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'The Bachelor' recap: After skinny-dip, Ben's under Courtney's spell

January 31, 2012 |  8:40 am

Ben Flajnik The Bachelor Episode 5 Recap

I know, I know. I had to skip last week's episode.

Weirdly enough, I was at the Sundance Film Festival just as Ben was on TV in Park City, Utah, wooing women in the snow. Ben actually flew into town to promote the episode last week, and I ran into him before a Drake concert. (He's a big fan.)

As usual, I couldn't get much out of him about his current romantic situation, but he said his life has slowly been getting back to normal, post-show. That is, if you call being at a glitzy film festival, stocking up on free snow boots and having dinner with actor Michael Cera -- yes, really -- normal.

"I'm back working at the winery with my two best friends, and we're out selling our wines everywhere," he told me. One of Ben's longtime buddies was by his side at Sundance, and I tried to get some deets on Ben's final pick. Ben's pal swore he was in the dark about the outcome, but said he's never seen Ben this happy. Well, whoop-de-doo.

On to Monday night’s episode. There was a painfully boring game of baseball! There were more tears than usual! And there was some alcohol-fueled skinny-dipping!

Oh, yes. Never underestimate the power of a pretty woman to convince a guy to drop trou in front of a camera crew. 

Frustrated that she hadn’t been given a one-on-one date in a whole two episodes, little rule-breaker Courtney decided to sneak out and go for a nice refreshing ocean dip with Ben. 

“I don’t know if he’s ever gone skinny-dipping with a model before,” she smirked, “it could be fun.”

Soon she was at Ben’s door in her robe clutching a nightcap. He was almost immediately done for. Inside, she seductively played with her robe, suggesting she was wearing little more than skimpy lingerie underneath. Ben acknowledged swimming sans skivvies was “probably not a good idea,” but moments later there he was, being straddled by a topless Courtney in the waves. 

Tragically, it’s clear the experience only put Ben further under Courtney’s spell. Later, when Emily stupidly brought up her dislike for Courtney to him yet again, Ben got extremely defensive, indicating his strong feelings for the conniving model.

“You have no idea what goes on in those moments,” he scoffed to Emily. That’s true! Courtney could have said something really smart to Ben during their skinny dipping encounter that we just ... missed.

“Drop it,” he continued. “Tread lightly. That’s all I’m saying.”

Um, ouch? I have to say, I was kind of surprised by how mean Ben was Monday night. On one hand, I respect his forthrightness. He’s a horrible liar. Moments before he was about to send Jennifer home in the rose ceremony and she was telling him how much she liked him, he could only reply, “Yeah, our conversations are ... easy.” 

And when Elyse was going gaga over him on their one-on-one date and he clearly wasn’t feeling it, he almost immediately told her. But when she began to persist, wondering like every other contestant in the history of the show “what she had done wrong,” Ben shut her down.

“My connections with the other woman are true and deep, and I think they’re past what we can ever get to at this point.”

Burn!

Luckily, Nicki fell into Ben’s good graces on her date in Puerto Rico as the two walked the streets while it rained like cats and dogs. Or, as Ben would said, “it’s raining gatos!” Ugh. We get it, dude. You know Spanish. Congrats.

Despite the gatos, Nicki was able to go with the flow, and I feel good about her chances. Ben seems like a sucker for the sweet, Southern brunet type. But I’m not underestimating Courtney’s power of persuasion. It looks like some of the ladies come to Ben later in the season to tell him how they feel about her, but with that nakey swim burned into his memory, I’m worried he may have a hard time sending her packing. Ugh. Dudes.

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-- Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Ben Flajnik, "The Bachelor," plays baseball in Puerto Rico. Credit: ABC

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