Michelle Young during episode 4 of her journey on 'The Bachelorette'
Source: ABC

Is 'The Bachelorette' Bringing Back Real Hometown Dates for Michelle Young?

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Nov. 16 2021, Published 5:19 p.m. ET

Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 18 of The Bachelorette.

After weeks spent in the world of the Bachelor franchise, contestants are removed from their bubble and forced back to reality for everyone's favorite segment: hometown dates.

Typically, the lead travels to different areas across the country to meet the families of their final four. However, the past few seasons have had to make accommodations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In Season 16 of The Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams hosted the families at the La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs. For Season 25 of The Bachelor, the first Black bachelor, Matt James, welcomed four families to the Nemacolin Resort in Pennsylvania. For our Season 17 Bachelorette lead, Katie Thurston, the franchise once again avoided real hometown dates.

With Michelle Young's season of The Bachelorette flying by, fans are curious: Will Michelle get to go on real hometown dates for her season?

Michelle Young takes her men to her hometown on 'The Bachelorette'
Source: ABC
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Will Michelle Young have real hometown dates on 'The Bachelorette'?

At the end of Week 4, Michelle announced that her journey at Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa was over. The men looked visibly confused, but Michelle reassured them and let them know that they are all jetting off to her home state of Minnesota to continue the journey.

The fifth episode, airing on Tuesday, Nov. 16, follows Michelle and her men in her hometown. So, we can safely assume that when it comes time for hometown dates, Michelle will be traveling the United States to visit the places where her final four contestants grew up and meet their families.

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Michelle Young and her men head to Minnesota during Week 5
Source: ABC

However, Bachelor insider Reality Steve seems to think otherwise. On Nov. 2, he shared his typical "Reader Emails" and stated that he doesn't think Michelle filmed real hometown dates.

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"The timing of the schedule didn’t seem to allow for it, and, most importantly, there’s never been a season where when they traveled for hometowns, not one of them [was] ever seen filming," he wrote. "And that didn’t happen for Michelle’s guys, so, my guess is families were brought to Minnesota for her season."

Michelle's group date in Minnesota during 'The Bachelorette'
Source: ABC
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However, Reality Steve noted that "since most of Michelle’s spoilers this season are scarce, I guess there is a possibility they traveled for her hometowns (which was the plan pre-show before the Delta variant arose right around the time her hometowns would’ve happened)."

With production packing up mid-season and moving everyone to Minnesota, it makes sense for Michelle to have actual hometown dates, right? We understand that bringing them to Minnesota makes sense in some ways, but the fact that they head there gives fans all the more reason to believe our traditional hometown dates will also make a return.

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Michelle Young and Rodney Matthews during their one-on-one date.
Source: ABC

We know Joe Coleman makes it to hometowns, so obviously, Michelle doesn't have to travel far to meet his family. However, it wouldn't be fair to her remaining three suitors (Brandon Jones, Nayte Olukoya, and Rodney Matthews). For now, let's keep hoping that Michelle's season of The Bachelorette brings the franchise back on track with the usual hometown dates.

The Bachelorette airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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