Monday, January 11, 2016

Big Ben: Crazy love

Welcome back to week two of Big Ben.

Did we just see Ben in baby blue briefs? Tighty-blueys? Too much too soon.

Group date starts things off. Drunky gets picked. She's sounding more lucid, but just barely. They're drinking in the limo so we'll see how long her sobriety lasts. They're going back to school to give them a chance to be fun and goofy. It's Bachelor High.

Chris Harrison dresses up as a nerd to show all what he thinks of the teaching profession. He sets them off on a challenge. Not sure what it is, but the winner gets to be Ben's homecoming queen.

Ah, they need to make a volcano explode. I get the symbolism.

Next is bobbing for apples, a staple of every science class. Jackie is not great with her mouth, one woman says. Duly noted. Maybe the gerontologist wears dentures.

Geography is next. They all had trouble placing a state on a map. From their own country. In their defence, there are 50 states. That's a lot to memorize.

Finally there's a basketball challenge. They're flying through all the challenges. Mandi and Amber win, but there can only be one homecoming queen so it comes down to Mandi the ridiculous dentist, racing on the track against beautiful Amber jumping over the smallest hurdles I've ever seen. The Dentist dominated. She gets the crown and sash. They drive off in an open convertible, sitting parade style. That appears to be the sole prize.

Lace's goal is to get the rose, but even more important than that, to make sure Ben doesn't think she's some kind of crazy girl. I like how this is shaping up.

The Virgin's got game. On the basketball court, anyway. She gets some one-on-one time at the evening social and she casually sinks hoop after hoop while chatting with Ben. Ben airballs a shot and immediately blames his tight shirt. It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools.

What's this? Ben moved in to kiss Jennifer. Who is she? She says she could "kiss his face" all night. Then she lets all the others know that they kissed. Lace still says she's gonna get the rose.

Lace interrupts – or pardon, "steals" – Ben while he's sitting with the Ridiculous Dentist. Lace apologizes for her behaviour the night before. She describes her actions as "crazy," falsely giving the impression that it was an aberration, thus giving her more opportunities for craziness. Ben looks a bit like a handsome, young Tom Cruise.

Thankfully Jubileee interrupts them before Lace could kiss Ben. She vows to get more time with him, looking crazy as she sits stewing.

Jubilee tells Ben her story, that she was born in Haiti and spent her first six years in an orphanage. He loves that she opened up to him. They kiss.

Lace doth protest too much: "I'm not crazy," she tells Ben and someone else, "I just need one more minute." She puts on her non-crazy cutesy face. She looks a bit like Sarah Silverman. Everyone looks a bit like someone else tonight.

Ben comes and grabs JoJo and takes her to the roof. There's a helicopter landing pad. Could this mean...? So far, no sign of a chopper. Ben tells her he loves her attitude. They kiss. And they look like they have a special connection.

The rose is next. Ben singles out JoJo and Jubilee but gives the rose to JoJo. No surprise. Jubilee is disappointed, naturally, but not scheming, like Lace.

The News Anchor showed her 23 years when the individual date card showed up. Looking a bit like Cameron Diaz, she sat mouth fully open awaiting the news that Caila got date. Caila, 24, also showed her youth but she wears it better, probably because she's not billed as a "news anchor."

Cute Caila is radiating waiting for her date. In walks Ice Cube and Kevin Hart walk in the mansion. I thought they were bigger than to do a show like this. Go figure. They're going to take Ben and Caila on a drive. The girls think maybe they're at a red carpet event. Cut to: a liquor store. Ice Cube is trying to get Ben to purchase some condoms.

They drive around with the two entertainers in the back seat heckling the date and each other. They end the cheap date at a hot tub store. Kevin Hart joins them in the hot tub then stands up and the producers play the old fake black box gag to give the impression Hart was sitting in there naked. Classic.

At night, the couple is all alone. Hart and Cube are gone and things are not less funny. It's not funny at all, either. But the tone is more serious. They share their stories of heartbreak. Caila's even cuter and cooler than ever. Not cool in the hipster sense. She's just grounded and sincere and wonderful. Obviously she gets the rose.

They see their names in lights and enter a room where some dude with glasses, a vest and guitar gives them a private concert. Both Ben and Caila pretend that they know who he is. Ben even says some nondescript song is his favourite. He's a good company man. They kiss.

The third date card arrives. It's another group date, albeit a smaller one with all the blondes. They arrive at a love lab. They're taking a scientific approach to finding love. They test the visual cortex. It involves retinal tracking. Then they test their odors to see if they are attractive to Ben. Shushanna finally speaks English, revealing she hasn't eaten cabbage in two weeks. Ben sniffs them all blindfolded. The women must love this. He tells Samantha she smells sour. Samantha blames the shirt. So maybe she's a perfect match for Ben, since he blamed his shirt earlier.

Final experiment is body chemicals. Amanda gets first crack at it. Everyone else watches on a monitor their infrared images.

The lowest score 2.42/10 went to Sour Samantha. Ouch. The highest score was 7.45/10 and it went to Open-Mouthed Olivia. You can't argue with science.

At night it's a different kind of science, he says. It's about the chemistry he's feeling. He takes Olivia first and shows her his bachelor pad. They kiss on the sofa. Olivia feels heat in the "stomach... area."

Ben apologizes to Sour Samantha and asks to smell her again. I'd have loved for him to say, "Nope, still sour."

Baby-voiced Amanda tells Ben about her, like, two daughters. Shockingly, he's not, like, shocked. Kids don't scare him, he says. They, like, kiss in between her numerous "like"s.

Rose time. He mentions Amanda and Olivia, and gives the rose to Olivia. She brags, "Two for two. I don't know what rose ceremonies are. Let's end the show right now." Amanda is in tears. She doesn't know if it's worth it for her to be there. I have a new rule. Anyone who threatens to leave or questions being there must automatically be sent home.

Cocktail party time. He aims to talk to all the women, especially the ones he didn't see this week. Or see much of. Olivia, with a rose and another first impression one last week, steals Ben away from one of the anonymous girls (Leah). Jubilee calls her a "selfish bitch." Happens every season.

I love Emily's occupation: "Twin."

Lace seems drunk already. Not sure if she is or if that's just her regular crazy way of talking. She's pouty and sits down with Olivia, talking a mile a minute about being interrupted three times (not mentioning how many times she's interrupted others).

Lace tells Ben she's coming off a "little crazy" right now. He says, "Now?" Boom! How many times has she said that? That should be a drinking game. Ironic, no? She tells Ben she has a very bold personality. At first I thought she said she had a "variable" personality. Both are true.

She tells Ben about how dorky she looked and rambles on about that on the balcony as the others can't help but overhear her down below. Thankfully she's interrupted. She feels she ruined her chances with him and is teary-eyed. Her insecurities came out.

Holy cow, Amber is 30! Did I notice that last week? Usually, that's not old. And in real life it isn't. But this season everyone is so young, it makes her stand out. She thinks she's in last place because everyone's had a chance to talk to him except her.

Lauren B. tells Ben she'd be fine if she were sent home. But not in a snotty way. He tells her he's been thinking of her a lot, so she's probably safe.

Ben takes Amanda aside and has the idea to make some barrettes for her daughters. Yeah, I'm sure that was totally his idea. Totally looks like an arts and crafts guy.

Lace: The person I didn't want to be came out.

Rose ceremony. Open-Mouthed Olivia and Cutesy Caila and JoJo the Unicorn are pre-rosed. The others go in order to:

  1. Amanda Mommy
  2. Sgt. Jubilee
  3. Lauren B., flight attendant, old front runner
  4. Leah the Jock
  5. Becca the Virgin
  6. Rachel the Hoverboarder
  7. Crazy Lace (producer's pick)
  8. LB (she whispers a request to talk to him for a moment. She doesn't know if she can do it. Wah. But she's good on her word and goes home.)
  9. Bennifer
  10. Emily, Ditz Sister #2
  11. Jami, the Canuck
  12. Lauren H., the kindy-garten teacher
  13. Russian Shushanna
  14. Haley, Ditz Sister #1 (fantasy option still open)
  15. Ancient Amber
Half of whom I know.

Okay, quick math. That's 15 roses minus LB's rose, so 14 women plus the three who already had them, for a total of 17 still remaining. I think. By my count there were 21 this week so they went through all that just to send three home (and one left of her own accord).

Wacky Dentist goes back to Portland, Sour Samantha sniffs her way out, and Jackie the Gerontologist goes gently into the good night.

There you go. Thoughts? Ben seems like a decent guy so far. Caila's my new front runner. She's adorable. I can't see her losing control but stranger things have happened.