And I thought Juan Pablo was bad.
I know I was not alone when I was mind-blown watching the two-day finale of the latest season of “The Bachelor.”
It was cringy. It was heartbreaking. It was unexpected and also disappointing. But maybe not in the ways you’d think.
Before I go any further, please know there will absolutely be spoilers of this last season as well as a reveal of the next Bachelorette. You probably already know, since it’s been a while since this trainwreck went down, but you’ve been warned.
I was surprised and confused when Arie Luyendyk Jr. was named as this year’s Bachelor. My first thought was, “Who the heck is he?” Then I see this salt-and-pepper-haired guy and still have no idea who he is.
Luyendyk, 36, is a former race car driver and past contestant in Emily Maynard’s 2012 season of “The Bachelorette.”
Perhaps his time had finally come. Knowing that one of the contestants in his group of women was from Fresno and her young age would cause some controversy, I was excited to watch Luyendyk’s search for love.
However, that search turned out to be incredibly boring. The women were the best part of the show, which isn’t too surprising. Former contestants who go on to become the Bachelor usually turn out to be less interesting than they were in their group of guys on “The Bachelorette.”
Chris Soules, for instance, was kind of dull. And Ben Higgins, though I had a huge crush on him, was less captivating than I thought he’d be – though he did earn some points at the end when he told both of the final two women he loved them. This was unprecedented in all of the seasons I’d seen. The Bachelors or Bachelorettes of the past hardly ever said “I love you” until they had gotten engaged. What Higgens did was wild!
But evidently not that wild for Luyendyk, who told multiple girls he was “falling” for them and who told his final two women, repeatedly, that he loved them.
And finally, on that fateful Monday night, we saw him propose to Becca Kufrin. It was sweet, joyous and truly a happy occasion for all!
But when the screen cuts to host Chris Harrison at the live viewing and we see the clips of what’s coming up, former Bachelor Jason Mesnick appears, and we know all hell is about to break loose.
Mesnick infamously broke up with the woman he originally proposed to, Melissa Rycroft, during the live “After the Final Rose” special of the 13th season of “The Bachelor” in 2009. He then rekindled the flame with runner-up Molly Malaney, and the couple is still together to this day.
So we know already that Luyendyk is about to pull a Mesnick.
Before the show even aired in January, Luyendyk said he was having doubts about choosing Kufron. He contacted his runner-up, Lauren Burnham, via an Instagram private message (classy) and upon receiving some sort of confirmation that she would take him back, according to contestant Seinne Fleming, Luyendyk then proceeded to break up with Kufrin. On film.
The breakup was highly advertised as the first, unedited scene aired on the show. We watch Kufrin as she learns what was supposed to be a romantic couples getaway is actually the time for Luyendyk to break off their engagement.
Me, too, Becca. Me too.
It was the most awkward thing to watch. Kufrin kept telling Luyendyk to leave, and he just stared at her. He kept saying he wanted to talk about it, but, like, what else is there to say? He’s leaving, Kufrin knows she can’t stop him. It’s a short conversation, really.
Then Kufrin went to cry in the bathroom – the one place the cameras won’t follow her – and he knocks on the door and asks if she’s OK.
No. No, She is not OK. What a dumb question.
Apparently, Luyendyk decided to take some lessons from another one of the worst Bachelors ever, Juan Pablo Galavis, who famously said, “It’s OK,” probably a trillion times during his season.
No. It’s not OK.
I don’t know what’s worse: breaking up with your fiancé on live television à la Mesnick, or filming the whole thing to be viewed and scrutinized later like Luyendyk did. The whole situation is messy.
Some say filming the breakup was too invasive – why show it to the whole world when it could have been done in private? Well, it’s reality TV. And as Kufrin said during the live show, she knew what she signed up for.
I probably would have been a little more defiant than that, but Kufrin is ready to get over the whole ordeal because she was announced as the next Bachelorette!
Kufrin was honestly one of the most interesting girls this season, and I don’t think we even got to see half of her lovely personality due to the show’s time constraint and editing. But we did see when Luyendyk asked, “Will you accept this rose?” and she responded, “Duh!” She was so cute.
So, I’m ecstatic to watch her find real love this time. She met five men in her group of potential suitors so far during the second night of the finale, and it looks like she’s off to a great start.
But I’m still mad at Luyendyk. As if watching the breakup wasn’t enough, we also got to see his reunion with Burnham. He paced outside of her house and said he was having a panic attack in anticipation of the conversation, but as soon as he got to the door, Burnham opened it and quite literally ran into his arms.
What’s he acting all nervous for? Of course, she’s taking him back. She even asked when he was planning to propose (again).
The answer is soon, apparently, since Luyendyk got down on one knee (for the second time in less than six months) and proposed to Burnham during the “After the Final Rose” episode.
I just… There are no words.
Like Chris Harrison said, there has been a 100 percent success rate for the Bachelor who goes back to his runner-up – Mesnick is the only other person to do it.
But I’d still be scared for Burnham, considering Luyendyk has been outed for sliding into contestant Bekah Martinez’s DMs since the show ended. Maybe it’s just friendly, but I’d be more than annoyed if that was my fiancé talking to any of his exes right after leaving a fiancé for me.
So. Hopefully it works out for them. And for Kufrin, of course.
But the whole thing was a roller coaster of emotions, and I am so glad it’s over. On to “The Bachelorette!”