The Bachelor recap: The Tribe Has Spoken
Seriously, how is it week six already? It seems like time is just flying… when in fact I’ve already wasted a month and a half thinking about this show. A month and a half and the past two hours, actually — during which time I realized that the reason it feels like we’re earlier on in Ben’s “journey” is because there are still a few women we know barely anything about. I guess that’s because Team Bachelor decided to turn this season into The Courtney Show.
The good news is, this week we get the dreaded two-on-one date. May the odds be ever in your favor, “ladies”! But first, Ben arrives at the Trump Ocean Club to deliver the first date card: “Kacie B., Will our love survive? Pack 3 things.” Awesome — maybe it’s a Lord of the Flies theme date, complete with a pack of wild British boys and an island so remote no one can hear the Bachelor scream! Turns out, it’s just another helicopter ride to a picnic, though to be fair, this one’s on a “deserted” island populated by sand, palm trees, and a camera crew. Between Ben and Kacie, they’ve got a stuffed animal, a bag of candy, a corkscrew, a fishing net, a machete, and matches. Oh, and Kacie B’s grating giggle, which has managed to morph from girlie to hyena-like in the past few weeks.
As Ben murders a coconut and the duo wrestles with their net and catches an ill-fated fish placed in the shallows by a PA, Ben does his blah-blah-overcoming-obstacles-blah-blah-conquering-fears-blah thing. “If we can accomplish something like this together I feel like we can probably do anything.” Okay, you know what Team Bachelor? I’m throwing down the gauntlet: ENOUGH with the embarrassing attempts to convince people that this show in any way prepares people for marriage. I triple-dog-dare you to make a season of The Bachelor or Bachelorette where no one says anything resembling “if we can do [blank], then we can do anything.” Think you can manage that?
Dinner is make-or-break for Kacie B., who knows she has to “open up” to Ben on this date or it’s all over. But it’s hard for her to do, she explains, because her life has not been all baton-twirling and ringlets. “In high school, I, um, I had an eating disorder,” she begins. After her parents caught her mid-purge, Kacie says, she finally got help. “I learned a lot. I learned that I don’t have to be perfect, and I feel like it made me grow up a lot faster than I planned on.” Uh-oh, Courtney — looks like you’re not the only dark-haired horse in the race for Ben’s heart. Kacie B. gets the rose!
In what is perhaps an act of synergy to promote ABC’s terrifying new drama The River, the next day Ben treats Emily, Nicki, Lindzi, Casey, Courtney and Jamie to a rainy date on the Chagres River. They travel to a village where the waiting Embera people hustle the “ladies” into huts and encourage them to don some native dress — which consists of beaded tops and floral headdresses. While most of the women choose to leave their bikini tops on underneath the beads, Courtney feels like the time is now to be “one with nature” and ditch her oppressive Western threads. (A modest blur and/or black bar obscures her tatas, but we can pretty much guess why the ladies are all frowning. And in case you were wondering, Courtney says the beads “are cold.”) Classy, right?” smirks Emily to the camera.
NEXT: Looking out for No. 1611
But the meanie model is not the only one going native; Ben arrives wearing a loincloth and a beaded buttshield, and not much else. His nakedness is required, though, as the Embera people are about to lead him and the “ladies” through some ritualistic body painting. Naturally, Courtney swoops in and paints “B + C = heart” on Ben’s back, in an effort to mark her territory. While the other women find this extremely annoying, all they can seem to do is complain about it. “Courtney always finds a way to either pull him aside or stand out or put her mark on him,” grumbles Nicki. Look, I’m no fan of Courtney, but it is a group date — you can’t blame her for fending for herself. For the love of god, “ladies,” nut up and do something to stop her!
Post-tribal adventure, Ben takes his harem back to the Trump for poolside drinks. Lindzi comes on strong by calling Ben her “boyfriend” to his face, albeit in the context of saying it’s been hard for her to reconcile the fact that her boo has 8 other boos. Courtney comes on stronger by telling the Bachelor that she’s in room 1611 and he’s more than welcome to drop by and “lay there quietly” for 15 minutes. And poor Jamie never stands a chance during her one-on-one time, as Courtney decides to strip down to her bikini and do a few laps right behind where Ben and Jamie are sitting. “It’s very difficult to focus,” Ben admits. While the only way to beat a bully is to show her you’re not scared, Jamie can’t muster the courage to plant one on Ben in front of the meanie model. “Right now, I would love to just do what I wanted to do with you,” laments Jamie to the Bachelor, but she just can’t. Is it any wonder that Courtney feels like she’s winning? “They’re making it easy on me!” she gloats.
Despite her rough go of it last week, Emily hasn’t given up on getting a rose this week, and during her one-on-one time she fakes Ben out by confessing that there’s another man in her life… the Embera chief! And he LOVES it. But that’s not all: Emily follows up her makeout session with Ben with a make-up session with, of all people, Courtney! “Courtney, I would like to say I am sorry for making a rash judgment,” she tells the model. “I think I was wrong about you.” Courtney accepts the apology, saying she has “respect” for Emily’s direct admission of guilt… until she doesn’t. “I don’t friggin’ forget, and I don’t respect the fact that you talked bad about me. We will never be friends, I don’t respect you.” Shockingly, neither of these “ladies” gets the date rose — it goes to Lindzi. Awww, honey, looks like you can keep pretending that Ben is your boyfriend.
Meanwhile, back in room 1611, Courtney is shaking off her loss of the date rose and prepping for a midnight visit from the Bachelor. He does know her room number, after all. Tick-tock-tick-tock… The minutes pass, and the only one there to keep Courtney company is one very uncomfortable cameraman. Oh, Ben. Don’t make her angry. You wouldn’t like Courtney when she’s angry. “I’ve been consistently disappointed by men,” says the model, her voice tight with tears. “I’m really at the point now where I know I want to be with somebody who treats me the way I want to be treated… But he never showed up.”
NEXT: “Maybe I should be in therapy or something,” or, “The 8 truest words ever spoken on The Bachelor“Of course he didn’t, silly! Ben was too busy getting psyched up for the most awkward leg of his “journey” — the two-on-one date. Rachel and Blakeley pulled the short straws, so they’ll be the ones salsa dancing… for their lives. First, a costume change: A cast-off from the Barbie’s Dream House Rose Parade float for Blakely, and for Rachel, a tacky blue dress that looks like something Cookie Monster would wear if he were a female streetwalker. Despite her hideous outfit, Blakeley oozes confidence and has no trouble monopolizing Ben during the salsa lesson — Rachel’s feeble “may I have this dance?” interruptions are powerless against the VIP cocktail waitress’ swagger.
Dinner is predictably awkward, with lots of silences and “Yeeahh” sighs from Ben. When Rachel makes her pitch — “I think there really is something great between us and I think it could be so much greater” — Ben seems genuinely touched and confused. “I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do,” he confesses. Perhaps Rachel’s tongue can help him figure that out. Blakeley takes a different tack, using tears and a homemade scrapbook of words and pictures cut out of American Way magazine. An interesting choice… but it can’t eradicate the Kit De Luca “You think I got potential?” vibe that rises off her like steam. Rachel gets the rose, and she doesn’t even stop smiling when Blakeley storms out of the restaurant in a mortified huff. As a stray kitten mews sadly, Ben packs Blakeley into a Reject Minivan.
Normally we’d go right from the final date to the cocktail party, but this week, we get a bonus round of sobbing. It begins when Harrison surprises the women in their suite to pull Casey aside for a little one-on-one of his own. Is he just a sucker for acid-washed denim jumpers? No. The host has something else on his mind. He brings the quiet blonde out to the courtyard and drops the bomb: “It was brought to my attention by three different people back in the United States that you’re in love with somebody else.” Long story short, Casey’s ex (or not-so-ex) boyfriend back home somehow contacted Team Bachelor and told them that they were “practically living together” right before she left to go win Ben’s heart. We already knew she didn’t have great judgment, but is she really a liar? No — as it turns out, she’s just 26 going on 14. As Casey explains it to Harrison, she dumped Michael because he didn’t want to get married… but then they got back together. And now? Well, now it seems she’s hoping getting engaged on TV will help mend her previous relationship. “Maybe, I should have… I don’t know, maybe I should be in therapy or something,” Casey confesses. “Maybe I need to get over that more… Obviously my perfect scenario would be to fall in love with Ben and be, like, oh, guess what? I now am with someone who wants the same thing I want.” What she really wants, though, is for Michael to change his ways.
NEXT: The worst lap dance in recorded history
Good luck with that, honey. Anyhow, you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here. Harrison escorts Casey up to Ben’s suite and sits by awkwardly as she confesses the truth in her heart. “It was a sincere try,” she whimpers to the irked Bachelor, who doesn’t have much patience for her shenanigans: “I think you should go home.” And with that, Casey is ushered into a waiting Reject Minivan, where she continues her ugly, most-annoying-sound-in-the-world cry. “Like, it wasn’t Ben, and now I have to find someone else,” she sobs. “I just have to deal with this.” Yes you do, Casey. But I promise it won’t kill you.
So who’s it going to be? Not Jamie if she has anything to do with it. “I need to show him that I’m sexy, that I’m a woman, that I would be able to please him,” says the determined nurse. She leads Ben by the hand to a secluded corner and… oh God. I need to pause it here for a second. It’s just. Too. Mortifying. (Shake it off, Baldwin! You’ve got a job to do!) Okay, okay, here goes: So Jamie leads Ben to a corner and tells him she has “really big plans” for him, plans that involve standing in front of him in a shiny, tight red minidress, straddling his legs like she’s about to squat over a hole in the ground, and then clumsily inching her knees onto the couch and sitting on his lap… all without ripping her dress. And if that doesn’t sound sexy enough, she then dictates how he should kiss her: “First our mouths will be closed,” she tells Ben, “and then we’re going to feel each other out. And then, once we feel each other out, we’re going to open our mouths.” Sighs the Bachelor, “That’s normally how kissing goes.” Eventually, Ben cuts her off, explaining that he’s not interested in kissing “an instruction guide.”
Is it any surprise, then, that Jamie gets the boot? It’s too bad — if you recall, this is the young woman who raised her siblings when her mother, who had “dependency issues,” was not capable of doing so. Doesn’t she deserve a little happiness? Yes, which is why it’s probably for the best that she didn’t stay any longer in this televised ritual of misery. With that, rose lovers, we’re on to Belize, where Kacie B. and Nicki will warn Ben that Courtney is a dangerous viper out to suck the lifeblood from his soul — and this time he just may listen. Are you excited for the next leg of our “journey”? Did you pull a muscle cringing while you watched Jamie’s clumsy attempts to seduce Ben? And do you kind of want Casey’s boyfriend Michael to show up at the Women Tell All so we can find out what became of that ill-fated duo? Post your comments now! And don’t forget to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive Bachelor blog over on PopWatch. Now, put on your loincloth and let’s talk Bachelor!