It’s the season finale of Bachelor Pad, and this one is supersized again, just to go out with a bang! (Like from a gun. Shooting you in the face.) So buckle in for three hours of idiocy as the four remaining couples — Michelle & Graham, Kasey & Vienna, Kirk & Ella and Michael & Holly — attempt to sharpen their last shards of dignity into the shape of a sword so as to stab each other in the back for that final prize of $250,000. But at least they’ll all walk away with what they really wanted, which was more attention for doing close to nothing.
Riveting stuff — only the week before the real TV shows start could handle it all! (AND it’s happening at the same time as the latest GOP presidential debate, just so you can decide which group of self-serving blowhards you’d rather hear lie to each other’s plastic faces. America: We’re all about CHOICE!)
The Challenge: “Ka”-Tastrophe
The finalists are thrown onto a plane and end up in Las Vegas, where they walk into a theater that is “cold and kind of creepy looking,” says Michelle. Like if Jake Pavelka was a theater, basically. Host Chris Harrison prances out from behind a cloud of smoke and uselessness looking like a lesbian Phantom of the Opera.
They’re at the theater for the Cirque du Soleil show “Ka,” where they will perform a vertical dance on the mile-high moving wall while suspended by harnesses. Each couple has 24 hours to train with a professional and will then perform their routine in front of a panel of “judges,” who will judge each couple on technical ability, showmanship, effort and chemistry as a couple. The last place couple is leaving immediately.
Since the most they’ve been asked to do so far this season is hump each other in mid-air for half an hour, everyone is crazy-freaked out by the prospect of doing something that requires actual training and skill. Each routine is only 60 seconds, and 10 seconds of that must be improv that demonstrates their “chemistry” as a couple. (Barf.) Kasey has an idea for he and Vienna to form a heart with their bodies — fittingly cliche and cheesy, and they’ll probably end up looking more like a rhombus, so I hope that works out for them!
Once again, for maybe the last time in his adult life, Michael’s breakdancing experience comes in handy, and he’s walking up the wall like Spiderman, while Holly is more like… Spiderpig. They agree to put “that whole Blake thing” behind them and harnessed the power of their connection (also Michael’s dance skills) in order to win the challenge. The other teams aren’t faring quite as well: Michelle is overcome with nausea during her training. (For the rest of us, that will come later, when we have to see Rated R again.) And Ella’s got problems. She doesn’t “trust” the harness, and says walking up the wall is harder than childbirth. I wish we could go one week without her reminding us that she pushed a whole human being out of her hoo-ha, but for once, I don’t blame her for making the comparison — this challenge actually does look difficult as sh*t.
We meet the “judges,” who of course are the only three “successful” Bachelor and Bachelorettes, who in exchange for their love must serve as ABC’s indentured servants for their entire lives: Trista Sutter, Jason Mesnick and Ali Fedotowsky.
Roberto carries Ali in because of her recent leg surgery, and Michael yells, “It’s the cutest!” I’m sure Vienna is just thrilled to see her old rival for Jake (and the woman Kasey serenaded FIRST!) partially in charge of her fate.
It’s time for the performance, and everyone is wearing technicolor Ninja Turtle Halloween costumes. Who will be this season’s Jesse and Elizabeth, and embarass themselves soooOOooooo badly that I have to cover my eyes with my hands? Let’s SEE!
Michelle and Graham: Their timing is off, and it’s very slow, but they seem like they’re having fun. It seems like a mess to me, but we have to remember we’re grading on a curve, so maybe it will be LESS of a mess than someone else’s routine. Let’s hope.
Ella and Kirk: Ella sputters and spurts up the wall, and Kirk is fighting just to keep her in the routine. Another mess, but they stick it out and get through it. I’m a little too distracted by the outfits to even watch what their “improv” moves are.
Vienna and Kasey: Notably, Vienna is the one barking orders at Kasey … and horrifically, they’re very much the best so far. “It was like … PRO level,” says Ella. That’s a little generous, but they definitely look the most comfortable so far. I still wouldn’t call any of these things a “performance,” though.
So far, I have to say this final challenge is a disappointment — zero sh*t-talking, zero crying, zero surprise plummets to death. I expected more from you in your final hours, Bachelor Pad. But it’s not over yet…
Michael and Holly: Ali says, “Oh, wow, that was really good,” which means, yeah, it was REALLY good. “That was absolutely, insanely awesome! Are you guys a couple?” a ventriloquist-producer with her hand up a Jason Mesnick puppet asks when they’re done. “Um, no.” Back into his box Jason goes.
The Winners: Holly and Michael! They’ve got roses, which means they are safe and going into the finals. They also have a big responsibility, like too much responsibility, probably: They get to choose the couple who will join them in the finale.
“But the REAL prize is that I learned how cute I look in boatnecks!”
But first, the judges have to send home the couple who gave the worst performance, and that couple is…
“it was a really crotch I mean TOUGH decision, but…”
…Kirk and Ella. Ella starts weeping, and keeps saying she feels like she let Kirk down. Kirk tells her not to be sorry, she did everything she could. Why do good people always have to lose by process of elimination by a fair tallying of scores?! In the limo on her way out of Vegas, Ella reflects on everyone she let down because of her fear. She forgets to mention us, though, who she has let down by allowing Kasey and Vienna to continue in this game.
Who’s Going to the Finals?
So now Michael and Holly have to choose which couple will join them (and compete against them) in the finals, and you can bet that Kasey and Vienna will do ANYTHING to convince Michael and Holly that it should be them. Vienna asks Kasey to be his “least intense,” because she knows his freakish deluded passion is a big turnoff for Holly. (And everyone else except herself.) Kasey and Vienna try to say that they’ve “earned” the spot in the finals because they’ve “done the dirty work” all season long, and they also probably won’t win, so Michael and Holly would have it in the bag! Kasey rambles on like a madman despite that Vienna told him not to.
After Michael and Holly leave, Vienna says that she “needs a muzzle” for Kasey, which she is shocked to see doesn’t make Kasey feel good. Also, she mumbles, so we get the MOST fitting screencaps we could ever hope to get for Kasey and Vienna:
…SHE SAID TO THE MIRROR.
AREN’T WE ALL!
Kasey runs off and pouts, and Vienna tries to comfort him by saying that if they don’t get that spot in the finals, it’s his fault. Love this couple. It’s like… can’t we ALL find a love so true and happy and pure? Right, Melissa?
Michael and Holly go to Graham and Michelle and lay it out there: They’re pretty sure that if they take Vienna and Kasey to the finals, they’ll win. But if they take Graham and Michelle, they think Graham and Michelle will win. Graham feels extremely betrayed and offended by Michael. “It’s not about money, it’s about FRIENDSHIP!” Graham says. No, Graham, it is actually about money — and Michelle knows that, but tries to make him feel better by listening to him as he drinks and fumes and drinks more and fumes harder (completely unrelated, I’M SURE) over his deep love for, and deep betrayal by, Michael. Eventually Graham gets so riled up that Michelle has to yell, “STOP IT!” It’s the most emotion we’ve seen from him all season. Then again, it’s also pretty much all we’ve seen of him this season.
The Rose Ceremony
Michael and Holly have two roses to give out. Will they take the two WORST people (in the house/on the Earth) with them to the finals so as to gaurantee their victory, or will they take the two AWESOME people who didn’t stab all the backs to win? After thinking long and hard about it, Michael and Holly decide they’d rather be selfless than selfish, and choose loyalty over villainy: Michelle and Graham are going to the finals!
Michelle literally falls to her knees with gratitude. Kasey and Vienna are stunned, STUNNED I SAY, that good has triumphed over evil. That NEVER happens in horror movies! Kasey takes the news well, picking Vienna up and carrying her off to the limo, where she sobs in his arms. Little does she know that he has turned one of those roses into a Horcrux. Kasey’s human body may die, but his soul will live on. On the next season of Bachelor Pad.
The Reunion: What’s New With All Those People We Hated?
For the second part of the finale, we are subjected to TWO HOURS of talking about the 11 hours of television that we witnessed over the last five weeks. Solid math. Totally adds up in terms of how much we should watch and care. First, before the final two couples appear, we reunite with the 14 eliminated contestants, some of whom look very different since we saw them last. Rated R’s hair is looking extra huge and evil, like a black cat crossed his path, so he skinned it and made it into a wig.
RATED R FOR RODENT CARCASS (and on top of that is the catskin wig)
Gia has bangs now and Vienna has a new nose and Ella’s whole face is different. Bachelor Pad may be almost over, but the Bad Decision Train just keeps on rollin’. Now we learn what’s different about their lives:
Ames and Jackie: They’re not together, and it was clearly Ames’ choice (as we heard in their phone interview). Jackie still doesn’t feel like she got closure. Ames gives a positive but vague excuse: “At the end of the day, we’re two very different people, and I thought it was better to say that sooner rather than later.” Jackie says she was so depressed after he surprise-dumped her that she couldn’t get out of bed for a week. (I guess it helps when you don’t have a job?)
Kasey and Vienna and Jake and Everyone Else’s Opinions About Them: Gia says “Kasey’s very smart,” which automatically discounts everything else she’s about to say, so I tune her out. William points out that the “power couple” didn’t win any competitions, all they did was stab backs, so they never deserved to win the game. (YEAH! DING DONG!) Vienna, all calmness and sweetness, says she accepted Jake’s olive branch in the house, and Chris says, “I’m seeing a whole new side of you,” and he’s not talking about her new nose. Vienna claims she was not NOT nice to Jake (she just wanted to ignore him and badmouth him behind his back).
Jake in the Hot Seat: Jake says he had “no expectations whatsoever” about Bachelor Pad — basically admitting that he actively attempts not to think. Since everyone there was so drunk during filming, they watch a highlight reel of Jake’s time in the house, and we watch them watching it. Now, Jake says he “takes great offense” to them saying that he’s not a good person, and he’s apologized repeatedly for his big breakup blowout. Vienna says some weird anecdote about how they played charades together and Jake fell off the chair. Chris asks Erica to raise her gavel and give a verdict, and she deems the Jake-Vienna situation “Hostile.” They fight some more about whether Jake’s apology was sincere or timely. Chris asks Jake if he regrets his “horrible game play” of giving Vienna that first rose, and he dances around the question, saying, “An act of kindness was the only way that Vienna would know I really meant I’m sorry.” Erica: “Obviously it didn’t work.” Jake says he’s been disappointed by Vienna and Kasey’s behavior, and Kasey apologizes, “FORMALLY,” to Jake for all the things he said. Unfortunately, Ella’s new boobs are so distracting behind Kasey’s shoulder that I missed whether his face was sincere or not.
Kasey in the Hot Seat: First, Kasey watches a reel of some of his douchiest moments. (Not all of them could fit in the reel.) He’s laughing until the part where Vienna says he ripped the ring off her finger because she wouldn’t have sex with him. Their relationship looks uglier than ever — and the audience cheers when Erica’s quote, “This is a mansion, not a trailer park” airs again. Kasey says the Kermit stuff hurts because he has a speech impediment. (Whooooops. Am I off the hook if I say that what I mock the most sincerely is his personality?) He admits that their relationship wasn’t healthy in the Bachelor Pad, and he breaks down in tears. “Sometimes it feels like I just can’t get back to being happy!” Princess Erica once again passes her ultimate judgment and says that she saw a different, better side of Kasey and Vienna since the show, and she gives them her blessing.
At this point we still have an entire HALF of the finale to sit through, and literally nothing happened in the first hour and a half. Good grief. Couldn’t all of these updates have happened on TMZ? Oh well. We soldier on. Because what choice do we have? (Personally, I’ve been flipping back and forth to the Miss Universe pageant. How about you?)
Blake in the Hot Seat: Oh, here we go. Time to relive the Melissa madness. Blake claims that Melissa was his “partner,” and that he didn’t use her. Melissa says that Blake had claimed he didn’t want to get involved with anybody or kiss on camera, and THEN he kissed her, so she thought, “Oh, he must really like me.” Blake accuses Melissa of taking their “classified files” and showing them to the enemy after he betrayed her by taking Holly on the date. “Clearly, I do not do well on reality TV, let’s face it,” Melissa says in the one honest statement of the entire show. I kind of wish it would end there (the episode/franchise), but alas, no.
Blake in the Hot Seat, Part Two: This is the part where he raves about Holly, and how in love and happy with Holly he is, and then shocks us with his big announcement (which Reality Steve spoiled last week): She’s moving in with him in South Carolina. Cut to Jackie who is full of sadness and jealousy. Then, weirdly, cut to a filmed scene between Holly and Blake on a mountain, hiking in formal wear. It’s completely staged and unnatural, which means just one thing: Yep, there he is on his knee, and they’re GETTING ENGAGED. There’s a Neil Lane logo in the ring box and everything.
“This relationship brought to you by ABC, in partnership with Neil Lane.”
She squeals, the music swells, they hug, they kiss. It’s a disgusting and unnecessary display. The extent to which they’ve sold out their entire relationship to this show actually makes me ill. I don’t know why, but it just seems so much worse than every other Bachelor proposal — is it because Blake is a complete chode, or because the whole time we’ve known Holly she has been half in love with someone else, or because it was so sudden and cheesy and voluntary, or all of the above? “Beautiful!” says Chris Harrison. “True love!” says Princess-Judge Erica. “Gross!” says me.
Interrogating The Finalists
Michael and Holly and Graham and Michelle come out. Michael doesn’t know the “big news” about Holly and Blake (because ABC forced them not to tell him yet?) so Chris tells Holly to tell him right this second: “We got engaged,” she whispers. Michael is clearly freaking out, but trying to cover: “I’m sorry, that’s… super awkward. I’m shocked still, so maybe a water would be great, or a commercial break… Really, here is where I find out?” Ohhh, you poor thing. Michael says he wants Holly to be happy, “so… so… it’s OK.” Maaaan, he is going to get SO DRUNK later. Despite just finding out that his ex-fiancee is engaged to another guy on national television, Michael says he and Holly are great friends and he’s “loved her through” the whole experience.
As for Graham and Michelle: Michelle’s dad passed away a few weeks ago of colon cancer, and Graham has been there for her through it all. “Going through something as emotional as Bachelor Pad on top of my father dealing with cancer and passing, you really get to know someone on a deep emotional level,” says Michelle. Graham is wearing a bow tie like a proper, attentive young lad. Michelle’s extensions are glowing and glorious, like a fairy tale princess. They take turns talking about how wonderful each other are for what seems like 10 minutes. I love me some Michelle, but COME ON, ABC — you clearly didn’t need this extra hour.
Final Words and Questions: The rejects get a chance to chat and interrogate the final couples over who most “deserves” the money, which just means Kasey and Justin get to be dicks to the last minute. “I don’t even feel like I deserve it,” says Michelle, reinforcing my faith in her brain once more.
Then the rejects write down the name of the couple they want to win. One by one, they reveal their votes:
Blake: H&M (Michael: “Love ya, Blake!” Awkward.)
Holly and Michael only need one more vote, and… they get it from Gia. Michelle and Graham hug the winners and GTFO, and then it’s time for the final final FINALS of Bachelor Pad.
Holly and Michael are separated, and must choose on their own whether to “Keep” or “Share.” If they both choose “Share,” they share. If one chooses “Keep,” that person gets to keep it all. And if they both choose “Keep,” neither of them gets it and the rest of the contestants split the money. (Just over $15,000/person.)
It’s just like last season’s “twist” ending, which means Michael and Holly have had months and months to talk about what they would do if/when they got to this point in the game. And since these are the people who have been engaged TWICE and still think the world of each other, I think we all know what they’re going to choose. I mean. C’mon.
Michael and Holly’s Decisions
Holly made it clear she would pick SHARE, and that is what she did.
But now it’s Michael’s turn…
Michael: “Holly and I, before the show, talked about being partners the whole way through and about this very moment and splitting the money. [TOLD YA!] And when we talked two weeks ago, we talked about it. A lot of that time was her apologizing to me about how hard it was, and that was great. Uh… and getting here and finding out that she is engaged, and um, that that wasn’t told to me beforehand, hurt a lot. Again. This is a game and she was my team mate, and it’s hard but… she will always be my team mate.” Michael, too, picked SHARE. And he looks so HAPPY about it…
So that’s it, y’all. They’re splitting $250,000. I’d call it anticlimactic, but that would mean that there was a buildup, which there wasn’t. Just one long three-hour plateau.
Congrats to Michael, who sure needs a consolation prize. Too bad this means that Blake, too, gets a good chunk of that money. AND love. So Smuggy McSmugerson is really the ultimate winner here, which means life isn’t fair — in fact, it’s usually stupid-unfair. What a cool moral. Thanks, Bachelor Pad!
And, Introducing the New Bachelor...
It’s Ben Flajnik! No duh. But still: Yay! (That’s an “at least it’s not Ryan M.” yay.)
We see lots of sexy shots of Ben driving his tractor and checking out his grapes in his vineyard. (His VINEYARD, ladiezzzz!)
Ben comes out to greet the crowd, and I’m happy to see he’s still rocking the luscious lesbian hair. He says that he’s in a better place now than he was before The Bachelorette, because he’s open and selfless now — THAT’S why he’s going to date 25 women at once. Selflessness.
We’ll have to wait until January 2 to find out how that goes for ol’ Ben. Go get ’em, Benny Boy. And be sure to get ’em drunk first.
What did you think of the Bachelor Pad finale? Are you happy for Michael and Holly? How about Blake and Holly’s surprise engagement?
(Images courtesy of ABC)