Monday, November 19, 2007

The Bachelor: Finally the finale...sort of

Well, we've reached the end of the road here on The Bachelor. Kind of. Tonight is the fake-out "finale," where he chooses his girl, but somehow they all come back tomorrow to rehash everything (again), just when you think you're rid of the whole bunch. Sigh. Don't call it a "season finale" if it's not the season's finale, ABC. Tonight, Jenni and DeAnna (both "almost perfect," according to Brad) will be meeting Brad's family and having final dates with Brad before he makes the big decision.

DeAnna's up first, and Brad's mom and brothers are happy to hear that she's from Georgia, and that Brad liked her family. His mom observes that Brad is really affectionate with DeAnna. (And he really, really is. More so than before they had the overnight date, if you catch my drift.) She asks DeAnna if she's in love with Brad (yes), if she's expecting a proposal (yes...well, hoping for one), and if she wants a large family (three, perfect for Brad's mom). Okay, this is, like, the easiest interview ever. What a bunch of softball questions! Brad and his brothers chat about how tough it will be to make a decision. In a not-at-all staged shot, the brothers push each other into the pool. DeAnna felt great about the family visit, and says she'll be crushed if she never gets to see them again. She and Brad kiss goodbye, and she tells us again how in love she is with Brad. Yeah, I think she'll probably win. Though I have to say, this was such a lame bunch of contestants (and such a lame Bachelor) that I don't really care either way.

Brad acknowledges to his family how hard DeAnna will be to beat, and Jenni pulls into the driveway. She's super excited (as always--perkiness is clearly a cheerleader stereotype based on reality), and she and Brad share a long hug before he tears himself away to introduce her to the fam. This may be closer than I expected. Jenni tells everyone that it's tough being down to the final two girls, and Brad's mom busts right out with "Have you told Brad that you love him?" Wow. Just rip the Band-Aid right off, why don't you? Jenni says she hasn't, and there's some awkwardness. Jenni answers that she didn't want to feel pressured into saying it, but Mom doesn't seem convinced. When they sit down to talk, Jenni and Brad's mom discuss the importance of family. His mom asks if Jenni is in love with Brad, and Jenni dodges a bit, finally saying that she's falling in love with him, but only after a little hemming and hawing. Then, she says that she'd totally accept his proposal with a big "I love you." So...her feelings grew stronger just today? ...During that conversation? I'm getting a whiff of fake, here.

We get a few interviews about how torn up Brad is, and he tells his mom that saying goodbye to either one of the women would break his heart. His mom doesn't have any advice for him, and likes both of them. She says she found DeAnna easier to talk to, but thinks that it could be the other way around had she met Jenni first. She interviews to us that he's really confused about having feelings for both women, since he's never dated two girls at once. She seems like a really nice lady--I wonder what she really thinks of his being on this show...

DeAnna has Brad over to her place for a solo date, and impresses him right off the bat by cooking a great lasagna. DeAnna interviews that she's terrified that he won't choose her, and that she really wants to be his wife. Wow, she sure fell hard and fast, huh? They discuss how great it was when she met his family, and he tells her that he has "very strong feelings" for her, and that she'd be "an incredible wife, and more importantly, an even better mother." She says it made her feel like she was the only person in his life, and I have to say, it kind of did seem like that. He may have crossed the line into cruelly misleading her and getting her hopes up, if he didn't intend to choose her. She tells him that she's falling in love with him, sees herself marrying him, and is scared that he won't choose her. He's pretty impassive at this point (wisely, I'd say), but they share a kiss at the end of the conversation.

At Jenni's place, Brad finds a very different, Asian-themed meal awaiting him. With edamame! Nice! She, like DeAnna, feels less confident at this point than she has the entire competition. She starts to tear up when she's telling Brad that he doesn't have to be scared about her, and cries that she thinks she'd be worth the work that their relationship would entail, and would do whatever it takes to make it successful. She gives him a journal with her thoughts about the experience, including a statement about how she's falling in love with him, which she reads out loud. She seems to think that his choosing her would entail "taking a chance," like DeAnna's the safe bet. I'm assuming this is because it would be a long distance relationship. Otherwise, framing herself in that way is probably a terrible strategy. At any rate, she does the whole tearful "I love you" thing, and this whole episode is honestly just really painful to watch. It seems like both women are really invested in this, to the point where it almost seems mean to mock them. Not that that's ever stopped me before, I guess.

The morning of the final rose ceremony, Brad goes shopping for an engagement ring, and agonizes over the decision he has to make. He says he can see both of them as his wife: DeAnna as loyal and supportive, Jenni as laughing and fun. However, he says he's certain of his decision, difficult as it will be. Jenni gets escorted up to see him, and I'm not actually sure what that means at first, having never watched the show before this season. Apparently, it means she's not getting the proposal, after a bit of a fake-out. Their relationship just isn't deep enough. Crying ensues, of course. He begs her to say something to him, and she finally says that she now feels embarrassed that she told him she loved him. Well, that's totally valid. How humiliating! This show is kind of mean. After a long and tearful (on Jenni's part) walk to the limo (and more crying in the limo), Brad heads back to the site of the ceremony.

After an interview from Brad about how DeAnna is his ideal wife, DeAnna is escorted up to see him. She interviews about how excited and scared she is, and that she'll definitely say yes if he proposes. After a sweet speech about how perfect she is, he tells DeAnna that he just said goodbye to Jenni. She smiles, and he tugs his collar nervously, tells her to hang on, and paces around the garden. Uh-oh. He tells DeAnna that he has a lot of feelings for her, but can't tell her he loves her and make a promise that he can't keep. Thus, he tells her goodbye as well, trying to make himself out as gentlemanly in the process! OUCH. They hug, and she almost angrily says she doesn't understand. Man, does this happen often on this show? No proposal? 'Cause it's rough. Are they not allowed to just date? Because now it just seems like this entire season was pretty much pointless. When he asks her if she knows how much he cares about her, DeAnna says that she doesn't, which is completely fair. This is WAY HARSH, you guys.

Brad walks her back to the limo, and we get a shot of the single remaining rose, lying lonely on the pedestal. DeAnna cries in the limo, and actually says that it's tougher that he didn't pick either one of them. She's really angry, and doesn't understand, since he kept saying she was the perfect person for him. Yeah, that was really uncool. Brad sits alone with the engagement ring, teary-eyed and contemplative, as we fade to black.

Tomorrow night, hopefully Brad gets his ass kicked. Because that would be completely fair. Valuable lesson, boys and girls: Don't lead people on.