After months of dramatic rose ceremonies, broken hearts and us having to stare at Emily Maynard and wonder how one woman could be blessed with so many beautiful features, we’ve finally made it to finale night! Naturally, ABC has thought ahead and planned a three-hour finale “event” on a special night for the occasion, attempting to milk this crap for all its worth!
The night kicks off with Emily arriving for another week in Curacao. She informs us that both of her remaining men, Arie and Jef[f] would make excellent husbands/baby-daddy. (I believe the plural of baby-daddy is still baby-daddy, no? Isn’t it kind of like the word “moose?”) Anyway, Emily spends a little bit of quality time with Ricki, who’s been dragged down to the Caribbean to join the festivities. (Um, doesn’t this kid go to school?!)
For the first time ever, we get to meet Emily’s parents. They, along with Emily’s brother, Ernie, and his fiance, have flown down to Curacao to give Emily some assistance in choosing a husband. (You might remember that Emily’s family were all no-shows when it came time for Brad Womack to meet them. I don’t blame them; I wouldn’t want to meet Womack either. OK…I’m lying. I totally want to.)
Jef[f] is the first guy to meet Emily’s family. He arrives with two bouquets of flowers in tow, one for Emily’s mom and one for her future sis-in-law. He tells Emily not to worry though; there will be plenty of bouquets for her in the future. This guy is so adorable; I just want to take him home and put him in my pocket!
Mama Maynard (who looks like she’s no stranger to the plastic surgeon’s scalpel) is the first to take Jef[f] aside to chat. Next, he sits down with Emily’s brother Ernie, who tells him that their family still regards Emily’s first fiance, Ricky, as the “perfect guy.” No pressure though.
Things are going well as Jef[f] goes to talk with Emily’s father. Now, Papa Maynard is not a man of many words, but the ones he uses crack me up. Everything he says sounds like it came straight from the pages of Gone With the Wind. He’s quite the Southern gentleman. Papa Maynard gives Jef[f] his blessing to ask Emily to marry him, and Jef[f] looks absolutely thrilled. Papa Maynard, not so much, but he still seemed to like Jef[f] enough.
The next day, it’s Arie’s turn to meet the parents. He arrives at Maynard Manor armed with lots of awkward conversation topics, including talk about the weather and fish bites. (As you do). Arie senses that Emily’s family is less-than-bowled-over with his small talk so he busts out his secret weapon: a box filled with all of the roses that Emily’s given him thus far.
While the gesture make Emily and her mother swoon, her father and brother both have this strange look on their faces, almost like they want to ask him why in Sam Hell he just gave her some crusty-ass flowers. Men just don’t get it.
Later, Arie goes to chat with Ernie, who doesn’t appear to be buying any of Arie’s “golly-gee” charm. You can tell that he thinks Arie’s a player, which is most likely true. Arie, in turn, busts out his trusty “I dated a single mother!” pitch, in hopes that he will win Ernie’s affections. (He failed to mention that he has the single mother’s name tatted on his body. Go figure.)
Finally, it’s Arie’s turn to chat with Papa Maynard and ask for Emily’s hand in marriage. Pa tells Arie that he has his blessing, being that he seems “like a darn-gone good fella.” Really? Really?! Do people actually say things like this in the South?
Arie leaves, and Emily tells her family that she’s more confused than ever about which of these “fellas” she should choose. Unfortunately, her family is pretty much useless and no one offers her any advice whatsoever. (I think they just wanted to mooch a free trip to the Caribbean…not that I blame them!)
Emily tells her mother that she doesn’t want to introduce the men to Ricki. Um…if you’re planning to get engaged to one of these dudes, and eventually marry them, don’t you think they should meet the kid they’ll be living with? On the slim-to-none chance that their relationship actually lasts and they get married, he’s going to be dealing with this ankle-biter for a long time.
Anyway, the next day is Emily’s last date with Jef[f]. They head to the beach, where Jef[f] pleads with Em to let him meet Ricki. Emily is hesitant, explaining that she feels guilty for letting Ricki meet Womack a few years back and doesn’t want to make that same mistake again. Still, Jef[f] is pressing hard, and finally Emily relents and agrees to take Jef[f] back to Maynard Manor to meet Ricki.
They arrive at the house and Ricki is swimming in the private pool. Jef[f] jumps right in (literally), grabbing a pair of pink goggles and diving in the pool to swim with Ricki. (I’m sure he has a pair just like that one at home in Utah!) I’ve got to give Jef[f] credit; he manages to keep his paws off Emily the entire time they are together with Ricki, which is something I don’t think we’ll be able to say about Arie.
Afterwards, they ditch the kids and head to the beach for a romantical dinner. Jef[f] presents Emily with a book about Curaco in which he’s drawn stick figures on some of the pages to represent them. Yawn. I miss the days where contestants created creepy stalker scrapbooks that included (but weren’t limited to) locks of the Bachelorette’s hair and crappy poetry.
The next day, Chris Harrison comes to Maynard Manor to discuss something important with Emily. Are the rumors true?! Did Chris come over to profess his undying love for Emily before she goes and ruins everything by getting engaged to one of these two knuckleheads?
Unfortunately, this is not the case, but the real reason is almost as juicy! Emily has called Chris there to tell him that she has made up her mind that Jef[f] is the man for her and she needs to ditch Arie before their final date! Holy no final rose, Batman!
She squeezes out a few fake tears (not enough to ruin her fake eyelashes or cemented-on makeup, though), and tells Chris that her feelings for Jef[f] are on another level than the ones she has for Arie. Um, weren’t you just begging your family like two days ago to tell you which guy to choose?
Anyway, she decides that she will break up with Arie that day, before they go on their date. Meanwhile, Arie has arrived at the herb garden of some lady who helps Arie make a love potion as Emily arrives, looking sad and with (possibly real?) tears in her eyes. Poor Arie has no clue that he’s about to board the train to Forever-Aloneville.
She tries to ease into the conversation, telling him how perfect they are together and how she wanted it to be him and her at the end. Arie looks totally confused, and doesn’t even seem to understand that he’s being dumped until at least halfway through the conversation. When he finally catches on, he gets all bratty about it, basically telling her, “thanks for nothing.”
She wants to try to explain, but he’s heard enough of Emily’s “it’s not you, it’s me” garbage and is ready to hit the bricks. Before he gets into the Pity limo SUV, he rethinks his attitude and turns to give her a hug and a proper goodbye. (Two words on why he stopped being a crapnugget to her: Next.Bachelor.)
After the dumping, we jump back to Chris Harrison, who is with a live studio audience watching this all go down. After everyone in the studio does their best to look “shocked,” Chris goes up to interview some former contestants. First they wheel out Ashley and JP, who are still together, miraculously, and offer some insight into what Emily and Arie are feeling right now.
Next they bring up DeAnna Pappas and Ashley Spivey (who, ironically, both share a common trait with Emily and Ashley–they were all dumped by Brad Womack!) The girls offer some insight into what we just saw. Of course, no one cares, but because Emily dumped the second guy before she was supposed to, there’s a bunch of time to fill. Hey, it could have been worse; they could have made us endure another relationship talk featuring Trista and Ryan!
Anyway, we head back to Curacao, where Emily and Ricki are doing some journaling. During this time, Jef[f] heads over to see ringmaster Neil Lane to pick out an engagement ring for Emily. He chooses one that costs more than everything I will ever own combined, and then heads out for a solo beach stroll to reflect on whether or not he should propose.
Finally, it’s time for the final rose ceremony. Emily’s all suited up like Malibu Barbie. I know her dress probably cost a fortune, but it looks like she’s wearing pink cellophane to me.
She meets up with Chris, who escorts her to the back of some shopping mall or something. He tells her, “this is it,” and Emily isn’t doing a very good job at hiding her disgust at how crappy a place they chose to do the final ceremony at. Seriously, it’s awful. They are literally surrounded by crystal blue water, yet they choose to do the proposal in the middle of a swapmeet? I just keep wondering when the guy selling Chiclets will come out.
Finally, Jef[f] arrives at the swapmeet and a big smile spreads across his face when he sees Emily. Even though she knows she wants to be with Jef[f], she’s still not sure if she should accept a proposal, should he offer one. Jef[f] launches into a speech about how they are soul mates, and the time is right, etc., and finally drops to one knee and asks Emily to marry him, telling her that his words are meant to represent forever, and not just a few months. (Um, maybe they should have met on another show then, yes?)
She hesitates to accept for a few seconds, but as soon as she gets a gander at the ginormous rock Jef[f] has presented, she gleefully accepts! She presents him with the final rose and then they drag out Ricki to come join them as a family.
Immediately following the proposal, we are transferred over to the “After the Final Rose” special, which is being taped live. One can instantly notice that Emily’s appearance has changed a bit since her days in Curacao. Girlfriend not only got her hair did, but has also lost a couple layers of makeup.
She and Jef[f] chat with Chris about the engagement, and Emily shows off her giant sparkling diamond. Of course, she tells us that, you know, diamonds don’t matter and that she would have been happy with a “piece of tape” around her finger, if it had come from Jef[f]. Riiiiight. If that’s the case and I were Jef[f], I’d be busting out the Scotch tape and pawning that ring to buy a house for them to live in!
The rest of the special is pretty snooze-inducing; they both coo over each other, claiming that the other one is “perfect” in every way. The only mildly interesting thing that happened during the AFTR Special is that Arie comes out and reveals that after he got the boot in Curacao, he flew to Emily’s hometown to try to woo her back. He pussed out; however, and didn’t actually see her. He just left his journal on her doorstep.
She tells him, “If Jef[f] hadn’t been there, I’d have picked you.” Gee, I’m sure that made him feel awesome.
In the end, I must admit that she looks 100 percent happier with Jef[f] at the ATFR Special than she did at Brad’s. I know I’ll totally be eating my words in a few months, but I think these two actually have a decent shot at making it, at least for a couple of years!
Until next time, Roundupers….which just happens to be tonight, when Bachelor Pad 3 premieres!