Well this is it folks, the end of the actual most dramatic finale of The Bachelor in history. Chris Harrison wasn’t dicking us around this time. This season truly fucked us all up and nearly tore apart the 551 Bach Nation [rose emoji] [race car emoji] watch party group.
We begin this FIVE HOUR epic back in Peru with the Luyendyk family and thank goodness because the producers did NOT want to return to Scottsdale, AZ. It’s lovely place, but it also has this filthy combination of old people and ASU students and nothing in between.
Lauren B. had the first meal with the Luyendyks and she was rather stale, but that staleness fit right in with the Luyendyks. At one point we even saw Arie’s mother trying to reassure her, even though it should probably be the other way around.
Becca came next and that poor gal was asked by every person how it felt to not be the only woman in Arie’s life. How do you answer that question? What is the right thing to say to that? Good grief.
After all that, though, the family was smart enough to know who the right woman was for Arie. They tried to remain impartial as long as they could for his sake, but eventually they slipped up. Of course Becca is the right pick.
Lauren had the first date and immediately it’s noticeable that… something’s changed. She’s relaxed, she’s playful, she’s happy and open with him. Lauren could run away with this thing. More than anything all season I think that this stuck with Arie. When you look back at a relationship with someone, the frustrating things, the tenuous arguments, they slip away. What remains is joy you felt at the apex of the relationship. Running away from the camera together through the ruins of Machu Picchu to get a brief moment alone with the person you love; that stays with you.
Becca and Arie have a very forgettable date. The producers again give them a date where they just hang out in town for a few hours and every single time it’s a good date because they are comfortable with each other and they don’t need a big show to be happy together. But the thoughts of Lauren and Arie’s magnificent date are a constant shadow over this date.
The Rose Ceremony is honestly anti-climactic. As much as Arie had made a stink about loving them both, Becca was the obvious choice from the very beginning. Of the original (legitimate) brackets, four of the five had her in the Top 6, whereas Lauren B. was in just one of the five Top 6s. More on that breakdown later.
Cut to about six weeks later. The competition had ended, Arie had chosen Becca, they were living apart, yet happily engaged, or so they thought.
Let’s try to examine Arie’s head in this situation for a moment. You’re six weeks into an engagement you were forced to decide upon. You made the safe choice, the “right” choice. Everything in your life is aggressively fine. But you think back to that final date with Lauren. It’s a relationship you tried to make work so hard, this shell that you’ve hammered and pried for so long because you’re convinced there is something beautiful there and then, just as you’re about to give up, at the last moment, a crack appears and you see a glimmer of something so unimaginably bright, the promise of a world you couldn’t have even dreamed of. But reality whisks you away and you’re left with the thought of what could have been inside of that shell. Six weeks later you think, “Well maybe if I just take another look at that shell I’ll realize there wasn’t anything in there and I can just forget about it.” You got back to the shell and in that small opening is still that marvelous something and you’re sucked right back in. All of the anger and frustration that you remember from before the crack appeared is forgotten and the possibility of the future is brighter than ever.
Here’s an empirical analogy that I’ve been thinking about that applies more to the Tia-Kendall decision, but still applies to the Becca-Lauren decision. Say you can quantify love and happiness. Arie saw Tia and knew that he would probably get between, say, 40 and 60 love units from being with Tia. Their relationship was already at 40, but it could maybe expand up to 60. His relationship with Kendall was more budding though, at just 20 love units, but it clearly had the possibility of reaching 80. He already had two other safety choices in Becca and Lauren, who were both already at higher levels, so he could take a chance on Kendall to see if their relationship could really reach that 80. Fast forward two weeks and Kendall and Tia are both gone. Becca and Arie’s relationship was probably at a 60 with the potential of reaching a 90. Lauren and Arie’s relationship was at a 50 with the potential, in Arie’s mind, of reaching 110. After he gave out the final rose and ended the competition, he forgot about Lauren’s 50 and could only think about the possibility of the 110.
Anyway, he made a series of dumb decisions.
I thought the whole 40-minute unedited break-up was incredible. For those who say that it was invasive… what do you think the last nine weeks of The Bachelor was? Of course it is and yet people still go on it and we still watch it. That is a completely irrelevant point. But there was a difference between those break-ups and this one and the difference is that this one was real. We watch this show to feel the love and heartbreak of others, but each episode is so edited down that we don’t actually ever see real relationships built and broken apart. We miss the real conversations about life that build bonds and we miss those long pauses during break-ups that tear people up. We’re left with a gilded version of those things. This was a real, full, anguishing break-up and ABC made the right decision to show every goddam second of it.
And now Becca is going to be The Bachelorette. How unbelievably lucky are we to get the WINNER of The Bachelor to be The Bachelorette the very next season. She is a freaking rockstar and will be amazing.
What a year, folks. What a year for me, I mean. In October I finished second in Fantasy Baseball, in December, I won Fantasy Football, three nights ago I went 8 for 8 in my Oscar watch party pool and won that, and now I win Fantasy Bachelor. How on Earth did that happen. I’m winning so much that I’m starting to get tired of winning, am I right? Am I right? Goodness fucking gracious me.
We eventually decided at the watch party that everyone who put either Lauren or Becca gets the final 30 points, and though I disagree with the decision, I still won. If I could quickly turn your attention to The Bachelor Season 22 Wikipedia page it clearly displays that Becca won the competition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bachelor_(season_22). And if I could turn your attention to the official Bachelor Bracket website, www.bachelorbracket.com, they only awarded points to those who selected Becca K. as their winner. Even the Bachelor Fantasy League on ABC.com only gave points to those who chose Becca K. So for those people who claimed Lauren was the “one” in the “universe of the show,” the show itself says that those who chose Becca K. are correct. But I digress.
Now that we’ve finished we have so much data to work with.
The data points in the middle represent how far we projected each contestant to go, or how many roses they will receive over the ten weeks, in our original brackets. The Average is the average of all of our brackets. A/D is the average without Danica. The Actual is how many roses they actually received. The Dif/D is the difference between Actual and A/D, or how much better they did than we expected. The bottom row, Sum, is the sum of all of the numbers from the people who made the Top 7, the sum basically shows how good we all were at picking our Top 7. The higher your score, the better you did and a perfect score would be 52. (I had the best Top 7 score with 46, followed by Jenny’s 44 and Alicia’s 43. Danica is at a distant 32.)
The y-axis of the chart is ranked by A/D. As a group, we projected Seinne to get 9 roses and make the Final Two, an insanely high projected finish. Everyone had her at least in hometowns with 7 roses. Remarkably, she left with just 6 roses, 3 roses fewer than our projections.
Becca K. took a distant second place in our original brackets, making it to hometowns on average. The only person who didn’t put her at least in the Top 9 was Danica. Yet Becca K. still outperformed our projections by nearly 3 roses.
Bekah M. came in third, also averaging a hometown, but underperformed by a rose.
Now, infamously, Lauren S. was our fourth-highest ranked contestant averaging a hometown visit. She landed in at least the Final 3 in 3/5ths of our original legitimate brackets. Receiving just two roses, she underperformed by almost 5 roses.
Tia performed almost exactly as expected, getting 7 roses when we thought she would get 6.8.
The person who overperformed the most was Lauren B. Expected to get just 4 roses, she finished with 9, a 5-rose jump. She was very closely followed by Kendall who was projected to only win 3 (3.2) roses and eventually won 8.
If Arie followed our ranking system, then Seinne would win with Becca as the runner-up (which would set her up to be Bachelorette anyway!), Bekah M. in third, and Lauren S. and Tia in a dead heat for fourth.
I have also calculated what the final scores would be for everyone had we not made any changes and it is nearly identical to the actual standings:
Doug – 246
Jenny – 205
Alicia – 197
Justice – 160
Kristina – 149
Danica – 126
It’s worth keeping in mind that, since we get a bunch of free points during the first three weeks, the absolute minimum score you could get is 69 points. Danica failed to double the minimum score. The maximum score is 365.
Now I know that I swept the floor with all of you this season and, believe me, I’m grateful to have spent the past few months destroying all of you, but it is bittersweet to know I won’t have the advantage for The Bachelorette that I had for The Bachelor. As a fellow mediocre, straight, white man, I felt like I could more easily access the primitive thoughts of former racecar driver and Scottsdale, AZ native Arie Luyendyk, Jr. And though I feel like I could probably connect with Becca on a deeper level than I could with Arie, I will have far more trouble discerning the merits of the twenty-something men that come to woo her than I did with Arie’s women.
And now to end the season, let us examine our dearest Danica’s bracket one last time. Our eventual winner, Becca K., couldn’t be bothered to make it past the Top 15. The runner-up, Lauren B., stayed put in the Top 18. But Brittany T., who likes to listen to the song “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie, made the Top 9. Jenna, who once broke her wrist on a mechanical bull, made the Top 6. Valerie, the server from Nashville whose closet is filled with over 50 Halloween costumes, made it to the Top 3. And Maquel, whose ideal mate looks like “Mmm… Ryan Gosling,” was the runner-up.
It has been a true pleasure and I am so humbled that you would even read this weekly slice of bologna.
Until next season,
Roses without thorns,