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Stuck in my head, it soars to the stratosphere in full bodied magnificence. The relationship between parts is difficult, though manageable with practice, and the end result makes one’s heart quiver. Oh, sorry, I’m not talking about the show, but Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” I don’t mean to be sacrilegious, and I certainly don’t want to make this music a metaphor for the show. I’m just saying that I sang it (wishing I could still hit those high soprano notes) during the credit roll of the Finale. Hallelujah! the show is OVER!
Well, not quite. Before we can close the books on season 15, we must get through the reunion show. In front of an audience invited to the closed set taping, Chris, at his host best, declaims that tonight the couple will reunite in public for the first time. (Translation – they have been kept in separate caves for three months and now will be brought out into the light. Be prepared for blinking eyes and stunted social skills.) He asks us to wonder if they are still happily in love and whether we will be hearing wedding bells anytime soon. But, first, the last dejected, rejected loser in the game to win Brad’s heart is brought out so we can see that she still lives.
CHANTAL: THE LADY IN RED
Thing is, even though rejected, Chantal isn’t that dejected. She went on the show for an adventure, started to fall for the guy, let her guard down and fell in love. She forgot how the game is played, though, because while she was in love with him the chances were 1 in30 that he was in love with her. She really did think she was that one. Memories bring a welling to her eyes and once again she demonstrates her pretty cry. She questions how something so right could go so wrong, but she has no regrets.
Chris deftly guides her from that short segment right into a reunion with Brad (who has been in a cave for three months.) Chantal says that a part of her is ready to see him because he is a great person.
Brad enters tentative and smiling, and so the post-show game begins. They awkwardly hug and she pats him on the back before they take side by side seats on a small couch next to Chris. Chris prompts Chantal to ask her questions and she turns to Brad with a musical dun…dun…dun. Fresh out of the cave Brad asks her to go easy.
Chantal: At what point did you know it wasn’t going to be me?
Brad hems, haws and squirms saying he doesn’t want to hurt her but he knew early on he had feelings for Emily, but doesn’t deny their chemistry and friendship.
Brad: We had so much fun I wanted you to stick around. I think you deserved to be there to the very end.
Uh, Brad…sometimes brutal honesty is not the best policy as a frustrated Chantal calls him on his choice of words; that she deserved to be there rather than telling her he thought he could spend his life with her. When clueless Brad stumbles onward by telling her they had something very real, Chantal grimaces, shaking her head. Her tears well up which freaks Brad and he reaches out to comfort her, “I don’t want you to get upset. Come here, please.” He pulls her into an embrace, kisses her head and tells her he is not there to hurt her feelings. But you did, Brad, you did.
Chantal pulls away, scrubs at her tears, sniffles and tells him that she feels like he is discounting everything; which he denies. He frowns and tells her he just fell in love with someone else. But, once again, Chantal tries to tell him that it wasn’t that he fell in love with someone else, it’s that he discounted the experience they shared.
However, happiness rules the day as Chantal has found a new love (door, window, unexpected, open to it because of the show) and both wish each other well.
CAVE. MAN. SPEAKS.
Chris: After that beautiful proposal, where is your heart and your head?
Brad: I’m more in love with that woman than I’ve been in my entire life. I finally found my girl. She has my heart, always will. She’s the most genuinely kind human being that I’ve ever met. (I guess nice cave spiders don’t count since they’re not human.) I’d marry her right now. (That cave must have been very lonely.)
This is a big fat lead in for Chris to disclose that they had talked about going back to Anguilla using the ATFR as the time for their wedding. Brad will leave it to Emily to explain why that didn’t work out, but says it’s been a tough go with the tabloids embellishing on small truths and others who would tear the couple down.
Chris: I want to unveil that you guys did in fact break up.
Brad forcefully explains that they went through the trials and tribulations of a real couple and made it out the other side. His lowest moments came when Emily would say she just couldn’t do it. He chuckles when admitting that sweet little Emily can be tough. Anxiously bouncing on the couch seat, he wants Chris to bring her out. Living in the cave, he hasn’t seen her in so long. In his mind they are engaged, but he doesn’t know what her mind is telling her. He’s fighting tooth and nail for her (I picture a manly cave dweller hacking his way through the underbrush to find his lost love – but, then that is the romantic in me.) However, while he knows his feelings, he doesn’t know hers. Oh, Brad…this should have been done in private, not before a paid audience and millions of viewers gawking at their TV screens.
ME BRAD, YOU EMILY (or ME EMILY, YOU BRAD)
Chris: Considering everything, are you nervous?
Brad: I’m always nervous around her.
Emily, with a big smile, walks into Brad’s embrace and kiss. The nervous Brad tells her to have a seat. She tells us that it’s been a month since she’s seen him, but every time she does, she is happy to see him. (Her cave must have been cozier than his.) Brad squirms when she talks about the relationship not being all roses, but he holds onto her for dear life.
Emily: I’m very confident how I feel about him, I really love him.
She considers them an engaged couple much to Brad’s delight. But, then, ‘the must dig for information to keep the drama on track’ Chris brings up the non-wedding in Anguilla and asks her if there is a wedding in the near future. Emily turns to Brad telling him she loves him, but no.
They have things to figure out such as how they fight and how they communicate. Brad’s face freezes and he licks his lips. It sucks for him to hear that she wouldn’t move to Austin immediately, but Emily is protective of herself and her child. She expresses how she was anxious while watching the show, and him with the other women. She knows that it wasn’t the “watch Emily and Brad fall in love show,” and draws a chuckle when saying that they gave him so much material to work with. She felt left out of the fun stuff he shared with Chantal and thought she came off as boring, even to falling asleep on their dates. From their respective edits, she thought he should have chosen Chantal.
Chris: What drives you to the point where you would sabotage your own engagement?
Emily explains that to avoid the heartbreak she felt before, she puts up a shell. An earnest Brad assures her that she is not losing his love at all.
Chris: What do you need to work this out to move forward?
Emily: He has a bit of temper, but I do, too. His family calls it “poking the bear.”
She admits they have knock down drag out fights, and Brad also admits that their interactions are pretty volatile at times. Emily has had a hard time separating reality TV from her reality. She questions that since he said he fell in love with her pretty early, that there should have been things saved just for her. Brad chimes in that the engagement was just for her, but that doesn’t keep her from feeling she was just a dime in a dozen. She wants to see how they work together in real life before committing to a marriage.
Chris asks if there are any regrets and Emily replies that she regrets not being the first one to back down when they don’t see eye to eye, but she’s working on it. For Brad the proposal was the most special day of his life and he has no regrets. He admits to losing his temper, but she’s worth it to try to change.
Chris to Emily: Do you really honestly think you’ll get married?
She stutters trying to find the words while patting Brad’s arm and whispering that she loves him. She answers Chris by saying that what she feels for Brad can’t be compared to anybody else and knows that he has put up with her in her worst of worst and he hasn’t left. She can’t see her life without him, so YES she does see them getting married.
(I found the long staying shots of audience reaction to be very annoying. I kept trying to look around the edge of the screen to see Emily or Brad or Chantal reactions and it just wasn’t working for me.)
INTERVENTION BACHELOR STYLE
Out of 21 seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, only three couples have either married or remain engaged. The Bachelor couple is not from the final rose, but a switcheroo that we all remember very well. The other two are from The Bachelorette, so odds against The Bachelor Brad and Emily making it down the aisle are daunting.
The couples – Trista and Ryan, Ali and Roberto and Jason and Molly take seats on the stage.
All right, already…Brad says he wants to marry Emily and Emily says she wants to marry Brad – eventually…so why bring out the three couples to counsel them? Filler, filler, filler as there is still 20 minutes of show to go.
This turns out to be a showcase – duh. It is all about how they got through the trauma of watching on Monday nights, and give advice about creating a bubble for the two of you, getting off the cruise ship and paddling toward the island.
Okay, that took 10 whole minutes; now what?
ONE RING TO SAVE THEM ALL
Let’s see…both Brad and Emily consider themselves engaged but do not have the sparkler given in South Africa to show that this is true. It is known that the F1 cannot wear or even possess the ring until after the show has finished airing, but usually she gets to wear it when she makes her entrance at the ATFR. Why delay the presentation? Because dear fans of the show, the producers, wanted to hold it back just in case Emily said she didn’t think she was engaged. Drama, drama, drama. I mean, did it take 45 minutes to get it sized, which was the excuse for her not wearing it until the end of the show?
I guess Brad had it all along since he pulls the box out of a jacket pocket…right…and now that it has been sized, he can once again slip it on her finger as they relive their magical reality that was South Africa.
Chris goes into wedding mode and, after wishing them well, puts the kibosh on this season by warning us that The Bachelorette: Season 7 starts soon. Bye-bye Bachelor, hello, Bachelorette.
Do I get a HALLELUJAH? Now it is over.