Well here we are. Week nine of Season 16 of The Bachelor, when Ben Flajnik has finally narrowed down his seemingly endless initial female choices to two … uh, lucky? … ladies who are almost certainly both hearing wedding bells.

When Monday night's episode began, there were still three women vying for Flajnik's eternal affections and the promise of that engagement ring — Nicki, Lindzi, and of course the diabolical Courtney, who has been the frontrunner the entire season, for any of you who were ever foolish enough to doubt it.

After spending overnight dates in "fantasy suites" with each of his remaining three ladies in turn, Flajnik was ready to let his … hmm, heart? … do the talking when gushed on and on about how "enticing" and "fun" Nicki is, how "comfortable" he feels with Lindzi, and how he — wait for it — can't get over that "incredible" and "magical something" about Courtney. See how that last one sounds different from the others?

Just because Flajnik is enthralled with the world's most hated contestant doesn't mean he lacks all doubt. On his date with Courtney, he expressed "concern" over the history his main squeeze had with the other women previously in the season. In fact, the schmoopy couple almost got into a fight before Flajnik backed off the topic and said he didn't want to talk about it and ruin the day. So he does have some awareness of the sinister nature of his leading lady.

Later, Courtney brought up her own character flaws to get the topic out of the way. "I tried really hard to be nice with [the other women], but that's a really unique situation for me," she said. "I'd say something and they'd jump on me. I had my guard up."

While some have argued that Courtney appears to be softening now that she's no longer surrounded by a bunch of fellow scrambling lovelorn vixens, others are not convinced. Including ex-contestant Kacie, who Flajnik booted from the show last week. Being dumped didn't stop her from knocking on Flajnik's door unannounced to demand a reason for her dismissal. While she was at it, and probably because she was not really getting a straight answer anyway, she managed to cast her vote for whom Flajnik should NOT pick. "If you pick her, you'll get your heart broken," she said of Courtney.

Though Kacie's (second) departure was extremely awkward, it seemed to put a nugget of doubt back in Flajnik's head. "I thought I was getting to a good place with Courtney, but when Kacie brought up the fact that Courtney wasn't a good person, I wondered if I'm getting played," he mused to the cameras.

The doubt didn't last too long, though. At the end of the episode, Flajnik offered roses to Lindzi and — you guessed it — Courtney, sending a relatively poised Nicki packing back to her home state of Texas. If it's any consolation, she seems the toughest of the lot. She'll get over it.

You can catch The Bachelor Monday nights at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Watch a clip here:

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  • A Grinshpan
    A Grinshpan on

    Wonder who will win great prize of Ben and then live happily ever after? haha

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