It’s funny that when I watch these episodes now I do so with a completely different perspective than I used to. I now watch the show with the thought of how I will write this blog each week. After watching this week’s episode, all I could think is, How can I possibly fit one hundred pounds of goodness into a ten-pound sack? This week landed us in the exotic Central American town of Panama City, Panama. I don’t think Courtney had been to Panama in recent weeks so we were excited to take her somewhere new.
You might have noticed Ben helped fill my position at the beginning of the show, welcoming the women and setting up the first date. Ben has secretly been dreaming of taking my job for many years, and this was his first move. The truth is I was back home shooting my game show You Deserve It and came into Panama a couple of days late. Gotta give Ben props though, as he filled in quite well. I was hoping he would get a haircut before trying to fill the host position, but that was just a dream.
Ben’s first one-on-one date with Kacie B. was fantastic. From the first date they shared in Sonoma they have had an incredible relationship and seem to continue to make great strides in the right direction. On this date, Kacie B. really opened up to Ben and told him some things that she really rarely shares with anyone. It’s moments like this when you can really see the difference in the relationships that are being formed.
The group date was one of those once-in-a-lifetime, Bachelor-only experiences in the remote rainforest of Panama. I know Courtney will be judged by her behavior on this date, but I have to say she brings up a very valid point. She’s making moves on Ben and the other girls aren’t. The other women are so worried about the unwritten code of conduct and so worried about Courtney they aren’t worried about the most important person…Ben! As Courtney said, they are making it very easy for her. Emily finally got the hint and completely rebounded with Ben. She’s an incredibly smart, clever, and classy woman and she took the high road and apologized to Courtney. Courtney decided to take the other road. In all seriousness, her response to Emily’s apology was pretty amazing, and not in a good way. Lindzi, meanwhile, continues to keep an even keel and has been cruising along with Ben since day one.
The infamous two-on-one date was next, pitting Rachel against Blakeley. It was a battle that, on the outside, Blakeley seemed more than eager to take on. But if you remember back to the first couple of episodes, that’s Blakeley’s defense mechanism. She’s actually just as insecure as anybody else. The last couple of weeks, Blakeley really let herself go and threw herself into this — but it may have just been too late to get through to Ben and show him what she had to offer. When he sent Blakeley home, she was totally shocked.
The day of the rose ceremony brought with it the most interesting part of this week’s episode. You all saw what happened with Casey S., so let me take you behind the scenes and tell you what led me to step in and talk to her. We heard from Casey’s former boyfriend and a couple other people that Casey had spent serious time with him leading up to the show and that she still had serious feelings for him. In fact, her ex-boyfriend explicitly told us that he was currently in a relationship with her. I’ve said before that one thing I regretted during Ashley’s season is not going further and telling her more about Bentley and his intentions. I wasn’t going to let that happen again. Now, I want to make it clear that in my opinion Casey didn’t come on the show with bad intentions; she didn’t come on the show to deceive Ben. Like many people who have come on this show in the past, Casey learned a lot about herself and changed during her time here. My talk with her was in no way confrontational, but I did want to make things very clear, to her and everybody watching. Unfortunately that lesson of making things very clear for all involved was one I learned a few seasons ago. It’s funny to see how once the show airs, people’s memories can suddenly and dramatically change.
Casey is a very sweet woman who found herself in a difficult position. Her talk with Ben was amicable. Looking back, I think Ben — who was caught completely off guard — wishes he had reacted a little differently in the moment. Casey was emotional and Ben didn’t exactly react as he normally would in this kind of situation. In the end it was right for Casey to leave the show. Whether she’s in love with her old boyfriend or not is and was irrelevant. It’s very clear she isn’t in the right state of mind to find love with Ben right now. I’m glad I stepped in and talked to her, and overall I’m happy with how we handled the situation.
The other most talked about moment from this week’s show will easily be Jamie and her aggressive performance at the cocktail party. Jamie is a self-described shy, prudish girl, and all I can say about what went down at the cocktail party is “bless her heart.” I’m sure she’s just as horrified watching herself as you were. Again, “bless her heart.” As you saw in the previews, next week the situation with Courtney really comes to a head. Things are going to get very interesting — you better Belize it! Until then, you can find me on Twitter @chrisbharrison.
More Bachelor from EW:
Ben’s Bachelor blog on people.com