In last week’s season premiere, Bachelor Ben Flajnik whittled down his bevy of beauties from 25 to 18. And while that episode was juiced with the drama of first meetings and the presence of an off-kilter blogger (hi Jenna!), last night’s was filled with first dates, swimming pool make out sessions, and way more tears than you would expect for so early in the season.
Let’s see how the rose petals fell this week:
(MORE: The All-TIME 100 TV Shows)
Boldest move: Ben broke from Bachelor tradition and airlifted the women out of the infamous and cootie-filled Bachelor Mansion, taking the entire group to his hometown, Sonoma.
Best talent: Ben gave adorably dimpled Kacie B. the honor of going on the first date of the season. By Bachelor standards, the outing is pretty lame — no Thai dancers, no zip-lining. To spice things up, in a toy store, Kacie B. grabs a baton, lights it on fire, and starts twirling it and marching up and down the main street. One of those things is not true.
Best guest star: The ghost of Ben’s father. Know what’s a worst first date movie than Lars von Trier’s Dancer in the Dark? Home movies featuring your deceased dad. The moment his father appeared on screen, Ben teared up and then Kacie teared up and then they were both sitting in an empty theater crying and that’s how love connections are made.
Worst idea: When you are on a date with 12 women (and you’re not on Sister-Wives) you must find activities to keep everyone entertained and not fighting and/or crying. Ben opted to expose the children of Sonoma to the women of the Bachelor (hope they’re up to date on their vaccines!) and had some local kids write a play for them to perform. Instead of drafting a cautionary tale about the perils of reality television, the kids wrote a fairytale starring Prince Pinot alongside his weasel, sheep, and a dragon who blew the sheep’s clothes off. And that was the day the Sonoma City Council axed the community theater budget.
Worst outfit choice: Blakely, clad in a teeny tiny skintight romper fairly inappropriate for child company. And yet, there she was pretending to be a cookie with the biggest …er, frosting. As one of her competitors pointed out, what happens when you cross a gingerbread man and a hooker? Blakely.
Most awkward dance: When the children of Sonoma inexplicably asked the ladies to perform “sexy dances” during their auditions, Nicki, the dental hygienist, obliged with the world’s least sexy sprinkler. Where are these kids’ parents?
Villain du Jour: Blakely the “VIP cocktail waitress” who Ben considers “grounded,” the other women consider “bitchy,” and whose teeth may have their own area code. Her aggressive behavior is such an affront that sweet little Samantha has no choice but to hide in a bathroom stall. Blakely claims this is all part of her being a Scorpio. Adding to her villain status is that Ben actually liked her and gave her the coveted group date rose.
Best pretend normal: Ben wanted to show fast lane denizen Courtney that life in small town Sonoma could be her every day normal life. To illustrate this point, Ben put Courtney on a tractor and drove her to a candlelit dinner under the stars. Totally normal. Now if we could only get her to stop saying “Winning!” (Last count: 4)
Most surprising reveal: Over dinner with Courtney, Ben revealed that he worked in internet sales and was a cash-heavy bro with hard partying ways. What changed him? The Bachelorette.
Worst omen for the future: When you find your rose bearer hiding behind luggage at a cocktail party, curled up in a ball, crying. That’s how Bachelor Ben found Blakely after the other women charged her with unfair competition. Ben kindly viewed this oddball behavior as “stress.”
Worst pick up line: During her brief one-on-one time with Ben, Jenna the blogger made a point to tell him, “I’m like a guy.” Realizing that sounded odd, she quickly added, “I’m not, like, a girl.” As Ben, tried to grasp what exactly she was saying, their conversation was interrupted by another eager bachelorette and Jenna left. She declared to the camera, “It’s so awkward now,” and then went inside to cry in bed. You know, like a dude.
Come back next week when Ben heads a whopping 45 miles south to San Francisco. Maybe he’ll drive a tractor all the way there!
Who do you think Ben will end up with? Are the women on this season crazier than ever? Tell us what you think in the comments or tweet us @TimeCulture.