They laughed, they cried, they laughed, they cried, they cried, they cried, I laughed, they cried, I laughed, they cried, they cried, they cried, I cried, "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHEN WILL THIS BE OVER!?", they cried some more, and then it was over. But only after 3 hours of awesomeness.
This week, Brad's family went to South Africa to meet the final 2 women and when Brad greeted them, he was overcome with emotion and cried. A lot. His brother if he was "considering proposing" and Brad said "100%". Yup, he was one hundred percent considering. Bold.
Chantal Meets the Fam
Chantal met the family, which consisted of Brad's mom (who likes cheetah prints, bad dye jobs and big jewelry), his twin brother Chad, his less attractive brother Wes, and their wives.
Chantal said she knew she loved Brad when their dinner got rained out in Costa Rica and they took the wine to his room. Wes (the unattractive brother who talks a lot to make up for inferior looks) said "that sounds like a romance movie" -- a romance movie or a drinking problem.
Brad repeated over and over to his brothers that he felt differently than the last time he was on the show. Chantal told Brad's mom she loved Brad and explained, "I would rather be alone than be with someone just to be with someone" (Lies, desperate Chantal! Lies!). Mom told Chantal she was "precious" and "fabulous" and suck up Chantal returned the compliments.
After the visit Brad thought Chantal "completely, completely won them over". Chantal said "I'm ready to change my whole life for him" and Brad said "if everything works out I will marry her."
Emily Meets the Fam
Brad was nervous about Emily's visit and told her not to be shy, which made her nervous. (I was nervous because Emily had way too much blush on, her cheeks looked bruised-or were they bruised? Did crazy Michelle return to give her a black cheek?)
The topic of Emily's daughter came up right away and Brad got very shifty and awkward. Then the question of Ricky's dad came up and Emily told the story, in way too much random detail. This made all the women tear up and talky Wes decided she was "amazing" and told her she'd have "an open armed welcome" from their family.
Brad's brothers wanted to know if he was ready to be a father and ever-so eloquent Wes asked: "I'll say it like this: like do you get that warm fuzzy feeling of you know, dude you're having a family?" "Buddy" Brad replied, "I get the warmest feeling that I can't describe." Emily told Mama Brad her son was "a blessing" and "an angel", which made Mama Brad cry. Brad concluded that Emily and his family fell in love.
The Family Weighs In
Wes said he could see Brad and Chantal "you know sowing some oats before you settle down and whatnot" while choosing Emily entailed a "full blown family... the picket fence, the whole nine yards." The wives liked Emily because she would understand their mom "world", while Chantal would be someone they'd drink wine with (obviously). Although his family was rooting for Emily, Brad said he had feelings for both women.
Chantal's Final Date
Brad and Chantal went swimming with sharks and Chantal freaked out. As you may recall, deep water diving is her greatest fear, and Brad already made her do it once. (A little sadistic B?) Brad was confident in her and saying "everything I've asked her to do she's done it and excelled at it". I'm not going to elaborate on what I think that means because this is a family blog.
Anyway, Chantal got over her greatest fear yet again and that made Brad confident in their relationship and feel like "so many questions have been answered". Back on the boat, it was time for champagne (I'm surprised they lasted so long without it). Brad said he saw a "life full of excitement" with her and they made out on the boat.
The night, Chantal was greeted Brad in her room, which was filled with candles. They went straight to the wine and Brad told her he could be himself around her (in case you missed it the first 100 times he said it) and hearing that made Chantal feel "like what we have is so amazing and special".
She gave Brad a map of the world with little markers for all the places they'd been. She gave it to him inside a wine bottle (to commemorate all the wine they've drunk together). She marveled at how she'd "traveled the world" for him, which meant she really loved him (or that she really loved getting a free vacation).
Then he read a cheesy love letter she wrote, after which she applauded and said "I made myself cry". After some kissing, Brad had her promise him she was okay, told her to get some rest and left with his map.
Emily's Final Date
Brad said that even though his family chose Emily, he was "exploring" his feelings. After a helicopter ride, they sat on some windy mountain-cape-place. Emily asked Brad if he'd "really really sat and thought" about becoming a father because he wouldn't be "cool uncle brad anymore." Brad shifted uncomfortably while she explained it was "not always perfect... not always fun." She worried that she was sabotaging their relationship by being so "painfully insecure."
At night, they went to Emily's room (also filled with candles, though not as many as Chantal) Brad nervously giggled and told Emily he wanted "to be an actual father, not a stepfather." Emily asked him what that meant to him. He threw out words like love, friend and disciplinarian and Emily told him for the third time that it wasn't always fun being a parent. Brad started to get upset. He told her was 'in it" but felt like he was "being questioned." He started to sweat, she kept pushing, and he said he was having a hard time breathing. Brad asked if she was ready to let someone in her life and she said she was, but was nervous and scared.
When he left things still seemed tense. Emily thought she "messed it up big time." Brad said, "I was shot out of the water, I was slapped in the face, I was in such a good place and then to be knocked down makes me profoundly hurt and upset." So he didn't feel very good. Moreover, the date made him, "question everything."
Pre-Final Rose Ceremony
Brad yet agaaaaaaain emphasized how different he felt this time around. He picked a ring and said he'd "never been more confident" about a decision and had "the best gut feeling I've ever had in my life". How ever did Brad come to such clarity without the help of Chris Harrison? Or even his British TV therapist Jamie?
While Brad got dressed (complete with an awkward-yet poignant-close up of his pecks) he kept repeating that he was in love. Meanwhile, Emily and Chantal wrote letters, drank tea, cried, worried he wouldn't pick them and got dressed up in their best black tie attire. Chantal wore a black gown and Emily in white. Symbolism?
Final Rose Ceremony
The dramatic final rose music that always reminds me of the soundtrack from Cool Runnings played as Brad waited outside and limo slowly (slowly sloooowly) approached. And the loser was...Chantal.
Before dumping her, Brad said all sorts of things to make her think she wasn't being dumped. He told her he'd always felt a connection and could be himself around her, that his family loved her and finally "you're someone that I really have looked for for a long long time. Here's where it gets tough"...and then he proceeded to tell her he wasn't choosing her. Harsh. He apologized, she cried, he kept asking if she was ok and she kept shaking her head. Brad told her what they had was "very real, very very real" and she told him Emily was lucky.
In the limo, she sobbed uncontrollably, and eventually said "it doesn't make sense." She felt stupid and asked, "How could I have been so convinced that he was the one he didn't even love me?" 1. Because you were so desperate you'd have decided anyone who looked in your direction was the one. 2. Because he acted like he loved you right up until the second he dumped you.
Then Emily arrived and a breathless Brad told her how beautiful she looked. He said he loved her and she held his face and said she loved him too. He got on one knee and proposed and Emily awkwardly squatted and kissed him before accepting the ring. They were both "the happiest" representatives of their respective genders in the world and did some more face holding. Cue: requisite montage of all the times they made out, and the time he met her kid, with cheesy musical underscoring. I know Emily's whole thing was that she was reserved and poised or whatever, but she seemed a little cold while Brad actually seemed more genuine. Which brings us to...
After The Final Rose
Chris Harrison sported a new hairdo and possibly some work on his face (Maybe botox? Help me out here, readers.)
First Chantal was up. She cried, hugged Brad and kept asking how soon he knew she wasn't the one. He told her they "had something very real" but she felt like he was "discounting" what they'd had. But, she said was happy that Brad was happy and he was happy that she was happy too. She has a new boyfriend and said he was "definitely everything I've been looking for." (But did she say that about Brad? Oh desperate Chantal, when will you learn?) Chris asked if the Bachelor made her new relationship possible and she said "absolutely" because she learned she could love again.
Then she left and Brad went on and on about how in love he was. He also mentioned he and Emily had broken up for a spell and post-postponed the wedding date. The audience was shocked, but Brad explained they were just like any other "real" relationship. Chris apologized "that it hasn't been a very tale" and wise Brad replied, "What relationship is a fairytale?"
Emily, sporting a new, hipper haircut and darker dye job embraced and kissed Brad. The live audience of sad women went wild. She explained that she wasn't ready to get married yet, even though Brad was. Then audience was appalled. Apparently Brad has a horrible temper. Also, she didn't like watching him romance all the other women as the show aired. And then there was that whole: 'boo hoo the blogs don't like us' thing. (Um, I LOVE you guys. Call me and we'll do an interview, okay? Or send me your diary entries and I can publish them with commentary!) Anyway, despite all the obstacles, Emily said she did see a marriage in their future, though I wasn't convinced.
Then it was time for relationship advice from the experts: Ali and Roberto, who haven't broken up yet, Molly and Jason who've been married for a whole year and Trista and Ryan, who are the exceptions that prove the rule that The Bachelor relationships that fail. Anyway they got great advice like "you have to go through some stuff" (Ryan), "pull through" (Ali) and "it's a communication thing" (Roberto). Chris told Emily and Brad the Bachelor couples were their "family" and "a great support group."
Then to kill the remaining time, Chris made them (and us) watch the engagement again. "That is what's real" Chris said afterward. "She's my reality period," added Brad. (Everything is so real I can't take it!)
Then, Brad gave Emily's ring and mumbled something about its size, to make it sound like that was the reason she hadn't been wearing it. (I didn't buy it.) They said they loved each other a bazillion times and then it was over. For real.