So much for Ben's no kissing rule, huh?
Little Benny (who's actually very tall, as we discovered during ABC's winter press tour this weekend) got a little physical this week as he got to smooching with not one, not two, but more than five women. He also got up close and personal with their glands in a date that involved smelling their armpits, right after he rendezvous'd in a hot tub in a hot tub store with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube. Just typical first date stuff, you know.
There's been one major question on our mind since Ben was named as The Bachelor, and tonight we started to get an answer: What is he all about?
Promos have just touted their "Perfect Ben" without really giving us anything else. Chris was a farmer. Juan Pablo was, well, an asshole, but he was also a soccer player apparently. Ben's cute and nice and all that, but he's currently got the personality of the Zac Efron poster we keep on our wall. He's cute as hell, and listens very well when we tell him all our problems, but he doesn't seem to offer much substance on his own (aside from sweet gifts, but we'll get to that). He also seems very distracted by all the beauty around him at all times, and all the beauty that agreed to come on this show for some reason, which is not actually a Zefron poster problem. That's just a Ben problem (and was also a Chris Soules problem).
Hopefully, that will change throughout the season and we'll get to see more of the personality he started to show during The Bachelorette, but the most Ben-related thing we got tonight was that he really valued his time in high school.
The first group date took a bunch of the girls (including Lace) back to high school (literally), where they had to use "communication" and "trust" to "make Ben's volcano explode." They also had to bob for apples (you know, school apples), place Indiana on a map of the U.S. (total disaster) and compete in a free throw competition. Then, the winner of a short race got to be Ben's homecoming queen, and that was when it occurred to us that Ben might be one of those guys who counts "homecoming king" as one of his accomplishments in life. While we hope that's not true, we all went to high school, but we would not all take anyone on a high school-themed date as a representation of any of the things we give a s—t about.
Mandi won the title of queen, but that's pretty much all she won. Jennifer received Ben's first intentional kiss, and it was Jojo who got the rose, while Lace earned a new enemy in competition partner Jubilee.
"I will not murder Lace, but she may very tactfully disappear," Jubilee said, and we decided we like her a lot.
Lace set out tonight to redeem herself, and we thought it might be possible until she resumed freaking out about a lack of eye contact. She continually interrupted Ben's conversations with other girls, only to then complain when she herself was interrupted and therefore got NO TIME WITH BEN.
Up next was Caila's one-on-one, which was planned by Chris Harrison. It involved riding in a car with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube (to promote Ride Along 2! Get it??) They ended up trying out a hot tub in a hot tub store, and that was weird but also kind of charming.
He and Caila then had dinner and were treated to another one of those weird private concerts this show is so fond of. She got a rose of course, because software salespeople always stick together.
For the next group date, the rest of the girls ended up following an iPad robot into a love laboratory, where they had to wear tight white spandex (the nightmare of many a woman) while they let Ben smell their glands (the second nightmare of many a woman). This, along with tests involving eye contact and thermal something or other, was supposed to prove their compatibility with Mr. Higgins.
Olivia suddenly found that she had quite the faith in science, as she was just sure she'd end up with the highest score. She was right, as it turns out. The odor was strong with this one. Poor Sam (who Ben thought smelled "sour") had the lowest. Guess who got the group date rose, and guess who went home!
Despite a sweet convo with Amanda about her kids, Olivia still got the date rose, and that was around when Olivia fell down to the bottom of our list of women we'd like to be friends with. She suddenly became insufferable as she deemed herself the official frontrunner, even giving Lace advice on something or other, right before Lace launched into this season's onion vs. pomegranate.
Ben just stared at her through some crazy rant about how she had two little bangs and her dad called her Roseanne Rosannadana and her brother pretended he didn't know her on a bus, which is really a lot to tell Ben right now, and then she got interrupted for a fourth time and totally felt like she ruined everything. (She didn't, but more on that in a minute.)
Before the rose ceremony, it was time for Ben to hand out gifts. He had a screenshot taken of he and Lauren B's first convo, and gave another Lauren a first place ribbon for how big her volcano explosion was, and got out a glue gun to make rose barrettes for Amanda's kids.
It was cute AF, and we were not surprised when Amanda received the first rose. Jubilee got the second, and it reminded us of that time earlier in the episode that Jubilee told Ben about her time as an orphan in an orphanage in Haiti, but then did not receive the date rose. It's ok, Jubilee! You're still one of our faves.
Lauren B., Leah, Becca, Rachel, Jennifer, Emily, Jami, Lauren H., Haley, and Amber also got roses, and so did Shushanna, even though we can't remember witnessing a non-Russian conversation with Ben. Lace was also blessed with a rose for some reason, and we're just going to assume it's because Ben would like an explanation for that Roseanne-Rosannadana story.
LB was also given a rose, but she didn't take it. Instead, after talking-heading through the entire rose ceremony about how unsure she is about everyone and everything, she took Ben aside and told him that she'd actually like to go home, which was a real blow to Team Lauren, since now there are only two left. You will be missed, LB. The rest of us are rooting for you.
Anyway, tonight also finally gave us some shirtless Ben shots, which is really all we needed, because we're only human, you guys.
Anyway, Ben's officially a sweetheart but we're still waiting for that sperm-and-egg personality we fell in love with last season. Hopefully he's just nervous so far, and as he gets to know some of the women better, he'll be a little more entertaining as a person, because why else are we here?
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.