After the disaster that was last night’s finale, I think we’re all looking forward to seeing if Brad can redeem himself. If not, Chris Harrison is going to have to arrange for an armed guard to escort Brad out of the building in order for him to reach his car in the same shape in which he arrived.
Chris opens the show by welcoming us to the Rejected Bachelorette Barbeque - perhaps he didn’t quite word it this way, but that’s surely what this little soirée will be. He promises to deliver the goods (Brad, Jenni and DeAnna) by saying, “somehow we’ve managed to get all of them here tonight.” Yes, Chris, it’s called a c-o-n-t-r-a-c-t, which for some strange reason, seems to carry a lot of weight with most people.
But, before we get to all the drama that lays ahead, Fleiss has got some damage control to get to first in the form of previous positive outcomes of The Bachelor. Trista, Ryan and baby Max join Chris on stage greeted by wild applause from the audience. Ryan hasn’t changed much since we saw him last but it’s going to take some time for me to adjust to a brunette Trista. But Max is simply one of the cutest babies I’ve ever laid eyes on, and he sucks on a pacifier while cradled in Trista’s arms. We learn that when she finally discovered she was pregnant, Ryan was mountain climbing in Argentina. Chris asks what they thought of last night’s finale, and Trista says, having been in the women’s shoes the first time she was on the show, she knows exactly how they feel and aches for everyone involved. Just when I’m beginning to wonder if Ryan is mute, Chris finally prompts him to speak by asking how he feels about being a father. Ryan agrees with what everyone says - it’s the best feeling in the world, and he can’t wait to play ball and catch toads with Max. This is all well and good, but I note the time and seven minutes have passed…can we get on to the Bachelorette Barbeque, please?
But according to the Fleiss-o-meter it’s time to fondly remember another successful Bachelor pairing: Byron and Mary. They join the others on the stage, and frankly Byron looks a little worn - but damn, Mary looks stunning! They spend their time traveling together and she’s fallen in love with fishing so much, that she’s also professionally fishing now. Chris notices she’s still wearing the engagement ring and asks about a wedding, going so far as to suggest there is a priest backstage, heh. Mary says they’re setting a date in November (I note that November only has about nine days left, then realize she didn’t specify what year, ha). She makes it clear they’ll do it when and where they decide. It suddenly occurs to me that Byron hasn’t spoken one word. I’d like to think of Trista and Mary doing most of the talking for each couple as an anomaly, but according to Mr. Rose, the same could be true for us, too. At least that’s what I think he’d say - I’ve never really stopped talking long enough to find out, heheh. Just kidding. Maybe. Nonetheless, it’s now been nine minutes and I’m seriously getting impatient for some grilled white meat.
He’s Just Not That Into You, Jenni
Finally the stage is cleared and the audience warmly applauds as Jenni enters the stage with Chris. She hugs him, then takes a seat on the couch, looking absolutely gorgeous. Chris wants to know if she was caught off-guard when Brad didn’t choose her and she says most definitely, in fact she was devastated. Several more precious minutes are spent as we take a walk down Jenni and Brad memory lane, culminating at the Love Altar when he built up her hopes then dashed them away when he said he wanted something more than she could give.
She says even after all this time, it remains grueling to watch, but she’s proud she put herself out there. Chris acknowledges she took a “huge leap of faith” when she professed her love to Brad, only to be rejected by him. Of course, she realizes this, but says she is glad she told him, otherwise she would have wondered if that could have made a difference in his final decision. Chris asks if she feels Brad mislead her and she says some of his little comments did get her hopes up. It’s here we learn she just now discovered Brad didn’t choose DeAnna either, and she’s shocked. She adds that she feels particularly bad for DeAnna when he informs her he’d sent Jenni home because naturally that would lead DeAnna into thinking she was his chosen one. Jenni says watching DeAnna’s dreams get crushed breaks her heart.
Jenni is still confused about their ending and wants to know, if Brad couldn’t propose to her, why is it they couldn’t at least go to the movies or talk on the phone. The audience shows they’re in agreement with her by applauding. She wonders if perhaps Brad came on the show thinking he was going to fall head over heels in love, which she thinks is unrealistic because love takes time. Presumably more than six weeks I would think - but what do I know? I’ve only been married 25 years. Chris comments that their relationship was built on respect and sincerity and he wonders if she’s lost respect for Brad. She has lost some respect for Brad, especially due to the way they were all treated.
We’re given the sad news that Jenni’s grandmother (who was featured prominently on the hometown date and won many of our hearts) recently passed away. There’s a lovely homage to Grandma as various clips from that episode are shown highlighting her snarky wit and marvelous, zingy quips. At one point during the taping, Jenni comments that when she does get married, she’d like her grandmother to be there. But Grandma warns her not to count on it, and they good-naturedly banter back and forth. Tears sting my eyes as the tribute ends with Grandma whispering, “are we done yet?” as she wonders if their taping segment is complete. Jenni is deeply touched and sincerely thanks Chris. A quick scan of the audience tells me, Jenni and I aren’t the only ones crying. *sniff*
He’s Just Not That Into You Either, DeAnna
Jenni is taken backstage, and it’s DeAnna’s turn to join Chris. She’s still baffled about what happened and says she came on the show with all the “right intentions” to find a man and to fall deeply in love. The flashback of their last time together at the FRC is shown and the audience groans as we once again witness his circling-the-lawn moment. DeAnna tells us when Brad informed her he had already sent Jenni down the yellow brick road, she thought for sure he was going to propose to her. Chris notes that not only does she seem sad right now, but also very angry, and she admits she is angry because she doesn‘t understand how he could say he has feelings for her and yet let her go. She professes to still have feelings for Brad, and she’s not talking about feelings like she wants to dip his toes into scalding hot canola oil, but feelings of fondness toward him. Ack. She tells us any man would be thrilled to have either Jenni or her in his life, so she doesn’t understand how he could walk away from both of them. A wise Chris offers that perhaps the problem isn’t with the ladies, but is within Brad. You can almost see a little light bulb come on over DeAnna’s head as she apparently mulls this over for the first time. I may not own a Fleiss-o-meter, but I’ve got a Rose-o-meter, and according to my clock, we’re 29 minutes into this Bachelor Puzzle. Why don’t they bring Brad out and let the Big Guy speak for himself already? *shakes fist* Clearly they’re on a different time schedule than me, because Chris continues this segment by asking DeAnna how she’s doing now that a little over two months has passed since the actual FRC. She thinks Jenni may have had it a little easier because she’s (Jenni) probably been thinking Brad had chosen her (DeAnna), and hopefully was then able to put things behind her and move on. Whereas DeAnna’s been struggling daily to assimilate the idea that on one hand he cared deeply for both of them, but on another, he never wanted to see either of them again. She acknowledges how tough it’s been to have people come up to her with hopes that Brad chose her, which then forced her to put a smile on her face and say, “you’ll have to watch and see!” She’s still hopeful that he’ll see her tonight and decide he can’t live without her. Oh my. If he were to ask her out tonight, she’d go in a heartbeat. Chris suggests she’d be a fool not to give him a second chance. I recoil in horror at the thought.
Brad’s Got Some ’Splaining To Do
Chris reminds us that Brad made Bachelor history by walking away from both women, and introduces him as “still a bachelor, Brad,” which cracks me up. The audience applauds as Brad takes a seat, but there’s also a slightly muffled “booing” that spreads over the set. Chris asks Still-A-Bachelor-Brad to explain what happened, and he says he’s more disappointed than anyone - based on the audience’s reaction, however, I’d guess they seriously disagree. Chris reminds Brad that he “let” both women declare their love for him, but Brad interrupts and says his heart was broken, too, and he has no problem looking anyone in the eye when he says it. The women in the audience shoot daggers his way, and I can only hope he’s been provided a bullet-proof vest. Chris mentions a lot of people don’t believe him, and Brad says “fair enough,” that people are entitled to that, but it was hard on him to say goodbye to two women he cared about. He just couldn’t continue seeing them when he wasn’t feeling it in his heart. Chris asks if it would have been a falsehood to continue seeing DeAnna, and Brad says it just wouldn’t have been right to tell her “I’m not in love with you but let’s continue on to see if I will fall in love with you.” Chris asks why not, and Still-A-Bachelor-Brad says he and DeAnna had six amazing (drink!) weeks, some over-the-top dates, and incredible conversations but he doesn’t have a clue why he never felt the “butterflies” of love. Chris informs us Brad had lead them to believe he was going to propose to DeAnna, even requesting her father be flown out for the big moment. What?! The audience gasps. Since I’ve got turkey on my mind for a couple of reasons as I write this, I’m willing to bet there’s an electric fence surrounding the stage to protect Brad from having his drumsticks ripped from his body. Chris wants to know how Brad felt - as a man - knowing this wasn’t going to happen. Brad admits he had made it clear that if he were going to propose he’d want to discuss it with her father first. Chris asks why he bought the ring if he wasn’t going to go through with it, and Still--A-Bachelor-Brad confesses when he was deciding on a ring he had a gut feeling it just wasn’t right, which clearly doesn’t answer the answer but no one seems to notice this but me. Chris then pointedly asks if Brad feels like a jerk, and he says he does. Brad also admits he “has a few problems.” I’ll say. Aside from the obvious, my guess is he’s going to have a few problems keeping air in his tires from now on.
Chris addresses the rumors that Still-A-Bachelor-Brad is dating again which he denies. Brad says he’s heard it all…that he’s had children, that he’s gay, and he vehemently denies even drinking coffee with a woman since the show was taped.
Care to Barbeque Some White Meat, Jenni?
Jenni and Brad hug and he whispers he’s sorry to hear about her grandmother. As they sit down, Brad awkwardly puts his arm around her shoulder, then pats her on the leg, as the audience laughs. Jenni’s main question is after all the hopeful things he said to both she and DeAnna, why couldn’t he take a chance on either of them? Brad thinks it would have made him a jerk to lead either of them on any further. Then he actually confesses when he was with her he was thinking of DeAnna, and vice versa. The audience loudly groans their disapproval. She says she could understand him not wanting to propose to someone, but why couldn’t he have continued dating one of them. She adds she was especially disappointed for DeAnna when he turned her down, and that she lost respect for him. They spend an additional 10 minutes rehashing the same issues over and over - she doesn’t understand why he walked away, but it’s obvious he doesn’t either. She graciously ends her segment by saying she hopes something good comes his way.
This Turkey is Cooked
Brad faces DeAnna and they tentatively hug each other before being seated. She asks why he couldn’t pick one of them. Brad tries to convince her it has nothing to do with them. She’s not convinced and accuses him of leading her on when they said their last goodbye before the FRC. Apparently he told her not to worry - that the day of the FRC would be a good day for her. More rumblings from the audience. All he can offer is that he “tried” to love her. Ouch. Brads says she looks angry and Chris questions her about that. She says she’s a mixed bag of emotions: anger, sadness, and even hope that he’ll want to get back with her. I find myself screaming in horror. Their conversation melts down at this point with a very frustrated DeAnna crying that she simply doesn’t understand how one day he could wake up feeling differently toward her. Chris finally asks Brad why he felt he had to completely walk away from her, to which Brad says she deserves someone who loves her as much as she loved him, and he isn’t that man. At some point he’s placed his hand in her lap, then says believe it or not, he’s as broken up about this as she is. The audience smirks in disbelief and doesn’t buy it. But Brad desperately tries to convince everyone, most especially DeAnna, that he thinks of her every day. DeAnna wants to know what that means. Obviously Brad heard a different question, because he states he’s confident in his decision to walk away. There’s now a major grumble from the audience, and I wait for S.W.A.T. to come bursting in to usher him safely out of there. DeAnna states she came here today hoping to get some answers but she’s still as confused as before about what in the world happened. Let’s face it everyone, Brad doesn’t have a clue what happened, or if he does, he's not spilling it. Simply rehashing the problems over and over and over again isn’t going to bring any new insight into the situation. She absolutely breaks down as Brad sits numbly by her side not able to comfort her in anyway. The only thing he can think to say is, “I swear to God above, I thought I was taking the high road,” and audience prepares to storm the stage. Shockingly, DeAnna tells him again she seriously thought he wouldn’t let her walk away from him again - that she honestly hoped he’d leave tonight with her on his arm. Okay, folks. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. Check, please! I’ve got a turkey, thankfully not Brad, in my future and it’s calling my name, so the Rose-o-meter says Ding! We’re out of time.
Chris thanks them both for being there and acknowledges how difficult it’s been for them. DeAnna and Brad hug goodbye and he whispers, “I’ll miss you more than you’ll ever know.” She replies, “please don’t say that to me right now,” and leaves the stage sniffling.
When we come back from a commercial break, Chris tells Still-A-Bachelor-Brad after six years of these ATFR shows, this was definitely the most uncomfortable session he’s ever witnessed. Brad says he’s been going through a lot of reflection and looks forward to getting back to a ‘normal’ life of talking with his family. He admits he obviously has a lot of issues to work on (the audience titters nervously). Chris asks if it’s going to take some time to get over this, and Brad says, “absolutely.” Chris says they appreciate his honesty and sincerity then quickly Byron, Mary, Ryan, Trista and a sleeping baby Max are brought back on stage for some kind of Fleiss redemption.
But wait! One more thing. Why did the program end without showing Bettina running into Brad’s arms, being scooped up by him and twirled in the air while shouting to the world, “we’re in love and can’t wait to shout it out on television!” I’ve heard she’s wearing the engagement ring he’d bought months earlier, and that he’s been secretly living with her, dodging phonecalls and sightings from her Stephen-King-like father. Why didn’t Fleiss air that part? Whyyieeeeeeee? Ahem. Heheh.
There’s Nothing Left To Do But Clean Up This Mess
Right about now I’m guessing Chad has bought a “I’m not Brad” baseball cap, Brad is in hiding (at Bettina’s *wink*) and Chris is thanking his lucky stars he married someone not associated with this show. Being the fervent Bachelor
slutfan that I am, I look forward to the show returning in the Spring with more foolish hijinx. But most of all I look forward to continuing the many treasured friendships I’ve found because of this train wreck of a show. Happy Thanksgiving everyone in the USA and Happy Holidays to those around the world! Would you be willing to date a turkey? Let me know in a pm here.
A dozen red roses go to Wiccan for the photograph of Max.