Jake: "A few weeks ago I didn't know these women existed and now one of them is going to be my wife."
Ah, and so goes the the sweet expedited tale of reality TV romance. The two remaining ladies, Tenley and Vienna, will meet Jake's family this episode before a final one-on-one date each.
Jake is in need of some advice and perspective from his family and can't wait for their take. He tells them he could marry either one of them and be happy for the rest of his life. Is that supposed to be romantic? He attempts to describe the two ladies in his own astute way: Telney apparently has a lot of life experience - ie. she's a divorcee and Vienna is described as...smart. Wow, the editors must have left a lot on the cutting room floor because I sure didn't see that side of her. Unfortunately, Jake lets it slip how hated Vienna was in the house which does not bode well for his mom who has some weird sisterhood complex about women being the glue in the family and must get along else everyone will perish.
Tenley is up first. She is cute and earnest and the parental units are eating it up. At one point, I'm unsure whether she is boring Jake's dad to tears or actually touching his heart with her...touching her heart spiel. Of course, no Tenley scene is complete without mention of her divorce. Mama Jake, with no signs of letting up on this women-in-harmony issue, asks how she handles conflict with her sister. Naturally, Tenley answers by saying "I was once married". Bless her heart. But unless her ex-husband cheated on her with her sister, I don't see how that'srelevant.
Jake tries to gauge how his family feels about Tenley and of course, they absolutely love her. But he has doubts. Jake confesses to his mom: "You know how I can play kinda rough – I haven't done that with Tenley..." I'm really hoping he's not thinking Chris Brown rough. Luckily no, he means jumping in the pool with their clothes on. And then having the rest of the family join them for a wet, inevitably nipply group hug. I'm going to pretend that never happened.
Tenley's a tough act to follow and Vienna may not be the best candidate to follow it. The family describes her initially as confrontational, giggly, abrasive – essentially the antithesis of Tenley. Vienna makes no apologies for her situation in the house which she is consistently questioned about – in her eyes, she's just brutally honest. But as Jake's brother points out, sometimes this brutal honest shtick is just an immature defence mechanism.
Jake finds he is constantly trying to talk people into Vienna. But eventually, the family comes around once they see how much she cares about Jake (aka how much she wants that platinum princess cut engagement ring).
The two one-on-one dates follow and it's all about chemistry and lack thereof. Jake and Vienna roll around in the Soufriere Sulphur Springs, rubbing mud all over each other . The date ends with Vienna giving Jake the 'promise-to-not-run-off-and-get-eloped' ring that her dad gave her the last time she ran off and got eloped. Aww, this is the stuff fairytales are made of.
Tenley doesn't fare so well because Jake looks like he has a headache during most of their date. He finally confesses to her that though their emotional chemistry is quite intense, the physical chemistry is lacking. It's an awkward scene because he tells her, and then seems to regret hurting her feelings subsequently backtracking,leaving poor Tenley confused. However she's a little trooper and later that night tells the cameras she is determined to show prove to Jake that "[their] chemistry is real in every single way". Down girl!
It's down to the wire and Jake tries to convince us he is still undecided. He is so perplexed that he picks two engagement rings – one for each girl. Since it is the Bachelor finale, naturally Jake leans over a bridge, heads in hands and pulls a 'half Mesnick'. Kudos to Chris Harrison for coining that term and shame on Jason Mesnick for setting, what I'm sure will be, a long-running Bachelor prescendent. (Click here for a refresher: thefulmerazzi.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/jm-crying.jpg)
The ladies get dressed for the biggest day of their life. Tenley is up first and despite last night's setback, seems cheerfully optimistic. It wouldn't be Tenley without her telling us how herheart emotes – this time it feels joyful. Hopefully this is the last time we hear from her heart this season. From my heart to hers, truly.
As Jake tearily tells Tenley how perfect she is, you can tell by her twitching face that she knows what's coming.He tells her there is something lacking.Tenley breaks my heart with her self-deprecating response; thanking him for making her feel special. She deserves so much better – like Patrick Dempsey from Enchanted better.
This leaves Vienna as the final girl standing. Jake clearly wants to just to roll around in the mud with a 23 year old hussy...that he can 'roughhouse' with because she has the shoulders of a linebacker. He finally tells Vienna he loves her and proposes. She accepts and our senses are assaulted with a musical montage to Jeffery Osborne's "On the Wings of Love".
Though I can understand why he didn't pick Tenley, I never would have called Vienna at the beginning of the season. How about you - shocking ending or no surprise?
As for Jake, this isn't the last we'll see of him. He'll be joining this season of Dancing with the Stars. Poor Tenley – that probably stung more than not being the next Bachelorette who is...Ali.
Until next time.
Tenley is way better off. And she's better off not being the next Bachelorette. She just plain deserves better than this show, this guy, and this mockery of love. But for her sake, I am glad she got the chance to rebound and now can move on to bigger and better things, knowing that her heart is free of her evil ex.