Welcome to a special edition of Think-It and thank you for waiting patiently for my take on the After the Rose show. I’ll disclose the fact that I’m feeling a bit cranky and edgy today for a host of reasons, including but not limited to the fact that I have to look at Jake on television strolling around various cities with that smug I’m-better-than-you smile on his face in that skin tight purple turtle neck that someone convinced him looked bitchin’ along with Vienna and her rusty reputation acting like both of them are better than what we all know to be true. I honestly hope we’re all wrong. I really do. I wouldn’t take that bet to Vegas, though. I’m not exactly taking off the gloves this week, but be prepared for me to unload a bit more than usual.
Let’s get to it.
Immediately following Jake’s big choice—which was made in November—we are treated to the After the Final Rose show—taped in February—in order to get an update on our new couple, give Tenley an attempt at closure, confirm that Ali is the new bachelorette, and break the news that Jake has agreed to be on Dancing with the Stars (WTF?). Apparently, the box step is taking the place of the paso doble this season. I doubt he’ll be setting the flamenco afire, but it’s comforting to know that if I ever become a commercial pilot, I’ll have months of vacation time to discover myself or whatever.
Woody Allen said, “In California, they don't throw their garbage away - they make it into TV shows.” That’s exactly what happened with this show. The entire thing was as contrived and insincere as Jake himself and, sadly, it came off that way. Even Harrison’s pull with the audience couldn’t rescue the show and at times, he looked embarrassed. Nonetheless, I watched the whole damn thing. Go figure.
Of course, we begin with the predictable, canned montage of Jake’s “amazing journey” from start to finish as we relive every aspect of the exact same montage from the Final Episode that ended three minutes prior to this show. Noticeably absent were any shots of Jake on his moped with that giant helmet. It’s refreshing to know that ABC pays attention to its focus groups. I found myself nostalgic for the giant helmet. Life was so much easier back then, wasn’t it? Perhaps ABC will see the error of its ways and film a Bachelor: After Jake Stopped Wearing the Helmet episode where we, the viewing audience, will be allowed to say a proper goodbye to the helmet and move on with our mundane lives. I wouldn’t take that to Vegas either.
Harrison enters in is customary tailored navy suit with a blue/gray oxford and monochromatic tie carefully selected to blend gently into the softly lit, blue neon round stage surrounded in Zen-like peacefulness by fresh roses and white candles. He attempts to convince us that we’re in for “surprises” and that Jake’s choice came from his heart. Fat chance on both of those. It was a lot like watching someone with a pair of twos attempt to get his opponent to go all in for fear of him holding a royal flush. This show should have been royally flushed in favor of a rerun. You can only run the bucket down the well so many times before it runs dry. Regardless, I continued to watch.
Harrison sets up Tenley’s impending arrival in order to allow Tenley the closure she’s probably no longer seeking but contractually obligated to find. She shows up looking—of course—smiley, positive, and nervous in her teal off-the-shoulder silky short dress thing. I doubt it’s true, but I allowed myself to think that she chose to wear the same color Vienna wore in the final rose ceremony just to show that she looked better in it than Vienna; which, let’s face it, is about as difficult as counting to one. Tenley looked great and was gracious. She seemed surprised that she got “a lot of love” from the audience—or at least she acted that way. I’m sure she reads the tabloids.
Tenley tells us that today is a big day to revisit her emotions. It’s been a magical journey. As we will soon see, everyone on the show takes a stab at the magical journey language, but Tenley is clearly the only one qualified to classify anything as a magical journey. After all, she did tour the country as Cinderella, Belle, and Ariel—all of whom unquestionably went on magical journeys.
Harrison begrudgingly turns the knife and cues the footage of Tenley getting dumped while a picture in picture shows her reaction to all of her pre-dumping “I have a bright future with Jake” comments. In retrospect, it would have been a much better finale if Jake would have taken someone more bitter—say Ashleigh or Michelle--to the end so the loser could bash Vienna and Jake after a few pops in the limo on the way off the island. Tenley, however, keeps it together while the scabs are sanded from her wounds and the open sores are filled with salt.
Tenley plays along with the script and sets up the “unanswered questions” talk so we can bring Jake out after he taped his shameless cross-promotional introduction to Dancing with the Stars. I have to admit I didn’t see that one coming. Then again, Nostradamus didn’t see that one coming. I’ve checked the quatrains. On second thought, Nostradamus did cryptically predict the end of the world. Perhaps this is what he meant. Jake and both of his left feet will be competing with the likes of Pam Anderson, Erin Andrews, and that chick from the Pussycat Dolls. The Pussycat Dolls? I saw that act the first time. It was called the Spice Girls. The cast members of Dancing with the Stars are all women who have appeared nude at one point or another in their careers. This begs the question: Why wasn’t Vienna asked instead of Jake?
Do ANY of these people actually have jobs? I mean aside from the ones who have fake jobs like working for Facebook in San Francisco or—apparently—being a pilot from Denton. They have one hell of a pilots’ union up there in Denton. Jimmy Hoffa didn’t have that much vacation. Jimmy Hoffa doesn't have that much vacation now.
In the next segment, Jake comes out, hugs Tenley in his black suit and dark shirt looking like a pit boss at Harrah’s Casino. Tenley and Jake share an intimate, insincere, contractually predetermined, scripted exchange. He gives her the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech and some garbage about “exploring and pushing hard.” All of a sudden he’s Vasco De Gama?
Jake assures Tenely that he was looking for the “magical spark” while they were going through their “journey.” Tenley awaits, patiently listening, but confesses that she clearly doesn’t get the “lack of physical connection” thing and asks Jake for a clarification. “Hey Tenley, Vienna puts out. You don’t,” I screamed at the TV while Jake fumbled around saying that she didn’t have some “intangible, unexplainable thing.” Intangible, unexplainable thing? Yea, loose morals. Come on, Jake. Call a tramp a tramp. To be fair, Jake is used to having satisfying and prolonged sexual experiences. The only difference is that now he has a partner.
For the people who asked me on email, the bottom line for men is the same as it is for women. We all pretend to want someone who’s toured the country as Cinderella, Belle, or Ariel but, given the opportunity, we chose someone who challenges us. Someone a little dangerous. That’s why Johny Depp and Robert Downey, Jr. are the sexiest men alive and not Burt Bacharach or Barry Manilow. It’s really that simple. Too nice is eventually too boring. Ironically, it’s the same reason that dolt Jake has been dumped by everyone he’s ever dated.
Tenley is sweet, kind, and genuine but she’s also clearly a doormat. Add that to the ever present “I’m divorced and I don’t sleep around” and all of a sudden, Vienna starts to gain ground. Top that off with the fact that when it comes to relationships, Jake is developmentally in high school and, bingo, Vienna wins. I saw it coming all season and I wrote about it. My prediction is that Vienna will get tired of him and dump him after several plastic surgeries and a failed attempt at a career in television. I think he chose incorrectly. He made his bed and it’s only a matter of time before he discovers Vienna and another man lying in it without him.
Back to Tenley. Harrison mercifully but tardily steps in, pulls the banter out behind the shed, and puts it out of its misery. Tenley chokes on the name “Vienna” and gets some sympathy applause from the audience when she asks if it was unfair to Vienna if Jake had feelings for Tenley. Jake manages a “good question” to fend off the audience’s obvious preference for Tenley over Vienna before going back to his horseshit “magical spark” answer and “closing the door on your heart” metaphors. Between this scripted exchange and his Dancing with the Stars announcement is when I got truly aggravated. Tom Cruise was less of a sanctimonious A-hole in his interview with Matt Lauer. Tenley is genuinely nice. Aware of this, Harrison takes a stab at “clarity,” compliments Tenley, and we move on to the next inane segment. Tenley exits and presumably goes back to her life. I honestly wish her well. Perhaps she’ll find someone soon who can actually do the box step and figure out where her heart is. You dodged a douchebag, honey.
Jake carries the next segment alone about as well as his new fiancé carries class. When asked about his attraction to Vienna, Jake actually drops “Vienna is my baby” and the Are-You-F*cking-Kidding Me look on Harrison’s face was priceless. Jake tells us he’s had a “series of high caliber relationships”—whatever that means--but has “never had this kind of heat in a relationship.” That’s what happens when you date someone who is constantly in heat, Jake. Just be sure and hide your Rolex when you go to sleep at night and never leave your PIN number and ATM card in the same place.
Jake spins Vienna’s image unconvincingly and Harrison attempts levity by referencing Jake’s penchant for crying on balconies like Jason in season’s past. Jake assures us that knows Vienna, her heart, her motives, her values, and her passions. That’s a big line to draw in the sand for a 23 year old ex-Hooters waitress whose daddy has taken care of everything, Jake. Hillary Clinton was convinced of the vast right wing conspiracy against her husband. She’s been putting those words between wheat bread and mayonnaise for years now. Let’s hope you’re not reliving that moment in a picture in picture on national TV after Vienna kicks you out of your starter home and claims squatter’s rights to your gazebo. You might want to transfer title in that motorcycle over to your parents as well. Sure, you have the argument that it was a gift, but it was technically given to you in California and it’s doubtful that it can be classified as community property when you get divorced. Better safe than sorry.
Next, it’s time to attempt to rehab Vienna and legitimize Jake’s journey. Vienna impersonates her family tree by walking a straight line to Jake in a magenta sparkly dress to a polite smattering of applause in order to show off the new highlights in her powdered wig and begin her reputation rehabilitation publicity tour. I’ve seen people with eyes like Vienna before but I had to pay admission and walk into a giant tent first. Vienna finally dyed her roots, which is a shame because it is apparent that she was once dark and pretty—when it got dark outside, she was pretty. Unlike Tenley, Vienna did not look virginal. In fact, she looked more like a Minneapolis freeway in December—like she gets plowed a lot. Vienna toned down her makeup a bit too. In fact, if you looked closely you could almost see the stretch marks around her mouth.
I told you I was cranky.
Vienna demonstrates that she’s obviously been coached by the same person who coached Jake and Tenley by dropping “magical,” “journey” and “fairytale” references. Don’t the producers watch their own show? Vienna came across about as sweet as lemon juice. Harrison makes a false “we’re so happy for you” announcement as Jake and Vienna giggle amongst themselves while the audience collectively rolls its eyes and fails to applaud when she shows them the ring ABC bought her. Jake talks about his “one first time” to propose. Well, to be fair, it was Vienna’s third time. Details, meh….
Vienna addresses the “fabricated stories” in the media apparently extracted from attention seekers she knew from junior high and everyone on stage ignores the fact that her bad reputation has been fostered by the ABC for the past 9 weeks. Again, details. We learn that Vienna will be immediately moving to Dallas, which is nice because she will be only 30 minutes South of Jake’s starter home in Denton. When I heard about the move I immediately pictured Vienna’s family loading up their truck with meth lab supplies, moonshine, live fowl, and all of their belongings, and leaving the swamps of Florida for greener pastures with Vienna’s dad’s motorcycle in tow.
In an attempt to shield Jake from blogs like this one and all of the other negative publicity surrounding his bride-to-be, Harrison announces that ABC will be sending them back to St. Lucia and, simultaneously, the guy who has been filling in for Jake for the past 9 weeks at his super important commercial pilot job launched a throw pillow at his television before putting down his scotch, walking upstairs to his children’s room, and letting them know that Daddy would be missing a few more soccer games and dance recitals.
Jake. What a jackass.
In the cheesiest moment in Bachelor history, Jeffery Osborne emerges from the dark in order to serenade our lucky couple. Osborne does his best Lee Greenwood impression by dusting off what used to be a great song. He was still wearing the yellow shirt and black vest evidencing the fact that he took time off between his shift dealing blackjack and doing two shows a night in the lounge of the nearest Indian casino. He performs On the Wings of Love as Jake and Vienna giggle obnoxiously and demonstrate just how much work Jake has to do in order to truly dance with the stars.
In the final segment, Ali emerges in a black version of Tenley’s dress in order to confirm the worst kept secret since Madonna traveled to Malawi to adopt another kid. Ali looked happy, rested, and ready to mingle.
Well, there it is: One full season of the Bachelor down and one full season of the Bachelorette waiting to film. I’ll be blogging about Jason and Molly’s wedding and then perhaps taking a week or two off while I plan my next move. Perhaps I’ll take some flying lessons.