Looks like we’re in for some more sweaty abdominal shots. Newly engaged Sean Lowe announced on Good Morning America today that he will be joining Season 16 of Dancing With the Stars, set to premiere next Monday, March 18th to fill that gigantic hole created with The Bachelor being over. He’ll be dancing with Peta Murgatroyd. Darn it – just when I thought I might be able to make plans on Mondays. My mother LOVES this show, and I will obviously need to see how Sean does and whether Catherine will be in the audience. What a great transition for ABC. What a horrible decision for someone trying to bring their hidden engagement into public life, transition his fiance into his world and start wedding planning. How is this all going to work? Sean has moved to LA to begin rehearsals, so at least they’re on the same coast for now. Is it a bad sign that he’s continuing in the public light instead of figuring out his life with Catherine? Maybe she’s on board with extending their Hollywood fame as long as possible. At least they are a couple that’s generally adored by the public, unlike Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson who were basically hissed at on the streets when seen together. It’s a lot easier to have people supporting you.
Now that all the secrets are out of the bag, let’s discuss last night’s wonderful, heart warming, emotional finale. I don’t know if it was all the drama and anticipation leading up to the finale that was making me feel off the past couple of weeks, but I suddenly don’t feel dizzy or lightheaded anymore. Is that strange? It’s actually the first time I feel perfectly balanced in weeks. Maybe Sean having some closure on who the love of his life is has given me some stability. But enough about me. I’m ready to leave dreary, rainy New York behind and disappear to Chiang Rai, Thailand for a few weeks. Who’s coming with? Do you think they have a CPK there? Who needs CPK when you’ve got Thai food. (Side note: Does Catherine know a little Thai? She was able to communicate to the person handling the elephant in Thai. Was very impressed with that). The Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa, where the finale took place, is located in northern Thailand in the Golden Triangle which is on 160 acres overlooking Thailand, Myanmar and Laos as well as the Mekong River. The Anantara Golden Triangle is also home to an onsite Elephant Camp (hence all the elephants that Catherine kept running into and that were available for riding. I’ll end this little geography lesson by transitioning to this side note: SOMEONE WHO I KNOW VERY WELL (I won’t mention who and please hide your children from this next comment) made the observation that watching Sean behind Catherine while riding an elephant provided great insight into what their love-making will look like. WOAH – Quite a shocking image, but can’t say I disagree. There was some serious bucking and gasping going on during that initial elephant ride). PS – the Anantara resort is offering “The Bachelor” Golden Triangle Package where guests can relive some of the experiences from the show. Ride elephants and practice your love-making form or dine with a private chef and butler. SIGN ME UP! Rates start at 41,000 Thai Baht which equates to $1383.97 per night. OUCH. Looks like you’ll need to win the lottery first to afford that. Oh well, a lady can dream.
Let’s discuss Sean’s family. First it is essential to point out how gorgeous Sean’s brother in law is. Did anyone else notice this? I think we didn’t get to hear from him because he would have overshadowed Sean’s story but WOW. He was a good looking man. Second, the children were adorable. Besides Sean’s nephew who stole the show with his “Emily didn’t pick you,” comment, I thought his niece’s grin that came out when both Catherine and Lindsay arrived to meet his family, was absolutely adorable. I always like to see the kids’ reaction because kids don’t act. So if the kids are happy with someone (and the little girl went in for a full hug with both women), that’s a good sign. I absolutely love Sean’s parents. Like want to go take them to lunch kind of love and give them big hugs. The father was so sincere, so full of love when he spoke to both ladies that I choked up at both conversations. The Husband blurted out, “Wow, that man just epitomizes love.” You can definitely see where Sean gets his sense of self from. These are manly men. The type we all dream about. Just like The Husband, who also oozes love (as well as his father). Funny how Sean describes Catherine to his family: “She’s a little weird.” So in comes Catherine and she’s like REALLY nervous. So nervous that it was making me nervous. She’s adorable, of course, but I felt like she was on a job interview, for a role as “Sean’s wife.” So serious, she was, during her one on one conversations, particularly with Sean’s mom. That killer smile I love about her was absent when answering questions about Sean. It was all business. Until she speaks to Sean’s dad and he just shines love in her face. How can we all help but fall in love with Sean’s dad?? I was so happy for Catherine because she’s smart enough to realize what an incredible family she’d be marrying into and can actually see Sean’s dad feeling like a true father figure to her.
We know Catherine is cool because she played football in 6th grade on an all boys team. BTW, THIS LITTLE FACT, was thrown in there casually but let us have no doubt – this is a MAJOR PLUS in Catherine’s favor. As you may know, Sean played football in college and is a BIG football guy. He tweets about football. He’s a football nut. So whoever he marries MUST love football. How perfect that Catherine not only enjoys it, she’s actually played before. Another observation – we didn’t see Sean’s sister have heart to hearts with either Catherine or Lindsay. All we saw of her was a toast. I was sort of disappointed by this because it would have been interesting to see how she interacted with the ladies. Once Catherine revealed to Sean’s mom that she was always giving Sean little notes, I instantly knew the letter to Sean was from her. She’s “the note” girl. Of course it was from her. Now the question would be – was it a “goodbye, I can’t do this” note or a love note. Well we all know it was a “false alarm.” Of course it was a love note. Shame on Mike Fleiss for telling us that the impact of the letter carries on into the After the Final Rose. It revealed her love and yes, their love carried through. But come on – we were all expecting a potential dumping through the letter and that certainly was not the case. ANNOYING DRAMA INSERTION FOR NO REASON. The actual love story was enough for me. Why do they have to mess with us like that???
I did like how Sean’s parents challenged the ladies to express why they thought they were ready to get married and how they resolve conflict, etc. One of Catherine’s answers worried me. When Sean’s dad asked her about the process of the show and how she knows she’s ready to marry Sean, Catherine’s response was, “He’s so good, it’s hard to think there’d be anything I wouldn’t like about him. I’m consumed by him. Laughter is so big for us. Our time together is laughing and eating.” OY. Does this seem a bit naive or is it just me? These two have never had to argue. They’ve never had to resolve a conflict. Life is not all laughing and eating, though I agree, it should be. And believe me, there WILL be things she won’t like about him. Like the fact that he’ll be going on Dancing With the Stars and have very little time for her. And she’ll be wanting to plan her move, the engagement parties, the wedding – and he’ll be like, “Sorry, Baby, I’ve got rehearsals with tan, sexy Peta again. Rain check?”
I was surprised at all the references to “prayer” and “God” in the episode. We don’t usually hear any sort of religious speak. Yet, it is very apparent that both ladies and Sean take prayer and God extremely seriously and these are important values that are a very real factor in all the decision making. When Lindsay asked Sean repeatedly for a reason, an event or SOMETHING to justify her being sent home, ultimately, Sean blamed it on his prayers. They also did not address in any fashion the whole “Born Again Virgin” thing which was in every tabloid and all over social media for the past several weeks. The only hint of that we got was Lindsay saying that she discussed with Sean that they would not live together until married.
As for “The Big Shock,” The Husband and I were chatting about what it could possibly be. The highlight of conversation went something like this:
The Husband: I bet the shock is that both ladies reveal that they got pregnant from the fantasy suite
Me: That would be awesome!
I LOVED Lindsay’s navy blue lace dress that she wore to meet Sean’s parents. This was the navy version of the pink lace dress Lesley wore during the Longest Kiss date. Trying to figure out where that’s from. I liked Lindsay’s “innocent ivory lace” dress she wore on the After the Final Rose. You can find that here: http://www.singer22.com/nightcap-clothing/clothing-victorian-lace-caletto-dress.html?ref=CJ But back to Lindsay’s date. When the father started saying about how on the day Sean was born they started praying for his wife, I was like – WOAH, that’s so nice and yet so much pressure on Sean to get married. What if he wanted to be on his own for a while? What if he was gay? I did think it was funny that Lindsay asked for Sean’s hand in marriage. She had some funny lines, which just showed how silly and non-AshLeeish she can be. Lindsay got emotional with Sean’s mom too and his mom saw how much Lindsay loves Sean. So did I - her love was like REALLY OUT THERE, on a platter, waiting for Sean to take it. Hearing Lindsay talk about how Sean is everything she’s ever wanted and how she can really feel it all just right in front of her, ready to happen and she’s SO EXCITED about the future – I thought – how could it not be her?
Then you hear Sean saying that he “could have a long and happy marriage with both Catherine and Lindsay at this point.” UM WHAT?? Really? You’re 48 hours from getting engaged and you can honestly say that it could be either girl? Uh-oh, this is not good news. His mom certainly picked up on this and my heart went out to her when she got emotional over his lack of clarity. Sean basically tells his mom – yeah, your opinion is nice, but I just need your support. This seemed a little narrow minded in my view, but once I saw how Sean comforted his mom and pulled her away from the cameras, I feel in love with him all over again. Yes, Momma Sherry, he doesn’t have to pick either one. But this is BACHELOR, so he MAY be under an obligation to pick one of them and at least give it a try. Thankfully his prayers were answered and this became a non issue, but I feel your stress. Literally, I shoved 3 m&m chocolate chip cookies my mouth during this scene. It made me that uncomfortable.
For all the detail I’ve just given about the ladies meeting Sean’s family, we really didn’t really get much time for this. And I was a bit confused as I thought that for the “last date” it’s usually been an evening thing where the couple just makes dinner in a hotel room or something like that. I know on Emily’s last date with each of the guys she had more time with each of them, so maybe this is a new format. I’d just think, how strange to have to spend an entire day and night with someone the day before you’re about to propose to someone else. Like wouldn’t Sean have realized somewhere along the boat ride with Lindsay down the muddy river that she was not the one? Even though they were talking about being old together? Because if he realized it then, he’d still have to go hang out with her that night. Whatever, at least we got to see Sean’s biceps really bulging, larger than life, during these last dates.
Lindsay totally looked the best she ever looked all season on these final dates. Maybe it’s that glow you get when you’re in love, but something was working very well for her. She was funny and confident and I found myself liking her more than I had in previous episodes. Lindsay is able to clearly express how she feels about Sean to him and is just so genuine and loving. Once they sent those Love, Happiness and Sex (wait, was that the last one?) lanterns into the night, Sean says, “She’s so thoughtful and loving. In this moment, I think she’s the one for me.” See here’s where it gets confusing. Because according to my calculations, this is about 36 hours from when he proposes to Catherine. Should this matter? Does Catherine have anything to say about this? I love this show.
So now it’s Catherine’s turn and Sean is searching for a sign from above that one of these ladies is THE ONE. So off they go, riding an elephant and it’s a pretty incredible view. When they break for some serious chat time, Catherine can’t look him in the eye (this definitely bothered me). During their evening date, she basically says she can’t see it going any other way but for her to say yes if he proposed. She says this straight out into the air, without once looking at Sean. Again – this irks me. We know she’s building up to the “I love you,” but she can’t quite say it yet. But I’d think if she’s willing to accept a proposal, Sean’s gotta know that she’s head over heels. (Poor Lindsay who will never listen to that Cher song again with the following lyrics: “If you wanna know, if he loves you so, it’s in his kiss.” Unless you’re on The Bachelor, of course, where people can fall in love with multiple people at the same time.) When they finally said goodbye to each other and you could hear their heartbeats through the microphones, The Husband was sure this was a soundtrack added in. Only the heartbeats could only be heard when they hugged and it really sounded like someone was going to have a heart attack. Turns out, it really was their pulse. I guess someone was nervous about dropping the “L” bomb.
Sean’s about to leave Catherine for their last date and suddenly she must have realized her opportunity was walking out the door. She grabs Sean one last time and gives the emotional, “I love you.” She’s crying. We’re crying. He has this look on his face like, “I want to tell you that I love you too, but I can’t.” Catherine doesn’t read brains, so she’s offput by Sean’s verbal response to her love declaration and tears, “We had fun today, right?” To tell you the truth, I was confused too. He was just very capable of walking away while he knew she was upset. Catherine’s little head sticking out of the doorway was both cute and sad – she was obviously hoping for Sean to come back and reassure her, but it never happened. This sent Catherine into freak-out mode and for a second, I thought she was going to lose it and go after him. Later on the After the Final Rose, she tells Chris that she’s glad she got this upset, because it really showed her how much she loved Sean and that this was the real deal. Whatever, this was totally her only cracking point moment, which truthfully, considering your potential fiance is making out with so many other women, is pretty good.
Chris Harrison kept luring us back into present time at critical points of the show which kind of bothered me. Particularly after Catherine’s final date ended, when Chris started interviewing some of the previous contestants. Like do we really care what Jackie thinks? And does AshLee’s opinion matter here since she really tried to embarrass Sean and actually both women left by her comments at the Women Tell All? Finally, we’re back in Thailand and Sean is ring shopping. Actually, first he’s powdering and deodorizing his tan chest and abs, toweling himself off and THEN he’s ring shopping. He picked out a BEAUTIFUL ring, don’t you think?? But wait, we overlooked the fact that Sean woke up and knows who his wife is. How did this happen? What did it?
And then it’s LIMO SCENE time and my heart is beating out of my chest because we know whoever steps out of the limo is THE LOSER and at this point, it’s anyone’s game. As soon as I saw the bottom of that silver gown, my heart went out to Lindsay. Poor thing had to deal with high heels AND the possibility of tripping over her dress AND losing her husband. She declares “today is the day that I’m going to get engaged.” OH NO. Poor Lindsay. This is going to be awful. Sean takes her hands into his and starts saying these wonderful, kind, thoughtful things. Just for a second she thinks it’s her. This is agony. He’s wanting to clasp at the last seconds of not hurting her. But then he does. By using the word “BUT.” He tries to explain it to her. But how do you explain that you just love someone else more? And to make matters worse, he seals this with a, “I love you. I know I do.”
Then Lindsay throws out a, “It’s not me?” and now my heart is shattered into a thousand pieces. Because Lindsay is being so nice. So composed. She is able to say through her tears, “I really didn’t see this coming. It’s a nightmare. I’m happy for you. I’m happy that you found love. I honestly can’t imagine my life without you. It’s something I’ll have to figure out.” HOLY SHIT. Why isn’t she our bachelorette? Why were they so quick to pick Desiree? Bangless, glammed up Desiree? What about sweet Lindsay??? When she took those shoes off, I started applauding at the TV. Screw walking in these things, she’s gotta be thinking. I almost wonder if Lindsay handling it so well, made Sean even more confused. He was full on crying and I wondered if he wondered if he was making a mistake.
Lindsay’s in the limo, all tears, still saying the nicest things about Sean, “In like a sick twisted place in my head, I’m happy for them.” Ohhhhh, Lindsay. Big hug, Sweetie!!
BUT THEN THERE’S THAT LETTER. And I HATED how they tricked us. Yet I LOVED how they presented the letter. In both Sean and Catherine’s voices alternating. Beautifully done. The words were everything Catherine wanted to say but could not. All she wants to do is move to Dallas and be part of his family. Sean has her heart. Now Sean’s crying again. I’m crying. We’re all crying. It’s Catherine and she’s not writing a Dear John letter. It was a love letter all along. Yes, he gave almost the same exact speech that he gave Linsday, but we forgive him, don’t we? Then he launches into, ” I want to spend the rest of my life telling you that I love you and making you feel like the most special, wonderful woman in the world.” Oh, Sean. We love you too!! Down on one knee, a proposal, a ring, an acceptance, the Catherine’s smile we all know and love and then an ELEPHANT??
Off to the Live After the Final Rose. It’s nice to see Sean and hear how happy he is. How in love he is. This is not Ben Flajnik (I broke up with her for a bit, but we’re trying to work it out). This is not Brad Womack (Emily and I fought a lot and we even broke up at one point, but we’re trying to work it out). This is not Jake Pavelka (Vienna and I are soooo happy! YIKES). Shall I go on? We were able to confidently feel like Sean is glowing with love for Catherine. Let’s not ruin it by asking her what she thought of all his making out with other girls. Lindsay looked great on the ATFR. She’s clearly not over the guy, but I can’t really blame her. Still, she was ever classy – wishing him luck and saying how she learned so much from the experience and now knows what she wants in a partner. I will miss her. But at least now we may have some insight into why she wasn’t chosen as the next Bachelorette. Life & Style reported today that Lindsay confirmed she’s seeing someone!!! Hooray for Lindsay! This has been going on for about a month. So not long enough to really know what’s happening, but enough that perhaps prevented her from throwing her hat in the ring as next Bachelorette. Here’s the article: http://www.lifeandstylemag.com/entertainment/news/lindsay-yenter-the-bachelor-sean-lowe
Then out comes Catherine in a navy blue lace dress (lace is so very in style, right?) and we see that she’s just as into Sean as he’s into her. I loved her line about seeing Sean with white hair and white eyebrows in the Canadian Rockies’ snow and realizing that she wanted to grow old with him. We get to watch the proposal all over again. Not a dry eye anywhere. We can just feel their happiness through the TV Screen and I was glad to see The Husband with a big grin on his face. It’s sad that the show has to manipulate its audience with gimmicks like there is some big shocking ending. When really the shock is that Sean and Catherine are doing great and will have a televised wedding. Interesting, that I didn’t see any of the former bachelorettes in the audience when Catherine came out. I kind of wanted to see if there’d be any interaction between AshLee and them. And of course I wanted to see Catherine and Lesley hug and for Chris to ask if Catherine still thought Lesley was a better match for Sean. Oh well. The vagueness of their plans was kind of worrisome, but I guess it had to do with Sean being on Dancing With the Stars.
Last but not least, Desiree is our next Bachelorette. Nobody is the least bit surprised as we kind of all thought it would be her. Some are really excitd. Others are skeptical. I fall into the skeptical team for now. But I was skeptical about Sean and I think this was one of the best Bachelor seasons we’ve ever had. I don’t say that lightly. Just PLEASE find your bangs again and don’t let them doll you up too much, Des, so you’ll have a chance. Her brother better not be on the finale. She’d be wise to keep him out of the whole process.
Some interesting stats from last night. The finale had 10.3 million viewers which is up 14% since last season’s finale. The After the Final Rose segment was up 15% since the previous season. The finale saw 616,000 tweets, representing a 148% spike week to week for any telecast of the program this season. In total this season, The Bachelor generated a total of 3.2 million tweets (which quadrupled last season’s number which was 850K). Posting the live tweets during the show this season certainly gives people incentive to start tweeting away. This was ABC’s attempt at drawing new, younger viewers, which I think they were successful at.
Well, Bachelor fans, it’s been an awesome, fun, emotional and crazy ride. I couldn’t have done it without you and appreciate all of your support, great comments and conversation. I’ll still be blogging like a fool until May 20th, which is the premiere of Des’s Bachelorette season. So please check back here regularly and share the blog with your friends if you like what you read. The more the merrier! Now that the finale is over, it’s time to plan my own exotic date. Tomorrow is The Husband and my THIRD wedding anniversary. Hard to believe. We’re going out for mussels in Sean Lowe’s abdominals’ honor. Maybe he’ll give me a rose.
If you haven’t already, please “Like” my Facebook page to get real-time updates at http://facebook.com/OfficeStace, “Follow” me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/OfficeStace) or you can find me on Instagram (@OfficeStace).