As we watched the final ninety minutes of the season finale of the Bachelorette, I embraced the feelings boiling within me. They were intense. I felt hot. I felt unable to shift a muscle fearing any movement could potentially deepen the pain. I felt powerless as I watched someone I profoundly care for make an unequivocally bad decision.
Then, suddenly, I recognized the heat that was paralyzing me. It was just a fraction of the strength of the last time I felt it, but it was the same feeling nonetheless. I was transported back two years to another time when I was watching an intimate friend make a decision that I knew would cause them gratuitous suffering, but I could do nothing to stop it. I just sat and stewed then as well.
That time was the night of November 8, 2016.
This episode was littered with dichotomies. It truly looked like the final two were opposites. Let’s cast aside the fact that they are both straight, white men and they are both sales reps, and they are both from the American West, and they are both from rural towns, and they both don’t know how to shave, because, other than all of those things, they were opposites.
Becca began the week by saying her and Blake’s hearts recognize each other. Then she said that her growth was slower with Garrett. I think that could be because he is a shell of a functioning human being, but I don’t want to make presumptions. When asked about his two-month marriage, Garrett blamed his wife for not finding a way to connect with his family, even though it should have been his job to be the arbiter between his family and the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.
Blake, on the other hand, looked terrified to meet Becca’s family. He’s a nervous guy in general, so the stakes of the situation didn’t do him any favors. But he offered a clear alternative to Garrett. While Garrett kept talking about how he wanted Becca to be his wife and the mother of his children, Blake vowed to be an equal partner, a teammate, a cheerleader.
When Becca debriefed with her family she said that Garrett would be a good father, but Blake would challenge her and support her as a strong, independent woman.
Another clear dichotomy came during the two dates. Garrett literally pulled Becca down into the water and Blake literally lifted her up out of the water. It could not have been clearer.
And, of course, Blake survived a school shooting while Garrett liked an instagram post accusing the Parkland shooting survivors of being crisis actors.
ABC couldn’t find out that Garrett’s dad, David Yrigoyen, gave $300 to Brad Goehring, a tea party Republican running for Congress in 2010 who said on the campaign trail, “If I could issue hunting permits, I would officially declare today opening day for liberals. The season would extend through November 2 and have no limits on how many taken as we desperately need to ‘thin’ the herd.” Or, if they did find it out, they didn’t think that that might have been a flag for someone who is trying to marry Becca Kufrin, a lover of Joe Biden?
The first thing out of Blakes mouth after he found out he was rejected was, “I didn’t expect this.” That shattered me. None of us expected this. Becca didn’t expect this. It was the most honest thing he could have said in that moment. From “I didn’t expect this” to “I love you. Bye,” we saw a human being become as undisguised as could be.
Becca’s reasons for sending him home were senseless. Their relationship was too steady, so she needed to send him home? He might not be able to care for their child if their child became sick even though he survived his mother leaving his father for his football coach and a fucking school shooting?
But her hug as he turned to leave. That was real. That was genuine. She knew she couldn’t say anything to make it better, but she couldn’t stand to see him so upset. So she tried to hug him. And he didn’t move. That moment is the rawest moment. In that moment, there is nothing left to say; they are just two humans drowning in their emotions doing whatever they can to try and catch a breath.
Becca’s new fiancé apologized to the nation for his bigotry by saying, “I didn’t mean to offend anyone.” The photos he liked were intentionally offensive photos, so he’s either lying about not meaning to offend anyone or he doesn’t see immigrants, feminists, or survivors of mass shootings as human enough to be included in the population of “anyone.”
And he wrote his apology in the Notes app of his iPhone. I will never consider an apology if it is written in the Notes app of an iPhone. You write an apology in Microsoft Word or, at the very least, Google docs. And, preferably, you would convert it into a PDF as well.
Well. That’s it. For the fourth season in a row, the bachelorette gave the final rose to the same man she gave the first impression rose to. And for the fourth Bachelor Franchise season in a row, the principal picked the demonstrably worse person.
Congratulations to Kristina Lew for taking home her first Bachelor Fantasy League title. She took an early lead and then held it down the stretch, getting only one pick wrong in the final four rose ceremonies (fifteen total picks).
Bonnie cruised to second by building the most accurate initial bracket we have ever seen. Unfortunately, she fell two picks behind Kristina in the early rounds and was unable to make up the difference.
Caitlyn, who took third, had an outstanding comeback. She was in seventh place after the fifth rose ceremony, but she picked fourteen of the final fifteen roses correctly to climb up to bronze.
But, before we give Bonnie and Caitlyn their medals I am here to say, Shame on you two! Both Bonnie and Caitlyn were within 30 points of the Kristina, meaning they were in striking distance of the championship title! All three of them had selected Garrett at the beginning of the season and Kristina made it clear that she was sticking by that pick, so at least one of them should have switched their winner to Blake. There’s no second prize here in Fantasy Bachelor—it’s win or go home! If either of them had picked Blake they could have won. Instead, they handed Kristina her win on a silver platter before the episode even began! S@D!
Now for some brief analysis. At the beginning of the season, eight of us picked who we thought were going to win the bracket. Five of us picked Garrett. One of us picked Jason. One of us picked Colton. None of us picked Blake.
And Danica picked “Willis.”
Until next season,
May we all continue to be sad because of the outcomes of the Bachelor Franchise,
And may we be delighted by what looks to be the best season of Bachelor In Paradise yet because a lot of the people on it are legitimately cool and genuine people so I’m excited to see what happens hello again Grocer Joe,
Roses without thorns,