I’m on BENded knee…
Here’s to New BENginnings? Let’s Kick it Off With a BENg? BEN There, Done That? All About the BENjamins? Is anyone else sick of all the Ben plays-on-words yet? I think they started this with The Month of Juanuary with Juan Pablo, and it’s gone downhill since. Actually, no – Juanuary was pretty much the worst. Whoever started this trend needs to get BENt. A couple of house cleaning items before we start:
-Big personal news over the past few weeks: The Boy is potty trained. Two weeks after his 2nd birthday and he’s in Elmo underpants full time. He’s still a fusion-powered bullet train of insanity that makes me want to put my head through a wall (specifically, the one he COMPLETELY covered in crayon), but as of now, there’s one less tiny human that needs a diaper change, and I love him for it.
-I read an article recently that researchers at CSU Fullerton discovered that people lie more convincingly when they have to pee. Makes you look at Shawn Gosling’s post-argument bathroom trips in a new light, doesn’t it? Kaitlyn: “Are you sure you’re ok with everything I just told you about Nick?” Shawn: [head about to explode] “Yeah. I’m fine. I need to take a leak…”
-I was going to put together a pre-Kick Off best-of post with all the stuff I wrote about Ben last season. The problem is there wasn’t anything. All I had on Ben was him rowing across some Irish lake to play hide-and-seek on an island. I know it was all about Nick vs. Shawn, but he did literally nothing last season. I hope the ladies are nuts, because Ben certainly won’t be providing any drama.
And drama we will have! Romance, tears, playing of games, Hoover Dam – and we’re only 1 minute, 7 seconds in before we hear one of the ladies say “When I put my mind to something, I don’t let anything stand in my way.” That didn’t take long. I think The Producers just treat this show like a Mad-Lib at this point.
Let’s Meet the Family (for the first time) and Sean Lowe (for the 3,897th time)
Ben shoots some baskets behind the barn (Hoosiers!) and then we get a tour of Warsaw, Indiana, where he shows us the movie theater where he had his first kiss, and then got dumped. Like, literally right after he kissed the girl. Was it a terrible kiss? Or just a crappy movie? Who knows, but no wonder the guy feels unlovable; that’s downright traumatic. Off to Friday Night Lights, where the cheerleading squad is bigger than the football team. Next up is Mom and Dad, and they have some nice digs. A house on a lake with a dock and a boat? I love boats. Maybe I’ll marry Ben… Anyway, back to LA.
Nice ride. My first car was a ’67 Mustang, but it was a piece of crap. The brakes didn’t work and the steering wheel fell off once, while I was driving. You know why insurance companies exist? Because of 18 year-olds driving muscle cars with no steering wheels, trying to stop with the emergency brake. I miss that car. Let’s get some advice from 3 of America’s favorite Bachelors!
We’re not really America‘s favorites so much as America‘s most-available-on-short-notice…
Hey, look! It’s Sean Lowe! I never expected to see him here! It was before my time, but Lovely Better Half tells me that Jason Mesnick dumped the winning girl during the Final Rose reunion show, and then proposed to the runner-up? Is that right? And Farmer Chris got his Whitney’s confused and waltzed his way straight into single-dom. Are you sure you want advice from these guys? Maybe on where to live while filming DWTS, but beyond that, you’re better off winging it. The guys are actually pretty helpful, and Mesnick has the best advice of all: “You want to make sure everyone has a really good experience, so bang ’em all, and then propose to two girls. That’s what I did.” He didn’t really say that last part, but it would’ve been funny. And I don’t know how hot it is, but Ben is pitting out like crazy. Which makes it even weirder that The Producers didn’t throw any shirtless shots into this episode. The guy sweats like Juan Pablo locked in room with Chris Harrison. He needs a shower every 10 minutes; it’s not like the crew didn’t have the opportunity to film him. Did they not splurge for Cody-Code’s Patented 10 Week Max-Power Super-Shred Rock-Lifting Neanderthal Workout? Or does Ben have a third nipple? Enquiring minds want to know.
Limos, Limos, Limos
Why am I so happy, you ask? Did I mention that we’re NOT going to Dublin this year?
What’s up with the black-on-black-on-black Don Corleone suit? Did Chris Harrison just get made? Who am I kidding, CH has been a made man for years. Look at that smile, though; that’s the smile of a man who took control of the travel itinerary after last season’s 8-week debacle in the coldest and most overcast place on earth. I previewed the Ladies in the last post, so I won’t recap hometowns, jobs, etc. Here’s the introductory highlights.
Caila – 2nd out of the limo, 1st to jump into Ben’s arms. That didn’t take long. She broke up with her boyfriend when she saw Ben on TV last year? Really? That doesn’t strike anybody else as slightly unhinged? LBH practically fell off the couch every time Shawn Gosling came on the screen, but she didn’t dump me. Yet.
Mandi – From my preview: “Mandi loves Dazed and Confused and she has a tendency to drink too much, so we might have competition for my personal Shawn Gosling”.
Excellent choice, if I say so myself. She shows up with a giant rose on her head and asks Ben to pollinate it later. Love her. Which leads to this conversation:
LBH: Why do you like her? She’s not even that good-looking. Pick a hot one. Like hot-hot.
Me: It’s not about her looks. It’s the fact that she’s nuts.
LBH: Do you think I’m nuts?
Me: Look, the twins are coming out of the limo.
LBH: You didn’t answer my question.
Twins – Emily and Haley
One plus one = twice the fun!
Twins are weird. They talk in unison, finish each other’s sentences, I feel like I’m seeing double every time they’re on the screen – it’s just creepy. Ben looks like he isn’t bothered by it, though. Plus, they get funnier as the night goes on. They embrace the twin thing, don’t take themselves too seriously, and I actually think I’m going to like these two this season.
Tiara – Chicken Enthusiast, Part I
There’s nothing more important than practicing proper dental hygiene with your chickens. Mandi would be proud. And it looks like Ben already made Tiara’s Chicken Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. They’re all there right by the window: Big Red, Clucky, Ben, and the two Sisters, Original Recipe and Extra Crispy. That’s not creepy at all.
Jubilee – she ain’t wearing fatigues no more. That girl cleans up nicely.
Lace – wearing lace. Clever.
Lauren R, Math Teacher
Lauren: Dude, we had SOOO much champagne in the limo.
Ben: That’s great! What’s your name?
Lauren: Like, there were so many bottles…
Ben: Uh-huh. And you are?
Lauren: Find me later, I’ve got something special to show you. [whispering] I found the production crew’s hidden bar…
Ben: Hey! What’s your name?!
Leah – event planner. BENds over and hikes a football.
Joelle, real estate developer –
Why the long face?
Maegan, cowgirl – brings an actual mini-horse, which proceeds to assault one of the other contestants:
Hey! This is a real Versace knock-off! COWGIRL! GET YOUR HORSE OFF OF ME!!
All I know is that thing better not take a dump on Chris Harrison’s rug, or it’s head is going to end up in Maegan’s bed tonight.
Rachel, unemployed – shows up on a hoverboard, which promptly lights her legs on fire.
Izzy, graphic designer – shows up in pajamas. She’s gone tonight.
Tiara, chicken enthusiast, Part II – doesn’t bring a chicken on night one, and now I owe Lovely Better Half $1000. Thanks, chicken lady.
Jackie, gerontologist from San Francisco (yay) – gives Ben a wedding invitation with the hashtag #tohigginsandtohold, and The Producers are absolutely kicking themselves right now. That’s the best hashtag of the season. How did no one else think of that? Well done, Jackie.
Olivia, news anchor – who can’t seem to remember what she was going to say. What, no teleprompter? These people really are Ron Burgundy. Wouldn’t it be great if she accidentally says “Go fuck yourself, Ben Higgins” at some point in the season?
Cocktail Party – The Long Slow Decline of Lace the Inebriated
Ben takes a minute to call his parents. I know he’s only 26, but does he still have to check in? Dad tells Ben to have fun with his friends and not to drink too much, but if he does, Dad will drive him home, NO QUESTIONS ASKED, and then Ben goes to mix and mingle with the ladies. Some one-on-one highlights:
Mandi steals Ben away first to give him an oral exam. Ok. She knows people don’t actually like going to the dentist, right?
Caila and Ben bond over software – pretty hot and steamy.
Ben looks like he digs Lauren B the flight attendant. LBH and I don’t really get it, but hey, I’ve said it before – sometimes you just like the way someone smells. You can’t discount chemistry. I’m going out on a limb and calling a Final Four based on tonight’s one-on-one.
Jennifer the small business owner says her two must-haves are strong morals and physical attraction. I like this girl. She’s my favorite one on the show, by a landslide. Nothing bad to say about Jen (except Mandi’s crazier…ergo, still my personal Shawn Gosling).
Olivia the news anchor finds her teleprompter and says “I feel like I left a good life to find a great one. Stay classy, Ben Higgins.” She’s a pretty girl and that was a good line. Perhaps another Final Four contestant.
We cut to Chris Harrison, who has another shit-eating grin on his face.
Man, I LOVE throwing grenades into the room…
Looks like a twist! And here come Becca and Amber, which sends the whole house into a tizzy. Everyone’s pissed off, because they think these two have some kind of advantage based on the fact they’ve been on the show before. Enlighten me – what exactly is that advantage? Amber couldn’t land a guy on the booze-soaked free-for-all that is Bachelor in Paradise. Becca is still a virgin, and (despite Kaitlyn’s suspicions to the contrary) Ben is most certainly not. If I’m one of the other contestants, I haven’t seen anything out of these two that gives me cause for concern. But hey, what do I know? Free alcohol and low-confidence levels can do funny things to a person. Speaking of which….
Lace’s version of her night with Ben:
Sooooo, I kissed him when I got out of the limo, and it was so pashher, passha, pashernet, that honestly, like, NONE of these other girls have a chance. Like, NONE. And I don’t know why Becky and Antler are here, like it’s not fair, and they had their chance and I don’t think it’s fair because Becky has done this before, and NO ONE, I mean NO ONE is going to stop me from getting my rose. So anyways I think I made out with Ben again by the pool, and he told me everyone else here was totally shady and – can I get another wine glass? Wine glass? Where’s Jorge? – and I felt so good about it, and [slur, slur, incomprehensible, slur] and I don’t know why I’m crying again, and he won’t look at me. He hasn’t looked at me at all, and I haven’t even talked to him ONE time tonight, and Antler’s talked to him like 18 times and he’s all googoogaagaa over Becky and who wants a virgin anyway and I’m GOING to get that rose! As soon as I find my wine glass…JORGE!
Ben’s version of his night with Lace:
Who? Oh yeah, she seemed nice. I think she drank a little too much, but that can happen on the first night. It’s a really long night. What was that? Yeah, she tried to kiss me again on the patio, but if I made out with her, the whole internet would be saying “Ben Higgins mauls drunk chicks”, so a I played it cool and backed off. What was that? She was crying?
And the winner of the First Impression Rose (TM) is Olivia! Lovely Better Half: “Her eyes are too far apart, but Ben’s are too close, so their kids will be perfect.” And that’s why I love her, ladies and gentlemen.
The First Cut
You may stay:
Olivia – First Impression Rose (TM)
Lauren B – flight attendant, smells nice
LB – Fashion buyer. Please tell me that’s the last Lauren he picks
Caila – sparkly, dumps guys for people on TV
Amber – could she do the unthinkable, and go from Bachelor to Paradise to Bachelor and then back to Paradise again? Dream the impossible dream…
Jami – Bartender, Chicago
Jennifer – business owner, my favorite contestant
Jubilee – military vet
Amanda – esthetician from OC, 2 kids
Jojo the horse-head girl
Leah – event planner
Rachel – unemployed, enjoys defying death on a hoverboard
Samantha – attorney. Is she a smoker? Her voice sounds like mine through most of my 20’s
Jackie – Gerontologist, good to see San Francisco stick around for one more week
Haley – twin #1
Emily – twin #2, and the one Ben really wanted to pick, but he couldn’t tell them apart
Shushanna – mathematician. Did anyone hear her speak one word of English tonight? Nyet?
Lauren H – Kindergarten Teacher. Can we get rid of one Lauren, please?
Becca – dude. This has to be a Producer pick
Mandi – thank you. By the way, Lace thinks Mandi’s really weird, for whatever that’s worth.
Lace – because you can’t be crazy enough or drunk enough to get sent home on the first night.
Breanne – nutritional therapist, I’m personally offended by the way she brutally massacred all that bread. Really cute, though, and I would have picked her over Lace
Izzy – You know that old saying, “there’s no such thing as being overdressed”? Don’t wear pajamas to a formal party.
Jessica – Accountant, another really cute girl I would have picked over Lace
Laura aka Red Velvet – I guess he doesn’t like red heads; he’s missing out. I thought she was cute and fun. Another one that makes the cut ahead of Lace for me.
Lauren R – Math teacher. Alright, now I’m seriously questioning Ben. LBH and I both agree that Lauren R is flat-out beautiful, plus she’s a math teacher, so she must have a brain. Not only would I have picked her over Lace, I would have picked her over all the other Laurens.
Maegan – and the horse she rode in on
Tiara – should’ve brought a chicken
For those counting at home, that’s no less than 4 girls who are not only prettier, but a lot less drunk and a lot more stable than Lace. As Ben said, it’s a long night. But not as long as this season is going to be trying to deal with Lace’s mood swings. As if on cue, she pulls Ben aside after the Rose Ceremony:
You didn’t look at me once tonight, and you didn’t make eye contact with me during the rose ceremony. It really makes me question where our relationship is at, when you can’t even look me in the eye! What’s that say about us, Ben? Would you rather someone else was here? WOULD YOU?!
Who IS this girl? I gave her a rose, right? She’s not one of the ones I sent home? I just want to go to sleep…
Previews! Tropical locations, airplanes, boats, planes that are also boats, balloons, helicopters, waterfalls, fireworks, romance, feelings, love…
….and lying, crying, screaming, fighting, manipulating, panicking, stabbing of backs, and breaking of hearts. So, par for the course, then.
See you next week, folks.
And now, let’s watch Chris Harrison talk to a horse.
I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart!
– They’re doing this again? No Jenny Mollen, though; I guess I wasn’t the only one that found her annoying. In all fairness, though, I’ve perused her twitter account and she’s freaking hilarious. I think it’s hard to be snarky in person. Like, I think this blog is kinda funny (maybe not, I don’t know), but if I said to Olivia “what, you can’t speak without a teleprompter?” or told the twins “it’s creepy when you talk at the same time”, you’d think “this guy’s a dick”. Shit, maybe Jenny and I would get along great.
– Tradition or not, I don’t wear another man’s underwear.
– Crazy Ashley is engaged. Good for her. I hope she and her fiance and her personalities all have a wonderful life together.
– No wedding date for last season’s happy couple, huh? Shawn reassures us that everything’s great with him and Kaitlyn, and then runs to the bathroom real quick…By the way, Shawn Gosling looks like he would rather be anywhere in the world other than on this show right now. Like he thinks Nick is waiting in the parking lot to hash things out one last time.
Hey bro…do you think we can clear the air a little before you guys head to the airport? Oh, hey Kaitlyn!
– Chris Harrison – “Redheads and small horses are deal breakers.” That’s why he gets the big bucks, folks.
– They’re only holding this time slot for 3 weeks until Castle returns? That’s bullshit. Chris Harrison is a place holder for NO man…