After emotional hometown dates, The Bachelor jetted off to Switzerland for the penultimate episode of the season (the Women Tell All special is next week).
Nicki Sterling, Lindzi Cox and Courtney Robertson vied for the final two roses doled out by Ben Flajnik ... as did another familiar face in a non-shocking return.
Could Kacie Boguskie cajole her way back into the mix?
Clearly contrived time-filling plot twists aside, Courtney preemptively shifted into damage control mode and Lindzi made her case as the season's dark horse.
Yes, we went with a horse joke there. Again. Too easy.
Who made the final two heading into the March 12 finale? Were The Bachelor spoilers right, or did Ben pull a surprise? Here's THG's +/- Bachelor recap:
Nicki Sterling, the dark horse of the competition, seems like a very cool girl, but it also seems like she's trying a bit too hard to force the issue. Minus 5.
Not in like an aggressive Courtney way, so Plus 8, but sort of in the sense that she's trying to force feelings and a stronger connection in a limited time.
Does Chris Harrison not sign the fantasy suite card anymore? Minus 10.Obviously she takes it. Not that it'll save her, but hey, fun! Plus 7.
Minus 40 for the atrocious lines the producers feed these people. Taking things to new heights, on a mountain? Relationships being about facing challenges together, in the midst of once-in-a-lifetime adventure dates? Head slap city.
We are crushing on Lindzi Cox so hard lately, and not just because she is emerging as the most viable anti-Courtney hopeful. This girl rules. Plus 30.
Unlike Nicki, the connection is clear. Unlike Court, she's not a manipulative vixen. Also, she's funny, pretty, self-assured and easy-going, opening up about feelings without resorting to cliches or forcing the issue. Lindzi FTW! Plus 35.
Fantasy suite? We're two-for-two. Plus 10.
Courtney has a heart-to-heart with Ben, perhaps realizing that the anti-Courtney sentiment may finally be taking hold. Give the devil her due. Plus 10.
She admitted saying “some things that were hurtful at times” to others. That's putting it mildly, but Plus 4 for attempting to show a little humanity.
“Knowing I’ve made it harder for him, it just breaks my heart.” Doubt it. Minus 10.
“There’s this dark cloud over me, a fear of losing him. I don’t know if we can recover from all of this stuff.” Huh? He obviously doesn't even care? This sudden emotional state was clearly cobbled together by the story editors. Minus 10.
Still, she didn't smirk or say much arrogant BS this week, so Plus 12.
Kacie B. Shows up. "Ho-ly $h!t," Ben Flajnik says. Good acting. Plus 9.
BUT, Kacie wasn't there to plead for another chance ... at least not overtly. She came because she wanted answers. Closure. This is pure filler. Minus 20.
Ben: "I completely understand where you're coming from, where you didn't know where things went wrong. You didn't do anything wrong... Did I see you in the end? No. that's not how I saw my life going." Rough, but honest. Plus 13.
AND hear comes the anti-Courtney Robertson speech! Plus 18.
"I don't want to see you get your heart broken again," she said. "I feel like... if you choose Courtney, you would get your heart broken. I've watched her for awhile, sat back and observed. It seems like she's in this to win it." Well, yeah? Minus 9.
Kacie quotes Courtney saying, "If it's not Ben, there are other fish in the sea." Really? That's all you got? Either throw her under the bus or don't! Minus 11.
"I don't even know what to say." - Ben. New Bachelor tagline? Plus 5.
Did the latest affect Ben's decision-making? No, because he is dead set on thinking with his pants tuning out the noise ... but he's got to be getting tired of hearing that same Courtney speech, and this time at least it made him think. Plus 8.
To the surprise of no one, even if you don't read the spoilers, Nicki got the chop, leaving Lindzi and Courtney to vie for the final rose March 12. Minus 29.
“It has nothing to do with you,” he told her straight from the book of bad cliched breakup lines. What's next, "It's not you, it's me?" Basically. Minus 15.
"From day one I said I wanted the best for you," Nikki whispered to Ben. "I just hope you're making the right decision." Don't hold your breath, but Plus 7.
"I cried a little bit today, I'm not going to lie," he said. "But I started to have doubts." THEN I thought about Courtney naked again, so, peace. Minus 12.
EPISODE TOTAL: +15! SEASON TOTAL: -43!
Elimination: Nicki Sterling.
Who should Ben choose, Lindzi or Courtney?