Bachelor Ben Recap: Have I told you lately that I love you?

Bachelor Ben Recap: Episode 9 —

I can’t believe that we have already arrived at forego card fantasy suite week. It seems like yesterday we were blessing Twin’s heart and wondering how Olivia was ever going to find a job in the news business after her wedding cake debacle. Now Ben’s the conductor of a love train, making stops all over the Sandal’s Jamaica resort. He’s in love with Lauren! He’s in love with JoJo! And Caila’s a really bubbly. No shot of her on the balcony reflecting over a cup of coffee in her robe is ever going to change the fact that “this” will NOT be an everlasting love.

Ben reflects too. He scales a miniature pyramid by the pool in his rubber flip flops. The camera man believes in safety first and decides to shoot Ben from an unflattering upward crotch shot angle instead of risking life and limb to join him on the slippery surface. Ben has some big decisions to make. How does one gently break-up with the girl with amazing Filipino hair? And how many times of saying “I love you” in one episode is too many? Deep thoughts. Maybe he should go talk to Michael Scott about how to juggle two women.

CAILA’S DATE
Caila thinks joining a handsome young suitor on a jungle trek date wearing only a string bikini top is tacky. She prefers a fancy sports bra and denim panties. Especially when your date involves taking a raft down a Jamaican river. My friend Murphy over at Star 104 in Erie, PA thought the stoic tour guide was the ghost of Bob Marley. My brain went in a different direction. I kept thinking about all of the incredible world-famous Disney Jungle Cruise references they passed as they sat awkwardly in uncomfortable silence. No hungry, hungry hippo jokes? No plasticus mechanicus butterfly facts? No backside of water? Inconceivable.

Caila’s date is sponsored by the good folks over at Walt Disney Studios who would like to remind you that the live-action Jungle Book movie will be released on April 15.

Caila is frustrated with herself. She’s clearly backsliding into a protective stance of uncertainty. Even jerk chicken served on a huge banana leaf doesn’t help her open up about how she’s overthinking the moment instead of enjoying her time with Ben. She decides the best thing to do is to change into a sexier version of her sports bra and drop the L-Bomb at dinner.

Ben comments that he loves her joyful, excited, always-a-smile-on-your-face-even-though-it-seems-a-bit-humanly-impossible self! But he can tell that something is wrong. Caila relaxes into the back of the rattan chase lounge. She thinks it’s “funny” that Ben noticed something was wrong.

  1. We all noticed something was wrong, Caila. Your smile went away for more than three seconds. We thought you were having a mini-stroke.
  2. Is “funny” the correct adjective? For someone who travels with a feeling stick, this emotion seemed an odd choice to me. Moving on.

Caila takes a deep breath and finally admits that she’s weirded out that there are two other women on this exact island. However, she’s totally fine with her less-than-ideal circumstances because she’s a professional. She launches into a long soliloquy which details her desires to love well, serve others, spread positive vibes and something about world peace. She’s not falling in love. SHE IS IN LOVE. With Ben. She smiles, knowing she’s got Miss Congeniality in the bag. The moment is topped off with a clear presence of tongue make out sesh.

Ben hands over the forego card and Caila accepts. They wade out into the water to passionately kiss under a gorgeous spray of fireworks. Then Ben leads her into the fantasy suite where they make out on the bed as the ABC Intern lights some Roman candles outside of their fantasy window. Caila wakes up the next morning with perfect hair and a new lease on life. Even though Ben didn’t say “I love you” back, she could see it in his eyes. Olivia taught her that trick.

LAUREN’S DATE
Lauren walks like a bowlegged cowboy in her denim panties for some reason. I blame chub rub or some sort of crotch rot. I don’t feel sorry for her because a nice maxi dress would have provided fewer constraints and refreshing air to the problem region. The decision to wear a belly sweater as a cover-up was equally puzzling. Ben picks her up on a boat and takes her over to a different island where they release baby sea turtles into the wild. RIGHTEOUS! As you may have guessed, this experience is leaps and bounds more delightful than wrestling pigs in the Bahamas.

Lauren’s date is sponsored by the good folks over at Walt Disney Studios who would like to remind you that Finding Dory hits theaters June 17. Totally awesome.

After Ben and Lauren pray for their bucket of baby turtles, Ben gets verklempt telling Lauren that he thinks she’s too good for him. Good news! She feels the same way about him! They celebrate this revelation in the ocean water with their new baby turtle friends. They are too busy making out to notice the double rainbow. For those of us who are super fans, we know that Cape Cod Chris was having a fit for the both of them.

Later that night, I found myself chanting under my breath, “Please don’t dance” as Ben and Lauren wandered up to a street party where the lead singer of a reggae band had been slipped a handful of Jamaican dollars to sing a song featuring “I’m in love with you” lyrics. This inspires Lauren to tell Ben that he is the man of her dreams. She finally says those three words Ben’s been dying to hear in the fantasy suite — pork chops/applesauce.

J/K kidding. J/K kidding.

Lauren says, “I’m completely in love with you.” Ben says, “I’ve known I’m in love with you for a while.

THAT IS A BIG, BIG STATEMENT. FROM THE LOOK ON LAUREN’S FACE, THIS ENTIRE SECTION DESERVES TO BE WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE MY GIRL WAS SHOCKED! SO WAS I. LAUREN IS GOING TO BE THE LAST GIRL STANDING FOR SURE.

This was also the exact moment that the word “love” slipped into the vocabulary of our visiting islanders like it was a common contributor to the Bachelor franchise vernacular. It was tossed around like “journey” or “amazing” or “Ben and I’s” or “he smelled of…” It was jarring for sure.

Lauren: I’d go hungry. I’d go black and blue. I’d go crawling down the avenue. There ain’t nothing that I wouldn’t do. To make you feel my love.
Ben: I’m guilty. Of love in the first degree.

Lauren: Oh Ben. It sounds like love’s got a hold of you!
Ben: I can’t get enough of your love, Babe.
Lincee: He wants to go to the love shack. Even if it has a rusted tin roof.

The next morning, we see Lauren’s dress crumpled on the floor. Lauren is on cloud nine. She likes waking up next to Ben. He also brings her breakfast in bed, which I’m sure will happen every morning of her life. She calls him her “person” because she is too young to know that she should be calling him her lobster. She’s ready for him to be her fiancé and can’t wait for the rose ceremony so they can start their lives together. First order of business? Buy a turtle.

JOJO’S DATE
Ben admits that this date with JoJo is going to be tough since he just left Lauren in the bed with a plate of pineapples and a hot mug of java. All of this confusion leaves his head once he spies JoJo running after him, boobs bouncing, and launching into an aggressive jump and straddle (trademark pending). Her denim panties are the denim pantiest in all the land. They hop on a helicopter and fly over Jurassic World before landing at a waterfall. JoJo’s bathing suit is from the Victoria Secret yarn collection. Her bottoms were non-existent. I’m quite certain the entire thing disintegrated when she jumped into the water with Ben.

Later they hop onto a rock to discuss how saying “I love you” is a very scary thing. At first I was distracted that JoJo was going to get a yeast infection since she’s basically sitting on a moist boulder with nothing but a piece of yard up her crack, but then she told Ben she loved him and I started paying attention to dialog. Once again, Ben said it right back. JoJo whispers, “Are you allowed to say that?”

More than you know, Joj. More than you know.

JoJo: How deep is your love? How deep is your love? I really need to know!
Ben: It’s your love. It just does something to me. It sends a shock right through me. I can’t get enough.
Lincee: And IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIeeeeeeeeeeIIIIIIIIIIIIII…will always…love….youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.
And Lauren.

Ben tells the camera that he’s nervous that he’s in love with both Lauren and JoJo. He wishes he had a guide to tell him what to do. Suddenly, Harrison swings in on a vine like Tarzan. He rocks a loincloth and dreadlocks, smelling of earth, sweat and manliness. He warns Ben to tread lightly because love is a battlefield. And also, Caila is still wandering around the Sandal’s Resort with a book on her head to help with her posture.

Ben addresses two big elephants in the room during dinner — JoJo’s brothers. Ironically he did not address JoJo’s decision to wear a ‘90s-themed maxi dress inspired by the Netflix release of Fuller House. Instead, he wants her to know that even though he loves her, her brothers think he’s sketchy. She plays it off as a protective vibe and then asks Ben for the forgo card because now that they openly love each other on camera, she’s ready to forego things. Ben tells her that he loves her, gives her the card and she squeals with delight, loving him right back to the Romeo and Juliet suite. She wears the exact same version of the bikini Lauren and Caila wore on the water portions of their date, except JoJo’s is hot pink and there are a ton more “I love you’s.”

The next day, Ben admits he is more confused than ever. He’s enthralled by Lauren and passionate about JoJo. When the ABC Intern reminds him that Caila is still in the picture, he brushes him away so he can go think about which of his final two he will choose. Mike Fleiss immediately sends for Caila to make a “surprise” visit.

Caila throws on another fancy sports bra/skirt combo and bounces over to Ben’s section of the resort. She sneaks up behind him, placing her tiny hands on his eyes before whispering, “Guess who?” Ben takes a minute to register what is happening. Then he takes another minute. And another. Slowly, Caila begins to realize that this impromptu “I’m super fun and spontaneous” decision is not going to be well-received. Especially when he sits her down on concrete steps. Hard steps equals a hard conversation.

Ben peppers her with compliments before telling her that he has stronger feelings for the other two. She takes it well. He walks her to the newly transformed rejection SUV. They hug and she hops in while he looks stunned. Then she hops right back out.

YES! SAY GOOD-BYE TO MISS CONGENIALITY!

Unfortunately, Caila was just as gracious as ever when she asked for clarification. Did he know going into their date that he wasn’t going to keep her around? Ben said that he did not. She was the first date and all the women told him exactly what she told him. They are all in love. Sadly, his feelings for Joj and Lauren are more advanced than his feelings for Caila. And I believe that was a genuine statement. She hugs him again. He doesn’t let her go. I covet her hair and finally, the embrace is broken and she lets every emotion out that she’s been holding in for weeks inside the SUV. No feeling stick was needed. She is devastated, but I have every confidence that she will find another tree that will be willing to grow her moss.

ROSE CEREMONY

Our Host Chris Harrison welcomes JoJo and her boobs to the rose ceremony staging area. He asks about her time spent in Jamaica. She shares that she told Ben she loved him and he said it back! Harrison nods like a good host, ready to get this shindig over with so he can belly back up to the bar. His disheveled linen shirt and pants may prove that he never went to bed last night.

Lauren arrives in a slinky red dress. She tells Harrison that she told Ben that she loved him and she was surprised he said it back. Harrison’s facial expression confirmed he too was surprised Ben said it back. He escorts her down the stares, heads back up and takes a “good luck with that, kid” tequila shot with Ben.

Ben tells the girls that Caila went home. He’s more confident than he’s ever been. Both girls smile, knowing that he is speaking directly to them because they both received a coveted “I love you” at least a dozen times. He hands them both roses and then they group hug.

As the champagne is passed out, JoJo toasts “a great week.” She’s ready to meet Ben’s parents. And by the look she gives Lauren, she’s ready to take the blonde flight attendant DOWN.

Game on.

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