“So, Sally can wait. She knows it’s too late as she’s walking on by. My soul slides away, but don’t look back in anger, I heard you say.” Oasis, Don’t Look Back in Anger
So Paradise has come to a close, and I know what you all are thinking- thank God we don’t have to watch that stupid intro ever again. If I have to watch Evan seductively eating a banana one more time, I’m going to hunt down his erectile dysfunction clinic and burn it to the ground whilst I choke him with said banana. But my disdain for Evan and the lame intro of the show isn’t what we are here for, so let’s get to the finale, shall we?
Before we get to the meat of the episode and tackle some of the finer points, I want to say that I found the finale (particularly part two) to be a giant snooze, for two reasons. Number one- putting the remaining couples in “fantasy suites” and having them attend private “final rose ceremonies” is basically just like the finale of The Bachelor/Bachelorette and I’ve always HATED the finale. It’s so predictable. Only a few times have we ever been truly surprised (Brad Womack rejecting both women on his first go-round, Jason Mesnick choosing Melissa and then switching back to Molly on ATFR, for example) but pretty much every other time, the Bachelor/Ette chooses exactly who we think they will. And I don’t know about you, but that “finding love” crap isn’t why I watch BIP (or why I watch Bachelor/Bachelorette, if I’m being honest.) It’s all the other drama that goes down with the people who don’t find love. Give me Ashley I. crying nonstop and stalking Jared incessantly, give me crazy Chad getting wasted and threatening to murder people, give me hook-ups, gossip, drama. The other reason I found the finale so boring was that we already knew who was going to get engaged and who was going to “go home broken-hearted.” They already announced that Nick is the new bachelor, so he wasn’t getting engaged, and the other three couples were confirmed as still being together and/or engaged pretty much when the show started by The Daily Mail (what I like to call my “paper of record” because I am a garbage person and that’s where I get all my news) and a few other sites. Anyway, I watched the whole episode (obviously) and I have a few thoughts-first and foremost, I think they should go back to the Bachelor Pad format, because that show was drenched in tequila, sex and highly unstable personalities- literally everything I want from my reality TV. Other than that, there weren’t many take-aways from this sleeper of a finale.
We open with Nick in a pair of pink shorts so tight that you can see all of his business, and as I stare at him in these plum-smugglers, I can understand a little more how he made it to the top two in his two previous go-rounds on this franchise. I wouldn’t have expected it, but Nick V. looks like he’s packin’ some heat. He and Jen both say they need time together to see if they have a shot at anything real and just then, a new girl arrives. It’s Tiara, the “chicken enthusiast” from Ben’s season (who later enthusiastically rips into a plate of chicken wings, ironically. Maybe she thinks they come from some other animal?) and of course, she has a date card. Nick goes to talk to her and long story short, he convinces her to give him and Jen her date card. They go on a boring carnival date, where they see a fortune teller who pretty much says they shouldn’t be together. At the end of the date, Nick says he’s scared of letting her break down his walls but that he feels closer to her. Jen seems satisfied with that. Sorry, sweetie, but unless you want to fight 25 other girls for him next season, this isn’t looking good for you two. Oh well. She’s young and very pretty (if kind of light on personality) and I’m sure she will be just fine.
Back in paradise, Brett is talking to Izzy and Lauren isn’t happy. She pulls him aside to tell him how much she likes him, and Brett seems nonchalant but tells Lauren that he likes her more than he likes Izzy. Brett and his lamp and his beard have turned on Izzy for the first blonde who paid him some attention, and I have to say, I think Izzy kind of deserves it. She pretty much did the same to sweet Vinny. Brett talks to Izzy and tells her he’s “feeling Lauren” more than her. He breaks things off with her and Izzy says she feels “like an idiot.” As you should, Izzy. She cries to Lace about how she regrets dumping Vinny (of course you regret it now- you just got dumped in basically the same manner) and says she just wants to talk to Vinny. Izzy leaves and drunkenly calls him from the car. She says she made a mistake and asks him for a second chance, to which he says “I can’t be with somebody like that” based on the way she dumped him the second she laid eyes on Brett. Good for you, Vinny. You’re too good for her anyway.
At the final rose ceremony, only Brett and Wells’s roses are up for grabs, and it’s a pretty safe bet that Brett is giving his to Lauren. CH enters to tell us that three ladies are going home. Jami pulls Wells aside to try to get his rose. So does Ashley. Shushanna, who is confident she’s getting the rose from Wells, does no such thing because she doesn’t “chase” according to her. She kind of stalks off and Wells follows and she says all the other girls are “hunting” but that she doesn’t do that. Wells tells her that while they have a connection, the timing was unfortunate to which she says she needs a man who will fight for her and that she is leaving paradise. “I don’t fight for guys!” she says, and I would believe that more if it wasn’t the second time she’s been on a reality show to find a man.
At the rose ceremony, the roses go as follows:
- Josh gives his rose to Amanda
- Nick gives his rose to Jen
- Grant gives his rose to Lace
- Evan gives his rose to Carly
- Brett gives his rose to nobody (He hasn’t found love so he leaves instead)
- Wells gives his rose to Ashley
Lauren, Jami and the chicken girl have to leave. Oh, Tiara, we hardly knew ye. Ashley says she feels “bad for Jami” and then eats a rose petal like a crazy person and says “I may be on my way to having a boyfriend” with a laugh that sounds both girlish and maniacal all at the same time and it’s chilling. Get the eff out of there Wells, for your own safety!
The next day, CH tells all the remaining couples that they should have a serious discussion and the next step will be the fantasy suite dates, should they decide to stick around. The guys chat and so do the girls, and Carly reveals that she was broken up with on this day in paradise last year. (Kurt? Kirk? Some blonde guy who was on Ali’s season.) Wells isn’t too keen on the idea of taking crazy Ashley’s V-card, especially not in paradise. He feels like it’s a lot of pressure. Ashely talks to the girls about how she wants a fantasy suite with Wells. Carly advises Ashley to tell Wells that she promises “not to be a psychopath.” What a lovely sentiment that every guy wants to hear, right? Ashely is not only having thoughts of fantasy suites, but also visions of a future engagement. Poor Wells bet on the wrong horse there, for sure. Wells ends things with her and says his “character” precludes him from going to a fantasy suite with her. Well, that and his fear that she will be a stage five clinger, I presume. He tells her that they had a good connection but that he has to leave paradise, which means she has to leave too. She holds it together until he’s out of earshot and then breaks down. Obviously. Carly says she can relate- she was in Ashley’s position a year ago. CH calls all the remaining couples together to state the obvious- Wells and Ashley are gone. He wants them to do some thinking and ascertain whether they can “make it outside of paradise.”
They all have one-on-one dates. Grant and Lace get “Grace” tattoos. Nick and Jen awkwardly do SUP (girl has a rockin’ body) and Nick admits he has his guard up. He mentions that he’s not sure he’s “in love” with her. Um, obviously not, because we know you’re the new Bachelor. Evan and Carly have a weird body painting date and as awkward as I find them both, they continue to prove there’s a “lid for every pot.” They may be the only couple that might make it outside of paradise. Josh and Amanda play soccer with some random kids. Amanda wants to see how he is with kids because, well, she has two. Which then leads me to contemplate this- both Evan and Amanda have kids, and both are thinking of getting engaged (after like 4-5 weeks, mind you) to people their children have never met. That’s just crazy. All the couples have fantasy suite dates and Carly says she needs to hear “I love you,” from Evan. Jen wants to hear it, too, from Nick, and Grant says he needs to hear it from Lace. Spoiler alert- Grant and Carly get their wish. Jen does not. Nick says he cares about Jen and it should be pointed out that she is in a gown and he is wearing white “jorts.” I find this indicative of their lack of compatibility. Josh and Amanda reaffirm their feelings for each other but again, he’s so red and sweaty that I can’t even look at him. The next morning, Carly is giddy, which makes me wonder if the so-called “dick doc” gets it done. And then I remember that I just thought about Evan in a quasi-sexual manner and I instantly feel a little queasy. Grant feels nervous about the pressure to propose. Nick does too but we know how that ends, so let’s just take them out of the equation for now. Josh and Amanda are grossing me out (mostly because I hate him) and she calls their relationship “perfect” although he admits he has doubts, mostly because of the kid stuff. He’s asking questions about them, but they are so not the kind of questions someone who is excited about kids would ask. Case in point: Josh, “So what time do they wake up? Like, early, early?” He’s sweating so much and for once, I don’t think it’s the temperature.
There’s the requisite Neil Lane ring montage (snooze) and then the “rose ceremonies” begin. Evan and Carly are first. He proposes. She accepts. I give them the best odds. Then it’s Grant and Lace. He, too, proposes, and she also accepts. She looks pretty. I like them together. Or maybe I just like Lace in paradise. She’s so in her element. Nick and Jen are up next and we all know how this goes down. They do not get engaged. I think he’s already accepted the proposition to be the next Bachelor at this point. As I’m watching, I wonder if these people know that it’s not an “all or nothing” kind of scenario. Like, they could just leave and try to date in the real world. Why do they think they need to get engaged after less than 6 weeks? Anyway, we are nearly out of our misery here, because Josh and Amanda are up next. The final 20 minutes are so boring that I would literally rather be doing my taxes or reading one of my husband’s boring finance journals. Amanda looks beautiful. Josh looks… eager. And sweaty. I notice that her real voice kind of sounds like the snapchat filter of the deer that makes you sound like you just inhaled a ton of helium. Just an observation. He proposes and she accepts and in the most Josh-ism of all, he says, “Look at that ring. There’s diamonds everywhere!” Yeah, Josh, it takes a real big man to be engaged twice, neither time with a ring that you purchased yourself. And sweet mother of God I hope they plan a winter wedding because the amount of sweat coming off him is off-putting. His white shirt is literally wet with perspiration.
So that’s it, folks. All the promise that was shown early on came down to little else than boring couples getting engaged and minimal drama by the end of the season. But as much as I hate to admit it, I kind of hope Evan and Carly make it. I think they are right for each other in some weird way. I have no such feelings about Josh and Amanda. I hope he takes his sweaty ass back to the gym he crawled out of and stays there. Grant and Lace may have a shot, but I hope they don’t rush into a wedding. And if they do, I hope it’s televised, because drunk bride Lace could very well be the best Lace of all. I hope for something more extraordinary when the new season of The Bachelor starts, but as a long-time viewer, I should know better. Until the new season starts, I will be watching Bravo and exclusively torturing my husband with my musings because I will have no other outlet. Thanks for reading and keep on keeping on. See you in January for more recaps. Until then, maybe I will start posting some things about my actual life. Rosè all day, y’all.