January 16, 2012 08:12 PM by Candace Young
Tonight, Chris Harrison promises explosive drama on The Bachelor. This comes hot on the heels of the news that The Bachelor hit an all-time low in ratings with last week’s episode. Keep reading for the highlights of Ben Flajnik’s dates in San Francisco, including a bachelorette who opts out of a one-on-one date, and a mystery woman who shows up looking for a rose…
Ben Flajnik’s bachelorettes have traveled to San Francisco tonight on The Bachelor. The show opens with Ben and his sister Julia having a candid conversation about what it’s like for him to being on the other side of things. He mentions a few of the girls by name – most notably Courtney (the model!), whom he refers to as ‘down to earth’. Hmm. Julia seems anxious to marry Ben off, but is also wary of him being burned again a la Ashley Hebert on The Bachelorette.
Chris gives the girls the first date card. Perky PhD student, Emily, is the chosen one. Courtney is certain it will be a boring date since Emily is ‘book smart’.
Emily nearly pees her pants at the news that they’ll be climbing to the top of the Bay Bridge together. Ben makes all the usual comparisons between climbing the bridge, trust, and a relationship going a long way – gah.
I’d love to tell you how the date went, but I can’t look at the television. 250 feet up, I hear that Emily’s fear of heights has taken over and she’s resorted to straight-up profanity. Naturally, it’s Ben to the rescue – he kisses her and miracle-of-miracles, she is suddenly infused with renewed determination to make it to the top. I would have been clawing his face off, but good for Emily. Ben romanticizes it further by stating that if they can do this, then there’s nothing they can’t do together. Yeah, okay.
Over dinner, Emily is freaked out by how much she feels for him already and shares some past dating disasters – including inadvertently getting matched up with her brother on an online dating site. Huh? Ben seems content, if not slightly buzzed, and offers up the rose (I should think so after climbing that bridge). They kiss in front of their own fireworks show.
Oh joy, oh bliss – it’s group date time! Ben is taking the girls snow skiing. Clad in shorts and sundresses, the bachelorettes are confused, but gamely get into the cars. They arrive at a hill on a San Francisco street that’s been closed off and covered in snow. Pervy Ben has the girls strip down to itty-bitty bikinis to hit the slopes. Amazed onlookers goggle at the spectacle of it all. Kacie manages to stand out by spending more time on her ass than anyone else – bet she felt that the next day.
Back at the house, Brittney gets the next one-on-one date, but pisses the other girls off by being less than thrilled about it. She goes so far as to pack her bags and announce that she’s leaving because her heart’s not in it. Refreshing!
On the group date, it’s cocktail party time. Rachel scores her first kiss with Ben. He catches up with Kacie, who tells him it’s been hard since their one-on-one date. Ben doesn’t have any words that will help her, so he kisses her. I notice the kisses are just pecks though…hmm.
Blakely is the next to complain it’s too hard. But her thunder is stolen by Brittney, who comes wheelin’ in with her purple suitcase. She tells him he’ll find a great girl, but it’s not her – she’s splitting. Britt calls it the ‘hardest decision of her life’, which I find a bit ridiculous. Ben recovers and gives Rachel a rose.
Lindzi, aka horse girl, scores Brittney’s discarded one-on-one date. Ben takes her on a trolley ride through San Francisco. After getting ice cream, they’re serenaded by Matt Nathanson singing Faster. They dance and make-out. That’s followed by dinner at a 1920′s style speakeasy called Bourbon and Branch – so cool! Lindzi talks about being dumped previously via text message. They toast to laughing at themselves. Super scruffy Ben gives her a rose.
Dun, dun, dun…we hear a female voice telling Chris Harrison she’s on her way to San Francisco and really thinks this could be it. For those not in the know, it’s embalmer-girl, Shawntel Newton, who put Brad Womack on her autopsy table in his season of The Bachelor. She developed a crush on Ben while watching The Bachelorette, has talked to him, and is confident he’ll fall in love with her.
Ben walks into the cocktail party as the girls are toasting to ‘no drama’. Right. He kicks things off by kissing Jennifer and telling her she’s the best kisser of them all. The others watch with gritted teeth. Courtney amuses herself by labeling the competition. She says they’re mainly juvenile and Blakeley’s the kind of girl your boyfriend cheats on you with. Emily’s certain Courtney has an undiagnosed split personality disorder.
Outside, Chris greets Shawntel and tells her she’ll have to grab Ben before the rose ceremony if she wants to talk to him. She’s game.
Courtney spends time reconnecting with Ben, but makes him break out in a cold sweat by mentioning the cute babies they’ll have – yikes! Ben is speaking with Elyse when Shawntel walks through the cocktail party looking smoking hot in a red dress. Shocked Ben utters a profanity upon seeing her. He’s not the only one – the other girls have figured out it’s the ‘funeral director’ and are cursing up a storm.
Ben seems rocked by Shawntel’s appearance. He tells her he enjoyed the times they spoke and she’s exactly the kind of woman he’d date. She asks to be considered at the rose ceremony. Ben introduces Shawntel to the other girls and leaves her to the wolves. The women rip her apart, both to her face and behind her back. She’s disparaged for everything from how she makes a living to being Womack’s cast off. Courtney’s ready to bail. Tears enter the mix. Chris appears and says they’re going straight to the rose ceremony – ya’ think?
Emily, Rachel, and Lindzi each have roses and are safe. Ben offers the first rose to Courtney, who looks exhausted from drinking and crying. She tells him she’ll take it, but makes it clear it was a ‘heavy’ night watching him talk to ‘what’s her butt’. Kacie gets the next rose, followed by Elyse, Jamie, Jennifer, Casey, Blakeley, Monica, Nicki, Samantha, and then it’s time for the last rose. Ben is about to make a speech when Erika faints. Jaclyn’s full-out sobbing. Kacie says it’s a three-ring circus there and it’s all Shawntel’s fault! I’m not sure how she’s responsible for Erika passing out, but okay…
The final rose goes to…no one. Ben ditches Erika, Jaclyn, and Shawntel in one fell swoop. Methinks mild-mannered Ben dislikes the drama.
He walks Shawntel out and tells her he just didn’t think it was fair, but he was flattered that she came to see him. She wishes him luck…as do we.
Do you think Ben did the right thing? Do you think this episode delivered the promised explosive drama? Next week, Ben and the girls are in Utah – see you then!
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Photo Courtesy of ABC