The day is finally here. The DRAMATIC FINALE of this, the 250th season of The Bachelor. Will Brad choose Emily or Chantal? Will he propose? Will we all then just die of joy overdose?
OMG WHO WILL IT BEEEEE? THE RECAP TELLS ALL!
But first, make sure to check out this treasure trove of delights from this season: Everything You Should Read/See/Know for the Bachelor finale.
Brad’s in Cape Town, ready to finally dump his last piece of lady-baggage and get down on one knee for his bride-to-be. (Because OF COURSE she’s gonna say yes!) Brad turns into a giddy school girl when his family arrives in Cape Town. “Come up here to me, please! Hurry!” He starts crying and hugging at random. Being around a bunch of strangers and producers and sexy psychopathic ladies for the last three months has really taken a toll on him emotionally. He tells them that he’s fallen in love this time, it’s “hit him like a ton of bricks,” and he’s 100% ready to propose. Except, uhhhhhh, that’s a weird percentage to throw around since he’s in love with two women. Does he mean he’s 50% ready with Emily and 50% with Chantal? Naaaah, that would be crazy. We all know it’s probably more like 80/20.
Family Meet ‘n’ Greet ‘n’ Grills:
Chantal: Brad says, “I need some time with my WOMAN!” His “woman” today is Chantal, and she’s wearing a seat cover as a top.
Chantal, I want to like you, but your fashion choices make it so hard.
She tells the family she “just knew” when she met Brad (but remember how this whole season she’s been questioning everything?) and then she tells them the story about how it rained on them in Costa Rica (how WEIRD! that it RAINED in the RAINFOREST!) and it was “like a romance movie.” With Brad’s brothers, Chantal “screams her feelings” (not literally) about Brad: She wants to marry him, and she’d do it TUH-DAY. “If I’m willing to say yes to marry someone, I’m willing to marry them right on the spot.” She wants the rose ceremony to turn into a surprise wedding ceremony. With the man she’s only know for a couple months and who has been dating other women the entire time. Uhh, what a nut. Brad’s brothers see this declaration as a confidence-booster. I see it as a psychological red flag. A symptom of Stockholm Syndrome.
After bonding with Brad’s mom about their mutual love for animal prints and how Brad has been inside both of their vaginas (eww, gross, sorry) Chantal says, “It’s done. Your mine!” She thinks if she says it, then it will be true. I think she’s now the President of La La Land.
Emily: When she shows up, Brad is so excited that he claps! Emily brings flowers, because she’s classy like that. She’s nervous and wants to make a good impression. She understands how important it is to invite someone into your family, since she’ll have to do the same thing with Brad and her daughter.
The family learn that Emily has a daughter, and Brad’s brother asks if Ricki’s father would be OK with them moving to Austin.
Brad says, “Uhh, uhh, another time,” but Emily handles it well and tells them the story of the plane crash and pregnancy. Brad’s sister-in-law starts crying. Emily says she would marry Brad and is open to moving to Austin. The skeptical brothers are now totally on the Emily Train, but they wanna remind Brad that being a dad is a big deal. Brad is like, “YOU GUYS I KNOW!” And he’s so into Emily: “I love that she’s very much a lady.” Meanwhile, Brad’s mom sits down with Emily, and falls in love like the rest of us. She starts crying over how Emily called Brad “her angel.” The whole family is on board.
Brad: “I am ONE. HAPPY. DUDE.” But he’s also ONE. CONFLICTED. DUDE: “Emily and Chantal. My God.”
Brad sits down with the family for their input. They lay down the comparison: Chantal is the fun-lovin’ option, while Emily is the rooted down option. The wives love that Emily is also a mom, so they could all mom-out together. The family is on Team Emily, but Brad wants both worlds and he just needs to figure who’s right for HIM. He’s like Natalie Imbruglia: Torn. WHAT IS HE GONNA DO? The answer: Go on more dates. With SHARKS!!! Because this wasn’t stressful enough already.
Last Chance Date #1: Chantal
So after learning that his family thinks Emily is “the one,” Brad gets to have a romantic date with the other one. Wait, did I say “romantic”? I meant traumatic. They’re swimming with SHAAAARKS!
“Everything I’ve asked her to do, she’s done it and excelled at it,” says Brad, who clearly doesn’t realize the sexual connotations of ANYTHING he says. Chantal and Brad get in their wet suits and go under the water for a test of their TRUST. Oh wait, I mean a test of their STEEL CAGE. It’s easy for Brad and Chantal to feel like they’re on the same level, since most of the “conversation” on their fear-dates this season has been saying “Oh my God” back and forth.
“Today was all about death-defying in nature,” says Brad, who’s a real pro at overstating things by this point. When he looks at Chantal he sees a life full of excitement. And a rack so massive that her wetsuit won’t zip all the way up!
I wonder if they kept her afloat down in that cage.
“What a perfect date, what a perfect girl, what a perfect experience,” says Brad as he mentally prepares to dump her for her more perfect competition.
But first, it’s time for dinner, and on the menu is a hefty serving of Emotional Manipulation with a Surreal Sense of Confusion glaze. Brad feels like he’s known Chantal “for five years”–so well he’s constantly bringing his hands into a defensive stance against his face to protect from all her slapping.
I almost forgot that the last dates on The Bachelor are now partially about the women’s crafting abilities. Chantal made Brad a world map of all their adventures together.
“I’ve never traveled the world for any guy before,” she says like world-traveling is some sort of punishment or chore.
There’s also a note that Chantal wrote, that Brad reads aloud back to her. She says she wants to grow old with him and loves him. Brad says, “That’s, uhh, very sweet.” He thanks her for being so “vocal about her feelings.” Then he kisses her goodbye and calls her “Channy,” which I hate because remember last season’s Channy? The Asian woman who asked Jake Pavelka to land his plane on her landing strip? God, sometimes I really hate myself for knowing the things that I know.
Chantal says Brad “better” ask her to marry him, and she’ll be “absolutely crushed” if he doesn’t. Uh oh! No fairy tale “happily ever after” ever started with such a sense of entitlement, or the promise of such delicious dumping drama.
Last Chance Date #2: Emily
Brad knows his family “chose” Emily, but he wants to feel 100% confident. They board a helicopter (DRINK!) for what is this, the FIFTH air tour of an exotic land this season?
Emily says she’s in love with Brad and wants to spend the rest of her life with him, but she’s so polite and reserved that, honestly, it’s a little hard to believe her. Emily is wracked by her “Debbie Downer side” (I love her for saying that), worrying that he’ll break up with her at the final rose ceremony and that he’s not ready to be a father. Which, ya know, those are both distinct possibilities. But she’s over-analyzin’, second-guessin’ and worryin’ up a storm in her pretty little head, and now Brad is less certain about putting a ring on it.
Who knew getting TV engaged would be this hard? Oh wait, yeah. Me. I knew. Because I have done this before.
At dinner, Brad stumbles and mumbles, as is his way with Emily, through a speech about he is ready and excited to become Little Ricki’s father. NOT a step-father. But not a replacement father. Just, you know, a father. A “real” father. And, like a real father, he then gets super defensive when Emily tells him that being a dad “isn’t always fun,” and he starts to get mad because he thinks she’s patronizing him. “I KNOW IT’S NOT ALWAYS FUN!” OK, he doesn’t yell it. But his red face yells it. “I’m in it,” he says. But then he starts visibly sweating and having a hard time breathing.
Signs of paternal READINESS?
Brad is a little too defensive about his caregiver capabilities, seeing that he’s the guy who thought it was a good idea to find a wife on TV. TWICE. If I were Emily, I’d wanna double- and triple-check that guy’s mental capacity to understand fatherhood too. But Emily is being a little over-the-top with her repeating the lines about not having fun and going to the E.R. Like Jake Pavelka before him, Brad does NOT abide getting UNDERMINED. “To be knocked down makes me profoundly hurt and upset,” says Brad as he leaves. He’s being a real baby about Emily questioning if he’s ready for babies. Maybe Emily ISN’T perfect for him after all, because we all know love means never having serious conversations about the future.
FINAL ROSE CEREMONY DAY
Brad is “exhausted” by all his “real emotions.” Chantal and Emily are so different, and yet they make him so happy. OH MY GOD WHO WILL HE CHOOSE? He’s made his decision, so now it’s time to pick out a ring. Neil Lane shows up, no big deal, to show Brad some rings. “I’m looking at these rings with true intent,” says Brad. In case Neil didn’t know, he walked away last time. But this time, he’s ready. He’s really in love. With this woman’s “aura.”
Then Brad stands on the balcony and considers the meaning of the word “forever.”
Actual thought: “I bet my DVR is so gosh-darn full by now. I missed two whole seasons of Jersey Shore!”
Meanwhile, Emily and Chantal are busy at their hotel rooms journalin’ and hair-curlin’ and tea-drinkin’ and worryin’. They’re both crying at the thought of leaving South Africa without Brad. Unfortunately, they cannot clone him (that technology is decades away) and his real-life clone is already married, so it’s time for somebody to get dumped.
Chantal puts on her best feathery Black (green) Swan ensemble, while Emily chooses a more modest golden goddess gown. Brad stands up on his South African bluff, awaiting their arrivals and quietly weaving his favorite phrases into the perfect breakup speech: “My God, you are an extraordinary woman. That being said, I need to tell you goodbye. Badly.”
THE FINAL ROSE
First: The Dumping. Who gets out of the first limo? Why, it’s … Chantal, Brad’s fun-loving peacock who’s got all her eggs in his basket. And he’s about to crack ’em:
Brad tells Chantal that he felt a connection with her from the start, and he can be himself around her. But here’s where it gets tough: He has stronger feelings for someone else. Uh oh, she’s crying. Brad says his signature, “Come here to me please” and gives her a hug as he explains that he was telling her the truth and everything they ever had was REAL. But not real enough for this reality TV finale.
When she’s finally ready to speak, Chantal says Brad is an amazing guy and Emily is very lucky. She handles it a lot better than I thought she was going to, seeing as she was ready to make this her wedding day with Brad. Poor girl. You can tell she really believed in all of it, even the wedding.
Brad keeps telling Chantal that what he felt for her was real, and asking her if she has anything to say. She rejects his consolation compliments: “I want someone who is so crazy about me that they don’t have to say that, that there is no question.” BOOM. Gotcha, Brad, so shut up.
Chantal weeps what seem like very real tears in the limo. “It doesn’t make sense. I just feel really stupid. How can I have been so convinced that he was the one? He didn’t even love me.” Aww, I feel so bad for her as she realizes too late that she just got played. Then the piano plays her out.
Second: The Proposal. Brad has a “heavy heart,” but he’s confident that Emily is “the one” and he’s ready to propose. He’s even ready to “stutter and stammer” through his “stupid speech.” The robot is showing signs of self-awareness. It’s only a matter of time before the uprising.
And here goes that speech:
“You’re the one, Em. You’re it. You’re my once in a lifetime. I’m asking to please give me your forever. Please give me the opportunity to love you for the rest of your life.”
He asks her to marry him, and she says YES!
But it’s actually more like a whispered “yes.”
Neil Lane product placement threatens to ruin the moment, but it’s unruinable! (Unless you happen to hate Brad’s laughable catchphrase “Come here to me please,” which he then uses again.) Emily says he made her the happiest girl in the world, and Brad says she made him the happiest man since they met. “I’ve wanted to tell you I’ve loved you for so long.”
Cut to a montage of Brad and Emily together over the course of the season, accompanied by some song about weddings by Train. Somewhere, Jackie’s at home watching being all, “HEY! Train is MY BACHELOR BAND with Brad!”
Well, that’s it folks! Of course, The After the Finale Rose put a darker shade upon this happy moment for Brad and Emily. Read the recap of the awkward ATFR here!
What did you think of that finale? Brad’s proposal? Do you think he and Emily stand a chance?
(Images courtesy of ABC)