Chris Soules is down to his final two in season 19 of The Bachelor, and it’s the wholesome virgin versus the wholesome baby maker in what easily goes down as the most family-friendly (and, thus, lamest) finale in show history.
So uncontroversial are Prince Farming’s remaining women that the biggest concern is whether either of them could acclimate into his equally boring lifestyle.
The crucial question is this: would you give up your friends, family, career and every leisure activity you enjoy to move to Tinytown, America, for a life of relative solitude as a farmer’s wife for a chance at love?
Either Whitney or Becca will lose, but will anyone really win?
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Magic, the Gathering
We will, America! At least for one night. Because the only way to counter the most unassuming and genuinely nice Bachelor in more than a decade of not trying to find one is with the craziest bunch of bitches this side of a rabies-infected animal shelter.
We’ve got ’em all! Drunk bitches! Virgin bitches! Widow bitches! Upside-down twerking bitches! Scheming cruise ship bitches! Onion/pomegranate whispering bitches! Buff bitches with permanent black boxes over their privates! Nude-posing bitches! If you fear it, we’ve got it!
We have collected them all in one location for your viewing pleasure, and the only entity I fear may not survive the evening is the venue. On to the head-on collision! There will be tears! Anger! Drama! Emotions! Animosity! Just try to look away, I dare you.
All Aboard the Crazy Train! Choo Choo!
After Chris-squared crashes a couple Bachelor viewing parties (everybody drinks when Soules kisses someone, so all parties at all parties are wasted), Harrison welcomes the ladies who will be participating in the no-holds-barred battle royale.
He introduces, in order: cheerleader and Peruvian traveler Nikki, special ed and new-nickname-needing Trina, also-widow Juelia, drunk Tara, teddy bear bartender Amber, blondie Megan, anonymous Samantha, drunk Jordan, Ashley S., Jillian, Kelsey, Britt, Mackenzie, Ashley I., Jade, Carly and Kaitlyn. The ones with the nicknames are the ones you barely remember.
They watch highlights of the season, mostly with laughter, until the Britt saga plays out on the screen. The first-impression rose recipient and one-time frontrunner just shakes her head while Carly revels in her unraveling.
She wants to know why Carly pretended to be her friend, and Carly deflects until everyone starts talking at once, and Harrison steps in to quell the frenzy.
Britt Takes the Hot Seat
Britt claims she was absolutely falling in love and thinks Carly is the reason her relationship fell apart, but Carly points out Chris wrote in his diary blog that Ashley and Jade also spoke out about Britt’s authenticity. Jillian also felt slighted by Carly, and she angrily rips into the cruise-ship crooner for being mean and insecure while praising the now-tearful Britt as the most wonderful person on earth.
Jillian is two seconds away from bull-rushing Carly and gut-checking her into the fifth row when Chris Harrison intervenes and tosses to commercial to let cooler heads prevail. Whew! This is intense.
The conversation then turns to things Britt said over dinner about loving her single life and not wanting kids right now, which Ashley I. had a problem with. But Britt calls her take on the situation a reach. Carly doesn’t wish her ill will, but she had a problem with Britt saying one thing to the girls and then the opposite to Chris.
They talk over each other for a bit, and then Britt launches into a long-winded explanation about how she had the best intentions and was screwed over by Carly in person and by editing on the show, and if not for Carly’s hatred and demonizing, she would’ve ended up a happy momma bear Mrs. Farmer spending her days lounging in a rocking chair on the porch sipping iced tea and lemonade.
The non-Jillian women snicker, then turn to their own side conversations while Britt sobs to Chris Harrison.
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Is Kelsey Better Than You?
Next to face the firing squad is the original black widow Kelsey and her amazing, tragic story that scored her an incredibly ill-timed first kiss, prompted a faint-inducing panic attack, made famous the “I know what you did” glare and sparked the most boisterous elimination party we’ve ever seen.
After watching it all, Kelsey feels betrayed and like she’s grieving her husband all over again. She thought she was moving on and ready to experience happiness again, but now she’s back at square one. Tara jumps in with a “Huh? But you said your story was amazing,” and Chris has to shut it down.
He asks if she knows why the girls hate her, and she’s heard that it’s because she’s condescending and uses big words, which garners laughs. “Many of you have a lot of contempt,” she says, adding that “it’s clear some of them just don’t like” her. She recognizes that her alone time with Chris seemed tactical, but she needed it to honor her story. And the panic attack seemed well timed, but it was just her body’s natural reaction to the situation.
She knows she’s not perfect, but she just wants to be accepted. One of the girls once again tries to interject, and Chris is like, bitch please. Not yet. Kelsey says that her words about Ashley after the two-on-one date were born of anger, and she apologizes if she was hurtful. Then Chris turns things over to the peanut gallery.
Directed Hostility. Target: Kelsey
Juelia calls her the most tactical and fake person ever because she went through the loss of a spouse too and would never use it to her advantage. Megan chimes in that her dad dropped dead (her words, not mine), and if Kelsey was still grieving, why go on the show? At this point, teddy bear bartender Amber laughs and says everyone has lost someone, which is a bit out of line in my book. Losing a spouse (or child) is not comparable to most other losses.
Samantha blames Kelsey’s episode for her elimination, and because of it, she missed out on a great guy, Chris missed out on a great girl and we missed out on maybe learning something about her other than the fact that she was the first person out of the second group of limos.
Ashley believed the fainting was real until Kelsey asked for Chris to come to her aid, because a guy she likes is the last person she’d want to be around in such a condition. Kelsey asks them all for forgiveness because she never meant to offend anyone, and Ashley goes back to the “You’re down here” comment that Kelsey apologized for like 45 seconds ago. She resembles a Disney villain at this point, and I no longer find her as super hot as I used to.
Kelsey calls out Ashley for her own despicable comments, when she questioned if Sanderson was imaginary (which I sadly admit to speculating about myself), and Jillian again goes on the defensive. It’s all real, she says, and Kelsey doesn’t deserve the vitriol.
For her part, Kelsey does regret the “amazing story” comments because it was not her intent to minimize the death or manipulate it. It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to her, but what is amazing is that she survived it and that she’s healing when she thought she’d never be able to move on. And through all of the madness, I’m just staring at Jade. She’s the best.
Is Ashley S. Really Crazy?
To extinguish the flames, we’re treated to a collection of Ashley’s craziest hits, from the onion peeling to the paintball zombie affair to the belief that the crew was running a giant gambling ring. Ashley smiles through the whole thing, then heads to the couch to reveal whether she was in on the joke or legit off her rocker.
Chris Harrison dubs her one of his favorite contestants of all time, and she presents him with an onion from her newly-planted onion garden. Either she’s developed a great character with Inception-like intricacies or she’s one of the aliens that Mackenzie talked about all season.
Chris says he is constantly asked if Ashley is a hired actress, but he argues that Meryl Streep could not have pulled off the role so convincingly. So who is the real Ashley S? “I like to ride bikes,” she says. “And this is me.” It’s hard for her not to be silly with the cameras around, and while the other girls were crying, she was outside picking pomegranates.
She then receives the first official offer to appear on Bachelor in Paradise, and after an audience chant of “Do it!” her classic response is, “It’s just so weird that we’re on TV.” And boom goes the dynamite.
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Jade Relives Heartbreak
Everyone loves Jade, so I can’t imagine there will be a whole heck of a lot of non-emotional tension here. We trace her journey from princess date to X-rated revelation to elimination, and it’s as heartbreaking for me as it is for her.
It’s difficult for her to watch, as it brings back all the feelings and the pain. She had what she felt was a strong connection, and it took a lot for her to be honest with Chris and show off how hot she is without any clothes.
He had said it wouldn’t change their relationship, and then she abruptly went home. She doesn’t know what went wrong, because he was supportive and made a point to mention that the Playboy days had nothing to do with the end of her time on the show. And she hopes to ask him about that because she never got her closure.
What especially threw her was his diary blog entry after the hometown date episode, in which he wrote that the person he knew was more on the shy side and not how Jade’s family described her, and that was “disturbing” to him. It crushed her, but let’s be honest, he’s not a man who is good with his words. She just wishes he shot her straight, and then she could deal with it. She just wants to know why?
Kaitlyn Can’t Laugh Her Way Through the Pain
The house’s most fun-loving suitorette was always full of jokes, mostly un-airable, but her journey came to an unceremonious end in Bali. Chris made her elimination all about him, and Kaitlyn left confused over how she ended up hurt after finally letting her guard down (and buying a “Kaitlyn Hearts Chris” billboard!) and getting reassurance that Chris was also falling in love with her.
Her heart is beating out of her chest reliving the experience, and she can pinpoint the exact moment her heart shattered in what she describes as the most confident she’d ever been at a rose ceremony. And she’s been thinking about it every single day since. She still misses Chris, and she was so blindsided that she was speechless for the first time on the show.
Chris Picks Up a Shovel
You don’t need Theresa Caputo to know that things are about to get uncomfortable, as a wordsmith Chris Soules is not. But he’ll try. By god, he’ll try. And he really does mean well. Still, I hope his last meal was something delicious.
Britt is already in tears, so she gets first crack. They hug, and he tells her she’s beautiful while she clutches him in the second-longest-yet-most-uncomfortable hug of the season. She tells him that she understands why he believed Carly, because she was duped too, and he’s like, yeah, Carly had very little to do with you going home, which she agrees with because she knows he’s not that small minded and apparently still loves to contradict herself. She compliments Chris and wishes him the best, saying whoever he ends up with is lucky. It’s all she can do short of pleading for him to give her another shot.
Kaitlyn wants an explanation without a sugary maple syrup-like coating, and he replies that he simply doesn’t have one. At that point, he was falling in love with three women, which he describes as “throwing darts at a dartboard in the dark.” It’s a horrible analogy and probably the worst reason you could give for not dating someone you like (“I threw a dart, and it didn’t hit you”), but that’s our Chris. As for why he made her go through a rose ceremony instead of sending her home respectfully, he responds that this is his first time being the Bachelor, and he apologizes for not handling it better as hindsight would dictate. But he did the best he could, and that seems okay with her.
Last up is Jade, who needs to know if her modeling actually played a role in her being sent home (while I wonder if it will play a role in whether or not she can be the next Bachelorette). She wants to know what “disturbing” meant, and after her family spent the day describing her as a “wild mustang,” he was caught off guard that there could be a whole side to her that he never experienced, He’d only seen the conservative side of her, and then he suddenly felt like he didn’t know her on every level that he wanted to. Then they discuss whether it is awkward to look at naked pictures of a person you’ve never seen naked with that person.
He again apologizes for his poor choice of words, and you have to commend the guy for using the shovel to dig out of holes instead of making them deeper.
And Now … Bloopers!
Random panties on the table during the opening cocktail party
Chris telling a girl she just ran through his fart
A montage of Chris’ different dolphin laughs
Jimmy Kimmel practicing rose ceremony etiquette
The lights going out on Carly
Becca and a moth
The set falling on Kelsey
Ashley spitting out wine
Jillian burning her butt on a hot chair
A monkey gagging
Sully the donkey losing his mind
A dog sneaking up on Becca
Whitney’s humping dog
And I’m not sure if you also want this in the bloopers section, but it appears Chris Harrison has written a romance novel. It’s called The Perfect Letter, and you can find it in your local bookstore right next to all the unsold copies of Desiree and Chris’ poetry book. Or, more accurately, next to all the copies of Desiree and Chris’ poetry book.
So will it be Whitney or Becca?
Watch the season 19 finale of The Bachelor on Monday, March 9, at 8pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)