'The Bachelor' Recap - Episode 2 Delivers With Catfights, Tears And Lots Of Drama

January 10th, 2012 1:59pm EST

Group Date After a slow start, the second episode of The Bachelor delivers: there are catfights and competition, a change of scenery, two one-on-one dates, plenty of steamy-hot tub moments, one very awkward group date, and of course, rivers of tears from Jenna the Blogger. In other words: we get what we tuned in for!

The girls are plucked from the LA and whisked to Sonoma, California, Ben’s hometown, and more commonly known as wine country. After the requisite ‘ooh’s’ and ‘aah’s’ over their new digs, Ben announces he has a date card – for Kacie, the administrative assistant from Tennessee.

As far as Bachelor dates go, this one was low on the chemistry/drama level, but high on the cheesy/sweet level. After a walk around the sleepy town- with stops at a candy store and a hotel lobby to “play” the piano, they end up in deep talk over dinner. What does Ben think of Kacie during this date? “[She] seems like a down-home girl”, and that she is – a sweet, up-front baton-twirling Southern Belle who listens intently and nods politely, sure - but she doesn’t seem to be enough of a challenge for a guy like Ben, who has indicated he enjoys pursuing girls who are though nuts to crack – diamonds in the rough.

The evening ended with a screening: both of their baby videos at a local theatre, which might be a cute way to get to know somebody if it had been done in, say, their livingroom, on a TV - after the third date. Instead, it’s a set-up by producers, being filmed in a big empty theatre, and the two people involved have only spent about three hours alone together. Ever. Still, the date went well, and she got a rose (and a kiss!) at the end of it.

Back at the mansion, the group date picks are announced: Brittney, Rachel, Jennifer, Blakeley, Jenna, Shawn, Monica, Samantha, Jamie, Nicki and Jacqueline find out they will soon be enjoying Ben’s (shared) company, and Lindzi, Casey, Courtney and Erica will stay behind.

Later that night is a requisite hot tub/pool dip, where Amber scores a few minutes of Ben’s time by pulling him into a secluded corner to "talk" (make out). He seems to just be going through the motions with her, and minutes later, she sees him engaged in another pool-based makeout session, this time with Blakeley. Watching it go on for longer than socially acceptable, Amber eventually retreats to the house, bemoaning: “I don’t know what to think! I was so sick to my stomach just thinking about it… I had to leave.” Good idea: it was getting creepy.

Group dates can be tricky: it’s not exactly the norm to have to fight for a guy’s attention when you’re supposed to be getting to know each other. Not like we really get to know much about any of the girls from this particular outing, other than who can show some grace under some (weird) pressure. Blakeley wins the award for worst possible outfit choice – a three-sizes-too-small romper that causes some raised eyebrows among adults and kids alike. The producers up the awkward factor by involving children in the mix – the girls have to audition for a play written by a group of 3rd graders, and then perform to a crowd which includes some of Ben’s family and friends.

For Ben, this is a great way to see which of the women get along well with kids, and who can roll with the punches. Also important: who's not afraid to look silly. The ones that made the cut for the play (the kids were also the casting directors!) had to wear heavy-looking animal costumes, and Ben got to dress as the prince. Here's hoping the next group date is just as funny, but a little less cheesy.

Ben gives Courtney a one-on-one date card, and brings her on a picnic with his adorable dog, Scotch. She plays her cards well by not oversharing about her past, relationship troubles or trust issues – Ben is the one bringing it up and asking her to talk. Her mysterious nature comes off as shady to the other women (and I do agree that something seems “off” about her – as if she’s had a plan to act like this the whole time), but which Ben find it intriguing. Being incredibly beautiful and a model probably doesn’t hurt her chances, either. There’s buzz that she's a frontrunner for the final four, and Ben seems to think so – she also gets a rose and a kiss during this date.

During the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, Jenna gets some time to chat with Ben and starts off well, thanking him for giving her another chance after her embarrassing and messy start. But within moments, she’s shot herself in the foot again, declaring: “I have to be honest – I feel like I’m a guy.” Telling Ben that you’re one of the boys is a popular strategy this season from many of the women, but they all found better ways of wording it. Let's reminisce on Jenna's best (or rather, worst) lines, shall we?

- "I feel like I"m guy in how I act, so being around girls all the time is very abnormal for me ... I don't want you to think I'm not, 'cause I might appear as if I'm not, it's hard. There's only you, so it's like waiting around for you, and it's totally worth, but I just, I'm not like a girl, if that makes any sense." No. It does not.

- "Maybe we can share a tampon sometime." Things not to say to another girl. Ever.

- "Are you kidding me? No, really - are you kidding me? I can't believe this is happening." I can!

- "How do you maintain sanity?" Not by broadcasting your neuroses and breakdowns on show with millions of viewers!

Damage control was needed during the cocktail party, with Ben finding both Blakeley and Jenna upset and emotional, hiding themseleves from the other women. He convinces them to come downstairs and shake it off, and Blakeley seems to regain composure, despite the nasty vibes coming towards her from almost every other contestant. As usual, there's no comforting Jenna, who still looks shaken and stirred. And then the eliminations begin...

Ben recently told People magazine that an upcoming rose ceremony was “…one of the most intense moments of my entire life. It was nuts.” But this wasn't it- he sent two women packing in a fairly unceremonious fashion.

Who didn't make the cut? Financial advisor Shawn and ... drumroll please ... Jenna! Ben was considerate enough to look past her bad first impression and give her another chance, which she promptly blew with her dramatics in this episode, and Shawn never seemed to make an impression on him either way.

Now there are 16 women vyying for Ben's heart, and next week they get another set change - to San Francisco. Let's hope the location shakeup makes for an even more exciting episode next week!

Related: Ben Flajnik, The Bachelor, Starpulse Exclusives, Recaps, Television, Celebrity, Reality, TV Networks, ABC, Photos

Photo Credits: ABC, Starpulse

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