“The Finale/After the Final Rose”
July 28, 2014
I had high hopes for Andi Dorfman’s season of The Bachelorette. I had hoped that the whip-smart lawyer with a scalpel tongue was going to approach this nonsense with the same self-awareness she demonstrated on Juan Pablo’s season of The Bachelor and in doing so, she might expose some of the artifice of this ridiculous series. I had actually hoped that Andi would be the first Bachelorette to pull a Wombat and choose no one, flatly declaring that this is NOT HOW PEOPLE FALL IN LOVE, COME ON, LOOK AT HOW DUMB THIS IS. DOESN’T ANYONE SEE HOW DUMB THIS IS? Instead, Andi demonstrated her intelligence by remembering where her bread was buttered, playing along with The Producers’ game, and choosing the guy that everyone knew she was going to choose the moment he
walked into the casting office stepped out of the limo.
You let me down, Andi. We were going to burn this whole thing down to the ground together, Andi.
We begin in the Bachelor studio where Chris Harrison goes through his usual nonsense about how there are “viewing parties across the country” for this, the finale of one of the most boring seasons of The Bachelor or Bachelorette yet. Chris Harrison, knowing that this has been one of the most boring seasons of The Bachelor or Bachelorette yet, throws us a bone about what is to come: Yes, yes, we’re going to drag the two remaining men in front of Andi’s family and force them both to go through the hopelessly dated and misogynistic ritual of asking her father for a transfer of property permission to marry his daughter; yes, both men will have one last date with Andi, and be required to give her some goofy token of their affection; yes, there will be long shots of the two men staring off into the middle distance on the morning of “the proposal” pondering what strange turns in their lives led them to standing shirtless on this balcony and their own mortality; and yes, there will be an elaborate stage littered with potted plants where Andi will stand in an evening gown and imperious updo and await her future. All of the standard motions will be gone through. BUT!, Chris Harrison promises, though he can’t tell you who Andi ultimately chooses, he can tell you that the loser Andi sent home has become a crazed stalker, following Andi to foreign countries and to the “Men Tell All” special in an attempt to win her back? terrify her? reassure her that she clearly made the right decision and chose the man with fewer mental health issues? Who can say! But Andi can’t hide from him anymore, and she will be forced by The Producers to sit with Stalky right here on this stage and listen to his delusions, once and for all.
COUNT ME IN.
But first, we have to go through all the required monotonous steps. We return to the Dominican Republic where Andi first introduces her family to Wesley Snipes. Wesley Snipes is understandably nervous, which makes him an incoherent, bumbling mess, unable to string together a sentence in the face of meeting Andi’s parents and sister. I can only suppose Andi finds this charming, but I — and her family — find it a sour mixture of off-putting and hilarious, and they regard him with open stink eye.
Eventually, Wesley Snipes manages to pull himself together in a private talk with Andi’s mother. There, he assures Andi’s mother that he is in love with her daughter, that they will work out the whole career thing, no worries, and that he can not see himself with anyone else. This makes Mama Andi tear up, probably out of worry that her daughter might actually end up with this inarticulate boob.
While Andi goes into gross detail to her sister about how “passionate” Wesley Snipes is, detail that I am not certain her sister appreciated hearing, Wesley Snipes meets with Andi’s father for the compulsory “asking for the daughter’s hand in marriage” routine which Andi’s father clearly thinks is dumb. “Sure, you can marry my daughter — that is, if she wants to marry you. She’s a big girl who can make her own decisions.” Papa Andi laughs. “So good luck with that.”
And with that bit of retrogressive theater taken care of, Andi shoves Wesley Snipes back into the hotel shuttle. OK, you go now, and here’s an idea: spend your time in the hotel working on your enunciation.
Next up, Winner Josh. Winner Josh comes bounding up to Andi’s family like an overstimulated Labrador Retriever, bellowing that he is “SO NERVOUS!” and “SWEATING!” and “HOW YOU GUYS DOING?!” and “OH MY GOSH! SO NERVOUS!” Mama Andi’s reaction:
Andi and her sister discuss whether or not Winner Josh is just like every other guy Andi has dated, and somehow come to the conclusion that he is “sincere” and “serious.” Or at least Winner Josh can convincingly pretend to be serious when Andi orders him to BE SERIOUS NOW. DO IT. Good enough!
Sister and Brother-in-Law then sit Winner Josh down for some tough questions like: “did you come into this as a skeptic?” and “have you been in serious relationships before?” BLISTERING.
Finally, Winner Josh hollers at Papa Andi that he’s “READY!” and that he is “TOTALLY IN LOVE!” and that he would like to have “HIS BLESSING TO MARRY HIS DAUGHTER!” and “HAW HAW!” To this, Papa Andi sighs, “Yeah, sure, whatever, just quit yelling at me.”
And with that, Andi sends Winner Josh back to the hotel, and takes a deep, cleansing breath of quiet.
The next day, Andi meets Winner Josh for their last Bachelor date which is on a yacht. Other than Andi wringing her hands in a voice-over about wanting “clarity” and Winner Josh being “too good to be true” and that she is “overanalyzing everything” nothing happens. Nothing. Nothing. Not a thing.
That evening, Andi visits Winner Josh in his hotel room where again very little of import or interest is said or revealed because Winner Josh. Winner Josh does pull out a letter which he reads aloud to her: “WINNER JOSH LOVES ANDI VERY MUCH AND WINNER JOSH IS SO BLESSED AND WINNER JOSH CAN’T WAIT TO MAKE ANDI HIS WIFE! HAW HAW!” Winner Josh then presents Andi with a baseball card he made of her because Winner Josh has no other way to make sense of the world except through the prism of his own experiences and sports metaphors.
The next day, Andi and Wesley Snipes have their final Bachelor date which involves driving down a dirt road to a “secret lagoon” that looks more like a swamp. There they have a picnic and Wesley Snipes informs Andi that he made her mother cry. Great date! In an interview, Wesley Snipes warn-pouts that he needs Andi to tell him — or at least show him — that she loves him before he proposes, so that’s going to end well for him, definitely.
That evening, Andi visits Wesley Snipes in his hotel suite where Wesley Snipes opens a bottle of champagne and toasts, “To an incredible nine weeks, to you, to being here with you on our last date with this whole thing, hopefully it’s not our last date, you know, between us.” Qué rico. Qué suave.
Wesley Snipes then does that passive aggressive thing where he acts like he’s going to say something, but then stops himself, forcing Andi to be all, “Oh, God, what? JUST SAY IT.” And then there’s a lot of completely incoherent mumbling from Wesley Snipes that Andi is able to translate as being anxiety about the whole proposal thing, that he’s done this before and was burned, so you know, mumble. Andi pats Wesley Snipes on the arm and tells him that “it will be alright” about 15 times, which Wesley Snipes thinks is Andi’s way of telling him that she’s chosen him, but which less delusional people would read as “why don’t you go ahead and pack your bags and fly back to Chicago and spare us all the embarrassment of what’s to come.”
Wesley Snipes then presents her with a vial of
his blood and hair sand from the beach where he first told her he loved her, and Andi is like, “Uh thanks? OK GOODBYE WEIRDO.”
And so the next morning, everyone wakes up and the men take off their shirts and stand pensively on their hotel balconies staring off at … something, while Andi yammers about how she has a physical connection with one man and a mental connection with the other and she knows what she has to do now.
Winner Josh puts on a shirt and welcomes a bored Neil Lane into his hotel room to show him some engagement rings and be barked at by a lunkhead about how he is “100% READY TO GET MARRIED!” and that Andi is “STRONG!” Neil Lane takes a deep breath and counts down the minutes until he can return to his hotel suite.
Wesley Snipes also puts on a shirt to welcome Neil Lane and his bag of magical diamonds to his hotel room, but instead finds Andi at his door, wanting to talk. Which, obviously, is Not Good News for Wesley Snipes.
But even though this is obvious to us, and this is obvious to Wesley Snipes, it is not obvious to Chris Harrison who brings us back to the Bachelor studio to ask a bunch of former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants if they thinks this is Good News or Not Good News for Wesley Snipes. “Uh duh, Chris Harrison,” each and every one of them says, “this is Not Good News for Wesley Snipes, what, are you daft?”
That bit of pointlessness out of the way, we return to Wesley Snipes’ hotel room where Andi is all, “Yeah, I’m not going to marry you, sorry.” Wesley Snipes is stunned and mumbles something about having told her that he loves her and what about everytime she kissed him and that she “took it too far … took it too far … took it too far …” And Andi is like, “Welp, sorry about that, Whimpers, but I’ve got to go marry that other meathead, OK! See ya!”
And then The Producers turn on their rain machines and everyone drives around for a while looking forlorn and that is the end of Wesley Snipes.
Finally, Andi puts on her fancy dress and puts up her fancy hair and goes and waits for Winner Josh on the fancy potted plant studded Proposal Pier. There, Winner Josh comes bounding up to her and begins yelling: “WHEN I GAVE UP MY FIRST LOVE, BASEBALL, IT WAS BECAUSE I KNEW A BETTER LOVE WAS OUT THERE, AND YOU ARE THAT BETTER LOVE! YOU’RE LIKE A HOME RUN! OR AT LEAST A STAND-UP DOUBLE! AND I WANT TO BE YOUR PITCHER! AND YOU CAN BE MY CATCHER! AND I WILL SEND A FASTBALL RIGHT UP YOUR MIDDLE! AND WE WILL DO EVERYTHING TOGETHER EVERY DAY! AND I WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE WITH YOU! YOU ARE THE BEST!”
This goes on for some 20, 30 minutes, until Andi stops him. She begins by solemnly agreeing that they have been on quite the journey, before blurting out that she is in love with him, and has been since she first laid eyes on him. Winner Josh yells at her that she “SCARED ME! I THOUGHT I WAS DOWN 0-2! WILL YOU MARRY ME?!” And Andi says yes, and offers him the final rose, and Winner Josh exclaims “HAW HAW!” before picking her up and dragging her out to the ocean. The end.
Except not the end. We still have to get through the “After the Final Rose” special.
It seems that Wesley Snipes had become deeply attached to a very different imaginary scenario:
And after Andi sent him packing, Wesley Snipes couldn’t quite let go of what could have been. He mopes around Wisconsin for a while, staring mournfully at bodies of water. The Producers then drag his poor mother into it, having her tearfully inform us how difficult it was to watch her son be dumped on national television.
Wesley Snipes explains that he has questions for Andi, questions he thinks deserves answers, and to this end, he followed her to Mexico, where she refused to see him, and then showed up to the “Men Tell All” special, where she refused to see him.
We are all then trapped here with Stalky in the Bachelor studio, listening to him as he whines to Chris Harrison about how tough it’s been since Andi dumped him and how many frequent flyer miles he had to use to follow her around harassing her with his letters. Chris Harrison asks Wesley Snipes if he thinks Andi made a mistake, and Wesley Snipes admits that Winner Josh is a nice guy and all, he just can’t let go of what might have been between them.
Andi is finally prodded out onto the couch to deal with Wesley Snipes once and for all. Everyone is clearly tense and nervous and worried, and Wesley Snipes explains that he was stalking her because he just wanted the opportunity to express how he felt:
Chris Harrison then gives Wesley Snipes the opportunity to ask Andi anything, and Wesley Snipes is all, “Uh … uh … uh,” before finally whinging about how she made him find love again, only to snatch it away. Andi explains that she dumped him the way she did so that he wouldn’t have to go through the pain of proposing and being rejected again, and while Wesley Snipes is grateful for that, he still can’t wrap his brain around the actual dumping part. He watched the show back and they had fun! All the feelings, they were there! They were real! Not to mention the things that they didn’t show, Wesley Snipes dangerously hints.
Chris Harrison hears what Wesley Snipes is trying to grossly suggest, and steers the conversation away from the edge, asking Andi if she loved Wesley Snipes, or parts of Wesley Snipes? Andi asserts that she was very careful to never tell Wesley Snipes that she loved him, on account of not loving him; if she had been in love with him, she would have told him. Of course, this is somewhat disingenuous as Andi, like all the Bachelors and Bachelorettes, was clearly forbidden from telling anyone that she loved them until the bitter end. But sure, whatever, sounds good even if it’s not true. Andi assures Wesley Snipes that there is nothing wrong with him — there wasn’t anything wrong with their relationship — it’s just that at the end of the day there was something less wrong with someone else. Wesley Snipes says that this is hard to hear, and, in fact, the hardest part of hearing it is thinking back on how in love he was with her.
And then, under his breath Wesley Snipes mutters, “But if you weren’t in love with me … ” Wesley Snipes then pauses for a moment, he actually pauses and rolls over in his mind what he is about to ask next and decides, “Yeah, this is a fair thing to ask, I’m totally going to go for it,” before continuing: “I’m just not sure why you made love with me.”
Wesley Snipes, in an attempt to blow everything up before being exiled from Bachelor Nation forever, goes on to complain that “that night” meant so much to him, and he’s been left to play it over in his mind for the past two months. Everything. Over and over.
But instead of smashing his face, Andi reminds Wesley Snipes that she, unlike him, had enough respect for his feelings to not make him propose to her. She then finds some kernel of kindness within her that I am fairly certain I would not be able to conjure, and tells him that they did have great chemistry, that he made her feel like “a woman” (gross), and that she did care about him. And then Chris Harrison sends Wesley Snipes away, forever, please to never come back.
Before we move on, though, let’s just talk about this for a moment: First of all, we’re all grown-ups here, we know what goes on in those Fantasy Suites, this is no mystery. But for whatever reason, we as Bachelor viewers and they as Bachelor cast members have come to some strange agreement to Never Ever Ever say out loud what happens in the Fantasy Suites. If I had to venture a guess, it has to do with wanting to spare the feelings of whomever ultimately is given the final rose — after all, the winner doesn’t want to be reminded that just the week previous their now fiancée was getting their “fantasy on” with some other dude/woman. And so we all collectively agree that the polite thing to do is just not speak of it — a rule that Wesley Snipes here decided to break in his attempt to, I don’t know what, publicly shame Andi? damage her relationship with Winner Josh? make himself look less pathetic? Whatever his motivation was, it was a nasty, impolite thing to do, and I doubt Stalky will be joining any subsequent seasons of Bachelor in Paradise or invited to any Chicago Bachelor alumni events.
Finally, Winner Josh comes loping out to yell at Chris Harrison that “IT FEELS GOOD!” and “THEY’RE GETTING MARRIED!” and “ALRIGHT!” and “WOO!” The couple admit that they have been using a variety of wigs and hats to disguise themselves to meet up in Atlanta, much to Chris Harrison’s obvious chagrin. The duo then claim they are thinking about a spring wedding, some 6 months from now (sure), and they deny, again, the stupid pregnancy rumor. “I’M TRYING!” Winner Josh inappropriately hollers at Chris Harrison. Ugh.
And then they bring Grumpy Cat out and wave her around because that’s how everyone feels at the end of this: like Grumpy Cat’s face. The end. Now someone fetch me a drink, it’s been a long, boring 10 weeks.
After five countries, twenty-five men, and nine overwrought weeks of “dating,” Bachelorette Andi Dorfman finally chose her “future husband”: one Josh Murray, former major league baseball player and brother of recent NFL draft pick, Aaron Murray. Andi let down the runner-up, Nick (whom the show kept trying to tell us was more “intellectual” than Josh and with whom Andi had a “mental connection” despite his vocabulary mostly consisting of a series of “ums” and “whatevers”) gently in private — but with cameras in tow, of course. However, Nick, convinced that he had a genuine connection with Andi, was unable to take “go home” for an answer, and proceeded to harass her on vacation and on the set of the “Men Tell All” special some two weeks ago. Despite Nick revealing during the “After the Rose” special some potentially embarrassing intimate details of their relationship that occurred over the course of the show’s filming, Josh and Andi appeared excited about their engagement and future together.
A full, snarky recap of the three-hour finale will happen tomorrow right here in this post. I promise. Check back. Please.
The Bachelorette aired Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC. Some nightmare called Bachelor in Paradise will debut next week in this same time slot.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.