The Bachelor: An Officer and a Gentleman had its finale Monday night, but the fate of Tessa Horst, Bevin Powers, and Andy Baldwin had been making the rounds online as a spoiler for several days now.
Once again, a finale has the lingering shadow of a spoiler hanging over it, but there were certain elements to this one that created the question if this wasn’t all engineered in the first place.
For one thing, the fact that one of the reports apparently came straight from Tessa Horst herself. Usually there are some consequences to a reality show participant for spilling the beans, which creates one red flag. Secondly, the report claims she dished to a gossip spy after a few drinks. Well, alcohol is known for shedding inhibitions, but Tessa was frequently plied with wine and beer on the show and still had trouble verbalizing anything to Andy at all. Maybe love has truly changed her, but it seems wildly out of character for her to start spreading the news.
An additional spoiler came straight from the network itself. Video footage of the show that played at the upfronts appeared to indicate Tessa was selected for the final rose ceremony. When some news outlets reported this, ABC seemed to confirm this.
So what gives? What possible benefit could there be to the network for ruining their own ending?
For one thing, maybe they figured that no publicity is bad publicity, and if it took a planted item to get some additional buzz going around something that is otherwise not a particularly new or groundbreaking format, so be it.
It might also have been a way to soften the blow of the rejection of Bevin. It does seem like Andy was, in a way, sincere in telling Bevin he loved her. However, if you see that with the expectation that he ends up with Tessa, you are already assuming that he is referring to something other than the sort of love that ends up in a proposal. Ergo, when he rejects Bevin at the end, maybe he seems like less of a cad because you have been expecting it all along. Some BuddyTV commenters have already chimed in about this seeming cruelty on the part of Andy to set a false expectation, so maybe this was ABC’s way of trying to mitigate the more distasteful element of the evening.
It also might create more legitimacy for his final pick with Tessa. Assuming there were not hours and hours of glowing footage left from the final cut, Andy’s last few encounters with Tessa seemed to show him stiff and unmoved. After weeks of him lighting up every time he was around her, he seemed to be pulling away. However, if you watch that with the knowledge they are likely still seeing each other after the show, it completely changes the context. He is no longer a guy pulling away because he is losing interest; rather he’s a man about to propose who is overwhelmed with emotion and preoccupied with the decision. Externally, these two states might look exactly the same from his actions and mannerisms. But the spoiler knowledge can create the backstory so the audience doesn’t perceive the interactions the other way.
Then again, maybe Tessa just got tipsy and spilled the beans. And maybe a video editor just made a mistake a left in the footage. Both spoilers and the suspicions around them are inevitable, though, as reality television scrambles to stay one step ahead of its “characters” in that interim between their return to real life and the finale airing.
What do you think about spoilers? Do you like to know or avoid reading about them? When you know the outcome, are you more or less likely to tune in? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of ABC)