Monday night’s “After the Final Rose” Bachelor season recap was a little bit like watching a Christian thrown to the lions. Juan Pablo, the Venezuelan Latin lover, had already weathered a pretty controversial season. Ignoring the accusations of slut-shaming, fast-talking, and lack of depth, let’s just focus on the big picture. Juan Pablo refused to play the game.
He refused to propose to his chosen bachelorette, Nikki, and refused to be free with the L word. The more he was goaded into saying he loved Nikki, the more adamant he became about not saying it. The live audience nearly lost their minds and host Chris Harrison made a comment that people at home were probably throwing things at their televisions. Why the outrage? Because Juan Pablo broke the holy covenant of The Bachelor. We offer you our finest prizes, our beautiful, shapely young women, then spend a lot of money on international adventures, and in turn you give us a fairy tale ending.
When pressured to declare his love, Juan Pablo announced, “This is about a relationship!” It is not about giving the people what they want. And with that assertion, Juan Pablo exposed the 12-year run of the Bachelor for what it is – an unrealistic fantasy. Members of the Bachelor cult further exposed themselves. First, Chris Harrison tried to explain that there was an unspoken contract, that Juan Pablo owed the people who went on this journey with him some satisfaction. Then bachelorette Catherine, whose wedding was just financed and televised by ABC advised, “Don’t bite the hand that fed you.” In other words, don’t mess up the franchise, buddy; we’ve got a good thing going here. The happy couple was finally ushered offstage with Chris Harrison insisting, “They are in love, even though he won’t say it.”
ABC had to give the people their pound of flesh, and so they quickly trotted out Andi as their next Bachelorette. With her big, white-toothed smile and earnest desire to find true love, she turned the audience around. Chris Harrison jokingly clarified, “You do know this is going to be televised, right? And if you do find love you will express those feelings?” Andi smiled and laughed and assured everyone she was genuine and likeable, and the crowd roared. The king is dead! Long live the queen!