Week two of the 2012 Bachelor season might as well have been a two-hour infomercial for Sonoma. The city’s name was said somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 and 6,571 times.
The entire show could be summed up in these three sentences:
- Ben loves Sonoma.
- Sonoma is Ben’s life.
- If the girls can’t handle Sonoma, then they can’t handle Ben.
Kacie B was the first of the bachelorettes to learn and experience Ben's above three rules of life. From the get-go, it was utterly ridiculous. After five minutes of hanging out with Ben, Kacie told us, “Ben brings out things in me that I haven’t been in touch with for a long time.” The show’s editors made it seem like those “things” were Kacie’s super-duper, baton-twirling skills, (she just happened to find a baton in a main-street shop window), but I’m not entirely convinced that’s what she meant (just like I’m not entirely convinced SHE knew what she meant).
A little while later, we got to see Ben and Kacie have an uncomfortable dinner conversation where Kacie peppered Ben with questions about his deceased father, and Ben got tongue-tied, so Kacie just answered the questions for him. Of course, in the very next shot, Kacie told us how natural her chemistry was with Ben. Huh?
After dinner, Ben gave Kacie a rose, and he took her to an old-timey movie theater where they watched home videos from their respective childhoods. Seeing his father on the videos made Ben tear up, which made Kacie tear up, which made my wife tear up, which made me laugh.
The next day, Ben practiced his goober walk in the park and met a handful of his girls for a group date. Big Teeth Blakely (BTB) used the opportunity to showcase her…self. Meanwhile, Ben used the date to talk more nonsense about how Sonoma is a “community built on family,” or something dumb like that. This was followed by more small-town-community hogwash where Ben forced the girls to accept acting roles in a community theater play he claimed a bunch of elementary school kids, and not himself, had written. In the play Ben feigned a dreadful British accent and clomped around while probably thinking he was all awesome and stuff. It was tough to watch.
The group date ended (like all group dates do) at a fancy outdoor swimming pool. After the girls had changed into their bathing suits, Ben took turns making out with them. That’s not entirely true, but it’s not entirely false either. The highlights of the pool party all revolved around how everyone hated Big Teeth Blakely (BTB) because she was so…friendly with Ben. Jaclyn, summed it up perfectly, “Blakely…more like...Fakely.” Burn. Even so, Big Teeth Blakely (BTB) earned the group date rose. She would not be denied.
On Ben’s second one-on-one date, Ben took Courtney on some faux-hiking excursion through the woods. He also took his Jack Russell terrier, Scotch. After about Scotch’s third second of screen time, Cecilia blurted out, “I want Scotch to go on every date!” She was completely serious. And after watching the date, I agreed with her. After their walk through the woods, Ben and Courtney rode on a tractor, Ben waxed eloquent about Sonoma, they ate dinner in a vineyard, awkwardly kissed each other, and then Ben gave Courtney a rose and they kissed some more. Now, Courtney is a lunatic. Deep down, Ben knows this; he has to. The only thing that’s keeping her around is the fact that by profession she is a “model.” Ben likes that. If Courtney were a financial analyst or critical care nurse, he wouldn’t care as much. If I’ve got this wrong, and none of this is true, then Ben is in HUGE trouble.
At the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, Big Teeth Blakely (BTB) continued to antagonize her opponents. After Big Teeth Blakely (BTB) interrupted Ben’s one-on-one time with Samantha AND Erika, Emily questioned Big Teeth Blakely (BTB)’s “morals.” I was just as confused to hear Emily say it, as you were to read it just now.
After that, Jenna grabbed Ben for some alone time on an outdoor couch, and, within 10 seconds, said the phrase, “I feel like I’m a guy in how I act.” Looking like a trapped zebra about to be devoured by a tiger, Ben sat there for a few tense moments until Jaclyn came outside and asked if she could steal him. Before she had even finished her question, Ben had risen up off the couch and started walking Jaclyn's direction. Afterward, Big Teeth Blakely (BTB) fake cried and Jenna real cried, and both successfully garnered Ben’s attention (a dangerous precedent).
At the rose ceremony, in addition to the roses he’d already given to Kacie B, Big Teeth Blakely (BTB) and Courtney, Ben distributed roses to Jennifer, Emily, Elyse, Jaclyn, Erika, Rachel, Lyndzi, Nicki, Casey S, Samantha, Monica, Jamie and Brittney.
This led to the obligatory Jenna meltdown, where she delivered this beauty: “I came here for love! Are you kidding me?! No, really, are you kidding me?! I’m mortified! I never find love! I’ve always been trying to find it!” Best of luck to you, Jenna. You’re going to need it.