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You know how every year parents across North America empty their 401k accounts to buy the holiday it-toy every kid has to have? For a few glorious moments all of the time and money are worth it. Wrapping paper is thrown in the air, children scream in excitement, and cameras flash to capture the pure joy that is the perfect gift. Then everyone wakes up the next morning to a glorified stuffed animal no one wants to play with. That’s this season of The Bachelorette.
I’d trade the three hours I spent watching the finale for a Furby.
Rachel Lindsay began her journey to find love 11 episodes ago with 31 boyfriends and ended it on Monday night with one fiancé. Here are the top moments from the super weird season finale of The Bachelorette with gif reactions.
If you’re a Bachelor/Bachelorette fan, you know that the season finale format has been finely tuned to squeeze every ounce of tension and drama from the remaining contestants. Typically they each go on one last date, pick out rings with Neil Lane, and then enter the final rose ceremony room to either get engaged or leave with a broken heart. The music swells, the scenery is gorgeous, and then two absurdly good-looking people smile and kiss while we hug our pillows and pretend love isn’t dead. We’re talking grade-A television here. Then we happily watch them reunite on the live After the Final Rose show and see them off into the cold, dark world that is the morning show circuit.
Not this season.
This season, The Bachelorette chose to break up the natural tension by having the live “after” show run concurrently with the finale. Chris Harrison and Rachel watched the episode with a live audience and interrupted it at odd times to discuss how Rachel was feeling. I hated it. I did not want to hear Rachel explain how she felt, I wanted to watch how she felt. I didn’t need her to talk about my boyfriend Peter, I wanted to actually see Peter’s perfect face. The three hours were choppy, awkward, completely devoid of romance and, worst of all, boring.
With that ringing endorsement, let’s jump back into Peter’s fantasy suite date. When we last saw Peter, he and Rachel were at an impasse. Rachel wants a
engagement ring fiancé at the end, but Peter doesn’t feel ready to propose. Get used to that theme. Apparently Rachel had a previous long-term relationship that turned her into Smeagol, because she is not leaving this show without a Neil Lane original on her finger. I slightly panicked thinking she might send Peter home right then, but they had a free night in the crappiest hotel room in Spain so she stuck around to see him shirtless. Can’t blame a girl. Can we talk about that hotel room though? They clearly rented it on Airbnb from a 20 year-old college student during her semester abroad. No joke, the mattresses were on the floor. If they had panned out from the trundle bed I’m positive we would have seen a Harry Styles poster and twinkle lights. I’ve had more luxurious accommodations sharing a top bunk with my four year-old after he wet the bed.
The following day, Bryan’s fantasy date started out awkwardly. He could tell that Rachel was distracted and it was making him question where he stood in their relationship. If he had taken a gander at Peter’s
dorm room fantasy suite he probably wouldn’t have been as worried. That place was a dump. It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of Bryan and his excessive use of tongue when kissing, but I have to admit that he is confident. Unlike Peter, Bryan puts all of his feelings out there for Rachel. When he felt awkward, he told her. When he is in love, he tells her. It doesn’t feel genuine to me, but I can see how it would be reassuring to Rachel given the situation. They stayed the night in an infinitely nicer hotel suite than Peter got and lounged about in the bed with candles and feeding each other strawberries. They were slowly starting to grow on me, but then Rachel asked Bryan “What tastes better, the strawberry or me?”
At this point in the episode I had a lot of questions. Questions like, why was Rachel wearing a gown with beaded raglan sleeves that sounded like a rain stick when she walked? Why was Eric wearing a crew neck t-shirt and Adidas sneakers with a suit? And most importantly, how did I forget that Eric is still on this show? Eric is a really great guy who got completely lost in the shuffle of this season, but I can’t pretend that I’m surprised he went home when he did. Rachel cried and told him that she loved him, but not as much as she loved the other men. Eric told her that he’ll always love her and that he knows she’ll get the husband she wants from this experience. They kissed each other good-bye and he left the show with dignity.
Tension was building, so it was time for Chris Harrison to interrupt everything by introducing Eric on the live show. Like any person about to see their ex for the first time since the break up, Eric came swinging out the gates looking like a big ol’ plate of regret. Please forgive me for forgetting him earlier, because I’m about to start writing hearts around his name in my notebook. As always, Eric handled himself well. He asked Rachel if she’s happy (she is, she totally is, nothing to see here) and thanked her for helping him become a man by opening his heart up to love. For her part, Rachel was all smiles and compliments. Meanwhile, I just kept trying to fast forward to
Peter the good stuff.
Enough of the live show, it’s time to get back to Bryan’s final date. This date featured kissing Rachel on a hot air balloon ride and…more kissing on a hot air balloon. There was so much saliva being exchanged that I was
hoping concerned they’d put out the flame keeping them afloat and plummet to the ground. There’s no denying that those two have sexual chemistry. I guess that’s enough for Bryan because he definitely isn’t keeping her around her for her Spanish speaking skills. He gave her a Spanish dictionary with a cheat sheet of important words for her to learn like “leap of faith” and “wife” and told her with complete conviction that he’s ready to spend the rest of his life with her. I mean, it wasn’t not cute.
With a potential proposal only one day away, Rachel and Peter had some ground to make up, but when Rachel arrived wearing a camouflage jacket, I started getting nervous. It’s like she literally wanted to disappear. That might explain why they spent such a crucial last day perusing 9th century religious art on a tour with a monk instead of, say, making out in a hot air balloon. I’m not judging, but there are probably places better suited for deciding if you’re willing to compromise your convictions than straddling each other on the balustrade of a monastery.
Peter wants a life filled with “football games, and baseball games, and the farmer’s market and wine night with painting.” (Sidenote: Peter wants to be a suburban husband, can I take him as a back-up in case something happens to mine?) But Rachel needs the assurance that he’s ready to propose. To her, a proposal means security, but to him it means marriage and he’s just not ready. One of them have to compromise, or they’re over.
That night they went back to Peter’s hotel room where he told her that he’s in love with her, but that the feelings are too recent to be ready to propose the next day. He was adamant that he wants to be with her. He’s not ready to lose her, but proposing is too precious to him to give away after only a few dates. Um, Peter, I appreciate your realism, but did you forget what show you signed up for? Rachel was visibly frustrated. She felt like if he went this far in the season he should know what he wants by now, and on reflection, she had a point. It’s completely insane to me that she was that dead set on getting engaged, but it’s not like she ever hid what she was looking for. With tears streaming down her face so hard that her false eyelashes fell off, Rachel told him that she couldn’t choose him the next day if he only wants to be her boyfriend in the end. All of our hearts broke when he choked out, “Then I do nothing but wish you the very best.” I once got dumped on a date and had to drive my ex home after. This was worse.
Peter begged her to take a chance on their love without the proposal. He told her that he knew he was going to regret this decision. Finally, he broke down and said that he would set his convictions aside and propose if it meant that they could be be together, but it was too late. Rachel needed Peter to be sure. They were over. They clung to one another by the door of his suite, unable to force themselves to say good-bye for the final time. They kissed over and over again while they whispered “I love you.” Finally Rachel walked out the door and left Peter behind to question everything that had just happened. He cried into his shirt and asked, “what’s wrong with me?” and we were all like, “nothing, you’re perfect, be the next bachelor.”
Thanks to the horrible new format, we went directly from having our hearts ripped out to witnessing Rachel and Peter’s first meeting since their break-up. I was not emotionally prepared. Peter came out shaking and nervous. He had clearly been crying backstage after watching the episode for the first time. But Rachel had a slightly different reaction; she was defensive and petty. Peter admitted that he still has feelings for Rachel but the drama came when he apologized for comment he made during their break-up that if she didn’t choose him, she’d be settling for a mediocre life. It was a dick thing to say in the moment, but he came across as genuinely apologetic. I expected her to be gracious like she always has been, but instead she swerved her head and dismissed him saying, “I’m living my best life.”
Listen, Rachel is allowed to feel how ever she wants to feel, but her treatment of Peter was unnecessary. If you’re happy and you’ve moved on, why are you still being petty to a man who is clearly hurting? We get that no one (literally no one) wanted you to end up with Bryan, but you don’t have to take it out on
America’s sweetheart my boyfriend Peter. I like Rachel, I’ve defended her, I’ve supported her, but she came across really poorly. Peter told her that he felt like he was being attacked and she was like, “why, I’m just being honest.” Um, maybe because you just got done dismissing all of his feelings, said you weren’t sure about him for weeks, and that he is not the right type of person for this show. I could handle most of that since she was seeing her ex for the first time and having to pretend to not still have feelings for him, but the final straw was when she hinted that he shouldn’t be the next bachelor. It’s like she wants us to hate her.
The finale just got weirder from there. One second we are trying to slide into Peter’s DM’s to offer him totally altruistic comfort in his time of need and the next we are supposed to care that Rachel is getting engaged in Spain. Who cares about Spain, Peter is somewhere in Los Angeles hurting! The whole thing was just bizarre, I mean, this show is always bizarre, but this was especially strange. Rachel stood on top of a castle in a dress that was several sizes too big in what appeared to be gale force winds. Bryan arrived and confessed his love to her, as per usual, only this time she reciprocated his feelings.
He got down on one knee and proposed with a gigantic tear drop diamond ring, to which she exclaimed “Yes!” and then “give it to me!” They smiled, and kissed and did all of those things we usually love about this show, but this time it fell flat. How could she be so heartbroken over Peter that she cried her eyelashes off and then accept an engagement the very next day from Bryan. It just didn’t work.
I’m proud to say that I finally figured out why they formatted the episode with the after show intertwined like it was; no one would have watched it otherwise. Straight up, I did not care what Bryan and Rachel had to say after that. Bryan awkwardly re-proposed when he walked out, Rachel said she knew he was the one when she described him as her best friend to her family, and they’re both “just figuring out what we want to do next.” You do that.
Well, that was an interesting season of The Bachelorette to say the least. It featured the most diverse cast to date, blatant racism, a dash of misogyny, a disappointing outcome and questionable editing decisions. I was about one minute from throwing in the towel and quitting this franchise…then they aired the trailer for Bachelor in Paradise premiering this Monday and reeled me back in. I’m alternately disgusted by Bachelor in Paradise and obsessed with it, so I’ll definitely be back next week.
I swear we had a ringer in our That’s Normal Bachelorette fantasy league this year. I don’t know who you are but if your user name was HereForThePoints I bow to your Bachelor knowledge. Please email admin@thats-normal(dot)com to claim your prize, but don’t try to steal my job. For the record, I finished in a despicable 5th place position, I blame my Peter blindness. It’s a thing.
So that’s it! Rachel’s season of The Bachelorette is over. What did you think? Will they have a love that survives the ages? Do you think Peter will be the next Bachelor? Let’s talk in the comments, but before then, please enjoy these photos of Peter I curated for