The much-hyped Skinny Dipping Incident finally arrives, as Ben takes the "ladies" to Puerto Rico for some baseball, beach time, and backstabbing.

By Kristen Baldwin
Updated March 13, 2015 at 09:18 PM EDT
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¡Hola, mis amigos! Welcome to gorgeous Vieques, Puerto Rico, the latest stop on Ben’s Perfect Place to Fall in Love world tour. While Courtney’s ratty T-shirt bears a simple command — “BE NICE!” — what fun would that be if the “ladies,” or Courtney herself, followed that order?

The first one-on-one date goes to Nicki, much to the dagger-eyed dismay of Elyse and Casey. She dutifully packs her bag and dons a tropical one-shoulder minidress, though she probably could have spent a lot less time getting ready, as Ben didn’t even manage to put on a shirt with a collar. (Also: mandals. Never okay.) Helicopter number 2 of the season whisks them to Old San Juan, where Ben buys Nicki a shaved ice. And she LOVES it. “I’m with the man of my dreams, and we’re doing things I’ve never done before,” she gushes. “This date is going so great so far, what could possibly go wrong?” Cue the torrential rain! Team Bachelor doesn’t even bother to loan the soaked duo an umbrella, so they head to a local shop to purchase dry clothes. But not just any clothes. “What I’m visualizing for the rest of this date is myself in white threads. While linen threads, with white shoes and one of those sweet Colombian-looking hats.” After donning his ropa blanco, Ben feels like he’s got a little “Latin swagger.” Man is this guy a nerd. And I mean that in the best way possible.

Night falls, and over some muy grande glasses of white, Nicki confesses to Ben that the wedding they saw earlier on their date made her feel wistful. “I want my second chance at a fairy tale,” she says. “This time around, if I grow it’ll be with somebody.” So sure, she’s only 26 and she’s already been married (for three years!) and divorced, but none of that matters to Ben, because Nicki’s got a lot of “qualities” that he’s looking for. She gets the date rose. Despite all of the subsequent making out — and I did NOT need the open-mouth tongue shot, thank you very much, Team Bachelor — these two really don’t exude a lot of chemistry. All I kept thinking about during the entire date was how much nicer Ben’s hair looks in a humid climate.

Group date! Despite the date card’s titillating message — “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” — this will not be one of those Pretty Woman-style shopping sprees. Thank GOD. Instead, Ben and his “ladies” (Lindzi, Courtney, Jennifer, Kacie B., Emily, Rachel, Casey S., Jamie, and Blakeley) are off to Roberto Clemente Stadium for some base-running fun. But before the women can play ball, Harrison emerges from the stands to drop a little motivation in their laps: It seems whichever team wins the upcoming game will be invited to “an incredible, romantic beach party with Ben.” The losers will get nothing and like it! Except for the one woman who gets to play on both teams, since there are only nine “ladies” present… and only the Bachelor can tell us who that’ll be. Lindzi! Interesting call, sir. You know he really wanted to pick the meanie model but just didn’t have the cojones.

NEXT: All aboard the S.S. Bad Idea!

After just one inning the red team (Courtney, Kacie, Casey and Jennifer) is up 5-0, but they can’t hold the lead for long. Why? Let’s let Courtney explain. “Blakeley is like a champion out there. Who knew that strippers could play baseball?” By the time the score is 10-9 red team, it all comes down to Jennifer…who strikes out and hobbles off the field in shame. And when the helicopter lands next to the field to take the red team to the beach, Blakeley just can’t keep it classy. “I hope you guys throw up!” she bellows. That’s enough outta you, missy! Zip your lip and get on the bus.

Meanwhile, at Bachelor Beach, Ben is filling Kacie B. in on his sad relationship history. “I feel like all the women that I have really fallen for in my life have not loved me back,” he says slowly. “I just don’t want to come up empty again.” Oh. Well, you’ve definitely chosen the right plan, buddy. And perhaps because Kacie doesn’t flinch or give him the you-are-a-sad-strange-little-man pity look upon hearing this, Ben gives her the date rose. Is Courtney concerned? No, not really. “She’s really cute with her baton twirling, but she just reminds me of a little girl,” she murmurs. “And I think that Ben needs a woman.” Apparently, she thinks he needs one right now; as soon as Ben returns from giving Kacie the date rose, Courtney leads him away to the beach and coyly suggests how much she’d like to take a swim with him. “I’d rather get him in the ocean and go skinny-dipping then get that rose,” she explains to the camera in between bites of her lips and cheek. Sleep on that, Benjamin!

But before Courtney and Ben can go wet and wild, we’re gonna have to get through the second one-on-one date of the week, which goes to Elyse. The fact that she’s already weeping about how bad she wants this before the date even starts is not a good sign. “I gave up my job to be here,” she sniffs, “because I believed in it.” All aboard the S.S. Bad Idea! While cruising on the yacht, Elyse gets teary yet again as she explains the failure of her last serious relationship and drops the I-quit-my-job and oh-I-also-skipped-my-best-friend’s-wedding bombs on Ben. Totally not scary at all. Ben is clearly uncomfortable at dinner later that night, as he tentatively questions Elyse about her life goals. “I’m sick of being single,” she grumbles, adding that it’s been “annoying” to watch the other women come home from one-on-one dates. “Yeah, yeah,” yelps the Bachelor, before picking up the rose and twirling it between his fingers nervously. “Uhhhmmm. But unfortunately I was hoping for some things today that I just didn’t find. I think my relationships with a lot of these other women are so far past what I think we could probably get to if we continued this… I have to kind of follow my heart, and I unfortunately cannot give you this rose.” Fire up the Reject Dinghy, guys: Elyse will not be this year’s love. And just to be sure, Ben sends the date rose to a watery grave.

NEXT: Ben drops trou and tells Emily to drop it.

When the Bad News Bellhop arrives to fetch Elyse’s suitcase from the hotel room, the “ladies” are dumbfounded — except for Courtney, of course. “Maybe she drank too much and the Jersey Shore came out,” she muses, as the women avert their eyes. “I’m actually pleasantly surprised.” Within moments, she’s slipped out of the hotel room and perched herself on the stairs outside Ben’s hotel room, where he pretends not to notice her until he hears a wolf-whistle coming from behind him. “I thought you might need a nightcap, and to make good on a promise that we talked about last night,” she trills, sounding far less smooth in real life than she sounds in her head. “I brought some, a little nightcap.” Flummoxed, Ben invites Courtney into his room, where she proceeds to all but quote him a price list for sex acts on offer. “I could draw you a bath,” she teases. “And I have some lotion in my pocket if you need a massage.” (Man, that $5 foot-long I had from Subway isn’t sitting too well right about now.) So are you up for a little skinny-dipping, Ben? Let’s ask your brain. “When I’m talking to Courtney I’m thinking to myself, ‘This probably isn’t a good idea.'” Okay, now let’s ask Little Ben. “But, at the same time, I want to spend some more time with her, and she has taken it upon herself to magically appear on my doorstep. Why not? Why the hell not?” And with that, we’re treated to two sets of blurred butt cheeks, and Ben’s bashful last glance at the cameraman as he tosses his boxer briefs onto the shore. I hope for your sake that the water’s warm, sir.

Game on — or is it game over? — “ladies,” because the time for the cocktail party has finally arrived. Ben admits that he feels “kind of crappy” about banging the bitchy model in the ocean sharing “an intimate moment” with Courtney the night before, so he has renewed resolve to give everyone as much of a chance as possible. That’s good, because Blakeley has a whole load of heavy to drop in Ben’s lap: “No matter what, I’ve found something inside me. Like, it really hit me that I deserve [love].” Wow! Most of us have trouble reaching that kind of epiphany after years of therapy, so props to Blakeley for doing it after just a few weeks on a reality-TV dating show. Unfortunately for Emily, the Bachelor experience is not having the same emotionally healing effect. During her one-on-one time with Ben, she simply cannot stop herself from bitching about Courtney…again. “I haven’t thought about her very much at all this week,” she begins. “From now on I want to focus on you and me…and I wish that I hadn’t said anything.” Great! Well, moving on — wait, what? You’re still talking? Oh, crap. “I hope that you understand that I still stand by what I said,” Emily continues, saying Courtney is “kind of a weirdo” and “showing you a different side of herself than we see.” Ben can’t hide his annoyance. “What I encourage you to do is just…kind of drop it,” he intones. “Tread lightly. Be careful.”

NEXT: Wow, those are some ugly dresses.

After this, I thought that the only reason to watch the rose ceremony was to get a better look at the array of jewel-toned horrors the “ladies” are sporting tonight (special mention to Jamie Sparkle Lights Pink Princess, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Blakeley, and Kacie “Taste the Rainbow” B.), but it turns out Emily’s butt won’t be the one warming the seat in the Reject Hummer. Alas, it’s Jennifer who gets the ticket back to the States, and she’ll no doubt cry the entire way home. Cheer up, honey. Tax season is coming, so throw yourself into your work and forget all about this guy you’ve known for about 8.3 days.

Well, rose lovers, onward and upward. Or, more accurately, onward and Southwestward…to Panama! It looks like Panama City just might be the last stop for Casey S. (the “s” stands for “mostly silent”), who appears to receive some very bad news. Beyond that, the rest of the season promises a lot of “Courtney’s a bitch” and “you have to take risks to find forever,” and so on. (On a separate note, I would like to thank Team Bachelor for not showing us any footage of Ben licking whipped cream and/or chocolate off of Nicki’s body in their hot-cocoa bath…because then I definitely wouldn’t have been able to keep my $5 foot-long down.) Anyhoo, folks, what did you think of tonight’s episode? Was the skinny-dipping all it was hyped up to be, or were you expecting more? (At the very least, we know the “ladies” will find out at the Women Tell All.) Are you surprised that Ben kept Emily? And who do you think will win the epic Kacie versus Courtney showdown? Post your thoughts below, and then don’t forget to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog over on PopWatch. Now, swing for the fences and let’s talk Bachelor!

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The Bachelor

Chris Harrison hosts the romance reality competition series in which a gaggle of women vie for the Bachelor’s heart — and a wedding proposal. Will you accept this rose?

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