Cyndi Lauper Lied

“Will Our Love Survive? Pack three things”- These simple instructions from Ben surely left her a wreck in preparation for this date. That’s my way of rationalizing her decision to bring a stuffed monkey, corkscrew and a bag of candy as her only three items of survival. This is unless she was raised on a steady dose of MacGyver and plans on turning these items into a life-saving raft for her and Ben. Luckily our Bachelor goes all Bear Grylls on Kacie, packing a machete, fishing net and matches.

The first half of the date was for me a brilliant move on Ben’s part. I can’t think of a better way to really bond with someone than a pseudo life threatening situation. Think for a second, there is a reason so many babies are conceived in stuck elevators? Thus only when the couple is facing starvation do we learn what relationships are all about… overcoming coconuts! You see people, it really is so easy that a caveman can do it. By sunset the two were camp side enjoying baked fish and champagne. Only later after a passing helicopter spotted the stranded couple’s green monkey distress signal were they rescued.

The second half of the date kicks off with Ben stating, “I’m really looking forward to diving in deep” in terms of getting to know Kacie. What’s with all the sexual swimming innuendoes? I guess Courtney’s skinny dipping duet had quite the profound effect on our Bachelor?

The conversation at dinner does inevitably get deeper as Kacie confides in Ben about her struggle with eating disorders. I applaud Kacie for her bravery and openness on the date. Ultimately Ben does too as the date ends with a rose and a kiss that brings out a little leg lift from Kacie, someone’s quite smitten I’d say.

“Let’s Get Lost”- Following Kacie and Ben’s minimalist themed date in Panama, our Bachelor decides to visit some local villages in search of culture on his group date. Ironically, this wasn’t the first time the locals had seen cameras as Anaconda was also filmed in the same location.

Determined to prove his ruggedness to the group, Ben arrives in what I can only describe as a 75 foot canoe with a 2 stoke on the back to pick up his dates with the simple plan of navigating the river in the company of his Jungle Harem. Almost immediately and as if they were waiting with baited hooks a wild pack of Angelina Jolie kids lure Ben’s super canoe to shore. Intrigued and in search of culture the group follows as the “kids in loin cloths” run to the safety of their village elders. Being led now by the worldlier Courtney, the group descends upon the villagers and a momentary standoff ensues as the villagers require complete assimilation from the outsiders. In an act of pure selflessness, Courtney is forced to go all Nat Geo with the hope of saving Ben and her housemates. Fortunately for Courtney this wasn’t the “other” Chris’s show, where gyrating in front of small children can only lead to handcuffs. Ultimately the sacrifice of Courtney’s dignity and class were enough to appease the primitive villagers and the group was let free to leave in peace.

The after party for the group date was held in a more civilized fashion though some of the ladies still seemed to harbor the ill effects of their brush with the primitive villagers by acting like witch doctors near the night’s end. It’s evident from the conversations during the party that many of the women are well aware of their feelings for Ben while others are simply trying to feel anything at all in their attempt to catch up to the pack leaders.

While we haven’t seen too much from Lindzi recently her reference to our Bachelor as “her boyfriend” proves she’s more than mentally invested in her relationship with Ben and probably already knitted him a sweater, gone shopping for a wedding dresses and airbrushed their names onto a license plate. During their time alone Ben expresses his admiration for Lindzi’s very easygoing attitude as they both agree that neither enjoys fighting within a relationship. How far removed from reality are these two at this moment?

On the complete opposite side of the easy going spectrum. Ben and Courtney’s private conversation reveals yet another attempt at absolute relationship control (ARC) on Courtney’s part. Again Courtney reaches into her pocket and attempts to pull the yellow manipulation card and it doesn’t seem to have the same effect upon Ben as when it was first used in Utah. Courtney realizes that her tactics have stalled and immediately switches up and begins to mention all the provocative things she can imagine her and Ben engaging in at a later date. Once she sees our Bachelor is fully switched on she goes in for a kiss and immediately pulls away. I refer to this tactic as “The Dangled Carrot”. It simply plants the seeds of control sublimely under the guise of future promises of pleasure. I must admit Courtney is crafty; the question stands, is this a product of the game or is the game a product of her?

In Emily’s conversation with Ben she makes light of the situation reverting to what I think she does best, making Ben laugh. Unfortunately, she then shows a complete lack of judgment by apologizing to Courtney. Emily was right about Courtney and as punishment for deviating from her instincts she promptly gets her head ripped off by the Alpha model in a verbal assault one might expect to only hear from a Teamster in New Jersey. Ultimately the light of shame is cast upon Courtney for not being able to accept Emily’s sincere apology with even the least bit of dignity and class.

“Save The Last Dance for Me”- Two women, one date, one rose and half a Prozac? I mean has anyone ever been this excited for a two-on-one in Bachelor history? I do applaud the gusto Blakeley seems to exhibit going into this chopping block of love but Rachel for me has her mind set on a pardon of execution.

Ben dressed in shorts, flips flops and a button-down greets his two stilettoed Panamanian street walkers and informs them of his excitement for the day’s activities. Salsa dancing seems like a pretty common way to kick start a three way date, right? Wrong! I haven’t seen this much tension from the sidelines since Baby with watermelons in tow watched as Penny and Johnny practiced the horizontal merengue. Like a tight tennis match it was back and forth between the two couples, with the slight edge going to Blakeley who obviously watches at bit too much DWTS.

Back on a more level playing field the three sit down to what I thought would be the most awkward of conversations. The two ladies seemed to be aware of the high stakes almost playing it too cautiously as not to reveal their hands to one another. It was only in Ben’s private company do we see Blakeley go all in with her “Benterest” album. I know this was done with the most honest and heart felt intention but scrap books are usually reserved for well established, monogamous relationships. A better option would’ve been a Mix Tape which is perfectly suited for the more open, not so well defined relationship that Blakeley and Ben shared. Rachel’s conversation with Ben left me wondering what was left on the Cutting Room floor because they never really seemed to break any new ground opting to simply make out to pass the time.

The date ends as Ben decides his future with Rachel shows more promise than a life with Blakeley. Although I do poke fun at Blakeley’s “Benterest” album I must acknowledge her for just how far she has come along during this process. I originally had her pinned as a one trick pony who would simply be overtly sexual towards Ben in her attempts to gain roses and passport stamps. Instead, Blakeley proved me wrong and salvaged herself by showing a softer side that simply wants to find love. I wish her the best and truly believe she will be a better person having gone through this process.

Next we are treated to a visit by our host Chris Harrison in a segment of the show I refer to as, “Here Comes the Reaper.” Casey S., what can I tell you girl? Apparently you were too naive to realize Chris Harrison is like the CIA of Bachelor-nation. At times he can be Dr. Phil-esque with his endless well of love advice but make no mistake he can and will expose an untrue heart in defense of his Bachelor/Bachelorette. At this point all Ben had to do was give the order and Chris would do the dirty work, packing Casey sans baggage into a minivan bound for who knows where. I’m a bit disappointed that Casey doesn’t have a very good answer for not addressing this issue earlier. I’m sure all will be answered at the Women Tell All Episode.

“I’m Feeling Pretty Awesome”- Of course you are Courtney and who wouldn’t in your shoes? With fringe players like Casey S. and Blakeley already departed only one person in my opinion was a prime candidate for departure, Jamie. Unless she’s got a plan to quickly make up for all the lost ground she’s given up to front-runners Courtney and Kacie?

Commence: Operation Ten Minutes in Awkward Hell!

Jamie who knows she’s well behind the love curve decides to step outside of herself in an attempt to sway our Bachelor into keeping her around. This had to be the most uncoordinated, uncomfortable and ultimately forced kissing scene since Ames’s elevator ride in Hong Kong. Jamie who believes the path to love passes through Mountsville sacrifices the seams of her dress as she straddles our Bachelor and proceeds to give orders to Ben on how they will kiss? I’m all for getting caught up in the moment but again we have a situation where someone isn’t paying attention to the street signs. Ben is laughing as Jamie is trying way too hard to be someone she’s not and it’s clear that the weeks of seeing Courtney gaining ground through brash behavior and overtly sexual advances towards Ben have taken their toll on Jamie who is justifiably sent home.

Next week the group travel to Belize on what is the final week before hometown visits. I sense we’ll have a mutiny on our hands soon! So do girls really just want to have fun?

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