Well! Welcome to the FINALE, which is Italian for “Which sucker does she pick?” Am I a wee bit cynical? Perhaps. Perhaps. But if I had $1,000 for every Bachelor/ette season, I could buy a nice car. And if I had $1,000 for every one that wound up in a happy, long-term relationship, I could buy ….a used Eldorado. So yes, I’m cynical. But also realistic: I know maybe half of you are going to be crushed tonight, because your man doesn’t “win.” And another, say, fourth of you will be ecstatic, because your man does (I’m basing my stats here on a brief scan of our own message forums). The other fourth of you will be with me, swigging wine every time someone utters some inane cliché, like “soulmate.” Seriously, if you picked “soulmate” as your drinking cue for the finale, I hope you’re not driving. It’s all over this finale like a rash. I guess that’s a cliché too, huh? My god, it’s catching. And if you went with “man/woman of my dreams” you’re no better off.
As many highly irritated fans will remember, last week DeAnna ditched Poor Jeremy, who had vowed his love for her just as she demanded, but to no avail. Our last two men standing are Jason the Stable Dad and Jesse the Wild Snowboarding Dude. DeAnna claims to have strong, love-like feelings for both, but obviously she can only pick one. That’s nearly two hours from now, though. First we have to go through the formality of each man visiting DeAnna’s family in Georgia. What they don’t know is that they’ll be visiting together. Hey, what a fun way to make a forced, uncomfortable meeting even more awkward!
Both Jesse and Jason say they’re in love and ready to get married to the girl they met just a few weeks ago and have lived in near-isolation with ever since. I mean, if that isn’t a recipe for true romance, I don’t know what is. They both say the experience was amazing (drink! On principle.) But they’re scared, oooh! So scared! But so lucky! It’s hard to open up, they’re scared to lose her, blah blah blah. I so need more wine already.
Meet the Parents, Times Two
Before DeAnna makes the most important decision of her life, Jesse and Jason must of course undergo inspection by the Pappas family. So we’re off to Newnan, Georgia, where first they’ll visit DeAnna’s own house, with her dad, sister and brother. She’s very close to her family, she says, so it’s important for her family to approve of the men. Everyone was so nice to Brad, but she thinks they’re going to be a bit tougher to crack this time. Her sister Chrissy says Brad crushed them all.
DeAnna warns them they won’t think Jesse is her type. He has longer hair, she says. Dad says they’ll have to fix that.
Jason arrives first, with flowers for both DeAnna and the family. He knows her dad has seen DeAnna hurt, and indeed Papa Pappas promises to grill him. He starts with “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” Jason explains his wife wanted to start a relationship with someone else, and it wasn’t his decision. He’s raised his son by himself, and Ty lives with him most of the time.
Dad tells us he’s not sure his daughter is ready yet to move right into a family with a kid. He passes around a picture of Ty, and then Chrissy, the sister, drags him off for a walk. She wanted to know if he’s really in love with DeAnna. She tells him Brad said a lot of leading things, and she doesn’t want her sister to get hurt. Jason promises he wouldn’t be there if he wasn’t in love with her. In the kitchen, her brother asks DeAnna what gives her the wow factor. It seems to be Ty, and Jason’s interaction with him.
Chrissy asks Jason to guarantee he’ll take care of Dee, to love her and take care of her when times are hard. He says yes, he never felt like this ever, he thought so with his wife but now he has no doubts.
Dad grabs him next. Jason tells him he’s in love with DeAnna, which he didn’t expect, and he wants permission to propose. Dad says no one’s ever had the guts to ask him that. He expects it, though. Jason thinks that’s just common sense, to ask Dad. Dad says DeAnna thinks he’s a special person and he agrees, and if she chooses Jason, he has Dad’s blessing.
Dad tells us Jason impressed him as a guy that has it all together, and would fit in well with the family.
Jason and DeAnna go out in the yard, and hide behind a SUV to kiss without dad watching. Then she goes back in to quiz the family. They say they like him, and Dad says Jason asked permission to propose. Dad thinks he has a lot of class, and is a really good catch. DeAnna warns them to wait till they meet the other one.
She’s nervous about them meeting Jesse, because he’s so different from Jason, and from her usual type. He arrives with some sort of presents, telling us this is nervewracking. Thomas, the brother, says he could tell Jesse was nervous by his palm sweat. Dad thinks Jason will be tough to top, and Jesse is not DeAnna’s usual type.
He tells him they want the best for DeAnna, and asks about snowboarding. Jesse says snowboarding is just fun, if you could wake up every morning and do what you love, that’s what he does. Dad asks what he’ll do when he can’t snowboard anymore. We don’t see the answer, but then Dad takes Jesse off by himself. He asks about Jesse’s relationship past, whether there’s been anything serious. Jesse explains he lived with a girlfriend, but they grew apart.
Inside, Chrissy says she saw it more with Jason. Outside, Dad asks whether, once the butterflies are gone, is he ready for a commitment? Jesse says this is all new to him. Chrissy asks DeAnna if she can see this for the rest of her life.
Dad explains family is important, and that he’d expect frequent visits to Atlanta. If not, he has a son and a very large nephew who will hunt him down. Chrissy inside says she thinks Jesse is nervous and hasn’t opened up, all they know is he snowboards. That’s what DeAnna feared. And after a three-hour visit, Jesse feels he blew it.
Dad asks if she’s made up her mind already, and she says no. With Jason she feels safe, like she can depend on him. She wants to know if Dad would be happy with either one, and he pauses, then says he wants her to be happy. He says Jason’s falling in love with her, no doubt, and Jesse said the same thing but he felt a difference, he thought Jason’s declaration was more heartfelt.
She asks if Jesse asked permission, and the answer is no. Dad says that says to him, Jason knows what he wants and will ask for it, and Jesse doesn’t, and so you have to wonder if Jesse is in the same place that DeAnna is.
DeAnna May Be Dull, But Her Grandma Is Awesome
The next day, apparently, is when the guys meet her whole family, together. This involves uncles, aunts, grandparents, and a sister-in-law. She tells the clan to grill them. Grandma asks if one is rich, and offers to pick the man for her. I love this woman already.
Jesse comes first, and says yesterday was brutal. DeAnna is concerned about Jesse’s performance, because he was so nervous. He has barely sat down and been warned to expect grilling when the doorbell rings. And of course, it’s Jason, with wine and flowers. Jesse says it was intense, another competition almost. He knows he has to put himself out there 110 percent.
Jason doesn’t like sharing DeAnna, but thinks he’ll be ok. Dad stagemanages it, putting DeAnna between the two men on a loveseat. She says this is weird. Dad says it’s hard to embarrass her, but this has managed it.
Dad wants a summaryof pros and cons. Silly boys, they didn’t think to bring him a spreadsheet or a powerpoint presentation. Jesse says a pro is that he cares about DeAnna, she’s worth this tough experience. She’s “rad.”
“Top that,” Grandma demands, staring at Jason. Jason tells them he’s in love with DeAnna.
In the kitchen, both men talk to the aunt about food, briefly. Eating, Jesse teaches Grandma and Grandpa to bump fists. Jason, though, talks to the grandparents about the secret to such a long marriage. Grandpa says the secret is, when she says something, you agree. Grandma asks what Jason’s intentions are. He says she’s everything he wants.
Jesse’s being grilled by the sister and sis in law. They don’t want someone to act one way and then flip. He, like, totally agrees. The sister-in-law seems very taken with the whole “cool snowboarder” thing.
Grandma tells Jason he’s the one for her. Grandpa says it isn’t her choice. Grandma hopes DeAnna has a wonderful life as she has had, and marries a man as thoughtful and good as the man she did. Awww. Grandpa tells Jason DeAnna has to follow her heart. “Why didn’t you tell me that when my dad said I had to marry you?” Grandma asks. “If he hadn’t had that shotgun I might’ve,” he answers. I love them.
Crystal, the sister-in-law, thinks Jesse is grounded, cool, and seemed to think seriously about their questions. He tells them he has never felt so strongly, so quickly, about someone. Crystal tells him to “Rock it out” and be himself, and offers a supportive fist-bump.
Jesse at some point grabs Dad, to tell him he’s in love with DeAnna, and he, too, asks permission to propose. Jesse has struck me as the kind of guy who would ask, but I think someone probably suggested this. Dad asks if he’s ready. Jesse says he’s asked his own dad about this, and his dad said the palm sweat and butterflies were the same when he met Jesse’s mom. Finally, Dad says he is honored that Jesse asked, and he wants to make sure DeAnna gets the best and is treated with respect and dignity. He thinks Jesse would do that, and would give them his blessing.
But he makes Jesse promise to keep the hair short. “We nugged, and that was rad,” Jesse says. He offers to work on the hair, but it will involve a “girl barber.”
So for some reason, now it’s time for a family round of shots of liquor. That is awesome. My family doesn’t drink, at least not openly. I didn’t think they drank at all, until a recent Christmas when a cousin pulled me aside and poured a vast amount of Jim Beam into my Coke. No wonder I always thought my cousins were jolly people to be around.
Auntie does a shot before everyone else is ready. The boys need a bit of a chaser, Jesse especially. Then it’s time to go, so Grandma demands kisses on the cheek, nugs from Jesse, warns them to behave, and yells opa at them. She tells DeAnna she loves them both.
Finally DeAnna walks them out, hand in hand with both. Jesse manages to graciously let Jason say goodbye first, which Jason describes as “trickery.” They both get their goodbye hugs, though.
DeAnna goes back and quizzes her sister and sister in law. Chrissy, the sister, says they’re so different. Jason has been through more relationship wise, and maybe Jesse doesn’t know if he’s ready. She thinks DeAnna is ready to settle down and have kids, and doesn’t want some fly-by-night man. But the sister in law says DeAnna isn’t ready to settle into a level of Jason’s life yet, that she needs a free spirit. Crystal thinks Jesse is grounded and himself, and that’s important. “It’s almost like if you picked Jason, you’d be fast-forwarding your life five years.”
Chrissy sees a difference in DeAnna with the men. She thinks Dee is more comfortable with Jason, and she’s worried that Jesse is 26 and hasn’t enough experience to plan the rest of his life. What if his mind changes? Crystal says DeAnna does have to think about which one could be a father to her children.
Hey, This Isn’t Painful Enough! Let’s Make it Worse!
They all return to the Bahamas, and DeAnna says it’s hard, because she’s been told Jeremy wants to talk to her. On the commercial breaks they’ve been promoting the hell out of a jilted bachelor’s return. She says she couldn’t put Jeremy through the pain and heartache she experienced, and so she hopes after they talk, he’ll feel better. Fat chance.
Poor Jeremy, dragged back by producers to rehash it all. Although if he actually wanted closure, I guess it’s better he gets it than not. So he turns up at her door, saying he has to talk to her. He says he knows this is tough, but he needs her to know he feels like she’s making a big mistake. He’s been a rock for his family, but she has awakened his other feelings, and he can’t let her go this easily. He assures her his feelings for her are real, and this is scary and that’s why he’s been guarded, because he’s been so hurt.
She says she knows what it’s like. And he fits her checklist. “It’s just not in my heart,” she sobs. She has feelings for two other people, as strong as for him. She has enough respect for him, she says, not to drag him along any more. She won’t lead him on or drag this out and promise something she can’t give. “Right now, I am not in love, and I feel like” as much as they’ve shared, and despite their bond, if they were meant to be, she’d feel more. If he proposed, she couldn’t do it, so this is the best decision in the long run, despite his current hurt.
She hugs him goodbye – again. Jeremy tells us he did the best he could to tell her how he felt. He hadn’t expected to feel this way, he fell for her. Outside he crouches on the ground and cries. He listened to everything she said, and now he’s at a loss for words.
He didn’t see it, her falling in love with Jason and Jesse.
She tells us talking with him was very hard, she didn’t really want to even do it, but she knew she had to help him understand where she was coming from.
On a Cheese Scale, This is Like a Vat of Velveeta
But hey, let’s move on! It’s time for her date with Jesse, who runs to her as she stands by a little plane. He says she’s turned his world upside down and he wants her to know how he feels. They fly over the water, landing at a secluded island to hang out. “Our own island. No big deal,” he says. He tells us it was so romantic, all alone in warm water, holding hands. She’s the one, he says. “She’s the girl that has the key to my heart.” Parf.
He’s focusing on her and them, not on Jason. That night – at the same place as they went to last time – in a room, he presents a picture album, a “book of thoughts” about how he’s in love and she’s his soulmate (drink!). He tells her he’s in love with her and wants to spend his life with her. Drink, drink, and drink more.
“It’s exactly what I want to hear,” she says. Well, duh. She says it felt really good to hear him say it. But she doesn’t want to say it back, because she was in that position.”I want to make sure I’m being fair. There’s still another date tomorrow.” And in the end, she only wants to return the ‘I love you’ to one of them. She seems to think as long as she doesn’t say the l-word, no one can say she led them on. Fat chance.
Shark-Infested Waters, In More Ways Than One
“My date with Jesse was amazing. But today I’m focusing on my date with Jason,” DeAnna says the next day. Gosh, I hope so. I can’t imagine how weird it would be if she spent the date talking about Jesse. She says she’s falling in love with Jason, he makes her feel like she’s the only woman in the world.
She announces they’re going to be swimming with sharks today. Jason says if they’re tame sharks, it’s ok. Yeah, right. That’s like a tame cat – not found in nature. He tells us he’s nervous but is up for another adventure.
His adventuresomeness shocks her. He says he loves that DeAnna takes him on these crazy adventures. Oh, for heaven’s sake. That’s FLEISS. Does he think if they were settled down in Seattle with 2.5 kids, they’d be jetting off to shark-swim in the Bahamas all the time? They sit in some flock of sharks, holding onto each other’s hand in a terror that neither will admit to the other.
Jason tells us he’s in love with her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her, and wants to show her how much they have in common. They eat casually, and he says she can ask him anything. She’s got nothing. So he brings out a box. A board game he made “himself”. She calls it the cutest, sweetest, most romantic thing anyone’s ever done. I guess Jesse will feel kinda bad about that picture book of his. The game takes them back through reenactments of previous dates, leaving out the bits about all the other men, presumably.
When the card says ask Jason to tell her something new, that’s his cue to tell her, “I love you, there’s not a doubt in my mind that I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” DeAnna says she melted and felt like the luckiest woman in the world. He was romantic and thoughtful and makes her feel like no one else does. He believes in the end he’ll be engaged to her.
They snuggle and kiss, and she says she can see an amazing future with him, and is falling in love with him.
“I’m in love with two totally different guys, and I don’t know how I’m supposed to let one of them go home when I’m in love with both of them,” she says.
Please Accept this Ring. Please, Please, Please
So it’s finally the day. DeAnna can see the rest of her life with either of them, again which will surely make the winner feel great. Jason makes her feel safe, she knows she can count on him, he’s romantic and she knows he’s a great father. Her connection with Jesse is different. He’s unlike anyone she’s ever dated, but his heart and personality got her. He’s an exciting person and she loves how he makes her feel.
“I’m in the same position today that Brad was in when he broke my heart.” Except, remind me – wasn’t he not in love with either woman, including her?
It’s a tough choice, but she says she knows who she’s going to pick. She hopes he feels the same about her, which seems odd since they both already said they did.
Jason goes to pick a ring, an experience he rightly calls “surreal.”
He tells the ring-seller guy that she is different, the way she looks at the world. Really? Because I know a lot of women who look at the world and think “I MUST GET MARRIED NOW NOW NOW” like DeAnna.
Jesse seems to be hyperventilating in the street. He’s not used to losing control of his emotions, and the fact that a girl did it to him “blows my mind.”
He goes to the same ring guy, who’s set up like a card player in the street. Jesse says he’d never propose to someone he couldn’t spend his life with, as marriage is a one-time deal. They both picked pretty, antique-looking rings. I’d take either one.
Jason says he’s been heartbroken a long time, and DeAnna mended it.
Jesse’s scared out of his mind, can’t imagine going through all this and then not being chosen, it would crush him.
She says it’s going to hurt to let one of them go. He’s going to feel just as bad as she felt the day Brad sent her home. She delicately brushes away a tiny tear.
Jason says the way he feels about her, he’s never felt about anyone his whole life. He’s ready to complete his family. Jesse says he never thought he was a guy that a girl like her would take a second look at. Pffft. For my money he’s a lot better than she is.
The men both have more quotes about how she’s amazing, they’re both so in love, they don’t want to be with anyone else, etc. She says she’s choosing someone who gets her, makes her want to be a better person.
DeAnna says she’s facing two moments; one in which she’ll be the happiest woman in the world, and one where she’ll be the saddest. But she’s 100 percent sure. She knows the guys trust her, and have put themselves out there. She’s expecting a proposal. “This evening I will hopefully be engaged to a man who loves me as much as I love him.”
“I have to say goodbye to a guy that I would be perfect with. I have to look him in the ey and say I love someone else more.”
A white limo pulls up to the drive. Chris goes to open the door, and out comes …. Jason. Well, being first is always the doom.
Jason tells us he risked everything to be there. Everything feels right. He thinks it’s going to be the day he’s engaged, and he’s excited about that. He can’t wait to propose. She gives him a big hug, and he tells her his tie is orange, because it was Ty’s idea, a Georgia peach.
He gets down on a knee and she blurts out “No, I can’t.” He stays down there, staring at her, until she pulls him up. She says he has no idea how much she cares about him, he’s amazing (drink!) and perfect. She knows she’d always be safe with him. Even though she’s falling in love with him, she’s in love with someone else. He says something I can’t understand, and she says no, please no, she meant everything she ever said to him. She’d be lucky to be with him, but her heart’s with someone else.
He says he really did fall in love with her, and he allows her a hug, so who knows. He whispers something else I can’t hear. Wipes away her tears, and she walks him out. At the limo she claims another hug. He gets in the car silently and drives off. In the limo, he looks stunned and baffled. “I’m completely shocked,” he says. He feels like he’s a good guy who cares about people. “I was so ready to be in love again. I was sooo ready to be married again.” But to her? I think that’s the question. I’m not hearing “I was ready to be in love with DEANNA.”
“She wanted something I couldn’t offer her, she wanted this alternative world. Or she thinks she wants it,” Jason says. She wants to live on the edge, he says, and she’s going to want safety once she gets it, he thinks, Meanwhile, he wants someone to see the safety he offers but also his adventurous side.
Appropriately, the following commercial is for “Wipeout.”
Wuvv, Twue Wuv, Is What Bwings Us Together Today
DeAnna says letting Jason go was the hardest thing she’s had to do because she cares about him and she knows how he feels. She hopes he gave him enough answers. I didn’t see where she gave him any, so …
She never thought it would end this way. She came hoping to find the man of her dreams (drink!), and she’s extremely confident with Jesse. Their connection (drink!) is so strong, she can’t live without him, sees him beside her the rest of her life, a life full of fun and excitement. He gets her. And makes her want to be a better person. “Today, I am ending up with my soulmate. I’ve found the man of my dreams.” God, the cliches, make them stop!
Jesse arrives in the limo, nervous as hell. He never puts himself out ther elike this and he’s nervous, but is confident she’s for him. He wants to be engaged to her, and can’t wait to start a life with her, and has never felt this way about anyone.
They hug, and she stares at him till he starts a speech. He says he never thought this process was real and that he could fall in love, but he has, with her, and the thought of not being with her kills him. When he looks at her, the word that pops into his mind is “forever.” And he wants to spend forever with her, and believes she’s his soulmate. Drink! She smiles, but says nothing, just stares at him till he drops to one knee, asking if she’ll spend forever with him. And she says yes. He pops back up for a kiss, and puts the ring on her finger. Cheesy music plays. She says she wouldn’t be ok if he weren’t in her life, and she loves him, and has waited so long to say it.
They agree they want to spend the rest of their lives with each other. Oh god, now there’s singing. Along with a montage of their time together in the Grand Bahamas. She’s still forced to formally give him that last bloody rose. More singing, as we take a tour of the Ghost of DeAnna and Jesse’s Kisses Past.
“I cannot believe I’m going to marry the guy with the pink shoelaces,” she laughs.
It’s All Over But the Shoutin’
Now it’s the After the Final Rose! Let’s hit the highlights:
-Jason says he was in love with her, and he’s still hurt.
- DeAnna says what she was looking for changed through the show.
- She now has some sympathy for Brad Womack.
- She can’t say she fell completely in love with Jason, but she did with Jesse.
- Jason says Jesse’s a great guy, and he claims to be happy for her.
- He was kinda miffed she let him get all the way down on his knee.
- There’s a brief catch-up with Matt and Shayne, about whom I know nothing, but they claim to still be in love.
-- DeAnna and Jesse are sickeningly lovey-dovey on stage.
- Their parents are there and JUST found out about the engagement, her dad’s in shock.
- A wedding date is set! May 9, 2009.
- ABC is sending them to Greece for a holiday, presumably to say thanks for making us money, kids!
And that’s it! If you were actually emotionally invested in this show, good luck to you recuperating. To the rest of you, a packet of Emergen-C will help that wine hangover.