THE BACHELOR- PUERTO RICO
By Jennifer Buonantony
We arrive in beautiful Puerto Rico at the W Hotel. In store for Bachelor Ben this week are two one-on-one dates and a group date (with a twist!). And for us, more tears and Charlie Sheen references sponsored by Courntey.
First up, we have a date with Nicki (the dental hygienist) which starts off with a helicopter ride around Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. The views are gorgeous but I am beginning to wonder if the producers of this show own their own chopper. I mean, how many dates have started with a ride in the bird. I hope they at least used a Groupon.
The plan for the day is to take in the town but a thunderstorm thwarts this! However, Ben is impressed by Nicki's ability to stay upbeat and her 'Nothing can rain on my parade' attitude wins her brownie points and a new wardrobe. The couple decide to go on an indoor shopping spree and dress up in authentic clothes. Cut to: Ben in a sombrero- "Latin swagger, Si Señor".
Ben comments that he feels like Nicki is his girlfriend and they are just hanging out. He's "blown away" by her ability to just go with the flow despite the weather and this really turns him on! Was he expecting her to throw a temper tantrum? Because that apparently turns him on too (i.e. Courntey).
Any who, the skies clear and the couple stroll around town which randomly (or completely contrived, your guess is as good as mine) ends up at a local church while a wedding is beginning on the front steps. This leads into a more serious conversation about Nicki's past which includes a failed marriage and subsequent divorce. This chat turns into dinner and vino and Nicki hopes her history will not dissuade the Bachelor's interest. "I want a second chance at the fairytale." I think she deserves it. She is not my front-runner but as I've mentioned before Nicki could be a dark horse in the competition.
In the group date, "Diamonds are a girls best friend" or their worst enemy. The ladies are split into two teams (red & blue) and go to the local stadium to play a game of baseball. The winning team gets to spend the evening with Ben on a smaller group date and the losing team, well just loses. Since there is an uneven number of girls Ben gets to pick an MVP who will play both sides and get to attend the date despite the winner. He chooses Lindzi. This pleases me, as I think she is a definite competitor both in the game and in the play for Ben's heart.
The blue team- Jennifer, Emily, Jamie, and Blakely- are defeated and Jennifer takes it hard as she struck out when she needed to hit the winning pitch. Blakely is an especially sore loser because she hasn't had much time with Ben and berates her teammates saying none of them played as hard as she did. Who said women are gracious? Unsportsmanlike conduct…minus one in my book.
Courtney who is on the winning team of course gloats with as many cliches as she can think of..her go to 'Winning!' and the classic 'There's no crying in baseball' which makes me cringe because I love A League of Their Own and can't stand this chick! No matter, on the group date he spends some quality time with my girl Kaci B and gives her the rose. Of course, this is followed by Courtney promptly stealing him away from the group to pout. But not before she addresses the camera saying "Kaci B is like a little girl with her baton twirling. Ben needs a woman and these girls are all so square. They have no idea what I am capable of". More on that shortly…and I can't wait to find out!
The last group date goes to Elyse, the fitness trainer, who hasn't been on many dates. Period. Her card says "Let's find love somewhere private" and the two embark on a yacht for a date at sea. Ben references finding love last season on the ocean and hopes this date will prove a spark between him and Elyse. Though it seems to me to be a last ditch effort before throwing her overboard.
Though the two have fun jumping off the side of the boat a few times, it proves to be a case of too little too late and Ben sends Elyse home without a rose. This might have been the first time in the season I felt a bit bad. The girl really didn't get much time with Ben and kept asking the classic girl mantra of dumpees 'What did I do wrong?'. But that said, not everyone can be a match and on this date, she seemed more interested in the idea of finding love and being married than it being with Ben specifically.
Elyse leaves in tears and we witness possibly the most fumbling and awkward explanation by a bachelor to date. I won't even try to capture it with words.
Ben doesn't lament too long because he returns to his room to find Courtney outside his door. She snuck out to make good on an earlier comment to go skinny dipping with Ben. I was hoping the man might use his head and he did, just not the one on his shoulders. He quickly gets naked in the moonlight and only the next morning does he feel guilty about the 'other' women still here to find love with him. Typical male.
Pre-rose ceremony there is more drama. Blakely uses her time to tell Ben she's had some epiphany that being here with him made her realize she deserves to be loved and this confession somehow woes Ben to keep her longer. Emily tries to apologize for dissing Courtney last week…by dissing her again (the girl might be shooting herself in the foot but at least she speaks her mind!) and Courtney uses her time to start a conversation with the other women about skinny-dipping but keeps her last night's rendezvous just under the surface of conversation. Lastly, Jennifer reconnects with Ben about their Park City date but Ben seems distracted...
In a huge shock to me, he then sends her packing in the rose ceremony. While I wasn't placing any bets on Jen, I for sure thought his connection with her was stronger than with Blakely or Rachel, and that Emily had certainly dug her own grave (though I was glad she was spared).
The episode all in all was a bit of a snore but the previews sure look good as some drama is coming for Casey S and a mutiny is brewing against Courtney. FINALLY!
We are left with an outtake of Ben and Nicki in a bath tub of chocolate…not sure why this did't make the actual show as finding out how they ended up there might have interested me the most. Just goes to prove that a lot can go on off-camera that we don't see!
Still no amount of creative editing could convince me that Courtney isn't bat-shit crazy. She's hit that one out of the park!