This week on “The Bachelor,” Ben took his bevy of beauties, now down to nine women, to exotic Panama City. So far, the season has been colored by slews of claws-out catfights, mostly involving manipulative Courtney, who continued her streak as one of the best villains in "Bachelor" history. Her belligerently seductive tactics, combined with a few mascara-smeared revelations from the other ladies, made for a seriously squirm-worthy episode. Here are the week’s top five highlights:
5. Kacie B. Gets Ahead
Baton-twirling sweetheart Kacie B., who became smitten with Ben after a sentimental one-on-one in his hometown of Sonoma, proved that she still had a hold over his heart by winning the rose on the post-baseball game group date last week. She won a second one-on-one right away last night, which caused a ripple of contention among the other girls. Their date started with the standard helicopter ride, and saw them eking out an adventure on a deserted island, chopping coconuts and catching fish "Survivor"-style. Ben seemed besotted with the southern belle, remarking, “Kacie B. and I are a good little team.”
Kacie B. raised the stakes on the dinner portion of the date by uncovering a dark past plagued with eating disorders. Serious fare for a third date, but it worked -- Ben took it in stride and admired her bravery. She was awarded the rose and both of them walked away happy. “On a scale of one to wonderful, today was fantastic,” she giggled.
4. Courtney Gets Frisky (Again)
The group date found our girls stumbling upon a picturesque Panamanian village, where all the locals had clearly dressed for the occasion. They were hustled into switching their outfits to cloth wraps and beaded bibs (still ending up better off than Ben, who showed up in a loincloth.) Courtney, who stole the show last week by plying Ben with wine and strong-arming him into going skinny-dipping with her, once again let it all hang out by foregoing her bikini top and bottom. “I don’t do anything half-assed,” she smirked, as a black censor bar danced over her lady parts.
Courtney continued to dominate the rest of the date, shimmying with Ben, body-painting on him possessively, and scoffing at the other girls for their prudishness. Later in the night, she ruined Jamie’s one-on-one time by frolicking shamelessly in the background, distracting Ben in a white string bikini.
Ben seemed content to let her seduction go on unchecked, but proved that sex isn’t everything to him when he failed to show up at her door after she invites him over for a late-night rendezvous. She was bummed, showing us a crack in her armor for the first time. We’re happy to see some self-control from Ben after last week’s skinny-dipping scandal.
3. Blakeley Gets The Blues
Blakeley, who made a comeback last week with a sweet last-minute speech that kept her in the competition, was paired up with quiet Rachel for the season’s harrowing two-on-one date, in which one girl inevitably gets sent home. Rachel looked physically ill at the news, but Blakeley was enthusiastic and eager to get some more face time with Ben.
The date ended up involving sexy salsa-dancing lessons, complete with glittery, gaudy gowns for the girls. Cocktail waitress Blakeley was in her element, but the date was reserved Rachel’s worst nightmare. She struggled to claim the spotlight as Blakeley ramped up the dance’s sex factor by wrapping a leg around Ben.
During the more subdued dinner portion of the date, Blakeley attempted to win over Ben by showing him a scrapbook she made of their times together. Despite her eagerness to be endearing, the move came off a little creepy, and Ben awarded Rachel the rose instead. This meant the end of the road for poor Blakeley, who was shocked and crushed. For us, it was another welcome indication that physical attraction isn’t everything to Ben, despite his blinders when it comes to Courtney’s unabashed antics.
2. Casey S. Gets Booted
Paris Hilton lookalike Casey S. stepped into the foreground for the first time this week in a tense confrontation with host Chris Harrison, who presented her with the intel that she’s still in love with her ex-boyfriend back home. She freely admitted to the situation, although it seems that she genuinely wanted to get over him by falling for Ben. Chris dragged her up to Ben’s room for a chat, where she finally let the tears flow. Ben was mad -- barely flinching, he sends her straight home. She was quickly carted away, still sobbing.
1. Jamie Gets Carried Away
Adorkable Jamie provided us with the most cringe-inducing moment this season when she tried to disprove her prudishness by mounting an awkward seduction of Ben during the rose ceremony. Clearly afraid that she’s on the chopping block, Jamie turned it up a notch by gawkily trying to straddle our Bachelor in her short cocktail dress, followed by a bout of uncomfortable kissing that she chatters through uneasily. Her anxious premonitions proved to be true -- Ben appeared to be more frightened than turned on, and Jamie was the only lady not clutching a rose at the end of the ceremony.