Splits, engagement on Bachelor in Paradise finale

BACHELOR-IN-CROP

It takes a long, gruelling season to come up with one possible longterm romance each time on The Bachelor. But this summer’s variant Bachelor in Paradise seemed to succeed in pairing all of the multiple couples at once, multiplying the love connections. For all the right reasons.(?) Anyhow, welcome to The Bachelor in Paradise finale.

If finding a relationship were actually the point of these things, you’d think they’d switch to Bachelor Padradise full-time. (Indeed a second season has been ordered.) But while it looked like most participants were all cuddly and paired off all summer in Tulum, Mexico, most were likely just reaching out for a partner to ensure they’d get to stick around at the tropical beachfront. At least until Monday’s finale.

That’s when host Chris Harrison said each pair would have to “step it up” and would put their partnerships to the test. Not a real test, though (certainly not like the ones that would pop up on Temptation Island, RIP). All he was asking them is to consider whether their showmance would survive in the real world minus cameras. If they did think so, they would stay another day and have a night in a fantasy suite (woot, woot).

All it would take, it would seem, for the couples to stay is some minor commitment to “keep on this journey,” as they used to say on The Bachelor (it’s something they don’t say that much any more, preferring the odd accounting cliche “on the same page”). But no, these couples took it seriously and half of them broke up on the spot.

The first to go were one of the longest-term couples, Graham and Ashley. They’ve tried several times to paint Ashley as some kind of dim bulb there for the wrong reason, but she’s really not that different than anyone else. She was very certain in her relationship, but others, notably Lacy and especially Michelle (who thinks herself as Graham bestie) wanted to take charge and break them up.

Earlier this season Bachelor in Paradise had become a star vehicle for Michelle. If she’s not forever fretting about not having a guy, she’s fretting about a guy who likes her too much; and if she’s not worried about her own relationship, she’s butting into those of others. Somebody in production must think Michelle looks really good on camera; so seems to take up fully half of each two hour episode.

So Michelle runs off to tell Graham that Ashley is phony (as opposed to who?), and he acts like he saw it all along. So after being a couple the whole summer, he tells Ashley sorry, he wasn’t really feeling it. So Ashley is crestfallen and Graham is still not seen as one of the jerks who occasionally surfaced this summer who toyed with women and dropped them. So what was he doing with her all season then?

Next to agree that the don’t really have a relationship were Christy and Tsarsis and Jackie and Zack, so they’re both gone too. And 35 minutes into a two hour finale, they’re down to half has many couples.

Still standing are the two who had been together since the start of the season, Lacy and Marcus, as well as Sarah and Robert and Cody with Michelle, though the latter still can’t decide whether to stick with a guy who loves her too much (and after a while her endless rumination seems like a ploy to maintain a lot of screen time).

So all three remaining couples get to have a night at their own Fantasy Suites — with triple the amount of crassness. “I want him to get to know every part of me,” the women say. Michelle wonders about the organ size of Cody the bodybuilder. And most surprising of all is Sarah, who is so angry that Robert didn’t have sex with her that he drops him altogether.

Robert was probably just acting the way his grandmother would approve to see on TV, but that meant turning in early and keeping his jeans on. “No neck sucking, nothing,” complained Sarah, who had up to now seemed such a good girl. “I don’t even know if he has a penis,” she adds.

“I don’t think I’m getting what I need from this relationship,” she says cooly the next day. And while they had the least amount of geography to overcome — they live in the same town — they were done. It was disappointing that Robert didn’t do a thing to defend himself or fight for their partnership. He split.

That happened after the other two women may have been a little too vocal about their evenings. “I’m so sore,” said Michelle. “I’m very satisfied.” “I marked some things off my bucket list,” Cody says. Someone throw water on those two.

The smile on Lacy’s face said about the same thing.

So only two couples remained at the end: Michelle and Cody and Marcus and Lacy, who get all kinds of advice on how to turn a fake TV relationship into an actual one from three of the few couples on The Bachelor who have actually lasted. It’s mostly filler until the pointless final rose ceremony (if they’re actually moving past the showmances, then they leave these things behind).

Still Cody and Michelle speak their emotional rose acceptance speeches to one another, but Marcus, whose shirt is pooled with sweat, interrupts his own rose ceremony by asking for a moment to chat with Lacy first. Though it’s hyped as if he’s had a change of mind, he actually is trying to get private time to pop the question in one of the more surprising proposals in what Harrison would call Bachelor history.

But still the guy insists that they complete the rose ceremony anyway, though they’ve clearly moved way past it.

The best news about the Bachelor in Paradise finale may be the announcement that came at the end: at last we can take a break from all this. The next Bachelor won’t be back until January.

Are you already having Bachelor withdrawals? Hug it out in the comments section below.