Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bachelorette Desiree: That settles it

Here we are, at the finish line. Whoops, wrong metaphor for what happened. Let's try that again:

Here we are, at the end of the poem. Thank God. What a train wreck. Des's bro, Nate Dawgg, may be crazy, but he's crazy like a fox. What was the one bit of advice he gave Des after giving his blessing of Chris? He told her not to settle. And she agreed, repeating the words to him.

And what did she then do? She settled. There's no other way around it, as great a guy as Chris is. Her spin – that her heartbreak over Brooks made her realize what was standing in front of her the whole time – was plausible but not realistic. Chris Harrison kept trying to get to the bottom of it by asking if it was a rebound relationship (which it clearly is), but no one would give him a straight answer. But when you're in the middle of the hurricane, it's hard to know what's happening and that soon you're going to be in shambles.

This shocking conclusion started with a rose ceremony. Actually it started with Chris Harrison sitting down with Desiree and performing a mind meld on her so she would continue with the show and not leave. At this point, she was still devastated and crying at the mere mention of Brooks' name. She even said, "I just want to go home, to be honest."

So there we have it. She wanted to go home. Honestly. Then she said, "I'm still not broken. My heart might be, but my spirit isn't." Okay, so she's smart enough to realize that life goes on and she'll eventually be okay. How is this translated in Harrison's head? He says: "What I'm hearing from you is you want to carry on." Say wha–?? Des stares at him and gives an almost imperceptible nod. You could almost hear her saying, "No, what? That's not what I'm saying. I just said I want to go home. Are you insane?" But the captor's will won out.

And then came the useless rose ceremony. Two roses for the two remaining men, Chris and Drew. Oh, the tension was palpable!

Des came out and explained to the two about Brooks' absence, crying all the way through. Did it give them pause seeing how close she was to the other guy? Nah, they're still in the competition, baby! Besides, she lied to them, giving them hope. She said from day one she had taken every relationship individually. She neglected to mention that every date she went on with them she wished it was with Brooks. Details, details.

Bawling, she told them to please let her know when she offers them the rose if they're not feeling it. It matters not that she wasn't feeling it herself. That's beside the point. Who's side are you on, anyway?

In the studio audience, Harrison interviewed various women about their hopes and dreams for Des. Some were for Chris, some for Drew, and some still for Brooks. Wow, riveting stuff. It was like living, breathing Tweets.

You know the show has taken over when the idea that Brooks would return sounded like a reasonable option. The guy said he wasn't in love with Des and that when he's away from her, the feelings only lessen. What was he going to say, "After leaving you, and my feelings lessened again, I realized that while I still don't see a long-term future, I know that this is how the show works. Now send me on my way again to prove you're over me."

Des still had two dates to help her reach her decision. She and Drew would ride horses down to the beach and then set the horses free. Drew tells Des he's been "very relaxed" on this trip to Antigua. She inquires if he's been to the beach or gone out to see the sights. Nope, "Just hanging out in my room," he says. Probably re-imagining his fantasy suite night.

"To Brooks!"
Drew, who said he was ready to propose, told us, "I'll never leave Des and it's important that she knows that." So they're sitting at the beach and, as per series rules, Drew gives a toast. "To being madly in love," he says. Uh, "I really need to talk to you," Des interrupts. And then to rub salt in the fresh wound, she adds, "Especially after that."

That should have been it. That one sentence suffices, doesn't it? There's nothing anything needs to be said beyond, "We need to talk." He should have packed up his belongings right then: "Got it. Nuff said. See ya."

But he stuck around to hear that Des has been so lucky to have him in her life, that she just doesn't see a future with him, and that she "was hoping I could be the one that could love you the way you need to be loved." Sound familiar? She was channelling Brooks! Paying it forward, if you will.

She even did the multiple apology tack. Drew, who was shocked, kept his head: "You don't have to be sorry for not being in love with me; you can't control that," he said. But it was hard on the guy. I'm just afraid that maybe Des has turned him off all women.

Then he got up, looked around for his horse, realize he had set it free, then trudged down the beach and up a path to a waiting car, that somehow knew to be there even though Des didn't know she'd dump him.

The original Round Mound
of Rebound
The next date was with Chris. Would she send him home, too? You could tell immediately she wouldn't. Her sullenness turned into perk when she saw him approaching. They even kissed. Lots. They went on a catamaran and kissed some more. There were "undeniable sparks that keep you wanting more and that's what I wanted with Chris." So she didn't feel them before with him? Classic round mound of rebound.

Chris, trying to buy his love, brought her a gift. A journal. Just what she needs. Only this time the poems in it weren't written in invisible ink. At the end of the book he wrote out all his poems for her. That was considerate. They're easier to rip out that way.

Des felt guilty: "How could I not have loved him from the beginning?" she asked. Um, because you were so much in love with someone else that nobody else mattered. Did you forget? Here's a little poem an athlete like Chris has probably heard before:


Then it was Des' turn to toast: "To the greatest man I have ever known, not to mention loyal friend." I thought that was the death knell of their relationship (loyal friend), but that's the beauty of a rebound: it doesn't differentiate. Any dude'll do.

Back at the studio, Harrison introduced us to Sean and Catherine. Remember them? Boy, they looked happy and in love, didn't they? (I'm being facetious. I thought they looked like they were contractually obligated to be there. Catherine, who looked really uncomfortable, couldn't even respond when Harrison asked her if she was still in love.)

Pretty, but useless, penny
Then Jackie, Lesley and Lindsay chipped in with their two cents worth. Canada has done away with pennies. America should, too. Now I know why. Two cents is useless.

Back to Antigua. Chris was going to meet Des' family. More importantly, Chris was going to meet Nate Dawgg, Des' unpredictable brother. I was just impressed the guy is allowed to travel internationally.

Nate was doing all the probing, while mom and dad sat quietly praying he wouldn't embarrass the family. And he didn't! Prayers answered! Chris answered a bit stiffly but he was understandably nervous. Nate even asked about "the other guy," Drew. Do you think he was just dutifully playing along so as not to tip Chris off he was the only one left, or did they keep the information away from the family so they couldn't let anything slip out accidentally?

Chris asked for, and received, Des' dad's blessings for his daughter's hand, should it come to that. He should have asked Nate. But sitting with Des, Nate gave his blessing, saying, "If you choose him, I think you're definitely making the right choice." And after that, Des stopped listening.

She had to have stopped, because Nate switched the conversation over to Brooks. It was all Des could do to keep from crying. Nate was rehashing everything and Des was on auto-pilot agreeing with everything. Then Nate said, "You realize you couldn't change him." She stopped. "I... I don't know," she mumbled. Yeah, she's over him.

Chris visited the jewelry travelling salesman and picked out a ring. A ring that would symbolize him caring and providing for her – yes, the ring that was bought and paid for by someone else.

Talking to the camera, Des was crying ostensibly about how much Chris loves her, but probably still about Brooks. (Rebound!)

All that was left was the final rose. What would she do? More importantly, what would Chris do after he learned the truth of what really went down with Brooks?

The ups and downs
Ah, who are we kidding? He wouldn't find out the truth. He arrives and starts reminiscing about their time in Germany, Madeira, and all the horrible poetry he had written. Then the roller coaster begins. Then he starts to go down on one knee and she stops him. (Oh, no!) "You're the only one here," she tells him. (Yes!) "But I was torn apart by Brooks leaving. I loved him." (Oh, no!) "But really I was torn between the two of you the whole time." (Yes!) "I was so blindsided by him leaving..." (Oh, no!) "... that I couldn't see what I had right in front of me." (Yes!) "I love you. I love you so much and I want nothing but to spend the rest of my life with you." (Yes, yes yes!)

Do we buy that? She was torn between the two of them the whole time? That's a different tune than she was singing last week, isn't it? You can certainly understand why he felt he could still stick around after that. Although it's not so easy to see why it lasted once he saw last week's episode. Maybe she called and kept distracting him through all key parts.

He finally got down on one knee. It would have been a classic time for a call-back to his original joke where he pretended to tie his shoelace. But there was no time for jokes. There was a proposal to make. "I want to be your first; I want to be your last. Will you marry me," he said. "Yes, a thousand times!" Des boxed out and pulled down that rebound. Settled.

At the altar, she told him she loved him. Finally. "I was waiting for that," Chris laughed. "Truthfully, it never entered my mind before now," she didn't respond.

At the After the Final Rose she came out smiling. See, I told you she was fine. Harrison marvelled about Chris, "He got stronger as you told him about Brooks." Well, sure, because she didn't really tell him the full story.

Brooks came out and to his credit, he stuck to his guns in a most respectful way. He didn't say he made a mistake. He even sat far apart from her. He didn't watch the final but when told Des and Chris got engaged, you could see the relief on his face. He claims he noticed their bond from the beginning.

Drew came out. Hang on, I mean he walked out and sat down with Des and Harrison. He was a lot more confident than he was all season. And he looked much younger. He had a bunch of unanswerable questions for Des, such as could he have done anything different (yes, he could have been Brooks), when did she know she saw no future for them (when it turned out he wasn't Brooks), was he always a little behind Chris and Brooks (no, a lot behind), and did she notice herself holding back with him (only when her eyes were open and she could see he wasn't Brooks).

But Drew spoke so well and looked so handsome I briefly thought he might be named the next Bachelor. But when Harrison announced the next Bachelor was "handsome, charismatic and funny," I knew it couldn't be him, as Drew only fulfills one of those criteria.

When the lucky man, Chris, was introduced, he wrapped his arm around his fiancée. She, though, pulled herself slightly away from him. Did anyone else notice that or was that just me? She was leaning in the opposite direction.

Harrison asked if he could trust the love given her feelings for Brooks. Yes, Chris responded, avoiding the topic. He talked about his connection with her after the group dodgeball date. No, said Harrison. He  rephrased the question, stressing he meant could he trust the love after learning about the Brooks situation. Yes, Chris responded, saying Des told him some "pretty great words" like "I'm the greatest man." By this point, Harrison was too exhausted (or too polite) to point out that those words were spoken before she spilled the beans about Brooks.

So anyway, I predicted to my wife that they would be engaged in record time, because that's the nature of rebound relationships. And as if on cue, they announce that she's moving from her beloved California to Seattle this weekend and they've got a new place together. 

Fallen petals
Then Chris brought out a gift. Just when I thought we could finally get through a Chris segment without a poem, he pulls out a frame with an original work outlined by petals from the roses he was given throughout the process. The poem is called My Girl and it goes something like this:

I found the woman of my dreams

Sorry, that's all I could stomach. I really tried to focus but I just couldn't.

The last bit of business was the announcement of the new Bachelor. I thought they should bring out five of the possibilities, talk to them about why they'd make a good Bachelor, make them sweat a little, and then announce it. Hey, we'd all watch a half-hour on that, wouldn't we? Why haven't they thought of this before? They could have pre-recorded segments with each of them, and of course they'd all have to sign contracts ahead of time in the event they're the one chosen. Come on, producers, do I have to do all the work for you?

Oh, so who will it be? None other than the phantom Juan Pablo. Handsome, charismatic and funny is right. This guy has more personality than any Bachelor since the fat guy. Did you catch the Tweet from Emily Maynard?: "All my prayers have been answered." Maybe she'll pull a Kacie B. and come back on the show.

The big question, though, is will Juan Pablo be edited out of his season the way he was on Des' season? We won't find out until January. My Mondays have just opened up! God forbid they bring back Bachelor Pad. We'll talk to you again in January. Thanks for sticking around.

Meanwhile, speaking of Kacie B., indulge me one more time...

Now I can go relax.

Photo credits:
Photo credit: ....Tim / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: Erik Anestad / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Photo credit: Army Medicine / Foter / CC BY
Photo credit: JD Hancock / Foter / CC BY
Photo credit: Scallop Holden / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: yamaken / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND