The journey of The Bachelor continued this week, as Ben and his girlfriends headed to Panama for some exotic fun and some classic drama. That came courtesy of Casey S., as well as the dreaded two-on-one date.
The first date went to Kacie B., who was instructed to pack three things for her date. Blakeley was immediately jealous, because she hasn’t had a solo date yet and Kacie has. Ben was psyched to go spend the day with Kacie, but he also worried that the beautiful, isolated island they’d visit would put a strain on their “relationship”. “I really hope we can bond over an experience like this,” Ben said. “My fear is that we’ll have nothing to talk about.”
Sigh. Oh, Ben. You won’t have “nothing to talk about” during a romantic, exciting getaway in Panama with a girl you’re still getting to know. You’ll have nothing to talk about in 6 months when the show has finished airing, and you’re sitting on the couch realizing you have absolutely nothing in common. Right now? This is a cakewalk.
Ben and Kacie pretend they’re on Survivor by attempting to cut up coconuts and “catching” a fish that was likely already attached to the fish hook by a production assistant. But Ben and Kacie made it through the day, so that means they can do anything, right? Wrong. They didn’t spend long enough on that island – I’m pretty sure Survivor has a better relationship success rate than The Bachelor franchise does.
Over dinner, Kacie B. confided in Ben that she had an eating disorder during high school, and that’s part of why she’s so mature for her age (24) now. Ready to get mean? Kacie B. edged to the front of the pack with that one! If Courtney wants to maintain her lead, she better tell Ben she had cancer or beat mold or something. Kacie B. got a rose, of course.
The Tribe Has Spoken
The next day, Ben took six women on a group date – Emily, Nicki, Lindzi, Casey, Courtney and Jamie joined him to boat down the river and then hang out with a local tribe. Everyone got dressed up in the local fashions of beaded tops and headdresses. Most of the girls left their bikini tops on under the beads, but Courtney decided to go au naturel. “When in Panama!” she joked, saying “I don’t do anything half-assed.” Well that’s for sure, Courtney. Between this and the skinny-dipping, I’d say you do everything bare-assed, not half-assed. If this were Survivor, Courtney would be winning. That girl is all strategy and Ben is falling for every bit of it.
You do have to give Courtney some credit though, she made herself stand out on that group date and all the other women did was stand around and whine about it. I think they realize this, and at the post-tribal cocktail party everyone got a little more aggressive.
Lindzi told Ben she has a hard time knowing that her boyfriend has several other girlfriends. Courtney told Ben her room number and requested, er, room service later that night. Jamie babbled on and on about how much she likes him, but sadly all Ben did was stare at Courtney in a nearby pool and drool like a chimpanzee. Emily went the humor route, telling Ben she had another man in her life and then slowly revealing it was the chief of the village they’d visited earlier that day. I would’ve given Emily the rose just for that, but instead Ben handed it to Lindzi.
Ben himself didn’t have to deal with a lot of drama that evening, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t there. After making out with Ben, Emily decided to make up with Courtney. She apologized, saying she’d rushed to judgment and had been in the wrong. Classy chick, right? Well, Courtney didn’t think so. The annoying scrunched up face she made suggested that Emily hadn’t been wrong. Then everything Courtney said proved it for a fact.
Overall, it was a rough night for Courtney. Not only did she not get the rose, but Ben never showed up at her hotel room, either. She just had to sit around, telling a disinterested camera guy about how boyfriends never treat her well.
Dance For Your Life
The reality show comparisons continued – instead of Survivor poor Rachel and Blakeley would be subjected to a So You Think You Can Dance type competition on the uber-awkward two-on-one date. This is always the worst date, because the nicest girl often shrinks into an uncomfortable wallflower while the more boisterous date takes over. Since Blakeley spent about two days talking about how “excited” and “pumped” she was for the date, Rachel seemed to know she was at serious risk of being the third wheel.
First, Ben met up with Rachel and Blakeley for some salsa dancing lessons. This was a great opportunity for Blakeley to remind us that even though she seems lovely, plays baseball well and is willing to highlight a gal’s hair, she’s also maybe possibly a stripper. Her salsa moves were equally seductive and repetitive. Poor, mellow Rachel was obviously straining to be a little more outgoing than she normally is.
I like both these girls, and I don’t think either of them are frontrunners this season. But of the two, Rachel seems like a better fit for Ben. Blakeley seems very nice and fun. But she’s older, has a kid, doesn’t have a professional job, etc. She just doesn’t seem like a good fit. Rachel and Ben haven’t had much of a spark yet, but I think that’s because Rachel seems laid-back and – gasp! – kind of normal, so this reality TV dating show situation isn’t a scenario where she can shine. In the real world, I think Ben and Rachel would get along. On this show, I think she’ll be cut within the next two rounds.
Rachel knew she had to make her feelings about Ben clear if she wanted to get that coveted rose, so she really laid it on the line when they had some alone time. Blakeley also upped her game, presenting Ben with a scrapbook cobbled together from what I can only assume are hotel pamphlets and SkyMall clippings.
Ben seemed genuinely torn, but I was pretty sure he’d give the rose to Rachel. He did, but I was surprised he did it right in front of Blakeley. Really? Couldn’t he have done that in private? It’s not exactly a gentle way to let Blakeley down, and she was obviously quite upset.
Instead of jumping right into the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, we got to see Chris Harrison pay a surprise visit to Casey S. Now, if you didn’t read any spoilers and only saw the clips of Casey sobbing her mascara off, you’d think maybe he’d come to tell her a loved one had died. But no. It was the requisite “You’ve got a boyfriend back home” chat. I think the producers just plant one of these every season now.
What went down was very strange. Chris told Casey they’d heard from three sources that she was still “in love with someone” back home. That someone was her boyfriend, Michael, who said they’re still together. Casey said no, they weren’t. And then she said she still wasn’t over the guy, who she dumped because he wouldn’t marry her. Casey then said the most honest words ever uttered on this TV series: “Maybe I should be in therapy or something.”
Casey confessed the truth to Ben – that she apparently went on the show to try and get over this other dude – and he curtly sent her packing. Just like when Ashley let him get down on one knee before dumping him, out boy Flajnik doesn’t sugarcoat things. Casey ugly-cried her way home in the reject van. She sobbed that now she’ll have to find someone new, but I think she should be searching for a therapist before she looks for a boyfriend.
(FYI, “Trader” is a reference to whatever it does Casey does for a living. Which she apparently does alongside the man in question.)
With Blakeley and Casey S. getting the boot before the rose ceremony, Ben only had to cut one woman. After his awkward encounter with Jamie on the group date, it seemed pretty obvious who that would be. And Jamie knew it.
Jamie basically threw herself at Ben, and what followed was the most excruciatingly awkward and humiliating encounter I’ve ever seen. First she climbed onto Ben’s lap, with as little grace as possible, almost ripping her tight mini-dress in the process. Then they kissed, and it was weird. She kept giggling, like a schoolgirl. Then they decided to try kissing again, but not before discussing every last detail of how the kiss would occur. So. Much. Detail. Eventually Ben cut her off, saying he couldn’t kiss while she have him an “instruction guide”. Ouch.
After getting over how mortifying the whole ordeal was, I just felt bad for Jamie. This show creates a mob mentality among the women about this one guy, and it makes them feel desperate when the connection isn’t there. It seemed like Jamie was panicking, and did something that was totally out of her comfort zone and outside the norm of how she’d typically behave. It was unbearable. And predictably, Ben sent Jamie home.
Next week the gang heads to Belize, where Kacie and Nicki will follow in Emily’s footsteps and warn Ben about how evil Courtney is. Do you think he’ll listen, or is he too wrapped around Courtney’s finger? If anyone can get through to him, I think it would be Kacie.
I’ll leave you with this image: My boyfriend paused the show last night just as Ben went in for a kiss and, well, it was terrifying.
Now, head to the comments and tell me what you thought of the episode!
Tags: Ben Flajnik, the bachelor