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"The Bachelorette" Recap: The Most Anti-Climactic Finale Ever

Lindsay Dale |
July 23, 2012 | 12:26 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter


Sorry, Arie…apparently Emily couldn’t even wait the full two hours before kicking you off.  You were done after one and a half.

A very casually dressed Jef chats with Emily's father David.  Photo courtesy of ABC.
A very casually dressed Jef chats with Emily's father David. Photo courtesy of ABC.

Over the years, contestants have resorted to numerous tricks to switch up the format of the “Bachelor”/ “Bachelorette” shows.  There was Brad Womack, who rejected both girls because he wasn’t feelin’ the love and because that Neil Lane sparkler was looking real expensive for a Texas bar owner, ya’ll.  There was Jason Mesnick, who proposed to Melissa Rycroft on the finale and then dumped her for runner-up Molly Malaney on “After the Final Rose.”  But as far as I know, all these douchey trailblazers waited until the very last moment of the show to reveal their decisions.  It’s obvious why they do this – to up the dramatic ante and maintain the suspense.

While Emily cares about her fake boobs and hair extensions as much as the next “Bachelorette” contestant, it seems like she also cares’ about her Bachelors’ feelings – at least enough to sacrifice half an hour worth of viewer entertainment in order to salvage some of Arie’s dignity.  So, props for being a good person, Emily, even though your morality made the last segments of the finale pretty boring.

Anyway, back to the beginning.  I really hope there's never a "Bachelor Pad" shootout because host Chris Harrison desperately lacks tragedy-mourning skills.  As he welcomes the live studio audience, he sends his condolences to the victims of the shooting in Colorado.  About a nanosecond later, he booms, “Okay, now back to the MOST ANTICIPATED TELEVISION EVENT OF THE SUMMER!”

…Did he forget about the Summer Olympics?

Harrison proceeds to announce that this Bachelorette finale will be “one of the most dramatic “Bachelorette” finales ever.”  And even though I know he’s just being an idiot, my mind still races with all the potential dramatic scenarios.  Is Bachelor Brad back?  Is Chris going to announce he’s been hooking up with Emily this whole time?  Is she going to run off with the long-gone mushroom farmer?

As the finale officially starts, we learn that Emily, Arie, and Jef are still in Curacao.  Emily’s potential suitors are going to meet her family, consisting of her mother Susan; her dad David; her brother Ernie; and Ernie’s fiancée Bethany.  

Jef is up first, and he shows up to meet her family in jeans and a white T-shirt.  Really, Jef?  This is the “Bachelorette” finale, not sorority bid night.  

 Unsurprisingly, though, Jef impresses everyone with his genuine demeanor, constant (and really repetitive) declarations of love for Emily, and dedication to fatherhood and husband-hood.  Jef tells Susan, who somehow managed to out-blonde Emily, that Emily completes him, and when he asks for David’s seal of approval before proposing to Emily, David gives it to him right then.  Jef even manages to impress scary-looking Ernie, who appears to have taken a football to the mouth during high school.  

Now it’s Arie’s turn to meet the Maynards.  He gives Emily a rose (role-reversal, guys!) and says the petals symbolize the journey they’ve been on…or something like that.  Ernie initially questions Arie’s smooth talking, but at the end of the day Arie wins everyone over by telling them how much he loves Emily.  He says that when he dated a single mother before, her kids were the best part of the relationship.  Sure, Arie.   

As their date ends, Arie gets cocky.  He says that “if it was up to Emily’s family, I’d be here in the end” and that he’s “going to be engaged.”  Even though I thought he was going to win up to this point – I mean, Emily wouldn’t even go in the fantasy suite with him because she was so tempted to make his speakers go boom boom – now I know he’s going to lose.  The overconfident guy on “The Bachelorette” always loses. 

If Emily had to wear a dress that matched her skin, the rhinestones should have covered both boobs.  Photo courtesy of ABC.
If Emily had to wear a dress that matched her skin, the rhinestones should have covered both boobs. Photo courtesy of ABC.

After the family dates, Emily tries to get her parents to tell her which guy they like better so she doesn’t have to do the picking herself.  Unfortunately for her, her family isn’t helpful at all.  They say they like both guys.  I mean, most parents would vouch for a water bottle CEO over a racecar driver who’s going to be tempted by NASCAR groupies all the time, but not these people.  Emily’s mother advises her to wait on getting engaged because she’s so unsure of which guy to choose.

As Emily’s final date with Jef begins, Emily tells the camera that she’s fallen in love…with both Arie and Jef.  Girl, that didn’t work for Blake Lively in Savages and it won’t work for you now.  She could take a tip from Blake’s style handbook, though, because her neon green maxi dress/skort pretty much burned my eyes out.

While they’re sitting on the beach, Jef tells Emily he wants to meet Ricki.  Emily says this is a “big decision” and doesn’t agree to it right away, but Jef eventually persuades her that – duh – if she’s seriously considering marrying a guy, she should be able to introduce that guy to her kid.  She agrees to this, albeit nervously.

Ricki is swimming and doing tricks in the pool on awesome-looking underwater monkey bars when she meets Emily’s “friend” Jef.  Ricki loves Jef from the start and within minutes, they’re playing together in the pool.  Her comfort around him isn’t surprising – I mean, she probably thought Jimmy Neutron came to life.   

Emily looks incredibly relieved that the meeting went so well and at dinner that night, she tells Jef that Ricki asked if he could come back tomorrow.  Aww!  Jef gives Emily a book about Curacao (I didn’t know there were any books about Curacao), and inside he’s drawn a bunch of pictures that tell the story of their relationship.  

Admittedly, Emily doesn’t seem totally head over heels, but she does seem really comfortable.

The next day, Emily calls Chris Harrison to her house because she wants one last hookup she needs to talk.  She rambles on for awhile about not being able to pick between the guys and just as my mind starts to wander, she drops a random bombshell: she wants Jef, not Arie, and she’s so sure about this that she doesn’t even want that one last date with Arie.

Before an unsuspecting Arie meets with Emily later on, he concocts a love potion and tries to do some weird voodoo magic to make her like him.  It doesn’t work.  She says that from the start, she thought he was her guy, but something changed and now she has more confidence in her relationship with Jef.  And she cries a lot.

As he walks away, Arie seems more shocked and annoyed than distraught.  He says that he believed Emily was the love of his life and that he can’t fathom what’s happening, but he doesn’t seem that heartbroken.  Honestly, Sean’s goodbye was a lot more upsetting.  (ABC – next Bachelor, please?)

All this happens with half an hour still left in the show, which is really awkward.  So, in the remaining time, Chris Harrison interviews Ashley and JP, last year’s Bachelorette couple, and Michael Stagliano, who’s going to be on “Bachelor Pad” tomorrow night; Jef goes to Neil Lane to buy a pretty ring; and Emily unsuccessfully tries to create suspense by saying that she’s still not sure if she wants to get engaged.

Come proposal time, Emily dons what is undoubtedly the worst outfit of the season.  I can only describe it as a high-necked, poufy peach thing in which one boob is adorned with Hot Topic rhinestones.  

Bad outfits aside, in the end the “Bachelorette” formula still works because Jef’s proposal is really romantic.  Emily finally tells him that she loves him and that she feels like they’re soulmates.  He says that God puts the right people in our lives at the right times, and that he feels like the luckiest man in the world.  And, of course, when he gets down on one knee, she says yes.

As a winning touch, Ricki runs in and walks out with them, the three of them holding hands like a family.  It’s cheesy, but really, really sweet.

The happy couple discusses their upcoming wedding on "After the Final Rose."  Photo courtesy of ABC.
The happy couple discusses their upcoming wedding on "After the Final Rose." Photo courtesy of ABC.

Thankfully, Emily and Jef are still together on “After the Final Rose.”  We have to hear some nonsense about how Arie flew to Charlotte to see Emily because he missed her so much and left her a journal of his memories at her doorstep, but she didn’t read it.  (Ouch.)  She gives it back to him on live TV.

It’s okay, Arie – this audience looks like it’s filled with bleach blonde racecar fanatics who would be more than happy to console you in their fantasy suites.

After he’s done whining – and it does seem like whining – we hear the really important information: Jef is moving to Charlotte and is going to run his water bottle company from there.  Emily and Jef might take a trip to Africa to build wells (somehow, I don’t see that happening).  Emily wants a spring wedding, and even though they haven’t set a date in stone, they say they are definitely getting married.

Emily and Jef definitely aren’t the typical lovey-dovey “Bachelorette” couple that hooks up whenever the cameras are rolling.  It seems like Emily’s Barbie dumped both Southern Gentleman Ken (Sean) and Racecar Driver Ken (Arie) for Jimmy Neutron, but in a weird way, it works.  They both seem peaceful and happy on “After the Final Rose,” so I’m happy for them and I’m glad that all the hours I spent watching this didn’t go to waste.

And I’m really happy she didn’t marry that weirdo who hooked up with his cousin.  Thanks for reading, guys!

Reach reporter Lindsay Dale here.



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