...which means Ali's Bachelorette journey is far from over. But at least the first phase ended last week. I did want to wait to make sure the relationship would last for a few months of press appearance bliss. And when neither Ali nor the man she chose ended up as a contestant on Bachelor Pad, I felt confident this was going to be one of those successful Bachelor relationships that lasts until the airing of the next season.
On the finale, Roberto and Chris met Ali's family and, after weeks of dating multiple men, she finally chose the love of her life. Sadly absent from the After the Final Rose special were updates on other Bachelor/Bachelorette couples. They've all broke up, except for Jerry O'Connell's brother (whom no one cares about) and of course, Trista and Ryan. Amazingly, I think viewers have finally reached a saturation point for watching their kids play in the snow. Here's hoping.
Roberto Meets the Fam
Roberto got super serious this week. We knew this because he suddenly started using the word serious in every other sentence. Everyone in Ali's family like Roberto and they especially liked over-enunciating his name. Ali told her parents he calmed her down. How did he do that? "Like he like will dance and he'll sing in my ear [sic]."
Ali's mom thought Roberto was "the tall dark handsome man of Ali's dreams". He also was the tall dark handsome man of her mom's dreams. Mom got very excited hearing stories about Roberto. Like, too excited. When has some one on one time with him, she was even brought to tears. As he took her hand, she explained, "I can't contain the joy of this whole experience." She also told him, in Spanish, "I believe that your heart is pure." Really.
Despite all the adoration, Roberto was still concerned. His took getting her dad's permission "seriously". Did you get that? He was taking things seriously. But of course, he said all the right things, including the fact that he was "thinking long term" (As in beyond the 8 or so weeks they'd been dating?) and Ali's dad gave him the okay.
Then Ali's mom asked Roberto to teach her how to salsa and the whole family had a dance party. (I think she wanted a private lesson, but sadly her Dirty Dancing dreams were for naught.) Afterward Ali and Roberto both said they felt lucky. Lucky they escaped without Ali's mom making a move on her daughter's boyfriend.
Chris Meets the Fam
Chris brought an abnormally large fruit basket (to symbolize the size of his love for Ali?) and her family cheered when they found out he was from Massachusetts. Within 2 minutes the dead mom came up and Ali's family was smitten. The fam also discovered crazy commonalities with Chris; both dads were teachers who were born in Canada and both moms were nurses. It was like kismet!
If Ali's mom was into Roberto, Ali's sister was all about Chris. She thought he was "a wonderful guy that puts the important things first." She liked how open he was about his feelings for Ali and plans to propose. (He seemed so sure... almost too sure...)
Ali's mom thought Chris was "really really nice" and liked that Ali's relationship with him was moving slowly. Chris also made a big deal of getting Ali's dad's permission. He also said all the right things and then repeated his mantra: "I'm ready to find my soul mate, my perfect one." (...somebody, anybody, please I'm so lonely!") He got her dad's permission, which he saw as "the next step along the way of Ali going from soul mate to my future wife". (Order: get rock-hard abs, audition for television show, go on group dates, fall in love, get dad's permission, get married.)Then everyone jumped in the water together.
After Chris left, Ali realized "it's not about who's a great guy, they're both great guys, it's about who's right for me." Insightful, I know. Ali's dad liked Roberto, while her brother and sister were on team Chris because he seemed "real". Ali's mom was also pushing Chris and his "unwavering" commitment, but I think that's because she wanted Roberto for herself.
Roberto's Final Date
Ali wore a yellow frilly shirt thing and pink bow just in case the outfit wasn't already visually jarring enough. After taking a jet ski ride (Ali: "I love getting on machines that go really fast."), they waded around in the water. Some stingrays approached, with dangerous music underscoring and Ali made a big deal of Roberto's "immediate reaction to protect" her. She also realized that it wasn't the stingrays, but trusting her heart that was "gonna be the real fear to overcome".
Then it started to rain and Roberto and Ali made out in the water. Roberto called it a "beautiful moment" and Ali said it was "the most magical and romantic moment I've ever experienced in my life."
But then Roberto explained that things had to get serious at their nighttime date. He told Ali it was hard for him to open up. (He'd already been saying he loved her, so I didn't really what he meant.) Ali told Roberto he was perfect, that she'd "never met a man like him in my whole life" blah blah blah.... Roberto gave her a picture of them with a note that went something like, "The moment I met you, I knew my life would change... journey... lifetime... better man.... Spanish Spanish Spanish."
Then he told Ali, "I'm definitely falling in love with you" (which is totally different that just saying you're in love with someone). Ali said she felt like her heart was "exploding out of my chest, like exploding!" and asserted to the cameras that she loved Roberto.
Before his date, Chris confidently thought aloud, "When we get married, Ali and I, I'm gonna shower her with tons of love". Then Ali showed up at his place and told him "I'm in such a weird place right now" and "even if two people are like-- really enjoy spending time with each other and hanging out, I don't know if that necessarily means they're like supposed to be...do you understand what I'm saying?" In case he didn't understand what she was saying, she continued, "I'm in love with somebody else."
Ali told him she wasn't waiting until the final rose ceremony the next day, because she didn't want to put him through additional trauma; he'd already been through so much. Chris thanked her repeatedly and told her she was "absolutely amazing", because he's a nice guy like that.
Final Rose Ceremony
Because Ali's choice was already made, the drama of the rest of the episode revolved around whether Roberto would choose her back. Even as he picked a ring, Roberto kept talking about how he didn't know what the right decision was and how serious (serious, serious, serious....) the situation was.
There were clips of Roberto saying he didn't want to propose unless he was "100% sure" spliced with Ali talking about how she was "100% percent certain with all my heart that Roberto's the right man for me". (I was 100% sure that if they did end up together it would not last as long as dramatic the buildup to the end of the episode.)
Ofcourse, when he saw Ali standing outside, in the standard flowy Bachelorette gown, Roberto got down on one knee and proposed. Ali giggled and said yes and then "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" played over their relationship montage. (Oh the memories!) Then Ali asked him in Spanish if he'd accept the last rose. And he did.
After the Final Rose
Ali wore a white dress that was about 3 sizes too small in the, um, bust. Chris Harrison told her Frank was supposed to be there but backed out at the last minute and "has chosen not to face you". Ali said closure would've been nice, but she didn't have hard feelings because she got her happy ending.
Then Chris L. showed up, 10 pounds lighter, five shades darker and with blond highlights. He said getting dumped by Ali was tough but he was ready to find his soul mate and was going to keep looking for that right person. (Maybe in an LA mansion among 25 camera hungry marriage ready women?) Could somebody be campaigning to be the next Bachelor?
Chris L. and Ali were all congenial and smiley. Chris' one question for her was what had she learned from their relationship. He thanked her again, a few times, and told her how wonderful she was. He said he was happy she found love and had picked an amazing guy and then they hugged it out.
Then Ali and Roberto had their coming out party and Ali giggled some more. She said she'd felt strongly for Roberto throughout and was just exploring other options to make sure he was the right one. When Chris Harrison asked how their relationship was going, Ali talked about a handshake she and Roberto had made up and how hilarious it was. I didn't get it.
Like every Bachelor couple, Ali and Roberto were planning to get married, but not rushing anything. They got a place in San Diego and were moving in together. Then, Chris sent them off in a helicopter for an impromptu vacation to the Catalina islands, wishing them, "all the success and blessings in the world". No talk show circuit? What were they hiding?
Ali said their love was "unbreakable" and nothing would come between them. Anyone want to double down against that?