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The Bachelorette 2: After the Final Rose – Together Againby Betsy Wasser -- 03/03/2004
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Right before the Bachelorette 2 “After the Final Rose” special aired, Bachelorette recapper C. Brian Devinney and I debated which one of us would cover the special. Both of us were rather disgusted with the finale. In his recap, Brian said, “Frankly, Meredith, I never liked you.” And in my article about the finale, I vowed that this season of the show would be the last one I ever watched. Neither of us wanted to write the recap of the special, and our argument nearly caused a huge fight in the hallowed halls of RNO Manor. Editor David Bloomberg finally decided that we needed to settle our differences reality TV style. We suited up in Western gear and each got on a mechanical bull. After six hours of riding the bucking broncos, I finally succumbed to fatigue and let go. Brian won, so here I am. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Bachelorette host Chris Harrison greets us, the live studio audience in Hollywood, and a live audience via satellite in Times Square, New York. Tonight, he tells us, Meredith and Ian will be together for the first time since the final rose ceremony. The audience – in the studio, in Times Square, and via phone – will have the opportunity to ask them any burning questions. Plus, not only will the happy couple be back, but also Matthew, the man Meredith rejected. Matthew has some questions for Meredith and has asked for a chance to talk to her alone.
With that introduction, it’s time to bring out our bachelorette. Meredith emerges, wearing a truly hideous dress. It’s a black wrap dress with white trim with weird cutouts on the shoulders and a few little bows for decoration. She tells Chris that she’s nervous, and relieved that the show is finally over. Chris asks her about Ian, the man she chose. Meredith smiles and says that he’s indescribable, adding, “I don’t know. You’ll see him, I guess. Let’s get to the good stuff.”
Indeed, let’s get to it. Chris says that in an online poll, 80% of responders thought she’d choose Matthew. So, to the people who emailed me saying that it was obvious Meredith would choose Ian, maybe it wasn’t so obvious after all. Meredith says that Matthew is a wonderful person, a true southern gentleman. He’s a great catch, but she fell in love with the other man.
Chris says that Meredith called Matthew the marrying kind and said she felt safe with him, but when she gave Ian the final rose, she said, “I’ll protect you.” They’re two very different men. Chris calls Ian a wanderer, a drifter. Wow, those are not exactly compliments. When you think of a drifter, don’t you think of some mysterious stranger who strangles some poor girl behind a bar? Meredith says she told Ian she’d protect him because she wanted him to feel safe in those final moments.
We see a recap of that final rose ceremony, which you can read all about in C. Brian Devinney’s recap. A picture-in-picture of Meredith watches and applauds.
Chris brings in Ian, and he and Meredith are excited to see each other. Ian says that he’s happy to be able to start their lives together, and that it was really hard to be apart. He says, “Phone calls are just not enough.” They’re excited to be a couple in real life, to finally be able to walk down the street together.
It’s time for questions from the audience, and Chris chooses Keisha in Times Square. Keisha wants to know what made Ian change his mind about proposing on TV. Ian says that his love for her was always there, and that the only question in his mind was when to propose. A public proposal didn’t feel like him, but his emotions took over. As soon as he saw Meredith, he knew he couldn’t deny her the proposal she wanted. Meredith says that he was shaking that night.
Ian says that poor Meredith has been deprived of her ring for two months, so he pulls it out of his pocket. Then he says, “I thought maybe I could complete my sentence,” referring to his half proposal of, “So, will you?” Chris teases Ian about his “So will you,” saying it could have meant, “Will you clean my gutters?” Ian completes his sentence to the full, “Will you marry me,” and of course Meredith says yes, eager to get that sparkler on her hand. They kiss. Meredith says that in the moment, she didn’t realize that he didn’t finish his sentence, and that they have an unspoken thing going on.
On the phone is Jessica from Cincinnati. Jessica reminds us that Ian said that he fell in love with Meredith the moment he stepped out of the limo and saw her for the first time. How did Meredith feel when he told her that? Meredith says she was thrilled. Ian says he never expected to fall so in love so fast – he decided to go on the show just because he thought it would be interesting.
Now it’s time for some previously unseen footage. I’ll hit the highlights. On the first night, before the men arrive, Chris does a goofy imitation of one of the bachelors. It is by far the most personality I have ever seen from Chris, and it is both endearing and irritating. It’s endearing because it indicates that he is not, in fact, a robot. It’s irritating because why haven’t we ever seen him being funny or interesting before? Next we see Matt in a limo trying unsuccessfully to open a bottle of champagne. He ends up pulling the top off of the cork, leaving the stem of it in the neck of the bottle. Here’s a tip: if you’re planning on going on a reality TV dating show, practice opening champagne bottles at home before you go. Opening a champagne bottle on The Bachelor is pretty much the same thing as starting a fire without matches on Survivor. You know you’re going to have to do it, so don’t let that task trip you up. We see a montage of guys making funny faces. Todd gets out a guitar and sings a song about the loquacious Ryan M. The footage ends with Ian talking about “L-O-V-E,” and how he’s ready to use that word for Meredith.1 2 3 Next-->
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