Ben and six of his lady-friends head to his hometown of Warsaw, Indiana. Still in the mix are JoJo, Becca, Caila, Emily, Lauren B. and Amanda – all of whom show up in skinny jeans.
Raise your hand if you’re sporting ombre hair? Yep, that makes most of you. “OMG. So on fleek!”
Catching up with his parents, Dave and Amy, Ben describes the six women he has left:
Becca has a good side and a standoffish side. JoJo is “unbelievably beautiful,” and he feels he’s more himself around her than anyone else.
Then there’s Emily who is a twin. (The End.)
As for Lauren, she stands out to him, but their time together wasn’t the greatest.
Caila, who is also beautiful, is scared of not being able to fall in love.
And finally, there is the OC beauty, Amanda, who’s “shockingly beautiful” and has two little girls. Prior to his mom asking if he’s ready to be an instant father, Ben hadn’t put any time into thinking about it.
Hmmm. That means Amanda is NOT going to be the last girl standing, if you ask me. If she was, he would’ve already thought long and hard about being their dad.
One-on-One Date: Lauren
Sitting among the six ladies on a couch in their Warsaw rental home, Ben asks Lauren out on a date. Not via a “date card” but with his actual mouth. GASP! The girls note that this seems so much more “intimate” and real. This leads me to believe they’re accustomed to getting asked out via text message back home. Yikes.
Driving around town, Ben shows Lauren his elementary school as well as his high school where he was the quarterback of the football team. Hubba hubba! He also points out his church and the movie theatre where he had his first kiss. He then tries to recreate said kiss with Lauren and it is all sorts of “awko taco.”
Let’s not do this again, ABC producers, Mmmm…kay? Thanks.
Ben and Lauren land at Baker Youth Club, in matching jeans and white T-shirt, where Ben previously worked with kids for four years. The kids act like they remember him. But give me a freaking break! My best friend’s kids forget who I am from week to week! Seriously. How dumb do you think this viewing audience is, ABC?
Wait, don’t answer that.
But it’s Ronnie, the “Half-Court King” of Warsaw, who steals the spotlight. Ben challenges him to a half-court shot (while I’d like to challenge him to a haircut!). He lands the shot and makes Ben kiss Lauren.
Later, wearing matching jeans and black shirts, Lauren admits that she was concerned about Leah telling Ben last week that she was phony. But he puts her at ease by saying, “I trust you.”
Do you trust her enough to match outfits on a cruise ship? I think that’s the next step for you two.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better day!” says Lauren.
Ummm, yes you could have! You went to an elementary school, for goodness sake! Geez-o Pete!
JoJo is up next for a private date with lifelong Cubs fan Ben at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The two enjoy playing some baseball in the empty stadium while donning matching “Mr. Higgins” and “Mrs. Higgins” jerseys. Awwwww…so CUTESIES! Ha!
While sharing a romantic dinner in centerfield, and Ben knowing that JoJo’s been holding back, he tells her he wants to make sure she feels comfortable being vulnerable with him.
JoJo explains that her most recent relationship left her a bit scared because she loved more than was reciprocated. She does admit that she sees qualities in Ben that she wants in a husband. And after an adorable, “Come on, Mrs. Higgins,” JoJo tells him that she cares about him more than anything and is simply scared because of how much she cares. She doesn’t burst into tears, but it’s enough for Ben. And she tells him, “My heart is ready to give to you!”
Three-On-One Date: Becca, Amanda & Caila
Next at bat (See what I did there?), is Becca, Amanda and Caila for a group date. This sends “the twin” into an emotional tailspin because she can’t believe she’ll get a one-on-one with Ben.
The next day, Becca, Amanda, and Caila head to a farm for the group date where they row boats and fly kites.
A farm? Becca must be freaking out! Flash backs to Chris Soules’ season in Iowa for sure!
The twist is that this date does have a rose, and not only will the woman who receives it be guaranteed a hometown date, but she’ll also get to spend the rest of this date with Ben while the other two go home. Whoa! That’s crazy, ABC! Hold on. Let me process this intricate twist. Trying to get my slow IQ around this bait and switch.
Okay, got it…
After Ben informs all three women that this is the week things get personal for him — and next week is when it gets personal for them, in case they were wondering — he pulls Amanda aside.
Amanda talks about how she’s ready to show him another side to her, and he ready to see it.
Becca, however, can’t get over how she actually CARES this time around.(Sorry, Chris!) She feels like there’s a big difference in what Ben feels for her versus the other women. But all she asks is that Ben doesn’t blindside her. If he’s not feeling it, let her know. (Yeah, I’ve asked that of a significant other before too — and I still got sucker-punched! Ouch.)
Also feeling a bit unsure is Caila, who can’t get over Ben’s deep roots in Warsaw, BEN-diana. Having moved 17 times before she went to college, Caila’s worried that her roots lack depth, and what if her parents aren’t enough?! Yep. She said that on national TV. I’m sure her parents are super stoked she feels that way about them.
Next, she utters the single best line from this entire conversation, perhaps the season:
“I picture myself as moss — and I’ve always been trying to find the perfect tree to grow with.”
That’s so romantic! Next time give this one a shot: “I picture myself as an algae-eater and I’m trying to find the perfect aquarium to suck.”
Orange County’s Amanda gets the date rose and the chance to spend the rest of this date with Ben.
Well, that bites the moss tree, doesn’t it Caila?
One-on-One Date: Amanda
While Becca and Caila head back to their home rental — where Becca confirms she can feel with actual physical tears! — Amanda gets a romantic date at…McDonald’s?!
First time I’ve EVER seen someone eat on this show and it was an Egg McMuffin and one French fry. Good Lawd, say it ain’t so?!
Ben has clearly never been to Orange County! People don’t eat fast food there. In fact, people rarely eat! It’s the land of the Screen Actors Guild! If you’re hungry in Southern California, feel free to dine on caviar dreams, kale and dust!
One-on-One: The Twin
The next day, Emily goes on a date with Ben. Initially, things look promising for her, as she gets to meet Ben’s parents at their home.
But momma Amy takes Emily aside pretty quickly, getting increasingly more uncomfortable with each response Emily gives to Ben’s mom’s questions.
It doesn’t help matters that Emily lists every single one of her bad qualities including the fact that she’s “never been without her twin sister” and then jumped to “I’ve always dreamt of being an NFL cheerleader.” But “I feel like I’m so average at everything in life.”
As an identical twin and a former NFL cheerleader myself, this babbling sentence just made me feel real, real sad for her.
First, her biggest achievement in life seems to be that she is “A Twin.” And you guys, that was her very FIRST achievement of her life! Actually, she was a twin in utero so that means she hasn’t done squat since before she was born!
And then there’s her NFL dream. If she didn’t make the team when she auditioned for the Laker Girls, she’s not going to make the NFL. Sad, but true.
The good news is that she does want to start having kids right away and I imagine girls in Vegas are really, really talented at that. You’ll be “above average at it,” Emily. Stay the course.
And then, Ben’s mom begins to weep while admitting that Emily is a “really fun individual” but not mature enough for her Benji.
“This is just the beginning” Emily tells the cameras when in fact it was the end. Ben tells her, “I just don’t think I can see you being my wife – I don’t see that next step for us.”
A tearful twin said she could see a future for the two of them and “it sucks that you can’t!” She then sobs with the remaining women confessing that “he just doesn’t see me as his wife” as she climbs into the car of shame and broken dreams.
With Amanda already holding an immunity rose, he gives additional roses to Lauren, JoJo, and Caila.
And this move PISSES. BECCA. OFF. COMPLETELY.
Finally showing a sliver emotion she asks Ben, “Why did you do that?” dropping his hand as they walk out the door together. Becca reluctantly sits down on a bench where she reminds him that she specifically asked him not to blindside her. Ben’s response was that he didn’t know until a few seconds ago what he was going to do… so blindside it was!
Douche canoe move, Ben!
She cries in the limo as it drives away, “It’s so frustrating. Why would I keep putting myself in this position? I don’t want to be alone.”
Advancing to next week’s hometown dates are Lauren B., Amanda, Caila and JoJo. See you then, rose lovers! I love you more than moss on my tree. Besos!