The Bachelor visited Ben's hometown of San Francisco this week (at least I think it was his hometown, did that ever come up?), as the shaggy-haired star went to the top of a bridge and the top of a snow-covered street with his suitors.
He also stopped briefly in Dumpsville with Lindzi, later sending Shawntel Newton there in what may have been the most contrived ABC set-up in show history.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's go over the highlights from the episode before we tackle the lowlight of what, for once, might truly have been the most emotional Rose Ceremony ever...
- When not on his face, Ben apparently hangs his sunglasses over the back of his t-shirt collar.
- Ben tells Julia that Jennifer is the "best kisser" in the house. Totally normal to say to one's sibling.
- He takes Emily on the first one-on-one date and we learn one of her two biggest fears is "rejection." Makes perfect sense she'd apply for The Bachelor in that case.
- The other big fear? Heights. The date itself? Climbing to the top of the Bay Bridge, apparently, almost as if the producers were keenly aware of the affect this would have on Emily.
- But a kiss from Ben can evidently cure even the most deadly fears, as Emily stops, appears to truly freak out... and is then completely fine once these two swap spit. Phew.
- Emily also tells us "a bridge brings two things together," you know, just like her and Ben in this case. They both agree there's now absolutely nothing they can't conquer together. Sorry, other ladies. The show is clearly over, right? When's the wedding?
- The group date consiss of ABC renting out a steep street in San Francisco and covering it in snow. The women act shocked, though all also happen to be wearing bikinis under their clothing. Ben goes shirtless.
- "Kacie B went down more than any of the girls," Ben says, making it clear why he's been keeping her around.
- All agree the street skiing was the best time anyone has ever had in the history of the world, and the party then moves to some outdoor bar/restaurant with a waterfall. Back at the hotel, though, Brittney receives a card and a request for a one-on-one date, but her lack of excitement leaves the other women utterly baffled. They are speechless.
- Brittney decides to leave the show. Ben tries to act surprised and/or as if he knows her name and actually sent her the date card. But her leaving does have a drastic effect: he tells the camera that it makes him realize any of the women could leave at any time. Yes, folks, they possess free will!
- Lindzi then gets the date originally meant for Brittney, which involves a private trolley tour, an ice cream run (Mocha Chip for both, solid choice), dinner at a speak easy, a concert by Matt Nathanson and a trip inside a piano store.
- Ben refers to Lindzi as a "complete woman" and "something special" and she says "nothing can ruin tonight." Cue something ruining tonight in 3... 2... 1...
- So this woman was apparently sent home on Brad Womack's season and has now decided she likes Ben and wants to compete for his affection. Has she ever actually met Ben before? It's unclear but unlikely, as each refer to having "spoke" to each other before once they actually come face to face here.
- She just wants a chance and asks Ben if she can play a role in the Rose Ceremony. (Doesn't ABC have rules for applying, which it advertises each week? How can a woman just show up randomly because she thinks she likes a guy she has never met before? Doesn't that put her in the same pool as everyone who got rejected by the network? And how can the girls act so appalled when they've known for Ben for about 7.5 seconds? And why am I questioning this as if everyone wasn't let in on the "surprise" beforehand?)
THINGS SAID ABOUT SHAWNTEL NEWTON BY OTHER CONTESTANTS
- She has "thick thighs."
- She's a "bitch."
- She's "dumpster trash."
- She's "Brad's leftover."
- She "drinks people's blood."
THE ROSE CEREMONY
- Lindzi and Emily already have roses from their one-on-one dates, while Rachel was given one at the group date.
- After asking Kacie, Elyse, Jamie, Jennifer, Casey, Blakeley, Monica, Nicki and Samantha if they'll accept his rose, Chris tells Ben he's down to his final flower. He knows this... but he gives it to no one! Shawntel is left stunned by this diss, later telling the camera that Ben has feelings for her but could not be a man about it.
- Erika proceeds to drop to the floor and hyperventilate.
THINGS THAT DID NOT ACTUALLY HAPPEN ON THE SHOW, DESPITE WHAT WAS SAID/DEPICTED
- The girls seeing Ben and Emily climbing the bridge via telescope.
- Ben playing the piano.
- Shawntel's call to Chris, in which she said she was on her way.
- Lindzi's boyfriend of a year and a half dumping her with a text message that read "Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You."
NUMBER OF KISSES TO DIFFERENT WOMEN THAT LASTED FOR MORE THAN 1.5 SECONDS
NUMBER OF WOMEN BEN SAID "SPARKLED," WHILE SAID WOMAN WAS WEARING A SPARKLY DRESS
- One (Kacie B.)
LINE OF THE NIGHT
- WHO IS SHE? - personal trainer Elyse, reacting to the arrival of Shawntel, clearly contemplating a bench press of the stranger off the balcony.
DISS OF THE NIGHT
- She's the kind of the girl your boyfriend cheats on you with. - Courtney on Blakeley
MARTYR OF THE NIGHT
- Courtney, who told Ben she can "carry the weight" of all the female drama because she has "big shoulders."
So... what did you think of Shawntel's arrival? Should Ben have kept her around? Was it fair? Are those two totally meant to be together, if only Ben would man up? And how awful of a human being does Courtney appear to be?