Since this episode could not have been more all-business or boring, let’s keep this short, shall we.
Ocala, FL chez Lindzi
Observations: Lindzi is pretty. She has a nice, raspy voice. Everyone agrees her make-up is terrible and the beigey-ness of it is making her teeth look too white. Her dimples are off the hiz, though. I feel like the horse schtick is old, but what do I know.
Lindzi explains: “Horses have been my life since before I was even born.” Which actually doesn’t scientifically make sense, but she’s a sweet girl.
Lindzi provides the first metaphor about her upbringing and relationships. If you fall off a horse, get back on. Relationships are like that.
I liked when they were talking on the grassy field with a picnic and there was a nice, breezy wind through their hair. But then Ben went in for a kiss, I had a weird gag reflex. He like stuck his tongue out, licked his lips a little and gave two gross kisses.
The Cox family is cute. Even though I am generally fearful of families with an only child, I like these cute parents just sipping wine in the field on their outdoor furniture. The Cox Household tradition is carriage races. (It’s actually pretty similar to how I grew up.) This involves helmets and trash-talking, which for her jolly, little dad means saying things like, gosh gee and we’re whooping you, hardy har! . I do like that the losers have to pull the winners back to the house on their carriage. I was starting to feel the segment was bordering animal cruelty.
Mom says: “He is an awful nice guy.” These people are so Rated G!
Ben says to Dad: “I am not ready to propose to anyone yet.” Um yeah, we knew that, Ben.
Assessment: Harry and Margie are salt of the earth (with their s’mores and swimming pool). There’s just no palpable chemistry between Ben and Lindzi that I can see. And Ben went to her house first on purpose. The hometown dare order is always strategic and telling.
Ben: “I think that I might be falling in love with Lindzi.” Um, can you see my cocked eyebrow right now? Ben, no one believes your production-forced lies.
Clarksville, TN chez Kacie B
At Stratford High School – Home of the Spartans – there are two things to know: (1) Kacie B was a great baton twirler, and (2) her grandfather inspired the naming of the stadium. Right from the get-go it’s clear Ben cannot take this girl away from her hometown.
Ben must know this because to me he is just acting like he’s dialing it in. (Although, someone remind me, didn’t she just get the group date rose last week? Effing Ben.)
Why does Kacie’s face look like it’s getting porkier and her hair more unmanageable?
Ben’s voiceover is calling Kacie “endearing”, which I am going to call right now as the death knell.
There is no foreshadowing alert in what you are about to hear: Kacie’s dad is a teetotaler.
The couple arrives at the house in the dark, but I guess we’ll never know what the day’s date entailed besides ten minutes sitting on the bleachers.
Observations: Kacie’s mom Martha has the same face as her, and looks so young! Holy. Dad Denny is so Southern he pronounced “Dad” as two syllables. Also, the family sprung for a crazy huge floral centerpiece. It’s distracting me. I wish there was a wedding head table somewhere that would rescue it.
(Tangent: does anyone feel sorry for how crazy these families end up going to make their houses tv-ready? I am betting they all drop some serious cheddar and time.)
When Kacie tells sister Allison that Ben is her future husband and she is so flippin’ happy, sis gives a nervous laugh and then says: “Oh, um, you really think so?” Priceless. My thoughts exactly, Allison and your one-shoulder sari-like dress.
Dad doesn’t like to take risks.
Dad doesn’t want these crazy kids to rush into marriage. Why do people on this show never answer a question? Dad asked Ben why he likes Kacie in particular and Ben basically responds with “our relationship has been really good”. ANSWER THE QUESTION. This show is infuriating. Why do we all torture ourselves. IT HURTS SO GOOD.
Integrity, Courage, Community are the ideals of the B family. Mom, if you are reading this: I am mad our family never had official company values.
So Mom Martha has a serious problem with cohabitation. And says something about how her daughters were never really left with babysitters growing up. I am not sure what her point is, but it’s coming off to me as a creepy one.
Dad says Ben’s name into two syllables also. Awesome, y’all.
Assessment: I have no idea why considering the past seven weeks, but Kacie B is DOA. Their goodbye consisted of “Be safe” and two quick pecks.
Fort Worth, TX chez Nicki
Yeah, stacked heels! I saw Nicki’s tramp stamp when she hugged Ben, but I will not hold it against her. The kids’ date consists of picking out some boots and other cowboy gear in the Fort Worth stock yards. It’s actually cute. And Nicki makes the episode’s second hometown/relationship analogy with: Finding the right boots is like finding the right partner in life. Ben is walking down the streets of Texas in a cowboy hat but obviously his haircut would get him beat up. He looks Amish in the get-up because of his hair.
Wait, Nicki changed her off-the-shoulder shirt into a sparkly number.Then she changed back later. I can’t keep up.
Why did Nicki’s dad raise her, not her mom?
Nicki gets weepy again about her hurtful divorce.
There is lots of making out so it seems at the moment, Ben likes Nicki the best after Courtney. FYI: I hate houses where the garage protrudes front and center. I am so angry about this house, it takes me a minute to let Sweet Mr. Nicki’s Dad into my heart.
Nicki ebulliently tells Mom how excited she is about Ben. It deserves an exclamation point!
Nicki chats with Dad. He has to hear that Nicki is in love with Ben. Dad doesn’t want her hurt. Has complete faith in Nicki’s judgment but wishes he had done more to prevent her first failed marriage. Dad is crying. SO AM I.
Observations: I am so digging the bbq cuisine for dinner but Ben’s plate looks like he never touched any. Wasupwitdat?
Nicki is laying it all out on the line. “I want you. I want us in San Francisco. I am falling in love with you.” Assessment: Ben’s body language is typically mediocre, so…
Scottsdale, AZ chez Courtney
Courtney is happy to be home and away from the girls and oh yeah, she is excited to see Ben.
Ben had a moment of clarity with Courtney in Belize. He saw his past, present and future. Did the future involve being single, getting an agent and getting paid to show up at parties at Vegas clubs?
Dad Ricks is wearing an argyle vest sweater, which, although it offends my sensibilities, is probably the uniform for men of a certain age in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Courtney is talking a lot about Ben to her family but not looking at him even though he is sitting next to her. I hate that.
This hometown segment is really making me feel awkward. Courtney almost tears up talking to her sister and I am shuffling around on my couch uncomfortably because there is this new human character and I want to know what she did to my old robot frenemy.
Ben is asked by Dad if he is ready to make the marriage gamble and Ben responds: “I am ready to be in a committed relationship.” No, no, no, Ben. This is not a show where we all tune in each week to see if someone might become girlfriend-boyfriend by the end. There is supposed to be, theoretically, a proposal. I think Ben’s obvious commitment-phobia and general lackluster performance is wearing so thin. Is it Emily Maynard’s turn yet.
Mom is saying how much she has missed Courtney during the filming of the show so far, but I mean, doesn’t Courtney live in LA away from them anyway? Or are LA and Scottsdale close? I don’t really know these things.
*I am interested in how Ben/Courtney gets to switch up the format with their hometown date, when no one else was able to. They did the one-on-one time after he met her family, and not before. Which not only meant he could really relax and drink with her and enjoy, but also meant he didn’t have to lamely get into a waiting SUV in some suburban family’s driveway. It’s like Ben asked if he could get do this superior set-up just with Courtney.
There is a picnic on the grass. Leave it to Courtney to interject one little thing about her modeling life. “I wanted to bring you to the site of my first photo shoot.” Bow down and kiss the grass, you peasant Amish-haired pug-nosed vintner, for this is where the magic of my career began!
Then Courtney reveals she set up a wedding for the two of them. She wore white. Brought notebooks to write vows. Rings. A bow tie. A fake minister. Ben seems to like this idea because he tells the camera: she challenges me, keeps me on my toes, is funny, confident, sexy, beautiful, keeps me thinking.
Ben’s fake vows: From the moment I saw you, you took my breath away. Blah blah blah. Journey.
Courtney’s fake vows: actually nice and she’s nervous and seems in love with him. I still majorly dislike her though.
I really have to pause here. This is a good game, Courtney. She really needs to be on Bachelor Pad. She is so good at playing.
Los Angeles fireside chat with Chris Harrison with many votive candles
(I don’t know if I have said this before, but how shitty is it that someone has to fly to LA just to get dumped?)
It’s actually really annoying to see and hear a recap of what we saw one minute ago. I actually stopped watching during this section so tell me if there was anything important.
It’s also actually remarkable to me how little I care about what happens to Ben.
The dresses: All above the knee, so that’s good. Lindzi has highest hemline but I like the mix of conservative (grey and not revealing) with fashion (one shoulder strap). WHY oh WHY is Kacie wearing a shapeless, boring, high neckline shmata that is basically a bathing suit cover up? She is too sweet and cute for that nonsense! Nicki has the lowest hemline and a sort of boring black, strapless number but has some blingy jewelry and straightened her hair. The Model is rocking an interesting camel/nude colored geometric animal print dress sparkly thingy. Totally pretty without the sparkles, maybe. I generally hate hooker heels though so I am not that into her at all. Roses to:
Poor, poor, poor, misguided Kacie. The only good news is this won’t send her parents into an early grave of cohabitation sin. Look how sweet Kacie is until the bitter end? She even says hi and gives Ben a nice hug.
I am trying to focus on their rejection bench chat but what is that strong flickering light behind them? Ben just says I’m sorry, and nothing else. Really, that’s it? He canoodled her 400 times throughout the weeks and gave her a million roses and he can’t even muster one additional sentence of an explanation? Ben absolutely sucks.
Does look petty sick.
Sneak peak at Emily as Bachelorette
I feel like I will spend the entire season typing: HER BODY IS RIDICULOUS.
Courtney’s sister makes a toast in front of the fam to Courtney and Ben’s skinnydipping. Let’s play a game where we all have to say what would happen in our families if that happened. Let’s just say in mine my family would have donated even more money to a conservative PAC.