Funny how, even as a mere viewer, a seemingly inconsequential moment can stay with you and leave a lasting impression. Right after a beautiful proposal, while walking hand in hand down a beach in Cuba, Jasmine said quietly—not for the benefit of cameras or producers, but to her new fiancé—”say something sweet to me now.” I found this one little line haunting, how only moments after getting engaged, Jasmine still sought something (some transformation? validation? “mushy”-ness?) from Kevin. Jasmine has proven plenty confident and self-assured, so that one little line made a part me wonder what he wasn’t (and isn’t?) giving her. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so confused by a finale episode. Even when the lead’s choice is questionable (which I don’t think it was in this case; more on that later), we’re made to feel excited and supportive of the happy couple by the time of the proposal, or at the very least, later when they’re beaming at After the Final Rose. Or, even when there’s been AFR drama, there’s usually some sort of finality by the end of the episode. But never have I been left scratching my head, wondering if the Bachelorette did indeed make the right choice despite there being no more episodes during which my doubts could be resolved.
I’m reminded a bit of when JoJo’s season finally came to a close. She was clearly a bit down and not quite as elated as you’d think she should be, but as far as any of us could tell, it was never because she regretted her choice or the fact that things had been rocky with Jordan; it was because they’d endured so much hate and criticism along the way, with even an Us Weekly cover story calling Jordan a “fraud.” For someone who’s been a bright light all season, Jasmine’s demeanour on AFR was unmistakably off and seemed tinted by sadness. Now, every final couple will attest that the months between the proposal filming and airing are by far the hardest, so I’m not belittling how hard it’s been for Jasmine and Kevin, but they really haven’t had the extreme lack of support that some other final couples from the American franchise have had. Other than the fact that they’ve been long distance and unable to be seen in public together, why the long faces? After all, yesterday was the big day; they finally can go get a coffee and grocery shop together.
All that said, my absolute favourite thing about Jasmine has been her brutal honesty. I love that she wasn’t able to keep a straight face long enough to let Mikhel even deliver his pre-proposal profession of love. (How very humane and Canadian of her!) My favourite bout of honesty was at After the Final Rose where she said that despite being completely in love with Kevin, she still kind of loved Mikhel, too. This was darn refreshing. One thing I’ve consistently struggled with as a viewer is how the lead claims to be so torn up about their decision, yet after making said decision, it’s suddenly as though the runner-up never had a chance. (Remember Ben‘s Us Weekly “She was always the one” cover story? It sure didn’t seem like it when he was on the bathroom floor telling JoJo he loved her.) Jasmine saying she still loved Mikhel—even if not in the same way she loved Kevin—proved that not only was she being honest at the moment, but she’d been honest all season. This girl is no actress and it only makes me love her more.
I’m clearly torn between having doubts based on Jasmine’s behaviour at After the Final Rose and loving her for that very transparency, but about her actual choice: Kevin (whose haircut, as an aside, magically transformed him into James Marsden, which makes me reeeeally want Jasmine to do my hair). In the weeks leading up to the finale, I personally felt Jasmine was more drawn to Kevin and that their connection was something unexplainable, going beyond the fact that they’re just beautiful people in the same place at the same time. I get that Mikhel was very much a fan favorite, but as I’ve said countless times here, what do we know about the subtle wavelength, chemistry, banter and pheromones that culminated in Jasmine choosing Kevin over Mikhel? We may have our preference, but it isn’t our place to say who Jasmine should or shouldn’t have picked, because we weren’t there, and hey, we aren’t her. Now, whether or not Jasmine and Kevin stand the test of time remains to be seen, but for now, these two are a gorgeous couple and deserve our support. Congratulations, you two!
As for Mikhel, he was complete sweetheart and class act. Something tells me he’ll be just fine… especially if he becomes the next Bachelor. (Hint, hint!)
That’s a wrap, dear readers! We’ll reconvene in January both here and over at All The Pretty Pandas for Nick’s season of The Bachelor!
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