Week 5 brings us to our first tropical location, Puerto Rico.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of Puerto Rico I have a hard time not thinking about rum. But I have a hard time not thinking about rum in most situations.
-Nicki finally gets a one-on-one date. The date is to walk around Old San Juan, but it gets a little side-tracked by some hard rain and some awkward questions about Nicki’s first marriage. The date seemed to go well and Nicki collected a rose, but to be honest I didn’t see the spark there I was expecting.
-Ben takes 9 ladies on a group date to Roberto Clemente Stadium. They mention the name of the stadium and show the statue of Roberto Clemente outside, but they say NOTHING about his significance. ABC is giving everyone plugs except the Pirates! The girls are divided into two teams and they have to play baseball against each other, with the winning team getting to continue on to a beach party with Ben and the losers going home. Maybe Major League Baseball should use that kind of motivation to get people excited about its all-star game. Ben is the pitcher for both teams, and he did not have a strong performance. Bad mechanics, lots of hanging breaking balls, poor velocity, and he couldn’t miss a bat. He still managed to get an invite to Pirates spring training based on this episode, though. I have to say that some of the girls showed some legit skill. After a hard-fought game, four of the girls have to go back to the hotel. The rest go on to a beach party where not much eventful happened. Kacie B gets the rose.
-Elyse gets a one-on-one date where she and Ben go around on a yacht. Taking a girl around a tropical island on a yacht so big that it made Jay-Z insecure. Yet another “down to earth” date, Ben. Elyse, aged 24, tells Ben that she has accomplished everything she wants to accomplish in life. The only things left on her bucket list are getting engaged and married. Ben’s reaction to this claim is to send her home. Harsh? Perhaps, but I have to confess that hearing someone claim that they accomplished all that they ever wanted to accomplish by age 24 did make me want to slap her. To add insult to injury Ben doesn’t let her ride back in the yacht, he sends her back in one of the little lifeboats. That’s pretty rough.
-As Ben is returning from the yacht, he finds Courtney waiting outside his room with a bottle of wine. When watching that I admired her effort and was creeped out all at once. Courtney drops all kinds of sexual innuendo and they end up going skinny dipping and getting pretty gropey. On one level you have to acknowledge Courtney’s competitive drive, but on the other hand YOU NEED TO ACT LIKE YOU WAS RAISED RIGHT, GIRL! This show isn’t on cable. It isn’t even on Fox! Even Ben seemed concerned that they were headed to a TV-MA rating.
-Ben describes his date with Jennifer last week as “rad.” Thanks, Michelangelo
But he sends her home at the rose ceremony. COWABUNGA!
Best Moment: Courtney on Blakely: “who knew strippers could play baseball.” If Courtney’s modeling career doesn’t work out she could get into insult comedy.
Worst Moment: Emily tells Ben that she is done whining about Courtney, and then proceeds to whine about Courtney until Ben has to tell her to shut it. Emily had a pretty good date with Ben a few weeks ago, but she has totally destroyed all that goodwill by being obsessed with Courtney. It’s like she cares more about Courtney losing than herself winning. She is killing her hopes of winning with unnecessary self-inflicted wounds. Emily, your relationship with Ben is kind of like epidemiologists’ relationship with SARS. You ignored what was happening right in front of you, it made everything worse, people died, and I cracked jokes. She needs a big turnaround to get back in this thing.
She hasn’t had much airtime at all, but man did she look good playing baseball this week. I do think that if she ever gets much time with Ben there’s a chance they could hit it off. She is running out of time though.
Blakely was the MVP of the baseball game, she had some definite talent outside of her bra for once. Ben also seemed touched by her revelation that every day she writes something down that she likes about him. Little does he know that it’s written in crayon.
She had a good one-on-one date with Ben, but I was expecting better. I don’t think she’s in danger of elimination any time soon but I think she’s in danger of falling too far behind the leaders. It’s getting to the point in the show where Ben is going to have to eliminate girls he likes, Nicki has to separate herself from the pack.
There’s no doubt that Ben really likes her, I think she is right in the mix to be the top contender. Her insecurity makes me wary, though. It takes a little bit of a killer instinct to beat out the other girls. If she just sits back and cries when girls like Courtney are going hard in the paint, then she is going to find herself crying on top of a mountain or on a beach in the final episode.
Ben really seems drawn to her. I rank her ahead of Kacie B because I think she might have a little bit more of that competitive edge that it will take to get to the finish line. I think age/maturity might also become a factor. Ben has had a short fuse with some of the younger girls that seemed like needy princesses. Lindzi strikes me as more mature and confident than some of the younger contestants like Kacie.
She is so unlikeable, and yet you can’t help but admire her efforts. She knows that you’re not in this to make friends, you are in it to win it. And she pulled out all the stops this week. She should tread carefully though. If too many complaints start to be made about her, Ben might start to listen. Ben also seemed a little uneasy with how much she was throwing herself at him. He went along with it, but he was remorseful. She needs to walk that fine line between sexy/flirty and desperate.
Bold Prediction: Even though Emily is hanging on by a thread, I think she’ll have a rebound week. Ben keeps giving her chances, there must be a reason.