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It’s that time of year again. Ben Flajnik is gearing up to dole out the roses beginning January 2, and like clockwork, The Bachelor spoilers are already swirling.

Get ready for another wild season of skinny dipping, cat fighting, cursing (more than usual in that area) and people coming on the show for the wrong reasons.

Pour the wine (a California varietal, if you please) and grab the tissues, because this is going to be the most intense, talked-about season of The Bachelor EVER!

No fewer than 25 women are waiting to throw themselves at Ben, but who will advance to the coveted hometown dates, and who is he engaged to at the end?

Thanks to Reality Steve, Bachelor soothsayer extraordinaire, a man who comes through even in the face of potential litigation, we can likely these questions.

Ready to learn the identities (with photos!) of the alleged final four women this season, as well as the winner of Ben Flajnik’s heart and a Neil Lane ring?

Follow the jump for The Bachelor spoilers galore …

After the season premiere, the girls head to Sonoma.

In Episode Two, Ben goes on one-on-one dates with Kacie Boguskie and Courtney Robertson, while 12 of the women audition for a play put on by children.

Eliminations: Jenna Burke and Shawn Reynolds.

In Episode Three, the drama really starts. Ben meets up with his sister Julia at the Grove. It’s not an ex-girlfriend or someone shocking. That comes later.

Ben goes on one-on-one dates with Emily O’Brien and Lindzi Cox. Brittney, the woman whose grandmother introduced her, voluntarily leaves the show.

Then a couple of really unexpected twists happen:

  • Samantha Leavy falls for producer Bennett Graebner. Nothing physical happened, and it may not even be aired, but she later leaves, and this is why.
  • Shawntel Newton, from Brad Womack’s season, comes back to “enter” the game (see below). How she pulled this off, we can’t say. But no rose!
  • Erika Uhlig faints during the rose ceremony.
The Bachelor Season Preview 2012

Eliminations: Erika Uhlig and Jaclyn Swartz. Brittney already eliminated herself during the after-party of the group date and Shawntel Newton is gone too.

In Episodes Four, Five and Six, Ben and the girls visit Utah, Puerto Rico, and Panama. The details are sketchy, but Ben cuts the field down from 13 to 6.

Eliminations: Monica Spannbauer, Samantha Leavy, Jamie Otis, Blakeley Shea, Casey Shteamer, Elyse Myers and Jennifer … in some order or another.

In Panama, there is a big scandal involving Casey Shteamer dating some guy named Michael Patak back home before she left for filming the show.

It’s unclear how this will be presented on the show, but her exit has to do with having a boyfriend back home, and Chris Harrison even intervenes.

In Episode Seven, Lindzi Cox and Emily O’Brien go on one-on-ones, as does Courtney Robertson. On the group date, the girls go swimming with sharks.

Eliminations: Emily O’Brien and Rachel Truehart.

Which brings us to Episode Eight, and the Final Four:

Nicki Sterling: A divorced dental hygienist “who likes to drink Coors Light and get her party on,” she brings Ben back to her hometown of Hurst, Texas.

Lindzi Cox: A native of Ocala, Fla., she makes quite a first impression on Ben. Like Puss in Boots and the Old Spice Guy, she’s on a horse! First impression rose? Hers.

Courtney Robertson: The Scottsdale, Ariz., product is an international model with pictures all over the Internet, and even has a national ad for Caesar’s Palace on TV.

In addition, Court is reportedly disliked by the others in the house from the get-go, swears like a sailor and went skinny dipping with Ben in Puerto Rico. Hot stuff!

Kacie Boguskie: Got to show off her baton twirling skills when she had the first date of the season in Sonoma, then took Ben home to beautiful Clarksville, Tenn.

Sadly for Kacie, she gets bounced after the hometown dates. Rough.

The final three – Nicky, Lindzi, and Courtney – jet off to Switzerland for overnight dates, in Episode Nine. Nicky is eliminated, leaving Lindzi and Courtney …

The Bachelor Spoilers: How Will It End?

The final rose ceremony took place Wednesday, November 16 at a Swiss mountain location so remote, both girls arrived at the rose ceremony via helicopter.

So with Lindzi Cox and Courtney Robertson to choose from, Ben Flajnik had his pick of polar opposites … and naturally chose the often-controversial model.

Yes, Ben Flajnik is engaged to Courtney Robertson. As of right now.

Will it last? That remains to be seen, although we don’t have to tell you about this franchise’s abysmal track record. Congratulations in any case, you kids!

That’s it for now! We’ll update this page as more info becomes available throughout the season, and/or if anything changes. Check back early and often.

What do you think of The Bachelor spoilers above? Discuss!

UPDATE, 1/10: Looking pretty accurate so far. Ben has in fact dispatched with the nine women rumored to get the pink slip over the first two weeks.

The real test will come with a dramatic Episode Three, at which point the mysterious lady in red arrives and the drama is off the CHAIN. Stay tuned.

UPDATE, 1/18: Wow. The third-episode fireworks certainly went according to what we read in advance, but the Bachelor spoilers couldn’t do it justice.

We’d love to know how much of a role Courtney Robertson had in getting Shawntel kicked off, for one. Was she serious about threatening to leave?

Moreover, did Ben really boot Shawntel because it was “fair” or did he do it to please one of his early favorites? In any case, we are down to 13 girls.

Also, the producer scandal apparently isn’t making it to the air, or at least it hasn’t yet. Samantha is still around … don’t expect her to be for long.

And seriously, how catty are these freaking women?!

UPDATE, 1/24: We weren’t quite sure of the order, but we knew Monica Spannbauer and Samantha Leavy would be sent home in the next set of episodes.

Turns out last night was that episode. Interesting that Samantha’s exit was so unusually abrupt, yet her alleged feelings for the producer were omitted.

Courtney, meanwhile, continued to play the villain, delighting at others’ misfortune and cementing her place as one of the least popular contestants ever.

UPDATE, 1/31: Wow. Courtney is exceeding villainous expectations at this point, skinny dipping her way into week six with reckless, naked abandon.

Elyse and Jennifer got the boot, the former during a one-on-one date that preceded Court’s nude romp in the ocean, and Jen at the rose ceremony.

Jennifer’s elimination was somewhat surprising as they seemed to have a great date the previous week, but so it goes. Elyse never really clicked with Ben.

Two more episodes until we reach the final four and the hometown dates, with the alleged four finalists still intact. As always, you’ll hear more when we do.

UPDATE, 2/7: Jaime, Casey and Blakeley got the heave-ho, all in different scenarios. Jaime was left rose-less at the ceremony at the end of the night.

Blakeley exited after coming up on the short end of the 2-on-1 date, during which Rachel survived. Picking the reserved one? Surprising move by Ben.

Casey Shteamer was confronted by Chris Harrison about her boyfriend back home, and while she sort of denied they’re together, Ben sent her packing.

Courtney Robertson? Still lowering the bar every week.

UPDATE, 2/14: On the eve of Valentine’s Day, Ben broke the hearts of Emily, Rachel and everyone in America who wished he’d send Courtney packing.

Despite asking some probing questions, Ben’s desire to probe Courtney in other ways apparently won out. Sorry, but it’s true. He seems pretty whipped.

Rachel never formed a strong enough connection with Ben that we could see her staying put, but Emily seemed like she had some real potential. Alas.

It’s on to the hometown dates, and as predicted, Kacie Boguskie, Nicki Sterling, Lindzi Cox and Courtney Robertson are taking Ben to meet their families.

Will Ben Flajnik surprise us and prove the spoilers wrong? Or are he and Courtney destined to ride off into the sunset on the March 12 season finale?

Stay tuned …

UPDATE, 2/15: A tabloid report has surfaced that Ben and his fiancee have already broken up. We can’t verify that independently, but here’s the story.

UPDATE, 2/19: Still no confirmation on whether Ben and his fiancee (rumored to be Courtney, clearly) have broken up, despite what tabloids claim.

For now, consider all the rumors and speculation that it’s over premature, but the reports that the two are having problems appear to be legitimate.

Only three weeks until the winner is revealed and the After the Final Rose special airs immediately following the finale. Should be very interesting.

UPDATE, 2/20: As predicted, and sadly for many viewers, fan favorite Kacie Boguskie did not receive a rose following Ben’s four hometown dates.

The groundswell of support for Kacie B. to be The Bachelorette may be hopeless, too, as ABC has already announced Emily Maynard will fill that role.

Next week, on the penultimate episode of the 16th season, Ben’s final three – Nicki, Lindzi, and Courtney – jet off to Switzerland for overnight dates.

Who will make it to the season finale? So far, The Bachelor spoilers have been right on, but we won’t know for sure until it plays out. Stay tuned …

UPDATE, 2/23: The person returning in next week’s promo is Kacie B., we think, since she was shown with Ben in a previous promo in their hotel.

Will this change anything, if it is in fact her? Doubtful, but we’ll find out.

We’ve also updated this post to include the accurate season finale date, March 12. The Women Tell All special airs the previous Monday, March 5.

UPDATE, 2/26: The Women Tell All special was taped Friday, and Courtney Robertson apparently is on it. Does that mean she gets the axe?

From what we’ve gathered, no. The two finalists usually never appear on the WTA, but producers decided to make an exception in this case.

It’s hard to blame them, but Courtney has become the reason for the show (for better or worse) and is guaranteed to clash with the others.

She’ll still be on The Bachelor season finale March 12, by all indications.

UPDATE, 2/28: Farewell, Nicki, and farewell again, Kacie B.

Kacie’s return was not to beg for another chance, necessarily, but to seek “closure” and to warn Ben one last time about Courtney. It didn’t take.

It’s Courtney vs. Lindzi on the March 12 season finale. Will the spoilers, right on target all season long, be proven wrong at the last minute?

UPDATE, 3/1: Courtney was seen trying on wedding dresses in Beverly Hills. PR stunt? Modeling? Or the real deal? No one knows, but she was.

UPDATE, 3/6: Wow. The Women Tell All special aired last night, and the women did not have a lot of nice things to say about Courtney.

The Black Widow herself then came on the program, sat in the hot seat and was skewered left and right, looking miserable the whole time.

She defended herself by saying that she cared (past tense) a lot about Ben, which some have picked up on as a sign of trouble in paradise.

Either way, it was all about Courtney on the WTA, and she looked nothing short of despondent, as did Ben, who called this all a “nightmare.”

Not exactly the words of a man who’s happy and in love.

UPDATE, 3/12: It’s finally here. Who will win the final rose? We’re live blogging tonight’s Bachelor season finale. Just follow the link to join in!

Yeah … hearts are breaking across America right now. Ben’s big proposal went down as advertised and Courtney said yes. Bittersweet? To say the least.

The discussion of this season is sure to continue for some time. Click here for our recap of the finale and the After the Final Rose special!

UPDATE, 3/13: Wow, it was all true. And they are still together, even if they did break up once already and appear totally unhappy now.

Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson: Will it last?