'The Bachelorette' Has Completed The Transformation Into A Sport
The Bachelor(ette) is a sport. It is something we've always known, but damn if this season's finale didn't prove it. From opening night to almost the final whistle, we watched as Katie poured her heart out to Greg, reassuring him that he was the frontrunner, telling him that this was his thing to lose. If The Bachelorette had an AP Poll as they do in College Football, then Greg would be Alabama, coasting at the top while everyone else jostled for second place.
And then Greg "quit" in the second to last episode. The quotes here are doing a lot of heavy lifting here because we've seen this type of gambit on The Bachelor(ette) before. The frontrunner proclaims that their heart just can't take the stress of seeing the lead date so many people at once, as if they forgot what show they signed up for, and then gives an ultimatum: Tell me you love me and leave the show with me or I walk.
It's the ultimate power move, and it usually works. Either they just leave together as a couple outright like Dale and Clare on last season or Dean and Caelynn on Paradise, or they leave alone initially, the lead chases after them, and they end up together eventually anyway -- think Colton jumping the fence for Cassie on his season.
Our current saga seemed to be shaping up into the second scenario with Katie asking production to book her a flight home after Greg "left." But this is where "love story" turns into sports drama because Katie never got on that flight home, presumably to then find Greg waiting at her house with an apology bouquet sponsored by BlueChew. Instead, she went on a date with Blake, and this dude had the performance of a lifetime, taking her to the Fantasy Suites and going the distance in more ways the one.
This isn't a dating show. This is a Rocky movie. Blake showed up on the show late, was never the favorite to win, and only did win because he outlasted better competitors with his sheer force of will. Here's Katie pretty much telling Blake as much in that weird, mutual proposal speech they do on The Bachelorette:
And it's not like Katie still didn't have feelings for Greg. Here she is going full-on "Lemonade" towards him in After The Final Rose:
Which goes to show just how much Blake had to overcome to walk away with the (championship) ring. It's an underdog, come-from-behind victory if we've ever seen one, and again, "underdog" and "come-from-behind" are not just referring to positions in the Fantasy Suite. Congratulations to Katie, congratulations to Blake, and Congratulations to Bachelor Nation. It was a season for the ages.
Follow Dan on Twitter to learn more about his upcoming projects and find him on his podcast The Bachelor Zone to hear him talk about The Bachelor like it is a sport. (Because it is.)
Top Image: ABC/Hulu