A Bumpy Flight Finally Lands

[Cue up Allman Brothers Stormy Monday]

They call it stormy Monday
But Tuesday’s just as bad

I fly quite frequently and have experienced the shock of air turbulence. When it’s really bad, your attention gets focused so intensely that you cannot think of anything else while you anxiously wait for it to end.

That was Monday’s show.

Of course, things eventually calm down and you safely land with the thought, “I’m glad that’s over and hope I never experience anything like that again.”

That was Tuesday’s show.

As I wrote in my last post, Monday’s show had so much turbulence that I couldn’t fully process it. Now that I’ve landed, I have clarity that is best expressed by my musings on each party in the love triangle.

Arie. Warning: I’m about to play pop psychologist. There is such a thing as a manipulative personality type and they run the spectrum from willful and conscious to unintentional and unconscious. I think he’s on the unintentional and unconscious side of the line which is still “effective” but without being sinister. However, it is indicative of someone who has learned how to avoid being the one who gets hurt by maintaining emotional power through manipulating the feelings of the other party. It is also indicative of someone who lacks empathy which is a quality Arie demonstrated repeatedly throughout the season and especially during the break-up, e.g. “Are you OK?”

Several of the A-team girls (My Girl Bekah, Kendall the Taxidermist, Backstabbing Tia, Sienne and The Girl Whose Name I Still Do Not Know But At Least She’s Not Another Blonde) said how he’s able to say exactly what you want to hear. Not only that but he also comes off as sincere which is the only way it’s possible to convince two girls he is hopelessly in love with them AND BOTH GIRLS KNOW THAT ABOUT THE OTHER AND ARE OK WITH IT!!!!!!

Which is why he is perfect for . . .

My Girl Bekah and Kendall the Taxidermist are done with Arie and not having any of his proposal to Lauren.

Lauren. I’m going to drop the beige carpet joke because I found myself feeling sorry for her. The awkward mid-show engagement was met with such weak applause – the kind that happens when you see a terrible public performance but you’re clapping just to be polite. And despite the we-didn’t-see-all-this-turbulence-coming-drama on Monday, we landed exactly where we thought we’d land because Lauren was so clearly Arie’s The One all season. And nothing confirmed that more than when we found out that he called her on New Year’s Eve!!!!! When a guy calls his ex on NYE, he’s REALLY pining for her. When a guy calls his ex on NYE and he’s engaged – he knows he’s engaged to the wrong person.

Rather than say they deserve each other (which sounds cruel), it’s obvious that they are suited for each other in a symbiotic way. He needs control[1]. She’s happy to be compliant, so much so that she hoped he’d come back to her despite what had to be a crushing break-up/engagement to the other girl for her.

Becca. Becca’s self-assured confidence stands out in stark contrast to Lauren’s constant need for assurance. Given Arie’s need for control, I can see how with his competitiveness he found Becca’s cool independence an attractive challenge. But relating to your girlfriend like she’s a road race isn’t exactly the basis of a long-term relationship.

Becca the Broken-Hearted coming out the big winner is interesting to me. Although it’s clear she was beloved by the girls in the house and especially by the A-team girls, I don’t recall viewers thinking of her as a standout this season. If it weren’t obvious that she was a frontrunner to Arie, would we have noticed her? She probably even wouldn’t have been invited to Paradise.

It seems Becca the Broken-Hearted is benefitting from a massive Halo Effect[2], i.e. because she handled the turbulence so magnificently and so gracefully, and because she got dumped on so badly and so publicly, she is the new star of Bachelor Nation. While I’m sure I’d like to be friends with her, I’m not all that excited about watching her for a season of The Bachelorette. Am I right on this?

Having said that, given the choices, she’s probably the best one. My Girl Bekah and Kendall the Taxidermist are far more interesting but have too much personality. They’re both better suited for Paradise and the word is that My Girl Bekah is going to be there. SWEET!!!

As always, it’s been fun musing on this season of The Bachelor. The American Idol reboot starts Sunday and I expect to be all over that. I hope you follow along.

[Cue up Elton John’s I’m Still Standing in honor of Becca the Broken-Hearted]


[1] I think that’s what his not leaving during the break-up in the face of Becca’s continued insistence that he do so was about. He was trying to get her to be like Lauren and be OK with what he was doing.

[2] The tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in another area.


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