'The Bachelor': Season Finale Live Blog
Does everyone have their glasses of White Zin at the ready? Has a designated driver already pre-planned your route to the hospital? Good, because if last week's "Women Tell All" special offers any indication as to what to expect on tonight's Bachelor finale, we're all going to need a lot of sarcasm and an objectively strong amount of alcohol to get through. Watching this thing sober? Stop right now! I mean sober, you might actually consider The Bachelor's (and The Bachelorette's) long history of botched couplings, or even look at its warped gender politics against the hard-fought crusading of 20th century feminists. And who needs that!?
(Ees okay. Ees okay. We go on avenchur together buh first pleez sto crying. Cameeeeeeeela mie see.)
9:55pm: The Moment of "Truth" (Part Dos)
"It comes down to Nikki," Harrison tells us. It comes down to a LOT of things, Harrison, which require far more time to unpack than even a three-hour-long finale could offer. I don't care to actually write a graduate paper on this show, but if someone out there does -- good luck! I'm available as an anonymous resource.
Nikki: "I can't imagine spending my life without you. I love you." Juan Pablo: "Just know...that I love so many things about you. How much you care about other people. Your honesty. I can see you as a good step-mom for Camilla."
"I remember talking to your dad, who said 'you've got to be 100% sure when you propose to your daughter'. I have a ring in my pocket. But I'm not gonna use it. I'm not 100% sure I want to propose. I'm 100% sure that I don't want to let you go. I like you a lot. (WINK) A lot. So Nikki...will you accept [assept] my final rose?"
9:38pm: The Moment of "Truth" (Part Uno)
There he is: Juan Pablo, in a suit, looking miserable. Who else is psyched?!?
"I'm so excited for today," says Clare, who then lies again and says "this whole thing has been like a fairytale." JESUS CHRIST. Nikki acknowledges the same. Both women light up most at the prospect of "ending today with a ring on my finger," which tells you nearly everything you could possibly want to know about this show.
And then the boat arrives. Clare, in her teal dress, is met by Harrison. Is this good or bad? Could he be taking her out behind the barn to put her out of her misery? "I know my dad would be proud...that I'm even opening myself up, willing to try."
Clare meets JP at a flower-laden...I don't know, veranda. And Clare starts talking about this journey they've been on, the way they "have something special." "I believe in you." And then JP starts in with his pseudo-vows...
"You're here because I wanted you to be here." [Editor's note: YUP!] "I appreciate you being here, and trusting me all along..." Clare can see that this will not go her way. "I have to follow what I think it best for me. And I have to say goodbye to you." Clare refuses his hug. Sighs.
"This entire time I've stuck around because I believed in you. The other night...I needed that reassurance. And I gave you the opportunity, because I've been scared to death." Then she reminds him that he told her he wanted babies with her. "I would never want my children having a father like you." WELL, SHIT.
"Hoo, I'm glad I didn't pick her," Juan Pablo sneers at the camera after she's gone. "He's not the man I thought he was." And some poor PA is forced to grab pitchforks and torches for everyone in the studio audience, who are surely ready to eviscerate JP.
(Not unrightfully so. Obviously he's not a great dude.)
9:27pm: Does Juan Pablo love Nikki?
JP sits down in Nikki's room, which is appointed almost identically to Clare's except this one has different pillows. Pier One? They're very tasteful.
(I feel like for every minute I watch of this show I should be doing three days of charity work in Ghana.)
Nikki really, really, really wants JP to tell her that he loves her. Which he can't. And, again, which I can't (and I don't think you can, either!) blame him for! "I just need the affirmation that he thinks I'm right for him," says Nikki. And then JP reads, out loud, a card that Nikki wrote him. It says "I love you." And then he kisses her on the forehead. And then...and then...and then...
DENIED. Nikki's crestfallen, which you can read all over her face. Juan Pablo leaves. Nikki returns to the couch. The camera zooms in. Closer. Closer. And YUP, THERE ARE THOSE TEARS YOU WANTED ABC YOU HORRIFYING MONSTERS.
The soundstage is silent. "Both women in tears on their last date with Juan Pablo," notes Harrison, tallying score. Do we get mad at Juan Pablo, for playing fast and loose with these women's hearts? Do we look at ABC, manipulating every moment on this show to make us think or feel a certain way? Do we blame a greeting card culture that says love is something you should be able to identify on a map and express clearly, beautifully, or else it's not a real thing? Do we slap ourselves for watching in the first place?!?
Holy cow, f*** this show. (Keep reading!)
9:16pm: And now, what horrible thing will JP say to *Nikki*?!?
"Everyday I want something to happen that makes me feel better about that person." Sort of a reasonable thing to want on this show, right? Not an unreasonable way to go about navigating a game show about love? I don't know -- I defend JP then he makes me sick then I write a dissertation about this show's horrific messages to the women of American then I want to say calm down Henning, it's just a show. I've written 1500 words tonight. I've probably written 10,000 in the last two weeks. I need my own St. Lucian vacation.
"Sometimes, I feel like you're a little...guarded." "No, I am not guarded. I will open up when I'm ready." JP and Nikki hang out on the water, staring at the sea. The conversation sparkles. The bodies glisten. And then, on the beach, Juan Pablo describes what life with him will be like. "I have a bed, a TV. We can watch sports and movies." Juan Pablo is not super-imaginative, but he is certainly honest!
9:10pm: Sharleen and Co. chime in
"To watch a girl's intuition ringing and she just ignores it while he's kind of patronizing with her? I just wish she'd stuck to her guns." Then Harrison turns to Sean, who uses another gun/violence analogy. "I want to shake Juan Pablo and tell him to just shoot her straight!"
I wish everyone on this show would shoot everyone straight, but I don't mean it as figuratively as Sean or Sharleen!
9:02pm: JP rebounds with Clare
"I can see myself with you. Sure!" says JP. "Do you know me well enough to make a decision?" "Am I ready...is my question" JP asks...himself. "If I am gonna be with someone...I want to know that they want to be with me." OH BOY JP SAYS HE WANTS TO HAVE BABIES WITH THIS WOMAN IN, LIKE, TWO MONTHS.
As Clare describes the way their relationship is a lot more than a physical attraction, women in the audience just frown, frown, frown, frown. And then JP throws on the song they listened to on their first date, by whatshisname. "We should play this at our wedding!" OH GOD THIS IS GOING TO END SO POORLY.
"I don't want a rose. I want forever."
8:53pm: Post-mortem of this date, whatever happened there
First off: you've already spent 15 minutes of this episode checking in with people in your live studio audience. Was Clare and JP's final date so bad (or so uneventful) that it wasn't worth showing?
JP shows up to Clare's villa looking...I don't know. Horny? He repeats the rallying cry of this entire season: "Can I have a besito?" Clare does NOT give him a besito. Because they've got to TALK.
...Which I guess they do, sort of. It seems like the crux of what JP said on the helicopter (besides maybe something grossly sexual, though to be fair they had sex) was "I don't know you as well as I'd like." Which feels...like a genuinely good and normal thing for JP to say? Three weeks into a relationship with someone you legitimately barely know?! IF ONLY WE'D HEARD IT THEN WE COULD DISCUSS IT WITHOUT RESORTING TO HEARSAY.
(I do not like this show.)
"Maybe there's many things about me that you don't know and don't like. You want me to lie to you? I can lie to you and say whatever." Okay that's not a great thing to say, JP.
8:44pm: WHAT DID HE SAY?!?
"This is nothing like you have ever seen on The Bachelor before" says Harrison of JP's upcoming FINAL date with Clare. Which, to be fair, could be said of literally anything new on television. None of us have seen it before! But let's watch the footage.
JP and Clare fly a helicopter to some remote location, before which JP reminds us that he thinks Clare is "very hot. And sexy. And cute." THEN, in voiceover, Clare explains what he said during a brief non-recorded moment. Guess what? It was like the exact opposite of the final scene in Lost in Translation:
"He chose to tell me something that no woman wants to hear. That he doesn't know me, and some sexual thing that no one wants to hear." "I'm not just an object. Maybe he has me all wrong. I'm so confused right now."
And the two lovers who were just days ago enjoying a hurricane of besitos and awkward family conversation now march silently up a St. Lucian hill, the helicopter cam doing its best to keep up with the pained, pained steps.
8:42pm: "No, don't change the channel!"
...Says a commercial reminding us that yes, there is still more Bachelor to come.
8:35pm: "This is going south fast."
Harrison polls the studio audience. One woman thinks this thing's going down in flames, which makes sense when JP's family is almost actively warning these women against marriage. A dude says he's "Team Nikki" and then introduces his wife, who nods.
Down in the front row, a bunch of Bachelor alums weigh in. Kelly, DOG LOVER, acknowledges that there are more than a few red flags. Catherine (of Sean and Catherine fame) suggests that JP might be "too complacent" and the girls are looking at the situation with blinders. Sean, BORN-AGAIN VIRGIN, stays quiet.
...And that's an entire segment. Streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttching this out. What did everyone have for lunch today? My Volcano roll at Fat Salmon Sushi was good, but not great. Anyone else been there? Philadelphia? I think I'd go back, maybe a few weeks from now, and try something else. But, like, I wouldn't go out of my way to do it, you know? Picking the right lunch can be sort of a weird challenge sometimes!
8:18pm: Oh Nikki, You're So Fine
Ahhh, my favorite part of The Bachelor: listing the places we've traveled to over the past nine weeks! Nikki rattles off their destinations convincingly, which speaks to her recall abilities -- key in a marriage.
"I am...pretty sure he is ready for this?" JP's mother Nelly tells Nikki, in the most honest response of the night so far. Like Clare before her, Nikki confides in Mom and the rest of the family that she loves him. Rodolfo asks the hard question: "how much fighting can you take?" OH BOY. "Sometimes when things are getting rough, JP will walk away from the relationship." But like all the best game show contestants, Nikki brushes off the possibility of troubles ahead.
"I can see it," says JP. "I can see it with Clare, too." "Also Sharleen," he'd go on to add. "And what about Andi, she was pretty okay for a while?" In a perfect world we'd actually watch JP flip the coin that renders his ultimate decision. Which baby-voiced buxom blonde will it be?!?
8:04pm: Te Quiero, Clare
Camilla’s got a very cute hat, and says “Sacramento” with a beautiful accent. That the finale isn't entirely about her cute hat feels like a major oversight. And why aren't the people on the Live Cam revolting?
Anyway, Clare shows up to ingratiate herself with the family of her one true love. She doesn't speak Spanish, even though her mother is Mexican. You don't need language when you've got looooooovvveeee.
SIDE NOTE: grown women (or people -- here a woman) using the word “daddy”? Oh boy, DON'T DO IT.
JP's family seems to love Clare based on their brief time with her. Cousin Rodolfo's onboard. Dad's even more emphatic. “I love you!” he tells Clare, misunderstanding English exactly the same way JP has the entire season
Clare asks JP’s mom if there’s anything she should know about JP that he wouldn’t tell her otherwise. Learned: JP is hyperactive, and sometimes "very rude.” “Yeah, it made me cry!” Clare's so happy that JP has made his family members cry the same way he did her.
TAKEAWAY: “Juan Pablo definitely has my heart.”
8pm: The Live Show, Live
We open on a Hollywood stage, the same one where 25 women talked about Juan Pablo last week, to meet our favorite sensitive bro-st Chris Harrison and hype the finale. "Was Juan Pablo actually here to find love?" he asks, totally throwing his buddy under the bus. SNAKE.
It's great watching people in the audience get revved up for this finale. They're just like us! Whether you're in the City of Angels or Des Moines, we're all having the same experience.