July 23rd, 2012
12:38 PM ET
The final episode of "The Bachelorette" on Sunday may have been the most disjointed season finale in show history.
Host Chris Harrison popped in and out of the taped finale, dressed in a dark suit that may have been purged from Regis Philbin's "Millionaire" collection.
He reminded us numerous times that he was in the studio for the live, post-game "After The Final Rose" special. He also channeled his inner Phil Donahue throughout these segments, interviewing audience members and "Bachelor" alumni about the episode. I wasn't sure if I was watching "The Bachelorette" or a talk show pilot.
Chris also pledged to the audience that this was "the most dramatic event of the summer" and "the biggest event this summer." Either the show was going to replay Adam Scott's British Open collapse, or Chris managed to get an Olympics hosting gig.
I was wrong on both counts, as the first two hours focused on Emily making her decision on whether Arie or Jef would be "the one." Both met with Emily's family, who all seemed to like the two guys. Arie earned the slight nod in my book for dressing slightly better than Jef, who showed up in a white T-shirt and skinny jeans to the soiree. At least Jef's hair continued to be Vanilla Ice-tastic.
After getting no help from the family on who to pick, Emily went on her final date with Jef, and they spent part of their day with Emily's daughter, who joined her mom in Curacao for the final leg of the journey. Emily originally didn't plan on having any of the men meet daughter Ricki, but changed her mind after expressing confidence that "it could work out."
Jef and Ricki had great chemistry, and Jef thanked Emily for opening up her family to him. This led to Emily's epiphany that Jef was "the one" and that Arie needed to go. But how to tell Arie that he's shameful silver to Jef's gallant gold? Singing telegram? A note telling Arie that "NASCAR rules, IndyCar drools"? Not a chance.
Emily bumbled and stumbled for what seemed to be an eternity, telling Arie that he wouldn't be "the one" despite the fact that "everybody" loved him. Arie thanked Emily for "sparing him the embarrassment" of a failed proposal and then stepped inside the "SUV of shame," where he expressed being "stupid" and "naive" over what happened.
We then moved on to the proposal, where Jef earned bonus points for actually dressing like an adult. Jef channeled his inner Lou Gehrig by calling himself the "luckiest man in the world," then pledged to Emily that she and Ricki would "never be lonely again."
This brings us to knee, proposal, dramatic pause, acceptance, and then the studio audience going wild. Cue Peter Cetera, and fin. But what happened to Jef's skateboard from the premiere?
We went back to the studio for the live "After The Final Rose" special, where Arie revealed a big secret to the world. He admitted that, without the show's knowledge, he flew to Charlotte after "The Bachelorette" completed filming to get "closure or a beginning" from Emily without cameras present. Arie noted that he didn't actually go through with that, choosing instead to phone Emily to ask her to read a journal that he wrote during filming.
Emily took out the journal and gave it back to Arie, saying she never read it. Emily then admitted that if Jef hadn't been on the show, it would probably be "Emily and Arie."
Emily really didn't help things by telling Arie he was "almost first" - that may not have been the best path to take. However, Arie seemed to be in good spirits, and said he was happy for Emily and Jef.
The show concluded with Emily and Jef appearing together, and Jef said the two will be heading to Africa on a humanitarian mission to build wells. Following that, Jef pledged to move to Charlotte to be with Emily and her daughter, although he will not live with them.
What did you think of last night's "Bachelorette" finale? Did Emily make the right choice?
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