This week takes us from the tropics to the strange and remote country of Indiana.
Warsaw, Indiana is Ben’s hometown. In terms of recent hometowns, it definitely looks better than Chris’ home of nowheresville, Iowa but probably worse than Kaitlyn’s home of “Nick’s hotel room.”
-Ben meets the ladies on a pontoon boat. Pontoon boats are the catamarans of middle America. He informs them that Lauren gets the first one on one.
Ben takes Lauren on a DRIVING AROUND tour of Warsaw. He shows her his elementary school, the place where he had his first date, the pizza place where they discriminate against gay couples, etc.
Ben then takes her to the youth center where he used to work and they play basketball with the kids. Paul George, George Hill, and the Pacers mascot show up and help them coach the kids through some basketball drills. Good for Lauren to make those connections with some Pacers in case things don’t work out with Ben.
They hang out at Ben’s favorite dive bar, watch Hoosiers, make out. That went pretty well, it was the most normal date they’ve had on the show so far (until the celebs showed up), so she passed Ben’s tryout for what it would be like with her when life on TV comes to an end.
-JoJo gets the next one on one. Whereas Lauren had to hang out with Ben in Warsaw, he is taking JoJo to hang out in Chicago.
They go to Wrigley Field and each take turns at bat. I kept waiting for a tragic incident to occur involving a distracted fan
Ben tells JoJo that he feels that she seems insecure and is putting her guard up at the wrong time. She tells him that she’s scared. That seems reasonable to me since he is simultaneously also dating 5 other women and she could be sent home at any moment.
Ben says he feels good about their relationship, but he seems like he says that about everyone and then sends them home.
-Next up is a group date with Becca, Caila, and Amanda. They go on rowboats, then try to fly kites. This show’s budget must be struggling more than the economy of Warsaw, Indiana. There’s a rose on this date, which causes the ladies to freak out a little because this rose in particular is a big sign that he wants to meet their family, see their pathetic hometowns, etc.
Amanda ends up getting the rose and gets to continue the date. In a plug less subtle than the Manwich themed date, Ben and Amanda go to McDonald’s to enjoy some ALL DAY BREAKFAST. Whether you are in Ben’s hometown or Amanda’s, just remember that breakfast is available all day now at McDonald’s.
They go to a carnvial and make out on a Ferris wheel, which is one of the top 3 locations you can make out. The other two of course being a McDonald’s and the Manwich factory.
-Emily gets the final one on one. They go back on the PONTOON BOAT.
They go across the lake and Emily gets to meet Ben’s parents.
Ben is a little concerned that Emily is younger and less mature than the other women, and her conversations with his parents seem to confirm that. She is excited and enthusiastic in exactly the way you’d expect for a person young enough to think she still has a bright future. If this show was about finding someone fun to date for a few months and see where it goes, Emily would be a great pick. But Ben is honor bound and contractually forced to be considering marriage, not dating. Ben’s parents seem horrified that this is a woman he is thinking about proposing to. His mom is even moved to tears. So he decides Emily isn’t ready and sends her home.
Rose Ceremony: Becca goes home too. Ben acted very conflicted about this, but it doesn’t seem like a huge surprise. He is forming close connections with the other women that weren’t there with Becca. And have I mentioned that Becca seems pretty lame? I forget if I’ve talked about that before.
You’re dead if you drank every time……Emily said “like.” Like, ok, I get that they wanted to show us that like she is a little less mature than the others. But it was like way too much. It seemed a little unfair because I’m sure they give the others the benefit of some editing. Like.
4. Caila (Software Sales, 24)
Caila should be doing better than she is. But she seems really intent on self-daggering. Last week she told Ben she is afraid that she won’t love him. This week she seemed really hung up on the idea that Ben won’t like that she doesn’t have some lame hometown like Warsaw to take him back to. She seems like she wants to hurt her own chances.
3. Amanda (Esthetician, 25)
Amanda got what Ben described as “the most important rose” so far. If that isn’t enough to convince people that she’s a contender then I have four words for you: McDonald’s. All. Day. Breakfast.
2. JoJo (Real Estate Developer, 24)
Like Caila, JoJo has expressed some insecurity that things don’t seem “right” with Ben. Unlike Caila, JoJo seems to have convincingly gotten past those issues with Ben.
1. Lauren (Flight attendant, 25)
I don’t think Lauren has fully cemented front runner status yet, but he does seem more comfortable with her than with some of the others that are left. Her basketball skills need some work, but that doesn’t factor into these rankings. Yet.
Jade got married.
My prediction is I will listen to “Where do lonely hearts go,” “I wish it would rain,” and “Love yourself” no fewer than 100 times over the next 7 days.