“I’m glad I didn’t pick her!” The Bachelor Season Finale Recap

18 Mar

Only Juan Pablo could make Sacramento sound exotic, and he mentions that fine city when he’s telling his family about Clare. And we also find out why Clare’s mother is fluent in Spanish … she’s Mexican! (Perhaps that had been revealed previously and I just fast-forwarded past it).

Clare and Nikki get to meet JP’s family one after the other. Suffice it to say both visits go well. However, the producers must have thought these meetings were pretty boring, as they constantly intercut them with reaction shots of random women in attendance at the live special. For his part, Chris Harrison repeats at every opportunity that this is “the most controversial Bachelor finale ever.”

We soon get to the first element of the controversy. JP and Clare go on their final date, which begins in a helicopter … nothing new there, but Clare says that when the copter landed, with no cameras running inside the copter, JP whispers an inappropriate comment (we never hear what it was, exactly) and also tells her that he doesn’t really know her well. (Well, they have only been on three dates, after all). There is much crying by Clare, and on the ensuing evening date, Clare tells JP she wonders if he cares. He says that he does. She’s satisfied with that.

As for Nikki’s date, she says “the one thing missing from my fairy tale is him telling me how he feels about me.” She doesn’t really get that, per se, and she cries after he leaves.

The less said about the commentary back at the studio the better, except that a couple of these girls (Sharleen, the girl with the dog whose name I’ve already forgotten, etc.) are the Bachelor equivalent of Sean Salisbury — i.e. the mediocre journeyman quarterback who, when he becomes a commentator, acts like he was an All-Pro.

Miraculously, we are spared a visit by the unctuous Neil Lane with his selection of engagement rings … maybe the producers raised the product placement fee this year? To the surprise of (presumably) no one, the first woman to arrive at the final altar is Clare. With minimal preamble JP says “I have to say goodbye to you.” He moves to give her a hug, but she pushes him away. “I lost respect for you,” she says as she walks away. “I would never want my children having a father like you.”

When she’s out of earshot, JP exclaims, “Hoo! I’m glad I didn’t pick her!”

When Nikki arrives she wastes no time saying “I can’t imagine spending my life without you.” JP in turn says “I’m not 100% sure that I want to propose to you, but I’m 100% sure that I don’t want to let you go.” She accepts the final rose.

Now, I ask you, isn’t this the maximum level of commitment that’s appropriate after going on about four dates? Most would agree with that statement concerning real life, but the fact that JP didn’t propose here and now is a scandal to some, notably Chris Harrison.

On “After the Final Rose,” we find out that JP and Nikki have not seen each other since that day in St. Lucia (I think that might be a contractual thing). Nikki says she’s very happy but that JP hasn’t said he loves her yet. When the couple is on stage together, Harrison tries every possible way he can think of to get JP to say he loves Nikki — there is an hour to kill after all — but they don’t bite. They say several times that they are “done with the show,” they’re real people having a real relationship and don’t feel the need to tell the world much more right now. And they certainly look very happy with one another. I am loving every minute of this but Harrison is squirming as never before. Meanwhile Sean and Catherine look either embarrassed or angry, I can’t tell which. As well they should — they are the ones who played along and sold out in every possible  way. They let their wedding be televised and are still regulars on “The Bachelor” just to make sure they cling to their little bit of celebrity.

This last part was fantastic television. Sorry that you were made to look silly, “Bachelor” producers and hosts. But the premise for your show is pretty silly, after all.



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