I get the same feeling discussing the Bachelor 11 finale as I do when trying to discuss the end of the Sopranos--or the 2001: A Space Odyssey. I mean WTF was that! The Sopranos could afford to act like it didn't owe viewers jack shit; it was the series finale. Who knows maybe the other night was also the series finale of the Bachelor as well. TV critics have long lamented the existence of the show and women's groups have treated it the same way they do white slavery auctions so maybe it's a good time for producer Mike Fleiss to call it a wrap. Because if this didn't kill this show it could survive a nuclear blast--a hunting vacation with Dick Cheney--anything!
Perhaps I should clarify. Well, I'll try and make this intelligible but the whole thing was so damn weird, so inexplicable, I'm not sure it's within the scope of my journalistic skills to try and recap it but I'll give it a shot. Ok, here goes. Now, remember when I was worried that Brad might turn out to be too decent a guy for this show? Yeah, ok well turns out Brad wasn't a douche bag in the classic sense we usually see as Bachelor viewers. That would be the skeezy, ass-grabbing type. Women, including Mrs. Barbarossa, can usually stomach that type of man. I mean, she stomachs me. Anyway, Brad didn't turn out to be that kind of Bachelor skeeze. Brad actually turned out to be much worse. He turned into a genuine horror--an emotionally stunted, commitment phobic jerkwad who encouraged the women to open up to him, to share their feelings and all the while plied them with little missives like, "I think you'd be the perfect wife and mother. You make me feel different than anyone I've ever met." And then, in the last ten minutes of the season, turned into a nightmare than any women would fear: an emotionally distant, deeply selfish, and heartless man. It wasn't a pretty sight.
The show started encouragingly enough with DeAnna arriving at Brad's Malibu pad where his mom and brothers Chad and Wesley had joined Brad to meet the remaining two girls. The brothers and mom chat easily with Dee Dee who seems to strike mom's fancy right away. With her eyelashes fluttering faster than the wings of a mosquito, Dee Dee confesses to mom that she's falling in love. Before Dee Dee can get out the door, the boy's join in some ritual horseplay that calls back to youthful innocence and take turns pushing each other into the pool.
Jenni arrives next and the scene is largely replayed but the mood seems a bit more tense or at least it's edited that way which seems to indicate which way the wind may be blowing. But....but....oh who's kidding who, none of this means a damn thing with that finale. It was all a charade--the words, the caring--all of it. Brad Womack is a stone cold asshole! An emotionally retarded teenager running around in a grown man's body. Even we pirates act with honor toward the fairer of the sex. Somebody should give this dickhead some lessons. I sincerely hope that the Womack Brothers kick his ass after what he did!
Ahem...ok, well, on to the finale. Jenni gets out out first and in the household of Barbarossa there are smiles that quickly turn to grimaces. We have pulled for DeAnna but have really enjoyed everything about Jenni except her giggling laugh and in the big world of sins that ain't much. Anyway, we watch the wingman move in and give her the walk of doom toward the plinth where Brad awaits her. He maneuvers her into the classic loser position and proceeds to break her heart. The poor thing had truly fallen for him and earlier (the part I skipped) she had finally confessed to loving him as he gently encouraged her. It was actually very tender but now seeing her rent with heartache is really hard. Brad comforts her and seems remorseful, just as he has all season when dropping a woman, and then gently escorts her away. Like Bevin last year, you can really feel Jenni's pain.
But now that's over and it's payoff time! Will he propose--a ring on a string--plane tickets, or maybe just an offer to pursue this in the real world? We wait with baited breath as the Wingman walks DeAnna into the garden scene and Brad dumps her ass too. Huh? What!? WTF!? Dee Dee stares around in the same amount of shock I'm feeling as Brad circles the plinth grabbing at his collar and fighting for air. A guy I thought might have some John Wayne in his soul is having a full fledged panic attack at the thought of getting married. He's scared out of his mind and lying his ass off to boot. He keeps assuring Dee Dee he has feelings for her but refuses to have any more contact with her? Huh? What sense does that make? (I have to break off yelling at the TV at this moment and head Mrs. Barbarossa off at the pass! She's got a frying pan and is trying to attack our Sony HDTV with it. Get a grip woman! If I thought you could actually hit him I'd let you do it but there are ballgames yet to be watched!) Ahem...to resume, Brad keeps right on lying to Dee Dee assuring her he has feelings for her that are deep and genuine while informing her it's time to hit the bricks. He leads her staggering and tearful to the limo, packs her off and ships her home C.O.D. Asshole! (Listen Buster, I don't watch Reality TV so I can see reality; I do it so I can watch Fantasy.) He had all these feelings for her but didn't even want to go to a movie with her? This is either disingenuous or Brad needs some serious mental help. Either way this season turned into a waste. The only chance now is...well, I vowed I'd never say it but the bane of redemption rests with the unlikliest of people. Come on, Wingman, gut this guy!
After The Final Rose
The early signs are encouraging. Harrison opens the show and the studio audience looks surly at best and even better, it's all women. Heh Heh. ABC seems to sense the trouble they are in with the audience and wrote some checks to get Trista and Ryan and Byron and Mary to fly in just to remind people that the Bachelor isn't always such a horrendous bust. Trista brought Baby Max just to underscore the fact to the cynical crowd that people on the Bachelor actually have sex or something like that. The Wingman, wearing what will be his final smile of the night, pesters Byron and Mary to go ahead and get hitched.
First out to talk is Jenni, who sounds more intelligent than she ever did in the show. Turns out she never even knew Brad dumped DeAnna after he dumped her so after coming to terms that Brad and DeAnna were an item she gets to be angry all over again that not only was she dumped but the whole thing now, "Felt like a complete waste!" Truer words never spoken. Next, the Wingman interviews Dee Dee and she is not only still pissed, she actually holds out hope that Brad has changed his mind in the two and half months since filming ended and would still like to date her. Seeing a woman as pretty as either Jenni or Dee Dee reduced to begging is especially painful.
She leaves and now the moment they have all been waiting for, Brad comes out...and the crowd boos his ass! Ha Ha! Yeah, baby. A Bachelor just got booed, when the hell has that ever happened? Harrison pummels him like Mike Wallace too. He grills him about...well, about basically why he is such a huge loser. The Wingman must have been pissed when Womack dumped the babes because he seems to revel in twisting the knife in his guts, "Do you feel like a jerk?" Ha ha, maybe the Wingman has a little pirate in him after all. Argh!
Jenni is brought back out and she asks the same questions any sane person would. Womack, his eyes as cold as a dead fish, mumbles a load of BS that makes no sense. He squirms like Bill Clinton in front of a grand jury but does it about as smoothly as George Bush would. Then they bring Dee Dee out and she gets emotional. (After watching her all season you know this isn't normal for her either.) Brad reaffirms that he wants nothing to do with her and the crowd groans and hisses angrily. Dee Dee cries and once it's clear there will be no second thoughts the Wingman signals her she can go. Brad, self absorbed loser he is, hugs her and tells her he still has feelings for her. I was expecting her to knee him in the crotch but instead she tell him to stop saying that to her and tearfully exits.
Harrison closes the show by bringing Mary and Byron and Trista and Ryan back out on stage for one final reminder that not everyone on the Bachelor is as colossal an asshole as Brad Womack is. Trista and Mary, who had both been dumped on the Bachelor themselves, look at Womack like he has leprosy. Ha ha, beautiful. So the season ends in a shambles but the good news for Mike Fleiss is there is a writers strike so...this coming spring will be a new Bachelor and for the first time since Jen Schefft tried to kill off the Bachelorette franchise by picking neither man, a Bachelorette will be coming in summer of 08.
Expect your faithful pirate to be back for those. Meanwhile, let's all hope the people in Austin, Texas are angry enough at Brad Womack that they'll make sure that not even a dehydrated cockroach would drink at one of his bars. Argh!
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