How Old Is Ben H.? 'The Bachelorette' Contestant May Be Young, But He's Stealing The Show

Another week of The Bachelorette, another round of dates spend in an Irish castle. Though ABC’s budget for travel this season has been low, the drama has been high. Refreshingly, though, Kaitlyn and Ben H.’s one-on-one Bachelorette Fantasy Suite date was pretty drama-free, save for Ben’s confession of one thing: His true age. You see, Ben turned 26 (not 27, as Kaitlyn thought) during filming, making him nearly four years younger than Kaitlyn. He seemed a little scared of telling her his age, but Kaitlyn was completely fine with being the “hottest older woman,” as Ben put it. So, as Aaliyah once said, “age ain’t nothin’ but a number.” Ben’s confession (and the rest of their conversation) totally put him back in Kaitlyn’s Bachelorette game. [UPDATE: According to E! Online, Ben H. has been selected as the 2016 Bachelor.]

But, let’s backtrack a bit — To start the date off, the duo went horseback riding in big, oversize cable knit sweaters, which I think is a mandatory excursion while in Ireland. Ben adorably gave his horse a pep talk to not make him look stupid in front of the girl he likes, which I think was a good plan — I always get the horse that rears up on its hind legs, and Ben’s horse didn’t try to buck him off, so I guess the pep talk worked. Later, Kaitlyn and Ben fed carrots to some donkeys (and the same donkeys literally chased them through the fields, which was hilarious).

Now, if you’ve seen any part at all of this season, you know that Shawn B. and Nick Viall have been edited to be the show’s frontrunners, but I think viewers are doing Ben a disservice in counting him out. Shawn and Nick have been bickering for the past few episodes, and they both look childish and insane. Meanwhile, Ben goes on this date with Kaitlyn and knocks it out of the park. He spoke honestly, comfortably, and maturely about his feelings for her, his feelings about there being other men, and his security in their relationship. I mean, swoon. While Shawn and Nick are out there trying to measure whose is bigger, Ben is inside spending quality time with his Bachelorette.

After all of that heart-to-heart talking and mature adult conversation, Kaitlyn and Ben spent the night together in the Fantasy Suite, and Kaitlyn confessed via an interview just how much fun she had with Ben. Though the producers made us believe that Shawn and Nick were in a battle royale for Kaitlyn’s affections, I’m pretty sure that Ben’s coming up the stretch right behind them. Watch out, boys!

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Images: ABC/Clodagh Kilcoyne