JoJo is BACK as The Bachelorette – Season Premiere Recap

THE BACHELORETTE - "1201" - Successful and stunning real estate developer JoJo Fletcher, 25, gets a second chance at her happily-ever-after, choosing from twenty-six handsome bachelors. After being devastated last season by a shocking rejection from Bachelor Ben Higgins, who confessed his love to both her and Lauren Bushnell, the Texan beauty is ready to leave that heartbreak behind and write her very own love story as the Bachelorette. JoJo will embark on her own journey to find her soul mate when she stars in the 12th edition of ABC's hit romance reality series, "The Bachelorette," which will premiere at a special time MONDAY, MAY 23 (9:01-11:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Rick Rowell) JOJO FLETCHER

It’s JoJo’s Turn in the Driver’s Seat!

Hello, Bach Fans!! I’ve missed you! Welcome back to another amazing season of la la land. I have been waiting for JoJo’s journey as Bachelorette ever since Ben Higgins chose Lauren B last season. Staring into Ben’s dreamy baby brown eyes (still was hoping he would pop out of one of the limos tonight pining for JoJo), I fell in love with his inability to hold back from declaring love for JoJo. Who wouldn’t love her? She’s funny (hilarious outtakes of her doing curl-ups with a glass of wine), smart (all the other girls flocked to her for advice), articulate (she’s confident, classy and a people person) and has the most amazing Bachelorette hair we’ve ever seen. Yes, JoJo is the perfect package (minus her two intense brothers). I’m crossing every finger and toe for her that one of these duds dudes is HER dude.

Lots of over the top introductions straight from the limos. And even before that we got a gorgeous shot of JoJo walking down the beach, rocking a bikini. You can love her for her mind, her personality, but you can’t ignore her insane body. Not to mention that the dress she wore tonight just hugged everything in exactly the right way. Yes, I have a crush on JoJo, just as I loved Ben.

So as much as I love JoJo and need her to prove to us that there’s another man out there as perfect as Ben (is this actually true besides The Husband?), I’m not feeling very hopeful after watching tonight. My general feelings about the guys are this:

  • There are a lot of guys named James.
  • There were about 5-6 guys that she could have (should have) sent home right away. These include the 2 drunk dudes that couldn’t hold it together to avoid busting in on her solo interviews, the guy that jumped into the pool, the awkward kiss guy and some of the intense dudes (don’t know there names yet – they just seem very serious and gave me the creeps).
  • I didn’t feel that gentleman spark that I felt when meeting Ben – an absolutely stunning tall, dark and handsome gentleman, small town dude, legit job who was ready to settle down. That was Ben in a nutshell. Maybe he was a bit boring, but he was real. There do seem to be a handful of guys (if not more) that are just there for a good time. Example – the Superfan contestant? That’s his actual job? I can’t even remember if he got a rose, but REALLY?
  • 3 Texas boys.
  • THANK GOODNESS NO JAKE PAVELKA. When he first walked on the set, I said to The Husband, “Oh no!!! Not this ass clown!!!” Some of you may feel differently about Jake. I will never forget that interview he did with his ex-choice as Bachelor, Vienna. He was so disrespectful to her and I just can never imagine him as anything other than a failed Bachelor experiment who has been trying to live out his 30 seconds of fame. See here:

Some of my favorite entrances tonight:

  • As cheesy as it was, I loved Santa. The Husband felt he must be badly sweating and wondered why he didn’t remove his costume at some point. Joke’s over, Santa. I did love how St. Nick kept saying “Jo-Jo-Jo” throughout the night. JoJo’s heartfelt, “Hi Santa!!!” greeting was said with so much enthusiasm, it just made you picture her 5 year old inner child.
  • Robbie who arrived with a bottle of wine – that seemed to impress JoJo and be right up her alley. She even commented that her mother would like him. Hmmm, I wonder why.
  • Wells was one of my favorites of the pack, and even more memorable than bringing the singing group was his declaration to JoJo of, “You are so out of my league.” Humble Wells. I like him.
  • I loved James Taylor and his guitar singing. I’m not sure he can carry a tune very well, but he’s charming in a Woody from Cheers kind of way (at least that’s my first impression). JoJo called him “smart” later on during a one on one interaction, so maybe there’s potential there.
  • Unicorns and motorcycles don’t really do it for me, so wasn’t too impressed.

Other Noteworthy Moments:

  • Aaron Rodgers’ brother (I can’t remember his name, so poor guy will be identified by his brother for now) getting the first “real” kiss and impression rose. I really hope this guy doesn’t become JoJo’s final guy merely by process of elimination. Couldn’t ABC have found some more Ben types? Even the other Ben from Kaitlyn’s season would have outmatched any of these guys. Is it too late to campaign for him to come back?
  • I find many of these men simply unattractive. Sorry to say this – but the first night is a lot about initial impressions and chemistry. Maybe they’re running out of men and Kaitlyn got the last great batch? I was completely not into Grant, Chad (is he the one that told JoJo that he’s not in a financial position to find a wife? Is that a disguised way of informing her that he’s loaded?? She doesn’t need your money, Chad – she’s plenty loaded on her own), Brandon with the long hair, Evan with the side parted long floppy hair and Daniel.
  • Ali is Iranian – and into wooing ladies with his intense classical piano playing and 5 o’clock shadow.  Joelle’s mother was raised in Iran and she is Persian (her father is from Tennessee).
  • I REALLY hope this isn’t a season where Joelle falls for all the wrong types (bad boy Chad who seems to have violent tendencies via the previews??). I love JoJo and want her to find Mr. Right. I just don’t know if I see it with this group of dudes. If I HAD to pick someone

If I had to choose someone, though I really don’t think I’d want to at this point because I’m personally not feeling connected to anyone, I think JoJo’s top prospects are:

  1. Luke
  2. Wells
  3. James Taylor

I think the Aaron Rodgers’ brother is a bit over-confident and I need to know he’s on this show for more than just publicity. First impression rose rarely wins it all. He really seemed to be the only guy with confidence, that wasn’t awkward and who could carry an actual normal conversation with JoJo. Of course she’s falling for him. What does she have to choose from???

Ok, here’s where I pause, remember that I have to get up in 6 hours and ask what you all thought of tonight’s premiere. I think we can agree we’re all on Team JoJo, but the question is – would you choose any of these men for her? Do any of them hold a candle to Ben? I’m sad to say that I don’t see it. I wanted some amazing, out of this world types for her to choose from and I just don’t think we’re seeing it. I’ll remain hopeful for her that “Other Ben, Ben Z” will show up, or we get a couple of wild cards thrown into the mix. Fingers crossed.

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The Bachelorette is BACK Tonight with JoJo!

Our New Bachelorette!

Our New Bachelorette!

That moment you realize it’s not just another boring Monday – It’s Bachelorette premiere MONDAY!! It’s a whole new season about to unfold before us. I can hardly wait. Wishing lots of luck to our girl JoJo!!  In case you haven’t been keeping up on your Bachelor gossip since the finale of last season, please note the following:

(1) Ben and Lauren remain very much a happy, in love couple and they are in favor of posting their mutual attraction for all to see. Good for them. If he’s going to jilt someone like JoJo, at least let it be for a thriving relationship. Sounds like they’ll be a televised wedding for us to stalk.

(2) Amanda (mommy of 2 little girls) has befriended Jubilee and they’ve taken Amanda’s girls to Disneyland together.

(3) Former Bachelorette Kaitlyn and Shawn Booth are still going strong. They are selling lots of products, working out at the gym and raising money for good causes. For Shawn’s birthday recently, Caitlyn bought him new tires for his Jeep. I can’t even imagine what shopping for something like tires would be like. She’s way cooler than me.

(4) Former Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock is PREGO. Very excited for her and Chris Siegfried!

(5) Hypersensitive, overdramatic Princess Jasmine (Ashley Iancotti is new besties with Nick Viall.)

(6) Ali Fedotowsky is very pregnant – in her third trimester and spends her days modeling cute outfits. Sean Lowe and Catherine are also very pregnant.

(7) Former Playboy Poser Jade, who married Tanner (Bachelor in Paradise couple) last season, are enjoying newlywed life and recently got a dog together.  They’re selling everything on Instagram from sunglasses, to fitness stuff to flat tummies, etc. Good for them – they’re milking it!

(8) Remember Rachel Truehart – the poor cute blonde girl with the bangs and tiny nose ring stud who got dumped by her love interest, Michael Stagliano on Bachelor Pad and then lost money to her greedy partner  (another Nick) on the show? It was awful. But she’s thanking her lucky stores it all went down that way (minus the money part) as she just got married and is on her honeymoon in Italy as we speak!

(9) Speaking of Michael Stagliano (twin brother Stephen is married to former Bachelorette, Deanna Pappas, who just had their second baby), he just had a baby with his wife, Emily.

(10) Oh and Emily Maynard, beautiful former Bachelorette – is very much pregnant with her third baby after having a baby boy with her new husband less than a year ago. I believe she’s due in May and has a book that just came out.

Seems like the whole Bach world is getting hitched and making babies. Good for them!! Can’t wait to see JoJo start her own story

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The Bachelor Finally Chooses Between Two Loves in Gut-Wrenching Finale

JoJoand Ben

JoJo and Ben in happier times. I still love them together.

I think my heart is still beating as fast as JoJo’s was throughout this entire episode. My mind is in a zillion places – no different than Ben on the morning of his proposal day, no doubt. Watching this episode was like being on a roller coaster of excitement, hope and insanity. Going into tonight,  I predicted that he’s choose Lauren B, but was definitely leaning towards hoping that JoJo was his choice. By the end of the first hour of the episode, I found myself going all in on JoJo and really hoping he would choose her.

Here’s why:

  • How many women can you actually lay all your cards out on the table with – including that you’re in love with another woman as well – and have that woman still be there for you, stand by you and trust you with their heart?
  • He’s referred to JoJo and his conversations with her as being the deepest, most connected and calming. He says they have passion, romance, etc.
  • He calls JoJo his best friend – what more do you want than that (and her boobs?)
  • Did you see her rock that bright yellow bikini in the water and how amazing her blondish highlights at her ends curled upwards look with her big brown eyes just asking to be loved?
  • Looks aside, doesn’t JoJo just seem so real? Like the girl you want to stay up all night and laugh with and just adore in every way possible? Wait, am I in love with JoJo? That could be. Am I in love with Ben AND JoJo? Oh wow – I just figured out how Ben must feel.
  • JoJo and Ben have been through some ups and downs along their journey – their connection wasn’t all about initial chemistry and attraction. It developed naturally over time. They worked through their issues with great communication and got to a stronger place. She seemed to be his rock throughout this crazy journey.
  • Lauren B and Ben have never had a conflict yet. Why didn’t he completely share with her how he was feeling about JoJo? It’s not like all his thoughts of JoJo disappeared when he was with Lauren B – he seemed pretty shaken on both their boat ride together and their last night together. That would have been a perfect time to test some conflict. Did he not feel comfortable doing so?
  • Ben’s mother even voiced that the JoJo meet and greet was “different” (in a positive way) than Lauren B. They kept referring to Lauren as “polished” whereas JoJo just had this very real and warm feeling about her. She voiced right away that Ben is hard on himself (something that Ben’s mother had to point out to Lauren B). Moms always know – that’s all I’m saying. Lauren’s got to be psyched that JoJo is the next Bachelorette, or she’d probably always wonder if Ben’s having any Jason Mesnick feelings of regret. What happens when they have their first big fight? Will Ben be on the next plane to Texas?
  • Lauren B has a very real “trophy wife” kind of feel to her. She’s sweet and happy and seems very much to adore Ben, but even at the end of the show, Ben said twice that he “couldn’t wait to show her off.” I don’t understand this comment. We’ve all already seen them together. What does he want to show off exactly – her beauty? Her commitment to him even knowing that he loved someone else at the same time? Does he just feel guilty? They really do look like Barbie and Ken together and they have perfect families as well. I just don’t know how they will deal once the cameras are gone, she’s moved to Denver and realizes that they have to be regular people – only she wants to be a pilot and fly for a living and he wants to plant roots.

Ok, so some specific comments about tonight’s episode: Ben looked even more amazing than last week, if that’s possible. I loved his clothing choices – very sporty but casual but classy. If the software salesman thing doesn’t work out, he could certainly be a runway model. So could Lauren B and JoJo. I was a bit confused about his hair on the After the Final Rose segment. It looked particularly fluffy – maybe not gelled? Also, he was going with some patchy facial hair – not my favorite look. He seemed very pale compared to JoJo, but that’s because they legitimately spray tan the crap out of all of their Bachelorettes, when they’re announced. She still looked absolutely beautiful.

Other thoughts about tonight – I’m still in literal shock that Ben was still telling both women that he was absolutely in love with them right until the end. What did you guys think about this? I mean, even when JoJo asked him point blank – what are his doubts about her – Ben couldn’t name one thing. NOT ONE THING. I could name 2 (her brothers). And the fact that she wants to stay in Texas. Ben didn’t even see those things as issues. When they were at that waterfall and she raised the fact that they hadn’t spoken very much about their future together, he agreed. I was surprised by this. He’s in love with her, but they hadn’t spoken about logistics of their future? Could this really be? Was this the case with Lauren B? How do you plan to marry someone without speaking about your future plans? Or are we just missing some camera time when these conversations took place?

Ben wakes up on the day he’s getting engaged and still doesn’t know who he wants to marry? WHAAAAAAAAT? My stomach was in knots at this point. Anyone else?

Is it really the Neil Lane engagement rings that gave him clarity? How can Lauren B see this episode and feel reassured? Ben is saying these wonderfully loving and perfect things to JoJo like when he makes his decision it will be forever and blah blah blah. I thought – my goodness, Ben and JoJo connect on a whole other level that I’ve never seen with Lauren B. They are true partners. True loves. True communicators. She’s amazing and he’s amazing and they would make perfect brunette amazing babies together. Even in his confusion, JoJo is there for him. She’s not freaking out – she just asks questions. And he’s assuring her that he’s in love with her. And when asked later – he doesn’t even regret saying that he loves JoJo. WHAT??? OMG OMG. I am so in love with Ben and JoJo at this point.

And then…

That gorgeous sequin pink gown steps out of the limo first. DAMN IT. WTF??? He looks at a Neil Lane ring and knows it’s Lauren B? What? How? Is he really ready to say goodbye to his amazing relationship (really more than a relationship – it was LOVE, I felt it!) with JoJo? I still don’t understand what went wrong with them. And hearing Ben explain to her that he still loves her makes it all the more confusing. Is it a mistake? Will he run after the limo? Will he call her to turn around? How can this be?????? I feel heartbroken. My heart was pounding. I had tears in my eyes watching JoJo pull away. I felt blindsided too, JoJo!!!

Yes – I know her brothers were crazy and her dad was hostile and maybe it wasn’t the most ideal, warm welcoming family to get involved with, but Ben and JoJo’s love seemed real and something that could last. To watch him send her away felt like a kick in the gut to me. Their connection felt real and strong. They were each other’s biggest supporters and they had tough conversations which made me think they had a chance in the real world.

So then out comes Lauren. She’s gorgeous in blue and happy and excited. I mean, Ben seems happy, so I’m happy for him. BUT, Lauren just didn’t have that Wow factor for me like JoJo did.

On the other hand…WE’VE GOT OUR NEW BACHELORETTE. When Chris Harrison said it wasn’t who we thought it would be, I thought they were going to give us Caila or present some nonsense where poor JoJo would have to compete with Caila to become Bachelorette like last season. Even as I watched JoJo reunite with Ben, she was so gracious and polite – wishing Ben and Lauren well, that I thought – well, she seems like she’s all lit up inside again. Either she met someone new or she’s the next Bachelorette. Because how else do you get over Ben Higgins?? What happens if we learn that Ben breaks up with Lauren B half way through JoJo’s season. Will he come running for JoJo? Now THAT could be the best Bachelorette season ever. And how do you cast 25 men that are better than Ben?

One other important question – can you believe that Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe actually passed over Ben Higgins? I mean, WHATTTTT? BIG MISTAKE, HUGE.

I’m certainly thrilled that JoJo is the Bachelorette or we were looking at a very dull season of Lauren B or Caila. JoJo will be amazing – but I hope she has some great guys in the mix. I’d be very happy if they could bring back some stars from previous seasons to compete like the other Ben from Kaitlyn’s season.

So what do you all think? Did it seem like they ran out of things to talk about by the end of the show? I guess they left time in case there was an actual wedding, but Ben is a wise man and he wasn’t going to rush it. I’m glad to hear that Lauren will be moving to Denver shortly – that will actually give them a real shot at making it work. I guess that’s one benefit of Lauren B – Ben won’t have to move to Texas. Lauren looked beautiful tonight in her white lace dress. They really are a perfect looking couple (with Ben’s hair gel).

Ok, it’s way too late. I feel like I’ve been through an emotional car wash of extreme hopefulness turn disappointment turned shock and then resolution with JoJo being crowned Bachelorette. Hoping you all found peace in tonight’s show. If things don’t work out for Ben & Lauren B (are they maybe the first couple that I wouldn’t be disappointed if they split or is that just selfish?), I’d vote him as a repeat Bachelor any day (second to him pursuing JoJo, as long as we get to watch). I’m still thinking that Ben misses his best friend, JoJo.

I’ll leave you with that thought. And if you have a void in your life now that The Bachelor is over and need some new entertainment – pick up a copy of my book, Knot the One. Hear all about how The Husband and I ended up together (after our own rollercoaster). You can buy it in e-book, hard copy or audio book version here: Knot The One. If you haven’t already, you can check out what me, The Husband, my toddler daughter Ellie and adorable dog are all up to on Instagram and Twitter. Handle for both is @OfficeStace.

As always, I want to thank my readers for following with me on another Bachelor journey. This was certainly a season that will go down in the record books and I’m always grateful for all of your comments and fierce love for this show. Get ready for May 23rd for JoJo’s journey – which is right around the corner. Check back here for updates in between.

Thank you, Bachelor Nation and OfficeStace fans! Now let’s hear what you thought? #TeamJoJo? #TeamLaurenB? #TeamBenForLife

xoxo,

Stacey B

 

 

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Ben Talk Smart on The Women Tell All

The Perfect Ben

The Perfect Ben

If it’s even possible, I fell in love with Bachelor Ben a little harder tonight. “In love” in the Bachelor way of course – the way that the married woman fan attending a viewing party that Bachelor Ben crashed could understand. Did you see the way he handled Liar Leah’s nonsensical question in such a non confrontational, yet effective way? He completely disarmed her insane rant by turning the tables on her. She’s mad because he told Lauren about the comments made by Leah? What else was he supposed to do? And they were lies – how could she be mad at him? And how does she handle being the most hated liar in Bachelor history? She gets defensive and starts attacking the most loved Bachelor of all time. I think she comes out of this Women Tell All episode as an ill witted, irrational human being. Love that she had the nerve to shout out that Lauren and her “are good” – I mean how does Lauren forgive Leah for trying to sabotage her actual love relationship with Ben? You don’t get over that.

I loved the viewing party crashes by Ben and Chris Harrison. I’m pretty sure if Ben showed up at my sister’s house, she’d have a complete heart attack after hyperventilating. Ben just has that effect on people. I always wonder if in all these places he goes to whether he meets intriguing, attractive women that he’s interested in dating. Or if dating so many women at once has really made him never want to date again.

The Jubilee segment was way too long. I feel bad for her backstory, I’m grateful for her military service and I’d like to end on that note. I don’t need to hear Amber and that other Bartender girl vying for airtime and a spot on Bachelor in Paradise, by being belligerent. I feel for Jubilee because I do think she had a very good shot with Ben and she singlehandedly lost it (though Ben was kind in saying the blame is on both of them). She knows what a catch Ben is and the fact that Ben was really into her at the beginning must make it all that more frustrating.

Other things that irked me tonight:

  • The amount of makeup utilized by the women. It’s like there was a bronzer machine and it exploded on everyone’s faces. Maybe that’s the fault of HD, but I felt like some of the women were unrecognizable.
  • Boobs were out in full attire – why is everyone showing off their twin peaks? I think it was the Canadian Bartender whose canary yellow boob dress were in every single shot. Hayley blonde twin also had her set ready to go in a maroon dress. A bit overkill if you ask me.
  • It always drives me crazy on The Women Tell All when people who we never heard from all season all of a sudden start attacking others, chime in with their opinions whenever they can and just generally look for ways to get into any debate. That’s how I felt about Canadian Bartender and Shushana. I just wanted to shush Shushana.
  • The Lace stalker. Who was that random guy with a tattoo of Lace? That was obviously staged, which was annoying and I question the authenticity of that tattoo. Wouldn’t Lace have freaked out? Another annoying part – why did they make it seem like inviting Lace to be on Bachelor in Paradise was a big surprise? That was obviously staged.
  • The twins gang up on Olivia, especially when they started making angry faces in response to her. They sounded like 10 year olds arguing with another 10 year old instead of two grown women. I didn’t like seeing that because I actually came to appreciate Emily somewhat when she told it like it was. I found her somewhat charming and sweet and I’ve seen on social media how the twins have been hanging out with Amanda a bunch and even carrying her kids around. But it was like seeing a two headed blonde monster go after Olivia. As for Olivia, I think she’s learned her lesson. Hopefully she can disappear with her large grin into Bachelor oblivion.

Things we learned tonight:

  • Caila is still heartbroken. I was surprised because I thought she’d be over it by now – at least enough to convince an audience that she’s a candidate for Bachelorette. I think Caila is a sweet, smart girl, but she’d be boring as sin as the next Bachelorette. We need JoJo or even Lauren B – they’ve got the “it” factor and JoJo in particular just makes me crack up – did you see how funny she is in those outtakes? I think she’s a lot of fun.
  • Ben tells one of the girls (I think it’s JoJo) that he loves the other remaining girl too!! Insert SHOCKED emoji here. That’s got to hurt! Seriously ouch. And then why can’t he just break up with one of them before the rose ceremony or does he really need until the very end to figure it out? His mother is right to be concerned!
  • Ben is ready to marry his chosen one TOMORROW? Like does that mean the finale will actually turn into a LIVE WEDDING? Anything’s possible in Bach land.
  • Sheila the Chicken hates liars. I now know more about the chicken than the girl who brought the chicken on the show.
  • Olivia was bullied as a young child. Or was she? I think the girls doubted whether this is true.
  • Becca seems to have no strong opinions or things left unsaid to Ben. Perhaps she wasn’t feeling him as deeply as we thought.

It’s lights out of here in a few minutes. My baby girl is going to be TWO on Thursday and I can’t even believe it. This means that almost exactly two years ago was the Juan Pablo Bachelor finale that I watched after giving birth in the hospital and actually blogged about it. A completely different lifetime ago! Things have certainly gotten a lot crazier since then.

For those of you that have been asking about my memoir, Knot the One, which tells the crazy story of how I ended up with The Husband, here’s the link: Knot The One – it’s available in e-book, hard copy and audio book. In case you fear losing the romance of Ben in your life – it’s a great place to find another great love story.

Til then, I’ll leave you with a recent Ellie pic. Now let me know what you thought of tonight’s episode and if you think it’s possible for Ben to be in love with two people at the same and if so, if it’s possible for him to never think about the women he doesn’t choose – particularly when he encounters his first fight with the woman he does choose. Can’t wait for NEXT WEEK’s FINALE!!!

Ellie, 23 months

Ellie, 23 months

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Holy Smokes! Ben the Bachelor Declares His Love For Two Women!

The Perfect Ben may not be so perfect. I mean, how does one get himself into a situation of telling two women that he’s in love with them? I’d say Ben was batting 1000 before tonight’s episode. Besides the belligerent interactions with JoJo’s brothers, he’s had a flawless season. Every woman is swooning to be with him, he’s played each week by the books and has achieved to this point, 3 beautiful, intelligent, completely smitten Mrs. Higgins-wannabes.

"I love you," Part 1 - Ben Higgins

“I love you,” Part 1 – Ben Higgins

But, Ben, what the hell did you get yourself into tonight? I was shaking my head and screaming, “HOLY SH!T!” when he actually responded to Lauren B’s declarations of love with his own. I stared at The Husband and said, “Is he allowed to say that?!” and then he said it again! And then again! Like in case we didn’t hear it. Aren’t they supposed to edit that part out and just show us more footage of Lauren B earlier in the process doubting whether Ben was into her? The jig is up. Just hand her the Neil Lane engagement ring and let’s save some hours back into our Monday night, right?

Not so fast.

Along comes JoJo, who I thought would be kicked to the curb after the antics her family pulled last week. Questioning Ben’s sincerity. Saying that he was “coached” to say things and doubting his feelings for JoJo. I was angry for Ben and felt completely uncomfortable around JoJo’s family – I can’t imagine what Ben felt like since he was actually there! After watching Lauren B & Ben’s date, it didn’t seem possible that any other female on the planet could change Ben’s mind. But then JoJo saunters in being all JoJo-like, and drop dead beautiful and somehow more warm and down to earth seeming than Lauren – like a best friend instead of the “she’s too good for me” that Ben seems to feel for Lauren B. And within a few minutes, we hear Ben answering JoJo’s, “I love you,” with an “I love you” of his own. WHAT???!!! Is he serious? Was it an accident? Was he just caught up in the moment?

But then he says it to her multiple times throughout the rest of their date. If he’s caught up in the moment, it’s a moment that’s last hours. JoJo calls this the best day of her life and it wasn’t even over yet. She’s got it bad. Ben’s got it bad. He’s completely sober and admitting he’s in love with two women. Is this actually possible? Ben seems like an open and honest guy – so I don’t think he’s playing these women – I truly feel that he’s confused.

Before I got any further, I must make a comment about the PERFECT bodies these women have. I mean, did you see Lauren B’s ass hanging out of her jean shorts? And what about Caila’s toned abs and crop top that she showed off the entire day. Then you’ve got JoJo’s hour glass figure and I mean, I can see why Ben is so confused. They are all super models and he gets to spend the night with each of them.

Watching Caila skip around looking to surprise Ben after their date, was definitely the most cringe-worthy moment of the night. Everyone knows what’s about to happen. She’s still giggling (even her hair is giggling) as she’s playing a solo hide n seek game to find her love. There he is, however, morose, stormy and mulling over the fact that he’s just confessed his love for two of the women. He knows he’s got to dump Caila, so how convenient that she decided to take a trip over there so he could get that out of the way. You can almost see the heartbreak sweep over Caila, in between her smiles and last ounce of hope that perhaps Ben’s just opening up about the craziness of the journey he is on – and that him having conflicting feelings isn’t about her. But everyone knows what’s about to come – even the CEO of a major toy company in the US can’t convince Ben to keep Caila over Lauren B and JoJo. At least she got to ask him some questions before she went off to do her best campaign for next Bachelorette in the car ride out.

Highlights of tonight:

  • The women each arriving separately for the rose ceremony and Chris Harrison quizzing both ladies, only to find that not only did they confess their love for Ben, but that Ben said it back. You saw a slight eyebrow raise from Chris H when Lauren B indicates this exchange – since she is the second person to say this. Yet, smooth as he is, Chris H remains a mask.
  • Sandals Ocho Rios. I had heard that some Sandals resorts were really cheesy, but this place looks magnificent.
  • JoJo saying that some Jamaican waterfall was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen in her life, when her parents’ house is really the most beautiful thing ever created.
  • Lauren telling Ben that he’s the man of her dreams. I mean, isn’t that such a perfect way to describe Ben? The should rename Ken of Ken & Barbie to be Ben & Barbie. Then Lauren B could be the Barbie doll.
  • Sea turtles. They were adorable and I loved Lauren B’s reaction to them. Notice how Ben and Lauren B said a little prayer for the sea turtles – looks like they’re on the same religious page. Interesting.

Awkward moments:

  • Caila & Ben’s river float ride of silence. Ben kept asking Caila questions and she smiled her whole way through that journey, but I could just feel the tension. They seemed to have nothing to talk about. Yes, she’s focused on 2 other women still being in the picture (and in retrospect, she was correct to worry about this).
  • JoJo trying to convince Ben that her brothers are just over-protective and that they would absolutely love Ben.
  • Ben actually believing that he could blend into a crazy family like JoJo’s.
  • Ben wanting to have some peace to himself, only to get interrupted by a giddy, skipping Caila who thinks she’s being clever and flirtatious to drop by Ben’s place unexpectedly only to get dumped.

Oh, Ben. What have you gotten yourself into? I don’t think we’ve ever had a season like this where The Bachelor openly confesses his love for two women. What will he do about? Will he ask for more time. Will he choose one woman only to realize that he made a mistake? What will happen and who is Ben calling on his gold iPhone in the end? I’m too tired to worry any longer. Ben’s gotten himself into a real jam. JoJo seems to be the one he has the most fun with – she’s such a funny, warm and lovable person. But Lauren B gives him that feeling of being in complete awe of another human. I think it’s Lauren B for the win, but we’ll have to see!

Good night, Bachelor fans!

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Heated Hometown Dates Make the Tears Flow on Bachelor

Picture perfect hometown visit with Caila

Picture perfect hometown visit with Caila

Just when I thought The Bachelor this season couldn’t get any better, we’re at Hometowns – a usually rather dull episode – only to find pure magic at each and every visit. It’s a testament to how deeply Ben has been working the remaining 4 women and how much his charm, charisma and overall crowd pleasing personality has dripped over these ladies like hot fudge to a sundae. Cheesy metaphor? Yes. But it doesn’t make it less true.

I teared up at several points throughout this episode. Did you?

The Husband is away on a work trip to LA this week, but that’s not why I’m emotional, though I do miss him dearly. Especially his comments about the families that he would have said if he was curled up next to me. Maybe the tears are because I’m exhausted from flying solo with a toddler and a dog who won’t sit still at night because at every flash of light and sound of shutting doors in our apartment building, he thinks his beloved daddy is home and he whines and cries until he finally gives up and buries himself back into my leg. Regardless, tonight was night to feel all the feels. Is anyone not in love with Ben after tonight?

Amanda (Laguna Beach, California)

So from the moment I saw Amanda’s off the shoulder shirt almost fly off her chest in the beach breeze, I knew she was really giving this relationship her all. Instead of telling Ben that she was in love with him (I don’t think any of the women actually said it tonight, but they all admitted to at least having feelings of love), she tried to show it by getting as naked as possible without actually being naked. When I watched her see her daughters for the first time in so long and saw how tearful they all got and watched the pure joy fill them up at their reunion, I was sobbing away. Then seeing Ben get teary eyed while he witnessed the reunion – another plus in the Ben column. He’s got a lot of plusses in there. Those little girls certainly could use a daddy like Ben to love them all up after what Amanda has been through. And maybe someone to take them sandal shopping for something other than gladiator knee high sandals to wear to the beach (what was up with that?!). At least if you can’t have Ben, you can have a daughter with gladiator sandals and a house near Laguna Beach. Not a bad consolation prize.

Amanda’s family got right to the point – I loved that they challenged Ben about what it’s like to have kids. Not all chasing each other on the beach and making sand castles. Ben might not be able to go to the gym with his friend (SHOCKING!). I think the real deal breaker must have been that car ride home from the beach. Because I can tell you – being in a car with a toddler that’s screaming for any amount of time, makes you want to peel your eyeballs out. And 30 seconds seems like an eternity and I figured they must have had at least 10 – 20 minutes in the car with that. Would Ben like to spend the next few years of his life like that or go to a bar with his friends and Lauren B? Uh, yeah, I thought so.

Lauren B (Portland, Oregon)

Seeing the sparks fly between Lauren B and Ben – it seems like a no brainer that he’s going to pick her, right? Lauren’s probably the most reserved out of the remaining 3 in that she’s not showering him with affection and ga-ga eyes like Caila is. I loved their hometown date the best because it seemed the most natural. Food trucks and a library whiskey bar? Portland looks pretty damn fun. When I saw Lauren’s father’s cheeks – it was like Caila in a man. Very funny. They all have very rosy complexions and the brothers have it too. Probably the most memorable part of all the hometowns was Ben’s reaction to when Lauren’s sister asked Ben what makes Lauren special. He couldn’t even spoke, so his tears did the talking for him. He hasn’t cried over any of the other girls in terms of his feelings for them. Lauren B has to be in the lead at this point. I loved her plaid flannel shirt – made her seem more relatable in some way. I have to admit that seeing Ben weep over Lauren B, got me quite emotional for him. If Ben’s happy, I’m happy.

Important side note: This is one of the first hometown dates in a very long time where we haven’t seen Ben ask permission to marry any of the girls. Unless he did and we didn’t see it or he’s going to wait until he knows who he wants to marry.

Caila (somewhere in Ohio)

I’m not sure what it is about Caila, but I feel like she’s an overachiever in terms of life and Ben. It looked like a perfect fall weekend in Ohio, and Caila always look picture perfect. Like they were going for a fall photoshoot. She took him to her dream bench of love and made out with him near her high school. I felt like she wanted to show him that she had roots too and that she’s stable and small townish and ready to be Mrs. Higgins. Her father is the CEO of a toy company?? Just googled him and he’s the CEO of Step 2, which looks to have adorable children’s toys and furniture. If anyone wants to donate a play house or play anything for Ellie’s 2nd birthday which is coming up March 10, please let me know :)

Their date of designing and constructing a house is pretty unique. Even how he carried her out of the warehouse after their date was ridiculously fairytale-like and seemed to go with Caila’s bouncy hair. I don’t know -everything about her seems a bit too forced. Like she’s the aggressor in trying to win Ben over. He’s definitely into her, but not in a way that blows me away at this point. Caila’s mother is giving her the pep talk – go get him, Tigress! And Caila’s father encourages Ben to embrace the Fillipino culture. I see Caila giving Ben the full throttle sell for why they should be together. I just hope that her heart is genuine and she’s not just caught up on being on a TV show.

Joelle (Dallas, Texas). 

Everything is bigger in Dallas. Did you see her parents’ house? Good Lord! It could have been an airport. Don’t mess with JoJo’s brothers. If Ben didn’t pick JoJo in the end, I’d be watching my back for those brothers coming after me. I did not like their vibe at all. Why were the families so fixated on the fact that Ben’s still dating 3 other women? Their sister is the one that chose to come on the show and be a part of the process – nobody is forcing her! Ben needed a lawyer during his family visit. I’m at least glad that he clarified that there was no coaching going on with his speeches to these families. He’s pretty well spoken so far. I will say, however, that out of all the girls, Ben sounded the least enthusiastic about JoJo, which is surprising to me because I thought he was into her – at least more than Caila. But he spoke about her like a great sweatshirt, “I do care about her. She’s incredible. I like her more and more every time we’re together…” and even his little, “There’s a lot of time left,” speech left me wondering if he’s not that interested in her. Hmmmmmm.

But let’s go back to Joelle’s receipt of flowers and a card from her ex boyfriend, Chad. Is she really over him? Could she have had that reaction if she really didn’t care about him or did they just make her angry? Can Ben clear his mind of this incident so that he’s 100% comfortable moving forward with Joelle? It sounds like Ben would need to move to Dallas for Joelle and I wonder how he really would feel about it after seeing what a hero he is back home. I love JoJo, but I can’t see Ben feeling very comfortable with that family. She’s super beautiful, sweet and has a good head on her shoulders, but I’m wondering if overall Lauren B just may be a better fit? I’m haunted by the brothers, I guess. Joelle’s mom’s plastic surgery was also a bit stressful, but she was the only one who seemed to stick up for Ben.

So in the end, I felt bad for Amanda, but this is definitely the right call. Ben’s got a bit more living to do before he can become a father to anyone. Amanda was sweet and loving and kind, but in the end, Ben was intrigued by JoJo’s parents’ castle (she’s half Iranian, btw), Lauren B’s apple cheeks and Caila’s Ra-Ra attitude. Can’t wait until next week and what is this with Ben telling two women that he loves him? Where does that come from? Can he actually make a decision?

Eyes are closing, nanny is coming super early so I can go to work. Dog needs his 10 o’clock cookie which I failed to give him at 10. I have to shut all the lights, pick out my work clothes and worry about one more morning of walking the dog with a toddler on the streets of NYC pre 7:30 AM. Good night, Bachelor fans.

Hurry home, Husband. Your fantasy suite awaits you (along with your tired wife, spirited toddler and depressed dog who misses you)

Xoxo,

Stacey B

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