Ben was one of the lamest Bachelors in this show's history, but he sure had an interesting (by which we mean, insane) group of women around him to make this installment somewhat memorable. Here are the highs and many lows from a season filled with lots of tears and nudity.
The Horse You Rode in On
Most girls tried be somewhat clever and/or grossly seductive in their opening introductions out of the limo, with varying degrees of success. Lindzi compensated for the stupid spelling of her name by arriving in a unique fashion: on horseback. Of course she couldn't stop talking about horses for the rest of the season and it got quickly annoying, but it was somewhat clever at the moment.
Cry Me a River
We usually have to wait for the Bachelor to start dumping girls before the waterworks start, but not this year. There were tears right out of the gate, mostly because Monica took an instant dislike to annoying blogger Jenna and Jenna just couldn't understand why. She started crying. In a weepy meltdown of epic proportions. In the bathroom. Where the cameras kept the audio rolling as she sobbed uncontrollably.
Kacie decided it was a great idea to go into a shop and buy a baton to show off her lame skills from high school marching band. Way to impress a guy. And she did it again when he showed up for the hometown dates. No wonder he ditched her before the sex date.
Fractured Fairy Tale
On a group date, the women got to go play with children and reenact fairy tales, in the most trashy ensembles possible. Particularly Blakeley, who wore what some (most) would call a whoreish outfit and scarred some young children for life.
Maybe the Mayans Knew Courtney Was Coming …
… and that's the reason they predicted 2012 as the end of the world. They saw a vision of this bitch who would stage a full-on hissy fit if she didn't get to go on a date to one of their temples with a man who had several other girlfriends. And that she'd use cameras in order to get more famous and on the cover of magazines, so they presumed that she would be some sort of devil sent straight from hell to destroy all of humankind using faux sweetness to woo her male prey and finger guns to take out her female competitors.
[Photos: 'The Bachelor's' All-Time Worst Villains]
Nice Day for a Fake Wedding
On her hometown date, Courtney dragged Ben to a park where she had someone pose as a minister under an alcove and forced him to write wedding vows and exchange fake little rings. Sure, it wasn't a real wedding, but the fact that Ben willingly went along with it and willingly wrote vows for a woman he can't say "I love you" to was just more than a little odd. We hope he signed a fake prenup.
We Don't Have to Take Off Our Clothes, But We Can
After Ben dumped Elyse, Courtney decided to take that opportunity to pounce (clearly breaking some "Bachelor" rules). She stalked him outside his hotel room, plied him with wine, and dragged him to the beach for some late-night skinny-dipping. Not that he looked like he was an unwilling participant. In fact, it probably was what solidified her place in the finals.
Hitting the Slopes
It's not everyday you see women in bikinis skiing in the middle of the street, on a warm day in San Francisco. That's for a good reason, as the poor residents looked alternately bemused and horrified by the sight unfolding in front of them. Still, it was entertaining for us to watch girls crash and burn and try to look like sexy ski bunnies while wiping out.
Because when your boyfriend has 15 other girlfriends, adding a little more competition will really set you over the edge, the girls were insanely mean to Shawntel when she tried to work her way back onto this show. She'd met Ben off camera, believed they had a connection (by which we presume she means drunken hookup), and thought she'd try for love (because she was oblivious to the fact that he wasn't that into her). But it wasn't just Ben's dissing her that was hurtful, it was comments from the other ladies who had staked their claim on this idiot, calling her dumpster trash and saying she had fat thighs. No wonder she left the show in a pool of her own tears.
Let's Play Ball
In Jamaica, Blakeley got a chance to show off skin again during the baseball challenge. This prompted Courtney to say: "Who knew that strippers could play baseball?" One of these days, Blakeley might wear appropriate clothing, but we doubt it will be any time soon.
Casey Gets the Boot
In previous seasons, if there were rumors of girlfriends back home or whatnot, most often Chris Harrison would just let them go, saying it wasn't his place to meddle (e.g., Wes). But because watching Rated R run around in the bushes on "The Bachelorette" was so much fun, he decided to out Casey because she maybe had a guy she was possibly seeing, according to some nebulous source who may or may not have been Chris's imaginary friend. He pulled her aside in the most awkward way possible, brought up her ex (current) boyfriend Michael, and made her talk about her feelings. She never really copped to having a boyfriend, just that she had unresolved feelings but wanted to move on, and then Ben found out and kicked her to the curb. Lots of crying (on her part) followed.
It's Too Late to Apologize
Emily, being a human being, tried to apologize for misjudging Courtney (even though she was mostly right in her judgment), but Courtney dismissed her and refused to accept her apology. Solidifying Courtney's position as one of the worst people in the history of this franchise.
It's Safe to Go Back in the Water
Rachel, Nicki, and Kacie went swimming with sweet little sharks on a group date (like the producers would put their "star" in actual danger), and Rachel flipped the hell out. She clung to Ben like he was some sort of hairy life preserver and then cried about how she won't even go in lakes because sharks might be in there to eat her. She probably should have been more concerned about Nicki and Kacie, who spent most of the date shooting death glares in her general direction.
Just Lie Down and Cry
Kacie flew halfway across the world to get more information from Ben about why he dumped her before the Fantasy Suite dates -- while he was in the middle of his bed-hopping tour of Switzerland. Of course, he gave her vague answers since it was clearly because of her conservative parents who don't want her having sex and living with a guy before marriage. And she expressed her pain at this breakup (even though he was simultaneously dating a bevy of other women) by lying down and crying in the middle of the hotel hallway.
Get While the Getting's Good
Brittney proved she's the smartest person on this season by hightailing it out of town the first time she was subjected to being alone with Ben. Obviously, she was only on this show to act as a wingman for her grandma, so having the common sense to get out before she caught any diseases was the wisest choice ever.
What Men Want
Emily learned a valuable lesson about the men on "The Bachelor." While they claim that they are looking for love and a wife, most of them want to get laid. Shocking, we know. She realized this by the time the "Women Tell All" special rolled around. But during the middle of the season, she didn't get it and sat Ben down to tell him that Courtney was a stone-cold bitch to the other women and that he should dump her. Considering how things have turned out, that was a massive mistake on Emily's part. Live and learn, and then find someone better.
A Kiss Is Just a Kiss
Jamie freaked out because the other girls were a little more proactive than she was about making out with Ben. So she tried to seduce him and came off looking like a freak. She told him which way to turn his head and when to open and close his mouth. She probably doesn't have these problems with her body pillow. Stick with that instead.
The Gang's All Here
The "Women Tell All" turned into a group hate fest of Courtney, though deservedly so. She came out to "defend" her abhorrent actions on the show and came off as even more phony and ridiculous than ever. She attempted to apologize (though she earlier wouldn't accept Emily's apology because she doesn't do that sort of thing) and said that she handled everything wrong (now that she's seen how the press has torn her to pieces) and would behave like an actual human being if given another chance. We didn't buy it, and the other ladies who had to live with her didn't seem to believe her crocodile tears either.
The season finale of "The Bachelor" airs Monday, 3/12 at 8 PM on ABC.
More from Television Without Pity: