bachelorette ashley TMTA, finale and ATFR recap: a surprisingly happy ending (no, not that kind)

Excuse me, ABC. I don't remember this scene from the episode.

It’s possible that I miscalculated but I am pretty sure all told, there were 5 hours of Bachelorette viewing to get through. And I can’t believe I am saying this, but it was worth every second. I feel warm and fuzzy now, something that rarely happens when these seasons end.

The Men Tell All

Chris Harrison caps it off by saying “It is the reunion show you won‘t want to miss.” And my retort: We’ll see about that, Chris. But who am I kidding? I am a junkie and this show is my crack rock.

Million tealight candles in the studio? Check. Let’s begin.

Recap city! It’s narrated via a fireside chat between Chris and Ash. Ashley is wearing shorts though which makes the burning fire ridiculous. The recaps includes: Drunk guy Tim; Mask Jeff is very domestic with chores; William- and this gives Ashley a chance to say the words “amazing” and “journey” at the top of the show; Ryan is one of the “men”, not a boy. Ryan was the hardest goodbye; and Ashley never saw that side of Bentley.

Now it’s the ‘never before seen’ scenes. As much as I love these, it burns me that they aren’t just regularly included scenes each week. I would much rather see JP breaking the entertainment center and DVD player on a date than one more boring helicopter or rose-strewn meal in the middle of a field/lake/rooftop. Anyway, moving on. Other clips we never saw include: Mickey as a “wine goddess” and lots of references to his ‘package’; Ashley’s date with Ames with larvae and crickets; Rice bamboo sticks on date with Ben; Toe cramp during Tai Chi on date with Ryan and the banana plus apple and orange phallic configuration in Ashley’s hotel room. Totally mature. I was also pretty pleased that one of the ha ha moments was catching Ashley with a huge tub of Vaseline by her bed. I had noticed that also. I like to be vinidicated as an astute viewer, what can I say.

This whole segment is interspersed with shots of Mask Jeff. I am happy he has a sense of humor about himself, and super happy that one of his little stunts was a planking shot. Even though planking is so Spring 2011. The new craze is owling.

Bachelor Pad preview

Finally, my real favorite show! I’m so happy Jake and Vienna are on it. Gia needs to get a real job. There is tons of making out. Lots of crying. Including by the men. And lots of stunts that involve the women scantily clad in bikinis. Also, turns out Blake the Dentist is a male chauvinist pig. Kasey and Vienna are dating. This show might actually be “amazing”.

Back to the studio for TMTA. Chris reviews with the guys clips from the season of all the men talking crap about one another. Drunk guy. Ryan. William. Ben C and his life on a dating website. Then back again to the mass house hatred of Ryan. Lucas compared him to a camp counselor. Someone else said puppy. Then the surfer dude leaps to his defense. I learn eventually that the surfer dude is named Nick. He is so feisty and wants to interject and take everyone on. Where was this guy during the season?!

Jeff the Mask claims he first wore a mask to be “hilarious.” Then he doesn’t speak the rest of the show. I feel like the questions could have been more probing. Like, But WHY did you wear a mask?

William sits in the Hot Seat. The flashback montage reminds me that at first he was so sweet, cute and charming. Remember when we all had hope? When they dined in the middle of a faux lake in Vegas. And the The Roast. I am still shocked he wasn’t sent home that second a la Ben C style. I would rather someone make a side crack about a dating website than to publicly call me trash and flat-chested. Ashley is a mysterious woman. William has a lot of self-hate about himself on the show. Says he hates seeing and hearing himself. So good luck with the professional stand-up career then.

Ryan’s turn in the Hot Seat. I think Ryan is cute. Just sayin’. Recap time and then, oh yeah- that squirmy water heater speech. Oy again. But his turmoil at getting rejected makes me sad for him. And then the awkwardness continues when Ryan talks about all the books he read on how to question a potential mate + his journaling habit.

Why dosn’t Chris ask Ryan about flying all the way back to Fiji for a second chance?? That seems like kind of a big and bizarre thing to skip over.

Ames is in the hot seat now, and I still heart Ames. Clearly the audience loves him too. Chris makes some lame pun about “fighting” for Ashley which means we know we’ll be treated, a-gain, to the Muay Thai boxing snafu. Which reminds me, sadly, that stupid Ashley didn’t offer him a rose that night he got a concussion. It’s a nice side benefit of these wrap-up shows that I get to re-live all the things in the season that made me irate. Also, those dumb pink boxing gloves make me irate. Chris keeps trying to spin jokes out of it.

“The biggest villain in Bachelor history” doesn’t show for the episode. Bentley is so boring and I am so bored that there are minutes of this show devoted to him. I start to tense up when I realize that we are about to see the DOT DOT DOT dialogue for the zillionth time. It would have been infinitely more interesting if Bentley could have just showed up to explain. You would think a fame whore would come back on tv when given the opportunity.

It’s also weird to see Michelle Money taking the moral high road and be so indignant that Bentley would speak so poorly about someone while on the show, since I am pretty sure Michelle spent the entire Brad season talking about how she wanted to punch and destroy the other girls and they were little girls and weren’t right for Brad.

Ashley finally emerges in some horrifying black dress with only one arm sleeve and geometric cut0outs that probably makes all the guys happy they dodged a bullet on marrying her. Ashley then cries. Which I need to rewind to verify for sure. Since she never cries.

It comes time to trot in the ghosts of Bachelor and Bachelorette past. Why isn’t Trista here for once? Not that I miss her. This trifecta are prob my faves anyway- besides Chris from Cape Cod. They all verify for Ashley that she did the right think. K, thanks.

Bloopers. A nice collection of hilarity but I am still thinking about Mickey peeing himself. Ugh.

We end with a review of the two final men. I liked the review of JP since I have a crush on him too. It’s nice to recap my crush. But then the Ben segment comes on and oh yeah, HE IS HOT. So here is the understatement of the 5 hours: it’s down to two good, decent, worthy, genuine, hot, sexy men. Has that ever happened before?

Oh, and Jeff’s mask sells for $2,000. Gross.

Final question: why no Constantine debrief? Doesn’t the fact that he was in the top three and then left the show on his on volition at least merit a little interest?

Finale

Ashley is walking pensively with ugly sunglasses. She mentions passion with JP. Which I will put first on the long list of things this episode that lead me (and millions) to believe JP takes the day.

The show then really starts when when we see Ashley’s family all pale and sweating and her tatted out sister and mom wearing black in tropical Fiji look so out of place. Wait, I need to harp on this more. WHY are they all in the blazing sun? That is just not a good idea on many levels.

Ashley tells her family she’s in love. But her mind isn’t made up. This does not make sense to me.

JP and the family

We get a taste that things don’t go well with the fam.

JP sits down and everything seems nice and happy and pleasant and then there is this weird, funny, but weird convo about how JP doesn’t make Ashley laugh. And then milliseconds later in editing time, Sister says she doesn’t see “it” with them. And Mom says Ashley seemed more into Bentley. Or Brad. Or Bentley. I am not sure. Sister is hung up on how JP doesn’t make Ashley laugh. I stop paying attention when Ashley is crying because I can’t believe Sister has an arm sleeve of tattoos and is wearing Chanel logo post earrings. But then, not everyone has as impeccable fashion taste as me.

Sister sits down with JP and says “I don’t see it” and says she doesn’t trust Ashley’s opinion. JP, again, proclaims his genuine love for Ashley. Sister doesn’t care because JP is:

  • too old
  • too serious

and

  • Ashley is too much for JP to handle.

Sister then says that she saw more of a connection where Brad is concerned. Sister tells JP there is nothing he can do that can change her mind. Sister is a horrible bizatch.

Can we pause for a moment and talk about how gracious and polite and diplomatic JP is being? And then Ashley, always – I mean, NEVER – does the right thing and instead of comforting JP, acknowledges she is very influenced by her family and “needs to figure it out.” But who wants their family to pick their mate? I ask you. WHO?

The next day, or next outfit change, a very disturbing convo ensues. There are lots of tears and Sister saying she is more rational than Ashley. Sister is an unfeeling bully. I don’t have a sister. I don’t know what’s going on.

Ben and family

I like Ashley’s drapey sort of tie dye-y shirt better now. Ashley shows her crazy side and her “dog voice” so Sister will be appeased that the real Ashley is in da house. Dog voice makes you real, yo.

Ben says Ashley is the woman he wants to be with and it comes off very believable. He is in love with her, without a doubt. Sister likes that he is tall, dark and handsome. Lots of laughter. Family loves him.

Ben’s date with Ashley

Is this editing curious? I think this is my next clue. She reversed the order of the guys because maybe saving the best for last? Which I feel like ends up happening every season.

Ben’s colorful awesome outfit kicks Ashley’s boring outfit’s ass. And then, shockingly, a helicopter. I can’t keep track now. I don’t know if they’ve been in a helicopter before together, or who has been in a helicopter, period.

Then a mud bath. Sexy. Erotic. Definitely with the camera crew there. Not. And it reminds me of the mud date once upon a time with Jake and Vienna. I don’t like having flashbacks to them. Maybe I need induced Bachelor amnesia after each season.

Nightime. Is the Rightime. For Ben to divulge his love. They do cheers on the bed. Then Ben starts to profess his love. Ashley, meanwhile, as per usual, is licking her teeth incessantly. Ben told Ashley he is in love with her. Then they get their make out on. I kind of hate this part because it’s always romantic and sensual and makes you wonder how any normal human being can pull this off with two different people two nights in a row.

JP’s date with Ashley

Ashley is wearing a bikini and calls him babe. I feel like JP already gets the better end of this date deal with her outfit. I want to see a fun date, but they are having a DTR. Is Ashley now doubting them and insuating they do not have a dynamic relationship? It seems too early to have this convo. JP is so sweet. He said he would be flexible on anything for her and wants to start a new life with her. And he just comes off so genuine. When JP says he is madly in love with Ashley, her body language is SO on point that I declare immediately he’s the winner.

Faye, my trusty Bachelorette-watching companion, then asks “what is their date?” Um, GOOD question. Ben gets helicopter and mud bath and JP just gets sexy make-out on the beach. With Ash in a two-tone bikini. That’s what happened with Brad’s last two (wasn’t one cage diving with sharks and the other was having sex on the beach?!) and this is how we know JP is the one at the end.

Ashley says “I get lost in JP. I am completely infatuated with him.” Done and done.

JP then says “It’s love or nothing.”

Proposal Day

We know it’s JP because Ashley’s voiceover says it doesn’t matter what her family thinks. Or something.

Then we have the obligatory Neil Lane ring-choosing. I always love/hate this part! Does Neil Lane ever think his life is crazy?

Ben chooses the ugliest expensive diamong ring in history. I also add that to the list of evidence he will not make it to the very end. JP looks like he is going to throw up choosing a ring.

Proposal(s)

WHY DO THE MEN HAVE TO WEAR A SUIT JACKET FOR THE PROPOSAL IN 120 DEGREES? And also black socks and dress shoes? I know we query this every season but let it be said again that dark socks and black dress socks do not go with the tropics.

Ashley does her normal triple duty on the eyeliner. And for some reason wears a wedding dress.

I want to laugh out loud at this beach altar made with driftwood. Oh, and coral. Which Faye has pointed out is endangered, no?

Ben gets out of the sea plane and even though I knew it, that he would get rejected, my heart sinks. He is a good guy, handsome, totally in love, thinks Ashley feels the same (read: has been led on) and thinks this is a new family member to make up for the dead dad for 4 1/2 years ago. OH NO. THIS IS TERRIBLE.

Ashley’s body language and her initial words are obviously headed to rejection but for some reason Ben inexplicably decides to cut her off and launch into a proposal. That one misstep by him is the reason that I am not as irate as I should be with Ashley for letting him get on his knees. Didn’t Jason get pissed about that with DeAnna? But to be fair, Ashley should NOT have allowed that and been so silent. It’s like her years of being plagued with low self-esteem made her want to unfairly bask in the glow of being proposed to by someone even though she knew she would say no. But to be fair, Ben should have noticed she was giving him the stink eye before he launched into his proposal.

Wait, I have one more thing to say about this. It must absolutely suck to propose to someone and get rejected. And to have it immortalized on tv. I would hate to be Ben’s next girlfriend.

Ben looks totally flabbergasted and pissed. Ashley’s eye make-up looks terrible. Ben tries to peace out. AWESOME. I never really buy the whole escorted walk shit. Ashley tells him he’s “interesting”. Ben says “don’t sugar coat it” and “you can’t leave something like this on good terms.” He is being super real, which is refreshing. He is in shock and disbelief. “Good things don’t end unless they end badly.” I mean, this is the most believable rejection I have ever seen on this show. Also, his reaction is proof that Ashley probably led him on. Which they all do. Because the format of the show essentially compels it. They might even be contractually obligated to lead the #2 on. But still. It sucks to watch. Ben is so in disbelief that it’s clear she probably made him really believe he was The One.

He even drops an F bomb.

Speedboat speeds away. Ben says that JP was the “safer bet”, which comment never gets explained and which I would love to understand. Ben, how can you leave me hanging so?

JP arrives

There is obnoxious Neil Lane advertising when the camera zooms in when JP is popping the question. This distracts me from the beauty and majesty and romance of his proposal. Luckily, I can watch it again during the ATFR.

After the Final Rose

Ben’s hair looks cute. He is cute. Ben for next Bachelor! ABC owes me some of my life back anyway after giving Robot Horrible Brad not one, but TWO seasons. Ben’s turn!

I can’t believe Ben had to fly to his best friend’s wedding after geting rejected. Ben is hot and funny and a winemaker. Surely he can find a great gal?

Ashley then comes out and WOW, does she look great! She is some kind of chameleon with her looks.

She then impresses in how genuinely she is professing her love for JP and defending him and praising his kissing skeelz, and the cynic in me melts once again for this franchise. I may eat these words but I think these crazy kids might just make it. The fact that they Skyped for “two to three” hours every night since the proposal actually bodes well I think. It seems more normal and everyday for a long-distance couple than some of the crap Brad and Emily were trying to feed us when they were still pretending they were going to be together. You realize in these moments how few “real” couples emerge from this monstrosity.

Now it’s time for Sister to backpedal about JP. And apologize for being a jerk. Apology accepted, bizatch.

Ashley is moving to NYC and they are going to live together.

Then there is another Bachelor Pad preview of crying, making out and bikinis. Is it next week yet?

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17 Comments

Filed under bachelorette episode recap

17 responses to “bachelorette ashley TMTA, finale and ATFR recap: a surprisingly happy ending (no, not that kind)

  1. Ashley is stupid and her lack of self esteem is really annoying. Because of that you deserve the crappy choice of JP. May you live happily ever after.

    I rather enjoyed the bitchy sister. Perhaps she could have given JP’s overdone and creepy smile/personality a chance, but it would appear the creep-factor got her too and she called it. The lame apology at the end and the “team cupcake” made be vomit.

    Ben. I loved the way he handled the rejection. I wish he would have left her standing and not stopped. Just roll man, go on. I love that his only question to Ashley was “when did you know ?” so he can put that away and catch on to the next girl who breaks his heart. Stupid Ashley couldn’t even give him a real response. I heart Ben. Too bad he believed Ashley was his girl. I would enjoy more Ben in his own Bachelor, but then I will have to hate on the lame women who attempt to heart him too.

    The other vomit moment: at the proposal and Ashely says “I waited FOREVER to tell you how much I love you” to JP. Or vise versa….one of them said it. FOREVER? Really? Didn’t you just meet 3 months ago and weed JP out of a crowd of men after a series of many many dates and just two seconds ago break someone’s heart who you NO DOUBT led to believe you were equally into? Most people don’t go on other hot and erotic dates with other men when they are so IN LOVE with another dude and can’t wait to confess their love. Just sayin’.

    Ugh. I honestly cannot believe I made it through this entire season and surprised at my total disgust of Ashley. And JP. Totally disgusted and yet watched every single minute of the finale. And loved/hated it. I will totally watch next season. Damn it.

    • yael

      So although we disagree on JP (but don’t worry, you have a like-minded thinker in the best Bach blogger, Kristen Baldwin for EW), I so totally agree that I wished so badly Ben had just kept walking when Ashley rejected him after letting him propose. It would have been so realistic for him to just peace out. I guess he’s too nice a guy – not surprising.

  2. Julie

    Your recaps were waaaaay better than the actual show this season! Thank you! I actually found your blog by googling “when will bachelor pad start?” I just wanted it over with so we could move on to the real fun. So glad I discovered you, it’s the best thing to come out of this season.

    • yael

      Thanks, Julie! We’d love to have you on here commenting too. And yes, thank goodness Bachelor Pad starts NEXT WEEK. It is so bad, it’s good.

  3. Bach Fan

    I am happy/sad that Ames is on Bachelor Pad. Happy to see him again, sad that he is on that trashy show (but I will watch every second). I am also a Bachelor/ette addict, and your blog is also part of my addiction! Thank you for writing it.

    • yael

      Thanks for the comment. I think most of America (you know, cause the whole country watches the show) is with you. Ames just seems too good to slum it. But, one interesting thing about Bachelor Pad is that I think you see what people are really made of versus the faux-genteelness of the real seasons. Case in point: it turns out Blake the Dentist is actually a pig. So I am worried we might see that Ames has some dastardly awful side.

  4. Jenny

    KASEY AND VIENNA!!!! LOL.

    • yael

      The ultimate fame whores. Jake has now been on The Bachelor, SWTS, Food Network and Bachelor Pad. And still no evidence that he was/is actually a pilot.

  5. rebecca

    I am happy that Ames will be on BP only because we get to see more of him. Otherwise, I am disappointed in him. Isn’t he too good for that show?

    Otherwise, yes, it was obvi that JP was the one. I was a bit angry with Ashley for letting Ben get down on his knees and propose BUT he did cut her off.

    Poor Ben.

    Ashley’s hair was way too dark at some point in the show- maybe it was ATFR? I can’t remember.

    Agree Ryan is cute.

    Ashley’s sister was really annoying and bitchy and I hope she is embarassed now watching that episode back.

    • yael

      Hmmm… I sort of like Ashley’s really dark hair. Although I wonder if she is trying to New York-ify herself more for her man.

      Agree on Ames. He will made Bachelor Pad at least not a total moral vacuum.

  6. kate

    i thought it was so hot when JP took off Ashley’s towel on the beach!!!! I sort of think they may last too!!! (not bc of the towel scene though)

  7. Gillian

    I felt like the finale and the the result etc really made the whole season for me. I love JP and love that they seem to love each other. She started calling him Babe a lot and that’s nothing if not a good sign. Super sad for Ben but he clearly still has some issues. I mean, I hate to be cold, but my dad died a few years back too and you don’t see me putting up emotional walls and growing my hair out weird.

    • yael

      Gillian, you actually made me realize something that is also true for me: the finale redeemed the season. I was getting really bored and annoyed with Ashley halfway through, but this ending was one of the best in awhile. So, well done Ashley- you little self-hater, you!

      Also Gillian, I am so sorry about your dad. Although the terrible fact of you r loss of him guarantees you a spot in a future Bachelor cast, should you ever be interested. I did like Ben’s hair though, I have to admit.

  8. Great recap. This is the first Bachelorette season I have ever watched, after becoming hooked half-way through the season with Brad and Emily. I wish we knew what was going on behind all the editing.
    I hope they make it!

  9. Kimi

    So…. I’m waiting for you to blog about The Bachelor Pad…

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