S16E3: If crying was the theme of last week's episode of The Bachelor, then shocking twists was the theme this week. It's a good thing our designated crier (Jenna) is no longer with us because I can only imagine how she would've handled all the drama. After seeing the promos, we knew a mystery guest would be making an appearance on the show, but we had absolutely no idea what kind of consequences (and tempers) would come arise. Nothing like a surprise visit to throw a wrench into an already drama-filled season, right? Prepare yourself because the claws were out in full force tonight...and it's survival of the fittest.
"If we can accomplish something like this, there's nothing that we can't do together." - Ben
This week Ben decided to take his 16 remaining women to San Francisco and it's really important for each of them to like it there since that's where one of them could end up living by the end of the show. So, of course, the girls are super excited to see who would get the first date card, and it goes to Emily. Up until now, Emily hasn't really gotten to spend any on-on-one time with Ben, so this was a pretty exciting opportunity for her, but it comes with a price. The date card says, "Love lifts us up. Ben," so you know whatever activity Ben's planned has to do with heights to some degree. There's only one problem with that: Emily is terrified of heights. So, when she meets up with Ben and he tells her they're going to climb up the Bay Bridge (which is 535 feet), she rightfully gets a little freaked out. But since this is a rare chance to get some quality time with Ben, she decides to give it a shot. Ben's pretty scared too about the whole thing, but his philosophy is that if they can overcome their fears with each other and trust one another, then they have a real shot at having a future together. Things get a little rocky mid-climb, but Ben gives her a kiss -- which apparently makes her forget she's hundreds of feet in the air with the threat of falling to her death -- and they make it up to the top safely. And her efforts weren't in vain - she received the first rose of the night.
"Something doesn't feel right to me...I'm torn and I'm confused." - Brittney
Next came the group date which consisted of 11 of the girls skiing along the streets of San Franciso in their bikinis. Apparently Ben's always wanted to see what the huge hills in the city would look like with snow on them and decided to find out first-hand with these girls. Everyone seemed to be having a good time (even those who've never skied before in their lives), but the real highlight of the date is when Ben takes his shirt off revealing quite the nice body. I missed The Bachelorette last year, so I feel a little behind on Ben's hotness level, but I'm definitely caught up now and I'm rather impressed.
Meanwhile, the girls not on the group date are stuck waiting in the hotel room to find out who would get the second private date with Ben and it turned out to be Brittney (the girl who brought her grandmother to the opening ceremony). But in a unique twist, Brittney decides that she doesn't like Ben as much as she thought she would. She rejects his offer, and leaves the show entirely. The decision doesn't really make much sense to me since she hasn't even gone on a proper date with Ben yet to know for sure that he's not the right one for her, so why is she suddenly in such a big rush to leave? This is actually quite a big eye-opener for Ben as well, making him realize that any of these girls could go home at any time and he could end up being single, yet again. But the show mus go on and Lindzi receives the other one-on-one date instead - and let me tell you, it was a pretty cool night. A tour of the city on a trolley car, a private concert at City Hall, a special dinner at a top-secret speakeasy -- Brittney definitely missed out on a pretty amazing time. But her loss is Lindzi's gain and she receives the third rose.
"These girls are going to hate me and I'm willing to take that risk because he's someone I want to spend the rest of my life with." - Shawntel
Now that Ben's developed connections with more of the girls this week, the stakes are higher than ever to receive a rose. But that's nothing compared to how things get when the highly anticipated mystery guest crashes the cocktail party. Shawntel -- a contestant from Brad's season of The Bachelor -- shows up right before the rose ceremony to confront Ben and tell him that she wants to be with him. Naturally, Ben's totally blind-sighted by the whole thing and isn't quite sure how to handle it. Needing time to reflect, he leaves Shawntel with the rest of the girls and that's when the claws really come out. I won't get into too many details, but basically a lot of hostility was aimed in Shawntel's direction. A lot of the girls didn't think it was right for this new girl to just walk in and try to take Ben from them. And the fact that Ben didn't immediately send her away really had the girls second-guessing if Ben is the man they thought he was. Courtney even threatens to leave if he gives Shawntel a rose during the ceremony. Suffice to say, a lot of pressure (and feelings) were riding on the episode's outcome.
When it came down to giving the final rose to either Jaclyn, Erika, or Shawntel, Ben decides to not give it to any of them and sends all three home. I have to admit I was a little surprised that he didn't keep Shawntel around since he didn't initially seem that opposed to the idea when she first arrived, but it was definitely the right decision -- for both him and the remaining girls. I don't agree with many of the girls' dramatic problems, but they were right in thinking it wouldn't be fair if she stayed. Just because you were on the show before doesn't give you the right to encroach on another season's territory. Although, it did add another level of drama and intrigue to the show; I can't really complain about it completely. But it looks like Courtney's going to more than pick up the slack in that department next week. They're off to Utah next -- get ready!
So what did you think of tonight's episode? Were you happy Ben didn't give Shawntel a rose? Who do you think stands the best chance with him so far? Get at me in the comments section below!