

Meanwhile, Colton was meeting with Caelynn’s mom and told her that he’s falling in love with Caelynn. Her mom was also skeptical. Because they’re not crazy people.

Then Caelynn talked to her stepdad and told him that she loves Colton and wants to marry him. He told Caelynn that the way she talks about Colton, it sounds like they are “friends.” Caelynn told him their values align and she can see a future with him. Caelynn also told her stepdad that he’s been the best — and only — dad to her. He cried and thanked her. Then he went to question Colton. Colton asked John if he could have his permission to marry Caelynn if their feelings progress to that point. Dad just wasn’t really buying it. He pressed Colton on his maturity level, but ultimately gave his permission and said he will support them.

After they left her family, Caelynn told Colton that it meant the world to her that he fit in so well with them, and that she is “fully in love” with him.

“To me, in my heart, I feel like it’s us at the end of this,” Caelynn told the camera. “It feels good to be in love. I feel very good, very excited.”

The other dates, in brief

Birmingham, Alabama: Colton visited Hannah G’s hometown in Birmingham. She took him for a Southern Gentleman Etiquette Class before he met her family. He got a couple of “bless your hearts” while trying to eat a roll and found out he doesn’t pass food the correct way. (I feel like he got a very pretentious and judgy look at what people in the South are like.) They had dinner with Hannah’s family and the young women in her family were supportive. Her mom, not so much.

Orange County, California: For her hometown date in Orange County, Tayshia blindfolded Colton and took him skydiving. Colton admitted to being terrified, and said he supposed it was payback for taking her bungee jumping earlier in the season. Colton, famous for being a virgin, said a prayer before jumping: “God, please let me surive this fall. I still have to lose my virginity. I don’t know what I’m missing, but I heard it’s really good.” When it was over, he did seem happy he did it.

When they met her family that night, Tayshia’s family expressed concern because Tayshia is divorced and that was a painful ordeal for her. Her father in particular was very tough on Colton and really challenged him about how he could be in love with multiple people at the same time. I mean, he’s not wrong! Tayshia’s dad asked Colton not to lead anyone on. Colton asked her father for permission to marry her and the dad was basically, dude I just met you. And that was it. Without her dad’s blessing, he said he didn’t know what he’d do. Tayshia’s dad might be the smartest person to ever appear on this show. But after his talk with Tayshia, he felt a little better about things. He told Tayshia and Colton that he doesn’t like that they’re rushing things, but he reluctantly gave his blessing.

Huntington Beach, California: Colton didn’t have too far to go for his hometown date with Cassie. They started on the beach with Cassie teaching him to surf. It didn’t go well. In their chat on the beach, Cassie told Colton that a lot of how she feels about him will depend on how it goes with her family. The Magic 8 Ball vibe from Cassie’s dad? Outlook not so good. But on the other hand, Cassie is admittedly “not as far along” in her feelings as Colton is, so she’s not fully committed. Coltin asked dad for permission to marry Cassie and he responded that would be “a premature blessing.” It’s not what Colton wanted to hear. No “I love you” from Cassie and no blessing from dad.

Colton Underwood, left, and Caelynn Miller-Keyes in the February 18, 2019, episode of “The Bachelor.” Josh Vertucci ABC

The ‘devastating exit’

The four women gathered for one more rose ceremony. Three of them advance to Week 9, where they get a chance for Fantasy Suite (overnight) dates.

Caelynn said if she was sent home, “it would kill me. That would be horrible.”

Unfortunately, Caelynn was left without a rose at the end of the ceremony. She was clearly in shock.

She whispered to her friend Cassie, “I love you. Bye, friend. Get engaged.”

Then she walked outside and sat down to talk to Colton. She was understandably angry and hurt. She told Colton she “saw it” and thought they had a connection and that they would be together at the end.

“I feel stupid for thinking that. I feel like an idiot.” Then she sobbed and Colton held her.

From the back of the SUV driving her away, Caelynn said: “I’m shocked. Completely blindsided. I one hundred percent believed that I was getting engaged at the end of this. But Colton fooled me. For the first time in my life I let myself go there and let myself think that it was gonna happen and to see our future, and as soon as I let myself do that he said he wasn’t feeling the same. I knew it was too good to be true. I just have <bleep> luck when it comes to love. As soon as I allow myself to feel that way I get blindsided and dumped. I hope there’s someone out there for me. I really thought it was going to be us, so I don’t know what’s next. My heart feels broken.”

After Caelynn left, Colton asked host Chris Harrison if he could talk to him outside. What was that about? Don’t know because they showed previews for next week and then the show ended.

Well, it almost ended. It should have ended. But instead we had to watch Hannah G. rap while her dad gave her a beat. We can’t unsee that.

Next week

On Monday, March 4, we get Episode 9. The ending of this season is pretty crazy, according to internet rumors, so we can’t make a good guess as to what the format of that episode will be. But Chris Harrison promises next week is the week Colton jumps the fence.

And then we get the Women Tell All episode on Wednesday, March 5. Both of those episodes air at 8 p.m. on ABC.

The season finale airs on Monday, March 11, and the After the Final Rose episode airs on Tuesday, March 12.

Previous ‘Bachelor’ coverage

Learn more about this season’s North Carolina contestants Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Nina Bartula.

Our recap of Week 1 of ‘The Bachelor,’ when the women met Colton for the first time.

Our recap of Week 2, when we got the first indications of discord between Miss North Carolina USA and Miss Alabama USA.

Our recap of Week 3, when the battle between Miss North Carolina USA and Miss Alabama USA really caught fire.

Our recap of Week 4, when Caelynn told Colton about the trauma of being raped in college.

Our recap of Week 5, when Colton had it with all the bickering and stormed off the show without a rose ceremony.

Our recap of Week 6, when all three women leaving the show warned Colton that someone left on the show is trouble.

Our recap of Week 7, when Colton was told Caelynn and Cassie weren’t being honest with him, but he picked them anyway.

And going back to the previous season, here’s all of our coverage of Raleigh’s Jenna Cooper, from “The Bachelor” (Arie Season) and “Bachelor in Paradise.”

Raleigh's Jenna Cooper talks about life on ABC's "The Bachelor" in February 2018.

Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and answers CuriousNC questions for readers.