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

Emily O'Brien, a 27-year-old PhD student from Chapel Hill, NC, and Rachel Truehart, a 27-year-old fashion sales representative from New York City, NY, were both eliminated during the seventh episode's Rose Ceremony.

"I feel very rejected - very rejected. It's another disappointment. I'm really tired of being disappointed," Rachel said following her ouster.

"I'm kind of in disbelief that this is all over and I just wish I could take back the whole thing with Courtney, but Ben deserves someone who's honest and someone who's themselves no matter what, and someone who worries about him as much as she worries about herself. I just hope that there's enough time left for Ben to see who she really is. It's hard. I don't want to be alone. I want to share my life with someone. I thought it might be with Ben, but it's not and hmm," Emily lamented after Ben denied her a rose.

The Bachelor's seventh sixteenth-season episode began with Ben and the remaining six bachelorettes traveling to Ambergris Caye, Belize, where they had previously learned they would be spending the week.

Once they all arrived at the Coco Beach Resort, the women met with The Bachelor host Chris Harrison and discovered who would be accompanying Ben on the week's dates.

Chris explained there would be four dates, including three one-on-one dates and one group date. The bachelorettes learned there would be no roses handed out on the one-on-one dates, but there would be one rose up for grabs during the group date. The woman to receive the rose would be safe at the subsequent Rose Ceremony and would be one of the four women Ben would be taking on the following week's hometown dates to meet their families.

Ben said he was feeling love but wasn't quite ready to tell any of the women that yet. He also felt some pressure because he knew the four women he ended up selecting would soon be introducing him to their families.

Kacie Boguskie, a 24-year-old administrative assistant from Clarksville, TN, said she was as in love with Ben as she could get and wasn't happy that she still had to compete for Ben's affection.

Nicki Sterling, a 26-year-old dental hygienist from Hurst, TX, was smitten with Ben as well, as she said she was "absolutely falling in love with Ben." She said she didn't need much more time with him to feel comfortable saying that.

Lindzi Cox, a 27-year-old business development manager from Seattle, WA, then learned she'd be accompanying Ben on the week's first one-on-one date and Nicki felt very envious because she was realizing the process was "really real." Nicki was uncertain whether her connection with Ben was stronger than what he had formed with the other bachelorettes.

Ben then picked Lindzi up for their date and they took a helicopter ride together. Lindzi was glad she shared the same foundation as Ben in terms of what they wanted out of life but that they also had a fun and quirky relationship. She said she could see getting married and having kids down the road, possibly with Ben.

The couple observed "the blue hole" in the water from the helicopter, and Ben told Lindzi they were going to be jumping off the helicopter into the water. Lindzi was extremely scared because she was afraid of heights, but Ben kissed her before they jumped in attempt to calm her fears. A terrified Lindzi ended up making the leap, and she was thrilled that she had Ben to kiss once they landed in the water.
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Ben believed there was nothing he couldn't accomplish with Lindzi, while Lindzi admitted she was "absolutely falling in love with Ben," after the first portion of their date.

That night, Ben and Lindzi had a picnic together on a dock filled with candles. Lindzi was captivated by the romantic scenery and Ben asked her whether she was ready to bring Ben home to her family. Lindzi most certainly was and tried to convince him of that.

Meanwhile, at the resort, Courtney Robertson, a 28-year-old model from Santa Monica, CA, was getting on the other girls' nerves because she was openly discussing her relationship with Ben in a way that came across as bragging and being a bit cocky. 

"Courtney sucks. 'Oh, we're in a relationship!'" Kacie B. said sarcastically, mocking Courtney. "I'm like, 'What do you think we're all in!?' I have never heard such a conceited person before in my life. Never."

Emily then learned she would get the next one-on-one date with Ben and Courtney complained that the situation wasn't fair. She said she "wanted to kill" herself and that Ben going on a date with Emily was her "worst nightmare" and "very disappointing."

During Ben's date with Lindzi, the couple talked about how they realized they had taken a symbolic leap of faith together into falling in love -- which acted as a great segway for Lindzi to tell Ben she was ultimately falling for him. Lindzi described Ben as her "prince charming" and saw wonderful qualities in him.

Lindzi and Ben then wrote a message they planned to send off into the water in a bottle for someone to eventually find and read. They decided to write something funny on one side of the paper and something serious on the other. On the serious note, they wrote a story that represented their relationship together and the feelings they had for one another.

The story was written as a fairytale and it ended with both parties promising to always be open, honest and truthful with each other for all of eternity.

"Tonight, what stood out to me with Lindzi was how open she was and how vulnerable she seemed to be with me and our relationship. I feel like Lindzi and I are very much on the same wavelength. I'm thinking to myself, 'This very well could be a woman I see myself with for the rest of my life.' She's incredible and it's in moments like this where I reflect on the journey we've had and everything we've been through, and I feel like I'm falling in love with this woman," Ben explained.

"I absolutely know that I'm falling in love with Ben. Tonight, it's just the water, the stars and us. Ben has completely reinvigorated my hope in love," Lindzi said.

The next day, Emily left the resort to go on her date with Ben and Courtney said it would make her day if Ben decided to send Emily home.

The couple then rode their bikes through the town of Caye Caulker, did some shopping, enjoyed the sights, and just got to know each other better. Ben wanted to have lobster for dinner, so he told Emily they were going to go diving for their own food.

"One of my favorite things about Ben is that he is very spontaneous. He loves to just experience life and have adventures and I feel like I'm that way too and I feel like that's an important component of a relationship. It would be hard to be with someone who didn't see the fun in just doing something you would never do again in your life and Ben is that type of person. I love that about him. He's fun to be around. I'm really attracted to him for that," Emily explained.

The couple had a difficult time catching the lobsters because they were very fast, but both Ben and Emily ended up landing one. Emily said their date was magical and she felt as if they had something really special.

Back at the resort, Courtney was upset Ben might be falling for someone who had treated her poorly. She admitted she wasn't ready to bring Ben home to her family because she didn't want to take that big step in their relationship unless she believed he was the one for her.

Courtney wanted Ben to stick up for her and be on her side, especially in the situation where Emily had thrown her under the bus in attempt to reveal her true colors to Ben, but she believed he wasn't living up to her expectations.

"I want a man to make me feel special and loved and important and has my back and doesn't let people treat me like sh-t. I don't know if I found that here. I feel let down. I'm not really ready to let Ben come home and meet my family. I might get the date card tonight, but it feels like it's a little too late. It sucks. I really liked him," Courtney said in tears.

"I just don't know how much more I can take. If I don't get a one-on-one this week, I will not be accepting a rose from Ben. The fact he's on a date with Emily right now makes me feel really uncomfortable. I hope Ben sends her home. It will make me feel so much better. I just don't see them together."  

During Ben's date with Emily, Ben was having a great time with her. They danced together and finally ate the lobsters they had caught during a nice dinner.

"Today's been great. It's been an awesome date with Emily. I'm looking at her and this feels pretty right. Emily's just easy to get along with and she's smart and witty and overall just a great person. I can see myself loving this woman," Ben said.

Ben asked Emily whether she was confident in them as a couple enough to bring him home to her family. Emily told him she felt a strong connection between them and could finally really focus on Ben rather than the other girls in the house. She believed her family would love him and she hoped he wanted to meet them in return. Emily said she'd be proud to show off the amazing person he was to her loved ones.

Ben then proposed a toast to the fact Emily was a beautiful woman and he loved talking to her, and they shared a kiss.

"I really think I'm falling in love with him and I'm kind of on top of the world right now. I was an absolutely perfect end to the greatest date of my life," Emily said.

Back at the resort, the date card arrived and Courtney learned she'd be accompanying Ben on the third and final one-on-one date of the week. She was happy about the opportunity and said it was "about time." She began to express how Ben hadn't forgotten about her right in front of the other women, which seemed to hurt Nicki's feelings because she didn't get a one-on-one date.

Kacie B., listening to Courtney's comments and observing how it was affecting the other bachelorettes, was boiling with fury. She called Courtney a "f-cking b-tch" and said it took every fiber in her body not to leap over and punch her right in the face. Kacie B. said she was a "black widow" who sucked the life out of everyone and labeled her one of the "sh-ttiest people she had ever met."

The next day, Courtney met Ben for their date and she was anticipating a lot of attention and reassurance from Ben.

"I've been feeling a little bit like I don't feel I'm connected to him as I used to, and it's making it harder to be around all these girls. Today is going to be very telling for me as far as my relationship with Ben and where it's going. Is it going anywhere? He needs to step his game up with me a little bit. I need more and he knows that," Courtney said.

Ben immediately apologized to Courtney for making her wait awhile since their last one-on-one date together and Courtney worried the spark between them had "fizzled a little." She was confused about Ben's feelings for Emily and privately said if Emily ended up making it to the hometown dates, Ben would look less attractive in her eyes.

Courtney and Ben then explored an ancient Mayan temple in Lamanai, and Courtney said it was really important to unload her feelings on Ben. She said if she couldn't potentially fall for him, then she wouldn't accept a rose. Courtney told Ben about her concerns and how she was feeling like she was just friends with Ben for awhile because of the fact she had been on three group dates in a row.

Courtney told Ben she wasn't sure if she could allow him to meet her family due to the circumstances.

"It's difficult to hear Courtney say that she has doubts. Your heart drops for a second because you're thinking, 'I'm starting to fall for this woman and maybe she isn't feeling the same way.' If that's the case, I'd be crushed. I'd be devastated," Ben explained. 

However, Ben said he respected Courtney more for expressing her worries and was thankful that she continued to hold on. He wanted to console her and tell her that everything was going to be okay. Ben told her she stood out during group dates and it was clear that she really cared about him.

Ben admitted he wanted a woman with edge, someone who was a little "weird." He told Courtney she was a unique woman and that he noticed little things about her that he really liked.

Ben and Courtney then decided to climb to the top of the temple together, and Courtney said she had left the hurt and the drama behind them at the bottom. The couple then kissed once they made it to the top, and Courtney felt like she was "on top of the world again."

Ben said he could spend his life with Courtney and felt very close to her, while Courtney confirmed to Ben that the spark had returned. Ben was thrilled their connection was re-lit and that all it took was spending a little alone time together. 

The couple then enjoyed dinner and Courtney said having an amazing date with Ben was exactly what she needed to feel better. She felt connected to Ben and hoped to keep the ball rolling. Ben then surprisingly admitted he thought it was reassuring to hear Courtney say that she may not be ready to introduce him to her family because it was honest and sincere.

Courtney said she simply wanted a soulmate, and Ben told her he truly believed in soulmates. He told Courtney he pictured her in his life and had an amazing moment of clarity when they were sitting on the top of the temple together. Courtney said it was very nice to hear and the couple kissed.

Courtney was basking in Ben's compliments and said she thought it was time for all the other girls to pack their bags. However, she stopped herself at that comment, claiming she "didn't want to get cocky."

Meanwhile, Rachel, Nicki and Kacie B. learned they'd be sharing the group date with Ben, which they had already expected based on the process of elimination. The girls knew there was one rose they could possibly receive and the pressure was weighing heavily upon them to open up to Ben and express their true feelings for him.

During Courtney and Ben's date, Ben expressed some concern about how the other women felt about her. Courtney told Ben she had tried to get to know the girls but was bored with them. She said they wouldn't be people she'd be friends with in her normal life and called them "vanilla." Courtney added that they were all "way too into themselves."

Ben said the Emily situation was in the past, but Courtney noted she was upset that Ben didn't see what she saw in Emily. However, Courtney explained she didn't want to waste her time talking about Emily. Ben continued to press the subject of how the other girls disliked Courtney, and she responded that she simply wasn't impressed with them but it had nothing to do with having an inability to get along with them.

"It's hard for me to believe what Emily said about Courtney being very two-faced. On the other hand, it is a bit concerting to me that when I bring this stuff up, she seems to get relatively defensive and I don't want to keep pushing because I don't want her to think that I'm attacking her. But one of my fears is being with a woman who I like that ultimately, people don't," Ben said.

Courtney said she was on the show because she liked Ben and no one else mattered.

The following morning, Ben woke the Nicki, Rachel and Kacie B. up at 4AM for their date because he had an adventure planned for them. The girls were exhausted but excited about what was to come. They had minimal time to get ready, and they rushed to meet Ben on the beach.

Nicki said she was thankful that Courtney wasn't on the group date because she would have made everything awkward.

The girls and Ben then hopped on a sailboat and he told the bachelorettes they would be going shark diving in "shark alley," where there was a very high concentration of sharks in the water. Rachel admitted she had a "phobia" of sharks, so she was petrified, but the other girls handled the news very well.

Nicki worried Rachel would most likely receive the group date's rose because she was facing her fears for Ben, but Kacie B. insisted Ben would give the rose to the girl whose family he definitely wanted to meet and whom he had formed a strong connection with throughout the whole process.

Ben swam mostly with Rachel and stayed by her side on the date, which Rachel really appreciated. She felt Ben was there for her and as if they were on their own one-on-one date. Kacie B. admitted she was jealous and would be upset if Rachel received the rose. Meanwhile, Rachel was confident she would be getting the rose and looked forward to Ben meeting her family.

After they swam with sharks, the three bachelorettes and Ben enjoyed cocktails by a pool and he pulled Rachel aside to chat first. Rachel told him it would be really nice to show him where she lives and felt it was a huge deal to bring a man home because her parents hadn't met many guys she had been involved with in the past.

Nicki then stole Ben and said she'd love for him to meet her family. She said she had a solid normal upbringing without any glamour and admitted to Ben she had real feelings for him. Nicki said she hadn't felt that way for a long time and had no problem shouting her feelings out.

Ben then had a conversation with Kacie B. and she believed it was very important to tell Ben how she was feeling. She said her mom would be really excited to meet Ben but her father would be a bit concerned. She told Ben she wanted him to come to her hometown because she was falling in love with him. Ben seemed a little shocked at the revelation and then gave Kacie B. a kiss.

"It feels unbelievable to talk to Ben and share with him how I felt and finally just let him know. I know that he can't react by saying, 'I'm falling in love with you too,' but for me to say that and for him to smile and kiss me says way more than words can and that's all I needed. It means he's feeling the same way," Kacie B. explained.

It then became time for Ben to hand out the date's rose and he complimented all three girls. He said he had great conversation with Nicki, loved how Kacie B. had opened up to him and respected Rachel for conquering her fears. But Ben ultimately decided to give the rose to Kacie B. for wearing her heart on her sleeve.

Kacie B. gladly accepted the rose and was "super excited" for Ben to meet her family the following week.

Courtney, who was watching the action from a distance, saw Kacie B. receive the date's rose and said she wasn't worried or jealous because she was just "a little girl in a little boy's body."

After Ben handed out the rose, the three girls jointly told The Bachelor star they wanted him to be happy and worried he wasn't seeing a particular side of one of the bachelorettes. Nicki then told him to be cautious with Courtney, while Kacie B. suggested he should tread lightly and be wary.

Ben said he was aware of the "beef between Emily and Courtney," but Nicki suggested that specific relationship had nothing to do with it and it was more about the things that Courtney was saying. Nicki explained that if someone cared for Ben, it'd be evident in the way she spoke, and that wasn't the case with Courtney.

"After my one-on-one date with Courtney, I have some serious questions about her and then hearing all these women that I respect and trust coming up to me and telling me that Courtney's not here for the right reasons, I wonder if she is in fact saying different things behind my back, if I'm seeing a different person and if I am in fact being deceived," Ben said.

Nicki said she wanted Ben to end up with someone who was going to give him 110% percent and really care for him, insinuating that Courtney wasn't that girl.

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. The girls who weren't safe were scared about going home, but Courtney acted completely confident in her position in the competition.

However, Chris arrived and surprised the girls with the news that Ben had already made up his mind and the cocktail reception wouldn't be necessary as a result.

Rachel was worried she was going to be the one going home, while Lindzi wished she had put a little more out on the table for Ben to work with. However, Nicki felt she had said her piece to Ben and was satisfied with that, while Courtney was okay with everything because she believed she absolutely wasn't going to be eliminated.

"I'm ready to get rid of some girls! They're driving me crazy! Sometimes I just want to rip my hair out. I'm definitely getting one step closer to calling Ben my fiance. Let's get this show on the road. See ya! Wouldn't wanna be ya!" Courtney said.

The Bachelor's seventh Rose Ceremony then commenced.

Ben asked to steal Courtney for a moment before handing out the night's first rose, and she said, "of course" -- thinking it was going to be a positive conversation. However, Ben told her he pulled her aside to find out if she was in the process to really fall in love with him. She said she wasn't there for the other girls and to make friends, insisting he shouldn't question her motives at all because she had been nothing but honest and open with him through the entire process.

Besides Kacie B. -- who genuinely believed Courtney was going to be sent home because Ben had finally discovered who she really was -- Ben gave roses to Nicki, Lindzi and Courtney.

About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.