IT WAS the decision Australia expected, but witnessing Sophie Monk choose millionaire Stu Laundy over permanently flushed Jarrod Woodgate in The Bachelorette finale proved to be just as captivating as we wished.
"I didn't see that coming. It's painful," Jarrod says as he walks away from Sophie - alone, with hot tears streaming down his face.
"I'm an a**hole," Sophie cries.
Within moments of his heart breaking, Australia was out in their gardens - putting an honorary pot plant out for Jarrod. And maybe even chucking a whiz-whaz on it, too.
Australia has never seen a finale like this in the franchise. In previous years, we've tuned in because we genuinely care for at least one of the final two contestants.
But this time around, we have no real affection for either man. We think Jarrod is completely nutso and we're not really fussed about Stu or his family fortune. With this finale, what we actually tuned in for was to see Jarrod's face reach an unimaginable level of pinkness as his heart broke and he realises the past six weeks have been meaningless and all in his head.
As Sophie tells Jarrod he's not the man she loves, his head slumps down. The heavy admission he made just hours earlier echoes: "If Sophie chooses me, then life will be complete."
Sophie does not chose him. And now, his life remains incomplete.
In the opening scenes of tonight's finale, Osher has kicked off the Tarocash suit and is zipping along the beach in some cargo shorts, welcoming us to the island of Fiji.
The location is dreamlike. Idyllic. And the locals are unaware of the storm of emotion that's about to roll over their paradise in the coming days.
We watch on as Sophie ponders her big decision in the picturesque beach location. She strolls along the sand and leans up against palm tress while looking longingly across the ocean. This is about the fifth time this series producers have missed the opportunity to recreate the film clip to These Days, the terribly underrated final single released from Bardot's debut album.
In a breezy-looking villa, we catch up with Sophie's mum, dad and sister again. The family is far too nice for this show. Unlike past finales where we see the families get involved to help make the big decision and grill the boys, Sophie's doesn't do anything to embarrass themselves.
First up, they meet Stu, who introduces himself as: "44, still married, four daughters".
Sophie's sister Lucy has been reading the weekly mags and she knows all about Stu's reputation as a "playa" and she wants to get to the bottom of it.
How he got this reputation still confuses me. I've got a lot to say about it but, to be succinct, playas don't sit like this:
Hearing Stu talk about his reputation as a "playboy" makes Lucy and I pull this face.
Lucy quickly realises Stu is harmless. Yes, he's married and tells terrible jokes and wears Charlie Sheen shirts. But he's harmless.
When it comes time for Jarrod to meet the family again, he brings flowers that he's foraged for by hand and I secretly hope Blake pissed on them, too.
The warm tropical conditions are wreaking havoc with Jarrod's skin tone and he's more flushed than usual.
Sophie's sister Lucy is totally zapped after having to talk to Bozo Number 1, so Sophie's mum Sandy is made deal with Jarrod. Now's the time the mum would grill the guy. But it's not in Sandy's nature. She's soft-spoken and lovely. Too lovely. Sandy is so nice that she overlooks the fact Jarrod's a total stalker and she ends their chat thinking he's just a nice young man.
Sophie's family needs to learn to say mean things about people's haircuts if they want to have any kind of future in reality TV.
For their final date together, Sophie and Jarrod fly around on a seaplane doing their best impersonations of Catriona Rowntree on Getaway.
Sophie points out a sandbank isolated by ocean and says that's where they're heading.
"This is the most stunning thing I've ever pulled off," she says. The only thing that would make it more stunning is if she got Jarrod to disembark the helicopter first before yelling, "Psych!" as it takes off into the air again and she waves at him until he disappears out of sight.
The sun begins to set and, somewhere along the way, Sophie acquires a frangipani which she sticks behind her ear. I assume Jarrod found it during his morning forage and gifted it to her.
"We can be open and true to each other," he tells her. "And I want you to be able to love me as I love you. And I want to have a family. The way I feel about you now - I've never felt for anyone else."
This is all really nice and everything but all Sophie and us can think about is how terrific that frangipani looks behind her ear.
Sophie breaks down. She knows how strong Jarrod's feelings are. And she knows she's about to break his heart.
"If Sophie choses me, then life will be complete," Jarrod gushes. This bold statement stands out as a cruel sign of what's to come.
As Sophie embarks on her final date with Stu, she confides in us that she needs Stu to reveal his true feelings. Otherwise, it's over.
"I've got a few lumps in my throat but I don't want to tell Sophie that," Stu says. I don't care if he doesn't tell Sophie but I do think he should really see a doctor about them.
Five minutes into the date, Sophie immediately regrets begging Stu to show some emotions. With Sophie's permission to open up and show some vulnerability, Stu let's loose.
Squished together uncomfortably in a hammock while sipping tropical beverages out of coconuts, Stu chokes up as he talks about how unhappy his life has been. Tears stream down his cheeks as he talks about his life and his daughters and his feelings for Sophie.
He says more stuff as he sobs into Sophie's neck but it's muffled by her wet hair and I'm not sure of the details.
"I'm sure that I'm just in love with you. I'm in love with you," he tells her.
"You put me back together somehow. I'm in love with you."
We're all freaked out by Stu's breakdown. Sophie, too, is unsure. But she decides to not over think it and jump right in.
The following day, it's time for Sophie to make choose the man she loves: the rich one, or the pink one.
It's at this point we wonder if Sophie regrets getting rid of Luke and James.
Jarrod and Stu are pushed out to sea on separate boats and made do laps of the island as Sophie waits for them under a gazebo back on land.
Jarrod arrives first and he's made trudge through the seaweed along the Fijian shore until he reaches Sophie.
He's sees Sophie. And he beams. Sophie remains sombre, holding back her emotions.
We know what's about to happen. And she begins the long, slow, downward spiral of a let down.
"I came into this process just determined to not make the same mistakes I have before," she says. "And think with my head. And what I've realised is, with love, you've gotta think with your heart. In my head, you're everything I've been looking for. Absolutely everything."
And then she delivers the blow.
"In my head, I know you're everything ... But my heart belongs to someone else."
Jarrod's head drops. Australia's predictions that he would fly into a fiery rage and turn and even deeper shade of pink and run away with Sophie tucked under his arm do not play out.
"I'm an arsehole," she whispers.
Jarrod holds it together in front of Sophie.
But as he walks away, his emotions pour out.
"You know, I didn't see that coming," he admits. "Nup. Oh, you finally find a purpose in life, and thinking that you've got a future with this girl and everything's, you know, looking up. And, yeah, it hurts.
"The love that I have for Sophie. She was the girl I wanted to grow old with, have a family. I'll still always love Sophie. It's painful."
By the time Stu arrives, Sophie is a wreck. But she's ready to get this thing done.
"You said loving me was the best thing you've done in a while. I don't think anyone's ever said that to me," she says.
"So I have two really important things to tell you. The first thing is: I'm so sorry I misjudged you when I first met you. And the second thing is: I'm in love with you."
They kiss. They cry. And then they head off back to Sydney to start their new life together. Just Sophie and Stu and his wife who he's still technically married to and his four daughters who haven't met daddy's new girlfriend yet.
I love love.
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