Week four of The Bachelor 2012 opened with breath-taking helicopter shots of Park City, UT in autumn. During the mountain montage, Ben tried to imitate what a prince must sound like when admiring his harem, and told us how quickly he has fallen in love with all his women. He went on to say the reason "he" brought the girls to Park City was because the outdoors are such a huge part of his life. All the Park City dates, Ben promised us, would be outdoorsy and awesome.
As the girls settled into their hotel suite, the first one-on-one date card arrived for Rachel. As usual, this made Kacie B cry. This competition has been really hard on her you guys. You don't even know. She went on to say she just wishes the competition were over and she and Ben were going to the grocery store right now. (I'm not even making a joke here. She actually said this.)
As Ben and Rachel departed the hotel in a helicopter, Nicki jealously lamented that she was not riding in it with Ben. I've been in a helicopter. Trust me, Nicki, unless you enjoy the feeling of drunken, angry badgers wrestling each other inside your stomach, you came out ahead this time.
The chopper dropped Ben and Rachel at a private lake where they spent the day paddling around in a canoe, having a picnic and talking about how "nice it is out here." After all two of his conversation topics had run out, Ben took the opportunity to point out nearby landmarks he assumed were constructed by beavers. At dinner, there was just as little talking between them. Ben wanted Rachel to be more communicative, but Rachel only wanted to prove she had more personality than a brick wall. For a while there, it looked like the brick wall would prevail. Just when it seemed Rachel was destined to go home, she told Ben she was having trouble opening up, but, she assured him she was honest and would tell him anything. Taking her word for it, Ben completely changed course, said they had a great vibe, gave her a rose, stuck his tongue down her throat and starting giggling like a fourth-grade girl. Of this jarring transition, Cecilia commented, "So. Basically. Ben could go on a date with a hammer and give it a rose." (Side note: Cecilia got increasingly angry the longer Rachel's lobster tail laid untouched on her plate. To my wife, there may not be a more terrible affront than an uneaten lobster tail.)
On the group date, Ben resumed the charade that he's an avid outdoorsman. He took the girls horseback riding and fly fishing. Amazingly, not one of the girls caught the abject horror on his face as his horse stumbled in the mountain stream he crossed as his steed trotted to greet them. Neither, did they seem to notice his 100% awful fly fishing form. (Granted, I'm not a fly fisherman, but I have seen A River Runs Through It. There's no chance Ben could have earned a spot as Craig Sheffer's stunt double in that fine piece of cinema.)
From the outset of the group date, Kacie pouted and whined about not getting enough of Ben's time, while Courtney the Wicked told us how easy it was going to be to get the group-date rose. I'll say this about her. She comes across as a self-absorbed, manipulative, immature brat, but she's a straight-up genius when it comes to playing the bachelor game. Ben absolutely melts anytime he's near her. He hangs on her every word and bends over backward to make her happy. The other girls notice this and are unequivocally threatened by her. Naturally, Courtney the Wicked managed to be the only person (including Ben) to catch a trout. She could do no wrong on this day.
Later that evening, Ben took turns more or less telling certain girls they had nothing to worry about at the upcoming rose ceremony. After one-on-one convos with Casey S and Nicki, Samantha demanded the same reassurance, because in her mind, she should already have a ring on her finger (her exact words). Why, she asked, hadn't Ben taken her on any one-on-one dates yet? Ben turned the question around on her and asked her to give him a reason, for which, she had none. Ben then explained the reason had been because she was so emotional (read: crazy) on every group date she'd been on. In a rare case of back-boned-ness, Ben snowballed the conversation down to the point where he didn't think he needed to wait until the rose ceremony to send Samantha home, so he asked her to leave right away. In a nearby darkened corner, Courtney the Wicked cackled.
Afterward, Ben took Kacie B up to his room and promised he still had feelings for her. As is his habit, he sealed the conversation with a make-out session. When Ben returned, Courtney the Wicked stole him away to a secluded fireplace and started kissing him. At an opportune time, she pulled away, told him how badly the competition sucked, admitted she thought they were not spending enough time together and explained she had lost sight of "us." Cecilia's theory here was Courtney the Wicked, being only a mediocre verbal communicator, didn't mean to talk as much as she did. All she meant to do was get Ben's wheels turning enough so he could continue to affirm her the way he had done all along. Even though she was completely incoherent, Ben turned to jello. He left to retrieve the group-date rose. When he returned, she literally laughed at him for being so easily manipulated. Moments later, he even admitted he had planned on giving the rose to a different girl. This is why Courtney the Wicked is such a bachelor prodigy.
The second one-on-one date of the week went to Jennifer the Red-Headed Accountant. In a rare moment of weakness, Courtney the Wicked admitted to being a little worried about the date, since she could easily see Ben and Jennifer the Red-Headed Accountant being good friends. As most every one-on-one dates go, this one was pretty sweet. There was "trespassing," crater repelling, free falling, kissing while dog paddling, gondola riding, dining al fresco, rose giving and a personal Clay Walker concert (where Clay Walker must've been extremely perplexed to see more people gawking at Ben and Jennifer the Red-Headed Accountant than him). The two biggest highlights of the date were Clay Walker's fantastic mane of hair and this quote from Ben, "I like that Jennifer is easy-going. She's a good kisser...she seems like she has a good family...she's outdoorsy."
At the cocktail party before the weekly rose ceremony, Emily used her alone time with Ben to trash talk Courtney. He would have none of it. When she finished her rant, Ben threatened her that badmouthing other girls could ultimately be her demise. Shellshocked, Emily stumbled back to the party and spilled the beans about her conversation to Jamie and Casey S (Courtney the Wicked's best friend, consequently). Casey S defended her BFF and then skipped away to tell her conniving crony what Emily had said about her. Later on that evening, as Kacie B tried to start a light conversation involving all the girls in the room, Courtney the Wicked derailed the chit chat so she could take direct shots at Emily. Unfortunately, Emily wilted like a hydrangea in the desert under the assault. If it had been a basketball game, this would have been the moment Courtney the Wicked grabbed her 10th rebound to give her a triple double. It was a performance that won't soon be matched again (until next week when she steals Ben away from a group date and forces him to go skinny dipping).
At the rose ceremony, with Rachel, Courtney the Wicked and Jennifer the Red-Headed Accountant already holding their roses, Ben gave roses to Lyndzi, Jamie, Nicki, Kacie B, Elyse, Big Teeth Blakely (BTB), Casey S and Emily (surprise, surprise). After Ben escorted Monica out the door, he told the girls their next stop would be Puerto Rico, to which Courtney the Wicked revealed she had been only two months ago. Of course she had.