The Bachelor – The Proposal and After the Final Rose, season 16

Wow, so hey there, folks.  Sorry about the delay in posting today and especially after such a big night last night…took a while to digest, I guess.  Here’s how it all went down:

Lindzis time with the fam
Ben’s sister and mom are in Switzerland to help him find himself one lucky lady.  Straight out Ben’s sister wants to know right away if by any chance there was a girl everyone hated…and this is somewhat how Ben answers: “well, sister, yes…yes, there was…and she’s still here. It’s Courtney. You’ll meet her tomorrow.” (smile, eye sparkle, hair flip – see that Ben and Courtney, just a match made in Bachelor heaven!)  According to dear ole sister, she does not approve of Ben’s choice in ladies often (so this should be fun).

Lindzi meets the fam first – get the easy part over with right?. She looks very darling in her tweed blazer and boots. Ben compares Lindzi to himself – very country but lives in the city (as well illustrated by her outfit). A complete nervous wreck, Lindzi is visibly and awkwardly anxious the whole time – she’s dropping silverware, throwing silverware, all with a concerned expression giving away that she’s clearly extremely worried about making a bad first impression.  

 Mom interrogates Lindzi a bit but after Lindzi completes her interview, she breathes a sigh of relief after seeing mom smile. Sister says a lot of general one liners about not letting this moment pass by, giving 110%, no regrets, letting guards down. Not very substantial.  And then Sister asks about Courtney and whether Lindzi had similar problems with other ladies. I thought for a second Sister was testing Lindzi to see whether she would speak poorly of her competition, but it seemed a bit like she was just trying to get the juice on the one Ben really likes.”

Mom and sister approve of sweetheart, warm, caring country/city girl Lindzi. Ben is pleased. Sister pats herself on the back about her abilities to gauge someone’s character “and whatnot.

Courtney meets the fam
Before Courtney arrives, Ben anxiously worries about Courtney (in case you haven’t heard: Courtney does not play well with others) because his family is all women. Oops. Fail.  However, Ben is sure that if Courtney is herself (and doesn’t throw silverware) that his family will love her. Sister and Mom get straight into it with Courtney: “so…you’re a model…what’s that like?” which led into Courtney blabbing about not getting along with the other girls.  Good on ya, girlfriend. Great conversation starter.

 “I’m in love with Ben, I won’t hurt him, and he’s in good hands.” -Courtney

 Sister says she’ll just have to take Courtney at her word and trust what she’s saying.  Well, that was sure easy.  It’s a good thing she’s good at gauging someone’s character and whatnot. Courtney tells mom she’s very confident in the connection she and Ben have established.  And dying to know wha they think, Ben is ear-to-ear smile when he learns that Sister and Mom were shocked by their first impression of Courtney. Their consensu: Courtney is amazing. Sister says she’s amazing, Mom says she is kind and she can tell Ben loves her and they seem happy. And who doesn’t want happiness for their children?

Ben spends a few minutes recapping his experiences with the ladies. It pretty much comes down to this: Lindzi is lovely. Courtney has depth. (By “depth” I think he’s referring to depths of craziness of which he has not yet seen. And he’s probably correct.)

Not that anyone asked but Sister picks Courtney. And it’s settled.

Last One-On-One Date — Lindzi
Surprise! Ben picks Lindzi up for their date in a horse-drawn carriage. Get it?! Because Lindzi is the horse chick.  Oh Benny, ever so thoughtful! They take a picnic gondola ride up the Swiss Alps to go skiing. View of the Matterhorn in the background, Lindzi asks Ben if she’s doing okay…has she opened up enough? Did his family like her?  Can you see me in your future? Ben says yes, he has seen their future together. [Sarcastically, Mumbles notes: “ah, yes, those four dates we had…let’s talk about those.”]

Ben and Lindzi talk a lot more about vulnerabilities, opening up, fears. This conversation has been going on Lindzi makes the mistake of saying “however this ends up, I fell in love.” Ben says the way Lindzi loves him is true and good but he doesn’t seem too interested. Clearly looking for some reassurance, Lindzi proclaims how scared she is and Ben’s got nothing to give. Since that didn’t work, Lindzi continues throwing out the “L” word with nothing but Ben’s blank half smile to return her sentiments.  Ouch.

Last One-On-One Date — Courtney
Oh, finally, a helicopter…haven’t seen one of those in over two weeks!  Phew! Flying over the Matterhorn makes Ben’s “Top 10 Coolest Things I’ve Ever Done” list.  There’s a lakeside picnic, lots of baby talk voices (woof), snow angels, sledding, more of Courtney defending her past indiscretions against the other ladies, and then kissing. Oh, and then Ben tells the camera how head over heels in love he is with Courtney.

At her hotel room later on, Courtney talks about being in love, vulnerability, trust issues. Pause for lots of kissing. Come up for air and then Courtney presents Ben with a gift. (note to first-time Bachelor watchers: the last two ladies like to give parting gifts so that their man, seemingly undecided in who he’ll choose, can relish over the past few weeks of their romance – the gushier the better – only to find that in reality they just look sappy and sad when not chosen. Perhaps Lindzi was playing it safe? If this is your first time watching, then this little gift is a surprise. If not, you already know what this is going to be…) A scrapbook. And a sappy love letter which she read aloud. Ben says “that was really nice.” Profound, these two.

Courtney asks Ben if he has any concerns and he says no. Then she ruins the moment by bringing up how hard this was for her, she’s been defending herself this whole time. Fishing for an early “I love you” and last minute consoling and comfort so she’ll feel confident going into the final rose, Courtney is deflated when Ben stands his ground and leaves a bit frustrated, wondering why they are still taking about this same ole thing. I am too.

After a lot of blah blah about both ladies (for details, read recaps 1-10), Neil Lane arrives with a “Heya Ben, nice to see you again!” (because, you know, he’s already met Mr. Lane…the last time he picked out a ring. For Ashley. Oops.).

Both the ladies don their capes and black gowns (seriously, was there a memo about that?!) to meet Ben atop a mountain.  BFOTB and I are secretly wishing this will be like the one time Kasey (“I’ll guard and protect your heart”) was rejected on a two-on-one date and stranded on a glacier. Hah!

Chris Harrison looks a bit sad when we see Lindzi arrive and get out of the helicopter first. Ben can’t get a word out because Lindzi is blabbing away about being there and being excited and being in love. Ben pauses an ominous pause then tells Lindzi that he has fallen in love with her. (Yay!) But. (No!) He needs that love to last a lifetime. And he’s found that love with someone else. (Sad story).  His consolation: “I’m in love with someone else. It didn’t come easy. I’m sorry. Let me walk you out.”

Lindzi says a sad goodbye and tells Ben she wishes she could have given him what he needed. BFOTB and I cringe when Lindzi throws in “if it doesn’t work out, call me.”  It seems pathetic but mostly sad. Sad because she’s sincere and she knows Ben is making a mistake with Courtney and it won’t work in the end.

“It’s difficult to propose to one woman when I have feelings for another.” -Ben

And here’s the grand finale speech:

“You kinda took my breath away there. Might need a sec. What a journey. It’s been an incredible road…ups and downs…real signs of what life could be. I felt like we’ve been on this same path…whenever I’m with you we’ve had these incredible moments. I think you’re an incredible woman. An incredible woman. But, I promised myself that I wouldn’t get down on one knee again if it wasn’t forever. And I want to tell you that you are my forever and this has been worth it every step of the way… Courtney, will you marry me?”

 “Yes, of course I will. I love you so much. I love it [the ring]. I will love you forever.” – Courtney

 Then lots of kissing and the final rose, and Courtney angling to get the best light and camera angle. I can just imagine her thinking “wow, this mountaintop light is really fantastic…I look great” – can’t you?!

After the Final Rose

Ben’s story
Ben informs the audience that for a time while the show was airing, he and Courtney were broken up. His excuse: he did not want to taint the purity of what they had with all of the negativity while the show aired. They didn’t talk for a few weeks.

Stirring the pot a bit, our man Chris Harrison wants to talk about the tabloid rumors and photos of Ben kissing other women. Ben tells Chris that he wasn’t kissing other women and that tabloid fodder is “super messed up.” Which, according to Ben is why Courtney hopped on over to a bridal shop to try on wedding gowns. You know, just to screw with people. Ha!

Courtney’s story
Courtney feels responsible.  This is all very heartbreaking and she’s been very depressed and disappointed. According to her: “Ben was initially supportive and then he abandoned me. I tried to give him space….Yes, we’re together…I think. I don’t really know…I’m really hopeful and positive.”

 Joint Statements from Ben and Courtney

  • Ben says they are in a good place and they’re engaged.
  • Playing the much-needed therapist, Chris asks if Courtney can really, fully trust Ben. No.
  • Chris asks if Ben can honestly look in her eyes and say he’ll stand by her forever. Ben apologizes to her and says he wishes he had been a better man, he loves her, he wants to be with her.
  • They watch the proposal and they are both in tears talking about how soiled that beautiful moment was because everything else around them was tainted but when they are together things are fine.
  • Apparently Chris has been hanging on to the engagement ring and does it belong on Courtney’s finger? Yeah, sure, why not. Cheers.

So what did you think of how this one ended?  How long do you think this will last? Do you see a wedding in the future?

Ashley and JP come out and throw in their two cents about Ben and Courtney, which is really lame. But, they need some press because they may or may not want ABC to pay for their wedding, which they’re hoping will come in the next year, along with babies very soon.  Watch for that, I guess.  

P.S. Stay tuned for Emily’s season, coming in May (and by gosh, it’s sure to be better than this one! Right?!? Let’s all hope so!)


The Bachelor Recap – The Women Tell All Season 16

Before we even get to The Women Tell All, we have to get to everyone else ever affiliated with The Bachelor or Bachelorette, as this episode starts out with clips and interviews from a Bachelor/Bachelorette reunion party, which will be the breeding grounds of the Bachelor Pad 3…eww. Oh, and Ali’s gonna be there after breaking off her engagement with latin lover Roberto…And so is Ed, after breaking off his engagement with Canadian Bachelorette Jillian. Doesn’t that all sound like so much fun? Well, this girl needs a break from all the crazies (I need to mentally prepare for the Bentleys of the world during Emily’s season coming up – I’m quite looking forward to it, actually) and Bachelor Pad is all of ’em, all the crazies, all together under one big roof. You’ll have to fill me in on how that goes. Thanks.

The recap of Ben’s journey to love is a jam-packed session, reliving every ounce of awkward in just one episode is far too much for me to handle. I will admit I had to fast forward a lot. Watching once was enough, thanks. Plus, I hadn’t even had any wine. Free advice: have some wine while watching The Women Tell All. It’s a cat fight. Meow.

Here’s the gist of what we learn on this night where the rejected come together, tans too orange, smiles too plastic, skirts too short, heels too high…

  • Blakeley: is not a competitor, is not friendly, and was just there to meet Ben. Her excuse for poor behavior while filming: she was just “too mature” for everyone else.
  • Jennifer: looks awesome. Whoa. Good on you, lady.
  • Brittney: was not at all attracted to Ben and therefore sent herself home. 
  • Samantha: the instigator, otherwise known as the chihuahua in the house. Shedoesnotstoptalking. 
  • Shawntel is back (again) and disappointed (again) and saddened (as always) by how rudely she was treated by the bullies in the house. Every woman there would like to confront Shawntel and hands fly when Chris asks if anyone has any questions.
  • Elyse is orange. 
  • Erika – who are you? I don’t know but way to tell America you’ve got big hips. That’s all I’ll remember.
  • Emily is playing the princess in purple. She says she’s happy about the way things ended because she deserves better than Ben, who showed her only that he cared more about preserving his relationship with Courtney than respecting her or the other women. She gets a lot of air time and probably because she was very likeable and America can’t understand why he’s keeping Courtney around either.
  • Nicki is heartbroken but herself again.
  • Kacie B. doesn’t think Ben would’ve fit in at her family’s house in the South for Christmas. Ben probably would’ve said the same thing about every other day of the year, too.

A good chunk of the show is spent bashing on Courtney, which is understandable but seems a bit unfair seeing as she isn’t there to defend herself, and there’s more than a 50% chance Ben is going to choose her (seriously, people, don’t act surprised – he is gaga over her and that’s been very obvious for a long while now). So really this ends up being all of Ben’s ex-girlfriends slamming his current girlfriend. Not pretty. And the point is taken a little more seriously when Chris Harrison announces that Courtney is there in person to defend herself – surprise! Aha!  And now this becomes the producer’s “let’s try to make America at least like her a little bit before the finale” episode.

Courtney says she regrets a lot and is disappointed in herself. It sounds quite as if she’s had some coaching (maybe from a publicist or Bachelor Brad’s therapist?) to respond to everyone’s harsh comments. Even Chris calls her out, wondering aloud if all the other ladies are buying what she’s trying to sell or if they believe she’s just there to repair her image.  I’ll take the latter for 500, Chris. Her defense to her poor behavior and regular jabs at the girls is that she was extremely uncomfortable and she didn’t think any of it through. After the commercial break she’s worked up some tears and manages to spill out a lot of blanket apologies. As soon as Chris takes over the conversation to tell her she has said all she can say to the other women, the tears have dried and she says her thanks and goodbye, hops into her limo and drives off.

Side note: What’s up with all the purple tonight?

Ben is welcomed to the stage and he appropriately welcomes Chris to his nightmare. We don’t learn anything new, there is nothing shocking or exciting, just every single girl asking “why did I get sent home? What did I do wrong?” Totally pathetic. Chris doesn’t ask Ben if he’s with someone now, whether he’s engaged, happy, dating…nothing. Hopefully the After the Final Rose episode will be more interesting than this.

Chris says this was an unusually emotional season. Hmmm…seemed quite usual to me. What say you? Who is your pick for the final rose?! Will there be a proposal?

P.S. Maybe my favorite part of this Women Tell All is Manic Monica confronting crazy Blogger Jenna about her breakdown on television, trying to make amends by offering her a tampon of which they will share. “Jenna, will you accept this tampon?”  What was your favorite part?

The Bachelor Recap episode 9, season 16

This week we’re in beautiful Switzerland with awkward fantasy date card invitations to look forward to. Yay!

First is the worst
Nicki arrives to meet Ben and he doesn’t seem all too excited to see her …maybe the elementary school kids have it right: first is the worst.

I’m sure you’re surprised to hear they’ll be taking a helicopter ride to see the city. I have to say, while it’s cool because it’s not a very common mode of transportation, I really think the helicopter date is a good plan if you want to rule out any opportunities for forced intimacy and conversation. It’s loud, you’re looking away from each other out separate windows, it’s difficult to hear what the other person is saying, plus there’s lots of nodding and empty smiling.  The helicopter lands on a mountaintop for the pair to set up a picnic. Nicki is reliving telling him she loves him and he seems to just laugh it off.  

At my house we’re a little disappointed there was no yodeling involved in this date. Seriously, what else are you supposed to do on a mountaintop in the Swiss Alps with a girl you aren’t really that into? Totally blew it, Ben.

Fireside dinner
Ben says he feels comfortable with Nicki and every time he sees her, he feels better. It seems awkward. And then it gets worse: Nicki asks how many kids he wants. Like he’s practicing for this conversation that he might want to have with someone he actually likes, Ben says the “more the merrier – four” and recalls that he and his sister and dad conspired to create a big family.  As if she realizes she isn’t fitting into this little life Ben has planned, she confidently affirms that she came from a small family and she’d like two kids.  Well, settled then. This isn’t working. 

Despite the fact that Ben says he is nervous about giving her the fantasy suite card, (which I don’t believe unless he means that he is nervous she’ll say yes and he’ll have to keep pretending with her) and she accepts. Of course.  And Ben is flattered. And off they go. And despite the fact that Nicki says she doesn’t take this lightly, she later says something along these lines: hey, folks, we’re a few short weeks away from the proposal…I gotta try this guy out, and, plus, the last guy I was with was my ex husband.

Nicki tells Ben she is confident she can make him happy. Next they’re in the hot tub. Woof. Is it itchy in here or is it just me? Ugh, yeah, this is awkward.

Second, the best

“Hey, I know I just had intimate relations with contestant #1, but now Lindzi’s here and I’m excited…welcome, Lindzi.”
–what Ben should say in his opening voice over

To start their romantic day together, according to Ben they’ll be repelling down 300 feet in a canyon. And a few minutes in we realize in disappointment they aren’t actually repelling, but rather someone up at the top is slowly lowering them down. Sounds like a metaphor for their relationship if I ever heard one – what Lindzi thinks will be a fun and exciting adventure is really just going to be a slow and anguishing let down.  In the midst of their snail’s pace descent, Ben tells the camera, “I love this woman” and I almost let myself believe Lindzi has a shot against Courtney’s crazy head mind games. Almost.

Hey, surprise! Another hot tub!  Finally at dinner, Lindzi tells Ben she is falling in love with him and is hoping for a proposal at the end. Ben tells the camera he is really starting to fall in love with her too. Upon receiving the fantasy suite invitation, Lindzi gives the obligatory “I usually don’t stay the night with anyone, but I want to spend more time with you” speech. And Ben loves her.  And she probably is the best.

Thirds the golden bird
Saving his best for last, Ben finally gets his beloved Courtney all alone (just the way she demands it). They take a train ride (where they get to talk and hear each other and cuddle up all cozy like, as opposed to a helicopter ride – see above).  At my house, we’re surprised to be halfway through their date and realizing we’re not yet annoyed by Courtney. They picnic with cows, and when Courtney brings up having a hard time with the girls, Ben tells her he wishes she would have made it easier for him and tells her it was all very messed up. And that’s the end of that conversation. Oh, and now Courtney loves him so much and is sorry that she treated those girls so poorly because it has made him second guess her. Oops.

At dinner, Courtney tries again to open up to Ben by confessing she has a hard time with girls, she puts walls up…Ben says he just feels cautious about the fact that Courtney is saying she doesn’t get along with women…he has a lot of girl friends, he’s very close to his mom and sister…is that going to be okay? (No.)  Courtney tells him that she acknowledges and regrets those mistakes. She wants normal in her life. Really? (No.)

Ben gives Courtney the fantasy suite card and says he feels really good about where they are. He wants uninterrupted everything, just to be with her. Courtney is calm and triumphant.  In a wine barrel of a hot tub (oh, sorry…surprise!) it gets rather steamy.

“It’s the smallest hot tub I’ve ever been in, and I’m not complaining!”  – Ben, also triumphant about saving the best girl and best hot tub for last.

Hot Mess Hotel Guest
Helicopter – check.
Hot tubs – check.
Previously sent home contestant knocking on hotel door to sort out feelings and confront Bachelor – check. 
Back from the depths of rejection, in a not-so-surprising move, is cutie pie Kacie B.  A self-proclaimed “hot mess,” Kacie says she feels like when she left she didn’t know what to say and couldn’t – still can’t – rationalize what it is that happened.  (remember the now famous girl next door yelling in the limo “What the f$%! happened? What the f$%! happened?!”?) She was so confident in what they had and she didn’t see getting sent home, and she can’t get over it. So, Ben: “what the f$%! happened?  His answer: they were worlds apart, two families with different backgrounds, and he doesn’t feel like he could give her all the things she needed. She didn’t do anything wrong, but Ben didn’t see her in the end and he didn’t want to hurt her. It’s easy to see that Kacie realizes her daddy who doesn’t drink and momma who won’t let her live with a boy before getting married have completely jeopardized their relationship so she tries to make Ben see his mistake by informing him that while she respects her parents, they don’t speak for her.  Ooh…ouch. Wonder if Ben wishes he would’ve asked about those sorts of things before sending her home?  Recognizing that she’s too far gone, Kacie tells him she loves him and cares about him, warning that Courtney will break his heart. Ben asks for reasons why and Kacie proclaims Courtney to be “in it to win it,” recalling Courtney advising the girls of the plenty of fish in the sea if Ben isn’t the one. Ben seems distraught and Kacie is laying on a hotel hallway floor to catch her breath.

Lindzi, the normal one, first impression rose winner
Courtney, the unstable one…still winning

Dearly Departed
Nicki says goodbye and tells Ben she just wants the best for him and hopes he is making the right decision. Ben tells her how incredible she is and that he cried a little bit today at the thought of sending her home but couldn’t ignore his doubts. He tells her she deserves everything. Nicki says she fell in love with him and fears he will be hurt one day…she hopes she is proved wrong but if she was being honest I bet she’d say she knows who he’s going to choose and sees that he’s gonna get hurt. Regardless of a really unflattering dress choice, it’s an emotional and sad goodbye.

Next week: The Women Tell All…

Final episode: Zurmat, Switzerland. (I’ve been there…it’s amazing). And a stunning engagement ring!  Whose will it be?!?

P.S. From Emily, a preview of her upcoming season:
Back normal, being a single mom, ready to meet her husband and not be lonely after kiddo goes to bed.  Oh, hey, Ali is still wearing yellow in case anyone was wondering if anything had changed. Ali and Ashley H. try to give her advice…you know, because they were so successful. Eww. They go to watch Titanic in 3D and I can’t take these three women seriously wearing 3D glasses. That was ridiculous. But…I like her. I still have hope that her season will be better than these last two. 


The Bachelor Recap Episode 8, season 16 – Hometown dates

Florida: Lindzi
We watch as Lindzi shows Ben the ropes around horses.  Not too sure that there’s any real conversations going on between the two of them.  Here’s a fun conversation they included to highlight their strong connection:
Lindzi: “You been on a horse farm much?”
Ben: “No.”
Lindzi: “Huh. Really?”


Lindzi says she was in a serious relationship with a guy – the only other guy she’s brought home to meet the fam – but he broke her heart. Ben seems relieved some other guy already broke her in so he doesn’t have to do the dirty work.

[I just have to pause right now to get up on a soapbox and say how much I loathe when these contestants announce any variation of this: “after just a few weeks, I am now so ready to be married to this man…” eww. No, you’re lying to me, you’re lying to America and you’re lying to yourself.  Stop it.  Now back to regularly scheduled recapping…] 

Dad says he’s got some chilled Chardonnay waiting for Ben.  Sounds like dad did his research. In a made-for-tv moment, Ben and Lindzi recall their first date at San Francisco city hall, which just so happens to be where Lindzi’s parents were married. aww…

Dear dad challenges Ben to a horse cart race and my favorite part is Ben holding onto the little dog for dear life. It also happens to be a jack russell terrier, which Ben also owns.  Either that’s a coincidence or dad went a little too far overboard doing the research. 

In alone one with mom, Ben asks if Lindzi is ready to be engaged. Mom says yes.  Ben tells dad he has strong feelings for Lindzi and while he’s not ready to propose he would want her dad’s blessing. Harry doesn’t quite give a straight out yes but he tells Ben he’s a stand up guy and he hopes they continue to build a great relationship. But then toasting later, Harry says they’d be trilled to have Ben as a son-in-law.

Lindzi is in love. Ben is happy. He thinks he is falling in love with her.

Ben’s Pros about Lindzi: level, grounded. (wow, that’s exciting romance).

Kacie B. in Tennessee
Ben pulls up to meet Kacie B. at a high school and finds a marching band playing while Kacie twirls her baton like a beauty pageant pro. Kacie explains that the football field is named after her grandfather, a man whose love story has inspired her. 

Ready to meet the fam? Okay, great. Hey, by the way, Kacie’s dad doesn’t drink. Oh, and one other thing — he’s a federal probation officer.  Might be a bit of a problem because, ya know…Ben makes wine for a living. Ah, the business of booze. That’s the devil’s work here in the bible belt, Ben. Not sure why, knowing this, Ben decides to bring a bottle of wine as a gift. Apparently not the brightest fella.

Dad is skeptical and grills Ben quite a bit – he takes marriage very seriously and cautions Ben to not rush into marriage. Dad somewhat threateningly asks that Ben let Kacie know soon if she is not “the one” so as to shield her from more harm. And just when Benny boy thinks he’s come up for air, Mom doesn’t give him much breathing room either.  Oh, and you betcha boy that she’s seen The Bachelor before – she knows how this all works and she is not a fan of the whole moving into together before marriage idea.  No siree.  Ben says that if he wants to propose then he will be asking both mom and dad for permission but after this disaster-of-a-day it doesn’t seem like that’ll be happening anytime soon.

Despite the awful first encounter meeting her folks, Kacie pulls her sister aside and tells her that Ben is her future husband then informs her father that she will say yes if Ben asks her to marry him. Dad says if Ben were to ask him for his permission he would say no.  Awkward.

Pros about Kacie B.: Ben feels at ease, she brings out the good in him, she knows what she wants.
Cons about Kacie B.: parents are very conservative and might have scared Ben off.

“Make every decision prayerfully and carefully.”
– good advice from Kacie B’s dad

Fort Worth, Texas
According to Ben, his relationship with Nicki has been slow to go (translation: she’s going home soon)

“The last time I brought a man home under these circumstances, I married him.” – Nicki, not helping

In true Texas fashion, Nicki takes Ben into a boot shop and they get geared up with boots, hats and buckles.  I usually love  cowboys but Ben is not doing my generalization fantasy any favors. Yuck. 

Nicki is boring Ben to death with talk about her parents’ concern now that she’s been married and divorced already and seemingly headed straight down that path again. 

“Everyone feels like i gave up but I did not. I put everything I could in for about two years…”
– Nicki, on perseverence

 Ben tells Nicki’s family that he was going to wear the cowboy hat and whole getup but he decided his greasy, undone hair would give off a better impression.

“Well, dad, last time [I got married] I leap into something I wasn’t ready for…and this time I’m gonna be sure…i’m gonna wait six weeks and test our relationship on national television to make sure it’s for real.” -Nicki (okay, I may have taken some courtesies on this one)

Anyone notice Nicki’s creepy brother? Almost expected him to tell Ben he made him a painting a la Todd Cleary in Wedding Crashers. Aside from that, Nicki’s family seems pretty normal.

When Nicki says “I’m in love with you” Ben just says “I know.” Eek.

Scottsdale, AZ is Courtney’s hometown.
Now that she’s back at home on her own Courtney says she feels bad about the way he’s treated the girls so far. Probably because she doesn’t really have to interact with them too much anymore. When she introduces her family, I’m surprised she has a sister. What happened to all that “I don’t get along with girls talk”? 

Talking about Ben like he’s not sitting next to her at the table, Courtney announces to her family that she’s in like/love with Ben. Mom says she’s not convinced.

We see a more genuine side to Courtney at home and perhaps my favorite thing that she says is that she feels deserving – she didn’t say it in her normal snotty way but in an actual sincere sentiment.  At least so it seems.  Either that or she paid these people to be her pretend family so she could seem like she’s got it together.  What about you?  Do you like Courtney more without the other girls around?

After telling Ben she feels ready and excited for the next chapter together, they just so happen to stumble upon a wedding being set up on property. Courtney tells Ben she always envisioned getting married there. Coincidentally, she’s wearing a white dress. And happens to have pen and paper to write vows. And rings. And a bow tie for Ben.  Oh, and a pastor to preside over their vows [perhaps another paid actor?].

Ben wonders if she is too good to be true…but he’s decided the answer is no.

I laugh out loud when I hear Courtney recite the vows that she’s apparently just written because she quotes Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw word-for-word: “I’m looking for real love; consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love…” wow. But then she goes on to tell him she’s ready to get married and she is in love with him.  And he eats. it. up.  And I can practically see the thought cloud above Courtney’s head: this is such a done deal.  [smirk, giggle, eye sparkle].

Courtney, Ben’s #1 says “I do” to the rose (ya know, because they’re ‘almost married’)
Lindzi, the downhome country cowgirl
Nicki, on her way to divorce #2

I had a feeling that Kacie B. (my favorite) would be going home but it was still sad to see. It was clear from her home visit that their lives are very different. Instead of giving her any explanation or clarity about why he’s sending her home, Ben just apologizes a few times and sends her on her way. She keeps it together in front of him but loses it in the limo and I wish she would’ve asked him instead of crying/yelling at the cameraman in the limo “What the f*%! happened? What the f*%! happened?” Indeed. What f*%! did happen, Ben?  (poor thing, that video clip is going to be referenced every time anyone speaks her name moving forward.  We can all watch for it at The Women Tell All episode). My theory is that Ben knows he’s going to pick someone else (Courtney) and he took dear ‘ole bible-hugging, criminal rehabilitator daddy for reals and decided to cut Kacie B. loose before it went on too much longer. What’s your theory? 

Gotta say, though, I wouldve really liked to see Kacie B. and her dad pull out batons (hers school issued with tassels, his law enforcement issued) and give Ben a few whacks for being such an idiot and never even combing his hair. (really, somebody tell this guy that the seriously matted part down the center is not doing him any good).

Now that my favorite, cutie pie Kacie B., is out of the running, I’m even more convinced that Courtney is Ben’s final pick. Lindzi seems way too normal and nice to win so I’m gonna say shes the one left crying on a mountaintop somewhere with crushed dreams and a broken heart. And I just don’t see it with Nicki so I count her out. Who is your pick?

Up next: Switzerland. Helicopter (surprised?), mountaintops, hot tubs, someone comes back, and Courtney wonders if she screwed up talking so badly about all the other girls….

P.S. Did you blink?
If you did, you might have missed the sneak peek at Emily’s upcoming season of The Bachelorette. I heart her way more than I ever liked Ben so I’m optimistic. Looking forward to a few weeks of her endearing accent.  Apparently her daughter is old enough now to be subjected to the harsh limelight of reality tv (for those of you who forget Brad’s season, such was the main theme of Emily’s uncertainty despite being quite the Souther Belle charmer). What about you – excited about Emily? I wonder if Bentley will be a contestant…think Brad will make a guest appearance with his therapist in tow?  Are you in for another season of this? Of course you are. Me too. Glad we agree.