ben nicki bachelor 'The Bachelor' elimination shocker: She was too good for you anywayHometown dates are here, “Bachelor” fans and we are excited. This is always one of the best episodes of the season – maybe THE best.

Lindzi’s Hometown

Horse girl reminds us about “Dumpsville: Population you” and Ben meets up with her at a horse track, where they hook up a horse to a carriage and make it cart them around. Lindzi stands on the back, while Ben “drives.” The horse is clearly like, “This is stupid. I’m so embarrassed.”

They have a picnic and nothing really of consequence happens. Let’s get to the family, please.

Lindzi’s parents, Margie and Harry, have these adorable dogs and a beautiful farm/acreage. It turns out Lindzi’s parents got married in San Francisco’s city hall, which is where Ben and Lindzi had their first date. How did Lindzi not know that? I know where my parents got married. In fact, I know where they honeymooned too. Weird.

Then they all go carriage racing through an obstacle course. Lindzi gets smoked by her mom, heh, and Ben and Lindzi have to pull mom and dad back to the house. That’s actually pretty cute.

Lindzi and her mom dish about Ben and her former heartbreak. They seem to have a great relationship, that’s cool. Harry talks to Ben alone and Ben says he’s not ready to propose to anyone yet, but if that were to happen, he wants Harry’s permission and he seems to get it. Ben also seems to really like Lindzi’s parents. They do seem like a great pair. Well done, Lindzi’s parents.

Kacie’s Hometown

The date starts at Kacie’s high school football field where she performs baton twirling with the marching band. Wow. On the one hand, that is the cheesiest thing ever. But I love Kacie, so it’s adorable. Though I’m not sure that helps her “I’m older than my actual age of 24” thing.

The field is named after her Grandpa, which is so cool. She’s so delightfully small town, I just love it. She also scares the crap out of Ben by laying on him that her dad is a federal probation officer and that he doesn’t drink. Ben is naturally nervous because his whole livelihood is centered around alcohol. Yeah, um – yikes.

At Kacie’s house, there’s her mom and dad, Martha and Jimmy, and an adorable sister named Allison. Seriously, those parents did good hitting the genetic lottery for their daughters. Kacie and Allison have a chat and Kacie declares, “That’s my future husband.” Wow.

Kacie says she can totally be herself around Ben, which she hasn’t ever really done before, and she never used to do what she wanted, she always did what everybody else wanted. But she’s doing what she wants now and she wants her parents to trust her. You know, even if this doesn’t work out for Kacie and Ben, it sounds like she’s done a lot of growing throughout the season, so good for her.

She then foreshadows doom by saying she’d be frustrated if something her parents said caused Ben to question their relationship. Cue the cut to Ben and dad. Dun dun dun.

As Ben tells her dad what he likes about Kacie, Jimmy just stares at him and grunts. Yikes. But Ben assures him that they won’t be rushing down the aisle, even if he does propose. But Ben then admits he’s worried about making the wrong decision because he has feelings for more than one girl. Jimmy then warns him that if Kacie’s not the one, it’s better to tell her sooner rather than later.

Martha steps up to the plate and now that I am able to really get a good look at her, it’s clear to see why Kacie and Allison are such lookers. She’s a stunner. Anyway, Martha says her concerns are Kacie’s possibly moving to California – she has a problem with Kacie moving in with Ben. He kind of skirts the issue by complimenting the fact that she cares so much.

Ben seems to be taking it in stride that he’s probably not getting the gold stamp of approval from Kacie’s parents, so good for him for … not throwing a fit or something, I guess.

When Kacie talks to her dad alone, she says she would want to move to San Francisco if she’s the one Ben chooses and her dad says that she would get her own place, of course. And you can see the lie on Kacie’s face as she agrees. Heh. If she wins, there should really be a follow-up spinoff where Kacie gets an apartment, but secretly lives with Ben and then her parents drop by unexpectedly and hilarity and shenanigans ensue.

She then tells her dad that she has fallen in love with Ben and her dad wonders if the other three girls have fallen in love with Ben too. Kacie then says she would say yes if Ben proposed, and dad says he would say no at this point. He wants them to take their time and get to know each other better.

Well … that could’ve gone better. Poor Kacie.

Nicki’s Hometown

Nicki (I typed “Jamie” at first, that’s how interchangeable those two are to me) starts off with, “This is the best man I’ve ever met.” Seriously? I’m sorry, but no. Even on Ashley’s season, Ben was just kind of there. And now on this season, he has looked like a hoodwinked fool and sometimes a huge jerk. Nicki, my heart is sad for you not knowing any better men than that. Or else we are not being shown A LOT of Ben’s good footage.

Anyway. I don’t even want to recap this date, because I’m 100% certain Nicki is going home tonight. If she were more of a player in the final couple episodes, she would’ve been in the show more and not someone I still sometimes think is “Jamie.” If Nicki doesn’t go home, I will eat my hat.

They go boot shopping, so there are some boot-relationship metaphors about finding the “best fit.” I should start a photo gallery of these metaphors, good lord.

Jamie has an adorable family – Laura and Doug, parents, and brother Matt. Her parents have been divorced her whole life practically, but seem to have a good working relationship, which – that’s great. Good for them.

(I did it again! Look, it says “Jamie” up there. I didn’t fix it ’cause I didn’t notice it right away.)

Nicki’s mom really likes Ben and thinks she sees a good connection between them, but her dad seems more hesitant. Her dad actually says to her, “I may have too readily given your hand in marriage the first time” and …. sigh. He gets a pass because he’s obviously a dad who loves his daughter and I’m sure he didn’t mean it like she’s chattel that he traded for two cows and a goat.

But seriously, if my dad said that to me, he would’ve gotten the lean-back-raised-eyebrow move that clearly says, “Excuse me?”

This continues on and dad starts crying, talking about how he let her go too easily and how he just wants to protect her and OK, fine. Dad’s not a sexist. *sniffle* I can’t take it when dads cry! Stop it, dad! Somebody get me a kleenex.

Dad makes a wonderful toast at dinner, and then before Ben leaves, Nicki gives him an “I’m all in” speech. I think this just shot Nicki up the charts. Maybe she won’t go home, y’all. Hmm.

Courtney’s Hometown

Here we go, the hometown we’ve all been waiting for. I’m sure it’s no coincidence they saved it for last.

Courtney’s little voiceover as Ben pulls up – is this supposed to be some sort of mea culpa about the huge whackjob she’s been all season? “I feel badly. I feel disappointed in myself for treating the girls the way that I have.” Um, let’s see you tell THEM that and then we will talk, crazypants.

Courtney’s dad calls their house “The House of Little Girls” in Spanish, or “La Casa de Ninas.” I do not have the time nor the inclination to talk about that, or to make the inappropriate (and ultimately sad) jokes, so I’m just mentioning it …. and we’re moving on.

They sit down to lunch with a wine that looks like asparagus urine. Here’s hoping it smells better. Anyway, Mom is a bit of a pinch-faced old biddy, so at least we know where Courtney gets that weird mouth thing she always does.

Ben takes some alone time with Courtney’s dad and the dad asks him, “I always tell young people in your position that marriage is life’s greatest gamble and there’s only a 50% chance of winning. Are you ready to make that bet, Ben?”

First of all, slap the right hat and white seersucker on this guy and he’s like a skeazy riverboat gambler. Secondly, that’s what you say to young people? The statistic is 50% because of so many morons marry the wrong people or for the wrong reasons. But if you find the right person, it’s not a gamble at all. Mine certainly wasn’t.

I don’t really like her family, sorry. I’m probably too biased because Courtney’s so horrible. But I do think we have a good sense of where she comes from.

Now Courtney takes Ben off for a picnic. But she takes Ben to the place she’s always wanted to get married, and she’s going to tell him she loves him during a fake wedding.

Oh my god, y’all. She is a sociopath. Given the opportunity, she’d probably keep Kacie down a pit while she makes a skin suit and tells Kacie to put the lotion on her skin. This is insane. If this were the real world, there would just be a Ben-shaped hole in the hedge. I am so grossed out.

Well, I guess we know that Ben’s decided she’s the one, because how could you possibly do this and then pick somebody else? That woman he chose would (rightly) have a fit watching this back.

Meanwhile, Courtney’s vows suck. She’s terrible. Because she’s a moron. And then they exchange rings, OH MY GOD, Y’ALL. This makes me want to heave.

Also – his hair in this scene? Holy crap. He looks like he should be driving a windowless van and offering candy to children.

It is at this point in the show where I get an email from my awesome cousin, and virtual viewing partner, Melanie: “I’ve decided all the other girls are too good for him anyway so he might as well pick the black widow.”  Amen, sister.

I Want to Talk to Chris Harrison

Ben says hometowns couldn’t have gone any better, as we relive the dates with a soft-focus lens and strummy-strummy music. Misty, water-colored memories, indeed. Get on with it.

Rose Ceremony

So is it Nicki going home? Maybe Lindzi? I think I’m placing my money on Nicki to go home. Final answer.

Ben gives roses to Courtney, Lindzi and … Nicki! NO WAY! Oh my god. I am surprised, then angry on Kacie’s behalf, then I am relieved and want her to run away from this clown as fast as her baton-twirling legs can take her.

I repeat – I’m so mad Emily is the next bachelorette. It should be Kacie.

Kacie is pretty devastated in the limo. Oh, sweetie. Don’t cry. You’re way too good for him.

Ben returns to the girls and says, “That was tough” in the same way you might say, “I want some gum.”

Next week
: Switzerland. I guess I could try to remain neutral regarding Courtney as a homage to Switzerland, but … nope.

In the outtakes, we hear Courtney talking to her family about their skinny dipping excursion and calling her dad out about skinny dipping in their house pool. So that’s just another piece of the Courtney puzzle.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."