Well, at least she let him down easily.
If you’re like me and loved Chris, you couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed that Ali chose Roberto on The Bachelorette last night – even though Roberrrrrto was pretty much perfect in every way. I’ve got to hand it to Ali – she did the noble thing. I wasn’t a huge fan of Ali and I didn’t want her to be The Bachelorette this season. The annoying laugh, the messy hair…I could go on, but I won’t. But I really commend her for forgoing the dramatic final rose ceremony that I’m sure the producers wanted her to do, and instead letting Chris down gently as soon as she realized she’d made her decision.
But I’m getting ahead of myself – the episode wasn’t The Most Dramatic ever, but we’ve still got things to discuss.
Ali’s family met Roberto first, which put Chris at a bit of a disadvantage. How do you follow Prince Charming? The guy was a professional baseball player, for god’s sake – who’s father wouldn’t be won over by that? And Ali’s mother was swooning so much that a little part of my thought she expressed a preference for Chris only to ensure Roberto would be available so she could have a shot at him.
Now knowing the outcome, it should have been obvious that Ali would choose Roberto. I mean, I knew she was leaning toward him – I always thought that had Frank not dumped her, she would have taken Roberto and Frank to meet her parents. But Ali and Chris just seemed to perfect together that a part of me thought she’d come around. But looking at the way Ali gushed about Roberto to her parents, it was clear she was completely smitten in a way she wasn’t with Chris.
Then the family all salsa danced together. Roberto’s meet-the-parents experience looked impossible to beat, but Chris had common ground on his side.
Chris does not make the same charming, too good to be true first impression that Roberto does. He takes time to get to know. But there was a lot of common ground to bond over. Both families are from Massachusetts. Chris’ mom was a nurse, Ali’s mom is a nurse! Chris used to be a teacher (and good with kids? I’m officially in love with this guy) and Ali’s dad and sister were teachers! Both their dads were born in Montreal! (Half-Canadian too? Someone please give Chris my phone number.) It should have been a match made in heaven.
Chris continued to win me over as he told Ali’s family things like “When I came into this, I wanted it to be as natural and real as I could, given the process. So I didn’t want to just walk up and be like, ‘Hi, I’m Chris. I love you.’ That’s weird. If you did that at a bar, a girl would be like, ‘Okay, see you later.” He also told them, with complete confidence, that he’d be proposing to Ali in a few days.
Ali, meanwhile, wasn’t gushing about Chris the way she’d been about Roberto. She was talking about how slowly their relationship had progressed. If only she were as sensible as Chris! If this was real life and not The Bachelorette, that relationship would be defined as moving at the speed of the Japanese bullet train. They’re getting engaged? They just met! They haven’t even had to attend any family weddings together yet, or had to argue over what movie to see on a Friday night!
Mama Fedotowsky seemed completely torn between the two guys, but Papa Fedotowsky had his feet strongly planted in Robertoland. Ali’s siblings, though, had had the pleasure of seeing Chris at his most relaxed and genuine and defended him well. In the end, their input didn’t seem to help Ali very much. As she said numerous times, they’re both great guys. I concur – I don’t remember ever liking the final two contestants this much. Often I don’t like either. And furthermore, I actually kind of cared about the outcome.
Ali’s final date with Roberto was, in a word, romantic. There are a few more words, too: Idyllic, sexy, fun, natural, and nerve-wracking. Swimming with stingrays? Aren’t they what killed the Crocodile Hunter? Nobody wanted to see Ali choose Chris just because Roberto got skewered!
After an afternoon of frolicking on the beach, riding jetskis and making out in the rain, Ali and Roberto’s date heated up even more than evening. When Roberto presented Ali with a gift of a framed picture of the two of them at the heart-shaped lagoon, complete with a romantic message written on the back – with Spanish, no less! – I knew it was over. Roberto confessed his love for Ali, and she responded with “I feel like my heart is exploding out of my chest!” – she did, after all, have another date to go on. How could Chris match that? Well, we soon learned, he wouldn’t have to.
As soon as Ali arrived for her “date” with Chris, I knew something was up. I couldn’t detect a brightly-hued swimsuit under her clothing. She wasn’t really smiling. She started talking like she’d either gone off her meds or on some drugs. It was obvious that there was now no possible positive outcome for Chris, and that made me sad. I was really rooting for the guy. He’s the most normal and likable guy ever to grace a reality-TV show screen and I didn’t want to see him get crushed. It’s like ripping apart a teddy bear.
Ali came in and was a nervous wreck, and then started listing all of Chris’ fantastic attributes. The longer the list, the bigger the BUT… Chris clearly knew what was about to happen and remained quite stoic. Ali rambled on about how great he was, what a difficult decision she was going to have to make…and then said “Do you know what I mean?” No! Sure, it was implied that she was dumping him. He seemed like he understood what she was trying to say. But she hadn’t said it, not at all. Then the other shoe dropped. She said “I’m in love with somebody else” (did she borrow that line from Frank?) and “I have to let you go here and not wait until tomorrow”.
Although I wanted to see Chris get his heart broken about as much as I want to be poked in the eye, I really respect Ali for letting Chris go before the final rose ceremony. How cruel would it be to let him choose an engagement ring and stand on a picturesque cliff, waiting for the proposal he’d never get to make? When you know, you know, and she knew. I respect Chris even more, because he took the news like a gentleman. He thanked her for letting him know the way she had. He said he was going to miss her, and that he was glad he’d learned to put himself out there. And then he wished her luck. Women across North America wiped the tears from their eyes and began composing their love letters to Chris.
You can’t make this stuff up. Producers of reality television shows cannot pull rainbows out of thin air. So it was pretty amazing when after bidding Ali goodbye, Chris went outside and saw a big, beautiful rainbow. His mom, before she died, had told him to look for her in rainbows. Just like Chris, it was genuine and sweet and beautiful.
You have to admit, watching Ali and Roberto’s “journey” together, it was pretty clear that they had an instant connection. But since Ali had (impressively) decided to bring only one guy to the final rose ceremony, the producers had to beef up the suspense of “Will Roberto love her back?” and “Will Roberto propose?” Obviously, he was going to. He picked out a gorgeous ring, too.
I thought Ali looked like crap throughout most of the season (the messy hair, the off-the-shoulder tops) but she looked stunning in her champagne-hued gown. Roberto showed up, they expressed their love for each other, and he proposed. I have to say, I really hope they’ll be Trista and Ryan the remix and actually make it down the aisle. I’d like to think they actually have a shot.
Though the finale was one of the more tolerable Bachelor(ette) finales in history – no painful shots of men leaning over railings and no “Who will she pick?” build-up – it also featured one of the worst “After the Final Rose” episodes I’ve seen. Why so many recaps? They replayed lengthy clips of scenes from the finale that had aired only 20 minutes earlier! Do they seriously think there are people who tune in for the After the Final Rose show, and not the actual finale? Get. Real.
It didn’t help that Frank pussied out and didn’t show up to talk with Ali about his controversial decision to leave her for his ex, Nicole. Why was that? Was he expecting to get slapped by Ali? Booed by the audience? Did his relationship with Nicole immediately fizzle and he was too humiliated to show his face? I’m hoping for the latter.
The After the Final Rose show can only be described as pleasant. Chris looked fantastic – heartbreak must really agree with him. He asked Ali if she was happy and seemed genuinely pleased that she was. As for Chris himself, he said “It made me realize I’m ready. I’m ready to go back. I’m ready to find my soulmate. I haven’t found my perfect person.”
Chris went backstage and Roberto came out, and he and Ali spoke to Chris Harrison about what life is like for them now. Yes, they’re still together. Yes, they’re still engaged. They will soon be moving to San Diego together (one of my favorite cities!) and are excited about their future. Do you think they’ll make it?
The only question left is this: Will Chris be the next bachelor? I’m sure they’ll ask him, but I wonder if he’d do it. Part of me wants to see more of him, but another part of me wants him to just go meet a nice, real girl, fall in love and live happily ever after. Not on TV.
Well, that’s it folks – I’m a little disappointed that Ali didn’t choose Chris, but I’m thrilled that the show beat the disheartening spoilers that Ali wasn’t going to choose anyone. After all, if she couldn’t see herself with neither Roberto or Chris, then there would have been no hope for her at all. Now, who’s excited for Bachelor Pad?
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Tags: the bachelorette