A Psychologist’s Perspective on The Bachelorette Finale


Bachelorette Breakdown: The Season Wrap-Up

By: Dr. Craig Pohlman and Dr. Melissa Miller

This season of The Bachelorette is over and Rachel Lindsay seems to have found love?  She seemed to have more affection with Eric and judging from their teary goodbye it appeared that she wanted Peter.  Instead, she ended up with Bryan (and his mother).  It is always bittersweet to watch the finale. We dread no longer having the journey of love to look forward to on Monday nights, but we are also intrigued to see if the contestant made the choice we feel is right. But the finale of this season was a little more bitter than sweet. 

Let’s take a minute to talk about how the live finale went down and if it worked or flopped.  Each season one of our favorite lines of Chris Harrison’s is when he promises, “This will be the most dramatic finale, ever!”  Rachel’s love story just may have actually been the most dramatic ending, and yet the live finale took away much of the tension and suspense.  We watched on the edge of our sofa as a very real, emotionally honest and mature struggle unfolded between Peter and Rachel.  When Rachel walked away, it was not completely clear that it was over between them.  In fact, we were still incredibly hopeful that this wasn’t the end.  So when the show cut to the live feed and Peter came out to discuss his break-up with Rachel we were frankly stunned. 

Not only we were mad Peter was not her fiancé, we were robbed of the suspense of the final rose ceremony.  We watched in disappointment as Bryan eked out a weak and unemotional proposal.  Usually the final few moments of the show are powerful and exciting.  This season, they were flat and tired. We hope ABC will ditch the live finale, and stick with the after the rose show to keep the dramatic flair.

Not caught up? Read our past articles on the Bachelorette to get up to speed.

Now let’s look back at the season and note best-ofs in our categories:

Testosterone Alert

The hands-down winner for this category was the Week 5 showdown between Kenny and Lee. Round 1 took place in Hilton Head on the porch during the cocktail party and Round 2 was the post-party jawing between them.   Round 3 occurred during their 2-on-1 date with Rachel in Norway.  After Rachel dumped Lee, Kenny inexplicably walked back to tell Lee off one more time.

LOL Moment

No doubt about it, Lucas vs. Blake during Week 3 wins.  The magic started after a slurring, intoxicated Lucas threw Blake under the bus by telling Rachel that he suspected Blake was in love with him after Blake stood above his bed and ate a banana.  Rachel confronted Blake about this wacky accusation, which said could never have happened because he doesn’t eat carbs.  When both were sent home their courtyard confrontation was the stuff of comedy gold.  Instead of fists, there were impressions flying in a gesture-filled debate over who was funnier, much like two brothers arguing over who gets to sit in the front seat.  You can hear them go at it during our discussion of favorite series moments.


During Week 2 DeMario looked well-positioned to get a rose after a strong showing in the group date hoops game. Then his girlfriend (what?!) arrived and dished to Rachel, who promptly sent him packing. Reality TV redemption was at hand for him when he was cast for Bachelor in Paradise, but that didn’t work out very well for him either.


Fashion Statement

Diggy killed it this season, such as the plaid shirt, grey jacket, and ultra-cool specs he sported at the post-game cocktail party in Week 2.

Mental Health Red Flag

Given that Bryan got the final rose, the Mental Health Red Flag of the season goes back to his Week 7 hometown date in Miami and his introducing Rachel to his mother, Olga. She came to tears when toasting her son (“the most precious thing in my life”) and chugged a glass of wine. Then she tried to torpedo the whole process when she got Bryan alone, dismissing that he could be serious about someone he just met on a reality TV show (though she may have had a point there).  She then told him that Rachel should not mess with “the mother.” Boundaries, anyone?! We’ve got one word for you, Rachel:  monster-in-law (or is that 3 words?).

And that’s a wrap for season 13 of The Bachelorette! Rachel Lindsay was fairly awesome throughout the season, though the finale did leave us with some bitter feelings towards her. Either way, we hope that she and Bryan have a lifetime of happiness….or as close to that as possible.

What were your thoughts on the finale? Comment below and tell us how you felt after the Final Rose.




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