From the moment host Chris Harrison almost gleefully introduces the bonus follow up to last night’s The Bachelor finale it was clear that this “After the Rose” was going to try to top itself.
For anyone who missed the news (if so, why are you reading this? But thank you for being here) this season’s Bachelor, walking detritus, Arie Luyendyk Jr, became the first Bachelor to UN-Propose to the candidate he’d originally chosen, and pick the runner up, while still on the show. Plenty of Bachelor/Bachelorette couples don’t make it after the show, but never has a Bachelor gone “JK kidding I want the other one” before the finale airs.
In the follow up special, Arie continued to prove he’s still a pea-brained moron and proclaiming “It was hard to have a goodbye like that. It just kills me to see her upset. It makes it so much harder because I’ve been in her shoes and I’ve had my heart ripped open.” OH REALLY ARIE? You’ve been UN-PROPOSED to on national television? I think I, and many others, would love to see that footage. Of course no one can relate to what you’re going through…. except…. former Bachelor Jason Mesnick, who comes off as equally skeezy in this forced synergy moment/resurfacing old stars.
Now suddenly Arie has decided he’s confident about wanting to marry his original second choice, Lauren. If Lauren had any spine, and self awareness for the amount of vitriol that would come her way if she took him back, she’d kick his ass to the curb. Unfortunately Lauren has always seemed like a robot, a very beautiful robot, but a robot nonetheless. So watching her fame desperate programming kick in was pretty painful to watch, and she does what everyone on this show aims to do, recognizes the opportunity to stay in the spotlight, and takes his candy ass back.
The producers of The Bachelor clearly have no problem in showcasing this vile couple. I sincerely hope audiences don’t embrace them (because you KNOW they’re getting at least a wedding special, if not an entire spin-off). Yet if getting sucked into watching this trainwreck follow up is any indication, we’re all going to watch.
It was fantastic watching other ex-candidates rip into Arie, usually shunned candidates are pretty respectful, as they too vied for the affection of this person. But these ladies let loose. Girl power. The show also hit a new level of audience manipulation where they ladies if the show had crossed a line showing the footage. Previously they’ve pulled this stunt, of asking for reassurance from contestants, back when there was a possible rape scandal on Bachelor in Paradise last season.
Continuing on the self aware path, Chris Harrison brings up the grassroots wine fund that people started for shunned fiancee Becca (where they were Venmo-ing her money so she could buy a drink and relax. Let it be known I too accept donations like that). The fund had hit almost $6,000, and Becca claimed she didn’t need it and it should go to charity (Stand Up to Cancer). ABC, a multi billion dollar corporation owned by Disney, tries to look generous by offering to match. I promise you they spend more than 6k on roses for the show each season, do better ABC.
But now for the moment everyone wanted, the confrontation between Becca and Arie. This was quite frankly beyond disappointing. You could say Becca handled the situation with grace… but that’s not what we want to see on a reality TV competition show. I personally would want to tell Arie to go fuck himself, but Becca probably doesn't want to blow her chance to be the Bachelorette…..
Then in a show of complete disgustiness and insensitivity… and probably ratings gold… Arie has the cojones to propose to Lauren on this special. By choosing to do so, with a wronged party sitting just backstage, they came off as insincere and fame mongering. I don’t know these people, but I don’t particularly wish them well. Partially because this means this isn’t the last we’re going to see of them. In fact it isn’t, as Chris Harrison (who had “no idea the proposal was coming” - don’t lie to us Chris) announced they’d immediately be on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Good Morning America. The couple is clearly wasting no time attempting to get back into the public’s good graces.
Finally, in what should come as zero surprise, Becca is announced as the next season’s Bachelorette, and (in a move stolen from last season) meets a few of her potential suitors early. We’re apparently already cracking jokes about loyalty, so clearly Becca is on the road to getting over her …. 4 month (admittedly whirlwind) relationship.
Would Becca have been picked as the Bachelorette if this shit hadn’t happened to her? Probably not. Honestly she was not the most interesting of contestants this season. I thought they were lining Tia or Kendall up for it (I’d like to see Seinne, but I also think she’s too smart for this show at all, AND god forbid they give us two ethnic bachelorettes in a row... sigh). So good for Becca for making lemonade out of lemons.
Overall the second half of the special didn't live up to the first, it totally could have been done in one episode, but where would the ratings be in that?
The one unanswered question: does Becca get to keep and sell the old ring from Arie?
The latest interviews, reviews, and opinions on film by Dana Han-Klein. Thoughts and opinions are entirely my own and not reflective of my employer or any third parties.