After the Final Rose

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After the Final Rose

After the final rose, there are no children singing. There are no flowers blooming. There is Chris Harrison. There is an audience of sad women smiling and applauding. There is Brad asking rhetorical questions, and then welcoming Chantal, who looks great (looks even better). There is Chris Harrison asking her how it felt to have her heart ripped out on national television. She talks about how she went on the show for some fun but developed real feelings. "I was in love with him, and I thought he was in love with me. So it's hard," she says. And in the ensuing silence she starts to cry again. Oh, poor kid. Harrison asks her how long it's been since she's talked to Brad, and she says it's been since that final day in South Africa.

So Brad comes out and they hug, and Chantal talks about their instant chemistry, and she asks at what point he knew it wasn't going to be her. Brad calls it a tough question to answer, by which he means "It was before I had sex with you," and so dodges by saying he knew early on that he had strong feelings for Emily. She calls him on that, and he says he doesn't know what to say. "I've always sung your praises," he says. Is that supposed to be better? "I had feelings for someone else, but I kept making you think you had a chance"?

Even Harrison kind of points out that Brad is trying not to get in trouble, and Chantal talks about it some more, and then Chantal is crying again, completely flummoxing Brad. "Oh, wait, you're crying. I thought you were laughing. Hey, come here," he says, and he hugs her, which she really should do her best to avoid. And then they talk about how happy they both are, because apparently Chantal has met somebody and is dating, and I feel pretty bad for Chantal's new boyfriend if he sees the way she's crying her eyes out over Brad.

After the commercial break, before we bring Emily out, Harrison wants to know where Brad's "heart is at" and his "head is at" and Brad says he's more in love with Emily than ever, drawing applause from the crowd. "She makes me want to be a better person. I'd marry her right now," he says, drawing more applause, and then says he TRIED to marry her already but that didn't happen, and Harrison reveals that they almost went back to Anguilla to have the wedding there, and Brad talks about how it's been a tough go. "People try to put this relationship down, the tabloids," he says. And there is some sympathetic woman shaking her head at the nasty tabloids.

And then Harrison drops the bomb that Brad and Emily have broken up once, and Brad doesn't want everyone to overreact, but Emily has talked about how she just can't do it, and then Brad tells us that he's missed Emily so much that he's taken it out on her, and this is all sounding ugly and awful. "This is a real relationship. We're not in some fantasyland. This is real life," says Brad, who wants Harrison to bring her out because it feels like it's been a decade. And Harrison says, "In your mind, are you engaged to this woman?" and Brad says he is, but he can't answer for her. "I'm not letting her go. I'm fighting tooth and nail," he says, and the audience applauds.

After the commercial break, Harrison asks if Brad is nervous, and he says, "I'm always nervous around her," which is odd, and then Emily comes out, and she looks good too. Straightened hair. Less blonde. She and Brad hug. She is not, it must be said, wearing a ring. Harrison doesn't point that out, but asks if she considers them engaged, and she does, and she's glad to be able to say it.

Then Harrison asks if they're looking forward to a wedding soon, and reminds her that today was supposed to be their wedding day. "Right now, in this instance? I love you, but noooo," she tells Brad, very certain. The audience gasps. She says she wishes she was, but they have some things they need to figure out, like how they fight and deal with things and communicate. There's also Rikki to consider. "Could I move to Austin today? No." The audience, again, gasps. I think someone actually fucking fainted. Several women are shaking their heads. HOW DARE SHE! Hilariously, the audience is scandalized at a Bachelor season not ending in marriage, which only happens, oh, EVERY SEASON.

And then, interestingly, Emily talks about watching The Bachelor which she says she knew wouldn't be the Emily and Brad Fall in Love show, but still it was tough to see Brad give the show so much material, especially with Chantal. "I felt like we had a relationship that none of the other girls had," she says, and it was tough to watch him having so much fun with Chantal, and says SHE might have picked Chantal herself. Holy shit, now there's a show.

Now Harrison is asking her what drives her to the point where she'd sabotage her own engagement. Huh? Emily says she's been in love and lost it, and she doesn't want to go through it again. "You're not losing my love. At all," says Brad, and the audience of idiots applauds.

After the commercial break, Harrison asks them what it takes to move forward. Tellingly, Emily points out that Brad has a temper. Harrison asks if there are "knock-down, drag-out fights," and I think Harrison is kinda turned on. Oh, yeah, it's pretty "volatile," says Brad. Emily points out that when you fall in love really early, then there wasn't enough saved for just her, which the women in the audience seem to understand. Yikes, this whole discussion is awkward and not fun to watch. I mean, even less fun than this show normally is. It's a couples counseling session during which Brad feels the need to refute the tabloids, for god's sake, and Harrison manages to wheedle from Emily that she does ultimately see herself marrying Brad, and the overinvested audience goes wild, because everything we've seen so far has convinced them these two have an amazingly healthy relationship.

And now Harrison has brought out "some of America's favorite Bachelor couples" by which he means "the only Bachelor couples who are still together". Trista and Ryan (seven years together), Jason and Molly (just celebrated their first anniversary), and Ali and Roberto are allegedly about to get married. Poor Trista and Ryan! Are they starting to resent being trotted out by the show every time they want to prove that marriage is possible through The Bachelor? America's favorite Bachelor couples offer their own particular brand of non-helpful non-advice, which amounts to "don't listen to haters!" "I think it's a true testament to y'all's relationships that..." says Emily and I didn't hear the rest of it, because I'm still stuck on "y'all's relationships." There's a lot of talk of how hard it is on Monday nights/Tuesday mornings after the show is aired. Oh, boo-hoo! It's so hard to watch ourselves be on the show that nobody forced us to go on, and to act surprised when our show turns out to be exactly the same as every other season of the show that we watched!

After the commercial break, Harrison asks Emily and Brad what they thought of the advice from the other Bachelor couples: was it awesome or totally awesome? And then Harrison tells them that their engagement is a special moment so he's going to show it to them again, because they haven't seen it yet, and by extension we're forced to watch it again. Present-day Brad and Emily watch the proposal, looking uncomfortable. Present-day Brad looks like he's not enjoying watching it, like he no longer believes what he thought then, that he and Emily would get married. Emily kind of looks like she's enjoying it, in a "Wasn't that fun?" kind of way. And then Harrison tells us that there are tears in both their eyes, which I can't actually see.

And then Brad asks about the missing ring, which Brad has with him because he had to get it sized and NOT BECAUSE SHE GAVE IT BACK OR ANYTHING. I mean, obviously she can't handle getting a ring sized herself, right? It makes much more sense for Brad to have the ring in Austin because they have ring-sizers there, which they don't in Charlotte, huh?

And t

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