Once upon a time there lived a girl named Jen. She won our hearts when she captured the heart of a millionaire named Andrew Firestone. She won his heart and the final rose and they rode off into the sunset to live happily ever after…only their fairy tale ended and their break up was plastered all over magazines like People and In Touch. To heal her broken heart our heroine tried dating other reality stars, but still couldn’t find Mr. Right. So while most of would have tried more traditional routes, like blind dates, Match.com or picking up guys in Barnes&Nobles, our heroine went back to her roots and tried to find Mr. Right on The Bachelor, where she originally thought she had found her true love. If Trista and Ryan could make it, then surely she could find her future husband from millions of guys wanting their 15 minutes of fame, right? So after finding 25 guys who she thought could be Mr. Jen Schefft he went to New York to find her man. After going on group dates and fantasy dates, she narrowed the field down to two: Jerry and John Paul. Our finale opens with John Paul going to Cleveland to meet Jen’s family. Now, as the song Cleveland Rocks goes through my head:
All this energy calling me Back where it comes from It's such a crude attitude It's Back where it belongs All the little kids growing up on the skids are goin' Cleveland Rocks, Cleveland Rocks, Cleveland Rocks, Cleveland Rocks Cleveland Rocks, Cleveland Rocks, Cleveland Rocks, Cleveland Rocks! Ohioooooooooooooo......
I wonder why they aren’t showing sweeping scenery scenes from Cleveland’s beautiful downtown or from Lake Erie, when I remember one little thing…Jen isn’t actually from Cleveland. She’s from Mentor, which is just a stone’s throw from Cleveland, and since no one outside of the state has heard of it, it’s easy to say why they led us to believe that she’s from Cleveland and some little town no one’s ever heard of….so that explains why John Paul’s meeting her in a cute little boathouse place instead of somewhere cool like the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. After asking if he was nervous about meeting her family and giving her a gift of what I think are diamond earrings, we are off to meet the Scheffts. (Now, did any one believe for a New York Minute that he was actually going to give her a diamond ring then and there? Come on ABC, your viewers are smarter then that!)
We then get confessionals from her family about what they think of JP. Her mom thinks he’s gorgeous, and loves his gift a flower vase. (After all, it’ll last longer then stupid old flowers…Raise your hand if you think he really just ran out of money after buying Jen’s earrings and only had enough left for the vase?) They sit around the table and talk about what we’ve been forced to watch all month: his first impression of Jen, their dates, the pressure of it all, etc., etc…while her parents are on the JP bandwagon, her brother is perhaps the smartest of them all and in a confessional says what we’re all thinking: Not this again, he’s probably just some jerk trying to impress us…there is no way that dude is getting a rose from my sister. (Ok he didn’t say that last part, but you know he was thinking it.) John Paul talks to her family about his goals in life, and asks Jen’s dad for permission to marry Jen. He reluctantly says yes. In a confessional and to the family he says that Jen needs someone whose in control, but not controlling, and that he feels that JP has all of these qualities. The only doubts her mom has is his age…is he ready to settle down and get marriedJ at age 25?
After a gazillion commercials we return to find Jen in a wine bar with Jerry. In a confessional Jen admits that she’s not really ready for him to meet her family. (This should’ve been warning sign number one that this finale would end badly.) I’m secretly hoping that she’ll put the poor guy and her family out of their misery and send him home broken hearted right now, but nope…after doing some smooth talking Jerry manages to convince Jen that he’ll be there for her after the show is done, and they are off to meet her family. He doesn’t have a gift for Jen, but does have one for the family-flowers. Jen’s mom proceeds to put the flowers in a vase that looks oddly familiar….wait! It looks familiar because it’s the vase that JP gave her mom. Do you think that they secretly planned their gifts to family? Is ABC really so stingy that they didn’t give Jerry and John Paul money for both flowers and vase, but the two choose which one they were giving them? Jen is shaking her head in disbelief that her mom is putting the flowers from Jerry in the vase from JP. I half expect her brother to blurt out that the vase was from JP, but alas, nothing is said...
Jens parents thought that Jerry was ok, but really, really seemed to like JP better….during dinner they ask him what he does, and if he’s an artist. He seems taken aback by this and stutters out something like: “I tried to be an artist, but I didn’t have what it took, so I decided that directing an art gallery was better.” Dinner painfully went on with Jen’s family grilling him, and Jerry stuttering out some answers….finally he begins to relax, and then before you know he’s whisked out the door and Jen calls a family meeting. Her parents tell her that they like both guys, but they just don’t think that Jerry’s the right guy for her. (At this point I’m thinking to myself poor JP this was the kiss of death for him…)
After another lifetime of commercials, we’re back in New York City. Jen’s meeting with her two best friends Michelle and Abby, both of whom I’ve totally forgotten about, but vaguely remember them from the first episode when one of the bachelor’s was stupid enough to hit on one of them. Jen breaks down and tells them that she’s massively confused. JP is sweet and stable, but she feels more chemistry with Jerry. Who better to help Jen decide which guy to choose then to have her best friends help her out? Abbey and Michelle meet with both of the guys. JP is the lucky one who gets to go first. The girls are blown away by him, and he tells him that Jen has all the qualities he is looking for in a wife, and could give her a fairy tale life. (Why is it that these reality shows insist on doing the fairy tale comparison?) Jen’s best friends are completely smitten with him..and not so smitten with Jerry who meets with them next. They ask him if he’s in love with Jen and he mutters something that sounds like: “I like her a lot, but it’s too soon to tell.” The girls report back to Jen that they both love JP and they think he’s the guy for her and to forget all about Jerry.
Chris teases us with “Coming up, Jen makes her decision.” He fails to mention that we still have an hour and half before that happens and we return to find Jen and her friends in a limo getting ready to go dress and ring shopping. But before we do, we see a stressed out Jen, and I feel a meltdown coming soon. Both of her friends seem nonplussed by the outbreak and seem used to this sort of thing from Jen and try to calm her down to no avail. In a confessional one of them says: “Dress shopping should be fun. But Jen’s just not in the right frame of mind.” Well…duh. They go to some store named Henri Brendel that I’m sure we’re all supposed to be impressed with, but by this point and time I want the rose ceremony to be here already and start to turn off the tv in boredom, when I remember I have to write the stupid summary so I keep watching-thinking that by this point I’m probably the only one in America left watching it. After dress shopping they go to Harry Winston, where I am dually impressed by the ring selection.
We finally get the meltdown that ABC’s been promising us all season. Jen breaks down crying because she can’t decide who to choose, and hates the fact that she’s leading both guys on. And why can’t Chris just make the decision for her? Her friends tell her to suck it up already and choose JP already. They realize that they are on national tv and add some cheesy line about “taking a leap of faith and see what happens.”
We then have our last group dates, I mean individual dates. Jerry is up first and he brings her flowers and pizza. They have a heart to heart and he finally answers all the questions she’s been wanting him to answer, they have the obligatory kiss, then it’s JP’s turn for a date. JP also brings her flowers, and he tells her that he’s in love with her, and she tells him that he’d make a great husband someday, then they go into the hot tub and yadda, yadda, yadda….(Memo to future contestants on the Bachelor or Bachelorette: Be careful with hot tub scene-those who make out too much almost never get the final rose…)
Finally the guys are ring shopping. Jerry picks out one that has three stones represent their past, present and future. JP on the other hand picks out something flashy and big…I’m thinking he’s probably competing for the ring that Andrew Firestone must’ve chosen for Jen.
Then after what seems like another hour of commercials we are at the rose ceremony. Jen is waiting in a beautiful ballroom, with what I can only describe as a Dolly Parton type dress. (and to think this dress probably cost thousands of dollars!) and waits for JP to arrive. He gives a beautiful speech, but she says he has everything she’s looking for in a guy but the chemistry’s just not there. Why do I all of sudden feel like I’m in the middle of Meredith’s season? JP departs broken hearted looking like he might cry any second, which I’m secretly hoping that he does because I’m hoping to get 2 extra points in Silver Star’s Bachelor game, but much to my disappointment he doesn’t cry. Then finally Jerry arrives in his limo. Jerry gets all romantic and takes her hands in his and says that he really loves her, and then she interrupts and I start to get a not so good feeling about how this fairy tale will end. Jen says that she feels the same way about him. He asks her to marry him, and I let out a sigh of relief because she’s finally going to get her man…when I realize that I’ve let the sigh of relief out too soon, because the show ends and she gives him this cheesy answer: “I really, really, like you, but can you hang in there a couple of months? I’m committed to you, but I just want to see what happens.” I and the rest of America feel sucker punched because we now have to sit through another hour of “After the Rose Ceremony” to find out what her freakin’ answer is. This is worse then the football star giving what’s her name a one way plane ticket to New York City.
Chris Harrison pops on stage in front of the audience and says now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for….but of course it’s five minutes into the show and you just know that they are going to drag this sucker on and on and on…. Instead of Jen giving her answer JP is there and gives some spiel about how disappointed he was, but truthfully I’m not really paying attention because I’m on pins and needs waiting for the answer. After a lot of hoopla and a romantic song that Jerry wrote for Jen, and at this point I’m totally rooting for Jerry. Finally at long last Jen gives her answer: A big fat No. I’m so distracted and shocked by this answer that I miss a lot of what came next, expect she gave some crappy answer like” this is what we decided on…” when at this point a shocked Chris Harrison interrupts and says “wait a minute, Jerry looks as confused as the rest of us are. He was expecting to marry you. How can you say that you both decided this?” Jen mutters something and the executive producers see a enraged public coming on and they quickly cut to commercials. There really isn’t much to say about what happens next, except that an enraged audience asks questions to Jen like “So what on earth are looking for? Is there a guy out there that’s good enough for you?” Normally at this point I’d start feeling sorry for Jen, but she looks like a deer caught in the headlights, and all I can think of is that this must be a sweet vindication for Andrew Firestone.
I apologize for not having this up sooner but it was painful to sit through that show twice.