This week’s episode of The Bachelor was one of the most controversial in the franchise history. If you watched, you already know that Ben told two women he loved them and consequentially broke the laws imposed by Bachelor fanatics everywhere. Ben has received a ton of backlash for this move. This week’s episode was pretty exciting and here I have my first guest editor Greg Rom here to give you the juicy deets–
Hello everyone, it’s an honor to provide a guest post this week for a blog that I hold in such high esteem. Special thanks to Brittany for the opportunity and for being one of the only people who can make me feel bad about my current lifestyle…
I’m here to discuss the most recent happenings of one of the most controversial weeks of any reality television show currently on the air. This is of course the “Fantasy Suites” week that takes place each season of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
Each season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette has many similarities, but also very important differences. These differences have become more common as the producers of ABC have become more “Laissez Faire” with their approach the rules of the show. Whether it is something small like whether or not to hold a cocktail party, or larger issues like allowing someone who was previously eliminated or not originally a contestant on the show to re-enter or become involved respectively. But perhaps the biggest choices the star of each season (or the producers) can make each season is if the “Fantasy Suites” part of the journey for love will occur before or after “Hometowns.”
The star of season 20 is the ever popular Ben Higgins who has the personality of the ever unpopular wet blanket. Last week Ben met the families of the 4 remaining women, which included parents, siblings, and in a very rare case, children. Unfortunately for Amanda, Ben decided after approximately two months of knowing she had two little girls that he was positive he did not want to be their father after finally meeting them. So that brings us to the most unoriginal romantic idea ABC had left in the bag; The Sandals Resort in Jamaica.
In case anyone watching at home wasn’t sure how they felt about Jamaica, Ben was there to convince us how great it is with some of his favorite things about the island. But when one of those favorite things is “the water is blue,” it can be easy to remain unconvinced. More from Ben on why he likes it, “it’s great to be here in Jamaica, to just get away from everything and take a deep breath.” Nothing like a vacation with beautiful women to get away from all that vacationing with beautiful women. After Ben is finished providing us with a dumbed down version of the Trip Advisor description of Jamaica we are treated to a flashback of Ben and each of the three remaining women’s journey together. I’m not sure what is worse, the need for a flashback segment during one of the most dramatic weeks of the show, or the actual substance shown in the flashbacks.
Ben’s first date with overnight possibilities is with the always bubbly Caila (just to be clear, when I say bubbly I mean on the verge of bursting at any moment). As the date gets underway, it is clear that the reality that Ben may be in love with one of the other women is setting in for Caila. Then again she may have just been trying to pretend she was on a romantic gondola ride in Venice instead of the painfully boring ride on a wooden raft in Jamaica. Ben on the other hand proclaims, “I’m 26 years old, but I feel like a little kid!” Unfortunately for Caila, that wild raft ride would be the most exciting part of the day, which she quickly found out as Ben interrogated her while they sipped on coconuts together. As Ben’s relationship with Caila has progressed, he has become less understanding. If it is clear to everyone at home why Caila was feeling hesitant and nervous, he probably should know too. Ben decides to keep up the charade for the rest of the day because if Caila isn’t going to tell him what he wants to hear, why should he bother doing any actual thinking? But it works! Caila completely changes her tune when they meet back up later that night and puts the full lips press on “her man.” Ben is so happy he can’t stop smiling, while also being completely surprised at what had just happened. The two sit down and start to talk (Caila does the majority of the talking for the rest of the night). She tells Ben it meant so much to her that he could see she was not herself earlier in the day and that there has been something on her mind for a long time…SHE’S ACTUALLY 18 YEARS OLD!! Alright alright, that’s not what she told him, she predictably confessed her love for Ben who was obviously elated by the news. So while Ben does not reciprocate the “I’m in love with you,” he smugly kisses her, and then it is on to the fantasy suite. In the morning Ben pulls out one of his best lines asking Caila, “Do you always wake up looking beautiful as always?” He then safely navigates the rest of their time together without telling Caila he loves despite her repeating her claim multiple times. What could go wrong?
Next up is Lauren B, the flight attendant with a personality so fun that she is still referred to by her last initial despite being the only Lauren remaining. She tells the world she feels like a little kid so maybe she and Ben are meant to be together after all! They jog into each other’s arms as has become ceremonial and then the real fun begins. No I’m not talking about another slow boat ride (which does happen), I’m talking about curing cancer! Well…okay actually they just release baby sea turtles into the water under the direction of Steven Spielberg’s dad Mel, but listening to ben describe it, you would think they were actually curing cancer. Thankfully for anyone who does not know much about sea turtles, Marine Biologist Lauren B is here to help, “they are just such amazing creatures!” Everyone feel like they learned something? Okay then moving on, it should be noted that Ben did say something funny while on the date, “I’m surrounded by cuteness right now, Lauren is cute, the baby sea turtles are cute, Mel is good looking.” Bravo Ben, you still suck, but got to give credit when credit is due. A quick summary of Ben and Lauren B’s post baby sea turtle release conversation: they both think the other is too good for them, Lauren B agrees that she is incredible, and Ben confesses to crying while talking to her sister. Moving onto the evening portion of their date with Lauren B sporting a two piece neon pink ensemble that makes her look like a 21 year old girl in Vegas for the first time (think Emily or Haley). With the reggae music playing for a less than enthusiastic crowd I thought ABC might be trying to recreate a scene from the movie cocktail with slightly worse acting. But then one of the following things occurred: Ben and Lauren B hop on the dancefloor where they can’t keep their hands off each other as they dance the night away, or Ben and Lauren B sway awkwardly to the music while exchanging the occasional less than passionate kiss. Obviously no one reading this is picking the choice that sounds like it would be because Ben and Lauren B are the opposite of fun, and they would be right. Their display was a terrible reflection of white people’s feelings toward reggae music and I for one am ashamed. But this lackluster night could only end one way, with Lauren B telling Ben that she is completely in love with him while they are in the fantasy suite. But wait! Don’t skip ahead to the morning yet because Ben just told Lauren he loves her too, and has obviously known for a long time. At this point, the flight attendant by day, Marine Biologist by pretend, is the clear frontrunner. The next morning the two are already calling one another “honey” while they imagine what life together will be like.
The ball is now in JoJo’s court, with the ball of course being Ben, but the comparison is slightly unfair to a ball, which has a better personality. But JoJo wastes no time as she awkwardly jogs to Ben from “so far away” and then latches onto him like a big breasted koala bear. This is a very smart play by JoJo because everyone loves koalas and the vast majority of guys like big breasts. I’m sure this next boat is going to be even bet…oh man JoJo gets a helicopter ride! It must be special to be the 95th girl to ride in a helicopter on The Bachelor. When they reach their destination JoJo is more excited to see a manmade waterfall than anyone in history. Having said that: waterfalls > baby sea turtles > sipping on coconuts, in the romance rankings. The entire date I was expecting JoJo’s brothers to start randomly popping up and scaring Ben like Kevin Hart in that new car commercial, but they were nowhere to be found. The two sit down after frolicking in the water for a bit and then JoJo becomes the first woman to tell Ben she loves him during the day portion of their date. Ben responds almost immediately that he loves her too and JoJo can’t believe it; “What? Are you allowed to say that?” she almost whispers to him. Being the smooth operator that he is, Ben responds, “I don’t care.” He truly is the bad boy of the software sales world (or whatever the hell it is he pretends to do). Later on that night, Ben explains what happened with JoJo’s brothers the previous week (at her request). I’m not sure if JoJo’s efforts to convince Ben that her brothers just care about her a lot and don’t want her heart to get broken were successful, but they still spend the night together. Maybe not the best way to get a girl’s brothers on your side, but knowing Ben, he probably thinks it was a savvy move. The following morning is filled with cuddling and other confirmations of their love for one another. When it is finally time for Ben to leave JoJo says, “not sure how long it will be, but I’ll miss you.”
At this point Ben candidly tells the millions (too generous?) of viewers that he knows he will have to say goodbye to Caila. He just doesn’t know he will have to do it like a real person as opposed to the usual process of elimination via roses. Caila enters the suite to surprise Ben with the most hopeful of expectations (think Tom in 500 Days of Summer). She even manages to keep a dumb smile on her face while creeping around trying to figure out where he is. When she finally finds him, it’s time to play peek-a-boo and do her best Kirsten Dunst impression with Ben as her Spiderman. This would be their last kiss. They sit down together and Caila sensing something is wrong, but having no idea it involves her, asks Ben what is wrong. He explains that he was just never able to get to the point with Caila that he got to with the other women. But I believe the real gut punch to Caila was when Ben told her that she was everything he wanted in a wife. Caila now seems as confused by Ben as he has always been confused by her. They walk to the car and after a few more reassuring words to make sure she doesn’t go completely off her rocker, Caila is ready to g…NOT SO FAST BEN! She leaps out of the vehicle (still parked so not that cool) and demands more answers. Most women wait until the Women Tell All episode (takes place next Monday) to ask “what happened?” or air their grievances, so we should give Caila some credit for being proactive. Unfortunately, it did not seem like she was able to learn much more about the circumstances that caused Ben to feel the way he did (difficult when you are on emotional overload). As she is driven away her tears can no longer be held back because she truly believed Ben was the one and that they would soon be engaged until just a moment ago. I just hope this experience doesn’t harden her forever, like the girl Corrina who Eric breaks up with in an episode of Boy Meets World for being too happy and perky all the time. Then again, maybe Caila will write a classic song like “You’re Shallow.”
The episode wraps up with Ben explaining what happened with Caila to Lauren B and JoJo as they try their best look even slightly concerned. It is clear that both women are confident in what they have with Ben, but are also understandably insecure about Ben not only being in love with one of them. I hope everyone enjoys the Women Tell All episode next week (I’m rooting for the women to try throwing inanimate objects into Olivia’s mouth) and get emotionally prepared for the finale. Who will make a better impression on Ben’s parents? Will the most unlovable guy out there be able to choose between two women who do in fact love him? Will JoJo’s brothers kill him if he picks Lauren B? So many questions, can’t wait to find out the answers!