I think the reason why these couples seem so close compared to ANYONE on the Bachelor is that they have time....I mean, they're spending 24 hours a day with the group, they're not ushered around on ridiculous group dates where they barely have time to talk and then secluded away from members of the opposite sex. I'd bet that they would be switching partners a lot more if the only time they got to see each other was at challenges. But I definitely like it this way, it's great to see how they interact around the cabins between challenges. It's probably why Jessica also eliminated herself-looking around, it was pretty easy to see that none of the remaining couples had bonds that could be broken up. Better to bow out gracefully, especially since she also didn't want to be with anyone besides Derek, than to be turned down. And in a way, it's probably why Brandee feels like she has to stick with Ben at this point. She spent so much time hoping he'd come around that she really didn't get to know any of the other guys and now her only option to continue is to go with Ben.
Felt really bad for Derek. When it first happened, I thought he was making a lot of noise about nothing, to be honest. I thought it was a broken toe and a scratch. And while broken toes are painful (I've had enough of them to know!) he could have continued if that was it. But it sounded as if he had more broken bones besides just the toe, and I agree with whoever said it was probably the chance of infection that got him pulled. The host did say he had a large open wound. But good for him extending that invitation to Jessica at the elimination ceremony.
Steele's a brainless meathead and Ben's too immature for anything serious. I like everyone else left though.
One last thing-I've spent time in that part of Costa Rica and I love seeing it again on this show. It's such a sparsely populated area of the country that so many of the natural wonders are still intact, and it's stunning. I remember when we were there there was so much outdoorsy stuff to do-we rode horses, swam under waterfalls, went boating in the lake around Arenal, relaxed in the natural hot springs, went ziplining, etc. I think they picked a great location to film because it looks visually incredible, offers so many outdoor activities, and has so few people that it's hard to imagine stuff getting leaked before it airs!