Frank is done, put a fork in him. America, and Ali, are over the live-at-home man with no courage of his convictions. Funny only gets you so far when you are prone to bouts of insecurity with a woman looking for reassurance about the rest of her life.
So it comes down to Chris, the down-to-earth Cape Cod landscaper, or Roberto, the oh-so-hot former professional baseball player turned door-to-door salesmen. I know the money is on Roberto since he and Ali will make the better People Magazine cover but I'm here to tell Ali that she would be making the mistake of a lifetime (and my niece and god-child Maria, who is a sophomore at Columbia, is going to tell you below why it should be Roberto).
From the very first show I was rooting for Chris even though his awkwardness made his making it out of the first meet-and-greet questionable. He has sneaky good looks, at least from a guy's perspective, but more important his has a sincerity that I feared Ali would miss...or chose to pass on by. To her credit she has kept Chris around long enough to go home to meet his family and see what he is all about for real.
Yes, Roberto has always been the quiet, dark "stud" of the boys on the show and his pounding in from center field in uniform had all the woman at my house panting, but so what? We are talking about true love here and finding a guy who can be a good husband and father, not who's the best eye candy.
Think about the only Bachelor/Bachelorette couple that has withstood the test of time: Ryan and Trista. Many others have gone for looks over substance, sexual prowess over character (witness Vienna, need I say more?) and it has never worked out. Chris is a Ryan. Quiet, handsome, family comes first, salt-of-the earth, slightly awkward, a heart of gold (quit his nyc career to go home and take care of his mom).
Now let me come clean. The reason I am pulling for Chris is because I was a loser in high school, a semi-loser in college and frankly didn't find my footing with the opposite sex until I met my current trophy wife at the ripe old age of 37. Guys like Roberto have always pissed me off. They make it look so easy. Women flock to them. And by definition they don't have to look into their souls to figure out what is important in life.
I realize this is just a reality show but while we are all obsessed with it, we might as well try to tease out something of value. Ali left the last season to pursue her career only to return in search of love and a life partner. If she really means that then she should be smart enough to do away with childish things and find the guy that will withstand the test of time, not just look good in the tabloids. That man is Chris.
Secure. Genuine. Confident. Devoted. Strong. Suave. Lighthearted. Adoring. Adventurous. Honest. Funny. Brave. Sexy. Sweet. Spanish-speaking. Not to mention, dark and devilishly handsome. To Ali and to "Bachelorette" viewers everywhere, Roberto Martinez stood out from the very first episode, when he literally swept Ali off her feet to salsa (not another lame guitar performance, thank God) and to talk about his values in a relationship (first and foremost being unconditional familial love). That night, he earned a "first-impression rose" from Ali, and the approval and adoration of the rest of us.
Unlike the other men, Roberto refrains from talking about his competitors, speculating, casting judgments, and questioning his own relationship with Ali. As bizarre and construed as this show may be (what more can you expect when trying to create love on reality TV?), Roberto manages to make it seem organic by commenting only on his own experiences and modeling the utmost authenticity when filmed in action. Uncle Tom criticizes Roberto for being "too smooth" and "for making the rest of us normal guys look bad," but I think there is something to be said for the comfort and ease of Roberto and Ali's dynamic.
Chris L. seems like a great guy, too, but I have considerable reservations about Chris and Ali as a couple. I can understand how there can be something cute about the "awkward guy," but even just watching Chris and Ali together is a little uncomfortable; there is no way that something entirely comfortable can emerge from their current dynamic. Also, Chris definitely lost points in my book the day he wore light-colored sneakers with his black suit; the man is 30... it's time to find some dress shoes if he plans on marrying the blonde California glamour-girl. Practicality of location presents another problem: Ali and Chris first connected on the basis that they are both from Massachusetts, but Chris doesn't seem to have any intention of leaving his family in Cape Cod, and Ali has commented that she couldn't see herself relocating back to a cold climate. Roberto is a native of Tampa... just sayin'...
I have never before watched an entire season of "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" so I can't comment on Vienna and Jake, or Trista and Ryan, but I can defend Roberto. A first impression may not be everything, but Roberto continues to live up to the initial standards he set for himself, proving to be a consistent and admirable contender for the title, "Mr. Ali Fedotowsky." Nothing that has been broadcast so far has indicated that Roberto would NOT make a stellar husband and father. Ultimately, Roberto may not be Ali's soul mate, but he certainly seems more suitable for her than Chris. For all we know, Ali may wind up married to Jake next month, and I'll be calling ABC trying to slip Roberto my number. The bottom line is, it's no crime to favor Roberto just because he isn't the "loser" underdog. Roberto is exactly the kind of guy most girls want but can't have (because most charming, attractive young men are non-committal womanizers), but Roberto doesn't even know how hot he is... and I think it's great.