Oh, The Bachelor. Is it possible that you’re taking a page out of Sweet Home Alabama‘s book this week in going to Park City, Utah? It was awfully rural, and by Bachelor standards those dates were down-to-earth. Sure there was the occasional helicopter and fear-conquering activity, but fly fishing, horseback riding and picnics are all dates that seem more up Devin, Tribble, or Paige’s alleys.
This is Major Ben to Ground Control
The first one-on-one date this week went to Rachel, who informed us that her previous relationship had ended because of her “communication issues”. Whatever that means. Seeing Ben arrive to pick up another girl sent Kacie B. into a teary emotional spiral, because she just wants to be at the grocery store with Ben. So romantic.
Speaking of romance, helicopter alert! The first of the season, and surely not the last. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get weekly appearances from helicopters from now on. After getting dropped off, Rachel and Ben went for a nice canoe ride (ride? trip? excursion?) and then had a picnic. It was…awkward. Rachel is very pretty, and her deep-ish voice makes her seem mellow, so Ben was willing to put in the effort to try and make the date a success. But holy crap, did he ever had to put in a lot of work.
Over a fireside dinner, Ben again tried to get Rachel to “open up”. Is it just me, or does Ben seem particularly concerned with finding out about everyone’s past relationships? It’s all he asks about! There’s more to a person than who they’ve dated, Mr. Flajnik. Anyway, eventually Rachel rambled on with some nonsensical thoughts about her communication issues and how she worries about them, and Bend decided that was enough “opening up” to qualify her for a rose. You know if she wasn’t so pretty she’d have gotten the boot.
Is there Tiger Blood running through Courtney’s veins?
The next day, Ben hopped on a pony (yes, yes, I know it’s a horse – I say PONY, OK?) to greet the women who’d been selected for the group date. The lucky gals were Jamie, Casey S., Blakeley, Lindzi, Samantha, Kacie B., and Courtney. Courtney was less than thrilled to be spending the day around women, while back at home Emily was hoping that the group setting would reveal some of Courtney’s bitchy/crazy/socially inept side to Ben.
The women and Ben went on a lovely horse ride, though none of them wore a helmet and you do NOT want to hear my story about the time I went on a horseback safari in Africa and one of the girls I was with got thrown from her horse as it was galloping into the rhinoceros area and ended up with a sprained ankle and a concussion. OK, that kind of is the story – but trust me, with details it gets even crazier. Moral of the story is, this girl wears a helmet on a pony.
The group arrived at a river, where they all had to put on boots and waders and go fly fishing. Look, it’s not that I can’t be outdoorsy. OK, I’m not great at being outdoorsy, but I enjoy certain activities that don’t involve my couch and the TV. But this? This looked really boring. Only one person caught a fish! And, naturally, it was Courtney. UGH. I mean, seriously, was there only one fish in that stream or something? Like the date rose, it too was planted by producers?
First of all, Courtney made every single possible metaphor about fishing and catching a man. It was sickening. Second of all, why does she keep saying “winning”? I know this show probably filmed while Charlie Sheen’s #winning was a thing, and I know that Courtney likely does not have the brain capacity to realize that by the time the show would air that trend would be long gone. But she’s said “winning” at least eight times so far already! That’s way too much! And doesn’t she know that quoting Charlie Sheen really isn’t going to make her look like less of a nutjob?
At the post-fishing cocktail party, all the women were vying for alone time with Ben. First Casey S. pulled him aside, revealed that she’s had two serious relationships, expressed her surprise that Ben has been in love four – FOUR! – times, and then got cut off by Nicki. Nicki and Ben seemed to connect more, as Nicki shared that her boss died a week before she left for the show and Ben shared that he lost a friend only two days before filming. They talked about living life to the fullest (which is really just Bachelor code for “Let’s kiss”) and then she was interrupted by Samantha.
Samantha was drunk, right? I mean, that has to be the only explanation for her weird, giggly airhead behavior. I mean, either that or she really is that much of an airhead. If Courtney is Charlie Sheen, then Samantha is one of his sad, lost sheep “goddesses”. Samantha complained to Ben that she’d been on three group dates in a row, which Ben didn’t appreciate. After all, some girls have so far gotten even less time with him. “Group dates to me are a good way to watch and observe,” Ben started to explain, when Samantha cut him off with “So what are you observing?” Uh-oh! Don’t ask if you don’t want to know! Ben laid a truth bomb on her: “What I want to see is if you can handle yourself in a group setting. And to be completely honest, the group dates that you’ve been on, you’ve been kind of highly emotional. I wonder if you’re even here for me, or if you take this seriously – because in your actions I don’t see it, and that’s why you continue to be on group dates.”
Yup, girlfriend got told. And since she’s highly emotional, she didn’t take the criticism well. The conversation concluded with Ben telling Samantha that he didn’t see their relationship going much farther, and it would be best if they just ended it now. So Samantha said goodbye to the gals, went back to the hotel to pack her stuff, and Ben walked her out.
Next Ben spends some alone time with Kacie B., who once again feels immediately reassured that she’s his favorite, but that was before Courtney got her alone time. Once Courtney and Ben were alone, she pulled out all the stops by telling Ben that she was questioning everything and needed reassurance. And the sucker bought it. He changed his mind on who the date rose was going to (my money was on Nicki) and gave it to Courtney so that she’d feel better. Barf. I swear to god, this thing is going to come down to some sort of good vs. evil showdown with Kacie B. and Courtney, and if she ends up with Courtney he deserves all the misery that comes with her.
Drop It Like It’s Hot
The third date this week went to Jennifer, the redheaded accountant who seems refreshingly normal and had previously been declared the best kisser in the house by Ben. The first part of their date was yet another fear-conquering activity, because apparently Ben really buys into this whole scary thing= trust=true love fairytale. Their mission? To be lowered into a crater and then dropped into a pool of water.
After that excursion, Ben and Jennifer chatted over dinner. Jennifer told Ben that her last relationship lasted four years and she loved him, but he wasn’t going to marry her. He asked if her 9-5 (actually, more like 8-5, she corrected him) lifestyle could handle his loosey-goosey winemaking schedule, and she said it could. Be a little flexible and get free wine for life? I’m sure most women won’t have a problem with that, Ben. In the midst of some kind of monsoon, Ben presented Jennifer with a rose and then they celebrated by attending a country music concert while dancing on some kind of weird pedestal, well above the rest of the crowd.
I like Jennifer and I like that she seems the most normal and grounded of the bunch, but I’m not sure she can compete with too-sweet Kacie or sexy-but-mean Courtney. Is a third place finish in Jennifer’s cards? (And, as a reminder, these are innocent predictions so no spoilers please!)
Cocktail of Disaster
Cocktail party time! Before we dive in, can we all just take a moment to acknowledge the fact that Courtney’s role as Villain of the House seems to have taken the focus off Blakeley entirely? With her, er, buxom figure and “career” as a “VIP cocktail waitress”, it seemed like Blakeley was being set up as another unlikable person in the house. But now she’s touching up girls’ roots like she’s gal pal #1. Way to go against stereotype, Blakeley!
Emily went into the cocktail party with a dangerous idea – that she would use her time with Ben to warn him about Courtney’s two-faced personality. This is almost never a good idea, but if it has to be done I think there is a very particular way to go about it:
- Approach the bachelor before a rose ceremony when you’ve already had a date that week, and you already have a rose. This means you’re not really in danger of going home, and that you’ve had enough alone time already that you’re not wasting the precious few moments you get by talking about someone else.
- Choose your words carefully! It’s important to emphasize “I like you, but I also care about you as a friend” and “You’ve been hurt before, and I just don’t want to see that happen again” and “If it were me, I would want to know.” Just saying “There’s a girl here who’s really mean to everyone but you, and you’ve totally misjudged her” is not effective.
- Once it’s been brought up, NEVER BRING IT UP AGAIN. This will be Emily’s demise. She brought Courtney up with Ben, and we all saw that it did not go over well. Even Emily knew it. But we saw from previews that this won’t be the last time she brings up Courtney to Ben, and that is a HUGE mistake. She dodged a bullet in not getting eliminated this week, and the smart thing to do would be to never talk to him about Courtney again.
After her ill-fated conversation with Ben, Emily confided in Casey S. and, well, some other girl I don’t care about, that the chat had not gone so well. Oops! Emily chose the wrong girl to talk to, because apparently Casey S. is the one girl in the house who actually likes Courtney. Not only did she come to Courtney’s defense, but she immediately went and repeated the whole conversation to Courtney. Later, Courtney abrasively confronted Emily about it, Emily played dumb, and both girls ended up looking bad.
Time for the rose ceremony! Emily was rightfully worried that she wouldn’t get a rose, but since Ben had already cut Samantha loose he only had to send one more girl packing.
Lindzi, Jamie, Nicki, Kacie B. and Elyse were called – Elyse whispered “You won’t regret this” in Ben’s ear in a way that made me wonder if she’d be paying a visit to his hotel room later that night. Then Blakeley, Casey, and Emily were called. So it was sayonara to Monica, the girl who we’d barely seen since the first episode when she flirted relentlessly with Blakeley.
Finally, Ben announced that they were all heading to Vieques, Puerto Rico! Yay! Everyone cheered except for Courtney, who flatly announced “I was just there two weeks ago.” Wow. I really, really hate you. Then, just to make sure every single person watching would make a comparison between her and Kristen Wiig’s character Penelope on SNL, as they all toasted Courtney stretched her arm up high and said “I can go the highest!”
Someone, please, shove a champagne flute down that girl’s throat.