Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Bachelor Roundtable 20x11: Here Comes the Bride [Contributors: Rae Nudson, Alisa Williams, Lizzie, Chelsea]

Welcome to our very last Bachelor roundtable for the season. It's been a long journey, friends. In this episode, Ben strings along an unsuspecting woman, picks out a giant ring, and finally makes his choice. We were here for the right reasons, but was Ben? See what we think below, and let us know what you think in the comments!

What do you think of Ben’s break up with Jojo?

Rae: Ben really did her wrong. Their conversations looked so open and honest, and I totally get why Jojo thought it was going to be her. Ben is just not good at breaking up with women, which is a pity because he had to break up with 20 of them on national television. I know that he thought telling Jojo that she was special and that he loved her would soften the blow; but, to me, that just made it worse. Pro tip: Don’t keep telling women you love them and how great they are as you are breaking up with them. If you must do it, once is enough. No wonder she was so confused!

I hated that Ben let her keep talking as she was telling him how much she trusted him and how in love she was. I hope that hurt, Ben. I also hate how he sets up each speech to look as if he’s going the other way before a big, resounding “but.” I know it makes good TV, BUT I would still like the proposal if he didn’t give Lauren a heart attack first, and I would still watch him break Jojo’s heart even if he didn’t lead her on for a few extra minutes.

Actually, why didn’t Ben break up with Jojo the night of their date? Do we really believe he didn’t know it was going to be Lauren at that point? He might think he didn’t know, but as he said when he was picking out the rings, if he was really honest with himself, he knew who his choice was going to be. That’s on him.

I feel a lot of warning signs when a person says things like “they check off every box” or “I had a list of what I wanted in a partner and they fit every single thing.” If I remember correctly, both Lauren and Jojo are guilty of saying this about Ben. To me it gives the impression that they are not seeing the real person or that they are saying things they think they are supposed to say instead of what they are really feeling. I mean, Ben said this about Jojo, right? I feel like in every Bachelor season this is said about a contestant that gets eliminated. Look, I am no love expert, but it seems like when you find your significant other, usually there is an element that logic just can’t explain away. Maybe that person doesn’t make 100% sense (because humans are complex and never make 100% sense?), but you don’t care because you love them anyway. My partner redefined my list. He made me a whole new list that I was never expecting and never could have thought of on my own. Also, on my list of what makes up a dream man, I don’t usually include a list of flaws, but real live human men always have some. You’ve got to see those, too!

Alisa: Ben is the absolute worst. His breakup with Jojo, though not unexpected, just proved to illustrate his lack of maturity and poor decision-making skills. You can’t go the whole episode proclaiming that this woman is your best friend and then choose another woman! The fact that Ben himself set this situation up as having to choose between his “best friend” and his “perfect woman,” shows how little he understands about what makes a great and lasting relationship.

He has had Lauren on a pedestal this whole season, and I think a large part of that is because she’s one of the only girls who never displayed real emotions in his presence. Sure, she cried behind the scenes when stupid Leah tried to throw her under the bus, but by the time she discussed it with Ben, she spoke of being concerned not angry or hurt like she obviously was. And the same is true of Ben: I don’t believe he ever displayed deep, real emotions in front of Lauren because he was too afraid of being real and possibly “unloveable.” Lauren commented at one point in the finale episode that Ben was acting stressed and she’d never seen him like that before. Well, guess what, honey, that’s a sign you don’t really know him all that well and are definitely NOT ready to be engaged to this man.

Ben and Jojo seemed much more real with each other, but as we know, Ben doesn’t handle real emotions too well. When Jojo admitted how stressed out and upset she was about this whole process, it was clear Ben didn’t appreciate her inability to hold it together better.

It was no surprise to me that he ended up choosing Lauren, but I think he messed up big time and he’s going to realize it. I have nothing against Lauren (I actually like her a lot better than Jojo), I just know that a man who puts you on a pedestal and who you’re too uncomfortable to be your true self around is not the man you’re meant to be with.

Despite Ben’s awful break up with Jojo, I think she’ll look back and realize she dodged a bullet. Or, Ben will realize he made a huge mistake, call it off with Lauren, and end up competing for Jojo in next season’s Bachelorette. Only time will tell.

Lizzie: Remember when this all started and we all liked Ben? Oh, those were the days. I almost miss them, except... I don’t. I’m happy with my opinion of Ben now, which is that he’s just too much, in every respect. Too much and too little at the same time, if that makes any sense. This show is a heightened version of courtship, and I don’t know, I’m worried about how he and Lauren are going to do in real life, when not every date is a fairy-tale-style production.

In regard to Jojo, though, I think he was an ass. Maybe that’s why I don’t like him or him and Lauren, or have any hopes this Bachelor will truly be different than some of the others. I think Ben lied, and he did so repeatedly, because he thought that would be “easier” for Jojo. Which, if this had been the first or second Bachelor, fine. You could be forgiven for that mistake, but not now. Don’t tell me you didn’t KNOW this was worse, Ben, because you did. You must have. It doesn’t take a genius, it really doesn’t.

Chelsea: Cosigning ALL the above. Ben did her so wrong and even though I knew it was coming, I was not ready for him to break Jojo’s heart. Watching him just let her keep talking and confessing her feelings right before breaking up for her makes him so bad and leaves a sour taste about his proposal to Lauren B. He can’t deal with complicated — aka emotions — so we’ll see how long his relationship with Lauren B. lasts. I was so glad Jojo cut him off a bit during the break-up and dug into him a little.

I like Lauren B. fine but she really never opened up on the show and that’s probably why Ben went for her. She’s super chill and doesn’t have any complications. He idolizes her and it’s really not healthy but he does. Aren’t you suppose to want to marry your best friend? Jojo and Lauren B. are really too good for him though.

How about that proposal?

Rae: Ben and Lauren would definitely be that couple who argues about who has to hang up first, and I bet they are completely insufferable to be around. But I get it! They are happy and in love and everything is coming up rainbows and unicorns. I really am happy for them. Their proposal was so sweet it was giving me a toothache, which is a pretty apt description for Ben and Lauren themselves.

I feel like Ben would be exhausting to be around after a while because he would keep planning grand romantic gestures, and it’s like, can’t we just put on another episode of X-Files, it’s been a long day, babe.

Alisa: The proposal was so forgettable I honestly don’t even remember how it went down. Lauren said words, Ben said more words, there was a gigantic ring that had probably originally been sized for Jojo, and a really boring blue engagement dress. Eh. Meh. Whatevs.

The only thing that struck me about the proposal was how confident Lauren seemed going into it. Maybe she just read the signs correctly (end of day, sunset in the distance, conspiratorial wink from Chris Harrison, etc.), or maybe her dad called to give her a head’s up during the helicopter ride, who knows. Either way, she was the most poised lady I’ve seen during these engagement scenes, which struck me as really odd.

Ben’s complete 180 between his sobbing after Jojo and blathering about how he doesn’t deserve her and then his cheerful happy dance while he called Lauren’s father and declared her the love of his life was also highly disturbing to me. Do they give the Bachelor amphetamines between women? If his total emotional turnaround wasn’t drug-induced, then he’s a complete sociopath.

Lizzie: It was cute, in the same way all Bachelor proposals are sorta cute. I kept hoping Rachel from UnReal was going to come out and make it something to remember. I mean, this wasn’t how a real proposal would go, and I didn’t get this sense of overwhelming emotion from either of them, so I’m not really invested. If they make it, yay! And if they don’t, I won’t be surprised. Even if they do, though, I think it will be because of something they discovered about each other AFTER the show was over, and not because of what happened during the show. You don’t really fall in love during The Bachelor, I don’t think. You fall in love in the moments after.

Chelsea: I mean, it was cute but I get bored watching Ben and Lauren B. because neither of them are strong personalities and easily lose my interest. I think it would have been a better proposal had Ben not spent the entire two hours before it saying "I love you" to both women and stringing Jojo along. You know a producer got those tears out of Ben post-Jojo breakup, pre-dad phone call.

Of course Lauren B. would be moving to Colorado to be with Ben (and legalized substances. Don’t tell me you weren’t thinking it). I’m really not invested in them though. They’re like watching paint dry.

How do you feel about Jojo being the next Bachelorette?

Rae: I am really excited about it! She has a great personality, and I think she’ll make a great season of TV. I was shocked — shocked — it wasn’t Caila. I wonder if they even approached Caila, or if they knew it was going to be Jojo all along. This explains, however, why she wasn’t hopping mad when she was talking to Ben in the After the Rose special: She had to play it cool and graceful to set herself up as the Bachelorette.

Alisa: I know I’m in the minority of Bachelor/ette watchers here, but I really do not like Jojo and am not looking forward to her being the Bachelorette. I can’t put my finger on what it is, but she’s just bothered me from the very beginning. I find her irksome. It could just be a maturity thing, or perhaps I can’t forgive her for falling for bland Ben, or most likely it’s that I’m harboring deep-seeded resentment that Jubilee was not crowned Bachelorette. Whatever my reasons, I’m sure Jojo is actually a lovely person and will make a fine Bachelorette.

That said, I would really love to see the Bachelorette actually take a “risk” and have a woman of color chosen for once. And I think it’s a sad reflection on our society that it’s even considered a risky move to choose a non-white woman as Bachelorette. Jubilee would have made the most amazing Bachelorette ever, and would have been by far the most talented and genuine woman to ever grace this show.

As for Caila, I have to agree with Rae and say I’m really surprised she wasn’t chosen. I was reading somewhere that she was originally chosen but fans freaked out so much when they heard that news leaked that producers backed down and chose Jojo instead. Who knows if that’s true or not, but if it is, shame on you, producers! Caila would have been a fine choice. She seems like a darling person, and I will forever respect her for jumping back out of the limo after Ben dumped her and demanding a few answers.

At least with Jojo as Bachelorette, we can be assured of some drama. Her brothers are sure to cause some antics, assuming they haven’t landed themselves in jail between now and then for putting out a hit on Ben. And what about dear ol’ Chad? Will we actually get to meet Jojo’s infamous ex? Will he show up as a contestant to vie for her heart? I do hope so.

Lizzie: Am I being punked? I was 98.6% sure it was going to be Calia. In fact, I’m still not sure this isn’t a joke of some sort. Why Jojo? Is it just because Ben was a jag and JoJo’s family is sure to provide some drama? Because I feel like this just proves that I’m really watching UnReal’s version of The Bachelor, and not the version they promised me.

Chelsea: I really thought it was going to be Caila but seeing that it’s going to be Jojo has me on cloud nine. She’s gonna be so good and deserves to sift through a ton of guys to find love. I’m already spoiled on who one of her contestants is, and I am in love with the idea of the two. I can’t wait to see the BroJo’s back and the drama they will bring.

Jojo’s After the Final Rose dress was so pretty and her hair looked so nice, and she looks so healthy. I just want her to be okay. #ProjectJojo2k16


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