Read more about Xavier Bonner on ‘The Bachelorette’
The UNC-Chapel Hill doctoral candidate is courting Charity Lawson on Season 20 of “The Bachelorette.” Here’s our coverage.
UNC Ph.D. candidate Xavier Bonner took “Bachelorette” star Charity Lawson to his hometown on this week’s episode, a very big step for the couple.
But, we must remember, Charity also visited the hometowns and met the families of three other men this week: Aaron, Dotun and Joey. So while Xavier, forever known to us as the “unbothered knitting biomedical king,” is our hometown favorite, it’s not a slam-dunk for him.
What happened on his date? Did his family embrace Charity or scare her away? Where does he stand after this pivotal episode?
Here’s what happened.
Xavier’s hometown date
Xavier’s hometown date, in Cleveland, Ohio, was the third date we saw Monday night, but we’ll get right to it. (Note: According to reports, Xavier’s hometown is actually the suburb of Euclid, but I think nearby Cleveland has a little more going on.)
Staying right on brand, Xavier takes Charity to a knitting circle and teaches her to knit. They pick out Carolina blue yarn and they chat with other knitters while he shows her the moves. Xavier says he knits when he feels stressed, that it eases his mind. He’s very patient with her and she actually knits a little bit — and is very excited about it. Xavier said he can imagine them doing artistic things together.
Xavier’s family is excited to see him, very warm and welcoming. Xavier is close to his mom, and his mom has questions for Charity. Charity has questions for mom, too. She asks if she thinks Xavier is ready to be married right now. Mom said she knows he wants to be married and wants to be a dad, so it sounds like what she needs to hear.
Xavier asks his dad how you know when it’s right, when it’s going to last for 30 years, and Dad says it’s a feeling. Dad asks him if he thinks Charity is the one and Xavier thinks he “can get there.”
He tells Charity after they leave his family that he’s falling in love with her. Charity tells the camera that her feelings are “conflicted x 100” but she’s feeling great and thinks Xavier could be her husband.
The other hometown dates
▪ Aaron: Charity went to Houston to meet Aaron’s mom, dad, older brothers and sister-in-law. His mom was a tough customer, and asked Charity point-blank if Aaron asks her to marry him, will she say yes. Charity says … probably not, but says it’s not a reflection of Aaron, just where they are at the moment. His dad looks distractingly like Urkel, but his family overall is very, very nice.
After a chat, Aaron’s dad gives him a big hug and tells him he loves him, which makes Aaron cry. His mom and dad both use the word “smitten” to describe how Aaron acts with Charity. After meeting the family, they hang out on a football field and Aaron busts out matching letterman jackets with their names on the back. Then they dance.
▪ Joey: Joey’s hometown is Lawai, Hawaii (big bonus points!) and the first thing they did together was play tennis (he’s a tennis pro). Charity admits to being giddy and giggly with him. Joey’s Uncle Joe shows up and spends some time with them on the court — he’s very important to Joey and Joey values his opinion. But, Uncle Joe feels something isn’t quite right.
It’s worth pointing out (again) that Joey is white and Charity is Black, and she’s understandably nervous about meeting his family.
Joey’s family is really nice, but not warm and fuzzy like Aaron’s. His sister is protective and confirms that Joey’s a sweetheart. Joey’s mom is very worried that he’s going to get hurt. Uncle Joe says his concern is that Joey’s a people-pleaser and not really being himself with Charity, that he’s being the person he thinks Charity wants. This sounds similar to one of his mom’s concerns, so that’s interesting.
Charity talks to Uncle Joe and it’s not surprising that he’s not super encouraging. He asks her if she thinks she’s getting “the real Joey,” which plants doubts in her head. Is he trying to sabotage this? (I think so.)
Charity went from saying she was ready to tell Joey that she was falling in love with him to saying she’s concerned. When she has the chance, she does not tell him that she’s falling in love. As they say goodbye, she cries and doesn’t look at him, and now Joey’s worried.
▪ Dotun: As much as I like Xavier, Dotun is the one I think Charity really, really loves, so this date will be interesting. Charity meets Dotun’s brothers and sisters and grandparents in Fresno, California, but he tells her that his parents are in Nigeria. Right away his grandmother says she thinks they are bonded in heaven. Then! Dotun’s parents surprise them — they skipped their trip to Nigeria — and everyone cries.
His family is very encouraging and welcoming. When Dotun’s mom asks her how she feels about her son, Charity cries. They all love her, she loves all of them.
I think this is Charity’s new family.
After meeting the fam, Dotun takes Charity to a drive-in movie in a classic Thunderbird. They snuggle in a blanket and watch home videos from both of their childhoods. Tears stream down Charity’s cheeks, she’s so happy.
Did Xavier get a rose? Who gets eliminated?
Charity had to say goodbye to one of the men, and the unlucky fellow was … Aaron. (Take that, Uncle Joe.)
That means Xavier did get a rose and he’ll meet Charity’s family very soon.
That also means that Aaron was eliminated. He seemed crushed. Charity is crying super hard when she says goodbye to him and he tells her he’s just trying to hold it together, so he’s taking lots of deep breaths and not saying a lot. Whew, I do feel so bad for Aaron, especially after meeting his family and seeing how sweet they are.
How to watch ‘The Bachelorette’
“The Bachelorette” airs at 8 p.m. each Monday on ABC. You can also stream on Hulu.
Next week’s episode is the “overnight date” episode. And from the previews, it looks like there’s some serious drama.
This story was originally published July 31, 2023, 10:03 PM.