Well, kids, we made it. I’m exhausted, I’m out of breath, and my liver is fighting hard not to crumble under the amount of boxed wine it took me to get through this season, but we did it. We have (supposedly) made it to the finale of Bachelor in Paradise. It’s not like I’ve been begging for this moment to happen ever since the producers started making food foreplay a thing before each rose ceremony.
Speaking of rose ceremonies, this is a big week for the couples. We’ll get to find out which of these lovebirds will ruin their lives by getting engaged to a person they’ve known for about as long as I leave my suitcases packed after a trip and which couples
will break up have just brought shame upon their households by dry humping anything with a pulse all summer. Let’s dive into it!
Abigail & Noah
Last week was a tough one for Noah and Abigail. Not only did Noah get a glimpse of their future and then promptly attempt to moonwalk away from it, but they were forced to have that conversation while dressed like extras from the set of Pretty in Pink. And not, like, the popular extras from that movie. God, imagine looking so heinous during a breakup that is broadcast to millions of people? That 80s theme was definitely crafted to humiliate them further. Bravo, ABC. Bravo.
As Abigail gives a full-on Josie Grossie meltdown, Noah gives her a solid five extra minutes of his time before being like “well, good season everyone! It was fun while it lasted!” Sir, this isn’t the ending to a Mighty Ducks movie. What kind of exit speech is that? Hearts are on the line here!
NOAH: She’s a great girl, but are we each other’s soul mates?
I do appreciate how realistic Noah is being here. I mean, he’s not wrong. In a matter of days these people will have to get engaged to each other. And while the sanctity of marriage means nothing to this franchise, it still seems laughable to me that any of them feel the relationship they built on mimosas and tequila shots is strong enough to withstand an engagement. Noah is still trying to figure out how to layer all of those delicate necklaces, for god’s sake. He’s not ready for that kind of commitment!
Oh, Jesus Christ. Why is Serena crying? Word gets out about Abigail and Noah’s breakup and the news rocks the rest of the contestants. Why they’re mourning this relationship like it’s a beloved grandparent and not some white dude with a penchant for wearing shirts unbuttoned to his navel turning out to be a fuckboy, I’m not sure. I can only assume it’s the Stolkholm Syndrome fully setting in that has these people in such stitches.
Becca & Thomas
Every time I see Becca and Thomas on my screen, I’m taken aback. A former beloved Bachelorette talking to a man who was banished from his season with all of the power of a generations-strong witches curse? Make! It! Make! Sense!
While Thomas and Becca were mooning over each other at prom and picked each other at the last rose ceremony, Becca is having doubts about attending the fantasy suite with him. Case in point: Thomas tells Becca that he’s all in with her, and she visibly cringes. Wow, not a strong start.
BECCA: I’m just not sure I’m there yet. I think I need more time.
HAHAHAHA. Thomas is so messy for drama and I love it. Before Becca can even finish her thought, Thomas begins openly weeping on that day bed. He warbles something about one day maybe being able to love again and then stumbles for the exit. Becca chases after him to probably tell him to slow his roll, she just meant she wants to continue dating him, but Thomas has already committed to the main character energy and can’t be tamed. He’s like, “if you ever loved me just let me go!” and I’m dead. DECEASED. I’ve had less dramatic exits leaving a Macy’s dressing room in 7th grade. If you really want to perfect that method acting, Tommy, try embodying the mindset of a barely pubescent girl who is both looking for a “sexy” dress for the school dance and simultaneously afraid to shave her legs above the knee.
Also, it feels very meta watching their relationship play out on the show because if you’ve been following either of them at all IRL, you’d see that they don’t go a single day without @ing each other on social media. So, like, what am I even watching here? They’re clearly still together. ABC, stop wasting my time with this old footage and give me the good stuff!!
Maurissa & Riley
Riley and Maurissa continue to prove that love isn’t actually dead. They decide to go to the fantasy suites together, partly because they want to see if their relationship can make it in the real world and partly because they ran out of whipped cream on the beach anyway. Also, I love that they all think a night in the fantasy suites will properly prepare them for the real world. Yes, champagne and private hot tubs is exactly the harsh dose of reality they needed to get an accurate picture of life outside of Paradise.
One of the most raw moments of Bachelor television I’ve ever witnessed occurs when Riley tells Maurissa that he has this recurring dream about Sunday mornings, one where he wakes up to a wife and kids and lazy days in bed and, Y’ALL, I AM CRYING IN THIS CLUB RN.
RILEY: When I see you, I see Sunday morning
I AM NOT WELL. It’s actually unhealthy how happy I am for these complete strangers. I’m so happy for them that I will even ignore Maurissa slipping in a joke about sucking his toes during the proposal scene the next day. I’m so happy that I’ll even ignore how distracted I am by the fact that these people are melting right before my very eyes. My god, did they have to propose on the surface of the sun?! I’ve seen people leave less wet after a SeaWorld performance.
Also, just gonna leave this here:
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Mari & Kenny
Like every other couple this week, Kenny and Mari also have to decide if they’re going to take their relationship to the next level. Kenny says that his only concern about Mari is her age, which is fun because last week his biggest concern was that she wouldn’t let him dip her entire body in queso on a Wednesday. Those seem like two contrasting concerns, but okay.
Going into the fantasy suites, Kenny continues to question Mari’s commitment to their relationship. He says that she’s never really been 100% with him. LOL. This coming from the guy who played topless volleyball with Tia and brought Demi to the boom boom room. But sure, Mari is the one who isn’t ready for marriage…
KENNY: No one expects me to get married, no one expects me to have kids.
Yes, well, that could be because of the smattering of star tattoos sprinkled across your ribcage.
Cut to the proposal day and Mari looks absolutely stunning. Kenny, meanwhile, looks less like he’s about to propose and more like he’s about to shout “SPRING BREAK, BITCHES” into a crowd full of college kids and then pelt them with jello shots. His actual proposal isn’t much better. He says that it wasn’t love at first sight with them but it was “something.” Why do I have the feeling he’s referring to his boner here? At least class it up for this one thing, Kenny!
KENNY: *waggles eyebrows* I asked Mari to mari me
And just like that, they’re engaged! I can’t wait to see the tuxedo-printed bro tank Kenny designs for their wedding day. Should be magical.
Serena & Joe
ABC tried hard to make the finale into something that wasn’t 180 minutes of footage of melatonin given physical form, only to fail miserably in that endeavor. They particularly focused those efforts on Joe and Serena’s relationship. I assume they took one look at Serena’s butterfly hair clips and Soffee shorts and struggled, as I did, to take this relationship seriously. It seems like low-hanging fruit to me, but who am I to judge?
The happy couple goes off to the Fantasy Suites for a night of Joe having to explain to Serena that it’s impolite to ask the waiter the alcohol percentage of each wine. Joe says that he thought he would be more confused going into proposal day, but instead he’s never been more sure about his feelings for Serena. I mean, actually his exact words were: “everything that just happened between us is just natural” and it’s like, we get it, Joe. She’s so young you don’t need lube. Enough.
Cut to proposal day and Joe is standing on the beach wearing his best Costco bulk order polo when who should appear? KENDALL. Okay, this is just cruel at this point. What is the point of bringing Kendall back? Haven’t we exhausted this plot point already? And Kendall, girlfriend, I’ve defended you throughout this season but this is… too far. Which family member is ABC holding for ransom behind the scenes, because I can’t believe you did this of your own free will!
Ultimately, Kendall’s reappearance does nothing to deter him from proposing to Serena. He says that even though he’s old enough to have a MySpace account and she’s young enough to have a Finsta, they can make it work (I paraphrase). Never mind that Serena isn’t even a U.S. citizen. I for one, cannot WAIT to see the 90 Day Fiancé x Bachelor Nation spin-off this relationship has the power to generate. I ask for so little, just let me have this one thing!
JOE & SERENA:
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KENDALL, A GIRL WHO IS TOTALLY DOING FINE:
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And that’s the season, kids! We have exactly two weeks until Michelle’s season of The Bachelorette airs, so I’ll be spending that down time constantly refreshing Maurissa’s IG feed to live vicariously through her happiness. Until then!
Images: Craig Sjodin / ABC; Giphy (4); @joeamabile1 /Instagram (1); @itskendalllong /Instagram (1); @bachelorettewindmill /Instagram (1)