Ben and the 6 remaining ladies (Nicki, Kacie B., Emily, Courtney, Rachel, and Lindzi) travel to Belize and finally hit some nice, sunny weather after last week. Chris Harrison greets the ladies at their gorgeous house, and informs them that this week will be three 1:1 dates (no roses up for grabs on those) and one group date (one rose on that one). Chris says that the 1:1 dates don’t include roses because these dates are tools to Ben to really get to know the girls, without either party being distracted by a rose. The girls looks confused as Chris explains that these 1:1 dates will be about conversation and opening up, just like real dating in the real world. 2 girls will be going home after this week, and then we’re down to 4 and it’s time for HOMETOWNS. Yes, Ben goes to visit FOUR different women (and their respective families) in their hometowns after this week. Holy shits, huh?
The first 1:1 date goes to Lindzi and I know I’m a broken record, but girl needs to EASE UP on the bronzer and eye make-up and invest in some lipstick. Seriously—girl often looks like she wears cover-up as lipstick—it’s creepy. Ben picks up Lindzi and they hop in a helicopter (yawn), then get dropped into the ocean (double yawn). Lindzi spits out a bunch of lame comments about how she and Ben were taking the plunge and jumping in, both literally (from the helicopter) and figuratively (in love) and I can barely keep my take-out sushi dinner down. From there, they go swimming and kiss while they attempt to avoid drowning. Cut to later that night, Ben captains a boat to a dock where pillows, wine, and candles are set up. The producers are kickin’ this romance into overdrive and Ben’s getting the credit! Ben and Lindzi make themselves comfortable on the pillows (though I don’t know if it’s possible to get comfortable on a dock) and Ben begins a conversation that we’ll be seeing a LOT of during this episode: Can you picture taking me to your hometown? What would your parents think? I want you to WANT to bring me home and this is a two-way street, but know that when it comes to this two-way street, I control the flow of traffic completely and I could shut down a lane at any moment, without warning.
The next 1:1 date is Emily, who is super cute, smart, and rad. Those adjectives are ominous in Bachelor world, as smart, career-oriented girls rarely get far on this show. Emily and Ben ride bikes, drink coconut milk, and catch lobsters with their bare hands. That night (once they are cleaned up and changed), those very lobsters sit (dead) on plates in front of Ben and Emily while they talk. THOSE VERY LOBSTERS! SIT THERE! DEAD! Ben asks Emily the same questions and all of her answers are fantastic, plus Emily says that she wishes that she hadn’t wasted her time with Ben talking about Courtney.
Speaking of Courtney (LOOK AT THAT SEGUE! No, not the guy who’s too lazy to use his legs for movement Segway, the actual segue we’re in the midst of at this very moment!), back at the house, Kacie B. and Nicki are bonding over a mutual hatred for Courtney. Amen, brunette ladies! Perceptive Emily was the first one to see it, but finally everybody is getting on the “Courtney Sucks” bandwagon, and not a moment too soon.
The 3rd 1:1 date car arrives and Courtney’s been bellyaching that she REALLY needs this 1:1 date (because the other 5 women don’t, right?). The date card is for Courtney and she is thrilled, while all of America would prefer to watch her complain and cry a bit more. You can’t always get what you want, right The Rolling Stones and America?
Ben and Courtney’s 1:1 date is an exhausting climb in direct sunlight up the side of a ruin, then wine at the top. Courtney somehow manages to finagle control YET AGAIN (because remember, last week Ben negged her on a late-night meet up) by being needy and complainey. On what planet does the most needy and whiney person emerge as the victor? Only on Planet Bach. Sigh. That night, Courtney and Ben enjoy a candle lit dinner, more of Courtney’s patented side boob, and Ben’s sweaty forehead. Over dinner, Courtney says that she is mostly friends with men, she considers the other women in the house to be “girls” and not “women,” and she doesn’t get along with them and has nothing to say to them. What a catch! A self-hating, virtual sociopath who can’t EVER just make the best of the situation and make a couple friends? Oh yeah, Ben, THIS IS THE ONE YOU WANT TO SPEND YOUR LIFE WITH, no doubt!
Finally, it’s time for the group date and Ben wakes up Rachel, Kacie B., and Nicki in the middle of the night. Seriously—this show becomes more like sorority pledging every week. Dump ‘em a couple miles from campus and make ‘em walk back, Ben! The girls throw on bikinis and frantically shave their pits and legs while America watches. The foursome boards a sailboat, has a breakfast of champagne, and then goes swimming with sharks. Ben advises the girls that punching a shark in the nose is a good idea (BRILLIANCE!) and only Rachel seems frightened at the prospect of a tipsy shark swim session. After the shark swim, they all go back to the house where they enjoy some drinks poolside, and Ben takes each lady aside to ask the appointed questions in a 1:1 setting. The ladies all answer the questions perfectly well, and reveal their feelings while Ben just soaks it in. The foursome reconvenes and Ben gives Kacie B. the rose, which disappoints Nicki and Rachel. Nicki tells Ben that all the girls just want him to be happy, and that none of them see "happiness" as being with Courtney. I’m SO glad that Kacie and Nicki said something, so Ben can see that Courtney’s just a mean-spirited A hole and it was never a Courtney vs. Emily situation before. Courtney’s an arrogant narcissist and I hope that Ben is somewhere watching these episodes right now and being horrified by how blind he was.
Finally, it’s cocktail party/rose ceremony time and the 6 lovely ladies sit and enjoy some cocktails before Ben’s arrival. But, oh snap, Ben’s not coming for a cocktail party. Chris Harrison informs the half dozen ladies that Ben knows what he wants to do, so it’s time to get down to biz. Line it up, ladies. Ben arrives, but in fact, he DOESN’T totally know what’s up, so he pulls Courtney out of the line so they can have some 1:1 chat time. The other women smile, hoping that the toxic nightmare (Courtney) will be getting the boot shortly. Courtney registers no emotion in her face as she assures Ben that she’s really into him and she's not there for self-promotion, unlike when she dated that shirtless dude from "Desperate Housewives." Then it’s back in line and Ben starts doling out the roses.
Kacie B (poor man’s Minka Kelly) already has one, so she’s safe and is definitely getting a hometown date. Ben has three roses to give out and they go to Lindzi, Nicki… and Courtney. That means that Rachel and Emily, the two bright blondes, are going home and the remaining 4 girls are all brunettes or brunettes with highlights. Those poor blondes. But take comfort in this, my blonde bretheren: Ben might not like you, but the rest of the world worships you. Trust me.
Up next: hometown dates! See ya next MONDAY!