'Bachelor' torn between Lauren B, JoJo

Ben Higgins and Lauren BushnellAnd then there were two.

West Linn’s Lauren Bushnell (Lauren B) has just one more contestant standing between her and true love after earning another rose in Episode 9 of the popular TV reality show “The Bachelor.” The only problem? Bachelor Ben Higgins said he’s in love with both Bushnell and the other remaining contestant, JoJo.

The Monday, Feb. 29 episode started out with the last three women in Jamaica, with the first date going to Caila. Higgins and the 24-year-old software sales rep took a romantic raft ride down a small river overgrown with greenery. The date seemed tense and at times awkward, which Caila admitted was due to her internal conflict regarding Higgins' status in his other two relationships.

The pair stopped for some traditional Jamaican jerked chicken, but things didn’t get much better. Caila apologized later that night at dinner, and finally told Higgins what had really been bothering her. She told Higgins the three magic words that continued to pop up throughout Episode 9: “I love you,” she said. Traditionally, the Bachelor isn’t supposed to reciprocate the words due to the nature of the competition (many women vying for one man), and he responded by giving Caila a long smooch. The date seemingly picked up from there, as the pair later decided to enter a "fantasy suite" for time away from the prying camera, leaving the ensuing events up to the viewer’s imagination.

The following day was Bushnell’s turn to spend time with Higgins. The Bachelor took Bushnell, a 2008 West Linn High School graduate, to a sandy beach, where they released newborn sea turtles into the wild. Bushnell was unsurprisingly smitten, but it was hard to tell whether it was because of the turtles or Higgins.

Later that night Bushnell and Higgins reconvened for dinner and an intimate conversation, where Bushnell shared her disbelief with how effective the entire Bachelor process had been. After a couple weeks of holding back, Bushnell finally admitted to Higgins that she was indeed in love with him. Much to her surprise, Higgins broke Bachelor tradition, and told Bushnell he had been in love with her “for a long time.”{img:102771}

Things only intensified from there, as the three words repeatedly flowed from the mouths of both. After several more “I love yous,” Higgins invited Bushnell to the fantasy suite, where they shared a night with one another. In the morning the two enjoyed breakfast, and Higgins told Bushnell he loved her one more time before parting for the final date of the episode.

Higgins and JoJo then shared a kiss-happy date, frolicking in a secluded waterfall before they moved on to dinner. There, JoJo, like the two women before her, revealed to Higgins that she was in love with him. To the surprise of everyone, Higgins replied that he loved her, too. He later told the camera that he was indeed in love with two women, and didn’t know what he was going to do. Higgins and JoJo shared a night in the fantasy suite, which seemed to further complicate what Higgins was feeling for Bushnell and JoJo.

Action then moved back to Caila, who decided to surprise Higgins and confirm with him just how in love she was. America cringed as it became clear Higgins was going to send her home, and he admitted to Caila he was in love with two women, and that she wasn’t one of them. Confused, she went to leave, but stopped the car. She wanted a better explanation, and asked Higgins if he spent the night with her knowing he couldn’t see a future. He said he didn’t know his true feelings until Bushnell and JoJo professed their love, and that he really would miss what he and Caila had. After a long hug, Caila exited, which left just Bushnell and JoJo for the season finale March 14.

Promos earlier in the season hinted that Higgins will change his mind at the last second, and call the original girl he sends home in the finale to propose marriage. Before Bachelor Nation can discover Bushnell and Higgins’ fate, however, there will be a “Tell All” episode next week, Monday, March 7.

There, every show contestant save Bushnell and JoJo will talk about their experiences on the show, and get another chance to ask Higgins any questions they’ve had since being eliminated. Until then fans of the show and supporters of Bushnell will have to wait in agony to learn her fate. Check back in with the Tidings next week to learn any juicy details the tell-all episode reveals.

Contact Andrew Kilstrom at 503-636-1281 ext. 112 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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