Last night was the 3rd episode of Bachelor Ben’s journey to love (and inevitable STDs, or at the very least, serious cold sores) and it did not disappoint! There was drama, fainting, and lip tattoos—and that’s just Erika from Chicago!
The 16 ladies rolled into San Francisco, CA, where Ben (supposedly) lives and loves. Didn’t he say that about Sonoma in the last episode? Is he in the witness protection program? Is this "Bird on a Wire"?
The first 1:1 date goes to Emily, the blonde PhD student who seems pretty friendly and normal. Ben informs her that their date will be spent climbing a pipe that stretches the entire length of the Oakland Bay Bridge. Hello, nightmare! Emily admits that she is afraid of heights, and you can feel the producers getting excited about the forced bonding-over-trauma that this date will create. Blech. Ben and Emily put on some Timberland boots, hair-crushing helmets, and harnesses, and commence walking up this bridge. They manage to get all the way to the top (where they make-out for the cameras, of course) and Emily only has ONE moment of anxiety, which is calmed by a kiss from Ben. Barf. That’s not what fear of heights looks like, my friends. I’m afraid of heights and a true fear of heights manifests in a way that is a lot less photogenic. It looks a lot more like buckling knees, tremors, dry mouth, tears, and the occasional shit-in-pants. And that would just be me standing on that pipe while still over land and not even over the bay yet. After that date, Ben and Emily both insist that climbing across that bridge was the hardest thing they’ve ever done, and I can only assume that Ben is suffering amnesia from the time when he attended his father’s funeral. Too harsh? Maybe. All I’m saying is that it’s silly to throw around talk of “the hardest thing I’ve ever done” about a time when you walked across a bridge while wearing a crotch harness. After their nightmare date spent facing personal “fears,” Ben and Emily enjoy a romantic dinner and drinks. After dinner, they enjoy a fireworks display and the rest of the ladies (cooped up at the hotel) see those fireworks and utter jealous noises/words. I, personally, hope that it pissed off Courtney the most and if I were in that room I would insult her with one of her own insults, and say, “How do those fireworks for Emily—NOT YOU--feel on your eyes?”
The next day is a group date, attended by a gaggle of normal ladies and Blakeley. This is the point at which my DVR crapped out (thanks, Time Warner!) and my TV jumped from where I was in the episode, to where the show was in real-time. I was a bit behind b/c I started the show late so that I could fast forward through the commercials. But then everything got messed up and I missed the entire bikini skiing adventure. Whatever. Seems like nothing too crazy happened and when I picked up, Ben & the ladies were all at the after party drinking booze out of pineapples. Traditional San Franciscan beverages! Brittney (blonde w/ bad skin whose grandmother accompanied her to the first cocktail party) was up in the hotel room and she had learned that she’d be going on the next 1:1 date with Ben. She decided that she just wasn’t feeling it (and I'm sure that being trapped in the same room as Courtney didn't help). So she packed her things and went downstairs (to the after party) to tell Ben face-to-face, pulling out the ‘ole this “is the hardest decision of my life” thing YET AGAIN. Woa woa woa, Brittney. The hardest decision of your life is leaving a reality TV dating show? Man, your life must be a cake walk. Peace out, girlie.
So now Ben has to “bring up someone from the minors” as it were, and the lucky lady to get Brittney’s sloppy seconds is Lindzi (rode in on a horse, too much bronzer). She’s elated to be the 2nd choice and gets ready for a night out with Ben. Lucky for Lindzi, the date doesn’t revolve around facing fears, but rather doing enjoyable things as a couple (like how normal people actually date in the real world). Lindzi and Ben ride in a rail car to a famous San Francisco ice cream parlor, and Ben must have wicked connections in the ice cream industry because they cut the line and get back door service. Then they head over the San Francisco’s gorgeous City Hall, which is locked, but aww snap Ben has as key! The fact that Lindzi was genuinely impressed by this makes me wonder if she normally travels with an aide. They enter the City Hall with flashlights (like a robbery date!) but soon the overhead lights switch on and reveal that at the top of a gorgeous staircase and beneath a breathtaking rotunda waits a SHITTY, C-LIST BAND!! A medium-paced, forgettable song is then played, while Lindzi and Ben awkwardly half slow dance/half old timey dance. Man oh man Lindzi—for a girl who insists that she NEVER wears make-up, you sure wear a hell of a lot of make-up. After that awkward personal concert, Lindzi and Ben head to a password-only, secret speakeasy (not so secret anymore, huh?) where they enjoy drinks and conversation in a back room. It’s here that Lindzi tells a story of her last serious relationship, which ended via text with the dude sending her the message: “Welcome to Dumpsville, Population: You.” I believe that story about as much as I believe that Courtney is on the show genuinely looking for love.
Meanwhile, a Bachelor alum is back to vie for Ben’s affections and it’s Shawntel from dumbass Brad's 2nd season! She’s a cute brunette who was a lot of fun during that season, until she took Brad to her hometown (Chico--like the terrible store) and walked him through embalming procedures step-by-step. It was creepy. It seems that she has met Ben a few times (probably on lame-o Bachelor alum cocktail parties and cruises—yes, these things happen) and they have texted/talked on the phone a few times. She wants to see if there could be something more with Ben, so she asks Chris Harrison if she can be part of a cocktail party/rose ceremony and he says yes. I give Shawntel credit for having the guts to put herself back in the dogfight that is The Bachelor. The other women are NOT pleased, though. Shawntel walks into the cocktail party and past a few of the women, who all assume that she’s an ex-girlfriend of Ben’s. When Shawntel sits down to chat with Ben and explain herself, you can already tell that he’s not feeling it. He’s completely flabbergasted and while he stumbles over his words, the other women realize that Shawntel is a Bachelor alum. Ben disappears (presumably to do some thinking, make his decision, and freak out with Chris Harrison behind closed doors) and Shawntel is forced to mingle with these hostile women. The ladies are NOT happy and they are downright mean to Shawntel, with blonde Jaclyn leading the charge. I was stunned by how aggressive and mean these women were to Shawntel. They seem to possess ZERO self-awareness and they were bewildered as to why she was there. What do they care? It's just another woman on the show, on which there are presently 16 women. What's one more? The scene reminded me of “Rock of Love” season 2, when 3 new gals were added into the mix mid-season. The Rock of Love ladies (who are known to get neck tattoos of Brett’s name and fistfight one another) handled that curve ball with ten times more grace and pride than these women on The Bachelor last night. That's really saying something.
Finally it’s rose ceremony time and the roses are doled out with no big drama, save for when Courtney accepts her rose and makes a crack about “What’s-Her-Butt.” Wow. She’s a real class act. I’d like to share some information that I read in US Weekly recently, dear readers. Courtney, the brunette model with bad legs who is a sociopath, used to date Jesse Metcalf from “Desperate Housewives” season 1. Yes, Jesse Metcalf. The guy who is famous for his willingness to wax his entire body and eyebrows constantly. Blech.
Let’s get down to it. Roses are handed out and finally we’re down to 1 rose left, with Shawntel (new edition mortician), Jaclyn (blonde Masshole who has revealed herself to also be an asshole), and Erika (Chicagoan cheese ball who did hands-as-guns move in episode 1) as the only girls without roses. What will Ben do? If he invites Shawntel to join the harem, there will be hell to pay from the other women. Jaclyn is already crying (and it’s quite literally NOT pretty) and Erika is having trouble breathing beneath her AWFUL dress and horrific hair. Finally, Erika’s legs seem to give out and the rose ceremony is paused for a moment. DRAMA! Chris Harrison LIVES for this kind of thing! Everyone pulls it together, though, and they reset for the final rose. But Ben’s got other plans and he opts not to give out the final rose and rather, to send home all three ladies. Jaclyn commences WEEPING and walks off without saying goodbye. Erika stumbles out, having just collapsed. Shawntel says goodbye and leaves like a classy (albeit kinda weird) lady.
In the final clip of “The Bachelor” (when the producers usually show us a random, funny outtake), we see Erika and Ben talking at the cocktail party (pre-rose ceremony and collapse). In ten seconds you can see why Ben dropped her like a hot potato. Erika says that she has a tattoo, but she won’t tell Ben where—she wants him to guess. Oh, that’s a fun game! Ben refuses and just asks her where it is. She pushes him again to guess and gives him the creepiest look that communicates, “Come on! Isn’t this fun! Play along with my infantile, tiresome, weird attempts at being interesting!” Ben’s not having it, so finally she shows him: it’s the word “AMORE” tattooed INSIDE HER MOUTH. Erika flips down her lip to show off the faded, saliva-covered tattoo. And that, my friends, is how it's done (if your goal is to get voted off immediately).