This is that point in The Bachelor where things start getting really tough!
Ben Higgins was down to the final six girls on Monday night’s show, and when you get here, feelings start getting involved — and eliminations start really hurting!
The show made it all the more personal on last night’s ep by sending Ben and the girls to Higgins’ home town of Warsaw, Indiana — a nice little town, full of kids who love basketball and people who live on lakes and… true love?!
Well, maybe for one girl!!
Things started with Ben being whisked into a downtown cafe, meeting up with his parents — he looks just like his mom, natch — and discussing the qualities of some of the girls with them.
The ep started out rocky, too — host Chris Harrison disappeared for most of the show (maybe he hates Indiana?!), and Ben opened things up by asking Lauren B. out on a one-on-one date, face to face… in front of ALL the other girls!!
The ladies took it in stride, but man, is it tough to see the love of your life ask out another woman!
Ben and Lauren, long considered a front runner, took a ride in a pickup truck around town, and after kissing while driving (OMG SO DANGEROUS) they wound up at a youth center where Ben had previously worked and volunteered.
Lauren was a good sport, up for basketball and jumping rope with kids, and after one kid sank a half-court basketball shot in front of everybody, she had to kiss Ben right there on the court!
A good time was had by all, and a pair of the NBA‘s Indiana Pacers stars even showed up (George Hill and Paul George, super confusing, we know, but Hill is in the background of that pic above).
Ben then took Lauren to a private dinner, the flight attendant hashed out all the drama that Leah started about her last week (bye, Leah!), and things were good.
Firmly re-cemented in front-runner status, that’s about what you’re gonna get from Lauren B. this ep — it’s the other five girls that really brought it!
Ben’s next one-on-one date was real estate developer JoJo, and the two took the two-and-a-half hour drive up to Chicago for a date at rented-out Wrigley Field, home of MLB‘s Chicago Cubs!
They played a little baseball… er, well, Ben softballed poor JoJo, who looked like she had never held a bat before — but she was wearing a super cute “Mrs. Higgins” Cubs jersey, so that totes made up for her lack of skills!
The two did a little smoochie-smoochie in the outfield, they talked about how much they liked each other in the infield, they ate dinner on the grass right in the center of the diamond, and they sealed it all with a kiss at home plate.
Don’t you just love normal dates for a change?!
During the date, JoJo decided now was the time to open up to Ben and not be afraid any more. Good call, JoJo — it at least earned you a rose for another week on the show!
Ben followed it up with something truly spectacular, though — on the show’s group date, he picked Amanda, Caila, and Becca and took them out on row boats, and then to a barn (Indiana!), where he informed them that whichever girl got the group date rose was guaranteed to introduce her family next week.
In a true shocker — nobody saw this coming but us, and we’re sticking to that — Ben gave that group rose to… AMANDA?!
He must really want to meet the kids!
And you know what?! Good for him!!
In addition to giving her the rose, Ben took Amanda out on a one-on-one date… to McDonald’s?!
Ben, buddy, say it ain’t so…
Or more accurately, just tell us The Bachelor was paid lots and lots of money to effectively run a full advertisement for Mickey D’s to make it look palatable to their viewers because honey, ain’t no way any of the contestants on this show are regular Happy Meal munchers.
There was but one girl left after the group date, and it was on Ben to do it up BIG for her: Emily, the remaining twin, got whisked away to Ben’s parent’s house to meet mom and dad and to figure out if she was marriage material…
…and she was not.
After rambling on about movies and other random stuff, Emily and Ben headed back to the girls’ house, where the man himself had to own up and do the right thing, by dumping Emily on the spot.
Telling her that she wasn’t what he saw in a wife at this point, Ben ended it quick, and Emily ran into the waiting arms of the other girls who, to their credit, aren’t catty now that Olivia Caridi and Leah Block are long, LONG gone.
Super sad for Emily, super sad for Ben, super let’s-eliminate-one-more for the rest of us… and that one more, nixed at the final rose ceremony, was.. Becca?!
Oh no! The virgin is now a two-time Bachelor loser!
Ben ended up picking Caila ahead of Becca with the final rose of his ceremony last night, and the chiropractic assistant left the show angry and bewildered that she’d been blindsided. That has to hurt…
There’s your show, folks! If you’re keeping score at home, we are down to four girls: Lauren B., Caila, Amanda, and JoJo.
It’s ALLLLLL about the home visits next week, too, so it looks like things are only getting more emotional, more difficult, and more dramatic…
And you KNOW we’ll be watching with the world’s biggest bowl of popcorn — and some delicious McDonald’s!
[Images via ABC.]