Monday, February 15, 2016

Bachelor Ben: Blindsided!

The week before hometowns is upon us. But it's somebody's hometown: We're in Warsaw, Indiana, where Ben grew up and went to high school. It's a quaint town where the diner has a hi-tech sign written in chalk that reads, "No, we don't have wi-fi. Talk to each other!" So bossy.

Ben meets an actor couple playing his parents. They're much too young and good looking to realistically be the parents, but whatever. When describing each of the women still left, he avoids saying, "Becca is a virgin." How is that not the go-to description of her?

Ben meets the remaining half dozen on the lake. He pulls up in a boat of some kind. Odd looking thing. He takes them to a quaint house where they'll hunker down for a week.

The last remaining Lauren gets the first date. She's the flight attendant. I gotta remember that. I think I'm finally starting to figure out who everyone is.

Ben drives Lauren around in a red pickup truck. She's snuggled right up to him as he drives. I'm not sure she's wearing a seatbelt, but it's a small town. He shows her his high school, told him he played quarterback on the football team (of course he did), showed him his church, talked about his first kiss in Grade 7.

Final stop, Baker's Youth Club. Ben worked there for four years so he has special privileges that let him park on yellow lines. They walk into a gym full of kids shooting hoops (it's Indiana, recall). The club organizer gets a kid named Halfcourt Ronnie to take a half-court shot. If he makes it, Ben has to kiss Lauren. They gotta come up with better stakes. Halfcourt Ronnie, perhaps unsurprisingly, hits the shot.

The big moment comes when Paul George and George Hill of the Indiana Pacers walk in, pushing Ben and Lauren into the background. But Ben impresses Lauren with the way he interacts with the kids. She says he's going to make a great father. They kiss again, without anyone making a half-court shot first.

At night Lauren wants to bring up the charges brought against her last week by... I forget already. Oh right, Leah. Leah said Lauren wasn't the same around the house as she was around Ben. It all seems like such a researchable topic. Simply ask a few of the others. But Ben trusts her. This date brought things full circle, he says, whatever that means. But Lauren is relieved. Half-court shot!

They end up at Ben's local dive bar, as he calls it. They sit and drink with a bunch of other people. Who are these people? Friends of his? Strangers? We'll never know. Lauren tells the camera she's in love with Ben. She doesn't get a rose, though, only because there isn't one to give out.

The next date goes to JoJo. I haven't warmed to JoJo yet. Nor Emily, for that matter. Probably not Amanda either. That's half of them.

This date is in the Windy City. Chicago? Yes, Chicago. Ben is a huge Cubs fan so they go to Wrigley Field. Ben calls her Joj.

They don some jerseys and play ball. Ben pitches to Joj and she pops one slowly out of camera's eye. Ben says she "crushed" the ball, forgetting that everything was filmed and we witnessed it. They lie down in the outfield and talk, with their images up the big screen.

Ben says he's more himself around JoJo than he is around anyone else. Maybe she's his frontrunner. Not mine, certainly.

At night, a table for two is set up in the outfield. Ben tells us he's falling for her. Is that code? Joj seems less than sure. She tells him she's trying not to hold back. He says when she gets scared, she pulls back. It's clear this strategy is working for her. Or not. Now he tells her he questions to what extent her feelings are there.

She tells him, "I can confidently say that I care about you more than" (hard swallow) "anything." She tells him she's not afraid to fall anymore. She more Team Ben than she's ever been. Home-run! (Or at least first base.) Again, no rose, but no rose to give.

Caila, Amanda, and Becca are going on a group date. That means Emily the Twin gets a one-on-one. She breaks down in tears of happiness.

Come to think of it, Becca is also not on my frontrunner list. To me it's between Caila (1) and Lauren (2). I guess if I were going to put them in order, the rest would be (3) JoJo, (4) Amanda, (5) Becca and (6) Emily. But I digress.

More fun on the lake, this time in row boats. Becca and Amanda in one boat, and Caila and Ben in the other. It's a group date. That's hardly fair.

Then they fly some kites, and sit in a barn with a rose on the line. The rose turns the group date into a one-on-one. Whoever gets it gets to hang out the rest of the day with Ben with the other two going home. Again unfair.

I'm sure the editors are running Amanda's film audio speed faster. If not, she should audition for voice acting work in cartoons.

Becca's been stressed out and tells Ben. She's tightly wound, that one. If only there were some way she could loosen up...

She gives Ben permission to send her home. She whispers, "Just don't blindside me." My best bet: She gets blindsided.

Caila tells Ben she doesn't have deep roots. She moved about 17 times before college. Why is that? Will we ever find out or will this be like the Ugly Toes issue: only hinted at.

The rose is looming. He feels good about all three of them, he tells them. He gives it to Cartoon Amanda, which I guess is no surprise since we saw highlights of Ben frolicking with her daughters.

Becca and Caila sit and mope while Ben and Amanda take off in a limo. Finally Becca cries. She is human after all. She's frustrated and confused and wondering where they go from here. Blindsided, you might say.

Caila is also upset. She's hung up on this community thing, or lack thereof.

Did you know Warsaw is the Orthopedic capital? That's what the sign says. They must be proud.

Ben takes Amanda to McDonald's. Product placement at its worst. How romantic. They were told to order breakfast, I'm certain, since it's a new thing Ronnie Mac's is offering. But at the table, they're eating fries. That's not breakfast food! (Don't you think he should have taken Emily on this date?)

But that wasn't the extent of the romantic date. From fast food to a carnival. Ben says it feels right to be around Amanda, describing her as "funny." Now that's funny!

They do a bunch of rides that scare Ben. He makes a great point: "Fair rides scare me. They get set up in a day." Thanks, Ben. I'll never go on another fair ride.

Last date, this one with Emily. He's on that big, weird boat on the lake. This date is so special she took off her thumb wrap. Caila describes Emily as a "bright-eyed puppy. Everything is new and exciting, but the thing is she's got so much to learn still." Caila, for the record, is 24. But a wiser, more mature 24. Emily is a young 23.

Ben takes Twin 1 to meet his parents. Talking to people can be a difficult thing for her, she admits. She says she needs to not be nervous. And then we see her yammer nervously and nonstop to Ben's mom as mom sits smiling vacantly, especially when Emily admits to dreaming of being an NFL cheerleader. Then dad asks her what she likes doing and she's stumped for an answer. All she can think of is to say she loves sitting around watching movies all day long and doesn't like vegetables. I think she's totally ready... for Ben to adopt.

Mom naturally thinks Emily is too young for Ben. I also think mom is wondering about son's ability to find a life partner.

Mom gets teary with Ben without explicitly stating, "No! Don't choose Emily!" But Ben picks up what she's laying down. I wonder if she'll get sent home from the date. Meanwhile, Emily is oblivious. She's over the moon.

On the boat she says, "Where are we going? You're not taking me home, are you?" Um, yup. Smart move by Ben introducing her to his parents first. Everyone else will look great to them in comparison. He sits her down outside the house with the other girls inside watching and sends her home. She takes it relatively well. Actually really well. The girls inside are shocked, in that special schaudenfreude way. Emily does break down a bit inside telling the girls what happened, but she'll be fine. It would have been an awkward hometown date with her anyway, especially if Twin 2 is lurking.

There are five left. It's four for the hometown dates, right? Who will be leaving? Ben doesn't even seem to know. My guess is it's Blindsided Becca.

Ben tells Chris Harrison there's one person who isn't quite there yet. Caila seems to think it's her. I doubt it. He's not a complete idiot.

The rose ceremony is outside in public. No one is around, though. It would be cool to see passersby. Amanda has a rose already. The rest go to:
  1. The one and only Lauren
  2. Joj
  3. Caila
Bam! Nailed it! They don't call me the Bachelor Blogger for nothing!

I gotta feel for Blindsided Becca. She whispers to Ben on the way out, "Why did you do that?" Now she's telling him, "I asked you yesterday not to blindside me." But does that mean he has to choose her? Any time he sends her home would have blindsided her. But she tells him she'd rather it be now than later if he was uncertain. So she took it well, too.

In the limo she speaks of her frustration. Sh asks herself why she keeps putting herself in this position. She doesn't want to be alone. I think she's going to have to put herself in a different position very soon.

Judging from next week's highlights, looks like we got some fun coming up. My one take-away is that JoJo's brother looks like Greg Brady. Not as much as Ben looks like Peter Brady, but close enough.


jewelyluv said...

Ben is stupid to send Becca home!!! Be careful should be the next bachelorette!!!!!

HP said...

It was a pontoon boat - pretty common over here in MB. Beautiful hometown!

Did you watch the 20 season retrospective special too?