The last few seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have had a major shortage of one of the biggest clichés of the franchise: that moment, on the final episode or just before, where our hero/heroine solemnly tells us that “I’m falling in love with more than one person.”
But lo and behold, Emily Maynard has brought it back! The last two Bachelorettes, Ali and Ashley, left little doubt from the early stages of their seasons as to who they would select in the end. But Emily seems genuinely torn between her final two, and even had an unusually hard time getting rid of guy #3, something that’s typically just a formality.
Our season is ending in Curacao, home of gorgeous clear water, at least one quaint Dutch village, and a tasty blue beverage. Emily started the night by recapping her final three for us, providing a clear hint that Sean is running a distant third at this point. His problem, if that’s the right word considering Emily has still spent almost no time with any of these fellows, is that despite all his outward chivalry, he still hasn’t dropped the L-word – and if the Bachelorette has made one thing clear this season, it’s that the men can’t be coy about their interest.
The goal of their date, which took place on an island even smaller than Curacao, was to for Emily to figure out why a man who seems superficially perfect has had just one serious relationship. Sean didn’t help himself by admitting his ex talked about marriage all the time, to no avail. Then, just as he was planning to launch into his epic first “I love you,” he forgot what he was going to say. It’s nice to know even the genetic top 1% is capable of gigantic dweebery. But he read a nice letter he wrote for little Ricki, and choked out the I.L.Y. at last. His reward is a trip to the Fantasy Suite, but as we remember from her Bachelor season, Emily’s suite is for conversation (and hot tubbing) only.
Then it was time to sail on a yacht with Jef With One F. For someone who took several episodes to even express noticeable interest in Emily, he sure seems to be down with the whole idea of marriage now. Their date was dominated by talk of their future life together – though Jef mentioning never having met Ricki, and Emily pointing out that she hadn’t met his parents, again brings up how weird this show really is. This segment also set a new franchise record for use of the word “amazing,” which is saying something.
When it came time for Emily to offer the Fantasy Suite, he actually turned her down, citing the need to set a good example. “Right now is the time for us to bridle these passions,” said Jef With One F, using language never before heard outside of a romance novel. Nobody watches The Bachelorette to see responsibility! Emily explained that all they would do in the Suite was sit on the bed and kiss, which I guess is allowed. Should we read anything into Emily telling Jef that she thinks about him when she’s home alone with Ricki?
The final date was with Arie, who accompanied Emily to a truly neat swimming-with-dolphins encounter. Emily seemed frightened by the sea-beasts, while Arie, who drives 200 mph for a living, took it all in stride. Track Boy said all the right things, though you can tell that Emily was mildly concerned that someone used to waking up at 9 AM and going out to dinner most nights might not fit into a domestic setting.
I don’t know that her goal – finding out if they could have more together than just “physical chemistry” – was achieved, but she was aware enough of that chemistry to not even offer the Fantasy Suite to Arie, on the grounds that our little filly might not be able to keep everything bridled. “Good lord, he’s hot,” she informed us. Arie apparently isn’t enough of a follower of the show to wonder why he was getting this treatment, since he never brought it up.
As if Emily wasn’t going to have enough trouble ditching one of these men, all three recorded a short message for her to watch before the final Rose Ceremony. She wanted more time, but Chris Harrison was there to talk her down. Send someone home! You must! OK then – goodbye, Sean. You could tell he was hurt and in disbelief, but Emily was the one who really needed consoling. Those two looked perfect together from the moment he got out of the limo, but you can’t fake that connection.
Next week: The men tell all. Will Ryan wear “those” shoes again?