Here’s the deal. I have a reasonable excuse for my tardiness. While the show aired, I was thousands of feet in the air. And while Horizon Air offered free alcohol (I know!), there was no free Wi-Fi, as there is on their mother aircraft, Alaska Air, and no TV on the backs of headrests like there is on WestJet. To top it all off, the pilot didn’t even announce the results! Can you believe it?
I walked in the door after 1 a.m. and wasn’t about to sit down and watch after spending that day in Los Angeles, Reno, Seattle and Vancouver (my travel agent: Marquis de Sade).
I also wrenched my back carting my luggage and laptop for four hours dodging tourists on Hollywood Blvd. (Side note: Why do people feel compelled to snap a shot of a favourite star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Thankfully most cameras are digital now. I suspect most of those shots will be deleted once they realize they have 30 shots of letters arranged into famous names. Side note II: If you’re somebody worthy like, say, Alfred Hitchcock or Charles Chaplin, doesn’t it kinda cheapen your star when Godzilla, the Munchkins and Lindsay Wagner also get a star? The first two are fictional and Lindsay, as much as I adored her as Jamie Sommers and she once smiled at me on the streets of Vancouver, did one thing in her Hollywood career. Surely you need more than one hit series to get a star, no?)
But I digress. I woke up (slowly) Tuesday morning and hobbled down to the couch, barely able to move. My son was in an all-day camp and I was all set to lie on the couch, watch our favourite reality show, and blog about it. I turn on the PVR and... nothing! My wife accidentally deleted the show after watching it. Proving once again that women should never be permitted use of the remote control.
I didn’t want to check on-line for a link to the program lest I stumble onto the final results, so I e-mailed my wife at work and demanded she find one for me. She sent me a couple links but they weren’t available outside the U.S.A. (worldwide web my ass!). Our local station that carries The Bachelorette had the previous shows but not the finale. But I knew they’d have it eventually. And now it’s up so here I am.
So get this: It’s Thursday night as I write this and I still (honest to God) don’t know the results. Is that admirable or pathetic? I haven’t figured that out yet, but I’m glad I’m pop-culturally obtuse. It has its advantages.
Let’s waste no more time and get right to it, shall we?
During the long recap/upcoming highlights, Chris Harrison says, “You won’t believe what happens!” Maybe, maybe not. But if it’s really that unbelievable, I’m just surprised I haven’t heard anything yet. I know, my head can be stuck in the sand sometimes, but why is it whenever I don’t want to know the score of a particular game, I can’t help but hear it? Is it all that surprising? I kind of feel excited knowing that all you guys already know it and I’m just now getting to it.
“I never would have imagined being here in Bora Bora,” Ali says. Really? Never? Surely you mean a year or two ago. But when you signed up for The Bachelor and then The Bachelorette, surely your imagination would have allowed you to take you places, knowing that the show does fly people to various spots around the world. Or maybe she never would have imagined it because she had never heard of Bora Bora before.
Jimmy Kimmel always teases the show every season for how often they say “amazing”. So I’ll keep a running tally. So far it’s at 3.
I said it before, but this is the first time in series history I think I’ve liked both finalists equally. They both seem like really good guys. If she chooses neither of them, she’ll be correct in her self-assessment of wondering if it’s her. If Frank comes back and she chooses him, I look forward to the inevitable break-up in four months’ time.
She uses the “friend” line so often when talking about Chris, which, you would think, spells doom for the New Englander. But Ali likes going the friend route. She says she can’t tell us the percentage of ex-boyfriends that started out as just friends. Then again, they’re all exes now, so what does that really tell us? That maybe the friend route isn’t the way to go?
I’ve noticed the same thing from both of the guys in the montages of each one. When they’re embracing Ali, one hand isn’t open and flat on her back, it’s closed in a fist. Both guys. What does that mean? That they’re closed off a little bit? That they don’t want to fully commit? I tend to think body English readers are a bit of a crock, but it’s just interesting they both do that.
Up next: Roberto says “amazing” but I won’t count it in our official tally until we see it when it’s supposed to air. And Harrison says, “Ali makes a shocking decision that will change her life forever.” Man, this better be good, Harrison. Haven’t these people ever heard of understatement? Set our expectations low and we’ll be blown away. Tell us how to react and we’ll get our back up and say, “Aw, it wasn’t all that awesome.”
I’m sure I noticed this before, and maybe even commented on it, but I just noticed again that Roberto is an insurance agent. I’m now having second thoughts about him. I can’t help but think of Woody Allen’s line from his classic film Love and Death (one of my all-time favourites): “There are some things worse than death. If you’ve ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman, I’m sure you know what I mean.” And from one of his stories: “I was overcome with self-loathing and contemplated suicide again—this time by inhaling next to an insurance salesman.” But I realize that burnt out ex-jocks don’t have a lot of options, thanks to a system that pushes them through their schooling.
It seems Roberto is taking this “meet the family” thing a little too business-like. He has talking points he wants to get across. Oh well, if it doesn’t work out, he can always pitch them on insurance.
Roberto says there’s no real way to prepare for the kinds of questions they’ll ask him. Prepare? Just be yourself, buddy. Relax! And the first one is a doozy: What’s your favourite baseball team. Ali’s sister, Raya, says the answer is very “impor’ant” (so it’s clear the speech impediment runs in the family. Or, okay, it’s a regionalism). Roberto starts sweating over that softball question (sorry for throwing a softball metaphor into a baseball statement). I ignored his open pores a couple weeks ago, but it’s clear now he’s got a perspiration problem. You’re a former semi-pro baseball player, for the love of Pete! Throw that back in their lowly fan faces. Be confident!
Question to my readers: You’ve all been on dates to meet the family for the first time. How many of those dates included going outside to have a heart-to-heart with a member of the family? My guess is it’s a collective zero, or near-zero. But every single home date in the history of this franchise does this. I know, I know, they’re all coached, but for realism’s sake, I’d love to see a family date where they all acted normal. Well, as normal as can be with lights and cameras all around them.
Raya gets all Spanishy when pronouncing Roberto’s name.
Amazing count: 4
Roberto asks Ali’s mom what he can do to keep Ali happy. She tells him to just keep on keeping on. Do what he’s been doing from the time he met her up till now. In other words, fly her around the world, tightrope walk between high rises, star with her on Broadway, take plenty of helicopter trips. You know, simple things like that.
The mom starts tearing up with joy. She’s so happy for her daughter she can’t contain herself. She sees how much Ali cares for Roberto. At least that what she says. Maybe she’s just getting the insurance fumes and it’s affecting her eyes.
Now it’s the dad’s turn. He and Roberto sit down outside and his first question is, “How do you feel about Ali?” “Um, well, sir, I don’t think we’re a good match. Frankly speaking, I’m a little out of her league. I could do waaaay better, that’s plain to see.”
What the hell kind of answer is he expecting? That wasn’t his real answer. Rather, he just starts blathering on and on about family and making her happy. The dad looked pleased. Roberto says he wants to look out for her best interest not just for the next few months (a shot at, well, every other Bachelor/ette couple minus two) but on into the future. Of course the dad is happy. Oh, the upcoming highlights didn’t want us to know that, but who ever believes those?
There’s something quite sexist, I find, with the old school, conservative approach Roberto espouses about a man asking a woman’s father for his blessing. Maybe I’m just making excuses for never having done that in my life. But doesn’t it sound like one step removed from brokering a trade: “I’ll give you two oxen for your daughter.” “Throw in a rooster and you’ve got yourself a deal.”
Amazing count: 5 (21 minutes in)
Ali meets Chris and says, “You look handsome.” He tells her she looks beautiful. That was the exact same exchange between her and Roberto yesterday. Is she fishing for compliments with that opening?
Maybe it’s because I write about comedy that everything reminds me of a bit by a comic, but when they get all excited that Chris is from Massachusetts, then Ali’s mom says, “What part, east or west?” it totally made me think of the great Emo Philips line. Allow me to cut and paste:
I was in San Fransisco once, walking along the Golden Gate Bridge, and I saw this guy on the bridge about to jump. So I thought I'd try to stall and detain him, long enough for me to put the film in. I said, "Don't jump!" and he turns and says, "Nobody loves me."I got that sense with Ali’s family. It’s great he’s from the same state, but if he’s from the wrong side, they’d essentially push him over the bridge.
I said, "God loves you, you silly ninny."
He said, "I do believe in God."
I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?"
He said, "A Christian."
I said, "Me too. Protestant or Catholic?"
He said, "Protestant."
I said, "Me too! What franchise?"
He says, "Baptist."
I said, "Me too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?"
He says, "Northern Baptist."
I said, "Me too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"
He says, "Northern Conservative Baptist."
I say, "Me too! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist or Northern Conservative Reform Baptist?"
He says, "Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist."
I say, "Me too! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Eastern Region?"
He says, "Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region."
I say, "Me too! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879 or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?"
He says, "Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912."
I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over!
Ali’s mom makes a faux pas, asking about Chris’s mom. As soon as she said “your mother”, I went, “Here we go again.” But at least we know Chris loves talking about it so it’s not awkward.
Amazing count: 6 (25:45 in)
Hey, a Canadian connection! Finally we can erase the bad taste of the Wrassler and the Sarnia Sleaze. Chris tells Ali’s family that his dad is a Canadian, born in Montreal. Turns out Ali’s dad also was born in Montreal. This after Ali’s dad says he used to teach high school physics and Chris says he used to teach high school math. This is all too perfect. How can it not be Chris?
Oh, lord, Ali’s mom says, “Chris, it’s fine if you don’t want to talk about it, but can you tell us about your mom?” So that was that sound I heard on Monday night. It was America’s eyes rolling.
Chris is calm, cool and collected in his chat with Ali’s siblings. And maybe just a tad over-confident. He says he has a feeling they’ll be seeing more of him over the summer. My advice would be to think it, don’t say it. But bottom line, again, both guys seem like great choices. It’s up to Ali to blow it by not picking one of them. But if she does pick one of these two, I’ll have no complaints.
There’s just one thing: Chris wants to ask Ali’s dad for his daughter’s hand in marriage. (Is this something the producers set them up to do or is it really that common?) The violins swell as if to suggest it’s going to be a tense situation. I doubt it will be.
Here’s the big sit-down with Ali’s dad. Da-da-da-dum! What will he say?! Ooh, it’s so exciting I can’t stand it!... Yup, he gives his blessing. Wow, that was tense. I can move back off the edge of my seat now.
Does it seem that maybe Chris loves the idea of marriage more than he loves Ali? He just wants a wife so he can fit in with his younger brothers.
Chris kisses like a horse eating a sugar cube.
This is the second time in an upcoming highlight that Harrison has asked the question if who she chooses will love her back. If whoever she chooses declines the final rose, that would, indeed, be the most dramatic season finale ever. I just can’t see it happening, though. Both these saps seem to be head-over-heels in love with her.
Amazing count: 7 (39:58 in)
Ali gathers her family around to help her sort through her dilemma. The dad says they’re both great guys “but there’s something about Roberto that tells me he has a love for you.” Uh, that wasn’t apparent with Chris? He says, “Roberto’s more willing to move forward in a relationship with you, that’s how I felt. Chris is just a little bit hesitant.” Raya and the brother both disagree with dad, saying Chris is not hesitant in the least. The dad seethes. I think he’s got a bit of a man-crush on the former pro athlete. The mom is also on Chris’ side. Boy, is this going to be awkward if she chooses Roberto. Presumably he’ll watch the show and presumably he’ll meet up with the family again.
Roberto and Ali go out on a jet ski. Ali loves a guy who can get on a piece of machinery and go fast. That counts Chris out if that’s all she’s going by if his moped abilities are any indication.
They come across some stingrays and decide to get off the mighty machine for a little visit. Because what could go wrong, right? Obviously they know nothing about how Steve Irwin died. You’d think the camera person might give a little heads up. But they’re laughing and kissing and having a grand old time. Oh wait, maybe this is the most dramatic season finale for a reason! They get stung and die.
Amazing count: 8 (46:50 in)
It looks like Ali is sucking in her gut. Meanwhile, she thinks he’s one of the sexiest men she’s ever known. I don’t think he’s sucking in his gut.
Sitting on a blanket in their bathing suits, it starts to pour. This really turns Ali on. They get in the ocean and start kissing. She says she feels he really could be the one for her... “but I just don’t know.” If she doesn’t know at this point, my prediction is she doesn’t pick anyone.
Amazing count: 9 (50:29 in)
Again with the same old nonsense: “I’ve given up everything to be here. My whole life.” Can we stop with this, please? Nobody buys it. Poor girl gave up that dull office job to star on national prime-time TV for a few months, travel to New York, Iceland, Turkey and Tahiti, and have a personal trainer to make you the object of everyone’s eye (even if you do have to suck in your gut at times). Our hearts bleed for you.
She says Roberto has mentioned a few times that it’s difficult for him to open up to her and she hopes to talk to him about that tonight. Seriously. She said that. What does the woman want? The guy looks ga-ga over her. Does she need it spelled out? She wants him to open up emotionally a bit more with her tonight. Man, if that’s what she’s looking for she’s going to be single forever because I’m pretty sure Alan Alda is taken.
Roberto seems to have gotten the same memo because he thinks he still needs to have some important conversations with her, too. But first, he showers her with gifts. It’s a framed photo of the two of them in a heart-shaped lagoon. He’s written on the back:
The moment I met you I knew my life would change. Through this journey we’ve created memories that I’ll cherish for a lifetime. You inspire me to be a better man for you and for the both of us. [Something Spanish] And let’s dance forever. With so much love, Roberto.Prediction: If Roberto isn’t Ali’s choice, he will definitely be the next Bachelor. Hands down.
Semantics time: He lies on the bed trying to tell Ali his feelings, in case, as he says, she doesn’t know already. He relates how her dad asked if he, Roberto, loved his daughter and he didn’t hesitate at all, saying, “Absolutely.” Then he tells her, “So, if you didn’t know already, I am definitely, definitely falling in love with you.” They smooch and Ali says, “Hearing Roberto tell me he loves me feels so good.” She tells him, “My heart feels like it’s exploding out of my chest.”
I hate to put the screech to the record, but he didn’t tell her he loves her; he told her he’s “falling” in love with her. That implies to me that he’s not quite there yet. Or at least wants to temper it a bit for whatever reason.
And then he goes and spoils it all by saying something stupid like, “I love you.”
So I don’t know what I’m talking about afterall. Big surprise there.
And, Ali tells us, she loves Roberto. She’s never, ever, ever in her whole life felt this good about a relationship. Everything she came here to find, she found in Roberto. Case closed. Hand out the rose and let’s end this thing.
Aha! She says, “I know I have a date with Chris tomorrow, and I should go, but I can’t. I don’t want to say goodbye to Roberto.” So that’s the shocking conclusion, is it? She dumps Chris before his last chance? Classy.
Geez, and there’s still half an hour to go.
Here’s Chris going on confidently about the love of his life. I don’t know if I’m ready for this heartbreak, so I can’t imagine poor Chris. “When we get married, Ali and I, I’m going to shower her with tons of love. I’ll tell her every day how much I love her and then just keep telling her that for the rest of her life.”
What’s with the faux-hawk, Chris. You’re 33 already. Stop that.
A knock at the door. Never a good sign. Is she going to say, “We need to talk”?
No, she doesn’t. They sit down and she’s sounding a bit too excited considering she’s about to rip his heart out of his chest. Then she faulters. She lies and says she’s at a point with two guys and she doesn’t know what to do. She continues to beat around the bush until it sinks in and she asks, “Do you understand what I’m saying?” He hangs his head and she says, “I’m in love with somebody else.” Couldn’t she just have saved this speech for one day? And isn’t it the same speech Dorky Frank gave her?
But to make it all seem better, she whispers, “This wasn’t an easy decision. It was really hard. I just didn’t want to put you through tomorrow. Because I know that it’s going to be so hard.” He says thank you, but why? She’s giving him one more day of heartbreak.
I gotta say he’s taking it pretty well. He keeps thanking her, which should drive the guilt home pretty nicely, I’m thinking.
The only thing that could top this is if Roberto declines the final rose.
The look in her eyes as Chris is being magnanimous and a true gentleman says she’s wondering if she made the wrong decision. And with 20 minutes still left, maybe she does change her mind.
As she sniffles down the stairs, she tells us, “It was a lot harder to say goodbye to Chris than I thought it was going to be.” Really? She thought it would be a snap? He certainly took it well. So all that can mean is she thought she had no feelings for him but found out she at least is capable of empathy.
Chris goes outside to gather his thoughts and looks up to find a perfect rainbow... only it hasn’t rained. So clearly this is a sign from his mother that everything’s going to be okay. And you know what? Normally I hate sentimental crap like that, but I believe it. Well, I don’t believe it, but I believe he believes it. And it’s nice. All we need is the double rainbow guy to ooh and aah here.
Could Chris be the next Bachelor? I dunno. He doesn’t seem the prototypical Bachelor but he’d be a great match for the right woman. Of course, with so many to choose from, it’d be guaranteed that he’d choose the wrong one.
Does Roberto know what’s going on? Let’s hope not. There’s got to be at least a hint of a surprise. And I want that moment at the rose ceremony where they do the deke and pretend they’re not going to get it.
When he woke up this morning, it hit Roberto how huge and monumental of a day this is for him. Cold feet?! Pleasepleaseplease! He says, “I know I love Ali but I don’t want to get on one knee and propose unless I feel 100 percent sure I want to spend the rest of my life with her.” Hedging already! I love it! “I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I can propose. I only want to propose once in my life. If I don’t feel it’s the right thing to do, I’m not going to do it. The one thing I know is, I have to do what’s right for me.” Ooh, this is going to be good!
Ali awaits the Gilligan’s Island boat that Roberto arrives on. She says she is 100 percent certain that he’s the guy for her.
They make Roberto, dressed in a suit in Bora Bora, climb several flights of stairs to get to Ali. With his sweat problem, this can’t be good.
Roberto’s doing all the talking. Isn’t it up to her to let him know if she’s sending him home or not first? He wants to be Ali’s man. He’s got a good bit of sweat on his upper lip and she still kisses him so you know it must be love.
When Ali tells him he’s the only guy here today, his reaction is a little too underwhelming. He just says, “Wow” and kisses her. He must have been tipped off or seen Chris’s boat ride of shame out his window.
Roberto tells her he wants to grow old with her and have a beautiful, beautiful family with her. Can this one last? Can they be the third couple in series history to live happily ever after? He gets down on one knee and says, “Be my wife. Will you marry me?” Her dad is going to be over the moon.
Well. I don’t know if it was the most dramatic finale in Bachelorette history but it was nice. All’s well that ends well. Chris held his head high, Ali found her Italian stallion and Roberto found someone to wipe the sweat off his lip.
Final amazing tally: 9 but I'm sure I missed some as I was swept up in the crazy roller coaster ride.
All we have left is the After the Final Rose episode. Look for my recap tomorrow. Thanks for reading, if you did. Sorry for being so late.