Yea, we're back. I wish I could say that excitedly, but let's be real, I dropped the ball here. I missed the first two episodes of Bachelor Ben 2016. I became too preoccupied with these silly little endeavors called "New Years Resolutions." But I finally realized focusing on dumb crap like my physical fitness, continuing education and real, paying career is a waste of time. Is all that important in life? Maybe. But none of that means diddly without the promise of ForeverLove (copywrite - Chris Harrison).
So what did we miss the first two weeks?
Our Bachelor this year is Ben H who made it to the fantasy suites with Kaitlyn because he is predictable and non-intimidating in just the way Canadians crave. He's a boring Indiana boy who sells software, spends time with his family, pretends he's Jimmy Chitwood and preaches on about his heartland values unironically as he prepares to date 28 women at once. Girls seem to like him because he's tall.
As Ben shows off his tallness standing patiently, a bevy of beautiful women file out of the limo to meet the guy they will be competing with 28 others for the chance to maybe or maybe not accept a proposal for a beautiful engagement full of Instagram sponsorships, weird ABC red carpet events and statistically probable public breakup.
A beautiful blonde here, a beautiful brunette there, a red head that has no chance, and a few girls who's hair you don't notice because they're wearing crazy things on their head.
Gotta stand out any way you can, right?! A cowgirl comes with a pony that I'm sure negated any of her perfume. Izzy comes out in a onesie and says "I hope I'm the onesie for you," which was kind of cute. Amanda the MILF comes without her two kids who are surely starving to death alone at home. Jackie the Gerentologist comes with a wedding invitation to their future wedding which seems a little aggressive. Lace asks Ben to close his eyes for a surprise, then kisses him on the mouth because she wanted "to steal the first kiss" which seems a little rapey. Leah the Event Planner hikes a football by bending over in front of him which also seems a little rapey. Matter of fact, I'm going to be sure to remember this valuable parenting lesson if I ever have a daughter, "Don't bend over in front of a boy the first moment you meet him."
Lauren B is a cute flight attendant. Lauren H is a cute kindgarten teacher. Shushanna, a Russian mathematician that most certainly works for the KGB, literally never speaks a word of English. Hot blonde identical twins emerge! Now most of the house is hot blondes that look exactly alike, but these two share DNA and stuff, so hell yea! Another hot blonde is Olivia, a bombshell 23-year old news anchor with the controlled demeanor of somebody who has to report seriously about local school board elections. Olivia understandably gets the first impression rose, which is always the quickest way for the rest of the girls in the house to hate you until the bitter end. So where did all those first impressions take us this week?
To Los Angeles! All that traveling for dates can't come this early. Not all of us can be Aziz Ansari in "Master of None."
First One-on-One: Sexy Stewardess Lauren B
If anybody is grateful to not travel for once, it's the Sexy Stewardess Lauren B, who gets the first one-on-one date. Ben comes to pick her up in a blue t-shirt because he's basic and a vintage convertible because the producers want him to look less basic. They struggle with their hair in the wind as the convertible pulls up to an... airport. So Ben took Lauren B on a date to her day-job.
Well, sort of. This isn't the normal plane where Lauren B knows the location of all the emergency exits and hidden vodka bottles. This is a biplane, a small two-seater that used for twisting and turning stunts and for Indiana Jones to chop up bad guys with. They buckle up in the front and I can't believe Ben didn't ask Sexy Stewardess Lauren B to go through how to properly fasten the seatbelt. I'd either be really good or really horrible on this show.
The plane flies over a bunch of beautiful scenery to which Ben, sitting to Lauren's left, cornily comments, "I have a good view on my left and a good view on my right." That was the boring white guy version of 2 Chainz "Left hand on the steering wheel, right hand on that *****!" Either way, the corniness is enough for the two to clumsily kiss in between smacking their helmets and goggles together in failed kiss attempts. The biplane flies over the mansion and all the girls get all peanut butter and jealous, especially Caila who breaks down into tears. I'm starting to think this will be an extra-emotionally volatile year for the girls. Freakin' millenials.
Caila would be even more jealous when she finds out Lauren B also gets the same hot tub time Caila had last week. The plane lands in the middle of a barren desert where there's only a hot tub, a scene a stranded wanderer dying of thirst surely dismissed as a mirage. Ben gives Lauren B her bathing suit and tells her she can change behind the one lone tree. You know a date is going well when you can convince the girl to get naked behind a tree.
Ben continues his weekly streak of hot tub fetish dates and he and Lauren B cuddle up to talk about how much fun they're both having right now... even though the conversation doesn't seem fun, and they're having it right now, which is also the same moment that apparently all their fun supposedly happening. Even though there's nowhere to plug it in, the hot tub somehow stays warm (probably cuz it's in the friggin desert), the two kiss and we catch a glimpse of Ben's tattoo (probably a poem about his love for hot tubs).
At dinner, Lauren B talks about how much she loves her dad because of how much pride he takes in mowing the lawn. If that's what she likes in a man, her and Boring Ben are perfect for each other. Ben talks about the time his dad had bypass surgery and survived. Lauren B reacts to the story with relief and then, "I want to meet your family." Records scratch, glasses break, and drunk housewives across America drop their wine to scream "Slow down, girl!" at the TV. Lauren B realizes that might have been a little too soon and preaches in the confessional "That's not what I meant... I didn't mean it like that... I just hope Ben knows what I meant." Yeah, we all do. There wasn't much up for interpretation. You want to meet his family.
Lauren B gets a rose and the two dance to my favorite running tradition, a private concert of a band nobody knows. Raise your hand if you know Lucy Angel! Anybody? Bueller?
Group Date: "Love is the Goal"
The group card arrives to invite Unemployed Rachel, Crazy Lace, Desperate Ass Amber, Absent MILF Amanda, "It's Not Just About Sex" Jennifer, Bent Over Leah, Cold War Weapon Shushanna, Kindgarten Lauren H, Big Mouth Olivia, The Twins and Jami the Third Black Girl. These girls typically compete with outfits and catty comments, but now it's going to be in a soccer game. Ben wants to see how these ladies will interact in a team because a marriage has to work as a team. But allow me to be the first to argue that kicking a ball so it perfectly deflects off another woman's head past defenders into a standard-sized net is a completely different kind of teamwork than marriage.
The winners get to spend the night date with Ben, so tensions are high. The teams are split into the Stars, coached by World Cup star Kelley O'Hara, and the Stripes, coached by Alex Morgan. Now forget ForeverLove, I'm just rooting for Alex Morgan.
Everybody's uncoordinated. The girls look great with the high socks, but everybody's getting kicked in the shins. In goal for the Stripes is Crazy Lace who doesn't know she can't pick the ball up with her hands as goalie. Later, Lace lets a ball go over her head, hit the cross bar, then bounce off her butt into the goal. The goalie for the Stars, on the other hand, reveals herself to be one of the greatest keepers in soccer or Quidditch history.
"Beast Mode Emily" earns the nickname Olivia affectionately bestowed upon her. Emily is all over the net, forming a brick wall to save her porous defense's haphazard efforts. The only logical explanation for Beast Mode Emily miraculously saving all these shots is if each shot was kicked by her sister as they communicated with their twin telepathy.
Unemployed Rachel goes down in the crucial moments, and that quitter's attitude is probably why she's unemployed. In overtime, Amber scores the golden goal for the Stripes, and no matter how impressive Emily's performance, we're shown once again that no team can defeat Alex Morgan.
Ben doesn't do the corny thing where even though he said only the winners advance, he brings both teams out of guilt. So the Stripes go home carrying injured Rachel like a baby and the Stars bask in their victory knowing they've
achieved athletic immortality and grown as individuals been invited to a hotel pool deck.
Olivia takes Ben for some alone time immediately after the "Cheers" which seems to be her thing. Then she takes him up to a hotel room to wave below to the other girls from a balcony. Who would've thought the taunting would take place after the sports game? The other girls take advantage of Olivia's absence by finally talking about the obvious flaw for an otherwise breathtakingly gorgeous girl... she has weird toes. Fat toes. Monstrous toes. Toes a pedicurist would cut off so other pedicurists can be saved from the horror. Man, girls look more closely for a flaw in a design than renowned architects.
Somebody tells Olivia about the toe gossip, to which Olivia replies surprised, "My... toes?" Yea, we're all surprised the girls could be so nitpicky. "Yea, I know I have weird toes." What? Holy crap, they actually uncovered an insecurity! I don't even think I've looked at my toes since I played the "this little piggy" game.
Amber gets a rose because she aggressively went for a kiss and Ben probably knows the girls will turn into a mob if Olivia gets any more attention.
Second One-on-One: War Veteran Jubilee
Now, I'm not sure if Jubilee is the kind of war veteran who has seen some stuff or if ABC is embellishing another bio, but for somebody that can handle firearms, she gets weirdly nervous for this date.
My skepticism remains when she proves equally afraid of helicopters, which I assume war veterans jump in and out of all day, every day. She jokes about her fear of helicopters and asks the girls, "Does anybody want to go on my date?" All the girls get really offended by that question because they love getting offended. Instead of getting offended, I wish one would have screamed "I'll take it!" and called her bluff.
The helicopter lands at a luxurious day spa. Jubilee is wearing an elegant white dress, a strategy Lauren B used in her one-on-one date, convincing me ladies want to wear a white dress so the guy subliminally thinks of them as marriage material. Ben's again wearing blue because it's the only color Basic Ben knows how to wear.
Ben tells Jubilee he wanted to see what a normal day would be like together. Somehow Ben's "normal day" involves taking a helicopter to a luxurious day spa to eat caviar and swim in... you guessed it!... another hot tub! Seriously, kudos to your hot tub game, Ben.
Jubilee is joking with Ben in the hot tub, calling him "white boy" to see how he reacts as a white boy. He takes it well, as any white boy who plays basketball should be desensitized to the moniker by this point. Ben and Jubilee enjoy everything but the caviar.
Even though Jubilee proclaims her favorite food to be hot dogs, they still have an elegant dinner. Jubilee opens up about her tragic past. She was the only person of her family to make it alive out of Haiti which gets Ben all misty-eyed. Jubilee sheds some of her hard exterior to reveal her vulnerable core, and Ben rewards it with a rose.
Nice way to keep things light and fun after learning Jubilee's rough history, Ben opens the rose ceremony telling the girls two people close to him died in a plane crash earlier in the day. A somber mood sweeps the house. Ben tells the camera he just wants a girl that can be there with him and can comfort him in a time like this.
Olivia grabs the first one on one time (obvi). But instead of comforting Ben's personal tragedy, she "opens up" by telling Ben how she's never liked her legs and begins to weep when saying that bloggers sometimes call them "kankles." First, get your **** together girl! Dude's going through a personal loss and you want to get all self-absorbed! Boo. Second, allow this blogger to say you have lovely legs, Olivia.
Jubilee, on the other hand, knows how to comfort the man. She sets up a massage table to let Ben relax, even though I'd be scared getting a massage from her fingernails would be like a rub down from Edward Scissorhands. The other girls get jealous, again, and Amber wants to have a talk with Jubilee that Jubilee runs upstairs to avoid. Ben sees this all happening and mediates.
Amber says that the other girls are mad because they didn't think Jubilee appreciated her date enough. Jubilee says she was joking at the helicopter and doesn't want to feel like she's walking on eggshells. Ben says he likes that Jubilee doesn't walk on egg shells. When Jubilee was crying earlier, she said she had layers. Ben said he likes that she has layers. Like any parrot, Ben looks pretty, but his speaking is limited to repeating back what he hears. Either way, he seems to really like Jubilee.
Speaking of girls who don't like the pressure, Crazy Lace has had enough. She doesn't like the person the show is making her become (aka "a drunk"). She needs to do some work on herself (aka "the seven steps to sobriety") so she leaves with her head held high (aka "crying in the rejection limo").
So long, Jami the Third Black Girl! Always remember, adopting stray cats won't make any guys like you more. So long, KGB Shushanna! Turns out you do speak English! Please don't invent the next nuclear weapon aimed at America.
Next week we go to Las Vegas where the ladies not only have to worry about Ben's feelings for fellow contestants, but also for thousands of other ladies advertised on trading cards.
1. Sexy Stewardess Lauren B
2. Olivia Big Mouth B
3. G.I. Jubilee