Chris Harrison's full blog posting at EW
Obviously we have a lot to talk about this week with Ali leaving. I will get to that below but in cases like this I often end up glossing over or completely skipping the rest of the episode and I don’t want that to happen this time. The hometown dates have always been one of my favorite parts of this show. Just like in life, on this show you can be fake or manipulate your way through many situations, but not when family is involved. When you bring your family into a relationship, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t hide who you really are. For better or for worse that’s who we are. That’s where we all came from. For some this is a source of pride and for others a source of embarrassment but bottom line, good or bad it’s family and that’s something you can’t fake or change.
I have been asked several times what I think about Jake’s final four. My initial response to that is, who the hell am I to judge who someone has or hasn’t fallen in love with? With that said, I understand that part of my job is often judging situations like this. I know Jake pretty well and I’ve gotten to know these women as well. I understand what Jake sees in each of them and I completely understand where he’s coming from when he says he’s falling in love with all four of them. They each represent something different he’s looking for, but in many ways they are all very much the same (not that Vienna and Ali would admit that). As I watched Jake with these families I was struck by how sincere and articulate he was. He is incredibly good at expressing his feelings to people and that is not an easy thing to do in any situation much less in this one. We saw this first with Gia’s family in New York. I have noticed Gia really open up over the last few weeks. She seems extremely vulnerable right now and there’s only one reason for that, she’s in love. Jake and I both admitted that we were guilty of judging this book (Gia) by its cover when we first saw her. We talked openly that first night that we weren’t sure she was a woman of substance but we couldn’t have been more wrong. Gia is a very interesting, complex woman and it’s easy to see why she and Jake have become so close. More here.