Week 6 brings us to Panama City!
That’s Panama City, Panama. Not Panama City, Florida. Definitely looks a lot nicer, doesn’t it? Maybe all those trashy spring breakers should go here instead of the trashy Florida version. On the other hand, I suppose that would defeat the purpose of spring break.
Anyway, on to the show:
-Ben takes Kacie B. on a one-on-one. They do the Tom Hanks-Wilson the Volleyball fantasy date and go to an uninhabited island. They eat some coconut and some fish that they clearly didn’t catch themselves. Then they get to go back to civilization for a real meal. Kacie confides in Ben that she had an eating disorder when she was in high school. Ben is touched and she gets a rose.
-I debated not saying anything about this, but while in Panama City everyone is staying at the Trump Ocean Club. And they showed a lot of aerial footage of it. Is it just me, or is the shape of this hotel a little….suggestive? Here’s a picture of the skyline, see if you can point out the Trump Ocean Club.
-Ben takes 6 women on a group date. They go in a motorboat up a river and stop at a tribal village. When this was developing did anyone else think of Apocalypse Now? No? Fine. They have to change clothes and Courtney decides to “bare-chest it,” (her words) and announce that loudly several times. She really was a bit of a gaping Trump Ocean Club on this date, if you catch my drift. The other girls seem to ignore Ben, until later at the cocktail party when they all throw themselves at him to compete with Courtney, who tells Ben her hotel room number. Lindzi comes away with the rose, Courtney has a meltdown in her room, and her rage eyebrows were approaching Bert levels
It got overlooked with all of the other things going on, but Courtney’s little rant when she was alone in her room was disturbing. It was seriously some Taxi Driver shit. [My Apocalypse Now reference was no good, so I figured I’d throw another ’70s movie reference at you.] Hey, speaking of movie references that no one will get…
-THUNDERDOME!! Blakely vs. Rachel, two enter, one leaves. That’s right, our first two-on-one date. Blakely seemed excited when she found out. Like really excited, I don’t think she fully understood that the rules of Thunderdome meant there was a risk she could be sent home. The date turns out to be a Latin dance class. Rachel remarks that “Blakely really uses her sexuality around Ben, I don’t know why.” I think you know why, Rachel. After the dance class they go to dinner. Ok, so last week I joked that Blakely was writing down her thoughts about Ben in crayon every night. Well, it turns out I wasn’t far off. At dinner she presents Ben with a scrapbook she made of their life together. Ben promptly gives Rachel the rose. I don’t have concrete stats to back this up, but if you calculate the success rate of people who whip out SCRAPBOOKS on dates they have to be below the Mendoza line.
-Back at the suggestively shaped hotel, Chris Harrison shows up and takes Casey aside. He pointedly tells her that he’s heard that she is in love with a man named Michael. She basically admits that she came on the show to make him jealous. After a discussion with Ben, she goes home. Giving up your life and going on a show where the goal is to get married just MAYBE isn’t the most healthy way to try and get over somebody. Even if that somebody is just as oustanding as Michael, you can’t go with such a drastic step. On another note, did anyone think Chris Harrison was trying to swim in Ben’s wake a little bit there? He looked like he really wanted to be the shoulder to cry on…in his hotel room.
Best Moment: Poor Jamie. She realizes that she has been a little too passive to stay around, so she decides that after the group date she is going to pull Ben aside and really pour her heart out to him. But as she is doing so, Courtney strips down to her bikini and prances around in the background. It was all Ben could do not to react like one of those wolves in the old cartoons who would have his jaw drop to the floor and his eyes bug out of his head while steam comes out of his ears and he gives an exaggerated wolf whistle.
I’m not a big Courtney fan but she delivered a knockout blow to Jamie with that move.
Worst Moment: Poor Jamie. She realizes she’s been a little too passive to stay around, so she decides she is going to put the moves on Ben at the cocktail party. She seems like such a sweet girl. And you can tell she isn’t suited for this sort of thing when you see how painfully her attempts to be sexy play out. She talked like how I imagine the characters in trashy romance novels talk, she sat uncomfortably in Ben’s lap, and awkwardly made out with him. I had braces for two years, and when I got them removed my mouth felt really weird and slimy and when I tried eating a hamburger that night there were all these strange new sensations and it felt like my lips were uncontrollably going all over the place. That is what it looked like when Jamie was trying to make out with Ben. Not surprisingly, she is sent home at the rose ceremony.
She won the Thunderdome, but it may have been more a product of Blakely’s scrapbook stealing the show rather than Rachel seizing victory. She still didn’t seem to open up to Ben much, and he’s forming some strong bonds with the other girls. She’s on the chopping block if she doesn’t have a great performance next week.
Emily had a great week, she rebounded from her bad performance last week and seemed to put her issues with Courtney behind her. Ben definitely likes her, but just like Rachel she is going to have to do more to stand out from the pack. I don’t know if Ben likes her rapping or not, but she needs to stop either way.
She didn’t get much airtime this week, I think she is still a sleeper. She needs one on one time with Ben in a bad way or she could be going home soon.
I think right now there’s a big gap between the top three and the rest of the field, and the top 3 are pretty close. Like I said last week, I think Kacie might not have the poise to really grab the bull by the horns in this competition. She seems a little unstable emotionally. But she has to be considered a top contender because she and Ben get along well and clearly like each other. I mean, if you can be stranded on a deserted island with someone and not resort to cannibalism then you know it is something special.
It’s tough to move Courtney down because, on the surface, she had another strong episode. Ben just can’t get enough of her. But I think she may have crossed a line this week and Ben didn’t follow. She continued throwing herself at him– she didn’t wear a top in the village, she told him to stop by her hotel room, she pranced around in a bikini, she continued dropping all kinds of very un-subtle sexual innuendo. I don’t consider myself an especially prudish, or even remotely classy, person. But at a certain point too much of the “look at me I’m sexy and sexual” routine just comes across as desperate. I don’t think she damaged her chances yet, but she needs to tone it down.
She didn’t get a ton of one-on-one time with Ben, but when she did she made sure to capitalize. And, unlike Jamie, she definitely has chemistry with him. So far she hasn’t seemed as crazy as I expected her to be and she is showing that she has what it takes to win.
Bold Prediction: I liked what I saw out of Emily this week (except for the rapping). I think she will continue her climb and move from fringe candidate to legitimate sleeper.