Recap: The Bachelor – After The Final Rose

SPOILERS AHEAD.

 

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We head straight from Ben’s proposal to Lauren B. into the After the Final Rose special. Live in studio, Ben and host Chris Harrison talk about his struggle with being in love with both Lauren and JoJo. Ben has no regrets telling both Lauren and JoJo that he loved them. “I tried to be as honest as possible and it led me to Lauren…I can’t regret that,” Ben says.

Oh god, what did they do with JoJo’s parents who were there backstage in case Ben picked JoJo and they got married on TV? Did someone quietly hand JoJo’s mom a bottle of champs and usher them out the back into a waiting limousine?

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JoJo’s mom during hometown dates

JoJo joins Ben on stage and he tells her he will “never regret” having her as part of his life. JoJo seems poised and calm and, dare I say happy? “It was gut wrenching watching that, but it helped me to see that it was hard for you too,” JoJo admits. She is all class wishing Ben and Lauren the best and saying how wonderful Lauren is. Now I’ll have the super sads if JoJo isn’t the next Bachelorette. She’s so lovely. Whyyyyy is Chris Harrison hinting that it’s not necessarily who we think?

Back from commercial break, JoJo says that life right after Jamaica was spent at home doing a lot of reflecting and thinking. “Watching back helped me a lot,” she confirms. “There’s a very big difference between the way he looked at Lauren and the way he looked at me,” JoJo says, echoing everyone on Twitter for the last 10 weeks. She asks Ben what the deciding factor for him was. “My desire was to stay open,” Ben says, “but as I started to really let myself feel things, I couldn’t picture my life without Lauren.” JoJo says she will always have a special place in her heart for Ben but adds that she’s moved on and has found peace and, again, is super happy for Lauren and Ben because they’re amazing people. No joke it’s the loveliest After the Final Rose runner-up face-to-face  ever.

PSYCH! The new Bachelorette *is* JoJo. Fuck, Chris Harrison even gestured towards off stage as if someone was going to walk out but then pointed right back at JoJo. The studio audience loses their damn minds. I may have shouted YASSSSSSSS at my TV. JoJo for Bachelorette! I’m going to watch the shit out of that season.

Lauren joins Ben on stage, where she says that she wasn’t “blindsided” by anything she saw on the show because the night after they got engaged Ben told her everything that had happened between him and JoJo. “Smart man,” Chris chuckles. “I was surprised but I wasn’t surprised,” Lauren says, of learning about Ben’s feelings for JoJo. They’re clearly super happy together and Lauren is full of sparkle and personality tonight. And wearing a white dress. Hmm…

Lauren confirms she is moving to Denver to be with Ben and she says she doesn’t want a long engagement. Bachelor superfan, late night host Jimmy Kimmel stands up in the crowd and asks them “what happens in the Fantasy Suite” (demonstrated with Barbies both clothed and naked).

That wedding Chris Harrison has been teasing all night? They bring out the Pastor but Ben says they owe it to each other to do a big wedding with all of their friends and family. Instead, Ben surprises Lauren with the news that her parents have been backstage and he calls them out and re- proposes.

Ben thanks Bachelor Nation for being supportive during a really `weird`season. And that`s it for another season of The Bachelor. Swoon!

Thanks for reading!

 

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The Bachelor (Juan Pablo) – Finale + After The Final Rose

Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on the finale episode of Juan Pablo’s season of The Bachelor (original air date: Monday, March 10, 2014).

Hola! I’m going to start by saying that my main take-away from the final episode of Juan Pablo’s season of The Bachelor is that host Chris Harrison HATES Juan Pablo, AMIRIGHT? I bet/hope Bachelor producers are kicking themselves for choosing JP to be The Bachelor. I don’t recall there ever being a more despised Bachelor.

Now to the stuff.

We’re live in studio with host Chris Harrison and an audience of 427 women (mostly wearing red) and 3 dudes who were dragged there or bribed with promises of free booze and skanks aplenty. Oh and who’s that we spot on stage? Two recent Bachelor/Bachelorette success stories (you know, to remind us that this crazy ‘journey’ sometimes actually works): former Bachelor Sean Lowe and new wife Catherine and the most recent Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock and her fiancé Chris. Kelly, Sharleen and Kat from Juan Pablo’s season are there along with Arie (holy hotness mary mother of god I want to go camping on his face) from Emily Maynard’s season, and Michael and Brooks (holy shit remember Brooks!) from Desiree’s season. Um, was that not awkward for Des to be sitting just a few feet away from Brooks who she was totes in love with while sitting next to her soon-to-be hubbie Chris, the perceived ‘consolation prize’? For the record, I always liked Chris the best and I genuinely think him and Desiree make a great couple and have a good chance at a long and happy marriage, but let’s not forget that Desiree was beyond devastated when Brooks left. Beyond. And he avoided the ‘Men Tell All’ special so they never hashed it out in person, as far as we know.

Anyhoodle, we kick off the finale episode with Clare meeting Juan Pablo’s family, who are now in Saint Lucia. Within about a minute, my viewing buddy R and I were both commenting that JP’s brother, cousin and even father are infinitely more dateable than he is. Clare and JP’s daughter Camila have a handshake-low-five moment and there’s some cheek kissing. Clare thinks JP’s a hot dad, and tells the family that she wants three (more) kids. Unless they’re all girls and then JP’s brother says she needs to keep going. Juan’s mom and Clare have a heart-to-heart. When she asks mom if there’s anything “personality-wise” that she should know, the answer is that Juan is “hyperactive” and “sometimes very rude.” Momma knows, Clare. Momma knows. Apparently his own mom isn’t immune to his harshness. He’s made her cry too.

Cousin Rodolfo asks Clare if she’s in love, and he quasi-warns her that JP is the type to “walk away” when things get rough. Clare 1000% (not a thing) believes in the power of her love. She’d make it stick. She also thinks being proposed to by Juan would be the best day of her life. Rodolfo later tells JP that “that woman is in love.” Rodolfo even jokes that she’s so ready to get married she’s not really but yes really “begging for it.”

Clare and Juan Pablo’s dad Saul have a very sweet chat, and he tells her that he will love her as a daughter and even if things don’t work out she will always be someone in his mind. Dad even tells Clare that he loves her, which hits her hard because her own father passed away within the past few years. Before departing, Clare tells JP she knows he was “raised right.” Yes doll, but I don’t think the lessons all stuck. “I could 1000% [again, not a thing] see myself as part of Juan Pablo’s family.”

Back in the studio, Chris reminds everyone that this ending will be the most “dramatic” ever, and jokes that he never uses that word. Ha. He then takes a poll of the audience and it appears they are mostly split down the middle between Team Clare and Team Nikki. Chris also reminds us that there’s some “big surprise” coming from Juan Pablo.

The next day it’s time for Nikki to meet her maybe future in-laws. She arrives with flowers and a sunny disposition. The pressure is slightly off, as she already met JP’s mother, father and daughter at Camila’s dance recital a few weeks back on one of their dates. Nikki recaps her and Juan’s Bachelor travels/dates and is generally charming. Nikki tells JP’s dad that she thinks being a father to Camila has made Juan the man he is. Dad likes this, but tells her that his son isn’t “an easy guy.” WARNING. WARNING. WARNING. Nikki seems non-plussed, because he already confessed to being “stubborn.” He just forgot to mention misogynistic and patronizing. “You have a great son and he’s amazing,” Nikki tells Juan’s mom, who asks how she would imagine a weekend with Juan Pablo. Nikki envisions hanging by the pool/beach and playing games with Camila, and mom tells her how it’s going to be: stay at home watching TV with the family or Camila. I think she also says that Nikki should be “taking him breakfast” and that Juan is “very simple.” Hmm..is she trying to emphasize that Juan Pablo is down-to-earth or that he’s lazy? Mom is “pretty sure” that he’s ready for all this, and Nikki confirm she’s in love. Mom knows JP isn’t easy, but thinks Nikki is “very strong.”

Cousin Rodolfo and Nikki sit down and he asks her how much fighting she can take. “I love the guy…but sometimes when things are getting rough he’ll walk away from the relationship,” says cousin R. Nikki responds that a relationship without fighting is a relationship without passion (ugh, I’m so sick of this opinion), and changes the subject. I see red flags all over the place, and Nikki states that there’s “no red flags” for her. Geesh, what do you need girl, an effing billboard? Ditch the dude, marry the cousin. Or brother.

In his private interview, Juan moans about having to make a decision between Clare and Nikki, even asking if he can “keep both.” Ick.

Chris chats with the “alumni” and Kelly comments that both women are ignoring the “red flags.” Catherine says that she likes El Bachelor as a person but says he seems “complacent.” She admits, though, that she gets how the final two women would want so badly to see the good side of JP and ignore the bad, given the circumstances.

Clare and Juan Pablo are together once again for their last date before the final rose ceremony. They board a helicopter, and things immediately sour. Although they go about their date, we don’t see any of it and instead hear a voiceover from Clare who says that Juan told her on the helicopter’s descent (in a moment where they weren’t on the microphone and had no camera on them) that he didn’t really know her and then allegedly there was some rude sexual comment. A tearful Clare is interviewed on camera and says he told her something that “no woman wants to hear.” She won’t spill on the sexual comment, she just says it was “insulting” and later alludes that it was something along the lines of “I like hooking up with you.” We skip ahead to the evening portion of their date, and Clare is crying on the bed. Juan Pablo soon arrives at the door to find that Clare won’t kiss him. She gestures to the living room with total “we need to talk” eyebrows, and the audience back in the studio applauds because she wouldn’t kiss a persistent Juan Pablo.

“You could have said anything in the world, and what did you tell me?” Captain Oblivious Juan Pablo wants Clare to remind him. “Well first of all you made a comment about stuff that happened with us in private…you said that we had good chemistry…but you told me that you don’t know me at all and that I don’t know you at all.” “I don’t know you enough,” JP defends. “Enough for what?” Clare asks. He half-jokingly wonders if this is why she wouldn’t kiss him and I want to kick him so hard in the taint. Clare wants “so much more” than the physical stuff in a relationship. The conversation devolves into one of ‘maybe there’s shit about me you don’t like, who knows?’ Clare seems ready to bolt, but there’s another layer of douche that JP wants to reveal in this conversation. Remember his slut shaming of Clare earlier in the season, following their late night ocean dalliance? Well, get ready for round two. “The ‘no kissing’ was the best rule you’ve ever given me after our one-on-one date…but then you didn’t go with your word so don’t blame it on me.” Oh that’s right ladies, this charmer just implied that Clare is the reason their relationship is so focused on the physical. Clare broke her own no kissing rule in Korea. He literally WAGS A FINGER IN HER FACE and taunts “so don’t blame it on me.”

Juan Pablo adds that if their connection was just physical, she would have been gonzo long ago. Nice bro. Nice. You could just say something like “no it’s not purely physical” and leave it at that. Why does it always have to turn into a “you’re lucky to be here” conversation.

“Do you think you know me well enough to make this decision,” Clare asks, rather boldly and with more confidence then we’ve seen from her in awhile. “I have a family, I have a daughter and it’s hard for me.” Clare eats this up, and goes from ready-to-walk to cozying up on the couch. “Who met my family? Who met my daughter? I want you to be here, because you’re special to me,” Juan practically purrs. He adds that if they were to end up together they’d have a baby in “a year and two months.” Huh? CLARE LOVES THIS and is back to being giggly and dumb. So disappointing. Jason Biggs summed it up best with this tweet:

They cuddle up even closer and JP mentions that he has to leave soon and says that they won’t be able to see each other much for the next four months (because presumably he would be picking Clare and they’d have to keep their relationship a secret until the finale aired four months later). Clare’s fake face reaches epic proportions as she giggles and practically coos, even when he jokes (?) that when she doesn’t kiss him he gets to know here better. There’s forced laughing and lip biting and frankly just watching her right now is exhausting. And it’s coupled with my extreme disappointment. Overall the whole thing is just…gross. Then Juan ups the ante: he plays ‘their song’ on his phone, the Josh Krajcik song “No Better Lovers” from their first date. OH GOD SHE SINGS ALONG. Make it stop. “I know that we have something special,” Clare says, adding “I don’t want a rose, I want forever.” We’ll see fake face. We’ll see.

BiggsTweet

Back in the studio, the audience is stunned. Chris Harrison asks Sharleen to share her thoughts on Clare caving in to JP. She found it “painful to watch” and was concerned that Clare ignored her intuition. “His way of complimenting her was telling her she got to meet his family,” she adds with visible disgust.

It’s time for Juan Pablo’s last date with Nikki, whom he knows is in love with him but he still has to figure out how he feels about her. So…24 hours bro. No pressure. She arrives ready to rock in a bikini and sarong. They lounge about a boat and Nikki gushes about JP’s family. Nikki is under the impression that Juan is holding back on telling her he loves her because he’s “afraid of getting hurt.” Oh honey, no. I want to reach through the TV and hug her.

Later they lay on the beach and Nikki asks “what’s going to happen after this when you don’t have private islands anymore?” Well Nikki, remember when Juan’s mom said that thing about him watching TV? She meant that literally. Juan will “have a bed, TV…office,” that he will be hanging out in by himself probably. Nikki’s face falls. He’s envisioning their future as him watching sports alone? I mean, obviously they won’t be glued to each other’s sides or anything, but it would be nice if he answered her question kindly and with at least one reference to them as a couple. Asshat.

Later that night, Juan Pablo arrives at Nikki’s suite, and girlfriend’s wearing a white dress. Hint, hint, El Bachelor. “I want to hear him tell me he loves me,” she wishes. Yeah, probs not going to happen. “It’s almost over,” Juan tells her, and she looks intently off into the distance, prompting Juan to tease her because she couldn’t possibly be stressed right? I mean, this is ALL ABOUT HIM. And then he literally makes it all about him. “You know who’s nervous? This guy here.” But don’t worry Nikki, because “it’s going to be ok.”

Nikki presents JP with a framed photograph of them kissing on horseback. Nikki has the nicest handwriting I’ve ever seen. It’s so perfect it’s almost obnoxious.

Nikki_writing

Nikki’s all quiet and stoic when Juan leaves. Then she spends the next hour crying, likely because she was hoping for more of a confirmation which, of course, anyone who has ever watched the show knows he can’t give her.

I fully expect the next scene to be the traditional ‘Bachelor picks out a ring while regaling jewellery designer Neil Lane with details about each woman.’ Nope. Juan Pablo is staring at the ring while Clare (in turquoise) and Nikki (in royal blue) stare out at the ocean and talk about their dreams coming true and dreaming of this day as little girls blah blah.

Juan Pablo awaits the women on a well-decorated platform. They will be arriving via speedboat. I have to admit, he looks fantastic in a slim fitting blue suit. The first boat approaches, and Chris Harrison is there to greet a very nervous Clare. Wait, so no pre proposal/whatever bro down between the Bachelor and Chris Harrison? Seriously, I think Chris HATES him. It seems like he’s actively avoided even speaking to Juan for most of the season. Just me?

From the instant Juan Pablo greets Clare, it’s obvious she’s getting dumped. There’s a loooooong pause and then Clare launches into a speech. Isn’t he supposed to talk now? And not just to tell her she’s pretty, which he does. “There were times I wanted to bolt,” Clare starts (yeah right)…”but I’m standing here right now with you because we have something special. I believe in you.”

“I wish the earth sucked me today, because this is the hardest decision ever,” says Juan, looking genuinely upset. “I’ve got to follow what I think is best for me and I have to say goodbye to you.” He barely takes a breath from that before moving in for a hug, but Clare stops him by holding her hands up in front of her. The live studio audience goes ape shit for this, and probably misses Juan’s infuriatingly trite “it’s ok” response to being rejected.

“This entire time I’ve stuck around because I’ve believed in you, and the other night on our last date…I needed that reassurance and I gave you the opportunity right then…and for you to sit there and tell me that you can see yourself in Sacramento…I thought I knew what kind of man you were.” Clare sticks it to him by reminding him that Sharleen and Andi didn’t have feelings for him, but she stuck around.

“Do you know when I made my decision?” he asks.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” Clare says, walking away. “I lost respect for you because I tell you what…what you just made me go through? I would never want my children having a father like you.”

Oh, snap. She leaves and is greeted by a sympathetic Chris Harrison, who probs wants to shout “YOU’RE BETTER OFF, HONEY” into her mouth.

Juan’s response? I can’t even.

I can’t even.

“Whoooo……I’m glad I didn’t pick her.”

That happened.

In her post-breakup interview, Clare makes a comment about not wanting to hear from a man that he loves ****ing her. So now we have a better idea of what was said on the helicopter. “Where is the man that makes me feel like I’m worth it?” she cries.

Next, Nikki arrives by boat on the beach and is actually shaking, she’s so nervous. Juan Pablo greets her with a huge smile, and he seems at ease and so different then when Clare arrived. Will he use the Neil Lane ring? My guess is no. Once again Juan’s silence forces the woman into making the first speech.

“I’ve waited a long time for this and this is a once-in-a-lifetime for me. Not just the experience but feeling this way. I can’t imagine spending my life without you…I love you.” Nikki takes a deep breath and looks at Juan expectantly. You can almost hear her thinking: ‘This is it. He’s going to tell me he loves me.’

Not so much, But Juan does list all the things he loves about her, like how much Nikki cares about other people, her honesty, and her superb step-mom qualities. “It’s been a perfect time, every time I’m with you,” JP adds. Then he brings up the fact that her dad wanted him to be 100% sure before proposing to Nikki. “Honestly, I’ve got a ring here in my pocket and I’m not going to use it. I’m not 100% sure that I want to propose to you, but at the same time I’m 100% sure that I don’t want to let you go. I like you a lot. A lot.”

He reaches for the rose nearby and Nikki accepts his “final rose.” Credit to Nikki for keeping her shit together (despite sweating profusely and turning beet red), particularly when he adds “don’t get cranky now, because you’re hot.” Yeah Juan Pablo. Because that’s the reason she would be cranky. The temperature.

Back to Chris Harrison in the studio. Now there’s a butt I’d like to see in ski pants. He’s looking a little thin though, no? Probably the stress of having to deal with a dick wagon for two months+ and pretending to give a shit.

As we embark on the official ‘After The Final Rose’ portion of the finale, (“everybody take a deep breath”), Chris Harrison wants to know why “I like you a lot” was enough for Nikki to accept that final rose. “Was he really here to find a wife?” Chris wonders. Also he hints at the much promoted “surprise” that Juan said he had in store for the finale.

Clare is quickly ushered onto the stage, wearing the shit out of a to-die-a-million-times-for leather dress. Her posturing and excessive pouting and facial distortions seem to have disappeared, and this is the most ‘natural’ we’ve seen Clare ever. “I think that’s the day that every woman waits for…the day that you get engaged,” she says. Clare re-hashes their last night together, and Chris comments that “everybody was freaking out” about the helicopter comments. Clare won’t confirm the details, but we can be pretty sure that it was something along the lines of ‘I don’t really know you, but I like being in you.’

“I didn’t know how to feel because this whole time it’s building up…feelings are being developed…and it was such a letdown to hear that.” Chris tells her that everyone watching can’t really understand why she stayed after that night. “I should have left,” she admits, and adds that Juan Pablo was “not the man I thought he was.” Clare opts not to have a face-to-face with JP right then, because she feels that her goodbye speech was “pivotal” and “closure” for her and she doesn’t want to “be fed any more BS.” Go Clare! “I had never been able to stand up for myself to a man before,” she says tearfully. “He’s plain and simple not the man I thought he was…but there’s nothing I need answered.”

Juan Pablo joins Chris Harrison after that, and the audience manages some weak applause and no boo-ing. “I feel relief finally, it’s been a long wait. It’s been hard for me for the past month because of what’s happening…in Venezuela,” JP starts. Chris gives a half assed “mmm-hmm.”

“So what was your take on [Clare’s] goodbye,” Chris asks. “To me it was very hard to say goodbye to people, and at the end of the day I made the decision I thought was best for me and it is what it is,” JP says, really not answering the question at all. When pressed on any regrets, he talks in circles about how great it was to “spend the time with the women” and that he calculated how many hours he spent on “that show”. “I’m straight-forward…I don’t hide behind a computer…” Juan insists. When Chris tries to steer the conversation back to his question, Juan jumps in with a “can I talk?” The audience titters at the rudeness.

“Going back to the comments in the helicopter that seemed to set her off…would you have handled that any differently?” Chris questions. “I’ll be myself, she’ll be herself. She had comments to me. It’s something that is personal.” Um, THAT DOESN’T ANSWER THE QUESTION. Chris is clearly thrown off guard. Juan Pablo is dodging every question and talking in circles. “Why should I have any regret?” Juan questions. Chris visibly struggles to respond and sends it to commercial break. Aw-kward.

Returning from commercial break, Chris reminds us that Nikki accepted the final rose without a proposal, and she’s ushered on stage (alone). I was so so so sure that her and JP had broken up by now and that seems to be confirmed when she says “it’s very over, yes.” The audience goes into a slight frenzy, but Nikki is quick to confirm that she meant the show is over, not the relationship. Crapballs. Oh god, so is the surprise that Chris says JP promised an engagement?

“We’ve been really happy and it’s been great,” Nikki assures us. She’s still in love, but admits that Juan Pablo hasn’t said he loves her in return. When Chris asks her point blank, she titters “ummm…not exactly. I know that he cares about me a lot.” “So his actions speak louder than his words?’ Chris asks wearily. “Is that satisfying?”

“To be completely honest, he’s very honest and if he wasn’t invested in this relationship and making it work he wouldn’t be with me,” says Nikki. “I’m not gonna force it…I’m happy in the relationship and I know he is too,” Nikki adds, somewhat convincingly. When Juan joins his girlfriend who he doesn’t love but likes a lot on stage, the duo are affectionate but Nikki looks 18 kinds of uncomfortable.

“Smiles..good. Congratulations. How are the two of you doing,” Chris Harrison dives right in. “Like I said to her dad, if I’m not prepared I’m not going to propose…so now we can just go eat a burger in a restaurant…and do whatever we want,” replies Juan. Chris prompts: “so when you were in Saint Lucia you said to our producers that you had a surprise…” Juan Pablo at least attempts to look confused, and responds with “I talk to the Executives and I keep my secret well done.” Huh?

JP gestures to Nikki (who looked so ecstatic for a brief second because she probably also thought she was getting proposed to) and says “this is my secret…we’re very happy, both of us.” No surprise.

Chris just won’t drop the ‘but don’t you LOVE her thing’ for the next 5 minutes. “But how do you feel about this women?” “I feel fantastic about this woman.” And so on. And so on. “It’s our time to be private and that’s what we’re looking forward to…and free,” JP says, pointedly looking at Chris. Yeah, he’s so over it. Chris continues to beat a dead horse.

“So you love her.”

“I’m not going to answer that question to you.”

Ugh. Ok so maybe it’s time to drop it. “We are so done…we are happy that we met each other.” El Bachelor reminds Chris that he interrupted him earlier, and talks about how he’s been ‘boxed with,’ alluding to the public’s growing hatred of him as the Bachelor.

Chris turns to Sean Lowe to get the former Bachelor’s perspective. “As far as the whole love thing goes, I get that everybody works differently,” Sean hedges. “Juan Pablo and I are two very different people…when I’m in love I want that person to know it.”

JP shares that one of the reasons he didn’t propose was out of respect to Nikki’s dad, which is a fair point. Chris jokes that most of the viewers are throwing stuff at their TV listening to this, and almost pleads with Juan to gush about Nikki, saying that “this is your time to shine.” Juan repeats that sentence mockingly and with a sneer, and looks to the audience for support (but doesn’t find any).

“Honestly I feel like there’s people who have sat up here before and said they’re in love and everyone wants to believe it but they don’t because it’s just not there. I feel that it doesn’t matter if we say we are or we aren’t…this is a real relationship to us,” Nikki insists.

Y’all, she’s totally right. It’s not realistic for people to fall in love and get engaged after seven weeks, but I will point out that they’ve now been together for four months (albeit for the first bit he was dating 20+ other women), and maybe if he just dropped the ‘L’ word people would forgive the no proposal. Juan’s comments of “I’m sorry that the show didn’t end up like you guys wanted me to but that’s how I felt,” managing to somewhat redeem himself, momentarily. He also adds that if it was his daughter getting engaged he wouldn’t have wanted it to go down any differently. Just when I start despising him, he makes a logical argument and defends himself so well that I find myself swinging back around to supporting him, much like Andi, Sharleen, and Renee did during the ‘Women Tell All’ special last week.

“You guys are happy. The end result is what matters,” Chris acquiesces upon the return from commercial break. He asks Nikki if she has a cut-off time for getting an ‘I love you’ in return from her boyfriend, and she claims there’s no time limit and “as long as it feels right I’ll give it that length of time but once it doesn’t feel right I’ll be out.”

Chris asks if the couple have made plans, and Juan Pablo rather cryptically responds that they had made plans but that those “had to change drastically two weeks ago when we taped the ‘Women tell All’” Host Chris Harrison, along with everyone watching, has no fucking clue what JP’s talking about. And HE’S THE HOST OF THE SHOW. When prodded, JP says it’s “private” but that it’s not the result of something that happened on ‘Women Tell All.’ Rather, it’s the result of “some information I got from the people in production.”

The fuck?

What is he talking about?

“Our plans changed. We’re going to start today to be ourselves.”

Ok so here’s what I think happened. Just a theory. I suspect that Juan Pablo was approached to be on the next Dancing With The Stars. They announced their new cast about two weeks ago. I suspect that a combination of JP being a bit of a douche canoe combined with some alleged anti-gay comments he made in the early days of being The Bachelor resulted in being dropped from the show. So he likely had planned to move out to Los Angeles with Nikki but those plans have now changed. So he’ll have to go back to his “job” which, P.S., rumour has it that the Bachelor producers had to GET HIM THAT JOB.

My alternate theory is that Juan Pablo thinks he was an amazing Bachelor. He’s arrogant enough for that to be a possibility, and Andi made a similar comment during ‘Women Tell All’. I think when he showed up to film the WTA special, he expected a warm response. He’d been essentially in hiding for months and likely avoided reading too much about himself online. In his mind, he was killing it as El Bachelor, and despite a relatively warm reception from Sharleen and Andi (both of whom left the show on their own accord) and single mom Renee, I think he expected the Bachelor producers and ABC execs to be super all about him. Or at least as in love with him as he is with himself. When that turned out not to be the case (because those producers and execs aren’t headless), perhaps Juan basically gave the middle finger to the whole deal and decided he didn’t want to play the game anymore. Just my two cents.

Chris presses Nikki and Juan more on their future plans, and Nikki stays mostly silent while Juan seems to be intentionally evasive and vague. Chris turns to newly-married Catherine, and asks how she would feel if she were in Nikki’s position. “I wouldn’t know what to do…I’m so confused. I’m glad that they’re happy and that they’re wanting to live their life privately…but don’t slap the hand that fed you.” That gets a massive applause from the audience. Catherine’s bang on here. Sure, Juan Pablo had every right NOT to propose. He had every right to make whatever decision he wanted (but he didn’t have to be suck a dick about it); however, you can’t accept an offer to be The Bachelor, run through the entire process and then basically act like it’s ridiculous that people are even wanting to know about your relationship at the end. THAT’S THE SHOW, BRO. It’s crazy and it rarely works but you knew what you were signing up for. I bet the Bachelor higher-ups are really kicking themselves on this one. I always through JP was a weird choice for the next Bachelor, as he wasn’t that great or particularly nice on Desiree’s season. But apparently the lusty panthers of America have more sway than we thought because the producers were allegedly flooded with requests to make Juan Pablo the next Bachelor. Drew would have been a way better choice, and at the very least we wouldn’t have possessed the patronizing, condescending, and slut shaming that JP has become known for during his run on the show.

Back to Catherine’s comment (LOVE HER), Juan Pablo doesn’t get it so Chris clarifies, almost gleefully. “When you sign up to be The Bachelor or Bachelorette it’s a public forum. Everybody wants to go on this journey with you to find love…why would you not want to share that with all of these phenomenal people? That’s what you signed up to show.” JP confesses he’d never seen the show before, and name checks two producers who know what he ‘went through’, and touches on the negative press surrounding him. “Eventually you will be knowing.” Whatever.

“Good on you,” Chris ends, sounding exasperated. He looks downright weary and ready to be done with Juan Pablo. As we all are.

Returning from commercial, a cheeky Chris Harrison addresses the audience: “Everybody’s good? Shower that one off?” HAHAHAHA. He adds “Not gonna lie, I’m okay moving on.” Oh Chris, why are you the best?

We get the next Bachelorette reveal and it’s no surprise to see that it’s going to be Assistant District Attorney Andi. Yays. I think it’s going to be great. Andi has a good head on her shoulders, and was smart enough to run from Juan Pablo.

So that’s it. Another season of The Bachelor has come to an end and my has it ever been a doozy.

Thoughts on Andi as the next Bachelorette? Should we start a save Nikki campaign? Or do we think she’ll stay with Juan Pablo to, like, prove a point. Hit me up in the comments.

The Bachelor (Sean) – Finale Episode and ‘After The Final Rose’ Special

Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on the finale episode of Sean Lowe’s season of The Bachelor (original air date: Monday, March 11, 2013).

Seriously. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know. I may reveal it before the last paragraph. Just saying.

So here we go.

It’s Sean’s final week and he’s gots to pick his future wife, or future ex-fiancée. Semantics.

We start live with Bachelor host Chris Harrison in a studio that I assume must smell of hair bleach and desperation. We are promised an “historic” night. Oh my!

Sean’s family arrives in Chiang Rai, Thailand, to grill/meet the final two women: Catherine and Lindsay. His (so-adorable he gets you right in the cuterus) nephew Smith (yup) promptly reminds Sean that “Emily didn’t pick you”. Hahahahaha. Sean’s brother-in-law is so distractingly handsome I almost miss the part where Sean practically begs his brethren to give him the “clarity” he needs to choose between his final two women.

Sean brings his parents, sister and brother-in-law up to speed on Catherine, who will be arriving first. Catherine arrives and gets a warm welcome from the Lowe brood, particularly Sean’s dad who is officially the World’s Nicest Man. Sean’s mom Sherry and Catherine wander off for a private chat, and Catherine tells a cute story about how early on she was writing Sean little notes and he sent her one that said he liked the way her nose crinkled or something. Catherine confirms to Sherry that she would totes accept a marriage proposal from Sean in the end, and Sherry tells Catherine she’s lovely and would be a welcome addition to the family. When Catherine sits down with Sean’s dad Jay, he asks her if she believes in the Bachelor process and she says she does and is “consumed” by Sean. Jay goes on to say that “If it’s you that Sean ends up marrying you will never have a bigger fan than me….I’ll love you like my daughter.” Sniff. Catherine starts to cry. I can only imagine how touched she was, given that her dad has been in China for most of her life battling mental health issues (and I’ve also heard some rumblings about domestic violence on his part too). Catherine wants in with the Lowe family. She wants in bad. And clearly they were super impressed with her too.

Sean greets Lindsay the next day, and in his voice-over says he’s “in love with Lindsay” and is super excited to introduce her to his family. Lindsay is anxious to make a good impression on her potential future family. She blends in seamlessly with Sean’s family, who seem very similar to her own as we saw during hometown week. Lindsay tells Sean’s dad she’s the “only monkey in Missouri” and they joke about Lindsay’s first night meeting Sean, when she got out of the limo tipsy on champagne and wearing a wedding dress. Jay and Catherine talk and Lindsay says that Sean challenges her, supports her and makes her feel beautiful. Jay wants to know what a married couple do when they come to a crossroads on a major decision, and Lindsay says it takes a lot of prayer and communication. Smart play with the religion card, Lindsay. Jay gets misty-eyed, telling Lindsay that they’ve been praying for Sean to meet his wife since the day he was born. Could Lindsay be the one? Jay tells her that if it is her, he would be thrilled.

As I’ve mentioned before, my only hesitation about Lindsay is that she seems to lack a bit of depth and seemed a little…vacant. But she really impressed me during the meet-the-parents gig, especially when she asks Jay’s permission to marry Sean should they get engaged. Cute! When Sherry and Lindsay sit down for a tête-à-tête, Lindsay says that her first date with Sean felt like their fifth date, and that they want the same things in life and share the same values. “Our relationship is real and it’s normal,” Lindsay insists. Then Lindsay pulls out the big guns: her and Sean have discussed waiting until after marriage to live together. Sherry is thrilled. Lindsay seems to be as in love with Sean’s folks as she is with Sean. Heck, I would marry Sean’s family. I’d marry the shit out of them. “Well, shall we vote?” jokes Sean’s dad when they’re all back in the same room. Touché. And with a “Bye baby”, Lindsay is off.

In his voice over, Sean laments that he feels really great when he’s around Lindsay but is falling in love with Catherine too, and feels that he could have a long and happy marriage with either one of them. He hopes that now that his family has met both women they can help him make his final decision. Yeah, good luck with that. They love both women. And there’s a slight hitch. Mom doesn’t want Sean to necessarily get engaged. Um, have you never seen the show Sherry? That’s sort of the whole deal. But Sherry thinks that Sean should pretty much already know who he wants to be with by this point. Sean and Sherry step away for some mom and son real talk on wicker chairs, and Sherry flat out tells Sean he doesn’t need to be proposing. Period. Sean gets his back up a bit but ultimately he just wants mom’s support. Sherry gets emotional and Sean leads her away. The camera crew scrambles to stay close behind while Sherry worries about the impact of Sean’s decision. Sean assures his mom that he won’t do anything unless he’s positive. She reminds him that he doesn’t have to pick either of the women, and if he’s not sure who it should be then maybe the best choice is to not propose at all. Somewhere, a Bachelor producer is curled up in the fetal position, crying and whispering “he must pick, he must pick.”

Back in the Live!Studio!Audience! of lip injections and anticipation, Chris Harrison promises a huge announcement during the After the Final Rose live show.

The next day, Sean and Lindsay venture out for their last official show date. Sean’s wearing an Easter egg-coloured tank top and Lindsay is in baby pink short shorts. Matchy! The duo float along a river, giggle endlessly and kiss a lot while two Thai men silently steer their boat. Later they head inside for some champagne and feelings. Sean thinks a life with Lindsay would “never be dull” and Lindsay feels like she knows Sean “so well.” They agree they’re going to look hot when they’re old, and Lindsay tells Sean she loves him. Like, a lot. For the evening portion of their date, Sean and Lindsay drink some more and Lindsay is hyper-aware that in a few days she could be leaving Thailand with ‘everything she’s ever wanted’ or, you know, nothing. Sean thanks Lindsay for being such a surprise and Lindsay says “I don’t know what I would do if I lost you.” She’s nervous and there’s not much Sean can do to reassure her, of course. He assures her that she looks really pretty and he’s glad to be there. So, that’ll do for now I suppose. They wander outside and lo and behold there are three paper lanterns waiting for them. They write “family”, “love” and “happiness” and send them off into the night. According to Thai tradition, the wishes they will write on their lanterns will come true. Sean thinks Lindsay might be the one for him, and loves that she’s so thoughtful and loving. They look at each other all lovey dovey. End scene.

In a living room in Toronto’s Roncesvalles neighbourhood, the following conversation then occurred:

S: Where do you think those love lanterns will end up?
R: Wouldn’t it be funny if they all end up in one guy’s back yard? All of them, in this one guy’s yard?
Me: Yeah like in Columbia or something. His yard is just filled with hundreds of lanterns, on fire. More and more every night and he’s like “Fuck where are these all coming from?!”
S: And he looks out and is like “Oh no, my cocaine is on fire!”

Yeah, that’s how we do.

The next day Sean heads out for his final official show date with Catherine. First up is a ride on an elephant. Sean and Catherine are outfitted in bright blue harem pants and jump aboard. I joke that riding this elephant is the most action either one of them has had in months. Later on, they snuggle up on a balcony and talk about how awesome their day was. For the darker, sexy time portion of their date, Catherine wants Sean to know that she wants to be with him forever before he leaves to make his final decision. Catherine knows she can’t hold anything back, even though she’s been more hesitant to be forthcoming with her feelings throughout their time together. Catherine tells Sean that she’s nervous to put herself out there because she knows he can’t “express fully” how he feels about her. She loves how they can be completely themselves and she really, REALLY loves his family. Sean reassures her that he pictures what their lives together would look like and tells Catherine she’s always on his mind. Catherine adds that she can’t see herself not accepting a proposal from him.

In Sean’s private on-camera interview, he massages his millions of shoulder muscles and grunts that the only thing holding him back is that “there’s still Lindsay.” Sean prepares to take his leave and after hugging so tight we can actually hear their heartbeats through their body microphones, Catherine doesn’t want to let go. She shakily tells Sean that she loves him. He goes for a sweet ass pat and whispers “thank you for today.” Catherine runs after Sean, crying, and they hug some more. “I’ll go. You go,” she says grudgingly. And then tells the camera she feels like “shit” and is pissed that she can’t get anything out of him. She dramatically topples into her bed for some more crying. “He has to be crazy about both of us at this point,” she admits.

Back in the live studio, Chris interviews audience members who are torn on whether Sean will pick Lindsay or Catherine or even propose to either one given his mom’s feelings about it.

It’s decision day and Sean is mulling over his choice the only way he knows how: shirtless with a towel wrapped around his waist. Oh the anticipation! I shoved about 3 jalapeno poppers into my mouth (ok, like 6) while Sean’s voiceover presents a run-down of both ladies. Sean feels like he’s with his best friend when he’s with Catherine, but him and Lindsay have a “spark that has grown into a massive flame.” He’s made up his mind though.

Up until this point I strongly suspected that Sean was going to end up with Lindsay, who I saw as a sure bet. She’s easy breezy and a cute, girl-next-door type with a similar family to Sean’s. And then Sean said this: “I woke up this morning and I just knew that there was a woman that I couldn’t stand to live without.” And I started to think maybe it was going to be Catherine. She’s the thinking man’s choice, I thought. And that was quickly followed by “Ugh I ate too many jalapeno poppers but I’m going to eat more now.”

Jeweller Neil Lane shows up and Sean easily picks out a cushion cut diamond for his future fiancée. While getting dressed, Sean is preparing “to love in a way that I’ve never loved” and he’s super pumped that he came on The Bachelor. He starts to cry in his interview. And every woman in North America sighed a collective “awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.”

Lindsay is crying too and is ready to see Sean. Her “whole life is going to change,” and while that happens she’ll be wearing a silver sheath dress and hooker heels. Catherine, meanwhile, feels “overwhelmed” and “emotional” in a gold lamé number. Sean walks to the Possible Proposal Altar and is dreading breaking up with one of the woman.

Back in the studio Chris takes an informal poll of the audience, asking who they think Sean will choose. Catherine gets the most jumpy claps and ‘woos’. He then walks over to chat with former contestants Lesley (Catherine’s BFF on the show), Sarah, AshLee and Jackie. Lesley thinks it will be Catherine in the end. The rest of the ladies think it will be Lindsay. The best part is when AshLee says that she sees a spark between Sean and the final two women who are more “laid-back” and share Sean’s sense of humour and are more playful (than she was).

You may recall that back around episode 5 the show previewed the finale episode and showed Sean receiving a letter at the altar. Chris now asks Jackie who she thinks the letter is from. She thinks it’s either from Sean’s mom, urging him not to propose if he isn’t sure, or from Catherine (dumping him at the altar maybe?).

A car drives up and…Lindsay steps out and takes the precarious walk over a bridge to Sean. I try not to jump to conclusions. The first person out isn’t necessarily the one getting dumped, right? I’ve only seen a few seasons of this show so I’m not positive but I think maybe sometimes they switch it up?

Sean tells Lindsay she has been “such a surprise” and he didn’t anticipate the depth he would find in their relationship. He’s amazed at her love and generosity, and Lindsay blows him away.

Then there’s an “um…”

That “um” sounds like it precedes vomiting. And then:

“Lindsay, this is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do….”

And there it is.

Lindsay’s face falls. Sean’s breathing heavily.

His heart has led him somewhere else. Sean tells Lindsay he has been “praying for clarity” and has finally gotten it. He tells Lindsay that he loves her, and that’s the hardest part. Lindsay stammers “It’s ok. Just don’t. It’s ok.” And then: “Is it me?” I actually shouted “NO!” at the TV. What can I say, Lindsay got to me this week. And THEN: “Ok well I’m gonna go. Because this is just really, really painful and this is my nightmare. I didn’t see this coming. I’m happy for you, I’m happy that you found love but I honestly can’t imagine my life without you…” Ouch. My heart hurts for her!

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve not watched many seasons of the Bachelor/Bachelorette and am by no means an expert, but am I right in thinking that Lindsay’s reaction in that moment was the classiest ever, as far as final two goes? Or at least on par with Lindzi Cox in Ben’s season? Lindsay handled it SO WELL. And taking her heels off to walk back across the bridge was one of my favourite TV moments ever. She wasn’t going to be humiliated AND risk twisting her ankle.

A sniffling Sean escorts Lindsay back to host Chris Harrison and tells her how blessed he was to get to know her. Lindsay departs with a “good luck.”

In the car, Lindsay tearfully admits she feels like an idiot and wonders how Sean could do this to her. She thought she had found the one she would have a family with and grow old with. She also doesn’t “want to be alone.” A quick reminder here that Lindsay is 24. Just saying. Oh kitten, I predict you’ll be engaged to a brunette version of Sean in like a minute.

Back on the Altar of Recent Rejection, Chris hands Sean a letter…from Catherine. My view crew started freaking out because there was only 5 minutes left of the official 2 hour episode before the After the Final Rose 1-hour special and there’s no sign of Catherine. DOES THIS MEAN THE LETTER IS FROM HER, DUMPING SEAN? THAT IS NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR A PROPOSAL BEFORE 10 PM!!!! And now we’re back on Chris Harrison and the studio audience goes on a groaning spree. I stopped breathing….

Oh you producers, messing with our hearts and our hormones is cruel!

You tricked us by carrying over the 2 hour finale into overtime. We come back from commercial and Sean starts reading Catherine’s letter aloud. And it’s a good one! She tells Sean how excited she is to build a family with him and that they aren’t perfect, but they’re perfect for each other. Sean starts to cry again and Chris arrives with Catherine. Sean begins by telling Catherine she looks amazing and that from the very beginning he knew she was someone he wanted to be around. Apparently, Catherine never ceases to amaze Sean, and he misses her every time they have to say goodbye so he doesn’t want to say goodbye anymore. Sean tells Catherine he wants to spend the rest of his life telling her he loves her. THIS IS HAPPENING.

Catherine looks like she’s just trying to remember how to breathe, and her nostrils are going INSANE. Sean gets down on one knee and asks Catherine to marry him. She, of course, says yes. And they hug and hug and hug. She doesn’t even look at the ring. She doesn’t forget to tell Sean how handsome he looks, though. It’s her favourite thing to say. And she adds ‘I’m so addicted to you!” and accepts the final rose. They ride off on an elephant. Cute overload.

In the ‘After the Final Rose’ special, we learn that we’ll hear from Lindsay, that there’s some sort of major announcement about Sean and Catherine, and that the identity of the next Bachelorette will be revealed. Squeal!

Sean comes out first to a screaming mass of still-moist women, even more in lust with him than ever now that they’ve seen him propose on national television. Sean is so excited that the secret’s out so he can love on Catherine in public. He describes Catherine as the light of his life. On breaking up with Lindsay, Sean confesses that he a) wishes he could’ve given her closure but he couldn’t find the words; and that b) he hasn’t cried like that since his grandfather died.

Lindsay joins Sean and Chris on stage in a demure cream-coloured lace dress. She says she watched the episode back stage and then asks Sean about 9 different ways what made him decide on Catherine instead of her and at what point did he know. Sean admits he really didn’t know going into the final week who he would end up with. God’s name is mentioned like a dozen times. But basically Catherine > Lindsay. Lindsay is super classy and holds up well. She’s genuinely happy for Sean and has grown “so much stronger from the situation.” She tears up recalling having to tell her family that she wasn’t the last woman standing. It’s the most I’ve ever liked Lindsay and for a minute I hope she’s the next Bachelorette, but that thought is quickly replaced by my real #1 choice for that role: Katie Holmes. Err..I mean Desiree. Fingers crossed.

Now we get to see Catherine and Sean together for this first time officially as a couple. They are so affectionate and sweet together and clearly overjoyed at being able to go public. They watch the clip of them getting engaged and they both tear up over it. Sean admits that he re-reads Catherine’s altar letter all the time. The big announcement is… that Sean and Catherine will get married on TV! So, that’s a great way to get someone else to foot the bill. They plan to get hitched sooner rather than later.

Last but not least is the announcement on who will be the next Bachelorette. We start chanting “Des, Des, Des” at the screen and…. yays! Desiree walks out! An emotional Desiree is super excited to start her journey.

Parting thought: The “drink every time someone says ‘journey’” drinking game I’ve taken a shining to this season has resulted in some really enthusiastic viewing nights (and some PowerAde-fueled Tuesday mornings). Highly recommend.