Recap “The Bachelor” Finale: Catherine Wins The Rose & The Ring

Hi everyone it’s Sarah, not Amelia, writing “The Bachelor” recap. It is both an honor and quite a bit of pressure given that last night was the dramatic season finale. The occasion, of course, called for a group of friends gathered around bowls of chips, salsa and rice crispy treats to fully immerse ourselves in this “so bad it’s good” TV.

I started watching “The Bachelor” three years ago with Jake’s season in an attempt to bond with a large group of girls in my Washington, D.C. dorm/apartment. (They had a group name and everything. I never quite got it, or fit in). I was the girl who sat in the corner and quietly made fun of everything. Despite thinking the “journey” was ridiculous, I’ve been hate-watching ever since.

But when I sat down to watch this season of “The Bachelor” something was different. Probably a combination of being 25, recently dumped, and the fact that Sean Lowe seems genuine! He’s not chasing reality TV stardom (except for that whole “Dancing With The Stars” thing). He really wants to find a wife. Good for him!

First, can I just say Chris Harrison just keeps getting better! (And he’s single now, ladies.) He won me over during the “Women Tell All,” when he pressured a still clueless Tierra about her general insanity and lack of “sparkle.” That eyebrow does not light up a room, girl. Last night he again proved to be the perfect host, making even the most predictable moments packed with suspense.

Two weeks ago (along with AshLee) we left Sean and his final two women, Catherine Giudici and Lindsay Yenter, in Thailand. Sean must now narrow his selection, and propose to one woman who will (hopefully) become his wife. He’s facing a major dilemma — one he admittedly didn’t know was possible. He loves both girls and has no clue who to pick. Sean seems actually torn, and for a man who believes so strongly in family and religion, it sounds like a mental nightmare, with boobs.

Luckily in this episode Sean gets to do what all confused twenty-somethings do when they need to make a life altering decision: Ask mom and dad. The girls finally meet Sean’s much talked about parents (and their perfect marriage). Hopefully these visits will provide Sean some clarity? WRONG. Catherine is first and the Lowes absolutely looooove her. Sean’s mom, and Catherine bond, and Papa Lowe says he could love her like a daughter. Awww. Then Lindsay shows up. Again, Sean’s family laps her right up. Lindsay cries at just about everything the Lowe parents say, and she says goodbye to Sean with a million kisses.

The parents are as torn as Sean, and Mama Lowe doles out some tough love. If you’re heart isn’t clearly pointing towards one, don’t pick either. (Their intense garden walk was punctuated with a hilarious glimpse of the camera men trying to hide.) Sorry Sean, you’ll have to make this big-boy decision all on your own.

While promising to take his mom’s advice into account, Sean is resolute. He set out on this journey to make someone his wife, and dammit it’ll be one of the two remaining women. Lucky for Sean he has one final date with each to help make this decision.

His first date is with positive, adoring Lindsay and her ever present thick swaths of eyeliner. (Was it just me, or did you have trouble focusing on anything else?) While gliding along over Thai waters, the two reminisce about their first dates. (Which is strange because they’ve only been together for like two weeks, and it’s not monogamous.) Then in the evening they make paper lanterns with their wishes and send them off into the night. While they have cute moments of authenticity, she seems to adore him far more than he likes her. But who knows what’s in Sean’s head?!? Lindsay tells him he loves her, and Sean is all, “that’s nice.”

Next we see Catherine (my personal fave), looking all cute and “Seattle” in shorts and a funky purple over shirt. Sean is also wearing purple, which is clearly a positive superficial sign that they’re meant to be together 4-ever. Their date is my dream: getting to ride an elephant! The two of them have the most (non-alcohol-induced) chemistry I’ve seen on “The Bachelor”….maybe ever. Yet things get messy towards the end when Catherine tells Sean “I love you” to which he responded, “Thank you for today.” Naturally, Catherine is a bucket of tears and crazy, and I was positive he’d pick Lindsay.

Onto the next day! Catherine and Lindsay are getting ready for the make it or break it moment. One woman will “win” the man of their dreams and a gorgeous rock. Each girl is wearing a fitted, sparkly (metallic) dress. Lindsay in silver and Catherine in gold. What do the colors mean? Do you remember when they dressed one girl in black and one in white?

Lindsay is calm and confident, while Catharine is still a wreck — get your shit together girl! I was a nervous mess of course, feeling sure that Lindsay would become the next Mrs. Lowe. She was up first, and giggled as she struggled to walk in her dress up to a smiling Sean. He began to confirm my worst fears with a gushy speech. It took a sudden turn with “I love you, but…” AWKWARD! Cue me getting up to use the restroom to avoid seeing Lindsay cry, take of her shoes and declare that she feels like an “idiot.” Sean, I like you, but that was a dick move. Nobody wants to be told they’re loved but not good enough.

I arrived just in time for the dramatic arrival of a mystery letter and portending music. Dun dun dun! Too soon to cheer for Catherine and eat a victory rice crispy treat. What if the twitterverse was right? What if Catherine is dumping Sean via snail mail? NOPE. Chris Harrison fools us again! The letter is another adorably awkward love letter from Catherine. The producers alternate their voices reading the letter as Catherine’s limo pulls up.

The moment of truth at last! Sean proposes to Catherine, whose nervous emotion is manifest in nostril quivers, trembling hands and a million blinks per minute. She accepts and the two ride happily ever after on an elephant, and we hear Catherine excitedly squeal “My fiance!”

I don’t often get my “The Bachelor” wish. If I had my druthers Emily would have picked Ari, Jake would have ditched Vienna ages prior, and Brad Womack would have never had a second season. This season though, the stars aligned! Sean picked Catherine AND it was announced that Desiree will be the next “Bachelorette.” Game over. I’ll be hooked for another season.

In the after the final rose, Sean emerges from backstage to meet the live audience. Chris Harrison jokes about never having to see him shirtless again, but then things get serious. The two, who clearly have their own budding bromance, talk about Sean’s feelings. I’m shocked that I buy it; he really loves Catherine!

Awkwardness ensues when he has to face Lindsay who wants to know “whhhhhhhy?” Don’t we all, girl! As usual, it’s not something that can be put into words: he and Catherine just have that spark!

And it’s palpable for us watching at home when Catherine comes out. Sean is bubbling over, and she glows with happiness. The two of them are emotional watching the playback of the proposal. There is no official wedding date, but we are told it will be “soon” and aired on ABC, of course. (There goes another one of my evenings.) For the first time ever, I actually hope that the love found on this ridiculously staged reality TV show works. Sean and Catherine, I’m pulling for you.

For those of you who already miss “The Bachelor/Bachelorette,” you won’t have to wait long! Desiree Hartsock’s season starts May 20th. Of course, I’ll be watching. Let the “journey” begin!