Laurens abound in battle for ‘Bachelor’ Ben’s roses

Ben Higgins began his   journey on TV's "The Bachelor" on Monday. (Courtesy ABC)

Ben Higgins began his journey on TV's "The Bachelor" on Monday. (Courtesy ABC)

Even though it’s ridiculous, we just can’t resist a roundup of the first episode of “The Bachelor” starring “Bachelorette” castoff Ben Higgins.

On Tuesday, gossip websites were aflutter with names of frontrunners in the battle for Higgins’ roses. (We won’t venture heart.)

They include: Olivia Cardi, a TV news reporter and winner of the First Impression Rose; Becca Tilley and Amber James, who were dumped by last season’s bachelor Chris Soules (Tilley was runner-up); identical twins Haley and Emily Ferguson, both cocktail waitresses from Las Vegas who really do look exactly alike; and Joelle “Jo Jo” Fletcher, who wore a unicorn mask.

Then there were the Laurens: Lauren Bushnell, a seemingly wholesome flight attendant whom blogger Reality Steve predicts will win the whole shebang, Lauren Himle, a kindergarten teacher from Ann Arbor, Mich., and fashion buyer Lauren “LB” Barr, who remarkably looks like former “Bachelorette” Andi Dorfman; as does Lauren Russell, a math teacher from Houston.

But Russell was kicked off. Also cut on Monday: self-described “chicken enthusiast” Tiara Soleim.

Let the games continue!


Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen was detained for allegedly assaulting his wife, and she says she’ll file for divorce.

Fagen, 67, got in a verbal fight with Libby Fagen, 69, then allegedly grabbed her by the arms and pushed. She suffered bruises and bumps, according to New York police reports.

Donald was arraigned Tuesday in court in Manhattan on counts of assault and harassment and was released without bail.

“I don’t feel good,” Libby told The New York Post, over the phone: “I’m very tired and I’m divorcing my husband.”


In honor of Super Bowl 50, chef Tony Gemignani of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is offering a $100 “Super Gold Pizza” topped with gold flakes, white truffles and prosciutto; only 50 pies are being made, through Feb. 7. … BottleRock Napa Valley’s 2016 lineup May 27-29 features headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Wonder and Florence + the Machine, as well as The Lumineers, Death Cab for Cutie, Lenny Kravitz, Walk the Moon, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Ziggy Marley and more. … Guns N’ Roses will reunite for Coachella 2016 in April on a bill that also includes Calvin Harris, and LCD Soundsystem … On Thursday, La Toque restaurant in the Westin Verasa Napa is serving a complimentary foie gras course to diners in honor of the first anniversary of the lifting of California’s ban on selling the duck-liver delicacy.

Singer Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys is 30. … Comedian Kate McKinnon is 32. … Actor Eddie Redmayne is 34. … Food writer Nigella Lawson is 56. … Writer Elizabeth Strout is 60. … Guitarist Malcolm Young of AC/DC is 63.

— Staff, wire report

Got scoops or Bay Area celebrity gossip? Email
Amber JamesBachelorBecca TilleyBen HigginsLauren BarrLauren BushnellLauren HimleLauren RussellOlivia CardiPizza NapoletanaTony Gemignani

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