Getting through the three hour finale of The Bachelorette was a bit like completing a triathlon of the following 3 events: (1) Understanding this new live format and why on earth it was necessary to get the opinions of past contestants and audience members, (2) holding our breath as we watched the two guys dazzle Emily’s family, score her dad’s permission to propose, watch Jef’s final date and his interaction with Ricki, keep our eyes peeled while Arie gets unexpectedly dumped – all leading up to one of the greatest proposals in Bach history and (3) seeing how Emily and Jef are doing now and what the “shocking secrets” are that they’re going to reveal.
Let’s break it down.
(1) Live Format
I would have much preferred seeing 2 hours of the finale followed by 1 hour focused on just Emily and Jef, maybe seeing Ricki in the audience next to Kermit or something, and then asking Arie whether he’d consider being the next Bachelor. The back and forth between Chris Harrison and the people in the studio’s reactions to what was going on during the finale (was there a laugh track inserted?) was quite distracting. Seeing Ashley H & JP in the audience was fun, but their responses (as well as the responses of DeAnna, Michael Stags and Ashley “T&A” Spivey) added absolutely nothing. Filler. Did they really fly these people in to give their opinions? I guess they were making up for the fact that Arie didn’t have a real last date, so there was time to kill.
The After the Final Rose was much more exciting. We missed this in The Men Tell All, but apparently Emily and Chris Harrison addressed the crazy rumors that they were dating – saying how ridiculous they were and joking around about it. I would have liked to have heard more about the conversations Emily hopefully had with Jef about their backgrounds (religion) and how they plan to raise Ricki and future children. Probably too controversial for the show. It sounds like their trip to Africa to build water wells will be like a mission. Will Ricki join them?? The fact that Jef is willing to move to Charlotte for Ricki’s sake is probably the largest indicator that he is mature enough to make this work. He gets that their life is about Ricki now and the 8 weeks of fantasy time they had together is not real life. I wish they had Arie and Jef on at the same time so they could have discussed how on earth they plan on being friends going forward and what they actually speak about on their calls these days. Does Jef have any beef with Arie and the fact that he still came after Emily with a diary and a prayer despite knowing Emily had chosen Jef? How strange to be friends with someone who is trying to take your fiance away from you.
Emily looked completely lit up during the live After the Final Rose segment. I was hoping that she’d pick Arie for most of the season based on their chemistry alone, but like Emily, I somehow see a “more forever” and secure future with Jef. I like the idea that he will not be constantly traveling. I like the idea that he’s willing to get a separate home from her and gradually build up to moving in with Emily and allowing Ricki to adjust. I am confident that he won’t have any issues getting Ricki to like him based on their initial interaction. Jef seems like a kid at heart.
(2) Everything In Between
When Ricki first ran out to greet Emily in Curacao, I honestly thought she was naked from the waste up. I quickly realized it was just a nude colored top, but boy did that throw me for a loop. It was great meeting Emily’s family and I especially enjoyed her brother, Ernie, who looked incredibly stern and scary until he met Arie and fell in love. My nephew, Ryan, freshly home from sleep-away camp, was very confused as to why Jef would bring flowers for Emily’s mother and sister-in-law to be, but not for Emily. Very observant that Ryan. He’ll make an excellent Bachelor contestant one day. (He was, btw, the complete stud of his 4th grade class last year). Then Arie, probably figuring that Jef would bring flowers tries to out-flower him by offerring…dead roses?? For some reason, Emily’s mother was very touched by this gesture. But it was hard to understand why as the editing made it seem like Arie was a babbling fool and this West Virginian crowd didn’t get his slickster car racing ways. I also didn’t understand why Jef showed up to meet Emily’s family wearing a white t-shirt. Couldn’t he have come up with something a little more formal and at least pretend he wanted to impress them? Guess it didn’t matter though, or he was hoping that the flowers would make up for his attire.
The last Jef date was pretty cool. I loved that he was talking about how much he wanted to meet Ricki and that Emily was open minded enough to let this happen – again, a very good sign for their future together. They see eye to eye on a lot of things and seem really good at communicating. While Arie mentioned at the finale that viewers really got to see much more of “the physical side” of their relationship, it was hard to get a sense about what his thoughts on Ricki were. Actually, it was hard to determine what their collective thoughts on anything were, besides how many ways they could find to kiss on a date. Not that this makes Arie a bad choice. In fact, I was pretty damn stressed out for poor Arie as they film him yapping away about how he’s getting engaged the next day and Emily is the love of his life and he can’t wait for everything that will come after this and blah blah blah. HORRIBLE. I always hate this part because like Emily, I really thought Arie had all the material to be “The One.” Jef was certainly the dark horse of the race and even Chris Harrison clarifies that despite some incredible editing, the way Emily felt about Jef by the end was not even comparable with Arie. Which makes it all the more confusing when she admits that she was in love with Arie and if there wasn’t a Jef, she would for sure be with him. (How do you think this makes Jef feel, btw??).
I have to say that Emily’s outfits for the finale were not as exciting as her previous ones. The finale dress was just a bit prom for me and compared with some of her other dresses this season, kind of a disappointment. She looked beautiful, of course, but this wasn’t exactly the dress I envisioned her in. Her earrings were really cool too, particularly her Garden Party Chandelier Earrings which you can order by clicking here. Despite the prom dress situation, however, I LOVED that right after Jef delivered the best proposal in Bachelorette history, that Ricki came running in with a cute little dress on. I wonder what on earth they must have told her was going on. But watching the three of them walk off together holding hands actually got me choked up. I even reached across the couch and grabbed The Husband’s hand. He just looked at me and burst into laughter seeing me emotional at this heartwarming scene. I think that the 3 of them holding hands and walking off together was the highlight of the entire 3 hours for me. It was a hopeful moment that this crazy format of a reality TV show actually has some soul and promise of people finding true love. It even has the potential of a little girl getting a shot at a father figure who will love her as his own. What an incredible love story these three have.
(3) Where Are They Now
The “shocking secrets” that Chris H was alluding to were pretty lame. Arie flying to Charlotte and dropping off his unread diary which Emily handed back to him in the package it came in?? Come on, they have to do better than that. I thought they’d tell us she’s got a bun in the oven or SURPRISE – they are getting married right there and then. Or Arie’s our Bachelor. Or Arie and Ashley Spivey’s boobs are going on a date after the show (I promise that’ll be my last Ashley S boob comment for a while – sorry, I’m just still in shock about them). False advertising again. I thought it was more shocking (in a good way) that Jef has decided to move to Charlotte and that they are planning a wedding for early spring. I wonder if Ashley H and JP are feeling the pressure now that it looks like Emily and Jef may beat them down the aisle. Courtney and Ben Flajnik, btw, are still going strong. They were tweeting during the show during the finale and seem to be really happy together still, though I think living in separate cities for now.
I’m glad Arie didn’t ask the cliche question that every rejected runner-up asks, “At what point did you know it wasn’t me?” because it sounds like Emily never really had a point where she realized this – it was just that there came a point where she had to send him home. I felt really sad for Arie, but based on the fact that he’s posting headshots of himself on Twitter, makes me think he’ll be doing just fine (like Michael Stagliano said).
Why didn’t ABC give Emily and Jef a gift – like a vacation back to Curacao with Ricki or something like that? Isn’t that what they normally do in a situation like this?
In any event, I thought this was a wonderful season and finale. I feel bad for Arie, but based on what we got to see of Emily and Jef together at the ATFR, it’s evident that they are very happy and she seems to have made the right decision so far. I wish them all the best and hope that Jef’s question for Emily (which included that amazing that Neil Lane ring (3.5 carats and 88 diamonds – not bad) is really a forever thing and not just a few weeks, months or years.
Reports that came out after the 2 hour finale of The Bachelorette dominated its time period with season highs, soaring over its most recent Monday telecast by 1.4 million viewers and by 36% in Adults 18-49. The Bachelorette was also up over its year ago-finale by 7% in Adults 18-49. The show will have some very large (and beautiful) shoes to fill when casting their next heroine Bachelorette to be.
I guess it’s time for us to slowly unwind from a wonderful season – and what better way to do this than to jump right into Bachelor Pad 3? It’s not going to be pretty, but it’s usually somewhat entertaining. I’ll still be doing some shorter posts for that season, because how could I not watch? So please stay tuned and check back with us. There will also be continued postings on the rest of OfficeStace.com and don’t forget to check Friday Relationship Judging – we can use your input!