Alright, you clicked this link to find out what happened on The Bachelor, so let's just get it over with. While at SANDALS RESORT IN JAMAICA, A LOVELY PLACE TO GET ENGAGED, Ben proposed to Lauren using a ring from NEIL LANE, CELEBRITY JEWELER TO THE STARS, WHO SELLS GOOD ENGAGEMENT RINGS IF YOU WANT TO GET MARRIED.
Congrats to the happy couple!
Sadly, that meant he had to dump JoJo, the other girl he said he was in love with. His breakup speech went ... not so well.
Luckily, JoJo gets to be the Bachelorette! It had previously been reported that Caila, dumped last episode, would be next season's Bachelorette. Chris Harrison appeared to poke fun at this by acting as if he was introducing the new Bachelorette from off-stage, then pivoting to JoJo:
(Side note: ABC made the last few episodes of this show highlight Ben's indecisiveness, then told one woman they could have a reality TV show before changing their minds a week later.)
There. All caught up? Good.
The season finale of The Bachelor began with a big lie. We were told that the show's bachelor, Ben Higgins, was possibly going to get married live on television to the woman he selected in the segments of the show recorded several months earlier. Ben's a religious dude, and Denny, his pastor from his hometown of Warsaw, Ind., was in the studio to potentially carry out the marriage.
Over the course of the three-hour show, we were repeatedly shown Denny leafing through the Bible, which I guess is what pastors do for the two hours and 45 minutes before they do wedding stuff. We were also told that the families of both remaining women were in the studio, although somewhat tellingly, only JoJo's parents were there while a whole slew of Lauren's family members were present. Hmm.
Eventually, when asked with about 10 minutes left in the show's allotted time slot if they wanted to get married immediately, Ben and Lauren declined.
Perhaps the show's producers truly did intend on showing us a wedding Monday night. A marriage ceremony can definitely fit in 10 minutes, especially considering how intently pastor Denny was reading the relevant passages all night. However, it seems kinda unlikely. Last month, ABC stretched the wedding of Tanner and Jade, perhaps the least interesting couple on The Bachelor's spin-off series Bachelor in Paradise, into a two-hour special broadcast on Valentine's Day. It would be strange if they shoehorned the wedding of the show's main character on its flagship into the closing seconds of a show we'd already watched.
The Bachelor told us another lie for most of the ending of the season. In promos for the show's final episodes, we were shown a sneak peek at a pivotal phone call from the show's final episode, framed as if a flustered, romantic Ben was calling back a previously rejected contestant.
Who would it be? Perhaps more salaciously, which character would he apparently accept, only to realize he preferred another rejected character?
As we found out last night, this call wasn't interesting at all. He was calling Lauren's dad for permission to propose to Lauren. At the time in the show the call was made, we knew what was going to happen. Ben had already rejected JoJo, and there was really only one outcome left.
A lot of people accuse The Bachelor of being fake. Well, if it is, the people faking it apparently don't think too highly of the job they've done. Otherwise, they wouldn't feel the need to include phony teases to get us to keep watching. They just would've told us about the stuff that actually happened.
From the outset, we're supposed to believe two things about The Bachelor. That the, um, bachelor here is a fascinating, unique guy worth competing for, and that as the show progresses, it will inherently get more interesting as the relationships got deeper. Monday night's finale went a long way to disprove both.
Ben was able to hide as a character when there were 25 raucous women and funny group dates and celebrity cameos. But the more we saw of Ben, the less likable he became.
Monday night's finale was his worst showing. The first hour and a half of the show was Ben telling Lauren and JoJo he loved them and then making them feel uncomfortable by staring off into the distance and not explaining himself. The last half-hour featured Ben breaking up with JoJo by telling her he loves her, but doesn't super-love her. Apparently, there are different classifications here.
Anyway, while JoJo began crying, he kept talking, digging deeper and deeper into the hole he was building himself. Then he proposed to Lauren just minutes after telling a first person he loved them. Not exactly classic romance.
The whole "Ben loves two women!" plotline was supposed to be the height of drama. A man so intensely passionate, that his intense passion has led him into two intense, passionate relationships!
But Ben isn't some sexy Spanish knight from 1657. I would not cast Antonio Banderas to play Ben. His problem here isn't that he's an over amorous romantic whose only sin is loving too much. The problem here is that he's a software salesman from rural Indiana who doesn't want to break up with one of the very pretty ladies who likes him, because they're very pretty and he likes them, too. He comes off as indecisive more than anything, and in a show hypothetically about decision-making, that's not ideal
Why did Ben make the decision? He never really tried to explain. My best guess is that Lauren is blonder than JoJo.
When I watch Ben, I am reminded of a food item my mom once made. She doesn't cook a lot, but one of her favorite things is making Thanksgiving dinner. She takes great pride in producing this one enormous meal per year. It's a gargantuan task, and for the most part, it's delicious, from appetizers to the turkey to the dessert we're all too full to truly enjoy. But, well, she doesn't cook a lot. Sometimes, mistakes are made. So, a few years ago, she tried to make mashed potatoes without butter, any butter substitute, or salt. She also didn't buy or prepare gravy.
Watching Ben Higgins, I am reminded of this enormous pot of flavorless white paste. Like these potatoes, Ben isn't actually interesting enough to be his own shape, he just kinda slowly conforms to the contours of whatever container he's placed into. Think you'll find some sort of character buried deep inside Ben? No. The more you dig, the more you realize he's just a big ol' mound of tasteless taters.
Much like ABC's producers, I tried my best to pour hot sauce on it without anybody noticing. It didn't work.
(I don't think my mom reads these posts, but, if you are reading: The potatoes were really good this year.)
There's another thing we're supposed to believe from the outset. We're supposed to think that the show's winner is the person who winds up with the Bachelor, the person who gets the last rose.
But as always, this doesn't seem true. Lauren "won," but as runner-up, JoJo earned the opportunity to be next season's Bachelorette. For the low price of one televised broken heart, JoJo gets to be the star of her own reality TV show. Unlike this show where she was just one of many secondary characters fighting for a single handsome guy, JoJo will now have 25 or so handsome guys fighting for her. That seems like a good deal!
It's a better deal when you consider the trappings of being the Bachelorette. She gets to become a celebrity! She gets a big appearance fee! She gets several more months of all these glamorous trips and stuff! She can probably go on Dancing With The Stars someday! Plus, she gets to one-up her big brother, who starred on NBC's failed attempt at creating a Bachelor rip-off.
Meanwhile, Lauren's time on this television show with free vacations and booze and gourmet meals and helicopter rides is now over. As the "winner," she gets the grand prize, a relationship with Ben, a human unsalted Saltine cracker.
I genuinely hope Lauren and Ben's relationship works out. They sincerely seem to make each other happy! But history shows that once the free gourmet booze helicopter phase of the relationship ends and you have to do dishes and laundry with the new love of your life, these couples break up quickly. I suspect that with Ben, a man who sells software, this turndown may be especially quick.
In the show's waning moments, Ben prefaced a speech by joking that that "for about 10 more minutes, I'm still relevant." I admit, I laughed, perhaps the first time Ben made a viewer do so all season.
However, he was wrong. There were actually only three minutes left in the show.
Goodbye, Ben, you handsome, boring man. We sincerely hope you enjoy life not on our TV screens.