The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart
Listen. Listen. Listen. If we’re gonna do this — if we’re going to get all the way through this recap — I have to be honest with you. There was the most fleeting moment when I was listening to some of these goobers stand in profile and sing a cover song at each other and I felt something. I caught feelings. Just for a second. I could blame the fluctuation in hormones in my menstrual cycle (Whose cycle am I synched up to when the only other person around me is my boyfriend? The moon? Beyoncé? Is she the uber-cycle?). I could blame everything that’s happening outside. I could blame any of these things, but honestly, Bri and Chris were singing a great song and didn’t turn it into something by Mumford and his Sons. I guess that’s all it takes for me to let my guard down and feel a human emotion for one second. I feel like a dope and this show got me.
But we’re also gonna have to talk about another thing in order to really talk about this finale. Literally nothing about this show is coherent or consistent. There’s something interesting in there, but the ethos of the Bachelor Cinematic Universe gets in the way of any fun or intrigue. Because if Matt and Rudi were allowed to just be two people who were figuring it out and not forced to declare their love for each other, they would have won. I’m sorry to all the Bri and Chris stans out there, but Rudi and Matt were the best performers. They 100 percent would have won and I would have been happy about that. But the show decides that if you’re not in deep, romantic, heading-toward-marriage love, your relationship is worthless and you should feel bad about it. And without Rudi and Matt, there would have been no drama this episode.
Let’s get to it.
Everyone piles into a private plane to head to Nashville while they reflect on how far they’ve come and how they can’t believe they’re with their partner. Plus, montages! You can actually see the sweat on Matt’s face as he thinks about having to confess his love for Rudi. Once they arrive, they all head to the theater where their final performance is going to take place. Chris Harrison meets them onstage and tells them that they’re going to perform TWO songs for the finale and there will be fantasy suites. Wait. Hold on. Didn’t Rudi and Matt have an overnight date at that hotel in the California desert? Okay. Sure. Also tied to the fantasy suites for some reason is the symbolic gesture of taking your relationship to the next level. You have to be on the same page to head into the fantasy suites. Why? This doesn’t end in an engagement or marriage, so why not let them use the fantasy suite to get on the same page?
Chris Harrison leaves every interaction this episode by saying, “As always, listen to your heart.” Where is his Etsy store where he sells tote bags with “Listen To Your Heart” on them?
The gang is sitting in a hotel suite waiting for the dates to begin and Matt leans over to Rudi and tells her that they need to talk “after this.” What woman hasn’t been minding her business when her boyfriend suddenly whispers that he “needs to talk after this” and she feels her heart drop into her butthole? Everyone is getting their song assignments, but Rudi and Matt are allowing themselves to wallow in anxiety. Matt keeps pacing in the hallway and Rudi has burrowed into the throw pillows on the bed. The other couples are blissfully unaware and are spending the afternoon staring into each other’s eyes.
So the time has finally arrived and yeesh, Matt went about this the entirely wrong way. The show definitely forced his hand but man, oh man, this was an oof. Unfortunately for Matt, Rudi was over it before this conversation even began. Somewhere deep in her soul, she knew what was coming. Matt starts by aggressively complimenting Rudi and saying how she’s impacted his life. Matt just doesn’t know if they’re at the same place as the other couples. You know what would have avoided some emotional strife and been good television? IF THEY TALKED ABOUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP. If Matt had waited until their fantasy suite date and framed the conversation as, “How are you feeling? Reassure me that what I’m feeling is okay,” this could have ended up in a different place.
It’s never productive to compare your relationship to someone else’s AND it’s never productive to act like you breaking up with someone is doing them a favor. “I don’t want you to resent me.” Well, she might still resent you for ending her time on a reality show where the prize is a hot boyfriend and a tour without consulting her. You still made a decision for her based on your perception of other people’s relationships and what you think is best for her. If Matt and Rudi found a way to come to a decision together, that probably would have prevented a lot of tears. I’m not saying another strategy would have gone perfectly, but this definitely could have gone better.
Without Rudi and Matt, this episode marches forward without any other real drama or any production value. WHERE ARE THE HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES? Jamie is from Nashville. They couldn’t find a few of her friends to fill a distillery-slash-cocktail lounge? They phoned this in and I’m mad about it. Bri and Chris and Jamie and Trevor head out for their fantasy suite dates. Jamie and Trevor go to… let me see here… the lower level of a hotel suite for dinner. Jamie says that every relationship she’s been in involved her getting cheated on so she needs Trevor to reassure her. Trevor says that he’s not always confident in his singing and his artistry but he’s given her confidence. Sure. Okay. They head up to the bed and make out.
Bri decides that she wants to go slow physically so she says she doesn’t want to take advantage of the fantasy suites. First of all, you can still have a fantasy suite date without having sex. Second of all, there seems to be no drama between them and Chris is not bothered but Bri spends the rest of the episode thinking that she has ruined everything. The next morning, they keep cutting between Bri messing up in rehearsal while Jamie and Trevor feed each other French toast and eat donuts Lady and the Tramp style. Bri didn’t partake in the Bachelor sanctioned sex ritual, so she must be punished.
It’s time for the final performance! This panel of judges is amazing and I would pay a handsome price to hang out with them in the green room and have a few glasses of wine before the show: Rita Wilson, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jason Tartick (if these two ever break up, I will be more heartbroken than if my own relationship ended), Taye Diggs, and Jewel. Taye Diggs and Jewel had a couple moments slightly making fun of how sentimental the show is. I adore both of them and their hats.
Up first is Jamie and Trevor. For their first performance, they manage to turn “Unchained Melody,” one of the world’s most beautiful songs, into a Mumford and Sons pastiche. Both of them are just whisper-singing and barely enunciating. Every performance has five back-up singers and 3-4 violin players. My much more musically talented boyfriend pointed out that the back-up singers were mostly singing the melody, so what is their purpose?
Next, they sing “Speechless” by Dan + Shay. They keep making out during instrumental breaks in the song and Jamie jumps with excitement whenever Trevor raises his volume even a decibel. Taye Diggs says they rely on each other too much and Kaitlyn says they look like they’re either about to start or just finished fucking. Jamie says that her dad is watching and Kaitlyn says “my dad watched my season.” She is and continues to be one of the God Tier Bachelorettes.
It’s time for Bri and Chris’ performance and I’ll say it again, their performance of “Make You Feel My Love” made me feel something even for just a second. They just left the song alone and sang. What a bold choice on this weird-ass show. Their performance definitely has “We’ve decided to sing our vows” energy, whereas Jamie and Trevor have “We’ve decided to sing instead of having a first dance” energy. For their second performance of an Ed Sheeran song, they turn out to the audience and have the audience clap along with them! Again, in a show comprising the most milquetoast musical performances, clapping is revolutionary. Jewel says they held their own when the band was stripped away and they found their harmonies. Rita Wilson says that they’ve found the right partner and they’re probably going to have babies soon!
The judges head out to deliberate and everyone is backstage making out. Chris Harrison decides to give a little speech about each couple and says that Jamie is a bulletproof, amazing woman. She can perform only covers while staring directly into her boyfriend’s eyes. Let’s not get crazy, Chris. Chris Harrison reminds us that Bri and Chris were the first to say “I love you.” He also reminds us that the winning couple will record their own music and go on tour (terms and restrictions apply).
And the winner is…BRI AND CHRIS! OF COURSE! Bri and Chris run out to the street to find a tour bus to start them on their tour that will never happen and they give each other their final roses. A title card comes up that says they’re still in love and working on their debut album.
That’s all for this season. Hang in there, Bachelor Nation, and as always, listen to your heart and medical professionals.