August 8, 2017
Combined, I have recapped fourteen seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and I am here to tell you that I have never seen a more cynical ending than this one. My problem is I’m not sure which cynical ending I just witnessed. Either Rachel Lindsay was as deeply in love with Diastema as she appeared to be on the show but accepted the proposal of another man because she was determined to end this thing with an engagement, dammit. Or The Producers edited the crap out of the season, both playing up Rachel’s feelings for Diastema and downplaying her relationship with Lengua del Amor so that the ending would be shocking! and emotional! and controversial! and maybe set up the next season of The Bachelor!
Either way, the whole thing felt wrong and manipulative, an unfair ending for a Bachelorette who had been as smart, serious and fair-minded as any Bachelorette had been before. I want to give Rachel the benefit of the doubt that she did not just choose Lengua del Amor because he was the last man standing: nothing previous to this episode suggested that she is the type of woman to settle. But instead of telling us Rachel and Lengua’s “love story” (if there ever was one), the show decided to edit the season to be about a highly emotional breakup, either to set up Diastema as the next Bachelor or for the sheer sensationalism of it all.
Whatever just happened, someone got screwed here: either Rachel and Lengua del Amor and their relationship, or the audience. Probably all of us.
We begin this slow-moving disaster in the Bachelor studio with Chris Harrison announcing that for the first time ever, the Bachelorette is going to watch the finale with us for reasons that are not immediately apparent. Poor Rachel is then dragged out onto the stage where she begs Chris Harrison that she not be made to do this. PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, PLEASE DON’T DO THIS TO HER, CHRIS HARRISON.
But her pleas go unheard, and the episode begins where we left it two weeks ago, with Rachel and Diastema in his hotel room, where he is flatly telling her that he is not ready to propose to her in a week’s time. Rachel, crying, explains that she spent five years in her last relationship waiting for it to move past the dating stage, and she is not here to “date” someone indefinitely. And hearing that he is not ready to propose to her made her realize how deep her feelings are for him. At this, Diastema thanks her for showing her emotions — that it means a lot to him, and will help him “advance” his feelings along, or some bullshit. Basically, it gets him hot to see her vulnerable, which is pretty gross.
Rachel, clinging on to whatever sliver of hope that this relationship still has a chance, offers him the fantasy suite invitation, explaining that she needs more time to figure out what is happening here: does Diastema really mean that he is not ready to propose at the end of this, or does he mean he’s “not” “ready” to “propose” at the “end of this”?
The best way to solve this mystery, obviously, is to get everyone out of their pants, STAT.
However, the next morning, nothing is any clearer and she sends Diastema away so that she can go on her final fantasy suite date with Lengua del Amor.
Rachel and Lengua ride horses through a rioja vineyard where they drink wine and talk, but Rachel is still thinking so much about Diastema and this mindfuck he is pulling on her that she is paying not one bit of attention to anything that Lengua del Amor is diceindo a her, instead staring off in the distance, clearly parsing every word Diastema said to her the night before.
And he can tell.
We go back to the Bachelor studio where Chris Harrison demands Rachel explain herself RIGHT NOW, and Rachel is like, “Look, dude, it was a rough week, and I was trying to compartmentalize my feelings for these guys, and, just, you know, cut me some slack here.” Chris Harrison also asks how close Rachel was to sending Diastema home on the Fantasy Suite date, and Rachel says she was thisclose, but is was important that she see
what he was packing things through.
Back on the show, Rachel and Lengua del Amor have “dinner” that night where Lengua confronts her about not being 100% there on their date. Rachel is like, “OH SHIT, YOU NOTICED THAT?” and she offers him the fantasy suite invitation so they don’t have to talk about the fact she was thinking about another man the entire time she was on a date with him. So, enjoy your overnight time with Rachel, “Dr.” Lengua! This isn’t a bit of foreshadowing of your entire relationship or anything!
The next morning, the couple is enjoying a little breakfast in bed, which we should ABSOLUTELY NOT be privy to, and yet here we are, forced to hear them say things like,
“What tastes better than a strawberry?”
For our final rose ceremony, Rachel comes out wearing this fierce-ass matador-esque dress, because she is ready to slay:
Before handing out the roses, Rachel makes a point of telling these guys that she is NOT HERE TO PLAY, she knows what she wants and that is A PROPOSAL. DO YOU HEAR HER, DIASTEMA?
Rose #1: Lengua del Amor
Rose #2: Diastema
Goodbye, Eric the Good Dancer. You were a sweet kid and all, and I would be very happy for you and our culture in general if you became the next Bachelor. But let’s all be honest with ourselves: ABC is not there yet.
Eric the Good Dancer, ever the good guy, takes it just fine when Rachel walks him out to the Tú Ve Van, telling her that he will always love her,
but that he is looking forward to exploring what this whole Bachelor in Paradise business is about. Adios!
We return to the studio to talk to Rachel about her decision to eliminate Eric, which “shocked the studio audience …”
Chris Harrison asks Rachel if she worried she was making a mistake by cutting Eric the Good Dancer and that’s when shit starts going wrong with my network, ABC13 in Houston. First weatherman Tim Heller cuts in, not for a thunderstorm warning (although the rains we were hit with that night were considerable), but instead with a promo for that evening’s newscast, which … could have waited? (And for those of you who have been with me since back in the Lost days, you know I DON’T TAKE KINDLY TO BEING HELLERIZED, DAMMIT.)
Over the course of the rest of the show, ABC13 continued to break in with commercials, more newscast promos, and at one point this guy doing this:
It was a shit show.
Anyway. Once ABC13 and Tim Heller released their hostage, the show, Eric the Good Dancer was next to Rachel in the Bachelor studio, talking about how he was confused as to why she dumped him, but as long as she’s happy, it’s all good. Eric talks a little about how he fell in love for the first time, and it helped him mature, so he has no regrets. Chris Harrison asks Eric the Good Dancer if he was ready to propose to Rachel and Eric claims that he was, adding that he told Rachel’s mom and dad that.
Wait … I didn’t think her father met these guys?
Rachel explains that she let Eric the Good Dancer go because her feelings for him just weren’t as strong as they were for Diastema or Lengua del Amor, and Chris Harrison immediately announces, “When we come back, Rachel will explain why she eliminated Eric.”
Sure enough, when we return from a commercial break, Chris Harrison is like, “If you could give one reason why you dumped Eric…” And Rachel is all, “Listen to me, Chris Harrison, there are only so many ways I can say the same damn thing.”
We then return to the show, where Rachel is headed to her final dates with Diastema and Lengua del Amor.
First, “Dr.” Lengua, with whom she rides around in a hot air balloon.
Lengua: “I’m a little nervous about heights.”
Rachel: “You’re nervous about ice?”
Communication is key in any relationship.
Later, Rachel visits him in his hotel room where he presents her with a gift: a Spanish/English dictionary, so that she can learn the words for “wife” and “forever” and “leap of faith” and “energy drinks” and “tummy tea.”
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The next day, she meets Diastema at a monastery out in the mountains somewhere where she has a priest lecture him in borken English on the importance of marriage.
After their tour, Rachel and Diastema have the proposal talk for the upteenth fucking time, and while Diastema can see a future with Rachel that involves football games and painting with wine nights (i.e., my worst nightmare), he continues to say that he only wants to propose one time in his life, and to him, “engagement is the same thing as marriage.”
Alright, so here’s the deal. As I have said before, saying that you want to only be engaged once is a principled position to take and there is no reason why anyone should agree to marry someone they have known for two months and with whom they have gone on four dates, because that is loco. THAT SAID, 1. AGAIN, BEING ENGAGED IS NOT THE SAME AS BEING MARRIED, THAT’S WHY ENGAGEMENTS AREN’T LEGALLY BINDING AND DON’T HAVE TO BE OFFICIATED AND 2. WHAT SHOW DO YOU THINK YOU ARE ON, BUDDY? NO ONE FORCED YOU TO JOIN THE CAST OF A SHOW WHERE THE ENTIRE POINT IS THAT SOMEONE FAKE PROPOSES TO SOMEONE ELSE AT THE END OF IT.
Meanwhile, I am watching this while texting with my friend and occasional Foolish contributor, Bobby, who mentions that in Diastema’s high school yearbook, among his future plans he listed, “be on The Bachelor”:
THE PLOT THICKENS.
(“Don’t forget Destiny.” Lol.)
That night, Rachel and Diastema have one last conversation in his hotel room which quickly dissolves into a huge fight. Diastema opens by telling Rachel that he is in love with her, that it became much clearer to him today. But these feelings are too new for him to act on them and ask her to marry him 24 hours from now.
Rachel counters that he was just talking about their future together, contemplating where they would live and imagining what size bed they would have, and Diastema is all, “I mean, yeah, and we will get there … in time.” Rachel is like, “bitch, that time is tomorrow. You need to commit or I am out of here.”
Crying crying so much crying, and at one point, Diastema, frustrated says, “FINE, I’LL PROPOSE. IF THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT.” Which of course is not what Rachel wants; she wants him to want to propose to her, but he doesn’t want to propose to her.
Hence, our standoff.
Diastema huffs that she should go find someone to have a mediocre life with, at which point Rachel appears to give up. If all he can offer her is to be her boyfriend, she has to walk away. With that, Rachel puts on her coat and Diastema walks her out to the hallway. There’s more crying, so much more crying, all of the crying, and kissing through the crying and more crying and even more crying, and then she finally walks away.
Now, here’s the part where I thought that when we returned from the commercial break, Rachel would be in her hotel room the next morning getting dressed for the big final rose ceremony, talking about how she doesn’t know what she’s going to do, choose the sure thing, or take a chance on Diastema.
Instead, we are back in the studio where Chris Harrison is talking about this being the most devastating breakup he has ever seen in Bachelor history and Rachel is talking about how she “cried [her] eyelashes off” and they are discussing goodbyes and, yet, saying that it was not a “complete breakup,” and I am so confused until Chris Harrison announces that Diastema is backstage WHICH I GUESS MEANS HE WAS ELIMINATED? AND LENGUA IS THE DEFAULT GANADOR?
By the way, this is obviously the moment in the episode that the “Countdown to Kickoff” moment happened, just to make the whole thing as David Lynchian as possible:
So Diastema comes out and Rachel is clearly still SO MAD at this asshole for not playing along. SO VERY MAD. Rachel tells Diastema that more than anything, she was frustrated with him: he was saying that he wanted the same things she did, he wanted this future with her, but he wasn’t willing to take the steps to get there. In response, Diastema is all, “words words words words words words words words words.”
And Rachel is like:
Chris Harrison flat out asks Diastema if there is something wrong with him, and in response, Diastema begins submitting his resumé to be the next Bachelor: he was too “in his head” and “didn’t open [himself] up to the process” and if he could do one thing differently (~cough~), it would be to relax and open himself up more to Rachel and the process as a whole.
Rachel, however, is no dummy and knows that this asshole is trying to set up his Bachelor story right here on this couch AND SHE IS NOT HERE FOR IT. She calmly tells him that one of the things that was “great” about Diastema was that he was true to himself and insisted on taking his time with the relationship. And because that is who he is as a person, someone who needs to really take his time in developing a relationship, she doesn’t think this show is for him.
Chris Harrison then asks Diastema about saying that Rachel’s life would be mediocre without him, and Rachel literally says, “Yeah, I’m not living a mediocre life, I’m living my best life.” Which is a great moment! But not as great as her shitting on his chances to be the next Bachelor.
Chris Harrison notes that they seem very upset, and Rachel and Diastema both admit that the night in question was hard, watching it again is hard, but then this motherfucker has the audacity to say that he also feels like he’s being attacked.
Rachel basically says, “No, bitch, no. You are not being attacked. I am just telling the people what happened, if that happens to make you look like an asshole … ”
Chris Harrison asks if Diastema regrets his decision that night, and both are like, “NOPE. IT WAS FOR THE BEST.” But Chris Harrison points out that they had this hugely emotional breakup with no real goodbye … and Diastema claims that it was such a painful breakup that he had to walk past her eyelashes for two whole days.
Chris Harrison begins to ask another question when ABC13 decides that their viewers would actually rather see this:
And then moments later, this happened:
Meanwhile, at ABC13’s studios:
Long boring story short, through glares, Rachel and Diastema wish each other the best, and that is the end of Diastema until he inevitably becomes the next Bachelor despite Rachel’s best efforts.
And then everything is a slow-rolling boulder towards a fake engagement and never-marriage down from here.
Rachel gets dressed while soliloquizing that despite the fact that she cried out a third of her body weight over Diastema just ten hours earlier, she has no regrets about saying goodbye to him and rushing into something lesser with Señor Second Best.
Meanwhile, Lengua del Amor meets with Neil Lane and picks out a pear-shaped diamond ring to offer Rachel.
Note to men: Do not pick a pear-shaped diamond.
… and finally from former Bachelorette contestant Michael Garofalo:
The Producers plop Rachel down at the top of a castle in the middle of a vicious windstorm that makes hearing what she and Lengua del Amor say to each other nearly impossible — not that it really matters, it’s all the same clichéd, self-deluding nonsense that all Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants say to one another at this point in the show. I will say that I had my closed captions on largely because WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE WIND. and when Lengua finally proposed, he asked her, “Rachel Lindsay, will you be my reina?” but my closed captioning hilariously read “[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]”. ¡Qué romántico!
Rachel accepts, because DAMMIT TO HELL, SHE WAS GOING TO GET ENGAGED THIS SEASON TO SOMEONE, and we’re back in the studio trying to pretend we’re happy with this outcome.
As soon as he comes out, Lengua drops to one knee and proposes to Rachel again, asking her to “remarry” him. He then replaces the engagement ring that Rachel had to take off so as to pretend that she wasn’t engaged even though she told Jimmy Kimmel on the first night that she was. There are not enough eyeroll gifs in the universe to capture my feelings regarding every single thing about this.
Rachel tells Chris Harrison that it feels so good to have her ring back and to be in public with Lengua for the first time, adding, “We all knew him as Jerome…”
Rachel and Lengua then try to convince everyone that their families are totally cool with this when we saw for ourselves that neither family is cool with ANY of this. But best of luck, you two, and may your fake relationship last longer than Rachel’s eyelash glue!
The men who have been eliminated:
Below is the only man who was left to propose to Rachel:
The Bachelorette will not return until next summer, gracias a Dios.