Top 12 night boasts two versions of the same Adele tune, plus a Baylie, a Haley, a Hollie and a Hallie
By Carla Patton
Now just the girls. After being somewhat nonplussed by the Top 13 guys' performances, I'm ready for the ladies to kill it. I'm hoping there's a mix of song choices this year, rather than the ever popular slew of ballads. I think the crowd favorites going in are Skylar Laine, Jen Hirsh and maybe Shannon Magrane. The other girls haven't made much of an impression, at least not on the editing team that compiled the auditions up through Las Vegas. I think I might be rooting for Jessica Sanchez and Erika Van Pelt, just based on the snippets of their solo performances we've seen. Basically, it's still anyone's game, and it's the girls' opportunity now to give us something to get excited about.
There's also a Baylie, a Haley, a Hollie and a Hallie. And I am not sure I know the difference yet. Parents, whatever happened to nice, sensible names like Anne and Jane? Or even fancy names like Ermengarde? No one would dare bully an Ermengarde. But similar names and hair colors aside, let's get to it.
"Is one of these faces our first female winner in five seasons?" Ryan Seacrest asks, leading me to believe that we may just elect a sixth male winner. They just don't make 'em like they make Fantasia Barrino anymore. But it's Leap Day, so anything can happen! Sadie Hawkins Day! For ladies!
Ryan introduces the Top 12 girls as "some of the most buzzed-about people in the nation," and I'm not sure that's true, either. He is just full of half-truths on this night. A lot of the girls are wearing prom dresses, so I have a feeling we'll be hearing a selection of ballads. (I'm looking at you, Shannon Magrane!).
"It sucks to go first," Jennifer Lopez noted, after commenting on Chelsea's nasal tendencies. I don't know if this is Chelsea's night. She didn't really win me over with that performance.
Has Jen Hirsh received so much time in prior episodes that they felt OK putting her third? She's singing "One and Only" by Adele. This is going to be a season chock full of Adele songs, I'd wager. Happily, Jen is a great singer and can actually carry an Adele song! She's belting it out and leaving nothing behind, and I appreciate that. I'm glad she went for it, rather than play it safe, even if it got a little crazy for a second there. Jennifer said Jen went for it, and Steven told her, "You got it. You got what it takes." Randy likes Jen's swag. I like that she is so much taller than Ryan.
Then, Randy admitted that they were too lenient on the guys the other night -- due to first-night excitement! I have never been more proud of Randy Jackson. The Dawg is telling it like it is!
Brielle Von Hugel sings next, and I can't really stand her yet. But at least her mom isn't on stage with her ("Brielle's the next 'American Idol'! New Yawk!" her mom says). Brielle starts her performance of "(Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding, sitting among the Top 13 guys. It got weird really quickly, particularly when she sang "wastin' time" all lounge-y. The judges seemed to like it, though, so I must be biased against her because of her off-putting mother. New Yawk! Also, a terrible dress. But the judges loved it all. I think Ryan likes her, too.
After Ryan dragged a stage manager in front of the camera like a Lifetime-movie serial killer, we meet Hallie Day. She's singing "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone (or Michael Bublé, if you prefer). This song is easy to vamp up, so it's actually a good choice for your introduction to the voting audience. I think she could have put a little more verve into it, though. She didn't seem totally committed. She is pretty, though, and her notes were all spot-on. Randy did not applaud. "You looked beautiful. You sounded beautiful," a bored J.Lo told Hallie. Yes, she certainly is beautiful. Randy asked her what kind of artist she wanted to be, and she gave him a non-answer about singing from the heart. At least Randy got a very relevant Lana Del Rey dig in there! Very topical, Randy.
Did you forget that Skylar Laine likes to ride ATVs and hunt? If you did, "American Idol" will happily remind you many times over. She's so cute, though, and she wants to save the family store. She's the Reba-esque one who won my heart singing "Fancy." This time she's singing "Stay With Me" by Faces. I know that people are already wanting to dislike Skylar, but I think she's darling and has amazing stage presence. Girl knows how to perform, and I love watching her! She has total command of the stage, and it's exciting. That's it: I like her! Randy was excited, too. He loves her energy and star quality. Yup, she's got it. "You're a pistol. Keep it up," Steven said.
Baylie Brown is another country girl, but I'd hate to be the country girl who followed that performance. Look how darling her grandpa is -- just making her those eggs, with absolutely no idea what this "American Idle" thing is. She has opted for "Amazed" by Lonestar. Yerrgh. Oh, the notes are all over the place, too. There's not enough control, and it sounds ... lurchy? It was not great. The judges agreed that Baylie is ... very pretty. Jennifer thought she could have had a better moment, and Randy said it had a lot of problems. Well, bless her heart.
Hollie Cavanaugh is from McKinney, Texas, but it sounds like she has an accent. Or is it a slight speech impediment? Best not to mention it, I suppose. When I heard she was singing Christina Aguilera, I was hoping it would be "Come on Over." But no, it is "Reflections" by Christina Aguilera (and from "Mulan"). "Mi Reflejo"! Girl is a great singer, but this song is a little weird to choose. It's a little Disney Parks. But she nailed it. I'd like to hear more from her, definitely. Steven was right: She hit the notes so perfectly that she destroyed the song and left nothing but passion. Jennifer thinks she is one of the front-runners. Randy tried to get his comment out but was too fixated on how Jennifer accidentally said, "Do do."
Who are you, Haley Johnsen? She's from Oregon, and she has bangs. We know this. She's singing "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by the Eurythmics. That's a cool choice, although maybe not the best for showing off vocal ability. It did get weird almost instantly with the lighting designer being way too excited to finally use his "blinking eye" effect.
She mostly just riffed over the track, confirming that it was not the best choice to introduce herself. Good for her, though, for doing something different. "You really do have skills," Jennifer said to Haley, and to America. "Ummmm, uhhh ... it was a bit of a nightmare for me," Randy said. Love you, Randy!
Time to bring in some star power: Joe Magrane! Ryan is making way too big a deal out of that thing Steven said in the audition about daughter Shannon Magrane. There's something about Shannon I do not care for. She seems affected, maybe? But maybe she'll change my mind in her long, white prom dress, singing "Go Light Your World" by Kathy Troccoli. Is this a church song? If not, she definitely took it there. Yuck, just not my taste at all. But her voice sounded good, I guess. Oh, my goodness. It is a Jesus song. And now I'm treading dangerous waters. The judges loved it and admire her 16-year-old passion. God, that dress. She tells Ryan that the song was "in her soul." And now I realize why I don't like her. She reminds me of this really obnoxiously chaste and religious girl from my high school. But Shannon can't help that, so I'll try not to hold it against her.
Up next is Jessica Sanchez! We haven't seen much of Jessica, and we may not hear very much from her either, because she's sick. Oh, I hope it goes well because I love "Love You I Do" from "Dreamgirls" (as performed by Jennifer Hudson). You can tell that the voice is there, even though she sounded a bit hesitant at times. Her performance made me nervous, and that's better than bored. I really like her. I hope she at least gets a shot at the Wild Card if this performance doesn't put her through. But she killed it! The judges and boys all stood up for her, and she was adorable reacting to that. "That confidence. That control! How old is she!" Randy exclaimed. She is sickening (in a very positive, drag-queen way).
Elise Testone is giving us one last Adele song for the road. Did you see how many dogs her family has? That's too many dogs. Also singing "One and Only" by Adele, Elise Testone sits at the piano. I'm not sure how I feel about the way she emphasizes her hard "R's" but at least she's not trying to sound just like Adele, which no one can do. Her voice broke at the top, and it wasn't as exciting as Jessica's performance. But I like that you can tell Elise is feeling what she sings. I like her enough to want her to stay, for sure. The judges liked it, and appreciated that it was bluesy and from the heart. Apparently she almost cried, which endears her to me even more because she's connecting emotionally to the music. The judges all hope America "gets it." Uh, oh. We'd better vote to prove we do!
Who surprised you? Who won you over? Can you believe that two girls sang the same Adele song? Whose version did you like better? What do you think of Wednesday night's episode?
Next week, "American Idol" airs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 28 to March 1, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
MTV reportedly in 'crisis mode' but may be playing the media
Snooki's reported pregnancy has MTV in "crisis mode," at least according to the New York Post. The newspaper reports that the network is trying to hide Nicole Polizzi's mommy-to-be status on the "Jersey Shore" spin-off she's begun filming with Jenni "JWOWW" Farley. According to one source, "it would greatly affect the creative direction of the show."
The report notes that Snooki is three months along thanks to her boyfriend, Jionni LaValle, and wants to milk her pregnancy into becoming the media's "next Kourtney Kardashian." But MTV is freaking because it's Snooki's "hard partying, booze-swilling ways" at the core of the as-yet-untitled reality series, currently filming in Jersey City.
Hmm. There's something a little difficult to conceive here. Why would any reality show ignore such a potentially explosive plot possibility when so much energy is expended coming up with manipulated drama that rarely grabs a single headline?
Also, it's hard to believe that no one associated with the show was aware of the pregnancy and how undeniable it would become as production rolled forward.
Finally, the birth of the most controversial recent baby not sired by Octomom would kill in the ratings, and that's all that networks ultimately care about.
MTV -- whose news department conspired with Snooki earlier this month to falsely deny rumors of her pregnancy -- seems to be spinning the media here.
And they're doing a great job.
"Jersey Shore" airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.
A simmering controversy explodes into full-on conflict at Tamra's party
Heather tells Tamra that she and Vicki were the butt of Slade's jokes in his insulting comedy routine. And Tamra doesn't think it’s funny at all. As soon as Vicki finds out about Slade's comedy routine, she feels insulted but is distracted by her daughter Briana's upcoming thyroid surgery, which could reveal if she has cancer. Alexis works herself into a frenzy over her upcoming nose surgery because she's convinced that her doctor must remove her nose entirely from her face to take off the bump. At Tamra's '80s-themed Bunco Party, a friend brings up Slade's jokes, and a simmering controversy explodes into full-on conflict. While Gretchen jumps to Slade's defense, Tamra tries to diffuse the situation by revealing a surprise -- much to Vicki’s horror.
"The Real Housewives of Orange County" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.
The men hit the stage as a 13th semifinalist is finally revealed
Let's hear it for the boys! Tuesday is the first of many nights of live performances for Season 11 of "American Idol." On this night more than ever, song choice is crucial because their numbers will be cut in half on Thursday. Unless we're going to continue playing so loosey-goosey, because some mystery 13th gentleman will be revealed tonight and it's probably Jermaine Jones. I mean, anyone but Richie, please.
To kick things off, Ryan walks next to each and every contestant in the Top 25, and they look at him adoringly. Did you catch Heejun mouthing out "This is 'American Idol'"? I still can't tell whether this is a joke to him. Nor do I care. Also, what are the odds that Ryan will bring up what happened on the red carpet at the Academy Awards? And what about Jennifer's maybe, maybe-not nip slip? There was a bit of a nod to it in the way Ryan introduced her.
The guys will perform on this new stage that "in a few short months" will crown a new "American Idol." A few short months? More like an eternity. And Ryan couldn't be bothered to button up a little bit? Whatever.
Hey, guys, I had to change my suit jacket at the Oscars!
Reed Grimm is up first, and we learn that he's from Ellsworth, Wis. Ellsworth is famous for its cheese curds and, now, cheesy singers! I thought it was weird that they inserted a clip of Steven Tyler laughing after Reed made a dirty-diapers joke in his intro package. So Reed is singing "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5, which is perfectly hot right now and has the ability to be scat-ified. Oh, and they provided a little drum set for Reed, so that he could remind you that he is incapable of standing still. He said "s---," possibly accidentally, and it got bleeped. And then his mic pack fell out, but other than that, it was a good vocal performance. I don't care for his style of singing, but I won't deny that he glided through the thing that he does quite well. The judges liked it, and Steven said "ass" -- which the bleep patrol didn't make it to in time. What a mess.
Adam Brock is the next singer we will have to tolerate. Aw, that was mean. I'm sure he's a nice guy. Adam has his degree as a chef and calls himself a Renaissance man. And to celebrate "the large black woman trapped inside" him, Adam is singing Aretha Franklin's "Think." Hmm. I think we are supposed to like Adam, but I'm finding this performance a little flat. He's hitting all the notes certainly, but the energy is off, and I feel weirdly embarrassed for this dad with a towel in his back pocket singing this karaoke favorite.
Adam's just a few seasons too late in the game, maybe. But hey, people can use all kinds of Brock/Rock puns on their signs for him. Steven loved it. Jennifer liked "the big finish," and Randy liked the "throwback thing" he has going on. All right, I see how this is gonna go.
Deandre Brackensick is here to go all falsetto on us next. We don't know a lot about Deandre's personality, but his voice is buttery and, in my opinion, preferable to white chocolate. He's already ahead in my book for not giving himself a nickname. Sometimes that falsetto is so perfect and lovely, and I love when he dips back and forth over his break. But I don't know that this is the best, most memorable performance that it needed to be. His voice is so stellar, I'd like to hear more of it. But the performance needs some work -- like when he hit that high note and kept side-eyeing the camera instead of just being into it.
Jennifer tried to start talking. Then Steven interrupted without seeming to know he was doing it. They both just loved him. Randy said Deandre is "out of the box, ready to go now." Lovin' you, Deandre!
"This moment has been two years in the making" for Colton Dixon. Wow, a whole two years. He even talked about his terrible hair in his clip package. "People are used to seeing me with a piano," Colton says. I'm not used to seeing him at all. He starts out on a piano, so I'm not shocked yet. He sounds a little less like Gavin DeGraw/the One Republic guy this time. He seems nervous once he came from behind the piano. Once he jumped on top of it, he continued to shock no one. I couldn't tell what Jennifer was thinking when they cut to her mid-performance, but it didn't look good. Randy loves that "Idol" has an Indie alt-rocker singing Paramore, dude. And Jennifer told us what she was thinking: She wasn't thinking. She was feeling. I'm less enthusiastic. But then again, I'm not a judge, just judgmental. I do not care for Colton, based just on personality. I don't like when people pander to the audience or ask, "What did you guys think?"
Jeremy Rosado chose a Sara Bareilles song to sing. I like this guy because he loves everyone and everything, it seems. It's an admirable quality in a person, and I wish I possessed it. The judges seem to have a taste of it. Jeremy works at the Infectious Diseases Clinic, but the only thing that's infectious is his enthusiasm! And he's singing "Gravity," which is one of my favorite songs right now or ever. All right, maybe he has a lot to lose singing such a powerful song. He is running it all together, and it comes across as weak and forced. Does he have a cold? It was not his strongest vocal performance, and I hope someone says something about it. But no, the judges loved it. Jennifer said she forgot she was judging; it was just music. "America, you guys need to know about Jeremy," Randy declares.
"Oh, sorry, I'm so bad with names" -- America
In the ill-fated sixth spot, it's Aaron Marcellus! But first, Steven says he's "as confused as a baby in a topless bar" and then made a joke about Jennifer's nip slip. Wow, what a waste of time! Just before they cut to Aaron's clip package, Jennifer says, "There was no nipple!"
I wish they would stop overshadowing Aaron Marcellus. He is amazing from what little we've seen of him. He's singing "Never Can Say Goodbye." And he is just such an exciting performer, I wish he'd gotten more camera time. He's such a professional. I think he has the fact that "Glee" just recently covered this song to his advantage. And he hit that super-high note at the end! Way to make the best of a crappy placement, Aaron. The judges rose to their feet, and they all agreed that Aaron can sing very well.
Up next, it's Chase Likens. Who is he? This clip package isn't going to help because it was boring as hell. He whistles, goes to college and has a dog and horses that are all the same color. He's singing Hunter Hayes' "Storm Warning," and it was about as powerful as tumbleweed. The notes were not all there, and it made me wish I was watching "Storm Hunters" instead. Steven noted that Chase looks like Brendan Fraser. The judges think he's great and worked hard to convince us that there's more to Chase than just the Storm Warning. I miss Simon.
Creighton Fraker sings next. He's funky! He didn't fit in in either of the Dakotas, so he moved to New York. Initially, I didn't like Creighton -- and I'm still not convinced that we would be friends because he's so focused on being unique -- but I am liking him more and more. He's singing Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors," because he wants to show his true colors -- which have not yet been introduced to the visible light spectrum (because they are that unique). He's wearing a Pocahontas vest. I think it was an interesting song choice, but he pulled it off. He has a refreshing ability to perform -- something some of the other contestants don't have on this night. The judges seem almost bored by how well the contestants are doing. Or maybe they're just relieved that they don't have to decide anymore, so they aren't even going to help us?
Phil Phillips (Is he going back to Phillip?) is just so darling. He loves music and doesn't care about being famous for the sake of fame. And he's singing "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins (but kind of also a Dave Matthews version?). Phil got weird with it. Phillip is one of those contestants who, like Casey Abrams last year, I both love and fear – as in, sometimes I think he will come through the screen to murder me. But I appreciate that he makes each song his own or, at the very least, Dave Matthews'. The judges really cherish Phillip Phillips. He is unique but not in your face about it. Randy wasn't nuts about the way Phillip changed the melody so much, but Randy changed the way he said things to confuse the audience so they wouldn't boo him so much.
Darling Eben Franckewitz describes himself as "funny" and "outgoing." He also does chores for his mom. I like that he seems respectful and young in a good way. Like, seriously, bless his heart. He's singing Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain," which is a big song for such a little boy! All right, I like Eben's personality, but this song isn't really helping him very much. It was too mature for him, I think, and his voice is so sweet and delicate. I'm not sure. It didn't excite me. But guess who was excited? The judges! There must be uppers in the Coke. Randy noted, carefully, that there were some flat notes. But I'm sure he'll go through because he's just so cute.
Heejun Han is the Sacha Baron Cohen of this competition. What is real? Also, is he just for viewers like me, or can he appeal to the younger crowd? He wants to break stereotypes -- that, as he said in an interview, "Asians are not only good for getting high scores on their SATs," but that they are " also good at singing and entertaining." Yes. The performance was just OK. Jennifer said his voice is "smooth as silk," but the judges all agreed that it wasn't the right song. I hope his personality takes him through. Do we have confirmation of how to pronounce his name yet? Ryan is saying it one way and the judges are saying it differently. Same goes with Joshua Ledet's last name.
Some fans have nicknamed Joshua Ledet "Mantasia" -- which is pretty great actually. I am a huge Joshua Ledet fan, and I'd be surprised if this bonus contestant can top whatever he does next. He's singing "You Pulled Me Through" from Jennifer Hudson! Two amazing singers. My head could explode. He has such a great voice, he'd better make it into the Top 12 singers. Do you like him better than Jacob Lusk? Look at Randy just freaking out in his chair! Standing ovation for Joshua -- well deserved. That was the performance of the night. "This is what singing is about," Randy proclaims.
"I just wanna ... punch you! I don't know what I want to do to you!" Jennifer cries. Steven was shockingly subdued in his feedback and was then drowned out by Randy's demands that Ryan punch Joshua for Jennifer. I'm really glad Ryan didn't oblige.
So, can this mystery 13th person outdo that? Certainly not. And that final surprise person coming back for "an incredible second chance" is ... Jermaine Jones! It was just too sad to watch him go! Oh, man, and it's worth bringing Jermaine back just to put him next to Ryan Seacrest.
Oh, no. He's singing "Dance With My Father" by Luther Vandross. That song is so ... overwrought. Still, Jermaine is so sweet, and the song is weirdly working for him. His voice is so velvety and low. I'm glad the judges brought him back. Maybe, in a dream world, he could duet with Eben Franckewitz, and it would be hilarious. Jermaine did a good job, maybe even better than some of the original 12. Good job, everyone! And Jermaine's mom! This was a delightful way to end the night, it turns out.
So, who killed it and who is dead in the water? Some interesting renditions of some old favorites Tuesday night, that's for sure.
What do you think of the male semifinalists? Who are your early favorites?
This week, "American Idol" airs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 28 to March 1, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Gossip maven's interview series features Lady Gaga and Katy Perry
Plus, Steven Tyler examines J.Lo's cleavage
In what has become an "American Idol" tradition, this season's hopefuls will get to have the success of previous contestants rubbed in their faces. According to the Hollywood Reporter, performers this year will include Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert, Season 10 runner-up Lauren Alaina and fourth-place finalist James Durbin, and Season 5's fourth-place finalist Chris Daughtry.
According to the report, only Daughtry's performance date -- March 15 -- has been revealed.
In other "Idol" chatter, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler sounded off on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" about the Oscar nipple controversy stirred by his co-judge, Jennifer Lopez. J.Lo -- who co-presented the makeup category with Cameron Diaz on Sunday night -- wore a dress that appeared to expose part of her left one.
For a full seven seconds, Tyler inspected a photo presented by Kimmel before proclaiming: "That would not be it. That's not it. Areolas are us. I went to that school."
Here's the footage:
This season's crew includes familiar actors, a couple of legends and an Urkel
The Season 14 cast of "Dancing With the Stars" was announced on "Good Morning America" on the Tuesday, Feb. 28, from the El Capital Theater in Hollywood. "Dancing With the Stars" returns Monday, March 19, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Here's a list of who'll be hitting the dance floor this season:
- Actor and singer Jack Wagner
- Actress Melissa Gilbert
- NFL pro Donald Driver
- Actor Jaleel White
- Telenovela actor William Levy
- TV personality Sherri Shepherd
- Opera singer Katherine Jenkins
- Singer Gavin DeGraw
- Tennis legend Martina Navratilova
- TV host Maria Menounos
- Singing legend Gladys Knight
- Disney star Roshon Fegan
Need to see some faces? Check out this gallery of the Season 14 celebrities
What do you think of this year's cast?
"Dancing With the Stars" returns Monday, March 19, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
One woman goes home but another comes back
By Diane Vadino
Special to MSN TV
Previously: A sobbing, "What the **** just happened!" Kacie exited by limo. And now we're off to …
Switzerland! It’s magical, majestic, mountainous. Ben came up with two of those three adjectives. He's in a business class cabin on Swiss, but he has bigger problems than what must be a 14-hour flight. "I'm starting to fall in love with all three of them," he says. Let's go down the list: "There always been something enticing about Nicki," he says. "She's kind of the dark horse." I'm sure she's enjoying hearing that tonight. "Then there's Lindzi, another woman I find myself falling in love with," he says. "[She's] a little bit country, and a little bit city." We get another -- a millionth, by a conservative estimate -- look at the footage of Lindzi entering the mansion on her horse on the first night: "I'm not giving you this [first impression] rose because of the horse..." Ben says, even if he kind of is. Of course, there's also Courtney. "There's some kind of weird animal force that pulls us together," he says, referring to "lust" even if he doesn't know the name of it. Switzerland looks cold and rainy, and I really wonder why we couldn't have gone to the South Pacific again for the final two episodes.
First up tonight is Nicki. Surprise of all surprises, we're traveling by helicopter, up to an Alpine mountain peak for a picnic. (Ben carries this in a small, wicker briefcase.) "My relationship with Nicki is going to new heights!" Ben says, mid-air. "But it's grounded!" Honestly: Are their friends and family tortured if they don't give up the puns? The metaphors? Because honestly, people: enough is enough. Nicki's date seems to have been shown first because it's so boring -- it's mostly is taken up with Nicki talking about starting her new life with Ben. Anyone who heard him call her a "dark horse" (read: third choice) has to be cringing. Of course, Ben's hoping she'll be up for the fantasy suite -- which she is. But by "fantasy," Nicki means "talking about how many children we won't have one day." ("The more the merrier," Ben says.) We end this date in the hot tub (shock), with Nicki laying across Ben's lap.
Lindzi is next. "Hooooly crap ... we are rappelling," Ben says, as he spies a rig above a gorge that looks like something out of "Frankenstein." Apparently, we're 300 feet up. You have to wonder if these people saw that footage of an Australian woman bungee-jumping over the Zambezi River -- and the bungee breaking, with her plunging into the water. She's just fine -- but she missed the opportunity for some metaphors! "Things get tough, people get scared...you've got to be there for each other," Ben says. Like when you’re rappelling off a cliff? "Like rappelling off a cliff!" It just won't end, is the problem. Ben calms his nerves by staring at Lindzi, which I'm sure wasn't weird at all: "I love this woman," he says. Lindzi, meanwhile, is less certain of a receptive audience: "I think I'm scared to tell Ben that I love him," she says, but she more or less gets it out. We end Lindzi's segment with her in the same position as Nicki: in a hot tub, splayed across Ben.
Finally, we have Courtney, who is going for contrite rather than horrible and annoying now that she doesn't have to share her space with the other women. "I feel like we're in a painting!" she says of the alpine scenery. They see a cow, and Ben tells her about a game he plays with his sister. It's complicated. "You just yell, 'Hey, cow!' and if they look, you win," he explains. "Hey, cow!" Courtney yells. This is shaping up to be a pretty amazing life they'll share. Inevitably, they return to the subject of how miserable Courtney was to her fellow contestants, and Courtney is clearly torn between continuing to attack them and just letting it go. "It was really hard to be nice to them," she says. "I noticed that you'd sort of twist the knife," Ben says. This comes as a bit of a surprise, because it seemed like he was too busy considering how in the world he got a model to date him to notice much of anything else. "I feel bad that this brought out the worst in me," Courtney says, but Ben's over it: "It's pretty messed up. I don't really want to get into it." Luckily, he still gets to chill in the fantasy suite.
Out of nowhere, we spend a bit of time with next season's bachelorette, Emily Maynard, but this part is massive time-filler, and keeping us from the most interesting exchange of the evening: that between Kacie(!) and Ben. Last week's discard walks up to his hotel room and waits the longest moment ever before knocking on the door. "I'm sure you weren't expecting to see me," she says, which is extremely obvious. "I'm a hot mess. I'm sorry -- I didn't mean to shock you." Ben, however, is shocked. Kacie wants answers: "I wanted to see if you could tell me what happened. I was so confident in what we had." Ben says something that boils down to: "Your parents are really conservative, and I didn't feel like dealing with it." Once she sees that he's not coming back, Kacie lets loose, and issues her indictment of Courtney: " I don't want to see you get your heart broken again," she says. "If you choose Courtney, you will get your heart broken." Ben looks like he's about to throw up. "It seems like she's in this to win it," Kacie says. Ben is dying inside because the model may not like him for the right reasons, but he manages (just barely) to walk her to the door. Once outside, Kacie promptly collapses on the hotel carpet. Bachelorette down!
With that, we've come to the rose ceremony. In the evening's most interesting moment, when Chris Harrison asks Ben if he wants Kacie to attend the rose ceremony. "I didn't have any regrets until she showed up," Ben says. But it's not enough: "I think that's too much." This doesn't exactly mean that Courtney's a lock: "I was getting to a good place with Courtney, and then Kacie returned and stirred the pot again. I have questions for her and her motives for being here."
These will not, however, be answered tonight. Moments later, Lindzi gets the first rose -- and then Courtney gets hers. "It has nothing to do with you -- I want you to know that," Ben says non-sensically to Nicki as her walks her out. "I cried a little bit today." Nicki's heartbroken -- again. "I've never been in love with somebody who hasn't loved me back, and it hurts," she says in her mid-limo meltdown. I can't wait to hear what she has to say at next week's "Women Tell All."
"The Bachelor" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.