The Bachelor 2012 – Season Finale Review – “After The Final Rose”

I set two goals for myself before last night’s finale began.  Do not feel bad for Courtney by the time this is all over and do not snack.  Wine obviously not included.

I’m proud to say that I accomplished both of my goals.  Yes, of course there were moments when I felt a twinge of guilt over my harsh refusal to potentially see Courtney’s side of things – how she’s been victimized by the tabloids, how her family may have suffered, how alone she must have felt when Ben couldn’t take the heat and ditched her ass, but always, I came back to the fact that she put herself in this position.  She created her own destiny by being a mean girl in the public eye.  If Courtney had a zit on her oily forehead for every time she said or did something evil…oh wait.  She does.

And with that, we wrap up Bachelor Ben’s season.  I remember like it was just yesterday, getting reacquainted with Ben as he began his ‘journey’.  Watching him dry hump the streets of Sonoma, his real true love, watching him tongue various girls within days or even minutes of starting the season, watching some of the girls completely unravel to the point where they were practically carted off to mental health facilities straight from the bachelor house (okay fine, just Jenna), watching him reserve his own unique condescending tone to give several girls warnings as they attempted to burst the Courtney bubble.  And finally, watching him make his stupidity official by getting down on one knee to propose to whom I can only assume will be the next Access Hollywood reporter.  Isn’t that why people go on these shows anyways?  I mean honestly Ben, what’s Zermat-ter with you???(sorry had to do it).

Let’s just say right off the bat it’s absolutely no surprise that he picked her.  We all knew it was coming and we were powerless to stop it.  Never has a bachelor or bachelorette’s choice been as obvious as it has this season, both on and off the show.  In fact, so obvious was it that I found myself getting really impatient about having to sit through two family visits and two final dates, slightly panicking because of how early I have to get up to write this for all y’all and how friggin’ tired I am because of daylight savings. A hot mess is what I am.

The minute the show began I just felt bad for Lindzi.  One, because of the unfortunate moment the world’s largest zit chose to attack her chin (that zit alone could be held responsible for her ultimate demise) and two, because we all knew she was fighting a losing battle and she’s just so awesome.  The opening montage showed the girls enjoying the serenity of Switzerland as they ponder if they’ll be the “lucky” one chosen.  Clearly some damage control is already in effect as Courtney is shown petting a stray kitty and staring into the sun with a calm peaceful look, rather than a cold calculating one.  Even this early in the game, Ben’s voiceover tells us that he’s finally found true love with Courtney.  Um, Spoiler Alert, much???

So we meet Ben’s sister and mom with a tearful reunion (obviously myself included).  Ben’s sister (Julia’s) mane seems a tad overdone – at least from the front.  At the back you can see where she clearly missed several sections with her flat iron.  Could this mean that Ben’s family doesn’t have access to the same ‘amazing’ stylists the other girls have?

So his mom and sister, fresh out of the woods from their way to Grandmother’s House with a basket of bread, take a seat and get right down to business.  Here’s where it’s clear that the producers have handed them a list of questions to ask.  Julia says she wants to learn more about these girls and why they might love Ben.  Ben gives her a line or two about ‘needing more time’ with Lindzi (really?  You’ve known her seven whole weeks, or however long it is.  Isn’t that enough time to marry someone???) Then she jumps in with the question, ‘so, is there a girl who just so happened to not be liked by the other girls?’  Funny you should ask, thinks Ben.  “Uh…yeah…” he replies.  “She’s still here.”

Julia proclaims she’s going to get to the bottom of this as she doesn’t usually approve of the girls he dates.  Really?  You seem like such a happy person!  As monotonous as I find Julia’s voice, and weird I find the fact that the rest of her body is hidden by about fourteen turtlenecks and little Red Riding Hood’s cape, I feel like, ‘okay.  Julia is our ace in the hole.  She’ll make Ben see what Courtney’s all about.  Yeah right.

So Lindzi arrives and the good news is, someone found the poor girl a coat to wear.  As usual, she lights up the room with her warm demeanor and winning smile (despite the ginormous zit – or is that a molé molé a la Austin Powers and if so how have I not noticed it before???)

She settles down to win the family over and before long she’s patting herself on the back for riding up on a horse the night she met Ben, actually informing his mom and sister that it was ‘so cool’ of her to do that.  Shame.  Though she does look adorable in a riding hat and an evening gown, I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that intro was ‘so cool’.

Then they move over to dinner where I can’t say I’m surprised that Lindzi has completely forgotten how to use cutlery.  After all, it’s the first meal anyone is actually expected to eat on the show.

The evening ends off with Julia grilling Lindzi for one minute about the feelings for Ben and telling her she needs to step it up on her last date (what’s she suggesting, anal?) and then settling in to get the dirt on Courtney.  An interesting twist, indeed.  Usually the final two don’t refer to each other at all in those final moments.  Julia is clearly going for the jugular and I like it.  Lindzi kept it classy and didn’t throw Courtney under the bus but tactfully alluded to Courtney’s ‘issues’.  I would have gone a bit further with it, but oh well.  Not like she really has a chance either way.

As the family bids Linzi goodbye and has a quick post game wrap-up, you can see Ben is blatantly disappointed when Julia says she liked Lindzi.  What did you expect, Ben?  He stresses over what he’ll do if The C Word doesn’t get a ringing endorsement from the family, especially after they find out she’s a model (which apparently in Julia’s world is one life-choice shy of being a child molester).  I know what you’ll do, Ben!  Pick me!  Pick me!  Here’s what you’ll do.  You’ll pick her anyways.  Because you have ignored every shred of evidence against her since the show began and every warning, on and off camera.  That’s what you’ll do.

Bright and early the next morning, it’s Courtney’s turn.  She baby voices her way over to Ben, promising to be on her best behavior.  He is clearly giddy with excitement, but borderline BIMming (barfing in mouth) over the fact that his sister might just hate her.

Intros are barely out of the way, when the conversation of course leads to Courtney being the bitch of the house and she once again feeds us the line that she tried her hardest to get to know the girls, that everyone was so mean to her, that some of them wouldn’t even talk to her and she just tried to stay focused on the man she loved.  Julia, in an interesting choice of headwear, decides she’ll ‘never know what happened and she’ll just have to take Courtney’s word for it’.  Um, actually, you will know.  You’ll see it.  And you’ll be ashamed.  That’s the beauty of this thing called TV.

When Julia informs Ben that Courtney blew her away, clearly has depth and that she’s a perfect fit for him, I don’t know about you, but I think I heard a collective “Dude!!!” around my neighborhood.  Are you kidding me?  Bet you’ll be singing a different tune when Courtney’s ‘winning’ all over your prime time screen on Monday nights.

Moving onto the final dates, which again, just make me feel sad because I know we’re getting closer to Lindzi’s broken heart.  Ben picks Lindzi up in a horse-drawn carriage, bringing the whole experience full circle and takes her skiing – amazing.  At least he didn’t ask her to jump off the mountain this time around.  Of course the private gondola has a lush little hand job blanket for them to cozy up to and a fondue pot which I can only assume is full of congealing cheese, because let’s face it, they ain’t eating.

Later that night, as they hover around what I’m pretty sure is a plate full of assorted cheesecakes (pretty much all I can think about from that point on), she tells him it’s only going to get better and verbal diarrheas her way onto the balcony.  ‘Oh really?’ he says, because really he’s contractually obligated to say not much else.  He has pretty much spent the second half of the season acting surprised by what everyone says and phrasing everything in the form of a question so he doesn’t have to actually share his own thoughts.  She knocks it out of the park with ‘I want to tell you something and I don’t want you to answer back’ and drops the L bomb.   His response?  ‘It’s good!’  Dude, she just told you she loves you.  You didn’t just try a new kind of Aioli and are pleasantly surprised by a hit of curry.  It’s good???  And with that, Lindzi puts her fate in Ben’s hands (or should I say Fozzie Bear’s hands, because the more nervous he gets the more he sounds like a Muppet).

Ok I really need to move on.  It’s not my intention for people to have to sneak reading this at work at different points throughout the day to get through it.  Ideally, I’d like you to be able to read it in one shot.  For those of you not working – F you.

Courtney and Ben’s date begins with – what else – a helicopter ride.  She tells Ben she thinks of him first thing in the morning and last thing at night, reminds him of her trust issues and any other cliché she can think of to convince him she’s capable of true feelings.  I don’t know why she bothers.  She could tell him she’s going to kill his family and he’d be like ‘that’s not the Courtney I know!  Silly girl!’

Funny that they spend part of their date discussing how terrible it’s going to be in public if he chooses her and I spend part of their date holding back vomit as he tells her she’s supposed to kiss the chef.  They finish off their date with a sled ride on a hill that my four year old would laugh at (it’s barely a slope) and barrel towards a small pool of ice – is this a metaphor for Ben plunging his way into Courtney’s heart? 

In the evening, Courtney reveals the dreaded arts and crafts project in some pretty random wrapping paper and it becomes painfully obvious as their relationship memories consists of ‘oh here’s us yesterday and the day before…’   Even when she reads her thoughtfully-crafted letter, she recites it in up-speak?  Which makes me want to beat myself?  Is she just that inarticulate or are the words on the page as much of a surprise to her as they are to all of us?  See how annoying that is?

Then the moment of awkwardness sets in when she isn’t feeling the love from Ben and she starts back-pedaling to save face, just in case he doesn’t pick her.  Once again, she tries to talk about how defensive she needed to be and Ben quickly dismisses any notions of negativity relating to her all season so as not to cloud his stellar judgment.

Ben leaves, Courtney shares the obligatory tear to demonstrate her first foray into human emotion and it’s nighty night time.

The next day, Ben has an awkward meeting with Neil Lane (bet he never thought he’d see him twice!) He practically wishes Ben a mazel tov and it’s game time.  Let’s just cut to the chase here. 

While I am confused about the weather (the girls go from winter coats to shorts and a tank top on the balcony) and I’m also confused about what large object has been inserted into Ben’s ass while he walks around town pondering his final choice, nothing could possibly prepare me for the confusion of the final dresses.

It started innocently enough.  I wasn’t in love with Courtney’s black dress lying on the bed.  The fabric sort of looked like one of those 17-dresses-in-one you can buy on the Home Shopping Network and the bling was a bit ‘Bubbie of the bride’ for my taste.  And Lindzi – we all knew one of them would be transforming into a peacock for the final episode based on previews aired all season.  I didn’t expect Lindzi to be the one but the dress wasn’t as bad as Courtney’s.  Though it’s like even her boobs knew the night would end badly, sagging with sadness to her waist.

Then – all of a sudden, we enter some disturbingly, horrible dark fairy tale world where apparently it’s okay for a hobbit to wear a green velvet Christmas Tree Skirt as a coat!  On the one side you’ve got Lindzi looking like the evil witch from Sleeping Beauty who I can only assume is also hiding a reindeer sweater under that heavy drapery and Courtney, looking like some futuristic wanna-be Gwyneth Paltrow.  Is this a joke???  What are these girls wearing???  And the broaches?  Icing on the poison apple cake!!!  Even if they were wearing black pantyhose under those dresses, sad to say that would be the best part of the outfits!  I was utterly, completely stunned.  Please tell me that the show had some sort of agreement with Switzerland tourism and they had to use some unfortunate Swiss designer’s clothing for the finale so they could afford to provide enough cheese for their village.  Am I alone here?  What the hell???  Whoever styled those girls should frankly be shot.

Clearly a lot of thought went into where to have the final rose ceremony.  The producers must have thought they hit the jackpot when they saw that lone tree stump calling out for a rose to be put on it.  Lindzi goes first, walking on grass in heels, which is no easy feat and as per usual, I am trying to telepathically communicate to her to shut the hell up before she humiliates herself further and professes her undying love for him.  Have we learned nothing from past shows people??? 

She asks how he’s feeling and as soon as the word ‘um’ leaves his mouth, you can hear her heart shattering.  The whole thing takes a minute and she keeps her composure rather well.  She tells him that if it doesn’t work out, to give her a call and I think I can actually hear her cell phone ringing by the time she’s back down on solid ground.  Ben, sporting an orangey-fresh spray tan, asks if he can ‘walk her out’ (um, dude, you’re on a mountain) and before we know it she’s gone.  It’s nice that they let her take the helicopter back – I half expected them to send her down the mountain on a billygoat. 

Good lord this is long.  Yada yada yada.  Ben tries the fake-out with Courtney and for a moment I think he’s going to use his head and make her wait the ring out instead of proposing, just to see if he can handle a real relationship with her.  Of course no such luck and he gets down on one knee.  The next moment is full of ‘insincere ‘I love you’s and ‘love ya forever!’ and within seconds, we’re off to After The Final Rose.

I thought the Women Tell All was bad but here’s a room full of (single, bitter)angry women, not to mention a blonde tranny who didn’t quite get to finish his/her makeup job on the way to the show.  Yikes. 

Chris does his best to call Courtney out on the same old things to get an audience reaction and you can hear the faint tsk tsking throughout the episode.  Here’s where you’re supposed to start to feel bad for her, but a) she looks beautiful so it’s easy to keep hating her and b), she continues to use the same old line about having regrets and doing the best with the circumstances she had, completely ignoring the fact that every other girl in the house seemed capable of treating the others with respect and kindness in the exact same circumstances.

Courtney seems completely shattered, utterly abandoned by her MIA fiancée and unaware if she and Ben are even together at all.  Which is weird, because the next thing you know, Ben comes out, looking like he just rolled out of bed after not showering for a week and informs us that they’re happily engaged despite the unemotional pat on the back he gives to Courtney in lieu of a hug.  Interesting.  Perhaps you should have gotten your stories straight before coming on the show.  I’m not surprised that when the going got tough, Ben left Courtney in the dust, (even on Valentine’s Day, no less – not even a carnation???), since he does have a thin layer of asshole underneath that skin (and my ass he didn’t kiss anyone else – did you see those photos???).  He tells the audience that he did listen to them and all the warnings – they just weren’t accurate.  Oh.  That makes sense.

We finish things off with no sign of Lindzi (hopefully she’ll be a bachelorette soon!), a tearful viewing of the proposal where we relive the awkward insincerity of them pledging their love to each other and watch them cry, not for their doomed relationship, not for their own heartbreak, but for how they’ve been chewed up and spit out by America.  The whole ring thing was a bit ridiculous. Somehow it was removed from Courtney’s finger at some point and given to Chris- it doesn’t just magically appear in his pocket.  So what’s with them appearing surprised that he even has it and Ben having to decide what to do with it?  Anticlimactic, nonetheless.

So, that looks like it for Courtney and Ben.  Did he find love?  Unlikely.  Did he enhance his profile thereby probably increasing sales for his wine company?  Most probably.  Did she find love?  Not capable.  Did she enhance her profile and score the cover of several magazines, which after all, is what a model wants at the end of the day, right?  Oh yes she did.  I expect we’ll be hearing about their breakup if not before Emily’s season begins, then perhaps in a tearful copy of Brad and Emily’s public statements made during Ashley’s season last year.  Either way, you know I’ll be there!

Before we go, of course, we’ve got to address Ashley and JP, who are apparently Americas Darlings according to Chris, and burst onto the scene (well she did), weighing 14 pounds and a smile from ear to ear.  It’s clear that they are very happy together even though I personally would have to shoot myself if I were with someone that bubbly.  At least they had their stories straight and both said at the same time that they’ll be getting married within the year.  I think Ashley hit the nail on the head when she said that once this episode is over Courtney and Ben will be able to move on, whatever that means, because it’s true, as much as we despised Ashley for her Bentley issues and for hurting Ben, I don’t think we gave her a second thought once After The Final Rose was over, till we saw her giving Emily Bachelorette Bootcamp a couple weeks ago.  I don’t know what made me more nauseous.  Ashley calling JP her best ‘assessory’ (I can’t stand the mispronunciation of that word), or her verbal diarrhea about her unborn children’s names.

The funniest moment of the whole show probably came when Ashley blurted out the possibility of Chris getting ordained and performing their wedding ceremony.   I could practically see JP Rosenbaum’s  mother sweating over a pot of Matzah Balls asking God where she went wrong.  Pretty sure she’d have something to say about any ministers at your wedding and there’s pretty much no chance of your child being named after Christ.  Just sayin’.

So here we are.  The end of our journey.  This is where I promise myself once again that I will keep writing and there will not be a gaping hole in this blog until May 14th when Emily beings her journey.  I think it’s only appropriate to end it for now in the same way I’ve ended many before.  Will I get off my lazy wanna-be writer ass and keep blogging?  Only time will tell – so don’t forget to visit!

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