It's here, y'all: the Grand Finale of "The Bachelor," the final episode of Ben Flajnik's crazy journey to find love. Or TV fame. Whatever.
Either way, it's been a fun ride for us fashion lovers, who were treated to a few sartorial treats throughout the otherwise rocky season. As it so happens, two of my style favorites made it to the very end: Lindzi, the laid-back blonde with the long legs and tanned face, vs. Courtney, the cutthroat model with the trendy threads and low-cut tops.
But there were few low-cut tops in Zermatt, Switzerland, where Ben (and the producers) chose to cap off the season. The locale is relevant here, because it definitely affects what the women wear. Whereas most past Bachelors and Bachelorettes stage their proposals on some sunny island, with the women in skimpy sundresses and the guys shvitzing in suits (seriously, I have never felt more bad for a man wearing a suit than I did during Roberto's proposal to Ali) -- this season, Ben and his ladies spent the final weeks all bundled up.
For most of this last episode, that meant the clothes were a little less interesting. Lindzi did step up her coat situation (after not wearing one at all last week); on her visit with Ben's family, she arrived in a chic gray double-breasted overcoat with shearling gloves.
Likewise, Courtney met Ben's family with her black coat with the flared peplum waist on, plus black gloves... a foreboding sign of what was to come.
As for Ben's family, they also piled on the layers. Ben's sister Julia impressed me with her chic black poncho while meeting Lindzi and a fun, if not a bit silly-looking, fair isle hat when meeting Courtney. Less playful but equally stylish was Ben's mom, whose got a rather sleek blonde bob. She definitely doesn't have dowdy "mom" style.
After the family meet-and-greets, Courtney and Lindzi each got their last one-on-one dates. Lindzi looked cute in jeans, as she always does... except for a very flashy necklace. With dagger-like pendants hanging down in the center, it was an unexpected choice from the typically understated (and bracelet-inclined) contestant.
Courtney chose a simpler style, wearing an adorable gray and white fair isle sweater. Loathe as I am to admit it, she won this round, fashion-wise. The sweater looked picture perfect against the Swiss mountain backdrop.
And then, after all the dates were over and the giant Neil Lane rock was chosen, the women readied for their final moment with Ben. Again, this is where the cold-weather locale comes into play. Typically, this is when the women, tanned from their weeks on the beach and sunning contemplatively on those sundecks as the cameras pan out, throw on a slinky evening gown and stiletto sandals and head out into the sun.
Courtney and Lindzi, however, had a whole different wardrobe. Both women went dark for their final moments: Lindzi wore a navy Tadashi Shoji silk-chiffon gown (it looked black on TV, but Tadashi Shoji tells me it was navy from the Fall 2011 runway), while Courtney wore a black sequin cut-out dress by Alberto Makali.
And then came the outerwear: CAPES. Dear God, those were some intense capes. Like, Snow White capes. Vampire capes. Harry Potter capes. Count Chocula capes. I don't even know, but they were not the kind of garments one wears IRL. Lindzi's, in green velvet and a hood, felt extremely costume-y, while Courtney's sleek white version with the black gloves poking through reminded me of Cruella de Vil.
Oh yeah -- those gloves. For the life of me, I cannot explain Courtney's gloves. I understand that it is a bit nippy on a snow-covered mountaintop, but girl, this is the one moment in your life when having bare hands and exposed fingers is, like, super duper important. Ben is about to slip a major Neil Lane rock on your finger -- and you've got it covered in a scary black leather glove? There is simply no way you thought this through.
Anyway, after fumbling and peeling her gloves off so Ben could crown her the winner, Courtney got the final rose she'd been gunning for and they all lived happily ever...
I cannot even finish that sentence. Happily ever after is clearly not in the cards for these two, who appeared totally out of sync on Chris Harrison's Festival of Awkward, a.k.a. "After The Final Rose." After the finale moment aired, Chris sat down with Ben, whose hair was looking extra disheveled, and Courtney, who by comparison looked extra coiffed and lacquered. The would-be (or, more likely, won't-be) Mrs. Flajnik had on a tight white, glittery dress with silver sparkling shoes (perhaps she intended to click her heels together and just get the hell out of there?)
She also had a dark makeup job, with seriously noticeable blush and dark smoky eyes, similar to her look on "The Women Tell All" last week. Those ABC makeup artists certainly have heavier hands than Courtney herself, who probably did most of her own makeup throughout the season. Personally, I like the way Courtney does it better.
Alas, all the eye makeup in the world couldn't hide the sadness in her eyes, as well as Ben's. These two are not a well-suited match, and although I always hope and pray for "Bachelor"/"Bachelorette" couples to work out, I'm not predicting a trip to the altar for these two.
Thank God for Ashley and J.P., who came on after Ben and Courtney to lighten the mood and give us all hope that normal, non-deceitful, non-crazy people sometimes do this show... and sometimes they even stay together for more than two months.