‘The Bachelor’, Season 20, Episode 7: Ben’s a Tour Guide, Emily’s Last Pontoon Ride, & Becca’s Blind Side!

Welcome to Episode 7 of The Bachelor: Ben Is Sweet!

Sorry this recap is a little later than usual, but earlier this week my housemate added a one Mabel Matterhorn Pancake Urbaniak to our household –

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Photo credit: David Urbaniak

And she’s the cutest roly-poly puppy ever but is apparently not simply entertained by just watching me tap on my laptop. She also has absolutely no respect for the Bachelor of his quest to find true love amongst 27 young and nubile women, and so we had to have a real, come-to-jesus conversation about respecting other people’s choices and favorite pastimes even if you don’t agree with them and that it’s okay to insult the show but not the person watching it and that sometimes those two can be construed as one and the same so maybe next time she could just find a chew toy or some other diversion to busy her instead of barking her criticisms incessantly every time the show came on.

So anyway! It’s a miracle that I even got this done in the first place this week, because OH MY GOD LOOK AT HOW CUTE SHE IS.

But to make it up to you guys, I have a lil’ treat waiting for you at the end of this post.

After last week’s dramatic and epically produced episode, it’s only realistic to imagine that this week’s episode might be a little bit of a let-down.

And in that respect, The Bachelor did not disappoint!

Welcome to Warsaw, Indiana, Which Is Different From Warsaw, Poland, In That Half The Town’s Population Didn’t Die In Mass Exterminations & Citizen Uprisings During WWII

So I used to be one of those creepy kids in elementary school who would check out all the books about the Holocaust and then basically memorize everything in them and when the cranky librarian would comment on the fact that they didn’t seem like appropriate reading material for a 4th grader I would just stare at her and wonder out loud why they had the books in the school library, then, and then she would usually shut up about it but I think she also wrote a note to my mom at some point though I can’t be sure because I usually threw away most notes that were sent home with me purely on principle because even then I understood the notion of self-preservation. I studied these books about the Holocaust mostly because I didn’t really know any Jewish people and at first this felt like a way to do some real deep anthropology work and continue my 10 yr old quest into being an enlightened human being, and then when stuff started turning dark it started being about empathy and questions about humanity and a deep sense of duty to understand the psychological and emotional reasons behind it so I could make sure that I ended up always being one of the good people and not one of the bad people. And then to counteract all of that dark stuff I started studying all the resistance movements of WWII because that seemed like a cool way to counteract all that death and misery, yeah, by people who were determined to fight the power, but if you know anything about The Warsaw Uprising it’s kind of like…dude. DUDE. Fuuuuuuuuuck.

So anyway! Ben grew up in Warsaw! But like, Warsaw, INDIANA, not Warsaw, Poland, so even though just the word “Warsaw” instantly conjures up blackened skies, bombed-out buildings, walled-in ghettos and mass executions, HIS Warsaw is MUCH different (probably) than the one in Poland!

See. I’m not alone in this.

Ben’s Warsaw is also apparently the Orthopedic Capital of The World (cool?) –

And where he drives a vintage truck and where he had his first job and his first kiss and where he went to high school and elementary school and had some friends and went to places and did stuff THAT EVERYBODY DOES WHEN THEY’RE GROWING UP SOMEWHERE BUT APPARENTLY IT’S SUPER SPECIAL TO KNOW THAT BEN DID IT IN A TOWN CALLED WARSAW.

This will come up again later.

So we see Ben rolling down the street in a vintage red pick-up truck, pretending to wave and say hello to people he knows, and then he strolls into a diner.

Unrelated, I feel the same way about the below signs as I do about singers who tell me to do stuff like wave my hands in the air and repeat their lyrics when I paid a ticket to go to THEIR concert to see THEM to do stuff:

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Like, it’s cool if you don’t want to have WiFi in your establishment, but I don’t have to talk to ANYONE if I don’t WANT to!

Ben’s parents are waiting for him inside the diner, and when Ben walks in, his mom jumps up to hug him, and he’s like, “Come on! Don’t hold back!” and I kind of feel like that’s also pretty telling when it comes to his relationship with the girls.

Also, his dad is a TOTAL silver fox, and I was far from the only one to notice:

He tells his parents about how he’s been to “so many incredible places” since he last saw them, which is a lie:

And then he recaps his parents on the sex six remaining girls! Becca is beautiful but was standoffish last week so he’s probably gonna punish her by not giving her a one-on-one date OR a rose this week; he feels like he’s most himself around JoJo, which could or could not mean anything; Amanda is beautiful and also a mom and also she’s not THAT beautiful I mean her forehead is kind of high imo and she definitely needs to up her roots-touch-up game; Caila is sweet but also crazy and also kind of rehearsed and definitely wants to be the next Bachelorette; Lauren B’s his favorite but they had a hard week last week so it’s anyone’s game this week; and Emily is a “young lady” who’s also a twin which means she’s definitely going home before the week is even over.

During this magical time, we see the girls walking around Warsaw, and I can’t help but notice that there’s a disturbing amount of crop-top t-shirts with long sweaters and fall jackets going on with this group. Not to be all old and boring, but if it’s cold enough to wear a long sweater or jacket, think that maybe you wanna cool it with the bare midriff?

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 6.06.17 PMThen again, don’t listen to me – I stubbornly love wearing leggings as pants and I ain’t going to stop until this hot ass of mine decides to quit, so if you’ve got the stomach for a crop-top, then you just go ahead and rock that shit all year long, babes.

Oh, and then we have to see them frolicking in the fall leaves and I suddenly want to cry because I could be writing my life-defining and career-making novel instead of watching this bullshit.

Then the girls all converge onto a dock and Ben pulls up in a pontoon –

So they all get in the pontoon with Ben and start talking about makin’ waves and takin’ rays up on the roof. Maybe even jumpin’ out the back! Don’t act like you don’t WANT to!

Basically, they were partying in slow motion. Out there in the open.

Maybe…even…a little motor-boatin’?

JoJo and Emily both talk out loud about how Warsaw is the perfect town to move to and start a life with Ben and have his babies, even though Ben doesn’t even LIVE THERE anymore and you’d think they’d know by now that he actually LIVES in DENVER so moving to Warsaw doesn’t even have to be a THING for you so maybe you should concentrate on being a productive part of the workforce and not be so eager to just give up all your dreams to pop out some kids for some guy who can’t even get his one-on-one date priorities straight and I don’t know if you know this, but generations of women fought to give you the right to have a choice between just being some baby maker and being a part of public society, so even if that does mean just promoting a bunch of products on your Instagram and Twitter like all the other former Bachelor stars maybe you might want to pause for a minute and think about the fact that Ben could move for YOU and stay home with those kids because equal rights for ALL, EVERYBODY.

The girls get to stay in some AirBnB on the same lake where Ben grew up (omgomghowspecial), and Ben makes a joke about the girls not sneaking over to his childhood home and peeking in on his parents because they might be having sex (yeah, Ben, know who else has parents who still like to do it? ME! My parents LOVE doing it, and when they do it they play Enya or Yanni on full blast so everyone knows not to walk in on them so maybe you should think about getting your parents an Enya CD, too, and then you don’t have to make jokes about their sex life on national television even though the thought of your silver fox dad still puttin’ it to a lady at his age isn’t THAT awful but it’s the PRINCIPLE of the thing, OKAY?), and then he asks Lauren out on a date. The girls are a little put-off by the fact that he didn’t even have to write out a date card and have it delivered to the house by an intern like a real Bachelor would – he just asked her out himself, like there were no longer any rules! Like he could just do whatever he wanted!

It’s almost as if this a foreshadowing of something to come…

Hey, For Our Date, Let’s Just Do Some Stuff I Wanna Do & Talk About Me Some More

So Lauren and Ben take off in “his” vintage truck, and Ben drives Lauren by his old elementary school and then tells us that this is a date that he would take a girl on anytime he came home – drive around, see what’s going on, point out every landmark he’s ever stepped foot in.
“So this is where I went to elementary school,” Ben points out, driving past a school.
“Oh wow,” Lauren says.
“And this is my high school, where I played football!” Ben says, as they drive by another school. “I played quarterback, you know.”
“Oh really?” Lauren says, stifling a yawn.
“Yeah, I guess you could say I was pretty popular back then!”
“That’s neat,” Lauren murmurs, as she starts to fall asleep.
“And this is the theater where I had my first kiss…and that’s the sidewalk where I got ticketed for jaywalking…and that’s the street where I learned how to parallel park…and that’s the drugstore where I bought my first pack of condoms, which I didn’t actually use because my prom date fell asleep when I took her on this very same hometown tour!”
*Lauren snores gently*

Guys, why do you always insist on doing this? Unless you’re famous, no one is interested in where you went to elementary school. Stop insisting on taking us on dates like this.

So then, just like in every girl’s dream date, he takes her to the local youth center where he used to hang out when HE was a kid!

Lauren tells us that she didn’t feel like she was “Lauren, hanging with a bunch of kids…I felt like I was, you know, a part of the crowd!” Which totally makes sense, since she is literally as tall as some of the kids there.

The highlight of the afternoon, though, was when we got to meet Ronnie, who is a straight-up court hustler and known as the “Half-Court King” –

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The coach makes a wager that if Ronnie makes a shot from the half-court mark, Ben has to kiss Lauren. I love the little kid in this screen grab who’s just looking at Ben like he’s waiting for Ben to break out into a music number or an acrobatic show or at least some Step Up worthy dance-off moves in response to Ronnie’s challenge.

Ronnie makes the shot – and wins the hearts of America – like it ain’t no thang. Ronnie’s got some legit skillz, y’all.

And then some basketball players show up who play on some professional team somewhere and even though I have no idea who they are nor do I care, I DO care when we get to see the look on some of the kids’ faces when they walk in and I honestly get a little teary because KIDS, YOU GUYS, I JUST LOVE SEEING SOME KID’S DREAM COME TRUE AND THAT’S HOW YOU KNOW THAT I’M A REAL HUMAN BEING AND NOT JUST SOME SEXY ROBOT WITH AN UNPARALLELED DRY WIT, A DYNAMIC PERSONALITY THAT YOU’LL JUST NEVER GET ENOUGH OF, AND A CACHE OF MESMERIZING DANCE MOVES THAT DO, IN FACT, TRANSLATE TO THE BEDROOM –

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Oh yeah, and the producers hired some kid named Eric to just start crying in a corner somewhere so Ben could turn on his fatherly instincts and save the day. YAY!

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Date card time! All the girls are feeling discouraged and hopeful that they’ll get a one-on-one with Ben.

INCLUDING CAILA which makes me want to hit her:

But surprise! It’s JoJo, who’s to see if she can find love with Ben “in the Windy City.” Emily feels like it’s really hard to see two women she already feels so intimidated by get so much time with Ben. You know, I don’t hate Emily this episode…I feel like she’s one of those rare Bachelor contestants that I actually like more the longer she’s on the show.

Too bad we already know that she’s going home this week!

For their dinner date, Lauren and Ben talk about what Leah said about Lauren to Ben last week. Lauren tells him how much it scared her that someone saying something about her, however untrue, would change Ben’s perception of her, and he basically tells her that she should know that someone else saying something about her wouldn’t change the way he felt about her, even though…it kinda did, Ben! Like, you kinda put her on the hot seat and then ignored her tears about it and basically just let her feel bad about it all week!

After that intense convo, Ben takes Lauren to his favorite “dive bar” and introduces Lauren to all of his “friends”:

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Um, btw, who’s the hot dude sitting on the other side of Lauren??? Maybe *I* should move to Warsaw, IN and start having some babies…

Lauren tells us that their amazing day together definitely made their relationship turn a corner –

And that she knows now that she’s not in love with “Ben The Bachelor”, but Ben from Warsaw, IN.

“Yeah…I’m in love with Ben.”

And it’s honestly pretty cute. I like Ben and Lauren together. The End.

The Wrigley Field of (JoJo’s) Dreams

Morning time! The girls are all sitting around, discussing what “Windy City” means (Emily: “But it’s windy here, too?”) until Becca legitimately has to to tell them that “Wait, but the ‘Windy City’ is Chicago!”

I can’t with these broads right now. STOP CUTTING YOUR T-SHIRTS AND GO GET SOME EDUCATION.

JoJo tells us that she feels a little jealous with Lauren B coming home from an “amazing” date with Ben –

But that she really just wants to enjoy her date with Ben and end the night feeling really confident about him and the fact that she might be taking him home to her family. So she hops in a van that takes her directly to Chicago, where she immediately jumps into Ben’s arms –

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And this tweet is all of us who have never done or have been able to logically do that –

JoJo has never been to Chicago before and is a *little* over-excited about being there for her date with Ben – like her level of excitement would be my level of excitement if a date flew me to Paris or something – but I get it because I went to school in Chicago and my brother’s family lives there now and I consider it the second city of my heart because it’s a way cool town with tons of awesome history and the best fucking pizza in the universe (fuck off, New York – Chicago’s pizza is DA BEST) and it’s got really amazing museums and architecture and of course the shopping is freaking fantastic and it can actually be a really romantic town when it comes to a fall weekend getaway. Also, I once got to be on the Jenny Jones show like 15 years ago when I was in Chicago for a long weekend and it was a show about girls who went from “geek to chic” after high school and on the show they got to parade their new hot selves in front of boys who had rejected them which was mostly hilarious because most of the guys didn’t even remember who they were.

So anyway! Yay Chicago!

So Ben takes her to see one of his favorite places in Chicago – Wrigley Field! (which is kind of like bragging to someone that you’re taking them to your favorite place in Chicago and it’s Soldier’s Field, but I’m just going to let that slide for now).

And once again, there’s another dumb marquee message –

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So they go inside and they basically have the whole stadium to themselves, which in theory is kind of cool if you like baseball which I don’t and also we’ve already seen this date about a billion times on other seasons, so it’s kind of lost its wow factor by now.

Ben tells her that the Cubs are, like, his FAVORITE sports teams, and he literally chokes up when he says, “I’m not even kidding, like…one of the first things my dad said when I saw him this week was, “I wanna talk to you about the Cubs.” Which made me burst out into laughter because cool emotional story, Ben!

So then JoJo hops onto Ben’s back – WE GET IT, JOJO, YOU’RE THIN AND BEAUTIFUL AND CAN EASILY BE CARRIED BY ANY MAN – and they look over and see these Cubs jerseys waiting for them. Ben’s jersey says, “Mr. Higgins” and JoJo’s says, “Mrs. Higgins” on the back.

Really? What kinda ancient sexist bullshit is this?

Like, if you want to take your husband’s name after you get married, totally be my guest. But it’d be cool if someone actually ASKED you about it first, you know?

So they play baseball, and it’s kind of cute/fun.

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I really like JoJo – she’s one of those girls I kind of always want to watch just because she’s so pretty and has some rad style and is also just so cool, you know? She’s like Emily and Andi, in that way, or even Kaitlyn during her season of The Bachelorette (I admittedly didn’t like her during Chris’ season). Like I still want Jubilee to be the Bachelorette, but I would also highly look forward to a Bachelorette season starring JoJo, too.

Back at the Warsaw AirBnB, the girls are talking about how they’re struggling with other girls going on one-on-ones at this point. And it’s timely, because this is always the point in the season when we start to see some major breakdowns with the girls, because there’s starting to either be some real emotions or some real exhaustion and probably just a huge combo of both.

And then we see JoJo and Ben lying on the grass at Wrigley Field, which is pretty much my most perfect date ever – just cuddling with some hot guy whilst getting to see how hot I look on a huge stadium screen.

And then we have to see them do this and PUUUUUUUKE.

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Ben tells us some stuff about how he’s feeling and how he’s feeling about JoJo and honestly I’m not even paying attention to anything he says at this point because none of it even matters – we all know he’s going to end up marrying Lauren B and he might have sex with JoJo in the Fantasy Suite but other than that she’s either the next Bachelorette or she’s not and that’s all I care about finding out so I literally just tune out and stare at puppy Mabel as she sleeps at my feet looking all adorable and fluffy BECAUSE PUPPIES ARE REAL LIFE AND THIS SHOW IS NOT.

Another date card arrives at the Warsaw AirBnB, and it’s a group date card for Becca, Amanda, and Caila, which means Emily has the one-on-one date! She cries tears of joy, then apologizes because she doesn’t want to take away from the group date. And everyone thinks it’s just soooo adorable, but I can’t help remembering when Jubilee basically did the exact same thing when she got a one-on-one and then later got bullied for it.

But since Emily’s white and blonde and young, I guess she gets a pass!

Back at Wrigley Field, JoJo and Ben get to have non-dinner in the middle of the green.

JoJo unwittingly-hilariously says, “How do you feel right now? I mean this is everything to you” and I laugh because HAHAHA YOU’RE TOTALLY RIGHT JOJO, this is everything for BEN, which is perfect for this show because usually when you take a girl out on a date you try to find things that she would like to do and that mean something to her but not on The Bachelor! where it’s all about the guy! which is probably why Sean Lowe and Jason Mesnick are the only Bachelors who actually ended up marrying a girl from their show and Jason’s literally only married to Molly because she’s a real cool girl who forgave him after he made the mistake of dumping her and proposing to Melissa on The Final Rose.

Ben tells us that he can tell that JoJo is holding back and that he really needs her to be vulnerable so they can build on their relationship before hometowns.

JoJo tells us that she’s scared to open up because she needs to trust someone 100% before she can give herself completely to Ben.

Which, for me, the term “give myself completely to someone” immediately makes me think of virginity and romance novels and heated nights in a castle with a roaring fire while some hard-bodied rogue finally makes the shy maiden succumb to his skillful finger-banging / love-making. So it’s either the best thing in the world or the worst. I can’t decide.

So they talk about how scared JoJo is to open up, and how that scares Ben, and then they literally just go, “But you know what scares ME?” back and forth for about 15 minutes, which is why this tweet made me laugh so hard with how spot-on it was:

And then they make out and JoJo TOTALLY grabs his ass –

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The End.

The Value Meal of Group Dates!

Group date time! Becca tells us that she’s not going to let the other girls ruin her day with Ben, which admittedly sounds harsh coming from Becca, but then I remember that she’s on the date with Caila and Amanda, and so then I totally get it because if I had to spend the whole day with those two, I’d have that attitude, too.

The girls arrive at a farm, which, since it’s the fall, is actually kind of pretty. They hop into a couple of canoes – Ben and Caila in one, Becca and Amanda in the other (how NICE for Becca and Amanda! Good going, Ben, way to make them feel really special on this group date!), and then they all fly kites together.

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“I hope this day isn’t all about flying kites,” Amanda tells us, which HAHAHAHAHA, oh you just wait, it gets EVEN better for YOU, Amanda. Then they all walk into a barn that’s been decorated with white twinkle lights and couches and tables and it kind of looks like my friend Meg’s wedding reception that she ALSO had on a beautiful farm in the fall, and admittedly, this would kind of be my favorite date because I’m sort of totally into the whole making out in an apple orchard/pumpkin patch during a sunny autumn day type thing.

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Ben tells the girls that there is a rose on this date, and that it’s the biggest rose so far because it will represent him “coming back and meeting the families.” AND, the rose is not only a sign of next week, but also the rest of the day – whoever gets the rose will get to spend the rest of the day hanging out and the other two women will be going back to the house.

Awesome! Way to reject the two rose-less ladies TWICE over!

He has some time with Amanda, and we have to hear her talk about her dumb daughters, and then she tries to tell us about how she has to feel ready to bring Ben home to meet her family, and I don’t believe her because she just left her kids for three months to be on this show so it’s obviously not THAT big of a deal, but cool job on trying to make us think that this is a really special thing for her and that SHE’S the judge of whether or not she’s ready for Ben to meet her family.

Becca and Ben have some time, and it’s…admittedly awkward. Like, he can’t really look at her and he’s not giving her the same body language that she’s giving him, and she tells him at one point that she just likes him so much and he kind of gets defensive and is like, “if you feel that way then why have you been holding back?” and I just want to punch him because Becca actually LIKES YOU and you’re RUINING IT! And she tells him to just please just don’t blindside her and that’s when I know that he’s going to totally blindside her.

Caila is concerned to see that Ben has such deep roots and ties to a community, and she doesn’t – she has her parents, but unlike Ben, she doesn’t have a huge hometown community that she can show Ben. Which…I feel like it’s way more normal to have sort of scattered roots these days then still be so tied to your hometown that they practically throw you a parade every time you come back. So she tells Ben about this concern and he kind of does a piss-poor job of telling her that that doesn’t really matter to him, even though it kind of seems like it does actually matter?

Anyway, he gives Amanda the rose, and they go off on their date and leave Becca and Caila to cry in a barn while they wait for their limo to show up. Later we see them returning to the house and telling the other girls what happened, and that’s when we really see Becca break down into tears.

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She tells us that this is probably the quickest that she’s ever opened up to someone, and that she told Ben that she just needed more time and some more validation and reassurance. “Like my feelings are just hurt.” And I just want SO BADLY for her to be all, “Cool, I’m leaving”…you know? Like when a girl finally opens up to the Bachelor and he pays them back with less than nothing, I just want, FOR ONCE, for that girl to be all, “YO, thanks for NOTHING, I’m OUT.”

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Also, fuck you, Ben, for making beautiful, super-sweet Becca cry like that.

Meanwhile, back on Ben and Amanda’s date, they decide to go have dinner at McDonalds!

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Ben tells Amanda that the whole purpose of coming to his hometown is to “do the things that are normal to me, so I wanna take you to McDonalds, because that’s a normal thing for me.” Oh, of COURSE that’s why you’re going to McDonald’s for dinner…because it’s a NORMAL thing for you, and not in any way a promotional thing by ABC because apparently they don’t make enough money just from the 6 ads you have to watch every 10 minutes or from the movie promotions they’ve already done earlier this season!

Like, seriously, back when dates revolved around a special preview viewing of “Brave” or “Zorro”, at least then we could all pretend like we weren’t being shilled to. But this McDonald’s thing is literally just bullshit. Like, look at this great atmospheric shot that is not in any way meant to be an ad stuffed into the middle of what is supposed to be a romantic and fantasy-filled show:

Wait, does McDonald's have breakfast all day now?

Wait, does McDonald’s have breakfast all day now?

So they both order Egg McMuffins – Amanda *only* orders that, because she’s a tiny little woman-child, while Ben also adds fries and iced coffee to his order – and then Ben makes up a story about how he’s always wanted to go behind the counter, which then easily and magically translates into Ben and Amanda taking over the drive-thru!

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Every single cell in my body cried out for someone in the drive-thru to just be all, “Huh? Is this a baby talking right now? Why is a child taking my order?” when they made Amanda “take” (as in, repeat “Would you like breakfast or dinner” for the 11 millionth time during this episode, just to make sure that we all know now THAT MCDONALDS HAS BREAKFAST ALL DAY NOW, EVERYBODY) the drive-thru orders.

(sidenote: My live tweet archive from this part of the date got deleted when I tried to save it, so for the rest of this date you’re just going to have to be okay with tweets from me! Which is basically how it should be all the time, tbh – JUST ME AND ME ALONE, THE FOCAL POINT OF EVERYTHING)

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Also, I was highly delighted by this commentary on Jezebel’s recap of this date:

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And then there’s a moment when Ben tries to do the whole Lady & The Tramp thing with a french fry which LITERALLY makes me recoil in horror over how dumb he’s being.

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I was going to say something about how I’m actually kind of happy that it’s Amanda who has to suffer through this bullshit one-on-one date, but I’m trying to keep my vibrational frequency more aligned with my higher self so I can fully tap into my vortex so instead I’ll just keep my feelings to myself about how annoying her dumb baby voice is and how I’m so tired of her talking about her dumb kids and how I literally don’t even care if Ben meets them and am in fact already making plans to do some Pinterest organizational tasks during that portion of the hometown dates.

Yep! Just gonna keep all those feelings to myself.

But luckily for Amanda and not for the rest of us, this date isn’t over yet!

OH MY GOD IT’S THE WARSAW CARNIVAL!

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While it looks like a happy, celebratory thing, the truth is that…the Warsaw Carnival?

It’s not a place where you want to take a ride.

“I got cotton candy, Ben!” CryBaby Eric from the youth center yells, while sitting atop his mom’s shoulders.

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“That puts a smile on my face!” Ben yells back.
“Yes…it’s good to smile, right before you die…” Eric whispers, as he waves to Ben and Amanda.

“Let’s give a big Warsaw Welcome to our hometown hero, Ben, and his lovely date Amanda!” The mayor booms to the crowd. The mayor turns to Ben and shakes his hand, squeezing it just a little too tightly. “You know what they say, Ben…you can never really come home again.”
“But I did come back!” Ben grins.
“Yes you did, Ben,” The Mayor replies. “Yes…you sure did.”

Ben and Amanda play a few games while the whole town gathers around them…
Just watching…
And waiting…
And watching…
And waiting.

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“I can totally see myself ending up here,” Amanda tells us, exuberantly.
“HE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE!” A deranged voice from the back of the crowd screams. “BEN DOESN’T EVEN FUCKING LIVE HERE ANYMORE! ARE YOU ALL IDIOTS? DO YOU NOT GET THAT? HE LIVES IN DENVER NOW! HE LIVES IN DENNNNVEERRRRR!” There’s a loud, quick scuffle at the back of the crowd that no one seems to see, and, just as suddenly as it appeared, the voice disappears…

“I think I’m very close to falling in love with Ben, and it’s so scary but it’s also exciting, because I’m so close to falling in love with Ben right now.” Amanda tells us.

You’re dumb.

Ben and Amanda climb into a box on the Ferris Wheel, and we notice again that Amanda is also a huge fan of the let-me-rest-my-head-on-your-shoulder-in-a-way-that-should-feel-natural-but-isn’t-yet, which reminds me of movie dates in high school when you’d try to pull that move on your new boyfriend and even though it always felt weird you didn’t want to move your head away because that would be even weirder so instead you just laid there with your head on his shoulder, all stiff and awkward and distracted from the movie, counting down the minutes until you could move your head again without feeling like a total moron.

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Down below, the crowd watches Ben and Amanda on the Ferris Wheel and waits anxiously, each breath tinged with both dread and anticipation. ‘Tis never good when a golden boy tries to come back to the town – it harkens in a bad harvest time, and stillborn cattle births, and other countrytime horrors. Years back, Warsaw used to do a simple marble lottery to see which former star high school quarterback would be sacrificed for the good of the village, but that old tradition was put a stop to by the mayor back in the ’60s. So instead, now they just throw a carnival whenever a former prom king is foolish enough to come back to these city limits, and they rig the Ferris Wheel to “accidentally” dump him to his death once he reaches the top. It’s a bit of a production, yes, and maybe a bit expensive, but the gods must be placated.

After all, you do not become the Orthopedic Capital of The World unless proper tribute is given.

But to the townspeople’s chagrin, the Ferris Wheel does not throw Ben and Amanda out as planned, and the Warsaw Carnival is for naught.
“It’ll be a bad harvest this year,” the mayor’s wife mumbles later, as she and her husband slowly walk back to their home.
“Don’t you fret, my dear,” The mayor says, laying a hand on her bony shoulder. “There’s always that pontoon of his…”

The Pontoon of Doom

The next day, Ben and Emily take off on the pontoon for their date!

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They have a lot of stimulating conversation about ducks and swans, and then Ben takes Emily back to his childhood home! This isn’t going to backfire for Emily at all!

Back at the AirBnB, the girls are speculating on whether Emily is going to get to meet Ben’s parents. They note some jealousy over the possibility, but make themselves feel better about the idea that it’s happening so Ben can suss out right away whether Emily should stay or go home that week. And then Caila talks some shit about how she doesn’t see Emily’s relationship as comparable to hers. “Emily is like a “bright-eyed puppy…she’s got so much to learn still.” SHE’S ONE YEAR YOUNGER THAN YOU, YOU BROKE UP WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND TO MEET SOMEONE YOU SAW ON TV, SO HOW ABOUT YOU DON’T THROW ANY STONES FROM THAT GLASS HOUSE YOU’RE LIVING IN, KAY, CAILA?

Emily meets Ben’s parents, who are very nice. They go outside to drink and get to know one another, and poor Emily talks and talks and talks while sitting with Ben’s mom. Emily tells Ben’s mom, Amy, about how her dream has always been to be an NFL cheerleader, which is kind of adorable but maybe not the thing you tell a Midwestern mom of an only son. And she just can’t stop with the talking – she wants to marry young, she’s been so average at everything else in life but feels like she would be an above-average mom and an above-average wife, she likes apples more than oranges, she learned to ride a bike when she was 5, she wore a blue dress to her senior prom…

Ben's mom is all of us during this conversation

Ben’s mom is all of us during this conversation

And then with Ben’s dad…it’s like she’s being set up for failure, you know? The bulk of her conversation with him is that she likes is sitting around all day and watching movies, but what she doesn’t like is vegetables (“WellI I heard that!” Ben’s dad graciously replies).

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Then Ben’s mom sits down with Ben and literally starts CRYING when she talks about how she wonders how Emily is going to handle life getting “serious sometimes” which is, like…NOT the reaction you want the mom of your potential husband to have.

Ben and Emily say goodbye to the parents and take off on the pontoon, and Ben wonders if Emily is ready to be a wife. Of course she’s not – she’s 23! Would she make a really great long-term girlfriend? Absolutely – she’s totally that girl that your family gets to know over the course of a couple years and she get invited on vacations with you and your parents and they start to look at her as like a daughter to them and then it’s just a natural progression to marriage. But she’s not the kind of girl that you propose marriage to after knowing her for 3 months. She’s young! She still has dreams of being an NFL cheerleader! She doesn’t even like vegetables yet!

Ben motors them back to the AirBnB while Emily whines about him taking her home already –

They dock and grab a blanket and sit on a bench (while the girls watch from the windows) and Ben tells her that he’s been amazed at who she is, and right at that moment, Emily nods and we can all tell that she knows she’s about to get dumped. “I just don’t think I can see you being my wife,” Ben says, not wasting not a second on more niceties.

They have a very calm, nice conversation, and then they hug, and Ben watches her as she walks back to the house.

He motors away in his Pontoon of Doom –

And the girls meet Emily outside to find out what happened, and then bring her into the living room and listen as she tells them that Ben brought her to his home to meet his parents but then told her that he couldn’t see her being his wife.

And then she starts crying –

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And then Amanda starts crying –

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And then Becca starts crying –

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And then JoJo starts crying –

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And then I start crying, because it’s like a yawn where when one person in the room does it and then someone else does it and then suddenly you’re doing it, too!

So Emily leaves the AirBnB and climbs into the waiting SUV, and I’ll say this about her – she might have been the youngest and possibly most inexperienced girl in that house, but she’s going down in the season as having the most mature “Tears of The Dumped” moment of all of them combined. She tells us that she’s grateful for the experience of getting to meet Ben and getting to know “this amazing man” and that while she’ll always look back and wonder why he didn’t want her, she’s still grateful for the experience and glad she got to be there.

And yes, we will 100% be seeing her on Bachelor In Paradise. Because you know that the producers basically turned to each other and were like, “Bachelor In Paradise. That’s our end game.” the moment they met her and her sister.

Rose Ceremony

It’s Rose Ceremony time! Ben has no clue what he wants to do!

“Here I am!” Chris Harrison says, as he walks up to Ben. “It’s time for my 5 second on-camera to fulfill my contractual obligations! How can I help you pretend that you don’t already know that you’re dumping Becca?”

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Ben tells Chris that there’s one person who doesn’t feel like she’s gotten as far as the other girls, and that’s when we KNOW it’s going to be Becca. And so they get right to the handing out of roses, and it’s an outdoor ceremony that’s so cold the girls are actually wearing coats, which almost never happens during a rose ceremony.

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All the girls get roses except Becca. And she is PISSED.

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Ben asks her to sit down for a second, and you can tell that she wants to say no and just keep walking, but she sits down and then tells him that she asked him to do ONE thing, and that was to PLEASE not blindside her. Ben gets whiny and defensive and tells her that he didn’t know before, that he wasn’t even sure a second ago!

THAT’S gotta make her feel good, huh?

Then he recovers and tells her that he didn’t want to bring families into this if he was feeling uncertain, and like the classy broad that she is, Becca tells him that yes, she would actually rather he do this now than later.

He walks her to the limo, they hug, and then he watches her pull away. Becca cries and tells us that it’s just so frustrating – why would she keep putting herself in this position? “I just want someone who loves me back.” BECCA YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND SWEET AND AN ACTUAL VIRGIN AND YOUR HAIR SMELLS OF PINE NEEDLES AND YOUR FACE IS LIKE SUNSHINE.  Like, seriously, you are the princess that knights slay dragons for! Flip the double birds to this show and go find one! I bet he’s hanging out in a Men’s Discipleship Group somewhere, or volunteering with orphans in Mexico, or, better yet, leading a tech start-up with a humanitarian purpose!

So anyway, Becca is now in the running for Bachelorette.

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Next week, hometown dates! It looks like JoJo’s brothers are going to be super dramatic and mean to Ben, which is probably not how it’s going to play out at all! But it might at least lend a little excitement to what is usually a totally boring episode.

So I promised you guys a treat to make up for the lateness of this episode, and here it is: This week on the Here To Make Friends podcast, all of my Bachelor dreams came true with an interview with Chris Harrison and ALSO an interview with buddies Nick Viall and JJ Lane. Favorite moments: First JJ Lane mentioned that he only wanted to date girls who hadn’t watched the show (JJ, why are you trying to push our love away? Just let it wash over you! Like a sexy rainfall!) and THEN Nick talked about his “real” job, which is male modeling, which made me remember that a producer friend had sent me these not long after Kaitlyn’s season:

“Nick Viall..NOW REPRESENTING!!!! In Chicago!”
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Feast your eyes, Bachelor Nation!

Feast.

Your.

EYES.

(and then maybe rip them out and burn them, depending on how you feel about him? Because, like, I feel like if I didn’t know his personality, I would think these photos were really hot, but since we do know his personality – and despite what he thinks, his podcast interviews actually don’t paint him in a much better light than the show did, because it’s still him, speaking the words that come into his brain – I don’t!)

Alright! Tomorrow or Saturday I’ll be posting the Live Tweets Edition. You can follow me on Twitter, keep up wit’ my Facebook Page, or subscribe to my once-a-week email newsletter instead of hoofing it over here every other day to see what’s up), and I’ll be creepin’ on all your live tweets tonight via my Bachelor Master List, which you can also follow. Until then, bachelor babes, keep it 100 on the hot tubs, bikinis, and wine-soaked tears!

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About Amber L.

Hi! I'm Amber. I've been telling stories with books and blogs since 2004. I also spent 10 years working as a behavior therapist, which I now put to proper use by publishing thought pieces and dissertations on '80s pop music and the defining TV shows of our current times ('The Bachelor', 'Vanderpump Rules', etc). I can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland, OR just by moving here.

1 comment on “‘The Bachelor’, Season 20, Episode 7: Ben’s a Tour Guide, Emily’s Last Pontoon Ride, & Becca’s Blind Side!

  1. I listened to the podcast this week and totally disagree with you on JoJo. I don’t see her with Ben. He may of in the end say he loved her but it’s gonna be Lauren that he tells that he’s been in love with her for a while already. I don’t see him with JoJo at all. She’s kind of the love you in this moment with Ben. But Lauren is just that “I love her more” . JoJo would make a great Bachelorette. She’s got that diversity as she is 1/2 Perasain. Caila is a hot mess and she should be going home this week but I fear it’ll be Amanda because he just can’t give her anymore false hope. He will make a great dad one day but it’s not today. He & his love will decide when they have babies not the ready made family. Not putting single moms down , I was raise by a single mom. I just don’t think Amanda is for Ben. She’s looking through rose colored glasses, it’s time to see clearly that she’s not the one for Ben. So I would love get Caila off my screen this week I’m afraid she stays one more week cause Amanda will be set free this week. (Personally I would tell her at hometown date but I know that it’ll be at the Rose cermony. )
    So that’s my insight to last week and what will happen this week.
    In the end it’ll be Lauren that he loves more over JoJo and he will call his mom to tell her he is going to propose.

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