More Than a TV Show?
“The Bachelor” predictions of Zach’s season taking fans back to the show’s original romantic origins weren’t wrong. We got a somewhat “normal” season minus the inflated “sex week” drama. The show’s producers chose to make that story line overshadow Zach’s happy ending in the Finale episodes. In seasons past, viewers have seen countless Fantasy Suite dates with about 20% of them revealing if intimacy occurred.
Only as of lately have we seen the sex factor into the main source of drama. This started with bringing-in virgin contestants, Madison in Peter’s season, and Colton in Becca’s season. Then, there was Hannah Brown who confidently owned her sexual freedom to contestant Luke P. Then, there was Clayton who revealed he was “intimate” with both women who were left. Susie wasn’t having it, and exited the show. Then, she came back. So, sex has been a tool in “The Bachelor” franchise to create drama for some time now. It seems to be whipped-out when there’s nothing else to rely on.
So, a theory is that former Bachelor Sean Lowe influenced Zach to take sex off of the table in the Fantasy Suite dates. Producers probably suggested Sean to do this, and Zach took the bait. Hook, line and sinker. But, why did Zach have to voice his intentions of “no sex week” in front of millions of viewers? Couldn’t he have just mentioned this behind closed doors once the cameras were gone. That way, there would be nothing exposed one way or the other.
There’s no way a single man who’s gone through not having physical intimacy for weeks on end around multiple attractive women suddenly is given the opportunity to get closer to three of the women he is attracted to the most and be able to resist the temptations of getting closer three times in a row! The chances are slim of this happening, and everyone knew it! Except Zach. So, once Zach broke that, he felt highly disappointed in himself, and suddenly, this became the focused drama of the show that also dragged Gabi and Kaity who were victims in different ways.
Ariel not knowing about Zach’s failed attempt at no “sex week” didn’t need to be an issue. But, again, she was brought onto “After the Final Rose” episode to discuss further and tell Zach how hurt she was that he didn’t tell her he had sex with Gabi? What?! Why? How is this a thing?
The format for the finale episode was the same as in recent past seasons. Host Jesse Palmer presented the finale episode along with a full live studio audience who watched and reacted along with the airing of that episode in “After the Final Rose.” Much of the episode took the wind out of Zach’s happy engagement sails by dedicating so much time on Ariel and Gabi. Meantime, avid Bachelor watchers were waiting for the real drama to start. Which never did. Just a sad finale.
He ended up making it “more messy,” and he regrets it.
In front of the live studio audience portion, Zach came out to talk to Ariel close to the start of the show. She said “it was interesting” to watch it back. She said it was difficult that Zach didn’t tell her about the “open relationship.” She was left in the dark when Zach failed to tell her about what happened between him and Gabi.
Zach responded that he was going through a lot mentally and the parameters that he took probably wasn’t the best way to go about it. He agreed that he did owe her an apology for not telling Ariel and having her find out with the rest of the world.
Zach said his intentions were to make the week less complicated but ended up making it “more messy” and he regrets it. Zach said he made it one-sided and “that was really selfish of me.” Jesse asked Ariel if Zach owed her a conversation? She said “yes” and doesn’t understand how he could spend the entire week without telling her.
Zach’s last words for Ariel were that he looks back on that week and there’s hundreds of things he wished he could change. Ariel did mean a lot to him and wishes he could make it better. “You have every right to feel the way that you do.” Ariel said Zach helped her open up again and she’s now ready to find love again. Overall, she said she was grateful for everything. Most likely, viewers will see Ariel on “Bachelor in Paradise.” She is considered a hot commodity in the Bachelor world.
Taking sex off the table that week was a bad decision…
Zach said he learned that taking sex off the table that week was a bad decision. He’s lost trust with both Gabi and Kaity and he said there’s repercussions for that. He wanted to fix and alleviate the mistake he made.
Zach told his family that the overnights were “challenging” and “It was a big test for me.” Zach explained that it caused “turmoil” and bit him in the ass. They didn’t want to hear the details..understandable.
Before Zach brought Gabi in to meet his family, she was firm that she wouldn’t be meeting his family until she had certain questions answered. She felt that Zach was regretful of what happened between them on their overnight date. Zach reassured her that he wouldn’t take anything back and she didn’t cause him pain. He said “it’s love. I just want you to know that.” Gabi said she needed that reassurance and she felt a lot better. Gabi said she was so excited to meet his family.
Gabi told Zach’s family that her parents got engaged after one month, had a six month engagement and have been married for 32 years. Gabi sat down with Zach’s dad first. She told him that “family is everything to me.” She said she watches how her parents are also partners.
Zach’s dad said he and his wife’s relationship was based on them having a “horrible time.” They were told that Zach would pass when he was a child. “I was a father that had no idea what to do.” He said what he did know was that he loves his wife and they had to get through it. Gabi was shocked and didn’t know that.
Zach’s mom Megan said she just wants Zach to find what he’s looking for and thinks that Gabi holds similar values to theirs. Zach’s sister said she comes from a “protective sister background.” She wants someone to give 100% to him when he isn’t 100%. She said Zach gives so much. Gabi told them that she is in love with Zach to her core.
Gabi said learning about Zach’s early sickness confirms her feelings for him. Before saying goodbye to Zach that night, Gabi told him that she is in love with him and “it’s so scary to admit that.” She also said she didn’t feel that way until she was talking to his sisters.
They haven’t had the “smoothest ride.”
Kaity was afraid that Zach was falling in love with Gabi too. She said she’s cautious with Zach because it’s hard to think of another man leaving her life. Before meeting Zach’s family, Kaity said “I’m just going to be me and hopefully that’s enough.”
Kaity told Zach’s family that she knew there was something with Zach on night one in talking to Zach that first night. Megan talked to Kaity in private first. Kaity said she feels so “safe and secure” with Zach. But, they haven’t had the “smoothest ride.” When mom asked how she’s been processing that? Kaity started crying.
Then Kaity talked to Zach’s sisters who asked her if she’s prepared if it goes the other way. Kaity started crying again and said it would be heartbreaking. She said she didn’t think that she could find someone so amazing. She said she just wants him to be happy and follow his heart.
Kaity told them that it would be nice being a part of their family and felt excited for the future. Then, Kaity talked with Zach’s dad next. He explained how his relationship with his wife is, she’s his best friend and that’s what he wants for Zach. He asked Kaity how she feels about that. Kailty said Zach’s the one she wants to experience life with. Kaity said she didn’t have a relationship like that to look up to, and got teary eyed. He asked Kaity, “Do you love my son?” She answered that she’s in love with Zach.
When Kaity and Zach reconvened. She got choked-up trying to tell Zach that she is so in love with him and hearing his family talk about him made her even more in love! Zach was happy and gave Kaity a long kiss.
Zach took Kaity for a hike in a national park in Thailand. Kaity said it’s hard because she knows how amazing Gabi is and she’s worried that it’s not her. It’s been challenging for her to let men into her life, and feels that her and Zach are a good match. She said “after this if it isn’t me, I’m going to have like this steel heart.”
Zach said everything about all this “it does take its toll.” Then, Kaity brought-up Gabi and said “I can’t imagine the position you’re in.” She said last week it was a step back for them, and she was so in her head. Kaity said all of her walls came crashing down when she met him because he’s worth it.
Kaity told Zach that it scares “the shi$%” out of her to think of life without him. Zach responded that he’s “fully feeling” his heart and figuring it all out. Kaity questioned in her confessional interview if Zach is saying the same things to Gabi that he’s saying to her.
Zach said he’s so torn and doesn’t fully know…
In his confessional, Zach said he wasn’t sure who he was going to pick. Zach and Gabi’s date started off with horseback riding. Later, Zach told Gabi how impressed he was that she knew how to ride a horse.
Gabi said Zach makes her feel safe and that’s one of the reasons why she’s in love with him. Zach said Gabi is quirky and silly and puts a smile on his face. He said she gives him butterflies. Gabi said they get each other “without having to get each other” and they’re in “a really good spot.”
Gabi brought-up Zach’s dad telling her about Zach’s brush with death. Zach said he felt that he had a new lease on life after finding out that he almost died when he was a child.
Gabi said she’s ready for all this to be done and excited for them to hopefully start their lives together. She told him he’s a “gem” and it’s scary to think of not having him as her gem.
Now that he’s at the end of his journey, Zach said he’s so torn and doesn’t fully know where he’s going to be in two days. But, he feels that the right thing is going to happen. “I truly do feel that.” Gabi was crying in her confessional video stating, “I have a gut feeling it’s not me.”
During dinner, Gabi told Zach that she hoped that by now, his heart would lead him one way of the other. She told him it’s scary to know that if maybe she isn’t “the one.” He told her that he wouldn’t be going this far if he didn’t know that there’s a future with them.
Gabi asked Zach what clarity does he need to know its one way or the other. Zach responded that he didn’t know. “I’m trying to figure it out,” Zach responded. He said he’s so “torn,” and it’s the first time in his life where he doesn’t have that decievie feeling and his heart is being tugged in two places/
After saying goodbye to Gabi for the night, in his confessional interview, Zach said his heart literally feels like it’s being pulled in two separate directions.
Sean also said at least he got it out of the way now…
Sean said it’s not easy dating twenty-five women at one time. He said he knows that Zach’s heart is torn in two different directions. Katherine said it’s a big challenge and only on “The Bachelor” where you know you’re either going to be dumped or spend the rest of your life with the person.
Sean said when Katherine kept coming into his mind, that’s what gave him clarity. Jesse brought up that for the most part, Zach received his advice well except for the Fantasy Suite dates in Thailand. Sean also said at least he got it out of the way now, and it won’t come up weeks from now. Sean said it wasn’t so surprising that things didn’t go as planned during the Overnight Dates.
Before his big decision, Zach met with Jesse Palmer to pick out his engagement ring. Zach said it’s the day that he’ll be starting the rest of his life, but also the day that he’ll be breaking someone’s heart.
Gabi was the first to arrive. After freaking out at the driver for pulling up to a muddy spot for her to step in, she basically owned defeat when she told the driver not to do that to Kaity “when it actually matters!”
Zach started-off his speech to Gabi, then there was a “but” that told her she wasn’t his choice. Zach told Gabi that she deserves a man that thinks of her every day. Gabi said Kaity is “a very special person” and “she’s so lucky.” Gabi told Zach that he knew and he should have told her. Zach told Gabi that he’s sorry. She said “I don’t need it..and I do wish the best for you.”
As Zach tried to talk to Gabi, she responded “this is heartbreaking.” She thanked him. Then, Zach told Gabi that she has part of his heart and he’ll never forget her. I’m sure Kaity didn’t like hearing that!
During the ride home, Gabi didn’t want to talk about her breakup at first and said she just wanted to go home! Gabi said it was humiliating and she was being strung along “for what,” and felt that she knew. “When your gut speaks, you should listen to it.” Gabi cried “why am I so hard to love. Why am I so misunderstood.”
Back in the live studio: Gabi was seated in the hot seat. An audience member shouted “I love you Gabi!” Jesse asked how she felt watching that back? Gabi said it’s worse watching it back because she feels those emotions. ‘I don’t even have words right now. I had a little bit of hope going into that day.” She said someone who said he is falling in love with her, put her through that.
She said on the day of the Final Rose Ceremony, she had prepared a speech and had hours and hours of interviews. She spent hours all morning waiting. She didn’t think that Zach would put her through all that if she was the one. “I felt humiliated.”
Gabi said “it was harder than any ‘goodbye” I had to go through.” She had a gut feeling of Zach’s rejection. She prepared herself because she knew in her gut but it didn’t make it any easier for the heartbreak. “I had chosen him, and he didn’t choose me.”
The Fantasy Suite – Gabi said she felt so many emotions. “Anyone who has been in love and feels the person you love may be slipping through your fingers is a scary place to begin,” stated Gabi. In that week, Gabi said she felt so connected to Zach and in love. She said “it’s so violating” that the entire nation knows what happened between her and Zach behind closed doors.
She thought it was more than a TV show…
Gabi said she had a lot of feelings, emotions and thoughts that she didn’t know she had until watching it all back. Jesse asked Gabi about the emotions of Zach sharing what happened between closed doors with her and Zach? She told Zach that she felt so protected by Zach during their time on the beach. But, disappointed with how that night was aired.
The conversation around intimacy was five seconds. They both connected on emotional health. She said it was consensual, and it was what they wanted. She said that they decided that it would be just between the two of them. However, when Zach went to her hotel room (with cameras), she was blindsided. Gabi said she wished that Zach had warned her before telling everyone. She didn’t know that Zach had told everyone until she watched the show back on TV last week.
Gabi said she felt so ashamed. But, it felt like love to her. During that Rose Ceremony she was confused. Gabi wished that he had just sent her home and spared her the pain. Gabi said she thought it was more than a TV show and she became a “narrative.”
Zach responded that in his mind he felt that he needed to let everyone know that he went against his word. He said it was just him purely trying to be honest and never meant to hurt Gabi. But, his actions had consequences.
Back to the Final Rose Ceremony: Zach said breaking up with Gabi was the last thing he needed to do in order to move forward with Kaity. Zach said he thought “Who can I not live without? Who do I want to wake up with every morning? He said he felt like he truly found her. “It’s one hell of a feeling.”
As Kaity arrived to meet Zach, she stated that she doesn’t want any other man and what an amazing life she sees with Zach. Kaity told Zach that it’s the kind of love that you only see in movies and read in books. “I’ve never experienced unconditional love.” She had built her walls up so high that she couldn’t see past them. Then, Zach stepped into her life. Every moment she spent with him, her walls came crumbling down.
Kaity said “honestly if it’s not you, it’s not anyone.” Zach responded that everything with her has been so special.” And when she told him that she loves him, he truly couldn’t feel anything better than that. Zach said he no longer is falling in love with her (awkward pause) because he IS in love with her! Zach professed his love for Kaity, then proposed with the ring.
Back in the studio: The audience was ecstatic for Zach! Jesse asked when did Zach know that Kaity was the one? He said it was at the last chance date when he thought it’s Kiaty, it’s always been Kaity. But, the show had him wait it out because he couldn’t say anything. Kaity said she was nervous walking down the beach to see him, but had “this confidence.”
Kaity said the Overnight Dates episode was a tough episode to watch back. She said they came out of it stronger. Jesse asked Kaity, “how do you feel about all of Zach’s shower scenes?” She said ‘it’s ridiculous!
What happens next? They’re spending time in New York, then Zach is moving to Austin to move in together. Zach said his family was happy with his choice. His friend Nate Mitchell, whom Zach met during Rachel & Gabby’s “The Bachelorette” season was in the audience who said there’s such a glow in Zach’s face. He said he’s rooting for them.
Zach said they’re thinking of 2025 for a wedding. Jesse asked Kaity if it was all worth it? She said, “absolutely, very worth it.” Kaity said she’s quite close to Gabi and Ariel and they all supported each other during the journey.
BACHELORETTE SNEAK-PEEK: Viewers got a clip of the first limo to pull up on night one of “The Bachelorette” Charity ‘s season. Jesse Palmer warned that it was someone that she already knows! Of course, everyone was thinking it would be an ex-boyfriend. Then, out popped her brother from the limo! She asked what he was doing there? He announced that he’s there to help her. So, her brother is going “undercover” in disguise to spy on her male suitors and relay back to her. This is a brilliant idea for the show to do this for the first time, and can not wait for Charity’s season. I hope to see more creative curve balls.