'The Bachelor' star Ben Flajnik eliminates his first seven bachelorettes
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/03/2012
The Bachelor star Ben Flajnik eliminated his first seven bachelorettes during last night's premiere of the ABC reality dating series' sixteenth season.
"Wow, you still all look as stunning as ever, so I want to thank you again for being here. I know it's -- you put a lot on the line and it's difficult. Obviously, this is going to be emotional and you've already had a little bit of it tonight. It does get emotional and love is a big part of that -- of the emotions that happen here, and that's what I'm looking for. I was hoping that love was possible going into this, and now I know that it is. I thank you. It really is an honor," Ben said at the beginning of the season's first Rose Ceremony.
Amber B., a 23-year-old labor and delivery nurse from Port Coquitlam, Canada; Lyndsie J., a 29-year-old Internet entrepreneur from Scottsdale, AZ; and Amber T., a 29-year-old critical care nurse from Waverly, NE, failed to receive a rose from the 29-year-old winemaker from Sonoma, CA.
In addition, Anna, a 25-year-old student from Detroit, MI; Dianna, a 30-year-old non-profit director from San Gabriel, CA; Shira, an actress of undisclosed age from Los Angeles, CA; and Holly, a 34-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Salyersville, KY, were also denied roses.
"I just don't understand. I mean, it's the first night and he didn't give me a rose and I have no idea why. Rejection doesn't feel good. Going back to Arizona single still, I really feel like such a loser -- such an absolute failure. I just really want to find love and settle down, but I don't want to force it. I don't want to be with a guy that doesn't want to be with me, that doesn't love me for who I am at all," Lyndsie J. said following her elimination.
The Bachelor's sixteenth-season premiere began with introductions to several of the The Bachelor's bachelorettes and a recap of Ben's The Bachelorette journey during the show's seventh edition when he vied for the affection of former Ashley Hebert but failed to ultimately win her heart.
Ben had proposed to Ashley during the show's season finale, but she rejected him and selected fellow suitor J.P. Rosenbaum instead -- much to Ben's surprise and dismay. Ben left the setting angry and heartbroken, and refused to let Ashley sugarcoat his embarrassing ouster.
Looking back on his prior The Bachelorette experience, Ben said he would've regretted not telling Ashley that he loved her and proposing because he allowed himself to follow through in a relationship when that behavior wasn't administered during his past relationships. Ben said he didn't have any regrets because he followed his heart and received the clarity he desperately was searching for after his father passed away.
Ben expressed how he had time to reflect on his life after Ashley let him go, and he finally discovered what he was looking for in a woman and found himself ready to start again and find love. He explained how he loves his life and wine-making career and would be thrilled to have a woman at his side.
The Bachelor star said he was going into the show with no expectations and was just grateful that 25 women were all interested in dating him and looking forward to meeting him.
During the premiere episode, Ben sat down with The Bachelor host Chris Harrison and discussed his upcoming journey.
"It's good to be back. It's real good; It's nuts. I never thought that I would be in this position. I'm still kind of in shock and I think until those limos start pulling up and the women arrive, that it will hit me that I am this guy. But I'm ready and very excited," Ben told Chris.
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Ben said he watched his rejected engagement proposal to Ashley on television and admitted it was a humiliating and difficult experience that was "painful to watch." However, he said his time on the show truly opened him up after he was shut down emotionally for quite some time and allowed him to try new things, become a new man and become "utterly available."
He explained he was ready to fall in love again and would have no hesitation proposing to the woman of his dreams if he actually found her. Ben told Chris that the worst had already happened to him by the way things had ended with Ashley during The Bachelorette, and so he had nothing to lose by putting it all out on the line a second time.
Ben was anxious and nervous before the ladies pulled up in the limos, and slowly but surely the 25 bachelorettes arrived at the mansion before the initial cocktail reception commenced.
Some of the 25 bachelorettes included Erika, a 23-year-old law student from Chicago, IL, who informed Ben the verdict was in and he was convicted of being sexy; Emily, a 27-year-old PhD student from Chapel Hill, NC, who sanitized both herself and The Bachelor star before snagging the season's first kiss; and Anna, who strutted past him and headed directly into the mansion without any words spoken.
Ben also got a surprise from Sheryl, a senior citizen who confessed she was madly in love with him but then revealed her granddaughter Brittney, a 26-year-old medical sales representative from Denver, CO, and met Lindzi C., a 27-year-old business development manager from Seattle, WA, who arrived on horseback.
Once Lindzi walked into the mansion, Ben said under his breath, "They saved the best for last, I suppose."
Once all the ladies met Ben for the first time, they discussed their competition in the mansion. Many of the bachelorettes were frustrated because they thought Brittney bringing her grandmother gained her unfair sympathy points, and they believed Lindzi's move to show up on a horse was a little over the top and they were jealous because they felt they couldn't compete with that.
The girls were thrilled with Ben, while he also admitted he was extremely impressed with the caliber of women who were going to compete to win his heart.
"Oh boy. You all look beautiful. Thanks for being here, obviously. I've been through this. I know what it feels like to be in your shoes and it's nerve-wracking. It worked for me. It almost worked for me. So, that's why I want to try to find love again. I'm looking for someone that I can love and with that being said, I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you. Cheers," Ben told the bachelorettes once inside.
The girls then tried to secure some one-on-one time with Ben.
Shawn, a 28-year-old financial advisor from Phoenix, AZ, pulled Ben aside for a quick soccer game; Elyse, a 24-year-old personal trainer from Chicago, IL, commanded him to complete some pushups; Emily decided to perform a rap she wrote for him; and Rachel, a 27-year-old fashion sales representative from New York City, NY, told Ben she left her job to go on the show and was a small-town Massachusetts girl living in New York City who also loved California.
Nicki, a 26-year-old dental hygienist from Hurst, TX, declined to tell Ben she had been married once before and that the relationship ended in divorce. However, she explained that she learned a lot from her past and was ready to be in a relationship and live by the motto "everything happens for a reason."
Dianna fed Ben candy when he was blindfolded, and Courtney, a 28-year-old model from Santa Monica, CA, told Ben that she loved how he said he was available during his season on The Bachelorette. Courtney described herself as a down to earth girl who traveled the world modeling, and she told him that what he saw was what he would get.
Lindzi told Ben that she worked to ride horses and explained how horseback riding was a great hobby of hers. She also had something in common with The Bachelor star as she had attempted to make wine before. Ben had a little chat with Brittney and her grandmother, and Brittney felt she had established a bond with Ben in that both of their families are very important to them.
Brittney's grandmother then left the mansion and broke down in tears because she wanted to see her grandchild find happiness, and she believed Ben would be a great match for her. Sheryl said she thought Ben was sincere and hoped to attend their wedding one day.
Chris then dropped off the first impression rose in which Ben could choose one lucky lady, who had stood out to him the most from the rest of the pack throughout the night, to stick around.
"It's crazy. To have this many beautiful women in one room, I'm the most fortunate man on the planet, but the first impression rose is stressful. I've got a lot of wonderful, wonderful women. I'd be lucky to date any of them. This is going to be ridiculous. It's going to be so hard. Here we go! This is the start of it," Ben said anxiously.
But Ben wasn't the only person who was stressed out during the night, as the girls were already stirring up drama.
Monica, a 33-year-old dental consultant from Salt Lake City, UT, told Jenna, a 27-year-old blogger from New York City, NY, that she had no feelings for Ben yet and Jenna was taken aback by the news.
"I really know that if I felt like that, I'd be like, 'You know what? I'm going to excuse myself and leave. I'm not here to party," Jenna said, adding that if she "didn't have the slightest attraction to Ben, she'd be gone."
Monica said she was "a fighter" and didn't care that Jenna hated her. She explained that although she often came across to people as being aggressive, she really wasn't that type of person. While Monica clearly upset Jenna, her actions were also causing some commotion amongst the other girls.
Monica was basically snuggling with Blakeley, a 34-year-old VIP cocktail waitress from Charlotte, NC, and many of the ladies were forming assumptions that maybe the two girls actually liked each other -- possibly even more than they liked Ben.
"I love girls. [Blakeley] is real and she's amazing. I love her -- her beauty, her eyes -- God. There is something to be said about a gorgeous real woman," Monica said.
"I'm unsure about Monica. I think she's more interested in the girls than she is in Ben. But Jenna is so upset with her and it's kind of crazy," Rachel said.
Meanwhile, Jenna explained that she found it hard to keep her sanity and although she didn't want to get involved in drama, Monica was making her cry and smiling about it. As a result, Jenna couldn't keep ahold of her emotions, and she told Rachel that Monica was there to cause drama and made her feel inferior.
Monica was confused why Jenna was so upset with her, because she believed she hadn't done anything wrong. She then confronted Jenna and asked what was happening. Jenna told Monica she acted like she didn't like her, but Monica counteracted the statement and expressed how she didn't even know her.
Monica then told Jenna not to create something out of nothing, but Jenna was still angry and told Monica, "Maybe we can share a tampon some time." Monica was quick to form a judgment of Jenna after that, suggesting she wasn't a classy girl.
While their conversation was meant solve the problem, it just ended up escalating the issue. Jenna was upset because Monica "hated her out of nowhere," and she cried to Kacie B., a 24-year-old administrative assistant from Clarksville, TN.
Ben then approached Jenna and Kacie while they were chatting, and he could tell Jenna had been emotional. However, Jenna denied the fact she was crying and asked Ben how he was feeling. Once he replied calm, Jenna asked him, "Why? Because no one can dismiss you?" Ben rejected that claim and assured her that was not the case, and then Jenna told him everyone was just really nervous.
"Jenna's crying and she's emotional, but I know this journey isn't easy and I know what it's like to be in Jenna's shoes. It's high pressure and there are a lot of nerves the first evening. I liked her from the get-go. She seemed very nice. I don't know what happened, but I'm hoping she can find the strength and stick this out," Ben said.
After her conversation with Ben, Jenna worried she had messed everything up. She said she "felt weird about the whole thing." Jenna grew scared of the process and ended up going into the bathroom and crying. She completely broke down and sobbed about how she had given it her all by coming on the show and didn't want to be the girl that got hurt.
While Jenna was crying, Ben continued to get to know the women and decided who he wanted to give the first impression rose to. He then pulled Lindzi C. aside.
"I thought your entrance was classic. I'm not giving you this rose because of the horse, but I liked the conversations that we've had. I liked the fact that you said you were a bit nervous and this was overwhelming and you just seemed very real and down to earth. You made me laugh. I like funny girls. So, with all that being said, Lindzi, will you accept this rose?"
Lindzi was quick to accept the rose and was thrilled.
"I'm really happy about the rose. It's the first impression rose, obviously. He sees something in me that he wants to keep me around and get to know me, and if I had a first impression rose, I'd give it to him! I want to keep him around and get to know him too," Lindzi said.
The Bachelor's sixteenth season's first Rose Ceremony then commenced and all the girls were nervous about where they stood with Ben. Jenna, who had been locked up in the bathroom, finally decided to come out and join the ceremony -- hoping Ben would give her another chance despite her display.
Besides Lindzi, Ben gave roses to Jamie, a 25-year-old registered nurse from Dryden, NY; Rachel; Blakeley; Emily; Casey S., a 26-year-old trading clerk from Leawood, KS; Brittney; Erika; Shawn; Nicki; Jennifer, a 28-year-old accountant from Oklahoma City, OK; Elyse; Samantha, a 26-year-old advertising account manager from Los Angeles, CA; Courtney; Jaclyn, a 27-year-old advertising account manager from Newton, MA; Monica; and Jenna.
"You know, I feel sad that Ben chose the other ladies. He's a great guy -- absolutely wonderful man. I was hopeful that we would be compatible, but he obviously is looking for something a little bit different. It's not quite me. There's only one Amber Bacon and I'm going to find a gentleman who doesn't like needy, crying, whiney girls," Amber B., said following her elimination.
"Ben did not give me a rose and it's somewhat embarrassing. It could have been a little bit my fault. I came into this a little bit skeptical. I wasn't very assertive. I think I'm more so crying because of my parents. They like know that I wasted something for somebody else and they're like, 'This is the one time you're going to enjoy something for yourself,' and so, that's kind of sad," Amber T., opined. "What did I do wrong? What did I do wrong?"
The Bachelor's next episode will air Monday, January 9 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC.