There’s no crying in baseball, but there’s also no skinny dipping or fights between models and gangsta epidemiologists. Which is why we watch The Bachelor and not baseball.
And love her or hate her, Courtney Robertson was the MVP of Season 16’s Week 5. The Puerto Rico episode was brought to viewers almost exclusively by Courtney’s commentary (and bare bum).
But before we get to that... This week, Bachelor Ben Flajnik had a high optimism/low chemistry date with Nicki Sterling, but she’s still around. Not still around: Elyse Myers, who missed her best friend’s wedding (girl, not OK!) just to be dumped on her first one-on-one date.
The group date was a baseball game and even though the match wasn’t designated Team Courtney or Team Emily, that was the subtext. Emily O'Brien made it clear to Ben that she was not going to talk trash about Courtney anymore… except to the cameras every five minutes and just this one time with Ben in case she didn’t make it clear enough last week that he needs to send her home. But Emily is still around, since Ben can’t just dump all the ladies he has no connection with all in the same episode. If he did, we’d be down to Courtney Robertson, Lindzi Cox, and… well, a strong friendship chemistry with Kacie Boguskie. That’s about it.
Kacie B. got the group date rose for being brave enough to show off her humidity curls while making Ben comfortable enough to open up. Blakeley Shea apparently had a “breakthrough” by sobbing to Ben about being single at 33. Jennifer Fritsch was put in the strange and unfortunate position of being the only girl eliminated during the rose ceremony and it still doesn’t make sense why he sent her home when he repeatedly told her — and the cameras — that she was the best kisser in the house.
And who is Jamie Otis? Is she the new “Phantom” Chris N. from Ali Fedotowsky’s Bachelorette Season 6? How has she made it this far with zero time with Ben … or the cameras?
Read on for a full recap of Episode 5:
WELCOME TO PUERTO RICO
The ladies storm the beach by boat, ala The Bachelor: Survivor. Emily is still stressing about Courtney being wrong for Ben. Courtney’s plan is to ignore Emily. Love Courtney’s “Be Nice” shirt, worn as they both tell the cameras how much they hate each other. Irony alert!
NICKI’S FIRST ONE-ON-ONE DATE WITH BEN
Date card: “Nicki, Let’s find a new love in Old San Juan, Ben”
Emily gets to translate the date card, which is in Spanish. Nicki screams like a game show contestant when they call her name. Ben says Nicki brings out the playful, kid side of him. She’s always smiling. And screaming. Classic “woo!!!” girl. The print of her outfit is certainly screaming “woo!”
Ben knows that Nicki is divorced. He wants to see if they can click together. It pours rain on them and they have to run, which isn’t good for her shoes. Ben says it’s a turn-on that Nicki can just go with the flow. What’s her alternative? Besides, they get to buy new clothes — which was probably Ben’s plan the whole time to get her out of that print. Ben goes all Buena Vista Social Club in white and claims he’s got some Latin swagger. Nicki calls him muy (“mooey”) caliente.
They stumble on a wedding and stare it down from across the street. In their ITMs, Ben and Nicki talk about their girlfriend-boyfriend connection. Nicki is falling for Ben but she, too, seems more interested in her own hair. Somewhere along the way we’re missing the part where they have this connection she speaks of. Ben says he wants to propose only one more time in his life and hopes he makes the right decision.
That night, Ben wants to hear more about Nicki’s past marriage, since he’s still not sure he’s ready to get engaged. He has his hand on her leg when they talk about how she wants to get married again. She lost her trust in her ex, although there was no infidelity. There’s some body language chemistry between these two — they hold hands and lean into each other — but the spark is just not coming through. Not feeling the romance. She gets a rose and they kiss many times, but there are no fireworks.
BASEBALL GROUP DATE
Back at the house, Elyse and Blakeley are fighting about who deserves a one-on-one date with Ben more. What about sweet nurse Jamie? Is she even there? Oh and Casey Shteamer also hasn’t had an individual date yet. So many forgettable girls — yikes!
Group date: “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend … Ben” Lindzi, Courtney, Jennifer, Kacie B., Emily, Rachel, Casey S., Jamie, Blakeley”
Don’t we watch The Bachelor to avoid sports? This seems like a trick.
Ben loves baseball, although probably not as much as Roberto Martinez, who played in the minor leagues for a while. And isn’t he of Puerto Rican descent? Is it too late to bring Roberto in to pinch hit for Ben?
Chris Harrison makes a rare mid-date appearance to tell the ladies there hasn’t been enough catty competition so they are being split into teams to compete — the winning team will hang out with Ben at a beach party. It’s not spelled out as Team Emily vs. Team Courtney, but it’s there. One woman is going to play on both teams and obviously it should be Blakeley, considering her history with Monica Spannbauer (ba doom), but he picks Lindzi. Interesting. So he chooses her to be the one he will definitely date, no matter which team wins. Should we read into that?
The team captains are Blakeley and Courtney.
• Courney picks Kacie, Casey and Jamie for the Red Team
• Blakeley picks Emily, Jennifer and Rachel for the Blue Team
Blakeley is super athletic so she does better than expected. (As Courtney put it, “Who knew that strippers could play baseball?”) The humidity brings out the fugly frizz in the ladies’ hair, which is not sexy, but no doubt Ben is into all their sweat and short-shorts.
Ben is the designated pitcher. At one point he screws up and it hurts the Red Team. In a real departure from their usual grace under pressure, Ben’s beauties get ultra-competitive and ultra-emotional. The World Series should have this intense music in the background. Even Kacie ends up shouting “Bitches!” and chiding Courtney — of all people —to be even more competitive. The game goes into extra innings and it’s clearly not about Ben — it’s about the ladies “winning” over each other. Ben strikes poor Jennifer out and the Red Team wins.
So… Courtney is “winning” after all. Think she’ll mention it? Blakeley takes it very hard. It’s like she lost The Hunger Games. Jennifer cries, too. Courtney reminds the camera there’s no crying in baseball. The winning ladies are picked up by helicopter while the losers have to take a bus back to the house. It’s better than being dumped on a glacier or an aircraft carrier.
Later, Ben has a little talk with Lindzi and they actually DO have chemistry. She’s one of his few. Courtney thinks Lindzi is annoying. To her, Jamie is a “hot mess.” Kacie B. does worry her the most since Ben seems to like her.
Ben talks to Kacie about how the women he’s fallen for in his life have not loved him back. He’s only had a few really serious relationships. Kacie has cute curly humidity hair and Ben’s shorts are the definition of Resort Dork Couture, but the two are cute together. Seeing a strong affection and friendship here, though. Not the sexy spark he has with Courtney, Lindzi and … well, he used to have it with Emily.
Ben gives the group date rose to Kacie and Courtney is surprised, but she says something important: “Whatever. I don’t need roses; I need more time.” It’s good to hear her say that since so many people seem to think she’s just there to be (sigh) “winning” and just compete. She does actually want time with him. It’s not a competition for roses.
Oh heaven. Courtney does the classic Michelle Money “she’s a little girl and he needs a woman” speech. Copyright!
Courtney steals Ben away. She brings up the idea of skinny dipping. Kacie can’t believe Courtney stole Ben away after she herself got the rose but — hold up — didn’t Kacie take Ben outside for a private walk outside just two episodes ago? They all want private time, but when Courtney does it, it gets a separate standard. Just sayin.
ELYSE STRIKES OUT ON ONE-ON-ONE DATE
Date card: “Elyse, Let’s find love somewhere private … Ben”
Elyse misses being in love and she feels attraction to Ben. She’s tearing up just talking about finding love. Bad sign. They get to go out on a yacht, which is another bad sign. Remember Britt Billmaier with Brad Womack? Cursed. But Ben is thinking about his fun time with Ashley Hebert (and her feet, remember?) since that’s where things got serious for him. That was like at the end of the season! Is that really when he started having feelings for Ashley?
Once again there’s no real connection between Ben and (the way too tan) Elyse but he’s given roses to plenty of ladies he hasn’t had a spark with. Elyse gives him a laundry list of things she’s given up to be there, including her job and her best friend’s wedding. Then she jokes about getting married right there. She says it’s been the best first date ever and the most romantic date and he’s someone she could marry. Which makes what’s to come even more awkward...
Elyse asked him to be honest so… he and his black bow tie dump her butt. He says she made a strong first impression but there were “missed connections” in group dates and such. What’s messed up about it is that he’s holding the rose the whole time, making her think, initially, that she had a chance. She looks hurt and confused. He looks oily and sweaty in his suit, which kind of takes the sting out of the rejection, right? She wants to know what she did “wrong,” but, hey, it’s not a job interview.
David Gray’s “This Year’s Love” (the theme song of this season) plays while Elyse tearfully rides away. In a boat. That isn’t moving fast enough for her, probably. But if they wanted us to feel sorry for Elyse, they probably should’ve given her more screen time beyond screeching “Who IS she?!” about Shawntel Newton in Episode 3.
COURTNEY + BEN = NEKKID
The ladies are shocked to see Elyse’s luggage taken away. But their bright eyes say that they are thrilled. Courtney’s the only one honest about being pleasantly surprised to see Elyse leave. She’s the *only* one who is honest about it. Courtney feels validated because Ben is not falling for everybody and he can make tough decisions.
Courtney goes to visit Ben, ala Wes Hayden, Vienna Girardi, Justin Rego, Michelle Money and every other “villain” who has stolen extra time with the Bachelor/ette (with a little help from the producers, no doubt).
Ben isn’t sure how he feels about Courtney taking initiative and “breaking the rules” but he can’t be too upset since it takes him no time at all to get bare a*s naked. Courtney wants to give Ben a massage. She wants to go outside and get “frisky.” She confuses herself with Little Miss Sunshine instead of The Angel of Death, as she is viewed by most of the women in the house (and most of the viewers at home).
Ben knows this is a bad idea but he does what he’s told — by Little Ben. Little Ben is pitching tonight.
Courtney takes her robe off, although she says she’s not some “sexy vixen.” They are not alone since the crew is there. But they both strip down full nude. It’s “game over or game on” and it’s looking like game on. Brad Womack would not have done this. Neither would Jake Pavelka, probably, or Jason Mesnick. Matt Grant? Matt would go for it.
Ben says he and Courtney shared “an intimate moment” and he feels “crappy” about it. Walk of shame always stings, man.
Ben talks to Jennifer and she feels like they are on “a path to love.” Blakeley feels “left behind” and Kacie reassures her, which is weird because if she she didn’t have a rose, Kacie would be the one stressing most of all. Poor Blakeley gives a heartfelt but rather sad speech about really wanting to find love and realizing she deserves it. She tears up. It couldn’t be more clear that the have no real connection. At. All. But she’s hot, which is why she’s still there.
They do another sorority-esque “raise your hand if...” poll — and they happen to ask about skinny dipping. Courtney mentions that she likes to be in her birthday suit as much as possible. She’s like Richard Hatch on Survivor.
Emily, who “sucks,” according to Courtney, has a talk with Ben about how she hasn’t thought about Courtney at all. At all! She’s only bringing it up again to say that she’s not going to bring it up again. Except just one more time. “I think she’s kind of a weirdo.” She does the whole thing over again from the start. What did Mariah Carey sing? “Why are you so obsessed with me...?” Ben, to his credit, defends himself and the moments that he’s had with the other women as private and not something Emily would understand or have a right to question. “Tread lightly. Be careful. That’s all I’m saying.”
Translation: Shut your mouth up, girl, or you’re gonna kick rocks.
Chris tells the ladies this has been the most pivotal week for Ben so far. Well, yeah, he’s the first bare naked Bachelor.
Nicki and Kacie B. already have roses.
1. Lindzi (Are we missing something in her edit? Ben is showing her much love — group date choice and first rose)
5. Casey S.
6. Blakeley (she’s emotional about it)
Eliminated: Jennifer. Huh. So much for being the best kisser in the house. She says she understands, but we don’t. Did he hate her baseball game playing that much? They just had a nice date last week. Weird. Doesn’t make sense. Especially since Jamie “Oh You’re Still Here?” Otis is still around.
They go to the most glamorous city in all of Central America, Panama City, Panama. So … more humidity! Hope you packed some hair gel, ladies.
Casey has a serious talk with Chris and she sobs into his arms like something major happened. What is that? It’s almost like someone close to her died. It doesn’t sound like the ex-boyfriend drama we were kind of expecting with her. Is she not the one who has a boyfriend back home, as ABC itself tweeted as a teaser last week?
Ben and Nicki hang out in a chocolate bath and rub whipped cream on each other. Oh, Nicki...
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