Credit: Katherine Bomboy-Thornton/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Ben Flajnik and Kacie Boguskie Hold Hands on Her Tennessee Hometown Date on The Bachelor Season 16, Episode 8

It may be time to start the slow clap for Ben Flajnik. Give him credit. He doesn’t always think with Little Ben. This is right about the time where the most dramatic storylines on The Bachelor hit the third act on the way to a “happy ending” of sorts — so Ben has to explain why he dumped/set free America’s Sweetheart, Kacie Boguskie, and set a course for a future with either Lindzi Cox, Nicki Sterling or Courtney Robertson (who is currently in serious damage control mode on and off the show).

“My decision to send Kacie home wasn't an easy one,” Ben writes in his People.com blog on the Season 16, Episode 8 hometown dates. “I still had feelings for her, but I did make a promise to her father that if I didn't see it going much further that I would end it sooner than later to not hurt her as much. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt Kacie, but ultimately it was the right decision, as hard as it was.”

Here are more hometown highlights from Ben’s blog:

Falling for Lindzi: Ben especially loves Lindzi’s mom and dad. “They reminded me a lot of my parents and how thankful, grounded and blessed they are to be so happy with each other. I really meant everything I said about Lindzi that day. I began to fall hard for her as soon as I left Ocala.”

The trouble with Kacie: “Kacie's family was really nice and welcoming, but every time I had a conversation with one of her family members, I felt like I was disappointing them. Kacie was raised with more traditional values than I was and I felt like that would get between us in regards to her family. I thought about it so much that it started getting in the way of my feelings growing stronger for her. We had a few ups and downs in our relationship up until hometowns and then not feeling like I had her parents' approval was disheartening. Parents' approval and permission is really important to me and I didn't feel like I got that from her family, though they were really kind and warm.”

Nicki is the dark horse: “I was really ready to see Nicki because the last few times I had spent with her I was really starting to develop strong feelings. She was hands-down the ‘dark horse’ for me because I didn't expect her to be so awesome and understanding of everything. I love talking to her and hearing her perspective on things. Every time we're together I find myself opening up more and more and she is really attentive and warm which are qualities I really like in a partner.”

Courtney’s circumstantial evidence: “I also had concerns about [Courtney] based on what the other women were saying, but seeing her away from the other girls made me feel like her behavior was circumstantial. Meeting Courtney's family was a very welcoming experience. It felt very familiar to me because I lived in Arizona for some time so it almost felt like home. Her parents' Saltillo-tiled floor reminded me of my parents' house and it was a good, nostalgic feeling. ... I picnic a lot back in San Francisco and I loved that Courtney had planned this for our day. My date with her felt really natural and I have to give her props because she was really bold to assume that I would play along with a mock wedding. Little did I know how much this elaborate setting would allow her to pour her heart out. Hearing Courtney tell me she loves me made it all worth it.”

Read Ben’s full blog for more.

Do you agree with Ben’s final three? Sound off in our poll.

Source: People

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Credit: Hulu.com Photo: Watch: Courtney Robertson Says Her Vows to Ben Flajnik, Tells Him She Loves Him! (VIDEO)