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Rachel & Nick's 'Bachelor' Story Isn't Over Yet

By now, dedicated Bachelor Nation fans know the drill — after the end of a given season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, the new star (typically picked from the current contestant batch) of the next cycle is announced. Of course, this time around, it didn't exactly work out that way. Nick Viall being named The Bachelor spoiled the end of Bachelor in Paradise, confirming he and Jen Saviano didn't wind up together. Similarly, Rachel Lindsay's Bachelorette news confirms she won't win Nick's heart, weeks before the final rose ceremony. But do Rachel and Nick get a hometown date on The Bachelor before her inevitable elimination?

When we left off with last Monday's episode, Nick had surprised everyone by deciding to send another two women home outside of the traditional rose ceremony venue. Danielle Maltby was shown the door in the middle of her one-on-one date with Nick, while Kristina Schulman was pulled aside by the Bachelor and eliminated privately. That leaves Corinne Olympios, Vanessa Grimaldi, Raven Gates, and Rachel still in the running.

Normally, there are four hometown dates, which would indicate that all four of the remaining contestants are moving forward to bring Nick home to their families. But as Corinne correctly pointed out (wow, what a weird phrase that is to type...) Nick isn't doing things in the traditional Bachelor style. As with most episodes this season, Week 7 ended on a cliffhanger after Kristina went home, and it's not clear yet whether Nick is going through with the rose ceremony and making an additional elimination this week.

I think Corinne speaks for us all here.

The only woman who is definitely getting a hometown date is Raven, who won the sole date rose on the last episode, during the yacht group date in Bimini. It's still possible that Vanessa, Rachel, or Corinne could be eliminated in the opening moments of Monday's episode.

That being said, I doubt that Rachel is going home at the start of the next installment. For one thing, there's been way too much hype about Nick meeting Rachel's stern federal judge father (Sammy!) to let that all go to waste. At this point, I'm almost as excited for a Nick-"Mr. Lindsay" meeting as I am for a potential Nick-Raquel meeting.

For what it's worth, whenever the time does come for Rachel to be eliminated (pre-hometowns or after), it's sure to be an emotional moment. Nick posted a photo of himself and the soon-to-be Bachelorette (above) on Instagram, along with a heartfelt caption. "Bachelor Nation doesn't know how it all goes down yet, but as you'll surely see saying goodbye to Rachel was one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life," the Bachelor star wrote. "I have met very few people who possess as much beauty, grace, and charisma as Rachel and after hearing that she'll be the next Bachelorette I couldn't be more excited."

So however their love story ends up playing out, it looks as though they're still on good terms.