It took me two days to realize I never posted this recap. You would almost think my interest in this franchise is fading. Almost NEVER.
So I watched the episode with our part-time British childminder (she is now way into the show) and with a cacophony of men with jack hammers right outside the window. It meant we only heard like every other sentence. We must have missed some really intellectual comments, astute observations on life and positive assessments of each other. It’s like the jack hammer noise only allowed the crazy to come through.
Ben tells us 18 beautiful people are coming to meet him in Sonoma. I wouldn’t say 18 per se, but I’m not going to quibble. We get the requisite shots of the girls on the plane and the plane touching down. How far is Sonoma from LA? Was a plane necessary? I am pretty sure the flight is 15 minutes so thank goodness they had that champagne to get them through. Ben meanwhile is pensively walking a dog. Now he’s in that convertible SUV again. Please, someone, if you love me, find out what kind of crazy car that is.
Ben says: “I want to know what my dad would say to me right now.”
Oh, dear friends, the possibility. If you all were at my house during the show we could come up with some potential responses.
Dad: Ben, please don’t slum like this.
Dad: Wrap that rascal.
Dad: Never trust a blogger.
Dad: Ben, you are a handsome fella for sure, but the model does not really like you.
Dad: Whatever you do Ben, please don’t shame the family by going on multiple seasons of a reality show.
Ben is SO CUTE as a little boy. Holy. I wasn’t expecting that. I feel like I might go all Mary Kay Letourneau on him.
Kacie B gets the first date card
I am pleased with this as at this point she seems nice, normalish and down-to-earth. Courtney, however, finds her “annoying”. Annoying because she was happy when she got the date card. Courtney would prefer that everyone who gets the date card spit on it, rip it up and tell the producers that Courtney should just win because she is an LA-based model.
But Ben, who hasn’t yet been fully ensnared into the Courtney way of thinking, tells us that he picked Kacie B for the first date because she seems genuine. He is going to bring her to somewhere “near and dear to his heart”. That has me nervous because I am envisioning a gravesite but thankfully he just meant downtown Sonoma for a little stroll.
At this point in the date I can’t hear very much but apparently there is the playing of a piano? Then they ran into some girls Ben may or may not know from around the way? We surmise that Sonoma kept all the shops open late night for filming since no one is really around.
Kacie informs us she is now “in touch” with stuff she hasn’t been in a long time. I’m sorry, I am trying to be PG-13 here. But is there any way to interpret her comment that isn’t bedroom-related? But you know what I like about Kacie B that is actually super rare on this show? She is kind of confidently funny and even takes over a bit from the very regimented script the producers keep Ben to. She sees a baton, buys a baton and then tells the two of them they will be simulating a marching band down the street. And for a split second Ben looked confused. Sort of that “uh oh the producers didn’t tell me to do this” look washed over his face. But he quickly gathered himself and they had – wait for it – A SPONTANEOUS MOMENT. I cried happy tears.
The deep talk ensues and we learn Kacie is a self-described hopeless romantic so she said she would pick up and go anywhere. That’s always good to get that little detail out of the way. Not to go back to the Model but, would the Model move to Sonoma? I mean, really. I guess we’ll have to find out.
Ben makes a little speech that hanging with Kacie B reaffirms that he made the right decision to do this show. Totes cute.
Now they go to old theatre, the jack hammers outside my window are really at it so I am not exactly sure what is going on but the lovebirds get popcorn, plop themselves in seats and all of the sudden a slide show begins of Kacie B as a wee lassie.
Let me comment on that for a second. Wow. Double wow. I was 100% ready for some private serenade by a C-list musician and then the producers pull the wool out from under the tried and true formula and DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Clapping. This is me clapping. Even though it’s obvious this is a cheap shot to introduce the poignancy of Ben having a deceased father and generate some tears and some goodwill from the audience, I don’t care. I love the moment and, let it be said again, I have a crush on young Ben. That’s not weird at all, right?
Wait, now Ben is on the piano in the video. This montage is making me bawl a little but the British childminder next to me is saying, “you’re not crying are you??” Not at all.
The group date card comes and Flipper Teeth Blakeley is annoyed she’s on it. I can’t fault her for that. Group dates blow. I feel like there must be some other way. Can this show not introduce like a cool speed dating exercise or something?
Ben says he likes the 12 pairs of legs coming at him. Gross, Ben. And while he is reminding me, Ben is not even 30. Let’s review the basics: cute, famous (now), Sonoma vintner, 28. Are we sure he wants to get married?
Ben and the ladies descend upon the Sonoma town square where the meet a gaggle of kids who have been convened to write and direct a play for the group date. The girls don’t react to the news like you might expect a bunch of females to react to cute kids saying cute things. These ladies are wenches. Send them all home!
Whatever. The girls “audition”. Please ABC, I BEG of you, PLEASE have an entire episode after the final rose dedicated to the full auditions of all these girls. My jaw keeps dropping. Jennifer’s weasel is okay but it’s downhill from there. Jenna refuses to act like a gingerbread man. Flipper Teeth is running slo mo in a tight romper with her silicone orbs flopping around. Girls are asking the kids for help. It’s mass pandemonium.
The group date is rather enlightening me on some of these girls. I think I used to like Samantha. I even laugh when she says: What do you get when you cross a gingerbread man and hooker? Blakeley! It’s mean, but funny enough. But she gets progressively more horrible as the date goes on.
In the meantime Ben is an awesome hot prince with some mysterious but surprisingly funny and good accent. And we’re all actually laughing at him as a sheep. Get this guy a tv gig, stat! I would rather watch Ben hosting the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop, ya know? Who is the world arbiter that says Ben cannot immediately become a better version of guys like Ryan Seacrest and Mario Lopez? IJS.
I am only mildly troubled that the kids wrote a screenplay involving nudity.
At the Fairmont the ladies bring out their fugly streetwalker dresses. Someone in the blogosphere once pointed out there seems to be no stylist this season. A. Gree. The group agrees that Jennifer the Accountant weasel gets “the Oscar”. The two blondes (one is Emily the PhD but who is the other again?) want their kiss from Ben that they feel that were robbed of. It’s hokey and not even remotely romantic.
Samantha calls Blakeley a cougar. And this is where Samantha starts going off the rails. You know that very precise moment when a Bachelorette crosses over from casually mentioning the bad traits of others over the line to constant-annoying-shit-talking territory? Shit-talking to the point where it is distracting, mean-spirited and counter-productive because it always makes the Bachelor uncomfortable. The one thing I will never understand is how girls can watch this show since birth, eventually fulfill their lifelong dream of going on it and then STILL think it’s a good idea to bend the ear of the Bachelor about why the other girls suck. Here is my Public Service Announcement to the World: Men are not attracted to girls that just sit around and trash other girls. For that, you need to apply to Gay Bachelor and compete to be his Queer Dear.
Oh wait, now Samantha’s hiding in the bathroom stall. She really can’t stand the heat. I guess. The jack hammers are like watching this show on mute.
Cut to some bikini chicken fighting (I’m surprised the kids didn’t also write this activity into their lurid screenplay involving naked sheep and serial kissing). In the swimming pool my little eye also spies some nice boobs that I think might actually be real and a tramp stamp. Flipper Teeth keeps having weird non sequiturs about how she’s definitely getting the rose and wants Ben to just kiss her. Her interrupting obnoxiousness is annoying, yes. Do I think she’s the season’s villain (I’m talking to you, mom)? No. Absolutely not. That distinction of honor goes to Model.
Jennifer asks for one on one time. Good for you, Jennifer. And wow, a normal name with a normal spelling! She has good, normal looks and she’s being normal to talk to so I am having this refreshing moment. Ben goes in for the smooch. They have loud, echo-y kisses. All of the sudden I want to make out with him too. And this time, adult Ben. I am not a lawbreaker, hooray!
Flipper Teeth gets some one on one time, or prowls for it in the pool. She tells Ben she is a Scorpio, therefore a passionate lover and believes in her kissing skills. Ben then incongruously tells Blakeley she “came out of her shell today”. Even she looks surprised. Like she is about to say, wait have you seen my forearm tattoo, my flipper teeth and my fake boobs? Shell what? The girls watch some frenchin’. Oh god, why is Jennifer watching this? Jennifer, don’t do it. Jennifer.
Jaclyn (and why was she cast as the Princess in the play, BTW) says Blakeley is super fakeley, or something only very moderately clever. I keep waiting for someone to come hang out with me and explain Jaclyn. But we have time for that.
After Ben does something potentially x-rated in the pool, he goes back to the couch summit to present the date rose. He says “this person made the most of her conversation time with me” and so of course the entire viewing audience of a-holes thinks it’s Jennifer. BUT IT’S BLAKELEY. Only confusing because of the usual editing manipulation. Obviously the two of them had a deep talk we never heard or “made the most of conversation time” means what I think it means. Ben, you cad. Then Ben says “I find you all wonderful, thanks for being here.” And all of a sudden his empty and generic mini-speech feels like a game show. Jennifer starts unraveling.
Emily makes an awesome pun that Blakeley pulled the wool over the sheep’s eyes today.
Samantha, who guess at some point emerges from the bathroom stall of depression says Blakeley is a slut, they all hate her and some other insult behind her back. Would it be too much to request that women not go on this show if they’re not at least self-assured, happy and confident in their own skin? Who am I kidding? That would make the show blow.
One-on-one date with THE MODEL
You would think a professional model where getting paid is confirmation that you’re beautiful, would maybe lay off the others. But no, she hangs around the house gratuitously trashing people like dimpled, well-meaning spazazoid Lindzi by STILL harping on the fact that she rode in on a horse night one.
And then, in a move I will never comprehend, after Kacie reads the date card that reveals that Courtney and Ben might play spin the bottle, Courtney says “How did that taste coming out of your mouth?” A big HUH? WHA? What the? Who? WHY? I was actually speechless for two ticks.
I was waiting for Kacie to karate chop her right on her model face but instead all the girls look confused (easy prey, these deer in model headlights) and Erika the law student looks like she might crack under the pressure of being in the presence of someone so mean. She is totally at a dearth of law-related one-liners. But I like to imagine had she been able to pull herself together, maybe she would have looked Courtney squarely in the eyes, wagged a finger at her and declared, “By a preponderance of the evidence, YOU are guilty of the tort of inexplicable nastiness and mediocre looks for an LA model.”
Ben brings Scotch the dog on the date and muses he wants to see if the initial connection was more than skin deep. I have to admit evil robot model Courtney is at least good with the dog. The lovers walk into a redwood forest. Ben and Courtney howl and Scotch the dog makes super cute dog noises. You know how when you see a homeless person with a homeless dog, you’re like mad at the homeless person for animal cruelty? I feel this way towards Ben right now.
Now there is a river and some picturesque bridge in the background. Courtney mentions she doesn’t often get asked on dates. They take care of their dog baby together.
Ben finds her smart, witty and gorgeous. They kiss I think but then the dog “ruins the moment”. Animals always know things we don’t.
Courtney says it’s the best date she’s been on. But that’s always the case on this show. Because the venues and circumstances are fake. LIKE when they go to the magical table in the forest. There are bales of hay for the love.
Ben wonders if this is too good to be true. Yes.
Courtney called his personality winning I think in some camera confessional. Ugh.
We learn during their hay-accented meal that Ben went to University of Arizona (natch) and had a weird period of excess while working in internet sales. He partied. A lot. It wasn’t until The Bachelorette that Ben opened up. It was cathartic. Weird. Ben then tells Courtney it’s dumbfounding that she is still available. She claims she doesn’t want to go out in Hollywood every night. Her dating life has been tough. She found underwear in the bed that weren’t hers. You know. She then does a weird second-rate version of name-dropping and says she has dated an actor and a photographer. Courtney is having an aha moment. Then she accepts the rose.
Ben then disses Ashley when in response to Courtney accusing him of being on some super cool dates, says he has, but that he’d rather be there with her. That’s revisionist history, buddy.
Off camera THE Model says, All the other girls should watch out because I got the rose. And then she molests herself with said rose. Is that necessary?
Lindzi gets time because Ben is classy and wants time with people he hasn’t had it with lately. She practically blows it when she asks Ben if he remembered her name. Ben remembers details. She mentions horses again (lame) and that she drives an F 350 diesel or something. She is a tractor/farm girl and normally “dirt is her makeup”. Her dimples are an advantage but she might be kind of waning on everything else.
The girls are all discussing that Ben’s type is the skinny type. Is there a season of the show where the main person’s type is fat and out of shape?
Samantha gets time (I just want you to know I’m actually a cool girl, I hang out with the guys… translation: I am mean-spirited and jealous of all other women). Bakeley interrupts it though.
Jaclyn is wearing that terrible long-sleeve green sequin dress? It’s a bad match for her peroxide hair and her face which my jury is still out on.
Ben grabs Jenna. Why does he have to initiate these moments? Jenna says she’s like a guy in how she acts. (It’s opposite day so yes, acting like a guy means over-analyzing and crying a lot.) She’s drunk again and crazy. She says I’m not your typical girl. Actions, not words, ho.
The catty girls tear Blakeley apart. Ugly Jaclyn calls her horse face and she’s only good for a motorboat. Someone says see you later, beotch. Kacie B makes some weird punching motions. (Kacie, I wanted to like you.) Some brunette calls her a “VIP Manager”. Oooohhhh bust.
Jamie (she talks) wastes her alone time with Ben saying she’s not willing to steal Ben and wants to get to know him but it’s awkward cause she’s not a showgirl or some crap.
Ben is having a chat with Brittney who I think is pretty and somewhat classy because she’s not trashing anyone but is clearly fatigued the drama is taking over and then when they stand up WHY does she give Ben a weird, leaning in, bending over awkward friend-like hug?
Ben finds Blakeley in “the luggage room” and Jenna on a bed making blog love to a comforter. My friend points out that the clock says 2:05. These cocktail parties really do last all night.
Chris Harrison says some crap.
Ben gives a speech about bringing a girl back to Sonoma. Then he delivers his favorite line: “With that being said…” The additional roses go to:
Accountant Weasel Jennifer – can’t walk in her heels
Elyse – who, what?
Jaclyn – ugh
Rachel – I forget what her deal is but I always like her bangs
Lynzi – “That’s me!”
Samantha – shivering in a cardigan; squashing her boobs
Monica – why is she no longer a lesbian for Blakeley?
Shawn, whose 2-toned blonde hair I liked, and
Jenna: “I’m in shock. I came her looking for love. I’m sick. These girls distracted him. I can’t believe this is happening. Are you kidding me? I deserve love. I’ve always been trying to find it.” How excited are we now for the Girls Tell All?!
Previews for next week
SF = cable car
an ex or something shows up (my Google News feed spoiled it for me. grrr)
someone says something mean about another person