Bachelor Ben: “That’s A Beaver Dam.”

Do you feel it? Something isn’t right, and for once it’s not Utah. As Ben and his coterie charge into Park City for a whole lotta outdoorsiness, inasmuch as we can enjoy the nature and the autumnal scenery and all that junk, something’s missing.

It’s been this way for at least a couple of weeks. My friend Karen mentioned it in the comments for last week’s Bachelor post,

"I'm here for the wrong reasons."

but up until then, it just hadn’t twigged with me. Has anyone noticed that “the right reasons” hasn’t come up this season like it has before on The Bachelor? Usually by now, there’s been at least one person who accuses some other person in the house of not being on the show for “the right reasons.” This time around, nothing. Does this mean that it’s less of a concern for the contestants this time around, either because it’s generally assumed that everybody is there for the right reasons? Or could it mean that it’s generally assumed that nobody is there for the right reasons? Maybe it’s just less of a concern for the producers at this point, so while the point might be raised somewhere along the way, it doesn’t quite make it past the editing stage anymore? Let’s try this one for a second: What ARE the right reasons for participating in an exercise like this?

Also lacking so far: helicopter dates. We’ve had the ‘awkward concert for two’ date and the ‘fireworks date,’ and some of the shots taken during Ben and Emily the Disease Queen’s ‘ultimate danger healed with a kiss’ date on the Bay Bridge were taken from a helicopter, but no actual rides in a helicopter for Bach’ Ben and his babes. Perhaps the producers have come to recognize the inherent unfairness of helicopter dates. Or maybe they don’t want perfectly good budget money wasted on the unworthy and are saving them for more important encounters later in the season.

For now, we must content ourselves with…oh wow, is that a helicopter? Huh. Okay then – bye, Ben! Bye, Rachel! They’re off for a picnic in the middle of nature with a canoe and a bottle of champagne – uh, careful, kids, no matter how much fun you might be having, you’re still in Utah!*

Hmmm, this date is weird, but not exactly in an interesting way. It might be because nature offers fewer opportunities for swearing as something like a Shawntell problem does, but Rachel just isn’t as chatty as she was last week, and don’t think Ben hasn’t noticed. Look at the poor guy, trying so gamely to keep up the chitchat by just about any means necessary: “That’s a beaver dam,” he says as he points at a beaver dam. C’mon, Rachel, say something! Do you know how hard it is to put in so little effort as to overcome the aphrodisiacal effects of a helicopter? Ah, but all’s well that ends well; there he is, forking the date rose over for absolutely no reason at all, meaning we can all put this date behind us.

Of course, while that was going on, a card was delivered to the gaggle back at the hotel, inviting eight ladies on a group date. To be blunt, five of them could probably just as easily have been put in a cab to the airport for all the impression they’ve made so far this season, but a quick argument with myself would point out that if they did that, we would have been deprived of two equally stupid comparisons of Ben to Middle Ages-era heroes as he rides up on a horse in the American Southwest.

Soon enough, everyone’s in hip waders and standing there in the river, fly fishing, and the nice thing about fly fishing is it gives a bachelor lots of time to make time with all of the ladies that are on the date with him, though again, there are only three – Courtney, Kacie B. and Lindzi – who appear able or even inclined to command Ben’s attention. Courtney catches a fish, Ben makes her kiss it. She squeals, but she’s kissed worse. We all know it.

What a mean thing to say. I say it mostly because I, like almost everyone, hate Courtney. And why is that? That’s easy – because she’s not there for the right reasons. Everyone knows it, and they’re beginning to say it out loud, too. But the thing is, Ben doesn’t know it, nor does he hate Courtney. In fact, he says, “I love spending time with Courtney. I don’t know why, she just sort of ‘gets’ it.” What exactly does Courtney ‘get’? Let’s come back to that in a paragraph or two, okay?

“I feel like you thrive in the group setting,” Ben tells Nicki** as they enjoy some post-river one-on-one time. It’s hard to take this as anything other than a kind of damning-with-faint-praise thing to say, but for what it’s worth, they do wind up smooching until, entertainingly enough, sideways-smiling Samantha interrupts them to complain about the three group dates she’s been on and to campaign for something a little bit more solo, earning herself a teary solo trip right into a limo and off the show.

Now here’s the thing – two minutes later, Kacie B. is complaining to Ben about the group dates and how difficult they are, but she doesn’t get kicked out. And two minutes after that, Courtney is complaining about the group dates to Ben. Her spirit is a little down, she tells him, though she doesn’t want to put it on him. She likes him, but…, and all of a sudden, Ben is dashing off, not to escort her into a waiting limo to take her far away from him, but to fetch for her the rose he was about to give to Kacie B. So, what is it that Courtney ‘gets’? She ‘gets’ how to be a girlfiend*** without the boy ever even noticing.  Her reaction to this turn of events? “Win-ning.” Ew. Somebody ought to tell Ben he keeps giving roses to Charlie Sheen in drag****.

Last date of the evening goes to Jennifer the accountant. They hike until it’s time to strip down to their bathing suits and make literal Ben’s line about “Relationships are all about trust and diving into the unknown,” the unknown being a hole in the ground with water in it where they can make out for awhile before riding a chairlift and eating and offering and accepting a date rose and walking in the rain to a concert by Clay Walker who, in spite of the fact that I don’t know him and don’t care about him, I’m at least glad he performed for more than just the two of them.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel, people continue to shut up whenever Courtney enters the room, and then it’s time for the cocktail party. There’s only one person who’ll get eliminated tonight, though like I mentioned earlier, it could just as easily be five or six without significantly changing the season’s outcome.  Emily muses aloud about Courtney being in this for the wrong reasons: “I think Ben will be happy when I say something to him.” Oh yeah? For anyone who missed this lesson in the first  fifteen seasons of this show (Emily, we’re looking at you), the rule goes: don’t waste your one-on-one time with the centrepiece talking shit about others, don’t talk shit about others with people you’re not positive you’re on the same page with*****, and don’t mess with the Queen Bitch unless you are prepared for the Queen Bitch****** to mess with you. Tonight, you were lucky Monica was still there for Ben to be less interested in than you. Next time, or maybe the time after that, you’re not likely to be as fortunate.

*Nobody’s saying jail dates can’t be fun, but they’re not usually fun in a “Bachelor” kind of way.

**Ever notice how in most of these conversations, Ben sounds a little bit like a boss giving feedback? Something specific that he’s observed about the individual, followed by organizational goal, giving way to a conclusion about how they fit in with the organization.

***not a typo.

****But I suppose he’ll find out for himself soon enough.

*****and don’t share your secrets with Kasie S. because she will RAT YOU OUT.

******speaking of the big competition for Queen Bitch, where did Blakely go? I’m disappointed in her.

  1. Isn’t it usually the contestants on the Bachelorette whose reasons are considered suspect? The country singer, the wrestler, the trampoline salesman… I can’t recall a female contestant ever having been accused of being there for the wrong reasons. Am I forgetting someone? And if not, why is that? Are women considered too desperately lovelorn to ever consider using a reality show to promote their careers? But, yeah, you’re right, like Michelle Money before her, Courtney is definitely in this for the notoriety. Those little sideways pinched-mouth expressions of hers are clearly “ACTING.”

    • ric-rac
    • January 27th, 2012

    Have you done a search for Courtney’s “modeling career”? It’s pretty laughable. Either she hasn’t done much or she’s terrible, because only a couple things are posted on her portfolio on her agency’s page and one of the prominent companies who used her said she was kind of amateur, despite modeling for 10 years. For sure she’s in this to boost her “career.” It’s kind of sad, really…

    I wish there were some personality with the other ones. Then maybe she wouldn’t stick out so much. The fact that 3/4 of the ones who got roses are people I can’t remember might indicate how unmemorable they are.

      • 68comeback
      • January 27th, 2012

      I saw some of her work while I was looking for an image of her to post this past week. I can’t say for sure if it was laughable because, 4 days later, I realize it was pretty unmemorable.

    • JB
    • February 13th, 2012

    Courtney is a snake and Ben is blind.

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