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'The Bachelor' recap: Courtney sails to final two after apology

February 28, 2012 |  9:27 am

Oh, man. Ben is totally done for.

I mean, seriously. At this point, it would be impossible for Courtney not to be the final pick, right? The only thing holding her back was her crappy attitude toward the other women over the course of the season. And in Monday’s episode, she apologized -- to Ben, not the ladies themselves, mind you -- for being mean. 

“I feel badly, and this did bring out the worst in me at times,” she acknowledged.

Uh, yeah. That whole ‘I didn’t realize strippers could play baseball’ remark about Blakeley didn’t exactly bring out your best side, sweetie. Nor did asking Kacie “how those words tasted coming out of her mouth.” Whatever that means. And who quotes “The Blind Side,” anyway?

In any case, Ben, unfortunately, has yet to see the extent of Courtney’s cruelty. As a result, apparently all she needed to do to get back in his good graces this week was acknowledge that she’d said mean things.

“The fact that she held some accountability for her actions -- I feel like we’re good in moving forward,” he concluded later in an interview.

Um, but what about the fact that she’s the kind of person who can say those things to begin with? And what if she starts acting that way again the second she’s around all of these many female friends you boast of, Ben? Ah, no matter. You’re good, right?

Before I continue, a disclaimer: I knew Nicki was being sent home. That’s because last week, I attended the taping of the Women Tell All, and she was there. I’ll have more from the reunion -- including interviews with Kacie, Emily, Nicki and yes, good ol’ Benji -- before it airs next week.

OK. Back to business. Nicki gets the first date in Switzerland, which is maybe one of the most stunning locations the show has been to in recent years. Don’t get me wrong -- I’m a fan of the finale being on a tropical island, with a little fantasy suite action in a hut suspended over the ocean. But Switzerland looked like it came straight out of a storybook with its picturesque cottages and foliage, and ringing church bells.

After pensively staring out the window on the entire flight to Switzerland, and then staring out a different one some more once he boarded a train in the country, Ben was ready to go look out yet another glass pane with Nicki. Dressed in some huge-looking leather gloves, he met her by the side of a helicopter.

“Another helicopter!” he said gleefully, proceeding to perform some kind of dorky-but-endearing jig in excitement.

It quickly became evident that the spark between Nicki and Ben was lacking as she began telling him how eager she was to move to San Francisco with him and he only replied with favorite expressions: “yeah,” “uh, huh” and “right.”

“If I’m too much too soon, let me know,” she said, beginning to pull back.

“You already dropped the l-bomb, sooo...” Ben replied. Valid point.

Lindzi, meanwhile, had yet to drop the l-bomb. But nothing like a little rappelling down a 300-foot gorge to get her in the mood! Mountain man Ben was eager to try his hand at another adventurous date, insisting it’d be a “bonding experience.” Apparently, being lowered down the gorge via rope while staring into Lindzi’s eyes did the trick for Ben.

“I’ve noticed a transformation -- you’re softer and vulnerable,” he told her after the so-called rappelling. 

I’m not sure what exactly gave Ben that impression, since Lindzi comes off as a smiling robot to me. She never seems to express any genuine emotion, and told Ben this week that putting up walls as a defense mechanism “kinda works” for her. Um, red flag much? 

Still, she managed to make it into the hot tub a whole five hours earlier than Nicki did. There, she told Ben she was hopeful the experience would end with a proposal. Oh, it will, girl. Just not to you.

That honor will go to Courtney, who of course got the only normal date this week. No helicopter ride to the edge of a cliff or gorge-dropping for her majesty, no. Courtney got to go on a pretty train ride through the scenic Swiss Alps. 

“Some kind of weird magical force pulls us together,” Ben marveled of the model. It’s called sexual chemistry, my dude. 

Still, I will admit that this week, I saw for the first time how Courtney and Ben could potentially make a good pair. They’re both weird. (That whole garden gnome skipping thing, anyone?) They have legitimate chemistry. (They were making out in front of the cheese aisle at the supermarket, folks.) And Courtney might even have the capacity to really love Ben. (“I love him so much and I don’t want to hurt him,” she insisted through tears.)

Wait, hold up. I know I didn’t just start to get sucked into the fallacy that these two have anything in store for them but a nasty break-up. I’m sorry, guys. I owe you more than that.

Just look at that whole little “Bachelorette” stunt. Truly: What. Was. That. I already wasn’t feeling good about Emily at the center of next season. I’m not a fan of the stiff, overly polite Bachelors and Bachelorettes -- you know, the Jakes and Brads of the world. Emily falls into that category. She’s all whitened teeth and Southern charm and I-don’t-kiss-on-the-first-date. And let’s be real, that’s just not that fun to watch on "The Bach."

Having Emily meet up with former Bachelorettes Ali and Ashley in advance of the season didn’t help. I could sort of get down with the whole advice-giving session during a girls'-day-out, but the whole “Titanic 3-D” promotional stunt? Really, ABC? Low. That’s low. Although I did love the image of the three ladies walking onto the Paramount lot dressed to the nines -- a.k.a. barely dressed -- with their makeup done, only to cover it all up with 3-D glasses. It all made so much sense. And like you expect me to believe they sat there for all three hours of the James Cameron epic. Puh-leeze.


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--Amy Kaufman

Photo: Ben Flajnik is "The Bachelor." Credit: ABC