So I think this season lasted about three months, but I'll be damned if it didn't feel like a million years. As the curtain closes on the final act in this absurd theater of LOVE, I would like to thank you, my loyal readers, for sticking with me until the bitter end.
And now! The two lucky bachelors whom Ashley has elected to be her president and vice-president of LOVE get to meet Ashley's family. In Fiji! It's just like a normal relationship!
First up: the family is so excited to meet JP, and of course he is wonderful and pleasant, but I can't even concentrate because HOLY TATTOOS BATMAN. Ashley's sister has tattoos over like, every inch of her body. I think I might've commented on this last season, but...I am still shocked.
Aside: did anyone else notice that Ashley's family are arranged around the table only on one side, like it's the last supper?
So everyone's being so nice, and they're all laughing, which is all well and good, but we all know that people getting along is hella boring. Did somebody call for some DRAMA? Oh, tatted sister to the rescue. She thinks JP is totally not right for Ashley. Ashley is too much for him. Like, what the hell does that even mean, Tats?
Apparently it means that JP is 34, and like, too grown-up and mature for Ashley. Tats is concerned that JP isn't very fun. I dunno, I saw that makeout on the beach in Thailand, and that looked pretty freaking fun.
JP leaves and Ashley and her sister have a heart-to-heart, because Ashley's only got one more boyfriend left and if Tats goes full bitch on him, too, she could wind up ALL ALONE. I think you and I both know the real reason for this scene is that there is currently a seriously dearth of DRAMA in this show, which means that right now Tats is pretty much carrying the episode on her tiny, colorful shoulders.
Unfortunately for our bachelorette, Tats has already unpacked her bitch suitcase in preparation for an extended stay in bitchville. She doesn't like JP, she explains, because she is so much more rational than Ashley, which is a really great and not at all offensive argument that everyone uses in politics to prove that their opponents are worthless fools. Tats points out that Ashley had a great gut feeling about The Person Who Left, so that sort of invalidates her gut feelings about JP. Like apparently even Tats, who is clearly the evil sister, can't even bring herself to say his name.
And if that weren't bad enough, Tats even thinks that Ashley was more herself around Brad. Wait, she's comparing JP to Brad? Harsh. I would think anyone able to form a coherent sentence would compare favorably to Brad, but there's just no arguing with Tats because she's so darn rational.
Time for Ben to meet the fam. Perhaps in an effort to sell them on how FUN! Ben is, Ashley is borderline manic. Crazy dances! Goofy voices! Then she convinces Ben to do the goofy voice he uses to talk to his dog. And by "goofy", I mean "creepy as hell". This voice will haunt my dreams. Tats nods her approval. This, she says, is the real Ashley. I'll take fake Ashley any day.
Time for Tats to take Ben outside and ask him some TOUGH QUESTIONS. I'm hoping for a real doozy, like, "what is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?" Or "If train A departs Chicago at 8:30 AM, traveling at 53 miles per hour, and train B..."
But instead, Chrystie totally softballs it. This stuff is really elementary, like, what do you like about Ashley? Are you ready to propose? Ben was ready to propose like, yesterday. Bring it on!
So the family really likes both bachelors, except for the part where Tats hates JP. Ashley was really hoping talking to her family would provide some clarity, but now she is MORE CONFUSED THAN EVER. Gee, thanks guys.
Time for Ben's Last Chance Date, and it is...bathing in mud! (This was one of the first group dates on the very first season of the Bachelor. Sometimes I am ashamed how much I know about this show.) Sure, it sounds gross, but this is not just any mud. It is sexy mud. That makes two dates in a row where Ben and Ashley rub things on each other.
Later that night, Ben decides it's finally time for his big Confession of Love. After Ben drops the big L bomb, Ashley looks...less than enthused. She does not say it back, but, Ben reasons, that's because she can't. And then her tiny dentist legs wrapped around him tell him all he needs to know.
The next morning! With JP, on the beach. Wait, did she just call him "Jape"? Ashley, you are officially the most annoying person ever.
Ashley and JP have a big argument about how much they like each other, which is a really dumb argument that would only happen on the Bachelor, and then he tells her, "try not to break my heart." Or Nancy will come after you.
Later that night, JP gives Ashley a scrapbook. That he made himself! Awww. Nothing says "I love you" like a man making a scrapbook. It even comes in a convenient basket carrying case. I wonder if he picked that out himself?
These next 15 minutes brought to you by Neil Lane Jewelers! Wait, is that the actual Neil Lane peddling a ring to JP? What happens if she says no? asks Neil Lane. What a freaking buzzkill. C'mon, Neil Lane. Your job is to sell rings. Who cares if she has another boyfriend? If every girl in America gets two engagement rings, that is double the profits!
Ashley waits for her two would-be fiances on a desert island, wearing a sparkly pink dress. She is the prettiest mermaid ever. Cut to the sky above. Music soars as one bachelor flies over the beautiful blue ocean to his doom.
Back to the island. DRAMATIC MUSIC. Ashley is dreading, dreading breaking the heart of a man she thought she might love forever. The first seaplane lands. A SINGLE FOOT emerges from the plane. The suspense builds to a crescendo. As we all know (or at least, as I know, because I watch this show too damn much), the loser always arrives in the first limo (er, seaplane), so the person attached to that foot is about to get his heart broken.
It's..Ben. One one hand? That means she chose JP, and that is the RIGHT CHOICE. On the other hand? That means Ben is about to get his heart broke, and it is not gonna be pretty.
Ben clomps happily down the driftwood path towards his would-be love, and talks about how his dead father would be proud of him, and I'm like, nooooo! It's a little like watching someone skip over the edge of the Grand Canyon. Ashley looks like she's gonna hurl, but Ben will not allow her to reject him before he says his piece. He gets his proposal out before Ashley's silence clues him in that things might not be going as planned. "I'm sorry," Ashley finally says.
"I guess that's it, right?" Ben turns to walks away. Ashley tries to follow him and tell him how super great he is to soften the blow a little, but it's hard to walk very fast when you're a mermaid, and anyway Ben is having none of it. "Don't sugarcoat it, " he says. Ben's kinda pissed. "You can't leave something like this on good terms. It's not possible."
Ben boards the speedboat of rejection, headed for the ocean of heartbreak, while Ashley cries. "I hate this. I hate that I just did that." Oh, Ashley. You only suck at being the Bachelorette because you are reasonably decent at being a human being.
And now, happy music plays as JP flies in, all sexylike in his pink plane. They meet, on the beach. He proposes. She accepts. And then...there is a glorious Ashley/JP montage, set to perhaps the greatest roller-skating song of all time.
It is pretty cute.
Later, walking on the beach:
A: Did you ever think that it would all end like this?
JP: you walked in, and the first rose ceremony you were like, 'my husband is definitely in this room'. I'm like, 'what the (bleeep) is she talking about?'
A: And it's you!
J: And it's me.
Let's be honest. This season kinda sucked. But I think you and JP are good together. I really do. I hope you crazy kids make it.