The Bachelorette Recap, episode 2 season 8

After last week’s first episode and meeting of the men vying for Emily’s affection, I told you that Ryan was one of my favorites.  And what do you know? This week, hunky former football player is up first for a one-on-one date. 

One-on-one date: Ryan — “Be my King in the Queen’s city”
If it’s even possible, I swoon even more when Ryan advises the other men: “My pastor always told me, ‘If you treat a woman like a queen she’ll treat you like a king.'”  Sigh…

Before their date, Emily tells us that Ryan makes her nervous because he’s so good looking.  I agree. But, she also worries that he may be a little bit too much like Brad, and in that sense, she hopes his dashing good looks don’t get in the way of good judgment.  Good luck with that, sweetheart.

Emily takes Ryan home to her house, pulls into the driveway and tells Ryan to unload the groceries. Not exactly the helicopter/plane/hot air balloon ride be was hoping for, but we can guess there will plenty of that later on this season.

On their date – a ploy to help Emily see how Ryan might fit into her everyday life and for Ryan to see what it’s like to bake cookies for her daughter’s soccer team, Ryan is put to the test in a floral apron.  Emily delcares approval on the batch while the other men sit around and ponder whether Emily will introduce Ryan to Ricki. When Emily and Ryan arrive at Ricki’s soccer game, Emily asks Ryan to wait in the car, as she’s not ready for her daughter to meet any of her suitors yet. Ryan is very humble and says he was honored to be part of her normal day and respects that she asked him to wait in the car. Aww cute.

The second part of their date takes place at one of Emily’s favorite restaurants in Charlotte.  A throng of people await Emily’s arrival to the restaurant like red carpet movie screening. Inside, Emily asks Ryan about his girlfriend, which I thought was odd. He quickly corrects her (“ex-girlfriend”) and it didn’t come across correctly but I liked Ryan’s answer about wanting to keep chasing a woman – his point that the chase shouldn’t end just because you end up together was a bit lost on Emily…maybe that’s why things haven’t worked out for her in the past?  In any case, she flirtily tells Ryan that if it’s a chase he wants, it’s a chase he’ll get.

“I want a man to come in and be the boss…but we’d both really know I’m in charge.” – Emily, with a sly smile.

They have a cute little banter back and forth about chasing one another. They go outside the restaurant where Gloriana is playing “(Kissed You) Good Night.” Emily says it was a perfect date. No kiss but a cute little dip at the end of the song to go along with that rose on his lapel.

Group date with 13 guys: “Let’s set the stage for love”
It’s always awkward in the beginning when we and Emily don’t know all the guys’ names and here she is welcoming them all to this group date with a receiving line of hugs.  The Muppets will be guiding the guys through singing, dancing and comedy for a show to raise money for Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.

Charlie is very insecure because he’s still having speech issues as part of his recovery from the accident. He finds Emily to tell her that he doesn’t feel comfortable and she is supportive and understanding. I gotta say though, he didn’t have to be insecure – everyone was awful. Stevie enjoys the dancing the most (he’s got jazz hands). The comedians weren’t funny. Charlie was smooth but I wonder if now he will only get pity from Emily?

Chris seems to feel that he and Emily already have a strong connection. Emily says one of her favorite things about him is that he’s so good looking. I have a feeling that this season is going to be even more shallow than I thought.

Emily sought out Jef to find out why he’s playing hard to get. He seems really insecure but she thinks he’s cute, and to be honest she seems pretty insecure too, fishing for compliments from everyone.

Kalon aka “Chopper” cuts in on Stevie’s dance lesson and Jazz Hands is pissed. Just moments later Aaron cuts in on Chopper, which he is devastated by because they were having such an amazing conversation, he and Emily, both being falsely humble and batting eyelashes at one another (“you’re so pretty! no, you’re so pretty!”)…ugh, those two together are too much.

Jef gets the date rose for making Emily feel happy and comfortable. Chris [and all of America] is perplexed by this.

One-on-one date: Joe — “Come close to my heart”
They totally should have played “take my breath away” because Joe looks like the wind got knocked out of him when he pulls up in a limo to see Emily standing on a red carpet next to a plane. They fly to West Virginia, Emily’s home state, to go to the Greenbriar. They suit up and dive in.

Kalon says he doesn’t know how he’d feel about being a dad to someone else’s kid and the dads in the house give some words of wisdom to the group. Kalon accuses them of putting being a dad on hold to come on the show. That doesn’t go over well.

Emily knows already that there is a spark missing with Joe. When asked what he wants in 5 years he says to be happy with no regrets about his relationships and career. When she asks what that means he has no answer.  Trying to mask the fact that Joe has no clue what he wants except to sleep with a hot chick, she totally freaks him out when she says she wants more kids.  A lot more.

“It’s not about five years from now, it’s about fifty years from now.” -Emily

Emily is crying because she’s in this magical place she loves and Joe wrote a beautiful love wish for the love clock that said all the things she wanted to hear but she doesn’t know about him [read: isn’t attracted to him] and so he has to read between the lines and excuse himself. He walks away like it was a business deal, thanking her for the opportunity. And the awkward is amplified when the fireworks go off and she’s standing on the balcony alone.

Sean, Arie and one other guy (Travis?) didn’t get dates this week but my guess is Arie has nothing to worry about.

Cocktail party:

  • Arie gets alone time and tells Emily he dated a girl that had two kids and she is impressed.
  • The guys are pissed because Ryan already has a rose and is alone with her. Tony walks in to interrupt and while Ryan acknowledges that Tony deserves time with her, he urges Emily to read a letter he’s writter her.  (Umm..can’t she read it later?)  It’s painful to see Tony stand there for what had to have been twenty minutes while Emily reads (aloud!) all of the thoughts and dreams and aspirations that Ryan has put to paper.  It’s akin to Rachel’s letter to Ross, 18 pages front and back. Too much, buddy. 

Roses:
Ryan
Jef
Kalon aka “Chopper”
Arie
Michael
Nate
Sean
Chris
Doug, the Dad
Travis
Tony
John
Alessandro
Charlie
Alejandro
Stevie aka “Jazz Hands”

Going home: Aaron the biology teacher from Long Beach and Kyle also from Long Beach. That’s saying something. Maybe they got a two-fer deal on plane flights back home?

Next week:
Egg drop soup, anyone?
One guy misses his kid, one guy wants a kid, another would compromise for a kid…Plus, roller coasters, Dolly Parton, it looks like Arie and Chris get dates, and a storm is a brewin’!

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The Bachlorette Recap episode 1, season 8 – Emily

Friends, hello!  Welcome to this new season of The Bachelorette! As I’ve said before, I’m really looking forward to this season with Emily because, well, let’s face it, she’s crazy gorgeous and has a darling southern accent which is sure to mean some ridiculously good lookin’ fellas chasing after her.  Are you excited about Emily as The Bachelorette? It’s not surprising, seeing as she was such a big fan favorite but it’s also hard to forget the two-faced personality rumors we see swirling the blogosphere and tabloids.  And also her lackluster dates with Brad…they weren’t exactly conversation heavy or emotion filled. Well, despite the fact that last night’s episode did not air until 9:30pm (take note Bachelor people: working ladies who love wine tend to adore sleep, especially on Mondays. How about an 8pm timeslot, huh? Mmkay, good talk. Thanks.) I was still eager.  So, here we go!

Season 8 Bachelorette Emily Maynard (photo cia Craig Sjodin/ABC)

The intro to this season is exactly what you’d expect – Emily looking lovely and polished, doting on daughter Ricki, retelling her tragic story of love lost via plane crash then found via daughter then lost via loneliness after 7pm when said daughter goes to bed, then found on The Bachelor only to be lost again due to a violent temper.  Still with me? Perhaps the most entertaining part of all of this for me is that Emily is 26 (wow, that’s still surprising, right?) and has been engaged twice but she still fiercely proclaims that “being engaged is something that’s really special and should be saved for the person you’re going to marry.” [yes, Emily, hence, the meaning of engaged to be married. Where is Chris Harrison when you need him to explain something?]

Chris says this season is unlike any other but so far it’s only different because
a) it’s in Charlotte instead of LA and
b) they’ve never had a single mom Bachelorette. [apparently single dad Jason Mesnick was nothing like this season.]

Here’s what we know about the men from their intro videos, just-out-of-the-limo greetings, and cocktail hour time:

  • Kalon – for a split second appears to be a James Franco/Jude Law lookalike, a self-proclaimed modern southern gentleman who rightly pisses everyone off when he arrives via helicopter. Even Emily shows a bit of humor throwing in a line about “being blown away” by the guys.
  • Ryan — former NFL player, mentors kids, has a darling dog.
  • Tony — He’s a single dad who is super buff and divorced. I think I’ll call him Guipetto. He sells wood and apparently likes fairy tales – he brought a glass Cinderella slipper.
  • Lerone — lives in LA with a little pup, likes to run. Says Emily being a single mom is the sexiest thing about her, which really creeps me out.  (Also, he’s quite apparently one of three token non-caucasian guys thrown in the mix so ABC can avoid further lawsuits about discrimination. Read this article: “Emily Maynard in room full of suitors. The main thing missing? Minorities.“)
  • David — singer/songwriter (ugh…we see a serenade session coming soon…more wine, please!).  To our gathered group, this guy looks like a poor woman’s Jesse Katsopolis.
  • Charlie — survived an accident but sustained a serious brain injury, has a dog, reevaluating life and looks like a serious contender.
  • Jef — with one ‘f’, a young Marty McFly-esque skateboarder, CEO/co-founder of People Water (normally I wouldn’t like to a site for self-promotion of a contestant, but it’s a charity so have at it) , from Utah
  • Arie — sexy race car driver. Ooh. Ouch. Too soon?  We findout when he tells Emily to get it all out in the open. She’s touched he thought to bring it up so soon and not long after she’s pondering just how good he’d look behind the wheel.
  • First out of the limo is Sean with swagger. A saunter, if you will. I don’t have much else for you on that one, sorry.
  • Doug — charity director from Seattle. He’s a hugger with an 11-year-old boy who wrote Emily a cute little letter. Smooth.
  • Jackson — a fitness model. Got down on one knee right away and Emily is not impressed. Dude, she’s been engaged twice already…not original. And to further prove he’s an all-around cliche he quotes: “life is not measured by the breaths we take but the moments that take our breath away.”  Goodbye, Jackson.
  • Joe — Field energy advisor from LA. Reminds me of Jesse, the snowboarder that won Deanna’s season. Also looks like he’s had his hair pulled back in a headband for quite some time, like teeny bopper guy on the voice that really bugged me. Or maybe James Van Der Beek. 
  • Kyle – anyone remember anything about this guy?
  • Chris – brings up God pretty quickly which I think scores points pretty quickly with Emily. Plus, he seems like a romantic, having asked his parents for advice before the show.
  • Aaron — biology teacher that wants to have chemistry with Emily.
  • Alessandro — from brazil. Eww.
  • Stevie — party MC. Double eww.
  • Granny gets out of the limo. It’s Randy, a marketing manager from Hermosa.  Goodbye, Randy.
  • Nate — A vague “account executive” from LA who Emily thinks is so cute she almost swoons as he walks away.
  • Brent — wore a name tag to make it easy. Thanks.
  • John “Wolf” – a data destruction specialist.  That sounds hardcore. I hope he goes by Wolf all season, however short a time that may be.
  • Travis – this guy shows up with an egg. A big one. Dragon egg style like in Harry Potter (which scores points with me and BFOTB). It’s a symbol of Emily and Ricki and how he’s gonna take care of the egg like he would them. You know, like a 7th grade science project.
  • Michael — Rehab counselor. Looks cute but his hair is long and stringy a la Ashton Kutcher.
  • Jean-Paul — marine biologist.  Who does this guy look like? It’s killing me that I can’t figure it out…
  • Alejandro — Latin lover from Columbia who wins Emily over with words which she can’t understand. 

 Roses:

  1. First impression rose: Doug
  2. Chris
  3. Ryan
  4. Kalon
  5. Arie
  6. Charlie
  7. Jef
  8. Nate
  9. Sean
  10. Joe
  11. Kyle
  12. Aaron
  13. Alejandro
  14. John “Wolf”
  15. Alessandro
  16. Michael
  17. Stevie (woof)
  18. Tony
  19. Travis

I can’t remember who he is exactly because I thought he was kidding the first time he said it, but one guy was 41 with 6 kids.  He did not get a rose. Clearly.

Highlights from the upcoming season: castles, archery, kilts, kissing, sailing, sightseeing, beaches, Emily tells someone to “get the f&$! out?” (my gosh, I cannot wait to see this episode!), lots of guys crying (gonna need to stock up on wine for that!), Dolly Parton, and of course, lots o’ drama.

We pick Ryan and Arie for the final two. Who are your favorites?  Think Engagement #3 is in store for Emily at the end of this season?

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 for.like.ever. 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 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?”

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].

Roses:
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.