February 15, 2016

The Bachelor: Ben Higgins the Hometown Hero

2/15/2016 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 7

Continuing his quest for love, Ben brings the ladies to the next exotic destination: Warsaw, Indiana. It's Ben's hometown where he has lots of fond memories, so why not share with the six women he's dating? It's a town that's easier to fake like than Chris Soules' hometown, that's for sure. Ben gives his parents the lowdown on the season because my recaps don't exist for them to get caught up on. He ditches his parents and picks up the girls in a pontoon boat like all ballers do and drops the girls off at their AirBnB.

Ben gives Lauren B, the last Lauren standing, 30 minutes to prep for their date. Equipped in an old red truck, Ben gives Lauren the tour of the town including his high school his church, and where he had his first kiss - where he then gives Lauren a kiss because I guess that's supposed to be romantic. Ben takes Lauren to his most favorite place, the Youth Club where he worked and helped kids, where they play with the kids and introduce them to some Indiana Pacers. Also one amazing kid Ronnie makes a half court shot EASILY, which means Ben has to give Lauren a kiss. This date is a nonstop reminder of Ben being the sweetest guy in the Bachelor universe. Over dinner in the dingiest looking apartment, Lauren and Ben discuss the accusations that Leah dropped last week (that Lauren was phony behind Ben's back). Lauren's worried that Ben has taken this lie to heart and she assures him it's not true, and Ben tells Lauren he trusts her. The night wraps with meeting Ben's friends and getting drunk at a local dive bar. Lauren's officially in love with Ben.

A date in the Windy City leads to the ultimate Chicago Cubs VIP experience for Ben and JoJo's 1-on-1 date. First, the legendary Wrigley Field sign sends the "lovebirds" a personal welcome and then inside they get to walk around and play on the field. An extra gag-worthy touch is their custom jerseys which read "Mr Higgins and "Mrs Higgins" for her. God forbid you make her a jersey in case she isn't picked. Or one that identifies JoJo as herself and not just some dude's future wife. It's a one-and-done shirt for the time being. Ben wants JoJo to know how confident he feels about her and what they have, saying he's the most himself around JoJo. Ooooh a little competition for Lauren B? A romantic table for two is setup in the outfield once the sun goes down, and the conversation gets serious as Ben doesn't want JoJo to shut down and pull away. JoJo's is scared to let her guard down and then not have the feelings reciprocated AKA what this entire process is. JoJo is "Team Ben" all the way and her fear is all gone.

Amanda, Caila, and Becca go on the only group date of the week, rowing paddle boats, flying kites, and pretending to be happy to be on a group date. Ben gives each girl some alone time before he hands out the group date rose, which extends the date for the lucky rose receiver and sends the other two women back to the AirBnB. Becca is frustrated she's not receiving any validation or reciprocation, Caila is insecure about her potentially lackluster hometown, and Amanda is nervous since she's never introduced her daughter's to a boyfriend. Ben shows single mom Amanda his commitment to her and his girls, giving her the date rose. Becca is rejected in a barn for the second time, so she and Caila are sent back home. Ben and Amanda continue their date by having a romantic evening at MCDONALD'S. Man, Ben really is reliving his teen years here in Warsaw, fulfilling his unfulfilled dream of working behind the counter at Mickey D's. It's a heavy-handed product placement for Breakfast for Dinner and you know what... I'll allow it. Also, someone bring me a medium fry. There's one last surprise: a carnival! It's the perfect place to puke up all those fries while falling in love.

The final 1-on-1 date of the episode has Ben taking Emily out on the ol' pontoon and give her a tour of his parent's house. She gets to see his bedroom (I guess returning the favor from raiding her room in Vegas) and then meets his family. It's not surprising one date ended with meeting Ben's family, but it's surprising that Emily of all people got such a big date. She's super flattered to receive such an honor. Emily admits she's young and has dreams (like being an NFL cheerleader), but isn't scared to take big steps with Ben right away and be an "above average mom." She also admits to Ben's dad she doesn't like vegetables. This is all the maturity red flag being raised and Ben's skeptical she's not ready to be a wife. Ben brings Emily back to the AirBnB and while all the girls can overlook from inside the house, Ben dumps Emily because he's not wife material for him. Classy move introducing her to your parents, then! Emily goes inside and cries to the girls, who cry along with her, then she jumps along in an Uber XL home.

As the crisp autumn leaves blow in the wind, both Ben and the girls all feel like something is off. Ben admits he has feelings for most of the girls, but one girl hasn't advanced as much as the others. The first two roses go to the obvious frontrunners: Lauren and JoJo. Amanda has her date rose. Has Ben lost that lovin' feeling for Caila or Becca? The lack of validation is all too clear for Becca as Ben gives the rose to Caila, leaving her heartbroken. And she's actually sad this time unlike the time she escaped the clutches of Chris Soules. Becca is blindsided and hurt, which is surprising since it seemed pretty clear she knew she was an elimination target. But Ben didn't want to bring the family into it if it wasn't certain, which Becca respects. She leaves in a stretch limo and cries in the long backseat about not wanting to be alone.

Next week: hometown dates!

[All images credited to ABC]