Why 'The Bachelor' Should Have Ended With Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s Season
The Bachelor's most recent season showed plenty of heartbreak, and not just among the ladies who were sent home each week. Season 22 of The Bachelor took the franchise to a new low for reality TV — and that's why Arie's season should have been the end of The Bachelor. There are ratings, and that's one thing. But the two-episode season 22 finale felt exploitative and, in a lot of ways, cruel. ABC has already renewed The Bachelor for season 23, but after this year's trainwreck, do we really need more of the show?
Sure, The Bachelor is ostensibly, a show about finding love, despite its less-than-stellar track record when it comes to lasting relationships. But Arie's season ended in the most dramatic — and questionable — fashion. After regretting his decision to propose to Becca, Arie decided to break up with his fiancée, on-camera, and pursue runner-up Lauren instead. The fact that Becca had to undergo what should have been a private moment on national TV was one thing. But then, to make matters even worse, Arie proposed to Lauren on live TV during the second part of the finale.
Of course, none of what happened is Lauren's fault. She had her heart broken at one point on the show, too, and it's not her fault that Arie and Becca's breakup was filmed.
Still, many viewers felt the whole situation was needlessly cruel to Becca. Here are some of the reasons why The Bachelor should have ended with Arie's season.
Season 22 Preyed On Human Emotion
No Bachelor season is immune from drama. But did Arie and Becca's breakup really need to be shown on camera? She was clearly blindsided by the turn of events, going into her weekend with Arie thinking it was a "happy couple" visit. The fact that Arie went to the show's producers and made the decision to have the entire breakup filmed, without Becca's knowledge, didn't sit well with a number of viewers. Even if Arie did think it would help her become the next Bachelorette, that's not really his call to make.
Just Because Something's Never Been Shown On Reality TV Doesn't Mean It Should Be
During the first half of the Season 22 Bachelor finale, host Chris Harrison teased the breakup scene, saying nothing like this had ever been shown on reality TV before. And Arie and Becca's breakup did play out, in full, on screen. Harrison told the audience that the scene was airing unedited. The camera crew could be seen in some of the shots. But that doesn't justify why the breakup needed to be filmed in the first place. Yes, it wasn't edited, the raw breakup should have been an off-camera, private moment between Arie and Becca alone and not shared in its entirety with the whole viewing audience.
There Didn't Seem To Be Many Consequences
Arie didn't stay engaged to the woman he originally chose at the end of The Bachelor. But he still got to propose to Lauren — with a Neil Lane diamond ring — during the After the Final Rose special. Despite all the pressure Arie apparently felt to propose before the season was over, the second proposal left a sour taste with some viewers. The situation seemed to imply that whatever happened was okay, if it would increase ratings for the show.
Arie Was Under Pressure, Which Exposed A Flaw In The Show
In a somewhat twisted way, the Bachelor Season 22 finale also proved that the franchise's premise isn't very tenable. Arie seemed so conflicted during the course of the show that he proposed to Becca, even when he may not have been ready to take that step. Yes, he wasn't obligated to propose, but he felt like he had to take a relationship further than he might have wanted to. The Bachelors and Bachelorettes only have so much time to get to know each of their contestants over the course of each season, and it's a bit ridiculous to expect people to find love that quickly.
The Bachelor's viewers want to see people fall in love, and there's nothing wrong with that, but Season 22 went too far. And going into next season and Becca's season of The Bachelorette, it will be hard for the show to recover from the recent finale.