Ben 'The Bachelor' takes ladies home (review)

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Stage 5 Clingers Need Love Too:


Sonoma, California seems like a wonderful place to date a bunch of crazy women. Beautiful vineyards, plenty of wine to get the ladies appropriately sloshed and a cute little town to go on dates in. The producers waste no time throwing us right back into the tragic death of Ben’s father. But I felt like it was a little raw and a little early. I love old family photos as much as the next person, and seeing that Ben and his mother have the same exact face was kind of funny. That said, the Kacie / Ben family video and picture movie looked like something that could have been viewed at their rehearsal dinner. Of course it brought them both to tears, so in the end, it achieved the purpose of drumming up strong emotions on an accelerated basis, the mantra of this entire show. It’s always a good sign when both The Bachelor and his date are crying on their first date together.

Let’s skip right to Blakeley. Her bobbing breasts deserve a paragraph all by themselves. My first question is when did her boobs become so out-going? Last week, she was just a slightly buzzed, chilled out wall flower who Monica was hitting on. This week, we barely hear from the outspoken Monica, and Blakeley can’t stop talking. Everything about Blakeley got bigger this week. Her dangling earrings, her Alpha attitude to pounce on Ben and her ability to drive everyone around her to the point of insanity. One of my favorite parts of the episode was during the auditions for the play the group date put on. Blakeley was asked to run in slow motion. One of these kids is a Baywatch fan! She was called a number of things by the other ladies including “Jugs,” “Horse face,” “Cougar” and “Fakely.” Ouch. So she’s quickly becoming one of the most hated women in the house. No wonder Ben found her sobbing alone in a corner of the luggage room. Was he looking for her at that point? Or did a producer come up to him and say, “Hey Ben, I’ll pay you $50 to go find Blakeley right now…” Did Ben think he was in some sort of nightmare when all of these seemingly normal women started to show their true colors?

Kacie seems like a very sweet and genuine person. Her date with Ben felt extremely natural, besides the whole movie theater montage part.  So many of these Bachelor seasons start off with helicopters, carnivals and private concerts that can never give the couple a chance at knowing what real life together would be like. So I love the idea that we are starting the dates in Ben’s hometown. Ben also showed us a bit of his quirky side. I loved Kacie’s baton routine – had she planned this before they walked into that candy/toy store?  I also love that Ben got involved (though I was totally laughing when I saw The Husband’s reaction to Ben baton twirling in the streets of Sonoma).  The ladies in my office thought it was adorable that he was willing to twirl.  The men were rolling their eyes.  Cheers to the producers for not taking Kacie to Vegas and getting her all dolled up and planning a wedding together like last season’s first date between Ashley and William (remember that fiasco?). When the two women approached Ben and Kacie on the street, I thought they were going to take her away to put her in some ball gown and do her hair and makeup while Ben was put in a tux and they were going to go ballroom dancing in a vineyard (is that possible?). Turns out these were probably just random fans of the show who walked in on a date. Lucky girls! Their date was such a pleasure to watch because Kacie is cute, bubbly and definitely into Ben. We can picture them hanging out in the restaurants of Sonoma, twirling batons and making quirky voices together on a long term basis.  That said, not sure how entirely into Kacie that Ben was.  Particularly after we seem him with Courtney. 

 Of course, poor Kacie will have to suffer the wrath of the other women for getting the first “one on one” date. The gloves are already off. Courtney calls her “kind of annoying,” within the first 3 minutes of the show. I’m pretty sure, in the entire history of The Bachelor, the person who gets the first date can never end up winning the whole thing. Usually this is because they freak out too much about keeping up the connection they established on that date while Ben takes out and makes out with every other woman in the house. I guess that kind of puts a damper on things. But I’m pulling for Kacie because she seems like a nice person with some baton personality and I think she’d be good for Ben compared to some of these other freaks.

I also loved the community date. It was a great idea to involve local kids in creating a fairytale using the women. Where did they find these kids? Were they leftovers from the Disney Mickey Mouse Club? Did they have to audition to be part of this? In any event, I was happy to see that we were not filming a magazine shoot, playing soap opera or some of the other ridiculous first group dates that have taken place. We still got to see Ben strip down at one point and we also got to see Blakeley dressed as a slutty gingerbread man. What else could be better?

 Courtney is the big mystery right now. Based on looks alone she’s going to make some instant enemies in the house, though I think she thinks she’s prettier than she actually is.  She likes to speak very slowly and use Jersey Shore expressions to explain why she’s still single like, “I was doing me for a while” and “I found panties in the bed,” which I had to translate to The Husband – means her last boyfriend was cheating on her.  And clearly the women let Courtney intimidate them. Why do they allow models on this show anyway? Wouldn’t you always be questioning whether they are actually interested in finding love or if they just want the publicity?  And if you’re willing to date a VIP cocktail waitress, wouldn’t you always be worried that she’s off waiting on Tiger Woods? 

 “How did that taste coming out of your mouth?” Courtney asks Kacie after reading the date card from Ben inviting Courtney out for a one on one date.

RED FLAG, right there! Run for the hills, Ben. Now who knows if Courtney is playing the Michelle Money card – and just being very sarcastic. And perhaps it’s just her nature to be extremely competitive around other women. You can’t fault her for that. Yes, she says some mean things about the other girls, but who hasn’t? Ben is quite smitten with Courtney – you can almost see his eyes light up by the end of their date. She is far and away the front runner of the batch in Ben’s eyes at this point.  Her little Jekyll and Hyde routine has been a recurring theme throughout the Bachelor seasons.  The question is whether Ben will see her true colors and what he’ll think then. He’s starting to ask the right questions (“Is she too good to be true?”) but we’ll have to wait to see whether he can answer his own question.

Jenna was a big crash and burn since the first night. I have absolutely no idea what she was trying to tell Ben during their one on one time. Something about her being like a man or one of the guys or that she was a man in her former life. And that she couldn’t relate to the girls talking girl talk. She made absolutely no sense and poor Ben tried so hard to be polite. (According to Chris Harrison’s blog, there was an even more awkward conversation that happened later that we didn’t get to see). Even when he found her crying in a bed, he was kind to her. On a bright note, I really liked the red dress she was wearing. Was anyone else wondering why she didn’t leave in a limo as per the usual protocol when getting dumped? She just went right back into a living room area and sat on the white couch to cry. Do you think she’ll pop out of a closet during next week’s rose ceremony?

Some of my favorite quotes and highlights from last night:
Ben giving a thoughtful, well spoken speech before he handed out the roses on his one on one dates with Kacie and Courtney. He’s not cheesy and he doesn’t just ask them to accept it. He’s articulate in why he wants to give it to them, which makes it more meaningful. I’m loving Ben as the Bachelor!
Kacie’s opinion of her date with Ben: “I think I have found what could be a lifetime of happiness of Ben.” And this is why I pledge my eternal love to this show. The fact that 24 hours after meeting, someone could actually verbalize that they have found their “eternal love,” after one date is a beautiful thing. I don’t know where they find these people, but I don’t want it to stop.
Watching Blakelely impersonate a monkey while wearing an Osh Kosh striped romper with strapped in boobies.
Courtney stating that she thinks the horse got the first impression rose (not Linzie). Then she says, “I hate to beat a dead horse…”
Ben telling Blakeley during their alone time, “You seem super grounded. I feel like everyone likes you. You’re super go-with-the-flow.”  Fast forward to finding her sobbing in the luggage room corner.
Blakeley talking to Ben after the play was over: “I’m blessed in some places. I didn’t know if that was going to be ok.”

Courtney’s reference to Charlie Sheen. Winning!  Does she drink tiger blood?
Our first bikini swim party and it only took one group date! Blakeley announces after her one on one time with Ben, “The potential for me to fall in love with Ben is so there. Gosh it feels so good.”

Jennifer’s kisses with Ben that echoed.  I like Jennifer. She seems genuinely nice and giddy, like anyone would be, after getting some lovin’ from the Bachelor.  It was like watching a puppy get kicked when she saw him kissing Blakeley not too long after.
Scotch the dog! He’s amazing!! I hope he becomes a character in this show.  What an adorable little companion.

The Husband thought Courtney’s date in the forest with the tall Redwoods looked like a scene out of the Twilight movies.  How awesome would it have been if Jenna flew in dressed up as vampire?
One of my favorite parts of the episode: Ben “howling” with his dog and Courtney having no clue how to react. She’s just kind of watching them, pretending to be chill, but she really doesn’t know how to handle such behavior.

Linzie’s private time with Ben at the rose ceremony party was so interesting to watch.  She is so eager to please and make an impression and starts throwing random facts about herself at him, hoping that one of them will please him. “I’m drive a truck.”  “Dirt is my make-up.”  Ah, so she’s playing the country girl card. Good for her.

Samantha telling Ben that she “hangs with the guys” and “hates drama” and then Blakeley walks in and steals him away.  Samantha goes downstairs and tells the other ladies that “Jugs walked in.”
WTF (What the Fudge) Moments:

Is Blakeley wearing a necklace during the community play date that says “Fox” and if so, is this because she likes the animal itself or does she think of herself as a Fox? Or is her boyfriend from home named “Fox?” So many questions.

Is Nicki a spokeswoman for the bump-it apparatus? She’s very into having some sort of poof in her hair and super white teeth. This is how I can tell her apart from Kacie at times. Nicki is a beautiful girl though.
Since when is 34 a “cougar” – Blakeley may definitely be some things, but I don’t think you’re a cougar until you’re at least over 50.

Blakeley saying that she’s passionate and a great lover because she’s a Scorpio.
Is it standard operating procedure for every woman who gets a one on one date to wear tiny little shorts with high riding boots?

Hands down best moment of the night: Ben finds Blakeley in the luggage room and tells her to “collect herself” and “take (her) time.”  Take her time doing what exactly?  Trying to deal with why the other girls hate her? Examine the corner of the room some more? Go through people’s luggage and sabotage any sexy looking outfits?  Ben has been spending too much time with Chris Harrison, because it almost sounded like he was about to say, “Take a moment, say your goodbyes.”

I asked The Husband whether he thought Blakeley is pretty.  His response: “Let’s be honest, she has huge cans.”  Ok, not exactly the answer I was looking for, but definitely true.  As for Courtney, The Husband does find her attractive. I think he’s just interested in her slight overbite and the way she speaks softly – something I will never do.  Unfortunately, Courtney “makes (Ben) think big picture” and I have no doubt that she’s in first place after this week.  Of course watching her gloat with a rose privately, has to make the audience wonder whether she’s this season Bentley.  Does she really have a remote interest in Ben? Can you see her hiking through Redwood forests and is she ready to give up the LA lifestyle? 

Ok, a couple of last comments that must be said even though they’re not pretty.  Jaclyn.  Really? I am not sure what he sees in her or whether they’re keeping her around to bash Blakeley some more, but I can not see any sort of a connection between Jaclyn and Ben. 

I’m very worried that Jamie is getting overlooked. She’s a normal, down to earth shy girl – perhaps not as outspoken or dramatic as the other girls, and I hope that Ben can get to know her more. We barely got to hear much from Emily this week or Casey S (who is beautiful, but doesn’t speak).  Can NOT believe he chose Brittney, Monica and Jaclyn over Shawn, but there you go.

We’re off to San Fran next week and I can’t wait to see who this mystery woman is and whether she stands a chance at being considered amongst these women.  I would welcome some new blood to this group.
 
By Stacey B