Yes, this is late. And before we begin, another slight delay as I have some important acknowledgements to give:
- My husband. Although he hates this show with such an obstinate dedication that he will never, ever watch it with me, last night for Valentine’s Day he turned to me and said, “We can watch it together. That will be my gift to you.” Conveniently there was a problem syncing the Apple tv so we watched Downton Abbey instead and I watched Bachelor all alone in the middle of the night on my laptop (there was crazy romance up in here), BUT STILL. It was his one-time gesture that made my heart go a-flutter.
- Ben. As the weeks go on I struggle to remember anything even remotely interesting or redeeming about him, but there is one thing: this week’s eliminations and narrowing of the pool of bachelorettes confirms once and for all he is a serious brunette guy. And I always think that’s cool. As I grow my mediocre blonde highlights out in deference to my new year’s
resignationresolution, I am starting to suspect underneath all this glitz and glamor you see, is a short, mousey brown-headed thirtysomething. So, you know, I might be a brunette one day.
- Chris Harrison. He has the best job on earth and gets paid to travel and do nothing and hang out around gorgeous bodies. And yet, he knows this to be the case and does not take it for granted. He has a bit of a humor on him, the old chap. And mostly, he sums up this season well when he says: “This season may not be a Trista and Ryan fairytale or an Ashley and J.P. situation where everyone’s rooting for them… but as long as people have opinions about it, that’s what matters… It’s when they’re indifferent that it’s bad.” Well, we’re totally not indifferent, Chris.
- Faye and Melissa. Because they have been throwing around the “You better Belize it!” pun since Bob Guiney’s season when he was there with Estellla.
Belize looks pretty dope from an aerial shot. Ben says the word Journey and the cartoon plane travels from Panama City to Belize – straight to the Coco Beach resort in Ambergris Caye to be exact. Ben says his heart has been captured and the love is there. I don’t know if he is alluding to the fact that he has already made up his mind (probably), but who cares because he is wearing a gross, striped muscle tank. It’s a pretty terrible look that I ponder as some traditional Belize music (?) plays in the background.
Kacie B (I think she’s stuck with the B part) is just too adorable and she is sitting around wallowing over Ben. She is not good at handling his five other girlfriends. Emily, ever hilarious, makes a shark metaphor about Courtney. I actually don’t know what a metaphor is exactly, but I am guessing Smart Emily does.
Chris gathers the ladies by the pool. This week in Belize there will be three 1-on-1 dates with no roses and one group date with a rose. Nicki tells the camera she is falling in love with Ben, and then cries when Lindzi gets the first date. I guess that’s a good sign, right?
Two Halves Make a Whole date with Lindzi
(Courtney pronounces it “Halfs” but I will forgive. Spontaneous public reading is hard. I always break into a slight sweat when it’s my turn during the Passover Seder.)
Ben shows up at the pool in that gross Popeye the Sailor Man striped muscle shirt. He and Lindzi depart on a helicopter and Emily compares the gut-wrenching loss to when someone steals her cheesecake. I don’t know, I think the cheesecake has the edge. But then again, I really prefer dairy-laden desserts.
While I was over the helicopter thing 20 seasons ago, it is cool to see an aerial shot of the Blue Hole and then the free jumping from the helicopter into it. Because Lindzi is terrified of heights, she makes a relationship analogy about being terrified but blah blah, conquering blah, and blah with the other person.
Obstacles/relationship analogy count = 1
In the end, Lindzi’s totally kick-ass dimples save her. She doesn’t break her neck or drown.
But Lindzi DOES wear too much foundational make-up. It’s distracting me. Also, what happened to their whole date? Usually these couples get a full day but all I saw was a helicopter jump.
No matter, all of the sudden it is the night part and they roll up in their little powerboat to the Coco Beach pier. They hang out on a blanket and cushions, drink some Pinot, talk about whether Lindzi wants to bring Ben home to meet her family and then they write a message in a bottle. In doing so, they manage to make an analogy about being half funny and half serious and that is their relationship.
Obstacles/relationship analogy count = 2
Ben is Lindzi’s Prince Charming, she tells us. As someone who currently spends a fair amount of time having to watch Disney movies, I take offense. The Prince would never skinny-dip. Unless it was the only way to give Ariel legs. Sequel! So anyway, the pair writes their silly but deeply in love story on a piece of paper and reads it aloud to a weird Instagramed montage of past scenes of Ben and Lindzi. At least they will be all set for their wedding reception slide show presentation. I think Lindzi’s butt looks good in her pink twirly dress. Ben seems to think so too because he says to us he thinks he’s falling in love with this woman (??) and they smooch it out on the dock.
Do You Belize in Love date with Emily
Emily is wearing her favorite initial necklace (product placement, if you must know). And poor, absent-minded professor Emily, the huge tie from her bikini top is sticking out the back of her dress where there’s a cut out. It disappears later to the handlers must have caught on to it. This also explains why no one ever has anything in their teeth on dates (well, plus the fact that no one actually eats).
I do note that when Emily emerges from the prop plane, she and Ben greet and give a hug like a brother and sister would. It’s majorly platonic. The kids go biking through town, play basketball and go to witness lobster murders. The totally-not-planted-nor pre-arranged lobster fisherman pretends he is fresh out of lobsters and therefore they will all have to go diving for some more. Dr. Emily can’t believe Ben’s spontaneity. IT WAS TOTALLY SPONTANEOUS. AND TOTALLY BEN’S DECISION.
This might be the first time in Bachelor history we have witnessed a live animal hunt 😦 (unless we count Courtney’s fish from earlier in the season). Ben and Emily do a bunch more sibling things, like give multiple high fives.
Speaking of Courtney, back in the hotel she is sort of melting down. Her new bestie is Lindzi and she is bending Lindzi’s ear about all the ways she is super offended that Ben is on a date with Emily, not to mention she just doesn’t know if she’s into him anymore since he hasn’t blown smoke up her ass in a while.
Cue to Ben and Emily kissing.
Now they are the Lazy Lizard bar excitedly dancing to some live music with a bunch of planted locals.They head over to the water to eat their prepared lobsters. Emily extends a formal invitation to Ben to meet her family, which I actually think is a classy touch. No one ever really does that on this show but it’s nice that she doesn’t just let it be an unspoken assumption that he would be welcomed in. Ben toasts Emily: “you’re not just smart, but also beautiful.” Ben is seeming really into her and initiating lots of kisses and there are some super gross slow open mouth shots.
Let’s Take the Next Steps in Our Relationship date with Courtney
Courtney continues her campaign to be America’s Sweetheart by reacting to the good news with her baby voice: “Ben’s a smart boy, he listens.” Kacie wanted to punch her, throws out some expletives and wants to “smush the Black Widow”. Kacie is kind of awesome.
Courtney also shows up to her date from a prop plane (that’s just how you do in Belize) wearing a boring tank and jean shorts like she just walked out of the dressing room at Old Navy. Her outfit is offending me because I do feel it’s her passive-aggressive way of communicating 1 of 2 possible things: 1. I am so mad at you Ben for waiting until now to take me on another date so I am not going to put that much effort in until I know you’re obsessed with me again; OR 2. I am such a hot model I can wear whatever.
Ben says: I wanted you on this date today because these are the kind of things that I like to do. This kind of tells us everything we need to know, doesn’t it? She’s still his Bentley.
The couple hike up the stairs of a 100 BC Mayan temple and Courtney asks in a baby voice if they make human sacrifices there. I would be more offended by her stupid remark if I wasn’t already so furiously offended that all the tourists got paid to stay away from the temple during filming. Can you imagine some dorky 70 year-old couple from Ohio on a bus tour of Belize missing their one shot to climb this temple?! Ben – ever a beacon of masculinity – has to climb the stairs toting a very effeminate multi-colored picnic bag. I should feel pleased he is getting his just desserts but I am more irritated the ABC budget couldn’t spring for a more neutral picnic bag.
This is the part where Courtney plays her crazy Jedi mind trick reverse psychology game on Ben. She tells him she was down when Emily had a date with Ben because Emily was “the one that said nasty things about me” and also that “if you hadn’t given me this date today, I wasn’t going to accept a rose.” Not that we can test the truthfulness of her empty threat but more importantly, Ben not only does not SEND HER HOME after her obnoxious remark, but seems genuinely concerned that his audacity to actually date the other women remaining on the show has caused Courtney to lose some of the “spark” she had for him.
In fact, Ben is crushed and devastated thinking that Courtney might be sadders about his date with Emily. Courtney, it seems, does not get the Samantha treatment for complaining that she doesn’t get enough time and attention from Ben. Instead, he tells her she’s amazing. I think it’s because Courtney flips her hair around a lot. Guys always fall for that junk. Ben goes on to give Courtney his Big Compliment: “I want a woman with a little edge, someone weird. I am kind of a strange guy, and you are, how do I say this nicely? Unique.” I am LOLing. I know what he means and where he’s going with it. I’s actually a romantic thing to say. But Courtney definitely has a momentary international combustion of all her brain synapses trying to work out if she just got insulted or not. Trust me, Courtney, I wish you had been. Then Ben says he wants to meet Courtney’s family, pretty much guaranteeing she will get a rose at the rose ceremony.
Courtney makes analogy about climbing the temple stairs and how each step is a step in their relationship. At the top there is a pretty amazingly dramatic here is a dramatic panorama shot, only ruined by the shadow of the cameraman’s helicopter.
Obstacles/relationship analogy count = 2
At the top of the temple, Ben says something I sincerely hope he doesn’t regret one day. He says: Oh my dad. Thus channeling the spirit of his beloved deceased father as a way to express how in it to win it he is with Courtney. (I want to understand why men like Ben make such obviously bad decisions. I was lost until Daniel sent me this.)
Ben tells us he sees his life with Courtney, feels a moment of certainty while they embrace and Courtney finally returns the favor by saying she has re-found “the spark.” I keep waiting to see if Scotch will run out of nowhere and bite her leg. But alas, I don’t get all my Valentine’s wishes.
At their night-night date night at Victoria House, Courtney tells Ben (inexplicably wearing a plaid shirt in the tropical jungle) she would like to bring him home to meet her parents. In a rare fit of positive affirmation and genuine human sharing, Courtney reveals that her parents are soul-mates and have the kind of marriage she looks up to. Ben again channels his dead dad and explains that this clarity for him is seeing his past, his present and his future. There was some blogger that said they did it atop the temple. With Ben’s crazytalk, I am inclined to agree. It’s the post-coital ramblings of a madman. Courtney says she is high on love. I assume she means of herself because
She dishes how the girls in the house suck and never wanted to know about her life and friends and she is bored by them and wouldn’t be friend them in real life. They are vanilla (It’s weird that vanilla gets a bad rap, right? It’s kind of super delicious). At this point Ben is getting just a teeny bit nervous that Courtney can’t along with women and doesn’t have any friends so he tries to bate her with a few more questions. Poor guy- you know he wants so badly for her to just give one reassuring answer. Instead Courtney says she really only has guy friends. And when Ben says he is just trying to suss out Courtney’s “ability to connect with people” her answer is Classic Courtney:
I am the talent, and my job is to make everyone happy.
New nickname alert: The Talent.
Let’s Sea Whose Family I Will Meet group date with Rachel, Nicki and Kacie
As the girls gab when the date card arrives, I am reminded of the strong bonding power of a common enemy. Really, Courtney has done them all a favor. They are all BFFs, united in their mutual hatred.
Anyway, the poor girls get awoken at 4am for their date. Ben barges into their bedrooms with the cameraman, but I am not so sure this isn’t at least a little bit staged. How come no one had just farted in their sleep, or is wearing a retainer? The girls quickly shave, but judging how it’s daylight once they emerge, I am guessing they got a lot more time to primp than we’re led to believe. Damn you, editors.
As the ladies embark on a catamaran, Rachel is hard-core rocking the style award. She has got some kind of chunky gladiator sandals and a bold-striped long, tight tee/short dress and it’s totes dope. Later she reveals an even doper bikini: it’s almost like a flowery toile pattern in black on white. I kind of know Rachel’s a goner (it’s inevitable) but with her bangs and her outfits, she will be missed.
And while we’re on fashion, Ben is wearing a cute striped hoody and I am happy. Then he pulls it off to reveal a tight muscle tank again and I am no longer happy.
Rachel thinks “this is going to be awesome” until her foreboding foreshadowing reveals her deep-seated phobia of sharks will be tested today while shark-diving. Ben mentions overcoming fears and trust and some other garbage.
Obstacles/relationship analogy count = 4
I have to say, I like Nicki. She is cute and laid-backish and has that great Southern twang. But My Tetons are her boobs distracting me!! I wish those puppies would retreat a little more but it’s not meant to be. And her completely boring monochromatic bathing suit is not doing her any style favors.
Nicki and Kacie swim around but mostly obsess over whether Rachel’s phobia of sharks will give her an edge on the day. It is always frustrating when one person’s deeply-rooted paralyzing and incapacitating fear requires a little bit of attention. Rachel is so me, me, me with her stupid, little trauma.
The after party takes place back at the Coco Palm pool. These girls get the shaft on venue. Rachel has a little time with Ben and tells him she wants to bring him home to meet her family. Then they exchange some smacky smacky peck kisses.
Nicki too reassures Ben she wants to bring him home to meet her family. She says her feelings are real but Ben doesn’t seem that into the moment so he breaks u the dialogue with some more of his signature smack smack kisses.
Kacie gets her 1 on 1 time in the hot tub, with her frizzy humidity hair also in attendance. I am not that vain but I think it will be good to know if it’s true love if a man still proposes after all that mess. Ben at least looks happy when Kacie says she is falling in love with him. But there is no open-mouthed tongue kissing, so I am confused. What criteria does Ben use when he decides how to kiss?
Anyway, Kacie and her temporarily-unfortunate hair get the date rose.
Then when everyone is finally comfortable and no longer vying for the date rose, Nicki feels like she can finally break her silence on how Ben better be cautious when it comes to Courtney. Kacie alludes to a few things too, but seriously they could have been a lot more specific. And I call bullshit on Ben for not giving them the same stern reprimand Emily got when she tried to more articulately provide the same warning. Not because I want cute Kacie and Nicki to get reprimanded, but because I want the most inconsistent Bachelor ever on this show to be consistent for one flipping second. Ben, you and your hair have me so super aggravated.
When the girls still think there will be a cocktail party, they sit around with a couple drinks. Courtney scrunches up her nose a la The Talent and exclaims after a big ‘ol pina colada sip, “It’s so good when it hits your lips.” It’s possible she was intentionally quoting Will Ferrell’s character in Old School, but if would actually be funnier if it was pure coincidence.
Courtney (oh holy lord am I sick of typing and saying her name) is, I have decided, manic. One minute she is despondent and teary over Emily having a date with Ben and the next she is admonishing the other girls to LIVEN THINGS UP… THE GLASS IS HALF FULL. She continues her baby-voiced monologue and drunky rambles before Chris Harrison finally saves us to say Ben wants to go right into the rose ceremony.
In full dramatic fashion, everyone lines up but then Ben asks if he can borrow Courtney for a minute. He wants to make sure The Talent is here for the right reasons. Of course, Courtney totally tells the truth. They do a quick skinnny-dip and head back to the ceremony.
Roses beyond Kacie B:
Courtney – who accepts with her baby voice
As for the rejects, I am not surprised about Rachel (and her ill-placed dreamcatcher hairpiece) but why then was all that tongue action necessary with Emily the other day?? Ben pulled a Jennifer on her and well, like Jennifer, Emily left classy. Which brings me comfort because my goodness can these girls do better than Ben.
And because you know The Talent is not satisfied at just winning, she has to add to the departures: “See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!!!” with a sardonic little wave. I will slap myself in the face for even posing this asinine question, but I am a sucker for punishment: Why, oh Why, oh WHY do displays like that not give Ben pause?” I know, I know, we already know the answer. Sorry.
Lindzi sits near a horse. All the parents are fiercely protective of their daughters and grill Ben.
Courtney finds a tarantula and speaks to it in her baby voice. The entire tarantula community lets me down because it turns out they cannot fatally bite humans.