Last night’s episode of The Bachelor was introduced by Bachelor Nation President (no term limits!) Chris Harrison as “the most dramatic finale EVER” and sure, he’s legally required to say that phrase 10 times per season, but I’ll contend that Bachelor Ben’s finale lived up to the hype. We had a “disturbed” mother, even more family where that came from, lots of tears, a bathroom floor confessional, and, of course, a proposal on bended knee.
The episode kicked off back in the Bachelor studio with Chris Harrison introducing the episode and showing us that Ben’s pastor was in the house (and presumably ready to marry the final couple after he was done paging through his Bible), plus both Lauren’s entire family and Jojo’s parents. Did anyone pause right there? I had Lauren to be the last woman standing most of the season, but the fact that her ENTIRE family showed up and just Jojo’s parents? That’s a bit of a giveaway, huh?
|A battle for the ages: blonde vs. brunette
But first, we must go back to the final proposal/heartbreak. Lauren is still walking like she just got off a horse and she and Jojo are both dressed like Whitesnake groupies roaming around Jamaica and wondering if the man who said “I love you” actually does. Ben is torn and terrified and his parents’ input doesn’t help at all. Ben’s mother is “disturbed” that Ben loves 2 women, but put your outrage on hold, Mama Bear, Lauren’s here with flowers and wine!
Amy and Dave (the rentals) are excited to meet Lauren and she conducts herself with a calm, graceful demeanor as she shares her love of Ben and calls him “seemingly perfect” which KILLS with Mama Bear Amy (note: Lauren and Ben’s mom held hands during that convo, which seemed intense). Amy talks about the tough times of marriage, which I found to be a refreshing balance to the fantasy environment of the show. Lauren and Ben sit on the steps to say goodbye alone and she says “I’m in love with you” like she’s announcing a Bingo game, then reminds him that she’s only getting married once and she wants to be part of the Higgins family.
The next day Jojo arrives in a patterned jumper carrying a small horn of plenty filled with flowers (very odd) and shaking from nerves (poor thing). She comments to Amy that she’s extremely nervous, to which Mama Bear Amy responds, “we’re not scary people” which felt sort of negating to me, but perhaps I’ve been reading too many self help books and spent too many years in the improvisation world of “yes and”? Jojo and Ben trot out their courtship stories and Jojo definitely makes an impact on Ben’s parents with her enthusiasm and love for Ben. Amy event says that with jojo “it did feel different” but ultimately, the parents love both girls (and who wouldn’t?). Ben just still doesn’t know who to plant his stake with.
Then we transition back to the studio and Chris Harrison says “he’s got himself into a bit of trouble, right?” which sounded like a line straight out of The Dukes of Hazzard.
Then it’s time for final dates and Lauren gets a catamaran ride with Ben during which they cuddle and say “I love you” numerous times. Bachelor Producers try to mislead us by inserting clips of Ben saying that perhaps things between them are “too good to be true” and editing final date footage to look a bit boring and stale. That night they dress up and talk by candlelight (“You look great” “You look great”) and Ben tells Lauren that he’s confused and “no matter what happens, you’ve made me a better person” which sounded like a friggin’ breakup speech! If I were Lauren, I would have been crushed (but psyched to have such great hair and a nice bum). They say goodbye and Lauren, ever the strong steady, tears up and says that, “if tonight were the last time that I heard Ben say he loved me, I don’t really know what I would do.”
Then it’s time for Jojo and Ben’s final date and, unlike Lauren, Jojo has truly jumped in completely (both literally and figuratively) while Lauren has wisely played things a bit cooler, but much of that is simply your personality and you can’t stop being who you are. If I were on that show, I wouldn’t be as measured as Lauren—I’d be more like Jojo (and pray for her killer curls).
Jojo and Ben drive to a literal blue lagoon (it’s more than just a Brooke Shields flick circa 1980, apparently), strip down to their swimsuits, and jump right in. As we saw last time, Jojo’s hair is immediately tangled and wet and her make-up is gone and if I were jumping from that rope in Jamaica (is my Tuesday morning quarterbacking super obnoxious or absolutely delightful?), I would do one of those Lifeguard-style stride jumps to keep my head from going under.
|SAVE YOUR HAIR, JOJO!!!!
As the waterfall screams behind them, Jojo and Ben talk about what they would do next—Denver or Dallas? Jojo never gets any answer on that, but says that she has faith in Ben and trusts him, to which Ben responds, uninspiringly, that he loves her but his mind is in 1,000 different places.
|My mind is in 1,000 different places... and so are my bowl movements (I have diarrhea).
That night Jojo pulls out the hail mary pass of rompers and shows some serious cleavage as she and Ben discuss what is going on between them and what doubts Ben may have. They retire to the bathroom and have a teary-eyed heart-to-heart on the bathroom floor (off camera, but still mic-ed) during which Jojo seems crestfallen that Ben loves Lauren, also, and has told her such. The tile commercial ends with Jojo saying that she feels foolish and expressing that she didn’t realize that Ben had dropped the L bomb to anyone else (Lauren). Oh girl.
|Ummmm hi--may I remind you of how damn hot I am, Ben?
The next day Ben wakes up and before we know it, Neil Lane is here with a case full of blood diamonds, ready to be the transition into a flashback montage of the ladies. Ben finally says that he has made a decision, picks a diamond (square diamond with step stones up to it), and gets suited up.
The ladies are prepping, also: Lauren in a royal blue, floor length dress (great pick) and hair down and Jojo in a surprisingly bad choice—a super pageant-y, light pink gown covered in sequins, hair down. Oh Jojo, every dress you picked was better than the last up until this final rose ceremony—where did it all go so wrong?
The ladies hop in their helicopters and head to the site and, as any lifelong Bachelor fan knows, the first to arrive is the one being sent home brokenhearted. We see a shot of silver heels emerging from the helicopter and they are soon followed by a sparkly, pink grown. Oh Jojo, I’m sorry, girl (but your big brothers are sorrier, no doubt).
Jojo walks across the bridge to Ben and delivers a sweet speech about her love for Ben as he stares at her with an absolutely blank facial expression. Once she is done, Ben launches in on his part about how he was unsure at first and he didn’t know if he could find love, but he found it with Jojo, but he found it with somebody else more. Ooooouch.
Jojo tries to breathe and hold it together while I was tempted to crank this song:
Jojo exits gracefully, saying that she feels blindsided and confused and scolding him for telling her that he loved her. They hug goodbye and Jojo hops in the limo, saying “I just want he kind of love that I can count on.” Oh girl, don’t we all. I feel you.
Ben goes back to his spot and calls Lauren’s father to ask for Lauren’s hand in marriage. Listen, I get that this is tradition and some fathers think that it’s really noble and honorable to do that, but may I remind everyone that it completely ignores the MOTHER? If you want to show your respect for a woman’s family and be sure that they’re OK with you joining that family, then please please PLEASE ask BOTH parents. Presumably BOTH parents raised her and BOTH parents put up with a lot—let’s not forget out mothers, OK? (This is also why I love the Jewish tradition of BOTH parents walking a bride down the aisle.) I’ll get off my soapbox, but Lauren’s father is thrilled and gives his blessing, which prompts Ben to shriek like a tool.
Lauren arrives and tells Ben that their first kiss was her “last first kiss” and “you are my person.” Ben responds that this has been a journey full of goodbyes and he never want to say goodbye to her, then he gets on bended knee and proposes. Lauren is laughing and clutching her mouth, then Ben hands her the final rose and they immediately start dropping the “f bomb” (fiancée—a word that will forever give me dumb chills).
Hour 3 of the Bachelor Finale extravaganza takes us back to the studio where Chris Harrison interviews Ben and asks Ben if he regrets anything. Ben responds that he can’t live in a state of regret, which is a really easy thing to say when YOUR heart wasn’t broken and YOU got what YOU wanted no matter the emotional cost to others.
We have the standard parade of people—the jilted ex (Jojo) looking AMAZING in a black dress with strategic cut outs and just the right amount of bronzer (a lot). Chris Harrison thrills Bachelor Nation by announcing JOJO as the next Bachelorette (Halleluiah!) and Jojo and Ben have a friendly conversation about their breakup.
Lauren comes out and she and Ben cuddle and talk about what life has been like since the show and then all of their family and Ben’s pastor (DENNY!) join them onstage for a giant hug off. Lauren’s sister rocks a weird circus style red dress and Ben’s mother is serving Hillary Clinton circa 1993 realness in a maroon dress with shoulder cut outs (remember when that was SO popular?).
Chris Harrison bids us adieu promising, I think, a new season of The Bachelorette (starring JOJO!) in May (that’s pretty damn quick, no?) and Bachelor In Paradise this summer and the Bachelor Train keeps rolling on!
To hear me yammer about this solo (because my sweet co-host was having bedtime problems with her sweet baby who was as emotional about the finale as Jojo was), listen to The Fantasy Suite here.
Thanks so much for reading, lovebugs! I really appreciate it and I’ll be back in May to make jokes about the lunks who line up to date the gorgeous, wonderful Jojo! xo