Now we know: having just one F in your name where by all rights there should be two is no barrier to success on The Bachelorette. We should prepare ourselves for an onslaught of Jerys, Bils, and Harys in future seasons.
Despite sticking with a play-hard-to-get strategy for a worrisome length of time, and despite Emily Maynard seeming to have a stronger physical connection with his main rival, it was 27-year-old Jef Holm, a bottled water entrepreneur from Utah, who wound up getting the final rose from the Charlotte single mom. He got down on one knee and proposed, she accepted, and everlasting true love is sure to follow. Well OK, probably not, but we can pretend for a few days.
The Jef vs. Arie showdown began with the requisite meeting with Emily’s parents, her brother Ernie, and his fiancée. This was also our first look at the Maynard clan, keeping in mind that they never showed up in her Bachelor season. Jef managed to charm the gang, despite showing up for the occasion wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. His effortless earnestness is just what future in-laws want to hear. Arie had a little more trouble establishing a rapport, but his visit ended well, and Emily was unable to get much guidance as to what she should do next. Her father did express the view that she couldn’t literally be in love with both men, which might have started the wheels turning.
How would things had gone, I wonder, had Emily’s first Last Chance Date been scheduled with Arie? Instead it was Jef who had first chance at the Last Chance, and he used his time to press for a meeting with little Ricki. Emily’s dilemma, of course, is that she introduced Ricki to Brad Womack, and then their engagement fizzled – single moms tend to be wary of how many prospective stepdads they allow to meet their children. But she eventually gave in, possibly her way of admitting to herself that Jef was going to get the gig unless he really screwed this up – because she would then be in the position of either having Arie meet Ricki too, or picking Arie at the end even without his having met the kid.
Jef, naturally, was terrific with Ricki, which shouldn’t be too surprising because he often comes across as closer to her age than to Emily’s. They seem like any other young family, and he’s looking home free at this point. And when Emily summons Chris Harrison to her abode and informs him that there’s no need for her to string Arie along any further, it’s official. (For some reason, the producers are treating this decision like some kind of unprecedented break with tradition, when Ali did the same thing just two summers ago.)
Emily still had to break the news to Arie, who perhaps should have figured something was really wrong when she greeted him in tears. She has some sterling qualities, but we’ve seen this season that being able to succinctly give someone the boot is not one of them, and it took Arie a long time to realize he was being dumped – I’m not sure she ever actually did say it. His response was to simply stand and attempt to leave, whereby Emily demanded he make her feel better about what just happened (an annoying trait she may have picked up from Womack). I don’t know why the one who finishes second is always completely shocked, but expecting them to do the comforting is a little weird too.
So all that was left was minor drama over whether Emily would really accept Jef’s proposal, but come on, who were they kidding.
On “After the Final Rose,” a tanned and somehow even thinner Emily had her reunion with Arie, who looks to have totally recovered from the shock. In news that some will find romantic and others very restraining order-y, Arie revealed that he flew to Charlotte on his own after taping ended, in an attempt to get a better (or first) explanation from Emily, and wound up dropping off his Bachelorette journal at her front door instead. Hmmm. Sounds like someone who made it to age 30 before ever being rejected.
Jef eventually came onstage, and he and Emily shared cutesy body language throughout – a far cry from her ATFR with Brad, where it was questionable they were even still a couple. He dropped the news that he would be moving to Charlotte, as if there was any chance she would be heading to Utah instead. And both promised there would be a wedding, because they always do; but didn’t reveal a date, because they never do.
Good luck to these three crazy kids! And stay tuned for Bachelor Pad, always entertaining in its own sick way.
What chances to you give to Jef and Emily?