The Bachelor Ben Flajnik, Episode 3: The San Francisco Treat

Ben Flajnik

The remaining 16 girls were in for a San Francisco treat as Uncle Ben’s rice went on two one-on-one dates and a group date. There was a surprise guest on the episode, Ben’s sister ūüėČ She and Ben met together and discussed what Ben’s looking for, most notably a girl their mother would notice right away. He mentioned Lindzi C., Kacie B., Courtney, Emily and Jennifer, a “but-she’s-super-attractive” accountant. Chris Harrison, the host of the show, came out and explained the rules again. He also delivered the first date card. The happy recipient was Emily. “Loves Lifts Us Up” was the clue on the date card. Courtney reacts with harsh words for girls that are book smart.

Date 1: Ben met Emily and told her their date was climing the bridge over San Francisco Bay. She said a number of times she hates heights. What I like about this daring act is that it wasn’t supervised by some adventure group that does this climb a thousand times a day. To me, there’s no real risk in a climb like that. This climb was unique, so I give credit to whoever came up with it. As they climbed, Emily stopped because she got so nervous. Truly, that would be a long fall. On the way down, she’d scream, “But I was here for the right reeeaaaaa—-” Bam! Water. She got tough and finished the climb with Ben. They high five, kiss and hug. Obvious metaphors of how the climb applied to real life. Later in the evening, they had a formal dinner. Emily proceeded to explain her most recent dating experience was of the online sort. She got matched with a guy she already knew, her brother! They decided to just be siblings, so here she is making a go for Ben. Later, he offered her the rose then followed up with some tongue-twisters and fireworks, both literal.

Next up, the group date with Blakeley, Jaclyn, Kacie B., Erika, Samantha, Jamie, Monica, Rachel, Nicki, Elyse and Casey S. They’re doing something called a “leap list.” Someone somewhere is trying to make “leap list” catch on like “bucket list” did. Quite frankly, I’m off-board. So instead of “leap list” I will instead say “Michael Bolton.”

Michael Bolton... then

This date started with snow skiing down a street in San Francisco.¬†As the group drove from the hotel to the “ski slope,” we were treated to an in-show advertisement for the new Honda CR-V, something we evidently need to add to our Michael Boltons. Every single girl stripped down to a bikini and Ben to his cargo shorts. The group date finished as they dined at a fancy Hawaiian-style restaurant. Kacie B. once again came through with flying colors, however, the group date rose went to Rachel.

The final one-on-one went to Brittney, who reacted with an “uuggghh, didn’t see that coming.” She went on to say something didn’t feel right, so she found Ben and told him being his wife was not on her Michael Bolton. She hit the road, with tears, but she still hit the road. So the final single date actually went to Lindzi C., which I was very happy with because I picked her for my Bachelor Fantasy team this week, and I can use the points, literally! They took a trolly ride where Ben pointed out all the hot spots in San Francisco. What a treat. They got some Swensen’s ice cream then drove through China town on their way to the San Francisco City Hall. As soon as they enter, the lights turned on and Matt Nathanson’s there waiting to play some music for them. In the back of Lindzi C.’s mind, “I’m so glad he thinks I’m Brittney.” Dinner is served at a password-protected speak-easy called Bourbon and Branch. They had a decent conversation, Lindzi C. even admitted after dating a guy for over a year she was dumped via text message, “Babe, welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You.” Ouch. Ben doesn’t want to dump her yet, so he offered her the rose. Perhaps she knows the secrets to his password-protected heart. Later they sit at a piano and play the melody of David Gray’s “This Year’s Love.” Can I be serious here for a second? I love that song. Purchasing it tonight from iTunes is definitely on my Michael Bolton.

Time for the cocktail party. All the girls were in fantastic moods, toasting to a drama-free night. Ben took a few girls off to the side to have little chats with them. Jennifer and Ben kissed. Courtney snowed Ben for yet another episode. Now we all know times are tough. People are living longer. So with some free time on her hands, funeral director Shawntel Newton bursted¬†through with life¬†in her steps. You can find out more about her season with Brad Womack by clicking here. Shawntel showing up obviously displeased every one of the girls, even Kacie B. A few of them threaten to leave if Shawntel gets a rose at the rose ceremony. Ben’s reaction on seeing Shawntel at the cocktail party, “Holy ——!” This is my favorite scene from all the seasons of the Bachelor because he genuinely seemed unaware of what was happening. On a show that has so much producing, and so much set-up, this seemed like a true real-life reaction. Be honest, how many times have you gone to a party and knew without a doubt a certain someone would not be there. Then you turn around and holy ——-! there they are. Lots of drama as the girls harassed the heck out of Shawntel. She did her best to assimilate into the group, but they literally would not let her in. She confessed she was there to date Ben. Will he keep her around? Will he tell her to put a nail in the coffin of her feelings for him? It all came down to the rose ceremony. Roses went to Emily, Rachel, Lindzi C., Courtney, Kacie B., Elyse, Jamie, Jennifer, Casey S., Blakeley, Monica, Nicki and Samantha.

So Jaclyn, Erika and Shawntel can cross marrying Ben off their Michael Bolton.

Michael Bolton... now

The Bachelor Ben Flajnik Episode 2: Let’s Go To Sonoma

Bachelor Ben

This episode was telling as far as who Ben values. I don’t want to give anything away before you watch the show, so I will sum it all up with the notes I took as commissioner of the Nashville Fantasy Bachelor League.

Used bleeped curse words: Samantha (7), Lindzi C., Blakeley, Jaclyn

Said his full first name: None

Beats Ben in any sort of competition: None

Wears a 1-piece bathing suit: None

Group date: Brittney, Rachel, Jennifer, Blakeley, Emily, Jenna, Shawn, Monica, Samantha, Jamie, Nicki, Jaclyn

Kisses Ben: Courtney (5), Kacie B. (3), Jennifer (2), Nicki (2), Blakeley (2), Jaclyn, Rachel, Emily, Jamie

One-on-one dates: Kacie B., Courtney

Gets a rose: Kacie B., Blakeley, Courtney, Jennifer, Emily, Elyse, Jaclyn, Erika, Rachel, Lindzi C., Nicki, Casey S., Samantha, Monica, Jamie, Brittney

Says “I’m falling in love with you/him” or something similar: None

Does not get any dates with Ben: Lindzi C., Casey S., Elyse, Erika

Steals Ben from another girl: Blakeley (2), Jennifer, Jaclyn

Cries: Jenna (3), Kacie B., Jennifer, Blakeley

Mentions Ashley from last season: None

Date includes helicopter, boat, or expensive car: None

Says “here for the right reasons” or similar: None

Does not get rose: Shawn, Jenna

The Bachelor Season Premiere: Ben Flajnik, Limousines and Blakeley’s Tattoos

Ben Flajnik

Welcome to the 2012 version of the Bachelor! This season features last year’s runner-up, Ben Flajnik (rhymes with ‘panic’). The show opens with a recap of Ben’s proposal to Ashley H. from last season. They quickly move to his life since then which evidently includes sailboats, pick-up trucks and carrying a piece of wood. Ben sets the mood by tickling the keys, the first time we’ve ever seen him on the piano. David Gray’s “This Year’s Love” plays as Ben prepares for what he predicts will “be a hell of a story.” The story that begins now.

Chapter 1: The Tease.
Host Chris Harrison calls the 25 girls Ben will choose from America’s most eligible bachelorettes. How they are more¬†eligible than other single girls will be discussed in the documentary: “You Were Most Eligible. I Was Mostly Desperate. The Story of Ben Flajnik. Preface by Demi Moore.” Honestly, I bet all the girls do a few of these things: 10 Signs Your Date Was a Contestant on the Bachelor.

Chapter 2: Cream of the Crop.
Meet nine of the girls Ben may fall in love with. Lindzi C. rides horses and was once broken up with via text message. Btw, I love horses. Just saw War Horse and cried like a grown man watching his daughter take her first steps, then goes to war and gets tangled up in barbed wire. Hope that doesn’t spoil the movie, but you gotta see it. Amber T. is a tomboy who shoots guns and has a bad girl / princess quality to her. Kacie B. is from Clarksville, TN and is already a fan favorite. I predict top 3 for her. She’s got southern charm and a smile you can trust. I sorta hope she loses, returns to Tennessee and looks for Nashville’s most eligible bachelor:

"War Horse"

Courtney, a model from California, said she deserves a 2-carat engagement ring. Jamie is a nurse who raised her siblings. London Lyndsie has been all over the world and now finds herself at rock bottom in the bachelorette mansion. Jenna, a blogger from New York, is looking to analyze less and date more. Shawn from Phoenix is the only girl we know of that has a son. Nicki from Texas has been married and divorced but promises the next marriage is forever.

Chapter 3. The Limousines.
The girls arrive prom style and all 25 introduce themselves to Ben, except for Anna who said not a word, walking right by as to pique Ben’s interest. Other standouts were Amber who explained her Bacon last name. She’s the Canadian. Emily is working on her phD. Samantha arrives wearing a sash. Holly from Kentucky is wearing a hat the size of a clydesdale while Lindzi C. rides up on a clydesdale. Amber T. says goodbye then walks around again to give Ben a chance for love at second¬†sight. Shira says she knows everything about wine, then can’t answer Ben’s only question about wine. Sheryl from the great generation introduces her granddaughter Brittney. Jennifer spouts out numbers to impress Ben. Kacie B. wins Ben over in only three syllables, calling him by his full name, Benjamin. But I may or may not be talking about Bachelor Ben.

Chapter 4. The Party Begins.
Ben joins the group inside the mansion and first chats with Rachel and her nose ring. Rachel was a good conversation, however the nose ring didn’t say a word. Rude. Nicki the divorced girl chats with Ben as well. Then Lindzi C. chats with Ben about horses. She did enough to earn the first impression rose. Nice one Lindzi and Levi the Horse. Later Shawn takes Ben to play soccer and Blakeley shows her tattoos.

Blakeley's tattoo, pic 1
Blakeley's tattoo, pic 2

Dianna blindfolds Ben and feeds him candy from a crumpled paper bag. Emily the nurse flexes her rap skills by dishing out sick lyrics. Or is it phat lyrics?

Chapter 5: Dramatic Interpretations.
Jenna the blogger confronts Monica for not being in love at first sight. Monica gets her goat so much so that they need an amatuer mediator. Rachel officiates the session. Afterwards, Monica spoons with Blakeley which turns me on and off at the very same time. Kacie B. consoles Jenna.

Chapter 6. A Rose By Any Other Name.
Roses went to Lindzi C. earlier, Jamie, Rachel, Blakeley, Emily, Kacie B., Casey S., Brittney, Erika, Shawn, Nicki (good hugger), Jennifer, Elyse, Samantha, Courtney, Jaclyn, Monica and Jenna. Sent home with no rose to call their own were Amber B., Lyndsie J., Amber T., Dianna, Holly, Shira and Anna.

Chapter 7. The Cliffhanger.
Next week there’s more drama, more crying, and a surprise guest! Based on the clip they showed, it looks like Shawntel N. from Brad Womack’s season of the Bachelor. See this picture then go see… War Horse.

Shawntel N.

The Bachelorette Update: Separate Ways for Ali and Roberto

News is out that Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez are going their separate ways. Ali and Roberto haven’t released any official statements and her Twitter (@AliFedotowsky) hasn’t mentioned anything yet either. For those of you hoping Chris Lambton might step in, get over it. He and Peyton Wright, a contestant on season 10 of The Bachelor, have been engaged since June 2011. Check back in January for sizzling recaps of The Bachelor featuring a fan favorite, Ben Flajnik. His season begins Monday, January 2, 2012. For a recap of Ali’s season, click here.

The Bachelorette Ashley, Episode 7: Ryan P. Talks About Water Heaters

After a July 4th holiday break, The Bachelorette show comes back with fireworks of it’s own. From a date that ended with the guy sent home to a surprise rose recipient, episode 7 offered a dose of romance, a splash of humor and a few heart-breaking moments with past contestant Emily Maynard.

Let’s start with the good stuff.

that's me with a mustache

Ok, now on to the drama. Ryan P. is the last remaining contestant who has never got a one-on-one date and he’s determined to get one this week. There are three single dates so he’s got a chance but the first date went to Constantine. They take a train ride. This’ll probably be recorded as the shortest date in Bachelorette history because if you blinked, the next guy you saw was Ben F. Ben’s date began with a scooter ride up a mountainside. Major points to Ben for his Dumb & Dumber reference. Did you catch it? Was it:

A. telling the story of a guy he once met named Sea Bass
B. talking about Samsonite luggage
C. singing, “Goodbye my loooooooooove!” then bumping into the car ahead of him
D. a reference to Harry and Lloyd riding the mo-ped together

I’ll give a rose to whoever gets the right answer. So Ashley’s date with Ben F. went on and on… and on… and on…. until night turned into day. Where I come from we call that a sleepover. This made the guys jealous, especially J.P. He pouted, didn’t talk to the guys and the little vein in his head popped out. His low spirits made the group date almost unbearable for the two other guys there, Ames and Lucas. Doesn’t it suck when you’re on a date with a girl and one of the other guys on the date has a bad attitude? Man, that’s never fun. But anyway, J.P. got the group date rose. I guess it’s true what they say, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Anyway, the last one-on-one date went to the joyous Ryan P.

Ryan: “Have I talked to you about water heaters?”

Not really. I got my pen and paper out, but son of a gun, right when he was gonna give advice on saving hot water and some money, they cut to an Ashley voice-over. Turns out water heaters aren’t the way to a woman’s heart, so Ashley sends Ryan home without a rose. My guess is that’s not the last we’ll see of Ryan P. Here’s a picture of my cousin Will getting married.

that's him standing by the bride

The last 20 minutes was dedicated to confirming what we knew two months ago. Brad and Emily are over. Minus five points for Emily’s reference to the catchphrase of the year, “dot, dot, dot…” Why must we somehow include Bentley in every episode? Although, “dot, dot, dot…” is a pretty fun thing to include in, what?
A. conversations

Yep, that’s the right answer. Ryan and Lucas were sent home without a rose. Roses went to J.P., Constantine, Ben F., and Ames. And my eBay package from China arrived torn and with nothing in it. Thanks a lot Postal Service.


The Bachelorette, Episode 6: The Heart is Forever Making the Head Its Fool

We’re all couch psychiatrists each Monday night at 8/7 Central and Ashley Hebert is our favorite client. Like a Sunday afternoon football game, women (and a few men) are sitting in their living rooms screaming at the television, offering advice on what the next play should be. Unfortunately for Ashley, she can’t hear us and even more unfortunately, no one close to her will show her the tapes of Bentley’s interviews. Just show her the dang tapes! I guess it’s easier to fly him to Hong Kong, given it’s proximity to Los Angeles and all. Each episode Ashley’s heart continues to trick her head into thinking Bentley cares but I think this is the one time it would be OK to break up over the phone. Even an email would do, am I right? Anyway, he’s out there and Ashley’s hoping he’ll propose, but the dot dot dot ends with a period. Bentley is done. Winner = Ashley.

This psychiatric analysis is going to end short tonight, I have another client knocking on my door. I won’t tell you his name, but let’s just say it rhymes with Metta World Peace. Actually, that’s his name.

Though roses went to Lucas, Ryan P., J.P., Ben F., Constantine, and Ames, winners of the episode were Mickey and Blake who went home without a drama, I mean, rose.

Ron Artest a.k.a. Metta World Peace


The Bachelorette in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The lucky guys are still in Thailand trying to win Ashley’s love and devotion, this time, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I liked how last week when Ashley announced they’d be going to Chiang Mai, Thailand all the guys cheered. Come on, no one besides Ames really knew where it was. But that’s where they found themselves and so they settle in to the Mandarin Oriental dadada Hotel. Ashley’s monologue about how she’s ready for new beginnings was accompanied by the music of Crystal Pepsi. I became inspired, and thirsty.

This is the first episode featuring a two-on-one date, but first, let’s see who got the one-on-one date. It went to Ben F., the winemaker from California. Their date included two pink shirts, a rickety 3-wheeler and a trip to the downtown market. I was expecting the Thai version of a flash mob, but they made umbrellas, instead. Wouldn’t it be cool if every episode had a flash mob from now on? Anyway, Ben had pink striped shorts on, too. I think it worked but what do I know? I do stuff like this:

After the umbrellas Ben F. and Ashley view an ancient temple. They aren’t allowed to kiss near the temple, so they close their eyes and kiss, Representative Weiner style, a.k.a. in their minds. Later, Ben F. and Ashley eat dinner at a breathtaking picnic setup including candles, flowers, and well, food. Ben F. opens up about his dad dying. Ashley replies with a “rhhhhhhhhhlly” which is a breathy way to say “really.” I suppose that means she was extremely moved by Ben’s story. So when you want someone to know you’re sympathetic, add h’s to the words you uhhhhse. Ben F.’s fan base is sure to grow after this date, so does his chances with Ashley. She gives him the rose that was at stake, then they kiss.

The group date included Constantine, Ames, Nick, Blake, Lucas, Ryan P., J.P., and Mickey. They guys take part in Muay Thai boxing which is basically kickboxing. The guys boxed each other in short one-on-one matches. The matches really could’ve went either way, but there were some winner and losers. Ames lost his match to Ryan P. and actually went to the hospital. He later caught up with the gang at dinner. Ashley pulled him aside to make sure he was alright. Ames explained the doctor said he was suffering from being totally in love… and a mild concussion.

Did anyone else notice the excessive use of cell phone video camera footage? I guess no one’s safe from the budget crunch, eh, ABC? Cheer up, you still have “101 Ways to Leave a Game Show” game show.

Blake gets the rose from the group date, which he accepts and then kisses Ashley.¬†The first two-on-one of the season went to William and Ben C. and one of the guys will go home at the end of the date. William comes across awfully arrogant in his interviews, a side we haven’t really seen before. The three take a log raft ride down a river and I’m suddenly having flashbacks of the one time I watched Deliverance.

William talks separately with Ashley and proceeds to throw Ben under the bus, something he said he wasn’t doing. He told Ashley what Ben said to the guys about wanting to get back to online dating. In a shocking twist, Ben C. is sent home immediately. Ashley and William sit down for dinner where Ashley took a longer than comfortable sip of her drink. Why? Because she was about to send William home, too. Bam. William’s now wondering “…what was Ben C. saying about again? Or was it OKCupid?”

Later Ashley meets the guys for the cocktail party. She has some ultra boring talks with the guys, sponsored by my DVR. Fast forwarding to the rose ceremony, roses went to: (Ben F. and Blake earlier), Constantine, Lucas, JP, Ames, Mickey, Ryan P. The men sent home were (Ben C. and William earlier), Nick.

Quote of the episode… Ashley: “hhhhhyy gyyyyys” (a breathy “hey guys”)

Thanks for reading! For a relationship that has a better chance of surviving, and is simply more real, check out these two people getting married: