Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Week Nine: Really? I mean, seriously?

So this is what it’s come down to: Jake will choose Spoiled Vienna. Or Jake will choose Dumb Divorced Tenley. Or Jake will choose neither. Does anyone really care? Let’s just get this dud of a season over with and move on to Former Front-Runner and Soon-To-Be-Former-America’s-Sweetheart Ali as the new Bachelorette. That I can get behind. At least until she sends home the obvious front-runner and keeps a total jerk.

“I would never ask a woman for her hand in marriage unless I was 100% sure,” says Jake. Okay. Fair enough. But why bind yourself to those rules? There’s no rule saying you have to get engaged. Are they so wrapped up in the journey they always forget about that? If you like someone a lot and think there’s potential, you don’t need to propose. Do it the old-fashioned way: lead them on.

He goes on and on about Vienna. Then, in an obvious edit, he says in a low, gruff voice, “I can picture Vienna as my wife.” As if he was asked to practice saying it and they just used it for the audio clip.

Jake wears a pink shirt as he greets his family. He’s so happy they shut down their lives to go out to the island resort and help him find love. Yeah, big sacrifice. I can just hear them: “What? You expect us to just drop everything and take an all-expense paid trip to St. Lucia to stay in a luxury resort and appear on national TV? Are you out of your mind, you selfish jerk?!”

He tells his family Tenley has a lot of life experience at 25 years old. And Vienna is really smart and absolutely drop dead gorgeous. Oh-for-two, big fella. Jake’s mom wisely tells Jake that sometimes there’s something there when everyone doesn’t like a particular contestant, i.e. Vienna. Ah, the voice of reason.

SEGMENT 2: Jake is having second thoughts about telling them Vienna was voted Most Despised at the house. He thinks he may have prejudiced them. Oh, I think they’ll be able to form their own opinion soon enough.

But first things first. The Angelic Dumb Divorced Tenley greets the Jakes first. She’s in full job interview mode. She makes Jake’s dad cry. As my wife says, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Jake’s mom asks her how Tenley has handled fights with her sister. Now Tenley makes Jake’s mom cry. Tenley feels left out, so she brings out the forsaken wife bit to jumpstart her own tears. “I have a past,” is how she started out. The look in Sallie’s eyes was priceless waiting to hear about it.

Next Tenley talks to Jake’s dad. And talks. He finally shuts her up by saying, “Alright already. We like you.” But she goes on. She’s not content until she makes him cry one-on-one. She gets the lip quiver from dad, but he won’t succumb. He suppresses it with a quick hug.

Mom and dad are impressed. Dad thinks he met his future daughter-in-law today. Jake is worried that he hasn’t shown Tenley his rough side. He said that if she’s sitting on the edge of a pool, he’ll push her in. Okay, I think he’s made his decision.

They jump in the pool fully clothed and start making out. Then his cock-blocking brothers jump in. Mom says they seem like the perfect couple. I agree. And if he doesn’t choose her, I’m done with him.

SEGMENT 3: The less-than-angelic Spoiled Vienna meets the folks. Jake is still worried about telling them nobody likes her. All she needs to do, he says, is be the Vienna he fell in love with. Make out with each and every one of them? I’m confused. Vienna then goes in and right off the bat says the girls hated her from the beginning. They ask why. She says she’s brutally honest. Uh, yeah, that’s the ticket.

The sis-in-law says Vienna’s really different from Tenley. Vienna agrees cattily, saying, “I’m not a robot.” Ah, yes, how to win family and influence people. Lots of edited shots of family staring. She also can’t say anything nice about Jake because she doesn’t want to give him a big head. Oh, how I hate it when people use that line. That’s not a good sign for future happiness.

Sallie worries about the sister-in-laws [sic] and about Jake. She asks if Jake can’t see that she might be poking at her sister-in-laws [sic] and might be poking at him, too, down the road? No, Jake can’t see it. I can totally see it.

They’re just setting it up so he picks Vienna.

SEGMENT 4: Jake’s brother thinks, rightly, that brutal honesty is an immature defense mechanism. Jake feels like he’s having to talk people into liking Vienna. Get used to it, my man.

Vienna’s telling the sister-in-laws [sic] that Tenley is really sweet but she has no opinion on anything. She’s all class, that Vienna.

Mom tells Vienna her concerns. It’s important that she get along with the sister-in-laws [sic]. The women are the glue in the family, she says. She wants to know how Vienna gets along with people. Vienna just talks about what happened at the house, not about real life. And even at that she doesn’t really address the issue.

The sister-in-laws [sic] start crying now about having judged Vienna. They now see Vienna as she really pretends to be: a great girl with a heart of gold. And the mom has changed her mind, too. Aw, say it ain’t so, Ma! She’s no longer concerned about Vienna’s ability to get along with people. Me, I’m not so convinced.

Dad has been strangely silent through her visit. He was so smitten with Tenley but we hear nothing about what he thinks of Spoiled Vienna. We need to know!

Jake says he still has no idea who he’s going to propose to.

SEGMENT 5: Just saw a commercial for Jason and Molly’s wedding on March 8. A two-hour special? Really? Does anyone care? And Molly’s a brunette now, just like Vienna and Tenley will be once the cameras are off for good.

Jake sees his future wife in both Tenley and Vienna. He takes Spoiled Vienna to a sulphur stream. They get down and dirty in the mud and can’t keep their hands off each other because there’s such a natural chemistry, says Jake. She writes I Love You in the mud on his chest and washboard abs. He should have written Wash Me across her stomach.

Vienna thinks she’s found her one soul mate. She knows in her heart they’re going to be together and last forever. Somebody remember that when they break up three months from now.

SEGMENT 6: Vienna’s very special gift to Jake is the promise ring her dad gave her. She’s going full-out to win this thing. Man, her dad is gonna be jealous.

Jake asks her what it was like being married for three weeks. Zing! She said they were just dumb kids. And she broke her dad’s heart.

Jake opens the ring-note she wrote: “From the moment I met you, I knew you were the type of man I could spend the rest of my life with. Sitting here after an unforgettable journey, I’m certain of it. I’m ready to take this ring off and give you my heart. Let’s take another leap of faith together. I love you, Vienna.” Tell me that wasn’t written by the producers. Let’s take another leap of faith together? Are you kidding me?

Jake says he can’t believe this is their last date. Whoops! Vienna calls him on it. “Oh, I mean on this journey... Yeah, that’s it.”

SEGMENT 7: Jake is so confused. It’s tough being in love with two women at the same time. But he’s on Cloud 9 to see Tenley. Or so he says.

Oh, sweet Tenley. They walk toward the only yacht on the dock and Tenley gushes, “Are we going to go on this big boat?! Are you serious?! I’m so excited!” I’m not saying she’s easily impressed but I’d feel very relieved if I were Jake. The bar is set very low with a woman like that: “Oh my gosh! A movie?! We’re going to a movie! Seriously?”

They go diving, then back on the boat Jake gets moody. He says he’s tired. But something is weighing on him. And boy is it a doozy. Jake says usually he finds the physical chemistry without the emotional chemistry. And this situation with Tenley, he tells her, is the exact opposite! And she sits there without a trace of recognition to her plight.

But then it hits her. And hits her hard. He asks her if she’s ever been a little concerned about the emotional chemistry being so alarmingly high but not the physical chemistry. She says she feels it. He says it’s building slowly. She responds, rightly, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Now Jake is surprised that he might have hurt her feelings. Now I’m convinced he and Vienna make a perfect pair. They’re both oblivious.

Poor Tenley. All along she thought their chemistry was unbelievable. Now she’s not all that confident about Jake choosing her. But she puts up a brave face when he arrives. Why bother after what he said?

Jake says his timing was horrible on the yacht. Uh, yeah. He should have said that weeks ago. He’s disappointed in himself and tries to explain better to her. He apologizes for making her feel the way he did: “I love your smile. I love your eyes. I love the way you kiss me. I love how you’re so honest and positive.” He just doesn’t think she’s hot. He’s the king of talking without saying anything. She buys it all, hook, line and stinker.

He says maybe he’s just looking for something wrong with her because she’s amazing and he’s always put her on a pedestal. But he hasn’t really cleared up the physical chemistry issue.

Tenley gives Jake a present of a frame with a couple photos, a couple shells and a couple notes, several of which say “I love you” with little hearts. I wonder if Vienna will let him keep it.

SEGMENT 9: Tenley says that with Jake she feels confident and secure. Makes Jake seem like a feminine hygiene product.

The ring guy shows up and gets more face time than ever before. It’s even a speaking role this time. Do you think his agent demanded it? Jake opens his heart to this salesman. He’s in a state. His heart is leading him to both women. Is it too late to convert to Mormonism?

Jake sits outside staring at the two ring choices and somehow that brings clarity. He’s now made his decision and he knows it’s the right one. He says one of them has his heart a little bit more than the other. It’s gotta be Vienna, then, right? If it is, could Tenley be the next Bachelorette? We just assumed it would be Ali. But Tenley would be great, too. All we can agree on is that if he chooses Tenley, Vienna should in no way be considered. For anything. Anywhere.

The girls take separate helicopters to the final rose ceremony. I know. Helicopters! I was just as excited as you when I saw them.

SEGMENT 10: Jake doesn’t know where he’s going to find the sheer courage to break somebody’s heart. He’s petrified. Quick, someone find a railing, stat! Jake needs to bend over it and cry!

First out of the 'copter is Tenley. She’s very in love, giddy, blissful, joyful, at ease. She’s so ready to leave her sordid past behind her. She trusts Jake with her heart. He believes he’ll get down on one knee and ask her to marry her. Oh yes, we called her Dumb Divorced Tenley for a reason.

Jake looks sheepish. “We’ve had such an amazing time getting to know each other. There are so many things I love about you. Same values, morals, temperament.” Here are the tears. “I do love you. You’re just perfect.” Tenley has a sneer that could kill. “I don’t know what it is. Something just doesn’t feel right. I don’t know why.”

Tenley doesn’t know what to say. But she tries. I can barely understand the nasal squeak, but I think she thanks him for showing him what she could have had, and showing him she’s able to love again. Total class. They embrace and cry. He walks her out without saying a word. Tenley for Bachelorette!

Jake stops halfway down the stairs. “I never met anyone like you. I’m never gonna forget you.” Yeah, whatever.

Jake totally has the Jason look on his face. Tenley says, “I loved falling in love with you. And I love feeling alive again. Thank you for giving that to me.” Cue the bannister, people. She walks off leaving him on the bridge complete with... railing! Don’t they normally walk them to the limo?

He says he wasn’t comfortable being himself around Tenley. He really just wanted to shove her into a body of water but could never bring himself to do it. She says her heart is broken. Or feels broken, anyway. I wonder if she feels stupid about the frame she gave him.

Finally Tenley offers an opinion!: “Jake will see the mistake he made. And I feel bad for him. He’s going to see it, I think. I don’t think he knows what he wants.” You think? Instead of talking, I think it would have been better if she had expressed herself in interpretive dance.

SEGMENT 11: The greatest part about a hard choice is the outcome, says Jake. Except in this case. But as Tenley says, he’ll see it.

The music is hopeful as Vienna arrives. Will he send her home, too? Doubtful. He’s not smart enough. I hope he at least does the fake-out on the altar. Let her sweat for a minute. That’s always good for a laugh.

“I don’t want to lose you,” she says. “I’m completely in love with you.” Shut up, already. He’s made his choice. What if it wasn’t her and she was going on like that?

Jake starts in: “I think you’re an amazing woman. But there’s something that you need to have.” He holds her father’s ring. “You need to have this.” Vienna looks crushed. Well done, Jake. “There’s something else, though. I don’t want you to ever forget this. I love you.” Oh, she knew all along. That turnaround was too quick. He drops to one knee and America pukes. How could this be? Is this the worst Bachelor choice of all time? I think he chose her just to play that ring prank. That was classic, I grant you. But seriously, Vienna?

Our poll here, conducted over the past two weeks, had 46 votes. A whopping 4 of those votes were for Vienna. What does that tell you, Jake? That we didn't get to see the real Vienna? Maybe. Or maybe we saw just enough. It's not just that Vienna was bad; it's that the two are so ill-suited to one another. I'm often cynical when it comes to these matches, but I think this is probably the worst one in Bachelor history. Chris always likes to trumpet superlatives. He should have gone into the break with, "Stay tuned for the most jaw-droppingly horrendous decision in Bachelor history!" Who wouldn't watch that? It might even have garnered Vienna some pity votes.

Now the Vienna montage with the suckiest music I’ve heard since I sampled Jake’s personal playlist.

And now it’s time for After the Final Rose. This oughta be... something. I’m not sure what.


Tenley comes out to a standing ovation. Before they can go any further, they need to recap exactly what we just saw for the past two hours. You know, for all the millions of viewers who tune in to After the Final Rose only without having seen the show it’s referring to.

“What’s it like looking back at that?” Chris asks Tenley. She said it’s emotional. Why doesn’t anyone ever say the obvious: it’s embarrassing as hell. Having watched the show, Tenley now sees the playful side of Jake and Vienna. But she has a playful side, too, only she didn’t get to show it. I thought the interpretive dance was playful enough. Surely she wasn’t serious with that.

Jake enters. I think Tenley is still thinking he might pull a Jason. She’s holding out for him and I bet she’d take him back in a second. Jake sneaks a look at Tenley’s body as he sits down but offers nothing. He says it’s unexplainable. What’s really unexplainable is how you can let a woman you feel no physical attraction to get to the final two.

Jake tells her she has a life friend. This is not goodbye. Yeah, that’ll go over well with Vienna. For the next few months, anyway.

Jake says, “Vienna’s my baby.” Everyone is Vienna’s sugar daddy.

For the first time together in public, it’s Jake and Vienna ladies and gentlemen! The crowd goes mild. Chris says we’re so happy for the two of them. Who exactly is he speaking for? No one I know.

Vienna has had time to die her roots again so she can still pass for a dumb blonde.

Chris brings up the tabloids and fans. She says it’s been extremely difficult. The stories are completely fabricated, she says. America is getting this image of her that is not her. Maybe so, but I don’t read the tabloids so I don’t know what they’re saying. All I know is from what I’ve seen on the show and watching her here after it’s all over. And guess what, Jake? Still don’t like her.

Vienna’s going to move to Dallas immediately. But no date has been set for a wedding yet. Uh, no kidding. As for parting gifts, they get to go back to St. Lucia and Jade Mountain. Not only that, but Jeffrey Osborne is there to croon that sucky ballad, On the Wings of Love, in person. How on earth did they get him?! I imagine he’s so busy playing casinos throughout small-town America. But there he is. They slow dance. Awk-ward! Backstage Tenley is crying.

Next up: the announcement of the next Bachelorette! Tenley or Ali? Ooh, I honestly don’t know. All this time I thought Ali, but I really think Tenley would be wonderful. Besides, Ali has that precious job she couldn’t possibly take time from. She made her bed, she’s got to sleep in it.

So here it is. The announcement. The wait is over. The new Bachelorette is... Ali! That lying little tart. Work, ha! She says she’s looking for a funny, smart, quirky guy. Yeah, those are precisely the types of guys who go on that show. Good luck with that search, Ali.

But no matter what, the upcoming season, which starts in May, has got to be better than the one we just sat through. I’ll be there. But you know where I won’t be? In front of the TV when Jason and Molly get hitched. The only thing that could save that mawkish ceremony would be Jason pulling a Jason and ditching Molly yet again. But if that happens I’ll just have to read all about it somewhere else.

See you in May.