I've been watching reality TV for many, many years, rose lovers, and it has long since lost the capacity to surprise me... or so I thought. As Emily's "journey" comes to an end, I'll admit I'm a little flabbergasted -- not about who she picked, but about how warm and fuzzy the whole thing made me feel inside. Did Team Bachelorette melt the jagged hunk of permafrost that is my heart? Perhaps. Thank god Bachelor Pad starts tomorrow night -- I need something to put my cynicism meter back in the red.
But for this brief moment, let's revel in Emily's happy ending, shall we? After a brief stop in the Tealight Candle Thunderdome, we join Emily's ruminations in progress back in Curacao, where the Bachelorette is puzzling over how to choose between the two men she loves. Plus, she's not sure if she wants Ricki -- who's just arrived and raced to give her mommy a big hug -- meeting either of the final two guys. Heeey-ya! Mama and Daddy Maynard are here! Maybe y'all can help Emily decide what to do. Let the Judging of the Suitors begin!
One F is up first, and while Emily tells him he "looks nice," I do wish he had put a wee bit more effort into his outfit. (Jeans and a plain white t-shirt? Really?) After Jef hands over some flowers to Emily's mom Suzy and her future sister-in-law, Bethany, Mama Maynard lightens the mood right away with a joke: "I don't care what you said about him, Emily -- I think he's a nice guy!" Ice breaking laughter all around. But she doesn't waste any time getting down to business. "Brad stole my heart," Suzy tells us. "So I'm a little leery and I don't want to see Emily get hurt." She peels One F away from the group and begins giving him the Are you sure you love her? Not reality TV sure, but really, really, REALLY sure? You know she's got a child, right? Jef doesn't waver from his stance. "I want to marry her," he insists. "I'm set on it... There's not a single ounce of me that would leave her, ever." Mama decides to be cautiously optimistic, declaring that Emily and Jef are a "good fit."
Big brother Ernie, though, keeps his game face on during his one-on-one time with Jef. "She's not going to settle if she doesn't feel right about it," he tells One F. "Really the last man that she brought home was Ricky, and he was just a perfect guy. Since then, every guy has tried to live up to who he was." Okaaaay... so, Jef? Your rebuttal? "I've never been so in love with a girl," he gushes to a stone-faced Ernie. "She's the best thing that ever happened to me." After processing this outpouring of emotion for a few seconds, Ernie offers a tempered endorsement: "I would never have dreamed that she may actually find somebody that she loves this way, but I believe it may actually have happened." All right, bro-hug it out, you guys!
There's still one more obstacle to clear today in your path to happiness, Jef, and he's got an impressive potbelly and an impassive stare. "I'm an old-fashioned type of guy and I definitely want to have your blessing before asking Emily to marry me," stammers Jef. "If it goes that way." But One F only has to squirm under Papa Maynard's gaze for a few seconds before getting the answer he wants: "Well Jef, if you sincerely mean that, you certainly have my permission." Phew -- that was easy! More bro-hugs all around!
NEXT: "I don't know much about fishing, so..."