Next stop Panama City, Panama and with only nine women left, we are more than half-way through! That said, the pressure is rising faster than the water levels in city’s infamous canal.
For the first one-on-one, Ben delivers the date card to the hotel lobby himself- a departure form the usual Chris Harrison, the bearer of news (usually bad!). Perhaps, he was busy taking a tour. His on-camera time is so brief each episode I just assume he is drinking margaritas on a local beach somewhere and laughing to himself the rest of the time.
I digress! The card goes to my favorite, Kaci B, and possibly Ben’s favorite too, as she is the first person to nab a second one-on-one date. The invite says, “Will our love survive? Pack three things”. At this point in the competition, it does come down to survival of the fittest (read cutest) and a one-on-one does not guarantee a rose. But I’m not worried in the slightest for this gal.
Kaci B brings with her a monkey doll (random but speaks to her childlike spirit), a wine key with a knife (that’s my girl!). and a bag of candy (why the hell not). Ben is a bit more Castaway and brings a fishing net, machete, and matches- Tom Hanks and Wilson would be proud! The date is yet another relationship ‘test’. The couple are dropped off on the deserted island of San Blas for the day and must catch their own food, chop their own coconuts for water, and make their own fire to keep warm.
“Relationships are all about overcoming obstacles and fears together,” said Ben. It sure seems to me like he anticipates a lot of tough times ahead because all of his dates seem to be forcing the women into not so fun circumstances. I miss The Bachelor days of romantic gestures. I mean who does Ben think he is Bear Grylls? This isn’t the Discovery Channel hunny. Anyway, Kaci B managed to hold her own and the fire wasn’t the only sparks that flew. Back on land, Kaci shared with Ben that she struggled with an eating disorder during her high school years and this dark secret makes Ben respect Kaci more and love the strong women she has become. Eating disorders are no joking matter and it’s great to see someone come forward openly on national TV like that. That said, girl still looks good. I saw those calf muscles in her cute pumps and mini-dress. Fine…I’ll say it, Kaci B is my girl crush of the season!
The Group Date….Rachel and Blakely are the only two ladies not on the group date card which means they are on the most awkard date of every season, the dreaded two-on-one. The date were two girls head out but only one girl comes home. It sounds like the log-line of a bad horror film. More on that in a minute!
The girls are out on a river boat and Ben drives them through the jungle terrain to a local village where the group gets to experience life with the natives. The ladies wear beaded garb above their bikinis, well except for Courtney who decides to go without her unmentionables and give the native boys (and by boys, I literally mean children) their first peep show. Ben wears a loin cloth and body paint which the women generously put on him. Courtney, who is becoming the star of the show, albeit the villian, paints a C + B = ♥. Vomit. I added the ‘vomit’.
Ben takes a little alone time with a few ladies including Lindzi who he reassures his feelings to and gives her the date rose.The group date ends with another awkward moment. After chatting with Ben and not bringing up Courtney (getting back on track with him), Emily decides to apologize to Courtney in front of all the women saying ‘she may have misjudged her’ and that going to Ben behind her back was wrong. But no to one’s surprise, Courtney is nasty in return and while she ‘accepts’ the apology makes it clear she still hates Emily and they will never be friends. That settles it, this girl has zero class. Can’t wait until she gets hers!
On to the 2 on 1! Blakely goes in confident (or at least pretends to be) and Rachel goes in nervous (unhappy with the awkward date and looming single rose). The two compete for Ben’s attention and chemistry during a private salsa lesson. Rachel gets annoyed with Blakely relying on her sexuality to win Ben over but in the end, it doesn’t. Blakely shows Ben a scrapbook she’s been keeping of how she invisions their life in all the places they’ve been each episode and moments later he confesses that Rachel is getting the rose. AWKWARD. I felt bad for the girl who hugged it out with Ben and balled her eyes out. As for Rachel, at least she’s not changing her argument. She keeps telling Ben she wants to open up more to him and I guess the anticipation keeps him lingering. Let’s just hope she eventually delivers because right now she couldn’t be any more vanilla.
Back at the suites, Chris Harrison confronts Casey S about still being in love with an Ex from before she joined the show. Casey confesses this is true and reveals it to Ben who doesnt’ take the news all too well. I get that he felt blind-sided and could have kept a different lady but in reality, he should just be thanking her for making his decision easier with one less woman. But compassion? There was none.
Although I wasn’t a huge fan of Casey, mostly because she seemed aloof (which now makes sense), my heart went out to the girl. She left her prior relationship because the man she loved didn’t want to marry her, and she was hoping to find new love here. The only issue is that she hadn’t really dealt with hers before coming on the show. And sometimes the best way to get over a guy, isnt’ to get under a new one! Best of luck to her. Let’s hope if it was her Ex that tipped off producers to get her booted, he’s at least ready to put a ring on it!
And finally, just before the rose ceremony, Jamie decides to make a play for Ben. She is probably the only girl who hasn’t even kissed him and is afraid her home-school upbringing and prudish demeanor might be hurting her chances… Which they probably were but the lap dance and instructional kissing that ensued certainly made this week’s eliminated contestant easy to spot. Just when I thought the uncomfortable scrapbook moment, couldn’t be topped.
We are left with another outtake- this time Emily creating a second rap song for Ben about their experience. The girl’s quirky and I like her, but I’m not sure she can escape the wrath of the black widow.
And with that, on to Belize!