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Well, this is it! It’s the final episode of this crazy freak show called Bachelor Pad 2! We come back to Holly whining, whining about how hard it was to send Blake home, but how she hopes so bad that now Michael knows she’s loyal to him. Chris comes in to announce the final challenge that will take place tomorrow. It’s the hardest challenge EVAH, and it won’t take place here at the mansion, it will take place in… Las Vegas! Everyone cheers like they’re going to Vegas to party instead of to be locked up and compete.
The next day the gang is dropped off at the MGM Grand in their workout clothes as we hear yet another confessional from Kasey about how his dream was to make it to the finals and now look, here he is. Yeah, we’re all very happy for you, Kasey. Everyone walks into the theater auditorium and a huge wall comes rotating out of the stage.
It’s a giant trash compactor and they have 30 seconds to escape.
This is the home of the Cirque du Soleil KA show. Chris explains that they will have 24 hours to learn an extremely difficult routine that will take place on this wall. They will be judged on technical ability, showmanship, effort and of course, chemistry with their partners. Whichever couple comes in last place will be eliminated from Vegas, Bachelor Pad, and life in general. Everyone is terrified and we’ve already heard Ella explain several different times in the last ten minutes that she needs to win this money because she’s a single mom. Enough with the single mom sob story! Get a freaking job! Okay, let’s look at this routine.
There is a lot of running vertically up the wall and rappelling back down it while strapped in harnesses, all in a series of graceful dance moves as performed by the professionals. We learn that the routine is 60 seconds long – the first 50 seconds are choreographed and the last 10 seconds is up to each couple to complete. For her 10 seconds, Holly wants to choreograph herself kicking Michael away from her, then having him come running back after her. Hmm, I can’t imagine where she got that idea! Kasey and Vienna fight about what their 10 seconds should look like and Vienna complains that she doesn’t understand what Kasey wants. She probably literally can’t understand his mumbles.
“Kasey, if you can’t enunciate, just shut up!”
Guess what. This is hard for Holly because she and Michael aren’t in the best place right now. Graham tells us he’s terrified of heights and Michelle quickly becomes nauseated from hanging in a backwards horizontal posture. I can understand that. My wedding photographer had my husband dip me backwards for a picture. It was hot and I was wearing a corset and I almost passed out and had to sit down inside for like a half hour after that one photo. Okay, so I’m a weenie. I’m not on Bachelor Pad competing to win the remnants of a bunch of money. Ella claims that childbirth was easier than this challenge. I hope she’s right cause I’m having a baby next month and we have just established that I am, in fact, a weenie. The couples stay up late into the night practicing what they’ve learned. Except for Kasey and Vienna, who are snoring peacefully.
The next day everyone arrives in their brightly colored unitards with rainbow vests that look like lizard scales to compete in the big challenge.
Chris greets them and introduces the judges. Just as I suspected, they are about as relevant to this challenge as Natalie and Dave were to the synchronized swimming contest. First is Trista – the first EVER Bachelorette and the shining example of how this can all work for you if you just do it right. ABC trots her out as often as possible to remind us that this did, in fact, work out for someone once upon a time, no matter how much it has failed since then. But wait! The second judge is another success story. It’s Jason Mesnick! Remember him? When he was the Bachelor he proposed to Melissa Rycroft, then dumped her at the After the Final Rose reunion and asked out the first runner up – to whom he is now married after a highly profitable televised wedding. Isn’t that the sweetest story you’ve ever heard? Just charming. And the last judge also found love on her season of The Bachelorette. Or at least she hasn’t broken up with the guy she picked yet. It’s Ali. And her fiance Roberto carries her in to her judge chair because she has a “hurt leg” as Chris informs us. Side note: Ali and Vienna were bitter rivals when they were both on Jake’s season of The Bachelor. Also? Kasey got his tattoo while he was competing to guard and protect ALI’s heart. So these two probably aren’t her faves.
Note the air of superiority.
Up first are Graham and Michelle. Michelle explains to us that out of the four judging criteria, the only one they have a shot at displaying is chemistry. So they do this little forehead nuzzle thing before they start the routine.
“Can you see the chemistry oozing out of our pores?”
Ali seems concerned and asks Chris Harrison if they just kissed. He doesn’t answer – or care. Michelle and Graham pretty much suck. Mostly we just see them dangling in their harnesses and doing some sort of secret handshake at the end. Next up are Kirk and Ella. Did you know that Ella is doing this to win money for her son since she is a single mom? She doesn’t want to let him down, you know. These two are quite awful as well. For their unique twist they sprinkle down confetti and kiss.
Falling pieces of paper – impressive!
But mostly Ella dangles while Kirk tries to coach her along. Fail. Kasey and Vienna actually do quite well, much to my dismay. They’re the first ones to manage to DO the routine, instead of just hang from their harnesses wiggling. They end in a dramatic pose and everyone seems very impressed.
I wish Vienna would just go limp more often.
Finally, here come Michael and Holly and their strained relationship and Holly’s confusion. These two NAIL it. They are awesome. They do the whole routine in sync and WELL. Then their own little part at the end looks fantastic. I’m sure it helps that Michael is a dancer and Holly weighs less than most 12-year-olds, but good for them.
Do you sense Holly’s confusion?
Now everyone lines up for the judges to give lip service to the losers and announce the winners. Ali tells Kasey and Vienna that they put on a good show. Jason tells Kirk and Ella that they didn’t put on enough of a show. Then Ali says that Michael and Holly were technically outstanding. And Jason says Graham and Michelle had trouble getting going, and he couldn’t see their secret handshake very well. Queen Trista gets to announce the winners and she says that based on the criteria they were given, Michael and Holly were the bestest. Michael and Holly scream and cheer and come over to collect their roses. Chris reminds them that they will now have to choose which couple will join them in the finale. But first! Let’s hear who did the worst and is banished from existence. Trista calls Kasey and Vienna forward and deems them safe. Nuts. Then she tells everyone that they must bid farewell to Kirk and Ella. Uh oh. Ella’s little boy is going to be homeless. Ella sobs to Kirk over and over that she’s sorry. He reassures her that this was a team challenge and she did her best – even though now her son will be left to starve.
“I’m sure Child Protective Services will understand that you tried.”
In her Ride of Shame Ella continues to sob over her failures as a mother. Well, at least now she can go home and BE a mother – if Ethan remembers who she is. I’m sure they’ll have a very happy life living under a viaduct.
Later, back at the mansion, Michael and Holly congratulate each other on getting to the finals. But now comes the “difficult” business of choosing who comes with them. I don’t get why this is hard – why are Kasey and Vienna even still around with a chance at this? As Michael and Holly get ready for a chat with Kasey and Vienna, Vienna warns Kasey to stay low key because Michael and Holly won’t respond well to high pressure. If they remain calm and easy going, they’ll have a better chance at being chosen. So of course the minute Holly and Michael sit down, Kasey launches into a stern speech about how they’ve played the game and just what each person deserves. LOL. Their argument ends up being that if Michael and Holly are in the finals with them, they’ll have a better chance of winning because no one will vote for Kasey and Vienna. Whereas if they’re up against Graham and Michelle it will be a toss up. That’s probably true, but why would they use that argument unless they have one last desperate plan up their sleeves? After the convo, Vienna berates Kasey for never shutting up – especially after she told him to. Kasey storms away. He goes outside to sulk against a wall and Vienna follows him to continue berating him.
“But I’m the Godfather. How could they go against the family?”
Next Michael and Holly sit down with Graham and Michelle and tell them that if they choose Kasey and Vienna they’ll win, but if they choose Graham and Michelle, they have a big chance of losing. Graham just says to do what they’ve got to do. Then he flips out after they all go their separate ways. He feels so betrayed by his best good friend Michael, who has stood beside him through every step of this competition. He goes off on a tirade to Michelle, saying that at this point it isn’t about money, it’s about standing beside your friends. And up until now, he thought Michael WAS his friend, but if this is how it’s going to be, he never wants to see Michael’s face again – ever! Michelle helplessly rubs his back and tries to get him to calm down.
“Please Gram. Just stop talking.”
Graham is so odd. He’s mostly under the radar and won’t say much, but then he flies out with this temper tantrum when no one but Michelle is looking. Overall, I’d say Graham is someone I wouldn’t want to hang around.
Rose Ceremony! Holly comes out wearing some ultra micro mini kimono that’s open all the way to her belly button.
“I have Geisha class after this.”
Really all that has to happen here is that they announce which couple they are giving roses to. But first Chris has to explain everything again and then we get to hear everyone fret and say why they think they should win and why they’re scared. Finally Holly says this is the hardest thing she’s done on the show and it comes down to selfishness (choosing Kasey and Vienna and guaranteeing themselves the win) or selflessness (choosing Graham and Michelle and risking losing everything to them). Then Michael says the same thing, adding that this whole thing is a game, but they choose… Graham and Michelle. Michelle almost collapses in tears. Vienna seethes. Kasey scoops Vienna up and announces that they’ll be leaving and they laugh playfully as they get into the limo… where Vienna bursts into tears and sobs. She’s mad that her perfect rose record is now tarnished, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Kasey says that they’ve been backstabbed and Graham and Michelle don’t deserve to go to the finale. Bitter, bitter kittens. Buh-bye!
“Kasey, you were supposed to guard and protect me from this!”
Let’s go straight to the finale! ABC was once again kind enough to present us with a THREE HOUR EPISODE! I can’t say that without all caps. It’s just too insulting. It’s like they’re saying, admit it, America. You have nothing better to do. Which could be true, but it’s none of ABC’s business. For all they know, I’m busy. Anyway, here we go. We’re now in a studio with an audience and all of the former contestants have come back to dish some dirt. And it looks like there are people who give hair extensions backstage because suddenly all the girls have really long hair. Except Gia, who has cut bangs. Ames gets major screams when he’s introduced, which I still don’t get. Speaking of which, Chris reminds us all of the most romantic moment in the history of the universe where Ames ran after Jackie’s limo and left with her. And we all want to know where they stand now. Still together?
As Bachelor trend would predict – NO! Jackie says that she spent a long time being confused, she wishes they had given it more of a shot, and she isn’t sure what she did wrong. Ames? All Ames says is that he totally thought Jackie was the one, but after spending some time together he realized they were “two different people.” I hate to point out the obvious, but every couple on earth is made up of two different people. To translate from guy-talk, I think what this means is that Ames thinks that he and Jackie had some differences that were deal breakers, but he’s not going to say what they are. And Jackie doesn’t seem to know either. Imagine that! After three straight days of making out and realizing that they both like to have fun, these two aren’t a lasting match! I wonder what Ames considers deal breakers. Such a guy thing to chalk it up to just being “different,” and refusing to elaborate. Jackie says this has never happened to her before, so she didn’t know how to react. What, she’s never been dumped? Then it’s time. Everyone needs to go through getting dumped. It’s part of life.
“No one has ever passed on THIS. I don’t know how to respond.”
She goes on to say that there was a week when she couldn’t even get out of bed. Yup – join the club. But maybe next time actually get to know the guy before you mourn his loss so heavily. What’s next?
Chris starts with Gia and wants to know why she, who has been on the show before, couldn’t seem to break up the Kasey/Vienna alliance. Before Gia can really answer, Chris points out that Alli, Jake, Gia and even Blake COULD have gotten rid of these two, but didn’t. William pipes up and says that for being such a power couple, Kasey and Vienna never won any challenge. And they told stories to everyone and every week stabbed someone new in the back. The audience cheers. Chris goes to Jake so see what he thinks and Jake just gives his speech about only coming on the show to reconcile with Vienna. Vienna pipes up and says that they had closure right at the beginning of the show and after that she was nice to Jake. The audience roars.
“Why is that funny? I treated Jake with nothing but respect. Even though I was terrified. Do you like my extensions?”
Erica, who spends this special jumping in with commentary whenever she sees fit, asks Vienna why she was so determined to eliminate Jake if she had closure. Why was she so mean? Vienna actually says she WASN’T mean. HA! Kirk says he just wishes Vienna would have owned up to her part in the relationship with Jake failing. That’s totally true – all she did was say how innocent she was and how evil Jake was. Jake is thoroughly enjoying this.
Chris pulls Jake up to the stage for some one-on-one time. Jake puts on his best martyr face while we roll the montage of his time at the Pad. Chris asks how it makes Jake feel to hear Vienna and Kasey say he’s a bad person. Jake once again paints the picture of himself being this saintly, friendly, all-caring person who momentarily lost his cool on TV (during the breakup special), but has striven diligently to show everyone his true self before then and since then. My gosh, he’s so obsessed with this “image” he’s crafted of himself being perfect. All he can think about is how he’s coming across at any given moment. Why doesn’t he just chill out? If he were a genuinely nice person, he would have nothing to worry about, and wouldn’t feel this constant need to control what everyone thinks about him. Anyway, there is a consensus that Vienna and Kasey were horrible to Jake and Vienna keeps saying those were just snippets that were shown on TV. The rest of the time she and Jake were BFF’s! No one’s buying it. Chris asks Erica to make a ruling as to whether Vienna was hostile or not hostile toward Jake. Erica raises her little clear gavel and pronounces Vienna “hostile.”
“Hostile, Chris. But in law school we say ‘antagonistic.’”
Vienna backpedals and says if Jake was so intent on apologizing he could have called her before the show. Jake claims he tried to, yadda, yadda. We’ve already heard this argument and no one cares. Jake says it was profitable for Vienna to keep things uncomfortable. Chris points out to Jake that giving Vienna a rose was the dumbest thing he could have done and it affected everyone on the show. By the way, what does Jake think of how Kasey and Vienna acted? Jake says he was very disappointed and he asks Kasey if he really thinks it was appropriate to say he wanted to punch Jake for America.
“Because America knows my true self. I’ve made certain of it.”
Kasey, who has been quiet thus far, says, no he doesn’t. And watching the show makes him feel like a huge jerk and he’d like to apologize to Jake. Wow, I didn’t see that coming. They then hug it out and we witness the birth of a precious new bromance. Or whatever.
“Golly I MUST be a great guy because now even Kasey likes me.”
Oh look, it’s Kasey’s turn to come and sit with Uncle Chris. During his montage we see Justin saying that Kasey sounds like a frog. And Kermit the Frog went out with Miss Piggy. Everyone laughs. After the montage Kasey says he feels like a jerk, but would like to point out to Justin that he has a speech impediment, so it wasn’t nice to call him Kermit the Frog. Speech impediment? Chronic mumbling? I guess anything’s possible. Can’t he take a diction class? I had this class in college where we had to learn the phonetic alphabet then record ourselves speaking and perfect our pronunciation of the English language. Then I took the class again in German. It works! Have any of you ever had a hard time understanding my speech? Didn’t think so. Anyway, back to Kasey. He acts like he’s really embarrassed about how he came across. I guess I just don’t get how you could not realize at the time how you’re acting. Have some self-awareness, people! Chris asks how his relationship is with Vienna now. Apparently they’re still together, but Kasey isn’t at all pleased with what he saw on the show.
“Giving my girlfriend a sexual ultimatum wasn’t exactly a high point.”
Vienna claims that she was just being emotional because she’s a woman. Thanks, Vienna. Women the world over appreciate that statement. Then she says it’s not normal to have your fights televised and that’s part of the problem. Maybe, but you’re the one who keeps insisting on going on TV, so… Erica stands up for them and says they were a lot more normal when they weren’t filming. Sure they were.
Guess who’s up next. Blake. Ugh, Blake is wearing a white V-neck under a sports coat. Why does this bug me?
“Never brush for less than two minutes.”
Melissa sits off to the side looking as hurt as possible through this whole segment. Isn’t she mortified after seeing how she acted? Apparently not. Apparently she still feels like everything she did was totally called-for. Blake defends himself by saying he felt like they were in a partnership, not a relationship. They didn’t have time to form a real relationship. He only had time to do that with Holly. Melissa says that Blake told her he didn’t want to kiss anyone on camera. So then when he kissed her on camera she took that to mean that he was so into her he would break his own rule. Also, Blake told her that the two of them were “serendipitous,” which led her to believe he had stronger feelings than he admitted. She claims that her freaky tantrums were not due to jealousy – they were due to Blake giving someone else’s partner a rose and leaving her vulnerable to elimination. She also claims that in normal life she doesn’t cry all the time and get so emotional.
“In normal life my expression never changes from this.”
I would like her a lot better if she acted embarrassed instead of just justifying everything. She and Vienna have a lot in common. Take a cue from Kasey, ladies. At least he acts like he regrets being a total douche. Now Chris wants Blake to talk about Holly. Oh please no. NO! Crap, there’s no stopping it. Blake talks about Holly being the most fun, outgoing person he’s ever met. Yeah, it’s called flirting. Blake says this is the most serious relationship he’s ever been in. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! How much time could they have possibly spent together? They live on opposite ends of the country! Ah, delusion. But get this. Holly is moving to South Carolina to live with Blake. Why not, I guess. Apparently she has nothing going on in her own life that she can’t up and leave behind. And guess what else. Blake PROPOSED! We see footage. GAG! What is it about Holly that makes guys propose to her? I thought men avoided marriage like the plague and that it took pretty extraordinary circumstances to convince a guy to marry someone. And here are these guys knowing Holly briefly and proposing! Not just trying to sleep with her – proposing marriage! Guys watching? Please explain. Not that I think they’ll get married, mind you. There’s no way. I just don’t get why they’re already engaged.
All right, enough nonsense. Let’s get to the final four. Out come Michael/Holly and Graham/Michelle. Chris relishes this opportunity to ask Michael if he’s “heard the news.” Michael’s like, “What news?” Huh. I’m not sure how much of this I buy. Although they DO love pulling stuff like this on these live audience shows, so who knows? Holly tells Michael that she and Blake are engaged and there are crickets. We see various people’s faces and everyone mostly has a look of pity.
“You’re seriously going to marry BLAKE?”
Michael says it’s super awkward and a glass of water or a commercial break would be nice. But no such luck. Blake says he’s sorry that it all came out this way and Holly grins and nods vigorously. Anyone else feel the need to propose to her? No? Okay, on we go. How about Graham and Michelle. Are they still together? Michelle starts to cry and says that Graham has really been there for her during a really difficult part of her life – namely, her dad just passed away from colon cancer and Graham came to be with her for the funeral and has just been fabulous. Graham kisses Michelle on the cheek several times while she’s talking. Chris butts in to remind Michelle that Graham may be great, but the whole “Bachelor family” has been super concerned about her and caring as well. Oh I’m sure ABC has had Michelle’s personal life as their number one priority. Michelle’s like, “Yeah, you’ve been great.” Graham is wearing a bow tie, which looks kind of goofy. Especially with his rumpled hair. He talks about what an inspiration Michelle has been to him. I just keep laughing remembering how checked out he was during DeAnna’s season when he made it to the final four and could have cared less. Michelle says there aren’t a lot of guys like Graham anymore. Yeah well, he thinks you’re hot, Michelle. Apparently that goes a long way.
We now reach the portion of the program where the other contestants get a chance to ask questions of the final four. Justin begins by asking Holly what she thinks she did to get here, since Michael was the one winning challenges right and left. Michael answers for Holly and says that she really came through by trusting him – especially in the KA challenge. This answer inspires Justin to propose to Holly. Just kidding. But nothing would shock me at this point. Erica has a question. She likes what Graham and Michelle plan to do with the money – give it to non-profits – but Michael was a better competitor so she’s not sure whom to vote for. That wasn’t really a question, Erica. I object. Michelle says she doesn’t want a pity vote. Secondly, she and Graham employed strategy, which is just as important as winning challenges. By the way, their strategy was just “to avoid drama.” Blake pipes up and says that Graham and Michelle’s strategy was basically just walking away a lot and flying under the radar. Should that really earn them the win? I love Graham’s answer. He tells Blake it’s pretty obvious where his vote is going to go. He’s not a huge fan of Blake, but he always treated him with respect and he and Michelle stand by what they said. That’s pretty awesome. Why WOULD Blake open his mouth as if he’s really trying to decide what to do?
Kasey wants to know why Michael and Holly deserve the money more than Graham and Michelle. Holly says they don’t and Michael agrees. Michelle says no one DESERVES the money and they’re just grateful to be there. Can you imagine how different these answers would be if Kasey and Vienna were one of the final couples? OMG, it would be a never ending lecture on how they played the game better than everyone else and Kasey’s Gram Gram is dying, and Vienna’s mom needs to pay her rent. Thank GOODNESS they’re not up on stage.
It’s already time to vote! Everyone has to write down who they want to win. The first couple to receive eight votes wins. Well, I’ll save you the suspense. Holly and Michael get the eight necessary votes. Too bad, Graham and Michelle. At least you got each other out of this. NOW! Michael and Holly have to go into separate holding chambers and decide if they want to keep the money for themselves, or split it with each other. If they both choose “share,” they’ll split it. If they both choose “keep,” then the money will be divided among the other contestants and Michael and Holly will get nothing. If one chooses “share” and the other chooses “keep,” then the one who chose “keep” gets all of the money alone. This is the same thing that they did on the last season and anyone with half a brain will obviously chose “share” because that’s the only way to guarantee they’ll both get something. But we get to watch them hem and haw and pretend to mull everything over while everyone else speculates.
“I’m going to make sure Holly has nothing but a DIY wedding.”
People say that maybe Michael will keep the money because Holly just publicly crapped on him with her engagement announcement, and on the other hand, Holly might keep it because she needs money for her never-gonna-happen wedding.
“Hmm, the last thing I want is a DIY wedding.”
Whatever, they both choose “share,” so they get to split the money. Yippee. Three more guys propose to Holly before we go to commercial.
“Gentlemen! This is all so sudden! …I accept!”
And that’s pretty much it! Chris introduces shaggy haired Ben from the last Bachelorette as the next Bachelor. He seems sure to be boring.
If you managed to retain your consciousness through these last three hours I’m dying to know your thoughts!
Thanks guys, for hanging with me on this show! It’s always my pleasure to bring you my thoughts and feelings about our precious Bachelor participants and their insane world. It’s also my extreme pleasure to hear yours so don’t be shy! As I mentioned earlier, I am getting ready to have a baby in the next few weeks here, so I’m going to take a brief hiatus from recapping while I recover and get used to having a little Baby Gangsta around. But as soon as I can focus I’ll be back on the boards!
Thanks for reading!