'The Bachelor' star Ben Flajnik cuts Jenna Burke and Shawn Reynolds
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/10/2012
Ben Flajnik sent two The Bachelor bachelorettes packing during last night's broadcast of the ABC reality dating series' sixteenth season.
Shawn Reynolds, a 28-year-old financial advisor from Phoenix, AZ, and Jenna Burke, a 27-year-old blogger from New York, NY, were eliminated during the second episode's Rose Ceremony.
"I'm in shock. I came here looking for love. I did. Ugh. I feel sick. These girls distracted him. These girls are good, I don't know. I can't believe -- oh my God -- are you kidding me?! No, really, are you kidding me? I can't believe this is happening. I'm mortified. I think I deserve love. I have always been trying to find it. I want to forget this ever happened. This was a mistake," Jenna lamented following her ouster.
The Bachelor's second sixteenth-season episode began with Ben's 18 remaining bachelorettes traveling to his hometown of Sonoma, CA and moving into the large house they would be staying in temporarily. Ben said he wanted to share his memories with a few of the girls and show them all what living in his small town was really like. The Bachelor star then gave the girls their first date card.
Over the course of the week, there would be two one-on-one dates and one group date. There would be a rose up for grabs during each -- and if the bachelorettes on the one-on-one dates failed to receive a rose, they would be eliminated immediately. Kacie B., a 24-year-old administrative assistant from Clarksville, TN, learned she'd be accompanying Ben on the week's first one-on-one date.
"Kacie B. gets the first date and I'm kind of bummed. I'd kind of like to see her not come home. She's kind of annoying," Courtney, a 28-year-old model from Santa Monica, CA, said.
Before her date with Ben, Kacie admitted she was intimidated, because she knew she had to get the rose or she'd be going home.
"This is a really important day for me. I picked Kacie because I feel like she's a really genuine woman. There's something that I want to show Kacie that's extremely personal and it's something that I hold really near and dear to my heart. And so, I'm hoping that she was the appropriate woman for this date," Ben said.
"This could be the first date with the man I'm hoping to marry. This is a big moment," Kacie said.
Ben wanted to "show Kacie what Sonoma is all about." They took a stroll together through Sonoma's town at night. It was very quiet and they did a little shopping. Kacie even got a chance to show off her baton-twirling skills, and she and Ben started their own little parade in the streets.
After spending a little time with Kacie, Ben felt like she was very family-oriented and down to earth. Kacie in turn was also really enjoying Ben's company and felt he brought out feelings in her that had been hidden for quite some time.
Kacie believed the date was going perfectly and said she was having a "blast."
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"I'm on the perfect date with a perfect guy in the most romantic little town I've ever been in and I feel at home," Kacie said.
The couple then had dinner in a little restaurant and discussed Ben's father, who had passed away, and how it had impacted and changed his life. Ben told Kacie he loved Sonoma so much because he had spent so much time with his father there, and once he died, Ben wanted to return to his roots and live in the area where he was raised.
Meanwhile, the other women learned that 12 of them would have to share the group date with Ben, initiating some jealousy and unhappiness among some of the bachelorettes -- who believed they'd have little hope of actually getting to know Ben and making a connection with him.
Emily, a 27-year-old PhD student from Chapel Hill, NC; Brittney, a 26-year-old medical sales representative from Denver, CO; Shawn; Nicki, a 26-year-old dental hygienist from Hurst, TX; Monica, a 33-year-old dental consultant from Salt Lake City, UT; Jenna; and Blakeley, a 34-year-old VIP cocktail waitress from Charlotte, NC, accompanied Ben on the week's group date.
The other girls who were selected for the group date included: Jamie, a 25-year-old registered nurse from Dryden, NY; Rachel, a 27-year-old fashion sales representative from New York City, NY; Jennifer, a 28-year-old accountant from Oklahoma City, OK; Jaclyn, a 27-year-old advertising account manager from Newton, MA; and Samantha, a 26-year-old advertising account manager from Los Angeles, CA.
"Girls are getting excited about going on a date with the other girls, basically. I'm not here to go on a date with 11 girls. I'm here to go on a date with Ben. I'm going to try to not let anything get in the way of me and Ben, but who knows what may come in my way. I don't necessarily want to knock somebody out but who knows," Blakeley said.
During Ben's time with Kacie, he decided to offer her the one-on-one date's rose and they shared their first kiss.
"This is the first rose. This is kind of a big deal for me. I decided to do The Bachelor because this worked for me once and I genuinely want it to work for me again. You being here has kind of reaffirmed the fact that this was a really good decision for me and that there are women like you out there, which is nice. And then bringing you here to Sonoma is a big part of me and my life and I can see you here. I can see you in Sonoma and I want you to be here, so with that being said, will you accept this rose," Ben asked Kacie.
After receiving the rose, Kacie was glad she could move forward in her relationship with Ben, but the date wasn't over yet. Ben had another surprise for her and was ready to open up to and be even more vulnerable with her. The couple then went to an empty theater and watched home videos of themselves when they were little with their families.
Ben got a little choked up during the movie, as he watched happy times play out with his father and shared those personal memories with Kacie. After not hearing his father's voice for five years, Ben got emotional that he did again and Kacie found his reaction to the film very endearing.
"Seeing his dad was a very touching moment. It puts things in perspective. It was different for me to get to watch my dad than it was for him and I can't imagine what that feels like. It was so cool to see Ben as a kid and growing up and how close he was to his dad and to his family. That is a moment I got to share with him that nobody else will get to have and it also opened him up even more," Kacie said.
"Sharing that moment with Kacie was something I'll never forget. It's a very personal and intimate thing to share with someone so early on and I really feel like it bonded us. This could potentially be someone I see in Sonoma -- someone that gets me already," Ben said. "I think that my dad would really like Kacie B. I do."
Based on Ben's reaction to the film, Kacie said she believed he was real and genuine and seemed like he was a person who wasn't going to hold anything back. The couple then kissed in the theater and shared another one in the street.
The next day, the 12 bachelorettes met up with Ben and learned they'd be performing in a play which was written by children in the seventh grade. The play was a fairytale with many funny characters and the girls had to audition for their roles. During the audition process, some of the women were shy and awkward, while others were outgoing and impressed the kids with their imitations.
Meanwhile, at the house, Courtney was complaining about Lindzi, a 27-year-old business development manager from Seattle, WA, saying she wanted her to go home because she actually gave her the worst first impression out of all the girls even though she had received Ben's first impression rose.
Courtney claimed it was Lindzi's horse -- which she made her grand entrance on during the premiere episode -- not the bachelorette herself, that won her the rose and she kept boasting her connection with Ben.
"There's something a little bit off about Courtney. We just can't figure it out. In just being so optimistic and saying she has a connection, she's purposely doing it to try to bring us down," Erika, a 23-year-old law student from Chicago, IL, said. "That's kind of annoying."
During the group date, the girls performed the play for a big audience at the community theater and some of Ben's good friends were present in the room. The girls and Ben had to dress up in silly costumes and play all different types of characters ranging from donkeys and wizards to a gingerbread man and a princess in the setting of "Bachelorville."
The girls liked to see the fun side of Ben come out and the pleasure he got from working with the children. He also liked to see whether the girls could be comfortable in their own skin and let loose.
That night, Ben and his 12 bachelorettes all shared wine by a pool and Jennifer was named the MVP of the theater performance by the other ladies. Blakeley was confident she was going to get the date's rose early on and her aggressive behavior was beginning to really annoy the other girls.
Emily said Blakeley's "sex appeal" would probably end up working to her advantage, while Samantha hid herself in the bathroom because she was so upset over Blakeley's attitude and couldn't stand her behavior in pursuing Ben so forcefully.
Meanwhile, the girls at the house received the next date card and learned Courtney would be receiving the week's second and final one-on-one date with Ben. After Kacie read the card aloud, Courtney made a comment asking her how the information felt coming out of her mouth. Her remark clearly rubbed Kacie the wrong way, and Kacie wasn't the only girl offended.
"Courtney is trying to deflate all of the girls in the house right now who haven't gone on a date. I thought she was maybe a real person -- at first. She's not. She's just not. She's doing things -- she's purposely doing things to get under our skin. It's working," Erika explained. "Congratulations Courtney. You got under our skin. It worked."
During the group date, the girls enjoyed time in the pool and Jennifer stole Ben away for some alone time. They shared a kiss in a small pool all to themselves -- a kiss the bachelorette labeled "dreamy." She said she could see herself falling in love with Ben and hoped to be the leading lady of the night, just like she had been in the show earlier in the day.
Blakeley then snagged some alone time with Ben in the pool and had a seemingly long makeout session with him.
"I want him to want me out of everyone else. I do think Jennifer tried. If she wants to watch us makeout, she can. It's making me excited just thinking about it. I love it; I love it. I'm getting so excited talking about it," Blakeley said.
There was a general consensus that if Blakeley ended up getting the date's rose, most of the girls would be furious. Much to their surprise, the worst case scenario ended up playing out.
"There's a rose on the date. This rose is going to go to someone who I thought really owned the day and the night and I felt like made the most of her time with me and the conversation. So, Blakeley, will you accept this rose?" Ben asked.
Jennifer was especially disappointed in Ben's decision to give Blakeley the rose because she thought she had it. She said it even made her "sick to her stomach" to watch him kiss Blakeley after she and Ben had shared a special moment together during the date. Samantha was equally, if not more so, disgusted with Blakeley and Ben's relationship, calling Blakeley a "hooker" and a "slut."
Samantha told the other girls she hated Blakeley, and it was clear that Blakeley was the odd woman out in most situations. However, Blakeley claimed she didn't care what any of the other girls thought because she got the rose and that was all that mattered to her.
The next day, Ben picked up Courtney for their one-on-one date.
"Courtney has shown the first real true colors of herself. Nobody's really impressed with her at this point, and I don't know when he's going to see it," Kacie said. "But hopefully he sees it on his own sooner than later. Just because you go on a date does not mean you're coming home. Good luck honey. You're not a good person."
"I wanted to take Courtney on this date to see Sonoma because this is such a big part of my life. She lives in Los Angeles and she travels to big cities, so I want to see if she can handle the small town," Ben said.
Ben and Courtney walked into a forest together surrounded by "giant redwood trees" and they shared a picnic by the water with his dog Scotch. Courtney said she felt a connection with Ben and admitted it had been awhile since she had been on a date.
Ben told Courtney he was looking for someone to share his life with in Sonoma, and Courtney said she was on the same page in that she wanted a husband and children and the ability to travel down the road with the one she loves. The couple then kissed, and Ben seemed taken with Courtney from the get-go.
"Courtney's the full package. It's exciting to know that there's someone who I have this immediate initial connection with -- smart, witty, drop-dead gorgeous. Courtney's almost too good to be true," Ben said.
Ben said Courtney had captured his attention and exceeded his expectations, but he still wondered whether she was "too good to be true" or someone that would actually be good with him.
The couple then enjoyed a dinner outside after riding a tractor through the open fields. Ben discussed his journey of opening up to love with Courtney through his prior experience on The Bachelorette, and Courtney told him she had been in relationships but never found love with any of her former partners.
Courtney described her dating history a little bit at Ben's request, because he didn't understand how she could still be single, and she told him it was her surroundings with being in L.A. and finding the wrong guys with the wrong intentions and motivations in life. She also admitted she had difficulty trusting men, as she had caught someone cheating once by finding another woman's underwear in her bed.
"If this is in fact who we each really are, then this is a pretty damn good match," Ben said.
"In deciding to be the Bachelor and do this again, it was scary. How the last one played out, it was a little humiliating. And so, to take this risk again, I really didn't know who or what to expect. And then you came in and we had this amazing day together, and I'm so happy about the fact that you're here. It's not everyday that you meet someone like yourself and I know that you said you have trust issues, but I want you to trust me. Courtney, will you accept this rose?" Ben asked.
Courtney willingly accepted and Ben said Courtney made him think about the big picture. He no longer felt reserved or careful.
The next night, the cocktail party preceding the Rose Ceremony took place, so each of the bachelorettes would have one last chance to snag some personal time with Ben. The girls who didn't get time with him were desperate to see and talk to him.
Lindzi was the first girl to take him away, and Ben told her she didn't get one of the first one-on-one dates because he felt he had gotten to know her pretty well the first night. Lindzi told him she had a little country in her, explaining how she drove a tractor back home and a truck. She added that it would normally be dirt on her face rather than makeup, and Ben seemed to like everything he was hearing.
Blakeley then interrupted Samantha's alone time afterward, and the girls were frustrated because she had already received a rose. It wasn't the first time throughout the night that Blakeley sought Ben's attention despite being safe in the competition, and the drama continued to heat up. Kacie even called Blakeley "toxic."
Blakeley said she wasn't going to hold back anything and didn't want to get distracted because Ben was her main focus. She didn't want to let the other girls phase her, but Nicki questioned where her morals were and Brittney called her a "bitch."
Jenna then sat down with Ben and was hoping to redeem herself from the week prior when she had been very emotional. She told him she was like a guy and was uncomfortable being around so many women with all the drama. After their talk, Jenna got very emotional again because she feared going home and was overwhelmed by her environment.
Meanwhile, a group of the girls -- including Samantha, Jaclyn, Kacie, and Elyse -- were openly talking about and making fun of Blakeley, who wasn't unaware of what was going on. As a result, Blakeley lost her cool and disappeared into the luggage room, where she cried in the corner alone.
Ben could sense the mood of the cocktail party was shifting while tension was in the air, so he wanted to try to mediate some of the situations. He first found Blakeley and reassured her that he liked the time they spent together and she should just take a moment and collect herself.
Afterward, he found Jenna crying and started worrying how things had "gotten so bad so early." Ben was originally confident in how he was handling the process, but he began to question that based on the heightened emotion in the house.
The Bachelor's second Rose Ceremony then commenced, and Ben told the bachelorettes that feelings of love were beginning to come back for him and he knew he'd be capable of finding someone again.
Besides Kacie, Courtney and Blakeley, Ben gave roses to Jennifer; Emily; Elyse, a 24-year-old personal trainer from Chicago, IL; Jaclyn; Erika; Rachel; Lindzi; Nicki; Casey S., a 26-year-old trading clerk from Leawood, KS; Samantha; Monica; Jamie; and Brittney.
Once Jenna and Shawn departed the house, Ben told his remaining bachelorettes that they'd be soon traveling to San Francisco.