The Bachelor S01E07: "Week 7"
I could not have been more shocked by how things went down last night. Emily didn’t make the cut over Nicki? Like, Courtney was a done deal from the moment she walked out of Jesse Metcalfe’s arms and onto this show, NO suprise she’s still in it. But NICKI ahead of Emily? Distressed white jeans Nicki?
This has to be Ben’s effort to appease Courtney: Emily has talked multiple shits on Courtney, and he realized he had to definitively choose one over the other. I know there are a lot of Emily fans out there, because of her rapping and general adorableness. Emily has that relatable Ali vibe that eventually won Ali the role of Bachelorette, and I won’t be surprised if the same fate awaits America’s favorite PhD student. But frankly, Emily got on my nerves by picking on Courtney, the same way Ali got on my nerves by picking on Vienna. While Vienna and Courtney were both clearly no match for their respective Bachelors, this game is offensive, not defensive. Its a lot like laser tag: Worry about getting the most points, don’t stand around keeping other people from blasting your base and getting their points. Emily went out of her way to get Courtney off the show, and ultimately it backfired. If she hadn’t orchestrated that rivalry, Emily would be on her way to hometowns, which are coming not a moment too soon. Get Kacie B. out of this humidity!
Lindzi is keeping her hair in order (that name…why do I always see it in crudely sketched bubble letters on lined notebook paper in my head?), but has her voice always been that gravelly? She sounds like a rainstick made out of trash; someone get that woman a cigarette or a drink or an unconscious BFF to walk her outside the club to vomit. Lindzi is basically a business development manager with the voice of Lindsay Lohan. Although to be fair, it might be a cold or an infection from the multiple times Ben stuck his tongue down her throat before, during, and after their helicopter jump into the ocean. I would be hyperventilating before that kind of jump, and to have the Geico caveman grab my head and force a kiss when I’m trying to come up for air—I would have seriously karate-chopped him in the neck.
One of my many many many many many problems with Ben is that no matter how little he cares about a girl, no matter how many girls he has just kissed moments before, Ben is always dogging the girls for more kisses. It's not even that he’s excited about the girl attached to the lips, he just blindly wants to accumulate kisses like a leprechaun with gold or that one Frog who loves the Smacks. You could see Lindzi like just trying to get some air and he’s COMPELLING her mouth into his mouth. Yikes. Seriously claustrophobic.
Courtney had a minor breakdown when Emily got the one-on-one date before her, and she was fully justified. Let’s face it, she is way out of Ben’s league, her one friend in the house is gone, the other girls just literally sit and listen to her unravel while rolling their eyes. For a slightly introverted girl with a unique sense of humor, this is a hellish set-up. While Courtney blows off a lot of steam in the confessionals (she's probably just psyched to connect with whatever cute guy is behind the camera), she hasn’t yet spent any time with Ben gossiping about the other girls. That, of course, changed this week, after she and Ben tromped up a pyramid and she broke things down for him.
We could all learn a few lessons from Courtney. The first and most important one is, "Be pretty." The second is that one way to get the upper hand in a relationship is to tell the guy you’re not so sure about him. Guys are competitive (see: sports, video games), and if you put things in clear terms like, “My spark is unlit. Light the spark” you transform the ambiguous world of female emotions into a more manageable goal, a problem he can solve. I think Ben seriously might have soiled his pants when she said she didn’t feel the spark anymore.
The girls made a huge point about how Courtney didn’t show her true self to Ben; that’s BS. He pinpointed that she is “weird,” something I’ve been saying for weeks. Weird is another way of saying that Courtney loves going topless/is “Pretty Girl Crazy”—it's chaotic behavior only pretty girls can get away with. In Courtney’s case, it's weirdly compounded with being someone who is kind of introverted and probably caught hell in middle school (until she turned pretty in high school).
It's an intoxicating combination, and clearly the climb combined with the Pretty Girl Crazy combined with the high altitude gave Ben a vision of the present, past, and future guided perhaps by a spirit animal sent by his dad. Whatever it was, sitting on top of that pile of Mayan skulls, Courtney clinched it. She CLINCHED it! Later at dinner, she had a couple drinks, got a little catty, and called the girls “vanilla” (not that damning, and kind of true, frankly), but regardless, the race is now for second place, because she’s got first. Lindzi or Kasey B., go get that silver medal!
The group date started as hellishly as possible—with Ben waking up the girls and sitting around while they rushed to get ready. The nightmare was just beginning.
The premise of the group date (already an awkward set-up) was for three girls to wake up at dawn, slap on their makeup, down some mimosas and go swim with some effing sharks. I want this show’s insurance, but seriously, when did these dates become a parade of nightmares? Didn’t it feel like the beginning of a SyFy horror movie, those three tanned ladies on a boat staring down at MOTHA EFFING SHARKS in the water, all ridiculously drunk? Rachel was the only one sober enough to be properly upset at the idea. KaCee will do anything to get Ben’s approval with her serious case of Stockholm Syndrome, and Nicki just does not want to go home and start paying rent again.
All three ladies survived, and then once Kazee B got the rose, the other two girls, figuring the jig was up, launched a campaign against Courtney that was as vague as it was inflammatory. Their accusations boiled down to, “She is Pretty Girl Crazy and doesn’t talk about you with enough rapturous devotion.” Thanks, thought police!
Did you notice the jaws drop when Courtney said, “Ben isn’t the only guy in the world" at the rose ceremony? Considering half the girls are going home, it's a positive message to say that leaving the show doesn’t mean you’re damned to die alone. Emily started immediately whispering and flipping out about that simple statement, “Ben isn’t the only guy in the world.” And it was like, CHILL, Emily, CHILL. If we were in Puritan days you’d be the first one hopping up in church yelling “Goody Courtney be a witch an’ all the fires of hell be upon her!” and setting up a stake. Even if Courtney deeply loved Ben (she doesn’t), this statement would be completely fair. To be honest, I think at this point Courtney is just enjoying being the odd man out and would rather ruffle feathers than quietly take their shunning. Good for her!
Ben pulled Courtney aside, because apparently it's one of his worst fears to have an unpopular wife (one day, he may be Mayor of both his hometowns, Sonoma and San Francisco, simultaneously), but she basically talked him off his ledge, using the kind of language about how she can adapt to different situations that is usually reserved for second interviews at dream jobs. And since Ben is probably less concerned with finding a suitable life partner than he is with having a suitable partner for the overnight dates, he didn’t turn it into an Indiana Jones-themed interrogation. He just gave her that rose, leading to the most charming soundbyte of the season: Courtney's atonal, sing-song, "Seeya wouldn't want to beeya!"
Emily seemed chagrined by this turn of events, but cheer up Emily and fans—I fully expect her back for The Bachelorette.
... Courtney for the win, right?!
... Swimming with sharks, helicopter jumps: Is Ben an adrenaline junkie or is ABC trying to pull some kind of insurance payout?
... Will Emily be the next Bachelorette (after Emily Maynard, anyway)?
... Can Kasee's earnest love defeat Courtney's pretty-girl crazy?
... Is Ben weird or is he just allowed to live in a whimsical suspended adolescence because he's super rich?