We should have known Matt’s Bachelor finale was going to be messy as hell when it got scheduled for the Ides of March. Et tu, Bachelor producers?
Ready or not, it’s the final countdown of Matt’s journey as The Bachelor. By the end of the three-hour finale, he’ll either be single, in love, in love and engaged, heartbroken, or regretting every life decision that led him to end up on this show.
My money is on the latter.
Michelle Meets the Family
You know those sushi buffets that roll dishes by your table on a conveyor belt? Matt’s Bachelor finale started a little like that. Only instead of sushi, it was Michelle and Rachael rotating in and out to meet his family.
First up was Michelle who wowed Matt’s mom and older brother with her confidence and love for their son. It’s impossible not to like Michelle.
Matt’s brother/Colin Kaepernik doppelganger, John, tried to put her in the hot seat with some questions about her past relationships; but, she teaches elementary kids so she can handle anything with grace.
She won them over when she called Matt a world changer. Then she won me over (again) when she started a snowball fight with Matt as she was leaving. She’s the total package.
Rachael Meets the Family
The next day, it was Rachael’s turn to meet Matt’s family. She is an undeniably striking woman who charmed Patty and John with her obsession with Matt. In her own words, she’s in awe of him, she trusts him, and she’s head-over-heels in love. Okay, Rachael, they see you.
Everything was going well, but Rachael really sealed the deal when she told Matt’s mom that she thinks God brought her to Matt. They both started crying and bonding in the way only two southern Christian ladies with the prospect of a marriage on the table can. I got engaged my senior year at a Christian college so I know what I’m talking about.
Well played, Rachael, well played.
Matt’s Bachelor Finale Takes A Turn
Now that they’d met both of his girlfriends, Matt was stoked to get some advice from his mom and brother about who he should pick. His face was like, “What do you think? Aren’t they great! Can they call you mom?”
Haha, sorry loser, your mom is about to mess you up with all her baggage.
Basically, his mom was like, “Love is great, but love left me a single mom of two boys. So, hey, maybe try having a girlfriend or something first? Just a suggestion.”
Take that extremely reasonable advice for your son somewhere else, Patty, this is The Bachelor!
Suddenly, Matt’s Bachelor bubble was popped. He no longer knew if he was ready to get engaged in two days. In fact, he no longer knew if he even liked Rachael or Michelle at all. He didn’t even know if he knew what love is. Is the sky really blue? Matt knows nothing.
Quick, someone grab Chris Harrison to reinforce the Stockholm Syndrome!
I don’t know what side of the bed Chris woke up on that morning but he was not having it.
Long gone were the days of comfort and platitudes. Instead, he listened to what Matt had to say and then was like, “So, what, you’re going to listen to your mom instead of all of these strangers who have been paid to get a dramatic ending at your expense? How embarrassing.”
Matt has no idea what he wants anymore. This train is officially off the tracks.
Michelle’s Date is Off to a Rough Start
Matt and Michelle went rappelling off the side of the Nemacolin Resort for their final date in a convoluted metaphor about love. Of course, Matt did the whole thing wrong and almost fell off the side of the building on his first step, so this metaphor is working over-time.
That night, Michelle gave Matt matching jerseys with Mr. and Mrs. James written on the back and he looked like he was going to throw up. She could tell something was up, but she probably should have kept her questions to herself; because, as soon as she asked him to be honest, he dumped her.
HE DUMPED MICHELLE.
Never underestimate the power of a man’s mommy to mess with his head.
I’d say justice for Michelle, but she’s honestly probably better off.
Things Get Even Messier
Later that night, Matt was so conflicted over what he had just done that he cried on a curb with Chris Harrison. You know things are bad when you have Chris Harrison stooping down onto a curb with his 49-year-old man joints cracking. The man made an audible groan as he sat. Then again, maybe the groan was about Matt’s inability to commit to the show he signed up for. What do I know?
For his part, Matt looked like he was ready to run for his life. I was fully prepared to see his mom pull up in Heather’s white minivan with the sliding side door open while his brother revved the engine. Escape was on the horizon.
In the end, he didn’t pull a runner, but he did cancel his last date with Rachael. That went over about as well as you’d expect it to. I mean, her makeup never ran or anything, but she did sit on a couch with her hands on her face for a while. It was serious.
However, as someone who has been in California lockdown for a year with my family, all I felt was jealousy. I’m not saying I want to get stood up but I wouldn’t mind, like, one day pretending to be sad in my robe in a hotel suite by myself. Just one. Okay, ten.
Final Rose, Finally
On the last day in Nemacolin, Matt half-heartedly fulfilled his contractually obligated time looking at rings with Neil Lane. We all knew by this point that Matt wouldn’t be proposing any time soon, but at least he had a chance to get some compassionate advice from Neil Lane. Give him the job as host.
Meanwhile, Rachael received a note under her door inviting her to meet Matt at the lake. Ooh, mysterious. Are they going on another pumpkin canoe ride?
Oh, nope, it’s time for the final rose.
I don’t know if I’m dense or something, but I did not catch the memo that “meeting at the lake” was code for “show up in your final rose dress and full-glam.” So I’m glad Rachael figured it out.
She walked up to Matt in a sequined green gown looking as beautiful as ever. Meanwhile, Matt stood in front of a Scandinavian fireplace decorated like something straight out of Anna and Elsa’s castle. He looked more nervous than Kristoff when Anna drove his sleigh.
(I told you I’ve been in lockdown with my kids for too long.)
Like every Bachelor final rose ceremony, Rachael spoke first. She told him that he hurt her by standing her up the day before, but she’s not going to run. She was going to choose him every day for the rest of her life if he’d have her.
*cough* Might want to scrub your social media history first.*cough*
When she was done speaking, Matt took a deep breath, blew out his cheeks, and said something about not wanting to get engaged but still being in love with her. I don’t know, it was super boring and anticlimactic, but she still pretended to be happy about it.
Just like that, Matt’s journey as The Bachelor ended. Sorta. I mean, he got a girlfriend out of it, but I think he would have had better luck checking his DMs.
Please pause while I mourn the many hours I wasted watching this season.
Matt’s Bachelor Finale Has An Uncomfortable After The Final Rose
And we’re back.
Thanks to his racially insensitive comments in the infamous interview with Rachel Lindsay, Chris Harrison was not hosting the After the Final Rose special. Instead, Emmanuel Acho, the author of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, hosted.
I mean, Chris still did all of the voiceovers and appeared throughout the episode, but sure, he’s canceled. Right.
Michelle came out first looking like a ten out of ten. Teaching kids with a mask and face shield on does a body good. Once again she handled herself with grace. I expect nothing else. The only controversial thing she did was chastise Matt for not giving her a closure conversation she requested off-camera, but like, she’s fine. Good for her.
Matt Gets Honest
Thank god for Emmanuel Acho because there’s no chance on god’s green earth Chris Harrison would have known how to handle this conversation.
Due to their shared life experiences, they were able to discuss what it means to be a Black man in the white world of The Bachelor. They discussed what it meant to constantly check yourself, and fit yourself into a world that often fears you. It was an important conversation that was handled masterfully. I hope all of the people fighting in the comments sections on social media about Chris Harrison being canceled heard what they were saying.
Ultimately, Matt said that when Rachael admitted to her past racist actions and apologized for them, he realized that he needed to let her do that work on her own. They’re no longer together.
More Rachael and Matt
Finally came Rachael. Considering the controversy surrounding her and the sensitive subjects she had to discuss, I think she handled herself as well as could be expected. She didn’t victimize herself. She didn’t center herself. Instead, she took responsibility for her past actions and promised to do the work moving forward. I can appreciate that.
Rachael very clearly stated that she’s still in love with Matt and she wants him back. She said that she can’t imagine ever loving anyone as much as she loves him. However, she admits that for him to end their relationship despite how real it was, he must have been very hurt and she hates that she hurt him.
Emmanuel asked Matt if there was any chance to reconcile and Rachael’s eyes lit up like the fourth of July. Matt hesitated and hesitated some more. In fact, he hesitated so long that Rachael rubbed his shoulder and grabbed his hand.
Finally, he slowly took his hand back from under her’s and said that he was most disappointed to have to explain to Rachael why he was upset. Her initial reaction to the pictures from her past being made public made him realize that she doesn’t understand his Blackness. Nor did she understand what it would mean for their future together or their potential children. His feelings for her haven’t gone away, but he also doesn’t want to be emotionally responsible for her tears. She’s the one that messed up, she’s capable of cleaning up after herself without him as her shield. So, go do the work and grow.
In the best quote of the night, Matt said, “I don’t want you to be called out. I want you to be called in.” He wants her to learn and to grow, but it won’t be with him by her side as a safety blanket.
Damn, I guess Matt has a personality after all.
Coming Up Next Season
Whatever, Matt’s season is done. Let’s move on.
The big news is we’re getting two seasons of The Bachelorette this year!
That’s right. First up will be a season featuring Katie Thurston as The Bachelorette in May. Oh, and it is going to be hosted by Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams, not Chris Harrison. The trolls are going to hate that. Maybe next time, Chris Harrison won’t mess up his chance at redemption on GMA by apologizing like a robot reading off of cue cards. All I know is that I’ll have more Katie, Kaitlyn, and Tayshia on my screen each week? Here for it.
Katie’s season will be quickly followed by Bachelor in Paradise this summer (undoubtedly hosted by Chris Harrison), and then Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette in the fall. It’s an embarrassment of riches.
I’ll never quit you, Bachelor Nation. My love is too pure.
Well, Matt’s season of The Bachelor is finally over. Hey, I don’t even know what we just watched, but I’m glad we experienced it together. Stay tuned for more information about our next Bachelorette and her cast. It can’t possibly get any worse than this.
Heidi is currently obsessed with watching people make bad decisions on TV, being a coastal elite, artificially avoiding any sign of aging, reading feminist romance novels, and getting the biggest laugh at her own expense. She has a husband, 3 kids, a dog and anxiety.