|The Happy Couple|
|Chrystie Adds Some "Corn". Ashley's older, skanky, loud-mouthed sister|
This may have been the loveliest spot they have ever chosen for a finale before. After a season of touring monsoon hotspots, they moved the last two weeks to the South Pacific paradise of Fiji and just let the beauty flow in. It's here in paradise, that Ashley's family has arrived and perhaps for the first time in show history, their visit will turn into a critical act in the final play. Ashley's mom, step-dad, and little brother all show, but the big kahuna of this family is Ashley's older sister, the deliciously named Chrystie Corns. We saw her during Womack's last season up in Maine. Ashley's older sister bears a very strong resemblance to little sister, but is covered in garish tattoo's and is possessed of a very loud mouth. I didn't know until this morning that she is also on a TV show about couponing. You know what kind of show I'm talking about; those new shows where people with OCD clip a million coupons and then go buy out their local Kroger and get all the items basically for free? Their basements are stocked with forty-thousand rolls of toilet paper and they spend their families into the gutters on shelving just to hold all of their pelf? Yeah, real sane stuff. Anyway, sister is there to ride roughshod on the two remaining guys, one in particular. Ashley meets with her family and the other three are literally cardboard props as big mouth takes center stage.
J.P. Gets Some Family Lovin'
J.P is up first and he confidently predicts success with Ashley's clan. Ashley greets the close-shaved one on the beach and leads them up to meet the family. They clown around in front of the family and sit down for a brief meal. Mom welcomes J.P. into the family after 5 minutes while sister Chrystie watches them carefully. She then starts pecking away with questions, "Does he make you laugh?" Ashley stares blankly, "Uhhhhh...I make myself laugh." Chrystie's lip curls and here we go. A pow wow of family girls is called inside and sis drops the bomb: "This isn't the one. You're not yourself around him." The writing is on the wall of every structure in Fiji as Ashley breaks down and bawls. She's cried a lot this season but these are heaving sobs, and her choice of men is evident. Chrystie finally takes J.P. aside and trades "Corns" for "Horns" and gores him. "There's nothing you can do to change my mind. You're older, set in your ways. I thought she was more herself with Brad." Yikes! He got "Womacked"! Chrystie pounds away and J.P replies with all the right answers--compromise, a new life--but it matters not. Sister has judged and that's that. J.P. wanders away in a dazed stupor and he and Ashley go for a walk on the beach, and then things get really serious. Ashley fails to leap to his defense and basically tells him Chrystie has shaken her confidence in 'them'. Understandably upset, J.P. wanders away angrily. How this guy ever proposed, beats me. Meeting adjourned.
Vino Ben's Comedy Act is a Hit!
Younger, hipper, Vino Ben, filled with a confusing blind confidence he will ooze the entire night is up next. But before Ben can go and win plaudits, Ashley is still hung up over her sister's abrupt dismissal of J.P. and they meet for a seat on a wall and have a heated argument. Evident immediately, is just how powerful a personality Chrystie has. Ashley is dying for her approval, but big sister won't back off an inch. She says some things that make no sense "...you're an adult. I'm not going to sugarcoat it..." while at the same time "...I'm trying to save you from yourself." Contradictory much? But she also says some pretty honest things too, "You don't want my opinion! You just want me to agree with you!" Maybe Chrystie is just a loud-mouthed attention-whore; maybe she wants her own reality show, but this all looks damned honest; a family dynamic borne from a dysfunctional upbringing with the older sister assuming the mother role and the younger sister trying to break free from being the daughter. Whatever it is, its a mess. Ashley calls her a "bitch" and I suppose she was being one. She was certainly unfair and judgmental to J.P., but I'm having trouble faulting her. Ashley said she valued her sister's opinion way above her mother's, and you can see why. Weird family; weak mom; powerful older sister; and weaker younger sister. Credit though, they must have survived some tough times with this dynamic and you do what you must to survive. Regardless, here comes Ben, looking smug with confidence and its good (but confusing) to see. Ben handles this meeting the way he handles everything the entire night: with wit, charm, and real emotion, but also with a confidence that was as blind as Stevie Wonder. Where that came from we'll probably never know. Ashley greets him on the beach and leads him up to his own inquisition. They sit down with the family and instantly he and Ashley break into their comedy duo act of dueling dog voices. Ashley suddenly morphs into the giggling, hyper-active, Madawaska cheerleading captain. Chrystie smiles at her and nods. This is her little sister, not the demure, contained, older woman she was with J.P. Chrystie takes Ben out by the pool and warns him: "I've got some tough questions."
Ben smiles confidently, "I've heard. Shoot."
Chrystie batters away and Ben never breaks a sweat batting them back at her with ease. Chrystie glows and looks like she wants to jump him. Ashley walks Ben away and he is all smiles, certain he has won. Meeting adjourned.
Vino Ben's Foul Mudhole
Save it! Mudholes stink! They're not sexy, not erotic, and just plain gross. Watching these two coat each other with the bottom sludge of some fetid pond was just nasty; and speaking of nasty, what's with Ashley honking Ben's junk in the mudhole? He looked as surprised by that as I was. Wonder what Super Fiance thought of that little gesture? Regardless, wearing an orange shirt and old man hat, Ben finally gets a ride on a helicopter before he gets mud slimed and honked and he and Ashley do their usual peck-kissing while the sun is up. Once cleaned up, she heads over to his digs so he can drop the L-Bomb on her and they can make out. He pins her to the bed sucking her face off so J.P. can have something to store on VHS he can play every time he and have Ashley have a fight and he can get drunk and furious watching. She finally leaves and Ben is over the moon. Date over.
J.P.'s final date consisted of Ashley channelling her look-a-a-like sister and pounding him with pushy, agressive questions and J.P. responding with real, heartfelt assurances and pleas to hold onto her. Regardless, next time J.P. gets her naked, he earned the right. The guy held on furiously to what he thought was his, "Your sister is wrong!" he spent the entire time talking her off the ledge and then L-Bombed her before pleading, "Try not to break my heart?" Good stuff. Maybe even great stuff. Time will tell. As night falls, J.P. keeps up the full court press by giving her a scrapbook inscribed with a love letter that was a beaut. If that didn't seal the deal, then he didn't need her. But the time has come for...
Float Planes, Proposals, and Broken Hearts
Ashley awakes the next morning and writes in her journal. "I sooooo honked Ben's bobo yesterday and now I'm gonna' dump him. I wonder if Chrystie will think I'm a big whore..." and then gets ready for her big day. She lacquers up her fake eyelashes and dons her $17,000 dress as both boys go ring shopping. Neil Lane has once again set up his Ring & Hot Dog stand and awaits them. Vino Ben goes first and exudes more blind confidence as he picks out a rock and launches a Neil Lane commercial: "This is a Forever Ring." Good job, Ben. J.P. follows up and is already sweating like a prosecution witness about to testify against the Gambino Family. Lane plays bartender and asks him some questions about his "journey" and J.P can hammer his theme of a "Leap of Faith." Boy boys armed, they wash, dress and head to the float planes. Ashley wanders around the Final Rose Ceremony site--a beautiful beach inlet--and awaits them. Both boys fly in and finally the first lands. Out pops Vino Ben where the wingman awaits, and Harrison walks him to his doom. Bouncing with foolish confidence, Ben charges down to her and when she starts to dump him, he cuts her off and gushes. Filled with fool's confidence she stares at him as he falls down to a knee and smiling like a loon, launches a proposal. Then she reaches down and picks him up. Boo! That sucked! Needless. Hell, even J.P will watch that tape and look at his fiancee and ask, "What the fuck did you do that for?" There was no call for that. Ashley could have and should have stopped him regardless of what the producer's told her. Low blow! Ben stares at her, now fully awake to his humiliation and says, "Wow. I didn't see that coming. I guess that's it," and he stalks off. She gives chase up the stairs. He didn't shout, didn't cuss at her, but the guy is humiliated, stunned, and pissed. Argh. Argh! Argh!! Damn right, Ben Flajnik; you just got shitcanned and needlessly humiliated on National TV! You've got every right to be pissed! For the first time since Chelsea nearly tossed British wanker, Matt Grant into the Pacific for dumping her in favor of Shayne "Dalai" Lamas, we have an f2 who was truly invested and completely furious at being blown off. Props to the winemaker! Ashley tries to stop him at the top of the stairs but Ben dismisses her, "I don't need you to sugarcoat it! Nothing this good can ever end well--it just can't!" and he marches away, does a PI, and then climbs into a John Boat and is sailed away out into the open Pacific so he can presumably drowned himself if he wishes.
Briefly, they show Ashley crying over Ben but quickly cutaway to try and restore the good mood as J.P's plane circles in and lands. Harrison, who obviously managed to avoid Ben on his way out, greets J.P. and walks him down the same path he took Ben in on. Say what you will, but both guys were totally clueless about what was about to happen. Ben was blindly confident and got bushwhacked; J.P. looks ready to be sick and when he gets to Ashley he (wisely) goes into a 5-minute preamble waiting for her to tip her hand before he makes his move. At last she kisses him and calls him "Baby." The green light given at last, he drops to a knee and launches one. Acting like she's still dispensing roses instead of getting marriage proposals, she hesitates dramatically before saying "Yes!" He rings her up and suddenly every other word out of her mouth is "Baby!" Maybe she's been saying that all along and they've edited it out, but I doubt it. They then wander into the surf making out so she can ruin her $17,000 dress and Fleiss can blare, I Can't Fight This Feeling...
ATFR: Chrystie Has Her Crow Served Cold
But before big sis gets her comeuppance, Ben is brought out to relive his humiliation Live. Harrison comes flouncing out with his hair teased up wearing a pin-striped number and brings Ben out on stage. The wingman gives him props for getting pissed off and they visit with each other. Ben stays classy, but affected and the women in the audience go wild. Ashley is brought out to avoid the one question he wants answered like a skilled politician: "When did you know?"
"Blather, blather, blather, not telling, blather."
Ben departs and J.P is brought out to celebrate the fact he is engaged and didn't bother to shave today. They "oohh" and "awww" and sister Chrystie is wrangled up into the hotseat to apologize to J.P. and Ashley. Both look at her with smug grins. Ashley may be the little sister, but she is a one month away from an Ivy League Doctorate in Dentistry and is sitting alongside her fiance who is some sort of big noise in the New York construction industry. She stares at her sister, who is covered in tattoo's, divorced, a couponing queen, and all alone. Yeah, I guess she was allowed to look smug. Family harmony is restored as Chrystie bites the bullet and swallows the crow.
Ok, out into the world I release the couple for the truly hard part. They've spent the last three months hunkered down together in a foxhole while the media, tabloids, and internet nuts like me have thrown stones at them. Now, the hard part of folding one another's lives into one and living to tell, all while the paparazzi photograph them from bushes and their every argument is reported by "friends" on Twitter. Good luck, kids. But I will do them the favor I do for all Bachelor couples once their season's end: I'll leave them alone.
Next week: Its back to drunken whoring with avarice and greed in full display without even the hypocritical threat of love. That's right, next week, Bachelor Pad 2 premieres and your Old Ship's Captain will be on the trail this season. For all my readers who skip that cesspool of the decline of Western Civilization, I'll see you in the fall when somebody (Probably Douchy Ryan but maybe Vino Ben) returns as the next Bachelor! See ya then!