Group dates can be tricky: it’s not exactly the norm to have to fight for a guy’s attention when you’re supposed to be getting to know each other. Not like we really get to know much about any of the girls from this particular outing, other than who can show some grace under some (weird) pressure. Blakeley wins the award for worst possible outfit choice – a three-sizes-too-small romper that causes some raised eyebrows among adults and kids alike. The producers up the awkward factor by involving children in the mix – the girls have to audition for a play written by a group of 3rd graders, and then perform to a crowd which includes some of Ben’s family and friends.
For Ben, this is a great way to see which of the women get along well with kids, and who can roll with the punches. Also important: who's not afraid to look silly. The ones that made the cut for the play (the kids were also the casting directors!) had to wear heavy-looking animal costumes, and Ben got to dress as the prince. Here's hoping the next group date is just as funny, but a little less cheesy.
Ben gives Courtney a one-on-one date card, and brings her on a picnic with his adorable dog, Scotch. She plays her cards well by not oversharing about her past, relationship troubles or trust issues – Ben is the one bringing it up and asking her to talk. Her mysterious nature comes off as shady to the other women (and I do agree that something seems “off” about her – as if she’s had a plan to act like this the whole time), but which Ben find it intriguing. Being incredibly beautiful and a model probably doesn’t hurt her chances, either. There’s buzz that she's a frontrunner for the final four, and Ben seems to think so – she also gets a rose and a kiss during this date.
During the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, Jenna gets some time to chat with Ben and starts off well, thanking him for giving her another chance after her embarrassing and messy start. But within moments, she’s shot herself in the foot again, declaring: “I have to be honest – I feel like I’m a guy.” Telling Ben that you’re one of the boys is a popular strategy this season from many of the women, but they all found better ways of wording it. Let's reminisce on Jenna's best (or rather, worst) lines, shall we?
- "I feel like I"m guy in how I act, so being around girls all the time is very abnormal for me ... I don't want you to think I'm not, 'cause I might appear as if I'm not, it's hard. There's only you, so it's like waiting around for you, and it's totally worth, but I just, I'm not like a girl, if that makes any sense." No. It does not.
- "Maybe we can share a tampon sometime." Things not to say to another girl. Ever.
- "Are you kidding me? No, really - are you kidding me? I can't believe this is happening." I can!
- "How do you maintain sanity?" Not by broadcasting your neuroses and breakdowns on show with millions of viewers!
Damage control was needed during the cocktail party, with Ben finding both Blakeley and Jenna upset and emotional, hiding themseleves from the other women. He convinces them to come downstairs and shake it off, and Blakeley seems to regain composure, despite the nasty vibes coming towards her from almost every other contestant. As usual, there's no comforting Jenna, who still looks shaken and stirred. And then the eliminations begin...