The Bachelor Finale Review: Going for Gold

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The Bachelor S17E12: "Season Finale"

Well, the ritual is complete, the idolized alpha male has raised one woman on a pedestal above all others and cast the other into a purgatory deep and dark and without even a season of The Bachelorette as consolation: ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

I do have to say that Catherine’s face when Sean proposed was the best—the BEST—reaction I’ve ever seen during a Bachelor proposal. Her face was like tissue paper and her emotions were like red ink and they bled through and suffused every little part of her. The giant doe-in-the-headlights eyes, the shaking shoulders, the little gasp when he got on his knee… you’d have to be a heartless beast not to be #TeamCatherine by the time they climbed up on that elephant. And I was secretly really enjoying how her gold tips matched her dress. Gorgeous. Congratulations, lady, you really transcended this process and made it all about the love and how many people honestly do that?


Okay, now I can talk about the mean stuff, which has mostly to do with Master of Ceremonies Chris Harrison and the ABC wedding machine cranking this shit out at a turtle’s pace. A THREE-HOUR FINALE, for crying out loud. The moment we want to see is about thirty seconds long, and for them to take Catherine’s sweet little love note and hype it up in the promos to turn it into some left-at-the-altar B.S. was such a reach. It was such a bait-and-switch. (Although I did love little red-headed Jackie hopping up and suggesting it was from Sean’s mom, pleading with him not to go through with it—that was what I was thinking! And good for her for getting the Sea Witch to let her keep her legs even though she didn’t get a rose, or maybe that was King Triton’s doing?)


I also have to call out how weird it was to see Sean and Lindsay canoodling on a Thai boat with the guy steering it in frame and they’re just totally ignoring him as he looks at them with such a mixture of curiosity and contempt, it was sort of priceless. Maybe they’ve grown really used to having cameramen around them at all times but something about the two of them making hand-binoculars while a human being sat like six inches from them felt so, so awkward. Whatever you’re paying hat guy, double it, ABC. That’s a lot to take with a straight face.


And then the announcement that Catherine and Sean are going to get married on TV? Whoo effing hoo guys. Please don’t do that. Keep something personal and private and only yours. Or not, whatever.

One thing was super clear last night: It’s time to pull in a relief host. Chris Harrison has been out to sea too long, navigating the tides of exposed spray-tan cleavage (both male and female), mascara tears, and frosted tips with such glib aplomb that his eyes are now fully shut-off. Like, watch his eyes when he smiles, they’re like a blank white sky above the dead tree branches and frozen growth of deepest winter. A decade of nonstop Bachelor-, Bachelorette-, and Bachelor Pad-hosting has turned him into a piece of nonsense. His robotic, cheerful questions fell perfectly in time during the live feed and at one point he accidentally switched Catherine and Lindsay’s name and kept going, battering guests with an interrogation more suited for a 13-year-old niece than a 45-year-old man. “How did you know?” “At what moment did you know she was the one?” “When did you know?” 


Look, we’re all hoping they make it to the (televised) altar but if past couples are any indication they’ll be lucky to make it to Dancing With the Stars. They’ll be broken up in three weeks, after revelations of cheating/skinny-dipping/illicit foot-rubbing break in US Weekly and then one or both of them will have to sit on a contractually obligated faux-suede couch and answer questions like, “What happened?” “Why did things fall apart?” “When did you know?”

I mean, I really hope they stay together forever, but precedent is precedent. Sean’s mom knows what I’m talking about! She was so uncomfortable about everything. I wanted to reach through the TV and be like, “Do you know this series at all? No one stays engaged. This is just a free trip to Thailand. Keep it together.”

Sean’s dad knew what was up, promising both girls he’d love them forever with tears in his eyes. THAT’S where Sean gets it, I guess.

Like every other woman in the live audience last night, I was wearing bright jewel tones and loved when Lindsay popped off her heels. It perfectly summed up that moment of the night when you realize it’s not happening with the guy and just get real. Like he says something that’s finally so stupid or mentions his girlfriend and you nonchalantly take off the earrings that have been squeezing you the last five hours and fish the Luna Bar out of your purse. It’s like, okay, let’s just bro-down then. No need to waste these bells and whistles on you, buddy. It’s a subtle way of looking on the bright side of resignation. I’m sort of shocked they aren’t going to offer The Bachelorette season to Lindsay, but their schedule seems tight (as Chris Harrison’s smile) and I would not be surprised if she turns up next season the way Ashley did. 

And for those of you who want to see Sean dance on Lindsay's poor little heart:

QUESTIONS:

1. #BachelorNation tweets: best new part of the show?

2. Lindsay: one classy lady?

3. Catherine & Sean: the cutest?

4. Would you go on The Bachelor/ette in any capacity or is it a well-oiled, soul-sucking machine?

5. Desiree as the new Bachelorette: good choice or great choice?