Let the exotic travels begin. We left Park City, Utah, and until the hometown dates that’s the last we’ll see of the continental United States. Our first tropical destination was a very small island off the coast of Puerto Rico called Vieques. We stayed at the very modern W hotel that sits right on its beautiful beaches.
When the girls arrived they came ashore via boat. You couldn’t really tell, but the surf was pretty big that day and the captain had a difficult time getting the boat on the beach so the ladies could get out. They finally got the boat as close as they could and the women had to jump for it. Just as they were getting out, a big wave hit the boat turning it sideways and the women scrambled for safety. Thankfully, none of them got hurt and we all laughed it off. Telling the women that all of them were getting dates this week really took the pressure off — you could feel a huge weight lifted off their shoulders, and everybody relaxed.
Nicki got the first one-on-one date this week. I know it seemed crazy, but the rain really does come out of the blue like it did on that date. That happened several times while we were in Puerto Rico. This was probably the most intense rainstorm we’ve seen on a date in a while. Everyone was totally unprepared, but quick thinking and a good attitude from Ben and Nicki actually made the date even more fun, as they donned local attire and just went along for the ride. The wedding in the middle of the town square was huge, and I know it was an emotional moment for Nicki. The atmosphere and excitement around the church as the bells tolled really captured the feeling of Old San Juan. By the way, if you get a chance there’s a great mom-and-pop restaurant I ate at while in Old San Juan that was incredible. It’s called Fefo’s Deli & Tapas. Just ask what the catch of the day is and tell the family to order for you. You won’t regret it.
The group date was very cool, at least for Ben and me. Getting to hang out at Roberto Clemente Stadium and play on the field all day was awesome. Yes, I took my turn at the plate and then pitched to some of our crew. I summoned my inner Ty Pennington and called the girls in with my bullhorn to set up the game and what was on the line. The game turned out to be incredibly close and competitive. In fact, it was too good. We had a very tight schedule with the helicopter landing and getting the losing team and our crew to the airport so we could get the last planes back to Vieques Island. The game went three extra innings and there was no way to play another. We were scrambling thinking of what we could do — including just send everybody to the beach date — when Jennifer struck out to end the game just in time for us to get to the airport. If you wonder what I was doing during the game, I was sitting in the stands with my bullhorn, heckling Ben. If you give a guy a bullhorn he is suddenly 10 years old again. I’m pretty sure those are also lyrics from a Jimmy Buffet song.
Elyse finally got her one-on-one date, but you should be careful what you wish for. Elyse and Jennifer both went home this week, and both asked a question we all ask when we get dumped: What did I do wrong? Sometimes there is that event you can point to, but oftentimes nobody did anything “wrong.” That was the case with both Elyse and Jennifer. Neither did anything wrong to upset Ben, but this doesn’t make a breakup easier. In fact, it often makes it tougher as it just doesn’t make sense to the other person. That ‘s one of the things I think that makes this show so amazing to watch and work on. It’s incredibly relatable. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. We’ve all been in Elyse, Jennifer, or even Ben’s shoes and it’s never easy to do or handle.
Before we go, we obviously have to discuss Courtney and what she pulled this week. It will be up to you to decide if it was right or wrong, or if she went too far. Love her or hate her, you have to give the girl credit for doing what it takes to find time with Ben and win his heart. I wonder if the things Courtney does would upset everybody as much if she didn’t follow it up with some of the stuff she says. A couple of quotes really stood out to me this week and I’m sure you noticed them too. When she was going to see Ben she said, “I don’t know if he’s ever skinny-dipped with a model before.” Then when the good times were over she said, “I feel like I’m winning.” Now, beyond the fact that the whole “winning” thing wasn’t very cute or funny when a messed-up Charlie Sheen said it, the fact that she keeps saying she’s winning is worrisome.
As you saw at the end of the show, this is something that will continue to work itself out in the coming weeks. I was very sorry to see Emily take a huge step forward in realizing her mistake in talking about Courtney all the time… only to fall right back on the same sword and talk about Courtney. You could really tell this agitated Ben, and once again he warned her to back off. You also saw next week that there is obviously an incident involving Casey S. What I’ll tell you is this has something to do with her personal life back home and it concerned me enough to step in and talk to her about it. In next week’s blog I’ll explain exactly why I did what I did and how some of it was related to my regret of how I handled the Bentley situation with Ashley.
Until then, crank up the old Van Halen because we are off to Panama! I know that song was written in reference to Panama City, Fla., but it’s fitting nonetheless. And if you are too young and don’t get the Jimmy Buffet or Van Halen references, then you’re a lost cause and I can’t help you. So forget about it, and I’ll see ya’ next week. In the meantime, I always love to hear from you, so follow me on Twitter @chrisbharrison, and see what our past cast members have to say about the show at www.thebachelor.tv.
More Bachelor from EW:
Ben’s Bachelor blog on people.com