After eleven episodes full of debauchery, drinks and arguably the most deviant debutante we’ve had on this franchise, we’ve reached the part everyone has waited for. While the path to the finale of The Bachelorette certainly has some of its enjoyable moments, there’s one particular climax we’ve been building up. With two men left, we all want to know just one last thing:
Who’s going to lose?
I understand this is a very masochistic point of view, but is there anything more pleasing than rejection during a marriage proposal based solely on an alcohol-glazed, two-month relationship? Why see these soulless people lovestruck and enjoy the pure bliss of a budding relationship when we can see them in utter devastation in front of millions of Americans watching.
Unfortunately, any finale in this franchise is always built like a Pop Tart. We have to slug through the cardboard-like outside of the treat before we get to that delicious frosty gooeyness (preferably strawberry, of course). Both Nick and Shawn meet Katilyn’s family and they go through the traditional date structure that always happens in these situations. Most of the family likes them, until one family member (usually the not-as-good-looking sibling) pulls the candidate aside and expresses certain concerns. In Shawn’s case, they worry about him controlling his jealousy, whereas for Nick, they express their concern of him being a V-neck-rocking psychopath with an untreatable addiction to starring in reality television. Fair points on both. But as always, both Nick and Shawn are able to assuage the worries of the families, and end up in the good graces of both for a proposal. Two proposals you say? Oh yes, it’s coming.
And so Kaitlyn finishes her time with both men on one last date. She cozies up with both men, and receives presents from both. Nick gifts Kaitlyn an album with some pictures and a handwritten note expressing his feelings for her, which is the same present my class was forced to make for our parents in second grade. And Shawn? He gives her a memory jar with items that represent their time together. Again, pretty shitty gifts on both parts, but it’s not like these final offers were going to swing Kaitlyn’s decision (more on this later).
Which brings us to the final moment. The first to approach is Nick, ring in his pocket ready for a proposal. He steps up, speaks a few (probably scripted) words of love to Kaitlyn, and reaches into his pocket.
In just two words Nick sums up so much that’s happened on this season. For weeks now he’s tried to convince us that he was in love with Kaitlyn and wanted to move forward in the fastest way possible. But after seeing (probably because he enjoys creeping and peeped through their window) how Kaitlyn and Shawn had connected over the final few weeks, and based on his reputation among the group, I’d venture a guess that Nick knew he was never going to win. You can tell by his response. “No. Alright?” He’s essentially resigned to his fate. So why the proposal? Most likely just a way to gain back some sympathy from the audience for his potential future in reality television.
But the full onus of deception on this reality show isn’t just on Nick. Let’s turn to Kaitlyn for a second. She tells Nick she actually needed every second before he approached her on the final day to really think about and make this decision. I’m calling bullshit. Of course she would say this. She’s one of many former contestants who have been paid premium dollar by ABC executives to continue a twelve-week facade in front of an entire nation.
But perhaps she’s different. Maybe she really did struggle to make this decision. She is arguably the most refreshing and likable bachelorette in recent memory. But let’s look at her track record this season. In several instances, whether it was disposing of a drunk Kupah or shattering Cupcake’s dreams on the cliffs of Ireland, Kaitlyn has consistently acted on impulse and feeling. The moment she doesn’t like something, she gets rid of it, regardless of if there’s a rose ceremony or not. And based on Shawn’s claim of her telling him that he would be the one she picks weeks ahead of the finale, perhaps Kaitlyn has been a bit facetious with her feelings. Maybe she knew all along exactly who she was going to say “yes” to.
So why keep Nick for so long? Again, I hardly use the word “intelligent” when describing anybody on this show, but Kaitlyn is certainly no fool. It all comes down to ratings. The feud between Nick and Shawn presents the best case scenario for Kaitlyn to keep popularity of her season at an all-time high, so keeping them both around is probably best for the show.
But there is one last snag in this whole theory. Why sleep with Nick? If she was really committed to Shawn, she surely could have been somewhat intimate with Nick without going the whole way, right? You have to remember, this whole show is essentially a fancy twelve-week vetting process. And if Kaitlyn made her decision in just a handful of episodes, then what should she do in her final six weeks?
She does what any other woman who has six weeks before her marriage proposal would do.
She has a bachelorette party.
These final weeks have been exactly that. Yes there has been tears, emotions and plenty of heartbreak. But if you rewind and take a look back several of the episodes, Kaitlyn nearly always has a glass full to the brim and is enjoying herself with each and every man possible. It’s not like there are girlfriends around to take her to a Vegas Chippendales show. So she makes her own fun before she commits to Shawn. Yes, things may have gone a bit too far with Kaitlyn, but it’s her fun to have, not anyone else’s. If she has to live under scrutiny within the social construct “The Bachelorette” has created, she’s certainly allowed to take advantage of the loopholes that present themselves before she makes her final vows.
And hey, she’s the one who has to watch the show with Shawn and explain her actions, not us. Cheers to another fantastic season of “The Bachelorette,” thanks for reading, and hope to have you all back for “BACHELOR IN PARADISE!!!!!”