I feel dirty. No, for reals – I had a shower right before I watched Bachelor Pad last night, and by the end of the episode I felt as though I was covered in filth. Why? Oh, only the most disgusting display of manipulating human emotions I’ve ever seen. But more on that later. We’ve got three hours of this crap to discuss!
Cirque du So-Lame
Honestly, I don’t know why I was annoyed that the most important challenge in Bachelor Pad was so lame. I mean, it’s Bachelor Pad. I shouldn’t – I didn’t! – have any expectations. But come on. Dancing? Eliminating a couple just because they danced the worst? Giving supreme power to another couple just because they danced the best? It’s SO DUMB. Last week’s “Nearlyweds” game would have been a more apt final challenge, or they could have taken a page from Survivor‘s book and done some kind of endurance test. But this? It was a completely arbitrary way to guarantee one couple a spot in the finals and send another packing.
Kasey, as always, felt unjustifiably confident in his ability to win the challenge. “I adapt. I pick up things fast, I’m smart, I’m witty.” What? Witty? First of all, Kasey, you haven’t said a single witty thing all season. Second of all, funny doesn’t help you win a dance contest.
Judging the challenge were The Bachelor(ette)’s few success stories – Trista, Jason and Ali. Man, I bet they can’t wait for someone else from this show to tie the knot so they can stop trotting out every time the viewers need to be reminded that a small percentage of relationships formed on this show have yet to fail.
First up were Michelle and Graham. They were OK, but not great. Next were Ella and Kirk, who barely held it together. Poor Ella – she wanted so badly to win the money for her son, but all she could think about was how her poor son would be motherless if she plummeted to her death. Oh, the irony. Next up were Kasey and Vienna, and of course they felt confident. “I’m a survivor. I’m a dreamer. I’m a believer,” Kasey said. Why does this guy always sound like he’s quoting a really cheesy song? Since Kasey and Vienna had bickered during rehearsal and were snoring while everyone else was practicing, I was hoping they’d fail miserably. Unfortunately, they kinda rocked it. It looked like they’d win, until….Stag to the rescue! Holly’s performance was good, but Stag took it to a whole new level with his spins and jumps.
After some deliberation, Holly and Michael were declared the winners. Did anyone else wonder if Kasey and Vienna perhaps lost a few points for being so darn unlikable? I mean, it’s not like Vienna and Ali were BFFs. Unfortunately, it was Kirk and Ella who were declared worst of all and eliminated from the show. Just like that – poof! – Ella’s dreams of buying a house and Kirk’s dreams of paying off medical bills were shot down. Saying Ella took it hard would be an understatement – there were a lot of tears.
Make Your Cases
Having won the competition, Holly and Mike were now in the bittersweet position of having a spot in the finals and having to choose who to take with them. Taking Kasey and Vienna would basically guarantee them a win, but Graham and Michelle had been their allies all along.
Kasey and Vienna made a good argument, although afterwards Vienna chastised Kasey for talking too loudly, leaning forward, and being generally intimidating, intense and scary. Vienna’s insults were unnecessary though, because Holly and Mike basically told Michelle and Graham that they’d be going with the less likable couple. This didn’t sit well with Graham, who exploded with anger and kept saying “It’s not about the money.” Um, well, I mean I’m no Bachelor Pad expert or anything, but from what I understood y’all were supposed to be there competing for $250,000. So, like, there’s that.
Of course, Bachelor Pad loves to think they’ve surprised you, so I knew all this heavy-handed editing was just preparation for them to yell “Psych!” when Holly and Mike ultimately decided to do the stupid “right” thing and bring their friends to the finale.
Do you think Kasey and Vienna would have had a shot in the finals? They certainly could have made a case for themselves since they acted as puppet-masters throughout the game, but they were also pretty disliked by a lot of the eliminated players. I kind of wish they’d won only so I could see whether Vienna would choose “share” or “keep” in the end.
As soon as Vienna got in the reject limo, she began to sob. Not because she’d lost a shot at the money, though. “I’m really upset because my perfect rose record was just ruined,” she blubbered. Oh. Dear. God. I never want to see this woman again.
The Drama Continues
But I have to! Because everyone is present at the finale, ready to rehash what’s happened and vote for their favorite couple. And there was so much drama to discuss. Let’s begin.
Jackie and Ames. This one was pretty awkward, since Jackie literally looked like someone had just shot her cat right in front of her. Poor Jackie “spent a lot of time this summer, like, being really confused and sad.” In fact, there was a whole week where she couldn’t even get out of bed because Ames had dumped her without an explanation. Oh come on, Jackie, there had to be something – did you insult his red pants? Did you laugh when he quoted something from the Renaissance? Did you try donning a crop-top and dancing for him? Maybe you just weren’t bowlegged enough to strike his fancy. Whatever it was, Ames kept it to himself, singing Jackie’s praises and simply saying that it didn’t work out. Jackie looked glum for the rest of the finale.
Jake and Vienna. Naturally, Jake got the glory edit here. Man, at this rate I wouldn’t be surprised if they let this guy do The Bachelor a second time. Vienna did herself no favors though, trying to claim that she had no problem with Jake and had been pleasant to him all along.
Jake and Kasey. Vienna’s image wasn’t helped when Kasey decided to own his humiliating behavior and formally apologize to Jake. The look on Vienna’s face when the two men shook hands and hugged it out? Made watching 14 hours of this crap totally worth it.
Kasey and Vienna. Surprisingly, these two are still together – but Kasey has some doubts now that he’s seen their unhealthy relationship unfold on the small screen. Also, he took Justin “Rated R” to town for mocking the way he speaks – he has a speech impediment, guys! Um, this is awkward. Kasey, I apologize on behalf of the Internet. Actually, scratch that. You went on Bachelor Pad – that gives me the right to mock you all I want. It’s the law.
Blake. Oh, Blake. I don’t care if you actually do marry Holly, and if the Bachelor producers decide to call you guys a success story and trot you out to give advice to other contestants for seasons to come – I can’t stand you, I think you’re gross, and no matter what you can never erase the fact that you likened yourself to a prostitute on TV. But two good things have come of this – Melissa has realized that she’s not cut out for reality TV, and I got to see that intense yogurt stirring I’d missed the first time around.
Blake had some big news, though – bigger than the fact that Holly’s moving to South Carolina to be with him. He’s madly in love with Holly because she makes him feel like a better person (but really, was there anywhere to go but up?) so he asked the Bachelor people to just casually meet him on a romantic mountain top to film him having a picnic with Holly. I’m sure she had no idea what was going on.
Yes, Blake and Holly are engaged. This, we already knew. Barf. What I’d also read, but hoped wouldn’t be true, was that Holly was going to break the news to Michael at the Bachelor Pad finale. And it was even more horrific than I’d imagined.
This is why I feel dirty
After Blake announced the engagement, Harrison brought out the two finale couples so they could get on with the voting process rip out poor Michael’s heart on national television and them stomp on it. Honestly, words can’t describe how cold, disgusting, heartless and reprehensible this is. OK, those were a few words, but they really don’t do it justice.
Chris Harrison asked Holly if she’d informed Michael of her news, and she said no. At first Mike thought they meant that she was moving – this he knew. Oh, the cruelty. The poor guy was already jittery and uncomfortable. Holly mumbled “We got engaged,” and immediately Michael looked like he’d just been water boarded or something. It was a combination of shock, sadness, and wanting desperately to hold it together on live television. “I’m sorry, that’s super awkward…” he said, in maybe the biggest understatement ever. “I am shocked still, so maybe a water would be great, or a commercial break?” Kudos to Stag for keeping it funny. Shame on Bachelor Pad for following through on neither of his requests.
“Seriously, congratulations, I’m sorry…really, here though, everyone, is like, where I find out?” he continued. “Maybe like, a letter prior? Or an email? I don’t know.”
OK, so let’s make a few things clear.
- I never thought I’d use the words “grace” or “class” in a Bachelor Pad review, but that’s how Michael handled the situation and it was admirable.
- Holly sucks. She really, really sucks. There was no reason at all for her to withhold this information until they were on TV. She should have called him, or emailed him, or pulled him aside before the show. I don’t care if the producers told her not to, or if they paid her not to, or if not telling Michael about the engagement were strings that came with that free diamond ring. It was low, and she sucks.
- This is an all new low, Bachelor franchise producers. All. New. Low.
After that shocking display of manipulation, we all needed a mood lifter. Well, too bad! Now it’s time to talk to Michelle and Graham, and that’s a whole other kind of sad. Only a few weeks prior, Michelle’s dad passed away from cancer.
It’s no secret that I didn’t like Michelle when she was on The Bachelor, but this is obviously something you wouldn’t even wish on Vienna. Even if Michelle had continued to come across as a lunatic on Bachelor Pad, I would have felt for her as she talked about how great Graham had been as she went through such a hard time. But it did help that Michelle and Graham were one of only two couples who weren’t completely vile on this show. I was already rooting for them to win, dead father aside.
Michelle made it clear that she didn’t want any pity votes, but I would have voted for her anyway. Sure, Michael won challenges. But that meant he and Holly automatically landed in the finals. Michelle and Graham got there because of the relationships they built, and that’s what Chris Harrison keeps telling me it was all about. They avoided the drama, never were really considered for elimination, and then made strong enough friendships to ensure that they’d make it to the finals over what probably would have been a sure thing. No one on this show really earned $250,000, but if I had to vote I would have voted for Michelle and Graham.
Oh, plus I really hate Holly.
But when all was said and done, more people on the jury respected Holly and Michael’s game play. He and Holly moved on to the next round.
Share the Wealth
Here’s the thing. Last season, the “share” or “keep” decision was a surprise and therefore created an exciting, suspenseful twist. But this time, it seemed painfully obvious that both Michael and Holly would choose to share the money. Holly’s a , but not in that way, and Michael’s too nice to keep the prize for himself.
Naturally, though, the producers dragged the moment out as long as they could. And then Holly and Michael each walked away approximately $75,000 richer, after taxes. Enjoy South Carolina, Holly. I hope you’re the next (after Ben) bachelor, Michael.
Speaking of Ben, he came out for an interview at the end. Remember that time Ashley let him get down on one knee and propose before she dumped him? Ben and Michael should form a club or something, geez. Anyway, we’ll be treated to his snoozefest season in January 2012, which means I guess I’m rooting for Michael Stagliono as Bachelor 2013. If I’m still watching by then. See y’all in January!