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'The Bachelor' finale recap: Ben's final rose goes to ... Lauren or JoJo?

For The Baltimore Sun
"The Bachelor" finale recap: And the final rose goes to ...

We have made it to the final rose on "The Bachelor," and as I settle in to watch, I have two thoughts. First, I can’t believe we got here this quickly. Seems like just yesterday Olivia, this season's “mean girl” was worried about her cankles. Second, this episode is THREE hours long, which is literally how long the movie “Titanic” is. And there’s at least nudity in those three hours.

Chris Harrison starts the night's live show with the same joke he’s been using for at least 20 seasons, which is, “This is the most dramatic finale ever. What? I don’t say that a lot!” It still doesn’t make me laugh.

Harrison goes on to say that we may be seeing a Bachelor wedding tonight and that’s the first I’ve heard of this so, mad props to my non-West Coast friends for no spoilers. Just kidding, I turned my phone off and didn’t look at the Internet until 11 p.m. to avoid knowing anything at all.

With this wedding tease, I am actually now very interested in this episode and hope that instead of Ben getting married it’s Kaitlyn and Shawn.

My hopes are quickly destroyed when Chris Harrison tells us that Lauren and JoJo’s families, Neil Lane with wedding bands and Ben’s childhood pastor are there and ready for a wedding tonight. Damnit.

I hope the reason for the wedding is because in the few months since this season's taping ended, Ben’s new fiancee found out she’d been impregnated in the Fantasy Suite, because that would justify all of Ben’s boring.  

The actual episode begins and we are back at Sandals Resort in Jamaica with both Lauren, the flight attendant with airport jokes, and JoJo, who came out of the limo on the first night wearing a unicorn mask, reminding us that Ben said, “I love you” to both them.

JoJo tells us, “This is like the perfect relationship for me." I didn’t think a perfect relationship included your boyfriend having another girlfriend, but what do I know? I still haven’t showered today.  

As Ben walks down a set of stairs, the producers continue to cast “Little Ben” as not so little. At the bottom of the stairs, Ben and “Little Ben” reflect on how distraught they are because they’re in love with two women. As a heads up, we will be reminded of this 8 million more times tonight.

Ben’s parents have been flown to Jamaica to meet JoJo and Lauren, and I have to assume Ben’s mother is praying — because they’re a family that does that — that neither woman is like the twin she already met.

The first thing Ben's parents ask him is if he is in love. He shares that he is and that he’s told both women that. Ben’s mom is pissed because she definitely raised him better than that. Right after I typed that, Ben’s mom tells the camera she’s “disturbed” by his confession so I assume in Pleasantville, Ind., “disturbed” means “pissed.”

LAUREN MEETS THE PARENTS

Lauren, the flight attendant with airport jokes, arrives with flowers and a bottle of red wine. I’m impressed, because it has always bothered me how much white wine participants on "The Bachelor" franchise drink. It’s like they think they’re the "Real Housewives of Orange County," only 25 years younger and with no money.

Ben’s dad takes Lauren aside to chat first, and they talk about love and marriage and other things I’m not interested in.

As Lauren ends that conversation with Ben’s dad and moves on to sit with Ben’s mom, she calls them “Dave and Amy” and I think, “You just met them, girl, how are you on a first-name basis already?” and then I remember that she is also a woman who is competing on national television to marry a man she just met and who also loves another woman.

Lauren and “Amy” hold hands while they talk about how Ben can be “intense,” and if the mother of a man I was dating told me he was “intense” I would chug the bottle of red wine and peace out.

Before Lauren leaves, she tells Ben that she is ready to be engaged and also says the word “like” 942 times.

JOJO MEETS THE PARENTS

JoJo, who came out of the limo the first night wearing a unicorn mask, arrives with a plant in a seashell, and I’m guessing she forgot to bring a gift, so when a producer asked her where her gift was she responded with, “Can we stop at a hut along the way?” and that was the best thing she could find. At least Ben’s mom can’t take that on the airplane back to Pleasantville.  

When Ben and JoJo head into greet Ben’s parents, we see they are drinking mimosas. Likely because after meeting Lauren they know they need a buzz to get through this. I would like a buzz to get through this and I’m watching from my couch.

When JoJo talks to Ben’s dad she tells him that Ben is her best friend and I’m guessing that’s because her brothers have probably scared all of her other friends off.

Before she leaves, JoJo asks Ben if he’s planning a proposal at the end of this. While shaking his head, he says “yes,” and this is the first time all season I’ve felt confident Ben is choosing Lauren, the flight attendant with airport jokes.  

After having met both women, Ben’s dad calls Lauren “polished” and says JoJo “really loves Ben.” Through tears, Ben’s mom says, “He doesn’t know who to plant his stake with,” and I hope that’s the pun I want it to be.

FINAL DATE: LAUREN

The next day, Lauren, the flight attendant with airport jokes, meets Ben on a boat. Within two minutes of seeing her, Ben tells Lauren, “I love you” three times. If finding the “perfect guy” means hearing “I love you” 1,492 times a day, I’d rather be alone.

As they’re sitting on the beach, Lauren asks if Ben has any reservations about their relationship. He responds with, “It’s just been too perfect,” so basically he’s searching for problems because that’s what confused 26-year-old men do. It’s too bad she can’t end this fight with sex like girlfriends in the real world do.  

For the evening part of their date, Ben and Lauren sit on the couch and talk about exactly the same thing they talked about that afternoon on the beach. When I write the book on “How to Be Good at The Bachelor” I’m going to encourage contestants to learn a few good jokes because this is so boring.

That is literally all they do on their final date — say “I love you” and ask if the other has any questions about their feelings. I would rather watch sports all day, sober, as a date than what I just watched happen between Lauren and Ben.

FINAL DATE: JOJO

Ben gets into a Jeep, and I didn’t know that people drove on the other side of the road in Jamaica. These are the things I’m noticing because Lauren’s final date was that insufferable.

Ben greets JoJo, who came out of the limo the first night wearing a unicorn mask, with the most aggressive kiss I’ve seen all season, and now I’m guessing Ben was just as bored as the rest of us after last night with Lauren.

They drive to a waterfall, take off their clothes and jump in to make out. Exactly like their last date without parents went down.

JoJo asks Ben if he’s “good” and he responds with, “that’s a loaded question” before telling JoJo that he has feelings for Lauren, too. JoJo is surprised by that, which makes no sense since she signed up for “The Bachelor,” where said bachelor dates 25 other women at one time.  

For their final evening date, JoJo answers the door wearing a short, backless dress that is also low-cut in the front because she knows exactly what she is doing. I once showed up to man-friends house during a fight with a blowout, wearing a sheer shirt, tight pants and 7-inch heels and the first thing he mentioned was my “unfair girl game” outfit. And it worked. I dig what you’re planting, Jo.  

JoJo asks Ben what his concerns are about their relationship, and he says that there are none. He tells her that in two months, she has become his best friend. Do these people know what a best friend is?

When that isn’t good enough, she leads him to sit on the bathroom floor because she thinks the cameras won’t pick up on their conversation or her hopes of him telling her she’s the one. They do and he doesn’t. Instead, when JoJo asks Ben if he’s in love with Lauren and if he’s told her that, he says, “yes” to both, so she cries.

As they say goodbye, Ben, who is also crying, thanks JoJo for being there today. Like she had a choice.

We are now reminded, in case we had a second to forget, that Ben loves two women and is conflicted about it.

The next morning, Ben meets with Neil Lane, the official "Bachelor" jeweler, to pick out his engagement ring.

Ben picks out a ring, and it’s definitely not one I would want on my finger, but he’s 26 so he has no idea what women want.

On their way to meet Ben with hopes of being proposed to, JoJo is wearing her high school prom dress. I wish mine still fit me. Lauren is wearing a blue version of the same dress she’s been wearing all season.

JoJo arrives first, which is usually a bad sign on "The Bachelor" franchise. Chris Harrison makes her walk about a half-mile in her prom dress to greet Ben, which is another bad sign. JoJo recites what sound like wedding vows to Ben, and I don’t know much about proposals but I’m pretty sure the person doing the proposing is the one who is supposed to talk.

Ben can’t look JoJo in the eyes, she arrived first and she had to walk a half-mile to find Ben — so we all know what’s about to happen. Ben tells her “I love you, but I love someone else more” and then keeps talking, as JoJo visibly wants to leave.

After Ben babbles for a few more minutes, he walks JoJo to her limo and then kicks a curb out of frustration. You know, because he loves two women.

After his tantrum and right before Lauren arrives, Ben takes out a cellphone and calls Lauren’s dad to ask for his permission to marry her. I wish I could make fun of this, but it’s actually a pretty smooth move.

After Ben proposes and Lauren accepts, they gush back and forth repeating, “You’re my person” — and this is exactly what love looks like when you’re a child proposing to another child after 60 days of knowing each other.

AFTER THE FINAL ROSE

After Ben carried his new fiancee, Lauren, to the helicopter, we have another hour to watch. And still no nudity.  

Honestly, the first 30 minutes are Chris and Ben talking about how Ben loved two women, followed by JoJo and Chris and Ben talking about how Ben loved two women — similar to the last two hours.

Next, Chris Harrison announces that JoJo is the next Bachelorette, and while I’m not totally thrilled at this, I’m at least relieved I don’t have to type “Caila, who should just spell her name Kayla like a normal personal” for another season, as she was rumored to be the next Bachelorette.  

Lauren finally joins Ben on stage and obviously she’s wearing a white dress, in case Ben wants that quick wedding.

As Ben and Lauren discuss their future plans, Jimmy Kimmel interrupts to “ask a few questions” like “Where do babies come from?” and “What exactly happens in the fantasy suite?” and it still bothers me how much hotter Jimmy Kimmel is with a beard.

Chris Harrison reminds Ben that at “The Women Tell All” he said he would marry his fiancee as soon as he could, and suggests they get married right now. Ben respectfully declines and then surprises Lauren by re-proposing in front of her family. Ben and Lauren are going to be the couple who “renew their vows” like every six months and makes their friends continue to attend. 

ELIMINATED

JoJo, who came out of the limo wearing a unicorn mask and is the next Bachelorette.

LINE OF THE NIGHT

“He doesn’t know who to plant his stake with” – Ben’s mom, only because I very badly want this to be the pun I think it is.

Thank you all for following along, reading, commenting, sharing and laughing with me through another season. Would love to hear from you on Twitter @abbydraper. See you soon for "Bachelor in Paradise" and "The Bachelorette!"

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