Hello, Readers. Welcome to a special Thursday post of your favorite blog. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you. Top O’ the Mornin’ to ya, Erin Go Bragh, and whatever other Irish expression suits your fancy. I, for one, will be sipping cold Lone Star beer out of a bottle later today while watching a majority of revelers pretend to enjoy price-gouged, flat, green food coloring-filled keg beer from a giant plastic cup before being forced to puke in a 4th Street alley because the street festival failed to anticipate the correct number of port-o-cans to order. Overcharged and oppressed, just like the Irish. It’s a great holiday, isn’t it?
In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day this special edition will be filled with Irish references. I hope you can spot all of them. With the big season over and our new couple being slowly weaned from the ABC udder, we head into the After the Final Rose show. My end-of-season shout out goes to a reader named Bianca who I believe lives in Dallas. Bianca has sent me a few messages via Facebook over the past few seasons, but she is almost always the first person to comment on postings. She’s been a loyal, dedicated reader for a few seasons now. Thanks, Bianca. Your posts don’t go unnoticed. With that out of the way, let’s get to the Special Irish Edition of the After the Rose Post.
We begin with our host Chris O’Harrison appearing in one of the two shows where he actually has to work. He arrives to the overwhelmingly energetic applause of the gussied up crowd of 25-50 year old women, all of whom have waited in line for hours like Irish coal miners at the company store on pay day just to get a glimpse of O’Harrison’s dashing blue eyes and comely smile.
Realizing he’s only got an hour, O’Harrison doesn’t beat around the potato bush. It was dramatic, emotional, and Brad and Emily will be out soon he tells us. First, we need to check in on this season’s roller coaster, Chantal O’O. Like a roller coaster, she’s been up and down and ridden hard. The least we can do is see what she’s up to.
Arriving to sympathetic looks and a round of “we’re jealous you slept with Brad but sorry you got dumped” applause, Chantal O’O makes her way to the hot seat in a fitted red cocktail dress looking skinnier and healthier than the last time we saw her---at least on the outside.
Harrison pushes the on switch with a simple question and Chantal O’O spits out weeks of accumulated thoughts in a rehearsed, cathartic speech amid poor baby looks from the audience. O’Harrison revels in the uncomfortable silence—or perhaps he was just as bored as I was. Chantal lets us know that she was “confident” about a marriage proposal after she kissed Brad’s blarney stone in the Fantasy Tree House all night. Of course, we all know that was wishful thinking, but hey, I’m sure it was fun while it lasted. As we’d soon find out, her decision to Erin Go Bra-less in the Fantasy Suite will haunt Brad more that it will ever haunt her.
Chantal clichés her way through the next portion of the segment. She’s “strong” now and “everything happens for a reason” she tells us. Of course, that’s what people say when something really sh*tty happens to them for absolutely no reason at all. I’m sure that’s what the Irish said when fungus ate up all of their potatoes and they were forced to avoid starvation by jumping on a ship and coming to Oklahoma.
Everything happens for a reason? I had no idea that Chantal was a Calvinist. I’m not an expert, but something tells me that God’s plan has a lot of To Do items on it that rank above “Have Brad Womack Bang Chantal O. in a South African Tree House So that She Can Gain Perspective on Her Divorce,” but what do I know?
O’Harrison stirs the pot a bit before bringing out Brad O’Womack in his grey suit and matching tie. Doesn’t this guy every shave for crying out loud? That five o’clock shadow look is so Magnum P.I. He should just cap it off with a full mustache, some short corduroy shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, and a Detroit Tigers cap. Not surprisingly, Chantal O’O begins to cry. (Insert Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”). Incidentally, Prince—who is not Irish—wrote that song.
For fear of boring you and pissing myself off, I’ll sum up the entire segment in this paragraph. After a tearful “why not me” from Chantal, O’Womack basically tells her that he was in love with Emily the entire time and took her to the final because he had to take someone. Ashley was too annoying to put out, Michelle was too crazy not to, and she was somewhere in the middle. Whatever. Chantal cries some more in direct contradiction of her “I’ve moved on” and “I’m over it” statements before telling us that she’s met some dude with the balls to wait at the Seattle airport with a “Chantal” sign near Baggage Claim. Want to bet that he saw her parents’ house and hightailed it over to whatever bar he knows she frequents after practicing with his garage band for a few hours? Good for you, Chantal. You dodged a big, angry car bomb when Brad dumped you. There’s a pot of gold at the end of your rainbow, Chantal.
In the spirit of more clichés O’Womack tells us that “that woman” (Emily) “makes him a better person” and that he’s “in love with that woman more than he’s ever been.” After “thank you-ing” the audience for responding to the “Applause, please” sign, Brad continues to shock and awe us by revealing (Gasp!) trouble in paradise. Like Leo Bloom in Joyce’s Ulysses, Brad somberly reflects upon the mistakes in his relationship with Emily. Alright, James Joyce was Irish and I figured I’d throw it in there. Brad could be Leo Bloom if Leo Bloom shaved his chest, drank protein shakes, and covered himself in Axe Body Spray.
The crowd ooooh’s and ahhhh’s at the mere mention of a break up. Frankly, I don’t know why this shocked anyone. He’s a 38 year old single guy with an absent father issue who has worked in college bars for most of his adult life. He lives in a town populated with 18-28 year old active, in-shape, single women who routinely go to those bars and hand out their numbers to guys like Brad. He’s never had to answer to anyone and he’s probably never been ordered to go to Home Depot and a candle store in the same day. Emily is 14 years younger than Brad and has been a mother since she was 19 years old. Why does it shock anyone that they could have a few problems to work out before she packs up her daughter and moves West?
After letting Brad set the stage, O’Harrison brings out Emily. Sporting a wonderful white, strappy dress with black trim in all of the right places, Emily emerges looking more mature with her low lights and complimentary make up. Frankly, I was disappointed she didn’t wear the white shorts, but I think we’ve established that they’ve probably been donated to something for a good cause.
Like the Molly Maguires, Emily admits to resorting to angry tactics in order to get her way. Her relationship with Brad is “not all roses” but she’s “not letting him go.” That’s not exactly “I’m so in love with that woman” is it?
A shaky Emily shocks the audience by revealing that she’s not ready to get married and she couldn’t move to Austin. She reveals that Brad has “a bit of a temper” which really means that he’s a raging jackass when he doesn’t get his way. Odd, a 38 year old bachelor with a daddy issue who has anger issues? Go figure.
Emily tells us that she and Brad need to learn how to fight, deal with things, and communicate before she commits to anything. Say what you want about Emily (some of you already have), but she just proved herself to be far more mature than her much older “fiancé.” Anyone who has ever been in a constructive, successful relationship knows that it’s healthy to fight every now and then as long as the fight serves a purpose and the issues are dealt with constructively.
The fact that Brad—at his age—is not equipped with these skills does not bode well for a future with a 24 year old mother who plans to pack up her life and move to his city. If the relationship does end up working it will be because Emily had the discipline to consider these things before jumping off the life raft. If you’d like a good example of what can happen when people jump unprepared off the life raft, scroll through your DVR and watch Jake and Vienna’s interview. You’re luckier than you realize, Brad.
Emily lets us in on the fact that Monday nights brought with them great anxiety as she prepared to watch Brad repeat the same thing to every woman. O’Harrison has a flash of brilliance when he asks Emily with a straight face if Chantal was the most difficult to watch because “she naturally went the furthest.” Damn right she did, O’Harrison and Emily knows it. I’m certain that Brad’s Axe Body Deodorant was put to the test during this portion of our little program.
To be fair to Brad, a lot has come out about potential skeletons in Emily’s cute little closet over the past couple of weeks. He doesn’t need to wear a hairshirt around like some modern day Tartuffe. (That’s an Oscar Wilde reference for those of you who are counting. He was Irish). I’m sure that stuff hasn’t exactly been easy for him to deal with. However, he doesn’t have to watch her make out with half of Austin, either. Speaking of skeletons, if Emily needs any help hiding a bone, I’d be happy to help. Alright, that was a bit uncalled for. Funny, but uncalled for. I’ll stick to potato famine jokes.
After Emily goes on record admitting that her “edit” portrayed her as boring, O’Harrison tries to help a silent (and undoubtedly clueless) Brad out by pushing back on Emily for withdrawing emotionally at the sight of Chantal and her giant cans rolling all over Brad in the Fantasy Suite. Emily lets us know that Brad’s family warned her about Brad’s temper. Brad’s family wondered if Emily had “poked the bear.” Assuming that the bear refers to Brad and depending on the contextual definition of “poke,” I think it’s fair to say that Emily is upset because Chantal “poked” the bear before she did. Frankly, the bear could have saved himself a lot of aggravation if he just lied to Emily about that.
The Irish flag might be green, white, and orange, but the fact that his family felt the need to warn Emily about his temper, my friends, is a giant red flag in my book, especially considering that Lil’ Ricki will be around when that aforementioned temper flares. The Titanic was built in Ireland and we all know how that ended up. As we cut to break, we wonder if the S.S. Brad and Emily isn’t headed at full speed toward a giant iceberg.
My take. Look, here’s what I think happened. In the interest of full disclosure I’ll tell you that I do have some inside information about this, but I’m not at liberty to say where I got it. Suffice it to say that it’s from someone close to the source.
Brad broke the rules and told Emily VERY early in the game that she was the one he was going to pick. She believed that to be the case for almost the entirety of the taping of the show. That explains her complete lack of jealousy and her willingness to simply turn her back on what ultimately drove women like Chantal and Ashley H. batty enough to be eliminated. Because of that early promise, Emily believed (and I think rightfully so) that Brad would not, shall we say, indulge in the carnal pleasures of another woman. Apparently that didn’t happen and Brad was forced to tell Emily the full story—in great detail—as the show unfolded from week to week. Aaaaaaand, cut to After the Final Rose.
Moving on . . .
In an effort to further perpetuate our “therapy helps” theme, the next segment focuses on the few Bachelor success stories. The good news is that O’Harrison had to get on the horn just three times in order to get all of the success stories in the studio to “advise” Brad and Emily on making it through life in the fish bowl.
Let’s see. There was Ali, who looked lovely in purple but was still annoying. She arrived at the studio sporting many accessories that, while existing only in the background, complimented her appearance; like her earrings, necklace, and Roberto, for instance.
Of course, Jason and Molly were there. Jason still dresses like a limo driver and Molly looked like Jane Seymour. Finally, there was the Holy Grail of Bachelor couples, Ryan and Trista. I thought it would have been a nice touch if the six of them would have shown up in traditional Celtic outfits and formed a line behind O’Harrison dressed as Michael Flatley and performed an interpretive Riverdance demonstrating the potential pitfalls of reality dating shows.
Frankly, I actually found that segment to be the best one of the show. All of the past “winners” seemed genuinely interested in helping. Perhaps that will make a difference. I’m certain that Emily got her turn to complain to Trista, Ali, and Molly over a few cosmos in the Green Room after the show while Jason and Ryan secretly congratulated Brad for dropping the hammer on Chantal before proposing to Emily. Roberto probably couldn’t join that meeting considering that his permission slip went unsigned in Ali’s purse right next to his dignity and his testicles. If he’s good, he’ll have an opportunity to visit both of those things in a week or so.
Harrison resumes control of the bus and leads Brad and Emily back to less adversarial days when they’re love was fresh and new and the air smelled like dew soaked shamrocks on the banks of an Irish spring. Perhaps that was Brad’s Axe Body Spray, but you get the picture.
Brad and Emily watch their engagement again. Considering the way Emily was ambushed this season with the private jet and the race car dates, I half expected unedited shots of Brad and Chantal in the Fantasy Suite to flash up on screen.
As they relive their finest moment in picture-in-picture, we see an audience shot of Roberto as he wonders why Brad didn’t have to ascend 300 steps in overbearing tropical humidity and heat dressed in a suit in order to propose while sweating profusely over his muse. Although we didn’t get a shot of it, I’m certain that Deanna threw her glass of chardonnay at the flat screen television in her fiancé’s living room. She’s about as over Brad’s dumping as Chantal is. I’m happy to know they’ll soon bond at one of those ABC-sponsored orgies.
Reminded that they believe that they sort of fell in love once some time ago . . . maybe, Emily and Brad “I love you” each other to death before he breaks out the newly sized Neil Lane engagement ring and places it back upon Emily’s finger where it will remain—like Excalibur—until the right man comes along and removes it.
Harrison takes us home by wishing Brad and Emily the best and then throws in an “I really do” showing that he’s always in control regardless of what appears on the teleprompter.
Well, there you have it. As always, I appreciate the readership, the comments, the emails, and the attendance at the meet and greets. Please stick around for my off season posts which will still be posted on Tuesdays in addition to an occasional mid-late week post if I can find the time and, more importantly, the inspiration to write that much. Next week’s post will be a third installment of DP Tells All. Please continue to send in your questions for me in addition to any ideas you would like to see me write about. Without your prodding, I’m as boring as a sober Colin Farrell.
For those of you who will not read, please come back this summer when I plan to dissect our favorite spin off show, Bachelor Pad 2. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be walking around downtown not wearing green in hopes of getting Emily to pinch me. DP