'Bachelor' star Ben Flajnik cuts Samantha Levey, Monica Spannbauer
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/24/2012
The Bachelor star Ben Flajnik eliminated two bachelorettes and narrowed his love search to 11 women during last night's broadcast of the ABC reality dating series' sixteenth season.
Samantha Levey, a 26-year-old advertising account manager from Los Angeles, CA, was eliminated during the week's group date, while Monica Spannbauer, a 33-year-old dental consultant from Salt Lake City, UT, was eliminated during the fourth episode's Rose Ceremony.
"It sucks when somebody doesn't feel the way that you feel. It's the most painful thing in this world. I want what I didn't get here. I want a marriage, I want kids, I want all that good stuff. I just want it to last and I want it to be right. I'm skeptical that it even exists anymore," Monica lamented following her ouster.
"He wasn't into me and that's the part that hurts the most. I'm going to miss Ben so much that it breaks my heart," Samantha said in tears after Ben chose to eliminate her midway through the episode.
The Bachelor's fourth sixteenth-season episode began with the remaining 13 bachelorettes traveling to Park City, UT and moving into their suite at Canyon City resort. 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. 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 Rachel Truehart, a 27-year-old fashion sales representative from New York City, NY, would be accompanying Ben on the week's first one-on-one date and she was a little afraid to open up to The Bachelor star so soon.
Meanwhile, Kacie Boguskie, a 24-year-old administrative assistant from Clarksville, TN, was really upset because she admitted she had found love with Ben instantaneously and really cared about him, which made it difficult to watch him spend full days and go on romantic dates with other girls.
On their one-on-one date, Rachel and Ben took a helicopter ride and enjoyed the view of the mountains. Rachel said she was feeling the pressure of the date but didn't want to psych herself out. Afterwards, they took a canoe out onto a lake and were completely secluded.
"It's been a really long time since I've felt this way -- a very long time. I definitely haven't felt like this since my last relationship, so it's nice to have those feelings again," Rachel said.
Back at the hotel suite, Monica told Kacie B. that she didn't see a connection between Rachel and Ben and thought she might get sent home on her one-on-one date.
During Ben's date, the couple enjoyed wine and a picnic together, but the conversation was a bit awkward and they only scratched the surface of getting to know each other. Ben was a little unsatisfied that their discussions were mainly just small talk.
"Rachel is beautiful. I feel like we have good chemistry and I really do want to get to know Rachel, but I don't know, the conversation was kind of lagging. She's tougher to read than most of the girls. I don't know what it is that's holding her back. I honestly have no idea, but I hope there's more to her than just a beautiful woman," Ben said.
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Once night fell, Rachel and Ben shared a cozy dinner by the fire.
"My relationship with Rachel is very different from the rest of the girls. This is the first one-on-one where I'm left a bit confused as to how I feel. It's not that my guard's up with Rachel, there's just something that I can't put my finger on," Ben said. "She tells me that she's interested, but I just don't see it in her actions. It's hard for me to get her to open up a little bit more. I'm wondering if that just takes Rachel a little more time, but I'm not ready to give up."
Rachel admitted she was "terrified" to open up but really wanted the rose.
Meanwhile, the other 12 women learned who would share the group date with Ben.
Blakeley Shea, a 34-year-old VIP cocktail waitress from Charlotte, NC; Kacie B.; Samantha; Nicki Sterling, a 26-year-old dental hygienist from Hurst, TX; Casey Shteamer, a 26-year-old trading clerk from Leawood, KS; Elyse Myers, a 24-year-old personal trainer from Chicago, IL; Lindzi Cox, a 27-year-old business development manager from Seattle, WA; Courtney Robertson, a 28-year-old model from Santa Monica, CA; and Jamie Otis, a 25-year-old registered nurse from Dryden, NY, accompanied Ben on the week's group date.
"Some of these girls just don't get it. They just don't get it. They all want him to hate me and see the side of me that's shutting down around them, but when I'm around him, I blossom," Courtney said after discovering she'd be going on her first group date.
"Ben wants to see who can be friendly with everyone else. Courtney can be condescending and self-centered. So, I'm excited that she's on the group date. I really am. I think it's going to be an eye-opening experience for Mr. Flajnik," said Emily O'Brien, a 27-year-old PhD student from Chapel Hill, NC.
During Rachel's date with Ben, she said she had gotten her heart broken before and left relationships with many regrets in the past over things she could have done differently. She liked Ben and didn't want to ruin things with him just because she was failing to open up as much as she would have liked. Rachel explained she wanted Ben to see the real her and would be very upset if Ben decided against giving her the date's rose.
Rachel then told Ben she always had trouble communicating in relationships and got nervous. She told him to ask her questions and promised she'd be honest in return. Ben seemed to appreciate Rachel's explanation for her standoffish behavior and understood.
"I wasn't sure how things were going to go today and I wanted to see if you could open up and kind of dive in a bit deeper," Ben told her.
"I wasn't sure what to expect from Rachel coming into this. I wasn't sure if we were going to have a spark or a connection. I'm kind of treating Rachel the same way I treated my relationship with [Ashley Hebert]. It takes people time to open up and just be patient and slow and if you like something you see in them, you have to go for it," Ben said afterwards.
Ben then offered Rachel the one-on-one date's rose and told her he wanted her there and liked the fact she wanted to be there as well. Rachel was happy to accept the rose and felt like she and Ben took a big step in their relationship. However, she said she hoped Ben would continue to give her the time she needed to truly open up because she had "a long ways to go."
Ben admitted he liked Rachel and enjoyed kissing her but knew their relationship would be "a slow burn" and take time to develop.
The following day, the nine bachelorettes accompanying Ben on the group date learned they would be going horseback riding and attempting their best shot at fly fishing. While Ben was trying to show Kacie B. the ropes of fishing, Courtney wasn't impressed and thought the girls had to step up their game because they were too focused on catching fish instead of landing Ben.
Courtney, however, was determined to turn the group date into a one-on-one date just for her and Ben. She then went off fishing alone with him and Ben clearly enjoyed her company.
"I love spending time with Courtney. I don't know what it is, but she just kind of gets it," Ben said.
Courtney ended up catching a fish much to Ben and the other bachelorettes' surprise. Lindzi was upset over Courtney's success at fishing because she had labeled herself the outdoorsy girl and felt she should have owned the group date. Courtney could sense Lindzi's apparent jealousy, while Kacie B. -- who watched Courtney and Ben hit it off from a distance -- admitted she didn't trust Courtney.
Once the night portion of the group date started up, Ben pulled Casey S. aside and they discussed their past relationships. Nicki was then quick to interrupt and told Ben she was thankful for every moment she got to spend with him even if her chances to get to know him were restricted to just group dates. They bonded over how they both had recently lost someone close to them in their lives and then they shared a kiss.
Samantha was next to approach Ben and snag some alone time with him, but she was uneasy and immediately sought some answers for why she had only been invited on group dates. Samantha had the opposite perspective of Nicki about the very few moments she had gotten to share with Ben privately.
"Do you feel like there's something potentially here?" Ben asked Samantha after she questioned why she hadn't been given a one-on-one date yet.
"I feel like I need that longer time and I don't know what you see in these group dates," Samantha said, adding she had been on three group dates consecutively.
"I want to see if you can kind of handle yourself in a group setting to be completely honest with you. The group dates that you've been on, you've been kind of highly emotional and so I'm wondering if you can continue to hang and be a part of this. I wonder if you're even here for me or to take this serious," Ben explained.
"Because in your actions, I don't see it. So that's why you continue to be on group dates. In watching you on the group dates and the roses and our interactions, it's hard for me to justify giving you a one-on-one, you know what I mean? There's a lot of other women that I feel have been very patient."
"But I do want to be given that chance," Samantha said.
"From what I've seen up to this point, I don't think I see this going much further, to be completely honest with you. I wonder if you take this seriously enough, because this is something that I'm really, really looking for. I think that just kind of based on the track record, I'm thinking we should probably end this right now. I do," Ben told Samantha.
Ben said he couldn't believe that Samantha was basically complaining about going on just group dates when there were women who were denied even those kinds of dates with him. He realized then and there that Samantha was not the girl for him. Samantha left in tears and many of the girls were surprised about her sudden exit.
"I'm dead surprised that Samantha walked in the door and then I immediately saw it in her eyes. I knew she was going. I know where her heart is. I know how much she cares about Ben. It makes it hard and my heart feels for her because I'm here for the same reason and I don't want to hurt," Monica said.
"I think Samantha was more into Ben than she let on and I think that's why she was so upset, but it's so great seeing Ben sending girls home. I'm just like really happy. She's a little abrasive and she rubbed me the wrong way, so I feel like Ben and I are on the same page. He's making choices for both of us," Courtney explained. "Another one bites the dust."
Back at the hotel suite, Jennifer Fritsch, a 28-year-old accountant from Oklahoma City, OK, learned she had been invited on the week's second and final one-on-one date with Ben and she was very excited to have been given the opportunity.
Meanwhile, on the group date, Ben asked to talk to Kacie B. and told her he really wanted to kiss her in the river while they were fishing but ultimately chose not to because he wanted the girls to get along. Ben then made things up to Kacie and they shared a kiss. He told her that he wanted to reassure her they had a strong connection.
"I'm in trouble. I'm in trouble with Kacie B. My relationship with Kacie B. is growing faster than most. Ugh, I like this girl -- her smile and her demeanor and attitude towards everything. I don't know man. I might end up with her, I don't know. She's wonderful," Ben said.
Ben then snagged Courtney for some alone time and they sat together by the fire. Courtney told him she really liked him and she found herself feeling a little insecure -- a trait that was entirely new for the model. She explained how her spirit was down a little bit and she was beginning to lose sight of what she had with Ben because of the amount of time she had to spend without him on a daily basis.
Courtney said she was having a really hard time with the process, and Ben admitted it tough to observe. As a result, Ben offered her the group date's rose.
"Watching Courtney struggle was difficult because we have feelings for each other and I didn't want to see her hurting because I know she likes me. I know she knows that I like her, but I need to keep telling her that. She needs the reassurance," Ben said.
"My decision to give Courtney the rose wasn't the decision I had made up earlier in the day. The rose was going to someone else, but after speaking with Courtney, I realized that things were not okay and she was not doing well, so she needs the reassurance.
Once Ben gave Courtney the rose, he told her things weren't going to get any easier but he really wanted her there. She accepted the rose, and Ben's decision really frustrated the other girls to the point where Kacie B. admitted she was "really pissed off." Kacie B. believed she and Courtney were complete opposites and she was confused because she was convinced Courtney was not who Ben was looking for as a partner.
The next day, Jennifer got to go on her one-on-one date with Ben. Ben said Jennifer seemed more reserved and quiet than the rest of the women, but he also could sense she was adventurous and wanted to explore their relationship more. Jennifer then learned she and Ben were going to drop into a crater by rappelling 300 feet down into the earth.
Jennifer was afraid of heights, so she was freaking out and admitted she was "terrified." However, once the couple began their descent, Jennifer said all she needed was Ben by her side to conquer her fears. Once they landed in the water at the bottom of the crater, they kissed and swam and Jennifer labeled the atmosphere serene and perfect.
Jennifer explained how comfortable she felt with Ben already, and Ben admired her bravery and willingness to try something new.
Afterwards, the couple took a gondola ride to observe their surroundings and later enjoyed a dinner together. Ben asked Jennifer about her prior relationships, and she told him she was in a relationship for four-and-a-half years but the man didn't want to marry her. She told Ben she was definitely in love but just happened to pick the wrong guy.
Ben explained how he was searching for a flexible relationship with an understanding woman because his schedule was sporadic, busy and changed often. Jennifer said it could be her and admitted she was falling for The Bachelor star.
Meanwhile, Blakeley, Monica, Elyse, and Emily were talking about Courtney back at the hotel suite, hoping her true colors would eventually shine for Ben to see. They all said that no one could see him ending up with Courtney because they were two totally different people based on their lifestyles and personalities.
During Ben's date with Jennifer, it began to rain and the pair were having a wonderful time together.
"I'm going to be honest with you. I wasn't sure if we could kind of relate or if I could see potential or a future or anything. I want to let you know that I actually felt really, really comfortable today and Jennifer, will you accept this rose?" Ben asked her.
Jennifer was "so happy" to get the rose, and Ben said the more time he got to spend with her, the more he liked her. He thought it could probably work and Jennifer was on Cloud 9, explaining it was the best day of her life. The couple then went to a Clay Walker concert and listened to the music together and danced.
Ben said Jennifer brought out the good in him and he didn't want the night to be over.
"It just felt so easy and natural and comfortable. It was really a magical night," Jennifer said. "It makes me feel really special that Ben would put this together for me. I feel like we've really connected. There's a physical level, obviously. But I think it's deeper. It's what we want out of life and we know that we can handle it together. I would be the perfect partner for him for life."
"Tonight, I had a blast. Jennifer is great. She's open and super smart and beautiful. She's one of those women where I could see myself with her. I'm already looking forward towards the next time I can spend time with her," Ben said.
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.
Courtney said she was waiting for a bomb to go off based on how the other girls had been treating her, and Emily was bothered by the fact she didn't know what Ben was looking for in a woman since he handed out roses to completely different bachelorettes.
"Courtney is like a statue made of marble. It's really beautiful but it's cold and it's hard on the inside," Emily explained, adding that she figured Ben would want a girl who is "real, genuine and normal."
As a result, Emily confronted Ben about Courtney's behavior and Ben didn't seem remotely interested in the drama. He told Emily she'd go nuts if she focused on other women instead of her own relationship with him, and doing so could eventually lead to her demise. Ben didn't want her opinions of the other girls to get in the way of what they had together and their ability to move forward.
After Emily talked to Ben, she admitted she felt bad about jeopardizing her time with him to talk about someone else. She worried her decision to rat out Courtney would result in Ben's refusal to give her a rose. Emily then discussed what happened with Casey S. and Jamie, and Casey had every intention to back up Courtney because she did not believe she was a fake person.
Casey told Emily she thought Courtney was the most genuine person she knows and felt she was a really sweet girl. Emily not only questioned Casey's judgment, but she began to wonder about Ben's because he was blind to Courtney's alleged true persona and character. Emily told Casey she thought Courtney was simply mean, and Casey wasn't okay with it.
Casey then sat down with Courtney and told her everything Emily had said. They both agreed that Emily should have anxiety about the Rose Ceremony since she wasted her alone time with Ben.
"What an idiot... I hope she goes home tonight. You have one-on-one time with Ben and you talk about me and how you don't like me? Good move, Emily. Are you really here to get to know Ben or are you here to sweat me? I'm a nice person, don't f-ck with me. I almost just want to rip her head off and verbally assault her or shave her eyebrows off in the middle of the night. I'm a little fired up. I don't start fights without finishing them," Courtney explained.
Ben then grabbed Nicki and they watched the first snow of the season together and shared a kiss, but the drama continued.
Courtney joined some of the girls who were talking amongst themselves and flat out laughed at Emily, saying how she knew Emily had talked to Ben about her and made her look bad to her best friend in the house. Emily claimed she didn't know what Courtney was talking about, and Courtney just kept firing away. She told Emily it was a "good look" on her sarcastically and Emily then broke down and cried.
"I'm going to vomit. I know she's going to be rude to me and say things to me that are hurtful. This girl is getting to me and people don't get to me normally," Emily said.
Ben told his bachelorettes that the relationships he was forming were getting more and more serious, while the group of girls was getting smaller. Before Ben started handing out the roses, Emily feared she ruined her chances with Ben because she didn't want to stand out to him as the girl who wanted to mess up his relationships with the other women.
Emily was also upset because she had made enemies on the show and figured that if Ben was going to choose between herself or Courtney, he'd pick keeping Courtney around without a doubt.
Besides Courtney, Rachel and Jennifer, Ben then gave roses to Lindzi, Jamie, Nicki, Kacie B., Elyse, Blakeley, Casey S., and Emily.