So, things are getting hot and heavy on "The Bachelor." Or at least they're getting hot, because the girls and Ben are headed for Puerto Rico. It's all very exotic and exciting and this means we'll get lots and lots of shots of lizards and frogs and random natural things, because the producers need to justify the cost of shipping everyone and a camera crew out to Puerto Rico. Look, hibiscus! This isn't like Florida at all! Except it is!
Anyway, after the initial required swooning, the girls can fixate on which one of them will get the first one-on-one date. And who is that lucky girl? Nicki! She'll be traipsing around San Juan with Ben. Courtney seethes with jealousy. Not only was she desperate to spend time with Ben, she really didn't want to have to spend time with Emily. I don't know why, though. She seems perfectly comfortable being bitchy to Emily, so what does she care?
Nicki wants to see if the chemistry between her and Ben is as good as she thinks it is. Oh, look! Hummingbirds! Anyway, Ben is also eager to hang out with Nicki. He thinks she brings out his playful side. He has one? Is he sure? Anyway, he busts out the helicopter to pick her up. Can he ever just get someone in a car or on a bike or something?
They wander around San Juan and hold hands. They're having such fun! What could wrong? Well, rain for starters. Sideways sheets of rain. Big hurricane buckets of rain. But Nicki is going to find a way to make it work. Well, duh. They kiss in the rain. Ben's plan to walk around San Juan is pretty much screwed, but that doesn't mean the date is ruined. He likes the fact Nicki can roll with the punches. Don't worry, Ben. All these girls are being REALLY understanding right now. Marry one, and she'll bitch like there's no tomorrow if you try to drag her around in a hurricane.
Ben comes up with a BRILLIANT new idea! Their plan should be to find new, dry clothes that are very Puerto Rican. He wants all white threads with a Columbian-looking hat. She gets a dress that may have been a tablecloth at some point.
Finally, the rain stops and they go to a big old fort, hold hands and hang out. Ben feels like she's his girlfriend. They see a wedding in progress. Ah, an opening to talk about marriage! Ben wants a big wedding. Nicki is all for living together before marriage. She didn't do it before her last marriage, but she should have. Ben nods seriously. Nicki gets choked up watching the wedding. She remembers having hopes and dreams when she got married the first time, and now she thinks this could be her second chance at her fairy tale. Eh, you may have to kill Kacie B. first, hon. Ben wants to propose one more time in his life, and he hopes he makes the right decision. Considering that Ben seems completely suckered by Courtney, I don't have a lot of faith in his decision making process.
Enough with all this sappy, happy wedding watching stuff! Ben wants to know about Nicki's marriage. She loved being in love. Ben wants to know if they tried to save the marriage. No, they stabbed each other with forks and split up the silverware, Ben. Nicki says they tried couple's therapy, but they were different people. And she lost trust early in the relationship. In short, Nicki's first husband screwed around.
Back at the bachelorette pad, Elyse wants a one-on-one. She deserves it! Blakeley wants it, too! She really deserves it! She and Elyse argue about who deserves it more. I'm afraid they're going to start putting out their own eyes or telling horrible stories of being rejected by guys in high school to prove they are more deserving. Thankfully, Chris knocks on the door and breaks things up. It's time for a group date! Whoot!
The girls going on the group date will be Lindzi, Courtney, Jennifer, Kacie B., Emily, Casey S., Jamie, Blakeley and… Rachel, I think? Look, that lists gets rattled off pretty fast. I do my best. Anyway, Blakeley is bitter, because this means Elyse is getting a one-on-one. Damn that Elyse!
Ben decides to forgive Nicki her marriage, because she was really young so of course it didn't work. Nicki sighs with relief. Ben loves her honesty and openness, so he's giving her a rose. And if he does keep her around, he'll also be floating the idea of a pre-nup.
Ben loves baseball, so he's meeting his ninesome for a ball game. Isn't that sweet! Because girls who have fresh manicures LOVE playing baseball! But there's a catch. The girls will be divided into two teams, and whichever team wins will get the evening date with Ben. The other team will have to go home and cry.
Another twist -- because there are nine women, one woman will play on EACH team, thus guaranteeing she's a winner before she even begins. Ben gets to pick who that lucky girl will be. And he chooses Lindzi. Lindzi bounces up and down with joy. It's almost as good as getting a rose! No, it's not, Lindzi.
Courtney and Blakeley are team captains, with Courtney heading the red team and Blakeley in charge of the blue team.
Courtney picks Kacie B.
Blakeley picks Emily.
Courtney picks Casey S.
Blakeley picks Jennifer.
Blakely gets Jamie and Courtney gets Rachel.
The women play as if a liver transplant is on the line. Actually, one of the girls may need one if they keep throwing themselves around the way they are. It's only supposed to be a two inning game, but the gals tie things up. Finally, it's 10 to 9, red team for the win. Blue team's Jennifer is at bat and she strikes out, so red team wins. Blakeley is SO mad! Me, too! I don't want Courtney to win anything, ever!
Blakeley yells at her team. Clearly THEY didn't want time with Ben as much as SHE did! Well, that's some pep talk, Coach. Ben feels so bad for the blue team. They tried so hard! Shut up, Ben.
Courtney's thrilled to have won, especially since she's the only worthwhile woman on her team. She thinks Lindzi is annoying and Jamie is a hot mess. Oh, but she does think Ben likes Kacie B., which worries her a little. Gee, Courtney, a sweet and pure soul versus your hardened, manipulative inner bitch? How could that be a threat?
During the evening date, Ben tells Kacie B. that the women he's loved haven't loved him back. Kacie B. nods a lot. Ben gives the rose for the evening to her because she listens to him. Being able to sit and stare at Ben doesn't seem like much of a skill set, but guess what? Not every girl on this show has it. Go figure! But Courtney thinks Kacie B. is a little girl and he needs a WOMAN. So she drags him off to the beach and suggests some skinny dipping later. Classy, Courtney!
Finally, it's time for Elyse's one-on-one. We watch as she packs her bags and ominous music plays. She gave up her job to be on the show. She deserves to find love! But she's afraid she won't find it! What if she doesn't! Okay, "Bachelor" producers, your composer may be forecasting plot points a little too strongly.
They're going on a yacht, which should be a fabulous date, but Ben's going with Elyse. Elyse informs him she gave up her job AND missed her best friend's wedding. Elyse talks A LOT. Elyse thinks it's the most magical date she's ever been on! Has she noticed that Ben looks like he wants to jump off the side of the yacht? In fact, Ben finally suggests they go for a swim and, yes, they jump off the side of the yacht. Well, it does make her shut up for a minute.
But they have to get out of the water sometime, and when they do, Elyse keeps yapping. She felt behind the other girls because she hadn't gotten a one-on-one yet. She wants to BE ENGAGED. She wants to BE MARRIED. I'm not convinced she gives a crap if this happens with Ben or some other guy, and I suspect Ben has the same impression. If nothing else, he looks bored. She wants him to be honest with her. Uh-oh.
Ben tells her she made a good first impression. Unfortunately, he isn't feeling it. No rose for Elyse! What did she do wrong? Oh, nothing. He just likes other girls more. She cries. He didn't give her a chance! Sad music plays as Ben walks along the beach in his tux. With the pants rolled up. And his rose. Looking incredibly dorky. Elyse drives away, crying. She just wants to be loved! By somebody! Ben or whoever!
Blakeley and the other girls talk about Elyse's date. Courtney hopes she's going home. When a guy comes to pick up her luggage, Courtney sucks on her overbite to stop herself from cackling. Everyone else, however, seems shattered. How sad for Elyse! Courtney, who could not give less of a crap about any human being other than herself, suggests she drank too much and the "Jersey Shore" in her came out. The other girls do not seem amused by this. Because they are not inherently evil.
Courtney decides it's time to make good on her promise of a skinny dip! Gag. Why does Ben not think this is skanky behavior? He just nods dumbly and allows Courtney to drag him out to the beach. He isn't sure how he feels about her breaking the rules, though. She offers to draw a bath for him or give him a massage. Why not offer to give him a happy ending or a lap dance, Courtney?
The good news is that Ben is thinking this isn't a good idea. The bad news is that he wants to spend more time with her, so, why not skinny dip? Oh, geez, Ben. She assures him she's not some sex vixen or anything. You know, that's a little more believable if you haven't just offered to draw the guy a bath and give him a massage. She tells him over and over again, "You're only in Puerto Rico once." Look, it's not Antarctica. You can go back, nutjob. Still, Courtney feels like she's winning. Well, yes, with one part of his anatomy, she's a big hit.
Time for the cocktail party! Ben feels kind of crappy about having an intimate moment with Courtney. GOOD! He makes a toast to the remaining ladies. He wants to stay open. Hey, you want to be open, Ben? Confess that you're skunking around with Courtney when no one's looking!
Ben sits down with Jennifer. She really wants him to meet her family. They seem to like each other, though he does say their one-on-one was "rad." I'm not sure that's a good thing, really, as that pretty much screams buddy-buddy.
Blakeley needs to talk to Ben. Every day she writes down something about him that she really likes. She never thought someone like him would ever like her. She never thought she deserved a Ben! But she thinks she deserves him now. Ben's glad to know she can open up. He's so glad that she's capable of being sincere! He now has to reconsider how he feels about her. I want one of the girls to be really open with him and confess something like committing mass murder or a fetish for balloons, just to see if he really, really values openness as much as he claims to.
Courtney is busy massaging her own ego, since she hasn't gotten the chance to massage Ben yet. She thinks none of the other girls have the connection she has with Ben. Courtney decides to tell the other girls she loves skinny dipping. She SO wants to blab about her little dalliance with Ben. She loves being naked! Her favorite place to skinny dip? ON THE BEACH in PUERTO RICO under the MOONLIGHT! HINT, HINT! And yet, none of the girls clue in. Or at least they won't give Courtney the satisfaction, which is just fine, too.
Emily sits down with Ben. She hasn't thought about Courtney at all this week! She's thinking about HIM! She wishes she'd never said anything about Courtney! Except she still stands by what she said. And she thinks she's a weirdo and not real with him. SHUT UP, EMILY! She feels she has to tell him some weird bleep is going on. He tells her maybe that stuff isn't weird to him. Again, he tells her to drop it. Man, for a PhD student, she has no common sense.
Chris tells the girls that Ben said this was his most pivotal week as a bachelor. Ben tells the girls he sometimes wants to pull back and close himself up, but he doesn't. But that makes everything, like, super hard!
First rose goes to Lindzi.
Second rose goes to Jamie.
Third rose goes to Rachel.
Fourth rose goes to Courtney. Puke!
Fifth rose goes to Casey S.
Sixth rose goes to Blakeley.
The last rose goes to… Emily.
What? He didn't give a rose to Jennifer? What happened? He wishes her all the best and takes her to her car. She wonders what she did wrong. I do, too. She wants to be loved! And love someone back! And run over Courtney with a compact SUV! Oh, wait, that's just me.
Next week, Panama City, Panama! And it seems Courtney's scheming ways will be revealed -- and not just by Emily, over and over and over again.
Were you surprised Jennifer got the boot? Do you think Courtney's playing fair? And what did you think of Ben's date with Elyse?