Then they rehash the date nights, which were all awesome, naturally. Chris Harrison leaves so Ben can "decompress a little bit" and calls Ben "man" and Ben stands looking at the pictures of the three women he spent the night with this week, just like in a fairytale, or at least the fairytale edition of Penthouse Letters.
After the commercial break, he's still looking at pictures while Chris walks each woman individually into the ceremony. Nicki is wearing a toga, which is awesome. Harrison tells them that this is essentially the last rose ceremony, and here's hoping the next step is Ben down on one knee, proposing. Ben comes in, and talks about how his heart is beating out of his chest again, and how they are all incredible women, which is what makes this so difficult.
After a couple more hours of this blather, Ben's first rose goes to Lindzi. She seemed like a lock. Then, utter chaos, as I've lost track of how many roses are left, and Chris Harrison is nowhere to be found. Ben picks up the last rose, waits an eternity, and then says the dumbest thing possible: "Courtney." Nicki hangs her head.
Harrison comes in and tells her to get her shit and leave. She hugs the other women, and Ben walks her out, and tells her that it's got nothing to do with her; he's just starting to have doubts. Doubts that have nothing to do with her? And hasn't every damn thing he's said about/to Courtney tonight been about the doubt he has?
Ben packs her off in the limo so she can cry her eyes out, and Ben can feel sorry for himself. Nicki says she was in love with him, and she's never been in love with someone who didn't love her back. Really? Lucky Nicki! She says she hopes he's making the right choice, but I think once you've decided to go on The Bachelor, there's no such thing as a good decision. While Nicki bawls, Ben toasts the two remaining women and tells them their auditions will continue.
Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter. He's genuinely worried that from now on, whenever he looks at his Swiss army knife, he's going to think of The Bachelor. Follow him on Twitter (@DanMacEachern) or email him at email@example.com.