After last night’s season finale of “The Bachelor,” ABC added an extra hour of live Bachelor entertainment they call “After The Final Rose.” It included interviews with the bachelor Ben Higgins and the final two women — one being Ben’s new fiancé and the other being the sad runner-up.
The interviews were only somewhat interesting in that, moments after viewers watched Ben choose one girl over the other in the season finale, they got to watch him sit on the same couch with the girl whose heart he broke and sent home home in a sketchy Jamaican limo, even though the two events were months apart.
But for the most part the interviews were the same type of cliché relationship talking points that the entire season of every season of “The Bachelor” is built upon. “I couldn’t picture my life without her, yada yada, etc.”
However, ABC redeemed itself in its usual predictability with a surprising announcement for their selection of the next “Bachelorette.” The announcement itself wasn’t surprising, as they always tell you which girl previously kicked off earlier in the season gets to return and turn the tables. But this time was different than previous “Bachelorette” seasons.
The next bachelorette, whose season premieres in May, is this season’s runner-up, JoJo. Historically, they almost never pick the runner-up because it’s logistically awkward for their “After The Final Rose” story. Moments before the announcement, Chris Harrison was interviewing JoJo and Ben, trying to coax out emotional answers about whether she is still in love with him and vice versa.
ABC will Always Choose America’s Sweetheart
Many fans were predicting either a Becca or a Caila season of “The Bachelorette.” Becca because of her unique story line as a 26-year-old virgin, and Caila because she’s half-Filipino and the show has historically faced pressure for a lack of diversity. Obviously, more factors than just race or storyline go into deciding the next bachelor or bachelorette, which is why I think they picked JoJo. She is simply the most likable out of those three. (Let’s not forget her debut on this season of “The Bachelor” when she showed up in a unicorn mask.) She seems to be pretty normal and down-to-earth in real life, too.
She had a lot of people rooting for her in this season as the spunky, fun girl-next-door, and having all those fans carry over with her story is key.
It will be interesting to see how producers update or change JoJo’s storyline. The big drama from her hometown date with Ben was with her huge, thug-looking older brothers, who confronted Ben in their parents’ kitchen about dating multiple women.
At least that’s how the producers made it seem. As with most reality TV, I’m skeptical that much of that wasn’t fabricated by editing and dramatic music. Upon further research, some fans have pointed out that one of JoJo’s older brothers, Ben Patton, was actually on the failed dating show produced by Eva Longoria, called “Ready to Love.”
This completely undermines the story arc that ABC tried to create this season in which Matt Patton (the brother), antagonized Ben Higgins (the bachelor) about having “brainwashed these girls way too much” while Ben Patton, the brother who starred on “Ready to Love,” silently gave the bachelor a death stare.
So Ben Patton is either a hypocrite who hates a guy for dating 28 women at once just as he had in 2013 (until NBC pulled the show from its schedule), or he is actually disturbed because he completely understands what it’s like to brainwash women and now someone is using the same tactics on his little sister.
“The Bachelor” producers are the best in the business at editing in crazy where there really wasn’t any. What I would recommend to ABC as a great way to tie all of this together is a show about a crazy family who continually supports each other as various members go on reality TV dating shows. This of course will have to wait until JoJo finishes taping the upcoming season of “The Bachelorette,” where she will, hopefully, find love with another man who also really enjoys dating on reality TV. I think her odds are pretty good.