Why Doesn't 'The Bachelorette' Just Propose? Andi's Been In Control All Season Anyway
The witching hour is approaching and Bachelorette Andi Dorfman will soon deliver the final rose. And when she does, we can probably expect her handsome chosen one to get down on bended knee and raise up the Neil Lane ring that Bachelorette producers practically forced him to pick out. With puppy dog eyes, this guy will utter some smooth line (level of smoothness will vary depending on who wins) and say something about how it would be the greatest honor known to man if Andi would be his wife. We expect this. When it doesn't happen (ahem, Juan Pablo) it all feels a little anti-climactic. (And if you're Chris Harrison, you just can't. get. past. it.)
And look, I'm not saying the show should forgo the usual engagement ending. I'm just saying that perhaps it should shake things up and Andi should be the one proposing.
Hear me out. While the number of Bachelor seasons far outnumbers Bachelorette seasons, the volley-like scheduling of Bachelor and Bachelorette seasons one after the other provides a wee bit of balance in the reality TV universe. For every Juan Pablo, who kisses all the girls, we get an Andi, who kisses all the boys. For every teary-eyed woman being poured into a limo, there's an equally teary dude doing the same thing. So why, do both series inevitably end up with a Bachelor conclusion: a dude down on one knee offering up one of the 10 Neil Lane rings the designer has allowed to appear on the show? Why is the proposal the only part of the Bachelorette (other than all that corsage rose versus long-stemmed rose nonsense) that isn't an equal and opposite outcome?
In case you didn't notice, it is 2014. Men don't always have to be the ones making the final romantic decisions at every turn and they certainly don't have to be the ones proposing marriage. In fact, that's one of the things I love about The Bachelorette (aside from counting the number of times the contestants say "journey"): The woman in charge determines her own romantic fate, allowing the idea that a woman has to play a game to keep a man interested clear out of the water. It's her way or the highway (of course, the Bachelorette method of courtship with ball gowns and dates that surely cost thousands of dollars is more than a tad unrealistic). It's a little strange that in the end, this decision-maker doesn't get to decide whether or not the relationship progresses from serious romance to marriage.
And beyond the fact that I love the head bitch in charge factor, there's a fairness factor involved too. These dudes are put through emotional hell while vying for Andi's heart. They can never be certain of how long they have left in Andi's male harem or whatever this term-less gaggle is called (hell, Chris was blindsided by the fact that Andi wasn't in love with him too) and they're supposed to sweat it out until the finale, wait for Andi to pick them, and THEN ask one of the most difficult questions possible. After all, just because a woman says she loves you, it doesn't mean she's going to accept a marriage proposal right away. That shit is nerve-racking. Why not put that responsibility on the woman wielding all the romantic power? Why not let the outcome truly be her choice?
Well, I know the answer is that ABC's general audience probably isn't ready for that sort of conclusion and in truth, Andi probably isn't either (just think about how many times Andi demanded that these men act like A MAN and make their moves). Andi won't be proposing Monday night, but we can always dream that some empowered Bachelorette of the future will change things up for once. Even if it's probably futile.
Image: ABC (2)