We didn’t need a three-hour finale to remind us that Season 22’s Bachelor Arie Luyendyk, Jr. is a waste of air, but we got it anyway.
Arie has the diction of a third grader and the emotional depth of a sidewalk puddle. He eliminated girls he supposedly liked, stuck with ones that were openly psycho and used his hands way too much.
What he did last night during the season finale, however, stands alone. He proposed to Becca only to renege (approximately) two months later. Bachelor cameras captured the blindsided breakup in all its painful detail. It was reality show gold, and it turned what had been a run-of-the-mill finale into an all-timer. But it was difficult to watch. You could feel Becca’s shock and pain in that moment.
And Arie made it happen.
My sympathy for reality show contestants is generally limited. They chose to put their lives in front of those cameras. They knew what they signed up for. Still, this moment was different. It felt real. It was intensely personal and emotional. And Arie consented to having it filmed.
Sure, Bachelor producers probably hounded him about it. They want the juiciest content for the show because that’s the business they’re in. In the end, the decision to film was Arie’s.
Should we be surprised? From the beginning Arie hasn’t had any idea how to act. He’s not emotionally mature enough to deal with the spotlight into which he thrust himself. The concept of love is so foreign to him that he literally had to walk away from it in Paris. And so when the pivotal moment of his romantic life arrived, of course he agreed to have it filmed.
Arie has sucked from the jump. He’s never really said what he felt about anything or anyone. He’s never been pressed to go deeper. He’s struggled to find love and is infatuated with The Bachelor universe. Clearly he thought the show would do the work for him. Instead it just exposed him for the wet noodle he is.