Bachelor Brad: Hitters Never Prosper

"You think you didn't go on a list after you slapped me, Chantal? There was a list."

“Are you considering proposing?”

“One hundred percent.”

Whether that was a non-sequitur or a highly literal answer to a generally kind of duh question, given the context, the fact remains – it’s the season finale of Brad Womack’s second go-round as The Bachelor. There’s his family for the two remaining prospects to meet/impress/bond/negotiate with, two final dates to go on, a ring to choose, and a decision to make: which woman will go home heartbroken, disappointed and alone today, and whose heart must wait to be broken at some as-yet-unknown point further on down the road?

Of course Brad doesn’t necessarily see things that way. He says, “We’re talking about marriage here. We’re talking about forever.” Yeah sure. Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Have I mentioned that I hate these things where those who remain meet the bachelor(ette)’s family? Why is that, you ask? Well, there’s the doorbell. It’s Chantal, followed by Emily the very next day!

See Chantal/Emily meet Brad’s family. See them all sit down together while Chantal/Emily and Brad tell the story of how they met*. See Chantal/Emily spend some time with Brad’s brothers, the twin and the guy who looks like he might have been in Smash Mouth, while the brothers’ wives have been sent away so as not to crowd the shots. See Brad meet with his brothers out on the rocks in the ocean near the spectacular borrowed house where they’re all staying while they exist within their little Bachelor Bubble for a little longer, while Brad’s mom meets Chantal/Emily and grows to love her. See his family echo the sentiment**. Pointless enough for you?

Doesn’t matter anyway. The guy’s made up his mind. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he won’t make Chantal get a sunburn before going down into the water with him to swim with sharks*** and accept gifts and professions of love from her with some tepid praise for her ability to express her feelings along the lines of “I could really learn from that,****” but…seem to have…lost my place…

So there’s Emily in an astoundingly short dress on such a windy day, and there’s a helicopter, flying Brad and her to a South African hillside where they can sit and she can try to impress on him how not ready he is to be a parent, a little preview to their evening date where she tries to do more of the same. In all fairness, it’s Brad that brings it up in the first place on the evening date when he starts going on about how ready he is to be Little Rickie’s father, but in his defence, how was he supposed to know that all he would get for his well-intended lip service is Emily getting all hardass on him, asking questions like, “What does that mean?” Honestly, a guy could get downright flustered, maybe even a  little bit angry, with his girlfriend making those sorts of challenges to his manliness. And if she’s prepared to do that now, just imagine how she’ll be after he’s put a ring on her finger. Don’t forget that I mentioned the ring because I want to come right back to it in the next paragraph, but really! Brad leaves in a bit of a huff! Has Emily ruined everything?

The next day, Neil the ring guy shows up. We don’t want to dwell on it too much because it’s basically the same exchange it always is on this show, with somebody choosing a ring that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford for the one they’ll be choosing in a few hours, but with this being Brad’s second time through, he does offer this unintentionally hilarious nugget to Neil, “Neil, I don’t know if you know this, but last time, I didn’t put a ring on anyone’s finger.” Neil shows amazing restraint. That is all, at least until Chantal shows up and Brad sends her packing with a speech that would read fairly well on a letter of recommendation, if Chantal should ever ask him for one. Finally, one last aside before we get to Brad’s final choice –  Q: Is it not obvious enough to these producers that people cry on this show? Why is there never a tissue to be offered to these women? A: Because who cares when it’s a loser crying?

And then Emily gets proposed to! She didn’t ruin everything after all! Brad can still do all of that himself, like a man, at some future time*****! Ahhh, romance! Ahhhh, Bachelor!

*”I got out of the limo and there he was.”

**See the sisters-in-law prefer Emily for reasons so purely selfish and idiotic, it’s a wonder the two of them weren’t edited out of the segment entirely

***”After this, you better put a ring on my finger, or else you suck!” True.

****”…, at a time like this, when I should really break it to you that Emily is who I want to marry, which is why I’m kissing you on the cheek and departing from this date without so much as one longing-filled backward glance.”

*****Like, within 15 minutes when, on After the Final Rose, it’s revealed that the two of them have broken up. Romance!

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    • Karen
    • March 15th, 2011

    I managed to watch only “After The Rose” and was surprised that Emily even showed up. Because it didn’t really look like she was very into him through this whole season and she didn’t look like she was into the proposal and, unsurprisingly, she didn’t look into him when they talked about his temper and inability to communicate and how she wasn’t moving to Austin. I can’t believe he thought his choo-choo-choosing her meant she would lap it up and instantly move to Austin and wash his socks and tidy his face cream. These women are all bamboozled into thinking he’s into them, but he’s bamboozled into thinking his proposal is an offer no woman could refuse.

    There will be no encore. The proposal will probably last a couple months and then she’ll get a 4-page spread in People or Us about her broken hopes after finding out he isn’t ready to get married. I hope his interviews on the inevitable follow-up show involve him man-crying.

      • 68comeback
      • March 15th, 2011

      After the Final Rose was interesting. I think it’s just about the first time anyone associated with this show has owned up to the fact that there’s an adjustment period (to say the very least) following all the fantastic dates and spectacular accommodations that most couples just can’t negotiate their way through.
      Emily was enjoyable, especially as the ‘veterans’ offered their advice, all the while working under the assumption that everyone knew who they were. But clearly Emily did not, and her expression was priceless – slight smile as she politely listens to them, as though to say, “And you are…?”
      And then there was poor, poor Brad, so clearly uncomfortable with the prospect of having to answer questions in front of millions about how it all went to shit (again). I’ll admit that I’d be no happier about it, but I suppose that’s one major reason why my search for love would not ever involve television.

        • Karen
        • March 15th, 2011

        NPR had a really interesting article posted about how Brad’s actions countered what he said he was looking for in a woman: http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/03/14/134532098/the-bachelor-asks-for-a-modern-marriage-while-chasing-an-old-fashioned-one
        I wonder if he has any say in the type of woman that gets chosen to participate, if he gives an age range or specific traits or ANYTHING that would assist in making this futile “path to love” even remotely possible. Because maybe it’s overdue for ABC to either cast according to possibility of connection rather than who is hot or come right out and say they just want the drama, not an actual relationship.

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