The Bachelor; Season Ben; Episode 8

Tonight on the Bachelor…the girls take Ben home to meet the parents and Lindzi’s horse…Oh wait, just Lindzi wants to introduce him to her horse. And let’s be honest, we all hope that is NOT a euphemism.

So first hometown date is with Lindzi and we don’t waste any time hearing about how much she loves horses and how horses are always going to be involved in their life… We also hear a lot about the only other guy she’s brought home — the dude who dumped her via text. So basically, the bar has been set really high for Ben…

Two things I immediately notice about Lindzi? 1.) Her spray tan color is a little more Jersey Shore than girl next door. 2.) Her belt buckle is bigger than the WWE chamipionship belt.

We have the first motivational poster moment of the episode…and no horsin’ around, it’s totally horse-related. “If you fall off a horse you gotta get back on, just like in love.”

We get more ex-boyfriend talk, they lived together, he met the parents, she thought she was gonna marry him, she got the “welcome to dumpsville” text, and now she’s on the Bachelor waiting to get dumped by another electronic medium. I mean, meet the love of her life.

This is a pretty boring normal family, no drama, no pizzazz. There are lots of horse references and metaphors, lots of talking about former heartbreak and after all the concern about how hard it was for Lindzi to go through that terrible break up just a year ago…when Ben asks “Is she ready to be engaged?” Her mom answers, “I think so.” And I’m all WHAT? Really, did you hear yourself? They’ve only been dating 6 minutes and he’s still dating 3 other women at the same time. The dad tells him that they’d be honored to have him as a son-in-law and I yawn and we move on.

Kacie’s hometown date is in Clarksville, Tenn., and this girl better be twirling a baton when we see her, otherwise the producers are gonna let me down hard.

Good news, I am not let down. Ben meets Kacie at a local high school football field named after her grandfather and where Kacie is twirling her baton with a marching band salute. I think the only thing that could save her at this moment and help bring her anywhere near the level of Courtney’s Handy Dandy would be if she gets to Ben and whispers in his ear: “This one time, at band camp, I stuck a baton up my…”

Yeah, that doesn’t happen and I don’t see this date ending well for Kacie. Ben says she exudes confidence with her baton, but really, she just exudes the wrong kinda dorkiness. This is not working for her, no matter how much Ben tries to convince us otherwise.

Let’s meet Kacie’s parents. Her dad is a federal probation officer so he doesn’t drink. (Um, okay?) Ben is a winemaker, and he loves the hooch. So far we’re batting 1000 folks. Oh, yippee, now we get to hear she’s in the Bible Belt…so again, no hooch. Poor drunk Ben. Poor soon-to-be-lonely Kacie.

Both of Kacie’s parents get on the “no living together” kick. They don’t believe in it, it isn’t honorable and ain’t right for their baby girl. When Kacie tells dad she’ll move to San Francisco, he says, “In your own place, right? No living together.” Kacie blinks and swallows and mutters “yeah.” Aw, baby girl is lying to big bad sober daddy. So cute.

Ben can’t wait to see some of Nicki’s “Texas pride.” I’m so hoping that’s a euphemism that he will follow through on. “Show me your Texas pride! Both of them!” Of course, the first thing we hear from Nicki is: “The last time I brought a man home, I married him.” I hope we’re not about to have a repeat of Lindzi’s date.

Well, it’s a one-off of Lindzi’s date. They go cowboy boot shopping and have a motivational poster moment right off the bat. “Buying the right boot is very similar to finding the right partner in life; you have to get JUST the right fit.” Hey! I have a great idea for a new reality show: Sister Cowgirl Wives. Lindzi has the horses, Nicki the boots, both chicks rock a belt buckle…and Ben is always there with a glass of wine, a positive saying, and a smile. Are you listening ABC?

We have another one-off Lindzi date moment, except this time, it’s that Nicki was divorced before and very hurt. So we have to hear about it a lot. So much so, that Nicki even says, “I don’t want you to think I’m beating a dead horse when I talk about my past.”

The horse is divorced, dead, resurrected, and Lindzi is riding it. Please move on.

Nicki’s parents are divorced, but they are involved and seem to have a great relationship. Nicki is worried about dad’s reaction, since she’s been (whispers) divorced before. Nicki admits to mom that she’s falling in love with him and mom is all giddy like a school girl, “Tell me!” Nicki and her mom are very close, you can tell. It’s actually pretty sweet.

Nicki’s dad is a tough hurdle to jump. When she told her father she was falling in love, her dad teared up. Not out of happiness, but out of fear. He said he “gave her hand in marriage too quickly the first time.” He’s afraid he let her down. Dad doesn’t want her to go through anymore pain. She says, “I know, Dad. He knows. We’ve talked in detail about it.”

And this is where I scratch the record and say WHAAAAAT? Because you know people always get hurt. Hell, even the “chosen ones” end up getting hurt most of the time.

Anyway, Nicki admits to Ben that after this date, she’s totally in love with him. He has great ‘gut feelings’ about Nicki and her ability to make him happy. Boy that sounds like a soundbite, not love.

Onward to Scottsdale, Arizona, and to Courtney’s voiceover: “I’m just so happy to be away from the girls.” Then we hear “I’ve had a lot of time to think about my interaction with the girls and how it’s affected me and Ben. I’m not proud of some of the things I’ve done and said.” And sadly, I just think all she’s doing is trying to smooth things over when Ben is watching the show after he’s proposed to her. (You know he’s picking Courtney, right? Because who else would he pick? She gave him a handy J! for corn sakes!)

The date starts off immediately with the family. Courtney says to the family that she “likes him/loves him.” And we hear mom say to the camera, “If she loves him, I’ll be very surprised.”

We hear a lot about how men have always let Courtney down and hurt her. She tells her sister that she has a new appreciation for love and thinks she was with the wrong guys to learn to love and appreciate the right one.

Courtney’s dad gives him the what for and asks him if he’s ready for marriage and Ben tells him he’s ready for a committed relationship. He mentions something about a leap of faith and then Pops says he wants grandkids.

Courtney tells her sister about skinny dipping and says that’s when she started falling for him. (Handy J’s all around!) Courtney’s mom is kinda awesome. I think she wakes up and drinks a gin and tonic for breakfast. I actually wanna just hang out with her mom because I can tell she’s a partier.

Mom changed her story after talking to Courtney. She said she looks happy and actually thinks she’s in love with him.

Now the producers take us to the one-on-one time of the date, which I’m going to say was filmed prior to the family time because they wore the evidence. Bad editing, producers. Bad, bad editing.

So we see Ben and Courtney walking with a picnic basket in a lovely park area. They admit they both want to be married. We find out that where they are is where she did one of her first photo shoots. There is a wedding already set up and Courtney pulls out a notebook and says, “Look, we can write some vows. Look, a bow tie.” Ben asks, “Do you have rings, too?” and she says, “Maybe I do…” They write their vows. Well, Courtney copies hers from a computer print out with “Vows” handwritten at the top, but whatever. That’s not really cheating, right?

They walk down the aisle together and after a dude acts like a minister and tells Ben to read his vows. I was not disappointed, he totally mentioned Belize in his vows. Man, a good handy dandy is priceless! Courtney read her copied vows, but in the end, she did admit she was in love with him. They exchanged little wooden rings (which they were wearing when they were with the family). They kissed and walked away.

Y’all, if you don’t think he’s choosing Courtney, you are out of your damn minds. It doesn’t matter if we like her, she’s wrapped him around her ring finger. (And she’s really fond of his meat and two veg.)

I will say, I liked her family. Maybe there’s hope for Courtney after all.

Let’s get to the rose ceremony. Kacie and her baton are sent marching. She’s devastated, but honestly, Ben just wants to live in sin and drink his hooch. Kacie is a sweet girl, but she needs to find a sweet Baptist boy to bring home to daddy.