At long last, after what seemed like a lifetime of fretting over a collection of identically-coiffed, functionally indistinguishable dudes who all look like extras on Suits, Jojo officially selected Jordan to share with her a Lifetime Of Happiness. Of course, in Bachelorette world, this is likely to entail a series of contractually-obligated joint media appearances at which they offer increasingly pained smiles and hollow platitudes before their publicists abruptly issue stilted statements announcing that, although they “remain close” and “care deeply for one another,” Jordan and Jojo have decided to take some time apart to find themselves, and thank you for respecting their privacy during this difficuALRIGHT FINE THEY HATE EACH OTHER, and yes, my client is VERY available for an exclusive interview detailing to you how the other one ruined EVERYTHING. If your office starts a pool on the date of Jojo’s tearful, softly-lit interview on The View, invest heavily in mid-October dates. (Also, never leave your place of employment.)

jojo-fletcher-jordan-rogers-inline-ef688c29-d4fb-4bcd-8673-e12ac481a4fd.jpg
So nice of CBS to let ABC use the Survivor set for the finale.

From his premiere-night receipt of the coveted First Impression Rose to his proposal on a beach inexplicably strewn with brightly colored vases and wicker baskets from Pottery Barn Outlet, Jordan was the rare Bachelorette wire-to-wire winner. And with Jojo’s decision official, the franchise’s harried, exhausted producers were finally relieved of what had to be the most difficult task in television: editing this season to generate some suspense and try to convince viewers that Jojo might pick ANYONE other than Aaron Rodgers’ Less Handsome, Less Famous Younger Brother Who Is Worse At Football, who she so obviously favored from the beginning. In retrospect, every other contestant—even Luke, and ESPECIALLY James Taylor—was there only because ABC requires that Jojo find love over the course of a twelve-episode season, not a one-night special.

One man, though, learned this the hardest way of all:

ROBBY

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Some people are made for reality TV. (Hi, Nick Viall! You’re 35! Maybe it’s time to give up!) Robby, whose spectacularly painful second-place finish cemented his title as the saddest, loneliest, most naïve contestant in Bachelorette history, is not one of those people. At one point this season, he casually revealed to his fellow contestants that he was having RECURRING PANIC ATTACKS at the thought of losing Jojo, which is not a healthy response to any romantic relationship, much less one that also requires you to beat out 25 other hopeful suitors in front of a nationally televised audience.

Still, Robby revealed the true depths of his thirstiness during the season finale, in which he laid out for Jojo his grand vision of their future together: while drinking wine on their couch, dog at their side and kids playing happily in the other room, he explained, they would become so lost in each other’s eyes that they would forget altogether about the now-ruined meatloaf they had prepared for dinner. Oops! Laughing gaily, they would extract it from the smoking oven, order a pizza, and then quietly adjourn to their separate bedrooms to send emails to their couples’ therapist about how they were trying SO HARD, but nothing was working, and there is no hope.

I admit that I made the last part up. Nonetheless, if the message Robby intended to convey was “domestic life with me will be dull and soul-crushing,” he succeeded wildly. Jojo chuckled bravely after Robby finally stopped talking, even as she stared at ground and willed it to open up and swallow her whole. Men, if you want to woo a lady, I strongly recommend omitting HYPOTHETICAL BURNING MEATLOAF from any and all anecdotes you may choose to share.

This unadorned lameness was very on-brand for Robby, a man who when describing his feelings always sounded like a Nicholas Sparks character rendered incapable of emoting vocally by some kind of tragic coal mining accident. His affinity for all-white outfits always made him look like washed-up actor from the mid-90s preparing for a guest spot on Touched By An Angel. Yet as he admitted in his post-finale interview, Robby genuinely believed he had won until the moment Jojo told him otherwise, even though the sun was still high when he stepped out of the limo and, as he prepared to kneel and ask the love of his life to marry him, her first words upon seeing him were “Wow, this is the best suit.”

As usual, Jojo handled this breakup with all the quiet, patient grace of Chris Christie at a Vegas buffet dinner. “I woke up this morning wanting it to be you. Every DAY I’ve been wanting it to be you,” she wailed plaintively, apparently not realizing that she is a human being who has agency. A genuinely shocked Robby wore Luke’s thousand-yard “I’VE SEEN SOME DARK THINGS” stare as he sweated silently through his suit on this godforsaken Thailand beach. And then, one mournful hug and a Token Crying In The Limo Shot later, he was gone, presumably singing along softly to Saliva’s “Rest in Pieces” all the way to Bangkok International.

To be clear, I don’t think anything could have stopped Jojo from picking Jordan this season. Still, it was never adequately explained why this 27-year-old adult male still goes by “Robby.”If he had just decided to go with an adult name from the beginning, he and Jojo would have already had two kids together by the season finale. When he introduces himself as “Rob” during his inevitable appearance on next year’s Bachelor in Paradise, the other dudes should just pack up their puka shells that night.

JORDAN

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And that just leaves Jordan, the man who earned the right to present Jojo with a gigantic, garish Neil Lane diamond ring despite spending the entire finale desperately trying to get dumped so that he could be the next Bachelor, or at least earn his own trip to Paradise. I’m not sure what else he could have done to sabotage himself during those last two hours: he kicked off his date with Jojo’s family by handing out silly hats to everyone, goofily explaining that it’s a proud Rodgers family tradition to “embarrass one another.” (Cue Aaron Rodgers clenching his fist and nodding grimly.) After prattling on about how important it is to him to ask for his future wife’s father’s blessing, Jordan had nothing to say to Jojo’s crestfallen dad. And when Jojo’s mom looked him in the eye and demanded that he promise to never break her daughter’s heart, a visibly uncomfortable Jordan delivered the stilted, faux-enthused “Absolutely not” usually reserved for responding to a police officer who sternly asks if you’ve been drinking tonight.

Once he offered his halfhearted goodbyes and ambled out, Jojo’s family tried to warn her of Jordan’s readily apparent disinterest. Mom cautioned her daughter that Jordan was a “playboy,” and she lauded Robby (who they had met earlier) for being “so in love with you,” “so grounded,” and “family-oriented,” which was almost certainly code for “Jordan is not in love with you, “Jordan is a vapid narcissist,” and “Jordan is probably swiping right on a contraband iPhone right this instant.”

After Jojo confronted him about her family’s concerns, Jordan explained his actions with all the sincerity of a mid-90s tobacco executive testifying before Congress. He WANTED to do it, he pleaded, and if “it was up to me,” he WOULD propose at the show’s conclusion (still not sure what it is about this show that makes people forget about free will). It was only because he wasn’t sure if SHE would say yes that he didn’t ask for her father’s blessing, an inane middle school standoff that neither one of them seemed to realize would go forever unresolved if carried to its logical limit.

Whatever. As badly as he wanted to be runner-up, Jordan’s competitiveness won out in the end. He stopped his Tinder binge long enough to call Jojo’s dad and sheepishly make his belated request, and the cameras treated us to a series of soft-focus shots of him writing an apology note to Jojo that was just bad enough to convince me that he wrote it himself. She was overjoyed, all was forgiven, and Jordan indeed received the final rose that he never wanted. Now, he just has to deal with the fact that his fiancée’s entire family essentially called him an insincere, disingenuous clownfraud in front of millions of television viewers! Consider leaving the hats at home for that discussion, friend.

Anyway, here’s to the happy (?) couple. Luke, your Bachelor season can’t get here fast enough.


Previously in insightful commentary on today’s most pressing issues for which I definitely should have thought of more creative titles:

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