Last night was the “Fantasy Suite” episode of ABC’s The Bachelorette. Historically, it’s the best moment in any season because the final three contestants finally get to have an adult sleepover where they "talk all night" and "really get to know each other." For Andi, it was a chance to release all that sexual tension that’s been building up from making out with Josh, Nick, and Chris all season while listening to professions of true love. Truly, a great moment for everyone.
Well, everyone except for Farmer Chris, as it turned out.
Part of what makes this franchise so addictive is the gleeful schadenfreude that comes along with watching people get dumped en masse and then sob things like “I’ll never find true love” or “When will it be my turn?” in the back of a limo like teenagers on prom night. But every now and again, viewers are caught off guard when there’s a real-human exchange that reminds us the contestants are people and not just soulless husks with spray tans.
And so it was with poor Chris, who was so excited at his chance to get into that Fantasy Suite but instead was sent packing.
Chris’s hometown episode was stellar — he flew a sky banner that said "Chris Loves Andi" over the prairie. But Andi, alas, did not love him. And their conversation followed the script for all those horrible, inexplicable breakups where one person can’t “try” anymore and so deploys a mercy kill: Andi, attempting to do the right thing, told him over and over (and over) that she just didn’t share his feelings. Chris was totally thrown off, and therefore responded like a sad, confused human. At some point he just quietly said he wanted to go home, packed his things, and maneuvered his sad wheelie suitcase-bag down the hall with such careful precision that I wanted to punch myself in the face just to feel something other than the 10,000 sadnesses of watching Farmer Chris have his heart broken.
It’s rare for the franchise and reality TV in general to have a situation that doesn’t feel scripted, and where real-life emotions are dealt with in a way that is at all similar to actual human life. Previously, this season has failed at this challenge in dealing with the death of contestant Eric or Marquel’s race struggles — but at least it got things right in this moment.
In the end, Chris got in the SUV that carries away sad castoffs, and asked, “What do I do now?”
Well, Farmer Chris, you should probably start buying some new suits for your inevitable stint as the Bachelor next season — a great cure for heartbreak, I hear.
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