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'The Bachelor' recap: So, Ben and Chris Harrison came to my house?

A recap of the second episode of the Bachelor starring Ben Flajnik

I didn’t really pay attention to Monday night’s episode of “The Bachelor.”

Sorry, guys. I just got a tad distracted when THE MAN HIMSELF showed up at my front door.

Yes, that’s right. Ben Flajnik, host Chris Harrison and a slew of the reality show’s producers crashed my “Bachelor” viewing party on Monday. No big deal.

How, you ask, did such a magical event occur? Let’s rewind to a few hours before airtime, when one of the minds behind the program sent out a tweet saying that the “Bachelor” gang would be stopping by the homes of some lucky fans while the latest episode played. I sent in my address, not expecting much -- although, let’s be real, this blog probably didn’t hurt my chances.

Lo and behold, about 40 minutes into the show, I heard a ruckus outside my door. I ran over to the video doorbell screen and saw Chris, fumbling around with some buttons in the dark.

“Hello?” he said in his trademark announcer voice, “This is Chris Harrison. Can I come in?”

Moments later, a whole slew of strangers was in my living room, including Ben, dressed in a white button-down and -- you guessed it, ladies -- a skinny tie. I felt a bit lame about the size of my “Bachelor” get-together, which on this night had been whittled down to only three in all. (On Twitter, it was evident that the other parties the group stopped at were populated with handfuls of girls crowded onto couches munching on Pirate’s Booty.)

“We thought you lived downstairs,” Chris said, “because your neighbors are watching ‘The Bachelor,’ too.”

I suggested we surprise them, and we all ran downstairs eagerly. When my unsuspecting neighbors answered the door, I asked if I could come in -- and befuddled, they actually told me I couldn’t! Ben had better luck, of course, and then everyone posed for pictures together.

Photo 2(1)Luckily, on the off chance that the "Bach" crew might stop by, I wore my "The Bachelor" shirt that my mom gave me over the holidays.

"I didn't even know we sold that," an ABC executive remarked. Yes, my friend. I am hard core. And perhaps uncool.

I tried to grill Ben on his final picks. I wasn’t expecting to get much out of him, but I thought I might be able to get something -- a wince, a smile -- any vague indication of how he felt toward someone I brought up. Instead, the wine seller was totally stoic.

“Nicki and Kacie for the win?” I asked, as he began to head for the door.

“Uh, OK,” he said, dismissing my suggestion.

Chris, on the other hand, seemed more open to discussing the final girls. “Kacie did really well tonight,” he offered cheerily.

They left us with some “Bachelor” baseball caps and were on their way to the next party. (I hear the party bus might roll out again in the coming weeks, so find some of the show’s producers on Twitter if you want a chance at a similar experience.)

It was pretty hard to focus on the rest of the episode after the interruption. But from what I saw, it seemed like both Kacie and Courtney had successful one-on-one dates.

Kacie got lucky in that her night out with Ben had an emotional component. Ben got teary-eyed watching the slideshow of videos and pictures with his late father and felt comfortable sharing that sadness with her. The experience seemed to bond them -- and a moment like that can be vital early on in the game. Remember Jake and Vienna, anyone, before they self-destructed? When they were both terrified before bungee jumping in tandem but got through the experience together, it seemed like no other girl stood a chance.

Courtney was surprisingly not as loathsome as I had anticipated in her one-on-one, and I have to admit that she and Ben had an easy sort of chemistry. They were immediately sharing casual kisses and placing their hands on one another’s knees as if they had been dating forever. Still, it’s going to take me a while to endorse this chick. After all, she called riding on a tractor with Ben “the best date she’s ever been on.” And then she implied she discovered an ex was cheating on her after finding “underwear in the bed.” Um?

Still, I’m feeling like she might have a viable shot after my Ben visit Monday night. When I was pressing him on his decision, I mentioned that I think Courtney might get really far, because the producers are making her out to be such a -- well, you-know-what.

He laughed. And, yes, I will read far more into that than I probably should.

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-- Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photos, from top: Ben Flajnik is "The Bachelor"; Chris Harrison, the author and Flajnik pose together after their impromptu visit. Credits: ABC; Amy Kaufman / Los Angeles Times

 
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