Sin City, baby! And as Ben rolls into town in that sweet Mustang convertible, he tells us through voiceover that “people really do come here to find love”, and then I promptly spit my beer all over the coffee table. Ben, people go to Vegas to find a lot of things, and those things may look like love, feel like love, and smell like love. But when it costs as much as a mortgage payment or three, it ain’t love, brother. However, despite what is either naiveté or an incredibly good poker face, Ben is on a mission tonight. So, cut that deck, spin that wheel, and roll those loaded dice, baby – Ben is feeling HOT! Chris Harrison announces the itinerary to the ladies:
I love Vegas. LOVE it! Of course, you guys won’t get to see any of it, because you’ll all be sequestered in your rooms, but I’ll be in the high roller room all week, getting lit-up and playing pai gow. Normally not my game; I prefer Texas Hold ‘Em, but I’m brokering a sit-down between a Jakartan crime lord and my old Triad boss in Shanghai. The Jakartans monopolized orange production in Western Indonesia, and the Chinese control all the shipping, and nobody’s putting anything on a boat until the Chinese get a deal on the price. The situation got a little tense, somebody’s second son got whacked, and now I’m getting everyone in the same room before things get out of hand. Don’t worry about me. I’ve flown Jorge in as backup. He’ll be serving drinks and cutting fingers off of anyone that gets out of line. Have fun this week!
I call bullshit on the private plane. I guarantee you that’s stock footage, and everyone flew Southwest. Boarding Group C.
Everyone checks into the Aria, and I scoff and make a snide remark about being off the strip. And then Lovely Better Half tells me that Aria is on the strip, right next to the Bellagio. Holy crap – I am so uncool now, I have zero idea where the casinos are in Vegas anymore. Thanks, kids. Sigh…Other lead-ins for this episode: Olivia is “Zen with Ben” (she’s also bemused and confused), the twins share a treadmill, and Caila can’t tell the twins apart. Yes, Caila; that’s because they look the same. That’s what makes them twins. Of course, that hasn’t stopped Lovely Better Half from figuring it out:
LBH: Emily is on the right.
Honestly, I think she has no clue which one is which, and she’s just doing this to get under my skin. But, enough! Let the dating begin!
Forget the twins looking alike; with the exception of Jubilee, I think they ALL look the same. Ben clearly has a type.
JoJo 1-on-1 – You Set My Heart On Fire
I already hate JoJo because typing her name is a complete pain in the ass. I’m not the strongest typist in the world to begin with, and those 2 capital letters with the lower-case ‘o’ in the middle is KILLING me. I’ve had to retype it every time she comes up. Besides that, however, she seems cool, she’s cute, and LBH and I both think that she’s one of those people that’s even prettier in person. Just a feeling. Anyway, a helicopter picks them up in the parking lot, and despite the fact that this is like the 18th fucking helicopter ride this season, the interns still haven’t learned about downdraft, and the champagne and the table and Ben and JoJo all go flying.
Intern #4, Jorge needs to speak with you in the high roller room. Bring gauze and something to cauterize the stump where your left pinky finger used to be..
They get an air tour of Vegas, which neither one of them sees, because they’re too busy eating each others’ faces.
I’m, no expert, but I think Ben likes the way
Jojo, JOJo, JJOo – fuck it – Joelle smells. They meet that night, and it’s a pretty generic Bachelor Relationship Talk (TM).
J: Open-minded, open-hearted, letting my guard down, give completely, trust issues.
Ben: Nice to know, don’t hold back, are you ready to give?, WHEN did you guys break up?, good to hear where you’re coming from. Wanna make-out?
But wait! There’s more! They’re in Vegas, so it’s got to be fireworks, right?
Fireworks. So we can check THAT box…
She gets a rose, pretty straight-forward date. One brow-raising moment, though: when she talked about her last boyfriend, jOjO said she “wasn’t the only person involved in his life, and she was giving everything, but didn’t get the same in return”. I’m guessing the guy had a kid, and JOJO couldn’t handle not being the center of attention all the time, which, as a father, raises some red flags for me. The kids always come first, and I’m totally confident that when LBH finally has me “disappeared”, The Boy and The Girl will always take priority over Shawn Gosling.
Group Date – Show Me What You Got
The Players: Amber, Haley, Emily, Lauren B, Lauren H, Jennifer, Rachel, Olivia, which means the other 1-on-1 date goes to Becca, and it’s a good thing the windows are safety glass, otherwise Olivia would end up sprawled across a sidewalk on Las Vegas Boulevard. Becca, however, is over the moon:
Gawwww, this is so exciting! I just can’t wait for my phone call with Ben. I hope the phone is ergonomic. Will I get my own space, like a conference room or something? Just so the other girls can’t listen in? Wait – we’re meeting in person?! Why would we want to do THAT?!
Just as a reminder, Becca is a chiropractic assistant who was visibly uncomfortable with seeing Ben get a back massage last week. What exactly is she assisting with? The phones? Picking up the dry cleaning? Back to the group date:
Are we going to have to wear nipple tassels?
Nipple tassels? I know I’ve been giving Lauren H a hard time the past couple weeks, but am I starting to like her? Could she be the dark horse for my personal Shawn Gosling? She’s growing on me…Let’s meet this date’s celebrity guest:
Me: Who the fuck is that?
LBH: I know him. He’s really popular in Vegas.
Me: This is what you and your friends used to do in Vegas? Go see the puppet guy?
LBH: We didn’t go SEE him. We went to Cirque du Soleil. What did YOU used to do?
Me: [cycling through a rolodex of blurry memories]Nuthin’.
Whatever. Puppets are weird. The girls are having a talent contest, and they’re opening tonight in front of a 1200 person audience. Wait a second – there are 1200 people that are lining up and paying money to watch some guy pretend to talk with his hand? When there’s perfectly good gambling available? There are times when I am utterly baffled by the world in which we live. Eh, maybe if it was the Muppets…The girls prepare, Olivia flirts:
I have a big surprise that I can’t tell you yet! But you’re going to find out tonight…
What is it, she’s a man? Olivia’s packing a wedding vegetable downstairs, and she’s going to show it to everyone tonight? That would be odd timing, but hey, the date card did say “show me what you got”. Anyway, on with the show.
The Twins – Irish dancing.
Jubilee- she plays the cello? Orphaned in Haiti, adopted in the US, served her country in an actual war, good looking, and now she plays the cello. Why is she single, again?
Lauren B – juggles balls. Insert your own joke here —>________________
Caila – Hula-hoop. This girl is so boring, I can’t take it.
Lauren H – Recites poetry in a chicken costume. Again, I’ve given her a hard time (soccer mom comment, anyone?), but she kinda owned the chicken suit, and I thought it was pretty quirky and awesome. I think I might like the Queen of Capri Sun.
Jennifer – hits the guy’s puppet with a tennis ball. Not sure what the talent was.
And that’s about as good as it got. Poor Olivia. I was kidding earlier, but it probably would have been less awkward if you actually did tell everyone you were a man. She was embarrassed, she didn’t let loose and own it, and she is clearly not comfortable in her own skin. You know how Lace kept repeating that she wasn’t crazy, but she really was? Same concept here. Olivia is going to repeat “I am intimidating, I am strong, I am confident” until she eventually believes it, because, despite what she says, she does NOT believe it now, just like when she listed off everything that was wrong with her body. The girl has some image issues, which is too bad, because her outside’s alright. If she wasn’t a complete asshole to everyone within earshot, I might date her. So, predictably, she freaks out and runs into the Boyz II Men dressing room, who managed to parlay their guest appearance on Andi’s season into a fulltime Vegas gig. And yet, despite the free publicity, the Boyz mysteriously weren’t available to be on THIS episode, so The Producers had to go to their backup and book the puppet guy. Hmmm….amazing how quickly people forget their friends.
I’m on BENded knee/ I’ll never walk again, until you come back to me…
Did Lauren H steal a puppet? And not being shy about it, either. Right out in the open, saying “Fuck yes, I stole that guy’s puppet. You gonna do something about it?” I’m liking Lauren H more and more. Let’s watch some people make out with each other, shall we?
Caila’s used to being spoiled and getting attention, presumably by the long-term boyfriend she dumped for some guy she never met, but looked good on tv. Ben thinks she’s a ‘sex panther’. They maul each other’s faces.
Olivia has hives? Halves? Hankles? Thives?
Lauren H brings the puppet on their 1-on-1 time, makes out with the puppet first, and then mauls Ben. Straight up freak. And then:
Little Ben was waaay bigger than I would have expected.[wink, wink]…
Lauren H is one step closer to being my Shawn Gosling. The soccer mom has a freaky side.
Olivia gets interrupted by a twin (Haley, according to LBH) and then eats her fingers.
Ben and Lauren B don’t even talk. They just grope each other and then Ben practically comes out and says he’s picking her at the end before Chris Harrison activates his shock collar to shut him up. And despite Olivia’s meddling and bumbling, it is in fact Lauren B that gets the Group Date Rose (TM). This season is starting to look pretty in-the-bag.
Becca 1-on-1 – Get Dressed, It’s a Big Day
Becca gets a wedding dress and a ride to the Little White Chapel, where Ben gets down on BENded knee, and…wait for it!….pretends to propose…but really doesn’t! Instead, Ben got ordained by the state of Nevada (which sounds like a pretty thorough process with meticulous background checks) and they’re going to marry other people. Whew, Becca! That was close!
I’m really excited I didn’t have to say ‘yes’, because I don’t actually want to spend my life with a man. I just want a pretend relationship so my mom will get off my back.
The first couple, Travis & Leah, look alright. They’re fun and cute – godspeed you crazy kids. Unlike these next two, where the guy might want to class it up just a little bit more:
Y’all got Keystone Light here?
At night, Ben and Becca go to a neon sign graveyard, which is the most awesome date in the world besides a boat date, and I’m not being sarcastic. I would love to go to this place at night, with all the old style Vegas signs lit up. Very cool place to hang out and get to know somebody. Which Ben and Becca do, but it doesn’t come across as cool as the location:
Ben: So, is this time different than last time?
Becca: I was more closed-off last time. I was scared to let Chris get to know me,
because there was no way in hell I was moving to Iowa because I thought…ummm…maybe he could hurt me? Does that sound like a good answer?
Ben: Sounds alright to me. Are you ready to feel again?
Becca: Yeah, sure. Whatever. I’ve never really felt anything before, so it wouldn’t really be ‘again’. It would be more like ‘Yayyy…I finally like a guy….’
Ben: I know you want to remain a virgin until marriage. Has it been hard to stay true to that in past relationships?
Becca: What past relationships? I mean, oh yeah, like so totally hard. Because – you know – you want to just, you know…
Ben: Jump their bones?
Becca: Yeah, exactly! Jump the bones, and skip on the tip, and getting your rocks in, and bumping the hips, and all those things that men and women do to each other that are kinda gross, but you do them anyway because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Of course! It was totally hard to hold out!
And then it devolves into the sex conversation from 40 Year Old Virgin and I completely lose interest. A rose for Becca, they make up vows, I throw-up, and this date is over. Thank god.
Special Bonus 2-on-1 Date – Two Twins Enter, One Twin Leave
So, Ben takes Emily and Haley to their house, which just blows. The other girls are getting helicopters, fireworks, and private concerts by Fusilli Country Slee (my favorite band ever!), but Ben takes the twins to their mom’s house. Great. Though, they do have a shit-ton of dachshunds, which is something I would want to know early on in the process. I finally figure out that Haley is the one wearing flannel and the jangly shit around her neck, but it took 3 rewinds to do it. Ben sends her home – what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, and Haley, YOU are happenin’, sister. (I know, the second “what happens in Vegas” joke in the same post. I couldn’t resist. Sue me.) LBH is happy her twin is staying, but personally, I think Ben just flipped a coin and hoped he picked the twin that DOESN’T own 5 wiener dogs.
Jennifer takes Ben first, but Olivia steals him away after 12 seconds, which launches a whole new round of crazy. Olivia says she’s not insecure (again) and that her talent is eating cake. Ben nods and says reassuring things, but there’s a big difference between how he acts with Olivia and how we acts with LB, Caila, Lauren H, etc. Ben doesn’t dig Olivia as much as she thinks he does, and she’s officially out of my Final Four. Ben makes out with everybody. That guy has had a few cocktails, and he’s feeling no pain tonight. “No! Come on, you shouldn’t be worried! At all! I think you’re awesome! AWE. SOME. You’re cool, smart, funny, beautiful, and cool. Wanna make-out?”
That looks precarious…
Is that Lauren H 2nd from the left, rocking the crazy high gold stilettos on a 7 inch-wide platform next to a pool? It’s official: I’m all in on Lauren H.
Becca, jojo, and Lauren B are safe. As for the rest…
Amanda – Eh. NO chance she’s there in the end. Let her see her family.
Lauren H – The soccer mom with a wild side. Very intrigued.
Jubilee – what secret talent comes out next week? Origami? She sings opera? A black belt in Tae Kwon Do?
Emily – Happy twin.
Caila – about as deep as a puddle, and a lock for hometowns.
Jennifer – I think Ben likes her, but not seeing a lot of footage of her. Might be too normal for this show.
Leah – Resolving the debate that kept everyone on the edge of their seats, “Who will go home first? Rachel or Leah?”
Olivia – picked last for the second week in a row. And she might not make it next week…
You gotta go:
Amber – There’s always Bachelor in Paradise III!
Rachel – she’s very sad, because now she has to go home and find a job.
And, of course, Haley, and her 5 wiener dogs.
Amber breaks down on a chaise lounge, and it all looks very sad. Personally, I think she’s trying to purposely miss her flight back to Chicago so she can hang out for one more day. And that’s all she wrote, folks. We’re down to a manageable 11 girls, and we’re in the sweet spot of the season: the feelings are starting to get real, and there’s still enough chicks to cause a lot of drama. As always, embrace the train wreck, because it’s a’comin’…
And now, Caila eats a cookie off of her forehead without using her hands.
Wait – do I like Caila now, too?
– WTF? I thought this show was only on for three weeks, and then they were getting bumped by Castle. Did Chris Harrison have Nathan Fillion whacked? Can Jorge account for his whereabouts on January 12th?
– Allison Williams’ husband proposed during a Bachelor viewing party? I mean, I know Paris or the Golden Gate Bridge or the Empire State Building are a little cliché, but come on. You can step it up more than that.
– Holy shit:
That is out of control. I can live out of a duffel bag for a month.