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Hi everyone! Remember back when The Bachelorette finale happened? Try to remember back that far…. Haha! I’m kidding. It wasn’t that long ago. But it was awhile ago, and I’m a little late with this recap and for that I apologize. I tried really hard to get it done earlier, but let’s just say… it’s been a helluva day at sea, sir. Anyway. Here at last: la finale du bachelorette.
The scene: paradise. The weather: steamy as a ball sack on a humid August night. The characters:
One insecure but bubbly bachelorette.
One man who is in love.
One man who has been convinced he’s in love by the mindfuck he’s been put through for two months.
Mom Laurie with the indistinguishable accent. Is it French? American? Maine-ish.
Bear-step-daddy Mike. Grrr.
Sweaty Brother Elliot whose bodily fluids are being leached from his skin by the punishing Fiji sun.
Tattoo Chrystie — circus freak, coupon queen, ball buster, general good time ruiner.
Ashley’s super excited that her family has joined her in Fiji and I don’t blame her! She’s had a rough time of this process and has had to go through it by herself. Can you imagine starting a new relationship and not being able to talk to anybody about it? Going through a break-up type situation without being able to talk to a friend, sibling or parent? That would suck and Ashley’s ready for it to be over.
Her over-stimulated family is very excited to see her. “Are you in love?” Sister Chrystie squeals. Ashley is in love and she’s ready to get engaged. Chrystie tells us that she’s got some concerns and if she doesn’t like one of the guys it will be because something is horribly, horribly wrong with him. So we know this is going to go down very well.
Up first on the chopping block is JP. He’s nervous because these are the people he might have to be around for the rest of his life and he knows his personality isn’t the sparkliest. But he does know that he loves Ashley and this is the last piece of the puzzle.
Ashley, on the other hand, isn’t nervous at all, which is a first for the season. She’s sure that her family’s going to love JP. She has terrible instincts. So family and JP meet and things go generically, boringly well at first. And then Chrystie took a sip of FIJI water and the minerals from that artisan aquifer combined with the rectangle shape of the bottle drove her batshit crazy.
She wants to know if JP is smitten with Ashley. “Completely,” he says. That’s a diplomatic answer, she counters. I’m going to guess that she doesn’t know what the word diplomatic means.
Hint: It’s NOT where this guy does his laundry.
“Does he make you laugh?” the interrogator asks next.
“I make myself laugh,” Ashley says, adding that she’s funnier than JP, but JP is cuter. JP does not like this answer but Ashley seems oblivious to all of this, saying that the meeting is going swimmingly.
Later, when Ashley and Chrystie are away from JP, Chrystie tells Ashley that the laugh question was the defining moment — and JP failed! He’s to old and demure for you, she hisses. “I think you’re too much for him.”
She felt that Ashley’s interaction on the hometown date with Bachelor Brad Womack was far better, which is like a total burn! How dare she bring up Bachelor Brad?? He’s a personable moron — of course he’s going to be fun. He’s going to do whatever everybody else is doing. And he’s four years older than JP!!
Ashley starts to cry and and Sister Chrystie backs off a bit, saying that maybe when she meets Ben she’ll change her mind about JP.
“No, you’ll think Ben is better for me,” wails Ashley. Ugh. JP’s gonna love watching this back with her.
I’m much more rational; you go with emotions, Chrystie says confidently.
Yes, we all know being covered in tattoos and being known around the country for your extreme couponing abilities are sure signs of rationality.
Ashley reveals that she’s been vacillating between both men lately, her heart telling her one thing, her head telling her another. Follow your heart, says her mama. But Ashley says her heart’s broken. She finally gets an opinion and it’s bad. “I don’t know what to do,” she snivels.
Later, Chrystie sits down with JP for some one-on-one time and it does not go well. She bluntly tells JP that she’s not “seeing” it and the laugh question threw everything off. She goes on to tell him that he’s too old, too timid, too set in his routine. Why hasn’t he settled down yet? Does he know how to have fun?
I expected to see more of a connection, she added. I saw more of that when she brought Brad homes. Yikes. To his credit, JP remains calm and doesn’t punch her in the ovaries. Your influence means a lot, JP says. Given our limited time it will be difficult for me to turn things around.
“I don’t think you can turn it around,” she says ominously.
Before JP leaves, he and Ashley walk on the beach and he worries that Chrystie’s unreasonable reaction will make Ashley walk away. Ashley says she’s easily influenced and needs the opinions of other people. She needs to figure it out. This, of course, gives JP that not-so-fresh feeling. He’s worried that she’d be so easily swayed and he wonders whether he should even propose to her.
After that fiasco, Ashley decides she needs to put Chrystie in her place. They sit down to chat outside and it’s basically like two cats just meowing at each other for a while. “Meow-meow I’m not here to sugarcoat things.” “Ree-owr, you’re such a bitch.” “Reeer.” “Hiss.” “Spit-spit.” “Hawwwwk.”
When Ben arrives, the family warms to him immediately. Remember that scene from Dumb & Dumber, where Jim Carrey’s character envisions himself regaling Mary Swanson’s friends with hilarious stories and then lighting his farts on fire for them while they all laughed and laughed?
Yeah, Ben’s visit was sort of like that. He was willing to make a fool of himself and Ashley wanted to please her family so they performed like poodles at the circus. And Chrystie LOVED it. She cackled. She clapped. She threw back her Amy Whinehouse hair and snorted, her shoulders shaking, making her tattoos dance in delight, feeling good despite being the coupon crazy sister of America’s saddest bachelorette sweetheart.
Chrystie and Ben have some one on one time and Chrys says she can see Ashley being herself: fun, excitable and funny. Ben says he’s in love with Ashley and he believes that she’s in love with him. After getting the Chrystie seal of approval, Ben is sent away by Ashley with the same butt pinch she gave JP.
Ashley says that she’s compatible with Ben but she can’t ignore her feelings for JP and her sister’s reaction is really making her question Chrystie’s opinion. I’m feeling a Carrie Bradshaw moment coming on here:
In New York City, there’s a saying: ‘opinions are like assholes…’ And that leaves women to wonder: in the great asshole of life, which opinions do you wipe away and which ones do you allow to stain your La Perla thong? ….they’re totally stealing that for SATC3.
Since all of ABC’s good shows are on hiatus for the summer, we’ve got three hours to kill for this finale, so there are a couple of more dates to go on. Ben’s up first.
Fiji hipster chic.
He and Ashley take a helicopter ride to what we’re told is a healing mud bath. What makes it healing? What does it heal? Apparently people from all over the world take a turn in what is clearly a steaming petrie dish of international bacteria. Ashley and Ben say it’s sexy and erotic, though, and awkwardly rub each other with goop.
Nothing’s hotter than e. coli.
That night, Ashley goes to Ben’s hotel room which is decorated with candles and cocktails, so you know he’s ready to get down to the biz-nasty. “We have serious romantic things to talk about,” he says, adding that he hopes they’re well-received.
After a long silence and some nervous giggles he tells her that he got her family’s permission to propose and that he’s in love with her. Ashley smiles and kisses him and Ben says that she’s telling him that she loves him the only way she can right now. Is this a written rule? Do Bachelor/ette participants sign a contract saying they won’t say they’re in love until the end of the show? Pretty convenient…. Of course, this could all be along the lines of Ben’s “mental kissing” outside the temple in Chiang Mai. All in his head.
When it’s time for her date with JP, Ashley says her sister’s opinion has not changed the way she feels about JP, but it made her step back and look at the relationship to make sure it goes beyond the physical attraction.
Sweet, sweet physical attraction.
Ashley may have moved on from Hurricane Chrystie, but JP has not. He’s still pretty upset. Ashley tries to assure him that every good relationship is potentially sabotaged by meddling relatives and it’s good to be prepared to defend their relationship to others. But JP doesn’t think defending their relationship is necessary.
I want to have a dynamic relationship, Ashley whines. JP reassures her that they do have that and he doesn’t want her to move to New York City and end up in a monotonous relationship. Ashley questions whether JP wants them to have a life together, not just have her fit into the one he already has. JP’s starting to look pretty exasperated and says of course not. Based on this line of questioning, she doesn’t really seem to think he’s a fun or flexible person — two very important relationship components.
That night, JP tells Ashley that he got some advice from Step-bear-daddy Mike, who told him not to leave anything on the table. You see, JP had told her family that he was madly in love with Ashley and has been dying to tell her. Ashley kisses him and interviews that her sister’s assholish behavior gave her the strength and courage to ask JP tough questions and he proved himself with his answers. He survived his encounter with the mighty hydra who writhed and wriggled before the gate to eternal happiness. JP stood his ground when one of the hydra heads hissed at him: “Sssso… you want to be with my sssissster? Then you mussst answer me these questionsss three… Question the first: Tell me the funniest joke I ever heard in all the world. Question B: Will you put up with my ridiculous behavior at family gatheringssss? Final question: What is your stance on couponing?”
Or something like that. Anyway.
JP has something for Ashley. Why don’t you go up to his hotel room, Ash, and check out JP’s gift? Don’t worry, it’s rated PG. It’s some sort of book or photo album that only has one picture in it and a note from JP that says something like “this is the first chapter of the greatest love story ever told.” Well. I appreciate that he aims high, but everyone knows that the greatest love story ever told was that of one Ms. Jennifer Lopez and her Boston baked stud-muffin Ben Affleck. Alas and alack, their star burned too brightly for this world….
Well that was the end of JP and Ashley’s epic date. Ashley interviews that she’s totally infatuated with JP. He says the while she may love both finalists, she can only be *in* love with one of them. And he’ll walk away in love or with nothin’, he says. Love or FIJI WILL BURN!!!
“T-t-t-the kuh-at in tha h-h-h-haaaat.”
OK. I’m getting silly and I need to wrap this up. Fortunately, Neil Lane is here to move along the glacial pace some. Jeweler and confidant to the reality stars, Neil Lane. There with his briefcase of jewels, his empathetic face, his comforting words. There to support the bachelors and force them to become pawns in his marketing game. They can have a free diamond ring, but their first born will have a Neil Lane tattoo on its back come bris time.
“The blood of African children makes both my diamonds and my skin sparkle…”
Ben chooses a ring with intertwining bands and a giant diamond. JP chooses a band set with small diamonds and a ginormous one in the middle. Bling selected, it’s blast off time.
“Just three more pounds and my smoky, spider eyes will be perfect.”
Ashley has on a beautiful dress and a sour expression as she takes her position in the middle of some giant Fijian art project. Ben is the first to arrive by seaplane and Chris H. walks him out to the pile of sticks and rocks Ashley is standing in. Ben tells the camera that today he’s going to propose to Ashley and she WILL say yes and he’s thinking about his dad who would be so proud of him; he lost one family member four years ago but today he’s gaining a new one and this is SO SAD!
He walks up to Ashley and opens with a joke. “Well, you don’t have a ring on your finger!”
Ashley looks miserable and starts to let him down gently but he interrupts her and launches into a speech about how much he loves her and thanks her for allowing him to feel again and will she marry him and make him the happiest man on earth?
Does not compute human facial cues…
No. No she will not.
He is stunned.
She is sad.
She tries to comfort him.
He walks away.
Ashley doesn’t understand why they can’t be frrriiieennnds. “I care about you so much.”
“Things don’t end unless they end badly.” And scene. Ben has to walk 3 miles to a tiny motor boat that takes him away from Isla de Rejection. While his shaggy hair blows in the wind, JP’s plane flies overhead and Ashley watches from shore.
“I thought I was in love,” Ben says to the camera. “Maybe I was wrong about that, too.”
Now it’s JP’s turn and he’s pretty much in like Flynn, whatever that means. It’s something I heard when I was a kid and I’ve been saying it ever since. Oh… I just Wikipedia-ed it and it’s about statutory rape. I am going to stop using it now.
After Chris Harrison — who’s dressed like an usher at a southern wedding — walks JP over to Ashley, JP tells her that he’s afraid she doesn’t love him, but he’s going to take a big leap of faith anyway. The time they’ve spent together has been the happiest of his life.
Ashley tells him that she’s been wanting to let him know that she loves him and wants to be with no one else but him forever. He gets down on one knee, pops the question and she says yes. Then they run into the water to make out and rock out to REO Speedwagon. No need to fight this feeling anymore, guys. Time to bring this ship into the shore, and throw away the oars forever, ya’ll.
So that was the main show. Then there was the after party. Because after the show is the after party and after the party it’s the hotel lobby. What can we say about the “After the Rose Final Special” other than the fact that it was boring and more of a showcase for that awful-looking Take the Money and Run show? Well one thing we can say is that everyone’s hair looked really weird.
First, Ben had a butt cutt:
He was also still pretty bitter that he’d gotten dumped on national television after proclaiming his love and talking about his dead daddy. “Nice ring,” he sneered at Ashley when she came out to sit next to him. But seriously, you guys, he holds no ill feelings toward her and thinks the experience opened him up and she assures him that he did nothing wrong. So Ben is both single and ready to mingle. And I read that he is now hooking up with Jennifer Love Hewitt, so I think that we all know who the winner in this whole scenario is… Ames. The winner is still Ames.
Chris debuted the new look he’s sporting as a spokesman for Just for Men. He’s going to join the ranks of such hair color-shilling celebrities as Walt Frazier and Keith Hernandez.
“No more play for Mr. Gray!”
Ashley’s hair is also different. She is rocking the Morticia Addams look and I’m actually liking it. She’s still with JP, planning to move to New York City to start her career in showbiz dentistry. They’re going to move in together and then get married. Maybe. They just want a normal life, ya’ll. Sometimes normal people just have to go on television to find love. They don’t think they’re special or anything.
JP’s hair is the same — confusingly sparce. Apparently he’s gotten about a million apologies from Sister Chrystie and now they’re best friends, according to Ashley. At least that’s what they tell her. Behind her back they beat one another to bloody pulps.
Chrystie came up on stage to apologize once again, and even though I thought she was a bitch during part one of the finale, I can kind of see where she’s coming from because JP had his gas face going during the third hour of this marathon and looking at him kind of put me to sleep. Not the kind of person you want glaring at you over the turkey at Thanksgiving.
Well, for all of their heartache and trouble, Chris H. tells the two love birds, the show is sending them on a free trip to… Fiji! That’s super nice, right? But they’ve already been there. With Ben. And Chrystie. JP is probably still having nightmares about Fiji. Just so they know, I will be happy to take their trip, because as we all know “Fijian men are so damn uro.”
So that was the season! It was… what do you call it? Ah, yes, a pain in my ass. But I’m glad Ashley found love because I like the little one and she and JP make an adorable, albeit mismatched couple. I wish them the best, along with Ben, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jennifer Love Hewitt’s boobs.
Thanks for reading me this season everybody and, again, my sincerest apologies about the timing of the recap! See you for Ryan’s (maybe) turn as The Bachelor…