Entertainment

Bachelorette Becca Kufrin picks her man and Bachelor Nation does not approve

Host Chris Harrison called Monday’s Bachelorette season finale the most emotional we’ve ever seen, but I doubt he was talking about the one emotion that stood out for many of the show’s devoted fans: disappointment at Becca Kufrin’s choice.

In hindsight we should have seen it coming. Becca herself essentially spoiled the outcome before a single episode had aired when she told the media her new fiancé was someone she loved to laugh with. That, combined with an Episode 1 hint to keep an eye on the first impression rose winner, seemed to point to smiley, jokey Garrett Yrigoyen as the eventual victor.

And yet, after a controversy erupted early in the season over racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic Instagram posts that Yrigoyen had liked, many of us hoped she wouldn’t choose Garrett.

On Monday, those hopes were dashed when Becca sent Blake Horstmann home, broken-hearted and sobbing, which was the emotional bit Harrison was talking about it.

When we finally got to the proposal in the Maldives — after first watching a still shaken Blake reunite with Becca in Los Angeles on live TV — Becca and Garrett seemed deliriously happy and that happiness hadn’t diminished when they joined Harrison later.

I wanted to be happy right along with them but … I couldn’t get past those Instagram posts, including one that mocked Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg, claiming he was a “crisis actor.”

The scandal was brought up on the finale. There was no way it could have been ignored.

Garrett gave a version of the apology he first issued in June: he’s sorry, he didn’t mean to offend anybody, he “didn’t realize the effect behind” Instagram likes.

Left unaddressed was whether the sentiments in the posts he liked reflect Garrett’s own views, although he kind of nibbled around the edges of it.

“When I was liking things it was going against what she stands for,” he told Harrison, referring to Becca.

For Becca’s sake, I know we all hope that’s true.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at the highlights of the finale.

Meet the family: This part of the show never changes. The final two meet the Bachelorette’s family where they’re subjected to questions of varying degrees of toughness, all supposedly in the interest of the family helping her choose between the two, but they always end up liking both the men and generally aren’t much help at all. And so it played out with Garrett and Blake.

One big difference was how emotional Garrett got during his visit. He cried talking to Becca’s uncle Chuck, recalling relatives who had cancer while discussing the death of Becca’s father. He cried again talking to Becca’s sister Emily about his love for Becca.

“I would make sure to, like, yeah, just be that man that is strong for her, make sure she’s safe and guarded,” Garrett said tearfully.

By contrast, Blake was dry-eyed although he claimed to love Becca just as much. But he talked about things like Becca being a strong, independent woman, and him and Becca working as a team so, you know, stuff that seemed more practical for a lifelong relationship than talking about guarding Becca like she was a priceless heirloom instead of a person.

The fam seemed to give a slight edge to Blake by saying he seemed more like Becca’s equal and Garrett seemed like more of a risk, but then again they all mentioned the possibility of getting sent home to Blake so it seems they already knew which way the wind was blowing.

Final dates: When dolphins leaped out of the sea during Becca’s and Garrett’s last date, as they lounged on a yacht, it seemed like a sign. And then there was their emotional nighttime rendezvous in Garrett’s suite in which he shared his dreams of changing diapers and grocery shopping with her, and she teased him about his snoring and brought up, again, how much he reminded her of her late father.

“It feels like a bit of home with you,” she said.

But just when you were thinking that Blake was sunk, he and Becca had their last date, and Becca talked about how she’d been in love with Blake for a while and couldn’t imagine saying goodbye to him.

“I can see Blake standing in front of me professing his love to me and me professing it back,” Becca said in voice-over as she and Blake exchanged long lingering goodbye kisses.

Oh, so Garrett’s done then?

The rejection: It’s a credit to the producers that they were able to keep us guessing (or at least some of us) until almost the final moment, when the man she was about to reject stepped out of a motorboat onto the beach.

The reason I say almost is because, while she waited, Becca said the man she was about to send home wouldn’t see it coming and would feel blindsided, and there was no doubt that was Blake. He was the most confident going into the proposal.

Sadly, the producers persist in having the unlucky fellow give a speech professing his love, not getting his dreams dashed until just before he gets down on one knee. So Blake had already gone on about Becca’s virtues and had asked her, “Will you let me spend the rest of my life making you smile?” before Becca interrupted him.

Hers and Blake’s had been the most solid, constant relationship, “but because you were so constant I think I was overlooking other relationships,” she said. Ouch.

“I think that we could be right and we could be partners, but I just think there’s a better fit for us out there,” she added.

Blake, sweating profusely and very confused (especially since Becca kept telling him that she’d pictured him as the last man standing up until quite recently), left her with the words, “I love you. Bye.”

Then we saw Blake shaking and crying into a towel and crying and crying some more. Harrison had talked up the breakup to the point where I thought we were going to see Blake hurl himself into the ocean or something, saying that “what you’re about to see no words can describe.”

Honestly? It was sad, but I found Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s blindside of Becca and Rachel Lindsay’s breakup with Peter Kraus more uncomfortable to watch. (And speaking of Rachel, this is the second Bachelorette in a row who made an unpopular choice of fiancé.)

Blake joined Harrison onstage at the live show where Harrison asked him questions that were mostly variations of “So how crappy does watching that footage make you feel?”

When Becca came out, she reiterated that Blake hadn’t done anything wrong but then told him the fact he got “in his head” a lot made her question how he’d handle a situation like “if someone were to get sick or something were to happen to a child.” Again, I say: Ouch. At least she apologized for ripping his heart out on the beach.

Blake, ever the gentleman, told Becca she had nothing to say sorry for and that he wanted her to be happy.

More importantly for viewers’ purposes, he said he had learned and grown from the experience, and “I’m not gonna be scared now of falling in love again.” That should stand him in good stead if he becomes the next Bachelor, which seems possible from all the social media love he was getting on Monday night.

The future: When the proposal finally came it almost seemed like an afterthought given how long we had to wait to see it (although I understand why the producers wouldn’t have made Blake sit and watch it). Bottom line: Becca finally told Garrett she loved him, he said he loved her back; he pulled out a honking big Neil Lane ring; she said yes three times; they kissed, they laughed, they danced.

“We’re so happy, so in love,” Becca told Harrison in the studio.

There are no wedding plans yet, but they’re spending time in each other’s cities (Minneapolis and Reno) and planning to move in together, possibly in California. Becca wants to adopt at least two corgis. Harrison surprised them with an all-expense-paid trip back to Thailand and a minivan, in honour of Garrett’s first night gag.

Who knows? Maybe someday there’ll be a TV wedding and maybe by then we’ll actually feel happy for them.

In the meantime we have Season 5 of Bachelor in Paradise to look forward to. It starts Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC, but won’t air on City until Wednesday at 8 p.m.

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