The Bachelor celebrated its twentieth anniversary on the air with a big special. There was a wedding, as well as interviews with personalities both past and one present (current bachelor Ben Higgins was in attendance). This might have been a special but it was still very much in The Bachelor vein. So there were tears, romance and a fair number of moments of reality TV drama. Here are some of the biggest highlights from the special The Bachelor at 20.
The Trista and Ryan Interview
Easily the gold standard when it comes to The Bachelorette (or The Bachelor) couples, it was nice to catch up with these two. Trista and Ryan talked to Chris Harrison and let him (and us) know what has happened in their life lately. It’s all painstakingly normal and there’s a real comfort in that fact.
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The highlight of the interview is when Chris Harrison shows the clip of their first meeting. The Bachelor then ran the clip into the ground showing it at every possible opportunity during the special. It was nice when it was still relatively fresh however. The interview was a good reminder that with all the drama, craziness and tears the franchise can provide it also can actually build real and lasting couples.
Michelle Money and Clare Crawley on the Prowl
I’m not sure if anyone was really asking what Michelle and Clare have been doing but The Bachelor special answered it for us. The two self-described older women were shown to be as desperate for love as ever. The saddest part of the whole thing wasn’t that Money and Clare hadn’t changed. It was that the look didn’t last long enough.
It definitely felt like a very sweaty and desperate attempt to start a new The Bachelor spin-off about cougar women looking for younger men. Still these two doing their best Real Housewife impressions and scoping out the younger men was about one of the most watchable things in the early part of the special.
Ashley I. Losing It Again
Ashley’s tears on Bachelor in Paradise were infamous not just among the show’s fans but in pop culture in general. Thanks to The Soup and other entertainment recap shows, Ashley’s meltdowns became the source of much Internet mockery.
She showed up at the wedding, optimistic and seemingly in the right frame of mind. This lasted all about five seconds. She got increasingly more clingy and hopeless for Jared’s affection. Of course it all ended in another rejection that literally everyone but Ashley saw coming.
Chris Soules Being a Creep
Juan Pablo is the undisputed most hated bachelor in franchise history. The best that anyone can say about him is that he is a cute idiot and that’s obviously a backhanded compliment. Chris Soules is right up there as far as I’m concerned though.
Weddings are a great place to meet people. So Chris wasn’t wrong about looking for love at a wedding. There was something so predatory and icky about the way Chris Soules was lusting after all the beautiful women in the room that made me feel like I needed to take a shower. This was through distance of a TV screen, I can’t imagine how horrible it must have been for the women actually around him.
Chris Harrison Talking about “The Mesnick”
Chris Harrison really is wasted on the recent seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. He is barely seen in the show’s regular episodes. The special was a nice reminder of how much a great host and interviewer he can be, his interview with Jason Mesnick was highlight. Mesnick still has a smile that haunts my soul but Chris Harrison getting him to mock his infamous crying fit over a balcony, “The Mesnick” was another high point of the evening.
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The Blooper Reel
No matter what show they are for, or what happens in them, a blooper reels is always hit. It was no different as Chris Harrison showed off a collection of bloopers through the years and all the series in the franchise. It was especially nice to get a behind the scenes look at The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Both series are always so pristine and perfect, even when the contestants are emotionally imploding. It was good to know that things don’t always go that perfectly all the time.
The Successful Couples Montage
One of the last big events, before the wedding, was the big video package where everyone caught up with the successful couples over the series’ history. It was a nice tone to set before the nupitals. Like the Trista and Ryan interview that more or less opened the special, it was a good reminder. Even if The Bachelor is easy-to-mock and ridiculous at times, it can work and work well. The Bachelor is really no different than dating in the real world, except for y’know all the cameras…
But what do you think? What were some of your favorite moments from the special? Who did you like getting to see that wasn’t mentioned? Who was your favorite interview of the night? Do you think Chris Soules is just as bad as Juan Pablo? What did you think of Jade and Tanner’s wedding?
The Bachelor season 20 airs Mondays at 8pm on ABC.
(Image and videos courtesy of ABC)