Happy Valentine’s Day! This is a huge week for The Bachelor. Next week are the hometown dates, so this is a week that really separates the true contenders from the pretenders. So our location for this important throw down is Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Looks nice, right? And here I thought “ambergris” meant “whale vomit.” But Wikipedia tells me that ambergris is a product of the intestinal tracts of whales that is sometimes vomited but is usually passed in fecal matter. It is highly coveted for use in perfumes. So the caye isn’t named after whale vomit, it’s named after the aromatic fecal byproduct of a digestive system that evolved to accommodate swallowing giant squid pretty much whole. Duh! Keep that in mind as we reminisce on this week’s events:
-Lindzi gets the first one-on-one date of the week. She and Ben take a helicopter ride to a place that Ben calls “The Blue Hole.”
What a lazy name. The person who named The Big Blue Hole also describes the Grand Canyon as “The Big Hole in the Ground” and Neil Armstrong as the first person to walk on “The Big Shiny Rock in the Sky.” Lindzi and Ben jump out of the helicopter into the hole and then share a romantic dinner back on shore. Not much exciting happened, but it is clear that they really have some great chemistry.
–This is evidently the week where everyone has to say that they’re in love. By my recollection Nicki, Kacie B, Emily, Courtney, and Lindzi all said some form of “I’m falling in love with you” to Ben for the first time this week. What is the deal? Are they all just trying to make sure they get on Ben’s good side so they make it to the hometown date? Or is there some sort of biological thing at play here where if you have a bunch of women living together it causes the timing of their neurochemical romantic processes to coordinate? I don’t get it, we can put a man on the big shiny rock in the sky but we still can’t understand the science of love.
-The next one-on-one date is with Emily. She and Ben go bike riding through a town and stop to interrupt a basketball game and eat coconuts. Ben mentions lobster for dinner, but they have to go catch it themselves. If you’ll allow me, I’d like to take a moment to tell you about panulirus argus.
The Caribbean spiny lobster. I’ve taken on these beasts, and they are not easy to catch. Their formidable defense is hiding in dark places that you’re afraid to stick your hand into because you’re worried there could be a sea monster in there. And while it doesn’t take an expert diver to catch them, I refuse to believe that there are ever just flocks of them swimming around like Ben and Emily encountered! After Ben and Emily catch those highly suspect lobsters, they go make out on a dance floor. It turns out the reaction in Belize to people sloppily making out on the dance floor is the same as it is anywhere else–amused disgust. All in all, not a bad date.
-Courtney gets the final one-on-one date of the week. She and Ben go hiking through a jungle to a very impressive Mayan ruin. I’m serious, I’m pretty sure that thing has featured in several movies. On this date Courtney shows that she is great, like first ballot Hall of Fame great, at fishing for compliments. She tells Ben how hard it is on her that she doesn’t get many one-on-one dates and how bad that makes her feel and how that made her unsure if she wanted to take Ben home to meet her family. This baits Ben into an extremely long rant about how much he likes her and how she’s what he’s always been looking for. Later, Ben brings up the fact that the other girls aren’t too fond of her and Courtney goes into Defcon-1 defensiveness mode. You can tell that Ben is totally wrapped around her finger, because he retreated quickly in the face of her defensiveness.
-Ben takes Kacie B, Nicki, and Rachel on a group date…..diving with sharks! They take a boat ride out to “Shark Alley,” a much more creative name than “Blue Hole.” The sharks appear to be Nurse Sharks. “Nurse Shark” being one of nature’s least intimidating names, along with the “Tufted Titmouse” and the “East African Scared Shitless of Everything Frog.” Even though the sharks look very tame, Rachel is terrified. My rule of thumb with sharks is to watch the other fish. If you see those chubby, delicious-looking fish stop flopping around and trying to figure out how the hell to get their snorkel to work when a shark shows up, you should do the same. Ben babysits Rachel, so her cowardice works in that respect. Ultimately, though, Kacie B gets the rose. It is very hard not to like Kacie. Unless you are Courtney, who described Kacie as “a little girl in a little boy’s body.”
-Before the rose ceremony, Ben pulls Courtney aside to mention that he’s concerned, because of things the other girls said, that she isn’t there for the right reasons. Courtney assures him that she is there for the right reasons. Ben believes her. This moment was built up a lot in the previews for this episode but it was pretty anti-climactic. Which was disappointing because Courtney got really wasted on pina coladas before the rose ceremony so there was great potential for entertainment there.
-Not too surprisingly, roses go to Kacie B, Lindzi, Nicki, and Courtney. Emily and Rachel are sent packing.
Best Moment: It’s not one moment, but Courtney again trolled pretty hard this episode. When the other girls in the room were devastated that they didn’t get a date card, Courtney said in a sweet and innocent voice “Oh wow. I think this means he really likes me.” When the shark week date was going on, Courtney said to the other girls “He’s probably tired, we had a late night last night.” And, finally, when Emily was sent home Courtney took a giant whiff of her rose and gave Emily a “see ya wouldn’t wanna be ya.” No matter your feelings on Courtney you just have to respect trolling of that magnitude.
Worst Moment: Courtney was feeling confident after her date, but she expressed that confidence in a two minute long confessional where she fired finger guns at imaginary opponents. Courtney giveth, and Courtney taketh away.
She’s not doing anything wrong, but she just isn’t building as strong of a bond with Ben as the other girls. She has a lot of ground to make up on hometown week to not get the boot.
Kacie is great. But I’ve said it before and Ben said it himself this week, he is looking for a girl with a little bit of an “edge.” Kacie spoke up about how much she dislikes Courtney, but other than that I just think she is lacking that extra something that can put her over the top. She still has a shot if she can show a killer instinct in the next two weeks.
I hate having to drop Lindzi down a spot this week. She and Ben seem highly compatible and she seems like an all-around great woman. And unlike Kacie I think she has that extra competitive edge that she’ll need to beat out the other contenders. I’m not moving her down in the rankings based on anything she did, but Courtney took her game to a whole new level this week and Lindzi has to prove she can keep up.
It’s hard to come away from this episode concluding anything other than that Courtney has Ben wrapped totally around her finger. At the slightest complaint by her, Ben would bend over backwards to reassure her. He damn near had a panic attack when she said she didn’t want to take him to her hometown if he spent too much time with Emily. Whether it is genuine attraction, manipulation, or a combination of both, Ben is smitten. Kacie and Lindzi are still in the game, but Courtney is the clear frontrunner right now.
Bold Prediction: I don’t know how bold this is, but can you imagine the train wreck of a family that produced Courtney? I am really looking forward to getting to see seemingly normal human being Ben tossed into that snakepit.