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'The Bachelor' star Ben Flajnik narrows his love search to six women


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/07/2012 

The Bachelor star Ben Flajnik eliminated three bachelorettes and narrowed his love search to six women during last night's broadcast of the ABC reality dating series' sixteenth season.

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Blakeley Shea, a 34-year-old VIP cocktail waitress from Charlotte, NC, was eliminated instead of Rachel Truehart, a 27-year-old fashion sales representative from New York City, NY, during their two-on-one date with Ben, while Casey Shteamer, a 26-year-old trading clerk from Leawood, KS, was ousted after The Bachelor host Chris Harrison made her confront Ben about unresolved feelings she had for an ex-boyfriend who was not entirely out of the picture or her heart.

In addition, Jamie Otis, a 25-year-old registered nurse from Dryden, NY, was eliminated during the sixth episode's Rose Ceremony.

"I've never met any guy like Ben before. I just saw something in him that I really liked and I now I recognize that more than ever and it wasn't until recently that I discovered that I really do care about him -- that I really could see a future with him. I'm definitely scared of love. The funny thing is, I'm so scared of it, but it's the one thing that I want and I want to open myself up to that possibility. I was hoping he would be patient and clearly, it had been too late," Jamie lamented following her ouster.

The Bachelor's sixth sixteenth-season episode began with the remaining nine bachelorettes traveling to Panama City, Panama and moving into their Trump Ocean Club hotel suite for the week.

Once they arrived at the hotel in Panama City, Ben dropped off the bachelorettes' date card and they learned there would be a one-on-one date, a group date and a two-on-one date over the course of the next week. There would be a rose up for grabs during each date -- and if the bachelorettes on the one-on-one and two-on-one dates failed to receive a rose, they would be ousted immediately.

The date card then revealed that Kacie Boguskie, a 24-year-old administrative assistant from Clarksville, TN, would be accompanying Ben on the week's only one-on-one date.

Ben and Kacie B. took a helicopter ride together and enjoyed the view of the City.

"I have the entire day to spend with Kacie B. and I couldn't be more excited. Kacie B. and I had the first date of this entire journey and my feelings really grew. This date is important because I want to see if those feelings are still there. Today I'm taking Kacie out to a deserted island and this adventure is a test for our relationship. I hope we can bond over an experience like this. My fear is that we run out of things to talk about," Ben said.

Afterward, the helicopter landed on San Blas island and dropped them both off. The couple had to take care of themselves on the island and utilize their survival skills. They had to slice open coconuts with a machete for milk, fish for their own food, help each other, and provide for each other. Ben felt he and Kacie B. made a great team.

That night, Ben was hoping to have a more serious conversation with Kacie B. and dive deeper into their relationship.

"There is a lot more pressure tonight and I think it's just because our relationship's getting deeper and I'm going to have to open up to Ben like I haven't opened up to a guy in a long time, and that scares me," Kacie B. said.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel, the other bachelorettes learned who would share the group date with Ben.

Casey S.; Lindzi Cox, a 27-year-old business development manager from Seattle, WA; Courtney Robertson, a 28-year-old model from Santa Monica, CA; Emily O'Brien, a 27-year-old PhD student from Chapel Hill, NC; Nicki Sterling, a 26-year-old dental hygienist from Hurst, TX; and Jamie Otis, a 25-year-old registered nurse from Dryden, NY, learned they would be accompanying Ben on the week's group date, leaving Blakeley and Rachel with the remaining two-on-one date.

Blakeley was excited and believed the opportunity to get a date with Ben no matter the circumstances was "amazing," while Rachel was upset about having to share a date in which she could potentially be sent home -- anticipating that it would be "awkward."

During Kacie B.'s date with Ben, she told him she had an eating disorder for one year in high school and felt her life was out of control at that time. She admitted she had struggled with bulimia and anorexia, but once she overcame the disorders and became stronger mentally and physically, she realized you don't have to be perfect. 

"Kacie B.'s eating disorder is a monumental moment in her life and clearly, it's helped her develop into the strong woman she is today. She's a brave girl. She opened up to me and that takes guts. It makes me, I don't know, like her even more," Ben said.

Ben then decided to give Kacie B. the date's rose.

"I have so much fun with you. I've liked you from the start and that was just you being open and honest and I appreciate that. I really, really do. I know we have so much more we need to learn about each other and I want to learn those things. And so, Kacie, will you accept this rose?" Ben asked.

Kacie B. gladly accepted the rose and felt her connection with Ben had intensified.

"On a scale of one to wonderful, today was fantastic. I opened up to him like I haven't before to anybody and it was great. It signifies our growth together. I didn't expect for my feelings for Ben to be so strong. I'm falling in love with him and the more time I spend with him, the more I have feelings for him and the more I can see the big picture. I feel like we are on the right track and I can't ask for anything else," Kacie B. explained. 

The following day, Ben wanted to explore Panama's wildlife through its rivers and jungles with the women during the week's group date. Ben and his six bachelorettes took a long, narrow motorboat out into the Chagres River, and Ben admitted that he didn't necessarily need the most outdoorsy-type of girl, but that he wanted to see who could just go with the flow in any situation.

After a little ride in the boat, the girls got off and walked with Ben into the Embera Village. It began to rain and the ladies in the village dressed the bachelorettes up in beaded sexy ensembles. Courtney decided it was best to "bare chest it," taking off her top under the dangling beads that hung around her neck. The other girls chose not to and thought Courtney's behavior was inappropriate and over the top.

"Courtney's not even wearing a top. She's just wearing the beads. Yeah, I know, classy right?" Emily said.

"I was not shocked at all that Courtney took her top off. It's just so opposite of how I would act in that situation," Nicki said.

Courtney told the girls she never does anything "half ass" and Ben apparently liked Courtney's motto and outlook on life.

"I show up and the women are still in bathing suits with traditional garb with the exception of Courtney. I appreciated that in more than one way," Ben said with a big smile.

The girls then participated in a little body painting and danced around with members of the village. Courtney paid the most attention to Ben during the date and even said she felt like it was her own one-on-one date with him. She said the other girls weren't trying to win Ben over hard enough, and her fellow bachelorettes weren't surprised how Courtney was putting herself out there so forcefully.

"I just ignore the rest of the girls. I don't know if they could make it any easier on me, but I'm making moves and it's just getting started. I've got moves they've never seen," Courtney said.

Later that day, the girls and Ben enjoyed drinks by the pool at the hotel they were staying at.

Ben first pulled Lindzi aside and said he liked how easy going she was and how she avoided drama. Lindzi told him she never wanted her relationships to focus on fighting, and Ben was thankful she was opening up to him because he liked her softer side.

Meanwhile, Rachel was freaking out about her two-on-one date with Ben and Blakeley.

"My emotions have been on a little bit of a rollercoaster since I found out that I would be going on a two-on-one date with Blakeley, because that of course means one of us is going home," Rachel explained. "It's a little intimidating that Blakeley is so confident. I don't know what he's feeling. Anything could happen tomorrow, so I'm freaking out a little bit."

"I'm so pumped," Blakeley said.

During the group date, Courtney stole Ben and he told her he liked how assertive she was with him and confident. Courtney said she was losing sight of her connection with him a little because there were so many other girls in the way, but she made it clear she wanted to rekindle their spark.

Jamie then addressed Ben and expressed her concerns about how she had been failing to show him how she really felt about him. She attempted to tell Ben she really liked him, but Courtney started to frolick in the pool in her bikini behind the couple -- ultimately distracting Ben to the point where he wasn't really paying attention to what Jamie had to say, although he claimed he tried to focus solely on Jamie.

"I feel like the girls here are not putting much into Ben. A lot of these girls are very immature and they're very slow-moving and they're not very sexual. They're making it easy on me and they're so naive that they don't even see it happening," Courtney said.

"I'm in the middle of talking to Jamie and I see Courtney in her bathing suit. She's all by herself and it's very difficult to focus -- just..." Ben said. "Obviously I wanted to turn my head and take a look, but I need to remain focused and try to figure out if my relationship with Jamie is something that I see going somewhere."

"I look over my shoulder and there's Courtney in a bikini and let's be honest, if Brad Pitt was standing right behind him, I'm not sure I'd be really digesting what he's saying because it's distracting," Jamie said. "I couldn't kiss him. I'm constantly super anxious and super excited and I'm anticipating the best things to happen, but then I get there, and it doesn't happen. I honestly feel like because of Courtney, I might be going home."

Ben then pulled Emily aside and told her he trusted that she was ready to move on from the house drama, as she had previously confronted him about her issues with Courtney. Emily made him laugh and Ben asked her if they were past the drama in their relationship. Emily replied that she was truly focused on Ben and her mind was back in the right place, and the bachelorette seemed to have a total change of heart.

"After my one-on-one with Ben, I started thinking about the things that I had said to him about Courtney and I'm regretting it. I feel like I've possibly misjudged her. I inserted myself into a situation that I probably shouldn't have and I want us to be at peace with one another and I want us to be friends," Emily explained.

Emily then apologized to Courtney about making a rash judgment about her. She admitted she had made a mistake and told Courtney she was wrong. Courtney said she appreciated the apology but told Emily flat out she had already lost all respect for her. Courtney said she couldn't just forget what had happened and get over the harm that was caused from Emily's prior decisions.

Courtney made it clear she would never be friends with Emily, telling the bachelorette it was too late and she didn't "take being disrespected lightly."

Emily was surprised at Courtney's response to her sincere apology and said she saw Courtney revert right back to the girl she had initially judged. Emily was then convinced that Courtney was neither a compassionate or friendly person.

After the drama concluded, Ben grabbed his date's rose and offered it to Lindzi to give her affirmation about what he thought they shared and where their relationship could go. Lindzi happily accepted the rose and the couple kissed.

"Getting the rose tonight, it means so much to me, because he's someone who I do want to bring home to my parents and I do want to take it to the next level. It's so flattering to know that he sees it too," Lindzi said.

Courtney was disappointed that she didn't get the rose and wanted more alone time with Ben, so she extended him an invitation to come to her room that night. She admitted that she was happy to finally be treated the way she wanted to be treated by Ben. However, Ben declined Courtney's invitation and never showed up to her room, leaving Courtney a little puzzled and her hopes deflated.

The next day, Rachel and Blakeley met Ben for their two-on-one date and Rachel said if she didn't get the rose, she'd be "heartbroken."

The girls and Ben learned how to salsa dance and Ben said it was important to see which bachelorette he'd have more natural chemistry with while dancing, a necessary part of a relationship in Ben's eyes.

After Rachel learned a small routine and danced with Ben, she said she felt the chemistry between them. However, shortly afterwards, Blakeley was ready to show off her dance moves because she felt like she was a much better dancer than Rachel and had a sexual side to her that she wanted to let shine.

"Standing aside and watching the two of them dance, it is awkward. Blakeley is very confident. She can be very sexual in her dance moves and so it sucks. I don't want to see them looking into each other's eyes. I just want to break it up and have Ben not have any connection," Rachel said.

"But there was no getting the two of them apart and I don't know what's going through her head, but I don't like it."

Rachel believed Blakeley was "tacky" and felt Ben was going to be blinded into thinking he had strong feelings for Blakeley when in reality, it was just sexual tension caused from Blakeley pushing that type of attraction on him.  

Later that night, the threesome sat down for dinner but clearly weren't enjoying themselves.

"It's strange to be at a table with two different women. My heart is pounding out of my chest. I am looking at both of these women and thinking I am moments away from hurting her. This is the hardest thing I've had to do so far," Ben explained.

Ben talked to Rachel first and she told him Blakeley was fast-moving with him and putting it all on the line but some things should take time. She told him there were great things to come between them and she hoped he'd give them a chance to discover what they had together.

It the became time for Blakeley to talk to Ben and she explained that she felt something between them and wished she had gotten a one-on-one date with him so they could have gotten to know each other better. Blakeley worried about being eliminated before Ben even got the chance to really get to know her, so she tried to tell him exactly how she felt.

Blakeley then handed Ben a little scrapbook or collage of things she liked about Ben and told her she was starting to fall for him. She discussed how certain pictures and words made her think about him, and she made it very clear that Ben was always on her mind.  

"After talking to him, I'm more confident than I felt before. The fact that I laid it out on the table and I let him know how much I care and that I care for him and that I'm falling for him and that I see myself with him, I feel like this relationship is going to work. Oh my God, I want that rose!" Blakeley said.

Ben said he was physically and emotionally torn between the two bachelorettes, but he had to make a decision.

"Ultimately what I have to kind of base this decision on is, 'Do I see it moving forward to spending the rest of my life with one of you?' And so, Rachel, will you accept this rose?" Ben asked.

A shocked Blakeley then stormed out of the room upset, and Ben begged for a chance to explain things. He told her he had relationships with other women developing that were so far past what they could have started together from that moment on if they were given more one-on-one time.

Ben told Blakeley he appreciated her opening up to him, and she bawled in his arms for awhile before stepping into a vehicle and leaving. Ben apologized again and again.

"I'm sorry. I cared about you. It's just hard to take," Blakeley told Ben before getting into the vehicle and leaving.

The following day, Chris stopped by the hotel and asked to speak with Casey S. Once they were alone outside, Chris told her it had been brought to his attention by three people in the U.S. that she was in love with someone else. He said she had a boyfriend back home named Michael and Chris told Casey that Michael had insisted they were still together.

Michael allegedly said he was spending nearly every day and night with Casey before she left for The Bachelor, and Casey was shocked about the news she was hearing. Casey told Chris Michael was definitely an ex-boyfriend and that he didn't want to marry her, so that's why they ultimately split up.

While Casey tried to convince Chris her old relationship had truly ended for good, she admitted she probably wasn't 100% percent over the breakup. She told Chris, after much hesitation, that she was still in love with Michael deep down and believed he could change.

However, Casey claimed she didn't want to be in love with Michael anymore and initially went on the show to find love with a man who wanted the same things out of a relationship as she did.

If Casey ended up winning Ben's heart, she told Chris she wanted to show him off at home and prove that there was a man out there that could satisfy her needs. While Casey seemingly liked Ben a lot, she clearly wasn't over her ex.

After confronting Casey, Chris insisted they should talk to Ben and enlighten him about what was going on. They went to his hotel room together to chat and Casey told Ben she originally came on the show in the hopes of getting over a guy who didn't want to commit to her.

Ben asked Casey if she was dating him and she said no, but she did admit she wasn't over him. Ben told her that the ex-boyfriend was holding her back from being open and he wished she had been honest with him earlier because he had to eliminate girls that he really cared about and knew cared about him.

Casey explained how she didn't want to go home and be with someone who wouldn't want to get married. She broke down and cried because she knew her journey of finding love must start all over again once she returned home because she couldn't be with Michael and it became increasingly more obvious she couldn't end up with Ben either.

Casey labeled going on The Bachelor a "sincere try" to find love, but Ben was upset and told her she needed to go home without sugarcoating his explanation. Chris told Casey he did not believe she came on the show to deceive anyone, and then he walked her to a waiting car.

"Regardless of whether Michael's still in love with me or not, it doesn't matter. I still can't be with him... It just sucks that it's still not going to work, you know what I mean? That's what sucks," Casey lamented following her ouster. "It wasn't Ben and now I have to find someone else. I just don't want to deal with it."

Chris then spoke to the remaining bachelorettes and told them they had to be open with Ben or they weren't going to find love and the process wouldn't work.

That night, the cocktail party preceding the Rose Ceremony began, so each of the bachelorettes would have one last chance to secure some personal time with Ben.

Nicki pulled Ben aside and told him she could see herself with him and that she got giddy in his presence. She said she knew that what they were feeling for each other was real and expressed how their relationship was "exciting and passionate," admitting she was "falling in love."

Meanwhile, Jamie was stressed out that she hadn't shown Ben her true colors yet, allowing him to really get to know her and form a connection with her. She believed it was time for her to step up her game.

"On this last group date, I wanted to kiss [Ben] and I wanted things to be wonderful because I really like him and then Courtney shows up... I feel like I can be just as wonderful to him as anybody else here and I wish I knew what he was thinking right now," Jamie explained.

"I need to show him that I'm sexy, that I'm a woman, that I would be able to please him and make him happy. I think that's what he's looking for -- someone that can be fun and sexy, and clearly I'm a little shy and very prude. I always knew that I was a little prude, but damn, I'm really prude."

Jamie then stole Ben away and told him she wanted to show him that she had some big plans. As a result, she straddled him and madeout with him. She justified her behavior by explaining that she liked and trusted him so she felt it was okay to get "fancy" with him. Jamie kept laughing and told Ben she had envisioned their first kiss playing out differently, but she just wanted a great kiss.

In order to hopefully receive the perfect kiss she had been anticipating, Jamie started coaching Ben on how they should kiss and concentrated a little too much on the details. 

Ben joked that there was an "instruction guide" to kissing her and admitted he couldn't handle it. Jamie said she simply wanted to show him how much she liked him, but maybe didn't go about it in the best way. 

"It was a terrible feeling and honestly, I don't know what he was thinking... I feel like now it's over and that he's done with me. I really do," Jamie said before the Rose Ceremony.

The Bachelor's sixth Rose Ceremony then commenced.

Besides Kacie B., Lindzi and Rachel, Ben gave roses to Nicki, Courtney and Emily.

(Photo credit ABC)


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