To kick off the second half of the season 9 finale of The Bachelorette last night, host Chris Harrison recapped the first half succinctly: “Desiree gave her heart completely to someone who didn’t love her back…Desiree was left…virtually hopeless.” Nice setup, ABC. Real nice.
We picked up where we left off last Monday – with Desiree crying in Antigua to a sad music soundtrack (cue the violins), after bachelor Brooks has left the show early, telling Des he wasn't in love with her. Des changed out of her heinous outfit into a maxidress for the obligatory “where do we go from here?” chat with Harrison, who asked how she was doing. Des said OK, but he called bullshit, and she dissolved into a puddle of tears on the porch, sobbing that she just wanted to go home.
Harrison asked about the other guys who didn’t peace out: If Brooks hadn't part of the equation, what would she have done? Des dodged the question, evaluating the two remaining guys themselves: She’s comfy with Chris Siegfried, and Drew’s the “sweetest guy in the whole world,” which every guy wants to hear. Des wanted to see the process through, and see if she has feelings for the other two guys. (In the next couple hours? Really? Putting pressure on it, much?)
Harrison told her there will be a rose ceremony that day--which I’m 100 percent confused about, since there are only two guys left and usually at this point it’s picking the husby/winner. Des looked like she’s in shock and/or going to a funeral. “It’s just sad because I had hopes and now I don’t,” she said in a voiceover, as Harrison welcomed the guys to the “ceremony.”
Harrison told the guys that Brooks is no longer there, but that it wasn't his story to tell, and so he left it to Des to fill them in. She told the guys that Brooks sent himself home and it rocked her world, but she won’t let it break her spirit. When she gave out roses (in the most pointless rose ceremony ever), she broke down in tears, which made them feel great, I’m sure--though they happily accepted their roses.
Back in the studio, Harrison asked random people in the audience (apparently, they’re members of the “Bachelor Nation”) for their predictions, which was a total waste of time, because who the hell cares what they think? It’s like Desiree called Domino’s and they told her they’re out of pepperoni (Brooks) but they could substitute sausage (Chris) or bacon (Drew) free of charge. Please! Anything with a pulse!!!!!!
In the meantime, Des changed into a hideous belly shirt for her horseback date with Drew at a place called Rendezvous Bay (but should really be called Heartbreak Point), where she informed Drew (sporting two shades of purple–one on the top and one on the bottom) that he’d be riding a horse named Judy (the only riding he’d be doing that night!). They had polite, awkward elevator chatter on the way to the beach. Drew made a toast to being “madly in love,” but Des wasn't feeling it, so she dumped him. Right there. While wearing a sombrero belly shirt. You’d think after what happened the first time she wore a belly shirt, she’d opt for another look. Burn the belly shirts! (What’s the deal with her Antigua wardrobe? Did United lose her luggage? Was that all that was available at the hotel gift shop? Why is she wearing clothes straight out of the Debbie Gibson “Electric Youth” collection?)
Drew, being the sweet guy that he is, consoled Des, telling her that she shouldn’t apologize for not being in love with him. Poor Drew didn’t seem to know what was going on until about he was about halfway down the beach. They’re dropping like flies! And it’s not even halftime yet!
The next day, it was Chris' turn; their date took place on a boat. The guys were clearly instructed by the show's producers to wear all the pastels they own, ALL AT ONCE. Chris told Des, “I’ll be there for you,” essentially quoting the Friends theme song, which was a nice departure from his “poems.” They sipped punch from plastic mugs and watched fish jump. It must have been magical punch, because Des emerged from the boat beaming and was practically skipping to dinner. Pollyanna and Chris toasted, playing the “Glad Game,” and discussing the “natural flow” of their relationship. Chris marveled about how they always are able to pick up where they left off, which shouldn’t actually be too hard when you see each other every day. Des waxed philosophical about how everything happens for a reason.
Chris gave Des her “very own journal” (didn’t he already give her, like, six?), which contained all the “poems” he had written her. I would’ve torn those suckers out because it lowers the value of the journal. Des, of course, ate it up with a spoon. So, let’s recap: In 24 hours, she’s done a 180. Looks like she substituted pepperoni with sausage and is very happy with her decision. She felt guilty about having had feelings for Brooks two days ago, asking (about Chris), “How could I not have loved him from the beginning?”
Meanwhile, back at the live show, previous contestants Jackie, Lesley, Lindsey, Sean and Catherine were on hand to shari their “expert” opinions with Harrison. Sean said his wedding is “coming soon,” but refused to give specifics. Sean made it sound like he knew his match was Catherine from the beginning, which was news to me (and everyone else watching the show last season). Lesley said, “[Des] had a tough time last week with Brooks, but she’s had time to reflect on that…” Yeah, a whole 24 hours. What a difference a day makes, indeed! Harrison played the “Is this a rebound?” card. Nobody was able to answer.
After the commercial break, Des introduced Chris to her parents and her brother, Nate. Des’ mom said nothing, and Des’ dad asked Chris one question:
Des’ dad: Why should Desiree choose you?
Chris: ‘Cuz I’m the last one here, that’s why. (Not his real answer, but the truth.)
Chris did a good job with the whole parental meeting, and fielded brother Nate’s questions like a champ. Chris asked Des’ dad for her hand in marriage, and Pops gave his blessing. (Really? You just met the guy five minutes ago. It’s not like he’s asking to take your car for a test drive. This is your daughter.) Des and Chris both said they “want what their parents have” and don’t want to get married more than once. (Really? So maybe don’t meet, date, and get engaged to someone in four weeks. Just sayin'.)
Des told her family that she “need[s] to decide this week whether I’m going to accept a proposal.”
(From whom? A warm body? ) Des’ brother gave his seal of approval, which really means so much. He did question whether she’s over Brooks, and Des said it took "a long time" for her to get over Brooks. (Really? Define “long time,” Des. Usually it’s measured by days, not minutes.)
“I’m swimming in uncharted waters now, and the water’s cold,” Chris said, in response to absolutely nothing. (One word: shrinkage. ) Chris met with Neil Lane, who has the sweetest job ever: traveling all over the world with diamonds, letting guys pick out giant rocks for their beloved, and traveling again to collect them a few months later when everything falls apart.
The morning of the final rose ceremony was different from other seasons for a number of reasons. For one, Chris and Des were the only two people left on the island. For another, Des was completely mute until she’s on her way to the proposal site. In the span of 15 minutes, Des completely flipped her love object, saying Chris is the man she’s been waiting for her whole life, and she can’t believe love’s been right in front of her face the whole time.
When Chris arrived, she let him talk first, since she was the girl, after all. But as he was about to get down on one knee, she stopped him because she wanted to come clean about her feelings about Brooks. She turned her “I was in love with Brooks” speech around rather nicely to say that she was so blinded by her feelings for Brooks that she couldn’t see the one thing that she always needed was right in front of her: a guy who writes crappy poems.
Chris wasn’t sure where this was going, but when she told him she loved him and that he means “the absolute world” to her, he knew he was home free, and his butt cheeks unclenched. (I’ve got an idea: Let’s add “this week” to the end of every sentence Des says.) When Chris asked, “Will you marry me?” Des actually said, “Yes, a thousand times.” (This week.) Enjoy your lifetime of shitty poetry and free chiropractic adjustments, Des.
At the live After the Final Rose special, Harrison again asked Des how she went from the heartbreak with Brooks to the romantic proposal with Chris, and she totally dodged that question, yet again. (Anderson Cooper wouldn’t let her off the hook that easy! Neither would Ryan Seacrest! Get with it, Chris Harrison!)
Brooks had the balls to at least show up to the special, but the producers kept him in the dark about whether Des was engaged or not, even though it had been revealed to the audience 10 minutes before. (The giant Neil Lane diamond on her finger should’ve been a dead giveaway, though.) Des said she has closure, but she clearly looked nervous seeing Brooks, and still wanted answers. Brooks said he wasn’t “checking in with his feelings” at the beginning of his journey, and that was a problem. Des said she has to stay true to who she was “back then”--all those two weeks ago. (She’s a totally different person now! With closure! See how sparkly my ring is, Brooks?!?!? BROOKS!!!!) Brooks said he wasn’t surprised that Des and Chris wound up together.
Then they brought Drew out, and THAT was awkward. Once again, Des called Drew “the sweetest person I’ve ever known.” Drew was sporting a light blue suit with a brown tie–straight outta the 1970s. He had some questions, like wanting to know whether there was anything he could’ve done differently and whether that would’ve changed things--which, of course, it wouldn’t. The heart wants what the heart wants. And Des’ heart really wants shitty poetry. Drew tried to get Des to tell him when she knew he wasn’t the guy for her, but couldn’t get a straight answer.
When Des and Chris were reunited, we learned that Des is moving to Seattle this weekend. Also, Chris hasn’t stopped writing his “poems.” He presented her with a framed poem bordered with rose petals (which I assume are saturated in Zak’s and Drew’s tears). It’s called “My Girl” and features phrases such as “I get to hold you and hug you, I get to kiss you and love you. Like a drum my heart never stops beating.” Hallmark must be clearing a desk for him in Missouri right now.
During the episode, Chris keeps saying, “We Belong Together,” so clearly he’s a fan of Pat Benatar. I, however, believe the soundtrack for tonight’s finale was Death Cab for Cutie’s “The Sound of Settling,” as that song keeps playing over and over in my head.
Final thoughts? The two-parter episode really sucked for Drew; I hope he at least got unlimited platters of chicken fingers, curly fries and access to an Xbox while in isolation for his troubles. Was the two-part “finale” worth five hours of my time? Hell to the no. Will I be watching the subtitled new season with Juan Pablo as The Bachelor come January? You betcha!
More from entertainment