S16E7: Tonight's episode of The Bachelor addressed a major issue that's been brewing since almost Day One: Courtney. For weeks and weeks we've watched this girl reek havoc on the other girls in a vicious attempt to win Ben over. And for the most part it's been working, especially after that whole skinny dipping escapade - until now. This week, Ben began having some serious doubts about Courtney's intentions after Kacie B. and Nicki had a little sit down with him and expressed what Emily's already told him: that Courtney is EVIL. Before any decisions can be made or any roses handed out, Ben has a private talk with Courtney to see where her true feelings lie. This is going to be good. And let's not forget that this is the week leading up to the hometown visits, which means the four girls who get roses will also be the ones to take Ben back to their hometowns to meet their families -- a huge step in any relationship. And these girls are certainly feeling the pressure. In other words, there's a lot of crying involved.
"This week is the week leading up to hometowns, so there's a lot on the line." - Ben
Since we're now down to only six remaining girls, the date cards are a little bit different this time around. Ben goes on three one-on-one individual dates and a three-on-one group date (if we can even call it a group at this point). Up first is Lindzi who snags the first one-on-one with Ben. The two of them are enjoying a nice ride on a helicopter when Ben informs her that they will be jumping from said helicopter into a big body of water known as the Great Blue Hole. So, of course, we discover that Lindzi is terrified of heights. Isn't it amazing how they always know which girls to pick for certain activities? But even though she's absolutely terrified, Lindzi follows through to show Ben her faith in their relationship. Later at dinner, sparks continue to fly between the two of them when Lindzi finally lets her guard down and reveals she's falling for Ben. Impressed by her vulnerability, Ben has them write a message in a bottle, so they can throw it out into the ocean for someone to find. (It's romantic, guys!) They decide to write a fairytale about a guy (Ben) and a girl (Lindzi) who fall for each other and make an eternal promise to always be open and honest. Now we'll just have to wait and see if that little fairytale comes true.
"I don't feel as connected as I used to." -Courtney
The next individual date goes to Emily, who's really anxious to get back in Ben’s good graces after her Courtney drama. They take a nice stroll through town, go for a bicycle ride, and even attempt diving for lobsters. It's fun and they're clearly having a good time, though I'm not sure they share as strong of a connection as Ben shares with the other women. Don't get me wrong, he seems to genuinely like her, but he just doesn't seem as invested in her like he is with some of the others. Courtney for one, isn't too happy with the situation since she's only ever had one individual date with Ben (I guess she's choosing not to count the skinny-dipping session). Plus the idea that Ben is potentially falling in love with a girl who he knows was mean to Courtney in the past makes Courtney even more frustrated. She even goes so far to say that if she doesn't receive the final one-on-one date this week, then she may not accept a rose if it's offered to her.
But as usual, Courtney gets her way and earns the final one-on-one date with Ben, though she keeps thinking about how she's not really ready for him to meet her family since she doesn't feel the spark with him anymore. During their picnic on ancient Mayan ruins, she opens up about how she's feeling about Emily and her disconnected feelings from him. And guess what? Ben's NOT turned off by her constant neediness. In fact, he respects how honest she's being with him and tries to convince her to introduce him to her family. How messed up is that? She's supposed to be making him fall in love with her, but now she's got him so wrapped around her finger that all she has to do is complain for him to come running. This makes Courtney's confidence in their relationship come back full force. However, when they get to dinner and Ben mentions the other women in the house, Courtney becomes immediately defensive. She tells Ben that she's tried so hard to be nice to them (ha!), but they're just so into themselves that she can't stand it (HA, HA). But even Ben has trouble swallowing that pack of lies and he gets a little concerned with Courtney's reaction. His biggest fear with her is that she's the type of woman that he'll like, but no one else will. It gets him thinking that maybe he can't see a future with her after all. That's logic you hear, my friends.
"I'm falling in love with you." - Kacie B.
For the three-on-one date, Ben wakes Kacie B., Nicki and Rachel at 4 a.m. (not creepy or anything), so they can all go diving with sharks! Sounds like fun, right? Well not for all the girls. Rachel gets really scared about the whole thing, which forces Ben spend most of the time next to her, trying to help her feel better. This makes Kacie B. and Nicki nervous that Rachel will be the one getting the one and only rose offered on any of these dates since she's trying so hard to overcome her fear. As a way to express just how invested they are in him, Nicki and Kacie B. individually reveal to Ben that they are falling in love with him. Now, of course he didn't say it back to either of them, but he did smile when Kacie said it and followed it up with a nice, long kiss. I'd say that's pretty telling that he's feeling the same way about her. And to top it off -- he gave Kacie the rose, ensuring that he'll be meeting her family next week. Yay!
But then things turned a little more serious when talk of Courtney is brought up. Though the girls try not to go into too much detail, they simply say that Courtney doesn't seem to be in this for the right reasons and that he should be careful when it comes to her. They don't want to see him get hurt. And since Ben has become a little concerned about Courtney as of late, hearing more talk from women who he's grown to trust only makes him even more worried that he's being deceived.
"There will be no cocktail party. He feels there's no reason to delay the inevitable." - Chris Harrison
In a somewhat surprise twist, Ben decides to cancel the usual cocktail party that precedes the rose ceremony since he's already made up his mind and he knows who he wants to send home. So when all the girls are lined up, Ben announces that he would like to speak to Courtney privately for a minute. He tells her he just wants to make sure she's in this for the right reasons, and she assures him that she is. With that settled, it's on to the rose-giving! And the three other roses go to Nicki, Lindzi, and COURTNEY. Yep, she's still here, folks. But, of course, you knew they wouldn't make this much hype about it if the outcome was going to be so obvious. So, there you have it. Courtney's reign of terror lives to see another week. Now it's off to meet the parents!
So what did you think of tonight's episode? Were you surprised at who went home? Do you think Courtney has a chance of winning this thing? Sound off in the comments below or get at me on Twitter @KellyBean0415.