Laguna Beach, California with Amanda
Ben wears tight brown capris and perches atop a rock like he’s Ariel awaiting his prince to come ashore in Laguna Beach. He slides a fork through his hair and sings Part of Your World. Amanda enters stage left by running toward Ben on the beach in an off-the-shoulder peasant top that might have been featured on an epi of MTV’s Laguna back in 2004. Ben asks about Amanda’s kids and she unfortunately doesn’t lie. She tells Ben that her daughter has an attitude and really sells the whole becoming an instant dad scenario.
The kiddies arrive in matching outfits, pigtails & gladiator sandals that are taller than their legs. It seems a little inapprops for beach footwear for anyone, especially toddlers. Ben does the perfect “everything these kids do is adorbs” act and even fake chases them around/makes a shitty octopus in the sand and says it looks good. The worst thing about kids is how much they suck at everything and you have to tell them they’re amazing. What’s even worse is that Ben didn’t properly teach the little nugget how to wet the sand before sculpting.
On the drive back to Amanda’s parents’ house, one child with a whimsical and non-traditional name cries the whole way. No better way to dive into parenting than dealing with a screamer in an enclosed space! The visit with Gram and Gramps consists completely of Ben being lectured about the consequences of having a 3-week TV relationship turn into an engagement when two kids are involved…WOMP WOMPPP. Ben reads the little runts a bedtime story written by ABC about how Ben kisses a bunch of princesses in the same night to find his true love. There’s a group hug and they all live happily ever after. JK she’s toast.
Portland, Oregon with Lauren
In the city of roses, Ben is wearing a dad blazer over a long sleeve shirt and when he uses a flight attendant metaphor to feed Lauren a grilled cheese I think it was my last straw. I can’t support Ben anymore. He’s such a lamewad. If anyone teased me with a grilled cheese, I’d bite their hand clean off their body.
The most embarrassing thing about Lauren’s family is that they call her LoLo; otherwise they’re pretty normz. Sis takes Ben aside and points out a number of reasons why Lauren’s such an F’ing catch and asks Ben what about Lauren stands out to him. Ben replies, I don’t know I just really like her. He realizes what a dumb answer this is so he starts crying and it works. Sis is sold. THE TEARS SAY IT ALL. Dad tells his lil LoLo that it’s not a great idea to fall in love with a guy who’s dating other women. Seems like pretty sound advice. When he tries to question Ben’s intentions, that sneaky rat works up a teary eye again and gets out of giving any real answers. It would be the MOST quality TV to put all the protective dads together in one room with Ben and watch him cry his way out of that scenario. #RATINGS.
Hudson, Ohio with Caila
As you recall, this isn’t really Caila’s hometown because she moved around a lot and naturally this made her think Ben would dump her real hard. They make out on a bench and then design a toy house together, cause Caila’s dad is Mr. Duncan.
Caila spends this date anticipating a toy house mack sesh. You know what they say Caila, if you build it, he will tongue. So they hit the factory to pretend they can operate machinery in a production line. Ben seeing Caila in a hard hat makes HIM hard. See what I did there? He carries her out of the factory but demands that she keep the hard hat on for some construction related fantasies.
At Caila’s house, we’re all reminded Caila isn’t white. Yay for diversity, ABC! Caila’s dad gives Ben advice on being a white boy marrying a Filipino & also calls his marriage “magical”, which is concerning to say the least. Caila’s mom is her TWIN, except for the whole braces thing. Ben talks to Mom and describes getting to know Caila as “cool”. Ben is almost as bad as leftover twin at impressing parents. Meanwhile, Caila gets SUPER emosh in her chat with Daddy as she tells Daddy that she loves Ben and he’s the one. Then she whispers the same to Mommy. If I had known she was going to annoyingly whine mommy and daddy a bunch of times, I would’ve turned it into a drinking game. Caila’s mom tells her to fess up with her love and obviously we’re 3 for 3 of girls confessing their love to everyone but Ben.
Dallas, Texas with JoJo
JoJo finds roses and a letter on her doorstep and it takes her FAR too long into reading it to figure out it’s from her ex-bf Chad and NOT Ben. PLOT TWIST. She paces around her apt and cries a lot in dramatic meltdown mode then calls Chad on speaker so we can all hear. Obviously now that JoJo is reality famous, Chad would like a second chance and more Instagram followers. It just so happens that her little dramatic phone call takes place moments before Ben arrives. Timing, amirite?! JoJo fesses up that she called Chad to end things and talk about how HAPPY she is with Ben and his other girlfriends. She tells Ben that her family is going to love him and BOY is that a lie.
When JoJo walks into her mansion, her brothers basically tackle her to the ground with aggressive double cheek kisses and I get a REAL Folgers weird sibling commercial vibe. They’re so distracted loving on JoJo that she has to keep yelling at everyone to greet Ben. What a hot start.
At dinner we get our first taste of the overly protective Brothers Fletcher when they tell Ben he would need to move to Dallas if he picks their sister. Ben’s like k sounds good. Then JoJo and mama have a super realistic discussion where it’s clear that her mom doesn’t understand how this show works. Mom tells her daughter that there’s no way she’ll get hurt because she’s beautiful. It’s such mom logic it makes me laugh out loud. It’s about as truthful as my Gams telling me I could be a model. Oh JoJo’s mom, just you wait and see. Regardless, keeping on par with the mom advice of this episode, she tells JoJo to put her heart out there. On the other hand, the bros tag team Joelle to tell her to reel it in because she’s only been on 2 dates with this guy. JoJo’s sister contributes nothing. In fact, she might have left after dinner once she realized her brothers were putting on a show for TV ratings.
Behind JoJo’s back there’s some tensions in the kitchen as her mom takes a knee with a bottle of wine and one of the brothers (Ben?) challenges Higgi for toying with female emotions. When Ben is called on his BS diplomatic answers, he pretty much poops his pants and gets right outta there. JoJo follows suit with not telling Ben she loves him and OMG BEN IS SO UNLOVABLE BECAUSE NO ONE TOLD HIM HOW THEY FEEL!
Roses: Lauren, Caila, JoJo (who looks like a smokeshow—probably to make up for her d-bag brothas.)
I mean we all knew who was going to go home…even before US Weekly ruined it a full week in advance. Nice goin.
Amanda’s rightfully like why did you bring me back to LA to humiliate me and send me right back home? Uh, how about WHY DID HE MEET YOUR KIDS WHEN HE KNEW HE DIDN’T WANT TO BE A DAD? Anyway, Ben cries and babbles about how much he cares even though he met her kids and dumped her.
BONUS: LoLo’s baby bros ask Ben if he plans on banging one out with her in the fantasy suite.