Episode 5 of "The Bachelor" held some surprises. For one, there were a few surprises in the relationship department. Elyse, although she never seemed right for Bachelor Ben Flajnik in the first place, still surprised us by getting sent home on her one-on-one. Courtney did, as previews promised, get Ben to skinny dip... but he didn't actually seem too thrilled about it.
And Jennifer, the best kisser in the house and the sweetheart crushing hard on Ben, was sent home. Sadz.
But onwards and upwards -- let's talk fashion.
This week the girls were all dressed down, pulling up to their Puerto Rican suite by boat in lots of black leggings and tee shirts.
A few notable arrival outfits: Jamie, typically overdressed and overglitzed in a silver sequin disco ball of a tank top. Courtney, ever ironically, wore a graphic tee that said, "Be nice!" If only she'd heed its advice. (Scroll down to see pics of the tee and all the other outfits.)
Nicki got the first date, pairing her bright yellow nails with an equally bright purple and yellow print dress. The top had a one-shoulder, drapey thing going on and was snug around the tush -- not the most flattering look, but the colors looked great against her tan and she's just so darn cute.
She also wore platform sandals, which looked like they'd get uncomfortable after several hours of walking. As it turns out, she was able to ditch them when she and Ben got caught in a total downpour. As Ben said, it was "raining gatos."
Luckily the pair used the rain as an excuse to shop for some dry clothes. Two hilarious things to note: 1. It was Ben's idea. 2. All Ben wanted to wear was white linen. I was having major flashbacks to his fashion faux pas from Ashley's season, with his many baggy pants and white linen tops. Dude's got an odd sense of style.
Later that night they got back in normal clothes, with Nicki in a simple strapless aqua dress. It wasn't particularly sexy or flatting or remarkable in anyway. But the bright color worked for her skin tone and Ben is clearly into her.
Up next, the group date required utterly different outfits: athletic gear. The girls showed up to the baseball stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico wearing every color tank top and lots of teeny tiny shorts. Things got even sexier when they were given knee-high athletic socks (you know, the ones they used for bikini skiing?)
It was a fun game, but lacking style-wise. I was excited to see them get to the evening portion of the group date, where nearly all five of the women impressed me. Lindzi looked cute in a kelly green skirt, Courtney opted for long white maxi dress (a little grandma-y, but was saved by copious decolletage), Kacie went super casual yet again in a stripey cover-up and Casey looked so, so adorable in a pair of high-waisted shorts, easily my favorite look of the night.
Unfortunately, the girls only went 4 for 5. Jamie was wearing a white asymmetrical tee with a thin spaghetti strap on one side. Not my favorite.
After the group date, I thought we had circled back and we're reliving Nicki's one-on-one. Why the deja vu? Elyse wore a dress nearly identical to the one Nicki wore earlier, save for the color. For her boat date with Ben, the brunette donned a one-strap dress with one billowy, drapey side and a tight, tush-hugging skirt.
As always, she was wearing layers upon layers of bronzer and oversized jewelry. I like Elyse but I don't like her makeup.
When Elyse and Ben move into the evening portion of the night, it becomes clear that there's some formal theme: Ben is wearing a black three-piece suit and an awkwardly tiny bow tie. (As one of my friends noted, "Even his bow ties are skinny!")
When the camera panned away, we got a glimpse of Ben's pants, which can only be described as capris. Combined with the formal jacket, the whole look seemed to be channeling Thom Browne... or Pee-wee Herman.
Elyse's look wasn't much better. She wore a white stretchy maxi dress for the formal occasional featuring one excessively runched sleeve. It was unflattering, unsophisticated -- not nearly as sleek as intended. Like her relationship with Ben, Elyse's dress failed.
What didn't fail? Courtney's persistant attempts to get Ben naked. The scheming model showed up at Ben's door after his date with Elyse wearing nothing but a white bathrobe and some white lacey undergarments. While we were kind of distracted by Ben's looks of utter discomfort, we have to admit: Courtney's lingerie is quite pretty.
When she put clothes on for the group date, she chose a brown dress cut similarly to her group date dress: loose silhouette but with thin straps and a very low-cut neckline. Girl's going for sex appeal this episode, clearly.
Besides Courtney, Lindzi was a standout. The bubbly blonde wore a dark, shimmering metallic dress that had her positively glowing. It was a nice alternative to the boring, solid-colored dressed worn by Emily, Blakeley, Casey and Kacie.
Jennifer and Jamie both went with pink-based prints with mixed results. Jennifer looked lovely and island-y in a watercolor maxi dress with wooden beads on the straps. Jamie, on the other hand, looked just a little too shiny in a pale pink halter dress.
Unfortunately, the best dresses don't always get the rose. Jennifer was sent home, leaving behind a dwindling group of girls and some bewildered viewers at home (did anyone see that coming??).
As for the style, I'm hoping next week, in a different locale, things take a turn for the better. After a week of unflattering dresses and tees, we could use some sartorial spice! In the meantime, check out the pics below. Who was the best-dressed of Episode 5?