BLOG: 'Bachelor' surprises don't disappoint

PHOENIX - Monday's episode of The Bachelor took place in San Francisco and just like the city, it didn't disappoint!

Emily had been on the back burner until this Monday's episode and she definitely made an impression on Ben (and the viewers) on their one on one date. They seemed to have similar backgrounds and be on the same page.

In true Bachelor style, they had to conquer their fear of heights by climbing 535 feet to the top of Bay Bridge. You might recall that Jake picked Vienna in the end a few seasons ago and their first date also started out conquering their fear of heights. Although that eventually ended badly, that did create a bond between the two of them, so could it be the same for Ben and Emily? Halfway up the bridge, Emily started panicking, but Ben calmed her fears by giving her a first kiss.

After the kiss, Emily was able to make it all the way up to the top of the bridge. She and Ben got to enjoy the gorgeous view of San Francisco with a few more kisses. They then had a romantic dinner, more kisses and a fireworks show just for them.  After this date, Emily should make at least the top five.

Group Date
The real standouts on this group date were Rachel, the fun and flirty fashion designer from New York City, and once again, the sweet Kacie B, whom Ben had a one on one date with last week.

This group date was probably one of the silliest in Bachelor history and very contrived by Honda, which must've paid big bucks to be integrated into the episode. Ben and the group of girls all piled up into new Honda CRVs with skis on top of the cars. They showed off some features of the car and then in 85 degree weather on the streets of San Francisco, Ben and the girls stripped down to their swimsuits and skied down the city streets on snow that was brought there just for them.

After skiing, Ben and Rachel talked and then had their first kiss, which lasted awhile. Other girls saw the kiss, including Kacie B., who got jealous and took Ben away from the group for a walk outside. On the walk, Ben did his best to comfort her by saying the  usual; he knows what she's going through and then when he doesn't have anything else to say to comfort a girl, Ben distracts her with a kiss. That did the trick once again and eased Kacie's mind, for now.

Brittney was chosen by Ben for the next one on one date. Instead of the usual squeals of excitement when her name was read on the date card envelope, she seemed disappointed and nervous. Brittney then decided that being on The Bachelor was not for her and that she should give another girl an opportunity to have a one on one date with Ben who would be more excited.

Brittney then said 'goodbye' to Ben, who seemed hurt and took a bit of a blow to his ego. Before he closed her car door, he said "say hi to your Grandma for me."  Her poor grandmother appeared on the first episode with Brittney and seemed so sure that Ben would be marrying into her family.  Brittney was pretty, and probably one of the nicest and most normal girls there if she had trouble dealing with the catty Bachelor setting.

Lindzi, who got the first impression rose from Ben on the first episode lucked out by Brittney choosing to leave. She then got to have the one on one date with Ben. It started out by Ben giving her a trolley tour of the city at night and then they went into an empty City Hall.  There, they had their own private concert by Matt Nathonson and his band. They were adorable together as they danced and kissed.

Ben and Lindzi's date got even more romantic when they went to a 1920's speakeasy restaurant for dinner and got to know each other better. She got to tell him about the one time she was in love and her boyfriend broke up with her via text message saying "Babe, welcome to dumpsville. Population one." Lindzi is smart, independent and probably my favorite for Ben. They have a natural chemistry that they've had from day one. They are both fun people who can be playful and serious together and they never seem to run out of things to talk about, unlike Ben with some of the other girls.

Cocktail Party
In the very beginning of Monday's episode, Ben told his sister Julia a few things about the girls he is dating. One of the things he said was that Jennifer was the best kisser in the house and then he told Jennifer the same thing before he kissed her at the cocktail party. That is the kind of comment that will bite him in the butt with his potential fiancée later if he doesn't pick Jennifer in the end!

Ben had some one on one time with Courtney and it's obvious that he's falling for her. Then, as he was talking to Elyse, the mystery woman driving a Honda and talking to host Chris Harrison shows up. It's Shawntel, the funeral director from Brad's season wanting a chance to win Ben's heart.

Apparently, Shawntel and Ben had met before and had a few conversations in the past. From his reaction of being completely speechless and not being able to wipe

the smile off his face, it seemed like he might have had some strong feelings for her as well.

Shawntel brought out the drama with the other girls. Almost all of the girls bad-mouthed her and were beyond upset that Shawntel might also get the chance to be with Ben. They didn't think it was fair that someone can possibly take what might've been their rose. Courtney even said she might not accept a rose if Ben gives it to her because of Shawntel showing up.

Of course, when it came time for the rose ceremony, Courtney accepted it but had to speak her peace first. Ben seemed sort of irritated by her words.

The rest of the girls to get roses were Kacie B, Elyse, Jamie, Jennifer, Kacie S., Blakeley, Monica, Nicki, and Samantha.

Before finding out who got the final rose, the nerves got to Erica and she nearly passed out. It was quite the scene, but she made it through the ceremony, and she worried with good reason. Erica didn't get the final rose. Neither did Jaclyn or Shawntel!

Ben didn't give out his final rose to any of the remaining three girls.  That had to have hurt them more than the usual rejection. He HAD another rose available to give, but he didn't think any of them were worthy of receiving it and having more time to spend with him. It wasn't nice for those girls, but good for Ben! If he wasn't feeling it with them, why give one of them a rose? Shawntel was devastated and felt like she made a fool of herself. She really did. She should've just waited to be on The Bachelor Pad this summer to find love again if she still wants to find love in The Bachelor "family". Who knows? If Ben and the woman he picks at the end of this season break up before summer, Shawntel and Ben just might be thrown together again on The Bachelor Pad and wind up together in the end after all.

As of now, I'm thinking Ben's top picks in the end will be Lindzi, Kacie B., Courtney, Emily and Jennifer.

Who do you want Ben to wind up with? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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