Well, so much for Ben's balls. After this trainwreck of a night, we couldn't find this guys nads with a search party of Rangers and bloodhounds. Shame, especially for people like me who wanted 'ol Stormhorse for the role. Better luck next time, I guess. Future Bachelorette Emily Maynard is likely to have a bigger set than Mr. Flajnik, but I get ahead of myself. I've got to recap three decent dates, before I chronicle the emasculating trainwreck at the end, so let's get to it.
Sister Julia: Keeper of the Flajnik Gonads
Our evening begins with Ben wandering the hills and streets of San Francisco like he's looking for Michael Douglas and Karl Malden, but instead he meets up with his sis Julia (Who looks so much like Shawntel Newton it's scary. More on her later) and tells some lies about the women he's hauled to town with him. He and sister Julia have a sit-down as trolleys pass by and Ben shows total ignorance of his harem or just decides to BS his sister to death. He lauds the women he has in tow as being "…Independent, educated, self-sufficient…" he left out "catty, bitchy, self-involved" and "mean as rattlesnakes" but once again, I get ahead of myself. Julia, we learn, has managed to find a boyfriend without the help of Chris Harrison, and is clearly nobodies push over. Hey, maybe she got all the balls in the family by accident? Regardless, after assuring Julia just how much she is going to love his mean-assed sorority girls, we see said girls heading into San Francisco by limo so they can be penned up at the local Fairmont Resort.
As soon as the women inhabit the Fairmont, in strides Chris "Wingman" Harrison in his casual day attire to spell out the date list for the week, (one group date and 2-1 on 1's) before he slithers back across state to Burbank to finish auguring his soon-to-be-cancelled game show into the ground. With You Deserve It! cratering and the international travel about to begin, Harrison has kindly consented to show up and do his "job". Mighty big of him. He quickly reminds the long clawed felines that they had damn well better act like psychotics or they will find themselves trapped in their gilded cage and getting a bus ticket back to wherever they came from, pronto-like. Harrison plays guru, "..not everyone will get a date, so my advice to you is whenever you get time with Ben, rip the others girls' hair out and make a total ass of yourself..". The message clearly delivered, Harrison drops the first date card and we're off.
P.H.D. on a Highwire
Elyse, the physical fitness Nazi, gets up and reads out the name of Dr. Emily; and lets her know that since she told the show's "psychologist" that she has a paralyzing fear of heights, Ben and the producers have arranged some highwire stunt to have her pissing her pants. Ben greets her with a tepid hug in a San Francisco park and lets her know they are going to be climbing the Bay Bridge. Emily starts her pants pissing and off they go. Secured to the bridge with multiple safety loops, hard hats, a camera crew, and about 12 safety inspectors, they begin their ascent of the bridge. About halfway up a steep climb, Emily starts to freak out and the cameramen try and induce audience vertigo by swinging their mini-cams around like it's the fucking Blair Witch Project, and Emily freezes. Seeing the time for heroic action has come, Ben springs into Stormhorse mode and tries to solve her problem the way he tries to solve every problem: he kisses her. Buoyed by his hormones or the fumes from his cologne or whatever, Emily stabilizes and finishes the bridge climb so they can "overcome their fears" just like half the couples on every season do. I'm shocked Fleiss didn't make them bungee jump off the damn thing. Regardless, they take in the beautiful views and we're left to guess how in the hell they got down. As darkness falls, they go to dinner alongside the Bay Bridge. They sit and don't touch their food, and have a talk. Emily lets him know that Match.com thinks she should date her brother (maybe Ben needs to date his sister?) Anyway, Emily shows off her high I.Q. and he basically tells her she's too damn smart for him and he's actually looking for a causal hook up, or something similar.
Back at Resort, Casey. S and Nurse Jamie--both former mutes--get to speak as Jamie reads off the group date card. She calls out: Boom-Boom-Blakely; Pig Snout Jacklyn; Sweetie Pie Kacie B.; Erika the Dress Filler; Samantha the Pageant Queen; Herself; Bi Monica; Chain Smokin' Rachel; Nicki the Narrator; Elyse the Fitness Nazi; and Former Mute, Casey S. to cross something off our "Leap list"? Apparently Chain Smokin' Rachel knows what a leap list is and she explains so the rest of us will have some clue. It's apparently like a "Bucket List" but not as good. Whatever. Back at the Bridge, Emily gets the rose and Ben makes out with her as fireworks explode and the other girls correctly assume she got the flower.
Snow Blowin' in Haight Ashbury, in Bikinis Too.
Ben drives a caravan of babes to a side street they've closed off and filled with fake snow. The girls boot up, dress down, and go snow skiing down the street. Several nearly kill themselves. Sweetie Pie Kacie B. falls a bunch and asks "How do you stop?" A second later she crashes into a wall, making her query rhetorical. Then for her Grand Finale, she spins around backwards, grabs ground like she's at the proctologist and slams into a wall assfirst, but manages to finish with a scarf-toss flourish that earns her extra points. Other girls sloop around and fall and basically look hot enough to melt the snow while thousands of onlookers snap pictures and upload them to their Twitter accounts so we can all enjoy early spoilage during filming.
Back at the Resort, Lindzi the Misspelled and the other leftovers whine about getting a date. All but Granny Panty Brittney, that is. When the date card arrives, Dr. Emily reads off Brittney's name and hands her a garish key-to-the-city necklace to go with it. Brittney stares at the necklace and looks like she drunk something foul. She then makes it plain she would rather skip the date…hell with that, she'd rather skip Stormhorse all together. Betting money is that she was only called out for 1 on 1 dumpage, but she makes it pretty clear that she'd rather dump herself than let Ben do it.
We rejoin the ski date and find that darkness has fallen as Ben's taken the girls to someplace name Tonga, that he assures us is an "iconic landmark". It has indoor rain pools and does indeed look cool. Ben then predicts, "No drama", and we all laugh collectively, and I can again hear the strains of My Sharona! as Ben is again wearing a black vest. Boy am I sick of hearing what a fashion plate this guy is. Listen folks; just check the cover of Get The Knack!, circa 1977, and you'll see he's merely stolen Doug Fieger's wardrobe and haircut. Fashion plate, my ass. It's like some long-haired, fat guy growing a beard and wearing a tie dye like Jerry Garcia being told he's a trendsetter. Anyway, Ben moves quick and steals a few moments (and kisses) with Chain Smokin' Rachel. Speaking of 1977, just how much does this chick look like Olivia Newton-John? Spooky. He then takes Sweetie Pie Kacie B. for a walk so he can make out with her too. Boom-Boom Blakely is up next, and after her unpopularity explosion last week, she is a mere afterthought. Elyse, the Fitness Nazi is up next to play her role as the one who can't say three words to Ben without someone breaking in. This particular someone is Granny Panty Brittney, who arrives to break up Ben's no-drama party by injecting some drama; namely, that she's hitting the bricks and will catch the rest of this pukefest at home with her Granny Sheryl. Fuming that she dumped him before he could dump her, Ben walks her out and then sulks that she cocked blocked him from treating her like cannon fodder. He heads back to the party and acts like getting dumped doesn't bother him, then hands the rose to Rachel. Then we see a call coming in for Harrison from a "Mystery Woman" who is only a mystery if you don't watch the promos for this show or read anything on the internet, where the woman warns Harrison she is on her way to San Fran.
Brittney's Non-Cannon Fodder Replacement
Ben then whines a little more that Brittney got away before he could dump her while using an electric razor to maintain his two days worth of chin growth. Turns out he's preparing for his replacement date with Lindzi the Misspelled. Chain Smokin' Rachel reads Lindzi's name and she departs to dress. We instantly cut to them walking through the city and riding trolley cars and the date is already underway--they need to spare extra time for that trainwreck cocktail party. Ben sets them up with some ice cream before he takes her into Chinatown and they tour the city. The trolley then stops at a locked and darkened San Francisco City Hall, where Ben whips out the key and Lindzi shows us how dense tomboys can be by gushing, "…but Ben pulls out the key and unlocks the door. I don't know who this guy is, but he's amazing!" Yeah, Ben is in tight with the mayor, Lindzi. Anyway, they wander in and out pops some dude named Matt Nathansen, lip syncing his white ass off. Ben dances with her (badly!) and kisses her (even worsely. Yeah, its word cause I say so.) as Nathanson lip mimes some easy whiteboy funk. Ha! He's no Stormhorse, I'll say that. Next Ben takes to her to one of the better places I've ever seen a Bachelor date. It's a San Francisco replica of a prohibition-era speakeasy called Bourbon and Branch, but the gal at the door appears in on the joke:
Door Gal: "Password, please?"
Ben: "Stormhorse, of course."
Yeah, she was in on joke. Anyway, Ben leads the misspelled one inside and through a trick bookcase to a semi-private lounge that does indeed ooze history. Cool. I wouldn't mind going to this place myself. Awesome spot. They sit for dinner and she gets to drop her story of being dumped via text. She relates the purported language of the text: "Babe, welcome to Dumpsville…population, YOU." Real or just made up by the producers, Ben tries not to laugh in her face and makes a note of that one for future use. He preaches that getting dumped makes him a better person and Lindzi heartily agrees with a croak of her frog voice and then he slips her the rose. They cap the date off by crashing another music store with him trying to teach her some piano (and failing). He then plays a few chords as a segue to this years theme song, "This Years Love". They dance. Date over. And we again see the "Mystery Woman" calling Harrison announcing her impending arrival. Harrison giddily announces he will meet her downstairs.
Cocktail Party Trainwreck
The woman flow into the Fairmont Ballroom and Courtney the Sharktress, of all people, leads a toast to a "drama-free night." Turns out she was right: the drama was free of charge. Ben wanders around with a jacket and tie added to his Knack-vest and corners Jennifer the Red. Jennifer, with her red hair flowing is wearing a pink top and orange skirt? She looked like a walking traffic cone. But she exudes her kind charm and soon Stormhorse is complimenting her as the best kisser and dives in for more. Poor Jennifer then succumbs to the Bachelor Bubble in week 3 and announces she is falling in love. It was nice knowing you, Jennifer.
Finally, Shawntel "Munster" Newton, from Brad's season--the worst kept secret this season--gets out of her car and greets the Wingman. Harrison warns her to hustle in and "get his attention." Cue taken, Shawntel heads inside while Private Interviews of Courtney the Sharktress show her raging Narrator Nikki as "an idiot" and Boom-Boom Blakely as the kind of girl "Your boyfriend cheats on you with." Her wonderful edit continues and she is just getting started. After a weird moment between Lindzi and Courtney, Ben takes the model to a hidden location and all but declares he's smitten. She assures him she can handle everything because she's "got big shoulders." Well, there's no denying that anyway. Meanwhile, Shawntel fixes her make-up and heads into the party as (who else?) Elyse the Fitness Nazi, is speaking to Ben on the patio. Shawntel cruises past the other women; some know her, some don't; and heads straight for Ben. She interrupts them and Ben stares at her incredulous. "Holy shit!" He finally hugs her and shoos Elyse away, who glares daggers at Shawntel as every other woman in the ballroom crowd around the doorway to watch them talk. Shawntel tells him she's come because they have talked and she sensed a connection between them. She asks for no decision now but wants to stay until the Rose Ceremony
Elyse sits inside and showing a mouth that looks like it could be used to cut wood for beavers, shrieks: "Who is she!" in a tone like she's trying to supplant Linda Blair if they ever film another version of the Exorcist. Courtney's mouth--never her best feature in the best of moments--peels downward in a skeletor scowl like Joan Rivers' plastic surgeon got ahold of her. And Dr. Emily launches what will become the theme of the rest of the evening, "If she gets a rose, I'm outta here." Ben walks Shawntel back inside on his arm and introduces her to the group. Every eye in the place glares at her and all of them are filled with iced daggers. Sensing impending chaos, Ben, who should have stayed to maintain and enforce civility, lights outta' there like he had a lit bottlerocket stuck in his ass. The second he's gone, they descend on her like wolves. The attacks begin and Courtney finally stands up and stomps away to a nearby room accompanied by soon-to-be-enemy, Dr. Emily. Courtney reiterates Emily's threat; if Shawntel gets a rose she is refusing one. The women--that is every last one of them--by look, word, or private interview--all join in and put on the worst display of mean spirited immaturity in this show's history. The only ones who didn't embarrass themselves (and their parents) were the ones rendered mute by the edit: Jennifer the Red and Nurse Jamie. Even "good girls" Lindzi and Kacie joined in with death glares and Nicki the Narrator settled for vowing never to speak to Shawntel and bawling about it. The rest? They called Shawntel a bitch; ragged her profession; her looks; her character, and basically acted like since she didn't bother to ride in in the limo with them or spend 20 minutes with Ben the last three weeks--like most of them--that she is guilty of giving Crack to 8 year-olds. It was ridiculous, classless, and totally uncalled for. And it was all Ben's fault. Don't like that? Tough! He's the Bachelor! Can you for a moment imagine Brad Womack, for all his faults, putting up with that shit for a minute? A simple game of "You're a psycho; no, you're a psycho!" got women a Greyhound Bus ticket home on his seasons. Or Byron Velvick? He had two women return in his third week and HE decided who stayed and went. One of those returning women had a 5 year relationship with him too. Hell, DeAnna Pappas would have showed enough Sack to stay in the room and command order. There's no excuse for it. Ben abandoned her to the sharks. Suck move, Stormhorse.
Already safe: Dr. Emily (Looked great; but mean as hell too); Lindzi the Mispelled (great and not as bad as others but far from awesome); Chain Smokin' Rachel (acted like a total bitch)
The Wingman finally appears with a cringing Ben in tow as the Palooka Stagehand lines the women up on their dais. Harrison signals and so it begins. Despite being absent and letting Shawntel get savaged, this is Ben's big moment. I edge forward on my seat and cross my fingers: Will Ben Show Some Sack and Bring This Herd to Order?
He reaches into the flower dish, spears a rose, and calls out:
1) Courtney the Sharktress: Courtney descends from her spot atop the woman pyramid and basically tells Ben she'll only accept the rose if Shawntel doesn't get one.
I wait like the women for his response but I cheer him on: "C'mon Ben!"
Ben…folds like a cheap card table. Oh, Son! I was so begging for his sister Julia to come stomping into the ballroom, hip check her brother out of the way, grab a flower and take charge:
"Listen up, you catty bitches! I'm the Bachelor! I pick who stays and who goes! Not you! This is MY journey to find a wife! Not your chance to decide who will be your middle school sorority sister these next few weeks! Behind me is a door; past that door is a few million tons of bricks, and attached to those bricks is a yellow taxi cab! If any of you aren't ok with that, I suggest you hit those fucking bricks right now!"
Had Ben done that, the next time he reached into that flower tray and looked up, he'd have been met by less pairs of eyes staring back at him, but those eyes would be filled with respect, and they would KNOW he means business.
But alas, Ben is no Julia. He hands Courtney the rose as she smirks and returns to her throne atop the pyramid and the season is OVER.
The vulture troupe, now certain they can roll this guy like a drunken sailor, descend for their flowers while Shawntel stands there humiliated:
2) Sweetie Pie Kacie B.: Still a sweetie but not as sweet after that.
3) Elyse the Fitness Nazi: I love her looks, but wow.
4) Nurse Jamie: Bless you, you sweet classy little thing.
5) Jennifer the Red: It was nice knowing you and I do MEAN that.
6) Mute Casey S.: Once again, being mute is golden on this show.
7) Boom-Boom-Blakely: edit rendered her tolerable.
8) Bi Monica: drunk as usual, but the edit spared her having to explain being an awful bitch…for this week anyway.
9) Nikki the Narrator: Melts down and acts catty too, but lacked the venom of others. Still looked about 12 though.
10) Samantha the Pageant Queen: Edit was kind.
Ben holds the last rose and starts his preamble before Erika the Dress Filler overcome with the emotion of calling Shawntel "fat" collapses on the stage. When we return, the palooka lines 'em up again as constant voice overs let us know they are all leaving if he gives Shawntel a rose. They prop Erika up as Kacie B. blames Shawntel for her fainting and the Wingman signals go. Ben bumbles, and stumbles, and refuses to hand out the rose to Shawntel like you know he wanted to. Weak, oh so weak. Even if he thought including her was unfair, even if he thought she was nut and couldn't wait to be rid of her; it was the principle after that set of performances. Knowing Ben, he'll think it was funny in his media interviews. Very weak.
Pig Snout Jacklyn--One of the night's biggest trash talkers runs out to the bathroom with Dr. Emily bawling and is never seen again.
Erika the Dress Filler--Ben walks her over to a duvet and leaves her stranded there like a boat anchor. Better than she deserved.
Shawntel Newton--Ben walks her out as Courtney shouts down at her "See ya!" Ben walks her into the hallway and tells her it didn't seem fair. In private interviews, Shawntel correctly says "If you're looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with, what's fairness got to do with it?" She accuses Ben of not "being man enough." Inarguable. One also gets the certain impression more passed between these two than a few flirty Tweets too. Hope you sell some books on dead people dear.
Ben Flajnik: Dumped by Granny Panty Brittney--who carries with her with glow of a Nobel Laureate for getting the hell out of there when the getting was good.
Next week: They head to Utah to continue the search the Ben's balls--I expect less than success.