8:46pm PT by Christina Schoellkopf
'The Bachelor': Ben Invites Three Women to the Fantasy Suite, Says "I Love You" to Two
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Season 20 of ABC's The Bachelor.]
And then there were three.
The Bachelor kicked off in Jamaica this week, and ABC was already Jamaican fans crazy with teasers of Ben Higgins saying "I love you" to two women. But who would the lucky ladies be?
Keep in mind this was no ordinary episode. The three remaining ladies — Caila (who still can't stop smiling), Lauren (who let Ben hand-feed her grilled cheese) and JoJo (who courageously survived wild, ocean pigs) — had a very special opportunity. If Ben felt strongly about the date, each woman would have the chance to spend the night with her favorite man from Warsaw, Ind., in a hotel fantasy suite. (Very romantic ... until you remember there are cameras pointing at them in all directions until the lights finally turn off.)
Ready for the drama? It was easily the most emotional week of season 20 yet. Here's a breakdown of what went right and, in some cases, horribly wrong on each date.
Sometimes, it's not what you say but what you don't say that can ruin an otherwise perfect day. Leading into his date with Caila, Ben was feeling pretty positive. He confidently shared in his private interview, "Caila would be a great wife. I have no doubts about that." But things quickly took a turn for the worse when the two of them went down a private rafting ride along the Martha Brae River. The silence between them was so loud it was borderline cringe-worthy. See for yourself.
Luckily, for both Caila and viewers alike, something came over her that helped the Ohio native break down her nerves. Maybe it was the Coconut water, or her stunning outfit change, but regardless she was soon back in the game and ready to steal Ben's heart. Once they sat down for dinner, she confessed her true feelings: "Every time I'm with you ... like, I think about it and it just feels right. And part of me has wanted to tell you something for a long time, and that is that I’m in love with you."
What was Ben's reaction? Silence … before a cute kiss. Caila did not seem to mind her boyfriend dodging the subject, "Ben doesn’t have to say anything. … There is no other place I’d rather be in the world than in his arms."
Even though Ben did not drop the L-word, the night still had a fairy-tale ending — literally with fireworks going off outside their window while they kissed in a bed fit for two, before the door to their fantasy suite closed on the cameras.
Before meeting up with Lauren, Ben paused to reflect on how it felt to wake up next to Caila. On his way to date No. 2, he said, "It’s almost weird going on a date with a girl after leaving a date with a woman I care so much about.” (Really? Almost weird, Ben? Of course it's weird.)
After shrugging off some back-to-back date guilt, Ben met up with his blonde crush Lauren and had the most adorable date in store for her. Together, the two helped save baby turtles!
Their one-on-one time this week was pretty flawless from start to finish, ending with Lauren finally confessing how she really feels about the bachelor: "I do feel like I’ve been meaning to tell you something. ... I feel like I've felt this way for a long time, but I am completely in love with you, and you really are like the man of my dreams."
And to her surprise — Ben broke the Bachelor rules and said "I love you" back! Not even just once, he repeated the big l-o-v-e multiple times and of course asked her to spend the night with him. (Did anyone else notice their clothes sprawled across the room the next morning?)
Baby sea turtles might be cute, but JoJo's date almost put Lauren's to shame. Ben took his Texan to one of the most romantic landscapes in Jamaica. After jumping off a waterfall and kissing in the water, JoJo decided to let her guard down and share what was on her mind.
After their romantic dip in the water, she sat down with Ben — whom she now refers to as her "babe" — to tell him, "I'm not just falling in love anymore. I do love you."
And believe it or not, after already saying those three little words to Lauren, Ben looked JoJo straight in the eyes to say, "JoJo, I love you, too."
Now, do not forget she and Ben left off in an awkward place after JoJo's hometown date. Her brothers accused Ben of brainwashing the women to fall in love with him, her mother gave them little personal space as she chugged her champagne, and Ben looked truly angry for the first time on the show.
But he and JoJo were able to work things out during the second half of their date, and the two ended the night in the fantasy suite (complete with a private, indoor jacuzzi).
After JoJo's date, the episode became very painful to watch — yet too hard to look away. Now that viewers had seen Ben confess his love for both Lauren and JoJo, the lingering thought on everyone's mind was "poor Caila." The show cut to the software sales rep, looking happy as could be, still blindly enamored by Ben. After expressing that she wanted "to be the woman he wakes up next to the rest of his life," Caila decided to surprise him!
But after driving up to visit him uninvited, the real surprise was on her. The bachelor decided to take the opportunity to sit Caila down and end their relationship right then and there.
"I am in love with two women here, and I just couldn’t say it back to you," said Ben. (Ouch. That's harsh)
He added, "You are like, literally what I described at the beginning of this as my perfect wife. I knew this was going to get hard at the end, because I knew I was going to have to say goodbye to somebody that I was falling for." After hearing his monologue, Caila showed some sass and called Ben out for using "a line." Even when Ben tried to tell her he'd miss her, she cut him off to say, "You don’t have to say that." (You go, Caila. Way to stand up for yourself.)
Finally, it was time for Ben to walk her out. But just before the car drove away, Caila threw open the door to say some final thoughts. See how it went down in the clip below.
Even if you were not Team Caila, it was hard to watch the tearful car ride home without feeling for the girl.
There is a silver lining though. Caila tweeted a positive message after the episode wrapped Monday.
Love with no regrets Warm thank you-s for all of your kind words— Caila Quinn (@CailaQuinn) March 1, 2016
Were you sad to see Caila go? How do you feel about Ben saying "I love you" to two women? Who do you hope Ben ends up with at the end? Share what you think in the comments below.