Cape Fear: The Bachelor Finale recap

Every day from now on is going to be like this. . . .just kidding

Well, that was disorienting, huh?
Let’s face it, The Bachelor finale is all about suspension of disbelief. We know that the odds of the winning couple actually walking down the aisle are basically akin to the odds of being mauled by a polar bear and a regular bear on the same day (to quoth the e-trade baby) (And if loving the e-trade baby is wrong, I don’t want to be right).
And yet. . . we go with it.
We wonder: Who’s he going to pick? Who’s he going to pick? We wait for the first glimpse of leg to come poking out of the limo—ahhhh, I see the edge of Lindzzzi’s emerald velvet cape! We mourn for the poor rejected finalist.
And then, when the Bachelor gets down on one knee—all excited and hopeful and tremulous-of-voice and teary—we cry right along with him and his happy bride-to-be. Because we’re suckers like that.
But how to respond to Ben proposing to Courtney?
For one thing, we all knew it was coming.
If Chris Harrison’s none-so-subtle: “The most controversial season finale of The Bachelor evah” last week wasn’t enough, the giant cover story in Us Magazine: “Caught Cheating! Three Girls in One Weekend”—about Ben supposedly cheating on fiancée Courtney—certainly did the trick. (These days, the check-out aisle at Safeway needs to come with a giant spoiler alert.)
Then, of course, there’s the pesky fact that we all know that Courtney is the she-devil—albeit, one who has recently acquired the ability to approximate human behavior. (Speaking of which, how much did you want to high five the girls on last week’s “Women Tell All” special, when Courtney broke down in tears and apologized and they just stared back at her with a “Can you believe this crazy bitch?” look of amazement on their faces.)
So here’s what we know going in:
1. Ben proposed to Courtney
2. She be crazy
3. He’s already cheated on her (allegedly!)
4. They’ve already broken up (kind of)

Who says fairy tales don’t come true?
So, forgive me if I fast forwarded my way through most of the Bachelor finale to get to the “After the Rose” special, where shit really went down.
But let me share a few stream-of-consciousness thoughts on the (completely unnecessary) show itself.
Could Ben’s mom and his sister look any more like him? They are basically Ben in drag. It doesn’t help that Ben’s mom has his exact same fetching little page boy, only hers is dyed blonde. (And later, Ben is seen sporting a marled yarn sweater that could only have come from the “Aspen Collection” at Chico’s, so apparently he and his mom share more than just hair.)
At first I thought Julia (big sis) was some kind of Miss Cleo when she asked, “Was there a girl that was more dramatic that the other girls didn’t like?” but then I realized that she was just stating a foregone truth, sort of like when a psychic blows your mind by surmising that you “wish you had more free time” and “sometimes feel underappreciated at work.”
So Ben’s sister and mom meet Lindzzzi first and Lindzzzi is very nervous and keeps dropping silverware, which is probably why Ben dumps her.
They like Lindzzzi very much and agree with Ben that she “lights up a room.”  (That’s Ben’s tagline for Lindzzi and he’s sticking with it.)
(Random aside: Did you notice that the producers felt compelled to put a fondue pot on every available surface? This was just to make sure that we know for certain that they’re in Switzerland.)
Next, they meet Courtney. At first they don’t like her, but somehow she manages to win them over with her grace (?), natural charm (?) and warmth (?).
“She’s a really amazing girl,” Julia says. “I’m blown away.
I do think she would fit really well into the family.”
I know, you guys. I’m as surprised as you are.
Date day:
Do you ever notice that the producers of The Bachelor always make the couple walk up to each other from a distance? So there’s always that awkward moment where you don’t know how long to lock eyes, when to say hi,  if you should do a goofy wave, or perhaps a goofy dance, or run toward each other with your arms extended? On The Bachelor, as in life, the long-distance walk greeting is rough.
Anyway, in keeping with the “we won’t just break Lindzzi’s heart we will f*ck with her as much as possible” theme of the show, Courtney gets to go strolling around the quaint town with Ben—la-di-da—while Lindzzzi has to do a death-defying ski drop down the Matterhorn and be suspended mid-air in a gondola.
“I’m worn out,” she tells Ben later that night. No shit, Lindzzz. This has been less a dating show for you and more an Iron Woman competition.
Lindzzi’s date is very lovey-dovey and warm, whereas Courtney’s date is beset with awkward moments and tense confrontations and if I wasn’t completely spoiled, I may’ve actually been fooled.

Also, Courtney takes a page out of Blakely’s book and gives Ben a photo album of their love, leading me to wonder “who’d she have to blow to get those show photos?” (I kid, I kid.)

So it’s proposal day and everyone wears their traditional Renaissance proposal cape and carries a giant turkey drumstick.

Moments after this photo was taken, Lindzzi was shot by an exotic game hunter
As always, it’s painful to watch Lindzzi’s face as Ben breaks up with her. It goes through stages:
1. Confident and jubilant
2. Doubt creeping in
3. Dread creeping in
4. False optimism brought on by Ben’s kind words
5. Return of crippling doubt
6. Abject despair
Aaaand. . .scene.
Oh well, Lindzz. Remember, it could’ve been worse. He could’ve said: “Welcome to No-Proposal-Ville, population you.”
Ring shiny. Me propose now.
Now it’s Courtney’s turn. She’s confident and here’s her (faulty) reasoning: “I’m a good person and good things happen to good people.” (Riiiiight.)
She hands Chris Harrison her cape (one more thing to add to his resume: Host, therapist, pimp, cape holder. . .) and heads to Ben.
And there’s not a wet eye in the house, as Ben gets down on one knee, clutches Courtney’s creepy gloved hand and proposes.
And she says yes! They’re going to live happily ever after, everyone! Or at least until the next commercial break!!
Now it’s time for Bachelor: After the Final Rose.
“You just watched Ben do what millions of viewers hoped he . . . would not do,” starts Chris Harrison. (Lolz.)
Ben comes on stage. He has grown an unfortunate little scraggly goatee.
(I understand the attempt to grow that thing. And maybe in a week or so it will fill out and look less “douchey.” But with an hour before show time, why not just look in the mirror, cut your losses, and shave the damn thing off?)
So here’s what happened with Ben. Once the show aired, he began to feel he had been played the fool by Courtney, so he retreated to a sad little Ben place where he took advantage of  his newfound celebrity and macked on a lot of women (allegedly!)
If only he had been warned! If only some of the girls had told him that Courtney was toxic! If only a red flag or two had been raised! If only he’d had any sense AT ALL that Courtney was “in it for the wrong reasons”!!! But how was he to know that he was being played? How? Nobody uttered a single word to him!!!
*Implied facepalm*
Anyway, so Ben defends those photos in Us Weekly and insists that “he did not have sexual relations with those women.”
Then Courtney comes out and is lustily booed.
How does she explain her appalling behavior on the show:
“I’ve got a little sass in me.” (That’s one “s” too many, sweetie.)
Now they are together and Courtney has her hand on Ben’s leg in very possessive way.
“Where do you guys stand?” Chris asks.
“In a good place,” Ben says, twitching a bit. “We’re engaged and we’re in a good place.”

(Don’t you just love the reaction shots from the crowd? Lots of eye rolls, “ohnoyoudi’int” head shakes and conspiratorial whispers).
They replay what can now officially be described as the world’s most awkward proposal and the crowd reacts with funereal silence.
Ben is crying. And Courtney is trying to remember how she conjured those tears last week in acting class.
“That beautiful moment has been soiled by all this,” Ben says. Soiled by what? The fact that Courtney is a sociopath and you’re a chump?
Suddenly, Chris Harrison has. . . the ring. How did he get that thing? (Host, therapist, pimp, cape holder, and ring snatcher. Impressive, Chris.)

The audience gasps. (I love this audience.)

“What do you want to do with this ring?” Chris asks.
Hock it, Ben thinks. But instead, he puts it on Courtney’s finger.
Now the audience cheers, leading me to believe that some underpaid grip is holding up a WE BEG YOU TO APPLAUD sign.
“Do you think this will end with a marriage?” Chris asks.
“I do,” Ben says. “I just don’t know when. . .”
And somewhere out there, hell just got a little colder in anticipation.
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Swiss Miss-take: The Bachelor recap

Get your shit together, ABC promo department! (Only photo available)

 

Bachelor Ben is deep in thought.
He’s got three lovely ladies, three tickets to paradise, but only two roses. It’s a painful situation for a man who is part player/part sensitive emo dude.
So we see Ben leaving the hotel, rolling his wheely luggage thoughtfully.
Then we see him alone on a plane, riding the friendly skies pensively.
Then we see him in Switzerland, sporting a vaguely Eurotrashy jacket, and wandering the cobblestone streets contemplatively.
“I’m starting to fall in love with all three of them,” Bens moans. Then he thinks, but doesn’t say: “But not really Nicki. Well, maybe Nicki—I mean, have you seen her badunkadunk? But probably not Nicki. . .”
First up: The aforementioned Nicki. The “dark horse,” Ben calls her. (Translation: Doesn’t stand a chance.)
In a shocking twist that is a complete 180 from the usual Mike Fleiss protocol, they go on a helicopter ride.
“My relationship with Nicki is getting to new heights,” Ben says. “But at the same time, it’s grounded.”
Then he adds: “She will propel me forward.”
and
“She’s one heli woman.”
and
“I’d like to ’copt-a-feel.”
The copter drops them off for a mountaintop picnic and I must say, the Alps are so gorgeous I’m beginning to wonder if the whole thing was filmed in front of a green screen in a studio in Burbank.
Then they go to a log cabin, which Nicki, like, just can’t get over.
“It’s literally a log cabin,” she says, as if they were walking into a house made of gingerbread, not wood.
Nicki starts talking about moving to San Francisco and making babies with Ben and then she says, “Just tell me if this is too much, too soon.”
“You already dropped the L-bomb,” Ben shrugs. (Note to would be lovers of the world: When the object of your affections refers to your heartfelt and emotional declaration of love “as “dropping the L-bomb” that’s rarely a good sign.)
It’s time for the first Pimp Card from Chris Harrison of the night.
Now, the bachelorettes are all undoubtedly instructed to look surprised by the offer to spend the night in the fantasy suite, but Nicki looks genuinely surprised. Maybe she forgot.
Anyway, hells yeah. She’s all for it.
Cut to the night’s first hot and heavy makeout sesh in the hot tub. But not the last. Ooooh no, not the last.
Next date: Lindzzzzi.
In keeping with this season’s “If One of Our Bachelorettes Died, We Would Totally Win the 8 PM Slot” theme, they go repelling off a cliff and into a gorge.
“In a relationship, you’ve got to be there for each other. Just like repelling off a cliff,” says Lindz.
“And might I say, you look gorge-ous,” says Ben.  (Not really.)
So they repel down the cliff, but they obviously don’t repel each other because cut to Ben and Lindz wrapped around each other in a hot tub. Yowsa that was fast. Please tell me this is a DIFFERENT hot tub from last night. (Or at the very least, please tell me they drained the water.)
“I love this woman,” Ben says. Oooh, interesting.
Then Ben and Lindzi have Ben’s favorite kind of conversation. It goes exactly like this. Every. Single. Time.
Ben: You’ve been opening up to me and I like what I see.
Lindz: I just feel like I can be vulnerable with you.
Ben: I love that you feel you can be vulnerable with me.
Lindz: I love that you love that I feel I can be vulnerable with you.
Aaaaand repeat.
Lindz tells Ben she’s falling in love with him. He grins like a school boy.
Then he’s honored that she accepts his invite to the fantasy suite.
Explains Lindz: “When you get to the point where you care so much about someone, you might as well bone them just put it all out there.”
Now, it’s Crazy Courtney time!
“I’ve had a really great week, but now it’s all about Courtney,” Ben says. (I’m sure he didn’t mean that the way it came out.)
“What continues to worry me is how she’s treated the other women,” he says.
Ya think?

   His date with Courtney involves visiting the quaint town of Wengen.

Somewhere, Lindzzzi is all: “I repelled down a fuckin’ cliff and she’s taking train rides and going on a picnic? Screw you, Fleiss.”
So Ben and Courtney discuss her tension with the ladies in the house and Courtney takes the blame and acknowledges her wrongdoing and shows seemingly genuine remorse and is basically not acting like Courtney at all.
And I feel for Ben because I know she’s full of shit, and even I’m half buying it. Poor sap doesn’t stand a chance.
“All of my concerns were laid to rest,” Ben says.
Heh-heh,  he said “laid.”

    Off to hot tub #3.
“This is hand’s down the smallest hot tub I’ve ever been in my life and I’m not complaining,” says Ben. (Oh Ben, you adorable man-whore, you.)
Do I even need to confirm that Courtney says yes to the fantasy suite? (She would say yes to a fantasy gas station restroom.)
One more thought: When Ben and Courtney get together? Their California upspeak? Drives me insane?(Just me?)
At this point, there’s so little mystery as to who Ben is going to pick, the show has to manufacture some. So they trot out poor, vulnerable, immature Kacie.
Shame on you, show.
I mean, surely they recruited her, right? Surely they said: You need answers, dammit! You deserve answers! And maybe, just maybe, once he sees you, Ben will see the error of his ways.
(Considering that the conversation ends with Kacie splayed out on the hotel hall floor in some sort of temporary paralysis brought on by despair, it’s safe to say she didn’t get the answers she was hoping for.) (To recap: he dumped her all over again and on her way out, she told him that Courtney is a skank.)
Now, Ben has more deep thinkin’ to do.
He stares out the hotel window solemnly.
Chris Harrison shows up.
“I’m just not sure what the hell’s going on anymore, buddy,” Ben says.
“Do you want Kacie in the rose ceremony?” says Chris. (Awww, Chris is so on Team Kacie.)
“No buddy,” Ben says, furrowing his brow.
Then Chris leaves Ben alone to stare thoughtfully at the photos of the final three ladies, as if he’s hoping they might come to life, Hogwarts style and tell him what to do. They don’t.
Rose ceremony.
“My heart is beating out of my chest,” Ben says to the bachelorettes. “Again. I can’t thank the three of you enough for continuing to trust in me and believe in me and have sex with me.”
He wields the first rose.
Lindzzzzi.
Then, he takes the second rose. Stands there sadly, dramatically, pretending to be torn.
“Courtney,” he finally intones.
Lindzzz hugs Nicki and then Courtney awkwardly bro-hugs Nicki, to show Ben how loving and supportive she can be to other women.
Ben walks Nicki to the limo.
“I’ve enjoyed every single moment I’ve spent with you,” he says earnestly. “I had a pit in my stomach coming out to this rose ceremony. I cried a little bit today, I’m not going to lie. I don’t know what else to say. You deserve . . . everything.
Awww. If you must get broken up with on national TV, at least let it be with Bachelor Ben.
So next week, reunion show: Boo!
But the week after that: The most controversial finale ever, says Chris Harrison.
What?!? Most controversial? That means he picks Courtney, right? Because, what’s the controversy in picking Lindzzzz?

Oh dear God, no. I need a moment.

Bride Goeth Before the Fall: The Bachelor recap

I now pronounce you Dumb and Dumber

 


So here’s a thought: If you are emotionally fragile or have been appallingly unlucky in love (or better still, if you are emotionally fragile and have been appallingly unlucky in love), a great place for you is a reality TV dating show!
Because no one is ever hurt on those things and the chances of you driving home in a limo with a camera trained on you as you curse the heavens and ugly cry is, like, totally nil.
I mean, is it just me or are these Bachelorettes a little more basket-case-y than even the usual crop of reality TV love-seekers? We have Nicki who sees herself as a modern-day Hester Prynne (she’s a—shhhhh—divorcee, you know) and Courtney who hurls herself at men willy-nilly and then is shocked, shocked, shocked when they don’t respect her in the morning, and adorable Kacie who used to have a little illness I like to call body dysmorphia, and finally Lindzii who was not so much dumped as punk’d by her last boyfriend.
Stability, thy name is the Final Four.
Okay, hometown visits here we come. (Needless to say, they’re going to save Courtney for last, because we’re all dying to see what she is the spawn of. I, for one, am basically expecting her mom to be Madeleine Stowe from Revenge.)
We start with Lindzzzi. 
Generic photo because show promo department couldn’t be bothered getting screen shot from her date
Here are my thoughts on Lindzzzi. She may love Ben, but she will never love Ben as much as she loves those damn horses. No, not in a creepy Equus sort of way (I hope), just in a “I’m naked without a horse between my legs” sort of way. (Uh. . .)
“Horses have been my life since before I was born. I rode before I walked,” says Lindzzi, who clearly needs a refresher course on the human reproduction timeline.
So how is this horse situation going to work out on a vineyard in San Francisco? How I ask you?
Ben meets Lindzzi’s parents and is surprised to discover that they got married in the exact same San Francisco City Hall where he and Lindzii had their first date. What’s odd is that Lindzzi also seems surprised by the news. Are these even her real parents? Did she hire a couple of actors to play her parents? I am now officially suspicious.
Then Lindzzi’s “dad” challenges Ben to some sort of medieval initiation ritual—a chariot race. (No, really.)
And Ben loses so he and Lindzzi have to drag her parents home like two-legged work horses, as Lindzzi’s “dad” whips their backs and yells, “Faster, swines! Faster!” (Okay, not really on that last part. But they really did have to drag them home.)
In the end, everyone likes everyone at this little family get-together and Lindzzi’s “dad” even says, “I would  be honored to have you as a son-in-law. . .if this were actually my daughter, that is. . . .”
Next up:
Kacie. 
I get a kick out of romance
Oh, poor sweet, plucky, deluded Kacie, who stages her own little teenage dream on her high school’s football field.
Because what’s sexier to a grown man than a drum majorette?
Ben has to look dutifully heartwarmed as she leads a marching band down the field, twirling her baton with glee. She ends with a spazzy little cartwheely flourish and then she and Ben have a serious convo about what to expect with her parents.
Bad piece of news #1: Dad is a federal probation officer.
Bad piece of news #2: Who doesn’t drink.
Ben’s internal monologue: I should’ve kept Emily.
“Anything else you want to tell me about him?” Ben asks tremulously.
“Well, he killed a man once,” Kacie says. (Psych!)
Basically, it’s amazing Kacie’s parents ever let her leave the house, let alone go on a reality TV dating show.
They’re very, very protective of their little girl. Like, chastity belt protective.
Next, Ben and Kacie’s dad have what might very well be the most awkward conversation in the history of conversations (and I’m including the time my mom asked me what kind of birth control I was using my sophomore year of college).
In short, Kacie’s dad is all like: Do not have sex with our baby. It will not end well.
And Ben is all like: Gulp.
As for Kacie’s mom. If she was trying to intentionally sabotage her little girls chances—not that I would ever suggest such a thing—she could not have done a better job.
“I have a serious problem with her moving to California,” mom says, adding. “And I would be a little disappointed if you two chose to live together before getting married.”

Kacie’s parents aren’t so much deal breakers and deal annihilators.

So, with that, the only mystery remaining in this episode is: What will Courtney’s parents look like? But first, Nicki, in Fort Worth, Texas.  (I’m pretty sure that was Texas, right? It was hard to tell because there weren’t enough Texas stereotypes on display for me to be sure.)
Wait? What state are we in again?
So Ben and Nicki go to a cowboy outfitter and buy boots and  hats.
(I’m assuming that the show is reimbursing Ben for this little shopping spree, otherwise I’d advise him against it: Never buy a turquoise belt buckle in Santa Fe, a cape at the Renaissance Festival or a pair of $500 cowboy boots in Texas. You will come home, come to your senses, and they will collect dust in your closet.)
“Finding the right boot is very similar to finding the right partner in life,” Nicki says. “You have to get just the right fit.” (Aaaand we are 51 minutes in before our first tortured metaphor people! A season record?)
Off to meet the parents. And you will never guess what fresh scandal I am about to expose: Nicki’s parents are—wait for it—divorced!!!!
Oh, the shame. The shondah! How did this depraved family get past the network TV censors?!?
Dad pulls Nicki aside. You see, he wants to apologize to her. He feels he too readily gave her hand in marriage the first time and he won’t make that mistake again.
(Um, I know Texas is a little conservative, but good lord, what year is this?)
“Oh, don’t blame yourself, Dad,” Nicki says. And they hug. Somewhere, Rick Santorum is tearing up.
But good news, people! Nicki’s parents like the cut of Ben’s jib.
“If we don’t see you again, I won’t be mad at you. I’ll just be disappointed,” says her dad in a toast to Ben. (Aww, that’s actually kind of sweet.)
Crazy Town, Arizona here we come!
(I love how they dispensed with the first three girls in a little over an hour and devote the entire second half of the show to Courtney. They know which side their bread is buttered on.)
In a voiceover, Courtney has a rare moment of reflection.
“I feel disappointed in myself for treating the girls the way I did,” she says. (Really? Hello, complete personality transformation! Some PR person has clearly gotten to her.)
So we meet her family. As usual, there is a less pretty sister. (Why is there always a less pretty sister? It’s practically axiomatic at this point.)
Also, Courtney’s mom seems pretty intense, but is not quite the bitch goddess I was expecting her to be.
As for Courtney’s dad, it was hard to see past his blinding argyle sweater vest.
Courtney proceeds to talk about Ben like he’s not at the table: “He’s amazing. I’m excited for you guys to meet him. I like him a lot. He’s so smart and funny. I dig him. I feel like I’m falling for him.”
 
Meanwhile, Ben is waving his hands in front of her face: “I’m RIGHT HERE!”
“Have you fallen or are you falling?” asks her sister. (Translation: Because I will so take your sloppy seconds.)
“I like him/love him,” Courtney says.
As for Courtney’s mom, she says this: “Ben seems like a very polite young man.”
(Translation: He’s not hot enough for my daughter).
Ben and Vesty McVesterson have a talk in the rain. At least, I think it’s raining. I see rain drops but neither of them are getting wet. (I know it’s a dry heat in Arizona but I didn’t realize that rain actually evaporated before hitting the ground. Where’s the super smart Emily to explain all this hard sciencey stuff when you need her?)
OMG, I just noticed that Ben is wearing the cowboy boots he bought on his hometown visit to Nicki. Party foul!! Party foul!  (But is it a . . . sign?)
The weird thing about the visit to Courtney’s family is that she almost seemed—dare I say it—normal in their presence. Luckily, the second half of the date is about to happen!
Follow me to Crazy Town: Population 2
So Courtney takes Ben to the spot where she’s always wanted to skinny dip get married.
The only date I can think of worse than “drum majorette on a high school football field” is “faux wedding ceremony.”
At least I think it’s a faux wedding ceremony.
The aisle is set up, there are chairs, an alter. Courtney slaps a jaunty little makeshift bowtie on Ben. And a man standing there who may or may not be a minister!
Holy matrimony!
Ben, for his part, handles it well. He even writes some super sensitive Ben vows at Courtney’s request.
“I’m getting a little nervous,” he admits.
But not so nervous that he doesn’t actually play along.
Ben reads his rather eloquent vows. Courtney burps out hers.
They exchange rings.
So wait. . .are they. . .married now? WTF?
“If this were a real wedding I’d now be pronouncing you man and wife,” the not!minister says.
Whew! They must’ve gotten him from the same casting agency where they got Lindzzi’s “father.” (For all your Father-y casting needs)
“We are not Mr. and Mrs. Flajnik yet, but it feels pretty good to try it on for size,” Courtney purrs.
Alrighty then.
And now they’re back in LA.
True recapper confession: I fast forwarded over the part where Ben recounts the last 1:45 minutes of the show with Chris Harrison. Couldn’t they have had this conversation off camera? #Filler
Rose ceremony time. Here’s the order:
1. “Courtney, will you accept this rose?”
“I do” (I see what you did there.)
2. Lindzzzi
And now it’s down to Nicki vs. Kacie.
3. And. . .Nicki gets the third rose.
Nicki and Lindzzzi hug Kacie. Courtney lurches awkwardly, but doesn’t go for the hug.
Kacie holds it together manfully until she gets to the limo and basically turns into Linda Blair in The Exorcist.
The less said about this the better.
Next week, all your Bachelor tropes are trotted out: An Alpine adventure! Ben and Courtney in a hot tub! An unexpected visitor to shake things up!
The pleasure of your presence is requested. . .

The United States of Courtney: The Bachelor recap

 

Striped Ass

 

I’ve decided that Courtney has essentially four personality modes:
1. Vixen-like seductress
2. Mean-girl-style psychological terrorist
3. Creepy, self-fondling baby  talker
4. Crying basketcase.
Blend, serve, and you’ve got the cocktail that is Courtney. Needless to say, all four sides of Courtney emerged at various points throughout last night’s show. Hooray!
So this week, they’re in Belize.
“The house is beautiful,” says Emily. “Too bad and  I’m sharing it with four women and a shark.”
(Just for the record, later in the show, Courtney will also be compared to a black widow, and during the show’s final credits, she will be seen stroking a tarantula. True story.)
The first date card arrives. It’s for Lindzzzi—my pick to win the whole shebang.
“Two Halves Make a Whole” the card reads. (Or did it actually say “Two Halves Make a Hole”? This would’ve been that rare case where one of the show’s horrible puns might’ve made sense—since they were actually jumping into a hole—but I think they blew it.)
Ben comes over and for some reason, he’s dressed like a 4-year-old mime in this precious Garanimals-style cotton striped tanktop.
Nonetheless, Emily compares him to a giant slice of cheesecake that  has been taken away from her (no, it didn’t make any more sense when she said it, either.)
The Bachelor producers must have some iron-clad insurance policies, because this week, Ben and Lindzzi are jumping out of a helicopter and into the Blue Hole. (Next week: Ben and the girls play a sexy game of Russian Roulette! “If we can survive a potentially fatal gun shot wound to the head, we can survive anything!” Ben enthuses.)
Of course, Lindzz is afraid of heights.
They kiss.
“A kiss before dying,” Ben cracks. (He’s kidding, right? Right?) And they jump.
Aaaand cue the longest metaphor session yet. (The only thing Ben likes more than a long makeout session is a long metaphor session.)
“I literally fell for Ben,” says Lindzzi.
“We really took a leap today,” says Ben.
“It’s truly like falling in love,” Ben says.
Make. It. Stop.
Afterward, they walk along the pier, where some candles and cushions and wine is set up.
“Oh, is this us?” asks Lindzzzzi.
No, it’s for the other reality show contestants that will be along in a few minutes.
There’s this whole nonsense with sending a message in a bottle—barf—and Lindzzi and Ben write the fairytale story of their love.
Lots of nuzzling and snuggling. And all I can say is, it’s a good thing Ben wore dark colors cause otherwise Lindzzzi’s self-tanner might stain his shirt.
“I can really see myself with Lindzzzi,” Ben says. (A clue? Naaaa. As we’ll soon find out, Ben is a commitment slut.)
Enough of that. Let’s check in on the house, shall we?
They’re all waiting around for the date card—aaaaand it goes to Emily.
“Do you Belize in love?” the card reads.
“Emily gets a one on one date with Ben and I want to kill myself,” says Courtney. (Oh Courtney, don’t make promises you can’t keep.) She is about to enter to a long period of Crying Basketcase Mode.
Emily’s date, miraculously, doesn’t involve anything too dangerous.
They bike around the village, buy some coconuts, and go diving for lobsters.
“I feel like I’m on vacation with my boyfriend,” says Emily. “If only my boyfriend didn’t have 5 other girlfriends, this would be a perfect day.”
They dance, they snog, they seem to have a nice time.
“I could see myself with her,” Ben says. See?
At home, Courtney is sitting on the couch in a fetal position.
“I just don’t know how much more of this I can take,” she says pathetically.
The date card comes:
Courtney, Let’s Take the Next Step in Our Relationship.
And it’s amazing to watch Courtney’s transformation. Her entire physical bearing changes,  like a crying basketcase caterpillar morphing into a beautiful psychological terrorist butterfly.
“Gimme my date card! Woohoo! He’s a smart boy, he listens,” she says, all filled with sass and gumption.

“It took every fiber in my being not to leap across the room and punch her in the face,” says Kacie. (And again with the promises these girls aren’t keeping.)
Then she makes the black widow metaphor. “This is what I want to do to her,” she says. And smacks her hands together. Bam! Courtney, the black widow, would be dead in this scenario, get it? Cause she crushed her. Like a bug.
 Courtney skips off to her date. “Bye! I can’t stand you all!” she trills under her breath as she leaves.
Ben is excited to see her: “When I look at Courtney, I think big picture.” (When Ben looks at small kitchen appliances he thinks big picture.)
But Courtney will have none of this lovey-dovey stuff. She has a few things she wants to get off her chest. It’s hard to remember exactly what she said, but it went a little something like this:
“Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, and while we’re on the subject, me!
Ben nods in agreement.
“I lost the spark,” says Courtney. Because you haven’t been paying enough attention to me!
He won’t make that mistake again. He assures her that he’s all-Courtney-all-the-time from now on.
Satisfied, they climb the stairs to the top of an ancient temple.
Another metaphor orgy:
“Each step is like a step in our relationship.”
“Let’s climb this together.”
“With each step, I left the hurt and drama behind.”
“Step off, bitch.” (Whoops. Unfortunately, Ben didn’t actually say that last one.)
“I see my life with this woman,” Ben says, as they reach the summit. Oh, Ben. . .
Cut to a Courtney confessional.
“I’m high on love right now,” she crows. “Snap, girls! The show’s over. You can pack your bags.”
And then—my hand to God—she does this fake hand pistol thing, complete with shooting sound effects, and shouts,  “Kill shot!”
(That actually happened, right? It wasn’t just some fever dream I had last night.)
At dinner that night, Courtney raises more red flags than a NASCAR ref. But the penis wants what the penis wants, as a poet once said. So Ben ignores all of them, even when she tells him that she has no female friends. (Always a good sign.)
Group date. There is one rose up for grabs.
“Let’s Sea Whose Family I Will Meet”- the card reads.
Ben has a surprise for the girls. It’s called breaking and entering. He sneaks into the house at 4 am—dude is lucky he didn’t get tasered or pepper-sprayed or something—today wearing the striped hoodie version of the striped tank top he was wearing earlier. (In case he gets arrested for this B&E, he’ll already have the prison uniform covered.)
The girls don’t look their freshest first thing in the morning. Lindzzi has a giant glob of pimple cream on her cheek (sorry, Lindzzi. But if I saw it, Ben saw it.). Another girl hides under the covers.
There is a frenzied, mass shaving of the legs and armpits in the bathroom.
And, in case, you thought Ben’s last two reasonable dates—bike riding and sightseeing—meant a return to sanity, guess again. The gang will be swimming with sharks. (Not metaphorical sharks, actual sharks.)

“If the shark gets a little too close, punch them in the nose,” Ben says. No, you first.

Rachel, of course, has selachophobia (fear of sharks). She also has This-is-a-Great-Way-to-Get-Ben-to-Myself-itis. Her strategy works like a  charm. Ben is totally in heroic boyfriend mode, holding her hand as she jumps and swims.
“We see sharks and stingrays,” says Kacie. “Actually none of that scares me. I’m more scared of the way that Rachel is monopolizing Ben.” (Heh.)
As for Ben. He has the following thoughts: “A relationship is all about”—say it with him, people—“diving in head first.”
And. . .scene.
Party time. Both Kacie and Nicki pull Ben aside and tell him that they’re falling in love with him.
But Kacie gets the all-important rose.
Back at the house, Psychological Terrorist Courtney is having fun with the remaining girls: “Ben must be really exhausted,” she says. “We were out really late last night.” (And I just noticed that the lovely graphic pattern on her scarf is made of skulls! Of course it is.)
On the group date, Kacie, Rachel, and Nicki have decided to have a come-to-Jesus meeting with Ben about Courtney.
“We want you to be happy,” says Nicki. “We wouldn’t want you to be fooled.”
“Tell me more,” Ben says.
“WewantyoutobecarefulwithCourtney!” Nicki blurts out. (By the way, for some reason spellcheck didn’t recognize that phrase. However, if this Bachelor season were to go on for a few more months, I’m pretty sure it would.)
So the black widow’s out of the bag.
“You mean, it wasn’t just a personal thing between Courtney and Emily?” says Ben. And I repeat: Oh, Ben.
Rose ceremony time.
All the girls are pretty nervous and talking about their feelings. Not Courtney. She’s baby talking to her umbrella in her pina colada.
No cocktail party, announces Chris Harrison. We’re going straight to the Big Tally board!
Ben stands tremulously before them.
But before he starts, he wants a word with Courtney.
“Do you think he pulled her aside because she is or isn’t getting a rose?” Rachel asks.
“50/50,” Nicki responds helpfully.
So Ben needs assurances from Courtney that she’s here for the right reasons. She promises she is. Well, that’s good enough for Ben’s penis! Case closed!
Back to the most dramatic rose ceremony evah.
He calls them out:
Nicki. (Didn’t see her getting the first one. Huh.)
Then Lindzzz.
Now he’s got three girls—Courtney, Rachel, and Emily—and one rose.
“Goodbye Courtney. It’s been very nice knowing you and my condolences to whichever man you end up with,” Emily says in an interview.
Ben plucks the rose from its silver platter, stares pensively, trying really hard to pretend that his penis isn’t doing all the thinking for him.
“Courtney,” he says dramatically.
Rachel, it turns out, sounds like Cher with a mouthful of marbles when she cries. “I fweel wejected,” she says. That’s because you. . .well, nevermind.
As for Emily, it’s all about Courtney, til the bitter end.
“I just hope that there’s enough time left for Ben to see who she really is,” she says.
Emily, love ya, girl. But as you go forward in this life, worry a little less about the sharks under the surface and more about the big catch on the boat.

There’s Crying in Baseball: The Bachelor recap

Baseball’s Been Very Very Bad to Them
Today’s recap features very special co-blogger, Courtney!!!
“BE NICE!” – Ironic tee-shirt sported by Courtney
(At least, I think the tee-shirt is ironic. The words are written in a somewhat menacing, goth font—you’d expect such a font to spell out a sentiment like “I DRINK BLOOD”—so I’m guessing/hoping she’s wearing it as an inside joke.)
So yeah, the girls are in Puerto Rico now. Too bad it’s so ugly there. (Heh.)
Nicki gets picked for the first date and I think we all learned a very valuable lesson from her: Neon puce nail polish is not a good look. On anyone. Ever.
So they take a helicopter—God damn Mike Fleiss loves him some helicopters— and then go for a walk around a Puerto Rican market and things are going just swimmingly—Ben is rolling his r’s like a champ—until Nicki makes a rookie mistake:
 “This date is going so well, what could possibly go wrong?” she enthuses.
Aaaaand. . .cue another torrential downpour.  (When will these girls learn?)
It’s not the cute rain either. It’s the gross, clothing sticking to you, water sloshing around in your shoes kinda rain.
But they make the best of it and kick off their shoes and run and frolic and kiss and Ben is very impressed with how easygoing Nicki is. (Yes Ben, because you should definitely make assumptions about Nicki’s easygoing nature based on how she acts in front of a camera crew and millions of people while on a reality TV competition.)
So they duck into a clothing store and decide to buy new “authentic” clothing. Somehow, this ends up with Ben dressed like a Cuban pimp and Nicki looking . . . exactly the same as she did before.
“Ben is mooey, mooey caliente!” Nicki says, and actual living Puerto Ricans are rolling in their graves.
The most interesting thing about Nicki—okay, the only interesting thing about Nicki—is the fact her divorce is, like, the shame of her life. The show really plays it up, too—ignoring the fact that roughly half of all marriages end in divorce and acting as if Nicki is some sort of social deviant. Then they really rub it in, parading Ben and Nicki in front of an elaborate wedding ceremony that they “just happen” to stumble across. Uh-huh.
Nicki is so distracted by the spectacle of a woman wearing the white gown she can no longer in good faith ever wear again, she can barely concentrate on Ben—but eventually they leave, go to dinner, and she gets a rose. (Who doesn’t get a rose? If Ben  had a date with JoJo the Dog Faced Girl, she’d get a rose, too.)
“Blakely is like a champion out there. Who knew that strippers could play baseball?” – Courtney.
Now time for the group date.
Blakely was really, really, really hoping she’d get the final solo date with Ben but that honor goes to—hold please while I look up her name—Elyse.
“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” the group date card reads.
But it’s not those kinds of diamonds, silly—it’s the baseball kind.
The bachelorettes convene upon Roberto Clemente stadium where they’ll play a game of baseball with Ben as the pitcher.
All the girls change into their cute little baseball get-ups and are obviously told to put on eye black, because some producer thinks it’s sexy, but they don’t seem to truly understand the point of eye black and Casey uses it to accentuate her cheekbones and I think another girl may put it on her lips.
As for Ben, he’s wearing a super baggy retro uniform that even he can’t pull off.
So what’s at stake?
First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado (in this case, a beach date party with Ben)
Second prize is, you’re fired (in this case, sent home on a bus.)
(And if you know what film I just referenced, you and I can hang.)
Lindzzzi gets the honor of being the designated floater, so no matter what happens, she gets to go on the beach party date. Unfairsies!
And let me tell you, shit gets competitive. I mean, diving for ground balls, talking trash, blood sweat and tears (especially tears) competitive. It is awesome. It seems like the team with Blakely and Emily is a lock to win, because Blakely is a super jock (thus inspiring the fabulous Courtney quote above) and Emily is literally doing handsprings all over the field, but somehow—fueled by the sheer force of Courtney’s toxic personality— the red team pulls it off.
In the dugout, Blakely pulls a Kobe and accuses her teammates of not wanting it as badly as she did.
Suddenly a helicopter touches down.
“If that damn helicopter lands on this field and picks those girls up, I swear to God. . .” she says.
Really, Blakely? It’s The Bachelor. Was there ever any doubt?
So Ben hops aboard the helicopter with Courtney, Kacie and the rest, while Blakely, Emily, Jennifer and co. have to go home on a rickety school bus. The tableaux in the school bus is truly hilarious as they all sit in separate seats, rocking back and forth in the fetal position, weeping. (Crying on a school bus? Yeah, I called that junior high school, by the way.)
Courtney, as always, is a model of compassion and tact: “I don’t want to see any tears out of them. They had their shot at the title and they blew it.”
At the beach party, Ben feels guilty about the crying busload of girls, but happy to have a more reasonable number of women to choose from. He has a one-on-one with Kacie, and—yippee!—she gets the rose. (I’m not sure if it’s because she had the first-ever solo date with Ben, but I find myself rooting for her.)

Anyway, Courtney will have none of this—so she basically pulls Ben aside and says, “You know what would be awesome later? If you and I had sex.”

Okay, she didn’t put it quite that bluntly, but it is strongly implied. Instead, she talks about how much she loves skinny dipping—and how great it would be to steal a private moment with Ben and go skinny dipping with him.
Once Ben rolls his tongue back into his mouth, he whole-heartedly agrees.
“These girls have no idea what I’m capable of,” Courtney says, ominously (and awesomely).
Maybe she drank too much and the Jersey Shore came out,” Courtney on Elyse
Time for Elyse’s one-on-one date with Ben.
Poor Elyse thinks this is her time to shine, when basically the show just wanted one dramatic moment where Ben finally doesn’t give someone a rose.
Courtney, needless to say, sees right through it: “It does occur to me, I might not be seeing her later,” she says.
Ben and Elyse go on a yacht and poor, doomed Elyse is blathering on about how “it doesn’t get any better than this” and “I think he could be the guy I eventually marry”—and the thought bubble over Ben’s head is basically “Courtney. Water. Naked. Want.”
At their private dinner he does a cruel Bachelor fakeout, brandishing the rose in front of her. I can hardly stand to think about the smile that materialized on her face—so full of hope, optimism, and innocence—it’s like a horror film being played out in slow motion.
“Unfortunately, I was hoping for some things today that I just didn’t find,” Ben says.
It actually takes a few seconds for this news to process. The smile is slow to fade. But finally she gets it. She’s the one-percenter—the girl who doesn’t get Ben’s rose.
So she’s sent packing. (For a brief horrifying moment it looks like she’s going to have to swim ashore, but fear not. There’s a boat—indeed, a far more distinguished boat than the little dinghy Ben was forced to paddle away on after Ashley rejected him.)
Then little sensitive Ben is seen traipsing along sadly on the beach, in his tux, with the pant legs rolled up, almost in tears—and he “spontaneously” (no producer manipulation there—no siree) drops the rose into the ocean, where it washes forlornly away.
He’s obviously very very sad about. . .whatever her name was.
 “Now, I’ve got something planned for him.”– Courtney
When Ben gets back to the hotel, he has this awesome dream where Courtney is sitting on the stairwell waiting for him with a bottle of wine. Except it isn’t a dream—it’s real, you guys!
“She broke the rules,” Ben says nervously. “I don’t know how I feel about that.”
That’s Big Ben talking. Little Ben knows exactly how he feels about it, if you know what I mean.
So she “twists his arm” and he agrees to go skinny dipping with her on the beach.
Now, I don’t want to boast, but if you caught the series sneak preview that played a couple of months ago on EW.com, you would’ve seen Ben’s actual Bachelor Butt, not this pixilated bullshit that ABC has given us.
I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise to you that Ben’s Bachelor Butt is as cute as the rest of him. As for Ben’s Bachelor Boner? Only Courtney knows for sure.
Puerto Rico, with Ben under the moonlight.”- Courtney, describing her “hypothetical” favorite way to go skinny dipping to the girls.
Ben skulks into the cocktail party feeling a little guilty.
“Courtney and I shared a very intimate moment,” he says. “And right now I feel kinda crappy about what happened. There are other women here that I still need to explore relationships with.” (And by “explore relationships with” he means, get naked with.)
As for Courtney, she’s as cool as the other side of the pillow.
“It’s fun watching him interact with the other girls,” she says languorously. “Because they’re not having the same connection we had.”
YES, THAT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE FULLY CLOTHED!
As for Blakely, she makes a risky—and let’s face it, desperate—move that actually works.
She pulls Ben aside and bares her soul to him. She spews all sorts of flattering bullshit about how she writes down one great thing about Ben every day (Monday: He’s a boy. Tuesday: He’s a dude. Wednesday: He’s a guy) and how just being around someone as awesome as Ben makes her feel like she deserves love (wha?) and he buys it—or maybe he’s too busy looking at her breasts to hear what she actually said (but it sure seemed like soul-baring).
Meanwhile, Courtney is curled up on the couch with the other girls, toying with them once again like a cat with a mouse.
She’s having the “hypothetical” discussion of skinny dipping—relishing the knowledge that she and Ben got naked and wet together last night.
Now Emily has her one on one moment with Ben and she uses it to quickly apologize for her behavior at the last cocktail party.
And I think, “Atta girl, Em. Way to see the big picture.”
But damned if the girl just can’t help herself. “I still think Courtney is a weirdo,” she adds quickly—and the next thing you know, she’s talking about Courtney playing Ben for the fool and being here for the wrong reasons and how blind Ben is and yada, yada, yada.
This time Ben is less charitable. Some combination of skinny dipping with Courtney and throwing Elyse under the bus (or off the yacht, in this case) has empowered him.
“You have no idea what goes on in the moments I spend with each woman,” he warns her. (Ben’s internal monologue: Skinnydippingskinnydippingskinnydipping.) “It’s wrong for you to assume. What I encourage you to do is tread lightly. Be careful.”

Wow. Bachelor Ben was just a . . .jerk? Didn’t see that coming.

Emily, of course is mortified. One day, when she looks back on this Bachelor experience, she’s going to be so glad that she made it all about Courtney.
“I think I screwed up. . .again,” she sighs. (Oh no, Em. That went great!)
And, she’s gone,”‑Courtney, wishing on a candle and using some sort of voodoo sorceress Wikka magic to exorcise Emily from the house.
Rose ceremony time.
Kacie and Nicki already have roses, if you haven’t been keeping score at home.
Here’s the order Ben calls ’em:
1. Lindzzzi
2. Jamie
3. Rachel
4. Courtney
5. Casey S. (for realz?)
6. Blakely
Now there’s one rose and two girls—Emily, who just screwed up royally and girl next door Jennifer, who is supposedly the best kisser in the house.
It’s gotta be Emily who’s going home, right? Right?
But no, in a surprise move, Ben calls “Emily.”
Wow.
I demand an explanation! Don’t you guys?
I mean, it was obvious she was more into him than he was into her, but I at least had her pegged for sticking around longer than Casey, Blakely, and Jamie. (On a brighter note, I’m slightly relieved that Courtney doesn’t actually wield the power of black magic.)
Poor Jennifer. She ugly cries, needless to say. But it’s worse than that. She does this sort of hiccup, snort combination—a sniccup—as she cries and it’s really very unfortunate.
Poor kid. Our final image of her is a sniccup.