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'The Bachelor' star Ben Flajnik ousts Jennifer Fritsch and Elyse Myers


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/31/2012 

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

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Elyse Myers, a 24-year-old personal trainer from Chicago, IL, was eliminated on her one-on-one date with Ben, while Jennifer Fritsch, a 28-year-old accountant from Oklahoma City, OK, was eliminated during the fifth episode's Rose Ceremony.

"This hurts. It sucks. I just feel like he didn't give me a chance. I really thought something was there. I had so much fun with him today. I tried to open up as much as I could on this date and I didn't take this date for granted. I was so excited to be here. It just hurts. I just don't understand what I did wrong," Elyse lamented following her ouster.

The Bachelor's fifth sixteenth-season episode began with the remaining 11 bachelorettes traveling to Vieques Island in Puerto Rico and arriving at the resort where they'd be staying for the upcoming festivities.

Host Chris Harrison then told the ladies there would be two one-on-one dates and one group date over the course of the next week but everyone would get the chance to go on a date. There would be a rose up for grabs during each date -- and if the bachelorettes on the one-on-one dates failed to receive a rose, they would be ousted immediately.

The date card then revealed that Nicki Sterling, a 26-year-old dental hygienist from Hurst, TX, would be accompanying Ben on the week's first one-on-one date.

Ben was excited for his date with Nicki because he said she brought out a child-like playful side to him since she was always so bubbly and perky. He revealed he was aware that Nicki had been married and divorced before, and it was important to him to see if they could click romantically in a one-on-one setting.

The couple then took a helicopter ride together and planned to explore "old San Juan." However, it poured on their date and Ben wanted to get out of the rain, so they went shopping for new clothes instead and ended up watching the beginning of a beautiful wedding together.

Nicki said she was falling for Ben harder and harder as she got to spend more time with him. Ben then wanted to dive into her past a little bit and Nicki told him she wanted to live with a guy before marrying again because she didn't follow through with that before her first marriage and that relationship ended up failing because she and her ex-husband became different people.

"Being outside that wedding in San Juan today really brought back feelings. I was very in love -- had these hopes and dreams -- and meeting someone like him has made me want that again. Dating Ben has completely opened up my eyes that it's possible to have somebody with all the qualities you feel are important in a relationship. This could be a second chance at my fairytale and I'm so ready," Nicki explained.

During the night portion of Ben and Nicki's date, they shared an outdoor dinner. Ben thought they had good chemistry but wanted to find out more about Nicki's past.

Nicki told Ben she loved being in love but she and her ex-husband had lost sight of that. She said she ultimately lost trust in him, and although they had tried couples' therapy to fix their issues, it didn't work and they decided to end their marriage after three years of attempting to make it work. Nicki was glad she could open up to Ben and that he understood. She just hoped Ben wouldn't view the fact she was divorced as a negative thing.

Meanwhile, the other 10 women learned who would share the group date with Ben.

Jennifer; Blakeley Shea, a 34-year-old VIP cocktail waitress from Charlotte, NC; Kacie Boguskie, a 24-year-old administrative assistant from Clarksville, TN; Casey Shteamer, a 26-year-old trading clerk from Leawood, KS; Lindzi Cox, a 27-year-old business development manager from Seattle, WA; Courtney Robertson, a 28-year-old model from Santa Monica, CA; Rachel Truehart, a 27-year-old fashion sales representative from New York City, NY; Emily O'Brien, a 27-year-old PhD student from Chapel Hill, NC; 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 Elyse with the remaining one-on-one date she had been anticipating for quite some time. 

Ben enjoyed his conversations with Nicki throughout the day and decided to give her the date's rose.

"I think that you totally opened up today. I like learning things about you. So, I see a lot of qualities in you that I want -- honesty and openness and all the things that you said to me today -- and you've helped me gain a better understanding of and perspective of who you are and where you come from. And so, all of that is good and I feel like we're heading down a good path. Nicki, will you accept this rose?" Ben asked.

Nicki gladly accepted and the couple shared a kiss.

"I am more ready than I thought I would be for my second chance at love, and having somebody as genuine and sincere and special as I do right in front of me, makes it that much more worth the chance. There is a man who any woman would be grateful to have and I have the chance to really be with him. It just makes you realize that it can be perfect and it can be everything that a relationship should be," Nicki explained.

The following day, Ben met nine of his bachelorettes at a stadium for their group date and the girls learned they'd be playing baseball. The women were put through drills such as sprinting, batting and fielding.

Chris then randomly arrived at the stadium and made all the girls nervous because they assumed somebody would be going home. However, Chris explained that there would be a beach party at night but not every bachelorette was going to be invited and able to attend. He told the bachelorettes they'd be split into two teams of five girls and play a baseball game against each other. The winning team would be able to join Ben at the beach party, while the losing team had to go back to the resort and miss out.

In addition, Ben was told he could select one woman to play on both teams in order to even things up five against five, and that person would automatically be able to attend the beach party. Ben chose Lindzi to play for both teams, and she was thrilled that win or lose, she'd receive more time with Ben later on.

Before the game commenced, Chris designated Courtney and Blakeley as team captains and they chose their teams. Courtney opted to have Kacie B., Casey S. and Jamie on her Red team in addition to Lindzi. Blakeley wanted Emily, Jennifer  and Rachel on her Blue team in addition to Lindzi.

Ben pitched the game and it proved to be extremely competitive amongst all the girls. They seemed to give it their all and took it very seriously. While all the girls stepped up their game and tried their best, there was clearly a standout athlete on the field.

"Blakeley is like a champion out there. Who knew that strippers could play baseball!" Courtney said.

The baseball game ended up going to extra innings because the was tied up 6-6. The Red team only needed one out to win and Jennifer stepped up to the plate. However, she struck out and her Blue team lost much to Blakeley's disappointment.

"I wanted to win the game, because if I won the game, then I'd get the chance to be with Ben and spend some more time with him. It sucks that I'm feeling so strongly for somebody when I've really only had small amounts of time with him. It just sucks," Blakeley said in tears following her team's loss.

"Tonight's game meant more to me than anybody. I can't see anybody else that wanted it more than I did tonight. I try to be really strong sometimes, but today was very, very difficult for me. I really like Ben a lot. I just want to get a chance to talk to him just like everybody else has."

The group of girls who lost the game to a bus back to the resort, while the bachelorettes who won rode in a helicopter to their beach party destination.

"Time is precious and I'm here for a reason, and the only way I can continue to be here and for him to be interested in me is to get that precious, precious time. It makes it hard to go into the Rose Ceremony and know that I really do have to fight for time," Jennifer lamented after the game.

"We've all had a one-on-one except for Blakeley, so I know I'm not feeling anything the way she does pressure-wise. I did just come off of a one-on-one, but I just feel such a strong connection that that's what makes it tough. I took it really hard. I just wanted the time. That's all."

Once the five girls arrived at the beach party with Ben, they gathered near a bonfire and Kacie B. pulled Ben aside for some alone time.

Ben told Kacie B. that the women in his past didn't love him back when he was in love with them and he didn't want to come up empty again. He said he wasn't scared of putting himself out there, but there were unfortunately a lot of unknowns. Courtney noticed Ben's connection with Kacie B. and was worried about it. She didn't feel threatened by anyone else she was competing against.

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

"I like watching you, I like being with you. I think that you're really, really fun and you make the best of every situation. And then what I think I like most about our conversations is your ability to get me to open up. You're really trying and I appreciate the fact that you listen. You listen to me. Kacie, will you accept this rose?" Ben asked.

Kacie gladly accepted the rose and Courtney quickly stole Ben away, believing Ben deserved a "woman" rather than a "cute little girl."

"I can't believe that she stole him away after Ben gave me the rose. I'm pissed right now. She's a piece of sh-t," Kacie B. said in frustration.

"These girls have no idea what I'm capable of. I need affection and you've gotta do what you gotta do. I want to go in the ocean and go skinny dipping and have that rose," Courtney said.

"Where do I start? The idea was brought up by Courtney to go skinny dipping -- unexpected. Sh-t. I don't know. I don't know," Ben said.

The next day, Ben picked up Elyse for their first one-on-one date and they went on a yacht together.

"I wanted to give Elyse a full date and see if we're compatible. Based on time we spent together so far, I like what I see. But I'm down to the women that I like and it's making my job very difficult. I need to start really thinking, 'Do I see myself with this person?' And if not, then the rose becomes an issue," Ben said.

"My relationship with Elyse has been a slow progression, but so was my relationship with [Ashley Hebert]. My date last time on the water with Ashley was monumental. That's when my feelings changed on the boat, and I think that being on the water can do that."

While they were sailing on the yacht, Elyse told Ben she gave up her job and missed her best friend's wedding that she was supposed to be in to go on the show and date him. She said she wanted a serious relationship and had accomplished everything she wanted to do in life up to that point.

"Being here with Ben is magical. This is the best first date ever. It's the most romantic date I've ever been on and I think it's going really great," Elyse said.

After the couple jumped off the boat together and swam, they later moved onto the night portion of their date and had a candelit dinner right on the beach.

Elyse admitted her feelings had grown for Ben, but Ben still had concerns. Ben then addressed Elyse about her comment regarding how she had accomplished everything she wanted to do in life. Elyse elaborated on what she meant to say, telling Ben she had accomplished everything she wanted to do as a single woman. She told Ben she was "sick of being single" and wanted to get engaged and married and wouldn't have gone on the show if she didn't.

After basically asking Ben to be honest with her throughout the process, Ben immediately knew he owed that much to her.

"I think from the moment that I saw you get out of the limo, I was really, really intrigued in the kind of person that you were and you made a really good first impression on me. And unfortunately, there have been some mis-connections in the group dates and cocktail parties and things like that, and that's why I wanted to bring you out here on a special one-on-one on the boat and the beach and everything like that," Ben explained.

"But unfortunately, I was hoping for some things today that I just didn't find. I think that my relationships with a lot of these other women are so far past what I think we could probably get to if we continued this. And unfortunately, I only have so much time here and I have to kind of follow my heart. I unfortunately cannot give you this rose. It's really, really, really hard for me to say those things and I'm sorry."

Ben then walked Elyse to a small boat so she could exit, and she asked him what she did wrong. He told her she had done nothing wrong and that it was just his connections with other women were "true and deep" and stronger than what they had together.

"I wanted to go on dates with you. I wanted to get to know you," Elyse told Ben.

"I'm sorry Elyse. It's not easy, you know? You're an incredible, incredible woman. You are," Ben said.

Once Ben returned to the resort, Courtney was waiting outside his place wearing a robe and holding a bottle of wine and two glasses. She wanted to take advantage of a little alone time with him and hoped he would give into going skinny dipping with her.

"I'm getting to my door and I hear, 'Hey!' And I turn around and Courtney's there on the stairs behind me. I was shocked. I didn't think that she would take initiative like that and kind of break the rules. I don't know how I feel about that," Ben said.

Courtney apologized for busting in on Ben, knowing he might have needed some time to himself. But she said she wanted to refresh Ben and make him feel better after his long day. Ben then agreed to head to the beach with Courtney, and while they were walking, she told him she wanted to "rock his world."

"When I'm talking to Courtney, I'm thinking to myself, 'This probably isn't a good idea, but at the same time, I want to spend some more time with her and she has taken it upon herself to magically appear on my doorstep," Ben said.

The couple then went skinny dipping together in the ocean beneath the moonlight, and Courtney justified their actions by telling Ben they weren't going to get an opportunity to be in Puerto Rico together every day.

"The winner is trying to get naked. I hope he finds my irresistible. It might be game over or game on," Courtney said.

"I'm scared that the girls, when they find out, will hate me forever and ever and ever. But, that's not what I'm here for. They'll live. They won't get him but I have enough friends. I feel like I'm winning."

The next 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.

"It feels a little differently for me tonight. Courtney and I shared a very intimate moment and right now, I feel kind of crappy about what happened. There are other women here that I still need to explore relationships with, and I know I owe it to them and I owe it to myself to be open to everyone," Ben said.

Jennifer pulled Ben aside first and wanted to re-connect after they had a one-on-one date the week prior. She thanked him for their one-on-one date and told him she liked him a lot. Jennifer felt like she was "on the path to love" and admitted Ben was "perfect."

"This is the strongest I've felt about a person since the last time I was in love and I would love to take Ben home to my family," Jennifer said. "I love that feeling of being where I'm at right now."

Blakeley then talked to Ben and attempted to show her true colors. She told him she wrote something down every day that she learned she liked about him. She began to cry and admitted she didn't think she deserved someone like him, but she finally realized she wanted and really did deserved love. She was happy she got to that place, and Ben was glad she could finally open up to him because he felt their relationship had been very "hot and cold."

"Tonight I was blindsided by Blakeley. She has had an epiphany, really. I saw a sincere side to her. I think that she was very honest. I just love how open she was. It was awesome," Ben said. "She was one I was really unsure about going into the evening, and tonight, I have done a 180."

Meanwhile, the other girls were discussing skinny dipping and Courtney hinted at her experience with Ben but didn't reveal what had actually happened.

"Ben and I have had an amazing connection. These girls just don't stand a chance, especially Emily, because she sucks," Courtney said.

Emily then sat down with Ben on the beach and told him she wanted to focus on their relationship alone and not worry about the other girls. She wanted Ben to know she was only going to think about him, but then she brought Courtney up again and reiterated the concerns she had told him previously. While Emily continued to voice her issues with Courtney being two-faced and deceiving, Ben was clearly turned off.

"The moment I spend with each and every woman, you have no idea what goes on in those moments, so it's hard for you to assume. What I encourage you to do is just drop it and tread lightly. Be careful, that's all I'm saying," Ben told Emily.

"I think I screwed up again. It's a hard realization. He told me basically, 'Stay out of what's happening with me and Courtney and be careful,'" Emily said. "I think he hates me. I don't know why he would keep someone who's so shallow and so vapid and send home girls that are real and lovely and interesting. I really like Ben a lot and I really want a rose tonight, but I don't know."

The Bachelor's fifth Rose Ceremony then commenced.

Besides Nicki and Kacie B., Ben gave roses to Lindzi, Jamie, Rachel, Courtney, Casey S., Blakeley, and Emily.

"You don't realize how tough it is until you go home. The time we had tonight, I thought it went well. So, I don't know. I guess I just wonder what I did wrong. I think being in love is one of the greatest things in the world. Caring so much about a person and finishing with them breaking your heart -- I want to be loved and I want to love someone back. I just don't get it," Jennifer said following her elimination.



(Photo credit ABC)


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