Zak Waddell’s ‘Bachelor’ Recap: The Finale



After last night, After the Final Rose… I am exhausted, winded, defeated. I followed our Hero on a 2 month quest to find love, watched him waiver with indecision in the end, then back around with the guidance of his sisters.

Whitney was the obvious choice. Even though we are left with a hint of doubt, knowing how difficult it will be for Whitney to give up her career for a family…but mostly Iowa…Whitney seems trustworthy. Sure, she seems to calm Chris’ doubts with charm and hyperbole, sure she is easily excitable and boiling with energy, sure she polarizes herself from an unresponsive Becca. Whitney is all these things because she cares. Certainly outside of the cameras, in the “real World” Chris and Whitney will have to struggle with getting to know each other as “less engaged than before”.

The only thing you’ve got in this world is what you can sell.”
Arthur MillerDeath of a Salesman

The term engagement is so fitting. Like Adderall sharpening the brain, binding together all of consciousness’s loose ends… engagement is being fully present to each other.  It stays for a period of a year or so, then mysterious transforms, at a single moment, into marriage.

What comes next? I haven’t crossed over yet. But I have a feeling it depends on our willingness to preserve engagement.

I truly wish Chris and Whitney all the best.  May you continue to make sacrifices for each other, in the face of so many difficult transformations.


After the Final Rose

At 10:45 PM CST last night I tweeted this, “I feel like I just watched the final act of Death of  Salesman” – @RealZakWaddell.  Looking back this morning I should have properly punctuated the title of the play, most importantly, I forgot the “a” in Death of a Salesman.

This was a pretty heated Tweet for me. I don’t find myself Tweeting often and rarely anything backhanded or negative. And this tweet, both backhanded and negative, was directed, directly at the Bachelor franchise. Yikes…talk about slapping the hand that feeds you, right?

Thinking back, I am just disappointed. Brit and Kaitlyn being thrown like gladiators into a pit of hungry men…all of America anxious to see the last women standing. I find it distasteful and contrary to everything the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, seemingly, stands for. To lead someone along for weeks, shortly after experiencing the disappointment of not finding love, with the promise of a fresh start, an opportunity to meet 25 eligible men who are all filled with hope, searching for meaningful companionship; to then reveal that you are only performance, that the franchise is more concerned with sleight of hand than authenticity, that Chris Harrison is a puppet at the hands of an executive agenda, that contestants are only pawns in a thankless war.

“You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away – a man is not a piece of fruit.” 
Arthur MillerDeath of a Salesman

There was a sublimely poignant moment that happened just as Chris Harrison made the Bachelorette announcement. As he grasp the reigns of the room, pulling back the momentum in  moment, he lifted his eyes to tell a fatal lie, “Never before in the history of the show, has Bachelor Nation been this divided on who it wants as the next Bachelorette”. (I am paraphrasing not to exaggerate what was said, but because I don’t remember the “exact words used”. Nonetheless, I am confident this was a correct delivery of content.)

He polled the audience.

Brit first… silence, some hesitant clapping and “boos”.


He tried again, this time building the case for Brit.

More applause this time, but only the same voices gaining velocity. Like a 3-person Rock band dueling with a full, acoustic symphony. What they lacked in size they made up for in power.

When the announcement was made, that the Bachelorette was to be determined by the 5-10 minute “first impressions” of 25 men, the room was silent. Chris Harrison tried once again to hype-up the crowd, to soften the deceit. But to no avail. Everyone knew the franchise had gone too far.

And as Kaitlyn stood in the tight grasp of a brooding Brit, trying to shake free of cold lies… I knew we had reached the Requiem.  

“Sometimes… it’s better for a man just to walk away.
But if you can’t walk away?
I guess that’s when it’s tough.”
Arthur MillerDeath of a Salesman

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