The Bachelor Jake picks Vienna over Tenley. Plus: The Dancing With The Stars surprise.
Oh, we may have to agree with the immortal words of The Bachelor host Chris Harrison: last night was, indeed, the most dramatic rose ceremony yet. Drama, of course, is judged on a spectrum. Last night's The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love final rose ceremony wasn't as harrowing as, say, rescuing a victim of the Haitian earthquakes. It was more harrowing than, um, buying milk. Perhaps the best way to describe it was that true emotions seemed to erupt from two highly groomed people in a highly cultivated, stage setting. We witnessed two people who proclaimed—and we must take their word for it—that they are truly in love. We'll try to ignore that they also appear truly in lust and have been living in a fishbowl of rose petals and Chris Harrison's morning dew for the last many weeks.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves…Let's take a look back at the three-plus hours we just spent on the wings of love. Or, as it's known in our household, the sofa.
The season finale dawned with Jake the Pilot and his two lady loves—has any man since Bill Henrickson so often proclaimed to love so many women at the same time?—sunning themselves and occasionally weeping on the island paradise of St. Lucia. But there are others afoot, specifically, Jake's family. Yes, his mom, dad and a passel of rowdy, blonde brothers and their wives are flown in to meet/judge the remaining women.
Tenley goes first and passes with flying colors. This is no surprise. It's not that we don't believe Tenley when she says that she loves Jake or that they share the same values. It's just predictable: she's the perfect girl, on paper (and on mute; is it just us, or is her Disney-mouse voice as annoying as Vienna's crazy eyes?). She impresses the hell outta Jake's mom, who is convinced Tenley would get along with the ladies in the family. She makes Jake's dad cry with beautiful, red-faced, manly emotion. She giggles and twirls and her curls never lose their shape and her lips never lose their smile. We really want her to find love again, especially after her divorce. But we also kinda want to toss her off the hotel balcony. We're sure her buoyant spirits would keep her afloat until a local fisherman came along, got her caught in his net, and then pulled her to safety…and into his arms. (Actually, we would totally watch that show.)
Jake, for reasons even he can't understand—he actually tells the camera, "I don't know why I did that"—decides to preface Vienna's meet-and-greet with his folks by informing his entire family that all the other women hated Vienna. This leads to a spectacularly awkward family luncheon in which Vienna forces food down her dry, dry throat and contemplates a future without her golden pilot boy because it is very, very clear that Mama ain't happy with Vienna. And when Mama ain't happy, the rest of the family grills Vienna mercilessly. (Again, on a spectrum: mercilessly in The Bachelor universe is equivalent to your boss asking why you were late to work, and then becoming distracted by donuts and wandering away.) But Vienna and Mama have a heart to heart, and in the end everyone agrees: they kinda thought she was awful and trashy when they first met her, but gosh darn, now they like her!
Which, we must admit, has been our exact reaction to Vienna. Then we force ourselves to remember that she's 23 and dealing with a 31-year-old man who's sweeping her off her feet, both figuratively and literally (ah, the bungee-jump date). And though clever editing conceals it from us, we think Jake is feeling the same way, too. (We also think he's obsessed with her breasts, but who wouldn't be?)
And so Jake spends one more date with each woman. He takes Vienna to a natural hot spring and they rub silky, grey mud all over each other's almost-nude bodies. Later, Vienna gives Jake her don't-run-off-and-get-eloped-again-you-dumbass ring, in an effort to prove that their connection is more than just physical. Then they suck face.
Jake takes Tenley scuba diving and sailing. On their way back from a picture-perfect day, he—fumblingly but with aching sincerity—attempts to ask Tenley if she feels that there's a certain spark lacking between them. "I don't mean sexually," Jake says when Tenley starts crying, though we all know that is exactly what he means.
So, if the magic of The Bachelor's editing can be believed, it really came down to this: a deep emotional "connection" with Tenley, versus a deep physical attraction to Vienna. Which led to this, the most dramatic (or sweetly tender and true) Rose. Ceremony. Yet!
And this, the most cheesy and extended "On the Wings of Love" montage. Yet!
To Tenley's credit, when Jake let her go, her lips quivered, her eyes crinkled, but then—even then!—she thanked him for teaching her she could love again. And Jake said one very interesting thing: that he put Tenley "on a pedestal" and just couldn't be himself around her.
How deeply should we read into this? That if we are "good girls" we can be "too good"? That men can think we're so perfect out of the bedroom that we can't get messy (or muddy) in the bedroom? Or does it all come down to physical attraction—that we simply can't deny our base animal instincts, and that signals with whom we should mate?
Oh, so many questions, so few answers! In fact, the only answers we received were (a) Vienna said yes, (b) Jake will appear on Dancing with the Stars, and (c) Ali is the new Bachelorette.
Of all three, honestly, we're most enthused about Vienna. Good luck, kid. You'll need it.
Readers, do you think you can make a relationship work if there's no chemistry? Or is passion fleeting whereas friendship is forever? And does anyone care that Ali is the new Bachelorette?