[You can listen to our after show Raw Emotion Podcast here]
So it was said by Artistry. So it came to pass. On the same day his daughter was born, he was able to revel in having correctly predicted JP as the recipent of The Final Rose. A hearty congratulations to him.
But enough with the fluff. Let’s get down to the analysis of what happened and let’s do it in pictures as a way to honor JP’s rose-clinching scrap book.
Ashley’s Journey to Get Proposed To continues in Fiji, or as Ashley puts it without a single breath in between words, “I’ve-continued-my-journey-through-the breathtaking-islands-of-Fiji-Fiji-is-the-perfect-place-to-write-the-last-chapter-of-my-love-story.” And yes, that’s another $10,000 to ABC from the Fijian Ministry of Tourism. She begins as so many Bachelorettes before her have, by voicing over carefully edited montages of past events in the present tense. Her performance is flawless. She gives both Gentlemen glowing reviews but to the well-trained ear, JP comes out of the gate with all the momentum.
We start by meeting Ashley’s family, which consists of: 1) a completely disinterested step-father; 2) a mother with absolutely no authority over any of her children; 3) a tattoo-covered sister who set the modern-day Bachelor franchise record for lowest likability score in the shortest amount of time; and 4) a younger brother who was wearing a tug-of-war rope around his neck.
|If this guy was never in front of you in line at a CoGo’s buying cigarettes, then you’ve never been to Pittsburgh.|
The love story continues after the jump…
JP is first up to meet the family and he’s determined to “continue to be me,” which presumably means continuing to be insecure and jealous. How does he feel about meeting the family?
As JP sits down to talk to the family, one thing becomes abundantly clear. Ashely’s brother is extremely sweaty and overheated, and desperately needs a glass of water. He looks like he should be starting a fight at Kennywood.
Ashley’s mother proposes a toast and declares to JP, “you’re welcome in our family.” Is this an official blessing? Let’s consult the Blessing Tree.
Hmmm … too close to call. Have to go to the booth.
|“Upon further review, the blessing has been given.”|
At the table, as Ashley’s brother continues to die slowly from heat exhaustion, Ashley’s sister — Chrystie with a y — asks Ashley whether JP makes her laugh. Hold on Chrystie, let GTOG answer that. No! Ashley clumsily dodges the question by answering, “I don’t know, JP. Do you make me laugh?” OH NO. JP panics. The brother adjusts the anchor around his neck. The mother and stepfather get in a defensive posture in case Chrystie’s head explodes.
Chrystie sets out to recapture her family’s Blessing from JP. She tells Ashley something to the effect of, “I don’t like him. I think he’s stupid. It takes a psycho to recognize a psycho, and trust me, he’s a psycho.” Ashley doesn’t take this Blessing Revocation well and begins a session of convulsive hiccuping while fending off a shock-and-awe attack on her forehead by her bangs.
What does her brother think of all this?
After Ashely’s mother tries to explain to Chrystie, “honey, you’ve only known him for 10 minutes, maybe you should give him a chance,” Chrystie breathes actual fire in her mother’s face. That’s the end of that. A determined Chrystie does what any good big sister would do — takes JP aside to sit in two chairs facing the same direction. She needs to ask him the “tough questions.”
|Actual tough question: “Are you smitten?”|
Chrystie proceeds to tell JP that 1) she doesn’t like him; 2) she doesn’t want him preying on her little sister, 3) he is so old; 4) Ashley liked Brad Womack better; and 5) there is no #5 because JP stopped hearing anything after Brad’s name was brought up.
|“Whatever man. I’ve got run clubs I can go organize.”|
It’s Ben’s turn to meet the family, and if you didn’t think Ashley was going to overcompensate with him to get her sister to like him, then you haven’t been paying attention.
|I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t do to get this woman to stop yelling at me.|
Did we listen to anything that Ben said to Ashley’s family? Absolutely not. What does the brother think?
|“I’m from 8 Mile, muuuuh fucka!!!”|
Ben plays it cool with the family and with the sister. He stresses that he and Ashley “are the right age,” a direct reaction to Chrystie’s attempt to put JP on the sex-offender list for being 8 years older than her sister. Excluding the botched “I love you” from last week, Ben’s throwing a near perfect game. Chrystie reveals to Ben that she has been divorced, which means it is likely that her ex-husband’s body is now a 1,000 piece puzzle.
Date time. Ashley explains, “I think the best way to see Fiji is how Ben and I will be getting to our destination today.” Note to Ashley: No one talks like that. As discussed on the podcast, Ben’s total lack of irrational exuberance and faux-shock at the sight of the helicopter really cost him.
|Come on, Ben. Rookie mistake.|
At Ben’s hotel room that night, he tells Ashley that he is in love with her. She doesn’t say it back, but Ben is not deterred. He believes that when she kisses him after The Big Reveal, she is telling him that she loves him “in the only way she knows how.” Funny, we thought she was just occupying her mouth so she didn’t have to say it back. Ben is losing it. All signs are pointing to JP. But at least there is this voice over.
Now it’s JP’s turn, and recognizing that Ben probably dropped the “I love you,” bomb, he realizes that he can’t hold his cards any longer. It’s time for the walls to come crumbling down. He really puts her in the mood by quoting her stepfather and then saying “I am madly in love with you.” It’s the only play he had left, and he executed it perfectly.
But wait! It’s not the only play he had left. At the hotel later that night, he busts out a scrap book that not only contains a romantic note, but also has unfinished pages on which they can continue to write their love story. Game-changer. He seizes the momentum, and never lets go.
Cue Neal Lane, creepy Jeweler/Wall Destroyer. He gets the Gentlemen to open up to him by asking things like, “What if she says no?” Really inspirational stuff, ring guy.
|“What if she dies in a fiery car crash? How will you feel then?”|
During the obligatory video of the men in towels, Ben says he is “confident” about 70 times. That foreshadows diaster. JP, on the other hand, puts his talk with Chrystie to work and rather than be jealous of Brad Womack, he tries to be Brad Womack.
|You can’t stop this level of balcony gazing. You can only hope to contain it.|
The men are then flown to the proposal site in private jets.
|If you’re poor or unemployed, could there be a more obnoxious picture?|
Before the actual proposals, we get more voicing over. Ben begins crying about his deceased father (may he rest in peace) which is, as Artistry likes to say, “apropos of absolutely nothing.”
|Tears for the wrong person. Another huge mistake.|
Ben arrives in front of Ashley and just as she begins to break up with him, he interrupts her to propose marriage. Painful. She tells him no, then he does what he should do and walks away without a hug and without wanting explanation. Ashley chases after him. Ben is fired up, and says with disdain, “JP is a wonderful guy. I’m sure you’ll have a nice liiiieeeeeefffffffeeeee together.” He then gets on a tiny boat which appears to set sail for the middle of the ocean.
|Is he taking the boat all the way back to Napa?|
JP, now the obvious winner, is greeted by Chris Harrison. Very disappointing night for Chris. He was upstaged by the ring guy, but he salvaged it with an iconic photo.
JP’s proposal is so anticlimactic that I started searching for online petitions to sign to get Pippa Middleton to be the next Bachelorette. JP says something about how his face wrinkles when he smiles, and then gets down on one knee for the proposal.
|“You have high arches. You should try Asics.”|
Ashley’s heart is warmed and she says the only thing that JP wants to hear — that she won’t cheat on him. “I do not want to be with anyone else but you forever.”
We don’t know whether Ashley’s version of “forever” will be 6 months or a full year, but we do know that we enjoyed the Journey.