Story by Leah Sullivan ’18 and Isabel Bordewyk ’18
This seasons premier of The Bachelor, staring Arie Luyendyk Jr, was full of unexpected events. After competing on The Bachelorette several years ago, Arie took his shot at love by dating 29 women to narrow down to one, or two, perfect girls. This eventful season struck the audience with new surprises weekly. Here are the Top 5 most shocking moments on this season of The Bachelor.
1. DOES AGE MATTER?
At the age of 36, Arie is one of the oldest bachelors to participate in the show aside from Byron Velvick who appeared at age 40 during season 6 and Brad Womack who was 38 during season 15. However, the fact that Arie is older does not mean that the competing women are as well. Majority of the women stand strong in their late 20’s which Arie seemed to be very comfortable with. While going through the process of getting to know the women, Arie was surprised by a fact surrounding one of the audience’s favorite contestants, Bekah M. Bekah finally revealed her age of 22 to Arie who was stunned. The fact did lead to some issues in questioning whether or not Bekah could be ready for marriage. The two continued on close to the end of the competition because their connection meant more than the 14 year age gap. However, in the end the age difference was too big of an obstacle to get over and Bekah was sent home.
Although Kendall did not make it to the final rose, she did make it to hometowns, and Bachelor viewers everywhere were glad she did. Her hometown was perhaps one of the creepiest and most unique we have seen on The Bachelor. Kendall has her Bachelor claim to fame as the girl who loves taxidermy, but no one could have expected it to go this far. While on her hometown date, Kendall took Arie to her taxidermy collection, which featured just about every type of deceased and stuffed animal you can imagine. Just when you thought it couldn’t get more weird, it did. Kendall and Arie then went on to stuffing and dressing up rats of their own, and producing a wedding scene, but the taxidermy rats are the ones to tie the knot.
3. I LOVE YOU (x2)
It’s an unspoken rule in The Bachelor that the bachelor should not say “I love you” until the end of the season. Arie broke this unspoken rule by telling both Lauren Burnham and Becca Kufrin that he was in love with them. Although, Ben Higgins did the same thing during season 20 by telling both Jojo Fletcher and Lauren Bushnell that he loved them it was still shocking that he would do such a thing. Viewers were stunned to here the words spill to Lauren Burnham on their date in Peru. What was even more stunning is when he said it again in the same episode but this time to Becca Kufrin. The audience became so confused as to which of the women he truly loved and would pick one episode later.
4. THE EX BOYFRIEND
Bachelor nation was shocked when Becca Kufrin’s ex, Ross, surprised her and Arie in Peru, confessing his love for her. He proceeded to show up at their hotel, first talking to Arie. Becca is “the love of my life, I want to marry her,” he told an awestruck Arie. Thankfully, Becca told her ex that she had moved on, and wanted to be with Arie. She is well past her relationship with Ross, and peacefully declines his pleas. Devastated and embarrassed, Ross departs Peru, and the extremely shocked Becca and Arie are able to finish their season in peace… or so we thought.
5. THE SWITCH
Both of the finalists, Becca and Lauren, went into the season finale ready to accept Arie’s proposal, and confident they were going to get it. On the proposal day in Peru, he picked Becca. She was a fan favorite and seems like the perfect fit for Arie. They appear to be as happy and in love as can be, with a heartbroken while the confused Lauren rode to the airport to head home.
But all was not sunshines and rainbows in the world of love, because when Chris Harrison visited Arie after, Arie confessed that he believed he made a mistake proposing to Becca, and can’t stop thinking about Lauren. So the unimaginable happens, and Arie breaks it off with Becca to go and be with Lauren. To top it all off, he also does it in a painfully long and unedited breakup, that was aired on national television. The breakup was hard to watch, as Becca was expecting a “happy couple” weekend, and got a weekend far from that. A heart-wrenching breakup takes place on camera, in which Becca asked Arie too many times to leave, and he chose everytime to stay. Was he hoping for her to say something to stroke his ego or take away some of his guilt? Possibly. But regardless, he finally leaves her alone after almost 30 minutes of misery. Was it a moral and acceptable decision for Arie to let them film and air the breakup? This is a question that is still up for debate in Bachelor Nation.
After the breakup, Arie joyfully greeted Lauren at her house and proceeded to get back together with her, and later propose on the After the Final Rose. We wish them the best, and hope that Becca’s heartbreak wasn’t for nothing.
Make sure to tune in later in May for Becca’s season of The Bachelorette! Hopefully this one won’t be as much of a disaster as Arie’s.