Bachelor Ben Recap: I’m lovin’ it
Bachelor Ben Recap: Episode 7 —
That scream you heard last night was the collective voice of a thousand Becca supporters who cried out in confusion as Ben sent one of the potential front-runners home. You could argue that she was blindsided. You could also argue that he barely looked at her during their one-on-one time, didn’t kiss her during their one-on-one time and didn’t give her the date rose after their one-on-one time. Do we need Olivia to come in and consult on the art of body language and red flags?
Oh Olivia. How I missed your snarky quips and patronizing comments. I’ve tried to make “come at me bro” happen in Houston, but it isn’t catching on. I will say that “deep intellectual things are my jam” is taking off like wildfire. I said it at church on Sunday and only two people looked at me like I was crazy. I consider that a victory.
The following information you are about to read is of personal opinion. However, if you or someone you liked on Instagram happen to personally know, sort of know, is friends with the Plexus peddler who is obsessed with Chip and Joanna Gaines like me and looks exactly like one of the contestants on the show…none of this is personal and I’m sure they are all lovely people.
Ben looks hot in his leather jacket. How’s that for an intro?
He drives around Warsaw, Indiana in an old Chevy, eager to meet his parents at the town diner where a chalkboard sign warns patrons that they don’t have WIFI — talk to each other. Ben embraces his mom with a warm hug and kisses his dad’s cheek. He’s just so stinking nice and normal. So are his parents. Oddly enough, they did not look like this:
Ben’s dad, we’ll call him Mike, is a silver fox. Carol married well.
Ben fills them in on the details. There are six women currently wearing various versions of distressed denim and flannel shirts tied around their waist enjoying a playful game of Throw the Autumn Leaves at Each Other in a picturesque city park. Here’s who he described the girls:
JoJo: “She’s unbelievably beautiful. I’m more myself around her than anyone else.”
Lauren: “She stands out.”
Caila: “She’s beautiful and scared that she won’t be able to fall in love.” [Carol is concerned.]
Amanda: “Shockingly beautiful. She has two kids from a past marriage.”
Twin: “She’s an identical twin.”
Becca: “She wears denim jackets with square holes purposely cut out.” [Quote from Lincee.]
Ben hugs his parents, hops on his pontoon boat and drives over to pick up the women from the dock. He shuttles them to a perfectly normal house in the middle of a nice neighborhood by the water. The girls squeal with delight when Ben escorts them in the house. All smiles disappear when he asks Lauren B. to join him on the first one-on-one date. Even though she looks perfectly dressed and put together, she fusses about only having 30 minutes to get ready for the day. She casually mentions that she “may need help” and zero girls jump up to meet that need. Caila is too busy feeling things. Becca is too busy contemplating what this all means. Amanda is too busy smiling. Twin is too busy congratulating herself for not dropping at f-bomb at this news (she’s maturing right before our eyes!) and JoJo is too busy adjusting her MERMAID t-shirt — the one she scored as a free gift with her Conair curling wand.
The happy couple drive around downtown Warsaw. Ben shows LB his school, his church and the movie theater where he first kissed a girl in seventh grade. His big line? “I want to kiss your right now, but I don’t know how.” Bless him.
He takes LB to the Baker Youth Club where he worked for four years. The employees call him Big Ben because he’s a tall drink of water. Half the kids remember him from years ago. While LB cartwheels and jumps rope with little girls, Ben plays basketball with the boys. He even lifts a toddler up to dunk a basketball. My uterus may have quivered.
A kid named Ronnie is pulled to the center of the circle. Ronnie is a basketball savant who is known as the Half Court King. A challenge is extended: If Ronnie makes a half court shot, Ben has to kiss Lauren. Ronnie makes it and Ben is too stoked for the kid to even get excited about his smooch with LB. Once he (and the rest of the gymnasium) settles down, he gives Lauren a sweet, simple church kiss. All the boys are grossed out while the little girls smile and blink in amazement. Adorable.
Paul George and George Hill of the Indiana Pacers arrive to play with the kids. They go nuts. Remember — these kids are required to watch Hoosiers in kindergarten. They live and breathe basketball. Ben spots little Eric crying in the corner, holding a stuffed animal and a battle shield. He gently encourages him to come out and play, promising that he won’t leave him. Uterus. Quivering. Again.
Lauren watches him with the crying boy and decides right then and there that she’s in love. They have a quick conversation about Leahgate, even though her name is never mentioned. Ben basically says that he knows LB wants to be there and he cares for her too. She looks him in the eyes and tells him that she trusts him and that he makes her happy.
This validation is just what he needed. He decides to take her to his favorite dive bar for a few rounds of Jose Cuervo. We have no idea if the fellow shot-takers were friends or charming towns folk ABC invited to liven up the b-roll footage. Whatever the case, they end up on the roof of a building adjacent to the courthouse with a clock tower. We’re one town gazebo away from being in Stars Hollow, folks.
Ben flies JoJo to Chicago so they can hang out at Wrigley Field all day long. He meets her in front of the stadium. This is when we witness our first Jump and Straddle (trademark pending) of the season. I can’t believe it’s taken seven episodes. And I can’t believe it was the Mermaid who did it. Jump and Straddle (trademark pending) has Twin written all over it. Moving on.
After explaining to her that they are in an entirely different state than Indiana, Ben geeks entering Wrigley Field. The Cubs are his favorite sports team. They slip into the obligatory baseball jerseys. JoJo has “Mrs. Higgins” on the back of hers. That was highly presumptuous. Is the ABC Intern trying to tell us something?
JoJo hits a ball and runs the bases. Then it’s Ben’s turn. He asks JoJo not to throw the ball just yet. He wants to soak in this moment as long as he can. JoJo giggles, confessing that she doesn’t play sports. Then she pitches like a woman who has been playing softball since junior high. Ben hits the ball and runs the bases. They take a time out to stretch out on the grass as the Diamond Vision plays a live version of them stretching out in the grass. It was weird.
Ben admits that he’s falling for JoJo, but he just needs her to not hold back. He wants to build on what they have. She admits that she’s trying, but it’s a little hard when there are other women in the equation. She perks up when he says, “I think I question to what extent your feelings are there.”
JoJo backpedals slightly. She tells the story of how she has always given 150% (read: 100%) every time in relationships, yet she always gets hurt. Ben assures her that he understands what it means to be scared. He’s super excited the other feelings are there though. And he’s thankful that JoJo can use adjectives to describe them. In short, this feelings talk is the opposite of Caila’s. In case Ben had any doubts, JoJo leans in for a kiss and grabs his butt in center field.
Becca, Amanda, Caila
The group date starts off in two row boats. Basic math tells us that one girl with be with Ben in one boat, while the others are in the second. Caila is the lucky one who is deemed Ben’s second mate. Becca looks at the oar of her row boat as if she’s never seen one before. She grabs one and Amanda grabs the other. Since they are facing one another in the boat, their rows cancel each other out. They float around in circles as Ben chats up Caila. Then they fly kites. #acotaco
Next, they go to the barn where The Farmer proposed to Whitney. I’m happy to say that the ABC Intern heard my distraught cries last year and refrained from filling the barn with candles AND hay bales. Ben explains in great detail that this rose is the rose of all roses. The woman who secures this particular bud is guaranteed a hometown date. Plus, she’ll get to spend the rest of the day with Ben as the other two losers head back to Pleasantville.
Ben spends time alone with each woman. Amanda wonders why he’s interested? Her life is great, but it is complicated. He thinks her struggles are what makes her so intriguing. KISSES!
Caila uses her time to tell Ben “I can’t wait to take you home with me.” Nice move C-Dawg! She also prepares him that his hometown is not like her hometown. She doesn’t have very deep roots. There are no meaningful places she would take him. Her parents are all she has and all she needs. Ben asks if she would feel stable…quickly changing his terminology to steady…to stay somewhere for a long time? Sweet Caila waxes on about how she feels that she has been molded into a person who can be adaptable. She’s like moss on a tree. Or near a tree. Or maybe she’s going to attach herself to a tree. Is Ben the tree in this analogy? Maybe Denver is the tree. She’s definitely not a rolling stone, because it gathers no moss. Ben gives her a sweet, “I’m confused again” look. Is Caila creme brûlée trying to be Jell-O? She’s never going to be Jell-O.
Becca cracks under the pressure during her alone time. All she talks about is how all the other girls have a greater connection with him than she does. Just because she doesn’t cry and have emotional breakdowns like the others doesn’t mean she doesn’t love him too. She just doesn’t want to be blindsided. Ben smiles, does NOT kiss her and later gives the date rose to Amanda.
Caila and Becca take a quick rejection ride back to the house. They fill the others in on the importance of that date rose and how Amanda has been thoroughly validated. They comfort each other with copious amounts of wine, fun sparkly nail polish and taking turns trying out JoJo hair wand. All agree that Amanda and Ben are probably enjoying a super romantic date.
I can assure you that none of us expected they would be working the drive-thru at McDonalds. Three cheers for product placement! The McBachelor attempts the Lady and the Tramp move with a French fry instead of a string of spaghetti. Amanda barely bites the end of it as Ben chomps along the glorious piece of fried potato. Give him a break. That’s about as romantic as you can get in a semi-full McDonalds on a Tuesday night in Warsaw, Indiana. My guess is that Amanda botched the moment because that French fry was her first carb in 28 days of Whole 30. Now she has to start over! At least she got a rose out of the deal.
She also got a collapsible carnival too! All of Warsaw comes out to the town square to celebrate Ben Higgins and his blonde friend. Ben admits that fair rides scare him, because they are set up in basically a day. He further proves this theory by screaming his head off the entire time they enjoy an upside down ride. Amanda nods at him with a cool, “That was fun!” once the ride stops. He’s proud of her for not being scared and entirely embarrassed that he screamed like a prepubescent girl. Amanda’s birthed two children, Ben. She’s got this. Ben pays a carny $20 to stop the Ferris Wheel at the top so he and Amanda can make out. Next stop? Meeting Amanda’s kiddos.
THIRD ONE-ON-ONE DATE
Ben picks Twin up in the pontoon. He gives her a quick lesson on the difference between swans and ducks. Bless. They share a glass of butterbeer before heading to Mike and Carol’s. That’s right. Ben takes Twin to meet the parents. Twin tells the camera that “talking to people can be hard for me.” Speaking is not her jam.
Carol whisks Twin away so she can sit, smile, nod and listen as Twin impresses her with a 10-minute train of thought. Mike does the same thing. Here’s what we learn:
- Seeing this (the lake) is cool.
- Twin loves ducks.
- Ducks don’t live in Vegas.
- She overthinks everything.
- She struggles a lot.
- This experience has made Twin blossom into the woman that she is today.
- She would love to be a Denver Broncos cheerleader.
- Twin is average at most things.
- She is ready to be a wife.
- If she could, Twin would sit around and watch movies all day long.
- Coming up with a list of things that she doesn’t like is hard.
- Wait! She doesn’t like vegetables!
Carol is a master at the poker face when she sits in front of Twin. Ben is a different story. Carol slowly breaks down, fearful that her beloved Peter is going to choose a girl she described as “very young” no less than four times. She tells her son that Twin needs to find out who she is as a woman. Is she mature enough for engagement? She has no idea who she is! PS: Does she ever ask you about YOU? She couldn’t get a word in edgewise between the movie watching and vegetable hating!
Ben hears Carol loud and clear. While Twin babbles on about being overwhelmed in happiness, she notices that he’s pontooning her back to the house. He wraps her up in a blanket on the metal bench by the dock. The ABC Intern rushes to tell the other girls that Ben is just outside with Twin. They watch the scene unfold. JoJo thinks Twin is happy. Becca disagrees.
Ben: I just don’t think I can see you being my wife.
This is what we call ripping the Band-Aid, people. No nonsense. To the point. Clear and precise. Twin takes the news relatively well. She walks down the dock and into the house. The others sit her down for a debrief. She wails in JoJo’s arms as everyone else cries around her.
This is what I’m talking about. These girls genuinely like one another and are sad when one of them hurts. So is Ben. The drama is going to come from all the FEELS.
Sweet Twin will be okay. This experience has been good to her. She got to talk to people and see swans and fly on an airplane. You go try out for an NFL cheerleading squad, Twin! Be bold!
Our Host Chris Harrison wanders up to Ben who is sitting on the courthouse steps. They both take a swig from Harrison’s boot flask — a gift from Bob Guiney. Over in the square, Caila senses that she “feels something is wrong.” All the other girls look at her with wide eyes. They know Caila can feel things they can’t.
Harrison walks Ben through what’s about to happen. Does he like all five women? Does he think one of them is his wife? Ben answers another question — he knows who has to go home for sure.
For the first time in history, coats are allowed at the outdoor rose ceremony. Ben longingly looks up at the clock tower. He’s hopeful that lightning will strike it. No such luck. Along with Amanda, he hands out roses to Lauren, JoJo and Caila.
Becca says her good-byes and immediately begins asking Ben, “Why did you do that?” She thinks he’s horrible for blindsiding her. His defense? He didn’t know what he was going to do a second ago. Not helpful, Ben. He puts her in the rejection limo and then sits down on a bench to think about what he just did.
Don’t worry, Becca. There’s a George Glass out there for both of us. Keep the faith.
Next week, Ben travels to the homes of the four remaining women. From the previews, it looks like Amanda’s life as a mom is going to be a challenge, while JoJo’s protective brothers call Ben out for leading women on. WHO IS EXCITED?!
What did you think about this episode? Should Becca have gone home? Will she be slated as the next Bachelorette? If so, how do you feel about that? Sound off in the comments section!