REALITY RECAP – THE BACHELOR – SEASON 20, EPISODE 8 – #THEBACHELOR

Shame on you Ben! I’m-a-mommy Amanda should have gone home last week!

It was hometown Monday and Ben travelled to meet the families of I’m-a-Mommy Amanda, Don’t-know-if-I-love-him Caila, Nojo and LB. Here’s what happened:

The Laguna Beach I’m-a-Mommy Home-Town Date                                                             

Everyone gets a little teary-eyed when I’m-a-mommy Amanda runs to meet her two precious little girls—Kinsley and Charlie. This is the longest she’s been away from them. They have a great day at the beach—picnic, dig in the sand, play tag, and Ben says it feels natural. All goes well until the ride home and bedtime when cute little Charlie cries, and I’m-a-mommy has to tuck her in bed screaming.

At the meeting with the family, Ben admits it’s been a long day but says this relationship is real (one). He looks exhausted and the family wonders if he is ready for kids. Dad says Ben looks like a deer in the headlights.

I’m-a-mommy admits to her mom that she hasn’t been able to date anyone seriously because her girls come first. She was embarrassed over her divorce. But she is falling in love with Ben. She cries and Bachelor Nation realizes this is one great mom, a sweet girl, and we don’t want to see her get hurt.

Amanda says Ben was wonderful. They kiss good bye and we are on to:

LB and the Portland, Oregon Home Town

LB admits she’s in love with Ben. She shows him around Portland, takes him to the whiskey library (cool), and Ben admits he was afraid she was going to elect to go home on her own, but he’s so glad she didn’t.

He meets the family and LB’s sister asks tough questions, says LB gets quickly invested, and she is worried she will get hurt. Ben wins her over with tears (cry card), and LB’s sister surmises he really cares. He talks with Dad. Dad says they are a close family, and this is the longest they’ve been away from LB. Ben says his world stopped when he first met Lauren (pretty sure you gave Cankles that first rose) and that this is real (Déjà vu two).

They kiss and we are off to:

The Quaint-little-Hudson-Ohio Hometown with Caila

I-don’t-know-if-I-love-him Caila takes Ben for a stroll through a park, tells him she envisioned herself sitting on a park bench there with the man she loved, calls him bench-worthy, and they sit, talk and move on to Caila’s daddy’s toy factory. He’s the CEO.

Ben loves the toy factory. He and Caila design a play house and help with its construction. Ben sees Caila with a power tool and in a hard hat and says he never knew a toy factory could be so sexy. He kisses her (all in) and then RUINS Athletchicz’s favorite movie ending (Officer and a Gentleman) by carrying Don’t-know out of the toy factor in her hard hat (instead of a Navy flight cap) while everyone applauds (corny).

We move on to meet Willy Wonka and the fam.

Willy tells Ben he loves his wife’s Puerto Rican heritage, says Ben will too if he ends up with Caila, and  makes an odd remark that The Bachelor has a a microwave frame (Wonka weird). He says meeting four sets of parents must be tough for Ben. Ben agrees. Dad says marriage is a commitment, but if you find the right person, you never regret it.

Mom makes a Puerto Rican meal to die for, then takes Caila asides to chat. Mom is sweet, supportive, tells Caila she likes Ben, and that if Caila loves Ben, she should go downstairs, jump in his arms, and tell him.

When Mom is alone with Ben she tells him that Caila has very high standards. Ben says Caila admitted she wasn’t sure she could fall in love. He’s worried.So we all sit on the edge of our seat when they kiss good bye, hoping Caila tells Ben she loves him. She doesn’t. She can’t, and we come away as we always do—feeling Ben loves her, but she can’t decide if she loves him.

Then we are on to:

The Don’t-Let-Your-Brothers-Kick-My-Ass NoJo Dallas Hometown Date

Producers make us think Ben has sent Nojo flowers which makes us wonder if he likes her more than the other girls. BUT the flowers are from an ex-boyfriend (wonder how much producers paid for that perfectly-timed bouquet). Nojo calls her ex on her cell. A teary-eyed exchange ensues. And when Ben arrives he knows something is going on. She talks to him. He says he is confused, but Nojo reassures him her past relationship is over. She’s falling in love with Ben.

Then all hell breaks loose in Texas when Ben meets the fam.

Nojo’s two older brothers look like they want to beat the crap out of Ben. They are so protective of her that they make the entire evening uncomfortable. They take Ben aside and put him on the spot by asking if their sister is going to get hurt. They are skeptical. Say she deserves better. Ben has three other girls. They accuse him of being coached, but Ben insists it is real (three) (coached).

Nojo talks to mom. Says she is falling in love, and she doesn’t want to get hurt. She’s scared. Mom says fight for Ben.

Dad talks to Ben. Ben does a song and dance and dad ends up saying he trusts Ben.

Big brothers grill Nojo. She makes the mistake of telling them she has only been on two alone dates with Ben, and the brothers go berserk. They ask how she can be in love already. Say she deserves better. phonto (11)She is more invested in Ben than he is in her, and they lecture her, at length, not to sell herself short. (Go brothers!) They tell her she always thinks less of herself, but that she is actually better than Ben.

Everyone congregates back in the kitchen and the entire scene turns ugly. Ben can’t win over the brothers. They say he is manipulating. Nojo is going to get hurt. She’s way more invested than he is, and it becomes so uncomfortable that Mom picks up the Champaign and begins chugging it right from the bottle.

Ben asks the camera:  Am I that evil? Producers switch to the kiss goodbye and we move on to:

The I’m-in-Big-Trouble Rose Ceremony

We can see it as soon as Ben enters to pass out roses. He’s terrified. He loves two girls: LB and Don’t-know-if-I-love-him Caila. Now he has to send either Amanda or Nojo home.

If he sends Amanda home, he’s a jerk. If he sends Nojo home, he gets his ass kicked.

And the roses go to: LB (of course), I-love-her-but-I-don’t-know-if-she-loves-me Caila, and then (wet his pants), he has to give the rose to Nojo so he doesn’t find himself wrapped in a knap sack and being stuffed in the trunk of a car in some back alley.

And,

Athletchic was RIGHT. Ben wasn’t one hundred percent sure he was going to end up with Amanda last week and he should have done the kind thing and sent her home before he met her girls. Yes, Ben, you are turning out to be a jerk. You were selfish. Now, not only does Amanda feel rejected—even worse—she feels you rejected her two beautiful girls.

And,

Here’s what Athletchic thinks will happen:

Ben is going to hire body guards and send Nojo home next week. At the final rose ceremony, he is going to send Caila home and then before he asks LB to marry him, he is going to cry and say he really loves Caila. After that, we don’t know. We just know Ben should have kept Becca last week and sent I’m –a-mommy home.  (Karma.)

What do you guys think?

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Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer and trying to remain a The Bachelor fan. Follow her on Twitter @Tweetyz and Insagram @athletchicz.

REALITY RECAP – THE BACHELOR – SEASON 20, EPISODE 2 – #THEBACHELOR

I’m-not-crazy Lace beats out Mad-Hatter Mindy for the Bachelorette more likely to play Lorena Bobbitt in a lifetime Movie.

After seven days, Athletchic was still scratching her head and wondering how these two girls made it to day two.  Ben picked them last in episode one, reviving rumors that the Bachelor really only gets to pick 18 out of 20 girls and the producers pick 2.

Here’s what happened Monday night:

Back-to-School Group Date

Ben picks Jackie, LB, Becca (yippee), Lauren H, Three’s-the-charm Amber, Mad-hatter Mindy, G-I Jubilee, Jennifer and, take a deep breath, Looney Lace who says this will be her opportunity to prove she’s not crazy (not).

The girls compete at a school to be the Home Coming Queen. First, they must complete a project to make a volcano erupt. G-I Jubilee gets stuck partnering with Lace and loses. The rest move on to a bob-for-apples competition (lame) where Jackie and Jennifer  are knocked out of the games.

The others move to a geography test. Becca and Jojo put Ohio on the map sideways (embarrassing) and they are out. The final four shoot hoops. Mindy and Amber win but have to race each other on the track, jumping hurdles. Amber talks it up but Mindy beats her and then drives around the field in a convertible with a homecoming crown and Ben. (Weird.)

On the evening date, the girls fight for time with Ben.

Becca takes Ben aside and shoots some hoops (nothing but net), but he doesn’t kiss her. He kisses Jennifer on her alone time. LACE steals him away during Mad Mindy’s alone time and says she isn’t crazy but afterwards says they were staring so intensely at each other that they were eye F’ing (crazy). Fortunately, Jubilee steals Ben away, tells him she was born in Haiti, spent her first years in an orphanage. They hug. He kisses her, but we think she’s more into it than him.

Lace goes off the deep end (Apparently she’s forgotten that she’s not F’ing crazy.) and steals him away again to tell him that she’s not crazy. The girls have a fit. Ben takes Jojo for a walk, says he likes her and then kisses her (all-in) on the top of a building with the lights of LA romantically glowing in the background.

He gives the rose to Jojo. Jubilee cries. I’m-not-crazy Lace gets crazy and we all move on to:

The First One-on-One Date

Newsy says she will be surprised if she doesn’t get the first one-on-one date. Surprise!

The date goes to Caila. But before they leave, Ice Cube and Kevin Heart show up to “Ride Along” and the four embark on an LA adventure that has everyone wondering how anything could ever get done with Heart in tow. He even shows up in the hot tub with Ben and Caila—naked! But mercifully leaves them before the evening date where the two head to a quiet dinner, and Caila hits an absolute home run with Ben (Athletchic, too). He gives her the rose, they walk off, see their names on a Theater Marquee, go inside and Amos Lee gives them a private concert. Clearly this chic is going to give Becca a run for her money.

The Five-blondes-and-a-Russian Group Date

Passed-the-bar-exam Sam, Newsy, the twins, Amanda and Shashana take off to a scientific love research lab to determine who is the most compatible with Ben.

They flash pictures in front of each girl and study them. Blindfold Ben and have him smell them (yep) and then go into a room individually and touch Ben while the other Bachelorettes watch their colored energy on a screen. Olivia wants to kiss Ben while she is there, but Ben’s not having it. Says he won’t kiss her in front of everyone. (You gotta love this guy.) The lowest score, most incompatible, goes to Bar-exam Sam, who Ben said smelled sour. Her score was 2.4 of 10. Newsy Olivia earns the most compatible score of 7.5 but loses face with the other women.

She says she was confident that it would turn out that way and laughs out a “Winning” that makes viewers sorry they ever liked her. On the evening date, Ben talks to her first. They kiss. She goes back to the other girls. Won’t tell anything. And the girls think she thinks she’s high and mighty.One twin talks to Ben. He smells Jojo again and tries to make her feel better by saying she smells like passion fruit and, miraculously, Shashana talks to him fluently in English. Amanda tells Ben about her two little girls. Ben takes it well. Says kids don’t scare him and kisses her.

But he gives the rose to Olivia. The other girls get mad. Amanda cries and wonders if this is worth being away from her girls. And we are on to the Rose Ceremony.

The Rose Ceremony

Newsy Olivia pisses everyone off when she takes Ben away even though she already has a rose. Lace says she’s not crazy but takes Ben away at least twice, maybe three times, and then steals Newsy away for a conversation that we heard but still aren’t sure what it was about.

Then Bachelor Ben shows his true colors. He steals Amanda away and sits gluing little flowers on little barrettes for Amanda’s daughters, reminding us how much we like him.   

And the roses go to Amanda (glad he picked her first), G-I Jubilee, Lauren B, Hiked-the-football Leah, BECCA , Can’t-remember-anything-about-her Rachel, I’m-not-crazy-Lace (really?),LB—but wait—she wants to talk to him.

She takes him out of the room and tells him she just can’t do this. It’s too hard. He walks her out to the car and you spot glimpses of I-m-not-lovable Ben.

Once back, Ben hands out the remaining roses to—Jennifer, Twin Emily, Jaime the bartender (w-what? not twin number two?), Lauren H, Shashana, Twin Hayley (phew-that would have lowered his notch) and Third-time’s-the-charm Amber.

And we waived good bye to Mad Mindy (one down, one to go), Jackie and Passed-the-bar-exam Sam.

Boring overall, but Bachelor Live afterwards spiced it up by bringing in Chris Jenner, who is a Bachelor fan. She is down-to-earth, smart, kind and a joy to watch. She sits alongside Chris Soules (we still can’t figure out why he is hanging around), answers questions and gives advice kindly to Newsy Olivia by saying she may want to tone it down a bit.

Later, Jimmy Kimmel wonders if Ben was afraid NOT to pick I’m-not-crazy Lace and Athletchic yawns and   turns the DVR on to watch Vanderpump Rules. Next week has got to be better.

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Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer and The Bachelor addict. Follow her on Twitter @Tweetyz or on Instagram @athletchicz.