Hometown Hero: Although Ben currently resides in Denver, his hometown of Warsaw, Indiana, is where his heart is. In the first episode of the season, he made a triumphant return home to serve as the Grand Marshal at his high school’s homecoming parade. Family and friends insist (on screen and online) that Ben has remained the same genuine, caring, and lovable guy they remember even after he was thrust into the spotlight last year as a contestant on The Bachelorette.
Most Adorable Throwback Tweets: Ben’s Twitter is a treasure trove of cute throwbacks to his high school days. Before he became America’s most eligible bachelor, Ben volunteered frequently at the Baker Youth Center in a Tigger suit, and he was quarterback of his high-school football team. Photos of his past mission work will melt your heart, too.
— Humanity & Hope (@humanityandhope) December 8, 2015
An Indiana Education: In the season’s first group date, Ben took eight lucky ladies to a high school in Los Angeles to compete to be his homecoming queen. A geography challenge to place Indiana on a map of the United States led to this embarrassing moment:
Of course, Ben was a good sport about it.
Most Thoughtful Bachelor: After Amanda revealed that she has two daughters (and is the only parent on this season), Ben went the extra mile to win her heart. During the Rose Ceremony cocktail party, he pulled her aside to make rose hair clips for her kids. If there was an award for Most Thoughtful Bachelor, Ben would have nailed it after just two episodes.
Strangest Group Date: The Bachelor franchise is known for its bizarre and uncomfortable dates (and after 20 seasons, this good-idea drought is understandable). In the second episode, Higgins escorted a group of six ladies to a compatibility experiment supposedly based on real science. To calculate his compatibility with each girl, Higgins was blindfolded and sniffed each contestant to see if he was attracted to their natural scent. Unfortunate Samantha was described as smelling “sour” (oof). Higgins seemed to take the “science” to heart, because she was eliminated at the next Rose Ceremony.