|Happy Ever After?|
Well, that was weird.
After what was The. Least. Shocking. Finale. In. Bachelor. History. we were all thrown for a loop to find out that Brad’s relationship with Emily had crumbled quicker than you can say y’all. The After the Final Rose special was tense, awkward and – dare I say it? – realistic. It showed multiple cracks in Brad and Emily’s relationship, all of which signaled at the various ways this show is a completely ludicrous way to find a spouse. But before that, let’s talk abut the actual finale.
Chantal’s fate seemed sealed from the beginning. Brad was relaxed as he introduced Chantal to his folks, and everyone got along fine. Brad told everyone that he has fun with Chantal and that he can be himself around her. But you know what? He’s better than himself around Emily.
It wasn’t that Chantal’s visit with Brad’s family went poorly, it’s just that it paled so in comparison to Emily’s. Emily had everything going for her. She brought flowers. Brad was as giddy as a little school girl. She told the sob story. Everyone cried. And like it wasn’t obvious enough, Brad’s mom literally told him that she wanted him to choose Emily. Honestly, you had to feel bad for Chantal. How could anyone measure up to the tragic Southern belle?
The weirdest part was the reaction Brad’s family had to the news that Emily has a daughter. They spent about 30 seconds wondering if Brad was ready for an instant family, and then the sisters-in-law (sister-in-laws?) cooed about how Emily would fit into the family better since she was already on their level. Because women just don’t “get it” until they have a kid. Aaaaand, I’d like to interrupt this recap to direct you all over to YouTube for a viewing of “Pregnant Women Are Smug“. Look, I get that until someone actually has a child, they don’t really understand what it’s like. But it’s not right to say that Chantal wouldn’t fit into the family as well just because she’s not a mom. Everyone deserves a honeymoon period, where they can go on a few trips and eat pizza four times in one week and drink wine on a Tuesday night because they don’t have any screaming, sticky babies yet.
Before the big decision, Brad still had two dates to go on in Cape Town, the most beautiful city on earth. First up? Swimming with the sharks with Chantal.
Honestly, of all the amazing things to do in Cape Town and the surrounding area? Dudes! I could list at least ten things off the top of my head that would be more fun that sitting in a cage trying not to wet your wetsuit in fear. But, you know, whatever floats your boat I guess…
Brad and Chantal had a fun time on their date, because she’s the Fun Choice. Back at Chantal’s hotel room, she presents him with a hand drawn map of everywhere they’ve been. “I’ve never traveled the world for any guy before,” Chantal mused. Oh right, because it was such a chore. The way she’s been trudging through this horrendous places like Anguilla and South Africa must really prove her love to him. Please. I’d date Charlie Sheen for an ell-expenses paid trip like that. (Dear Charlie Sheen: That was a joke. Please do not call me.)
Next up was Brad’s date with Emily, which was a disaster. I thought maybe this date was edited to look lame just to act as a red herring, but now I see that it was edited to look like a disaster as a tool for foreshadowing.
The thing about Brad and Emily is that they never let us see them having fun. We only ever saw them talking about their “journey”, or their future, or whether he was ready to be a stepfather. So Emily and Brad went to the Cape of Good Hope (irony alert!) and what did they do? Oh yeah, they talked.
Then Brad visited Emily in her hotel room, and they talked so more. I think I’d rather go shark swimming than watch that conversation again. The whole thing was a great example of why people who have kids shouldn’t be on The Bachelor. Brad told Emily that he’s ready to be a father, but first she had to make sure he knew what that meant. It means no drinking beer and watching football in peace and quiet. It means staying up all night taking care of a sick kid. It means inconvenient trips to the emergency room. Emily had to be sure Brad knew what he was getting into and she was asking a lot of good questions. But Brad took it as Emily questioning his sincerity, and he started to get mad. (Foreshadowing alert!) Brad left, and we didn’t even get to see what “meaningful” crap was in the little gift bag she gave him.
I love how The Bachelor shows each girl getting ready for the final rose ceremony in exactly the same way. It’s like a freakin’ music video. Wake up in a full face of makeup, open the curtains to admire the view, go catch some rays by the pool, write in a journal you’ve never used before in your life, have a cup of coffee, spend the remaining six hours primping. Oh, and don’t forget to stare out into space with a peaceful, yet pensive look on your face at least once every ten minutes.
Despite the disaster date, I knew Brad would pick Emily. He chose a ring that probably costs as much as a house, he put on a shiny suit, he let Chantal down as gently as possible, and then he proposed to Emily. Kudos on the speech to whoever wrote it – and double kudos if it was actually Brad himself.
It was so predictable that I have very little to say. Chantal’s dress was unflattering, and she was completely crushed. I felt bad. I liked both Chantal and Emily, and I couldn’t say I wanted him to pick one over the other. I thought he had a more realistic connection with Chantal, but I thought Emily’s Southern charm was more what he was looking for and helped her fit in more with his family. Once she actually met them, it was all over but the crying. (Speaking of crying, though, I thought Chantal took the rejection well. She was crushed, but stayed classy.)
After the Final Rose – The Ironic Edition
Honestly, could the After the Final Rose special have been any more ironic? Chantal was rejected, but she’s far happier than Brad and Emily.
Chantal came out looking lovely, and despite grilling Brad a little and shedding a few tears, we learned that she met someone back home and is very happy. And you know what? Me too! I much prefer this news to the idea that she’s the next Bachelorette, which is what I’d been hoping for, or – god forbid – a contestant on Bachelor Pad.
Chantal’s main issue with Brad was an extremely valid one. If he knew so early on that Emily was the one, what was he doing stringing her along? He knew how she felt about him. He implied that he felt the same way. He took her to the fantasy suite. Well folks, therein lies the problem with The Bachelor. If Brad was indeed sure about Emily from very early on, what was he to do? Send everyone home and just date her for the last couple weeks? Brad was rigid and nervous, because he’s already on thin ice with Emily and didn’t want to say anything that would anger her. He told Chantal that they’d had a connection early on and that he thought she’d deserved to be there until the end. Oof. That’s not what a girl wants to hear.
Next Brad and Chris Harrison had some one-on-one time. You know, just to remind us all that this show actually has a host – we barely saw the guy during the actual finale. Chris dropped the bomb that Brad and Emily’s relationship hadn’t been all roses and champagne since they left Cape Town. In fact, they actually broke up for a bit. There had been plans for the After the Final Rose special to actually be Brad and Emily’s televised wedding (barf), but that was scrapped. Why? Well, let’s bring Emily out.
Emily came out , and looking good, I might add. Her new hair color is much better. Emily is poised and private, like always. I actually feel bad for Emily. I really think she’s just not cut out for this kind of TV show. She’s hesitant to reveal everything about herself on TV, which I respect, but most viewers prefer someone who lays it all out there for them.
Among the problems in Emily and Brad have are his temper, her disgust over watching the show every Monday night, and her reluctance to move to Austin. This was possible the most realistically brutal After the Final Rose ceremony we’ve ever seen. After all, remember how lovey-dovey Jake and Vienna were only to have to relationship go up in flames a short while later? Emily and Brad’s perfectly exemplify the problems with trying to build an actual relationship after dating on a TV show.
Brad has a temper. Naturally, that never really came out on the show. (Though my mom and I totally called that he always seemed like he was holding back.) His family asked Emily if she’d “poked the bear” yet, and she had no idea what that meant. Uh-oh! And Emily herself has a temper too. After all, this is a woman who’s been a single mom for five years. She’s used to having to handle everything, and she’s not going to give that up so easily.
Emily’s complaints about the show were pretty valid, too. While her comments could come across as petty (not getting fun dates like shark diving) she pretty much echoed everything that had been said in my living room as the show was airing. That Chantal was fun and sexy, but Emily looked uptight and boring. And it couldn’t have been easy for Emily to see Brad get so hot-and-heavy with the other women when their relationship had been rather chaste in comparison. Add to all this the fact that The Bachelor prevents engaged couples from actually seeing one another until the finale has aired, and you’ve got the perfect storm of relationship drama brewing.
Chris Harrison brought out the show’s three successful couples to give advice, though if you ask me the fact that they’ve only created three successful relationships (and let’s face it, the jury is still out on Ali and Roberto) served better as proof that The Bachelor(ette) cannot really create lasting relationships in the real world. The advice they gave was good, and confirmed that neither Brad or Emily will be reading this website anytime soon. (Thanks a lot for telling me I don’t matter, Molly…pfft, I didn’t even watch your season. So there.)
Despite Emily and Brad’s frequent proclamations of love, I don’t have high hopes for this couple. They seemed to be convincing themselves that things will work out as much as they were convincing us. Emily made a good point when she said that they’d start their relationship with a clean slate now that the show was finished airing, but if she’s not prepared to move to Austin then I don’t see how they’ll ever be able to get married.
What did you think of the finale? Did the crazy After the Final Rose show make up for the rather predictable finish? Do you think Brad and Emily will make it another six months? Do you think they’ll make it down the televised aisle? Do you think Brad and Chantal would have had a better chance of making it work? Sound off below with all your thoughts and comments, because lord knows no one from the actual show will be reading!