Inside Pulse 12

The Bachelor 2016 – Ben H, Episode One Recap

benhiggins

Are you there, guys? Or have you totally given up on me?

It’s okay. I’ll understand if I’ve lost you forever.

I mean what kind of blogger doesn’t…well…blog?

The really lazy kind? Perhaps. The really busy kind? No doubt. The kind that needed a cleanse after the disaster that was Chris Soules and the break-up of Josh and Andi? Most definitely.

You have to understand that at heart, I’m just a regular old fan like you (with a razor sharp wit, right?) And once Kaitlyn was chosen as the Bachelorette (over Britt, thank you, Humanity), I knew I had to give myself a season off (fine two, if you count Bachelor in Paradise) to just watch, enjoy and recharge my Bachelor batteries.

Kaitlyn’s season is just a distant memory now, despite the drama that ensued throughout as she fornicated her way through the guys (not judging! Go on with your bad self, Sistah!). But in the end, she chose Sean, the guy with the firm butt, a look that likens him to Ryan Gosling’s brother at the very least, and a jealous moody streak that will no doubt provide her with a future of party attendance where he’s waiting in the corner asking if it’s time to go yet while she works the room. Good luck with that, girl.

But we’re not here to talk about Kaitlyn, right? We’re not even here to talk about me. We’re here for a higher cause, people. And that cause is Ben. Dear, sweet, kind, fuckin’ hot, boy-next-door, of-course-you-were-a-high-school-quarterback-and-basketball-star, these-ladies-are-going-to-eat-you-alive, just-wants-to-be-loved Ben.

I can only guess that the two girls he mentions who ‘didn’t love him as much as he loved them’ are pretty embarrassed right now since every girl and their mother in America wants to have their way with him. It also does beg the question though, how much love exactly did he give? Is he one of those super needy guys? Is he the kind of guy who calls you from your driveway, just to see if you’d maybe, sorta, like to hang out? Does he smother? Is he the guy that ditches his friends once he gets a girlfriend? These questions will likely not be answered any time soon, but for now, I’d like to believe, in my heart of hearts, that Ben is perfect and those two are whores, plain and simple. Moving on.

So the actual season kicks off (she writes, already 400 words in) and Ben is ready for his epic journey. Have you seen the way this guy can lean against a tree deep in thought? Clearly he’s been training hard.

Right out of the gate, I had a little bit of a panic attack (much like the red-caped mystery woman in the promo reel) when Ben started giving us his hometown tour and I realized we had another farm boy on our hands. I honestly don’t think I could take another season of sexual field-plowing references. But once he started driving around, sharing his childhood memories, revealing his sweet sensitive side and strong family values, (he visits his teachers, for the love of God, like regularly), well, the endless dirt roads seemed to just fade away.

Of course Ben is adorable. That much is obvious. And the fact that he bills himself as perpetually unlovable just makes him more lovable. You have to fight the urge to hoist him in your arms and cradle him like the mom in Robert Munsch’s ‘I love you Forever’ at nearly every turn. But the rest of him sneaks up on you, much the way it did on Kaitlyn’s season, where he was just a run-of-the-mill cutie for most of the episodes and then all of a sudden there were four guys left and Ben was one of them and while you hadn’t really seen them together much prior, it somehow then seemed highly likely that they were meant to be. And then he was gone. Right.

So now, goodbye Warsaw and hello, LA. Within a few minutes of Ben rolling up in the standard Bachelor-issued vintage convertible, he gets down to business meeting with the ‘experts’, former Bachelors Jason Mesnick (adorbs), Prince Farming and Sean Lowe (manorexic).

Personally, I think the biggest take-away from that little sit down was that they each need to be wearing more breathable fabrics. Between the pit stains and back sweat, their shirts looked tye-dyed by the end of their visit.

While I did appreciate most of Jason’s and Sean’s advice, the fact that Chris even had anything to offer was laughable. Kiss as many girls as possible? How’d that work out for you? I think in the end, if Ben is really struggling, as a former high school QB, he should just ask himself WWRD? What would Riggins do? If you’re not sure what that means, I suggest you pour yourself a drink, light some candles and google it.

I think the name of this episode should have been called ‘Just Stop’. The gimmick to normal ratio for the limo intros is increasing at an alarming rate season-over-season, and it seemed like only a handful of girls were capable of carrying on any sort of conversation without using the distraction of a ridiculous accessory, like, um, a mini horse or a violent assault on an innocent basket of bread. Even the ones without props were so focused on their fully-rehearsed speeches that they couldn’t even hear Ben asking them basic questions such as ‘what’s your name’, or they planned these grand gestures and then didn’t acknowledge them in some way, like Caila, the software sales person who broke up with her boyfriend for Ben because he sells software too and that’s enough to build a marriage on who took a running leap into Ben’s arms and then just awkwardly hung out in mid-air with nothing to say while he figured out how to bear her weight. Or Mandi (more on her later, obviously), who planted the giant rose on her head, but then didn’t say anything about it as she awkwardly tried to set it straight until she had left him mumbling about his chance to pollinate it that night. Lucky dude, that Ben. I didn’t even understand half of the intros, like Samantha’s stretch of a question about boxers or legal briefs, or Jezebel’s (Jubilee’s?) attempt at a pick-up line. I’m not surprised most of the girls had trouble completing two tasks at once. Seems to be a recurring theme, as evidenced by the earlier montages where a select few girls got camera time before the limos. Clearly the instructions ‘walk along a shore’ and ‘smile with whimsy in your eyes’ are just too challenging for these girls. How do you expect them to walk in heels, remember their own name, complete a pick-up line and toss a football all at once?

So who are the stand-outs? Let’s start with the obvious. By sheer volume, you had to notice the 14 Lauras and Laurens. There’s Lace, the giant red flag with a Resting Bitch Face whose attitude-drenched voice already sounded like a slur before she consumed nine glasses of champagne. I, like Ben, was truly astounded as she sabotaged herself further and further into a hole. Really, Lace? You had your one on one time and he didn’t want to kiss you out of respect for the process. Then, he sought you out for additional one-on-one time to make sure you were okay. Then he gave you a rose and sent other girls packing. And you’re already pouting like Veruca Salt because he didn’t make eye contact while he was crushing ten other sets of hopes and dreams? Step outside yourself for a minute and observe. I bet Ben was wondering who he could trade her for when she cornered him in the hall not two minutes after finishing the rose ceremony. At that point I would have taken the horse.

And speaking of unprecedented multiple rounds of one-on-one time on episode one, there’s Craaaaazy Mandi, clearly a producer’s pick if ever we’ve seen one. Oh, Mandi. It’s a good thing you couldn’t move your neck all night. It may have thrown you off your game to see all the other girls judging you. I’m sure even if you were upset though, we wouldn’t be able to tell, because at the ripe old age of what, 28?, it’s clear you’ve been poked, scraped, chiseled and pricked far more than necessary. Either that or you went ape-shit watching contouring how-to’s on YouTube. Maybe Mandi’s rationale for checking his teeth was the potential reciprocation of an oral exam, but still…

Tiara. So much no. Your name. The fact that you are a chicken enthusiast. The fact that you have actual framed pictures of chickens on your bedroom dresser. I don’t even know where to place this information in my brain. I never thought I’d say this but I’d rather you had cats. Looks like the one-way ticket outta the mansion came before the chicken or the Ben.

And speaking of so much no, first off, honourable mention goes to Jami for reinforcing the stereotype that all Canadians know each other. Damn you, Jami – you’re an idiot. Anything else you want to chat aboot? Igloos? Maple syrup? Hockey?

How about the Russian chick who took it a bit too far by not ever switching to English. Maybe I missed it but I didn’t see a mailman making any deliveries on the episode…anyone? Aside from the fact that Russian just isn’t the sexiest language around (I’m sorry but it isn’t), the dude doesn’t speak it. Usually the girls with the language bit say their hellos and then switch over to their native Malibu or Chicago or whatever tongue they actually speak. Shoshaaaaanna dragged it on longer than her name. How did he even pick her over other girls? Still though, I don’t think Shoshaaaaana made me cringe as much as Leah, the football fanatic who proved how much she loved the sport by hiking her dress up, sticking her ass in the air and hiking a ball to Ben. I honestly think she would have been more feminine if she had actually farted.

If you’re into the not so feminine girls though, let’s not forget about Meaghan with the mini horse (and unfortunate black knee socks pulled up inside her cowboy boots or Breanna the ‘nutritional therapist’ who claimed gluten is Satan (cuz that’s true and relevant) and then beat the shit out of a basket of baguettes. All I can picture are sticks of butter and wheels of brie everywhere taking rape showers and screaming “why god, why!?!” Seriously Breanna, I think we’d all feel a little more comfortable if you removed the word ‘therapist’ from your job title. And maybe saw one.

Of course there are the twins who really don’t warrant much feedback to be honest. Other than the fact that they’re twins and both their dresses were horrific, what’s to say? Sort of a good-from-far, far-from-good situation. I’m sure they’ll remain total besties throughout the process of competing for a guy in an estrogen- and drama-infused prison. Really swell idea coming on the show. It’ll be fine.

Then there’s the return of the Becca and Amber. Amber has already tried to find love with several dudes in the Bachelor family on the recent season of Paradise, and I guess she’ll just work her way through every last one until something sticks. I’m not hating the idea of Becca’s return, because I feel like I was just starting to get to know her funny side on the last episode or two with Chris. Hopefully she’ll be a bit more decisive about what she wants this time around (although based on her outfit, she’s still utterly confused by her sexuality. Act like a virgin or dress like a whore? Act like a virgin or dress like a whore? Who to be today…)

Lace has lots to say about Becca’s return, claiming Becca has some unfair advantage, which really doesn’t make sense if you think about it, yet in the same breath she mocks the potential for a quality relationship with a virgin. I’m going to go out on a limb here and venture that even with Becca’s lack of experience in the boudoir, I bet she’s got some tricks up her sleeve other than Lace’s signature move which is most likely ‘lying there’. Am I right?

Lace actually has lots to say about lots of people. Like remember when she totally fabricated the story of Ben confessing to her that ‘people are shady’ after Mandi interrupted her throwing herself at Ben lips first? Yeah, me too.

I have to say I almost applauded Izzy for showing up in her pajamas, though personally if I were going to go that route, I’d either do the whole men’s silk pajamas thing or even better, an oversized worn out t-shirt with knee socks (might as well indulge the fantasy, right?). But once I realized that her entire purpose in wearing PJ’s was not so she could make a statement about wanting Ben to see the real her and not some perfect image, but because somehow, somewhere, one of her “friends” convinced her that telling Ben he’s ‘the onesie for her’ is like OMG the cutest line, like ever ever ever. Cuz it’s not. So no.

Now the bigger question – who do I like? I’m actually not sure yet. Normally I have the winner picked out on episode 1 (and I’m right lots of the time). But this time…hard to say.

I didn’t hate Olivia, the winner of the highly coveted First Impression Rose, but I also think she’s going to be trouble down the road.

I also liked Amanda, the aesthetician single mom with the baby voice (every season needs one), but I’m sort of perplexed as to how her daughters have the same chairs in their pretend kitchen as I have in my real one.

I was all set to mock Samantha, the Florida chick in the red lace dress. I had like three solid lines about her concealer and how old she looks on the tip of my tongue, but then she had to start crying and talking about her dad and the next thing you know I was crying and throwing a bucket of ice over my head. So now I kind of like her. We’ll see.

I also didn’t mind Laura the red head, but she’s gone now so that doesn’t matter. Maybe if she had spent less time breast-feeding Lace and more time getting to know Ben she’d still be there.

So the rose ceremony goes down and roses go to Olivia, Lauren B, LB, Cayla, Amber, Jamie, Jennifer, Jubilee, Amanda, Jojo (yup the unicorn), Mandi (who looked like she aged ten years every time the camera showed her waiting to be picked), Jackie (just saying, wedding hashtags make me feel super old), Twin A and Twin B, Shoshaaaaana, Lauren H, Becca and maybe some other chicks. Who knows.

We’ll see how this season plays out – we’re all in this together, right?

It’s good to be back, and I feel that this is a safe place for me to reveal my true feelings. So I’ll start by dropping this bomb; Pointy nails are vile. There, I said it!

Till next week!

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