While it's true I've snickered at some of the rejected suitors who have failed to win roses from Jillian Harris this season, sometimes "The Bachelorette" just seems cruel to me.
I'm no huge fan of Kiptyn (though I have nothing against him and I better get used to him), but I felt sorry for him last night when he poured his heart out to Jillian and danced right up to the edge of a marriage proposal, only to have her tell him she doesn't love him back. This is a guy who insisted all season that he needed to take things slowly, while Jillian pushed and pulled him relentlessly to hurry the heck up and love her already. The way the show is set up, it comes off as the ultimate bait-and-switch.
We can argue for eternity about whether or not any of this is real or manufactured or whatever. But taken at face value, it often felt like Jillian was browbeating those final men this season (I'm including Reid here, too) into professing their love for her. And then the moment Kiptyn finally gave in to it, stone cold rejection. She also rejected Reid, but the circumstances were a bit different. More on that later.
And surely Jillian knew more than a day or two ahead of time that Ed was "the one," right? So on her date the day before the Final Rose when she's chewing Kiptyn's face off to the point that I start to worry he'll ever be able to use his mouth to eat or breathe again, what was that? Leading him on? Yes, leading him on.
Jillian picked her man and it was Ed. I have been on Team Ed all season, despite his questionable wardrobe choices. (Please, Chris Harrison, get them out of Hawaii so Ed can stop wearing short-shorts and tank tops!). Jillian has clearly been crazy about Ed from the very beginning, too. He's goofy, but charming. And as long as the rumors swirling about him having a girlfriend back in Chicago while he was off courting Jillian are not true, I can't find fault with her choice.
But then there's Reid. Poor Reid! Reid was just flat-out adorable. Jillian sent him home last week after he proved incapable of expressing his feelings in grown-up terms. He's apparently one of those foot-dragging guys you have to break up with to force them to get their butts in gear, because as soon as she sent him home, he was immediately filled with love for her and couldn't wait to get back and tell her.
So Reid shows back up in Hawaii to surprise Jillian with a declaration of love and an engagement ring. Unfortunately for Reid, the "Bachelorette" producers had him surprise Jillian just moments before she was to be proposed to by Ed. They couldn't have let Reid talk to her the day before, when Jillian wasn't under quite as much pressure? Not sure it would have made any difference, but under the circumstances, which were surely dramatic and good TV, Reid never had a chance in hell.
What was interesting was how shocked Reid was that his last minute proposal wasn't a slam dunk for him. And by the way, what was he wearing? I get the untucked shirt and sports jacket, that's cool. But the shirt was nearly longer than the jacket and he appeared to be wearing sneakers with his dress pants. He looked, as my mother might say, "thrown away." But even so, still pretty adorable, and still pretty pitiful when Jillian told him no.
Don't forget the "After the Final Rose" show tonight. We'll get to see if Jillian and Ed are still together and still engaged, or if they are beginning to backpedal yet. Also, Kiptyn and Reid will be there to talk about how they have or have not mended from their heartbreak. And it's a pretty safe bet the next Bachelor will be announced, and a pretty safe bet that it's someone you know. Someone whose name perhaps rhymes with Lipton.