Well, it finally happened. You knew the (vicariously) living nightmare couldn't last forever. Jillian sent Wes home, and he "admitted" to having a girlfriend (according to some interpretations of his final back-seat interview, that is). First came some masterful editing from the Bachelorette
crew: "The first guy ever on The Bachelorette
to make it to the top four with a girlfriend," Wes said. But that sounds like the end of a sentence to me, not a full statement of guilt.
After the season we've had of many dupes from the producers (including that false promise of an impotence issue), feel free call me naive, but I'm still not entirely convinced that this soundbite (more like "Frankenbite," as the type has been called lately) isn't just the partial, boozed up ranting of a guy who loves to get a reaction, however negative. Who was constantly baited by producers and camera crew for contextually flexible statements that made him look like the dirtiest dog on the block. And who went along with it, because this is a man who will say anything, however hurtful, selfish, and technically false, to be remembered.
Think I'm defending Wes? Think again. I'm just trying to be precise about exactly why I can't stand him. Some soundbites are really beyond the defense of a "bad edit." Like: "My acting days are over. I've already done everything I need to do."
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In her post-episode blog today, Jillian said, "I still don't know if Wes had a girlfriend, but I do think Wes was there for his career. Along the way, we did build a friendship but his presence on the show was a disservice to both of us. It made me look like a fool and like I had bad judge of character, and it made him look like someone he is not. I guess this is what you lay out on the line when you sign up for something like this, right? Ultimately, you are all still entitled to your opinion, but I am a huge supporter of forgiveness and I hope you can give Wes a break and lay this one to rest."
And, because I've given our sweet Canadian waif such a hard time along the way, I am especially touched by her candid admissions that she's far from perfect, and her refusal to vilify this season's (perhaps all Bachelor
seasons') worst villain. It's cathartic, even fun in a way, to scorn Wes in the most extreme terms. There's no shortage of reasons to revile him. (Off the top of my head: for misleading Jillian, for disrespecting her and the other men on the show, for distracting us from the innocuous fun and fantasy we signed up for, and for doing so for so long, in such a domineering, selfish, and disdainful way, in hopes that abusing the girl, the series, and the viewers' trust will win him fans and record sales.)
But Jillian, who most deserves to badmouth the man, is right. We need to, and deserve to, finally lay this Wes-side-story to rest. If not because of her 'love thine enemy' plea for forgiveness, then at least to salvage what's left of this season of The Bachelorette
. It's sad that when I should be most excited to see the outcome. Wes came thiiis close to exhausting the portion of my brain devoted to The Bachelorette
(a rather larger portion than what you devote, I expect, given our respective job descriptions, but I'd wager whatever morsel of a sh*t you once gave about the outcome of this reality show is also weaking by the day), and he (and the producers who so riled up and focused on him) did it by making the show all about him. Like his song for Jillian, the man is PLAYED OUT. Or, as they say in Spain: ESTA ACABADO! (He's finished.)
And continuing to talk about a fame-whore when he's lost his last shred of relevance just gives him what he wants. Just ask Spencer Pratt. It plays into Wes's impending infamy as the worst Bachelorette
contestant ever, and sadly enough, that's probably not a bad title to have if you're a musician trying to play up your bad boy image. By talking about him in hateful, superlative terms, we are keeping him around once he's finally gone away.
I realize this is becoming counter-productive to my point, which is to stop talking about Wes. Now, together, let's move on to happier thoughts, and give no more attention to He Who Should Not Be Famed.
--- CROSS INTO THE WES-FREE ZONE! ---
Smells good over here, doesn't it? Clean and uncomplicated. I feel refreshed already!
Now. Ed, Reid, and Kiptyn. What's interesting about these final three men is how fundamentally similar they are. Each possesses the vital qualities Jillian is looking for in a partner: mature, kind, intelligent, driven, family-oriented. We each have our favorite, but what really makes these guys unique to the Bachelor
series is that it would be tough to find real fault with Jill picking any of them.
Not that the final three don't each have their faults. Some viewers have pointed out, as Jillian verbally worried, that Kiptyn may not be challenging enough for her. A handsome package, but is there enough to keep Jill interested, underneath the surface? Reid has the most engaging conversations with Jill of the three, but what makes him so interesting to her, his very different perspective, could lead to lifestyle conflicts down the line. And then there's Ed: as romantic as it is that he chose to come back and fight for her, it's impossible to forget that it was his choice to leave the program in the first place. Jillian's fears that Ed's devotion is negotiable could prove too rocky a foundation on which to start over, even though his sincere efforts to prove himself trustworthy in Spain earned him the first rose this week.
But, as far as personal faults go, especially after the ones we've seen this season, these three aren't exactly deal-breakers. And, as far as emotional conflicts go, having three great, gracious men to choose from might be the best predicament a girl could ever find herself in.
You may call that boring, but I call it a much-needed mental break. Aren't you at least a bit glad to see Jilli's finally caught
on? When she stands up on that Hawaiian vista and proclaims she's found
the man of her dreams, I can't help it: I'll be sitting at home,
tearing up and cheering, like the world's biggest
sucker and sap that I am. And I don't care. I'd rather be a happy sucker with a sappy ending than... whatever the alternative is. So suck it, non-suckers of the world. Pass the Kleenex.
When will we finally learn whom Jillian chooses? In his blog this week, host Chris Harrison outlined the remaining program schedule: "Next week Jillian takes the three remaining men on exotic dates in Maui. She'll narrow it down to the final two. The following Monday will be the "Men Tell All" special. [...] The week after the "MTA" special we'll have a two-night finale. The final episode will air on Monday, July 27. Tuesday night we'll wrap it all up with an "After The Final Rose" special."
Here's hoping, in these episodes ahead, ABC chooses to leave their patented dupes with the dopes (one of whom shall continue to remain nameless!) that Jillian finally
-Meghan Carlson, BuddyTV Staff Writer
[Blog Sources: EW, People]Image courtesy of ABC