Okay, I'm up! I'm up! The applause woke me back up. We head back to the stage. Chris Hyperbole explains that Gwen's got a lot of fans, and that many of the women are surprised to see her here. Is she surprised? She is. She recaps for us the deliberation-room meetings, and I'm nodding off again. Gwen says that she wasn't going to beg for a rose. It's not her style. She says she only wants a rose if it's "real." Chris asks if she still has feelings for Aaron. She says that there are unresolved blah blah blah and she doesn't know if she'll ever truly understand what happened blah blah blah and I keep hoping that I'll dream that she transforms into Vin Diesel and crawls out of my television to ravish me, but it's not happening. Essentially, Gwen says that she doesn't really know what Aaron's feelings were. Nobody knows what Aaron's feelings are. I don't think he has any feelings. Chris asks whether Gwen thinks the revelation that she was married before affected Aaron's decision. She doesn't think so. She blathers on that she learned from the experience, and that it's part of who she is. Then she starts singing Abba's "Lay All Your Love on Me" as an octopus with the face of Fred Savage starts strangling Chris to death.
Commercials. When we return, Chris tells the women that he has a surprise for them. It's The Bachelor! Aaron! Aren't you surprised? The people in the audience go fucking berserk as Aaron walks out. Each and every one of the audience members should be lobotomized for the good of mankind. Aaron strides out, giving a double take over in Christi's direction, probably to make sure she's not armed. The audience continues to shriek. People take pictures. I cry. Every woman who has spent her adult dating life trying to avoid men like Aaron cries.
Aaron sits next to Chris Hyperbole, who calls Aaron a "brave, brave soul" for showing up. Shut up, Chris. Aaron says he's glad to be there. Everybody cheers. Shut up, everybody. Chris starts the interview by asking Aaron what happened with Gwen. Aaron smiles at Gwen, causing people in the audience to go "Awww." See, they're totally projecting. It was just a smile. It's the most superficial friendly gesture one can make, but everyone's projecting several different layers of meaning onto it. Aaron re-re-re-recaps the five-minute conversations with the women from the end of last episode. He says that he talked to the other women, and they were "more open than [they] had been" (read: "telling me how much they wanted me"). Aaron says, "Gwen wasn't putting herself out there as much as Helene and Brooke did. And that was the basis for my decision." Dipshit. Has he ever "put himself out there" for any of the women? No. His declarations of attraction sound like campaign promises. Gwen says that she though those last five minutes had something to do with Aaron's decision. She says that she wouldn't have changed her behavior, though, because she wanted Aaron to "follow [his] heart" and make his own decision. She didn't want to influence him. Aaron gets even further up my ass by claiming that he made his decision based more on "[his] perceptions of how [she] felt about [him] than [his] feelings for [her]." Everybody in the crowd goes "awww," like this was all a tragedy of miscommunication. It wasn't. Shut up, crowd. Gwen was very clear when she said that she was attracted to Aaron. She gave Aaron the opening he needed when she said she'd respect whatever decision he made. His decision was never about love. There was no damned fairy-tale romance. He dumped her because he knew she wouldn't make him look bad and he wouldn't have to deal with any real conflict about it. It was the path of least resistance. Gwen starts to tear up a little and tells Aaron that she wishes he knew...something...but doesn't complete the thought. Aaron doesn't respond -- just looks at Gwen with his glazed, emotionless eyes.