I was unfortunate enough to watch the season finale of The Bachelor last night, and despite numerous reports that Chantal O’Brien was the one that Brad Womack had picked during the taping of the show, it turns out that Brad ended up taking the other finalist, Emily Maynard. Now, there’s no reason that most guys wouldn’t love to start dating Emily, but based on the 5 episodes I saw this year, it seemed as if Emily was not quite as into Brad as most of the other contestants. Brad kept “opening himself up to Emily” (read: spoke really slowly and said painfully corny things to her) and Emily seemed to continually shut him down, all the while talking to the confessional camera about how in love with Brad she was.
The contrast with Chantal was obvious. She and Brad seemed to pass the eyeball test much better than Emily and Brad. There was chemistry, clicking, etc. And while Chantal was the one who slapped Brad right out of the limo in the first episode, she was also the woman who seemed to require the least amount of the lying / dancing around issues aspect of the game that we all have to play. It seemed that they were something of a good match, at least for one of these reality-looking-for-love-and-going-to-push-it-to-the-point-of-creepiness-by-proposing-way-too-soon kind of programs. On top of that, Emily has a kid who’s father died on that Hendrick Motorsports plane crash a few years ago. Very sad, but also relevant. Brad is 38 years old and from all accounts either isn’t sure he wants kids, or definitely does not want kids. So even if there was a tie between Emily and Chantal, wouldn’t the kid factor tip the scales in Chantal’s favor? Then tack on the obvious discrepancy between the chemistry in the two relationships, and it seems that Chantal wins on both fronts. And this somehow totaled up to… a loss?
Let me explain why Brad did not pick Chantal as his fiancé and the winner of The Bachelor. He didn’t pick her because there was a chance that it might actually work. Bachelors are bachelors for a number of reasons, but it seems that a big reason Brad is a bachelor is because he enjoys being one. To pick Chantal would be to put an actual ring on the finger of a pretty girl that seems to really want it and whom Brad seems to have no serious issues with. That would be dangerous to Brad, because it might turn out that there is no real good reason to call off the engagement, and he would have to be the bad guy… again. So instead, he picked Emily, a woman that he admitted on the confessional had defeated him, had failed to reciprocate the feelings that he had expressed to her. A single mother for a guy who doesn’t really want kids, or at least isn’t sure he wants kids. A woman with some clear-cut excuses for calling off the engagement. Hell, a big part of it is that Brad probably thinks that Emily will be the one to break it off with him, and then he can have it both ways: 1) he doesn’t have to get married, and 2) this time he can be the victim and collect on all the pity and goodwill that comes with that.
In my opinion, it was his only move. If his subconscious goal was to remain an unmarried man, then Emily was the right choice. There are obvious problems that set up an easy exit strategy. With Chantal, there was the danger that it might actually be too good to happily throw away, so Brad had to get out ahead of it, and he did.