Ben Flajnik learned how to twirl the baton tonight. And no, that's not a euphemism.
Perhaps already in need of a shot in the arm, this season's Bachelor brought all 18 of his potential fiancées to his Sonoma, Calif., hometown—where, admittedly, all of them looked far less creepy in casual wear than they did in last week's prom dresses—and picked Kacie B. for date No. 1.
And after the bubbly brunette from Tennessee had revealed that she used to be a baton twirler and showed Ben how to "stir the pot," she was treated to a glimpse of his naked backside (and maybe more).
Wait, it's not what you think!
After a walk through downtown Sonoma and dinner that led to both a rose and a first kiss, Ben took Kacie to a movie theater, where home movies were cranked up and ready to go.
Look, Kacie with her baton! Aw, toddler Ben running around naked on his family's porch!
But the pair really did have a moment, as Ben teared up when footage of his late father came on the screen and Kacie rested her head on his shoulder.
"I think my dad would really like Kacie B., I really do," he said afterward, while Kacie said, "I think I have found what could be a lifetime of love with Ben."
Ugh, if only there weren't so many other women and dates—and more partial nudity—to get through!
All 11 women who went on the group date got to see more of present-day Ben in the flesh, when, as part of a play written by a bunch of kids, Ben stripped down to his...fluffy sheep underpants?
In the seemingly family-friendly fairy tale, Ben played the prince of Bachelorville, whose life is perfect except for his lack of a princess. At one point, he's turned into a sheep—and then, in one fell swoop, becomes a regular boxer-briefs-wearing guy again.
Monica, playing the dragon, got to "blow Ben's clothes off," to all the ladies' great excitement. (The kids looked a little shocked, though.)
With last week's basket case, Jenna, getting a timeout this week, Samantha was left to freak out during the group date over Blakeley's brazenness.
"If she gets the rose, my head is going to explode," Sam lamented.
Yup, Ben fell for the nothing-to-say-so-let's-just-kiss act, and, despite sharing a seemingly great moment with Jennifer in the grotto ("Even our kisses echo," Ben mused), he gave the group-date rose to Blakeley, saying it was for "Someone who I thought really owned the day and the night and made the most of her time with me in conversation."
We can't tell all these blondes apart yet, but one of them said, "I'm just surprised that a candy-striping hooker was taken seriously enough to be given a rose."
Later it was onto another one-on-one with model Courtney, who while left at home was busy trying to convince the remaining girls of her amazing connection with the Bachelor.
"You're ruining the moment, buddy," Ben chided his dog, Scotch, who accompanied the duo on their romantic hike through the woods, as he leaned in for a kiss (a kiss from Courtney, not Scotch, who whined a bit as his master made his move).
Unlike Blakeley, however, Courtney is actually a good conversationalist and is far more likable when one-on-one with Ben. So, this date got our thumbs-up, as well.
"If this is in fact who we really are, then this is a pretty damn good match," Ben noted afterward.
Jenna, who had seemingly been holding it together back at the house, chose the weekly cocktail party to have her breakdown.
"I'm a nervous wreck," she admitted to Ben after letting Blakeley's tendency to horn in affect her way too much. "I'm really thankful that you gave me another chance after the first night...I feel like I'm a guy in how I act, and being around girls is abnormal for me…I might appear as if I'm not…It's hard, like, there's only you. Waiting around for you, it's totally worth it, but I'm not a good 'girl.'"
But instead of locking herself in the bathroom, she retreated to a bedroom to cry.
Ben eventually sensed the weird tension and set off to find the source, aka Blakeley, who was crying in the luggage room after overhearing one of the girls saying she'd be "good to motorboat" and then send on her way.
But no matter what, Blakeley, Kacie B. and Courtney had roses, and two ladies would be going home empty-handed.
Wouldn't you know Jenna's luck ran out tonight, along with Shawn's (we never knew ye, Shawn!).
But only one of them was left out-of-control "mortified" and sobbing. You have one guess.
(Originally published Jan. 9, 2012, at 7:29 p.m. PT)