Tongues have been wagging about the fairytale ending that was big news this week, and there was definitely a happily ever after for a certain beast and his beloved. Of course you all know who I’m talking about…that’s right, Shrek and Fiona. Oh, wrong couple? You’d rather hear the fairytale about the confused and dopey robot, who couldn’t decide which lady to marry until the very last second, then suddenly - with just minutes to spare - presto - everything crystallized in that pea brain of his? All right, get your favorite blankie, put your jammies on, crack open that bottle of champagne you’ve been saving and away we go…
The first five minutes of the show are dedicated to clips from the entire season. I always hate this part because it’s amazing (drink!) how many of these ladies barely left a blip in Bachelorland. Eventually, the clips narrow in on Divorced (gasp!) Bevin and Never-married (whee!) Tessa which allows us to watch each of their love stories unfold. Their flashbacks take another four minutes, and if you’re like me, you’re more than ready to get this show going because time’s awasting here. *shakes fist*
Operation Soul Mate
Finally we’re in Lancaster, PA, at the home of Dandy’s parents where everyone is waiting for their Golden Boy to arrive. Dandy tells us he hasn’t been home for two years, so naturally I’m convinced there must be skeletons in their closet, and I can only hope they’ll be exposed for our entertainment sometime tonight. Momma is thrilled to have Dandy back in her clutches again and gives him a huge hug then rustles his hair as only a mother can do. Pops, Sister, Grandma, and Grandpa all gather around Dandy as he describes his final two ladies. He begins with Tessa, 26, listing her assets as having earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and says she lives in San Francisco. As an added bonus (or would that be a negative) her mother lives in close proximity to the Baldwin’s. He describes Bevin, 28, as living in the Bay area, a researcher in psychology, and is getting her master’s in social work. Momma tells us she believes Dandy is ready for marriage, and for the past two years has been eager to ditch the bachelor life. He’s very affectionate with Momma and asks everyone to please keep an open mind as they meet the ladies. The family stands in a circle, puts their hands together, and simultaneously shouts, “operation soul mate!” As the camera pans away Momma adds, “you’re a goofball.” I officially love Momma.
Full Speed Ahead
It’s been eight years since Dandy brought a woman home to meet the family (there must be scads of skeletons in that closet), so you’ve got to know his family is pumped to meet these women. An excited Tessa is up first, and as they enter the house each family member gives her a welcoming hug. Tessa tells the story about how her mother and stepfather met hiking the Inca Trail, then Momma admits she can’t stop staring at Tessa because she’s so beautiful. Tessa volunteers to help Momma, Sister and Grandma prepare lunch, and Momma says she’s drawn to her, describing her as poised and bright.
While the ladies are doing their womanly kitchen duties, the manly men hang out in the living room. I’m disappointed they don’t break out the smoking jackets and brandy snifters while puffing on cigars because the scene is certainly begging for it. Dandy takes advantage of being alone with Grandpa and is eager to get his assessment of Tessa. Grandpa declares she’s a “viable candidate” and says back in the day when he was Dandy’s age, she would have really appealed to him. He’s a hoot, and I now officially love Grandpa, too (but I’d keep an eye on him if I were Dandy).
As they sit down for lunch, Pops explains how he and the Mrs. fell in love at first sight over a reference manual in the library. Ah, sweet memories of young innocent romance - there’s nothing better, is there? Grandpa ends the idle chatter by asking Tessa about her religious beliefs. She was born and raised Catholic, but says she hasn’t been active in the church since she was a little girl. Momma steers the conversation back to a more neutral topic by asking why Tessa got into social work. She explains she’d like to help reform social injustices, and when Momma queries where she sees herself in five years, Tessa says she’d like to be happily married and having children. They like her answers, but Tessa feels a little unsure of their reactions to her. Sister really likes Tessa, but realizes she hasn’t met Bevin yet, and wants to reserve judgment. Tessa and Sister sit down together, and Tessa admits she doubted the Bachelor process when she wasn’t with Dandy, but says she’s 100% committed to Dandy, and at the end of the day, Sister has a good feeling about Tessa. They all hug goodbye and Tessa thinks they’re very sweet people, and hopes she convinced them she’s the one for their son. Yes, because I know after meeting my future son-in-law (whom my daughter had known a few weeks), I’d be willing to welcome him with open arms after knowing him a few short hours. You betcha.
Sexual Dysfunction Junction
Later that same day, Bevin’s up to bat and the family waits in anticipation. Momma and Sister peek out the window as Bevin arrives, and once inside she also gets hugs from everyone. Liberal Bevin tells us she’s nervous about fitting in with them because they’re so conservative, but she’s comforted with Dandy by her side. Pops wants to know about her job and Bevin says she’s a clinical research coordinator. The family nods and seems to rather zone out until she adds that she’s currently working on a special project involving sexual dysfunction. Grandpa, who seems to be taking notes, snaps his head to attention, and I think it’s quite plausible Dandy might be needing to administer aid before the day is over. A hush falls over the room as the words “sexual dysfunction” hang in the air until Momma makes her escape by announcing she needs to make dinner. I replay the scene about 10 times, simply for the sheer joy of watching the color drain from their stunned faces, heheh.
As the group sits down for dinner, Dandy points out to Bevin that his parents and grandparents have been married 36 and 60 years, respectively. Bevin is impressed, and Grandma mentions that she still likes Grandpa, even after all these years, hee. Grandpa says when he proposed he asked if she would be willing to go anywhere in the world with him, and Grandma quietly says, “I never knew he meant it.” These people are Bachelor gold, and you just know Fleiss is loving every minute they’re on camera. But once again Grandpa takes a steady aim at Bevin, and asks if she would go anywhere with Dandy. Bevin wants to know if he means out of the country, and Grandma says “of course.” After some hesitation, Bevin says unconvincingly, “yeah, it would be fun...” Grandpa refers to his checklist then questions her religious beliefs, to which she says she was raised in the Bahá’í Faith. As crickets chirp and tumbleweeds blow by, Bevin catches on that no one knows what the hell she’s talking about, and she explains that the religion believes in the quality of all people. Later Bevin tells us she’s worried she might be too liberal for his family, but says she can only be herself. I suspect the Pope might be too liberal for this family.
Sister takes Bevin to another part of the house, and Dandy tells the others she has overcome many obstacles, such as her parents divorce and growing up without a lot of money. If he considers those two situations huge obstacles, then I’d say a lot of us have overcome huge obstacles. He says he’s attracted to Bevin and practical Momma wants to know if he thinks the attraction will stand the test of time. He doesn’t answer, but blathers again about the electricity he feels with Bevin, and says he doesn’t necessarily feel that with Tessa. Ouch, if he picks Tessa, and she watches the show later, that’s gonna leave a mark. Momma thinks Dandy is trying to justify his feelings about Bevin to them, and she’d rather talk to Bevin herself. With her arms crossed, flanked by everyone but Dandy, Momma wants to know Bevin’s thoughts regarding long-distance relationships. Bevin, surely feeling nervous, says she thinks they can work at first, but she’s not fond of them. She says at the third Rose Ceremony, she finally felt a connection (drink!) with Dandy, and when he pushed her hair behind her ear, she just melted. Mom agrees that’s a very intimate gesture, and as Bevin continues to swoon, Grandma says she’s just "drop-dead great." Phew, for a minute I thought she was telling Bevin to drop dead, but then I caught the word “great.” Bevin says they’ve all made her feel very comfortable, and she thanks them. Momma likes seeing Bevin’s affection toward her son, and thinks she’s graceful with beautiful eyes. Finally in a lighter moment, Grandpa breaks out the old photos, and the camera zeroes in on a young Dandy. Damn, he had quite an outie belly button as a kid, so much so he could poke somebody’s eye out with that thing. Grandpa thinks Dandy is electrified by Bevin but doesn’t think Dandy has made a decision yet. Well, of course not, lest we forget, this is a Fleiss production, after all, and there’s still another hour to go. For some reason, as the camera fades, Bevin says, “I’d love to be a bald one,” and I think she’s drunkenly talking about shaving her head like Britney. Oh, I get it now, she’s not drunk, she meant she’d “love to be a Baldwin,” heheh.
Anything To Be On Television
Poor Dandy. Poor, poor Dandy, his heart is torn, so he’s praying and hoping his family will help him make the best choice. Now, wait a minute. Are we truly supposed to believe a 30-year-old man is so confused as to who he wants to marry (after only knowing them for weeks, mind you), that he needs his family (who have known these women for hours) to help him decide? What woman in her right mind, would want to be involved in such shenanigans? Are people that desperate to be on television? All together now, say it with me YES THEY ARE. The family discusses how Dandy is more turned on by Bevin than Tessa, but they wonder if the electricity will remain over the years. They recognize that the ladies are clearly very different, and Grandpa thinks Dandy should project out five to 10 years to determine which relationship will still be going strong. I do believe these wonderful people are honestly thinking whoever he chooses is going to be a part of their family forever. Oh, these poor naïve people -- I give the relationship, no matter who he chooses, three weeks, then pfffft, it’ll deflate quicker than a balloon that’s been untied. A lot of family time is spent on poor Dandy’s ‘problem’ and frankly I’m already exhausted hearing about it.
Let’s Get This Party Started
Our trio has returned to Hawaii, and Andy’s waiting for Bevin on the beach. She leaps into his arms, and tells us she can definitely see herself as Dandy’s wife (of course she can). They make their way to a helicopter, and when she sees it, she breaks down into a fit of nervous giggles, panicking because she’s afraid of heights. Eventually she’s coaxed inside, and they take off. During the flight, she lets out some high-pitched screams, and I can’t be sure, but I think I saw a large group of whales and dolphins, who must have perceived the noise to be mating calls, chasing after her. Dandy must also sense her screeching as some kind of mating call, because he reaches out almost grabbing her boob, but checks himself at the last minute and sort of scratches her chest, hee.
They land and walk to a picnic that’s been laid out for them. Dandy wants to know what she thought of his family, and she says she loved talking to Sister. They drink wine and kiss, and Bevin says the most important thing she wants in a man is a best friend. Dandy needs a woman who would make a good mother, and who has a lot of energy, as well as compassionate and romantic. Bevin says she’d be very happy with him, but she’s nervous because she’s not sure how he feels about her - he wants to give her reassurance, but “can’t.” I have no doubt he’s referring to the Fleiss Mode of Conduct: he “has” to lead both final ladies on, not letting them know how he truly feels until the “reveal.” However, he does tell Bevin he’s crazy about her, and all I can say is, if he doesn’t pick her, he’s got some ‘splaining to do.
Later That Frickin’ Night…
Dandy and Bevin are out on a lanai at the water’s edge. It’s dark out, the candles are glowing and Dandy’s kissing and smacking with Bevin resting his hand on her butt. The testosterone is obviously coursing through his body because he declares, “I’m in frickin’ love!” She says she is, too, and they spend countless hours with their arms and legs entangled. She hands him a present with a love note, and as he opens the gift, he says he hopes to be getting married on his next birthday. The gift is a watch to replace the one he gave her when she had hurt her ankle back when their romance was new. You know, all those many days ago. She professes her undying love to him, and as the lights fade, she says, “I love you baby,” to which he replies, “I love you too, Bev, I really do…” As he leaves, she says, “there is no chance in hell, that he would leave me standing without a rose at the last Rose Ceremony.” Hm, did you hear a fat lady singing yet?
Just What The Frickin’ Doctor Ordered
Dandy approaches Tessa’s date, high off the romance he felt with Bevin the night before, and says Tessa really needs to step it up and show him how she feels about him. I wish the show would have measured the size of his head at the beginning of the season, because I swear it’s swelling right before my eyes (and just to clarify, I’m talking about the head above his shoulders). Tessa is terrified that this is her last chance to show Dandy how she feels and knows all too well, Bevin is still in the picture. There are horses on the beach and the two of them take off together, with Dandy in the lead. Tessa comments that “he” has a cute butt, then makes it clear she’s talking about the horse, hee. They arrive at a blanket laid out for them, and strip down to their bathing suits to play in the ocean as the sun sets. Later they sip beers, and Dandy says she makes him smile. She replies things are “just right” when they’re together. Later she tells us it’s difficult for her to lay out her feelings, but she’s hoping she’ll be able to because this is her last chance to do so.
They get cleaned up, Tessa lights candles and Dandy rejoins her in her suite. They toast to their last date, and she admits she’s worried about making her feelings known because she doesn’t know what he’s thinking. He appreciates that she came on this journey (drink!), and she thanks him for being patient with her as she got to know him better. She also has a gift for him and a love note that says she feels they are meant to be together, and she doesn’t want to go back to the life she was living before she met him. They kiss and embrace, and he says, “I love you Tessa Horst.” Then she presents a framed collage of words that have special meaning to them, and some pictures from their time together. He is deeply touched and recognizes that it must have taken her a long time to make, to which she replies that he’s worth it. As he did with Bevin, he says, “I frickin’ love you,” except he repeats the mantra twice. Damn, this guy is playing with fire stringing both women along so convincingly. She tells us if he proposes tomorrow, she’ll accept. Dandy says something amazing (drink!) happened tonight, that the evening was everything he wanted and more.
Torn Between Two Frickin’ Lovers
After weeks of indecision, Dandy is still terribly confused as to who to propose to tonight. Gee, both women must feel so special knowing basically it’s a toss up. He feels potential with Tessa, and he thinks she feels the same way about him, but he also feels a strong connection (drink!) to Bevin like he’s never felt before. He goes out for a run and becomes emotional as he realizes he’s still torn. Hell, pick a number between 1 and 10 and be done with it, already.
The violins begin playing as Tessa tells us she thinks she’s wasted a lot of time not telling Dandy how she feels, and she hopes she can make up for it. Bevin completely adores Dandy and wants to spend the rest of her life with him. If Dandy proposes to her, there’s no way in hell she’s turning that down, and she can’t wait to become Mrs. Lieutenant Andy Baldwin.
The ladies write in their journals (to be sold on eBay in the near future) and lay in bed dreaming about the wonders of Dandy, while he’s out shopping for the diamond ring he’ll be giving someone later that night. Who, we still don’t know…it could be Bevin, Tessa, the housekeeper, the jeweler, or maybe even Chris Harrison at this point. We discover he can make some decisions because he chooses a ring, and as the ladies have their hair and makeup done, just in the nick of time Dandy finally has a moment of clarity and makes his decision. Wow, just when I thought the show might go into extra innings… They all climb into their respective limos and make their way to the resort for the finale.
So Which Woman Is The Real Frickin’ Winner Here?
Dandy is standing on a patio overlooking the ocean, and the wind tosses his hair around. In sharp contrast, The Rose is sitting perfectly still on a table next to him, which leads me to believe the maintenance man has secured it with a staple gun until just the right moment.
The first limo pulls up and I see Chris Harrison has been demoted to usher. He walks Bevin out to the point where Dandy awaits and she becomes emotional when she sees him. He grabs her hands, hugs and kisses her, and brushes her hair from her face. He tells her she’s beautiful, and their connection (drink!) is electric like he’s never felt before. He appreciates that she has opened herself up to him, and says he loves her. Bevin is smiling, and then here it comes. He begins choking back tears, saying this is the hardest decision he’s ever made, and she knows where this is leading and hides her face in his chest. He says someone else has touched his heart deeper and at this point, she covers her face with her hands. I’ve become pretty cynical about this show, and yet my heart breaks for her. It’s terribly painful to watch, and I wish she’d fling him off the patio into the ocean. He asks if she has anything to say, but she simply shakes her head. There are no words. He walks her back to the limo, and she has trouble catching her breath. With tears in his eyes, he leaves her with the final words that he will never forget her, and with that she’s gone. In the limo, she breaks down because she didn’t see this coming, and now feels like a fool. Dandy says he’s developed so much respect for her, and he feels awful (as he should, in my opinion). He’s tearing up and actually walks away from the camera. Bevin sobs in the limo and covers her face with her hands.
A composed Dandy gets back in position and Tessa’s limo arrives. While he waits for her he says Tessa is like a wish come true and the sky’s the limit with her. Usher Chris escorts Tessa to Dandy, and now there are ‘dog tags’ on the table next to The Rose. Tessa is bubbling over with excitement, and they kiss and hug. Dandy gushes that he feels like a king with her and says she’s everything he’s ever looked for in a woman. Then adds, “Tessa, you know what’s so special about today? It’s just you and me.” They kiss and she says she’s in love with him. She gasps as he gets down on one knee, and asks her to marry him. She pauses then says yes - they kiss, and he slips the ring on her finger, saying “you’ve got my heart,” and she says he’s got hers, too. The music in the background sounds like the soundtrack to a cheesy ‘B’ movie - oh that’s right, it is from a cheesy ‘B’ movie. He says before they go any farther, there’s one more thing…he needs to ask if she’ll accept the Final Rose. She says of course, and they both say, “I love you!” And there you have it my friends. I profess my love to you, secure in knowing we’ll be best friends 4-ever. But what about Tessa and Dandy? How long do you think they’ll remain together: a) forever, b) six months, c) two weeks , or d) they’ve already broken up. Let me know in a pm here.