Well, here we are. It's been 11 long weeks of teary arguments, spray tans, awkward lip-smashing and alcoholic binges and, as with any party that's gone on too long, we now have to decide who to go home with and bang at 4am.
It's The Benchelor's last chance to make a decision between his final two ladies: Lindzi, the one who constantly reminds everyone how much she loves horses, and Courtney, the one who everyone but Ben hates.
"But they're BOTH so incredible..."
Speaking of "incredible" - if you're not still drunk from last week's reunion episode then FILL 'ER UP, PAL, because it's time for the Bachelor finale drinking game. First rule: Drink a shot every time Ben says "incredible". In fact, that's the only rule. Trust me, you won't need any others.
As everyone knows the best place to make a decision about one's love life is Switzerland, so it's lucky for Ben we're still there.
"Being here in Zermatt, Switzerland, is incredible," says Ben.
"I have two incredbile women here," he continues.
"With Courtney, I've had this incredible feeling about her since our first date," he goes on.
Now that you're a bit tipsy, the random shot of Courtney stroking a pussy that pops up next should make a bit more sense.
Man, my SEO is going to go through the roof with that gag.
Ben craps on about how he's in love with both women, and how the decision is going to be really hard and everyone does their best Bold and the Beautiful impression while they play that fucking David Gray song again.
New drinking game rule: Have a drink every time they play David Gray.
DON'T YOU ARGUE WITH ME.
"I've got some big decisions to make but somehow, some way, that big old beautiful Matterhorn gives me hope," sighs Ben, suggesting that perhaps he's been playing a drinking game of his own.
Maybe he should just marry the Matterhorn?
"These last few weeks have been hard, I've had to say goodbye to some really INCREDIBLE women," says Ben, as his mum and sister rock up at his chalet and everyone playing my drinking game collapses from alcohol poisoning.
They've flown to Switzerland to help Ben decide which broad to shack up with and also to ignore fondue.
Ignoring fondue: Just one of the many unique attractions Switzerland has to offer.
"So I have two incredible women left..." Ben says.
If this isn't you right now, you're cheating.
"Was there a girl who was dramatic, who the other girls perhaps didn't like?" asks Ben's sister in a totally natural, unscripted way.
"Why yes, there was - Courtney - and she's still here," says Ben in a manner that suggests he's about to throw open door number three and reveal the week's grand prize package. That's what I love about this show, it's just so REALISTIC.
"I have fallen in love with two incredible women," Ben concludes.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the emergency room.
IT'S FAMILY-MEETIN' TIME! Lindzi's up first - let's hope someone brings up the subject of horses so she has something to talk about.
Lindzi meets Ben's ladies, in a nutshell:
- Lindzi announces that she loves horses and Ben's sister responds by asking "So you're willing to get down and dirty a little bit?". Coincidentally, this is exactly how most Craigslist meetings usually go down.
- "Anyone want to grab some lunch?" asks Ben, as everyone continues to ignore the huge unused fondue set in front of them and moves into the other room to eat salad.
- "I get a little awkward when I have to eat proper," laughs Lindzi, secretly wishing Ben had just put a hay bale out for her like he normally does.
- "What is it about Ben that you find so appealing?" asks Ben's mum, articulating what the entire country has been thinking for 11 whole weeks.
- Meanwhile, it is evident that Ben's sister talks as much shit as Ben does.
Then it's time for Courtney's visit, which has been sponsored by the Swiss Wool and Knitting Advisory Board.
Switzerland: Cosy as s***.
Courtney meets the family, in a nutshell:
- "You know, that word 'model' is like... Hmm!" says Ben's mum, getting things off to a roaring start.
"And I'm sure living in LA too, people are probably like 'oh, model/actress'..." says Ben's sister, continuing the not-rude-at-all line of non-interrogation.
- Courtney responds with a strong round of baby talking and duck-facing but Ben's sister is unmoved.
Her powers have been weakened by the mighty Matterhorn.
- Sensing the sister might be a lost cause, Courtney turns her attentions to Ben's mum by lighting a little fire on the table and blowing the smoke directly up her butt.
- Ben's sister shows off how much she learned at that recent "Reality TV Show Acting Skills" camp she went on by sitting down with Ben and dramatically announcing: "I'm shocked... I promised you I would come in with a clear slate for Courtney and... I'M BLOWN AWAY. SHE'S AN AMAZING GIRL." Oh, TOUCHE, Ben's sister.
- Courtney shows how genuine she is by telling Ben's family how much she'll miss them when they go, after having spent all of one afternoon in their company.
So in summary, what does everyone think of our final two?
"Lindzi is incredibly sweet," says Ben's sister. DRINK.
"She's incredible," says Ben. DRINK.
"She's a lovely person," says Ben's mum. I think we all know she meant to say "INCREDIBLY lovely person". DRINK.
But what about Courtney?
"I think to be working as many years as she's worked is pretty impressive," says Ben's mum in what possibly qualifies as the BACKHAND SMACKDOWN OF THE SEASON.
STILL modelling at 28? What is she modelling, BEDPANS? Zing!
"This thing is not over, I still have two very incredible women here," says Ben.
I was sober at the beginning of this episode. Then this happened.
Speaking of horses, Ben's turned up in a horse-drawn carriage to pick up Lindzi for their final date.
"I love horses!" shouts Lindzi.
OH DEAR GOD WE KNOW, WE F***ING KNOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!
I wonder what they'll be doing on their last date to finally get to know each other properly. Exchanging longing glances and enjoying lengthy conversation over a romantic dinner? Holding hands and wandering through fields of flowers while discussing their future plans? Awkwardly smashing their lips together for four hours straight?
"We're going UP THERE," says Ben, pointing at his beloved Matterhorn.
Lindzi's smile hides a world of disappointment.
Yes, it's yet another shitty date in a long line of shitty dates for Lindzi who so far has been made to:
- Jump out of a helicopter
- Cruise down a Panamanian mud slick in a leaky boat and
- Abseil down a Swiss cliff.
Compare this to Courtney, who has been treated to
and one can only come to the conclusion that Ben is actually trying to kill Lindzi.
Anyway they go up the mountain, ignoring some more fondue along the way...
Guys, it's IN FRONT of you!
...and Lindzi says the word "crazy" about 1300 times. Sadly, no one says the word "incredible". This is probably a good thing, as any more alcohol right now and you're likely to spew. For those not playing the drinking game it's OK, Ben and Lindzi's conversation will make you spew anyway.
LINDZI: I wanna start a life with you and I hope I can continue to keep giving you everything, because I wanna be the best I can be for you.
BEN: That means a lot, it does, it's nice to know that you feel that way because it's hard to know, us, and I understand I've been in your shoes and it's hard to feel vulnerable and it's hard to get to that place and I appreciate you're able to tell me these things when I ask or if it's a concern of mine, you're open to it, so that makes me feel better about us.
"I am totally not going to say I love you."
After a day of unsuccessful suicide attempts on the Matterhorn, the two retire to Lindzi's chalet for some more awkward discussion and closed-mouth kissing.
It literally goes like this:
LINDZI: I've never felt this way before!
BEN: Thank you for opening up.
LINDZI: My feelings for you are really strong!
BEN: You're welcome.
LINDZI: At the end of the day, I love you and I really want this!
LINDZI: This is the first time I've been so sure of something!
LINDZI: I LOVE YOU!
Take away the romantic piano music and you've basically got a girl kissing a statue in the shape of a man. To be honest it's the most mind-numbingly boring five minutes of television since this:
Call the presenters LIVE! Please?
Meanwhile, does anyone else think it's totally weird how every time Ben talks to any of these women they end up just talking ABOUT their relationship? Do they ever have any normal conversations about like, I dunno, movies or books or current affairs or, you know, ANYTHING OTHER THAN THEMSELVES?
No? OK right, well, let's carry on.
It's time for Courtney's date, which this week has a fancy dress theme: Come as your favourite cartoon character.
Ben has come as Inspector Gadget.
"I think about Ben the first thing when I wake up and the last thing before I go to sleep," says Courtney, as if this is somehow remarkable for someone who literally has nothing else to do with her time.
I wonder what Ben and Courtney will be doing on their date today. I'm going to hazard a guess and say A FUCKING PICNIC.
Well whaddya know.
They eat grilled vegetables and drink orange juice and throw snowballs at each other and Courtney constructs sentences using the phrases "long journey", "bittersweet" and "hard for me" in what is basically the most boring date ever. There's not even any fondue to ignore.
"I don't regret anything!" exclaims Courtney, which is the exact opposite of pretty much everything she will say in the media after this show finishes.
TIME FOR AN INNER MONOLOGUE.
"I have two incredible women here, two very different incredible women," muses Ben, as I look in the phone book to find a bottle-o that delivers.
"My last date with Lindzi was incredible," he continues as I begin to see stars and reach for a bucket.
I should NEVER have started this drinking game.
So anyway after all these thrills they go back to Courtney's chalet where Ben introduces her to Switzerland's national sport of fondue ignoring.
"Now the trick is to just pretend it's not even there..."
I know what you're thinking: If only this date could get MORE awkward. Fear not, friends:
Courtney's made a love journal!
Just like Blakely before her, Courtney is under the mistaken belief that the way to a man's heart is through a scrapbook - because men like nothing better than a woman who's handy with a gluestick. Courtney has taken a bunch of screenshots of footage of their past dates and written cute little notes next to each one.
Then she reads out a love letter she's written him which is entirely boring but for the fact that it seems to suggest she wants to call their future children "Matterjoe or forest":
Matterjoe is bad enough, but Forest Flajnik sounds like a piece of survival gear.
Despite all of this weirdery it's quite obvious that Ben is madly in love with Courtney, and not with Lindzi, and that even crazy blogger Jenna could tell he's going to pick her in the end but because this is television some attempt at drama has to be made. So the producers throw in a clip of Courtney crying and looking insecure from the home visits episode three weeks ago:
You can tell the one on the right is in Switzerland, because she's wearing a jumper.
It's all clearly a foregone conclusion, but Ben agrees to keep up the pretense that he's considering marrying anyone other than Courtney.
"I have two incredible women here," he says. Either he REALLY wants to get that point across, or the sound editor is trying to get as many Americans a possible to punch their televisions by playing the same audio clip over and over.
You know what to do!
What follows is a bit of flashbacky montagery of Ben's past dates with Lindzi and Courtney interspersed with shots of the Matterhorn and Ben looking wistful all set to the music of David Gray. DRINK.
I'm just about to pass out from boredom when an extra from The Sopranos turns up at Ben's chalet with a suspicious looking metal briefcase.
"Alright kid, let's not make this harder than it has to be."
For the sake of drama I sincerely hope the case contains a nuclear bomb that can only be stopped by obtaining a special key hidden in a pot of fondue at the top of the Matterhorn. Unfortunately, it turns out to contain a few engagement rings. How romantic, to have some random bloke pick out your engagement ring for you!
With a totally impersonal ring selected, Ben heads off up the mountain to propose to whoever turns up.
To make the engagement extra fun, the producers have given it a "Disney" fancy dress theme. Both of the girls have come as the evil queen from Snow White...
Capes are SO in in Switzerland.
...and Ben has come as Goofy. As usual.
First off the chopper is Lindzi which, as anyone who's ever seen this show before can tell you, means it's "Welcome to Dumpsville - population Lindzi".
Hey Lindzi, remember how embarrassing it was when you got dumped by text message? WELL NOW YOU'RE BEING DUMPED ON THE SIDE OF A SWISS MOUNTAIN ON NATIONAL TELEVISION. HOW DOES THAT FEEL?
She should have quit while she was ahead.
Lindzi walks the 10km trek through the tundra to Ben, all the while saying sadly ironic things like "This is the moment girls dream of!" and "I can't wait to see him go down on one knee!" as the whole of America screams "TURN AROUND! GO BACK!"
But there's no stopping this train wreck now.
"You light up the room," says Ben.
Here we go...
"You are what I've looked for in a woman my entire life," he continues.
"I have fallen in love with you, but I'm in love with someone else."
And THERE it is.
"You're an incredible woman," he finishes.
Thank GOD for that!
"I'm mad at myself for not giving you what you needed," cries Lindzi, single handedly setting back feminism 100 years.
"If things don't work out - call me?" she says in what is usually described as A REALLY EMBARRASSING DISPLAY OF DESPERATION.
Ben feels bad for about four and a half minutes and the sound editor cuts in an audio clip of him saying "right now I'm... conFUSED" that we've already heard at least six times this episode.
Then suddenly there's a crack of thunder, the skies darken and thousands of terrified woodland creatures scamper out of the forest to hide behind the Matterhorn.
COURTNEY HAS ARRIVED.
Courtney is dressed to kill. No literally, she is - she's wearing these weird, black latex-looking gloves that make her resemble either a serial killer or a diamond thief.
A diamond thief? HOW IRONIC.
So anyway, we all know how this is going to go. Ben craps on about his feelings for Courtney, she does her best to look winsome, he says "incredible" twice (drink a double) and then he proposes.
"I've waited a really, REALLY long time to tell you that I'm in love with you," says Ben, who has actually waited 11 weeks to tell her he's in love with her. And considering he probably took a few weeks to reach that conclusion in the first place, has probably only waited a maximum of like, seven weeks. SEVEN WEEKS IS A REALLY, REALLY LONG TIME, Y'ALL.
She cries, he gets down on one knee and gives her a ring, she says yes, they each read some lines from a Hallmark card the producer has just handed them and then they both exclaim "Oh my dad!" while pointing at the Alps to the strains of David Gray. DRINK.
I think we can safely say the Matterhorn was the real winner in all of this.
Well that's it, kids, no more to see here.
There's only one word to describe this season of The Bachelor - you know what it is.
RELIVE THE PAST! GO BACK AND READ episode 10