That doesn’t mean you won’t want a little water-cooler ammo come Tuesday morning when the topic turns to who received Juan Pablo’s final rose; why, during a live “After the Final Rose” special, said woman looked about as happy as a bride who spills caberbet on her white gown moments before her wedding; and what made host Chris Harrison suggest that half of the show’s viewers were about to smash their TV sets in anger and frustration.
Below, five bullet points to help you achieve the minimum standard of literacy about the latest season finale/ATFR of ABC’s
offering to the dark underlord reality dating franchise.
* In the regular Bachelor finale, the final two contestants — Clare and Nikki — meet Juan Pablo’s family, then get one final date with the former soccer player. After a helicopter ride with Clare, however, we get a pretty shocking twist. Juan Pablo describes their “flying above Saint Lucia” experience thusly: “Clare is very hot. She’s sexy. She’s cute. And she kisses…ay yi yi.” Clare, however, sees it another way. Let’s pass the mic to her, yes? “So as the helicopter is landing, we have a rare moment together — with no cameras, no audio, nobody there with us except the pilot. And Juan Pablo leaned over and whispered something to me. But what I thought was gonna be sweet, kind, loving words was not what came out of his mouth. And I’m just shocked,” she says. “It’s just something he said in that moment to me…it’s…I almost, I don’t have words for how I feel right now. He chose to tell me something that no woman wants to hear — that he really doesn’t know me, and some sexual thing I don’t even want to repeat. It was insulting. It was offensive. And it just made me feel awful. Every single woman deserves to be treated with respect. I’m not just an object. Maybe I have him all wrong. Maybe he’s not the man I thought he was.” Damn, and Juan Pablo thought a gay Bachelor would be “too pervert” for American viewing audiences? My husband of eight years and I would be insulted if we gave two shhhhhillings what this reality TV star thought of us!
* So Clare doesn’t gather up her self respect, hop on the ‘copter and flee the scene. Instead she sheds some tears and probably has some Bachelor staffer hypnotize her into staying the course. Juan Pablo eventually boots Clare (of course!) and chooses Nikki, but the latter woman gets a shock of her own when he declines to put a ring on it, declines to tell her he loves her, and instead utters inanities like, “I love your honesty so much, so much, because you’re like me, very honest, very honest.” He also says she has “all the qualities” and how it’s been “a perfect time” every time he’s been with her. “Honestly, I have a ring here in my pocket, and I’m not gonna use it. I’m not 100 percent sure that I wanna propose to you, but at the same time, I’m 100 percent sure that I don’t want to let you go,” he grins, as Nikki’s face assumes the expression of your cat being taken to the vet for its annual round of shots. Juan Pablo offers her his “final rose” and she accepts — because she likes being on television?
* During the live “After the Final Rose” segment, Clare declines to spill the beans on what Juan Pablo said to her, only making his insult seem all the more scandalous. (Maybe it’s a bleepable comment?) When Juan Pablo and Nikki finally take their places in “the hot seat,” Juan Pablo gets petulant and refuses to say he loves Nikki. Host Chris Harrison asks Nikki, now grinning like she’s signing for a UPS delivery and trying not to pretend that her entire extended family is being held hostage in the living room by a terrorist cell, how long she’s willing to stay with a guy who won’t utter the “L” word, and she gives this damning response: “As long as it feels right, then I’ll give it that length of time. But once it doesn’t feel right, then I think I’m gonna be out.” Note her use of “once” as opposed to “if.” How many weeks ’til their Us Magazine breakup cover?
* Juan Pablo keeps insisting that, with the show ending its run, he and Nikki can “start today to be ourselves,” adding a weird sidebar about how the couples’ future plans changed due to information he received from show producers just a few weeks prior. (¡!) Juan Pablo pretends that his English-language skills are a barrier to understanding previous Bachelor winner Catherine’s comment not to “slap the hand that fed you,” and an exasperated Harrison almost snaps that he could understand Juan Pablo being cagey about his helicopter comments to Clare, but that his relationship with Nikki “is the happy stuff! Why not want to share that with all of these phenomenal people who have been on this journey? Casue that’s what we all signed up to watch — and that’s what you signed up to show.” When Juan Pablo still refuses to say the “L” word — bye-bye, year-end stock-options bonus — Harrison sighs at Juan Pablo and Nikki. “You guys have smiles, so good on ya!”
* Finally, Harrison announces that the new star of The Bachelorette is Andi Dorfman, an ADA for Fulton County, Ga., where she prosecutes gangs, the third-place finisher on Juan Pablo’s season, and the woman who called JP out for being a self-centered bubblehead after their night in the “fantasy suite.”
The Bachelorette premieres May 19 on ABC. Will you be watching?