Episode 3 begins and we realize that we’re STILL in California. Remember when we went to Norway with Ali, Africa with Brad, and China with Ashley?? Not this time. Bachelor Ben has decided to spend the entirety of his season climbing the coast of Cali, claiming various cities as his “hometown” along the way.
Why did I spend 20 minutes buying into the emotion of small town Sonoma last week, just to be told now that bigger, sexier San Francisco is actually Ben’s hometown?
The girls are thrilled to be in SF as they roll into the city Bachelor style, sipping champagne in a limo at 10am. Emily says that this city is sooooooooo romantic, germ free, and the perfect place to fall in love, and Brittney quickly remarks that she “can see how San Francisco is everyone’s favorite city.” I’m sorry, I love SF as much as the next 25 year old woman, but when did Brittney take a national poll on this topic? I don’t remember being asked this question.
2. The Return of Julia Flajnik
Normally, we don’t get to sit down with the star’s family for a love consultation until the final episode, but ABC has now met the female Flajniks. On day 1, Julia and Mrs. Flajnik negotiated a bolded clause into Ben’s contract, allowing them full contact and contestant screening along his journey of love. No one is getting to the final 2 without Mama Flajnik’s blessing.
So Julia has come here today to
spy on Ben do a 1st check in and make sure things are going exactly as planned. Mrs. Flajnik is also standing by, listening through a microphone chip hidden in Julia’s sweater.
Overall, the conversation is very boring and we find ourselves instead focusing on the tragedy that is Ben’s hair.
Julia ends the convo by reminding Ben of their “what would mom think” agreement, and telling him that she hopes he can be as happy as she is someday, because her relationship is perfect and she definitely didn’t have to put herself through public televised shame to find it.
3. The Classic Fear Facing Date
The minute we saw what this date would be entailing today, we knew that Emily had to be afraid of heights. Congrats to everyone who picked Emily and scored big in our fantasy league this week!
So we know the drill with this date: Emily expresses her fear in a private interview, but agrees to move forward with the task so that Ben does not think badly of her and send her home for being a coward. Halfway through the experience, she goes through a full-on panic attack, and looks to Bachelor Ben to comfort her. Not surprisingly, all it takes is 5 minutes of making out to convince her that she is no longer afraid of heights, and this experience is the most ah-mazing one she’s ever had.
Afterwards, she tells us that this near-death experience has deepened her connection with Ben in a big way, and they are now in love. Also, because she went through with the challenge her rose is now guaranteed tonight.
Hmmm…who remembers the Jake/Vienna bungee jumping, Roberto/Ali tight roping, and Brad/Michelle building rappelling dates? Same date, same music, same tears, same kiss. We’re all bored.
So the best part of this date was actually the fact that the producers planted a telescope back in the girls hotel penthouse, and guided them to discover it at the exact moment that Emily and Ben were making out on top of the Bay Bridge (no, it wasn’t the Golden Gate bridge like many other less-reputable blogs have reported).
Nicki also had a hicki, in case no one else noticed that.
Later that night, Emily and Ben enjoyed a private dinner on the Pier and the most expensive fireworks show in Bachelor history. I thought it was cute how ABC matched their fireworks to Emily’s dress too.
4. Group “Skiing” Date
I’m pretty sure this date was just set up to humiliate its participants and make the producers laugh. I wonder how much ABC had to bribe SF to shut down a street and blow fake snow all over these innocent bystander’s properties…..
The date starts out with one of the most blatant product plugs that I’ve seen in my television viewing history:
Not only do they show these cars for a full 5 minutes and force one of the girls to announce their involvement, but there are several interior shots and a full-on GPS demonstration during the drive. You’re welcome Honda!
I happen to buy media for a (much higher end) auto manufacturer, and can attest that Honda probably blew their 2012 advertising budget on this one shameless plug.
So then the date begins, and the ridiculousness of the entire thing can probably be summed up best via pictures:
Sidenote: Why is Jamie wearing a belted summer dress? How did she get out of the bikini-and-winter-accessories (i.e. slutty snowbunny) mandate?
Finally, we get a good 10 minutes of laughing in while watching Kacie B from Tennessee as she attempts to ski.
Thankfully she’s hot and adorable. It makes all of this much easier to forgive.
5. Brittney is a Diva
Was anyone else shocked when Brittney the mute received the highly coveted final “hometown” date in San Francisco? The datecard arrived with a complimentary Neil Lane knockoff: a rhinestone “SF” heart key that looks like something a tourist would have negotiated for $5 in Chinatown. Or perhaps something that my 10 year old self would have bought from Claire’s?
I mean, who WOULDN’T want to wear this around their neck:
So then Brittney goes through a really confusing messy-tears breakdown, telling us that she’s not into Ben because her Grandma signed her up for this show and she really doesn’t want to be here.
ATR Translation: Shawntel just called and offered to come back. ABC needs to boot one girl NOW to make room for her. Brittney took their bait (i.e. check) and agreed to walk out.
So that’s exactly what happened.
Nice acting, Brittney! And for future reference, stop wearing really unflattering sleeveless sweaters.
So then Brittney’s exit leads us to……
6. The Classic Private Concert Date
So yeah, this date was totally meant for Lindzi. The producers just teased it to Brittney as a part of her exit plot. I mean, Lindzi hasn’t had ANY dates yet and Ben adores her.
Overall, Lindzi and Ben’s date was pretty standard and resembled something I would imagine two 70 year olds doing on a nice night out: Trolley ride, ice cream cones, concert, a lot of dancing, piano duets, and remembering the good ol’ speakeasy days….
Matt Nathanson shows up for some free promotion and – did you know? – is currently performing nationwide for his “All Night Noise” Tour. Everyone should buy tickets.
But in the end, I’m going to give Lindzi a lot of credit for handling the situation with total class. She acted like the date was meant for her the whole time and was super excited about everything, like she had never been on a date before. I had flashbacks to Tenley Molzahn.
The jury is still out on Lindzi, but I’m warming up to her.
7. Courtney’s Drama Pact
I just love Courtney’s double personality. At the beginning of the rose ceremony, Courtney proposes a toast to tonight’s rose ceremony being drama-free and encourages everyone to be BFFs.
10 minutes later, she calls Lindzi out to her face for the way she “looks at people sometimes” and then storms off, leaving a cloud of confusion and back stabbing behind her. Elyse the man wants to take her out back with some of Emily’s gangster thugs, but Courtney has escaped to the rooftop with Ben and is back to personality #1.
8. Shawntel is BACK
Even though we’re not morons and can totally tell through episode promos and her speaking voice that the mystery woman is Shawntel Newton from Brad’s season, ABC continues to tease us by filming headless shots in the car and playing suspenseful music because they think she’s going to be a total surprise.
When Shawntel arrives at the Fairmont, Chris Harrison greets her outside and immediately scolds her for showing up in tattered jeans, a ponytail, and flats. Wtf, Shawntel. You’re a Bachelor veteran and should know better than this.
He gives her an ill-fitting red dress and some stripper shoes and tells her to pull herself together asap.
Later, at the cocktail party, Shawntel floats in under the radar but is caught by Samantha who yells “WHO WAS THAT??!” in her drunk pageant voice.
All of the girls act like they haven’t been watching this show for 15 years and have no idea who this familiar looking woman is. Ben sees Shawntel and says “Holy S#$!” because he has class like that.
Ben then proceeds to act like a stunned fool the rest of the night: acting uncomfortable that Shawntel was even there, brushing off their history of ”previous conversations” (i.e. tweets), and ditching her in the lion’s den of girls to go distill another glass of Chardonnay. If Ben was smart, he would have ended the game right there and run off with Shawntel, who is clearly smarter and classier than any of the options on the table at the moment. That would have won the award for best season in Bachelor history. Team Shawntel.
9. Erica passes out
Oh Erica, you are just so annoying to me. Your 23-year-old overly-opinionated law student self is just way too much to be on board with, especially when you compare other girls’ thighs to your own or pull dramatic moves like this one:
What exactly were you passing out from? Being hungry? Being too drunk? Chris Harrison’s final rose announcement?
I was so annoyed by the entire passing out scene, between all the girls’ fake concern, Erica’s horrified facial expressions, Emily running around like a doctor, and the delayed annoucement of the final rose recipient.
Ben decides to go all rogue this time around and break some Bachelor rules by NOT GIVING OUT THE FINAL ROSE.
This is clearly deviating off the path of love and all of the girls are horrified at such a bold move. Among the ones sent home we have:
Hot Mess Jaclyn
Guilty of not being sexy Erica
….And Shawntel, out of “fairness” to the other girls he has only known for 2 weeks. Little do they know, Ben grabbed Shawntel’s number as he walked her out and promised to meet up with her at the next Bachelor reunion, or be her power couple match on Bachelor Pad 3.
I’m not giving up on these 2.
Honorable Mention (#11): Ben’s Tongue
…We’re seeing a little too much of it.
Stay tuned for next episode’s Top 10 Moments, from AcceptThisRose.com!