‘The Bachelor’: Going native

The Bachelor
Febuary 6, 2012

The ladies arrive in Panama City and are unleashed in the Trump Ocean Club where they all burble and chirp excitedly like the little monkeys they featured in the “Establish Where We Are” montage at the very beginning. Except less cute. Courtney the Villainess would have you know she is VERY confident going into this week, she is VERY excited about being here and intends to lure Ben the Wine Dude into more skinny dipping. Because that’s our villainess!

Ben the Wine Dude arrives in a Jeep and assures us that this is very serious business, before heading up to the ladies’ suite? lounge? holding pen? and delivers the first date card. Juggs, who had been whinging AGAIN about wanting a 1-on-1 date, is confident that this is her date. She and the juggettes deserve some alone time with Ben the Wine Dude. So when Texan Nicki reads aloud, “Sparkle Pony: Will our love survive? Pack three things,” Juggs “playfully” “strangles” Sparkle Pony, but we all know if the cameras weren’t there, Juggs would have considered murder. At least for a moment.

Ben the Wine Dude and Sparkle Pony load up into a helicopter which delivers them to a deserted island where they will spend the day “completely alone” but for the production crew, camera guys and the waiting helicopter pilot. Upon arriving on the island, Sparkle Pony reveals that the three things she packed were a monkey doll, corkscrew and a bag of candy, which are exactly the three things I would pack if presented with the same challenge, except in place of “monkey doll” put “all the bourbon.” Ben the Wine Dude pulls out a fishing net, a machete and some matches and Sparkle Pony and I are both like, “Oh, so we’re taking this whole ‘stranded on an island’ thing seriously. I see.”

To this end, Ben the Wine Dude goes around hacking at coconuts and sends Sparkle Pony off to find kindling while the two burble about how this is a test of their relationship, and how well they work together, and cooperation and obstacles and blah blah BLAH, and they are just a bag of rice, a couple of buffs and one Jeff Probst yelling at them to Dig deep! and Get working on that puzzle! away from this being the lamest episode of Survivor ever.

Somehow, they manage to survive, and catch a fish even! which they cook and then wash down with some champagne that they made themselves before heading back to the helicopter to return to civilization. At dinner, Sparkle Pony again mentions wanting to go grocery shopping with Ben the Wine Dude which is a weird thing to be so fixated on, because who wants to go grocery shopping? everyone hates grocery shopping! until she reveals to Ben the Wine Dude her Big Secret: Sparkle Pony had an eating disorder in high school. This made her more mature, somehow, and turned her into the Sparkle Pony that she is today. And Ben the Wine Dude nods sympathetically and offers her the rose and all of this is very sweet and good for Sparkle Pony for overcoming this heartbreaking disease but all I can do is stare at her plate and worry that she hasn’t touched her dinner. EAT SOMETHING, SPARKLE PONY. YOU ARE WORRYING ME. Ben the Wine Dude and Sparkle Pony then wander out into the middle of the street and spontaneously kiss under some strategically placed lighting.

At the hotel, the next date card is delivered: “MC Infectious, Texan Nicki, Lindzi the Horse Girl, Casey, Courtney the Villainess, and Someone Named Jamie: Let’s get lost. Ben the Wine Dude.” Juggs and Rachel realize that this means they are slated for the Dreaded 2-on-1 Date: Two girls enter, one girl sobs piteously in a minivan back to the airport. Rachel, because she has something resembling a brain in her head, is miserable and filled with apprehension upon learning this. Her competition, however, begins bouncing excitedly, and announces that she is thrilled! Juggs will finally have some (practically) alone time with Ben the Wine Dude! How can this not go perfectly for her? Foreshadowing is a cruel device, Juggs.

Lindzi attempts to distract Ben from Courtney’s toplessness by wearing her flowers as stupidly as possible. (ABC)

For the group date, Ben the Wine Dude picks up the ladies in a boat and ferrys them down the Chagres River, in the rain. Someone Named Jamie finds Ben the Wine Dude operating a boat very manly, while MC Infectious burbles about the boat being made from a hollowed-out tree, because they are easily impressed. Ben the Wine Dude drives them along the river when suddenly! our of nowhere! they find native children playing soccer along the river bank! How auténtico!

Ben the Wine Dude and the ladies chase after the children, and “stumble upon” a real native village, which is not, in fact, a tourist trap for old white people to gawk at the “savages.” There, they are set upon by the natives and turned into shrunken heads sacrificed to the Embera gods brought to Mr. Kurtz forced into colorful native garb. Whilst the other women decide to keep their bikinis on underneath their colorful native garb, Courtney the Villainess decides to go … native, and removes her bikini altogether. This does not play favorably with the other women, who purse their lips and glare at Courtney the Villainess as she bounces and shimmies and giggles, topless.

For his part, Ben the Wine Dude straps on a loin cloth, and immediately notices Courtney’s wardrobe decision, because how could he not. They are then led in a series of authentic Embera activities, like ink body painting and dancing. Courtney the Villainess paints a giant B + C =  ♥♥ on his shoulder, because WHY NOT, while the other women seethe and glare and seethe. Courtney laughs at how easy the other ladies are making it for her noting that the other women are “so prude,” WHICH IS A NOUN AND NOT AN ADJECTIVE, DUM-DUM, and then she shakes and shakes and shakes that black censor bar all up in Ben the Wine Dude’s face.


At the hot tub party, Ben the Wine Dude gushes over what a great time he had with the ladies, frolicking with the natives and Courtney’s beads. He then takes Lindzi the Horse Girl Who Can Not Spell Her Name aside to chat, and only seems satisfied with their conversation when she admits that she’s cried over their “relationship” and the notion that “her boyfriend” has so many other “girlfriends.” I, for one, am not buying this at all. But Ben the Wine Dude does, and they kiss and blah.

Ben the Wine Dude then leads Courntey the Villainess aside and assures her that while her confidence and assertiveness might get her into trouble with the other ladies, he wants her to know that HE LIKEY and YES MORE PLEASE. Courtney pouts that sometimes she doesn’t feel “special” and that she loses sight of what they have together, but one way he could help her focus would be to come up to her room tonight and share a little private naked time. Ben the Wine Dude giggles but does not commit, while Courtney purrs at the camera about Ben’s itches. Gross.

Someone Named Jamie! She can speak! Jamie realizes that she has squandered the past few weeks by Not Talking and Demonstrating Zero Interest in Ben the Wine Dude, and decides that tonight she is going to rectify this by taking Ben the Wine Dude aside and blathering incoherently in his face about how awesome he is. Under the most ideal of circumstances this would have been awkward and terrible, but to add to the unfortunate situation, Courtney the Villainess decides that now would be a hilarious time to strip down to her bikini and prance around behind Jamie’s head. Ben the Wine Dude, all he can hear is Courtney, jiggling. He does not care what Jamie is saying.


Ben the Wine Dude takes MC Infectious aside where she warns him that she has something very important to get off her chest, and everyone, including me, is all O NO, DUMMY! DON’T ATTACK COURTNEY AGAIN! YOU’RE FALLING INTO HER TRAP! But instead she confesses that she has another man in her life: The Chief. Ha ha ha, Ben the Wine Dude says, You’re funny, he states in that way that makes it clear he does not actually think she’s funny. MC Infectious then assures him that she is done worrying about others and that she wants to focus on him.

MC Infectious then takes it to a whole other level, and announces that she wants to make peace with Courtney the Villainess and be her friend. To this end, MC Infectious apologizes to Courtney the Villainess in front of everyone. Courtney, realizing she is cornered, “accepts” the apology, before hissing that they will never be friends, and that she can never respect MC Infectious for talking behind her back and that MC Infectious treated her horribly, all without a hint of irony or a whiff self-awareness.

Ben the Wine Dude stumbles into the scene and everyone plasters on fake smiles and assures him that nothing is happening. Nothing at all. Ben the Wine Dude asks to speak to Lindzi, and grabs the rose, while Courtney shoots laser beams out of her eyeballs into Lindzi’s stupid horse head. THAT WAS COURTNEY’S ROSE. SHE EARNED IT. COURTNEY DOESN’T REMEMBER LINDZI TAKING OFF HER TOP AND SHAKING HER HOO-HAS. WHY IS SHE GETTING THE ROSE? Pout.

Courtney, still determined that she deserves a “reward” for her relentless awfulness and setting back the feminist movement 40 years, returns to her room, puts on a frumpy sweatsuit and waits for Ben the Wine Dude to arrive. Which she’s certain will happen any minute now. Any second. He’ll be here annnnnnnny minute.

Ben the Wine Dude, he does not visit. Bravo, Ben the Wine Dude! Good on you for keeping it in your pants for a change!

The Dreaded 2-on-1 date has arrived: “Juggs and Rachel: Save the last dance for me. Ben the Wine Dude. Two girls, one rose. One stays, one goes.” Juggs exclaims that she loves to dance! Rachel manages to not sneer that she just bets she does. But I would have. Reason #3,451 Why I Can Never Be on The Bachelor. (Aside from the whole being married/being three times older than the other girls thing, I mean.)

To his credit, Ben the Wine Dude knows that this date is stressful for the women, and that the pressure of earning the rose is going to weigh heavily on both of them, but what can he do? Thems the rules.

Ben the Wine Dude brings Juggs and Rachel to a dance instructor who announces that she will be teaching them to Salsa before sending them off to don colorful native garb. Rachel takes the first lesson while Juggs looks on and asserts that she is a much better dancer. To demonstrate this, when it is her turn, Juggs waggles and shimmies and then throws one leg around Ben’s hindquarters while Rachel looks on, scandalized, and snips that Juggs is tacky and distasteful. Oh, Rachel, honey, “tacky and distasteful” are Juggs’ names for them.

At dinner, Ben the Wine Dude takes Rachel aside first, where she admits that she was nervous about this date and that she whole-heartedly wants to be there, and blah blah blah they have something special blah.

Juggs is then brought outside, and to my astonishment, immediately begins with the waterworks! She went from 0 to sobbing in 2.2 seconds! It is nothing short of astounding! After whining at him for not taking her on a 1-on-1 date, Juggs then hands Ben the Wine Dude what appears to be my 6th grade math notebook, but with Ben the Wine Dude’s name scrawled all over the cover, not Rick Springfield’s. She explains that she wants to share something very personal with him: this collection of not crazy-at-all collages she made from magazine clippings that represent her feelings? And this journey? And one whole page is devoted to her fictional life with him in San Francisco? And this is not upsetting in the least, and not at all like the opening credits to Se7en, or, even creepier, a vision board made by a devotee of The Secret.

Back at the table, Ben the Wine Dude assures the women that this decision was very difficult, but that he had to choose the woman he could imagine spending the rest of his life with, and that ain’t you, Juggs. Juggs is stunned, STUNNED by this development and storms off before Ben the Wine Dude can finish his thought. He chases her outside and explains that it’s not him, it’s her!  He just can’t imagine himself with someone as ridiculous as her! Juggs sobs and sobs and sobs and sobs some more, until he shoves her into a cab and sends her on her way back to Spinstersville. Bye, Juggs! Please do not cut off Sparkle Pony’s head and send it to Ben the Wine Dude in a box!

The next day, the ladies are hanging out, waiting for their turn to get their makeup did for the cocktail party when Chris Harrison arrives and demands to speak to Casey privately about Something Very Important. Chris Harrison leads Casey outside where he explains that three different people have contacted the producers to alert them that Casey has a boyfriend back home, a Michael? Casey protests that he’s an ex-boyfriend, and Chris Harrison puts on his stern face and shakes his head in disappointment and asks Casey if she’s still in love with this guy. Casey, having been outwitted by Chris Harrison, Human Lie Detector, admits that she does still love this Michael, but that he has admitted that he has no interest in marrying her. So she thought she’d give The Bachelor a try, and see if she couldn’t fall in love with someone else, someone who shared her life goals. Which, honestly, is as good a reason to be on this show as any, right?

Alas, Ben the Wine Dude does not see it this way, and after Casey confesses to him that there is a man in her life for whom she still has feelings, Ben the Wine Dude puts on his stern face and shakes his head in disappointment and pretends he wasn’t going to eliminate her in tonight’s rose ceremony and he tells her to get out. Leave. Be gone with you.

Casey heads out to the hallway to keen and wail and release this high, desperate whine, the cry of a dying animal, before Chris Harrison leads her downstairs and shoves her into the minivan of Singledom, where she sobs and sobs and howls and sobs, mostly for this old boyfriend. ¡Adios, Casey! Hope it works out with Michael.

Ben the Wine Dude stares off The Balcony of Contemplation, to let us know that this was very serious business.

Chris Harrison then returns to the ladies’ suite to explain that they just executed Casey, and warn them that they better be open to finding love, and TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY. The camera lingers on Courtney, because, obviously.

The cocktail party begins, and Texan Nicki takes Ben the Wine Dude aside to let him know that she can see herself with him. I wish instead she could see herself with a blow dryer and a little hair product.



Someone Named Jamie Who Does Not Have a Command of Basic English takes Ben the Wine Dude aside to explain that she goes to bed thinking about him (ew) and that she has big plans for him (ew, stop it) before perching on his lap and announcing that she is going to make out with him now (EW. NO.). She then describes herself as being “fancy” with him, which I didn’t realize was a synonym for “lap-dancer” or “desperate,” but fine. I’m learning all sorts of things about the English language tonight. She attempts to kiss him, but it devolves into giggling fits, because of the ridiculous. Someone Named Jamie disengages from Ben the Wine Dude’s lap, while he marvels at her going from 0 to 60 in 30 seconds, and Someone Named Jamie assures him that it was only 0 to 50. WHATEVER THAT MEANS. She then announces to him that they are going to kiss again, and then proceeds to explain kissing to Ben the Wine Dude, as if he doesn’t spend 90% of his day with his face attached to some random woman’s. BUT OK, DO EXPLAIN. First, their mouths will be closed, and then, they will open their mouths. With her barking orders, they attempt to kiss again, but it goes horribly despite the fact that there is nothing seXXXier than having someone yelling instructions at you when you’re trying to kiss them.

Rose ceremony!

Ben the Wine Dude thanks the women for being on the “journey” so far before saying something or other about trust, who cares.

Rose #1: Texan Nicki
Rose #2: Courtney the Villainess
Rose #3: MC Infectious

¡Vaya con dios, Someone Named Jamie! Do not cry in El Minivan de las Lágrimas, for Ben the Wine Dude, he was never going to marry you. Save las tears and next time you are romantically interested in a man try these three simple steps:

  1. Speak to the man.
  2. The first time you really get a chance to talk to the man, refrain from straddling him.
  3. Do not explain to the man how to kiss you as if he were an awkward 7th grader.

I’m sure with these tips, you will one day find happiness. Perhaps. I don’t really care, honestly.

Next up, the women shall infest the country of Belize! Cheers!

AND BONUS: Over the credits, MC Infectious, she raps about visiting the natives! It was the best part of the episode, easily. MOAR RAPPING, PLZ.


The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 7 p.m.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

Leave a Reply