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?”
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.